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Fragmentation or Penetration?

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by DeathRattle, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. DeathRattle

    DeathRattle Portland Metro Area Member

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    Question: Is your primary pistol be loaded with ammo that is likely to fragment, or with ammo that expands and penetrates deeply? Elaborate why you made your choice.

    Context: home defense, personal protection, Bipedal repellant

    Rules: Pistols only
    "one-mag-if-each" is not an applicable answer ;)
     
  2. SVT-ROY

    SVT-ROY Tigard Resident Beretta guru

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    I personally carry Ranger sxt in my primary mags. They expand and mushroom great. In my back up mags I run FMJ. I don't think I will need to shoot through car doors or walls so for me its stooping power. I would rather use glaser saftey blue rounds but dam there expensive.

    Fyi if you want penetration rounds you don't want them to expand.
     
  3. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy between springfield and shelbyville Well-Known Member

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    It depends. If I'm in an urban environment, I use EFMJ. More expansion than a regular FMJ and more penetration than a hollow point.

    If i'm in the woods or at home, I like anything that can be described as a flying ash tray. Something big and gaping that will expand as much as possible.
     
  4. saxon

    saxon springfield Active Member

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  5. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Ranger SXT in the Beretta M9 and Glaser Silver in the 642 and .357 Magsafe in the 686. I live in a cul de sac and have 360 degree neighbors for backstops so home defense penetration worry is why revolvers are loaded that way. M9 loaded with hp for reliability as too spendy to run 50 Glasers through it...:)
     
  6. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    JHP for sure. I'm just not sure I entirely trust those crazy specialty bullets in the first place, and it is already expensive enough using good JHPs. I like to run 250rds of whatever ammo I decide to carry through my gun first to make sure it runs and the cost of doing that with glaser safety slugs would be freaking ridiculous.

    Winchester Ranger or Speer Gold Dot all the way. I don't use FMJ in pistols for self defense, that's plinkin' ammo. :)
     
  7. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Why can't the one mag of each be an answer? I load my firearm based on where I am going. If I know I am going to a busy place with a lot of people, I will throw in a mag with the first two rounds of pre-frags (mag safe rounds) and the rest will have hornady TAP rounds. However, I always keep a spare mag in the car with just straight FMJ. If I need that mag, then crap is really bad and I probably need to shoot through some stuff (i.e. armor, cover, etc.).

    Most of the time I keep 180gr Hornady TAP in my G-22 or G-27 (.40 S&W) or 200gr Hornady TAP in my Springfield XD (.45 ACP).
     
  8. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I also question the effectiveness of Glaser and Magsafe rounds and will only use them in revolvers for reliability reasons. They do have penetration issues especially if they strike an arm or intermediate cover before striking center mass of human. I still believe it would be an effective round for home defense though. Situation of one maybe two assailants, given the temporary crush cavities these rounds produce in gelatin, I think anyone getting center punched by one of these rounds is going down. Literally if someone bursts through my front door, if I or my wife misses the target, that round will go into my neighbor's house. Same with shots if someone attempts entry via our sliding glass door. This is a very special round for a very specific situation.

    On the street, I would load my revolvers with modern hollow point designs. I have considered getting some Federal EFMJ (expanding full metal jacket) rounds for my M1911A1 so it could be pressed into service as a carry gun if I ever decide to carry again and want to carry something other than the M9.
     
  9. PinkhamR

    PinkhamR Altus, Oklahoma MSgt, USAF (Retired)-FFL Lifetime Supporter

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    This is an 'Old School' Hollow Point ..... ;)

    Great for not injuring bystanders ....
     
  10. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    I carry in my 1911 the Federal EFMJ. Better penetration and a nice wound track and i like the feel of it when I shoot
     
  11. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Penetration because I believe that gives a better chance of ending the fight quicker.
     
  12. Gasbolt

    Gasbolt Florence Or. New Member

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    It depends on your setting.if you live in a buisy area with people living close by(apartments etc) then you want a round that is going to stop now.also look at the material your house is made of,is it sheetrock and 2by4's?if so use rounds that do not penatrate.if you live in a stone/brick home you can change this a bit.be shure to watch your backdrop.In a vehicle i would say use non penatrating rounds as well,too many crowds and people.if you carry concealed i would still use hydroshocks or a lead based ammunition.(you can get low velocity rounds as well).However in any case have at least two mags on you.one for impact and stoping power and the other for penatration.you never know.you might have to shoot through a car door.
     
  13. I carry Ranger SXT as well. I currently keep a mag of Hydra-Shoks in my Beretta, but that's just because I haven't purchased Rangers for it yet.
     
  14. FritZ PDX

    FritZ PDX Portland, OR New Member

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    My knowledge on bullet ballistics, and penetration is rather limited. With that being said my everyday concealed carry gun is a Glock 26, and its loaded with Gold Dot Short Barrel Personal Protection - 9mm Luger +P rounds. when I first bought these I was surprised at how much more "pop" the +P rounds had compared to the PMC 115 Grs FMJ that I practice with. My main concern with over penetration is the possibility of injuring innocent bystanders if a situation ever was to occur. My personal belief is a hollow point helps reduce that chance significantly. I have learned one thing over the past few months of reading this site, there are as many different opinions as members on these forums which is a good thing.
     
  15. jib

    jib Central OR Active Member

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    I load my SD guns with what ever gives me a minimum of 16" of penetration in ballistic jello.
     
  16. DeanR

    DeanR Portland OR Member

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    I opt for fragmentation. I feel more comfortable with less penetration/unintended consequences in an urban setting.
     
  17. DeathRattle

    DeathRattle Portland Metro Area Member

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    Good responses form everybody. Let me answer Riots question, and then throw my hat into the ring...

    @Riot

    Not trying to say that one couldn't or shouldn't carry one mag of each of their favs, but to me personally, it's a little redundant. I have a hard time envisioning a realistic scenario involving likely Portland threats where the bullet, and not the shooter, would decide who wins the gunfight. I also don't like the idea of changing the harmonics of my firearm in the MIDDLE of a life or death situation. The point-of-impact, recoil, muzzle flash all change when you put different bullets in the pipe. Some changes are more drastic that others. If your first mag is loaded with Winchester Subsonics, and the second mag is Buffalo Bore, you've just changed things a lot. Also, training with two loads would be a little pricey for me :)

    Between fragmentation and expansion\penetration, I prefer fregmentation. I think it minimizes the risk to non-targets. I don't worry so much about the bullet hitting the target, passing through, and than striking an innocent. But because I am so much more likely to miss the target, I do not want my bullet hitting the kitchen window of the house 40 yards down the street, or hit the side of the schoolbus waiting at the red light behind the target.

    Remember- according to the FBI, only one in five bullets strikes the target during law enforcement shootings. 1 hit for 4 misses. Most CHL holders are foolish to think that they will somehow be Annie Oakley under life-threatening pressure, and that missing the target is somehow 'below' them. This, I believe, is not a healthy attitude; for it is better to be aware of ones likelyhood to miss the target, and therefore take extra care to not miss the target, than it is to let ones ego and misconceptions hurt an unintended party.

    As far as wound patterns, I'll take fragmentation hands down. When the projectile begins to break, thus begins the creation of multiple wound channels within the target, increasing the chance of permanent cavities in vital organs and arteries, leading to what I think would be a faster incapacitation, and a quicker stop to the threat presented.

    I carry 2 mags of DoubleTap 10MM 135gr. Nosler JHP@ an advertised 1608 fps. This load is known for limited penetration and violent fragmentation.
     
  18. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    I can kinda agree with this....45gr pre-frags vs. 180gr Hornady TAPs, yes. 180gr FMJ vs. 180gr Hornady TAP, no. If it wasn't close to the original, I wouldn't practice with it.

    F-the FBI and their statistics. Most of those police shootouts are from cops that...

    1. Never practice with their firearm (minus the required range qualification).
    2. Are complacent after 20 years on the beat and treat all traffic stops as routine until "OH CRAP HE'S GOT A GUN!" (insert stress and unplanned firearms encounter= possible bullet into own foot and thigh, maybe even two more into the ground before the sights are even on target).
    3. Have more muscle memory in reaching for their TASER/OC than they do their firearm (hence why there have been an increase of TASER incidents, whereas the officer should've used appropriate force [i.e. deadly force]).

    I take ballistic gel tests with a grain of salt...insert heavy clothing, coats, fat tissue, a car windshield, etc. you are not getting anywhere near the effect that you need to stop your target. You're not hitting vital organs or causing enough bleeding to cause incapacitation.

    10mm? You didn't say that in the original post. Hydrostatic shock is already a factor. You put in some FMJ and you'll likely kill two with one shot as well. So FMJ is out of the question for daily carry. Even specific hollow points are even questionable with a 10mm (i.e. 230gr HST +ps).
     
  19. usmc

    usmc oregon Active Member

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    from what ive been able to research ,any ammo that is fast and fragments (such as frangible bullets) kills faster bottom line. even if it mushrooms well and all that jazz, it still wont kill as fast as something that fragments. it surprised me but its true.works especially well for 2 legged animals.:)
     
  20. hariph creek

    hariph creek vancouver, wa. Active Member

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    I opt for controled penetration with expansion and maximum hydrostatic shock/energy dump. .357 does this well, my home is situated with the side of my neighbors brick garage as a backstop for any likley field of fire. I've always carried Speer 125gr Gold Dots, but recently switched to those new Hornady 125gr Critical Defense. They have substantially less flash than the Speers but they're not crimped? I know a GP100 should be plenty heavy, but... I don't really anticipate EVER needing to shoot through car doors, however in the woods I carry 185gr hardcast LWNFP Beartooth's at well over 1300fps out of my 4" GP100. How's that for penetration?