FMJ for Self Defense?

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by Glock19Fan, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Deus Vult!

    Well, while NATO (and the United States Army) seem to agree with you, the United States Marine Corps does not.

    (Then again, neither do I.) :)

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  2. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member


  3. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Deus Vult!

    :) RichardB, I enjoyed reading your reply; and I think there’s a lot of truth in Greg Ellifritz’s well done analysis of handgun stopping power; however, pistol gunfighting isn’t really about, ‘changing an attacker’s mind’. Instead it’s more about preventing an assailant from doing you serious bodily harm, ideally, by completely, ‘shutting him down’ as quickly as possible.

    Both common sense AND experience tell me that if I’m using a 22 LR pistol then I’m going to need to fire multiple shots in order to bring a determined attacker down. Consequently whenever I have a 22 LR pistol out for home defense I keep it with 2 extra clips, and a full 30 rounds of ammo. Now, while some might object, I know the 22 LR to be a very deadly weapon; AND it is an especially deadly weapon at, ‘home gunfighting distances’. (Over the years I’ve discovered a large number of different government agencies, also, agree with this conclusion.)

    Certain truisms apply:

    (1) ALL handguns are expedient, ‘weapons-of-convenience’.

    (2) ALL handguns are lousy - frequently ineffective - self-defense weapons.

    (3) Handguns above 41 Magnum caliber and velocity have comparatively low accuracy at higher rate-of-fire; and, consequently, make poor self-defense weapons. (Even 357 Magnum can be difficult for a lot of people to shoot well.)

    (4) The higher (or more severe) a cartridge’s initial recoil impulse is the more difficult it’s going to be for MOST people to use that particular cartridge well for accurate (Read, ‘immediately effective’) self-defense.

    (5) Handgun bullets are, most often, evaluated on their single shot potential when, in fact, the multiple shot potential should, also, be taken into consideration.

    As I’ve frequently posted on this forum in the past: I haven’t practiced by firing single pistol shots at anything for many years, now. (Perhaps because I no longer shoot postal target matches.) All of my modern pistol work involves either rapidly or repeatedly, ‘firing for effect’; and, ‘firing for effect’ ONLY! Consequently I don’t obsess over questions like; ‘Which caliber is better 9mm, or 45 ACP?’ While I admit to a personal inclination to use 45 ACP, I shoot both calibers interchangeably; and, when I use a pistol, I always fire repetitively as well.

    NOTE: I’m going to qualify the above statement. IF I were required to use a pistol on a battlefield then I would strongly prefer to use 45 ACP FMJ hardball ammunition. Why? Because there are much harder (meaning, ‘barricaded and armor-plated’) and more difficult things to stop on a battlefield than anywhere else. ;)
  4. Arc Angle,

    I think that is where these types of conversation always gets lost into an unlimited amount of rabbit trails.

    I know frequently compairing military ammo/gun choices and translating that into civilian purchases is common, but a bit misguided.

    Arc Angle makes this point exactly... "IF I were required to use a pistol on a battlefield then I would strongly prefer to use 45 ACP FMJ hardball ammunition. Why? Because there are much harder (meaning, ‘barricaded and armor-plated’) and more difficult things to stop on a battlefield than anywhere else."

    Walking the streets of the USA - most punks are not going to be coming at you in full Kevlar, so when does the word "over-kill" come into play with respect to your ammo for self defense? How much is just plain marketing? Apparently these folks are going an outstanding job!

    Remember all the "ZOMBIE" ammo everyone just had to go out and buy... just in case? :whistling:
    #184 Kentguy, Nov 18, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  5. RichardB

    Silver Member

    There is no one around with first hand knowledge to speak about it but immediately after WWll the US Army began a plan to replace the 1911 with a 9MM hand gun. As a result the Colt Commander was developed. An austere budget prevented the Army from replacing the .45s. It appears to me that the Army learned the truth about the 9mm in combat and was wanted to apply the new knowledge.

    Myths are tough to overcome, except by experience. There are probably a few guys in this forum who know by experience or mess hall talk that our allies in Viet Nam were not willing to trade their 13 round Browning High Powers for our vaunted 1911s.
  6. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Deus Vult!

    :upeyes: Well, ....... I grew up in a family of recently returned WWII veterans, and one still serving Korean war veteran. My uncles always thought that the real reason, 'Why' the United States wanted to go to 9 x 19mm ammo was because NATO was just starting up, and NATO virtually demanded the use of both the metric system and 9mm ball ammo.

    If you were to ask one of these highly experienced combat veterans what he thought about giving up his 45 ACP 1911 pattern pistol for a 9mm anything he would have laughed and looked at you like you were crazy!

    They were all United States Marines; and I've never failed to notice the Corps' continual trust and confidence in the 45 ACP - Not even when Lyndon Johnson ordered the Corp to turn in all their 1911's for systematic destruction. The Army, Navy, and Air Force turned in their 45's; but the Corp simply lost theirs, somewhere, in some forsaken warehouse where it took almost 30 years for them to be, 'rediscovered'. (This time by both the Marines and Navy SEALS.)

    I'm presently carrying a 9mm pistol; and I have a lot of confidence in, both, it and what I can do with it, too. However, if I knew I were going to a pistol gunfight, I'd leave the 9mm at home and take both of my 45's - I mean, 'Why' screw around! ;)

    (I hold a similar opinion about FMJ and JHP ammunition, as well.) :supergrin:
  7. M 7

    M 7

    I agree.

    The .45 230 gr FMJ and the 9mm 124 gr FMJ will penetrate 26" and 29" of soft tissue respectively (according to the Schwartz bullet penetration formula- so those constrained to carry FMJ (our military) are wise to choose the .45 if they have the option.
    #187 M 7, Nov 18, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  8. Your 1911 won't feed hollow points, eh?
  9. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    That's right. The M1911A1 .45 ACP worked well for me when I was in the USN. It will work forever!

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