How Much Better are Flat Point FMJs than Round Nose?

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by AR-Tenner, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. AR-Tenner


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    Jan 26, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    Dear Mr. Ayoob,

    I first want to say I have an inestimable level of respect for you, and that it would be a great honor to hear your expert advice. I have been reading your work ever since I first got into guns at 18 (10 years ago), and bet you can shed some light on my question.

    I am a big fan of the .45 ACP, and have gotten quite good with my Gen 4 Glock 21 over the last few years, with a starting point of being just plain terrible with any handgun, but the siren song of the Glock 20 in 10mm still regularly calls to me. One of the biggest selling points of the .45 to me at the start was that it was actually a pretty effective manstopper even with standard FMJ practice ammo, and I read and assumed that with non-expanding bullets it was head and shoulders above any other common service handgun caliber.

    I have been reading recently, however, about the relative effectiveness of flat point solid bullets, particularly from the hunting crowd who sing their praises out of big-bore rifles and powerful handguns like revolvers in .44 Magnum. This made me wonder whether a heavy bullet out of a 10mm (180 or 200gr FMJ) with its characteristic flat point would actually be as good as or better than the classic 230gr round nose FMJ from the .45 ACP at causing tissue disruption in a live target. An 8-mile hike through black bear country in the Alleghenies after brook trout (very successfully) over the recent holiday weekend made me acutely aware of wanting the best woods-defense FMJ. I load both my 230gr Gold Dots and Precision Delta 230gr FMJs to 950fps out of my Glock 21 without going into +P territory, but I still thought that perhaps the flat point of the 10mm might make it a better predator defense round than my trusty .45.

    I am hoping that you have some experience and insight into the stopping effectiveness of 10mm or .40 S&W full metal jackets (considering a FMJ from these two calibers will almost always penetrate all the way through a bad guy, they should be comparable for the purposes of this discussion) and how they stack up to the legendary 230gr .45 ACP. Particularly, if there are gel tests that demonstrate the wound track diameter of the different rounds, this question should be easy to answer, as it will prove whether the relatively small flat point actually increases the performance much.

    I know that Nosler currently sells flat point FMJ projectiles for the .45 ACP in 230gr weight, but these are quite expensive, and for the same price I would much rather stack my Gold Dots deeper, while the common practice projectiles one can buy for the 10mm essentially all have flat points.

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

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    Nov 6, 2005
    I suspect you'll find less deviation off path with the flat points, and the old 230 grain FMJ flat point seemed to penetrate deeper into gel than ball. Don't, however, expect the same tissue disruption as the wide meplate of a hard cast large bore hunting revolver bullet .

    In 10mm, the flat point can be quite a penetrator. The old original Norma 10mm load (200 grain jacketed truncated cone, 1200 fps) could perforate a large hog brisket to butt.