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HANDGUN AMMUNITION:
SELF DEFENSE

Ammunition manufactured in the United States is among the finest in the world.  For intended defensive uses, the gun owner will not go wrong in selecting ammunition produced by the most widely recognized manufacturers.  These include CCI/Speer, Cor-Bon, Federal, Hornady, Remington, and Winchester.

Allow no margin for error in protecting your life.  Avoid potentially unreliable ammunition that is hand loaded, re-loaded, or of dubious quality foreign manufacture when choosing defensive rounds.

In a self defense situation, you are seeking to apply superior force to dissipate a life threatening encounter with a criminal aggressor.  This will require use of a handgun ideally chambered for a round that possesses the following characteristics:

  • As an absolute minimum, be capable of penetrating at least six to eight inches of bodily tissue.

  • As a preferred minimum, be capable of penetrating at least ten to twelve inches of bodily tissue.

  • As an absolute maximum, be capable of penetrating no more than fifteen inches of bodily tissue.

The rationale behind these criteria is discussed in depth in the Armory munitions room marked "Ammunition: Self Defense".  

Consider visiting the Armory munitions room "Handgun: Self Defense".  Information found in the discussion "Selection of Caliber" is pertinent to the evaluation of "best" defensive ammunition, and will provide additional insight into the discussion at hand.  To access this material, either click on the link at the top of that page or scroll down through the text.

In investigating the merits of various calibers and bullets for self defense, you will find that a considerable range of opinion and personal preference exist.  This is to be expected, considering that the American gun community embraces fellow firearm enthusiasts with extremely varied backgrounds, tastes, insights, experiences and training.

As a generality, it appears as though two distinct schools of thought exist: cartridge performance preference based on real world shooting data ("one shot stop" statistics) and cartridge performance preference based on bullet penetration data derived from shooting into ballistic gelatin, which has the characteristics of soft human tissue.  

Law enforcement agencies periodically participate in workshops intended to evaluate performance of various calibers and brands of ammunition.  Procedures follow the FBI Wound Ballistic Testing Protocol, a series of tests designed to evaluate bullet penetration, retained weight and expansion in settings that simulate real world conditions.  Shooting events include bare ballistic gelatin, and gelatin protected by barriers such as heavy clothing, steel, wallboard, plywood and auto glass.

Much of the "penetration" information presented for various calibers in the following summaries is based on data derived from the foregoing sources.  It is extremely generalized, however, because tests involve a considerable range of ammunition brands and types as well as handgun makes and models.

Most law enforcement agencies have transitioned from revolvers to autoloaders as the duty gun of choice.  Modern autoloaders are safe and reliable, and offer the desired attributes of high capacity and reloading speed.  The calibers of  9mm, .40 S&W and .45ACP are preferred.  The snubby revolver in .38 Special or .357 Magnum sometimes fills the niche of concealed backup gun. 

It is not the purpose of this forum to debate the merits and limitations of the various data sources.  You will likely find that valuable guidance is to be obtained from each.  In fact, conclusions derived from these disparate methodologies often complement one another. 

Hence, it is not surprising that the "best" performers based on real world "one shot stop" shootings are also the calibers that tend to meet the preferred minimum penetration criteria established through empirical testing.

In evaluating ammunition performance information, it is suggested by the Armory that you not treat the "one shot stop" data as an absolute.  Rather, it may be more productive to compare the statistics for various calibers based on their "relative" performance to one another.

From the perspective of self defense, it is helpful to mentally categorize calibers as "very poor", "poor", "fair", "good", "very good", "better" and "best".  

Realize that such comparisons are both subjective as well as objective in nature, and are quite likely the topic of considerable discussion and debate among handgun aficionados.

Within a chosen caliber, seek to use ammunition that rates well in real world shootings.  Even more importantly, make sure that it cycles reliably if your handgun is an autoloader.

The rule of thumb is to shoot 200 rounds without a jam as the test of reliability.  If an autoloader won't dependably feed hollow points, switch to full metal jacket bullets, also known as "ball" ammunition.

Remember that even a poor or fair caliber could be a life saver if force is delivered effectively by the intended victim to dissipate a criminal assault.  When comparatively weak calibers are used for personal protection, proper multiple shot placement is exceedingly important.

Don't lose track of the "big picture".  Don't miss the forest for all those trees out there. What one is attempting to assess is the suitability of various self defense rounds in the context of one's personal need, abilities and life style.  This includes factors such as recoil tolerance, firearm familiarity, gun type and action, ease of carry, safety features and ability to conceal. 

Be aware that some of the following information is dated, derived from data in the public domain current as of approximately late 1990's - early 2000's.  You may find that certain products may no longer be available.  Recognize that the information presented at the Armory serves as a comparative record for that period, available in a free format to the public.

More recent information certainly is available from various sources.  However, one will likely find that some updated information may come with a cost: subscription web sites or print media.       

Technological advances in the design and manufacture of firearms and ammunition have undoubtedly occurred over the past decade.  This is particularly true with regard to bullets, with "new and improved" varieties continually being developed and marketed by various manufacturers.  Improvement typically relates to even more effective or desirable properties of bullet expansion: the "next generation" of  hollow point handgun ammunition.

Cartridges that represent both pioneering and state-of-the-art hollow point design efforts by the six primary American ammunition manufacturers are summarized herein:

CCI/Speer :     "Gold Dot" JHP

Cor-Bon    :     "Self Defense" JHP        

Federal      :     "Premium Personal Defense Hydra-Shok" JHP

Hornady    :     "Critical Defense" JHP 

                 :     "TAP FPD" JHP

                 :     "XTP" JHP

Remington :     "HD Ultimate Home Defense" JHP

                       "Golden Saber" JHP

Winchester:      "Ranger" JHP 

                        "Super-X Silvertip" JHP

                        "Supreme Elite Bonded PDX1" JHP

With the exception of Federal "Hydra-Shok", Remington "Gold Saber", Hornady "XTP" and Winchester "Silvertip" ammunition, most of the foregoing rounds were not included in the data bases used to statistically determine "one shot stopping success" in the following summaries.  The newer cartridges either hadn't been developed at the time or hadn't been introduced long enough to generate sufficient data.

 

Bullets come in a wide variety of shapes, metals, and multi-metal composites.  Bullet types commonly encountered in self-defense applications are summarized as follows:

 

FMJ "Full Metal Jacket".  The round-nosed bullet is enclosed on its top and sides in a hard metal jacket, usually consisting of an alloy of copper or occasionally mild steel.  The base of the bullet is open, exposing a lead core.  The bullet design is not conducive to either expansion or deformation.  According to terms of the Hague Convention of 1899, and subsequently the Geneva Convention, this is the only type of bullet permitted in small arms during warfare.  It is also referred to as "ball". 
JHP  

"Jacketed Hollow Point".  The bullet is constructed of a soft lead, or proprietary alloy core, enclosed in a hard metal "jacket".  The top of the bullet has an opening in the jacket, exposing a "hollow" cavity in the "point" or nose of the core.  Upon impact, the bullet is forced to open up and expand.  This generally results in less tactical penetration than a non-expanding bullet in the same cartridge, but greater tissue damage due to the larger diameter of the now expanded bullet.  Other proprietary bullet configurations similar to JHP may simply be known as "Hollow Point".

 

LHP

 

Lead Hollow Point.  The bullet is similar to a JHP, but is constructed completely of lead and has no jacket.

SJHP  

Semi-Jacketed Hollow Point.  This bullet is similar to a JHP, but the jacket does not completely cover the lead core.  A small section of core at the top of the bullet is left exposed.  This older bullet design is still common in the .38 Special, .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum calibers.

 

LRN

 

Lead Round Nose

 

LW

 

Lead Wadcutter.  This revolver bullet has sharp shoulders and a flat nose.  It is a target round designed to punch clean holes in paper.  A "semi-wadcutter" is similar to a wadcutter, but exhibits sides with a more pronounced taper.

 

Recommendations regarding handgun ammunition for self defense follow:


.22LR (Long Rifle) Caliber:
One Shot Stopping Success:  21-34% (Actual)
Self Defense Rating: Poor

Recommended Cartridges:

CCI "Stinger" LHP 32 grains 34%
Federal LHP 38 grains 30%
Winchester LHP 37 grains 29%
Remington LHP 36 grains 27%

The .22LR is both a revolver and a pistol round.

In a perfect world, the intended victim would be relying on a caliber larger than the .22 for self defense.  In such a perfect world, why would one need to defend themselves in the first place?  Consider the .22 to be an imperfect solution to  a real world necessity, or put differently "something is better than nothing".  The diminutive .22 makes sense with citizens reluctant to pack or carry a larger caliber handgun.  Some fine .22 caliber pocket and target autoloaders exist, and 6-, 8- and 10-shot .22 caliber revolvers are great handguns.  Use .22LR ammunition.

Because ammunition is cheap, shooting is very affordable with a .22 caliber handgun.  Marksmanship is crucial with a .22 in a defensive situation, so practice drawing your firearm and rapidly peppering objects from ten to twenty-five feet away.  Cans, melons, and discarded bowling pins make ideal targets.  Bowling pins used to be free, but now a nominal cost is usually involved to obtain them.

The .22 autoloader must be kept free of gunk, dust, and grit to function reliably.  Make sure to keep the firearm meticulously clean and properly lubricated.  

Replace unused .22 ammunition in the magazine at least every six months or so because it tends to misfire or hang fire when subjected to temperature and weather extremes over a period of time.  It is strongly recommended that you visit Handguns: Self Defense to review safety issues surrounding potentially dangerous  hang fire rounds.

 

.22 Magnum Caliber: (.22 Winchester Magnum Rim Fire; WMR)
One Shot Stopping Success:  40 -42 % (Theoretical)
Self Defense Rating: Poor

Recommended Cartridges:

 
Winchester JHP 40 grains
CCI JHP 30 grains

A number of manufacturers make fine single action revolvers that are capable of selectively shooting either .22LR or .22WMR ammunition.  This is accomplished by means of interchangeable cylinders of different lengths, each intended to accommodate either the .22LR or the .22WMR.  The barrel of the gun is suited to either caliber since they are both .22.

Double and single action revolvers are available in .22WMR and very high capacity autoloaders exist in this caliber. 

 

.25ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) Caliber:
One Shot Stopping Success:  22-25% (Actual)
Self Defense Rating : Very Poor

Recommended Cartridges:

 

Winchester "XP"

JHP 45 grains 25%
Winchester FMJ 50 grains 23%
Federal FMJ 50 grains 22%
Remington FMJ 50 grains 22%

The .25ACP cartridge was developed as an alternative to the .22LR for use in small autoloaders.  The .25ACP is a center fired cartridge.  It provides a degree of dependability not found in the .22LR, which is a rim fired cartridge.  

Which of these calibers, .22LR versus .25ACP, should an individual consider purchasing for "serious" use as a self defense round?  Neither.  Consider the .32ACP to be the minimum acceptable caliber. 

 

.32ACP Caliber:  
One Shot Stopping Success:  50-63% (Actual)
Self Defense Rating: Fair
Recommended Cartridges:

 
Winchester "Silvertip" JHP 60 grains 63%
Winchester FMJ 71 grains 50%

The .32ACP, chambered in a pocket autoloader, is a viable choice when ability to conceal the handgun is an issue.  

Penetration can be expected to be in the range of 6 to 8 inches.

 

.380ACP Caliber: (9mm Short, 9x17mm, 9mm Kurz)
One Shot Stopping Success: 51-70% (Actual)
Self Defense Rating: Good
Recommended Cartridges:

 
Cor-Bon +P  JHP 90 grains 70%
Federal "Hydra-Shok" JHP 90 grains 69%
Federal JHP 90 grains 69%
Winchester "Silvertip" JHP 85grains 61%
CCI JHP 88grains 58%
Remington JHP 88 grains 57%

The .380ACP, or "three eighty auto", represents a higher level of self protection insurance when compared to smaller calibers.

Fine quality single and double action pistols are chambered for this round. 

Penetration  of the .380ACP ranges from 8 to 10 inches.

 

.38 Special Caliber:  2-inch Barrel
One Shot Stopping Success:  49-67% (Actual)
Self Defense Rating: Good
Recommended Cartridges:

 
Winchester +P LHP 158 grains 67%
Federal +P LHP 158 grains 66%
Federal +P JHP 125 grains 65%
Remington +P LHP 158 grains 65%
CCI +P JHP 125 grains 64%

The "snubby", a snub nose 2-inch revolver, has a long history as a favorite of the law enforcement community for concealment.  It is also extremely popular for CCW permit civilian carry.

Ammunition labeled +P (for extra pressure) should be used only in revolvers approved by the manufacturer for such use.

Accuracy with a light weight snub nose revolver is extremely susceptible to the uncomfortable recoil and muzzle blast produced by +P ammunition.  The gun is much more controllable in rapid fire with standard pressure rounds.

"Short barrel" JHP ammunition is a "next generation" innovation that seeks to minimize unpleasant levels of recoil from compact, light weight handguns.  Cartridges in this class still provide proper bullet expansion and adequate penetration. 

The ability to control a snub nose revolver is greatly improved by the addition of after market rubber grips to replace the wooden factory grips, if so equipped.

Penetration of .38 Special rounds fired from a snubby can be expected to be about 10 to 11 inches.

 

.38 Special Caliber:  4-inch Barrel
One Shot Stopping Success:  51-83 % (Actual)
Self Defense Rating: Very Good
Recommended Cartridges:

 
Cor-Bon +P+ JHP 115 grains 83%
Winchester +P LHP 158 grains 78%
Federal +P LHP 158 grains 77%
Federal +P JHP 125 grains 73%
Remington +P SJHP 125 grains 73%
Winchester +P+ JHP 110 grains 71%
CCI +P JHP 125 grains 70%
Remington +P LHP 158 grains 69%

The admonition concerning +P ammunition is again reiterated:  restrict the use of +P loads to revolvers certified for +P use.

It is common to practice with standard pressure loads and carry +P ammunition when packing for self defense.  Be aware that the recoil of a +P round is severe, and can inhibit accurate repeat shots.  If standard pressure ammunition is used for personal protection, proper shot placement and rapid delivery of subsequent hits is enhanced. 

Penetration of .38 Special rounds ranges from 11 to 12 inches.

 

9mm Parabellum Caliber: (9mm, 9mm Luger, 9mm NATO, 9x19mm)
One Shot Stopping Success:  63-91% (Actual)
Self Defense Rating: Better
Recommended Cartridges:

 
Cor-Bon +P JHP 115 grains 91%
Federal +P+ JHP 115 grains 90%
Winchester +P+ JHP 115 grains 90%
Remington +P+ JHP 115 grains 89%
Federal "Hydra-Shok" +P+ JHP 124 grains 86%
Federal "Nyclad" LHP 124 grains 84%
Winchester "Silvertip" JHP 115 grains 83%
Federal  JHP 115 grains 82%
Remington  JHP 115 grains 81%
Federal "Hydra-Shok"  JHP 124 grains 81%
CCI  JHP 115 grains 79%

The 9mm is the world's most popular pistol cartridge for both civilian and military use.

Ammunition for the 9mm Luger is available in three pressure classes: standard pressure, high pressure "+P", and ultra high pressure "+P+".  High and ultra high pressure rounds should be used only in newer firearms manufactured to handle these loads. 

In FMJ, with a one shot stopping success of only 63%, the standard pressure 9mm Luger is not a superlative defensive round.  Use ball ammunition for practice and training.  Use JHP for self defense if it cycles reliably in your autoloader.

The 9mm NATO is the cartridge currently used by the U.S. Armed Forces.  It is 124 grains, FMJ.  

The specifications for the 9mm NATO round call for a pressure that is approximately 10% higher than that of standard 9mm Luger ammunition .  The higher pressure produces increased velocity and energy, which are conducive to reliable cycling in both pistols and carbines chambered for the 9mm.

The 9mm NATO can be considered to be roughly the equivalent of a +P 9mm Luger, and thus should be used only in modern firearms designed for +P ammunition.

The 9mm cartridge exhibits penetration of 10 to 14 inches.

 

.357 SIG Caliber:
One Shot Stopping Success:  59-89% (Theoretical)
Self Defense Rating: Better
Recommended Cartridges:

 
Cor-Bon "Sierra" JHP 115 grains 89%
Federal JHP 125 grains 88%
Hornady "XTP" JHP 124 grains 87%
CCI "Gold Dot" JHP 125 grains 86%

This pistol cartridge is a relatively new design that attempts to emulate the performance of the powerful .357 Magnum revolver round.  Although an excellent cartridge on its own merits, it doesn't quite attain that goal.

Penetration is 10 to 12 inches.

 

.357 Magnum Caliber:
One Shot Stopping Success:  68-96% (Actual)
Self Defense Rating: Best
Recommended Cartridges:

 
Remington JHP 125 grains 96%
Federal JHP 125 grains 96%
CCI JHP 125 grains 93%
Federal JHP 110 grains 90%
Remington SJHP 110 grains 89%
Winchester JHP 125 grains 87%
 

The .357 Magnum, in 125 grain JHP, is unquestionably the most effective handgun cartridge in existence.  Its proven ability to produce one shot stops exceeds that of any other round, including more powerful cartridges such as the .41 Magnum and .44 Magnum.

If there is any downside to using the .357 Magnum for self defense, it would relate to muzzle blast and recoil. Controllability is extremely important in follow-up shot placement, and self defense requires that shots be fired rapidly and accurately.

For those uncomfortable with conventional .357 Magnum rounds, there exist a variety of "reduced recoil" cartridges that are equally well suited to self defense.  Some "next generation" JHP ammunition has been designed to produce lower recoil without sacrificing the desirable properties of bullet expansion and penetration.  Little is lost by using "more temperate" ammunition.

Note that a .357 Magnum revolver can shoot both .357 Magnum and .38 Special ammunition.  A .38 Special revolver can only shoot .38 Special ammunition.

For those owners of a .357 Magnum revolver that is still equipped with factory wooden grips, consider installing recoil-absorbing, ergonomic rubber grips.  The difference in control afforded by these grips is enormous, and greatly aids rapid and accurate shooting.

For self defense, avoid soft points, semi-wadcutters, or JHP ammunition with heavier bullets like the 158 "grainers" and above.  These types of .357 Magnum cartridges are better suited to target shooting and hunting.  The recoil of the heavier bullets is correspondingly severe, possibly inhibiting follow up shots and accuracy when used to defend against aggression.  

For practice, the all lead bullets are acceptable.  However, there are better choices, as the shooter will quickly discover when it is time to laboriously clean the lead fouling from the gun.  

When selecting .357 Magnum cartridges for self defense, an individual will be well served by choosing JHP, 110 to 125 grains, made by any of the top six American ammunition manufacturers.

Penetration is 12 to 13 inches.

 

.40 Smith & Wesson Caliber:
One Shot Stopping Success:  71-96%  (Actual)
Self Defense Rating: Best
Recommended Cartridges:

 
Cor-Bon "Nosler" JHP 135 grains 96%
Federal JHP 155 grains 94%
Remington "Golden Saber" JHP 165 grains 94%
Federal "Hydra-Shok" JHP 155 grains 93%
Cor-Bon JHP 150 grains 92%
Winchester "Silvertip" JHP 155 grains 91%
Federal "Hydra-Shok" JHP 180 grains 89%
Cor-Bon +P JHP 180 grains 86%

This relatively new pistol cartridge is an excellent, potent self defense round.

The lighter bullet choices in this caliber, manufactured by any of the top six producers, have the edge over the heavier 180 grain loads.  Recoil of 135 to 165 grain rounds is also less.

Penetration can be expected to range from 10 to 14 inches.

 

10mm Caliber: (Medium Velocity Load)  
One Shot Stopping Success:  81-82%  (Actual)
Self Defense Rating: Very Good
Recommended Cartridges:

 
Winchester  JHP 180 grains 82%
Federal JHP 180 grains 81%
Remington  JHP 180 grains 81%

A relatively recent development from the 1980's, the 10mm pistol cartridge hasn't performed as well as its designers intended.  It never attained the tactical success, or popularity, achieved by 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45ACP JHP ammunition.

In the heavy recoiling "full power" load, the 10mm is a hunting cartridge that exhibits excessive penetration for self defense. 

 

.41 Magnum Caliber:
One Shot Stopping Success:  74-89%  (Actual)
Self Defense Rating: Better
Recommended Cartridges:

 
Winchester "Silvertip" JHP 175 grains 89%
Winchester  JHP 210 grains 82%
Remington  JHP 210 grains 81%

The excessive power and severe recoil of this revolver round tend to limit its usefulness for self defense.  Better choices exist.

 

.44 Special Caliber:
One Shot Stopping Success:  65-75%  (Actual)
Self Defense Rating: Very Good
Recommended Cartridges:

 
Winchester "Silvertip" JHP 200 grains 75%
Federal  LHP 200 grains 73%

 

.44 Magnum Caliber:
One Shot Stopping Success:  76-90%  (Actual)
Self Defense Rating: Better
Recommended Cartridges:

 
Winchester "Silvertip" JHP 210 grains 90%
Federal   JHPP 180 grains 89%
Remington  SJHP 240 grains 88%
Winchester  JHP 240 grains 84%
Federal  JHP 240 grains 80%

Now considered a "classic", the Smith & Wesson model 29 revolver chambered in .44 Magnum was the favorite of Clint Eastwood in his big screen "Dirty" Harry Callahan detective roles.  Even Clint has moved on.  His character in the must see movie "Gran Torino", a crusty Korean War vet contending with multiculturalism, favors his .45ACP Colt 1911A1 pistol.

Keep in mind that a gun chambered for .44 Magnum is also capable to shooting the .44 Special.  The reverse is not applicable.

Fierce muzzle blast and excessive recoil characterize the .44 Magnum.  Rounds also tend to over penetrate.  These qualities are not ideal for self defense. 

 

.45ACP Caliber:
One Shot Stopping Success:  63-94%  (Actual)
Self Defense Rating: Best
Recommended Cartridges:

 
Federal "Hydra-Shok"  JHP 230 grains 94%
Remington "Gold Saber" JHP 230 grains 93%
Cor-Bon JHP 185 grains 92%
Remington +P JHP 185 grains 91%
CCI/Speer "Lawman"  JHP 200 grains 88%
Federal  JHP 185 grains 87%

This caliber is extremely popular with both civilians and law enforcement alike.  It gets the job done.

Until 1985 when it was replaced by the 9mm NATO, .45ACP was also the sidearm caliber of choice for the U.S. Military.

For self defense, rely on JHP ammunition if it cycles reliably in your pistol.

Although it is a traditional pistol cartridge, the rimless .45ACP can also be fired in new model revolvers chambered for this round through the use of moon clips.

Penetration of .45ACP is 12 to 14 inches.

 

.45 Colt Caliber:
One Shot Stopping Success: Data Not Available
Self Defense Rating: Very Good
Recommended Cartridges:

 
Cor-Bon JHP 200 grains
Winchester "Silvertip" JHP 225 grains
Federal LHP 225 grains

For self defense, a good double action revolver is preferred to a single action cowboy or hunting gun.

 

Check out "Selection of Caliber" for additional insight into handgun caliber choices that are best suited for personal protection and home defense.

In summary, you would be wise to select a pistol caliber in the "better" or "best" rankings and load it with JHP bullets.  Proven self defense pistol calibers include 9mm, .40 S&W and .45ACP.  As mentioned previously, these calibers are the overwhelming choice of those in law enforcement.  The best revolver round is the .357 Magnum.  Should recoil tolerance be an issue, investigate the "very good" revolver round, .38 Special.  The "good" .380ACP should be considered a minimum loading for a pistol, unless you wish to pack the "fair" .32ACP in concealed carry due to the small size of pocket pistols chambered for this caliber.

Other calibers exist, and many are suited to self defense.  For example, some law enforcement agencies like .357 SIG.  The .327 Magnum is a new revolver round.  Will 10mm take care of business?  Sure.  The point, however, is that less popular ammunition calibers aren't superior to more popular, ubiquitous calibers.  Recall the school yard taunt: "Anything you can do, I can do better.  I can do anything better than you".  Well, that's the case with the proven, popular calibers.

An addition factor to consider when selecting a caliber for self defense is that popular ammo is relatively easy to acquire.  It is going to be on the retailer's shelf nearly everywhere.  Military calibers are perhaps the most widely available.  Obscure, less popular calibers are going to be harder to find.  Depending upon where you live, this may not necessarily be a significant problem in good times.  After all, if local suppliers don't carry a particular cartridge, there are always on-line vendors happy to ship.  When catastrophe strikes and hard times come, those with firearms chambered for "unusual" calibers will be running out of ammunition quickly if they haven't had the vision to stockpile.

Be sure to check out the "next generation" JHP ammunition introduced for civilian self defense and law enforcement use by the top domestic manufacturers.  In addition to further enhancing bullet expansion properties over some "pioneering" JHP products, newer JHP cartridges may offer additional benefits like reduced recoil or low flash (to minimize night blindness).  Again, make sure JHP ammunition cycles reliably in your pistol.  Otherwise, you have to go with FMJ (ball), which doesn't provide as much stopping power as JHP within a given caliber .  

 

 

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