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Modern Hollow Point Ammo

Modern Hollow Point Ammo

Gone are the days of two choices of ammo: Full Metal Jackets (FMJ) or Hollow Points.  This was the basic choice shooters were presented with for many years and so they more important consideration was caliber.  With only two styles of bullets available, both of which made from similar materials, shooters looking for greater a terminal affect such as expansion, penetration, energy transfer or the fabled “stopping power,” had to buy larger caliber pistols to achieve the performance they desired.

These days there seems to be a new type of ammo released every month each claiming to be the next great thing. Many of the new releases are based on new projectile designs that aim to improve one of the mentioned terminal affects without jumping caliber. While a .380 Auto will never be a .45 Long Colt, modern ammo choices can improve any given caliber’s performance.

Below, as a follow up to our High Level Analysis of Defensive Ammo, we will highlight some of variations of the modern hollow point in .45 ACP.


Jacketed Hollow Points

Jacketed hollow points are generally what comes to mind when considering hollow point ammo. These are the traditional and most common form of hollow point ammo.  They generally have a lead core with a bonded copper jacket. Examples of this type of hollow point include the very popular Federal HST and Speer Gold Dots.  These hollow points are generally the heaviest of all the hollow points available and have muzzle velocities around 900 fps.

Federal HST and Speer Gold Dot Ammo


Tipped Hollow Points

Tipped hollow points are newer to the market and are second in popularity only to jacketed hollow points. There is a large variety of bullet designs that fit into this category. The tip they all share is added to aid the expansion of the bullet upon impact. Some tipped hollow points are constructed very similarly to jacketed hollow points with the tip added into the cavity. Hornady’s Critical Defense is an example of this type of round. Other tipped hollow points, like Glaser’s Safety Slug, are constructed very differently.  The Safety Slug has a copper jacket and polymer tip but is filled with powered metal instead of a solid core. Tipped hollow points are generally lighter than jacketed hollow points and travel 300-500 fps faster.

Hornady Critical Defense and Glaser Safety Slug


Solid Copper Hollow Points

Solid copper hollow points are much less common than either of those mentioned above but more and more companies are beginning to produce them. Some companies like Barnes Bullets have been making copper hollow points for decades. Others like OATH Ammo, Lehigh Defense and G2 Research are newer on the scene. Copper hollow points are even lighter than tipped hollow points and are designed to travel at high speeds and open wider than any of the other available hollow points. Some of the hollow points in this category are made to break apart upon entry into fluid, creating multiple wound channels. These rounds include; Cutting Edge Bullets’ Home Defense, G2 Research’s RIP and Lehigh Defense’s Controlled Fracturing.

 G2 Research RIP and lehigh Defense Controlled Fracturing


Frangible Hollow Points

Frangible hollow points are generally the newest, fasted and lightest of all the hollow points. Like traditional frangible bullets, frangible hollow points are designed to break apart upon impact. The hollow point on the compressed metal projectile helps ensure the bullet breaks apart quickly and spreads out in fluid. ICC, Team Never Quit and SinterFire are just a few of the manufacturers making frangible hollow point ammo.

DRT and Team Never Quit Ammo


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