Do you carry for self-defense? If you do, and you carry hollow-point ammo, too, you need to train with it to understand how it will behave in your gun.
That doesn’t mean every round you put downrange has to be one of your expensive HP rounds – but you still need to know how it will perform when paired with your choice of firearm.
Save most of the 9mm full-metal jacket for target shooting and competition, and train with your hollow points. Here’s why.
Accuracy: No Two Rounds Are the Same
One of the most important reasons to train with your preferred defensive rounds is accuracy. You have to actually be able to hit what you’re pointing at, and no two types of ammo will behave the same, even when fired from the same gun.
Granted, the ranges at which you probably practice will not likely make a huge difference, but when shot placement actually becomes a matter of life and death, it’s better to train beforehand. An inch one way or the other can make a huge difference in neutralizing a threat – or not.
Not to mention that bullet weight and propellant charge will impact handling and felt recoil, which can influence muzzle flip – so even if two different cartridges are both comparatively accurate at defensive ranges, excessive recoil, which pulls your sights off target and makes follow-up shots difficult, is something else you need to be aware of.
But, even with that said, there is a much better reason to practice with your preferred defensive ammo and not with 9mm full-metal jacket rounds.
Reliability: Guns (and Ammo) Can Be Very Temperamental
Reliability is a huge concern with defensive ammo. If you pull the trigger at the range when you’re shooting at paper and the gun jams, it’s no big deal. You can manually clear it. Out in the world, well, that might be a different story.
No two types of ammo will behave the same when fired from the same gun, even of the same caliber, and the tolerances to which firearms and ammo are manufactured are extremely tight.
FMJ ammo is designed for smooth feeding; hollow point handgun ammo with skived jackets can occasionally jam because the edge of the nose gets hung up on the magazine, chamber edge, or feed ramp. These are all things you won’t know unless you fire a specific ammo with your gun.
You also need to consider cycling. It is not uncommon for full-metal jacket bullets to be heavier than their hollow-point counterparts. While this does produce more recoil, in some semi-automatic actions, it can improve cycling.
What you don’t want is a stovepipe jam with a hollow-point round because the shell didn’t extract all the way – and that can happen. (You can disregard this concern if you shoot a revolver, though).
The bottom line here is you should get – and practice with – several boxes of hollow point ammo before you settle on one. You need one that will work reliably and accurately with your gun, and then adjust your sights in accordance with it.
What you don’t want to do is wait until you find yourself in a life-or-death situation to determine whether or not your firearm will shoot accurately and cycle reliably with a given defensive round.
HP and 9mm Full Metal Jacket Online
If you’re not training with your preferred self-defense round yet, no worries. Just get more of it online at Bucking Horse Outpost. They carry a huge range of target and defensive ammo, including Federal HST, so whether you’re looking for that or a 9mm full-metal jacket round, you’re in luck.