Hollow Point vs FMJ – full guide

Hollow Point vs. FMJ
Alfred Mendoza

There’s a lot of ammunition available on the market that could be confusing. Hollow points and FMJ are known to be for self-defense and target practice. 

If you are one of the novice shooters who want to know the differences on hollow point vs FMJ, read this thorough comparison.

Hollow point bullets are best for self-defense situations, while full metal jacket rounds are best for shooting range.

A JHP round expands when hitting a target while FMJ rounds do not, which makes it prone to more collateral damage.

Hollow point rounds are way more expensive than full metal jackets; that’s why you can train using this.

hollow point vs fmj

Hollow Point



Full Metal Jacket



Head to Head Comparison

Head to Head Comparison


Hollow point ammo is way more expensive than Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) ammo. The ammo manufacturers consider the material cost for hard metal and manufacturing costs. Costs are higher for JHP because it requires more machining steps for higher precision. It is why it is suited for concealment and home defense. 

Since FMJ ammo are economical, it is a good choice for target practice and stockpiling purposes. An FMJ round is half the price vs. hollow point.

Stopping Power

Hollow point ammo has an impressive stopping control compared to full metal jacket ammo. The expansion of the bullet’s tip when it hits a target allows the bullet to slow down and stop inside soft tissue gradually. 

Full metal jacket ammo does not expand when hitting the target, which is ideal for practice shooting. Instead of slowing down when it hits a target, a full metal jacket passes through, fatal on unintended impact.

Stopping Power


FMJ bullets maintain trajectory, unlike the hollow point rounds with small arms projectile. When it hits a target, the FMJ rounds do not expand and pass through it until it reaches its range. In addition to this, a full metal jacket has an impressive ballistic test on ballistics gel, so it does not lose accuracy or speed in the firearm ammunition.


Full metal jacket ammo has a very significant penetration power compared to hollow point ammo. The FMJ ammo’s pass-through penetration, however, can cause unintended damage. 

The JHP has a reduced penetration depth due to its impressive stopping control. It decreases the chances of passing through the intended target and potential collateral.



After the gun’s firing pin strikes, the jacketed hollow point is an expanding bullet that expands with the use of its hollowed tip. The hollow tip deforms when it hits the target, making it look like a mushroom that slows down the rounds. 

Full metal jacket (FMJ) is ball ammo that is not designed to expand when it hits a target. The FMJ bullet is made from a harder metal or gilding metal with a soft lead core exposed at the base of the bullet [1].



Self Defense

When it comes to self-defense, hollow points are the right choice for ammo. The impact of a jacketed hollow point can cause catastrophic damage to the target.

The FMJ ammo is not suggested for self-defense because of its high risk of a bullet striking on the target and might strike an unintended target. 

Shooting & Range Practice

It is best to use Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) ammo on shooting and range practice because you don’t need expanding rounds. Just make sure that there is no risk of collateral damage when you use it in shooting practices. 

In addition to this, FMJ rounds are less expensive compared to hollow point ammunition.

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To maximize the impact of your shot when hunting, our team suggests using jacketed hollow point ammunition. It expands on the impact, and when it is deeper on the target, it can incapacitate instantly or kill the target. 

Even if it is expensive, you will not use it often, and it will save your life which makes the price worth it. 

Quick Feeding

FMJ rounds feed efficiently and quickly. FMJ bullets have a gold standard for reliable and quick feeding. However, JHP ammo is prone to jamming and feeding problems. 

It has a bad reputation due to poor feeding reliability in the 1911s. Reliably feed ramp improvements have been made for JHP ammunition to make up with.


No, hollow points are not deadlier than FMJ. Most bullets are lethal, but the jacket and hollow point ammo are not designed to kill but to incapacitate quickly. The expanding rounds can cause damage with each shot that can damage multiple parts of the human body.

Most NATO militaries use only FMJ rounds or full metal jacket bullets because years ago, an international treaty was signed banning an expanding bullet. However, the US Military never ratified that part of the treaty and now adopts a metal jacket and hollow bullets.

Yes, hollow points are more accurate than FMJ. These rounds are more accurate than FMJ because of the shape of the tip. The aerodynamics of a hollow point round is superior, making it more accurate. Rounded tip shapes of FMJ ammo are prone to warping that reduces the accuracy of your shooting skill.

No, these two rounds cannot penetrate the body armor. To defeat armor, it needs kinetic energy that depends on the bullet’s mass and velocity. FMJ is not an armor-piercing bullet, and a hollow point bullet is designed to lessen penetration effects.

Hollow Point vs. FMJ: Which Is A Better Round?

Hollow point is the better round. Even two different bullets do two different jobs. The hollow points are your go-to bullets for self-defense. The FMJ bullets are ideal for training and practice because of their affordability but you can still use JHPs for training. JHP can be used for everyday carry, concealed carry guns, or in a self-defense situation. 

Now that you know the difference between FMJ and JHP, buying the right ammo in the gun store will not be that confusing anymore.


  1. https://webpath.med.utah.edu/TUTORIAL/GUNS/GUNBLST.html

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