Key Differences Between (Full Metal Jacket) FMJ vs. Hollow Point

Key Differences Between (Full Metal Jacket) FMJ vs. Hollow Point

Various types of ammunition are available in the market. Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) and Hollow Point are well-known bullets for practice and self-defense.

However, there is a common query about when to use each and why. So if you’re wondering about choosing between these two bullets, this article is for you!

We have compared Fmj vs. Hollow Point in several aspects to make your choice easier. Let’s scroll down to see more!

Key Difference Between Fmj vs. Hollow Point

The FMJ bullets will work well for a shooting range, while the Hollow point rounds are ideal for self-defense.

The hollow point bullet will expand when reaching the target. Meanwhile, the FMJ round does not, making it more likely to lead to collateral damage.

The Hollow Point bullet places more than its Fmj counterpart in most cases, which is why you could train to utilize this.

The FMJ and JHP Rounds Overview

The Full Metal Jacket Round

The Full Metal Jacket Round
The Full Metal Jacket Round

The FMJ bullet has a soft core, typically with lead, and is covered in a hard alloy metal like gilding metal or cupronickel. The purpose of this round is to hold its trajectory, and it has more significant penetration against soft tissue.

This bullet is excellent for target shooting as it does not expand much when reaching your target.

The downside of using this round FMJ in self-defense is the risk of unwanted impact further down the range. Its penetration might allow it to hit innocent people in the parking or through the wall, hitting one person at midnight.

Jacketed Hollow Point Round

The Hollow point bullet is the expanding round with a hollowed-out tip or a pit. Many hunters prefer this round in self-defense as it will expand when impacted.

When the hollow point bullet hits a target, its hollow tip enables the round to deform, slowing the round and making more stopping power.

The Hollow point bullet is more expensive than the Full Metal Jacket one and is the better self-defense bullet.

Pros And Cons Of Fmj And Hollow Point

Fmj Round


  • Attain higher muzzle velocity.
  • Stunning metal jacket.
  • Great penetration.
  • Work well with target practice.
  • Not expensive.


  • It might be disastrous on one unintended target.

Hollow Point Bullet


  • Safe for any bystander.
  • Amazing stopping power.
  • Ideal for home defense and self-defense.
  • Work well for concealed carry guns.
  • More accurate.


  • Reduce penetration in steel and concrete.
  • May be costly.

Detailed Comparison Between FMJ vs. Hollow Point

Quick Feeding

The Jacketed Hollow Point Round
The Jacketed Hollow Point Round

The FMJ round feeds quickly and efficiently. This bullet has a gold standard for quick and reliable feeding. The JHP round, on the other hand, is prone to feeding and jamming problems.

The JHP bullet has a poor reputation because of lousy feeding reliability in the 1911s. But the reliably feed ramp improvements have been made for the JHP ammo to make up.

The winner is the FMJ bullet.


If you want to maximize your shot’s impact when hunting, you can’t go wrong with the JHP ammo. This bullet will expand on impact, and once it has been deeper into your target, it will instantly kill or incapacitate the target.

Even if this bullet is costly, you won’t utilize it often. And it will save your life, making this ammo worth it.

The winner is the JHP bullet.

Stopping Power

The Hollow point bullet features an amazing stopping control than the FMJ one.

Its expansion when hitting a target will allow the ammo to slower and stay inside soft tissues.

The FMJ bullet doesn’t expand when reaching the target, making it a good choice for shooting practice. But the FMJ ammo cannot slow down when hitting the target. It will pass through and may be fatal on unintentional impact.

The winner is the JHP bullet.


The FMJ bullet features a very consequential penetration power, more than the hollow point round. Unfortunately, the pass-through penetration of the FMJ round may lead to unintentional damage.

The Hollow Point ammo has reduced penetration depth because of its fantastic stopping control. So you can expect it to reduce the chances of passing through your intended target and causing unwanted damage.

The winner is the FMJ bullet.


The FMJ bullet maintains trajectory, while the JHP round is a smaller arms projectile. Once hitting one target, the Full Metal Jacket round doesn’t expand. Instead, it passes through until it hits its range.

Besides that, an FMJ bullet features an amazing ballistic test on the ballistics gel. That way, it doesn’t lose speed or accuracy in the gun ammunition.

The winner is the FMJ bullet.


The hollow point round will expand when hitting the target
The hollow point round will expand when hitting the target

After the firing pin of your gun strikes, the hollow point round will expand with the usage of the hollowed tip.

This hollow tip will deform when it reaches your target, making the JHP look similar to a funny mushroom that will slow down the round.

The FMJ ammo is a ball bullet that isn’t built to expand once reaching a target. This round is produced from a gilding metal or harder metal with one lead core.

The winner is the JHP bullet.


The hollow point bullet is the way to go when discussing self-defense. In fact, its impact can cause fatal damage to your target.

Moreover, the FMJ bullet is not ideal for the self-defense situation as it carries a high hazard of going through a target and hitting innocent bystanders.

The winner is the JHP bullet.

Shooting And  Range Practice

Using the FMJ round on shooting or range practice is best as you do not need expanding bullets. Ensure there isn’t a hazard of collateral damages while using it in the shooting practice.

Besides this, the FMJ round is less expensive than its hollow point counterpart.

The winner is the FMJ bullet.


The Hollow Point bullet is more expensive than the Fmj one. It is mainly due to the high cost of hard metals and manufacturing.

The cost of the Hollow Point round is higher as it needs more machining stages for higher precision. That is why this bullet is ideal for home defense and concealment.

The FMJ bullet is economical and is ideal for stockpiling purposes and target practice. The price of the FMJ is less than half the price of the Hollow Point one.

The winner is the FMJ bullet.

Key Differences Between (Full Metal Jacket) FMJ vs. Hollow Point
FMJ vs. Hollow Point

The FMJ And JHP Rounds: Comparison Table

The Full Metal Jacket  The Jacketed Hollow Point
Cost Cheaper More expensive
Usage Training and practice Self-defense
Penetration Better Poor
Stopping Power Poor Better
Expansion No Yes

The Bottom Line

The FMJ ammo will work well for training and practice, thanks to its affordability. Yet, it is okay to utilize the JHP bullet for training.

Otherwise, you can use the JHP ammo for your concealed carry guns. It would also be ideal for a self-defense situation.

By now, you should know the difference between FMJ vs. Hollow Point bullets.

Hopefully, through this article, purchasing the proper ammo in a local gun store will not be confusing anymore.

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