Should You Use Hollow Points for Self-Defense?


Hollow point ammunition has some distinct features that set it apart from its round nose, full metal jacket counterparts. The search for ammunition that will serve you best will bring you plenty of options. Every handgun owner should take the time to research and practice with all types of ammunition to decide which works best and fits their specific needs. Considering the advantages and disadvantages of hollow point ammunition will give gun owners the knowledge to make the correct choice.

How to Spot a Hollow Point
A deep dimple in the nose of the bullet is the best known and easily recognizable feature of hollow point bullets.  These bullets are designed to expand on contact with the target, thus creating a larger hole and increasing the stopping power of the firearm. When seen in comparison to a round nose or ball ammunition, the differences are easy to see.

The Advantages of Hollow Points
When it comes to self-defense, a handgun loaded with hollow point bullets has a few advantages over one loaded with full metal jacket or round nosed lead bullets. When an attacker is in full force, the stopping power of your ammunition is especially important. Hollow points expand, much like an umbrella, upon contact. This means an increase in the force it delivers when the bullet hits its mark. In this way, hollow point bullets are a way to increase this “knock down power” in handguns of a smaller caliber.

Can one type of bullet really be considered safer than others? In the case of hollow points, yes. The rounded and smooth surface of full metal jacket rounds means that these bullets are more likely to pass through the target. In this case, rounds intended to stop an attacker could travel through the body and result in less initial damage. These wayward rounds can also keep traveling, through either a body or wall, and make contact with innocent bystanders. The expanding capability of the hollow point decreases the likelihood of this scenario, thus keeping bystanders more safe.

Some Downsides to Hollow Points
As with all types of ammunition, there are some disadvantages to weigh. Hollow point ammunition is more expensive than round nose, and that makes practice pricey. Handgun owners should practice regularly with the gun and ammo that will be used in self-defense scenarios, and in this case the cost could add up. For general target practice, round nose options are a much better option, for both reliability and cost.

The debate over placement versus caliber continues to be a topic for handgun owners. Some argue that a well-placed bullet, no matter what the caliber, can be more effective. Others are confident that a larger caliber bullet means a deadlier option. Some will argue that using hollow points is pointless when a larger caliber like a .45 ACP or .357 Magnum carries all the stopping power necessary to bring down an attacker in close proximity.

Weigh Your Ammo Options Carefully
Handgun owners looking for the most effective ammunition for personal protection should consider loading up with hollow points. Hollow points are an excellent option for home self-defense because they are less likely to pass through the target or walls and put family in danger. Hollow point bullets also mean that fewer rounds may be required to bring down an assailant, and that means better outcomes for all involved. For the best results in self-defense with a handgun, consider using hollow point ammunition.