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View Full Version : Soft Point vs. Hollow Point


jkchan83
01-21-2009, 8:23 AM
As this is my first post, please forgive my newb-ness. I tried searching for this information, but had no luck.

I am trying to pick out the first ammo to shoot through my new AR. I have had good luck with Cabela's in other purchases, but I was confused by the .223 Remington SP and .223 Remington HP.

What is the difference between a Soft Point and a Hollow Point round? What are the pros and cons of each?

I am primarily looking to use this weapon as a SD/HD gun. I also plan on using this gun for plinking.

Thanks.

sorensen440
01-21-2009, 8:25 AM
Either would be great for sd/hd between the two I would probably go with sp as imo they mushroom a little easier

rksimple
01-21-2009, 8:33 AM
For SD, it depends. Most light 223 SP's expand far too quickly limiting penetration to vitals. 64gr power points are good. Otherwise, ammo using the 69-77 gr OTM bullets are good performers.

sorensen440
01-21-2009, 8:35 AM
For SD, it depends. Most light 223 SP's expand far too quickly limiting penetration to vitals. 64gr power points are good. Otherwise, ammo using the 69-77 gr OTM bullets are good performers.

true but for close range HD that might not be such a bad thing

rksimple
01-21-2009, 8:52 AM
true but for close range HD that might not be such a bad thing

No. Not penetrating to vitals is a bad thing, always. Unless of course stopping the attacker is not a goal.

QuarterBoreGunner
01-21-2009, 9:06 AM
Also, if you chose to go with soft-points, I'd be sure and run a couple boxes of it through your AR to confirm it will feed reliably. Some semi-auto rifles have a problem with the exposed lead of a soft-point deforming on the feedramp and malfunctioning.

vwynn
01-21-2009, 9:12 AM
Also, if you chose to go with soft-points, I'd be sure and run a couple boxes of it through your AR to confirm it will feed reliably. Some semi-auto rifles have a problem with the exposed lead of a soft-point deforming on the feedramp and malfunctioning.

Does it depend on the amount of exposed lead? cuz i after i chamber a FMJ in my AR15.. i notice it cuts the mid/lower end of the bullet.

QuarterBoreGunner
01-21-2009, 9:28 AM
Mmmmm... well yeah the more lead exposed the higher the probability of it failing to feed. No way to be sure though without running some through it.

sorensen440
01-21-2009, 9:34 AM
No. Not penetrating to vitals is a bad thing, always. Unless of course stopping the attacker is not a goal.

I was not referring to it not penetrating vitals but the part about it expanding quickly
even a 45 gr is going to reach vitals in a home defensive distance

NRAhighpowershooter
01-21-2009, 9:41 AM
one other option vs a SP bullet would be the ballistic tipped bullets like the Noslers or the Sierra BT's. I've had excellent results with the Sierra's out of my OLL builds

1lostinspace
01-21-2009, 9:43 AM
The HP will frag more but the SP in some cases penetrated auto glass walls and other barriers better. In my opinion they will both make a mess, getting shot at point blank with .223 is a horrible thing.

I would go with what feeds better and is more accurate.

1lostinspace
01-21-2009, 9:49 AM
No. Not penetrating to vitals is a bad thing, always. Unless of course stopping the attacker is not a goal.

I have always thought that the 12" penetration is too much for HD for police work yes.The average person chest is about 8" thick and the vitals are about 2-3"
I know there are times where arms are in the way but your more likely to shoot the body and over penetrate.For HD I choose the 60V for long range shots I shoot the 75 HNDy.

vwynn
01-21-2009, 9:57 AM
The box of truth.. he reversed the bullet.s. placed the bullets upside down and fired it. Proved to be a real heart stopper =p of course i dont encourage anyone doing this.. so dont take my word =]

hows that for HD? haha

rksimple
01-21-2009, 10:04 AM
I have always thought that the 12" penetration is too much for HD for police work yes.The average person chest is about 8" thick and the vitals are about 2-3"
I know there are times where arms are in the way but your more likely to shoot the body and over penetrate.For HD I choose the 60V for long range shots I shoot the 75 HNDy.

The human body is not gelatin. 12" of penetration in gelatin is decent, but typically, the vital organs and vascular tissues are protected by bone. And an 8" thick chest is average for an anorexic person maybe.

No doubt a 45gr JHP is going to do damage. It all depends on how motivated the attacker is as to whether he stops without a hit to the vitals (resulting in blood loss and hypovolemic shock) or to the CNS. I watched a guy die on the table after one hit from a 25 that nicked his descending aorta (IIRC). And then you hear about the cop that was killed after firing 4 rounds of 357 mag 145gr silvertips centermass into a big biker dude. The rounds overexpanded and under-penetrated. The biker returned fire with a 22 mag, hitting the officer in the armpit. He bled to death. The biker survived with no penetration to vitals. Bullets don't always behave as they're supposed to, especially when there is bone, extra fat, heavy clothing, etc. involved. Throw in intermediate barriers and such and all bets are off. There are many shootings that prove this well.

The bottom line is pick something good, with decent penetration and learn how to shoot it well. Putting the bullet or bullets quickly, right where they need to be, is what will save the day.

1lostinspace
01-21-2009, 10:10 AM
The human body is not gelatin. 12" of penetration in gelatin is decent, but typically, the vital organs and vascular tissues are protected by bone. And an 8" thick chest is average for an anorexic person maybe.

No doubt a 45gr JHP is going to do damage. It all depends on how motivated the attacker is as to whether he stops without a hit to the vitals (resulting in blood loss and hypovolemic shock) or to the CNS. I watched a guy die on the table after one hit from a 25 that nicked his descending aorta (IIRC). And then you hear about the cop that was killed after firing 4 rounds of 357 mag 145gr silvertips centermass into a big biker dude. The rounds overexpanded and under-penetrated. The biker returned fire with a 22 mag, hitting the officer in the armpit. He bled to death. The biker survived with no penetration to vitals. Bullets don't always behave as they're supposed to, especially when there is bone, extra fat, etc. involved. Throw in intermediate barriers and such and all bets are off. There are many shootings that prove this well.

The bottom line is pick something good, with decent penetration and learn how to shoot it well. Putting the bullet or bullets quickly, right where they need to be, is what will save the day.

Really I am 235 lbs 6'2 and my chest is 9" I don't mean across.
Either way even the 45gr would stop someone but the real question is why is he thinking about using an AR for HD? Dude get a handgun or shotgun for that. It's not worth all the drama that would follow if you shot someone with an AR in California, not to mention they would take your gun away.
I use a Glock21 loaded with 90gr RBCD and a Winchester Home defender loaded with 00

1lostinspace
01-21-2009, 10:14 AM
The box of truth.. he reversed the bullet.s. placed the bullets upside down and fired it. Proved to be a real heart stopper =p of course i dont encourage anyone doing this.. so dont take my word =]

hows that for HD? haha

The only thing with box of truth he uses water. The RBCD round that I use only penetrated 6" of water but using pork or gelatin it penetrated anywhere from 10-12" I took deer with it and it did not run, it took a few steps and dropped dead! I have shot deer with 30-06 and have had to track them. After that I became a believer. :Ivan:

jkchan83
01-21-2009, 10:29 AM
...but the real question is why is he thinking about using an AR for HD? Dude get a handgun or shotgun for that. It's not worth all the drama that would follow if you shot someone with an AR in California, not to mention they would take your gun away.
I use a Glock21 loaded with 90gr RBCD and a Winchester Home defender loaded with 00

Thanks to everyone for all of the answers. To me, it seems that my best bet is to get a box of each and see which feeds better in my gun. I live in a condo complex, so overpenetration is a big concern for me. My reading has shown that the .223 in HP or SP is the least likely to overpenetrate through common (sheetrock) walls with lethal velocity.

@1lostinspace: As I mentioned, I am concerned with the overpenetration associated with a handgun or shotgun. Currently, I keep a Mossberg 590 loaded with 00 buck next to the bed. However, after looking at the Box of Truth videos, I worry about potentially shooting through my unit and into my neighbor's adjoining bedroom.

Harbinger
01-21-2009, 10:35 AM
The bottom line is pick something good, with decent penetration and learn how to shoot it well. Putting the bullet or bullets quickly, right where they need to be, is what will save the day.

Not to threadjack... but this also lends credence to NOT stopping until the attacker is no longer a threat, regardless of how confident you are in your ammo.

Mike

camsoup
01-21-2009, 10:35 AM
The box of truth.. he reversed the bullet.s. placed the bullets upside down and fired it. Proved to be a real heart stopper =p of course i dont encourage anyone doing this.. so dont take my word =]

hows that for HD? haha


Either SP or HP is going to work at HD ranges... in most HD situations we are talking anywhere from point blank to 35-40 feet Max. I wouldn't want to be hit by anything in .223 at those ranges.



A little off topic, but is that your GLI in your sig. pic? What exhaust is that?

rksimple
01-21-2009, 11:20 AM
Really I am 235 lbs 6'2 and my chest is 9" I don't mean across.
Either way even the 45gr would stop someone but the real question is why is he thinking about using an AR for HD? Dude get a handgun or shotgun for that. It's not worth all the drama that would follow if you shot someone with an AR in California, not to mention they would take your gun away.
I use a Glock21 loaded with 90gr RBCD and a Winchester Home defender loaded with 00

This is another debate entirely. Shotgun is devastating at HD ranges. Yes, FTW. And my chest is about 12" and I'm only a buck 70 at 5'10". Just imagine and ex con breaking down your door. Not that a few inches either way of penetration is going to make a big difference, provided you put a few holes where they need to be.

Harbinger-exactly. Keep on that trigger till the threat is gone.

vwynn
01-21-2009, 12:44 PM
Either SP or HP is going to work at HD ranges... in most HD situations we are talking anywhere from point blank to 35-40 feet Max. I wouldn't want to be hit by anything in .223 at those ranges.



A little off topic, but is that your GLI in your sig. pic? What exhaust is that?

Haha thats the second time someone thought i own a VW. Vwynn = First letter of my name and my last name.

Its a Lexus Sc400 with a single straight pipe exhaust.


The only thing with box of truth he uses water. The RBCD round that I use only penetrated 6" of water but using pork or gelatin it penetrated anywhere from 10-12" I took deer with it and it did not run, it took a few steps and dropped dead! I have shot deer with 30-06 and have had to track them. After that I became a believer.

What does RBCD Stand for?