Federal's EFMJ:
Expanding Full Metal Jacket

by Michael Orick, m.orick@worldnet.att.net

We have lead and full metal jacket (FMJ) bullets. We have round, flat, pointed and truncated cone bullets. We have hollow point and frangible bullets. We have combinations of them: soft points, semi-jacketed hollow points, semi-wad cutters, full metal jacketed hollow points (says so on Fiocchi's boxes). Now we have expanding full metal jacket (EFMJ) bullets too from Federal.

Why another one? Some people can't or don't want to use hollow points, and some want more reliable expansion than they are getting. Why do they want expansion? Pick one or more of the following. Bigger bullets are deemed better at stopping hostilities, and expansion makes bullets bigger, therefore "better". Expanding bullets penetrate less and "dump" more energy into objects (this is good or meaningless, you decide; the "experts" can't). Expanding bullets are less likely to ricochet after striking hard objects, and less likely to go too deep and exiting soft objects, hitting unintended objects who then call lawyers (this may also not be a real problem depending on your point of view, hit ratio, and budget).

Some have noted that while we have hollow points that expand great under ideal conditions in the lab in gelatin blocks, they work as well about 60% of the time "on the street". The decrease is thought to be caused by loss of velocity from the more popular short barrel pistols, the hollow point cavity being plugged by clothes or collapsed by angled impacts and/or hard objects they hit before the intended object. (I think we really need less objects that need hitting, but let's not go there now.)

Federal's new EFMJ bullet is intended to expand more reliably no matter what you shoot it from, through, or into. It is a hollow pointed soft lead core with a silicone rubber plug on top fully covered by a metal jacket with internal incisions and a flat, truncated cone profile. The product code is CSP for "controlled soft point" according to the folks who answer Federal's email, though the in-house name during R&D, T&E was "contained soft point" according to Tom Burczynski who designed it. In case you are wondering, the silicone plug has a shelf-life of 15-20 years and works as well when kept at -40 F for a day or two as it does at room temps. There is no exposed hollow point cavity to plug or collapse. On impact the internally incised jacket splits, the plug flattens and expands the diameter of the bullet. It should do this at just about any speed through just about anything just about every time. Does it?

In calibrated bare gelatin from various sources the 124 9mm EFMJ does 11-13 inches at .53-.57. After heavy cloth/denim pads it does 12-14 inches at .53-.55. It expands reliably even after 10 layers of denim, something no other JHP will do. After wallboard and plywood about .55. After glass about .51.

The 165/40S&W EFMJ specs at 1050, does about 13.5/.64 in the gel. I have heard from Tom B. of a wounded deer (150 lbs) that was given a coup de grace with the 9mm 124 grain +P EFMJ from a Glock 19 at about 5 yds. The bullet entered the neck and went into the chest (lung) at an angle. The wound path was about 14 inches (mostly neck muscle), the recovered bullet weighed 123.5 grains and measured .56 x .59. Considering no bones were hit and deer hide is easily as detrimental to expansion as heavy clothes, this looks good to me.

Evan Marshal posted on line about the same through a door from an MP5 into a criminal who was stopped. I have spread manure on the"misinformation cowpath"  (as Dean Speir likes to call it) before unintentionally, lets hope this is not more of the same?

Due to it's construction, it is a long bullet for it's weight. This reduces case capacity, so you get less velocity when loaded to the same pressure, or more pressure when loaded to the same velocity. The 9mm 124 +P EFMJ specs at 1120 fps, did 1075 from my Glock 19, 1105 from my Beretta 92 and Browning HP. I have seen figures of 1065 from a SIG P228 and 1225 from an MP5 smg. It has been very consistent, with ES of 20 and SD of 8. Very accurate too (as good as the best from anybody else I've tried). Little to no muzzle flash, and no reliability problems at all. Very easy to place multiple shots accurately and quickly due to the low recoil. I like it.

When shooting into plastic jugs of water the 9mm did exactly as advertised (and in the gelatin). Even after heavy cloth pads, expansion was about .53 with boring regularity. The 165/40S&W EFMJ was as consistently good in ES, SD, accuracy and reliability, but not expansion. At 980 fps from a Glock 23 (specs at 1050) it did about .60 into "bare" jugs of water. After the cloth pads, some 165/40 EFMJ rounds did not expand at all. Pulling the bullets and pumping them up to 1050-1100 fps did not improve the reliability of expansion any either. Some still did not expand at all. I have no idea what's up with that. I suppose this might only be cause for concern if you need to stop plastic jugs full of water?

Let's finish by raining on the parade a little more. FMJ ammo is very politically correct (PC) since it does not violate most international arms agreements that prohibit "...the use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions" (Declaration Concerning Expanding Bullets" , First Hague Peace Conference of 1899). The USA never signed that BTW. We did sign the Hague Convention IV of 1907, that prohibits the employment of "...arms, projectiles, or materiel calculated to cause unnecessary suffering." The EFMJ bullet does have "internal incisions" in the jacket and it does "expand or flatten" so it may not be as PC as some think? As usual, the lawyers will decide if any "unnecessary suffering" is involved with it's use too? Didn't some people sue over the effects of
silicone in the body? Don't some inoperable bullets stay in the body for years? Check with the authorities to see if the EFMJ bullet really is OK if you live somewhere where "hollow points" are prohibited; there may be more to it than that?

Michael Orick, Master Sergeant, USAF Force Protection, (Ret.)

 

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