I thought I’d drop this topic for people to roll around.
Of course various expanding ammo is the best bet for most practical firearms applications. Be they hollow point ammo, or soft point, or some of the more novel ammo loadings.
But what about Ball Ammo? Yeah those solid lead and copper, or just lead ammo you use for target practice.
Of course it was .45 ACP Ball vs. 9mm Luger ball in the European Theater of World War II that spawned the internet-famous “Caliber War”, where one person talks about the amazing capacity of their 9×19 caliber handgun, and another person pats their .45 and talks some noise about “Stopping Power” or some such.
And noise it is if you’re both packing a quality JHP load (preferably factory loaded, not for legal reasons, but because Speer, Federal, Remington, Horniday, Cor-bon, or whoever has tested that bullet and powder combination on many medium to make sure the round generates perfect performance. The same bullet a little faster, or a little slower might not work quite as well!) 9×19 and .45 ACP are about the same…and the 9×19 recoils less, and holds more. Do the math.
But what about ball ammo? I think there’s more than enough data that shows that 9×19 isn’t great when it doesn’t expand…but a .45 will still make a big hole.
I’ll also point out that it was the 158 grain jacketed flat-point load that earned the .357 Magnum its lofty reputation as a defeater of barriers and the killer of men. I might even go so far as to point out that the 200 grain Semi-Wadcutter load for .45 ACP might even out-perform the venerable 230 Grain round-nose load that was issued with the military 1911s because of that flat point and sharp edges to interact with tissue.
What about rifles? I bought a crate of surplus 7.62x51mm NATO ball ammo to feed my FAL. It was relatively inexpensive for practice and training, but it is also the ammo issued to the military for war, and the loading is similar to the ammo issued across the globe until recent times. Further 7.62×51 NATO is very similar to the rounds loaded into the clips of GIs carrying Garands in various wars. There is talk about the lack of power of certain military-issue loadings of 5.56×45, but you don’t hear such chatter with other loads, as well as the larger 7.62 rounds.
Sure my FAL feeding soft-points would likely be better in every way, I don’t feel terribly under-gunned with Ball in the mag.
What do you all think?