When To Use Hollowpoint Bullets (And When To Avoid Them)

Choose hollowpoint or jacketed bullets based on the intended target

The gun’s job is to launch the bullet. The bullet is what neutralizes a threat. That's why picking the proper projectile is key.

In an urban environment where upright two-legged predators are the threat, a good choice is ammo with premium jacketed hollowpoint bullets. They expand upon entry to increase tissue damage, while reducing the risk of over-penetration that could harm innocent bystanders. This is the reason law enforcement agencies use them. So should civilians, whether for concealed carry or home defense.

A number of trusted manufacturers offer premium hollowpoint bullets. Speer, for example, offers them in their Gold Dot line. Federal offers the HST and Hydra-Shok loads. Remington has the Golden Saber. Winchester uses the Ranger, and Hornady has their Critical Defense line. These are available in all of the popular personal-protection calibers under various personal-defense product labels.

For a walk out in the woods where the four-legged variety of predators can be a threat, the situation is reversed. This bullet needs to maintain as much of its weight and profile as possible order to punch through bone and deliver a central nervous system (CNS) hit. Semi-wadcutter designs cast from hardened lead, or softpoint bullets with a heavy copper jacket, are the most effective. All these loads will be found in the hunting product lines from the above companies.