Sunday, April 14, 2024

7.62 Full Metal Jacket vs. Hollow Point: Choosing Ammo Based on the Application

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The 7.62x39mm, also known as 7.62 Soviet, produces much higher stopping power than .223 and 5.56, with most 7.62 rounds generating between 1500 and 1550 ft-lbs of muzzle energy.

This makes the cartridge more than adequate for hunting and defensive applications, and with a relatively flat trajectory, especially within 100 yards, it can be effective for target shooting.

Actually, on that note, with such massive volumes of surplus 7.62 Soviet ammo flooding the market, it is a viable target round if only for the low cost. Several producers, like TulAmmo, even make it in a steel-cased version, making it ideal for low-cost target shooting.

But, like many popular cartridges, 7.62 Soviet is loaded with a variety of different bullets, the two most common being probably 7.62 full metal jacket and hollow point.

Here’s what you need to know from a very high level so you can make the round to the shooting discipline.

7.62 Full Metal Jacket: The Choice for Training and Target Shooting

Some 7.62 rounds are loaded with full metal jacket bullets, which have copper jackets that stretch from the nose to the base of the bullet.

This encases the core of the bullet, except for the base, in a hard metal, making it stable in flight and improving its penetration characteristics.

Full metal jacket ammo not only is stable in flight (making it more accurate for target shooting) but it also does not disrupt (expand) on impact, improving its penetration capabilities.

Because it is stable and accurate, this is one of the best options at your disposal if you’re looking for an ammo for high-volume target shooting or competition.

One other aspect of 7.62 full metal jacket ammo is that it tends to be fairly affordable, so if all you’re looking for is a cheap ammo to feed your AK or SKS, this is what to get.

If you’re really into saving a little, get some steel cased ammo. Just be aware that you can’t really reload steel-cased ammo.

7.62 Hollow Point: The Choice for Defensive and Sporting Applications

On the other end of the spectrum, you have 7.62 cartridges that are loaded with hollow point bullets.

Whereas full metal jacket rounds are completely encased in a hard metal jacket, hollow point bullets have a depression in the nose.

This causes the bullet to disrupt on impact, which accomplishes two main things: it helps arrest the bullet’s progress through a target, and it also more efficiently optimizes energy transfer. For what it’s worth, it also creates a larger overall wound channel.

As a result, hollow point 7.62 is what you should be using for sporting or defensive applications. This round can be highly effective for home defense, and as a hunting cartridge, it’s not too bad either, especially when hunting small to medium game, and particularly with effective shot placement.

With that said, hollow point ammo tends to be more expensive, highly specialized, and less accurate at greater ranges – so save it for the field or for defense, and reserve FMJ for the range.

Where to Get Either?

Obviously, wide availability and low cost have kept the 7.62 Soviet, as well as rifles chambered in it, fairly popular.

With that said, it’s still important to know the differences between the types of bullets, and where each can be used most effectively, as well as safely.

Whatever you’re looking for, get it online at Bucking Horse Outpost. They carry a wide range of different calibers and cartridges, all at competitive prices, plus hot deals, bulk ammo specials, and police trade-in deals.

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