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Hunting FMJs

12 Aug 2014
@ 05:45 pm (GMT)

Jared Thibodaux

I read the article on the 223 and was surprised by the rave review of the Norinco FMJ, I served in the Army and never thought there was much difference between the various FMJs except the 55gr tend to yaw/fragment a little faster then the 62gr. Other than the hard to find Norinco are there any FMJs in either .223 or .30 cal available to handloaders that perform that well on game? I would think they would be very useful on pigs.

Replies

12 Aug 2014
@ 06:20 pm (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Hunting FMJs
Hi Jared,
I tried the Norinco FMJ in a SKS many years ago because they where really cheap and found that they pin holed in and out with most shots on pigs & roo's. Shot placement was critical, in the end we where cutting of the tips.
Dad had the Norinco FMJ 223's for head shooting roo's but l hated them when taking body shots even on pigs, but that was a long time ago things may have changed. Maybe they have softer cases?

Also used the ex Australian military stuff in the 303's and found the same result. Very diferent with the tips cut of though!

They are not in my collection of projectiles now that l am handloading, to many better options avaliable, l only load 30 cal and up for game these days though.
12 Aug 2014
@ 06:44 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Hunting FMJs
Thats the trouble with FMJ, always so many variables including twist rate. The 7x62x39 FMJ is abysmal. But again you will see a contradiction in thje wound data base which occured as a result of a worn bore (yaw). Yet another set of variables.

The Norninco .223 was a consistent tumbler. It needed a level of body weight resistance and a slow twist. Marty- this ammo remained the same nature from the 1990's onwards. The main purpose of its inclusion in the KB was to try and give the reader a picture of what Eugene Stoner was trying to achieve and how it all went wrong as things were taken out of his hands and so forth. It was evidence based info with a photo at the bottom to highlight wounding potential. Penetration was typically excellent.

The current Russian HP ammo is a better bet for a cheap load these days. The bullets are made of steel (copper coated) and the ogive is often too stout to collapse and mushroom. Instead, it will often bend on impact and when it does, the bullets tumble, leading to a good mix of wounding and deep penetration relative to the .223 caliber.

As a side note, off topic a bit, one of our readers down south is seeing excellent results with the Hornady 75gr match bullet (not A-Max) after finding the entire ogive to be hollow. However this tends to fragment rather than tumble. He is steadily relaying info to me so that I can form a solid picture of performance. Penetration seems to be fairly good.



12 Aug 2014
@ 06:50 pm (GMT)

chris murphy

Re: Hunting FMJs
Hi Jared
A few years back i was chatting to a guy that served in the south african army many years ago.
Under geneva convention they were not allowed to use tipped bullets only FMJ so what they did was file the tips till the cooper was almost transparent and with a fine scribe scratch groves down the ogive to make it open up.
It is time consuming but i tied it with some old 303 rounds on goats and they worked really well.
12 Aug 2014
@ 06:51 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Hunting FMJs
I should mention a caveat. Tumbling ammo is not an ideal method for, or a precursor to deep penetration as it can ruin straight line penetration. But with regards to the .223 caliber which can be a shallow penetrator depending on the bullet used, a tumbling bullet can increase performance.

But as Marty suggests, obtaining such performance can be tricky.
13 Aug 2014
@ 03:12 am (GMT)

thomas kitchen

Re: Hunting FMJs
when i first started shooting with a centre fire i got hold of some from memory 1968 ex miliatary 303 rounds.
i still remember popping over a rise with a mate and letting rip at some goats. i hit one and it completely opened it up and killed it instantly pretty nasty but inpressive for a fmj. i stopped using them and went to highland as i was worried bout corrosiveness.
14 Aug 2014
@ 03:05 am (GMT)

Jared Thibodaux

Re: Hunting FMJs
The reason I ask about the 30 caliber is I have heard that the German 7.62x51 FMJ yaws much more readily then the American version, and I know that the 123gr 7.62x39 yaws as fast and reliably as any FMJ I have seen usually loosing stability at 2-4" where as American 147gr FMJs often punch straight till 12-14" judging from the tests I have seen.
14 Aug 2014
@ 05:15 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Hunting FMJs
Sorry, I don't know where you get your info from. Sounds a bit like the movie Expendables 3- total bullshit.

The 7.62x39 ammo, does as I have written in the KB, produce pin hole wounding. It tumbles when used in dud bores which are somewhat common. Marty also reiterated pin hole wounding above. In Australia, where Marty comes from, the SKS and crate loads of ammo were sold to farmers for pig culling during the early 1990's. Performance was generally poor. A similar situation now occurs in Texas, guys culling with AR rifles. It's not pretty but it gets the job done one way or another.

German MEN ammo also pin holes through game. It does not matter whether the projectile is pulled and then fired from a .300 Win Mag and used close for raking shots or used in the .308- it produced pin hole wounding. I have tested this ammo every which way.

Exceptions with any FMJ ammo can occur if heavy bone is hit or as previously suggested and photographed in the wound data base- if the bore is shot out. The same goes for the 7x62x54 however results can be more dramatic in this instance as some rifles have oversized bores to begin with, then suffer further corrosion, all leading to very inaccurate but often violent bush rifles.
15 Aug 2014
@ 12:49 am (GMT)

Jared Thibodaux

Re: Hunting FMJs
Sorry I have not seen Expendables 3 or 2 come to think of it so that went over my head, I have seen ballistic gel tests with 7.62x39 several of them, the bullets readily yawed in each case but lack the speed to cause much physical deformation of the bullet or shock cavity with permanent detachment of tissue, just an end over end tumble creating a perk in the TWC, nothing epic but better then a clean in and out you get from a 30 carbine FMJ.
Never seen a ballistic gel test of the German 7.62x51 I am just asking because of this quote from Wounding patterns of military rifle bullets. International Defense Review "Patrone AB22, 7.62mm × 51, DM111, Weichkern, (Germany): 147-grain (9.5 g) 7.62×51mm NATO ball cartridge, cupronickel-coated steel jacket. German equivalent to U.S. M80 round. In service with the German military. Known for severe fragmentation in human tissue due to its thin jacket, particularly around the cannelure." Sounds pretty nasty to me, don't know if you have tried that exact bullet before.
Nathan I am sure you know this but for those who don't bullet yaw (tumble) is the result of a bullet having a rear weight bias, as a bullet looses stability the heavier portion in this case the rear of the bullet will tend to move to the front while the lighter portion will follow behind, the British were the first to perfect this in their 303 back in the day using aluminum tipped bullets with lead in the rear, I have even heard that later in WWII they even used compressed paper in the tip of the bullets as aluminum became more scarce.
15 Aug 2014
@ 05:53 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Hunting FMJs
That kind of takes us back to the beginning of this thread Jared. In your last post, you spoke about the bullet wanting to travel base first. As you know, we prevent this by spinning the bullet.

Over the years, I have found that once an FMJ bullet is stable, it will often produce straight line penetration. If it tumbles after hitting bone, the wound channel can be violent but more often than not, on raking shots, by the time the bullet loses stabilty, it has also lost energy as you alluded to earlier.

As for the .303 ammo. This was our national cartridge so to speak. Those of us who hunted during the hey day of the Enfield purchased our ammo in round drums or cloth bandoliers in clips, 50 per bandolier from memory. The same rules applied with the early tipped bullets. If the bullet did not hit something hard to upset it, it travelled straight through. If the bullet hit bone, it could destabilize and we would then see extremely wide wounds. But this ammo soon dried up, leaving us with the final Mk 7 load (full lead core) which we generally filled off or filed off and drilled. My notes on this are certainly not unique, this performance is or at least was common knowledge in new Zealand.


The new Sierra .311 SMK is much like the early paper tipped .303. The ogive has no lead whatsoever. Nevertheless, to obtain reliable fragmentation, the tiny HP needs to be opened up.

I have shot a lot of German ball ammo over the years. I never saw the results you quoted from the research you looked at. As you say, I may not have shot that particular load. I still suggest you maintain a level of caution with respect to the test data you quoted- even if there are photos. A good example of this can again be found at the beginning of this thread. I stated excellent results with Norinco .223 ammo in a slow twist rifle. The photo evidence was given to help explain what Eugene Stoner was trying to achieve. Marty came straight into this thread and stated abysmal results with the same ammo in what I am guessing was a 12 twist rifle. I fully trust Marty. All we can learn from this is that unless we go to great lengths to ensure the ammo is unstable, we cannot rely on FMJ ammo to produce wide wounding in a reliable manner. There are just too many ifs buts and maybes.

On a more somber note, military ball will often destabilize if it hits a soldier's webbing / equipment etc. This subject is not generally addressed as a function of wounding.

I hope that helps.

15 Aug 2014
@ 08:11 pm (GMT)

Jared Thibodaux

Re: Hunting FMJs
You would know if you shot the DM111 it is the most unique looking FMJ ammo out there, looks like a shiny silver bullet with a longer then average ogive. They are the standard 7.62x51 ammo for the German Army or so I am told.
15 Aug 2014
@ 11:33 pm (GMT)

thomas kitchen

Re: Hunting FMJs
jared is there anyway you can get your hands on some and do some test yourself? you have to be careful of reviews funding by the organisation that has any gain to be had from it ( nz and 1080 poison is a good example ) pay me enough and ill tell anyone what they want to hear ha ha. i would find it interesting if one country has a major advantage that no others have picked up on. as for fmj for hunting unless they are dirt cheap you would avoid them. i had some police ammo (so the packet said) in 223 but that was soft point which proves unless you have to use fmj it doesnt make sense to.
16 Aug 2014
@ 05:28 am (GMT)

Jared Thibodaux

Re: Hunting FMJs
Don't currently have a 308, sold mine to my brother when I left Alabama a few months back and have yet to replace it. My friend has an M14 but to call it inaccurate is an understatement, it patterns about 6" at 100yd with factory ammo we have tried and the best I can get it with my handloads is around 2". If I can get my hands on a 308 worth shooting I will post some results.
 

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