U.S. Military Makes Monumental Shift To 9mm Hollow point Pistol Ammunition

crew-22312 In the land of the Special Operator, it’s a safe bet they will continue using 45 cal hollow points even if it be in an unofficial capacity.
The FBI’s findings, below, will not be binding upon them.
The highly trained members of the Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, and Marine Recon won’t be worried about the extra weight.
They are looking at one issue, using suppressed (silenced) pistols in many cases they want the Haji’s to stay down when a single shot or multiple shots are fired. 

Bearing Arms

In a significant doctrinal shift, the U.S. military is relegating full metal jacketed (FMJ) pistol bullets to a training role, and will be adopting modern hollow point designs similar to those used by most domestic law enforcement agencies and citizens who carry handguns for self-defense.


The stunning announcement was made at the U.S Army’s Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey yesterday during the military’s two-day “industry day” for the Modular Handgun System (MHS), which will conclude today.

A military lawyer who made a presentation during the Industry Day noted that the United States is not a signatory to the Hague Conventions which outlawed the use of “dum-dum” and expanding bullets more than a century ago.


It is the military’s position that the shift to jacketed hollow point (JHP) ammunition, which more efficiently transfers energy to the target and which presents much less of a risk of over-penetration, is more humane and less of a risk to innocent civilians downrange in modern combat where there are often no clear front lines.

The MHS contract is still caliber agnostic, with the primary requirement being that the adopted cartridge must perform 10% better than currently issued M882 (9mm NATO, 124-grain FMJ) with both the FMJ training ammunition and the hollow  point ammunition issued for deployment.

Both the FMJ and JHP must perform similarly so that the training and combat ammunition has the same recoil impulses and performance parameters.

A lot of conventional wisdom suggests that the 9MM and .45 ACP are the top two contenders for the MHS contract.

Entire article below.


The big selling point for .45 ACP in the past century was always that it was a slightly larger bullet than the 9mm, and that it performed somewhat better when both calibers were using FMJ bullets.

In addition, the military has also already used .45 ACP hollowpoints in combat handguns in Afghanistan and Iraq among special operations units fighting unlawful combatants.

It has not (officially) used them against other nation-states in military-on-military combat.

Now that JHPs are going to be used as general issue, the playing field tilts back strongly in favor of 9mm.

I strongly suspect that the Army has already taken a long and hard look at the data produced by the Federal Bureau of Investigation when they recently investigated switching handgun calibers, an investigation that led the agency to abandon the .40 S&W in favor of the 9mm.

The FBI discovered that 9mm outperforms both .40 S&W and .45 ACP when using premium hollow points, while having less perceived recoil and much greater ammunition capacity.

I would not be surprised at all if the full-size variant of the pistol that eventually wins the contract has a magazine capacity of 17-20 rounds.

During testing, MHS candidate pistols will feed at least 35,000 rounds of JHP  to ensure reliable feeding.




8 thoughts on “U.S. Military Makes Monumental Shift To 9mm Hollow point Pistol Ammunition

  1. I want them to have everything they need to get the job done and COME HOME SAFE!!


    • We are in accord, that’ why talking to friends who are special operators they use the 1911 45 and doubt they will change. They don’t want the rag heads getting up. Thanks for your comment.


  2. The nasty little downside of this is that, according to the Hague and Geneva Conventions, in any sort of formal/semi-formal conflict the possession of expanding projectile ammunition (with the sole exception of shotgun munitions) constitutes a war crime, punishable by summary execution (which both sides did asd a regular policy in both world wars).

    On the bright side, I suppose, shooting civilians (are there any civilians amongst those reading this Reply?) IS a gray area in this regard..

    But what goes around always comes back around. Remember that if YOU are in the direct line of fire. Anybody been following the latest Operation Jade Helm rumors?. :o)


    • Another good take Jim, I’ve taken a second look at the guns on my CCW, I’ve got a 45, and a 9mm Glock, I’ve decided to use the 9mm because as the article indicates, it could be more accurate, and I also have Glock 17 magazines.


  3. Another good take Jim, I’ve taken a second look at the guns on my CCW, I’ve got a 45, and a 9mm Glock, I’ve decided to use the 9mm because as the article indicates, it could be more accurate, and I also have Glock 17 magazines.


  4. The 9mm has a piss-poor combat record, regardless of bullet type. Pistols in combat is a tricky subject because of a generally light terminal effect compared with a rifle round.

    Pistols in most other armies are carried by officers and senior NCOs more as a badge of rank than as an offensive weapon. Also, it takes continuous practice (and a lot of talent – something that CAN’T simply be learned) to become proficient in the use of a pistol, especially at distances over 20 feet.

    Do not depend on bullet expansion in the 9mm, even with hollow-cavity bullets. The narrow 9mm bullet makes a clean penetrating wound.

    Bullets larger than .40 caliber generally cause extensive and typical terminal (as in killing ) organ damage because, even if full metal jacketed, they go in and decide to take an impromptu tour of their victim’s body cavity. They will also blow the back off of a human skull. The clean-=penetrating 9mm simply doesn’t do either.

    If you shoot somebody with a 9mm, you’ll probably just piss them off and they may then chop your head in two with a machete.

    There is an old Marine saying about never trusting ANYTHING under .40. Listen to the Marines. They know what they’re talking about. They’ve been there and learned the hard way as to what works and what doesn’t.


  5. Excellent Jim, I’m not buying what you say. The 9mm with a well placed round to the thorax will get the job done. I’ve taken 15 week end courses at the Sure Fire Institute in Carona, for me, I have no doubt if needed I could get the job done.

    When you get two in, having a CCW, if it’s a good shooting an in justified, not killing someone would be a good option. Thanks for the input.


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