Metal Heads

lawmen bullets pulled out of a box

Great for training and targets, rounds loaded with full metal jacket and Speer’s proprietary Total Metal Jacket bullets are the bread and butter of shooting sports. Ranges soak up countless millions of such rounds and it’s easy to see why. They’re accurate, affordable and widely available in several popular cartridges and bullet weights.

The problem is that those same traits tempt some shooters to use TMJ ammunition for concealed carry. And that’s a mistake. Only expanding bullets specifically designed for self-defense should ever be used, and the consequences can be deadly.

Terminal Performance

At its core, carry ammunition needs to quickly stop an attacker, which requires the bullet to reach and destroy vital organs and as much tissue as possible in route. An expanding bullet does this by creating a larger wound cavity than the original bullet diameter, as well as by transferring its energy to the surrounding tissue.

A TMJ round, however, doesn’t expand at all, creating an extremely small wound channel, causing minimal tissue damage, and transferring little of its energy in the process—and handgun bullets already carry almost no energy compared to their rifle counterparts.

Reducing The Risks

That leads to the second point: over-penetration. Since a TMJ bullet doesn’t expand and retains most of its energy as it passes through a target, it penetrates far beyond what’s needed for effective self-defense. This poses a serious threat to bystanders—even those in adjacent rooms or outside exterior walls.

Speer bullets laying on a table beside a pistol

Specially designed ammunition like Speer Gold Dot, Gold Dot G2 and Gold Dot Carry Gun are ideal choices for these life-and-death encounters. Not only do all of these bullets expand aggressively to stop an assailant, they are calibrated to penetrate deep enough to stop any threat without risk to others nearby.