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Copper Plated Hollow Point (CPHP) Explained

Hollow point bullets have been used for defense purposes and hunting since their inception. These bullets expand rapidly when they impact a target guaranteeing the most possible damage possible without over-penetrating. One of the most common types of hollow point for sale today is the copper plated hollow point or CPHP.

The CPHP is a pretty popular bullet type among backyard shooters, pros and reloaders because it’s versatility. You can use it for hunting, home defense, plinking and more. Among hollow point ammunition, CPHP is normally the most affordable, its relatively simple manufacturing process allow for the budget minded shooter to be able to get the stopping power of hollow point ammo without the impact on their wallet.

CPHP CompositionCPHP

As the name implies, the bullets themselves are copper plated hollow points. That’s pretty self-explanatory and copper over lead is a popular composition because it’s got the weight of lead combined with the smooth, non-corroding copper plating. The casing is typically going to be center-primed brass or steel with the main exception being .22 LR ammo, which is rimfire.  CCI makes one of the most popular CPHP cartridges, it is sold as the Stinger.

Due to the bullet being coated in copper, you can often use CPHP ammo on shooting ranges both indoor and out and on hunting areas where straight lead is prohibited.

CPHP Performance and Reliability

It’s unfair to judge a bullet type alone without considering all the factors. There are many manufacturers of CPHP ammo including Winchester and Federal Premium along with a handful of lesser known manufacturers.  The most obvious improvement over lead round nose bullets is that there is an opening at the end of the bullet that allows for opening of the bullet.  This imparts more of the bullet's energy into the target resulting in quicker stops or cleaner kills.

The copper jacket is an improvement over lead hollow points in that it decreases fragmentation.  This helps with penetration in that a heavier bullet will retain energy and velocity better than a lighter one.  This way, the bullet will penetrate deeper and hit harder.

Defense Use

Hollow point bullets were initially developed to give normal rounds extra stopping power while hopefully limiting penetration to just their target and not hitting whatever is behind it. Do they do this? Sometimes. You can’t get 100% consistency when hitting an organic target like a home invader, armed mugger or other person aiming to cause you harm. Various things will change performance but overall, they tend to do what they were made to do. They cause a larger than average wound cavity as the bullet expands like a flower petal or mushroom on the way into a target. Usually this will make them not a problem to property or people behind them. Firing a few shots at the range to really get to know your ammo and how it performs is important if you’re using these as a concealed carry or home defense ammo.

Hunting Use

The CPHP is a suitable bullet design for all but the largest game.  The rapid expansion will greatly increase your chances of a quick, humane kill. Many hunters choose this design in a .22 caliber for hunting varmints and predators alike.  The rapid expansion and reliable design make this bullet a great choice for hunting.

So whether you need an effective cartridge for stopping intruders or vermin, the CPHP is a great bullet that will serve you well.