Full Metal Jacket Flat Nose (FMJ-FN) Bullets Explained
The full metal jacket flat nose or FMJ-FN is just as the name implies, a full metal jacketed bullet with a flat nose. This type of ammunition is popular among pistol shooters and is often sold on-site at shooting ranges both indoor and outdoor. One of the main reasons the nose is flat is so you can more accurately gauge where the round landed on your targets. The diameter is much more pronounced when a target is hit and some competitions prefer these over normal style FMJ bullets.
You can sometimes find the flat nose called "full metal case flat nose" and it’s essentially the same type of ammo so if you can’t find something in FMJ, you can expect get the FMC to be about the same ammo. The most common caliber offered with the FMJ-FN is .40 S&W, however 9mm and .38 Special are fairly easy to find with this bullet as well.
Composition of the FMJ-FN
As with any ammo type, where you get it will change what it’s made with and how it’s made. Every company has their own manufacturer that does things their own way resulting in a number of different name brands and ammo lines to choose from. The most basic full metal jacket bullet will be lead coated in copper, sometimes the base of the bullet will be left open and other times it will be coated as well, resulting in a TMJ type of bullet with a flat nose. The lead can be changed in various ways as can the outside with the addition and removal of other materials. Every change alters the way the bullet performs and what happens on impact with a target. The best rule is to select the ammo type that is best suited for the task at hand and many types of FMJ-FN are designed for very specific uses.
Advantages of FMJ-FN
The biggest advantage of the FMJ-FN is that it has the best of both worlds when it comes to accuracy and feeding. Wadcutter bullets have great difficulty feeding in a semi-auto pistol, however, they are usually very accurate and can punch holes with clean edges in targets so that scoring is more accurate. FMJ bullets feed easily into semi-auto pistols but some would argue that they do not have the same degree of accuracy as wadcutters. However, there is no argument with the fact that the FMJ does not punch a clean hole in the target which can make those close calls even more difficult.
The FMJ-FN will feed in any properly working, modern semi-auto. It is accurate and will punch a cleaner hole through a paper or cardboard target than FMJ bullets. The FMj-FN is a great choice for shooting competitions where the focus is on short range targets that require speed as well as accuracy, like USPSA and IDPA.
Disadvantages of FMJ-FN
You might think that because the nose is flat, you’re losing some aerodynamics during flight and you’re going to get some accuracy issues. In reality, the bullet travels so fast, this simply isn’t going to be noticeable unless you’re a top-tier pro shooter. When compared to a standard full metal jacket round, there really aren’t any real disadvantages to using a flat nose for target shooting. You may notice a more pronounced change if you are using a rifle and your targets are hundreds of yards away but for a normal competition or match shoot you probably can’t tell the difference.