Hollow Soft Point (HSP) Bullets Explained

The hollow soft point bullet or HSP is a rather uncommon bullet type because advances in bullet technology have replaced it among a lot of major ammo distributors. It can still be found however and the best way to describe it is a bullet that’s in-between a hollow point and a soft point bullet. Most hollow points are either fully jacketed or not at all and these are almost always semi-jacketed instead. Semi-jacketed means the bullet has a harder metal on the lower half of the bullet coating the lead. What this does is allow expansion but this expansion is rather limited when compared to a typical hollow point.

The primary use of these can vary but they tend to be used often in military style pistols that were designed to shoot FMJ bullets only and also used for hunting. The semi-jacketed nose seems to be easier to feed than a traditional non-jacketed hollow point. Other than that, they can be used in most capacities just fine but some ranges may not allow them.  Today this bullet can be found most commonly in .30 Carbine and .44 Mag. ammo.

Hollow Soft Point AccuracyHSP Bullet

As with any hollow point, these bullets are overall, quite accurate. The main accuracy loss will be noticeable at longer ranges due to the opening of the hollow point.   Some hunting ammo manufacturers have solved this problem by covering the tip either with a thin layer of lead, plastic or some type of polymer material so the bullet has great accuracy without compromising the expansion properties.

Hollow Soft Point Expansion

A typical hollow point is designed to expand fully on impact, this allows for rapid energy transference into the target. The hollow soft point is designed to have similar expansion though it’s reduced a bit giving these rounds more penetration instead of a larger wound cavity.  This is a great advantage for larger game hunters who need to penetrate thick skin or bone in order to strike an animal's vital organs for a quick, humane kill.  A normal hollow point or specialized game round usually works fine but with some game, like black bears, a little extra penetration can be desirable.

Hollow Soft Point Uses

As we’ve covered, hunting and specific military pistol use are the most common applications for this type of ammunition. You’ll probably find more of it available for pistols than rifles so it can be a fun round to shoot long range to see how it performs against your other ammunition. You might be pleasantly surprised by the terminal effects it causes and the accuracy. This will again depend on the exact type of hollow soft point you’re using as not all is created equal.

This is a good and versatile ammunition with more penetration than your regular hollow point but not quite as much expansion so if you’ve got an issue on either of these fronts, this could very well be the perfect middle ground ammunition to try out.