Jacketed Soft Point (JSP) Bullets Explained
The jacketed soft point bullet or JSP was designed to fill a certain niche and performs very well in that niche. This is when a hollow point doesn’t offer enough penetration and a full metal jacket bullet simply doesn’t offer enough expansion. The JSP fills this role perfectly offering the best of both worlds with a moderate level of both. Jacketed soft points come in a very large variety but are most commonly marketed as hunting rounds and are more common for rifles than pistols. There are some popular lines of JSP ammo for pistols however.
In some areas, hollow points aren’t allowed so the JSP can be used instead for hunting, defense or other areas where hollow points are the bullet of choice but are banned or restricted for some reason.
Jacketed Soft Point Features
You can tell you’ve got a JSP simply by looking at the bullet. You’ll see the bullet jacketed usually to about the ½ or 2/3 mark leaving an exposed lead (or other material) nose. These can come in a lot of types, even coming in a hollow point round, which is a bit bizarre since JSP rounds tend to be considered an alternative to HP rounds. They come in flat nose, round nose, boat tail and every other variety you can imagine. Some have polymer tips and others are simply lead.
These rounds perform very much the same as a non-jacketed bullet in regards to ballistics and accuracy however, performance on the range is very dependent on the shooter. I should also be noted that different manufacturers and lines of JSP ammo have a lot of different unique features specific to only those proprietary rounds.
Jacketed Soft Point Advantages
The biggest advantages of using JSP ammo over round nose or FMJ ammo is the good expansion. It’s a definite advantage for this ammo type if you happen to live in one of the regions where hollow points are banned and you want to make sure you are using bullets that will provide a quick, clean kill. Another advantage is that the blunted nose will help reduce the likelihood of primer detonation in rifles with tube magazines. Finally, there are several different calibers that are made with JSP bullets, like .44 Mag., .357 Mag. and 9mm.
Jacketed Soft Point Disadvantages
As this tends to be more of an in-between type of ammo, you won’t get the same expansion as a traditional hollow point and this can be an issue for some uses. Luckily most manufacturers offer their own special lines of JSP ammo and this can take care of that problem. You can still find hunting, target shooting or defense ammo in JSP and it can have its own unique features such as a boat tail or polymer tip.
Overall this is a good ammo choice for someone looking for the power of a hollow point but with a bit more penetration and may be the best option if hollow points aren’t allowed. These work well for hunting and home defense and are the perfect alternative. You will often find these with lead noses but if you check around, you can find some great substitutes that aren’t as restricted.
Written by Sam Jacobs