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Expansion Mono-Block Ammo: EMB Bullets Explained

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The Expansion Mono-Block, or EMB, line is Fiocchi’s premier low-penetration and rapid-expansion ammo, created exclusively for defense use. As of 2015, you’ll only find this in the 9mm Luger variety, making it a very specialized round comparable to Federal Premium’s Hydra-Shock personal defense rounds. The EMBs are part of the Extrema brand from Fiocchi, sharing some similarities with traditional hollow points and other expanding ammunition.

Expansion Mono-Block vs. Traditional Hollow Point

Hollow Point

If you’ve shot a random hollow point from your pistol, then you understand what it's like to get mixed results when it comes to accuracy and uniformity in damage to a target. One shot may mushroom to the left, while the other goes to the right. This non-uniform expansion is detrimental to consistent and reliable performance – not only in flight path, but also in the likelihood that the bullet will stay together as it expands. Another issue is that the tradtional hollow point can "clog" with clothing and other material, which makes expansion less reliable.

Fiocchi EMB

Fiocchi has taken time to develop this particular round to ensure it functions the same way as a hollow point, but with more predictable delivery and uniform expansion. These rounds are made to penetrate through cloth, then about six inches into the target, without over-penetrating. And its lead-free material and lead-free primer make lead buildup from excessive range shooting a non-issue.

Self-Defense Use

As with similar bullet styles, these are meant to be loaded into your home-defense or concealed carry weapon. Should you need to use them, they are designed to reduce over-penetration and are less likely to damage property or people behind the target. The EMB is safer than a normally shaped bullet because it’s been designed to expand the moment it hits the right amount of resistance. This resistance is usually based on ballistics gelatin that simulates a person or large animal. When it hits, the tip folds down around the center, creating a large wound cavity to quickly stop an aggressor.

The safety factor is what makes these so appealing. Not having to worry about shooting through multiple walls or accidentally hitting an innocent bystander on accident is a huge relief, and can take a lot of worry out of owning a home or self-defense weapon.

Some places in the U.S. and around the world don’t allow the use of hollow points as concealed carry ammo, or have banned it outright in certain areas. Be sure to double check before you use this as a defense ammunition, as it’s technically a hollow point. Some regions have different definitions of that, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Molly Carter
Written by
Molly Carter