The reason police unions and police firearms training units fought so hard for hollow point bullets back in the day was that they wanted their cops to survive gunfights with violent criminals. Simply put, expanding bullets stop the bad guys faster.
The history of law enforcement shows it, incontrovertibly. I was a young puppy when I learned of the case in which an NYPD officer emptied his six-shot .38 into a man charging him with a knife. The 158 grain round-nose lead .38 Special bullets just punched ice-pick wounds in one side of the criminal and out the other, and he was still able to stab the officer in the center of the chest. They died together on the street. Then I remember a friend of mine, a mid-Western policeman, who had to use a similar .38 Special revolver against a man trying to murder him: a single hollow point bullet in the center of the chest dropped the attacker in his tracks. My friend, all these years later, is still alive.
That was the history of the old “ball ammo” versus today’s hollow points. It runs true across the range of calibers in handguns, and even up into rifles. Why do hunters use expanding bullets on soft-skinned big game? Same reason: it drops them faster. Mammals are mammals, two-legged or four. Yes, some of both kinds of critters soak up a lot of bullets before they go down. As a rule, it takes fewer hollow points than it does “ball” rounds. This is why, from the Los Angeles Police Protective League to the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association in NYC, police representative organizations shouted long and loud for more effective ammo for their members. Once the hollow points were on the streets and the results were in, those cries died down.
Why is a citizen, security guard, or cop ever allowed to shoot a human being at all? Because that human being is doing something so terrible that the laws of Society and Man and God together have approved shooting him as justifiable homicide, to save the innocent from the man who has to be shot. The sooner he falls, the sooner he stops shooting or stabbing innocent people; the sooner his savagery ends, the better it is for all the innocent people concerned.
Wasn’t it Napoleon who supposedly said that God fought on the side that had the best artillery? If you’re on the righteous side, you want the best artillery…and, history shows, with small arms from pistols to rifles, the best artillery is a bullet that does more than punch a narrow, puckered ice-pick wound.