What is A Jacketed Bullet?

What is A Jacketed Bullet

To get a high velocity and penetrative performance, you need a unique cartridge for the job.

A full metal jacket bullet is one of the most dependable options to use due to its flexibility and versatility through its features.

In this article, we shall analyze what is a jacketed bullet. Here is a run-through of things you will learn:

  • What is an FMJ ammo: how they work
  • Types of fully jacketed ammunition
  • Which variety is best for your purpose and rifle
  • The pros and cons of jacketed rounds
  • The dynamics of a coated ammunition

What is Jacketed Ammunition?

What is Jacketed Ammunition

FMJ bullets are coated with a harder metal to cover their lead soft core. Materials used include copper (mostly) and other metals such as aluminum covers, steel jacket, or copper alloys.

Hollow Points are also jacketed, but their design expands when they hit a soft target. The FMJ ammo is better in terms of penetration and power. The hollow point cartridge will generally do more damage than the fully coated version, therefore being perfect for self-defense.

Types of Full Metal Jacket Bullets

Full metal jacket bullets production is via proprietary techniques by manufacturers. Note that a bullet’s coating and its components impact how it performs when shot.

Here are different varieties of full metal jacket types:

Full Metal Jacket Boat Tail (FMJ-BT)

Full Metal Jacket Boat Tail (FMJ-BT). What is A Jacketed Bullet?

FMJ boat tails are named for their planned tapered rear when observed from the side, roughly mimicking the shape of a boat. It is perfect for competitive shooting, range training, and hunting due to easy assembling.

Materials used to form its jacket are mostly copper or similar harder metal. In the same way, the shape assists a boat; it also helps the jacket boat tail provide more stability and accuracy.

Full Metal Jacket Flat Nose (FMJ-FN)

Full Metal Jacket Flat Nose (FMJ-FN). What is A Jacketed Bullet?

As its name implies, it is metal ammo with a flat nose. This type of full metal jacket bullet is common with pistol users and is frequently offered on-site at indoor and outdoor shooting ranges.

Its relatively larger diameter (flat point) allows for precise targeting. Apart from their on-point accuracy, these rounds are perfect and smooth in their feeding. 

A flat nose variation is an excellent option for contests, especially for close-range targets that need speed and precision. 

Full Metal Jacket Truncated Cone (FMJ-TC)

Full Metal Jacket Truncated Cone (FMJ-TC). What is A Jacketed Bullet?

The FMJ-TC lies between the boat tail and nose tail and performs similar target shooting purposes and competitions. It has a neutralized flat nose leaving it flat-tipped and with a cone shape. 

Like the previous versions, they compose of a lead soft score with a jacket that either entirely or mainly encases the bullet, leaving the base exposed. These metal jacket rounds are ideal for their smooth feeding with pistols and rifles. 

What are the Characteristics of Jacketed ammunition?

What You Get With Jacketed ammunition:

  • Fewer deformity when fired
  • Less material is removed by the barrel after opening fire and potentially lower friction on the barrel
  • Increased stability
  • Ballistically, FMJ ammo works perfectly; once shot, it maintains speed and accuracy.
  • These round coatings allow easy feeding and an efficient ejection from magazine to chamber to muzzle ejection.
  • Unlike a lead bullet which leaves debris over time, full metal jackets’ protected lead core disintegration is greatly reduced. 
  • These varieties come in three versatile varieties, which can fit most of your daily aiming activities.
  • FMJ bullets are available in virtually any caliber. 
  • Unlike hollow design cartridges, their make does not expand when they hit the target.
  • They over-penetrate and do damage.
  • The full metal jacket bullets are mostly accurate over short distances only.
  • This cartridge has less penetrating power than boat tails or a regular lead bullet.
  • Most shot distances don’t mind visible lead at the back of the bullet.

Common Uses of Full Metal Jacket FMJ

  • These rounds are common for target practice and leisure purposes.
  • They are used for training with self-defense firearms, especially before engaging with hollow points.
  • Some FMJ ammunition lines closely resemble the capabilities of self-defense varieties.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Jacketed Bullets More Accurate?

Full metal jacket bullets are consistently on-point than regular lead bullets, especially over short distances (50 yards).

They usually have more velocity, reducing any variable influence on the bullet’s motion.

Are Jacketed Bullets Bad For Your Gun?

FMJ rounds are usable with a variety of firearms.

They do not disintegrate quickly from pressure and high temperatures that damage your weapon.

Is Jacketed Ammunition Used In Law Enforcement?

FMJ bullets are not used in line duty as they increase the risk of endangering third parties due to their penetrative power.

What Are the 3 Main Types of Bullets?

Full metal jacket boat tail
Full metal jacket flat nose
Full metal jacket truncated cone

What Is the Purpose of a Jacketed Bullet?

The more durable jacketing is far more smear-resistant when acted upon by consistent pressure and created temperature when shot.

What Is the Difference Between Plated and Jacketed Bullets?

Full Metal Jackets are with a lead core that has an extra coating and mostly have an exposed base.

Plated ammo is wholly covered with other material, like copper, which is suitable for lower velocities.

What’s the Difference Between a Full Metal Jacket and Jacketed Bullets?

The FMJ bullet is cheaper and damage-resistant but will probably entirely penetrate the intended target and anything in its traveling path.

Jacketed hollow points ammunition is more effective regarding damage done and rarely goes through.

Do Police Use FMJ or Hollow Point?

The police usually use hollow points to avoid hurting innocent lives in the line of duty.


Full metal jacket bullets are excellent ammunition through their explained versatility and performance.

Before utilizing any, analyze your rifle’s capability and, most importantly, your working environment to avoid hitting unnecessary targets and risking other people. Please comment below, and give us your thoughts about this ammo.


My first deer at the age of 45 I joined the deer hunting fraternity a little late, but the desire to hunt has always been there. I love hunting, so I often have to deal with hunting equipment.