JHP Pistol Bullets: What's the deal?


Mar 13, 2016
Hello, everyone. I am new to the forum, and new to Nosler pistol bullets. Specifically I am looking for JHP bullets in .40 cal for my new Glock G20 10mm.

I fear I have fallen victim to marketing spin, but I find myself doubtful of Nosler's JHPs and their ability to hold together. They are not bonded. There is not a mechanical lock inside the jacket to bind the core and jacket. What holds them together?

I know the red box bullet maker has a rim inside the jacket to bind the core to the jacket. The green box maker uses the canelure combined with jacket thickness and lead hardness to make their pistol bullets hold together within the velocity range for which the bullet is designed. The yellow box maker uses a heavy plating process to bond core and jacket.

How does Nosler keep the bullets from coming apart? What should I know? I am wanting to buy a few boxes and try the different weights to see how they perform in my pistol, but marketing hyperbole aside, how are the nosler bullets at high velocity?

Please understand I am honestly seeking honest advice. Thanks in advance for your help.

I shoot quite a few of the Shooters Pro Shop seconds and overruns in my G20 and G29. I prefer the 180s and 200s. I like them quite a bit. I've had no issue with them coming apart at all although jugs and farm varmints are all I've shot with them.
A few other fellows whose experience with them is broader than mine may chime in here for you.
FWIW, I believe from the jugs I've shot that they are tougher than the ones you mentioned. Just my opinion though.
There are a few tested in the bullet section here:

Good pistol choice by the way! :grin:
Welcome to the forum!
The Noslers seem to hold up well out of my G29. I shoot the 180's and 200's. Only had one come apart out of the bunch I tried. I still carry them daily. No matter what happens, 180-200 grains is a lot of mass smacking anything.
I have been looking at the Underwood ammo selection for 10mm that uses the Nosler JHPs. The tests I have seen on Youtube look impressive, but the tests I have watched consist of a single bullet being fired into ballistics gel. I was amazed the 135 gr Nosler JHP held together in the test at the velocity it was traveling when it hit the gel!!

But I just don't understand how these bullets hold together. There is no chemical or mechanical binding between the jacket and core. I don't understand how these bullets stay together.
Well, handgun velocities, even the vaunted 10mm... aren't really very high.

I've seen very impressive results from factory loaded Federal American Eagle ammo, .44 mag, 240 JHP, 1250 fps from my revolver. Bullet expanded. Penetrated well. And didn't come apart, not in the least.

It's just a basic jacketed hollow point handgun bullet. At handgun velocity, I don't think a "premium" bullet construction is particularly necessary. Here's a link to my write-up on that bullet/ammo, which I used to take mule deer, and also tested in the water jugs. BTW, water jugs can be very destructive on bullets, but typically at higher velocity. At handgun velocity? Bullets tend to perform well.

Link: viewtopic.php?f=61&t=16516

Regards, Guy
you're going to shake your heads at this one but I've been shooting Ranier bullets in a lot of calibers for a long time. Great for target practice and the price doesn't give your wallet the shakes. Ranier, in addition to round nose bullets also makes hollow points for a lot of calibers and I've found that they expand "very" well in a variety of materials. From what I've seen they would work quite well in a self defense situation. Just a thought.
Agree! I think they'd work well. When I use them, they appear to be a pretty soft lead, plated of course. The soft lead tends to deform on impact, rather than shattering.

Much like I saw when I used the good ol' 385 gr soft lead "Great Plains" bullet from my traditional .50 cal muzzle loader - excellent bullet performance, I'd say because of the modest velocity and soft, easily deformed lead bullet.

Huge difference in bullet performance at 1,000 - 1,500 fps and a bullet at 3,000 fps...

Get some Missouri Hi tek coated for practice. They can be ordered BHN 18 for the 10mm cartridge. Great value in a target bullet... well made and accurate.

I have had great luck with the Nosler 210 JHP in my .41 mag. Have dropped a few deer and all held together. Used to have a pic of one expanded slug recovered from the far side shoulder, but it's entombed on my old laptop that seized up. This load was in the 1500 fps range. This bullet does have a cannelure but I think it plays little role in mechanical locking of the bullet.

Most 10mm bullets are designed for .40SW velocities. If you are hunting big game, you may want to go with a bonded or monolithic bullet, or the Nosler may be fine. If I had a 10mm, I'd have no problem taking the any of the Nosler, Speer, Remfedchester hollow points into the deer woods.

http://missouribullet.com/details.php?p ... &keywords=

As far as how they hold together... the same way a speer jspbt from my .308 does. Combination of 2 ductile materials that act like a very viscous fluid on impact. Friction is on the front and pulls the jacket and core backwards. The large hollowpoints found on handgun bullets are there to aid in this process. You have to get into relatively high velocities and/or improper alloys to really get significant weight loss.
I have used the 200gr HP 44cal bullet in my 44mag for deer and all have worked very well. Like one shot kills. I also drive them at max speeds in my 7.5" Ruger.

I do not think you need to worry or get bonded etc bullets for your 10mm