FMJ Ammo vs TMJ Ammo: Difference and Comparison

Rifles and weapons may be used for various purposes, whether you are a policeman, a sniper, or a hunter.

What type of ammunition you need will be context-specific and applied to your handgun or rifle, and the distinctions between TMJ and FMJ become questions that must be answered before you go out and buy your ammo.

Key Takeaways

  1. FMJ ammo has a metal jacket covering the entire bullet, while TMJ ammo has a metal jacket covering only the bullet’s base and sides.
  2. TMJ ammo reduces lead exposure, while FMJ ammo does not.
  3. TMJ ammo is more expensive than FMJ ammo.

FMJ Ammo vs TMJ Ammo

FMJ ammo is a bullet with a lead core encased in a copper or brass jacket to prevent lead fouling and provide better penetration. TMJ ammo has a lead body, eliminating lead fouling and reducing airborne lead particles. It is less likely to cause ricochets and can be used in areas concerned about bullet fragmentation.

FMJ Ammo vs TMJ Ammo

The phrase “full metal jacket” or FMJ refers to the lead projectile being enclosed in a different, more brutal metal – commonly copper. Still, some other elements and even nanocomposites are occasionally used.

And using their production processes, FMJ manufacturers can have a vast range of ammunition lines, so you can pick and choose from various materials, styles, and purposes.

Total metal jacket (TMJ) cartridges are manufactured by soldering a thin jacket of ductile materials (copper) over a base of various metals that requires abrasion or cathodic protection.

Comparable complete metal jacket bullets manually swage a thin layer of metal over the centre.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonFMJ AmmoTMJ Ammo
Full FormFMJ is the acronym for Full Metal Jacket Bullets.TMJ is the acronym for Total Metal Jacket bullets.
MeaningFull metal jacket bullets, abbreviated “TMJ,” are a popular projectile type at indoor facilities as well as among professional shooters. FMJ ammunition is not environmentally friendly as they leak lead.
EnvironmentTMJ are safe for self-defense usage as these are not toxic for health if fired even from close range.TMJ ammunition is environmentally friendly.
Health ConsequencesTMJ are safe for self-defence as these are not toxic for health if fired even from close range.TMJ aresafe for self-defence as these are not toxic for health if fired even from close range.
CostThese are cheaper than TMJ ammo.These are costlier than FMJ ammo.

What is FMJ Ammo?

Full metal jacket ammunition may alternatively be referred to as full metal case ammunition or may have extra suffixes such as “boat tail” to indicate the planned usage of the projectile or how it will function.

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Full metal jacket boat tails, full metal jacket flat noses, and full metal jacket tapered cones are some examples.

Each of these encased bullets is designed for specialized use, although they all have the same fundamental lead characteristics as FMJ bullets.

The primary advantage of utilizing an FMJ bullet would be that the lead bullet is primarily (if not entirely) wrapped by tin, copper, or other metal jackets.

This keeps the lead from accumulating in the barrel when it shoots.

When a lead projectile engages the barrel groove, a small quantity of lead is left inside, accumulating after multiple rounds and making the shots less precise.

Metal deposition is considerably minimized when a jacket is placed over the core.

This enables a more significant number of bullets to be fired before accuracy deteriorates.

Although this isn’t a big deal for the casual gunner or hunter who could fire 100 rounds before maintenance, it greatly benefits the high-volume shooter.

fmj ammo

What is TMJ Ammo?

Full metal jacket bullets abbreviated as “TMJ,” are a popular projectile type at indoor facilities and among professional shooters.

The explanation is straightforward but crucial: The standard full metal jacket (FMJ) cartridge contains a little bit of visible lead at the bottom, whereas the TMJ covers the exposed lead region with metal.

Utilizing TMJ bullets and other measures to reduce lead exposure can help you become a healthy shooter.

Theoretically, a full metal jacket is a complete metal jacket. Therefore those who are inexperienced in shooting or hunting are sometimes perplexed.

In many cases, these phrases are identical, and a cursory inspection of a magazine will reveal whether or not lead is present.

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The primary purpose of using a TMJ bullet is to reduce lead exposure. The elevated blood lead concentrations are not amusing and can lead to various significant health problems.

This is capable of causing joint discomfort, weariness, memory loss, and a long list of other negative consequences.

Managing blood lead levels is so crucial that some interior ranges prohibit using any lead-exposed ammunition, even standard FMJ.

Main Differences Between FMJ Ammo and TMJ Ammo

  1. FMJ Ammo stands for Full Metal Jacket Ammunition, whereas TMJ stands for Total Metal Jacket.
  2. FMJ is a projectile with a metal surface but not completely coated whereas TMJ is a bullet with a completely coated surface of the metal.
  3. FMJ ammo is harmful to the environment, whereas TMJ ammo is environmentally friendly.
  4. FMJ ammo is cheaper than TMJ ammo.
  5. FMJ causes lead leakage, and hence the gun needs to be cleaned frequently, whereas TMJ ammo bullets do not leak and therefore keep the nozzle of the gun cleaner.

Last Updated : 30 June, 2023

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8 thoughts on “FMJ Ammo vs TMJ Ammo: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I never thought about the implications for lead exposure and environmental impact of different types of ammunition. This is a great source on the topic.

  2. The detailed explanations and comparison table provided a clear understanding of the topic. This is a great article for anyone interested in firearms.

  3. I didn’t realize FMJ and TMJ ammo had such important differences, understanding their properties will help me make better purchases in the future.

  4. This is a fantastic article, the information on FMJ and TMJ will be very valuable for gun enthusiasts and professionals alike.

  5. The article highlights important matters, such as lead exposure and environmental impact when comparing FMJ and TMJ. Informative and comprehensive.


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