From Mark Miller we learn the following:

According to Jane’s “The US Army has confirmed that its new XM17 handgun is to be a 9 mm Sig Sauer model P320 and the contract allows the government to buy Sig Sauer’s proposed XM1152 Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) and XM1153 Special Purpose (SP) ammunition and training rounds.”

The secret to making (new) 9mm outperform (existing) 9mm, which the RFP required, was, per Mark, “hollowpoints.” Presumably, the XM1153 is the holllow-point, and the 1152 an improved ball round. The actual RFP also requires numerous oddball rounds like blank and dummy.

It’s interesting that SIG introduced new hollow-points last year, and new ball ammo in 125 and 147 grain at this year’s SHOT Show.

Mark’s conclusion:

While the P-320 is a great choice for the M-17, we may find that hallow point ammunition makes a much more significant contribution to U.S. defense than their gun.

He’s probably correct there.

Mark’s site, The Arms Guide, is becoming a regular stop on the net. Check it out.

This entry was posted in Ammunition, Industry, Pistols and Revolvers on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

48 thoughts on “US M17 Pistol Comes with Ball and Hollow-Point Ammo


I’m with Mark. I’ve hunted a few times with FMJ ammo in the past, and I’ve seen some remarkable demonstrations of its lack of effectiveness on small game to the point that I would never use it now.

All handgun calibres are terrible stoppers and need all the help they can get. Hollow point ammo is the key to terminal effectiveness in this caper.


seems they have thrown out the geneva convention altogether now. i wonder how they will react when the enemy does too. what fanboys don’t realize is that rounds go both ways, and hollow points tear up flesh to the point of amputation is required. so back to civil war medicine we go. damn shame to lose a leg or an arm, or worse, to what would otherwise be a minor wound.

Boat Guy

We typically don’t go to war with Hague (or Geneva) Convention signatories.

Hognose Post author

The last conflicts in which US forces faced a nation that observed any aspects of the law of land warfare were Panama in 1989, and the ETO (partially) in WWII. These things have long been a dead letter.


It’s hard to believe that the JAG won’t try to crucify our people for using HP ammo seeing their historical problems with open-tip match ammo as used by snipers…

John M.

The JAGs can give Sally Yates a call and see what happens if they want to try to defy Mattis’s boss.

-John M.

Daniel E. Watters

For those who don’t remember the January 2006 incident, a civilian contractor and a supply sergeant refused to distribute M118LR to 4th Infantry Division snipers in Iraq because it was “illegal” hollow-point ammunition. One of the snipers, Sgt. Arthur J. Hushen, tried to get the Brigade Judge Advocate, Major Mary Card to intervene. At first, MAJ Card refused to help, leading Sgt. Hushen to request documentation from the Lightfighter forums. LCDR Gary Roberts (USNR) and LTC Dave Liwanag (the commander of the US Army Marksmanship Unit) were among those who raised a posse and rode to the rescue. At the time, LTC Liwanag mentioned that the delivery of Mk 262 to the 3rd ID’s Squad Designated Marksmen (SDM) had been blocked in a related incident. Ultimately, MAJ Card was corrected and forced to act. While Sgt. Hushen faced retaliation and was briefly brought up on charges for violating OPSEC, MAJ Card suffered no visible blowback to her career. At last check, LTC Mary Card-Mina was the Staff Judge Advocate at the US Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM).

“Recent Issues with the Use of MatchKing Bullets and White Phosphorous Weapons in Iraq” – The Army Lawyer (August 2006)

Hognose Post author

With exceptions I can count on my fingers, the best of whom have unfortunately retired, I do not consider military lawyers veterans, but former members of enemy forces.


Two things: 1. Almost no one will be shot with a handgun, 9mm FMJ, HP or otherwise. 2. Modern high velocity rifle rounds already produce the kind of damage you’re talking about – even in FMJ configuration. This is a non-issue.

OK..three…back to Civil War medicine? Really?


We’ve had hollowpoints issued for a while now for internal security. Mk243 or Mk234…IIRC it’s been a long, long time since my last arms room inventory! They were commercial Federal hollowpoints with a military “FC XX” headstamp, nothing special and not their flagship hydrashocks.

The fact they also supplied a ball round would tell me that they are looking at a similar split in use; HP for CONUS or special security missions and FMJ for overseas or combat use.

Talking about the Hague Convention’s prohibition on expanding ammunition I read an interesting argument for its repeal. I think it was something that was linked on here actually. I may be paraphrasing too much but the doctor making the case argued basic function; a ball round causes more suffering because it’ll punch a hole whereas an expanding or fragmenting bullet would cause quicker incapacitation. It was the ethical hunter reference.


Yep, had to look it up. Ours was white box Federal though. I thought it was a 115gr slug but I just learned they’re 147gr. Well what do you know? Learn something new everyday, there’s my quota. We had a shooting at the gate a few years back and they were more than lethal through a car windshield.

Picture from off the net, taurusarmed forum.


How many people have been getting amputations after being shot with hollowpoints in the US from hollowpoint pistol rounds. Its going to be a pretty low number. You might want to learn some more about terminal ballistics.

Are you fore real?

You think ISIS or those mooks make sure they only use ball? The guys that behead , drown, toss people off roofs and blow up kids.. and you think they are gonna get real angry over being shot with an HP?

You realize we shoot people with 50BMG and drop napalm and giant bombs on their heads don’t you?

I would probably not leave my day job to try for a job as a trauma surgeon if I were you.


You forgot about immolating entire families and crucifixion…

W. Fleetwood

I suppose one must reply as did Lt Graham Watson-Smith (A Coy, ! RAR) when braced about using .308 soft point ammunition in his FN FAL. He said “Not to worry Sir, I have sworn a solemn oath to never, ever, shoot any Swiss people!”

And yes, I know, and so did Graham.

Wafa Wafa, Wasara Wasara.

Boat Guy

I’ve been a fan of the 147 Federal HydraShok since it was issued to me – I was armed under the Vienna Convention.

John M.

Hollowpoint projectile construction has come a long way since the Hydra Shok. The newer bullets are much better at not getting clogged by intermediate barriers like clothing than the bullets of Hydra Shok’s generation. FYI.

-John M.

Boat Guy

Point taken. Federal EFMJ comes to mind.

John M.

Federal HST is supposed to be excellent also.

-John M.

John M.


Great. There goes my weekend.

I’ll trade you: I like ShootingTheBull410’s work on YouTube. It’s narrower in scope, and he’s a little long-winded, but it’s good work as far as this layman can tell.

-John M.


Good trade, John.


I remember the old Glaser Safety Slugs were contemporaries with the HydraShocks. They were always in the gun store.

John M.

Somebody’s typo: “hallow point ammunition”.

-John M.


Maybe it was supposed to be “halal point ammunition” for a specific demographic


I believe that you mean a “target demographic. “


Works, because when you shoot someone with them you’ve made them holy.


We had to shoot 124 grain FMJ to qualify but my carry round on the job is 115 grain Hornady Critical Defense.


Fun facts:

Hollow points were not banned by the Geneva Conventions. They were banned in Article IV, Declaration 3 of the Hague Convention of 1899. This article was not ratified by the United States.

Article IV is also only binding in a war between signatory powers.

Amusingly, Article IV, Declaration 2 bans shells that deliver poison gas in a war between signatory powers. All the European powers signed Article IV, and then proceeded to gas each other with shells during World War I.


Thanks, you beat me to it. It was the Hague Convention and the US did not ratify it anyway.


So, is Sig going to be manufacturing the ammunition for this contract? That seems like a huge win for a company that has only been producing ammunition for a few years.

Hognose Post author

They seem to have gotten “the right” to sell ammo of their design, but the DOD gets the tech data package and can put it out to bid, as I read it.

Gregory Peter DuPont

Both bullet types have a their uses. Much of the assumed fact regarding US standardization on ball ammo has more to do with reliability in older weapons. Most modern designs run well with both. Ball CAN be very effective-but smaller calibers generally do better run hotter (which,like anything else has certain tradeoffs).

In the end, irrespective of bullet type;you still have to hit the other guy-and usually under stress. Firefights go both ways.

Bullet construction is in my opinion, the main thing that needs to be changed to give everyone what they want, More effective terminal performance on targets. We don’t need a new rifle round, or a bigger caliber. The 556 is a very finer round. even with the much hated ball its not no where near as bad as some claim. but with something meant to get the best out of it, just imagine!

Same with 9mm, which I do not like myself. A HP round would go a long way. Though I would still rather stick to 45 or 10mm. Since I don’t have to use what the feds tell me, I will be sticking with 45 and 10mm.



I’m going to go out on a limb, and propose that the whole Hague and Geneva structure just needs to be thrown the hell out.

They don’t want to enforce it in its entirety, then screw it.

My belief is that the hypocrisy of it all is what is more destructive than the violations; you don’t want to actually enforce the Law of War when it comes to armed combatants, then don’t come whining to me about use of hollow-point or exploding munitions.

The entire argument is actually specious-When you get down to it, which is “more humane”: Poking a half-dozen holes through someone with high-speed projectiles that result in that person dying in hidden in some cave or outbuilding after suffering through peritoneal infection after a week or two, or killing them almost immediately through blood loss?

When you consider the state of medical science back when this shit was all negotiated, I have to ask you what the hell they were thinking: Ameliorate human suffering through FMJ? What. The. Actual. Fuck.

The entire concept starts to look like something dreamed up by the Marquis de Sade, in one of his darker moments. Sure, let’s poke a hole in a guy, leave him wounded and laying on the ground for a bit, haul his ass off to a medical system that doesn’t even have sulfa drugs, and then let him suffer for however long it takes him to die from secondary infection. Gee, that seems ever so much more humane than killing him outright, or at least, more quickly, through blood loss due to a hit from an expanding bullet.

Frankly, the whole thing starts to break down, once you really look at it. The entire “restrict munitions for the feels” regime really doesn’t make a lick of fucking sense, on detailed examination. About the only thing I’d say would be worthwhile to keep would be the restriction on using non-detectable materials for fragmentation, like glass.


>“restrict munitions for the feels” regime really doesn’t make a lick of fucking sense, on detailed examination

Huh. I’ve always thought the same thing without having really cogitated about it in depth. In fact, sorta made me wonder what I was missing; surely there was a good reason or two, only I wasn’t knowledgeable enough to discern it? (That’s a remnant of the Confucianism I was subtly programmed with in the cradle, BTW 😉

>non-detectable materials […] like glass

If anyone ever invents a “glass magnet” he will have the undying appreciation of bicyclists everywhere.

John Shepherd (retired spook bureaucrat)

Modern JHP rounds will enhance the effectiveness of any pistol. You don’t need a new service pistol to get the improvement. I have taken to carrying Hornady Critical Duty .45 ACP +P. Its performance exceeds most .40 Cal JHP rounds. It saved me the expense of buying a new pistol.


I’ve been looking for information on the XM1153 cartridge and coming up dry. Anybody know anything? Did the DoD do the smart thing and just paint a few lots of Gold Dots or HST green, or is this actually something new?

John M.

Maybe they just bought the last of the Hornady Zombie Max on closeout.

-John M.

Steve M.

Zombie Max is obviously extremely effective. It’s rated for Zombies after all!

I’m overjoyed to see the zombie stupidity fade away. From my varies with screen size view into SHOT Show 2017, it appears the zombie fad is finally, um, dare I say, dead.

John M.

Me too. I never “got” the zombie thing.

-John M.


“Zombies” is likely a quaint euphemism for certain other groups who cannot be named for fear of divine retribution from the lawyers.

It’s a bit like the transition from distinctly “human-shaped” figure targets to the more “geometric” ones now in common use.


HP now kosher? Interesting indeed.

Okay now I’m going to go out on a limb…

why not use explosive or incendiary pistol bullets to increase handgun lethality?

I’m not going to touch on the potential legalities of my crackpot idea, only on the potential functionality.

I first thought about this after I saw an astonishing video of some test firing of leftover WWII era rifle ammo with explosive bullets into ballistic gelatin. And it really seemed to work. (I’ll post a link to that video in a reply to this post)

Now aside from the historical curiosity of that explosive rifle ammo, It occurred to me that such a explosive bullet in a pistol cartridge might have genuine combat utility. Here is the analogy, as high velocity armor piercing anti-tank rounds are to high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds, so is a high velocity small caliber rifle bullet to an explosive pistol bullet.

What made HEAT rounds so useful, is their light weight launchers. Because unlike an anti-tank gun, the energy for defeating armor plate in a HEAT round is contained in the heavy warhead instead of the propelling charge.

Apply the same principle to anti-personell small arms ammo. Since a 9mm pistol cartridge has a relatively heavy bullet but small propelling charge compared to a 5.56mm rifle cartridge, why fill the pistol bullet with inert lead?

If actual explosive ammunition for handgun ammunition were developed, that might even resurrect the .45 ACP as a better round, just because it fires a heavier bullet which could contain a greater payload than 9mm.

Tennessee Budd

Just my $.02, but I believe restrictive ROEs have crippled us more than international conventions. F’r instance, we owe very-little-to-nothing in the way of decent treatment to an armed combatant not in uniform, but ROEs say we can’t just shoot ’em in the head with their hands up. Not that I’d want anybody to do so.

Perhaps the new administration will loosen up the ROEs, especially now that we have an actual warrior as SecDef.

Daniel E. Watters

A JAG legal opinion authored by W. Hays Parks on September 23, 1985 states:

“…expanding point ammunition is legally permissible in counterterrorist operations not involving the engagement of the armed forces of another State.”

This cleared the way for Naval Special Warfare units to use their new 9x19mm 147gr JHP Olin Super Match load, which ultimately became standardized as the Mk 243 Mod 0 (DODIC A260).

Here’s a link to a copy of “Use of Expanding Ammunition by U.S. Military Forces in Counterterrorist Incidents. DAJA-IA 1985/7026, 23 September 1985.”

Hognose Post author

Thanks, Dan. I’m amazed that you not only have this stuff, but can find it!

Daniel E. Watters

Trust me, it took some wrangling to dig up a copy on Google. I eventually succeeded with the search string: Memorandum of Law September 23, 1985.