Norma MHP: What’s a Monolithic Hollow Point?

By Yamil Sued
Posted in #Gear
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Norma MHP: What’s a Monolithic Hollow Point?

June 25th, 2020

3:16 runtime

The search for the best defensive round is never-ending. It seems like every week a new and improved mousetrap appears as part of the quest for the perfect defensive cartridge.

In this Norma MHP 9mm review, I take a look at the company’s monolithic copper bullet load to see if it make a good personal protection round.

Norma MHP 9mm with Springfield XD duty pistol
The 9mm MHP loading from Norma delivers a solid copper, 108-gr. hollow point.

But the question is, what do we want from a defensive cartridge? Basically, effective penetration, expansion and weight retention. So, what we want is a projectile that goes deep enough without over-penetrating, expands consistently and retains as much of its original weight as possible.

The 9mm MHP Solution

Well, out comes the new Norma MHP, or “Monolithic Hollow Point.” The Norma MHP is a solid copper projectile that claims to do all the things we always wanted.

We are all familiar with traditional self-defense bullets that use a lead hollow point projectile with a metal jacket (jacketed hollow point, or JHP). Our own Eric Conn discusses this in his “Anatomy of a Bullet” article. The monolithic ammo concept used in the MHP takes a different approach; it makes the entire projectile out of a single piece of copper.

An expanded 9mm bullet from Norma MHP line
The monolithic design of the MHP round yields impressive weight retention as well as expansion.

But, does it work? There is only one certain way to find out: test it. That means the Norma 9mm MHP needed to be shot into ballistic gel to measure expansion and penetration.

I tested the 9mm version of the Norma MHP, and I wanted to test it in a commonly used defensive-style pistol. I selected the Springfield Armory XD 9mm Service Pistol with a 4” barrel as it is a perfect representation of a defensive pistol.

Digging Deep

I tested the ammunition on Clear Ballistic Gel, which is a synthetic reusable gelatin which is a 90-95% approximation to the standard Organic Ordnance Gelatin.

Yamil Sued testing the Norma 9mm ammo from a Springfield XD handgun
Yamil used a Springfield Armory XD9 4″ Service Pistol for the testing of the Norma ammo.

I ended up shooting nine rounds into the Clear Ballistics Gelatin. In the weight department, due to the solid copper construction, the projectiles retained between 97% and 99% of the original 108-gr. weight. Penetration was a relatively short 11”, but that was countered by the outstanding expansion — the .355” projectile expanded an average of .940”, or almost three times its original diameter.

This is one round that shouldn’t be underestimated! I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of this projectile.

Norma MHP bullets expanded in ballistic gel test
Clear Ballistics Gel was using in the testing of the MHP ammo, showing amazing expansion and weight retention of the projectiles.


If you’re looking for something a little different than traditional JHP defensive ammo that harnesses all the benefits of monolithic solid copper construction and amazing expansion, then the Norma MHP is probably a great choice for you.

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Yamil Sued

Yamil Sued

Yamil is a graduate of the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photographic Arts and Sciences in Santa Barbara, CA with a Major in Illustration Photography and Color Technology with over 34 years of professional experience. Yamil started his professional relationship with the Shooting Industry in 1995 and has since worked with companies like Springfield Armory, S&W, Glock, FNH USA, Remington, Bushmaster, Bushnell, Leupold, Aimpoint, PWS, Vortex Optics, Cor-Bon Ammunition, ERGO Grips, AmeriGlo Sights, Krause Publications, Comp Tac Victory Gear, The Beta Company, IDPA, MGM Targets, Rainier Ballistics, Rock Castle Shooting Center, SIG Sauer and was a Staff Photographer for Cabela’s in Sidney, NE. Yamil is also a Writer and Photographer for Guns & Ammo, Guns & Ammo SIP's and Gun Digest.

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