You're right on both accounts. The ammo makers have to tailor loads to the public that conforms to the FBI testing stds, because the silly public thinks they need ammo that meets or exceeds the FBI test. The public thinks they need all that barrier defeating capability and super deep penetration. I think it's a case of "Well, if group/unit XYZ carries it, then I just have to have it!" As if the very possession of such gear imbues the Average Joe with some sort of special prowess, or the possession of it acts as a talisman that will actually ward of evil.......
I think that's just silly. I always think to myself when I read or hear Regular Joes profess they "need" the latest bonded FBI approved wonder ammo... "Oh, ok Mr. Private Citizen, outside of the Walter Mitty/John McClane fantasyland, here in the real world, just when will one get into a gunfight with a carload of whomevers where one will need to punch through the front windscreen and sheet metal, or need/want to shoot through and defeat building materials?"
These are usually the same guys that "need" a .223 rifle "Because I might need to penetrate a body armor clad BG and because it's safer to use inside a residence because it penetrates less than 9mms and .40s".....
So that makes me respond,
"Ok, A. Just why would body armor clad BGs come after you? What makes you so special and important?"
B. If you're concerned about over-penetration in your house, why do you carry the super duper barrier defeating FBI approved ammo in your sidearm? Do you realize that's probably what you'll first reach for, after waking groggily, from a deep sleep, when things go bump in the night inside your house."
The buying public is a very fickle crowd that believes the BS it reads in gun rags and blogs far too often.
Personally, I think overpenetration of handgun rounds is one of the most exaggerated dangers out there. How many times has it happened that a bullet has gone through an aggressor and injured an innocent bystander? Now, compare that to the number of times missed shots
injure bystanders. Bullet type notwithstanding, if the bad guy is standing in front of a crowd of puppies, nuns, and orphans, you may want to rethink your decision to fire. Missing is always a possibility. That's something to consider when choosing a .223 rifle over a shotgun or handgun as well. It may, with thin-jacketed varmint ammunition, penetrate walls less well, but if you miss, how much farther is a rifle bullet going to go?
It's not a deal-breaker for rifles, obviously, but it's a factor that needs to be considered.