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Old 04-12-2011, 16:02   #1
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Bullet Selection

Howdy all.

I was having a conversation, via Email, with a friend and the subject of bullet selection came up. He bases his selection of what bullet he carries for defense based upon what law enforcement agencies use. While I understand his rationale, I think some other considerations may be in effect for him, and many other people. I will not copy and paste the whole Email, but would love to get the varied opinions of the people in this forum:

Most of my carry ammo is LEO stuff based on the FBI protocols. After much consideration and pondering, I think I would be better served by a non-bonded bullet, and one not designed to penetrate intermediate barriers. The reason I say that is my usage will be defensive in nature, and most likely close. I'm of the opinion that certain non-LEO based loads will work better for defensive carry. While we cannot predict each and every encounter we may be faced with, I think consideration to the probabilities is important.

Things like "jacket separation" are not much of a concern to me, and in fact I tend to favor it, as it tends to create another wounding pathway, however minor. The jacket peeling off just may cut something vital that the mushrooming hollow point didn't. For LEO's affecting an arrest, and having to go forth towards the enemy, the FBI protocols makes some sense, but not as much as everyone likes to think. For the off-duty, retired, or civilian I think there are better options.

I have been considering this for some time, but it was driven home to me tonight in a television show, of all things. "The Chase" had a through and through contact wound of a bad guy that penetrated the intermediate barrier of a vehicle panel and killed an innocent bystander after passing through the stomach area or torso of the intended bullet recipient.

I realize it was only Hollywood, but it did manage to drive the point home with me. While LEO's and their respective agencies are concerned with through and throughs, it is somewhat of an accepted risk that the retired or off duty LEO, as well as the civilian, should not in my opinion assume. When I say off duty I am of course referring to those, like myself, that do not act in a law enforcement manner when not on the clock.

Discuss.

Biker
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:46   #2
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I'm hoping that this forum can generate some worthwhile discussion amongst the forum members here, and that we could perhaps learn from each other.

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Old 04-15-2011, 20:47   #3
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In all my years as a shooter, I have only heard about one through and through. That happened in a small town north of where I live. Two burglars broke into a restaurant. The owner was still inside and he armed himself with a Glock .40 caliber handgun. He confronted the 2 dirtbags as they advanced towards him. The lead burglar had a knife and the second guy had a club or bat. The owner of the property fired one round and center punched the lead knife wielder. The bullet goes straight through the lead burglar and hit the second one in the arm causing him to drop his bat and pass out from the pain. The second guy ended up with a broken arm. So, not all through-and-through shootings are a bad thing.

Now, studies also show, and I believe this came out of the FBI's FTU and a couple of other police departments, that 1 round out of 4 fired by a police officer will hit anything at all. That's right. If you shoot 4 rounds only 1 of them will hit something and, if you're really lucky, it might be the intended target. When a through-and-through happens the correct name for it is, "A Quigley." A Quigley is when one bullet is fired and it hits or kills 2 people at one time. This comes from a scene in a movie starring Tom Selleck. In Viet Nam we called such shots, "Twofers." You got two for one round.

So, twofers happen but they are very, very rare. Just try to see past your target and identify the backstop, move slightly when needed and you'll probably be okay.
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Old 04-16-2011, 10:56   #4
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I agree with your idea of selecting ammo for your purposes, but I think worries about overpenetration are misplaced. As already mentioned, it's the misses that are far more worrisome. An expanding bullet that has already gone through someone is not going to do anywhere near as much damage as one that is undeformed (i.e., a miss).
Sure, you might hit an innocent bystander, and that bullet might seriously wound or even kill them, but the odds are vanishingly remote, especially if there's any appreciable distance between the bystander and the person initially perforated.
Assuming you do your part and don't miss, the more effective your bullet is, the less shooting you need to do. Less shooting equals lower likelihood of undesired consequences. If you miss, then it doesn't much matter how good your bullet is.

I'd stick with your current carry ammo. There has been an incredible amount of R&D poured into that ammo, and it shows. The consistency in performance with Ranger, Gold Dot, etc. is simply amazing. I'm talking about performance in actual people, mind you, not just gelatin. Using ammo made for the LE market removes one more variable from the mix: you know your ammo is going to perform well, all you have to do is put it in the right spot.
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:10   #5
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all you have to do is put it in the right spot.
Thus lies the crux of the issue.

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Old 04-17-2011, 06:59   #6
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I spent some time with a local attorney asking what would be the best load to have used for SD purposes if I found myself in court defending my actions. We went back and forth on it for a while and even got Police Standards and Training involved and no one could come up with a definitive. We then looked at what case law would support and being from NH there is not a lot of it out there. After reading into it a bit more and taking a look at what Marty Hayes had on it on the ACLDN site, I opted to duplicate what the local LEOs are using. It is an effective round and would be easily defensible since it is what is "approved for use," by the accredited departments in the area.

Ultimately, IME, shot placement is far more important than the projectile used so I'm comfortable that I have a solid performer in my EDC.

My home defense load is 5.56 based is I use Hornady TAP for the sole reason that it has proven to break up when it hits intermediate barriers. Since my sidearm is loaded with bonded projectiles, I am comfortable that IF I must shoot through a wall, I will have a weapon loaded for that cause.

In the end, if the load the local LEOs are using is not up to my standards, I think I would go with what I prefer and take my time in court explaining why I chose that particular brand, caliber and projectile.

All things legal are about preparation, intent and justification. If a person can logically explain why they chose a specific cartridge and can show they have professional training then I believe they would stand a reasonable chance in court. I would rather fight it out in court than in the ICU.

Respectfully,

Last edited by NS2; 04-17-2011 at 07:01. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:13   #7
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This is a deep subject.

I feel your ammo choice should be based on your criteria.

What are your surroundings?

What are you shooting? Bad Guy or Critter?

What is your weapon?

How well can you shoot?

How well can you tolerate recoil, muzzle flash, muzzle jump?

Will you need to shoot through barriers?

Will your shots be close or far away?

Someone else chooses a LEO's ammo, based on price and specification

You have the ability to choose your own. If you reload, then it opens the door even further
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Old 04-17-2011, 15:23   #8
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Originally Posted by ManyFeathers View Post
This is a deep subject.

I feel your ammo choice should be based on your criteria.

What are your surroundings?

What are you shooting? Bad Guy or Critter?

What is your weapon?

How well can you shoot?

How well can you tolerate recoil, muzzle flash, muzzle jump?

Will you need to shoot through barriers?

Will your shots be close or far away?

Someone else chooses a LEO's ammo, based on price and specification

You have the ability to choose your own. If you reload, then it opens the door even further
Yes, but with handloads one may have a hard time getting the court to accept that what you say is the load, is in fact the load. Handloads can be explained, but it may open up a Pandora's Box that one might wish was never opened.

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Old 04-17-2011, 15:27   #9
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There's anecdotal evidence in both NJ and AZ where personally manufactured ammunition used for SD has proven to be detrimental to the shooter's case for self defense.

Mas did a pretty long write up on the NJ case a while back. I just can't remember which rag it was in.
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Old 04-17-2011, 18:38   #10
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Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
Yes, but with handloads one may have a hard time getting the court to accept that what you say is the load, is in fact the load. Handloads can be explained, but it may open up a Pandora's Box that one might wish was never opened.

Biker
I'll need to hire an attorney anyway.....regardless of hand loads

Chances are, the weapon I'd use, I have no new loaded ammo for it anyway. I'll use the same loads I normally hunt with...

Chances are really good, I'll be no-billed here in Texas, provided I'm within the confines of the Castle Doctrine

Plus I'll empty the gun so there is no question that I wasn't scared for my life....

One shot can be construed as premeditated even with new ammo
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Old 04-17-2011, 18:58   #11
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@ NS2, That was the Bias case in NJ. As for the AZ case, I have no clue. I do know the caliber, 10mm, was an issue in the Fish case and we discussed both cases in my LFI class.

@ManyFeathers, Very true that your actions could be seen as premeditation. Your shooting until the gun is empty could be construed the same I think, but I'm no lawyer and I didn't stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night. My teaching has been that one uses the necessary force to stop the action threatening you and then one must cease.

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Old 04-18-2011, 19:18   #12
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Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
@ManyFeathers, Very true that your actions could be seen as premeditation. Your shooting until the gun is empty could be construed the same I think, but I'm no lawyer and I didn't stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night. My teaching has been that one uses the necessary force to stop the action threatening you and then one must cease.

Biker
I had a revolver in mind but I can see where a laser, tact light, night sights and an extended mag could be a bad thing...LOL
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Old 04-18-2011, 19:36   #13
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Originally Posted by ManyFeathers View Post
I had a revolver in mind but I can see where a laser, tact light, night sights and an extended mag could be a bad thing...LOL
I have all of those things.

I would rather be alive and able to articulate my reasonings for those things than be infirmed or deceased.

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Old 10-24-2012, 11:52   #14
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The FBI protocos are bs, a waste of millions of $ of tax money, in an attempt to gloss over the fact that the Feds fired 30 something shots at Platt that completely missed him. he had only one functional arm, trying to use a rifle, vs odds of 8 to 1, since his partner got head hit (by pure luck) before Platt got out of the window on his side of the car (and got hit in the arm and lung, again by pure luck) the reason we KNOW it was luck is that the same guy shot at him another 13 times and never touched him again. :-)

If the lead agent hadn't been blind without his glasses, and totally missed Platt a dozen or more times, from about 10 ft of range (why is a legally blind person ALLOWED to be a field cop at ALL, much less lead a major stakeout attempt?), the rest of the "fight" would not have occurred. In fact, why is a blind person allowed to carry a gun, when he is demonstrably nothing more than a menace to the public in general?
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:37   #15
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Overpentration can be bad (shoot through the wall and hit a relative), and under penetration can be bad (round glances of windshield, failure to penetrate heavy clothing, ect.) I have always looked to use government research as my stepping stone, such as there adoption of the .357sig round for the secret service, which after days of my research and study made me pick up my Glock 32. My biggest concern being under penetration (two combat tours in Afghanistan has showed that to be a bigger problem in my eyes.) I want a round that can defeat lesser threat body armour, barriers, cars, and heavy clothing with a no doubt certainty of a hit with good shot placement. This can be done with several types of rounds, but that .357 sig just takes the cake. It can put JHP's through 1/8 plate steel and still put the man down on the other side, or you can up the grain with a more frangible round if you are working in a crowded area that day to prevent hitting innocents with good shots down range. That being said, combat delivers difficulties when placing shots on opponent, people run by your point of aim or there are points of impact behind a target that make every shot unreasonable to take. That's why I always say its not the ammo, it's the shooter; don't want to hit that mother of 4 15 feet behind that guy with a stolen M9, drop to a knee and aim between the shoulders, it will change altitude of final impact to the ceiling, not her face, ohhh rahh.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:47   #16
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Originally Posted by Hcim101 View Post
...That's why I always say its not the ammo, it's the shooter; don't want to hit that mother of 4 15 feet behind that guy with a stolen M9, drop to a knee and aim between the shoulders, it will change altitude of final impact to the ceiling, not her face, ohhh rahh.

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