Since we seem to be experiencing another “riot situation” in this country, I’m getting some requests on whether this factor should change ammunition selection. The answer is, it depends.
If you fear you may have to fire in a crowd situation, you don’t want to miss with bystanders in the background, and you don’t want your bullet to go through and through the assailant you had to shoot and go on to strike down an innocent party. In some of the gun forums you’ll hear people say “That’s a myth, it’s never happened.” To which I politely answer, “Bullshit.” (Yeah, that’s about as politely as I can answer that.)
In one city alone, a major newspaper’s FOIA study discovered that in well under a decade, five innocent citizens had been shot with police pistol bullets that perforated the bodies of violent offenders and went on their not-so-merry way with tragic results. During the same period, no fewer than seventeen fellow officers were hit by pass-through police bullets that perforated the felon’s body before striking the cops.
The department in question was issuing 115 grain full metal jacket 9mm because the expanding bullets used by virtually all the rest of domestic law enforcement were deemed politically incorrect by the city. The city finally saw the light and solved the problem by issuing hollow points after that study was published.
Remember, when you fire in self-defense the only backstop is the body of the violent attacker who forced you to shoot him. Full metal jacket 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 and .45 are all highly likely to over-penetrate a standing man’s torso with enough power to kill or cripple any person behind him, likely unseen by the shooter because of tunnel vision, darkness, or the attacker’s body simply blocking their view. More details here: