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WHY WE USE EXPANDING BULLETS PART III: REDUCED RICOCHET POTENTIAL — No Comments

  1. On the topic of ricochet avoidance, are there any examples of street proven, combat effective Frangible loads? My guess is they are gimmicky, rarely or never used for real work and thus, have no track record.

  2. On the topic of ricochet avoidance, are there any examples of street proven, combat effective Frangible loads? My guess is they are gimmicky, rarely or never used for real work and thus, have no track record.

  3. I think that the great Jim Cirillo himself noticed that LRN bullets then in use by police would sometimes bounce off people’s skulls. He turned to wadcutters at the time because that’s all he had, but our modern hollow points provide the same square (or near square) angle of attack that grabs the medium instead of glancing off it.

    Ricochets and grazing shots – two good reasons to avoid rounded projectiles. I’ve focused too much on the terminal ballistics as opposed to the liability aspects, lately, and this series jogs my memory on some of the latter. Thanks, Mas.

  4. I think that the great Jim Cirillo himself noticed that LRN bullets then in use by police would sometimes bounce off people’s skulls. He turned to wadcutters at the time because that’s all he had, but our modern hollow points provide the same square (or near square) angle of attack that grabs the medium instead of glancing off it.

    Ricochets and grazing shots – two good reasons to avoid rounded projectiles. I’ve focused too much on the terminal ballistics as opposed to the liability aspects, lately, and this series jogs my memory on some of the latter. Thanks, Mas.

  5. With the high cost of ammunition nowadays, I’m counting on ricochets in a self defense situation. I can only afford to carry one round of .45 hardball in my pistol and if attacked by multiple assailants, I try to position myself at the best angle to hit the closest bad guy/gal in the head. Then the bullet should ricochet and strike the second target’s noggin and glance off to the third skull. They will be knocked out without fatalities. More than three attackers will pose a problem unless I have a second round of ammo in my pistol or I’m more highly skilled. If all goes as planned, I can pick up the spent projectile and reload it for later use. It’s all about angles. Just ask any person who plays pool.

  6. With the high cost of ammunition nowadays, I’m counting on ricochets in a self defense situation. I can only afford to carry one round of .45 hardball in my pistol and if attacked by multiple assailants, I try to position myself at the best angle to hit the closest bad guy/gal in the head. Then the bullet should ricochet and strike the second target’s noggin and glance off to the third skull. They will be knocked out without fatalities. More than three attackers will pose a problem unless I have a second round of ammo in my pistol or I’m more highly skilled. If all goes as planned, I can pick up the spent projectile and reload it for later use. It’s all about angles. Just ask any person who plays pool.

  7. Mas as you mentioned the late Jim Crillion opinion I have personally witnessed those LRN bounce of a mans head coming to rest in a wall behind the individual in a crowded bar.
    Back in those days there were no law suites and no prosecutor would go after the police for defending himself, what disturbed me the most being a gun enthusiast and police officer on the scene was several rounds through this man shoulder one bouncing off his head all landing in walls… Within one hours time this person went from hospital to a jail cell with minimal to no injury. That would not be the case today with modern hollow point ammunition.

  8. Mas as you mentioned the late Jim Crillion opinion I have personally witnessed those LRN bounce of a mans head coming to rest in a wall behind the individual in a crowded bar.
    Back in those days there were no law suites and no prosecutor would go after the police for defending himself, what disturbed me the most being a gun enthusiast and police officer on the scene was several rounds through this man shoulder one bouncing off his head all landing in walls… Within one hours time this person went from hospital to a jail cell with minimal to no injury. That would not be the case today with modern hollow point ammunition.

  9. On the subject of ricochets: Many years ago (More than I care to remember) Mas and I would shoot bowling pins at the Second Chance shoot in Central Lake, MI. The hot bullet was the Speer 200gr HP in the 45acp. The idea was that in a less than perfect hit that big Hollow Point would dig in and cause the pin to spin and hopefully spin off the table, as you had to clean the table of pins, not just knock them over. a less than perfect hit with 230gr ball would glance off and usually just knock the pin over. I still have a box of them on my shelf.

    Also when I was a lot younger I experimented with hollow points and an early chronograph that used paper screens.
    My stopping medium was a concoction that I got out of a gun magazine. It was composed of paraffin and chassis grease. You melted down the paraffin and stirred in the chassis grease so that it looked like half melted peanut butter. You then poured the mixture into a sheet cake pan. approx.. 12″ x 20″x 2″. Allow it to cool and harden I made 10 of them so that I had a depth of 20″. The hardened mixture had a consistency of wet corrugated cardboard. It was easy to separate the cakes and find the bullet.
    Anyway, I came to the conclusion that the handgun bullets of that era needed a striking velocity of a least 1000 FPS for the bullet to open up. If your main battery was a .38 snub nose, you may as well do an Elmer Keith and shoot semi-wadcutters.
    I had and still have a 2 1/2 Colt Python. It was possible to achieve 1000 FPS with it but also with a lot of muzzle blast and flash. Todays HPs are much better constructed with jackets that have tapered thickness to the jackets that make them weaker next to the hollow point and the jackets are pre-cracked (I believe they call that skiving) and the cores are softer lead and are bonded to the jackets. The FBI recommendations after the Miami Shoot Out has done a lot to produce some really fine HPs albeit at a somewhat inflated price.

  10. On the subject of ricochets: Many years ago (More than I care to remember) Mas and I would shoot bowling pins at the Second Chance shoot in Central Lake, MI. The hot bullet was the Speer 200gr HP in the 45acp. The idea was that in a less than perfect hit that big Hollow Point would dig in and cause the pin to spin and hopefully spin off the table, as you had to clean the table of pins, not just knock them over. a less than perfect hit with 230gr ball would glance off and usually just knock the pin over. I still have a box of them on my shelf.

    Also when I was a lot younger I experimented with hollow points and an early chronograph that used paper screens.
    My stopping medium was a concoction that I got out of a gun magazine. It was composed of paraffin and chassis grease. You melted down the paraffin and stirred in the chassis grease so that it looked like half melted peanut butter. You then poured the mixture into a sheet cake pan. approx.. 12″ x 20″x 2″. Allow it to cool and harden I made 10 of them so that I had a depth of 20″. The hardened mixture had a consistency of wet corrugated cardboard. It was easy to separate the cakes and find the bullet.
    Anyway, I came to the conclusion that the handgun bullets of that era needed a striking velocity of a least 1000 FPS for the bullet to open up. If your main battery was a .38 snub nose, you may as well do an Elmer Keith and shoot semi-wadcutters.
    I had and still have a 2 1/2 Colt Python. It was possible to achieve 1000 FPS with it but also with a lot of muzzle blast and flash. Todays HPs are much better constructed with jackets that have tapered thickness to the jackets that make them weaker next to the hollow point and the jackets are pre-cracked (I believe they call that skiving) and the cores are softer lead and are bonded to the jackets. The FBI recommendations after the Miami Shoot Out has done a lot to produce some really fine HPs albeit at a somewhat inflated price.

  11. Mas and Friends

    I repeatedly remind my defensive pistol and CHL classes that “every bullet you fire in a critical incident comes with a lawyer attached”.

    Fortunately, Texas does not suffer from “hollowpoint means evil intent on part of the defensive shooter” syndrome – we just point to the hollowpoint Hydra-Shok and Golden Sabre issue ammo of the Texas Rangers and the rest of the Texas Department of Public Safety. In addition, defensive shooters who are found “justified ” in using deadly force against Jimmy Thug under Texas Penal Code Chapter 9 are immunized by the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code Sec. 83.001 from successful civil suit by J. Thugs relatives or estate, so no plaintiffs attorney is likely to attempt such an argument. So, here, at least, hollowpoint ammo is not likely to create a legal problem for the armed private citizen.

    On the other hand, innocent third parties hit by pass-through or ricochet bullets fired by an armed private citizen at Jimmy Thug can still sue , under the theory that THEY did nothing wrong, and injuring them was a tort, at least.

    Hollowpoints usually crush and deform when striking hard surfaces, which causes them to slow down much more quickly; the deformed, aerodynamically compromised shape has much higher drag and significantly less liklihood of penetration. Sometimes hollowpoints fragment; the fragments being of much lower mass slow down much faster as well.

    I suggest my students carry what the DPS or their local police do – these agencies have not chosen these rounds on a whim and private citizens can hardly be attacked for wanting to use the same ammunition to keep themselves safe that the police choose.

    Ball ammo poses risks to the innocent all around that can be reduced by the use of hollowpoints.

    Regards
    GKT

    As for frangibles – in my opinion, rounds such as the Glaser are of limited utility, because with the frangibility the penetration capability is usually dinmished or completely lost. I am aware of none of them which have a solid reputation for effective fight stopping.

  12. Mas and Friends

    I repeatedly remind my defensive pistol and CHL classes that “every bullet you fire in a critical incident comes with a lawyer attached”.

    Fortunately, Texas does not suffer from “hollowpoint means evil intent on part of the defensive shooter” syndrome – we just point to the hollowpoint Hydra-Shok and Golden Sabre issue ammo of the Texas Rangers and the rest of the Texas Department of Public Safety. In addition, defensive shooters who are found “justified ” in using deadly force against Jimmy Thug under Texas Penal Code Chapter 9 are immunized by the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code Sec. 83.001 from successful civil suit by J. Thugs relatives or estate, so no plaintiffs attorney is likely to attempt such an argument. So, here, at least, hollowpoint ammo is not likely to create a legal problem for the armed private citizen.

    On the other hand, innocent third parties hit by pass-through or ricochet bullets fired by an armed private citizen at Jimmy Thug can still sue , under the theory that THEY did nothing wrong, and injuring them was a tort, at least.

    Hollowpoints usually crush and deform when striking hard surfaces, which causes them to slow down much more quickly; the deformed, aerodynamically compromised shape has much higher drag and significantly less liklihood of penetration. Sometimes hollowpoints fragment; the fragments being of much lower mass slow down much faster as well.

    I suggest my students carry what the DPS or their local police do – these agencies have not chosen these rounds on a whim and private citizens can hardly be attacked for wanting to use the same ammunition to keep themselves safe that the police choose.

    Ball ammo poses risks to the innocent all around that can be reduced by the use of hollowpoints.

    Regards
    GKT

    As for frangibles – in my opinion, rounds such as the Glaser are of limited utility, because with the frangibility the penetration capability is usually dinmished or completely lost. I am aware of none of them which have a solid reputation for effective fight stopping.

  13. Great info, but one question. Doesn’t NJ still outlaw hollow points for both LEOs and civilians? I’m remembering something about that from a year or so ago.

  14. Great info, but one question. Doesn’t NJ still outlaw hollow points for both LEOs and civilians? I’m remembering something about that from a year or so ago.

  15. P.S. to my previous comment: the concoction I used to check bullet performance had a consistency more like mildly stiff fudge. As I recall the author of the article was an avid hunter and he was trying to predict bullet performance on game animals. He thought this material was very close to actual tissue. It’s best feature was that after being shot up all you had to do was sweep it up and melt it down again. Any bullet fragments would go to the bottom of the pot and the material could be recast back like knew. Ballistic gelatin was unheard of in those days.

  16. P.S. to my previous comment: the concoction I used to check bullet performance had a consistency more like mildly stiff fudge. As I recall the author of the article was an avid hunter and he was trying to predict bullet performance on game animals. He thought this material was very close to actual tissue. It’s best feature was that after being shot up all you had to do was sweep it up and melt it down again. Any bullet fragments would go to the bottom of the pot and the material could be recast back like knew. Ballistic gelatin was unheard of in those days.

  17. I shot a good friend of mine one afternoon with a hollow point ricochet.

    This is anecdotal, but it did happen. Some friends and I were out at a private outdoor shooting rage they had set up that featured steel falling plate and silhouette targets. I was shooting a 10 MM S&W semi auto loaded with hollow points (because that’s what I had with me at the time. When we left to go shooting I didn’t know we were going to be shooting steel falling plates).

    I was concentrating on the plates and lined up silhouettes stacked one behind the other, you shoot the first one in line and it falls to reveal the next, and so on. My friend was perhaps 30 feet to my right shooting at another target.

    I was knocking them down with regularity and feeling quite satisfied with myself when I heard, through my earmuffs some yelling. My slide locked back and I glanced to my right to see my buddy, gun up in his right hand looking at the knuckles on his left hand. I pulled the cup off one ear and he yelled, “You shot me!”

    One of my bullets had struck the steel plate and decided to come back at an angle to my right and struck my friend on the ring finger knuckle of his left hand as he held his pistol in a two handed grip.

    It only caused some bruising and soreness, didn’t break his finger or cut him. We got very lucky. Someone is going to point out that we should not have been both shooting at the same time. You’ve never been out with buddies and both shot at the same time with good separation between yourselves? Well, I have. But not at steel plates.

    Probably won’t do that again.

    The steel silhouette I was shooting at must have been turned at a slight angle to reflect the bullet back that way. Or not, I don’t know. My newly shot friend admitted that wasn’t the first time he had been shot that way, or the first time anyone had been hit at that range by a ricochet. Someone he knew had also been hit in the leg by a ricochet and that bullet did break the skin and cut him badly enough to require a trip to the emergency room. As it was a bullet that did the damage, albeit an accidental ricochet, it had to be reported as a gunshot wound and the cops had to be called and reports made.

    On a different note, I recall reading an article that addressed the issue of the advisability of using hollow point ammo for defensive purposes. The article was written as a response to the hysteria of the anti gun folks a few years ago over the dreaded and deadly “Black Talon” ammo. Which would, according to the antis, tear through the human body like a wood chipper gone berserk.

    The author pointed out that most pistol ammo travels at a slow enough velocity to prevent effective mushrooming of the bullet. Also, as the bullet passed through clothing and then flesh, the hollow cavity cuts a plug and effectively becomes a solid.

    I’m not advocating that theory or detracting from it. Just throwing it out there for consideration.

    I’ve also seen autopsy X-ray photos of a very dead felon who absorbed several .40 caliber bullets fired by law enforcement personnel during a gunfight. The bullets were still in the body and clearly visible. None of them penetrated far enough to do any immediate lethal or incapacitating damage. The felon was wearing only jeans and a flannel shirt. The fight was stopped when a cop managed to shoot the felon with a couple 5.56 mm rounds.

  18. I shot a good friend of mine one afternoon with a hollow point ricochet.

    This is anecdotal, but it did happen. Some friends and I were out at a private outdoor shooting rage they had set up that featured steel falling plate and silhouette targets. I was shooting a 10 MM S&W semi auto loaded with hollow points (because that’s what I had with me at the time. When we left to go shooting I didn’t know we were going to be shooting steel falling plates).

    I was concentrating on the plates and lined up silhouettes stacked one behind the other, you shoot the first one in line and it falls to reveal the next, and so on. My friend was perhaps 30 feet to my right shooting at another target.

    I was knocking them down with regularity and feeling quite satisfied with myself when I heard, through my earmuffs some yelling. My slide locked back and I glanced to my right to see my buddy, gun up in his right hand looking at the knuckles on his left hand. I pulled the cup off one ear and he yelled, “You shot me!”

    One of my bullets had struck the steel plate and decided to come back at an angle to my right and struck my friend on the ring finger knuckle of his left hand as he held his pistol in a two handed grip.

    It only caused some bruising and soreness, didn’t break his finger or cut him. We got very lucky. Someone is going to point out that we should not have been both shooting at the same time. You’ve never been out with buddies and both shot at the same time with good separation between yourselves? Well, I have. But not at steel plates.

    Probably won’t do that again.

    The steel silhouette I was shooting at must have been turned at a slight angle to reflect the bullet back that way. Or not, I don’t know. My newly shot friend admitted that wasn’t the first time he had been shot that way, or the first time anyone had been hit at that range by a ricochet. Someone he knew had also been hit in the leg by a ricochet and that bullet did break the skin and cut him badly enough to require a trip to the emergency room. As it was a bullet that did the damage, albeit an accidental ricochet, it had to be reported as a gunshot wound and the cops had to be called and reports made.

    On a different note, I recall reading an article that addressed the issue of the advisability of using hollow point ammo for defensive purposes. The article was written as a response to the hysteria of the anti gun folks a few years ago over the dreaded and deadly “Black Talon” ammo. Which would, according to the antis, tear through the human body like a wood chipper gone berserk.

    The author pointed out that most pistol ammo travels at a slow enough velocity to prevent effective mushrooming of the bullet. Also, as the bullet passed through clothing and then flesh, the hollow cavity cuts a plug and effectively becomes a solid.

    I’m not advocating that theory or detracting from it. Just throwing it out there for consideration.

    I’ve also seen autopsy X-ray photos of a very dead felon who absorbed several .40 caliber bullets fired by law enforcement personnel during a gunfight. The bullets were still in the body and clearly visible. None of them penetrated far enough to do any immediate lethal or incapacitating damage. The felon was wearing only jeans and a flannel shirt. The fight was stopped when a cop managed to shoot the felon with a couple 5.56 mm rounds.

  19. Ricochet isn’t just about “hard” surfaces. Water will skip a bullet just as well as it will a stone.

  20. Ricochet isn’t just about “hard” surfaces. Water will skip a bullet just as well as it will a stone.

  21. I hate to make another comment, but about ricochets: I was at a I.P.S.C. sectional match years ago. After the match we were all waiting for darkness as a fellow shooter had just gotten tritium sights on his 1911 (they had just been introduced) so we were killing time till darkness to check out these new sights. We were all kidding him because he carried his piece in the appendix position and how he should be worried about the radiation affecting his hmm equipment. I watched as another shooter faced off on a steel disk and before I could yell at him he fired his .45acp. He hit the disk alright, problem was it was 3″ thick and about 12″ in dia., hanging on 2 chains. The disk didn’t move but the bullet came right back and caught the shooter on the breast bone and stuck to him but didn’t penetrate much. There was a little bleeding, but he was mostly shook up. He was no more than about 50 feet from the disk. I don’t know if it was a hollow point or ball. The point is; when shooting at steel be sure it can move with the impact, absorb the energy and allow the bullet to slide down the face.

  22. I hate to make another comment, but about ricochets: I was at a I.P.S.C. sectional match years ago. After the match we were all waiting for darkness as a fellow shooter had just gotten tritium sights on his 1911 (they had just been introduced) so we were killing time till darkness to check out these new sights. We were all kidding him because he carried his piece in the appendix position and how he should be worried about the radiation affecting his hmm equipment. I watched as another shooter faced off on a steel disk and before I could yell at him he fired his .45acp. He hit the disk alright, problem was it was 3″ thick and about 12″ in dia., hanging on 2 chains. The disk didn’t move but the bullet came right back and caught the shooter on the breast bone and stuck to him but didn’t penetrate much. There was a little bleeding, but he was mostly shook up. He was no more than about 50 feet from the disk. I don’t know if it was a hollow point or ball. The point is; when shooting at steel be sure it can move with the impact, absorb the energy and allow the bullet to slide down the face.

  23. That was a cute comment, Joel, and I don’t know what your angle is, but don’t be obtuse; I was talking about the bullet STRIKING on an acute angle. 🙂

  24. That was a cute comment, Joel, and I don’t know what your angle is, but don’t be obtuse; I was talking about the bullet STRIKING on an acute angle. 🙂

  25. …And not to be a stickler myself, but on the angle comment, wouldn’t this technically and perhaps be a Terminology or Vocabulary Ninja Alert, instead of a Grammar one? LMAO at Mas’ response, by the way!

  26. …And not to be a stickler myself, but on the angle comment, wouldn’t this technically and perhaps be a Terminology or Vocabulary Ninja Alert, instead of a Grammar one? LMAO at Mas’ response, by the way!