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Old August 22, 2009, 12:15 PM   #26
ranburr
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Quote:
(on another board, but Massad Ayoob participates).
What is the significance of that, Frank? He is welcome to post on any public forum.
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Old August 22, 2009, 01:05 PM   #27
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This is a serious question: how is a magazine disconnect a safety device in a BHP? What extra safety is conferred?

Maybe fiddletown, who has some knowledge of this subject, can help clarify the issue.

Are we better served (safer) by using/having a gun with a mag disconnect rather than one without? (Darned few guns have them, relatively speaking.)

As for extra "safety" -- what are the options with a BHP?

Disconnect in place:
1) Round chambered, mag absent, trigger pulled: nothing happens.
2) Round chambered, mag full, trigger pulled: gun fires.
3) Round chambered, mag empty, trigger pulled: gun fires.

Disconnect removed:
4) Round chambered, mag absent, trigger pulled: gun fires.
5) Round chambered, mag full, tirgger pulled: gun fires.
6) Round chambered, mag empty, trigger pulled: gun fires.

I don't see how options 2-6 are all that different. And 3 and 4 are functionally equivalent.

In 5/6th of the cases, you've still got to have a round in the chamber and you've still got to pull the trigger for the gun to fire. That's the way guns generally work best.

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; August 22, 2009 at 01:25 PM.
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Old August 22, 2009, 01:24 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranburr
What is the significance of that, Frank? He is welcome to post on any public forum.
The significance is simply that the thread includes some of his comments first hand. Nothing more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt Sherrill
This is a serious question: how is a magazine disconnect a safety device in a BHP? What extra safety is conferred?...
The actual utility of a magazine disconnect, such as found on the BHP, is certainly subject to debate. Nonetheless, there appear to be some who do consider it a safety device. For just two examples: (1) As of 1 January 2007, a magazine disconnect on a semi-automatic is required in order for a gun to be newly added to the California list of handguns approved for sale; and (2) When the New Hampshire State Police ordered Smith & Wesson M&Ps (in .45 ACP) for issuance to officers, magazine disconnects were required (the magazine disconnect is an LE option on the M&P).
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Old August 22, 2009, 10:11 PM   #29
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This is a serious question: how is a magazine disconnect a safety device in a BHP? What extra safety is conferred?
The idea was to keep someone from using your own gun on you. Lets say the bad guy (BG) gets close enough to grab the gun. (I would argue the about the 9mm but that would get off the topic) Now your struggling with the BG for the gun and your starting to lose your grip on it. The idea would be to push the mag. eject causing the mag. to drop and activating the mag. disconnect to activate rendering the gun a funny looking hammer or jimmy club. In a sense this a neat idea and may have worked in the past but I wonder how many times the mag failed to eject due to the pressure of the spring on the disconnect being too much for the spring on in the mag or even the last round in the mag. I've tried this time and time again and if the last round is in the camber or the mag is low the darn thing will not drop. What kind of screwed up system is that? How many cases has that come up? Along with this the trigger should not be part of the system it should be dictated with it. In other words the trigger should not move if the mag is not in and not move the mag disconnect. This would cut down on the grittiness that most HP have. That is all rant over.
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Old August 22, 2009, 11:27 PM   #30
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Nero45, the mag disconnect has nothing to do with bad guys. The French military was the initial force behind the development of the Hi Power. The mag disconnect (not even called a safety) was added at their request, they also requested the magazine be shortened from 15 to 13 rounds. They did not trust the gun handling skills of their soldiers. I can somewhat understand this when we are talking the poorly trained French military of the 1930s. I remember many times that our own troops would have ADs with M9s, especially MPs. Before entering the arms room, they would rack the slide and then drop the magazine instead of reverse order. When they stuck the pistol in the clearance barrel, they got a bang instead of a click. The mag disconnect on the Hi Power remedies this lack of training. That is the only thing it is good for.
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Old August 22, 2009, 11:48 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranburr
...the mag disconnect has nothing to do with bad guys. The French military was the initial force behind the development of the Hi Power. The mag disconnect (not even called a safety) was added at their request...
That's correct. The magazine disconnect was part of the original French specifications for the pistol the ultimately became the P35 (BHP). It's interesting that during the some 15 year development period, and even after it became apparent the the French weren't interested, FN retained the magazine disconnect. Things would have been so much simpler if they had just quietly dropped it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranburr
...Before entering the arms room, they would rack the slide and then drop the magazine instead of reverse order. When they stuck the pistol in the clearance barrel, they got a bang instead of a click. The mag disconnect on the M9 remedies this lack of training. That is the only thing it is good for....
And a highly publicized case of an ND under such circumstances resulting in the death of a child is a main reason California came to require a magazine disconnect on pistols newly being added to the "approved" list.

In any case, it appears that there are some so called "experts" who would testify that the magazine disconnect is a useful safety feature. In general, a "battle of experts" is undesirable, especially when, as here, the prosecution's expert is likely to say things that appeal to the intuitive sense of members of the jury unsophisticated about guns that they are horribly dangerous infernal contraptions.
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Old August 23, 2009, 01:53 AM   #32
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The case that has been posted about Massad Ayoob is the one I'm referring to. This case did come up in discussion with him and also is available on his podcast in his Hi Power episode.

I think you've got as much of a cite as you are likely to get. You may go through life and not have it be an issue, removing the magazine disconnect. Then again, you may have something that is seemingly insignificant be a great big issue if you are ever put through a trial. I think Fiddletown covered this quite well. Thank you for doing so.

To each their own, but I know where my sentiment lie, and where I will take my chances.

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Old August 23, 2009, 02:30 AM   #33
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I did it on my Hi-Powers, and it improves the trigger a lot. The magazine safety is designed to block the trigger when there is no magazine in the pistol. Don't ask why.

The nose of the magazine safety is pushed in by the magazine, but when the magaine is removed, the block extends into a small cutout in the frame and does not allow the trigger to move. Remove the pin in the triger, remove the magazine safety and spring, and reinstall the pin. If you need to return it to factory condition, just remove the pin, put the parts back, and reinstall the pin.
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Old August 23, 2009, 09:14 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikerRN
The case that has been posted about Massad Ayoob is the one I'm referring to. This case did come up in discussion with him and also is available on his podcast in his Hi Power episode.....
I believe it's the same case referred to in these two posts by Mas on another board:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost....9&postcount=21

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost....8&postcount=29
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Old August 23, 2009, 01:55 PM   #35
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Frank, what kind of law did you practice? Incidentally, no one knew the French weren't interested until after the pistol was fully designed and the production line was in place. That was 1934. The French didn't officially notify FN that they weren't interested until they adopted their own creation in 1935.
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Old August 23, 2009, 07:01 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranburr
...what kind of law did you practice?...
See --

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=261157 (post 94)

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=283823 (post 63)

And ranburr, what kind of law did you practice? (We know you said you talked with some lawyers, but they're not here.)

Oh, and it's interesting about the French leaving FN hanging for almost 15 years. I didn't know that. I'm surprised the French (and FN) let it go that long.
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Old August 23, 2009, 07:37 PM   #37
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I remember many times that our own troops would have ADs with M9s, especially MPs. Before entering the arms room, they would rack the slide and then drop the magazine instead of reverse order. When they stuck the pistol in the clearance barrel, they got a bang instead of a click. The mag disconnect on the Hi Power remedies this lack of training. That is the only thing it is good for.
and it creates the additional problem of a gun that now has a round in the chamber and is cocked. So when the next person takes the gun, inserts a magazine, and drops the hammer via pulling the trigger, poor training coming into play again, onto what is supposed to be an empty chamber, we have a "Bang".

So in the end all that has changed is who gets the "bang".

There is making a gun safe and idiot proofing a gun. Making a gun safe is fine, trying to make it idiot proof is doomed to failure and adds needless complexity.
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Old August 23, 2009, 07:52 PM   #38
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So Frank, you practiced corporate law. Sounds like you were good at it. I have no reason to doubt you. Unfortuneately, your background doesn't make you any more of an expert in this area than anyone else on this forum.
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Old August 23, 2009, 08:00 PM   #39
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It is not uncommon for opposing counsel to falsely paint a justifiable self-defense shooting as an indefensible, negligent act. To support their case, they will be allowed to present what they consider to be evidence that you are reckless and negligent with firearms.

Your having removed a safety device from a lethal weapon will play right into their hands.

Ranburr and Fiddletown and BikerRN and the many other posters here who are knowledgeable about guns in general and the Browning P35 in particular would recognize that as a BS argument, but no such people are likely to be on a jury. Ordinary laymen are likely to believe that removing the safety device on a lethal weapon is indeed an indication of a continuing pattern of negligence or reckless disregard of safety with firearms.

To overcome this, you will have to convince a jury that you know more about the Browning High Power than Fabrique Nationale, and know more about it than the two great firearms geniuses, Browning himself and Saive, who designed it.

That's a pretty high mountain to climb. As Fiddletown and others have pointed out, it's the kind of fight you're most likely to win by avoiding it.

It doesn't cost anything to argue here. It will cost $300 or so per hour for the attorney's fees, and the same for expert witness fees, for the long argument you can expect to ensue in court...and while you'd have a good chance of winning that argument with a jury of us TFL regulars, the odds aren't nearly as good with a jury of non-gun-oriented lay people.

Let reality, not love of argument, be your guide in this.
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Old August 23, 2009, 08:13 PM   #40
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Mr Ayoob, thank you for chiming in. Please tell me of a single case where this actually stuck as far a the Hi Power is concerned. As I have said, I have asked numerous people in the legal system about this and to a man they told me that they did not know of a single documented court case, nor did they think it would be an issue. This includes your friend John Farnum. John advised against it, but he went on to say that he was not aware of any case that it was an issue. As a side note, the legal fees in my area (for a good lawyer) are much more exspensive than what you quote.
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Old August 23, 2009, 08:21 PM   #41
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When it comes to Problem One, most sensible people have no beef with the old saw about avoidance that says "You can't lose a fight you don't get into in the first place," and yet when it comes to Problem Two, those same people seem to readily toss that good advice right out the window.

It's probably not a coincidence that my two CCW 1911's are a Springfield and a pre-Series 70 GM. There's less chance of somebody quibbling with me having removed a Series Stupid safety that wasn't there in the first place...
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Old August 23, 2009, 08:29 PM   #42
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Hi, Ranburr.

No "Mr. Ayoob" needed, just "Mas" is fine.

I believe the links others posted earlier will take you where you need to go to research the Miami case. Mark Seiden was the defense attorney of record.

If legal assistance in that corner of Texas is as expensive as you say, it's all the more reason to avoid as many arguments as possible insofar as they might come up in court.

It's my understanding that much of Fiddletown's practice involved showing people with major exposure how to reduce their potential liability. I respectfully submit that those principles are absolutely on point to this discussion.

Cordially,
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Old August 23, 2009, 10:59 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranburr
...you practiced corporate law. Sounds like you were good at it. I have no reason to doubt you. Unfortuneately, your background doesn't make you any more of an expert in this area than anyone else on this forum....
Not so. I have extensive experience dealing with litigation issues. Litigation is litigation, and jury psychology is jury psychology. This discussion isn't about some arcane or technical issue in criminal law -- the the doctrine of the "fruit of the poisonous tree" or the arcana of the felony murder rule. This is about telling a convincing story to a jury, how litigation is conducted and things that can cause a jury to form a negative impression of a party or witness. This is also about the craft of advocacy. The art of making a convincing argument is the same whether one is trying to sell a jury in a criminal case or a regulator in a regulatory issue or a legislator in connection with the support or opposition to legislation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mas Ayoob
It's my understanding that much of Fiddletown's practice involved showing people with major exposure how to reduce their potential liability....
That's correct. Much of what I did was to help identify strategies for accomplishing the client's purpose while minimizing legal risk. I would lay a foundation that would either effectively resist challenge or improve the odds of my client winning the day in the event of challenge.

That's exactly what we're discussing here -- how to avoid avoidable pitfalls and stack the deck in our favor.

Nothing either I nor Mas has suggested impair anyone's ability to defend himself. There are guns around that are fully suitable for self defense without disabling a safety device, and there's good commercial ammunition available.
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Old August 23, 2009, 11:03 PM   #44
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ranburr,
I have to urge you to understand the point that Fiddletown, Tamara and Mas (love the fact that I can use a nickname for someone I admire so much. ) are making. In a perfect world, you are correct. Removing the disconnect should have no effect on a court case. However, you are dealing with the most amoral group of professionals in America. (Please see my next post, as I didn't properly express myself here.)

Lawyers are necessarily amoral, as everyone deserves representation, no matter how depraved; even the evil have rights that should be respected. Lawyers are also, unfortunately often immoral in their motives. Prosecutors twist facts to convict perfectly innocent persons. Defence attorneys close their eyes to facts that would convict their clients.

The point is simple: Don't give the prosecutor ANY additional fact that could be used against you. I've said before that if any member here is ever involved in a self defence shooting, EVERY POST THAT THEY HAVE EVER MADE WILL BE ON A PROJECTOR IN COURT! Just understand, the prosecutor doesn't always care about the truth. Often, they are worried about their next election and their conviction rates.

Another point that is being overlooked is civil liability. I believe Fiddletown is perfectly experienced in liability law. The plaintiff's lawyer will use every heartstring he can pull. That gangbanger's teachers and guidance counselor (likely antigun) will wax about his efforts (but probably not show his attendance record). His family's pastor will talk about how cheerful he was in Sunday school (even though the last time he saw the church was in fifth grade). His family court appointed therapist will explain how he was tortured by his efforts to escape the gang (but omit how tortured he was while in his office). I could continue, but you get the point.

On the otherhand, here is this ogre, staying up late at night, modifying his guns. Why the b#$%@&d installed night sights, mounted a flashlight on his gun, regularly fired at human shaped targets, used special "law enforcement only" ammunition, by God, he even used ammunition that is outlawed for military use by the Hague Conventions. Understand that for many lawyers, truth is to be ignored, winning is how they are judged.
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Old August 23, 2009, 11:13 PM   #45
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two points:

First, Fiddletown and any other lawyers, I meant no disrespect. When I said that lawyers are amoral, I didn't mean that as a pejorative. Upon reading my post, that is how it appears to me. I'm sorry. What I meant was that lawyers should pursue the truth without their morals clouding their job. The second comment that many lawyers are immoral in their motive, that I meant. As with all professions, some in that profession are without conscience or empathy. Sorry if I insulted anyone.


Second:
Quote:
The magazine disconnect was part of the original French specifications for the pistol the ultimately became the P35 (BHP).
Reason number 531,316 to hate the French! Not only did the frogs supply Saddam, cower with their tails between their legs from Hitler, and give us Marcel Marceau, they are responsible for the only imperfection on one of the most elegant, historic, and reliable pistols of all time. Good Grief, I can't stand them. :barf::barf:
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Old August 23, 2009, 11:33 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjyergler
...Fiddletown and any other lawyers, I meant no disrespect. When I said that lawyers are amoral, I didn't mean that as a pejorative. Upon reading my post, that is how it appears to me. I'm sorry. What I meant was that lawyers should pursue the truth without their morals clouding their jobt....
First, a thick skin is an occupational requirement.

Second, it is true that the ethics (and Rules of Professional Conduct) of our profession do tend to look somewhat questionable to persons outside the profession (much as the arguments supporting removing a magazine disconnect from a BHP will tend to be lost on someone without much interest in or knowledge of guns). As an advocate we are expected (indeed legally required, on pain of possibly losing our license) to zealously represent the interests of our client, subject to the rules of evidence and procedure. The idea is that with each side vigorously pursuing its own interests, the "Truth" will come out. It actually probably works tolerably well, but it's certainly not perfect; and there have been some notable and very sad failures. But it's still better than trial by combat or trial by ordeal.
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Old August 24, 2009, 12:23 AM   #47
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This has been a very informative thread. I was considering removing the magazine disconnect from my Hi-Power but now will live with it. Odds are the HP won't be the gun I reach for in an emergency situation but you can't always plan ahead in this type of situation. (Just by chance the HP happens to be close to me right now.)

Thank you Fiddletown for clearly explaining what a person might face after defending your family and yourself by discharging a firearm. I know it would not be an experience any of us want to face and sure don't want to stack the deck against myself. You included much important information well beyond just a magazine disconnect!

And special thanks to Mas for your opinion on this issue too. I have many of your books over the years including your recent Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery (which I believe does discuss the HP magazine disconnect). It is a pleasure reading your excellent books due to the level of experience you have plus your excellent writing style and careful attention to sentence structure and grammar. So many gun books, even by knowledgeable authors, are painful to read due to poor writing style and poor editing. Thank you for seeing to it that this is not the case in your books and articles!

I will say all this makes it worrisome to carry JHP in your go-to handgun and if that is the case, it pretty much makes the 9mm suspect as being capable as a defensive round in roundnose form. I'm thinking my old Colt Series 70 45ACP that I've carried since 1976 is still my best defensive pistol and with FMJ is also the best defense against an over zealous prosecutor!

Anyway back on topic, I love my High-Power and will just have to accept this wart it has! Thanks again to all for your opinions here.
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Old August 24, 2009, 12:24 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by jjyergler
...Why the b#$%@&d installed night sights, mounted a flashlight on his gun, regularly fired at human shaped targets, used special "law enforcement only" ammunition, by God, he even used ammunition that is outlawed for military use by the Hague Conventions....
Forgot I was going to comment on this.

I look at it as a risk management issue and a risk versus utility analysis.

There is a risk my training will be used against me. But my training increases my chances for survival. Therefore, I have prepared to meet attacks on my training.

There is a risk that my use of commercial JHP ammunition will be used against me. But I am convinced that such ammunition is more effective, and its use will increase my chances of survival. I have therefore prepared to meet attacks on my use of JHP ammunition.

There's a risk that my use of a gun on which a safety device has been disabled or removed for self defense can be used against me. But that is not the only suitable gun. There are plenty of guns that I can use just as effectively without having to tinker with them. So why should I make a possible prosecutor a present of something he can use against me when i can satisfy my needs without doing so?

There is a risk that use of handloads could be used against me. But I have no reason to believe that using handloads instead of high quality commercial ammunition will improve my chances of a favorable outcome on the street. Therefore, I don't use them for self defense.


There are things that could help me in the street, but could also be used against me. Because they can improve my chances for survival in the street, I need to plan ways of dealing with the aftermath risks. But if something won't necessarily help me in the street and has a downside in the aftermath, why bother? I'll just avoid the issue altogether.
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Old August 24, 2009, 11:15 AM   #49
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My point, and I think Fiddletown's as well is simple: evaluate every risk and it's concurrent reward.
Quote:
I will say all this makes it worrisome to carry JHP in your go-to handgun
In this case, is there a reason to use JHP ammo? Certainly, as it is more effective. Is there a reason to use handloads? Not so clear, as it can more easily be painted with a negative brush. A defence attorney can more easily explain commercially purchased ammunition than handloads. The risk/reward ratio is in favor of the commercial JHP, as it is much more effective and more easily explained. The risk reward for JHP is simple. You are more likely to survive and win the fight and not increase your courtroom difficulty. For handloads, how much more likely are they to win the fight? Not much. How much more difficult to they make the court fight? Lots.

Lock your doors, get a dog, get an alarm and use it. All of these things can be used to show you are attempting to avoid a fight. As many have said, the best gunfight is the one avoided. I don't want to use my guns in self defence. My SIGs are the last layer of my home defence plan. When all else fails, that's what I fall back upon.

There are two things I bet my life on, and both have three letters, God and SIG.
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Old August 24, 2009, 12:02 PM   #50
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Thanks for that, jjyergler. I used the term "worrisome" in regard to the negative implications of 9mm JHP but on the positive side it can be argued successfully that hollow point actually is safer than ball ammo which is more likely to overpenetrate and harm innocent bystanders. Just goes to show that choosing your best defense in all situations is never easy. I think this thread did much to clear up this issue, certainly for me - and I will continue to use JHP for defense.
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