The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 21, 2005, 11:31 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: December 9, 2004
Location: Signal Mountain, TN
Posts: 197
Most politically correct ammo...

Suppose you need to actually use your weapon someday in self-defense. Suppose you find yourself sued by an injured criminal, or his family. When choosing ammo for your gun, should you give thought to the possible courtroom problems, or just get whatever ammo you think will be more effective against a bg? What sort of ammo will be viewed by a jury as more "defensible?" I'm sure if I'm using something called "Black Talon" I would be painted as a crazy guy just hoping to be able to shoot someone.
marshall2 is offline  
Old May 21, 2005, 01:14 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: September 7, 2004
Location: western WA.
Posts: 183
the plantiff's attorney will likely try to paint you as a crazy gun totin' maniac regardless of your ammo choice, but a good shoot is a good shoot. it will probably not all hinge on your choice of ammo. in your case, the Black Talons, now sold as Ranger SXT, are used by many police depts and there is your defense. good enough for the cops, good enough for you.

if you're really concerned about it, Federal produced a line of ammo called "Personal Defense" ammo. it uses a lighter bullet weight than usual except for the 9mm offering and is the HydraShok bullet. probably very effective. there's another line called "Personal Protection" but i can't remember who makes it. either of those would probably meet the definition of "most PC ammo".

Bobarino is offline  
Old May 21, 2005, 01:27 PM   #3
Glenn E. Meyer
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 18,723
This issue has been discussed over and over. One could search on the major gun forums and see all the discussions. Let me summarize:

1. Lawyers are lawyers and will try for every advantage.
2. It is hard to find cases that revolve around such in the legal data bases.
3. Massad Ayoob says it happens.
4. Lots of folks don't like him
5. The legal data bases may not actually detect such effects as it would have to be an issue that would make the data base and they don't bring up rhetoric in summation or testimony.
6. Watching tapes of trials, DAs, etc. do wave guns around trying to exaggerate the dangerous look of a weapon to influence the jury.
7. Jury simulation studies do indicate that exaggerating weapons characteristics can influenc test juries in various circumstances.
8. The most important thing is for it to be a 'good' shoot and have a lawyer knowledgeable of these effects and know something about guns, etc.

I would use a common quality round that is sold without inflammatory rhetoric.
NRA, TSRA, IDPA, NTI, Polite Soc. - Aux Armes, Citoyens
Being an Academic Shooter
Being an Active Shooter
Glenn E. Meyer is offline  
Old May 21, 2005, 11:10 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: October 4, 2004
Posts: 118
I have just finished gelatin testing one each of Federals 'Personal Defense' loads in bare ballistic gelatin : 110gr .38 special, 129gr .38 special, 130gr .357 magnum, and 90gr .380ACP . I had the extra gelatin powder laying around and the ammo, so...

110gr .38 special expanded and penetrated to ~ 13.5" . Out of a 2" snub
129gr expanded and penetrated to 14" . Out of a 2" snub

130gr .357 penetrated to ~ 13.5" with severe fragmentation - suprisingly though, most of the lead ended up at around 13" penetration. Very nice round. 4" revolver.

The 90gr .380ACP was fired from a 2.75" barreled automatic and wound up at 11.75" penetration.

Given the 'name games' that the anti-gun pinkos play to get their ideology passed into law, i.e. 'assault weapon' , 'pocket rocket' , 'high powered sniper rifle' , and the fact that these tactics are targeted at the masses of people, who are now generally scared of their own shadows and unbreakably dependant upon the government for survival - I would attempt to find a bullet that has a 'nice' sounding name and an effective performance in controlled test events. (gelatin).

I would look into what bullet acronyms stand for before considering them as a contender - I think in the case of Hornday XTP, the XTP stands for 'eXtreme Terminal Performance' ... It might deprive the opposing legal element an avenue of approach. Good luck. Tom
TomNash is offline  
Old May 22, 2005, 12:35 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: February 20, 2005
Posts: 2,455
If you stay withing the common defensive rounds and ammo brands it is probibly all the same for the most part, if you go ouside of this like others have said you could, could mind you open the door for courtroom theater. If you carry what one of your local LE agentcies carry you can always definitivly state that you were concerned about what ammunition was effective, reliable and safe and lacking the time, experiance and so forth to do your own test chose to go with their experianced and knowladgable choice.
RsqVet is offline  
Old May 22, 2005, 08:06 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: July 8, 2001
Location: North Central Florida & Miami
Posts: 3,060
Some threads just never die. Darn.
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.".........Ronald Reagan
Mannlicher is offline  
Old May 22, 2005, 11:21 AM   #7
Join Date: May 14, 2005
Posts: 49
I think you should be more concerned with living through a ordeal that may take your life than worry what type ammo you have in your gun unless you are thinking about what ammo will kill the bad person the fastest.
Guns are suppose to be dangerous that's why I carry one.
6shooter is offline  
Old May 22, 2005, 11:27 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: November 8, 2004
Location: Pierce County, WA
Posts: 2,453
The most PC ammunition is a rubber bullet. However, if I am attacked, I'm not launching any rubber bullets in the felon's direction. I care more about my life than being PC. Get something that is more likely to put the BG down with one shot, that way they can't claim that you are a psychopath that emptied an entire magazine into someone for no reason.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” - Samuel Adams
IZinterrogator is offline  
Old May 23, 2005, 01:11 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: January 26, 2005
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,187
Most PC ammo? My vote would go with soft-point begging-and-crying, and if that dosn't work, go to the AP screaming-and-wailing munitions. They are dirt cheap, and you can carry an almost inexhaustable supply of both.
The test of character is not 'hanging in' when you expect light at the end of the tunnel, but performance of duty, and persistence of example when you know no light is coming.
- Vice Admiral James Stockdale, USN (ret.)
Twycross is offline  
Old May 23, 2005, 07:18 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: August 20, 1999
Location: Occupied Virginia
Posts: 2,777
IMHO, Glenn's reply was comprehensive and excellent.
Μολών λαβέ!
RWK is offline  
Old May 23, 2005, 07:34 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: March 14, 2005
Location: Concord, NH
Posts: 2,723
How about Explosive Entry "Fang Face" Enhanced Penetration ammunition from Extreme Shock... :barf:
ATW525 is offline  
Old May 23, 2005, 03:40 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: January 1, 2005
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 220
Any commercially available ammunition should be acceptable as long as you do not alter it in some way to make it "more deadly". Filling the hollowpoints with Mercury, Cyanide, C4, etc.
HighVelocity is offline  
Old May 23, 2005, 03:52 PM   #13
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Posts: 11,550
Some of y'all are fooling yourselves. There is no PC ammo. You can argue any side of a given make and model of ammo and claim it is unnecessarily bad. For years, Ayoob has said that you should use what the local LEOs use and not anything special, but the only court cases he has offered on the matter were where LEOs were sued after using standard factory ammo.

Some of the advice here is potentially dangerous to those who decide to take it. Why should a person shy away from a given model or brand of ammo with an inflammatory name if it is the best possible defensive ammo? If a person can make a particular ammo better by modification, then why should they not modify it? What I see being done is the placement of more emphasis on the possible lawsuit that might follow a shooting than on the actual survival of the person who will be in the fight.

Choosing ammo because you think it is more PC is just plain stupid if there are better ammo options available to you. Concern over a lawsuit that may never happen is shortsighted given that you may be dead as a result of your poor choice and you may not care if it is one of your loved ones who is killed as a result of you choosing a more poorly performing ammo because of some wacko PC concerns.

It is lethal force, not a board game. It is single elimination. You don't get a replay if you are dead.
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher." -- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
My Hunting Videos
Double Naught Spy is offline  
Old May 23, 2005, 07:44 PM   #14
Glenn E. Meyer
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 18,723
DNS - you make good points. However, your scenario implies that there are ammo types with inflammatory names that are really significantly better than most other quality brands.

Unless, one had such ammo, then even adding a tiny risk factor is silly.

You see folks arguing that they will load the first round of their shotgun will rubber balls - so they won't look like a killer. I think that's misguided.

However, if there's no difference in performance, why risk it?
NRA, TSRA, IDPA, NTI, Polite Soc. - Aux Armes, Citoyens
Being an Academic Shooter
Being an Active Shooter
Glenn E. Meyer is offline  
Old May 24, 2005, 08:30 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: December 14, 2001
Location: Vermont
Posts: 101
It seems to me it is pretty hard to argue with a name like "Gold Dot". Pretty effective in all calibers too.
DBR is offline  
Old May 25, 2005, 02:18 PM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: July 31, 2000
Location: Middle Peninsula, VA
Posts: 1,529
No PC ammo?

How about a round shaped like a goose down pillow, with an anticeptect coating and a mint on top? Call it the "comforter", who could complain.
griz is offline  
Old May 25, 2005, 02:59 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: December 11, 1999
Posts: 2,137
There is no such thing as PC ammo.

Use the same ammo as the police, and you are a deranged "cop wanna-be."

Use any hollowpoints, and you are a sadist using mutilating/exploding dum-dum bullets.

Use any handloads, and you are so kill-crazy that you have to make your own extra-lethal ammo.

Use full metal jacket, and you are a maniac using military ammunition.
CastleBravo is offline  
Old May 25, 2005, 03:17 PM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: December 6, 2002
Location: North Louisiana
Posts: 2,800

Nerf makes a gun with some pretty politically correct ammo.
Me, I prefer HIV impregnated Black Talons fired from a captured Iraqi AK47.
Xavier's Blog
XavierBreath is offline  
Old May 25, 2005, 07:00 PM   #19
Geoff Timm
Senior Member
Join Date: May 18, 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 472
I buy "Self Defense" ammo, it says so on the box. This seems the best compromise.

Who is working on his left hand shooting.
Geoff Timm is offline  
Old May 25, 2005, 07:51 PM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,117
This is The Question That Won't Die.

One has to be mindful of the names given to weaponry and how that plays to your average "Ozzie & Harriet" juror who know nothing about deadly force survival. Using a handgun named the "Pit Bull" with "Sure-Kill" hollowpoints will probably not help your case.

I recall there was a case in the Southeast about 25 years ago where a poor schmuck was tried twice for self-defense. In the first one, a lady convinced several others that the shooter was "in league with the Devil" because his gun was named after a Snake - yup, a Colt Python. Second jury acquitted with a unanimous verdict.

Someone mentioned lawyers waving guns around in the courtroom. A coworker just got back from jury duty last week and this happened - with a twist. According to my coworker, the DA kept sweeping the courtroom with a CZ-52 pistol found in defendant's truck, behind the seat in a soft case that couldn't be "locked" according to CA law. Claiming it was a "junk gun" and "unsafe" the DA used it like a pointer and waved it around. The defendant prodded his public defender to object and state that the DA was "carelessly and recklessly" handling the pistol. "But it's unloaded your honor." he replied, pointing to the tie strap on the gun. Defendant, with bench's permission explained that ALL guns are loaded unless locked open and inspected; This wasn't, ergo it's "live" and should be handled carefully and never pointed at anyone in the courtroom! Especially as he counted six times the DA had put his finger on the trigger! Apparently this made points with several jurors and they acquitted him of a "CCW violation".
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
BillCA is offline  
Old May 26, 2005, 11:04 AM   #21
Glenn E. Meyer
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 18,723
If you look at the DC Snipe trial, the prosecution started the case by slowing assembling the AR-15. They were clearly emphazing its appearance. That kind of emphasis has been clearly shown to influence test juries.

It is not unlikely that a similar display of the ammo and exaggeration of its characteristics would have an effect on an ambiguous shooting.
NRA, TSRA, IDPA, NTI, Polite Soc. - Aux Armes, Citoyens
Being an Academic Shooter
Being an Active Shooter
Glenn E. Meyer is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:03 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.15597 seconds with 7 queries