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Old December 28, 2001, 12:52 AM   #1
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Teflon ammo?

What exactly is Teflon ammo? I have heard it mentioned in various movies, and in some video games. What is Teflon ammo all about?
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Old December 28, 2001, 01:41 AM   #2
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I heard if you coat your bullets with teflon they'll penetrate a bullet proof vest easily. Armor piercing bullets think...
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Old December 28, 2001, 09:22 AM   #3
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A number of years back, a company produced a handgun bullet of a hard brass alloy that was designed specifically to defeat soft body armor. This bullet featured a teflon coating to allow the bullet to engage the rifling and spin the bullet. Some media pundits reported that the teflon aided penetration, which is not accurate. The very hard pointed bullet moving very quickly was the primary factor in vest penetration.

To the best of my knowledge, these never entered mass production and are quite illegal to possess. Making a whole bullet from teflon would not be practical as the resulting bullet would not hold up to firing out of a gun very well.
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Old December 28, 2001, 10:28 AM   #4
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Chad I am sorry to say you are misinformed

The bullets in question were KTW and were design and made by police officers for police officers NOT to penatrate soft body armur (which at the time was not too common) but to help police penatrate hard objests like automobile windshields and doors.
Of course if it will do that it will penatrate a vest as well. (the only officer EVER shot with a KTW was shot in the head making the penatration factor null in that instance). These bullets were made of a special hard tungstan alloy which also happened to be very hard on steel barrels to make them function better without cousing barrel damage a teflon coating was adfded to the bullet. for lubracation purposes. Thesae bullets were then and now only avaiable to law enforcement personal. The fed ap bullet law makes them illegal for civilians to use.
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Old December 28, 2001, 10:34 AM   #5
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The 1970 Gun Digest contains a short article on page 230 about the KTW company which produced cartridges loaded with bullets that had a tungsten alloy core, which is both very hard and 50% denser than lead. Quoting from the article here, "The very hard core is coated with Teflon to aid penetration, the entire unit is then encased in a conventional short jacket. Since the hard core cannot upset or be engraved by the rifling, the soft gilding metal jacket serves to seal the bore and impart spin to the bullet." Cost was $4 per box of six rounds in .38 Special, and they were intended purely for police use.

IIRC the tungsten-cored bullets eventually became too expensive, and a switch was made to bronze. The Teflon at this point became a means of sealing the bore and engaging the rifling.

This ammo was intended to be an improvement on the old "metal piercing" rounds Winchester was producing at least as far back as the 1940's.
Penetrating soft body armor was never the intent!

Metal piercing ammo was intended to allow cops to shoot bad guys in getaway cars. (This was back when most cops carried a .38 revolver with round nosed lead bullets.)

Most places, handgun AP ammo is not illegal to possess, but purchase or manufacture has been limited to government for a number of years.
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Old December 28, 2001, 11:25 AM   #6
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According to Kopsch, Turcus, and Ward (the three gentlemen who invented KTW AP ammo for the police), the Teflon coating on their ammo was only there in order to help the bullet "stick" to a hard metal target momentarily, to give it a better purchase while penetrating. (For the same reason that the plastic "buttons" on the tips of canes and walkers are Teflon-impregnated; while the Teflon is under pressure, it "sticks" to the surface it's pressing against.) Their original design was Teflon-coated for this reason, even though no part of the hard core ever touches the rifling; it's supported entirely in a gilding-metal base-cup. Later KTW rounds were made entirely of machined bronze, but kept the Teflon coating, again for this "sticky" effect.
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Old December 28, 2001, 08:19 PM   #7
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Both Remington and Winchester made metal piercing ammunition for police use from the 1930s to the 1960s, I believe.

Original loadings were for .38 Spl., .38-44 HD, .357 Magnum (after it came out in 1935), .38 Super, and .45 ACP.
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Old December 28, 2001, 08:33 PM   #8
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An excerpt from a booklet on Illinois gun laws: "A person commits the offense of unlawful use of metal piercing bullets when he knowingly manufactures, sells, purchases, posesses, or carries any metal piercing bullet. For the purpose of this section, 'metal piercing bullet' means polytetrafluoroethylene-coated bullets; jacketed bullets with other than lead or lead alloy cores; and ammunition of which the bullet itself is wholly composed of a metal or metal alloy other than lead. The definition contained herein shall not be construed to include shotgun shells."

Of course the polytetra compound they are referring to is Teflon. The booklet goes on to state that police, US marshalls, and members of the Armed Services are allowed to use these cartridges.

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Old December 28, 2001, 10:13 PM   #9
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So in Illinois you can't even have a Barnes X-bullet much less rifle AP? How nice of them.
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Old December 29, 2001, 02:00 AM   #10
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So in Illinois you can't even have a Barnes X-bullet much less rifle AP? How nice of them.
Actually, AP must also be handgun ammo--at least if the law reads like the TX law. Therefore, rifle ammo doesn't count as AP.
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Old December 29, 2001, 10:25 AM   #11
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Hmmm . . . so in Illinois, the Lone Ranger's silver bullets would be illegal to possess, since "...the bullet itself is wholly composed of a metal or metal alloy other than lead?" Unless he put in, say, 0.01% lead to make it a lead alloy?

And Winchester's old .357 Mag Metal Piercing load, - produced at least well into the '80's - having a lead body/core and a brass or bronze conical nosecap, would be OK?

And if you have, say, one of S&W's old revolvers for the .22 Jet, or a Contender in .223, you'd be breaking the law to use a Barnes .22 "X" bullet in it? But lead core FMJ would be OK?

Bizarre . . . as so many gun laws are.
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Old December 29, 2001, 10:31 AM   #12
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Some interesting thinking above re the reasoning behind coating the bullet with Teflon PTFE.

Teflon does NOT stick to hard objects unless glued on or cast in place. Casting alone is nuther quirky problem with the material as it is ablative......has no liquid state. Like dry ice, it exists as either a gas or a solid, not as a pourable liquid.

The coeficient of friction is so low, slippery, that it has been likened to wet ice on wet ice.

Crutch, cane and walker tips are where you do NOT want it. Would skid on any smooth surface.

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Old December 29, 2001, 12:31 PM   #13
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CR Sam,

I suspect the material used is not pure Teflon but maybe a Teflon fluoropolymer resin from Dupont. We use this material in a lot of our extrusion processes. When used with Tefzel (dual pass extrusion), it is an excellent insulator and is very resistant to cracking but does not have an exceptionally slick surface.
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Old December 29, 2001, 12:33 PM   #14
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I heard the round was developed in the late seventies....too many drunken, lipsticked husbands were getting clonked with teflon fry pans as they came throught the door at 4 Supposedly, standard rounds would deflect off the slick coating on the fry pan....the teflon rounds now go right through.
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Old December 29, 2001, 01:51 PM   #15
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SDC has the story right. The sticky teflon tip helped penetration by keeping the bullet on the car windsheild/door long enough to penetrate.

The officers only sold the ammo in tiny quantities to the military and some police departments.

The myth, repeated in the movie Ronin, is that spraying teflon on a bullet gives it magical penetration abilities. This is nonsense.

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Old December 29, 2001, 09:14 PM   #16
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1st rule: Don’t trust movies, they don’t know crap. Don’t trust a stupid games, they don’t know crap either. Morons leading morons.

2nd rule: Don’t trust the liberal media and gun grabbers. Again morons leading morons.

Now to the questions at hand. Teflon coated bullets are not AP. If anyone believes that Teflon coated bullets are AP then I got a bridge to sell you or you been brainwashed by the liberal media. Teflon bullet was use to help decrease barrel wear and increase accuracies. Not much people use Teflon coated bullets anymore. Most of them switch to moly-coated (Molybdenum) bullets. The truth is that Teflon coated bullets will decrease the chance of penetrating soft body armor.

Short facts about Teflon coated bullets.

Interview with KTW inventor. Please read this very carefully.

Source for Moly-Coatd bullets:

Last edited by orlando5; December 29, 2001 at 10:45 PM.
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