Friday, September 16, 2011

And They Wonder Why Gun Owners Are Wary Of The Media

Today's San Francisco Chronicle had a story about new lawsuits filed against the City of San Francisco. These lawsuits challenge a city requirement that handguns must be kept either in a locked container or have trigger lock and a city ban on the sale of hollow-point ammunition. With regard to the latter, reporter Rachel Gordon wrote:
The other, which has been on the books in various forms since 1994, prohibits the sale of hollow-point bullets and similar ammunition that fragments or explodes upon impact.
Hollow-point ammunition does not explode nor fragment upon impact. It opens up, becomes wider, and is designed to stop the bad guy without passing through and hurting an innocent bystander. That is why most police officers are issued such ammunition. The only ammunition that fragments upon impact is frangible ammunition which is designed that way to prevent pass throughs or ricochets at a shooting range. Even then, it only comes apart when it hits a hard object like a target backstop.

The only "exploding" ammo I've ever read about was in Frederick Forsyth's Day of the Jackel where the assassin had special ammo made with a drop of mercury in a sealed bullet.



  1. There are actual exploding bullets. A couple examples would be the Raufoss Mk211 armor piercing, explosive, incendiary .50 BMG bullets (not civilian-legal, I'm pretty sure), and the "Devestator" bullets (containing lead azide) that Hinckley used in the Reagan assassination attempt.

    That said, you are of course correct that hollow-points are most assuredly not designed to "explode" on impact.

  2. Oops--that should have been "Devastator"--insufficient caffeine this morning.

  3. Yeah, there is the Raufoss round. But even if you did shoot someone with it, given that it is a .50 BMG round, the fact that it explodes would be the least of his worries.

  4. Besides, it's a .50 caliber round and therefore banned in Cali. And since criminals are so good about following other laws, we really don't need to worry about this problem.

  5. Good points on the Raufoss. I've read the Stephen Hunter novels. The Mk211 Raufoss featured prominently in Night of Thunder. No excuses but I was thinking more of non-military stuff when I wrote this.

  6. The MK 211 (Raufoss) 50 BMG will not be ignited by passing through a human. To work they need a target that is stiff enough to stop the bullet motion which crushes the tip and ignites the charge therein.

    However as simply a projectile the 50 cal is sufficient to disable or kill an individual.