Be honest...Do you feel Safer??

Posted by Tom

I just read that President Abomination, I mean Obama, just called for the Ban of all Armor Piercing ammunition.  I think that makes perfect sense to the average American, who isn't well versed in the history, bullet performance and most especially, armor piercing bullets.  Let's examine this a little bit further....I'm going to keep the information at a level that's easy for anyone to follow, and it leads to a bigger picture on what's going on....


First, lets understand that armor piercing handgun ammunition has been illegal since the Gun Control act of 1986.  [18 U.S.C. Section 922(a)(7)]

Here's the code which gives you the actual definition of armor piercing ammunition: [18 U.S.C. Section 921(a)(17)(B) and it states:
(i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or
(ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.
The fact that something is or is not classified as Armor Piercing has NOTHING to do with whether or not it will actually penetrate any specific classification of body armor.  


At the point this law was passed, there were an incredibly small number of bullets that met this criteria, namely the KTW and Arcane bullets, but they were never available to the public and were only sold to law enforcement.  Providing you don't consider that point, the law did a great job of solving a problem that never existed.  This is the myth of the term, "Cop Killer Bullets" - the Police were the only ones that possessed them, other than actual developers themselves.  Hence, America became a safer place, as no one could use bullets they didn't have.  There hasn't been one single, documented case that any Law Enforcement Officer has ever had their body armor penetrated by an "armor piercing" handgun bullet, ever.  Not in the history of the United States.

The fact is, most rifles will penetrate the Level IIA and Level II Vests that are worn universally by almost all Police Officers in the United States.  Their vests are designed to stop pistol ammunition, as that is their most likely threat.  Therefore, does that make all rifles bullets then "armor piercing"?  Threat level III and IV body armor, typically worn by SWAT Teams, etc., and is designed to stop approximately 99.5% of all rifle caliber ammunition.

99% of "Armor piercing" ammunition that is in the hands of civilians will fall into one of the two below categories:

Starting in the mid 1980's, commercial importers brought in huge quantities of surplus Chinese military ammunition (7.62x39) that was then sold on the commercial U.S. market.  This ammunition was mostly produced in the 1960's and was favored by shooters because it was reliable and cheap to shoot.  This ammunition was unique in that it had steel core, versus a traditional lead core.  That enabled it to penetrate further in comparison to other ammunition of the same caliber, but had no difference in performance from an average shooters perspective.

The BATFE recognized the increased penetration of these bullets and at some point in the late 90's, made it illegal for dealers to continue to sell it to the public.  Again, sounds reasonable, right?  The fact is, ANY ammunition of the same caliber would have penetrated the vests most commonly worn by your everyday patrolman, but let's continue..

The other type of "armor piercing" ammunition you will generally see is from WWII.  This is most often in the hands of private, specialized collectors or even museums.  This ammunition is designated as M2 AP or known more commonly as the 30-06.  This M2 AP round has a black paint marking on the nose of the bullet to designate it as armor piercing. (Threat level IV body armor, worn by some SWAT Teams, etc., is designed to stop this).


99% of the Chinese "steel core" ammunition has since been shot years ago at gun ranges across the country.  A small amount no doubt exists in the hands of those same specialized collectors, he who never throws something away or the other type, the one that keeps it in the event of some "rainy day."

The M2AP round is only available in incredibly small quantities and is very hard to find, even amongst some collectors.  The point here is, the ones that have it are collecting it - not shooting it.


The owners of either one of these types of ammunition have had it SAFELY in their possession somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 to 70 years They've not committed a single documented crime with it or they'd have long ago been locked away, as they should be.  It's in places where it's been safe for decades, in the select hands of a few, trusted folks who have never committed a crime with it.

As a result of this law, existing owners will be forced to do one of the following, before the law takes effect.  Let's see if you can spot the most likely choice:

a.  Turn it over to a governmental agency and receive nothing in return, except scrutiny
b.  Shoot it up at the range where it would cost them 5 times what a regular bullet would.
c.  Sell it to the highest bidder before the law takes effect and let it become the new owners problem
(The price of each bullet is substantial, IF you can even find it, in the neighborhood of $1.00 to $5.00 per bullet)
d. Become a Felon

Most people generally don't throw money away needlessly, especially when there is potential for substantial profit.  What do you think will be the most likely choice by the current, law abiding citizen?

I think most would choose choice "C."  The current holders will sell it to the highest bidder, to someone who doesn't currently have access to any of it, who can't find it on the market, wants to make sure he gets a hold of it before the law takes effect, and is willing to pay a premium for it.

Now, this new owner, having just paid a high price for it, what do you think he'll do with it? 
a.  Race to an Government agency to turn it in and receive an even more focused scrutiny
b.  Shoot it up because he likes a 1000% increase in his ammo bill.
c..  Become a Felon
d.  Hold onto it "just in case."

 What do you think that guy who just bought it will do?

Sounds like a good law huh?.....You be the judge.....

 Wait, I think I just heard Joe Biden in the backround......"maybe we should have talked with those awful, despicable NRA guys a little and they could have told us about this!"

Now even with all of this information and some pretty indisputable FACTS (are they still legal?)  they're now re-examining and noting the composition of bullets that have been around for decades by hunters and target shooters alike.  The next step will be the EPA telling us why that's bad for us and that we need to pay another 500% plus tax on a box of ammunition.  De facto gun control at its best!  Anything for the King of the United States. 


  1. Excellent post! Informative, even as it debunks the myths and hysteria we now see from the anti-gun left!

  2. Excellent piece Tom, clear and informative. People reel from the word GUN these days if it's the only device that can harm a person. Education is the way forward here, and trust me guys when I tell you, Tom is one of the most upstanding, honest and dependable pleople I know and exactly the kind of person the government officials should be listening to on this subject.
    Well done.

  3. Tom - Great Article!