New Ammunition Design: This time I’m excited!!!

Several times I’ve pointed to an historical example of ammunition, and questioned whether we were perhaps missing out on an effective munition type. In the 18th and 19th century of naval warfare, cannons would be loaded with a number of different type of shot. 
 
Primarily there was the cannonball. Big round heavy ball. Sometimes heated “hot shot” so that it could cause fires. This is essentially the typical bullet.  Then there was “grape” shot. Smaller ballers packed in.  The result did miniscule damage to a ship but was devastating to its crew.  This type of munition was often used prior to boarding an enemy vessel. Essentially, this is the same concept as a modern day shotgun shell.
 
The last common munition was used to slow down the vessel. Chain shot…picture a chain strung between two balls. The resultant effect was particularly damaging to sails, masts and yardarms. By damaging those areas of a ship, you slowed it down, providing an opportunity to overtake and board her.
 
Many times I’ve pondered and raised the question, would a modern chain shot design be effective. Especially for unusual handguns like the Taurus judge. Which will donut shotgun pellets.
 
Advanced Ballistic Concepts
has innovated a new round that is essentially based on the chain shot concept. It has a primary core, and three satellites that are tethered (chained) by fiber.
 
Why is this advantagous? It has a wider area of impact (14″ for handguns, 24″ for shotgun). While maintain a larger more effective impact than pellets provide. 
 
I may have to pick up a box and take them to the range. I’d be curious to know what effect the tethering has when only one unit impacts on a target of ballistic gelatin or water (rather than paper).
 
Article on CNN.com
 

Social Security Administration purchases 174,000 rounds

Is that insane? (Article)

No, not really…with nearly 300 enforcement officers for the office of inspector general, we’re talking about 500+ rounds an officer.

Which to be honest, is about the bare minimum I think a law enforcement officer should be utilizing for training in a year.  A lot of conspiracy people are jumping on the civil unrest bandwagon with a mind toward all the listed ammunition purchases.  The big question that would affirm or debunk such suspicions is how does this year’s budgeting and purchase of ammunition relate to past years?

If it’s about the same, then it would show typical purchasing behavior.  Now, if this was the NYPD, fame for their one or two practice/training sessions a year. I’d be much more concerned.  (That was a joke.)

As for the criticism of “jacketed hollow-point ammunition” (JHP). The author of the article simply retorts that such is the common round of law enforcement. That is an extremely weak answer.  There are in fact reasons why the JHP is used.  And while the main aspect of a more effective one shot stopper is the primary reason. JHP are also less likely to over-penetrate and injure others or damage property.  And that is very important as well.  If a police officer fires three rounds into a criminal, it is best if those rounds stop inside the criminal rather than continuing through the criminal and into innocent bystanders.

AN ASIDE ON WHY JHP
Clarification on the JHP and why they are used and trained with…

1. Yes, they tend to do a better job of stopping an opponent, especially with a single shot.  Truthfully, while they make a larger wound channel and cause more systemic shock. An individual is more likely to live from being taken down by a single JHP hit than 2-3 small wound channels from typical Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) military ammo.

2. JHP tend to be less prone to overpenetration. Thus helping to reduce the risk to innocent bystanders near or behind the target.

3. Why you train with what you shoot. Believe it or not, different bullets and bullet types actually perform differently.  Skilled marskmen will often utilize one round. Change that round and they’ll very often miss their mark.  Second, you want to ensure that the given round functions reliably in the gun.  Imagine if you used FMJ for training only to find that the same bullet in hollow-point (JHP) is catch on the feed lip of the gun.  A criminal is pointing his gun at your partner, you pull the trigger to take him down – CLICK – failure to fire.  Because the ammo was different.

These are real world issues….

4. Cost, there is not that much of a difference between FMJ and JHP ammunition. You can reduce cost going with a non-jacketed round (ie: lead ball) which lacks the copper coating. But this tends to foul (dirty) the firearm much more quickly. 

In fact, there are many times that I have gotten JHP for near or even less than the cost of FMJ.  And when ordering extremely large batches, the difference in cost is minimal. I’d wager much of the cost for the consumer is merely marketing price hikes which won’t factor into play on a large manufacturing run order like this.

As for all the conspiracies. I believe a wise and prudent government would actually be preparing for civil unrest.  But I am not so sure I’d refer to our present government as wise and prudent – would you?

From the looks of things, these appear to be fairly legitimate and typical purchases. The question is, are they par for the norm?  Did the SSA purchase a 100K+ ammunition in any recent years past? If so, then it’s just move along. Now, if in no years past, any of these agencies had made similar purchases. Then I’d say there’d be cause for concern. 

The SSA Inspector Generals office has made a post about this issue as well.
http://oig.ssa.gov/newsroom/blog/2012/08/social-securitys-oig-responds-concerns-over-ammunition-procurement

And frankly, I think that’d be a superb way to quell the commotion.  If the SSA Inspector Generals office simply updated that post and showed how many rounds of ammunition they purchased in prior years. It could dispell and quiet this whole issue.

Published in: on September 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm  Comments (1)  
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