This FAQ will attempt to cover some of the facts behind the new types of "wonder" ammo which always come up every couple of weeks on the ammunition forum.
The following is a survey of the different companies producing ammo with lofty claims, and product offerings in the more popular calibers
Special Application Ammunition, "Designed for law enforcement personnel to penetrate automotive safety glass and metal body panels while, still maintaining the desired expansion, penetration and energy transfer in tissue, without over penetration..."
32 ACP 37 gr. TFSP 1815 fps / 271 flbs 380 ACP 45 gr. TFSP 1500 fps / 283 flbs 9mm 60 gr. TFSP 2010 fps / 539 flbs 357 Sig. 60 gr. TFSP 2410 fps / 774 flbs 38 Spl. 60 gr. TFSP 1705 fps / 385 flbs 357 Mag. 60 gr. TFSP 1975 fps / 520 flbs 40 S&W 77 gr. TFSP 2100 fps / 754 flbs 10mm 77 gr. TFSP 2420 fps / 1015 flbs 45 ACP 90 gr. TFSP 2036 fps / 828 flbs 45 ACP 115 gr. TFSP 1650 fps / 700 flbs 223 Rem. 37 gr. TFSP 3880 fps / 1337 flbs 223 Rem. 43 gr. TFSP 3800 fps / 1379 flbs 308 Win. 112 gr. TFSP 3650 fps / 3314 flbs 308 Win. 124 gr. TFSP 3600 fps / 3570 flbs 30-06 Spf. 112 gr. TFSP 3650 fps / 3314 flbs 300 Win. 112 gr. TFSP 3800 fps / 3560 flbs 300 Win. 130 gr. TFSP 3720 fps / 4050 flbs 300 Rem UM 130 gr. TFSP 4075 fps / 4795 flbs 50 BMG 500 gr. TFSP 3870 fps / 17796 flbs 50 BMG 200 gr. SMBTSP 5900 fps / 19329 flbs
Personal Defense/Home Security, "Designed for the demanding environment of an urban situation where innocent bystanders are in close proximity...."
32 ACP 37 gr. TFSP 1815 fps / 271 flbs 9mm 60 gr. TFSP 2010 fps / 539 flbs 357 Sig. 60 gr. TFSP 2410 fps / 774 flbs 38 Spl. 60 gr. TFSP 1705 fps / 385 flbs 357 Mag. 60 gr. TFSP 1975 fps / 520 flbs 40 S&W 77 gr. TFSP 2100 fps / 754 flbs 10mm 77 gr. TFSP 2420 fps / 1015 flbs 44 Spl. 110 gr. TFSP 2030 fps / 1007 flbs 44 Mag. 110 gr. TFSP 2430 fps / 1445 flbs 45 ACP 90 gr. TFSP 2036 fps / 828 flbs 45 ACP 115 gr. TFSP 1650 fps / 700 flbs 223 Rem. 37 gr. TFSP 3880 fps / 1337 flbs 243 Win. 78 gr. TFSP 3700 fps / 2280 flbs 270 Win. 110 gr. TFSP 3525 fps / 3036 flbs 7mm Rem. 108 gr. TFSP 3800 fps / 3207 flbs 7.62X39mm 112 gr. TFSP 3100 fps / 2391 flbs 7.62X39 Sabot 37 gr. TFSP 3700 fps / 1216 flbs 308 Win. 112 gr. TFSP 3650 fps / 3373 flbs 30-06 Spf. 112 gr. TFSP 3650 fps / 3374 flbs 300 Win. Mag. 112 gr. TFSP 3800 fps / 3595 flbs 300 Rem. UM 112 gr. TFSP 4100+ fps / 4256+ flbs 30/378 Wby M 160 gr. TFSP 4300+ fps / 6571+ flbs 50 BMG 500 gr. BMTSP 3500+ fps / 16036 flbs 50 BMG Sabot 200 gr. BMTSP 5900+ fps / 13918 flbs
RBCD Performance Plus TPD Ammunition
9mm TPD 50 gr. TPD 2300+fps / 590+ flbs 38 Special TPD 50 gr. TPD 1850+fps / 418+ flbs 40 S&W TPD 70 gr. TPD 2320+ fps / 790+ flbs 45 ACP TPD 80 gr. TPD 2375+ fps / 1002+ flbs
Dangerous Game / Big Game Ammunition, "Designed for the ultimate hunting experience - flatter trajectory, longer range....." (No bullet weights listed on website)
223 Remington 3800+ fps 1350+ flbs 270 Winchester 3500+ fps 3000+ flbs 308 Winchester 3600+ fps 3500+ flbs 30-06 Springfield 3600+ fps 3500+ flbs 300 Winchester Mag. 3700+ fps 4000+ flbs 300 Remington Ultra Mag. 4000+ fps 4700+ flbs
NO PRODUCT LISTING AVAILABLE
Makers of both the Glaser Safety Slugs and Pow-R-Ball ammunition
Glaser Safety Slugs, "Pre-fragmentation allows maximum energy dispersal upon contact with inanimate objects. In other words it doesn't explode it disintegrates releasing all of it's energy on the target. The Glaser's composite design uses a special thin-wall jacket and precision compressed lead shot core with a soft plastic tip. This patented design provides an optimum balance between penetration and expansion, resulting in controlled disintegration."
Weight (FPS) Energy Barrel 9mm+P 80 1650 484 5 38 Spec. STD 80 1500 400 6 38 Spec +P 80 1650 484 6 357 Mag. 80 1800 575 6 40 S&W 115 1550 613 4 10mm 115 1650 695 5 44 Magnum 135 1850 1026 6 45 ACP +P 145 1350 587 5 .223 Rem 45 3430 1175 24 7.62X39 130 2300 1527 24 .308 130 3000 2597 24 30-06 130 3100 2774 24
Pow-R-Ball, (Plastic Ball over conventional lead hollow point) "The lead bullet core is shaped into a specially designed cavity. Upon entering the target, the softpoint cap promotes controlled expansion of the bullet. The resulting classic mushroom shape dumps all the available energy into the target. Complete energy transfer promotes superior stopping power."
9mm(+P) 100gr 1475fps 483ft.lbs .357mag 100gr 1600fps 568ft.lbs .38spl (+P) 100gr 1400fps 435ft.lbs .40S&W 135gr 1325fps 526ft.lbs 10mm 135gr 1400fps 588ft.lbs .45ACP (+P) 165gr 1225fps 550ft.lbs
NyTrilium Air Freedom Rounds, "Tungsten-Nytrilium Fragmentable Explosive Entry Air Freedom Round. The AFR round disintegrates when it hits hard targets such as many interior walls and airplane skins, but retains astonishing stopping power on organic targets."
.357mag 85gr 1738fps 570ft.lbs .357SIG 85gr 1340fps 339ft.lbs .38spl 85gr 1586fps 475ft.lbs .40 S&W 100gr 1450fps 467ft.lbs .45 ACP 125gr 1200fps 400ft.lbs .45 GAP 125gr 1305fps 473ft.lbs 9mm 85gr 1531fps 442ft.lbs
NyTrilium Handgun Rounds (Fang Face & Personal Defense), "...The compressed Tungsten-NyTrilium™ Composite fragments upon impact, leaving a wound channel of catastrophic proportions. The expansive fragmentation characteristics of the ExtremeShock rounds transfer the bullets energy in a far faster time span than conventional hollowpoints. The resulting stopping power is utterly devastating. E-Shock rounds are engineered to expend maximum energy into soft targets, turning the density mass into an expanding rotational cone of NyTrilium matrix particles, causing neurological collapse to the central nervous system. "
.32 ACP PDR 60gr 830fps 92ft.lbs 9mm FFR 124gr 1182fps 385ft.lbs .357mag FFR 124gr 1498fps 168ft.lbs .38spl FFR 124gr 1185fps 387ft.lbs .40 S&W FFR 165gr 1125fps 464ft.lbs 10mm FFR 165gr 1209fps 535ft.lbs .45 ACP FFR 185gr 1150fps 543ft.lbs .44mag FFR 185gr 1675fps 1152ft.lbs
Nytrilium Handgun Rounds (Silver Savior), "The Silver Savior™ - Exposed Nose Explosive Entry Controlled Penetration Round. It is a non-Hollowpoint version of the Fang Face AntiTerrorist Round for Locales and Countries where Hollowpoints are Prohibited."
9mm SS 124gr 1182fps 385ft.lbs .45 ACP SS 185gr 1150fps 543ft.lbs .44mag SS 185gr 1675fps 1152ft.lbs
NyTrilium Subsonic Ammunition, "The lethality of the Extreme Shock round is beyond description. In the magazine of a capable operator it can be the difference between victory and defeat. Lead-free, with all the advantages of the Advanced NyTrilium composite it is regarded by many as the most effective CQB round on the market today."
.308 SW 150gr 980fps 5.56mm C 127gr 975fps 5.56mm Sub 127gr 975fps .50cal SW 675gr 975fps 7.62x39 SW 150gr 946fps
Eliminator-X "ELIMINATOR-X ammo grossly expands on impact to impart 100% maximum energy to the target and reduce the chance of a pass through. This makes ELIMINATOR-X TM the ultimate ammo for home defense, personal protection, and law enforcement applications."
Devastators "You will never shoot a more "DEVASTATING" ammo. A special detonating tip causes gross expansion unlike anything else. Functions flawlessly in all guns."
This ammo is available in most common handgun chamberings, as well as some rifle calibers. No bullet weights are listed on the website.
"At DRT™ we are proud to introduce to you a revolutionary lead- free, highly accurate, frangible ammunition. Our ammunition has been used by special Government agencies for over ten years and it is now available to determined hunters."
DRT is somewhat different from previously listed manufacturers, as these are frangible/sintered metal powder bullets.
In summary, all of the above rounds have the same common traits: Very light weight projectiles pushed to very high velocities. This is coupled with some fantastic claims about bullet performance in a very slick marketing campaign and outlandish claims.
I have thought long and hard about how to present a FAQ on these controversial types of ammunition. The problem is that there is so little available in the way of hard data that being objective is a very difficult proposition. Let me start by saying that I am an adherent of the Dr. Martin Fackler school of wound ballistics, which may be summed up by the phrase "slow, heavy bullets are better than fast, lightweight bullets." This is certainly an oversimplification, but describes the basic premise fairly well. The bullets made by these companies go directly counter to this idea. But why are slow, heavy bullets better?
Please refer to my collected posts of scanned Fackler articles in the ammunition forum for some background reading. I consider myself to be a very logically thinking person, and my beliefs are rooted in the scientific method.
The most important points can be summarized in his article entitled "The Ideal Police Bullet."
Those factors are as follows:
1) The only reliable means of stopping the aggression of a determined adversary is by disrupting vital body structures.
2) The heart and major blood vessels are the vital structures of the torso.
3) Bullets penetrate by crushing the tissue they hit.
4) Ideal penetration depth is between 30cm and 50cm in 10% ordnance gelatin at 4deg C.
5) Provided that they reach the necessary penetration depth, those bullets with the largest expanded diameter are the most effective.
I'll be writing this FAQ and analyzing the information with these criteria in mind. In particular, examine the RBCD webpage, which actually show shots into ballistic gelatin (can't verify it was properly calibrated, but I'll give them the benefit of doubt). There is no ruler provided for scale, but by analyzing the stated size of the block, you can tell that penetration depth is usually well below the required minimum of 12".
Even if you don't believe the "men in white lab coats", ask yourself this: You're in the African plains, being charged by a LARGE ANGRY animal. You have your trusty .375H&H by your side. Would you want a slow, heavy bullet which can penetrate deeply enough, or would you want or lightweight fragmenting bullet? Why is it that bullet companies do not produce the latter in calibers which are used to hunt dangerous game? Why would you want your personal defense ammunition to perform any differently?
The current state of wound ballistics can pretty accurately describe what a bullet can and can't do. It is my firm belief that the companies which produce these wonder-bullets would trumpet their results if they had firm data in hand which supported their marketing claims. That is one of the primary reasons - even without any other kind of information - which would make me distrust the claims of the various manufacturers.
So far, there has been nothing but obfuscation. Extreme Shock has a glitzy website, but does not actively promote their wares on internet discussion boards. RBCD/LeMas has distinguished itself by appearing on several internet discussion boards and taking their advertising a step further. The LeMas "Blended Metal" hoax stands out in particular. After analyzing the composition, it was found to be nothing more than soft lead over a nylon ball. Note that when Stan Bulmer (BMT on Arfcom) is involved in a discussion about his products, you will invariably see the following behavior:
1) Long-winded claims of product superiority using language that makes even mundane terms sound exiting and more ominous. You'll see repeated use of terms such as "dedicated handgun weapon platforms" (a handgun?), "primary weapon mission capability form a secondary weapon platform within the CQB environment" (huh?), "tissue destruction" (it makes a hole).
2) People ask valid questions expecting an answer.
3) BMT conveniently ignore any question which he might not have a good answer for, but will selectively respond to posts which allows him to further his wares.
The LeMas website looks very official, asking you to enter an access code to proceed. The access code is only available to "authorized Military and Law Enforcement personnel." This further hints that LeMas must be potent stuff indeed. Amusingly, the HTML code of the LeMas webpage shows NO sign of you being able to enter ANY kind of code, nor does it have links to take you anywhere else. Sound like a reputable company to you? (Update 3/5/2007 - the LeMas website is not responding)
Some questions you might want to ask yourself before buying exotic ammo at it's exorbitant prices:
1) Why aren't large ammunition manufacturers such as Remington, Winchester, Hornady, Nosler, etc. producing this kind of ammo?
2) Why hasn't there been widespread community support for this kind of ammo?
3) Why are the ammunition manufacturers of exotic ammo not more forthcoming with scientific data?
Could it be that they know that their product doesn't live up to its claims, but that there's a tidy profit to be had by preying on the general public, which is unfamiliar with wound ballistics but responds well to glitzy marketing?
You will probably have heard the name "Doctor Gary Roberts" (aka DocGKR on many gun forums) mentioned before. I draw heavily on his research and opinions, as he is the foremost expert in terminal ballistics. His credentials in his own words:
|I am most thankful that the U.S. government graciously offered me the opportunity for such comprehensive training in hospital dentistry and surgery, as well as wound ballistics while I was on active duty. By way of background, I am currently on staff at a large West Coast teaching hospital and Level I Trauma center and also remain in the Reserves, where I have recently served on the Joint Service Wound Ballistic IPT, as well as being a consultant to the Joint FBI-USMC munitions testing program. In addition, I am a technical advisor to the Association of Firearms and Toolmark Examiners (www.AFTE.org) and was one of the first members of the International Wound Ballistic Association. Over the past 2 decades, I have been tasked with performing military, law enforcement, and privately funded independent wound ballistic testing and analysis, along with frequently being invited to lecture on the topic to military, law enforcement, and medical organizations.|
CASE STUDY - Glaser Safety Slugs
One common reason cited for using these lightweight rounds is to lessen the risk of overpenetration. Yet, look at the actual results obtained when firing a 9mm +P 80gr Glaser Safety slug through sheetrock before impacting ballistic gelatin. First of all, the deepest penetrating pellets in bare gelatin from the Glaser only reach 6-7 inches, which is woefully inadequate. When the slug first penetrates an interior wall, it fails to fragment and actually behaves like a FMJ bullet, reaching 12" in ballistic gelatin. For a full review of the experiment, please refer to brassfetcher.com's Glaser Safety Slug evaluation.
CASE STUDY - Extreme Shock ammo
Doctor Gary Roberts has provided some excellent data. For example: Topic: Extreme Shock Handgun Ammo
The article summarizes:
Glock17, 9mm 85 gr "Air Freedom", velocity = 1598fps
|Penetration||Recovered Diameter||Recovered Length||Recovered Weight|
|Bare Gelatin||3.9 - 5.5"||Small Fragments||N/A||N/A|
Shot in bare gelatin:
1911, .45ACP, 185 gr "Nytrillium Fragmentable JHP", velocity = 1117fps
|Penetration||Recovered Diameter||Recovered Length||Recovered Weight|
|Bare Gelatin||5.5 - 9.0"||Small Fragments||N/A||N/A|
|4-layer Denim||9.3 - 12.2"||Small Fragments||N/A||N/A|
Looking at the penetration ability reveals performance commensurate with a lightweight/high velocity type of load: Shallow penetration and probably a very large, superficial wound well below the minimum penetration depth requirement of 12". Not only that, but consider that most people buy these rounds assuming that they don't have to worry about overpenetration, yet the 185gr "Nytrillium" round grossly overpenetrated in the wallboard test.
CASE STUDY - DRT TerminalShock FMHP 79gr
The manufacturer claims that: "DRT™ lead free centerfire ammunition is designed to out-perform all other ammunition, whether related to accuracy, reliability or terminal ballistics and it is environmentally friendly."
Doctor Roberts has tested this ammunition, and has the following information: "There has been much speculation about the new DRT projectiles. As noted in previous threads, DRT (http://www.drtammo.com) appears to be producing the same type of powdered metal projectiles previously made by Powell River Labs and used by some U.S. units in the late 1990's. The PRL 5.56 mm and 7.62x51 mm rounds offered superb accuracy and terminal performance, however PRL had some production and QC difficulties. Dr. Fackler presented a paper in the IWBA Journal discussing the 5.56 mm 76 gr PRL tungsten-tin core rifle projectiles: Fackler, ML: "Tungsten Frangible Bullet Wounds in Pig: Exam by Autopsy and X-Ray". Wound Ballistic Review (4)3:33-34 Spring 2000. We independently tested the 61 and 87 gr versions of the PRL bullet at the CHP Academy in late 1999 and had similar results. Ironically, the PRL/DRT bullets are true "Blended Metal" projectiles..."
.223 DRT 79 gr in bare gel at 10 feet from 16" barrel:
CASE STUDY - RBCD/LeMas ammo
(NOTE: Many of the links in this section are now outdated or the posts have been archived. Sorry - but it's outside of my control...)
RBCD/LeMas also uses lightweight/high velocity projectiles in their ammo. One
complication was their use of "blended metal bullets". Furthermore, this first
article in particular has pointed out that LeMas ammo appears to be able to
detect changes in ambient temperature within the space of a few milliseconds,
and is able to either fragment in "warm" tissue, or retain armor piercing
capabilities in "cold" media. This claim has been completely discredited, so
take anything Mr. Crane writes with a grain of salt.
Le Mas Ltd. Blended Metal Technology Ammo vs. ADS Transparent Armor: AFJI Video!
by David Crane
Le Mas Ltd./RBCD Armor-Piercing 'Smart' Ammo for Counterterrorism Applications
by David Crane
Here are some examples of comments made by Stan Bulmer ("BMT") on AR15.com. Mr. Bulmer, I believe, is one of the founders of LeMas and/or the President. If you have access to the archive server, you can search for these posts and read them for your own amusement. They are indicative of how these ammo manufacturers push their wares: There is repeated use of very technical sounding terms which don't have much meaning but attempt to impress upon the uneducated masses the superiority of the poster's knowledge, along with many fantastic and unsubstantiated claims, and never any attempt to submit the ammo to independent testing. Also note that the claims that their ammo doesn't work in ballistic gelatin; we are left to presume that new frontiers of physics have been breached, going counter to all existing data available on the subject.
The lengthy discussions posted below are taken from posts made by various parties about this ammo on AR15.com and TacticalForums.com. The definitive answer in the subject has been reached; read to the end to find out who won.
"Good discussion on Lemas ammo"
|Quietshooter, not quite sure what you are
talking about. The 9mm and .45acp BMT handgun rounds that Gary Roberts
tested in calibrated gelatin penetrated over 16 inches. The live tissue
comparative impacts we have conducted as recorded on the Le Mas Ltd.
Paradigm CD in both armor and soft tissue destruction performance between
the BMT 9mm and .45acp ammunition, and the 9mm Golden Saber and .45acp
Golddot bullet were illustrative to say the least. Although the conventional
hollow point bullet ammunition did over penetrate the 125-150 pound hogs and
the BMT ammunition did not, both heart and lung tissue destruction's and
corresponding incapacitation rates were much greater with the CQB
We have made many advancements since March 2002, we now have .45acp 85 grain bullet designs that exceed 2475fps when fired from the Glock-21 and will defeat 1/4" steel. Some folks have reported that this ammunition will also perform very effectively as a primary breaching capability from a handgun platform. For applications within the CQB environment the BMT .45acp 85 grain CQB bullet has more energy and armor capability from the Glock-21 than many short barreled 5.56 weapons which utilize conventional bullet designs. Some law enforcement personnel have found that the short barreled HK-53 weapons they use with the 75 grain TAP ammunition will not reliably penetrate soft barriers. The BMT .45acp 85 grain subgun platform ammunition can deliver in excess of 2600fps.
The short barrel burn BMT 5.56 Land Warfare Armor Piercing Limited Penetration ammunition from a 12" 1/7 barrel will deliver 3450fps and will also defeat 3/8" AR-500 steel. I will challenge any 5.56 or 6.8 conventional bullet in the world to match the performance in both armor and live tissue from this weapon platform 0-250 meters. IIRC the new XM-8 weapon system's are manufactured with a 12 inch barrel.
|1a) The .45acp BMT L/E will penetrate
1/4" stainless steel, as the .357sig, 10mm will, but not AR-400 or any
AR-500. The only round handgun round that has penetrated any AR steel was
the 9x23 CQB bullet which penetrated only 3/16" AR-500 up close from a
subgun length barrel. The fastest handgun bullet we have is a 37 grain 10mm
hollow point that does 3500fps from a 15 inch barrel and 3000fps from a 5
inch 1911. 1/4" steel is hard enough to penetrate. There is no handgun duty
round I know of that will penetrate even 12 guage steel when fired from a
subgun. There are dedicated European AP bullet designs that will not
penetrate 1/4" steel, and deliever poor tissue destruction and great over
penetration in living tissue. The .45acp bullet discussed here has never
over penetrated a live tissue medium unlike conventional hollow point bullet
designs whose penetration depths in gelatin were much less with no capablity
to penetrate hard armors.
1b) The 9mm and .45acp rounds Gary Roberts tested in gelatin penetrated over 18" into calibarated ballistic gelatin IIRC. Both handgun and rifle bullet fragmentation descriptions into living tissue after armor penetration are dependant on what type of barriers are penetrated and the corresponding available energy of the projectile when impacting tissue. We have not done live tissue handgun fragmentation studies after penetrating either hard or soft armor. We do see fragmentation into live tissue after hard armor (AR-500) penetrations with the rifle rounds and is most prolific with the Land Warfare bullet designs. Both high speed digital film and recovered projectiles into soft armor show the ability of these rounds to penetrate what are
non penetrable armors to non dedicated AP bullet designs intact. Those pictures are available on the website that was mentioned at the start of this thread. I do not know of simple lead bullet constructions that can penetrate such hard armors in tact, yet also provide immediate fragmentation through out live tissue thoracic cavities. Unlike most conventional bullet designs, we believe many of our bullet designs do not soley rely on yawing or destablization to facilitate fragmentation. We believe that the bullets also fragment from stabilized trajectories during penetration for some of our bullet designs which have been optimized to bleed particulant during live tissue penetration. We have this hypothesis based on trapping the rounds during various stages of fragmentation. The lateral and linear dimensions of bullet fragmenation patterns for these same types of rounds can also be viewed on different websites.
There have been 9mm and .45acp ballistic gelatin studies done after penetrating soft barriers for depth of penetration which I was only verbally debriefed on. The performance IIRC was measured at 8-10 inches of penetration when fired from duty T/O handguns. Since we have many bullet designs and performance capabilities based on the specific weapon platforms and bullet design, I do notknow the what the higher performance ammunition would be in the same calibers, but would expect the penetration depths in gelatin to be even greater for specific or dedicated platforms and ammunition. Fragmentation or expansion descriptions are different for most bullet designs after penetration with respect to either hard and soft armor. Some of the CQB bullet designs are optimized for one type of barrier penetration but not another. We have CQB rounds with identical velocities, lvie tissue destructions, and hard armor capability, but are resistant to penetrating soft barriers.
2) The resulting fragmentation patterns or lack there of when impacting cold and warm raw tissue mediums is unique to these bullet designs. Lots of folks with PHD's are trying to figure out why. The rounds operationally perform as advertised. The efforts to show different fragmention patterns when impacting warm and cold tissue, were never advertised than anything other than a comparative impact medium to demonstrate this phonemena, as conventional bullets fragment or expand similarily in either warm or cold tissue, and they also perform similarily in live tissue and ballistic gelatin. No one who has duplicated impacts with the military and l/e rounds into cold and warm raw meat has refuted our observations to my knowledge. Folks may not like the claim that ballistic gelatin will not accurately access or predict the performance in live tissue for these bullet designs, but no ballistic expert who has conducted gelatin only impacts would have predicted the observed effectiveness for these rounds in live tissue. The live tissue comparative impacts we have conducted and provided for folks to view show a dramatic comparison between coventional bullet designs and the BMT rounds.
To discuss the manufacturing process and mechanisms believed to be responsible for the phonomena's observed on a public format would be a vilation of confidentiality and propriatory informtion, as are any exchanges of the same information with any DOD or federal agency who also requests the same types of information on these ammunition designs. So to wrap up the answer to your last question, the rounds perform as advertised, if their observed operational capabilites require ballsitic theory first before observed performance is validated, the dog is wagging the tail.
Not a single person to my knowledge who had fired this ammunition into armor and live tissue with the exception of R&D 50 caliber ammunition, has stated the ammunition did not perform as advertised.
[Personal observation] These posts are indicative of how these ammo manufacturers push their wares. There is repeated use of very technical sounding terms, which don't have much meaning but attempt to impress upon the uneducated masses the superiority of the poster's knowledge. Also note that the claims that their ammo doesn't work in ballistic gelatin, going counter to all scientific knowledge.
In contrast are some posts from Doctor Gary Roberts:
"LeMas Elemental analysis to begin"
Last week, FedEx delivered boxes of current production RBCD/LeMas .223 Urban Warfare and .223 Land Warfare loads, as well as .308 Land Warfare from those who recently received them from Mr. Bulmer.
We will begin testing immediately. Since we still do not know who the designers of the RBCD/LeMas loads are, we will be unable to conduct interviews. Likewise, we are unable to inspect the RBCD/LeMas facilities. As a result, we will be moving directly to an elemental analysis of the RBCD/LeMas BMT loads. Upon completion, we will be able to state precisely what metals are used in the construction of the LeMas BMT bullets and will be able to fully explain their physical properties-including whether the LeMas bullets are truly "blended metal" and a "non-comparable bullet technology" as repeatedly stated by Mr. Bulmer. The analysis will be similar to that used in assessing LeMas handgun bullets:
As I have stated all along, eventually the irrefutable facts about LeMas BMT APLP will be demonstrated and the truth will be indisputably revealed...the clock is ticking and we will report the findings as soon as this phase of testing is complete.
Timeline could be as short as a few weeks to as long as several months. This testing needs to be fit in around our already full schedules and all of us are extremely busy this time of year. In addition, some of the analytical equipment needed for this research are shared assets--availability is somewhat limited. Finally, this is testing is not being funded by the Federal Government. End result: answers are likely to be available as early as late December 04 to as distant as early Spring 05. Sorry, but there are too many factors involved to be more definite at this point.
While the distortions perpetuated by politicians and the media try to obfuscate the issue, the term "assault rifle" has a specific definition--a shoulder fired carbine, using an intermediate cartridge, firing from a closed bolt, capable of using a large capacity detachable magazine, and having select fire capability. Unlike Diane Feinstein and other of her ilk, professionals know and understand what an assault rife is (and is not) and use the term appropriately.
Likewise, don't let LeMas's hyperbole distract you from using or understanding the term, "blended metal", as delineated above, when it is an appropriate and correct description.
Keep in mind, true "blended metal" bullets have fared very well in testing. For example, the JAG approved, 5.56 mm Powell River Laboratories (PRL) 87 gr bullet used a "blended metal" powdered tungsten-tin core with copper jacket, offering outstanding terminal performance and long range accuracy-it's main problems were high cost, limited production capability, and inconsistent quality control. See: Fackler ML: Tungsten Frangible Bullet Wounds in Pig: Exam by Autopsy and X-Ray. Wound Ballistic Review. (4)3:33-34, Spring 2000.
A good description of the differences between true blended metal and conventional construction bullets can be found at: www.fbo.gov/spg/DON/NAVSEA/N00164/N0016404R4846/SynopsisR.html
The description of standard swaged, lead-core, jacketed bullets is outstanding, as it provides a perfect definition of conventional bullet construction:
"Conventional lead core, full metal jacket rifle projectiles, such as those used by the US military, consists of a gilding metal jacket and a lead core. The gilding metal used in the jacket typically consists of cupronickel, cupro-zinc, cupro-tin or in some cases pure copper. The projectile core is not pure lead. The core typically consists of lead mixed with antimony or tin. The hardness and brittleness of the lead core is controlled by the amount of antimony or tin added. The lead used in the core is melted and the desired amount of antimony or tin is added to the molten lead."
The description of "blended metal" projectiles is also very good, as it accurately defines what "blended metal" bullets actually are and how their construction differs from conventional bullets:
"Within the past 10-15 years, many different manufacturers have developed projectiles which utilize cores manufactured with materials other than lead, using processes other than melting. The base metals used in these formulations are usually a very fine powder. Copper, tungsten, and brass are examples of some of the base powdered metals used to date. These powdered metals are mixed with a binder such as tin, zinc, or a polymer such as nylon. Once the powdered metal(s) and binder(s) are mixed, they are pressed or molded into the final projectile core form, and in some cases sintered. The description of a blended metal technology projectile would then be any projectile manufactured from a mix of powdered metals and binders which are blended and then pressed or molded into the desired form or shape."
Tactical Forums, Topic: Best in .45 ACP
DocGKR , 5/30/2002 dicussing: RBCD Performance Plus (90/115gr TFSP), Magsafe's 68gr Super SWAT
|You both quote velocities and kinetic
energy, in what we can only imagine is a futile attempt to justify your
juvenile assertions. Unfortunately, as clearly illustrated in the relevant
scientific literature for nearly 20 years, neither velocity nor kinetic
energy are mechanisms of wounding or physiological incapacitation. So why
would Magsafe or RBCD be a good choice as a duty load? Tell us, how deeply
do they penetrate, how much tissue is crushed and stretched, how is the
terminal performance of these loads after first penetrating an intermediate
barrier? How have these loads performed during scientific testing by
respected researchers, such as the FBI or U.S. military? Better yet,
describe the autopsy results from officer involved shootings using these
loads. How have these loads done in actual use with "Super SWAT" teams, like
U.S. military units tasked with CT missions, FBI HRT, or LAPD D-Platoon?
OOPS, how silly, none of these units use these loads--could they have good
reasons why they do not issue the Magsafe or RBCD loads? Probably not, since
you two obviously have far more real world operational experience than best
tactical units in our nation.............
The RBCD loading has not shown itself to be superior in any way when the testing is performed with established protocols using calibrated ballistic gelatin.The wound profile of the 45 caliber RBCD TFSP created in the gelatin is actually very similar to the profile of the full metal jacketed 9mm NATO loading with a long thin permanent crush cavity.The only remarkable capability of this ammo is that it is highly penetrative of almost all brands of Officer issued safety equipment; this is not an asset to the patrol officer and should in fact be viewed as a significant safety hazard.
You state, "...that is going to dump all it's energy inside you"; energy dump is a meaningless and inane term--it is NOT a physiological mechanism of wounding or incapacitation. Read the body of scientific literature discussing this topic; how deep does the projectile penetrate, how much tissue is crushed, what is the magnitude of tissue stretch--these are some of the most critical parameters in assessing the physiological terminal performance potential of a projectile, yet in your comments, you persist in focusing on irrelevancies and are ignoring what is important. This is distracting and wastes all of our time.
After much back-and-forth, some hard data finally became available as Doctor Roberts was able to obtain some ammunition and test it for himself:
LeMas/RBCD Ammunition Analysis This is by far the most comprehensive analysis of LeMas ammo, and shows that the LeMas 5.56 mm Urban Warfare load is actually a Nosler 40 gr Ballistic Tip #39510, while the LeMas 5.56 mm Land Warfare appears to be a Sierra 45 gr JSP Varminter #1310. Similarly the LeMas .308 Land Warfare turned out to be a Hornady 110 gr JSP #3010, while the LeMas .308 TFSP is really a Hornady 110 gr VMAX #23010, and the LeMas .308 Urban Warfare is a Nosler 125 gr Ballistic Tip #30125. In other words: low-weight, high-velocity varmint bullets; a complete fraud.
Furthermore, Doctor Roberts has posted that there is now incontrovertible proof in the form of extensive research conducted by the US government:
|Final proof is now available, as noted, as after a 3 year, $1,050,000.00 Congressionally mandated multi-agency testing effort, the United States government has come to exactly the same conclusion about the duplicitous nature of LeMas's claims, as documented in the recently released USSCOM/ARDEC report: “ARAET-TR-07009 Blended Metal Technology Review and Analysis”.|
It is my firm belief that the manufacturers of this type of ammunition preys upon the un-knowing public and is selling them a product which may not perform as well as much more "conventional" ammunition. This could have grave consequences for the unsuspecting buyer.
While a lot of this article dealt with LeMas in particular, the same applies to other manufacturers of this ammo in that they rely on an uneducated consumer to make a profit. That case study showed many of the arguments pushed by makers of this type of ammo, and also showed why their claims are not valid.
A common theme in all these wonder-bullets is their light weight, high velocity design. Taking this into consideration, I will make a blanket statement that they could work in certain scenarios. For this information, please refer to the Fackler article "A Reconsideration of the Wounding Mechanism of Very High Velocity Projectiles - Importance of Projectile Shape". It can certainly be argued that very high velocity does have a quality all of its own, but the bullets in question don't quite have the velocity required to cause the massive tissue destruction shown in the article, nor do they have the correct shape to be shot out of a gun and be aerodynamic enough. Please read the article and see wehat you think. If you were to shoot someone and have an unobstructed shot at a torso, even the large, superficial wound these rounds would produce would probably be sufficient. There's no doubt that they'd cause some nasty wounds when extremities are hit. But please don't confuse this with reliable performance when less than ideal factors are taken into account. Ideal scenarios are not likely to be present during a real-life shootout, and you may find yourself with much less than you bargained for by choosing this type of ammunition.
3/ 5/2007: Added "Eliminator-X" ammo and tweaked the layout a little bit.
6/ 6/2006: Added link to Doctor Robert's latest tests.
9/21/2007: Added more information about Glaser Safety Slugs from brassfetcher.com
1/ 5/2007: Reordered article to make the information flow better.
2/27/2009: Added info about DRT ammo.