LEO-Only Ammo: Dumb Question


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LooseGrouper
May 8, 2005, 12:31 AM
I picked up some Federal 9mm 124 grain Hydrashock ammo today to try it out. When I got home, I noticed that the box says "Law Enforcement Only." What's the deal? Did the guy at the shop screw up and give me the wrong stuff? Does the LEO-Only nomenclature actually mean anything?

Just curious.

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jeff-10
May 8, 2005, 12:52 AM
I am pretty sure that the ammo is marked "Law Enforcement Only" for marketing purposes only. Seeing as you can buy the stuff just about anywhere other than Wal-Mart.

Hypnogator
May 8, 2005, 01:04 AM
Did the guy at the shop screw up and give me the wrong stuff? Does the LEO-Only nomenclature actually mean anything?

Omygawd! :eek: You fell for the old "LEO-Only" trap! :what: Now you're in possession of LEO-Only ammunition! You can bet that the shop called the Feds the instant you left, and that they're obtaining a search-and-destroy warrant for your residence, vehicles, vacation cabin, and place of employment even as I'm typing this! :rolleyes: :evil:

:neener: :neener: Just Kidding! :neener: :neener:

Ammo marked "Law Enforcement Only" is basically a marketing ploy by manufacturers who wish to be able to state that their most effective mushrooming man-stoppers aren't to be sold to ordinary citizens. I'm not aware of anywhere where purchasing, owning, or using this type of ammo is illegal. Bearing in mind, however, cesspools like NJ which bar civilian carry of any hollow-point type ammunition, of which the LEO-Only would be a subset.

TheOtherOne
May 8, 2005, 01:47 AM
I had a regular (non-walmart) gun store that carries scary black weapons refuse to let me buy any Choke Shotgun Ammo from them. The guy behind the counter said it was LE-only. I bought some other brand of low-recoil 00 buck instead and then after getting home I searched all over for any state laws on shotgun ammo and nothing. It's just BS marketing like everyone else has said.

LooseGrouper
May 8, 2005, 02:16 AM
Thanks for the swift responses. I kinda thought the LE-only thing was BS. Just like that thing about how I supposedly shouldn't make my own silencers in the garage, or modify my Rem 1100s to shoot full auto (kidding, kidding!)

And thanks for all the wisecracks at my ignorance. That's...sniff...okay. I have a thick...sniff, sniff...skin. I can...sniff...take it. :)

whm1974
May 8, 2005, 02:58 AM
Some stuff wouldn't be legal under Federal and state laws for us peons to have. AP handguns rounds under the Feds. Here in IL, Dragon's Breath, Bolo, and Feletce shotgun shell are a no no.

Since I've never seen any of the above for sale I don't know if it's marked "LEO". However Most of the "LEO" stuff is legal and is either a marketing ploy or a way to keep the media off the makers back.

-Bill

Jeff White
May 8, 2005, 06:08 AM
I actually asked Winchester at the NRA convention several years back about the +P+ ammo they were marketing as LEO Only. At the time it was our 9mm duty round, the same as the Illinois State Police. Their rep told me that it was marketed that way because they could be reasonably certain that it would be used in a modern design semi-auto that could withstand the pressures that were higher then the SAAMI standard. They were worried (or most likely their legal department was) that if they just dropped it on the public, somebody would use it in an old, poorly designed pistol and blow the gun and maybe themselves up.

That's it liability reasons. I would bet that you'll find a warning somewhere on the box that the ammunition develops higher pressures then SAAMI says it should.

Jeff

whm1974
May 8, 2005, 06:37 AM
Their rep told me that it was marketed that way because they could be reasonably certain that it would be used in a modern design semi-auto that could withstand the pressures that were higher then the SAAMI standard. They were worried (or most likely their legal department was) that if they just dropped it on the public, somebody would use it in an old, poorly designed pistol and blow the gun and maybe themselves up.

Since most PD do trade in thier guns every so often for newer guns they will have more moden pistols then most people. There are a lot of old worn out pistols not ment to handle +p ammo.

-Bill

jefnvk
May 8, 2005, 10:40 AM
I think in one instance, there was a batch made up for LEO, they overproduced, and the surplus got shifted around from distributor to distributor until someone just sold it on the commercial market. Again, not illegal to own, it was just contracted for LEOs.

cpileri
May 8, 2005, 12:43 PM
CHOKE Bonded Buckshot is marketed LEO-Only and the manufacturer is limiting itsdistribution to LE only voluntarily.
I am on a perpetual search for CHOKE ammo, one box of each loaded for semi- and pump sg's.
I called CHOKE directly and they said that although there is no legal restriction at all to civilian ownership, nor even for them to sell it to civilians, they are limiting it of their own accord.

Whereas with the federal product, they sell to LE and other distributors who are then free to sell it to whatever class of citizen they wish. Therefore it makes it to the civilian market much more often.

A small ray of hope is that the Hornady TAP and other brands are using the CHOKE shotcup to tighten up the patterns. I don't know what the 'bonding' process exactly entails other than it keeps the shot in a bug slug-like shape until it hits- the ultimate pattern density- then it disperses.

So its the best, we all want some, blah blah blah... well, someday I will come across some but for now its TAP.

C-

CAPTAIN MIKE
May 8, 2005, 01:50 PM
I cracked up one day when a thread poster mentioned that he was wearing his Royal Robbings 511 Tactical pants one day minding his own business when :cool: a cop had said something about his pants being 'Law Enforcement Only'.

Another poster then said that Royal Robbins made the pants originally for mountain climbers but because of their durability and practical ('tactical') design, many LE agencies (starting I believe with the FBI) had adopted them for use. Many shooters have also adopted them but when ever I get a set, I never see a 'Law Enforcement Only' sticker anywhere in sight.

Gunsnrovers
May 8, 2005, 03:05 PM
LEO's and department buyers are as guilty as buying into hype as anyone else.

LEO Only does have a nice ring to it when you're using it. All the cool kids are using it.

Hypnogator
May 8, 2005, 04:46 PM
And thanks for all the wisecracks at my ignorance. That's...sniff...okay. I have a thick...sniff, sniff...skin. I can...sniff...take it.

Glad to see you'll survive on THR. Every newbee deserves a little hazing! :D

Jeff's info about Winchester restricting their +P+ stuff to LE sounds logical. The 9mm Parabellum was originally loaded considerably than the current SAAMI specs call for. US ammo companies deliberately download the 9mm because of the Italian Glisenti pistol -- a blowback semi-auto chambered for the 9mm Glisenti cartridge, which is dimensionally identical to the 9mm Parabellum, but loaded to a much lower pressure. High-pressure 9mm Parabellum, if fired in the Glisenti, would cause what the industry refers to as a "catastrophic failure" of the pistol. Think fragmentation grenade. STANAG ammo, like the M882 ball, is loaded to +P+ pressures. Parenthetically, I should note that M882 or +P+ is safe to fire in modern 9mm Parabellum handguns, but it will accelerate wear considerably. Best to use it as duty ammo and shoot it only to familiarize yourself with it. Use regular pressure stuff for most of your practice.

TonkinTwentyMil
May 8, 2005, 05:06 PM
... and Ford Crown Vic sedans (with engine and suspension upgrades... painted black, white, silver, or brown) should be restricted to LEO's, as well. Right?

And then there's Oakley sunglasses... short hair-cuts... the Spyderco "Police" folder... Kevlar vests... SWAT "assault" boots... police-sniper-only 'scopes... bullet-resistant auto glass... run-flat tires... Surefire "assault" flashlights...

Let's BAN them all -- For The Children!

Now that Howie Dean has decreed that guns are no longer a Democrat issue, perhaps some enlightened (Dem) elected officials from California, Illinois, or New Jersey will have the courage to initiate legislation to save us from the raging Menace-To-Society these loop-holes allow to stand unchecked.

Like, if it saves just one life, wouldn't it be worth it?

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