armor piercing components


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neoncowboy
January 23, 2006, 04:33 PM
I thought 'armor piercing ammunition' was illegal for us regular folks...what about AP components (bullets) for reloading?

Are those legal to buy/posess?
Will I get a visit from the ATF if I order a bag of AP 308 bullets online?

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000Buck
January 23, 2006, 04:48 PM
In the law banning AP ammo, there are two things specifically exempted in the text, I think it is the black tipped 30-06 steel core and maybe the SS109 heads. Maybe not the SS109 heads, they arent armor piercing, but I do remember seeing the black tipped bullets.

boofus
January 23, 2006, 05:01 PM
.308 FMJ, lead core rifle bullets are by definition not 'armor piercing'.

US Code Title 18 Section 921
(B) The term “armor piercing ammunition” means—

(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.

Apparently you can legally have depleted uranium bullets in some weird caliber like .338 lapua magnum or .577 t-rex as long as there is no handgun that also fires that round.

neoncowboy
January 23, 2006, 05:21 PM
What about the .308 bullets with the steel penetrator (black tip)?

I thought it was pretty evident that .308 bullets were not 'handgun' bullets.

Car Knocker
January 23, 2006, 09:07 PM
deleted

Car Knocker
January 23, 2006, 09:12 PM
I thought it was pretty evident that .308 bullets were not 'handgun' bullets.

The Contender has barrels chambered in .308, as do other manufacturers. You can buy a revolver chambered in .45-70, another round that some may think it is "pretty evident" is not a handgun round. The .300 Whisper round can be chambered in an AR pistol. The armored-piercing question isn't black and white, there are a lot of shades of grey.

rkba_net
January 24, 2006, 12:43 AM
Here is the AP ammo FAQ...

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs.cmu.edu/user/wbardwel/public/nfalist/ap_ammo.txt

Optical Serenity
January 24, 2006, 02:50 AM
just out of curiosity, what is the fascination with AP rounds?

And I mean that with pure curiosity, not saying its right or wrong.

Double Naught Spy
January 24, 2006, 12:30 PM
The fascination of AP isn't so much that they can pierce armor, but they they can more readily pierce various types of cover better than regular ammo. Simply put, few of us not in the military or police will ever be battling with a person behind hard armor, but if you are battling some one, they very well may be behind brick, wood, or automotive cover.

During the North Hollywood bank robbery, officers and civilians trapped behind a police car were injured while using the car's wheels for cover. The rims aren't bad cover for non-AP ammo, but the AP ammo came right through them.

Where 'armor' is being described here, it is hard armor, not soft. Soft armor is readily penetrated by pointy military ball ammo fired from a rifle and similar pointy ammo such as the 5.7 pistol ammo. Just because it can penetrate soft armor does not then make it classified as armor piercing.

Boofus cited the AP definition that noted the material makeup is important. Strangely, just because ammo is composed of some of the materials that are mentioned there does not make the ammo AP. For example, Taurus makes a solid copper hollowpoint round. Federal used to make solid copper (enviro-friendly) truncated cone training round for use at indoor ranges. Various companies make frangible ammo out of things like compressed copper.

neoncowboy, AP ammo for long guns is not restricted by federal law from us regular people. You may have state laws that preclude it, however.

benEzra
January 24, 2006, 03:15 PM
What about the .308 bullets with the steel penetrator (black tip)?

I thought it was pretty evident that .308 bullets were not 'handgun' bullets.
In early 1994, the BATFE reclassified .223, 7.62x39mm, and .308/7.62x51mm as handgun rounds for the purposes of the 1986 law. The justification was the production of some Olympic Arms AR-based pistols in .223 and 7.62x39, and I have no idea why .308 was included. The justification may be that AP in these calibers may allow them to penetrate Level III body armor, which would otherwise be proof against those calibers. AP is irrelevant in larger calibers (.30-06 and up) because they will go through Level III armor even with non-AP bullets, so banning AP in .338 WinMag is pointless.

So the upshot is that all handgun calibers, as well as .223, 7.62x39mm, and .308/7.62x51mm, fall under a construction-based AP ban, but larger rifle calibers do not. You can shoot solid steel match bullets in a larger caliber, but steel-core 7.62x39mm is prohibited.

Back to components. If you possess .308-diameter AP bullets that you intend to reload into .300 WinMag ammo, or .30-06, I don't think that would be illegal (though I'm not a lawyer). But possession with the intent to make .308 Winchester/7.62x51mm AP could possibly be a crime, and construction of such ammo definitely would be.

Where 'armor' is being described here, it is hard armor, not soft. Soft armor is readily penetrated by pointy military ball ammo fired from a rifle and similar pointy ammo such as the 5.7 pistol ammo. Just because it can penetrate soft armor does not then make it classified as armor piercing.
Doesn't have to be pointy if it's traveling at rifle velocities. Round-nose .30-30 Winchester softpoints will easily penetrate NIJ Level IIIA armor, which is why Ted Kennedy said in 2004 that .30-30 Winchester ammo needs to be banned. :scrutiny:

With civilian-legal ammo, 5.7x28mm will not penetrate any vest that is proof against a .357 magnum 125-gr JHP, as I recall. The Bradyite video alleging armor penetration by civvie 5.7x28mm showed an old NIJ Level IIA vest being perforated, which is not even rated to stop .357. NIJ Level IIIA will stop all 5.7x28mm except the military-only tungsten-core stuff, and NIJ Level II will stop any load currently marketed in that caliber, IIRC.

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