Reloading w/armor piercing bullets?


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Impureclient
August 15, 2010, 10:30 PM
Another post got in here got me curious about armor penetrating rounds. As a reloader, are there laws concerning what bullet you can and can't use use?
I would imagine you don't and cannot buy them to make your own armor piercing round but can you make your own bullets out of something other than lead?
Not that I want to do so but it seems like some people would make them for themselves if they want to have the maximum damage possible. If it is legal, is
that just asking for trouble if you end up using it in self defense? I was mainly just curious because it seemed like it would be fun to shoot something like that
at the range into some masonry or metal targets.

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longdayjake
August 15, 2010, 10:32 PM
No you have it backwards. You cannot make your own AP projectiles without a manufacturing license. You can take AP bullets that are already manufactured and make loaded ammunition out of them. You will see a lot of pulled AP .50 cal stuff around and it is legal to make ammo out of it. Also, the atf does not consider m855 /ss109 to be AP nor does it consider .30-06 AP to be AP.

noyes
August 15, 2010, 10:38 PM
In my state they are legal. Your state , city etc. be different.

Floppy_D
August 15, 2010, 10:43 PM
Your bigger concern is with ranges that don't permit AP ammo... it wrecks their backstops and targets. I typically shoot public ranges, and they frown on penetrating ammo. As far as SD, AP is subordinate to soft points and frangible ammo.

marktx
August 15, 2010, 10:45 PM
This old thread has some good information..

http://www.thehighroad.us/showthread.php?t=298529

evan price
August 15, 2010, 11:03 PM
I seem to recall it being illegal to pull the M2 black tips from 30-06 and reload them into .308, due to armor-piercing pistol ammo rules the ATF came up with.

bds
August 15, 2010, 11:38 PM
Aren't most jacketed and solid core carbine and rifle bullets "armor piercing" as in body armor? I don't know of any laws against hand/reloading them.

Clark
August 16, 2010, 12:27 AM
Most, but not all, of the anti armor piercing bullet laws died with the 2004 sunset of the 1994 assault weapons ban.

Typically when you see laws that say illegal to manufacture, you will see them all over gun shows anyway, with agents not interfering.

When you see laws that say illegal to posses, like from 1934 about sawed off shotguns, silencers, and machine guns, you will read about gov raids.

Finally, most firearm violations are never prosecuted, but traded away in plea bargaining for other crimes. Juries will not always convict on firearms violations. So just violating gun laws is not an attractive crime for law enforcement. It is mostly used to supplement other charges of criminal behavior.

Meanwhile we law abiding citizens, who have never been arrested, worry.

Frozen North
August 16, 2010, 12:41 AM
I am pretty sure the laws are still in place for AP pistol bullets. In an SD situation, I would surely want to be loaded with HP ammo anyway. The odds of Mr. Bad guy wearing soft body armor exists, but the odds are still pretty low. An AP bullet will pass through a human body with little damage, I would rather put my odds on a round that will unload its energy where it counts. Remember that a soft vest will do very little to stop any standard high power rifle fire, especially a FMJ.

If you are concerned with gang bangers with vests, practice a failure to stop drill. I would not carry AP bullets in my pistol.

ReloaderFred
August 16, 2010, 01:38 AM
It is still illegal to load armor piercing handgun ammunition, and 7.62x51 rifle ammunition, and as far as I know, those prohibitions predated the 1994 Assualt Weapons Ban. Other rifle calibers are legal to possess under federal law, but may be banned under state and local laws.

Hope this helps.

Fred

bds
August 16, 2010, 02:20 AM
The odds of Mr. Bad guy wearing soft body armor exists, but the odds are still pretty low.
If you have concerns of whether your threat is wearing body armor, you can use the tactics of shots to the hip/pelvis first instead of center-of-mass/chest (I believe some Israeli units use this). Rarely will you see body armor covering the hip/pelvis and this is a very vascular area where you can't stop the bleeding. Your target won't die immediately, but will drop to the floor with pain and won't be running too fast. You can always perform additional follow-up shots until you feel your immediate threat has been neutralized - which is when the threat stops moving.

One cable show I watched stated that hip/pelvis shots will often make the target drop to the floor faster than the center-of-mass shots. Of course, full facial armor (like the Star Wars storm trooper type) is not a commonality and head-shots are often fatal.

Back to OP.

rcmodel
August 16, 2010, 12:45 PM
fun to shoot something like that at the range into some masonry or metal targets.AP is very dangerous stuff to play with.

If it penetrates the metal target, all is well.

If it fails to penetrate the metal, the AP core will often bounce straight back at you going almost as fast as it went.

Careful or you'll shoot your eye out!

A friend in HS put a hole clear through the trunk of his old 51 Ford with GI surplus 30-06 AP.
He shot a chunk of railroad rail at 25 yards.

The core came right back and missed his head by an inch or two, then went right through the rear fender of his car and out the other side.

rc

EMC45
August 16, 2010, 12:57 PM
Have a buddy who caught some AP in his hand after it hit a metal backstop. He wasn't even shooting!!! It was his buddy.

Impureclient
August 16, 2010, 08:46 PM
Last two posts ended the thread for me....I wanted more fun, not a hole in me.

benEzra
August 16, 2010, 09:53 PM
You will see a lot of pulled AP .50 cal stuff around and it is legal to make ammo out of it. Also, the atf does not consider m855 /ss109 to be AP nor does it consider .30-06 AP to be AP.
It's not that they don't consider .30-06 M2 AP to be non-AP, but that they don't consider .30-06 to be handgun ammunition. 5.56x45mm and 7.62x39mm, on the other hand, fall under the "AP handgun ammo" ban of 1986 as amended and expanded in 1994-ish, but green-tip M855 isn't considered AP because it isn't AP (it's regular ball).

Most, but not all, of the anti armor piercing bullet laws died with the 2004 sunset of the 1994 assault weapons ban.
I don't believe any AP laws were affected at all by the "assault weapon" non-ban's expiration, as no such laws were part of the AWB. The rest of the Clinton Crime Bill didn't expire in '04.

I believe the relevant laws are the 1986 "cop-killer bullet" ban and some provisions in the 1994 Crime Bill (not the AWB portion), and there was also a BATFE administrative decision in 1994-ish that classified 7.62x39mm and some other small- and intermediate caliber rifle rounds as "handgun ammunition" for the purposes of the law.

Win1892
August 16, 2010, 10:02 PM
I load AP in 50BMG and knock holes in 1" steel plate at 300 Yds with my AR-50. We'll shoot APs for a while then knock the plate over with a ball round.

Learned a harsh lesson with a 50 BMG tracer though. Shooting tracers into a pond bank and hit a buried but hard stump. Bounced the tracer straight up into the air like a flare. Came down in the woods and started a fire.

shooter429
January 10, 2011, 08:03 PM
If you have concerns of whether your threat is wearing body armor, you can use the tactics of shots to the hip/pelvis first instead of center-of-mass/ches..

I am interested in hard armor like steel and ceramics, not Kevlar. Would like to punch holes in hardened steel from a M4 or M14. would actually prefer to roll my own if anybody has a source for the bullets.

Visionz45
January 10, 2011, 08:07 PM
Look at Military spec and chrono them to their velocities, thats should lead you down the road of best ballistic performance.....and the legal matter is on you. Ive hit many hard targets with AP/API/M855 rounds in the service and never noticed a "right back at me shot" sounds like pac man haha. I can't imagine an object hitting another object and returning with nearly the same amount of force..steel or ceramic. Unless your target has the new "E" sapi plates you shoudn't worry about penetration as I figured you weren't.

Visionz45
January 10, 2011, 08:21 PM
And yes they developed the new "Enchanced" sapi because the steel core 7.62x54R bullets were penetrating our point blank vests with regular "M80 Ball spec" sapi plates. Damn dragunovs and pkms.

Strykervet
January 11, 2011, 09:22 PM
We would shoot 855's at steel silhouettes in the army. Doing snap drills at 10-20m, I saw a guy get hit in the eye with a disintegrated jacket, and I have taken splatter to the face (but I always wore glasses, so my eyes were spared). I've seen the cores bounce back to the firing line, where the jacket usually splashes into pieces. Mostly happened at closer ranges, always less than 100m, and always using heavy 1" steel targets.

The armor core is usually found complete and unmolested.

The Raufoss .50 BMG HE-API round (green tip, silver band), on the other hand, punches holes like a plasma torch. Would love to put one of those through a propane tank at mile or so and record it for posterity.

Clark
January 12, 2011, 03:56 PM
Small Arms Review is the place to read about where ATF rulings are overturned by court cases.

There is always the question, "Do you want to be a test case?"

SmokeySam81
January 12, 2011, 04:13 PM
on those pelvic shots, if you can break the bone, the guy isn't going anywhere. I learned that as an alternative to head shots in cqb. 2 to the chest one to the head, or pelvis.

Joe in fla
January 12, 2011, 04:20 PM
In the old days, .30-06 AP was generally regarded as being the most accurate surplus 06 ammo. After we fired the stuff we'd go around and pick up the steel penetrators and use them for center punches! Yeah, they were THAT hard!

AP is (was?) illegal BUT only in rounds that could be used in handguns.

Also a lot of people think that all steel cored ammo is AP. It's not. The legal definition of AP is that it has a HARDENED steel penetrator with a pointed tip and is DESIGNED to penetrate. The blunt ended, mild steel, cylinder used in steel core ammo does not fit that definition.

Ret.CWO
January 12, 2011, 05:22 PM
AP rounds are not for Maxim damage, they are for going thru armor. If they hit flesh they leave a nice clean thru and thru hole. HP's and soft nose do Maxim damage both out lawed under the Geneva Convention. If you want to try and stop a motor Veh. they are used to shoot at the engine block

Clark
January 12, 2011, 07:28 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollow-point_bullet

The Hague Convention of 1899, Declaration III, prohibits the use in warfare of bullets that easily expand or flatten in the body.[3] This is often incorrectly believed to be prohibited in the Geneva Conventions, but it significantly predates those conventions, and is in fact a continuance of the St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868, which banned exploding projectiles of less than 400 grams, as well as weapons designed to aggravate injured soldiers or make their death inevitable. NATO members do not use small arms ammunition that is prohibited by the Hague Convention.

MtnCreek
January 12, 2011, 07:47 PM
I assume AP is legal to load for personal use, otherwise the surplus would probably have to be distroyed. 06 FFL stated manufacture of small armes Other that AP.... Is it really legal to load AP?

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