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How many criminals know to use Defense/Hollow Point ammo?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by hartzpad, Jun 28, 2005.

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  1. hartzpad

    hartzpad Member

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    I was just wondering the other day....with so many stories of incredibly stupid criminals out there, about what percentage of criminals that use guns actually know they should use hollow point/expanding/defense ammo in their gun? It's only personal speculation, but I bet that more than 80% of criminals that use guns just use the cheapest FMJ ammo they can find. What do you think?
     
  2. dolanp

    dolanp Member

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    I think you're probably right, they probably just buy what's cheapest just like the gun itself.
     
  3. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    I have operated on a couple of hundred gun shot wound patients, and would say that 90% of the projectiles I have recovered were FMJ's.

    Now, this does not necessarily mean that criminal use FMJ's 90% of the time, as I am only operating on people who live long enough to make it to the hospital, so my statistics may be biased in favor of FMJ's. If they were shot with hollowpoints, and if they died at the scene, obviously the coroner handles that.
     
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    I think you will find that criminals run the full spectrum from incredibly stupid to very sophisticated.

    Pilgrim
     
  5. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    One Mafia hitman of my acquaintance was meticulous about buying the best ammo available for his intended "job", including hollowpoints, etc. In one case, he specifically bought frangible ammo because he wanted it to disintegrate inside his target to prevent ballistic identification of the gun used: normally, he disposed of the gun after every hit, but in this case, he liked the gun and wanted to keep it, hence the frangible ammo.

    (He's now serving six life sentences plus about 138 years - all to run consecutively - in Federal prison. One gets the feeling the Judge didn't want him getting out again... :rolleyes: )

    However, I guess he's the exception that proves the rule. Most BG's with guns (that I've encountered in prison, where I work) tend to buy the cheapest possible ammo off the Wal-Mart shelf, or buy a magazineful of whatever their supplier is offering when they buy the gun. Needless to say, an underworld supplier of a "hot" gun isn't motivated to spend extra on the good stuff!
     
  6. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Some BGs are surprisingly knowledgeable about guns and ammo, but most use whatever they can buy, steal, or get on the black market.

    Pretty near tops in the "dumb crook" department was the guy who pulled a stickup using a Remington Smoot .38. He had loaded it with .38 Short Colt cartridges, which would have been OK, except that no one told him that most Smoots are rimfire and this one was not one of the exceptions.

    Jim
     
  7. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Lone Gunman - I am assuming from your post you are/were a surgeon. Without trying to dig too deep into the macabre, can you make any informed comments re the FMJ wound channel, damage etc. My background is medical.

    If 10% were from non FMJ, so thus I assume HP and the like - again any comments for us. I am not trying to be too nosey but would value your assessment, as you see it. Comparisons if you will.
     
  8. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Why do you think criminal should use hollow point/expanding/defense ammo in their gun? The assumption that they should be using such ammo is without foundation. It assuming that the goal of criminals in shooting their opposition is the same as the goal of law abiding citizens and police.

    Defensive use of hollowpoint ammo is, in part, to preclude problems of over penetration. Expansion helps to assure that bullets fired by friendlies don't over penetrate and continue down range and potentially damage other friendlies or 3rd party non-combatants. Many types of defensive or expanding ammo is used by folks to help preclude missed shots from harming folks in other rooms of a house or in adjoining apartments. These sorts of concerns are the concerns of the good guys. Are they the same as concerns for the bad guys?

    Bad guys do not worry about harming 3rd party individuals. They are not concerned with over penetration and are not concerned with harming people in adjoining rooms or apartments. In fact, the more confustion, destruction, etc that they can create, the more the good guys are focussed on dealing with those problems and not dealing with the bad guys.

    Good guys live with the fear that the bad guys attacking them may be on drugs or have such a mind set that they will not be easily intimidated by simple wounds and so defensive expanding ammo is thought to cause more dramatic wounds.

    Bad guys are not fearful of good guys being on drugs. In fact, they pretty well know that folks other than cops will not need much convincing to stop their pursuits. Most non-leo good guys are not willing to give their life in trying to catch a criminal who isn't activily engaged in trying to harm another good guy.

    And probably one of the most significant reasons bad guys probably don't want to use hollowpoint ammo is that they are going to be going against the cops. In considering pistol hollowpoint or expanding ammo and soft body armor, the hollowpoint or expanding ammo is LESS likely to penetrate body armor than ball ammo.

    So, I find the assumption that criminals should be using hollowpoint/defensive/expanding ammo to be very flawed.

    Do they use the cheapest FMJ they can find? I don't know. What I do know is that a lot of the 'cheap' FMJ ammo out there is very reliable and performs just as well as the much higher priced FMJ or defensive ammo in terms of velocity, accuracy, and reliability over the fairly short distances where bad guys exchange shots with good guys. My $3.86 a box Blazer 9mm FMJ 115 gr does just as well as more expensive brands such as $7 S&B ball, $6-9 varieties of Winchester, Federal, UMC, Ultramax, or $5 Wolf.
     
  9. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    I do general and vascular surgery, and this means I am also on call for trauma.

    My observations as a surgeon need to be taken in context. Remember, that if someone is killed at the scene, I never see them. Thus, I get a skewed population of GSW victims: those that live long enough to make it to the ER. Thus, I presume I see less extensive injuries than occur overall.

    I have seen only a handful of people shot in the torso with 45's and 357's. I presume this is either because criminals don't use these calibers, or if they do, the victim dies at the scene before I see them. Of the ones I have seen, I would guesstimate that about half these people lived to make it out of the hospital. These calibers make impressive wounds, penetrate deep, and usually exit.

    I cannot tell much (if any?) difference between a FMJ and JHP wound channel.

    I have seen many 9mm, 380, 38 spec, 32, 25, and 22 wounds. The majority of these were FMJ's. Of the JHP's, I would guess that less than half expanded. Most were just deformed a little bit. 9mm usually penetrates deep and exits. 380's are more likely to not penetrate deeply enough to exit, even FMJ's.

    I don't see any difference in wound channels or tissue destruction between 9mm, 380, and 38 special. 25 and 22 caliber wounds are noticably smaller, but I am not sure this would correlate with an improved rate of survival when compared to the larger rounds. For example someone gut shot with a 38 will have a bigger hole than a 22, but both can easily be fixed, and the chances of dying of infection post op are the same.

    The vast majority of people shot with 9mm, 380, 38 special, 32, 25, and 22 will make it out of the hospital alive.

    The bottom line impression I have is that big, deep holes are more effective at causing death than small, shallow holes, but I bet you probably already had that one figured out!
     
  10. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Thx LG - no great surprises but - good to hear from a guru!! :)
     
  11. Topgun

    Topgun member

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    I was robbed with plain old round nosed lead .38 specials.

    I looked.

    They were the deadliest rounds I ever saw. Each was about a foot in diameter. I did what I was told.

    :uhoh:
     
  12. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    When it comes to trauma surgery, I am more of a reluctant draftee than a guru! Very few people actually want to do trauma surgery.

    The employed, insured, and drug-free are rarely shot at 3 a.m.

    A general rule of thumb when dealing with trauma patients is that there is no such thing as an innocent GSW victim. Obviously, this rule can occasionally be proven untrue, but that is the exception.

    Still, we do our best with what we are given; I do my part, and God decides who lives.
     
  13. fistful

    fistful member

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    Listen to some hip-hop music, the more crime-related kind. Those guys rap about hollow-points or "hollow-heads" frequently. Presumably, a lot of younger criminals are listening to that stuff. The better question is, how the do the MC's (who sing the songs) know about it? I would guess that JHP's, and their "greater lethality," are well-known to the general population.

    00,

    I think your analysis is a little over-stated. We can presume two things, I think. Some criminals want to hurt their target as much as possible, just like you or I would in a legitimate shooting. By that I mean that we want to keep our enemy from hurting us, and a criminal doesn't want his victim to be able to come back and get him. On the other hand, there are probably a lot of criminals who would rather their target survive, so they get charged with assault rather than murder.
     
  14. WT

    WT Member

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    I frequently see news articles where bad guys are arrested and, among other charges, they are charged with carrying hollowpoint ammo. Carrying hollowpoints is a no-no for civilians in NJ resulting in a 3rd degree felony charge (5 to 10).

    I do recall a victim WALKING into the ER in Newark with 3-9mm HP's in his chest. Very fat guy. He lived.

    So I would say yes, a lot of BG's carry HP's.
     
  15. walking arsenal

    walking arsenal Member

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    I read someplace once that somthing like 83% of gunshot victims hit with HP's live. I'm assuming this is do to to the fact that whoever deals with them before the medics show up has to work with only one hole, a lot more die from FMJ wounds due to through and through wounds, they bleed out faster, and less people think to plug the hole in the back.


    On that note i'd be more worried that the BG has FMJ's that HP's do to the penetration factor though i'd rather not be hit with either.
     
  16. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Exit wounds do nothing to enhance bleeding, from the wound per se. Plugging an exit wound will not stop bleeding. It may keep from making a mess on the carpet, but the bleeding will still occur internally.

    Certainly bullets that penetrate deep enough to exit will cause more bleeding than a shallow wound, but the fact that bullet exits the skin makes no difference.

    If a bullet stops goes all the way through the chest for example and stops 1 centimeter before exiting the skin of the back, it will produce no less bleeding than if it exits. The bleeding will just occur into the chest cavity.

    Exit wounds and bleeding become more of an issue with high powered rifle rounds, where large exit wounds are more likely to occur, and external bleeding is desirable to help track game.
     
  17. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    I've seen both cheap FMJ and JHP. They'd likely grab whatever is cheapest.

    Maybe someone should open up an ammunition company that sells "ammo for da streets". Make claims about how "it'll scare the homies" and they're "untracable by ballistic testing" and whatnot. The actual ammo itself would be nothing more than blanks with a thin plastic "bullet" that gives it the appearance of an actual, dangerous, functional cartridge. Said thin plastic would disintegrate upon firing, not like a shotgun's shotcup which can still kill someone . Making the claims would be true because there would be no ballistic projectile and it sure as hell would scare someone.

    Problem would be getting the "ammo" to the "right people". If there was only a way to distribute it to every badguy and scumbag...and to capture the look on their face when they unload a mag of blanks on police.

    Simulated scenario at gunstore:

    *Gangbanger walks in, drops hand down pants and produces a dusty looking Glock 19* "yo, what kinda bullets I need for my Glock, You got bullets for this? I gots some beef to settle"
    Gun store owner in best helpful tone while trying to hide smirk: "Ah I got just the thing *slides over a 50 round box of said ammo with fancy colorful extreme motiff* "newest stuff on the market, been selling like hotcakes too, can't be traced ballistically by police and guaranteed to feed reliably"
    Gangbanger with stars in his eyes "how much yo?"
    Gunstore owner: "ten bucks a box"
    Gangbanger: "I take deuce" *reaches down into pants again and produces a large wad of $20s. Peels one off and throws it on the table*
    Gunstore owner: *pulls up another box and slides them both over, Reaches for a paper towel and feigns blowing his nose, then picks up the $20 with the tissue and places into the cash register (I wouldn't touch it too if I saw where it came from)
    Gangbanger: "yo man, this is gonna be dope" *somehow manages to conceal firearm, wad of cash, and two boxes of ammo and waddles haphazardly out the store*

    ...later on that night on the news...

    News anchor: "and in tonight's news, a local group of gangbangers opened fire with nearly 100 shots on police with no casualties amazingly. Police managed to neutralize two of the suspects and chased down a third perpetrator. *queues up video clip*
    *COPS cameraman chasing gangbanger with police.
    Gangbanger is heard shouting "man thats whack, thats whack!" as he throws down his pistol, now devoid of ammo, into a bush while running before he is blindsided by a cop hiding behind a partition wall.

    ...okay unrealistic and full of legal issues, but I can dream of a better world :p
     
  18. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Cesium - we can but dream LOL! :D
     
  19. TexAg

    TexAg Member

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    It would be interesting to know what the break down is on what criminals carry. It would also be intresting to know what regular gun-owning, law abiding civilians have in their guns. I'm sure most of the folks that post on internet boards such as this one and the ones that are subscribers to gun magazines probably have decent HP ammo on hand, but for the lay gun owner who bought a gun after 9-11 or for whatever reason (and maybe its their "Daddy's 'ol .22 or .45) we might be suprised. As a home inspector I go into folks homes that are often occupied still by the home owner and I sometimes see on their closet shelves the ammo they have on hand, and so far its been mostly FMJ. Of course this may only be their "target" ammo, but it does make me curious.
    And no I don't go snooping! This is just what I've seeing sitting right there in their closets.
     
  20. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom member

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    cesium I like that a lot!
     
  21. Jay Kominek

    Jay Kominek Member

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    There was a thread, sometime in the last year and a half (I think) with anecdotal reports of what LEO members had found criminals carrying. I can't seem to find it at the moment. (UPDATE: I think this is it.)
    But based on myshoddy recollection, the question to ask before "Do they know to carry JHP?" is "Do they know to carry the right caliber ammo?"
     
  22. Moonclip

    Moonclip Member

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    As mentioned previously rap music makes many refrences to guns, some quite odd you would think, I've heard of ".410 Mossberg pistol grip pump"and "so he loaded up his 32". And ammo types like "hollowtips" are metioned as well as black talons loaded in to a Calico. Why do rap songs not mention Ravens and Lorcins and for that matter S&W 38's, guns that turn up very often in crime scenes?

    Living in an area with a high gang population and operating a gun range at one time that catered to many minority memebrs of our community including some "homies" and Asian gang members(no one really admits their gang affiliation to me but tattoos and clothing tell a lot if you know what to look for) I have made some interesting observations. I have met many people who have been shot with handguns and survived but only a couple with survivable long gun wounds.

    One guy I met, the guy had been shot with a Mini 14 while beating a fellow inmate in state prison. He survived but barely because of substantial blood loss. Another guy I met, a Mexican drug dealer "Sinaloa Cowboy " type had been shot in the head with an AK round but it was a glancing blow it seemed.

    I have never met anyone who survived a shotgun loaded with buckshot. The few survivors of shotgun wounds I've seen involved birdshot, my friends cousins still carry some in thier body, they unfortunately chose the gang path unlike my friend who didn't.

    I read in a gun mag long ago that one of the writers used to correspond with a guy who was a carrer criminal. Why I don't know but the ex con said that he had been shot with most handgun calibers at one time or another and the one he most feared was .45acp!

    Most criminal ammo tends to be generic stuff like American eagle and stuff you get off the bargain table at our local gun chain. A cop told my dad crimnal confiscated shotguns are always loaded with cheap birdshot. I always though if involved in criminal activity you may be better off with ball ammo anyways.

    Doing drive bys and such, it's obvious you would not be concerned with overpenetration and considering the condition and type of some criminal guns I've seen, ball would be best for reliability.

    Gangbangers and such can come up with some odd types of weapons. At the range we did not discriminate, if you had money and behaved yourself we did not care who you were really although it was odd to have cops and these types at the range together! Guns I have seen ranged from a Chinese Makarov, of course loaded with 380acp instead of the correct ammo in 9x18 Mak, A Haskell/High Point 45acp and even a Colt Mustang 380acp.
     
  23. Blue Line

    Blue Line Member

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    I think thier buying "Extreme Shock" ammo :scrutiny: as mentioned in another thread here. http://www.extremeshockusa.com/
    Most of the BG I've come across have had the crappiest ammo they could find or steal.
     
  24. bogie

    bogie Member

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    Well, a bunch of 'em don't buy the correct ammo to start with... .32s or .380s in .38 specials, etc...

    Then there's the folks who walk into Da Gun Store, they want to buy either a magazine full or a cylinder full. Don't need that whole box, you know.
     
  25. dfaugh

    dfaugh Member

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    Think Cesiums onto something...

    Only I would also consider supplying them with double charged stuff, and nice steel bullets, painted/plated copper/gold...Surprise!..:what:
     
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