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Discussion Starter #1
What exactly is the law governing armor piercing handgun ammunition? I checked ATF's site, and it appears that it is illegal on the federal level to import or manufacture such ammunition, but that's it. Am I missing something? I know I have seen ammo collectors selling things like armor piercing .357 Mag ammo in the past. And no, I didn't buy any, because I thought it would be illegal to have it..... :rolleyes:
 

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I'm Clueless!

i had a bunch of 1914 .45 acp all steel jacketed, i was given, it was going full auto in my p-220[for some odd reason]

i pulled the bullets[like a idiot] i still got about 50 rds. reloaded with those projo's, i saved a few 'originals'[sp?] for the collection.

i have read that the germans toward the end of W.W.II had devoloped 9mm
that would penatrate the m3[?] halftrack side armour.

if 'KERRY' is elected, and mandates a $10 sheet of tin as 'armour'

there could be problems.

thanks.
 

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It's illegal to purchase, manufacture, sell or import. BUT, it is NOT illegal to reload (not considered manufacturing) and posess.

Nice little distinction eh?

Mike
 

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The projectile is what seems to be regulated, so legally loaded rounds can be taken apart and reloaded. Pre-ban projectiles can be bought/sold/etc. and reloaded into new cases, etc. It is the projectile that can not be legally made any longer for us common folks. Of course, there are exceptions for some calibers that have both pistols and rifles chambered for them. The .223 and .30-06 are the ones that come to mind, but I'm not positive on the .30-06. (Also, if there IS an exception for the .30-06, can you pull that newly produced bullet and load it in a .308 legally? I doubt it, but that would be hard to enforce, so maybe it isn't illegal????)

...and this is another pre-ban type of things. Those already owned before the law are legal to have. I think you can sell them if you aren't a business, too. However, if you havean FFL and are in business, then you can't sell even the pre-ban ones. This makes NO sense to me at all, and I can't see how that can possibly be right. It must be wrong, but that is what I have heard and read. Strange no matter what. Either way, I am very confident that pre-ban AP projectiles are legal in handgun calibers in you already have them or get them from a non-commercial source (like you brother, Bob).

Of course, some states outlaw them even though the federal laws might allow you to have them. If outlawed on the state level, I don't know if there is a pre-ban consideration.

Of course, all of this is only my opinion of how the laws are interpreted. I could be WAY wrong. Take it for the ramblings of a senile gun-owner and not truth.
KJ
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I heard that the distinction in the .223 ammo (ss109) is that it is considered a "penetrator" instead of "armor piercing". So maybe it is all in the terminology used. Sort of like the distinction between a "flash suppressor" and a "muzzle brake".

Heck, load up .223s with those Barnes Solids. I'll bet they would be excellent "penetrators". The .308 Barnes Solids would also be interesting as well. For a while, you could get the Barnes Solids in .44 caliber, but I haven't seen them offered for sale lately.

Maybe there is some legal description somewhere of what constitutes "armor"? But I guess calling them "cop killer" bullets better suits the force behind the law, eh?

As mentioned above, all I found on ATF's site is a restriction against importation and manufacture. Nothing at all about selling or possession.

I have personally seen AP projectiles for the .308 (not pulled 30-06) offered for sale numerous times.

Federal, at one time, produced 9mm with solid copper projectiles. I can't say they would penetrate "armor", but they would certainly be more of a penetrator then standard fmj ball ammo, I would think.

Seems to me I recall reading a definition of what an "armor piercing" project was, based on it's construction. Maybe I'll try to locate that sometime.....
 

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Rich Z said:
Seems to me I recall reading a definition of what an "armor piercing" project was, based on it's construction. Maybe I'll try to locate that sometime.....
I believe it is a bullet that has a jacket that constitutes more than 25% of the bullet mass or has a core made up of certain hard metals like steel, etc. minus minute quantities of other metals.

SS109 is not SOLID steel, so it is OK, but it is also listed by name as being OK. Some of the 9mm +P++ stuff designed for SMG-only has a brass jacket around a steel-enclosed lead core. It is not AP legally, so it is OK. It sure penetrates pretty dang well, though!

KJ
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Heck, I have heard that the Hirtenberger 9mm++ 100 grain truncated cone ammo will penetrate ballistic vests. I think most of it is just political bs and feelgood legislation.

Heck I think I have some S&B 9mm ammo around here that is steel jacketed. A friend of mine sold me something like 1200 rounds of it a long while back.
 

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There are state laws to contend with inaddition to federal laws.

In FL, for example, handgun ammo is illegal to carry, regardless of how, when or where it was made. No, you can't reload it and carry it. I do not know of anything against OWNING it, however.

I've also heard of problems when it comes to exactly what caliber (in rifle calibers) of ammo is being discussed. For instance .308 is illegal (as I was told) to USE, not possess, however, the same bullets loaded in the 30-06 are not illegal because the 30-06 is considered obsolete. Pull the bullets from an '06 and put them in a .308, it's illegal. However things such as steel core 7.62x54R, .303, etc are not illegal, and I don't think 7.62x39mm is illegal. But this may all be state specific, as I've only seen restriction on importing to FL and a couple of other states of AP ammo, flechettes, and incendiary projectiles (like dragon's breath).
 

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The Fed law states that the bullet can't be made of brass, steel, tungsten, bronze, maybe some others. It does not state anything about AP PERFORMANCE. Some states, like ILL and CA, have laws stating that the bullet has to have a "lead core". Practically no cops know anything about this, so don't sweat it much, if at all. If you are never charged with something, it's a non-issue.
 

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My advice, if you are wanting armor piercing ammo, is to load it yourself with materials that are not yet banned, while still retaining lead cores for not only legality in certain aspects but also as the needed weight for the bullet. There are ways to manufacture armor piercing rounds out of certain types of fabric with specialized chemical hardeners/additives.

These rounds will not damage your firearm in any way, and they perform as well as other types of armor piercing rounds out there.

Let me check the legality of these materials/process; I haven't checked since 9/11. If they are still legal and not classified as "illegal weapons, etc." then I'll post the materials and a brief overview of the procedures here.

--Temujin
 

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Or you can buy Mosin Nagant, Dragunovs, 1903 Springfields,even SKSs or AKs etc, where there is plenty of (legal) steel-core ammo for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I guess a definition of "armor" needs to be made as well. Heck, an ice pick will penetrate a ballistic vest, but it certainly is not "armor piercing".

In reality, anything driven fast enough, no matter what it is made of, will penetrate just about anything. Sharper points tend to work better then blunter points.
 

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Yeah, and it's illegal to carry an icepick around, did you know that?
Because of that very attribute.
 

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B.t.w. Rich Z.! and fellow members.

i went to a 'gun show ' here in tucson, today! [1] table had 'under glass' 5.7x28mm

NATO in 15-20?-maybe30rd? rd. boxes at $22 a pop!, there were only a half dozen vendors
[ out of 75-100 ]that were decent[likable] to talk to!

they are / will not come down on post 'sunset death'! it's laughable!,

i did find [1] spare makarov mag for $10 [the only other two i saw were marked $20 a piece

i did see a 'charter arms' copy of an N.A.A. mini [email protected]$169
it had a crossbolt/hammerblock[for CRYING OUT LOUD!]


THE HIGHLIGHT for me was meeting, randy graff[he ran /lost against kolbe, in primary,fed-senate[i voted for him B.T.W.]

it was kinda funny as i was sitting outside on a curb listening to a 'cluster' of guys talking politics, and i would 'interject' my p.o.v [as NEEDED]

WHEN THE MAIN SPEAKER , MENTIONED HIS NAME, I LEAPED TO MY FEET
[the poor guy , he proabably thought i was going to nail him]HA! as we was in spitting distance!

i thought it was kinda neat, as i shook his hand on greeting/departure[i'll vote for him again] i told him i would volunteer on november[2ND] to press the vote for prop 200 at my polling place[they gave me a bag full of
'PRO-PROP 200'] cards to pass out to the voters on 11-2-04[i am looking forward to it!]


thanks. :wavey:
 

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harder bullet materials help the bullet pierce Kevlar too. Bigger diameter bullets have a lot tougher time.
 
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