As I write this, I doubt there is one single firearm owner in the country who is not aware of the BATFE’s attempt to ban the most common cartridge in America which is chambered in the most popular rifle in America. This BATFE sleight of hand attempt at back door gun banning was based on the AR pistol and a law written over 30 years ago that bans armor piercing handgun ammunition.
Originally the law was written in response to the KTW round which was developed by active duty police officers looking for a round that would penetrate car doors and moderate cover, as jacketed lead rounds deformed and failed to perform. They were made of hardened steel and brass with a Teflon coating (the Teflon just kept the barrel from wearing out- it has nothing to do with its performance). They were made in 9mm, .357 Magnum as well as other popular handgun calibers. In 1982, NBC ran a story which turned a niche series of cartridges not commonly available to the public into “Cop Killer Bullets” despite no officer having been killed (or even shot) with one. Of course the nascent gun control extremist organizations just had to ban them, and the law was written to address hardened steel, tungsten, hardened copper, and hardened brass bullets.
Then came the increase in popularity of the AR pistol. An AR pistol is nothing more than an AR platform with no buttstock and a short barrel, typically 10” long. These have been around since the late 1980’s and there has not been one instance of an officer being shot with one that I have been able to find. Just like in 1982 though, actual facts have nothing to do with the discussion as far as gun control extremists are concerned, and the M855 round is being called a “Cop Killer”. Keep in mind that any rifle cartridge fired from a pistol platform will defeat the body armor worn by most officers. This is where the latest gun control extremist scheme comes from.
BATFE attempted to redefine the cartridge as “armor piercing” despite the construction of the actual bullet not meeting their own definition of armor piercing based on the AR pistol chambering it. Commonly called “green tip” due to the green paint on the nose of the bullet, it is not in any way, shape or form an AP cartridge. Military rounds that are constructed as AP have a black tip. The current 5.56x45mm AP round is the M995 round which carries a black tip and contains a tungsten penetrator. It is this tungsten penetrator which makes it armor piercing. The M855 cartridge contains a small amount of mild steel and carries no components which meet any definition of armor piercing. Despite a pistol chambering it, it is not a handgun round either- it is a rifle round.
Gun owners obviously pushed back against this nonsensical reclassification. Even the National Fraternal Order of Police opposed this ban, citing the fact that the AR pistol (at 2 feet long and 5.5 pounds) did not present a threat to officers. Every officer I know was laughing at the ridiculousness of the anti-gunner’s claims. Street officers were up in arms nationwide (pun intended) as the ban would drastically increase the price of their practice ammo and actually force a potential criminal to use more effective cartridges. The M855 is a singular failure in terms of terminal ballistics. I have used it in combat and can personally attest to its poor performance. Commercial ammunition, which will also blow through Level IIIA armor like a knife through butter, has vastly improved terminal ballistics over the M855. Gun control extremists just wanted to ban it because it was inexpensive, available and popular. They don’t care about officer safety and will gladly increase risk to the lives of my brothers in blue as long as they can ban something.
Anti-gun and anti-officer safety politicians like Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) are now pushing a bill that would ban ALL rifle cartridges. Not some- ALL. The way he is able to attempt the most sweeping firearm infringement in history is due to a single shot niche handgun called the Thompson Contender which has been chambered in every cartridge under the sun. Every cartridge is now a “handgun” cartridge according to him. Everything from the .22 Magnum to the .458 WinMag would be gone. No cartridge that is capable of penetrating “Minimum Standard” body armor would be allowed to be possessed. The “Minimum Standard” is Level I which is only rated to stop .22 rimfire.
Every single caliber of self contained metallic cartridge designed since 1870 would be banned at the stroke of a pen. Want to hunt deer with your grandfather’s 30-30? Too bad- if you have the ammunition, you’re a felon. Want to shoot the 8mm Mauser your grandpa brought back from WWII? Sorry- possession of the ammunition is a felony. Want to go hunt squirrels with a .22 Magnum? You’re a felon if you do. Want to go varmint hunting with your antique .22 Remington Jet? You’re going to go to prison.
Street cops know this cartridge ban is ridiculous. Firearm owners know this cartridge ban is ridiculous. Even the politicians and gun control extremists pushing this know it is ridiculous- but I guess they can’t resist the lure of free Bloomberg money.
They may not be coming for the actual guns, but making you into a felon for possessing any cartridge larger than a .22 rimfire and ensuring that no firearm you own is capable of being used as anything other than a large expensive club comes pretty darn close!
Blog posts are original content written by 1MMAGC moms and dads.