With an impending rule change on M855, it got me thinking way may be able to use the pressure traditional lead-based ammunition has been put under to either get rid of the federal armor piercing ammunition law. Some of you might remember the hysteria in the 1980s surrounding “cop killer” bullets. This culminated in Public Law 99-408 of August 28, 1986, and signed by Ronald Reagan. The hysteria was further hyped up in the film Lethal Weapon III when gun control was getting its second wind in the early 1990s. Most of the hysteria was over the introduction of KTW bullets, which, and I know this will shock you, were never armor piercing.
Getting through soft body armor is a pretty simple equation; it takes velocity, which any rifle caliber bullet will easily deliver. The antis tried very hard to get most traditional ammunition banned through people’s confusion about the properties of ammunition and soft body armor. The bill that actually came out was one of those false compromises, where they only get a slice of the cake, instead of the whole thing. This was some of the most ridiculous hysteria about guns ever whipped up by the anti-gun crowd and a compliant media, and we ought to demand it be repealed.
Fast forward to today, and the greens want us to get the lead out. Well, what are you going to do when you can’t substitute certain suitable and cheap metals without it running afoul of this poorly considered law? There is absolutely no danger with the public having ammunition that falls under this classification. Even very inexpensive Level IV platesÂ are rated to stopÂ 30.06 AP M2 (black tip) ammunition, and without the plate, any rifle round, whether “armor piercing” or not, and even some very powerful handgun rounds, will go through the kind of soft armor that police wear. Also, as Bob Owens points out, the 55-grain round that the market is likely to fall back on is even more deadly than the M855 round, and will also easily penetrate the type of soft armor worn by police. M855 was mostly sought after by shooters as an inexpensive target round, and that is precisely why, in my opinion, it was targeted. They are cutting off the supply because they can, and because it will price more people out of the hobby.
The entire “armor piercing” ammo law was based on a lie, and if the left really wants to see the shooting sports get greener, shouldn’t they agree to let us make, sell, and acquire ammunition with steel cores and other materials that make good and reasonable substitutes for lead? We can call it the “GreenÂ Ammunition Act of 2016.”