Daily Mail: “Norwegian Gunman Used ‘Exploding’ Dum-Dum Bullets”

 

“Norwegian gunman Anders Behring Breivik used Dum-Dum bullets,” dailymail.co.uk reports, “which explode inside the body and often kill their targets instantly – on his deadly rampage around the idyllic holiday island of Utoya.” Huh? You can’t really expect the Daily Mail to consult a civilian ballistic expert on these matters; where would they find one? No doubt the British police won’t discuss bullet wounds for security reasons. The Internet is so unreliable. And international dialing is so expensive. So, instead of facts, the Mail provides hyperbole . . .

The chief surgeon at a hospital treating victims of Norway’s camp massacre said the killer used special bullets designed to disintegrate inside the body and cause maximum internal damage.

Dr Colin Poole, head of surgery at Ringriket Hospital in Honefoss north west of Oslo, said surgeons treating 16 gunshot victims have recovered no full bullets.

He said: ‘These bullets more or less exploded inside the body. These bullets inflicted internal damage that’s absolutely horrible.’

Ballistics experts say so-called dum-dum bullets also are lighter in weight and can be fired with greater accuracy over varying distances.

They commonly are used by air marshals on aeroplanes and hunters of small animals.

Poole, a surgeon for 26 years at the hospital, said the bullets were ‘hyper-fragmentable’ and produced confusing pictures on X-rays.

‘It’s caused us all kinds of extra problems in dealing with the wounds they cause, with very strange trajectories. The effect they cause inside the body is like a thousand pin pricks.’

So, did Anders Behring Breivik use hollow-point, fragmenting or frangible ammunition (the sort that U.S. Air Marshalls use)? And what does “hyper-fragmentable” mean? It turns my stomach to even ask, but that’s the business we’re in.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

38 Responses to Daily Mail: “Norwegian Gunman Used ‘Exploding’ Dum-Dum Bullets”

  1. avatarTTACer says:

    Where can I get these magic bullets?

    Also, what does this sentence mean in English? “Ballistics experts say so-called dum-dum bullets also are lighter in weight and can be fired with greater accuracy over varying distances.”

    • avatarGossven says:

      I was always under the impression that dum dum bullets came from the Dum Dum arsenal in India. So to answer your question magic bullets are from India.

      • avatarRebecca says:

        As I recall, from my youth (so my memory isn’t that reliable), “dum-dum” bullets were rubber bullets that tumbled as they flew. The point of “dum-dums” were that they were less-than-lethal, for crowd control. Or am I mistaken?

        • avatarDavid B says:

          IIRC, the origial Dum-dum rounds were made at the Dum Dum arsenal in India in the late 1800′s. A soft tip and/or hollow point bullet that caused significant injury and led to the Hague Convention on fully jacketed ammunition for military purposes. Most hunting rounds would meet this definition.

  2. avatarGossven says:

    “They commonly are used by air marshals on aeroplanes and hunters of small animals.”

    That sounds like it was pulled from a wikipedia entry.

  3. avatarHunter S. says:

    I just finished reading the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” series of books by Swedish author Stieg Larsson and he treated references to guns and ammunition with the same ignorance as is shown in this article. I believe he referred to hollow points as ‘hunting ammunition’ or something like that. He also made mention of one of his characters ‘clicking off the safety’ to her Glock 17.
    That stuff just isn’t common knowledge over there.

    • avatarJames Felix says:

      Same thing when Gardner took over writing the James Bond series. His description of Glaser rounds makes them sound akin to a death ray.

    • avatarMatt H says:

      That’s not even an “over there” issue. James Patterson has Alex Cross click off the safety on a Glock.

    • avatarPete says:

      Lee Child has the same problem in his “Jack Reacher” series. He once had Reacher (supposedly an ex-MP officer and expert on firearms) looking at his “left-handed .44 magnum revolver” and contemplating having a gunsmith convert it to a right-handed revolver. Presumably by unscrewing the barrel, throwing out the rest of the gun, and screwing the barrel onto an entirely new frame. For the record, I believe the only actual “cylinder swings out to the right side of the frame” left-handed revolver is (or was) a small-frame .38 made by Charter Arms. Or, of course, the really cool ambidextrous top-break revolvers made by S&W, Iver Johnson, and others from the 1870s to 1920s.

      The problem that Lee Child has is that he is an Englishman with no military experience who lives in Noo Yawk City, which means that he is clueless about firearms, his friends and neighbors are clueless about firearms, and his editors/publishers are clueless about firearms. However, if you ignore his occasional idiotic comment about firearms, he writes a fairly good action series.

    • avatarAndrew Snyder says:

      In I am pretty sure it was the third Borne movie, there is a scene involving a glock where someone becomes alerted to the glock pointed at them via the sound of the hammer pull. Supposedly the movie even had a firearms consultant, wonder if they fined the consultant for letting that one slip through.

  4. avatarSid says:

    It feels less than respectful to be sarcastic when discussing any issue related to this tragedy…

    But did this psychotic asshole have access to the M41A Pulse Rifle which fired standard 10mm caseless, explosive tip, light armor piercing rounds? Frangible bullets that weigh less, are more accurate over varying distances, and cause complicated wounds…. please tell me this magic bullets are allowed under the laws of war.

    Hysteria is easy to conflate. But hysteria does not lead to good remedies and often leads to bad laws.

  5. avatarB. Malloy says:

    Is it really that hard to fact check these days? You’d think the advent of the Internet would have helped in these cases. If you are going to write an article in a major publication, isn’t it your duty to make sure your information is correct and not just something you heard that one time, maybe. If they wanted a expert in ballistics they should have contacted the surgeons at the hospitals in inner city Houston.

    • avatarHunter S. says:

      It’s not about fact checking. It’s about sensationalism.

      • avatarBrad Kozak says:

        They don’t even realize they are sensationalizing this, or being shockingly inaccurate. They are in a closed-loop system, where groupthink excludes any desire (or apparent need) to fact-check. Couple this with the way this sort of situation emulates the game of “Rumor” and you have a case where the least little inflammatory statement gets amplified and distorted, as it goes from sheeple to sheeple.

    • avatarTTACer says:

      I just assumed they consulted “ballistics experts”

      • avatarBrad Kozak says:

        In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King. I’m sure they don’t bother with credentials, because, well, how would they know? You could probably move to Norway, set up a consultancy for cases like this, and make millions, just telling them any old thing. It’s not like they’d know. Or care.

  6. avatarLazy Bike Commuter says:

    Sounds like they are describing prefragmented rounds like Glasers or Magsafe. Except that most things I read imply that those are not very effective rounds, so the death toll seems high for that.

    My money would be on hollow points and bad reporting.

    • avatarCUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

      In my testing of the frangible rounds, they are fairly awesome-and generally hot loads. I tested a Silver Glaser Safety Slug in .45 ACP, +P years ago. I had two empty 55 gallon drums, one behind the other. The round entered the first side of the first drum, then had an exit spread the size of my hand and then stopped from going into the second drum.

    • avatarsdog says:

      that’s what i though they were talking about

  7. avatarDon says:

    Am I the only one who is utterly uninterested in hearing any speculation on this event until after facts are released by the investigators? On the edge of my seat, but patient…

    -D

  8. avatarSgt Red says:

    This article could be describing anything. If this nut was using a .223 round, as published pictures indicate, almost any bullet would fragment at close range.

  9. avatarCUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

    I always thought a hollywood dum-dum bullet was when you cut a deep cross into a full metal jacket round so it will “explode” on contact with a body. And , of course, this is supposed to be illegal. I think the Exterminator did this in the movie, when he wasn’t busy putting mercury into his homemade hollow points.

  10. avatarBLAMMO says:

    Why didn’t he just use Teflon-coated cop-killer bullets?

    Oh, I know: because they were banned even though they never existed.

  11. avatarThe Stig says:

    From my limited research (mainly searching his “manifesto” for references to firearms and viewing his cheesy pictures) I have concluded a number of things that any journalist worth his salt would have uncovered had they not all been trying to sensationalize this tragic event.

    1. This individual was no “gun enthusiast” as has been reported. At least not in the sense of what we would consider an enthusiast. Of course, through the eyes of the media simply owning a firearms probably makes one a gun enthusiast.

    There is glaring evidence of his lack of firearms knowledge when he states that he wanted to buy a Ruger Mini-30, but he already owned a .308 win bolt rifle and that because they were the same caliber he thought it was unlikely that the police would grant him another rifle in the same caliber. At another point he discusses what he already owns, a pump action shotgun, a .308 win bolt rifle, and the Ruger Mini-14 while mentioning that the .308 win bolt rifle was the same caliber as the AK 47.

    2. The rifle used was a Ruger Mini-14 chambered in 5.56x45mm (.223). It appears from the photos that it is the ranch model with traditional wood stock, although at one point he discusses looking for a stock with picatinny rails, it appears as though he got some hideous picatinny tri-rail that clamped to the barrel instead. The Mini-14 was fitted with an Eotech and a 3x magnifier. He states he paid 1,100 Euros for the rifle and an additional 100 Euros for a trigger job–”to make the tigger lighter to press for rapid fire.” The rifle was legally purchased and is legal in Norway. Fully automatic weapons are prohibited in Norway.

    From all of this, I conclude that this rifle was semi-automatic, and not a full automatic “machine-gun” as is being reported. On top of that, I’ve read descriptions of the rifle as being an assault weapon or a military rifle. Of course, the definition of an assault weapon is purely an American construction, but nevertheless, this rifle only has a detachable magazine. It would require at least two more banned features to constitute an assault rifle (most likely a flash hider and a pistol grip), and unless you’re Bermuda, this is certainly not a military rifle even if it purports to be derived from the M14.

    3. The ammunition used was hollow point .223 purchased from a Norwegian supplier loaded in ten 30 round magazines. He claims that in order to purchase this ammo, he needed a cover story. The one he came up with was that he was going to use the .223 hollow point for “bird hunting.” Not sure what kind of birds they have in Norway. He did try to create “chemical/biological ammo” but concluded that the .223 round lacked size, but I gather that this was the real reason for selecting hollow points, as it already had a cavity.

    I suspect that the Norwegian doctors working on the victims may not be recovering any full bullets because many of the shots were fired at such close range that they were through and throughs. There are reports that he called everyone over to him while wearing a “police uniform.” I suspect the uniform he was wearing was the one he was photographed in while holding his Ruger Mini-14-monstrocity.

    Needless to say I could go on, but I think it’s safe to say that this event will be spun by anti-gun activists and it’s likely that no fact checking will ever take place if it hurts the anti-gun message they are pushing.

  12. avatarPete says:

    As an aside, did anyone else notice that the attendees of the left-wing “political youth activists camp” did exactly what the authorities tell us to do when someone starts shooting? “Call the police, don’t try to fight back, leave it to the professionals, lock the doors and hide under your desks.” It would appear than none of these older teenagers/young adults tried to fight back – like, say, by grabbing a rock or piece of firewood and sneaking through the woods behind him so they could hit him in the head? This kind of passive, sheep-like behavior is EXACTLY what the civilian disarmament statists want – “trust the gummint, you are helpless”.

    • avatarirock350 says:

      Wow Pete, you are a brilliant tactician, sneak up behind the guy with rifle who has been dumping 30rd mags into your friends and camp counselors with a rock or random piece of firewood, why didn’t they perform that brilliant tactical maneuver, you’re so smart. What do the SWAT and Special Forces teams the world over do while you’re hard at work in your daily life as a mall ninja and your part time gig as commander of the elite internet armchair Special Forces group? You know you would have thought that a country famous for handing out the Nobel Peace Prize would have been training their young boys and girl’s hand-to-hand combat with improvised weapons and anti-terrorist tactics specifically to deal with these types of threats. Your plan of covert bludgeoning is so simple and yet so fail proof that I am surprised none of 13 year old girls tried it. Your absolutley right they were behaving like sheep when they were hiding in fridges and jumping into the lake. Shame on them.

      • avatarkarlb. says:

        plus 10.

        I am truly sickened by the sheep comments. These young people were massacred by a person dressed as a police officer: truly, they do not deserve to be demeaned in this forum– best and brightest should include a bit of compassion.

      • avatarAK says:

        I think the point here isn’t that this tragedy could’ve been prevented with a rock or piece or firewood, but that the gun control “give the attacker what they want/play dead/wait for the authorities” idea is flawed.

        • avatarirock350 says:

          AK I think that was his point, he advocated hitting the killer over the head with a rock instead of trying to avoid being shot by doing what he called SHEEP behavior. That is deplorable. Your point may not be that, but that clearly was his. And how exactly is trying to avoid being shot a flawed idea? The killer was eventually subdued by police, their actions led to the eventual end of the conflict. Their Facebook updates alerted their parents to and friends to their status. How as an unarmed minor do you subdue a killer who is shooting everything that moves? Calling them sheep is despicable and the mark of a delusional individual who thinks he could better despite all evidence to the contrary.

        • avatarPete says:

          Flight 93, 9-11-2001. Yeah, they died, but they did not go gently. They fought back. If you want to follow the gummints advice and be a passive victim, that’s your decision. And does it “demean” the “youths” (some in their 20s) who died without resistance to call them sheep? They were sheep, they died as passive victims, the same way the “youths” at Virginia Tech died – cowering in fear. Would I be killed by some mass shooter if I was not armed? Probably. Would I surrender my life to him free? Nope. The a**hole would have to work for it. If that offends you, who cares? I don’t mind offending sheep.

  13. avatarirock350 says:

    I am fairly positive this is a lost in translation issue that is being blown massively out of proportion. “Dum Dum” is a European euphemism for hollow point rounds, or any frangible round. Across the pond these rounds are ill eagle and they limitied to using regular old round nosed ammo because “Dum Dums” are billed as being more deadly, and can you blame them? The description in the article is very similar to most ammunition manufactures descriptions of these rounds. They could have said, “these new rounds deliver massive expansion and deep penetration for ultimate stopping power.” as quoted verbatim from Remington’s website’s description of their HD Home Defense rounds, or they could have said “The resulting stopping power is utterly devastating.” like Extreme Shock states in their advertising. Hell Hornady boasts that their .223 Superformance HP Match ammo is “100 to 200 fps FASTER than any conventional ammunition on the market today, and achieves this performance in EVERY gun, WITHOUT increases in felt recoil, muzzle blast, temperature sensitivity, fouling or loss of accuracy.” All of these claims make “Dum Dum” rounds seem more deadly, and cause more damage than regular rounds which holds true with what was written by the Brit press. You shoot someone center mass with a JHP and it fragments into the heart, it does kill instantly, it is what the manufactures advertise. I don’t see what is so offensive or inaccurate about the article. The descriptions are similar, and in the case of Extreme Shock, less sensational that what is written on the box.

  14. avatarRalph says:

    It appears that there was a security guard at the socialist owned and operated island indoctrination center. I assume that the guard was unarmed, but I don’t know because nobody is reporting on it. It also seems to have taken the Weegie cops a long, long time — between 45 and 90 minutes if (big if) the reports are accurate — to bail out their dingy so that they could invade Iwo Jima, excuse me, I meant the idyllic holiday island of Utoya. And a multiple murderer can only get a max sentence of 21 years in this socialist paradise? This is Theater of the Absurd at its worst.

    • avatarH. E. says:

      There was a security guard there yes. He was a policeman and hired as a private security guard for AUF at Utøya. Unfortunatly though, police/security guards in Norway to not carry weapons, and since he was there off-duty he did not have his equipment with him (protective-gear and radio). It is assumed he may be the first one to be shot by Breivik.

      Ref. http://www.dagbladet.no/2011/07/24/nyheter/massedrap/drap/utoya/17440719/

      The police were on the scene exactly one hour after the first phonecalls came in. According to newspaperarticles here in Norway they also spent time trying to find a boat to take them across to Utøya, and adding the engine-failure mid-seas they lost even more valuable time(!).

  15. avatarwhskee says:

    This dispicable human did not just go randomly about his business of shooting children and teens. I strongly believe this guy was very intelligent, and careful in his planning. He wanted to hurt people, and a lot of them. He bombed the city, drove something like 45 minutes away, crossed over to the island and waited for the best(worst?) time to begin.

    This a-hole acquired a police uniform fully knowing it would make it easier to kill innocents who saw the uniform and believed they were soon to be safe. I wouldn’t be the slightest surprised if he set the bomb in uniform as well, people would be far less likely to report his activities. He exploited a common weakness we all have in trusting authority. These kids were terrified when the shooting started, of course if they see a police officer they’re going to think they were being rescued from the real bad guy. It’s unfortunate the ruse worked even if only momentarily. There are tons of cases of people doing this in the states, typically in home invasion cases.

    Anyway, the guy was an intelligent prick who wanted badly to hurt people and did his homework to achieve it. This guy is the most dangerous type of criminal, the one who is intelligent, patient, blood-thirsty, and broken enough to not change his bend on hurting so many through the planning phase.

  16. avataranonnimous (moesslim) says:

    a terrorist not must be a moeslim

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