“It was point and shoot for him because he was shooting up close, and the lethality here was enhanced by the large rounds — the .223 that’s in that weapon — as opposed to a handgun or something else.” Unnamed “law enforcement official” quoted in Despite Strict Gun Law, Troubled Doctor Was Able to Buy Assault Rifle [via nytimes.com)

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101 Responses to Quote of the Day: Unnamed Law Enforcement Official’s Take on .223 Lethality

  1. maybe that’s because strict gun laws don’t mean squat to someone willing to kill? I mean, what’s an extra felony at that point?

  2. Assault rifle my ass!. This cop has no real knowledge of firearms. Does he not adequate the AR-15 shooting 5.56 NATO or 223 Remington as a 22 caliber semi-automatic modern sporting rifle.

    This is the crap in the crop is what this is. Some law enforcement Personnel really shouldn’t be allowed behind a camera or a microphone.

    I’ve got a semi-automatic 30 odd 6 Remington that my grandfather gave me and yes it is a hunting rifle but it still holds seven rounds a 30 odd 6 as fast as you can pull the trigger and let me tell you something you hit an animal with a 5.56 most of the time they’re going to run off for a couple hundred yards unless you shoot them in the heart or lungs or head.

    You put one of those 30 ought 6 rounds in him and you’re going to spin him around like a damn grapefruit. More liberal cop BS.

    • What is a 30 odd 6 round? Never heard of it. Must be one of those odd rounds. Sorry couldn’t help myself.

      • 308 for gramps. 😉
        I’m just waiting for someone to use a Garand or a M1A. Now that is going to leave a mess. But the reporters heads are going to explode when they see the wood stocks.

        • The congressional baseball shooting was with an sks, wood front and back.

        • I have not yet seen a picture of the rifle. And hardly any mention of it. Like I said, reporters heads exploding.

      • Yet another example of what happens when people use “talk-to-text” apps on their phones to post comments.

      • In case your sarcasm was a genuine statement that would be 30-06. But it is laughable aside from the obvious penetration that a higher velocity cartridge with a smaller projectile may due in some circumstances, in a point and shoot situation a pistol cartridge being heavier and traveling slower would probably sound more dangerous for obvious reasons. But the liberal leftists cannot tell the difference between semi-automatic and fully automatic using the two interchangeably in an uneducated and slack jawed argument, with the big six media companies in the world owning over 90% of the worlds mainstream media it is not hard why they would feature a gomer such as that guy. They either do not fact check or they didn’t agree with anything someone educated on that subject would say. Sheesh just to prove a point watch the news crews on a local station after something high profile happens in that community, the people you will hear from on the street are the dumb stoner who will say um and what more than any other word in the interview or the person who obviously took too much caffeine or speed balls to say anything coherent or even remotely articulated.

    • “unless you shoot them in the heart or lungs” – Unless that animal is Trace Adkins who can take a shot to the heart and lungs and live to write a book about it. To be fair, the gun was a .38, and the book wasn’t just about that.

    • No the only person filled with B.S. is you. It is impossible for a bullet to spin animals around like a top, you obviously never had a physics class and if you did you should never have passed it. Your simply repeating the age old Gun Writer stories of the past in regards to the .45 acp pistol cartridge.

      I have had deer run for 1/4 mile when hit in a non lethal spot with a .12 ga. shotgun with slugs or with a 30-06 or a 7mm Mag and I have had deer drop dead in their tracks when hit in a vital spot with a .223. It was discovered as long ago as 1900 that bullet diameter in and of itself does not kill rather it is penetration and bullet placement.

      More African Hunters were killed because they used big bore rifles that did not penetrate sufficiently than those who used much smaller military calibers of the time such as the 6.5mm, 7×57, 8×57 and .303 British. Those calibers wiped out the majority of Africa’s Big Game and they were used because the military guns and ammo were low cost and were used primarily by poor white farmers and black game wardens that were given such weapons because of corrupt and cheap ass white run game departments.

      P.O. Akley proved that the most deadly deer caliber he ever used was the .220 Swift and he even shot through 1/2 inch hardened armor plate with it when the 30-06 with armor piercing steel penetrator cores failed to penetrate the armor.

      W.D.M. Bell proved that only the 6.5 Mannlicher cartridge had enough penetration to always shoot right through the head of an elephant while the bigger larger diameter and slower moving elephant cartridges often failed time and time again. The British Gun makers spent years trying to come up with the right powder and velocity that would work in the hot African climate when loading their big bore cartridges. In other words they were well aware of the failure of their large caliber rifles in the game fields of Africa.

      Even in modern times the Winchester Company fucked up big time by not studying the past in Africa when they came out with the .458 Winchester Magnum which proved a complete flop in Africa because of its lack of penetration.

      • Hey now .303 isn’t much smaller then 30-06. Infact I think the round itself is bigger, but the cartridge a bit smaller. It’s sure a great round though. I love my enfield. Also, when he said spin the animal around, maybe he saw an animal literally spin its self around out of frenzy then drop? Just a thought.

      • What is the miminum legal caliber for dangerous game in most of Africa?
        Why isn’t it smaller? Wounded game, mauled and dead hunters.
        You would do well to read how Bell killed all those Elephants with such small calibers, and what happened to hunters who followed him in the same attempts.
        It was a very different time, with very different circumstances.
        Tom In Oregon is an avid Bwana. Ask him if he’d prefer to hunt the big 5 with a 7X57.

        • Bell shot many elephants with the 7X57, as well as the .303. The important thing, according to Bell, was the construction of the bullet. That is why the German and British military calibers. He could always find solids for those two rounds, anywhere in Africa he might have been.
          Then again, Bell was known to shoot birds on the wing with a .303, just to use up a batch of punk ammo he didn’t trust for big game. He also wrote that it was better to aim just above an elephant’s heart, as the veins coming out were more vulnerable than the heart itself. It seems to me that aiming at specific veins is beyond most people these days, and probably those days too.

    • I am not anti law enforcement at all, but there are some that think the badge makes them superior to the rest of us mere mortals and should be the only ones allowed to have firearms. To the rest of law enforcement I appreciate your service to protect.

  3. “enhanced by the large rounds — the .223 that’s in that weapon — as opposed to a handgun or something else.” Wut?

    • Wut indeed. It would seem that in addition to a very sketchy understanding of the weapon and ammunition used, this individual has a poor grasp of the language as well.

      I’ve guessed wrong before, but this again sounds like someone attempting to explain to non-gun people the increased lethality of a carbine over a pistol cartridge, but with both too little understanding of their own, and just terribly bad verbal communications skills.

      Really though, wiki and Google are things…that most people have access to at all times. Is it too much to ask that someone consult available resources before blathering on?

    • Well, if we are going to be fair, he’s technically correct. Let’s not pretend that WE don’t know the difference between bullet (projectile) and round (cartridge). The rifle round is indeed larger than handgun rounds. The projectile is not. Still, even though he was technically correct, I suspect that was more a function of being lucky. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut from time to time.

    • never forget that no matter who is in charge of the government, no matter what they say in public.

      All, and I mean not some, not a large percentage, I mean ALL of the government wants you disarmed.

      no exceptions.

  4. Maybe he thinks the case and all is the size of the actual round? Kind of like an ignorant 6 year old before he pauses and corrects himself.

    Plus, last I knew, only the shooter and one other actually died. That’s “enhanced lethality?”

    • For all this doctor’s intelligence, he did decide to attempt to kill people at a location where serious medical aid could be rendered the quickest…

      • Nother Poster Boy (D) inside-man for gun-control. Made to order.

        If insane NY (D)octors can’t be trusted with guns, who can?

    • He (“the official”) is halfway correct in this case, cause 5.56 surely brings more energy to the target that most pistol rounds, and obviously longer. Of course, in choosing the adjective, he fucked up royally.

      I also suspect that if Mr.Postal Doc brought a handgun, a couple of mags of ammo, and some training and a plan, there will be no survivors at the scene. No ER unit in the world can resuscitate a person after finishing shot in the head, no matter how small the round was.

      • Oh yeah?! What about the feared .9 mm round? I’ve personally never seen one in the wild, but the media sure likes to hyperventilate about it. But hyperventilation notwithstanding, I think even THAT round would be too small. 😉

  5. “As opposed to a handgun” round, a .223 is indeed a “large” round in length and terminal ballistics. Makes enough sense to me.

    • I agree, while I’m not very fond of the 223 myself, if you’re going only by kinetic energy, it’s in the same class as a 50 AE, which most wouldn’t blink over if it was labelled a large round.

  6. It’s like a bazooka — and sounds like a cannon.

    Excuse me, I shat myself just reading the quote.

  7. Maybe to avoid these super deadly extra huge large rounds we should ban all cartridges with a projectile mass over the diminutive .380 acp, so like nothing over 100 gr. They were smaller? Really? Crap. Well, I mean, maybe instead ban any round bigger in caliber then normal .22lr plinking ammo. S#*t, really? Well how about we limit case capacity and ban anything bigger then the very unscary .45 colt used in good guy old school revolvers. Still no? Seriously? Oh f+@k I give up.

    These super ginourmus extra death inflicting wonder rounds actually sound rather…intermediate?

      • Don’t be so smug your showing your ignorance. The reason the German Army chose the .32 acp over the .380 was because the .32 would penetrate a German Helmet while the .380 would not.

        In 1945 the Neanderthals of the U.S. Military got around to testing the .45 acp 34 years after they adopted it and found much to their horror the .45 acp bounced off a military helmet at a scant 35 yards while the 9×19 penetrated it at an astonishing 125 yards.

        W.D.M. Bell proved at that time that the only caliber he used that would shoot right through the head of an elephant was the 6.5mm while the heavy elephant calibers he used were a failure time and time again when shooting elephants in the head because of their lack of penetration.

        Bullet diameter in and of itself does not kill but rather it is penetration and hitting a vital organ that is paramount in regards to death or incapacitation.

        No, big bullets do not spin people around or blow them off their feet or make them disappear in a red puff of mist. That is the stuff of Gun Writer legend. It makes good selling copy but has no basis in physics or reality. If you believe otherwise you would have also believed the story of man eating Javelina’s that put two gun writers up a tree and held them prisoner for two days.

        • False. I garuntee you 9×19 will not penetrate a steel helmet at 125 yards. I would be willing to bet it wouldn’t even penetrate at 25. Also, you cut and repost this bull Shit every chance you get. Everyone knows you do it and it’s annoying.

        • Also, while modern 9mm HPs may be the bees knees, it’s horrible as FMJ. If for some reason everyone had to suddenly live with New Jersey laws where HPs were outlawed, the .45 would be the favorite once again.

        • Bell never shot his elephants with the traditional ‘elephant guns’. His favorite caliber was the .275 Rigby, but he took most with the 7X57 and the .303 because solid ammo was readily obtainable in Africa, unlike the Rigby rounds.
          As far as I know he never took one with anything larger than the 8X57, and I’ve read all his writings.

        • Kenneth – 7X57 and 275 Rigby are the same cartridge. The English didn’t like the metric designation so they gave it their own.

  8. According to the police and politicians, the .223 round is super deadly.
    Ask any serviceman or woman, and you will hear the exact opposite.

  9. Once again, many Cops aren’t gun guys. And apparently, this Cop isn’t much better at basic math, like .223 is smaller than .45 or .40. I guess being anonymous saves him from looking doubly stupid.

    • Don’t be an ass. Energy is everything at short ranges, and a 223 has 3 times as much as a pistol round. Giving the average Americans intelligence (something the you are not exactly helping with) just saying it is a bigger round less likely to confuse someone.
      Now if you were planning on throwing them, I would grant you that the 45 would be more effective. 🙂

      • I agree, to a point. Yes energy is more but unless that 223 tumbles i would think my 9mm hollow points would leave a bigger wound. Yes?

        • A .223 with a proper defensive round will be much, much more damaging than a 9mm, because it has enough velocity to rip tissue through the temporary stretch cavity. Rifle wounds are way more damaging than handgun wounds, and a .223 may be a baby rifle but it is indeed a rifle; it’s twice the velocity and twice the energy of a .357 Magnum from a full-size revolver. An expanding hollowpoint at 3,000 fps will cause damage that a 9mm can’t begin to approximate. Even so, the .223 is to the right, IMO, as the .380 is to the handgun; it’s the bare minimum usable, but everything else is substantially better.

        • Edit: “a .223 is to the rifle, as a .380 is to a handgun .”
          Stupid aggressive autocorrect…

      • Remember though all that energy and velocity means jack Shit if the found just pin holes and zips through someone. Things like range and bullet type start to factor in here, but just because something’s moving insanely fast doesn’t automatically make it devastating. Green tip 5.56 is arguably the least effective version of 5.56 for wounding, even though it has tremendous velocity.

  10. I don’t attribute this to ignorance or stupidity on his part.

    I attribute this to politics. He was saying what he was told to say.

    • A 223 rifle round has more energy and is more dangerous than a 9mm pistol no matter the diameter. Correct? I couldn’t see why this article was posted making fun of someone who is basically correct

      • More dangerous? No. The higher energy rifle round is more likely to pass through, while the larger diameter pistol round leaves a larger wound channel and more damage.

      • Yes, it has 3x the energy and is potentially much more dangerous than a 9mm. It is a physically tiny bullet (usually around 45 to 62 grains and less than 1/4″ in diameter) so a 9mm is much bigger, and a .45 absolutely dwarfs a .223 bullet.

        If a .223 fails to expand or fragment, it is a pathetic wounder. But if it does frag or expand, it can be dramatically more wounding than any 9mm.

      • Maybe it is because of the phrase “as opposed to a handgun or something else.” Maybe it’s the juxtaposition of that vague phrase with the specific use of round. In the context of firearms, large is somewhat vague.

        This guy is put forth as an expert with expert knowledge. You’d expect an expert to at least sound knowledgeable.

  11. Well, at least the “official” statements from cops are more often than not something you wouldn’t normally hear from People Of The Gun. When you see a statement like this, it usually is a reflection of the prevailing political viewpoints of the city political establishment. If you’re a local cop, especially if you’re the one making public announcements, going against the mayor’s political viewpoints on guns can be a career killer.

  12. This NYT article is only intended to convince the firearms phobic that the Safe Act isn’t enough. Only completely banning the AR-15 platform rifle in the State of New York will bring the blessing of “safety” to the NY public. Of course that’s BS, too, but banning one firearm platform/design opens the door to banning all firearms platforms/designs, which is the ultimate goal.

    For the record: “30 aught 6” is the usual way to say “30-06”, which is the shortened version of “.30 Cal Model of 1906”. “Aught” is derived from “naught” which was a common word for “zero” or “none” in English and “aught” usually specifically means “zero”. Rolls off the tongue better than saying “30 zero 6”.

    • “This NYT article is only intended to convince the firearms phobic that the Safe Act isn’t enough. Only completely banning the AR-15 platform rifle in the State of New York will bring the blessing of “safety” to the NY public.”

      This + 1000. Everyone else is overthinking what the cop said.

  13. “They turned an AR-15’s aiming and firepower into a World War II rifle without the bolt action,” the official said. Dr. Bello had trained at a firing range, the official said, and because he was shooting his victims at close range, he had no need for a gun sight, which is also banned.”

    Wow. Just wow.

  14. Apparently, one strength the New York Times has is that they will never run out of ignorant people to schill for them.

  15. More BS and lies from the article:

    “They turned an AR-15’s aiming and firepower into a World War II rifle without the bolt action,” the official said. Dr. Bello had trained at a firing range, the official said, and because he was shooting his victims at close range, he had no need for a gun sight, which is also banned.

    News flash, sights are not banned, and why bolt action anyway? Aside from being patently false, he could have just as easily said semi-auto in the WWII context.

    “The law was also aimed at decreasing the damage a gunman could do by limiting the size of a clip to 10 rounds.”

    Aside from it not being called a clip, the law limits the number of rounds in a magazine to 7. This fact made the following pronouncement by the ANONOMOUS source another lie:

    “Dr. Bello, however, carried three of them, the official said. So, as a practical matter, Dr. Bello “had his 30 rounds,” the official said”

    Does the New York Times not know how to fact check or are they being dense on purpose? Someone seriously need to point out to these guys that this is the epitome of FAKE NEWS.

    • Yeah, I want this “official” to quote to me verbatim the statute that bans gun sights.

    • “Aside from it not being called a clip, the law limits the number of rounds in a magazine to 7.”
      True, but courts have changed that to 10. While the law still says 7, you won’t be charged or prosecuted for having 8, 9, or 10 rounds in your magazine.
      IANAL, though.

  16. In a tactical sense, the .223 is much bigger than the 9mm, .357, .40, .45 or 10mm. The. 223 has much more energy and can cut through IIIA soft body armor. When I’m searching an unfriendly back yard, I’d take an AR as my primary over a .40 cal handgun any day. Certainly. 308 and .30-06 are roughly twice what a .223 delivers.

    Maybe the cop was an anti-gun douchebag, or he was describing a rifle shooter attack in a gun free zone. Possibly both.

    • But there are .223 caliber pistols and their kinetic energy is greatly reduced. On the flip side a hot loaded .357 out of a long enough barrel will meet or beat a .223’s KE. The point is “bigger” is a BS way to look at things. Kinetic Energy which depends on many factors is what matters most.

      • “But there are .223 caliber pistols and their kinetic energy is greatly reduced.”

        I was under the impression that was a result .223 being loaded for a rifle-length barrel.

        Has anyone tried loading an AR pistol with short-barrel pistol powder to see if it improves things?

        • Faster burning power may give you a pressure spike, I would be crazy carful trying that.

        • I’m talking ARs versus pistols. Sure, the. 357 picks up a bunch of energy from a rifle. Under certain circumstances an Underwood / Buffalo Bore round can pack more FPE than a .223 / 5.56. The AR is still a vastly superior tactical tool to the .357, even if you manage to put that .357 into a lovely 20″ Henry lever rifle. Why?

          The AR will be more accurate, fire faster, reload faster, and more reliably cut through soft body armor than a lever action pistol caliber carbine.

          It’s pretty obvious to me that this cop was referring to a pistol versus an AR. And the only close range AR round that doesn’t reliably expand/ fragment – and has a reputation for doing so – is the M855. The
          .223, even with 55 grain FMJs from 16″ AR, will blow 1 gallon water jugs to bits.

          Cops very rarely use ARs with barrels shorter than 16″, and even more rarely use lever action .357 carbines.

        • “It’s pretty obvious to me that this cop was referring to a pistol versus an AR.” I’d agree that’s what he meant, but his statement of “a handgun or something else” only serves to confuse the issue and make him look dumb. It’s bad when your expert looks dumb. It hurts their credibility.

  17. This is the crap that always comes from cops who never held or shot a gun before becoming police officers.

  18. “Kids say the darndest things” said Linkletter. I suspect this was just another inarticulate speaker tripping over a poorly thought out point, while trying to sound like he knew what he was talking about. Not uncommon in this world of posts, wouldn’t everone agree?

  19. Amazing what you find in the article.
    “All intents and purposes a military weapon.” Define a “military weapon” as something that shoots bullets, it is.
    “Modified specifically to comply with New York law.” Again we’re back to “what is an assault rifle?” New York was proud of their law. What? They goofed?
    “Required mental health…to report.” Nowhere, does the article state the guy had been treated by mental health, much less if there was any concern.
    “Gun dealers can receive guns banned under the SAFE act.” Yea, to sell to the police and people outside the state. Funny, why should the police be allowed such weapons? Haven’t we seen police and FBI lose weapons?
    So he had three “clips that effectively gave him 30 rounds.” The next line notes he only used one “clip.” That included the round we’d to kill himself.
    Stuff like this always brings to my no the Ruger Mni-14. Called a “Ranch Rifle, it has a traditional wood stock and nothing that would make New York scream “Oh evil gun!” However, you can buy a cool plastic stock and suddenly it can become an “evil black assault rifle!”

  20. “Dr. Bello had trained at a firing range, the official said, and because he was shooting his victims at close range, he had no need for a gun sight, which is also banned.”

    Think about the damage he could have done if sights were legal. Sigh.

    • It’s possible that we are merely misinterpreting this sentence; It may be that shooting victims at close range without a gun sight is the thing which is banned. Ergo, had he used a gun sight, or hadn’t been so close, everything would’ve been A-OK.
      Or maybe one cannot shoot people at close range without a gun sight if one trains at a firing range first. Practicing one’s un-sighted close-range victim-shooting is SO gauche.
      Or maybe it’s that he practiced at a RANGE. Yeah, THAT’s it.

  21. Anyone have any data on comparisons of the wound channels and internal damage for .223 vs common pistol rounds at close range? I’d be curious to see if the extra energy of the .223 would actually translate into more damage in this type of scenario or if the larger, slower bullet would.

    • Not off hand, but look at .300 BLK subsonic vs supersonic. Subsonic, it’s a big slow bullet, about on par with a .45. Supersonic, it’s a smaller bullet at high speed, about the same or slightly higher energy as a .223.

      From what I hear from hog hunters, a supersonic 300 BLK will frequently drop a hog on the spot, and subsonic is pathetically bad at dropping them. Which pretty much tracks with the whole rifle vs handgun equation .

        • And to that point, I wonder what level body armor it would take to stop a 200 grain monolithic copper round nose .45 at 2,000+ fps?

        • .454 Casull rocks.

          “I wonder what level body armor it would take to stop a 200 grain monolithic copper round nose .45 at 2,000+ fps?”

          It’ll blast right through IIIA soft armor, so I’d assume it’d take at least Level III hard armor plates to stop it.

  22. NYC Cops are mostly City boys. They have never held a firearm until they get to the range during their training. The training is focussed on their duty firearm(s). Their general knowledge of firearms, ammunition, accuracy, lethality, etc. is ZERO.
    That is why the NYPD spokesmen , who have been off the street for years, often babble unbelievably ignorant statements.

  23. Ah, the malleability of prohibitionist’s narrative. First they stigmatize any weapon as “assault” if said weapon has pistol grip, non-castrated mag and flash hider. And now a weapon (an abomination actually) lacking any of those features is…tadaaaa…”Assault Rifle”.

    And, of course, .223 is longer than your typical pistol round, with non-FMJ smallbore bullets moving at 2000+ fps capable of producing pretty nasty effect. However, I do wish Mr.Official to see damage done by large rounds. Like, .300+ caliber with hunting bullet, or 00/000/softer slug 12G. Will be first ever case of projectile vomit with a sonic boom.

  24. I sent a correction to them about all the various bullshit ‘facts’ in that article. I see they haven’t followed their editorial policy and actually checked any of those issues out.

  25. There are way to many LEOs that do no more shooting then is required to pass their gun quals.
    each year & people expect them to know differences in firearms?

  26. “Dr. Bello had trained at a firing range, the official said, and because he was shooting his victims at close range, he had no need for a gun sight, which is also banned.”

    WTH?!

  27. It is the total package that is the AR platform that makes it so formidable a weapon and why I choose it as my prime home-defense gun. You’ll know when you have fired one.. it is a scary thing for any perp to have to face during the commission of a crime. Criminals, if you see your potential victim carrying an AR, run away. Run away very fast!

  28. I want a case of those knock them in the dirt spin them like a top, I need an instant dropper the size of a needle does not come out and homes in on the heart?

  29. I’m on the mindset that a 30-06 cannot and will not spin a game animal around, however, what I saw said something different. I shot an Axis buck (young) 170lbs, broadside. I hit the standard kill spot a little high but the shot took the animal off its feet and it landed with an audible thud 1 foot away from it’s tracks. Sometime reality messes with physics mind.

  30. Obviously a 110 year old Winchester .30/30 would have needed at least seven seconds to kill seven people, seven unarmed victims. A semi-auto rifle with power equal to a 110 year old .30/30 is more powerful than either an AK47 or SKS, which shoot the 30 Russioian or 7.62×39.
    An AR has less power than the 30 Russian or the 110 year old .30/30 deer rifle.
    There were survivors who were wounded, the .30/30 is loaded with 150 grain bullets intended to kill a 150 pound deer as quickly as possible while the military ammo in a 5.56×45 or a 7.62×39 is intended to wound and not kill with a hit that is not on a vital organ such as the brain or heart.
    Congressman Scalice is seriously wounded but alive becaused the left wing killer chose to use an SKS and notva Wichcester or Marlin .30/30.

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