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Nearly bullet proof man (courtesy

“Four of the shots that cops fired at a madman waving a knife in Midtown failed to penetrate his jacket — which was not bulletproof — and the NYPD will now check the weapons for malfunction, law enforcement sources told The Post.” The Post reports that the non-bullet-resistant jacket in question was a Carhartt. Regular reader will instantly wonder: how many bullets did the notoriously inaccurate NYPD fire at one Garry Conrad, how many hit him and how many failed to penetrate his outwear? Glad you asked . . .

A sergeant and an officer fired a total of nine rounds at 46-year-old Garry Conrad on Wednesday, with one of the shots killing the depressed Broadway stagehand who refused to drop the blade at West 49th Street and Eighth Avenue.

Four of the bullets got lodged in Conrad’s Carhartt jacket, sources said, adding that he was not wearing a bulletproof vest.

Another shot grazed the wrist of bystander Lauran Code, a 46-year-old lingerie designer from California.

Setting aside the controversy over bulletproof jackets for a moment . . .

The way I read it, New York’s Finest landed five shots on Mr. Conrad — no doubt at point blank range — four of which didn’t make it though his jacket. That’s a little over a 55 percent hit rate on the intended target. (Note: we’re not counting the injured bystander as a hit unless her lawyer cuts us in.)

That’s outstanding! You know, for the NYPD, whose “normal” hit rate is 18 percent. As for the hollow-point rounds not making it through Mr. Conrad’s jacket, you’ll be pleased to know that the cops reckon the cops GLOCKs didn’t malfunction.

John Cerar, a retired NYPD deputy inspector who headed the department’s Tactics and Firearms Section from 1985 through 1994, said the incident was difficult to fathom.

“I have not heard anything like this. There would be no reason for it,” Cerar said. “There would have to be some kind of defect. I would certainly look at the ammunition.”

Cerar noted that he recalled one incident in the 1970s in which the target of a police shooting escaped injury when one bullet struck his leather jacket and was somehow deflected, failing to wound the man.

“It was just an anomaly,” he recalled of that incident.

“An anomaly is one thing, but four anomalies is another thing entirely,” Cerar said, referring to the four bullets that never penetrated Conrad.

FYI: The NYPD switched over to “deadlier” hollow-point bullets in 1998. The Post article has been censored amended. The first version correctly named the cops’ ammo as 124-grain +P Speer Gold Dots. Check this out:

I’m carrying Gold Dots in my test and evaluation Kahr .380. We’ll contact Speer for a statement tomorrow. Meanwhile, what do you make of all this?

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  1. I knew Carhartt duck was tough, but damn.

    Should’ve used .45. Even they don’t penetrate you still have the soul stealing.

      • I read through all the comments, and mine is related to what you posted.

        I remember when bullet-resistant vests were fairly new, and testing was not yet standardized. It was found that if the vest was hanging loose, it would stop bullets much better, and if it was tightly strapped to a hard object like a trash can, it would often fail to stop a bullet that it should be able to stop.

        On the hard object, the vest fibers would be sheared between the bullet and the hard backing material, and the bullet would punch through. When the vest was hung loosely without being strapped down or pushed against something, it would swing when the bullet struck, and the vest movement would absorb some of the energy and possible allow/encourage the bullet to turn sideways as it tried to penetrate, making it “larger” and therefore easier to stop.

        I’m wondering if the guys coat wasn’t hanging open, away from his body, and the bullets found lodged in the coat were caught and failed to penetrate when the material swung as the bullets struck, absorbing/redirecting some of the energy. Perhaps the above, in combination with one or more of the shots being ricochets (maybe they glanced off smooth surfaces like an automobile hood/roof, or an exterior building wall made of marble, which would slow the bullet slightly without deforming it heavily) could explain the bullets lodged in the jacket.

        • Also similar to the bomb blast protection used widely by civilians in target cities during the Second World War: two heavy woollen blankets, tacked one behind the other onto the top of the window frame and hanging free at the bottom.

          As noted by several commentators here, they would swing inwards under the impact of the shrapnel, the first causing the shrapnel to tumble and the second catching it or substantially dissipating its energy (after it tumbled from the first blanket).

          Plenty of records of this catching shrapnel and other fragmentation to great effect.

          The same technique is commonly used even today – usually now in conjunction with Mylar blast film on the window pane itself – in many locations where blast and frag are serious threats.

        • I think you are spot on with the hanging material thought. Had a piece of 2A soft body armor material years ago. Laid it on some clay and fired a 357 Magnum 140 gr hollow point into it. It did not penetrate the material, but the material penetrated close to six inches into the clay. I imagine if the Kevlar material was hanging free 3-4 inches from the clay, the penetration would have been reduced.

      • Bet if he was hit with .40 S&W it would have penetrated and taken less hits to bring him down. BRaWWWWaa

        • Bet if he was shot-at by cops with .40s, they would have scored fewer hits to begin with.

          How effective your cartridge is only counts once you have hit the target, and many “occasional” .40 shooters just don’t hit very well. At all.

        • It wouldn’t have made a difference. There is a reason why a lot of Departments including the F.B.I. are going back to the 9mm. The rods perform roughly the same not to mention they aren’t as hard on the gun as the 40 S&W are. My department has noticed a big difference in service life of our weapons since we switched to the 40 S&W.

        • Yeah, but then they would have had to power-wash all the surrounding buildings up to the third or fourth floors…

      • And where exactly do you get a man portable thing that can fire projectiles fast enough for a Whipple shield to be a good choice? Your goal is to vaporize the projectiles on impact with the outer layer, 10,000fps minimum…

        Because I want one 😉

    • I use this very ammo in my 9 mm’s but I Dutch Load my magazines so this would have solved this problem .
      My 22 magnum would have penetrated . Velocity matters .

        • energy = mass x the SQUARE of the velocity.

          velocity matters MORE than mass.

          half the mass at 30% more velocity will more than overcome the loss of mass in the total energy.

        • All of these fancy mathematical formulae are wonderful to consider, but consider the source of those projectiles: NYPD officers!

          Sorry, I’ve seen the videos of NYPD in live shooter action before, missing their targets 95% of the time, from less than 10 feet. Their shots would have easily ended up in the brown part of a paper target, an inch or so, outside the black silhouette. Same phenomenon here

        • As you said, e=mc2 is true, but also a virtually irrelevant metric in determining how deeply a projectile will penetrate any specific matter. Kinetic energy isn’t an entirely useless metric in this analysis, but referenced by itself, tells us very little. The primary metric to consider when analyzing projectile penetration is momentum (p). The formula to determine momentum is: p=mv. Being a physicist, I assure you this is why all of the “expert” analysis we read about this subject is laughably false.

        • @ E=mc2

          Well for one you’re using the wrong equation for kinetic energy. You’re using mass-energy equivalence(aka theory of relativity) where c represents the speed of light and E represents the energy of a physical system… The equation for kinetic energy is KE=.5mv^2. However kinetic energy actually has very little to do with how effective handgun rounds are.

          There are three main factors that go into determining the effectiveness of a round, and in order of importance they are: penetration, permanent wound channel, and the temporary wound channel. A round has to reach its intended target to be effective, and to best measure that we would use the equation for momentum(simply defined is mass in motion or p=mv) and not energy. The permanent wound channel is a bit simpler to comprehend and in handgun rounds can usually be found simply by measuring the expansion of a round. The bigger the bullet, the bigger the permanent wound channel(and the differences between handgun round is pretty negligible). The temporary wound channel is what you can see in high speed footage where the wound channel tends to stretch/expand as a round passes through it. Almost all handgun rounds lack the velocity necessary(around 2000 ft/s according to the FBI) for there to be enough kinetic energy(KE=.5mv^2) for the temporary wound channel to cause actual tearing or damage due to hydrostatic shock.

          The round actually getting where it needs to be(penetration) is the relevant point in this article. In which case if we were speaking strictly in terms of momentum(p=mv), then increasing the velocity, mass, or both would’ve increased penetration proportionally. However terminal ballistics aren’t that simple, and the design and construction of the bullet also have a heavy impact on how well it will penetrate through various mediums.

        • Hanzo,

          Completely agree. Thanks to Obama, and to superior ballistics. That’s why i’ve been carrying my 10mm for 8 years now. Loaded hot, nothing compares to 15+1 concealed in 10mm. 🙂


    • People utterly ignorant of how bullets work often post things like “Hurr durr, shoulda got a .45!”

      .45acp bullets have far LESS penetration in barriers like sheet metal and other hard objects than the 9mm does. This includes clothing and soft body armor.

      The typical .45acp can be stopped by the no longer made level 1 vests, or the old pre kevlar nylon flak vests. A 9mm zips through such materials. You need a level IIIa vest to stop the bullet in question in the NYPD shooting, the Speer 124gr +p Gold Dot.

      Not only did these bullets shoot through the Carhart, they then expanded when they hit tissue and went completely through the bad guy, They were found caught up in the jak on the EXIT side.

      Jackets don’t stop bullets unless they are made of multiple levels of kevlar.

    • Me too! But it’s just to hot to wear in the summer. Need a bullet-proof moisture-wicking T-shirt.

  2. That is one tough Carhartt, if the ammo was defective then why did the Glocks cycle and load another round to be fired? We know this happened because four rounds failed to penetrate and there were only two cops.

    • “… if the ammo was defective then why did the Glocks cycle and load another round to be fired?”

      Beat me to it! Something really weird is going on here.

      • I would actually like to know if the rounds expanded and plugged. If they expanded odds are the velocity wasn’t compromised some how.

        I was reading on a police blog some of them like to lube their ammo and/or clean their guns w/o pulling ammo and it can compromise the integrity of the combustion process.

      • My guess is they bounced a round off a hard surface like asphalt. There is data at the link on how that affects velocity and energy, as tested by Mythbusters:

        Ammoquest tested this round in the regular and short barrel versions, through denim, and they both performed excellent.

        The short barrel version is my carry ammo for my SR9c. I won’t be changing it based on this story.

        • I said “a round” but they would have had to bounce all four of the failed rounds off the asphalt.

        • That would drop the NYPD’s hit rate from 55% to 11%. 11 is much closer to 18 than 55, so I’ll buy that.

        • Regarding possible ricochets, the article also does not state which of the 5 hits was the kill shot. It is possible the first shot knocked him down and the rest bounced around before hitting him. It’s not like the NYPD would stop shooting immediately if one round knocked him to the ground.

        • Ooooh, I like Cliff H’s explanation … first round knocked down the suspect and the remaining rounds skipped off of the asphalt.

    • I believe your question of malfunction may hinge on just what model of Glocks, and how old the springs were.
      The older single-slide-springs were much more forgiving of weakly loaded ammo, and are especially so after a lot of use or training from what I’ve garnered.

  3. Maybe NY city’s finest thought it easier to throw the rounds at the perp, rather than pulling the 12# trigger??

  4. I’d switch the .380 Gold Dots with Lehigh Xtreme Penetrators as STB410 suggested.

  5. Note to self, switch ammo and wear the carhartt more often.
    Unless I’m in downtown San Antonio like now and it’s 146 degrees in the shade. How do people live here? And it’s not even summer yet!

      • I left Austin, which isn’t that far from San Antonio, for Phoenix a decade and a half ago to get out of the heat. Truly, the humidity was that bad. It was said that Austin wasn’t as bad as Houston, and Houston not as bad as New Orleans, but I found the humidity in Austin oppressive. Of course, I have spent all but 10 years of my life in the dry mountain west (including CO, NM, AZ, UT, NV, and MT). And, Austin was probably not as bad for me as the DC area, but I was half the age then as when I was in TX. My first summer in DC was w/o air conditioning, and I remember not being able to sleep until 1 or 2 in the mornings when things had cooled down a bit.

        • I remember driving into PHX for the first time from SFO. It was well after midnight, had the a/c on and the sunroof open.

          The first time I crossed an underpass, I thought I had an a/c issue. The second time I realized that I drove under a 3000 ton broiler oven. I’m used to the heat/humidity of the MW, but there is nothing as miserable as 117F in the shade. 6 horrid months in PHX, you could not pay me to ever live there again, during anything but the most chilly of winter months anyway. When you can’t ride your motorcycle at midnight without getting roasted by radiant hear from the asphalt, you are living where humans shouldn’t.

          Why the hell Motorola was ever there is beyond the pale. HOU’s just a swampy mess, at least the weather is generally livable in ABQ. Not to mention SAF is just up the hill.

        • (Phoenix, Arizona)

          “Why the hell Motorola was ever there is beyond the pale.”

          Geological stability.

          Chip fabs located in Silicon Valley, or most anywhere in the Northwest, are at risk from earthquake. The big players have been spreading out their liability to catastrophe for quite some time now…

      • Means your sweat evaporates and cools you down. Unlike high humidity where it just flows down until you are not only hot, but sitting in warm puddle. 🙂

    • Some are from, or preparing for, the afterlife, lol. Those of us more likely to inhabit temperate parts of the universe after shuffling off this mortal coil are best suited to inhabit Oregon especially the South Coast!

  6. They missed.

    It’s the NYPD.

    I stopped at a cop deli in Queens a couple years ago when I worked in New York for a day.
    In walked the NYPD and with the differing varieties of sidearm and odd and dysfunctional body shapes I thought I had been transported to the canteen on Mos Eisley.

    I guess they standardized on the G19 a while ago, but when I was there a couple years ago it was everything short of a Broomhandle Mauser.

    Anyway, they missed.

        • 4 of 9 rounds fired happened to not only hit the pavement but then all bounce up and hit someone in the torso? So apparently the cops are great with horizontal sight alignment but can’t tell up from down?

          Also: rounds hitting pavement don’t bounce up like a rubber ball, they tend to stay at a lower angle. One? Maybe. Four? Nah.


          In some cases the deflected angle is close to or the same as the angle it was fired at the ground.

          I know, it sounds unlikely. But not as unlikely as four failures with a direct hit, at least from my perspective. On the other hand, Carhartt offers a lot of coat models in heavy Cordura nylon, which is seriously tough stuff. I knew people in Alaska that wore coveralls made of the stuff as ‘bear armor’. I’m not 100% convinced about bouncing bullets in this case. More like 60/40

  7. It is possible that the rounds were not properly loaded with powder, otherwise, misses. One for six is much more in line with past experience.

    • As someone else noted, the weapon cycled the ammo.

      I think TTAG needs to buy a Carhartt and ship it to STB.410 for a ‘Jacket Quest’…

  8. – If the ammo was defective (not enough powder), I think the Glock would not have cycled properly.
    – The Gold Dot round has been around for at least a decade. If it were defective, we would know by now.

    I suspect a round deflected/fragmented off something besides his jacket and they are claiming the fragments as separate hits.

    • “No dogs, though!”

      We don’t know what the woman who was grazed looked like, CoolBreeze…

      (Sorry, had to do it. 🙂 )

  9. Let’s have that .40 is dead vs 9mm argument again so I can tell folks to KMA….again.

  10. Two possibilities here: 1. Carhartt jackets are bullet proof, in which case the makers of the jacket should be happy as pigs in mud, or 2. NYPD actually missed every time, except for the shot that killed the guy and the one that grazed the bystander.

    My money is on 2, but I guess we will see.

  11. A friend once told me that once you had a Carhartt you would never be without one. Holding true so far.

    • I dropped 100 bucks on a carhart at academy 10 years ago. I have worn that jacket every cold day since. I’m still waiting for it to be beyond use. Aside from a small tear in the hood from me catching it on barbed wire about 5 years ago and it being faded enough to annoy my wife, I see no reason I won’t wear it another 10 years. I’ll vouch for carhart. They make a quality coat.

  12. Okay. It’s NYPD. Who the fuck is still standing on the street when NYPD pulls their guns? I’d be running like a stripped assed ape at the first sign of an NYPD gun. They have an 18% hit rate on perps and a 100% hit rate on innocent bystanders.

    Don’t be an innocent by stander. Be an innocent byrunner.

    • Yeah, the NYPD is certainly infamous for:
      * Lousy judgment
      * Lousy marksmanship
      * Tommy Flanagan levels of veracity

      I wouldn’t take ANYTHING reported by the cops on the scene at face value. Just look at the “ripping yarn” spun by the cop who killed Akai Ghurley.

    • I think it’s about time the New York brass re examines how stupid their 12 pound trigger rule.

      Some departments are good about firearms training. NYPD has around 34000 officers, and it’s clear they don’t get the training they need. Why hamstring them even further by making it take a Herculean effort to pull the trigger? If they’re that worried about it make them carry DA/SA guns, so the first pull is heavy. But the way it is now, it’s no wonder (and also inexcusable) they bystanders are getting shot.

      In all the police shootings in the entire state of VA the past 3 years I don’t think a single bystander has been injured.

  13. Yea 9mm, just like all the Warriors in Afgan, have complained of, and it’s why the U.S. Army is looking into replacing the handgun caliber, 2 calibers that are being considered are 40s&w or return of the 45acp, and yes 9mm ball ammo will be replaced with ball ammo, and shot placement is done with any caliber

    • Ever wonder why the 9mm is the caliber of choice in SOCOM for pistols? It’s cause it works.

      • No it isn’t. During the first Afghan campaign SPECOPS guys were E-mailing their reliefs to bring 40s or 45s because 9s sucked. It may be the official round but tbe troops say otherwise.

        • I spent the majority of my career in SOCOM. The 9mm is the round of choice. Urban legends are where you get this guys are mailing home for ammo crap. Did a couple of guys do it. Yeah probably happened. Some guys brought personal pistols. Write a book, and all a sudden it becomes gospel that everyone does it. Which is couldn’t be farther from the truth. And no one needs to write home for 45cal it has always been in the inventory. Any ordnance guy could put a order for it. I’ve seen plenty of guys take hits from 9mm and .45cal. They always act the same way. If you don’t hit them in the head, you got to put 4 or 5 rounds in them.

        • Squelch this horsecrap about 9mm being complained about in combat. Yeah the M-9 is a turd and nobody in USASOC carries those antiques anymore, but 9×19 serves the purpose of a sidearm quite well. 40 is not much more powerful and .45 has substandard penetration. My unit carried the G-17 and when tasked to JSOC we used the P226. A team out of 5th group purchased CZ-75 SP-01 pistols for use in Afghanistan. The next issue is that we are a NATO compliant country. We use NATO compliant ammunition. Yeah, I know someone said or someone heard that so and so used nitro filled uranium tipped bullets fired out of a refurbished ww2 issue 1911, “because they are the only pistol worth a damn.”

          Nah sorry guys the truth is once again less juicy than the myth. 9×19 works and works well. Sounds to me like these guys had some bad ammunition. A few years ago Freedom Munitions had to take a bunch of ammo back because they had tried skimping on propellant in their cases. Had rounds squibbing yet still providing enough energy to chamber the next round with a bullet still stuck in the barrel.

      • No, it’s because it’s cheaper than 40 and 45. And easier for those who never fired a handgun before to learn to shoot it.

        • You’re an idiot. SOCOM isn’t using the 9mm for all of the reasons that people say the FBI is using it, like “Hurr durr, them womenz can’t handle muh .45!”, they use it because it works.

  14. Having worked in ER and seen my share of gunshot wounds I can easily believe that 9mm hollow points may not completely penetrate a lose heavy work jacket.

    As for Carhart jackets or just heavy cloths in general, while hunting I actually saw from across a ravine as the grand child of an elderly man shot him by accident when deer hunting.
    The kid fired at some running deer, the soft point 30-30 rd traveled just over 150 yds first passing thru several limbs of juniper trees and stage brush before hitting the 67 yr victim in the chest. I heard the thump of the round hitting and his breath as it was expelled.
    When I got to him he was breathing slow & steady but was non responsive. I could see a hole in his heavy lined woolen jacket, pulling it aside I found a levi jacket. The round hit the brass snap button. When I pulled open his heavy wool shirt the flattened snap/button with some of the bullit fell out. Under that was a dress and tee shirt. On his chest was more fragmented metal that literally just fell away.
    I could see some cloth fragments soaked in blood and something else in the very shallow wound. Suddenly his 40 yr old son grabed the cloth strands pulling them. Out came the copper exterior of the bullet. Unbelievably the round never even broke his rib. He was air/vac to hospital and home after a night.

    In WW1 solders wore heavy woolen jackets to stop light rounds and even in WW2. My father related stories of hitting enemies with a .45
    and inflicting minimal damage if anything more than a bad bruise.

    So I can believe a fast expanding hollow point 9mm hitting multiple folds and layers of lose heavy clothing may not penetrate.

    Very believable.

    • Except time and time again, scientific testing has proven with JHPs, clothing typically causes overpenetration. Not under.

      • This is true only of low quality or early vintage JHPs. Most quality, modern ammo such as the Speer GoldDot is designed to expand even through heavy clothing or barriers. Besides this, a bunch of fat guys on YouTube shooting at a block of gelatin through a cut up pair of their wife’s jeans is hardly “scientific” evidence.

        • ShootingTheBull410 doesn’t look fat in his videos (would that make him less scientific anyway?), and a controlled test that fires multiple rounds through media that attempts to replicate a target as accurately as possible seems like a fairly scientific way to test ballistics. More so than relying on anecdotal evidence or statistically uncommon events. When several others do the same tests to disprove or confirm the results, it becomes more scientific. This is the method the FBI uses to test Ammo, and they tend to be pretty scientific for law enforcement.

    • PD’s are rightfully concerned about bullet over-penetration. Thank God the bystander wasn’t hurt badly or killed. This is one reason they’ve gone to the fragmenting type of round. It shouldn’t pass through a subject and into another innocent pedestrian but it will fragment internally to assist in stopping the subject.

      What we may have seen in this shooting is the downside of using a projectile whose design simply doesn’t allow penetration into loosely fit clothing. Cops are confined by their departments to the prescribed ammunition for the purpose of limiting or eliminating litigation. They’re indemnified in the unfortunate instance of an unintended injury or death to a non-participant. The 9mm is fine for a carry round. It was the unique situation that revealed the bullet’s design limitation.

      We as civilians are not beholden to any brand or type of ammo but we’re also not covered legally or financially by a big city in the aftermath of a shooting. We can carry FMJ but must be vigilant of our surroundings should we have to use our weapon.

      NYPD eventually got the guy to go down and thankfully no one else got seriously hurt in that urban environment. In the end, i’m ok with the results.


    • What you posted is fractally wrong. Like almost 100% of everything you typed is wrong.

      Clothing does not stop JHPs, and no experience in an ER would lead any thinking person to belive that.

  15. Uh I’m not buying the story they’re spinning. 4 boo-lits? Not umpossible but it’s not like they were hundreds of feet away…

    • The claim we would have to assume is that the hits were found in his clothing however the probability of bad ammo and even corruption from NYs finest are always possible.

      I will put my money down on that the hits to his clothing are in evidence and they are trying to justify the amount of rounds used especaly since an innocent bystander was wounded by one.

    • The bystander accounts for one miss. One shot was fatal. Four lodged in the coat. The other three were not necessarily misses. They may have simply been non fatal hits.

  16. C’mon. Federal HSTs would have done the job…Speer GDs? Just failed…well, thank god they aren’t too lethal. This is the NYPD after all…a little co-lateral damage is in the cards every time.

  17. Full disclosure: A good friend of mine knew Garry Conrad, well. She even worked with him several times. He was not a madman as you called him, Farago. He did have an alcohol problem, which was a prevailing factor. He’d also had a severe head trauma that may have also been a contributing factor. So there was a lot more to Conrad than the press, and others, presented (this is my surprised face). Oh, and the 8-inch knife included the 5-inch handle. I know because I have two just like it.

    Does that excuse his actions that got him killed? No. If I were there – and was allowed to carry a gun in NYC – I would have also pulled the trigger if no other option was available. But he was, in no way, a madman.

    • “He did have an alcohol problem, which was a prevailing factor. He’d also had a severe head trauma that may have also been a contributing factor.”

      Sounds pretty mad (i.e. emotionally disturbed) to me.

      • He lived in NYC.

        Who in NYC who lives there isn’t justified in being an alcoholic?

        • Alcoholic? Only if you don’t have the means…

          One needs a Tony Montana sized pile of blow to deal with the insanity of NYC – god knows every broker has several dealers on speed dial.

  18. So one thing with hollow points that causes underperformance in penetration is over expansion. The usual cause of over expansion is excessive velocity for bullet design. The other likelihood is insufficient velocity limiting pemetration. Excessive pressure can cause either excessive or insuffient velocity, depending on conditions. Bullet setback is a common cause of excessive preasure.

    In my experience, most people who are paid to carry a gun (as opposed to armed professionals) do not understand that repeatedly chambering the same round causes bullet setback. Or they have been told and ignore it. Some know and cycle the same few rounds through the chamber. Both cause the same problem, the latter merely delays it.

    Conclusion: excessive pressure from bullet setback, caused by repeated chambering of the same few rounds caused either excessive velocity and the round fragmented, or insuffient velocity and the projectile lacked the energy to penetrate.

    Oh…and they missed.

  19. How old was the ammo? Had it been exposed to moisture, heat, and/or cold over a long period of time? Can we get some ballistics tests on the rest of the ammo in the magazine? Those are questions I have.

  20. I have a hard time believing a Carhart jacket stopped 9mm +P rounds. Videos abound showing 9mm – .45 ACP zipping through 4 layers of heavy denim and continuing on with 12-16″ of penetration all of the time.

  21. Isn’t this why people wen’t to the .40 in the first place? Then back to 9 after “bullet technology” made it more powerful? I always heard that in hollow points there was no such thing as reliable expansion because of too many variables. You could never depend on it to act the way you wanted it to.

    • No the .40 came to pass because people in the FBI could not hang on to the 10mm. So the .40 as you probably know is the 10mm bullet in a scaled down case. 9mm moves out at around 1200fps on average. 9mm bullets do penetrate quite well. There are a lot of factors that can come in to play here. Not the least of which is could this simply be a case of underpowered ammunition? The margin of power between a 9×19 and a .40 is really not that much.

  22. With the current corruption and violence scandals plaguing the NYPD there’s no way we’re getting the real story right now.

  23. What needs to be answered:

    Condition of the officers pistols. Given, not sure how this would effect bullet strikes but I’m betting the guns are in poor shape

    Age of and condition of the rounds still in the guns and on the officers. As was pointed out, poor maintenance (lube getting on the round, etc.) could effect the shot. Could the guns still cycle with defective ammunition? Enough to cycle the gun but with a very low speed?

    Clothing of the subject. Besides the jacket, what else was he wearing? What was his positioning for each bullet strike?

    Not that the NYPD would own to poor maintenance on their pistols.

  24. These rounds failed to penetrate the Carhartt jacket before or after the bullets passed through the perp’s body? Because if they failed to penetrate the jacket after the bullets passed completely through the perp’s body you couldn’t get much better performance than that.

    • You read it the same way I did; if the bullets were “lodged” in the back of the jacket after passing through the torso, well, mission accomplished, and there is no problem here.

      • ‘ “An anomaly is one thing, but four anomalies is another thing entirely,” Cerar said, referring to the four bullets that never penetrated Conrad.’

        So the 4 rounds didn’t penetrate Conrad’s body but they were on target. The one fatal round means NYPD got 5 out of 9 into the subject. That’s not too bad. Conrad may have been moving around somewhat. That and the officer’s adrenalin may have been reason for the 4 misses. The 4 rounds that were lodged in his jacket never made it through his body.

        I’d definitely conduct a test using a thick, loosely worn jacket such as a Carhart, to see if it confirms the facts of this shooting. If it does, perhaps PD’s need to reevaluate their position on bullets of this type.

  25. Assassinated, one shot to the head. 4 bullets planted on the body to fabricate a typical bullshit police coverup.

    • No, a “typical” coverup would simply claim excellent marksmanship and ample justification, not call attention to itself, and invite close scrutiny, by planting multiple ballistic miracles.

      • No, that would be a “good” coverup. “typical” involves spinning the shit gruunts on the ground do.

    • Lol! I spit my coffee on that one! Better buy your Carhartt NOW while supplies last!

  26. The only way to prove this story is accurate is to get some human cadavers and dress them in the same brand and style of clothing this man wore then put the cadavers on a pedestal that could be manipulated to mimic the mans movements and fire the same type or ammo into it at the same distance claimed by the cops.

    You could even use pig carcases if human cadavers are unavailable.

  27. A very unusual result for what has been the gold standard of handgun ammunition for many years. In fact, for many years the Gold Dot was the only ammunition that could pass all facets of the FBI test protocol. It has been evaluated by multiple agencies using similar test criteria and has passed every time. Bonded core bullet technology, nickel cases for positive extraction and good lots of powder/propellant that just plain work.

    In the case of under-penetration by (possibly) multiple weapons….was the ammunition from a single production lot? If so, re-test it and publish the results. Were lots of GD SHORT BARREL ammunition improperly issued to officers carrying longer-barreled service pistols? To me it does seem plausible that this could be a reason for over-expansion and reduced penetration. The average beat cop will never notice the difference between a std Gold Dot and the Short Barrel version, until he actually fires it at a car door, a barrier or some big guy wearing heavy clothing.

  28. The race is on to be the first gun website to perforate a Carhartt jacket with gold dots.

    In the name of science. Or Journalism. Or whatever.

    Many fine Jackets that never anything to anyone are about`to be destroyed in the attempt to get a scoop.

  29. The quilted cotton cuirass rediscovered. My carhartt has a quilted lining.

    • Keith, you might want to check that thinking and slide more to ‘rational.’


      It might interest you to know that I was once involved in a shooting investigation (and subsequent autopsy) where the good guy (defender of self and about 50 others) shoot the bad guy (an armed robber) something like 6 times with .357 Sig (“something like” because I’m going by memory here…this incident was 15+ years ago).

      Several of the shots caused mortal wounds, but the bad guy remained on his feet and kept engaging the good guy (by pointing his firearm) in what was in essence a running firefight. The last shot hit the bad guy just above the eye, dropped him and ended the fight.

      There is no magic pistol caliber. Any can cause immediate incapacitation and any can fail to do so.

      There are FAR bigger variables in the equation than the minutia of what caliber is used.

      • To clarify: I’m not criticizing .357 Sig at all. Not suggesting a change.

        What I AM saying is no handgun, no caliber is a magic talisman. Where 9mm may have failed to produce an immediate result in one event, all other calibers have similar stories. I can produce documented cases of ‘failure to instantly incapacitate’ for 9 mm, .357 Sig, .38 Spl, .40 S&w and .45 ACP.

        There’s no magic “it will work because it’s caliber x.” Truthfully, there is no real transcendental “better.”

        Far more important are reliability of the gun, skill of the shooter and not a little dose of good old fashioned luck….if we are talking REAL gunfights.

        First Rule: Have a gun. All else follows from that.

  30. “Note: we’re not counting the injured bystander as a hit unless her lawyer cuts us in.”

    Lines like that are why I read this blog. 🙂

  31. Truth: they only hit him once. He was carrying a few slugs in his pocket and they spilled out when he was hit.

  32. A great many of us motorcyclists swear by riding jeans (usually reinforced with Kevlar in some manner) or, alternatively….Carhartt work jeans. Denim has long been used, but Levi’s (which would otherwise be my favorite) are simply paper-thin in comparison to Carhartt. Of some interest, but not quite analogous, is my experience with their toughness – I slid my bike out at 65mph in a curve (rookie mistake, grabbing the front brake) and then proceeded to slide on my ass at said speed, rather like a hockey puck, sitting upright, straight off the road in a left hand curve and into the muddy ditch, my bike having arrived there first. Softest landing I ever had. My Carhartts were virtually undamaged except for one small rivet. In fact, they lasted me 12 more years before becoming so faded I got another pair.

    Nevertheless, I don’t think there was anything wrong with the Speed Gold Dots, which by all accounts is excellent ammo, or the Glocks, atrocious NYPD triggers notwithstanding. Sometimes wierd stuff just happens. And yes, I think the NYPD’s reputation for bad marksmanship, judgement, etc precedes itself. When you get right down to the bottom of all this, that’s the basic problem – it’s NYC in the first place.


  33. I think the Fire Hose clothing from Duluth Trading Co. might be even better, as it uses a double cross stitch heavy canvas.

  34. Oh please. The reporters undoubtedly have this wrong. Either incomplete description, or just reporting some fourth-hand rumor.

    Wake up folks– reporters get things wrong all the time, especially when the subject is guns.

    • Nothing we need to “wake up” to. We are well aware of the phenomenon and comment on it often.

  35. Well JR_in_NC this is more common in the 9mm, and I’ve been searching for stories of any one shot with 44 mag or 500 win mag, that still walks

  36. This sounds fake. Not because the 9mm failed or because the jacket stopped live ammo. But are you guys going to believe that the nypd managed to get 4 hits on a suspect while only injuring one innocent person? Seems a little too professional for them.

  37. Most of the commentary is emanating from the mouths of “shooters” that only shoot at paper in ranges.

    As a country boy that has shot at just about everything with just about everything, I can attest to the fact that many MANY bullets are deflected and or stopped by seemingly insignificant and non-substantial items. I’ve retrieved 30-06 jacketed bullets from the skin of a racoon, and .223 Remingtons from rockchucks. Neither of those shots would have killed the critter. Hard cast 357 slugs often times stick in the thin bark of a small pine tree. Hell – anyone that ventures out of the urban jungle has seen aluminum light-gauge traffic signs that stop all sorts of high-powered ammo.

    No bullet, fired from any gun, can be depended upon to incapacitate100% of the time.

  38. I have a bunch of old FR Carhart issued workwear, I’m very tempted to do some testing.

    As far as heavy fabric goes, the cotton duck they use isn’t all that heavy. I have denim that’s 25oz and substantially thicker than any of the jackets/bibs I own.

  39. I have a very hard time believing this. I have tested (test gun HK P30L) many many 9mm loads, including this specific load, and I have pictures of this 124gr. pill going through and through the roughly quarter inch mildish steel of a jackstand. 9mm has excellent penetration characteristics. Particularly in the spicy +P and +P+ variety. I’ve shot that same jackstand with federal .45 ACP 230gr +P HST (test gun Wilson Combat CQB) and had them all flatten and bounce off the stand back at me looking like a squashed spider. Made nice looking golf ball sized dents in my stand, but no penetration. Of the exotics the Lehigh defense stuff turns nearly any round into a serious penetrator. One of their screwdriver looking light for caliber .45 auto rounds had a go at my stand and blew a nasty star shaped jagged hole through it large enough to actually chuck a golf ball through! Surprised the heck out of me. However I have found that the consistently (key word consistently) best performing of all the handgun rounds I have played around with is .357 Magnum. Even cheapie wall mart semi jacketed soft tip stuff is an intermediate barrier brutalizer. (and my test gun is just a little S&W 2.5″ 686) Unlike some of my contemporaries (I was born in 1988) I never feel under gunned carrying my .357 magnum. Nor am I awash with feelings of great despair and the creeping doom of defenseless if not strapped with the latest state of the art tacticool plastic gat. that holds 47 rounds and only weighs as much as space food. Anyways 9mm is an excellent round. I feel it to be the best all around choice for most average people’s applications. Cheap(er) to practice with, easy to manage. Hey, the FBI finally regained sanity, and is now moving to a 9mm ( me thinks the SIG p320) As Howard Huges would say “it’s the way of the Future…way the future ..way of the future…way of the the future… (actually might be Leos depiction of him in Aviator*great movie btw) oh well you get my meaning.

  40. Amazing that no one has mentioned how many wounds the suspect sustained. A normal-sized person wearing a Carhartt jacket could easily take a hit from a 124-gr. +P Gold Dot that performs exactly as intended and have the bullet pass through the coat, transect the body, and be caught in the coat on the other side. Given that the suspect was likely moving at the time, it’s entirely feasible that there were multiple hits, and some fool just found the bullets embedded in the coat and assumed the coat stopped the bullets. Which in that scenario would be technically correct, but not of practical use to Carhartt jacket-wearers.

  41. Bullets CANNOT be predicted to do ANYTHING predictable AFTER they have left the muzzle of ANY firearm.

  42. My bullshit detector is pegged right now.

    I want to see the follow-up story (if there ever is one)

    Not saying it couldn’t happen but I have a hard time believin it was not a fluke with garb or ammunition.

    Car hart’s often have heavy brass buttons could deflect or slow a bullets progress.

    Otherwise Carhart will be become standard gang clothing shortly.

  43. Why are they still using those old tech bullets? Most up to date PDs have switched to Hornady’s critical duty bullets. Not offered to the public, they will penetrate a windshield and still put someone down. Gold dot bullets don’t come close to comparing to these rounds. And Hornady sells them at a discounted rate so departments can afford them, probably cheaper than gold dot.

      • The 124gr +P Gold Dot is NOT and “old tech” bullet, it’s still one of the very best service rounds ever invented.

  44. Another possibility is the guy got dropped, and subsequent rounds didn’t hit him, but the jacket against the concrete, stopping the rounds. The report doesn’t state he was hit 4 times with no effect, only to be hit for the 5th time stopping the incident.

  45. I would really like to see what Speer has to say, I worked for them in Lewiston Idaho. While working there I was never impressed with the product that left factory. I am not saying that I don’t carry these in my weapons, but if I were to have to pay market price for it I would spend my money on her brands.

  46. Glocks are crap and so are 9mm anything. Not nearly enough knockdown power and you need to stop an active shooter cold. Not to disparage Carhartt products, they are excellent–but a Glock 9mm is a pu$$y gun. Ruger. Colt. S&W. 357 and up please–our criminals deserve the very finest!

  47. Most of the comments miss the Occam’s answer. The cop lied or was mistaken about his hit rate.

  48. If you determine effectiveness to be the death of the person being shot then I would consider two factors just after penetration ; shot placement ( of coarse ) and the oft forgotten and little appreciated ( by caliber war buffs ) bleeding factor . Blood loss is the single biggest reason people die from a bullet wound , followed by biological death of a vital organ by direct impact of the projectile . A 22 caliber bullet can actually cause more bleeding than a 45 caliber because it tends to travel erratically inside of a human body , bouncing around like a steel ball in a pen ball game . enters the knee , ends up in a neck . Hard for a surgeon to track it’s path .
    A 22 WMR will generally get 15 inch penetration from a 4.5 inch pistol in gel test and it’s velocity and size make it perfect for clothing penetration and it’s also known to bounce around inside of meat , grizz and bone .
    I used this round very effectively to dispatch coyotes and it chews them up inside .

  49. That’s entirely too many posts to go through all of them to see if the truth is been posted yet. The story is total bullshit. I spoke to my friend who still on the job who knows the investigator personally and there’s no validity to the story whatsoever. Please place a retraction. Thanks.

  50. When I carried (retired undercover NYPD) I use to load with mix of HP and FMJ ammo. 9mm were slim and easier to conceal but I didn’t trust the ammo. In the winter people wear layers which can be a problem for penetration. FMJ has a better chance to go through layers of cloths. As far as over penetration, I would prefer to answer to lawyers than an undertaker.

    • Youre and idiot.

      You don’t need FMJ to get through clothing, that’s a myth.

      If you really are on the job and did this then you were not only in violation of policy, you were negligent.

  51. It’s stunning that this bullshit was ever published, let alone that it’s still on the site.

    No, Carhartts do NOT stop 9mm bullets.

    Then, there are the comments here. Holy crap, what a derpfest.

    No, a .40 or .45 would not have done a better job.

    No, FMJ ammo isn’t required to get through winter clothing.

    No, .22s are not uber deadly killer bullets, now do they “bounce like a ping pong ball”.

    TTAGs is anything but the truth.

  52. Amazing this crap article hasn’t been updated. Has this site not got the details and just continues to let this hearsay stand out there?

    Bad guy fully penetrated. Bullet on inside of coat at EXIT (not entrance). Bullet performed just about perfectly. End of story. Sheesh.

  53. Reason NYPD can’t hit suspects but 18% of the time is the terrible 12lb plus trigger pull the Police Bureau insists the officers have to prevent accidental discharges in high stress situations. If they’d put the normal 5.5 lb triggers back in, the hit percentage on suspects would go up markedly, and likely the bystander hits would go down. Accidental discharges in departments using Glocks with normal trigger pull don’t seem to be problematic.
    If you can’t trust an officer with a reasonable trigger pull, he shouldn’t be armed.

  54. 1) Shot placement is king.
    2) Any quality 9mm round will penetrate clothing.
    3) Comments show that myth and legend rule in the gun community.

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