Over the years, there has been a certain amount of novelty ammunition devised for various purposes. Some are created ostensibly for concealed carry and/or self-defense, and others are created for different purposes. Some seem to have been created purely for fun at the range and that’s where such ammunition should reside. There are some fun ideas out there that just wouldn’t work in real life.
You may remember the HBO series “The Wire.” It was set in Baltimore and was about the lives of inner city criminals and the cops who pursue them. In one episode, a hired gun informs a gang member that he’s no longer welcome in a particular part of town.
As said gang member – played by Method Man – readies to assault the man for telling him this, the hired gun shoots him in the shoulder with rat shot. He then tells him what it is, but that the next round would be a 125-grain “jacketed hollow point hot street load of my own design” and warned him not to test him.
That’s all well and good for television and it was a great scene. In the real world, though, you wouldn’t want to do that and for two very good reasons.
First, rat shot pellets are tiny (usually #12) and aren’t going to do much to a human being in a violent frenzy, so the ploy isn’t likely to work. Secondly, it’s tantamount to a warning shot since it’s a less lethal round. Since a warning shot signifies the threat was less than immediate, there’s no legal justification for pulling the trigger.
Incidentally, if you watch “The Wire” and the first season of “True Detective,” you’ll never be able to watch any major network cop shows again. They were the pinnacle of the genre. But back to our subject.
The same goes for rock salt loads. Not only will it not penetrate flesh (much), it likewise could be taken to mean a less than immediate threat. Less lethal rounds are a great idea in principle – i.e. hopefully stopping an attacker without killing them – but circumspection isn’t a quality that district attorneys always possess. If a person shoots another person but didn’t mean to kill them, they could very well conclude that it wasn’t really self-defense situation.
The idea of a tactical pump shotgun loaded with Dragon’s Breath is fun, but you’re just as likely to set your house on fire as stop a bad guy who’s broken in.
Then there are those seasoned duck loads. Go ahead if you want…but I wouldn’t.
And there are plenty more out there like these…novelty ammunition promising all sorts of things is released every year. While some find a few buyers, the reality is that the wheel isn’t going to be reinvented any time soon.
Bonded hollow points are the most-used, best pistol ammunition for self-defense for very good reason. Good old Buckshot is best in shotguns, also for very good reason. There are some better versions of each that come along from time to time and improve the breed, which is a good thing, but the wheel isn’t likely to be reinvented any time soon.
So let’s restrict the novelty ammo to the range.