Once upon a time a bullet was a projectile inside a casing—and that was pretty much it. These days, it seems like ammo has to emerge from a gun’s muzzle like a circus car revealing a pack of knife-wielding clowns. Or something like that. Or something like this: “Constitution Arms has optimized an ultra low recoil triple‐projectile .38 special standard load cartridge containing two stacked nickel plated conical projectiles and a copper gas checked solid base projectile which, based on testing at close range, delivers a 158 grain payload that reliably separates into two or more penetration tracks and tumbles upon entering tissue.” Cue Boy George’s I’ll Tumble For Ya. Or not. The Tri‐Plex™ bullet producer is serious about creating a round with lower recoil and increased lethality that would suit his Palm Pistol . . .
A total of 13 Tri‐Plex™ were fired and results compared to a popular brand of two 158gr baseline SWC‐HP cartridge test shots at standard and +P loading. Six of these had their projectiles separated into two penetration tracks. These demonstrated a wounding potential similar to the baseline SWC‐HP of comparable loading and velocity with only a 4% smaller hole size.
In the remaining seven instances where complete separation occurred prior to or following impact with the target, the ballistic wound was up to 49% larger (45% avg.) when compared to a baseline expanded standard load SWC HP cartridge, and up to 11% larger (8% avg.) when compared to a baseline expanded +P load SWC‐HP.
Also, at 10 feet distance from the target, both the hit probability and combined surface area of the TriPlex™ were 200% larger than a unitary non expanded projectile of the same caliber.
Findings concluded the Palm38 Tri‐Plex™ ultra low recoil .38 special is capable of delivering incapacitating damage within the recommend maximum engagement distance of 10 feet, and showed considerable promise in terms of increased lethality through an increase in hit probability and kinetic energy transfer from the projectiles.
Beyond 10-feet? Never mind. The question on my mind: what would it take to get someone used to loading their self-defense weapon with traditional bullet to switch over to one of these new, multi-part funky rounds? How do you make that leap of faith when your life depends on unproven (in the field) technology?
Equally interesting: if you shot and killed someone with this or some new bullet technology, could the prosecution use it against you? Look at all the kerfuffle over “cop killer” hollow-points. In a world where governments get their knickers in a twist about magazines that hold more than ten conventional bullets, will we see moves to outlaw these “specialty” rounds?