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“We are looking at additional ways to protect our brave men and women in law enforcement, and believe that this process is valuable for that reason alone.” That’s today’s pronouncement from the contradictorily named Josh Earnest, the White House Press Secretary, when he was asked about the ATF’s proposed ban of M855 5.56/.223 ammunition. You don’t want cops to die, do you? The only thing more egregious  — or predictable — he was able to muster . . .

in defense of the proposed ban is that it’s a “common sense step.” Oh, and the ban will somehow, magically, “prevent people who shouldn’t have guns from getting them.” You still have until March 15 to drop your thoughts on the topic into the BATFE’s email shredder.  [h/t Jeremy S.]

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      • While they are at it they could also ask if it is not a fact that most(all) rifle ammunition can penetrate soft body armor, regardless of the platform it is fired from.

        • So… civil disobedience? I think we should get together and do some civil disobedience.

          Cody Wilson – next project – make your own armor piercing bullets at home with this $5 machine the size of a coffee mug. Crank them out in mass quantities – hand them to your friends and family.

        • We should personally turn in all our M855 bullets to the BATFE, right after we use our legal primers, brass cases, and gun powder…about 3,000 feet per second after.

        • Good question. Just curious, would a given pistol caliber cartridge, fired from a pistol caliber carbine and gaining the concomitant muzzle energy, penetrate a vest rated to withstand that same cartridge when fired from a pistol?

          If so, I wonder if they will next argue that true pistol cartridges are “armor piercing ” handgun rounds by their very nature, conveniently ignoring the different firearms at issue.

          • It depends on the cartridge. Penetration is primarily a factor of velocity, and so those rounds that are already “on the edge” can become penetrating even with a little gain. A good example is 115gr or 124gr 9x19mm +P rounds. When you read the detailed descriptions of what armor ratings mean, they give the velocity at which they can be expected to stop the bullet; sometimes, they also say rated for bullet X “out of submachine gun”, which also implies longer barrel / higher velocity. E.g. the definition of NIJ level IIIA is as follows:

            “(.44 Magnum; Submachine Gun 9mm). This armor protects against .44 Magnum, Semi Jacketed Hollow Point (SJHP) bullets with nominal masses of 15.55 g (240 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 426 m/s (1,400 ft/s) or less and against 9mm full-metal jacketed bullets with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 426 m/s (1,400 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against most handgun threats as well as the Level I, IIA, and II threats. Level IIIA body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available from concealable body armor and is generally suitable for routine wear in many situations. However, departments located in hot, humid climates may need to evaluate the use of Level IIIA armor carefully.”

            Now you can go and check out bullet velocities at BBTI:


            Note that 115gr +P out of a 16″ barrel will exceed 1400 fps, and will therefore penetrate a vest that is strictly IIIA. On the other hand, the NATO-standard 124gr will still be below that value, which is why those vests are rated as effective against submachine guns (under the assumption that standard military ammunition will be used there).

            +P+ rounds are even more impressive in carbines, and can exceed 1600 fps with 115gr loads (e.g. Double Tap and Buffalo Bore).

          • However, note that the existing law banning AP ammo does not define AP in terms of how well it actually penetrates armor. They could go after M855 because of the steel penetrator (which they labelled a “projectile core”), not because it’s good at punching through armor. To ban 9mm on the grounds that it becomes AP when fired out of a carbine, they’d need a new law.

        • int19h,

          Based on your description it sounds like a level III ballistic vest is not rated to stop a .357 Magnum 125 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of 1,600 fps.

          I can think of some light-for-caliber .44 Magnum loads as well that exceed 1,600 fps muzzle velocity.

          For that matter I can think of one particular type of lead bullet that may tend to penetrate ballistic vests even at more modest velocities.

          • The sectional density of the bullet should also matter. But yes, I expect that light and fast .357 Magnum would be even more efficient than 9mm there, and work even out of revolvers. The minimum level that’s rated for .357 is II, but it specifically states that it applies only to “.357 Magnum jacketed soft-point bullets with nominal masses of 10.2 g (158 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 425 m/s (1,395 ft/s) or less”.

            I would also expect pretty much any .357 or .44 load to penetrate when fired from a 16″ or longer carbine.

            • I don’t have time right now to completely comment on this, but I will later tonight. Rated stopping ability per the current NIJ 0101.06 standards (from July 2008) requires the round be stopped and cause no more than 44 mm of back-face deformation to calibrated ballistics clay. Level I was eliminated with the .06 standards. A level IIA vest will typically stop even the largest of .44 magnum rounds, but it is going to cause a significantly greater amount of blunt force trauma (beyond the 44 mm of back-face deformation). That kind of shock and injury could cause cardiac arrest (just like getting hit in the chest with a fast ball unprotected). There is a lot more to this than just mass and velocity as mentioned. My former department only allowed II and IIIA.

              I’ll comment in more detail later tonight.

              • I didn’t go into more things (the extent of the blunt trauma allowed etc). But the original question was whether there are any popular handgun rounds that can penetrate soft armor under some conditions (e.g. longer barrel etc). I’m pretty confident that this is still the case.

        • I bet you anything that Josh Earnest would respond that this ammunition is for handguns.

          Then you could ask him to explain the difference between an AR-15 rifle and handgun.

          I bet the answer would be silence, or the bureaucratic equivalent of it (“I have no comment at this time”).

        • Seems like 357 and 44 mag fired from a lever action going 2k fps likely would beat a IIIA vest. Just to throw another round under the bus, don’t Hornady 357, 44, and 45 Leverevolution bullets fit the actual AP law definition exactly?

      • Are you kidding me? Have you seen the movie Lethal Weapon 3 that actually helped get us this law in the first place? If you want criminals running around with 9mm jhp rounds capable of penetrating 3/4″ tool steel on a front loader *and* still have enough energy to be lethal to the guy driving it …

        That and undetectable firearms. Good thing our friends in Congress saw Die Hard 2 back then and saved us from the Glock 7.

        Or maybe we should stop drafting laws, carrying criminal penalties, based on Hollywood myths.

        • You are correct. However, the anti-gun people that support such silly rules probably will not understand your statements.

    • An even more appropriate question would be “how many law enforcement officers have been killed by M855 rounds fired from a pistol?”

      Not that the number, however high, trumps my 2nd amendment rights. This is tyranny.

    • Don’t know, but what these clowns don’t understand is that Level IIIA body armor is the highest level that we wear for soft body armor. It doesn’t matter if it is a M855 or a SP, both will slice right through it. The next level up is the NIJ level III which will stop a .308. It comes in the form of a hard armor plate. It doesn’t matter if it is an M855 or a SP, it will easily stop both.

      The soft point loads will do a lot more damage, and the good ones penetrate 12-18″ in 10% calibrated ballistic gel. They dump the most energy into the vitals. The M855’s don’t. When I was in LE, our agency issued the Federal Tactical Bonded 55 GR SP. It is an expensive load but performs well through all the normal barriers and still falls and expands in that 12-18″ window. I’m more concerned about being hit by a SP than an M855 (just like being hit with a handgun JHP vs an FMJ). The survival rate is higher with an M855. They are great target loads (and cheap until this month), but in reality poor defensive loads.

      There are two ATK rifle data books available at this link: One is for the Federal line, and the other is for the Speer line. You can see what good defensive loads do and why this whole thing is a hoax!

      This is just another gun-grabbing scam by the White House. See the shocked look on my face? (Right, there is none . . .)

      • >> The next level up is the NIJ level III which will stop a .308. It comes in the form of a hard armor plate. It doesn’t matter if it is an M855 or a SP, it will easily stop both.

        Level III ammo won’t actually “easily stop” 5.56. It’s harder to stop a 5.56 than it is to stop a .308, because the velocities are higher, especially with M193. If you look carefully, most steel and polyurethane hard plates on the market don’t actually advertise that they stop those, or if they do, they say something along the lines of “tested at 50 yards”. At under 10 yards, a 1/4″ AR500 plate won’t stop either. At 25 yards, it will (ironically) stop M855, but not M193 out of a 20″ barrel.

        Here are some videos showing testing at various distances, barrel lengths and ammo; the last one also has a IIIA soft plate behind the hard plate, and ballistic gel, to show the extent of the damage after penetration:–O4

        • Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of fear mongering like the White House, the News outlets instead point out to all the Uninformed that, while Yes, the M855 ammo CAN in fact penetrate Standard Police Body Armor…….so can many 9mm, .44 calibers and .45 caliber pistols not to mention the .50 caliber pistols……..all of which are legal to own, and NONE of which need “armor piercing” ammo to do so…….

          Its NOT the ammo that we need to worry about, its the DAMN armor…..why can’t they upgrade what kind of body armor the cops have…….but then again, we are talking about a Government which elected to allow our soldiers to go into combat with INFERIOR body as well so, why should be think they give a damn about police or the Rights of its citizens……..

        • Joe, I’d be curious what types of 9mm and .45 caliber(acp?) ammunition you think will penetrate standard body armor.

          I am not sure of ANY incidence of handgun ammunition killing a police officer by going through his or her body armor. Police officers are usually killed either by handgun rounds that miss the body armor or rifle rounds that would not be able to be stopped without significant increases in armor plating (which would inhibit things like fighting, running, etc)

          • Have a look at this table:


            Apparently, in the last 10 years, there was exactly one case of a police officer killed by a 9x19mm bullet that actually penetrated the vest.

            There are two possibilities here. Either it was a genuine AP round (with a hardened penetrator) – those things can punch through kevlar even in weaker calibers. Or else it was fired from a pistol carbine, which can give it just enough velocity boost to penetrate.

            • The incident involved the Zylon fiber that was being used by Second Chance and three other manufacturers. It was a huge controversy. There was another officer severely wounded around the same time (I believe both incidents occurred in late 2002 or sometime during 2003). I’ll have to look them up later.

              It was a new fiber from Japan that has a higher tensile strength than Kevlar, Spectrafibers, etc. The problem was the degradation to heat and humidity was much higher than originally reported. Second Chance filed for bankruptcy due to the issue and was eventually purchased by Armor Holdings, who is now under the BAE Systems umbrella in their Safariland Group division.

              The incident had nothing to do with an armor piercing round or anything.

              • Ahh, I remember the whole Zylon shitstorm (or rather I have read about it post factum), just didn’t connect the dots here.

                Still, 9mm out of a carbine can penetrate IIIA armor for some rounds (+P and above). It just has to go fast enough.

        • — There are two possibilities here. Either it was a genuine AP round (with a hardened penetrator) – those things can punch through kevlar even in weaker calibers. Or else it was fired from a pistol carbine, which can give it just enough velocity boost to penetrate.—-

          You forgot possibility 3 – repeated impacts to a small area that degrades the armor’s ability to stop the projectiles.

    • “Has any cop in the US ever been killed by M855?”

      The FBI is a treasure trove of information. Of the 76 law enforcement officers that died in 2013, 26 were killed by firearms. Of that 26, 18 were slain with handguns and five with rifles, and three with shotguns. Breaking these statistics down further, no officer was killed by a 5.56 caliber round in all of 2013. In fact, you must go back thirteen years to find the one and only officer killed by a 5.56 round.

      This is the main statistical page:

      A detailed breakdown can be found here:

      Table 14 specifically has deaths by caliber:

      Facts matter. Send these satistics to your Congresseman, Senator, whatever.

    • I thought most LEOs injured/killed in the line of duty was were by other cars on the roadway during traffic stops.

    • If the gov’t were honest, it would just say, “this is the ammunition most likely to be favored in a citizen insurrection, and therefore we are banning it.”

      • Why would it be favored in a citizen insurrection?

        Given a choice between various kinds of military ammo, I would favor Mk262, SOST, M193 and M855, in that order. In other words, M855 would be dead last, and given that M193 has the same price sticker… I pretty much don’t see a reason for favoring M855 unless that’s the only thing that is available at all.

        • Let me help: “this is the ammunition WE BELIEVE TO BE most likely to be favored in a citizen insurrection BECAUSE MOST OF YOU HAVE GOBS OF IT, and therefore we are banning it.”

          • They aren’t banning possession, though. So it won’t do anything about the gobs of it that are already there. IIRC, trading it is also legal, it’s the importation and manufacture of new stuff that’s not.

      • Level III ammo is not guaranteed to stop 5.56 rounds (M855 or otherwise), and in fact doesn’t do so at close ranges in many cases. I’ve posted some links already.

    • I’d like to see the stats. M855 been around over 30 years and I want to see if this is a legitimate concern. I smell BS

  1. If you don’t put 55 mph restictor plates and breathalyzers in every vehicle you must want motorists to die too… Sadly that actually makes more sense than banning M855.

  2. It takes some real gall to keep talking about how these bullets kill cops, without pointing out one single case where a cop (or anyone else not involved in an actual war) was killed with 855 ammo who would have lived if shot with standard 5.56 instead. Real gall. If there is a difference between that kind of pronouncement and a flat-out lie, it’s difficult to find.

    • As a cop, I can say that banning this ammunition in the name of our “safety” is an insult to me and anyone else wearing a police uniform. I’ve already written the ATF saying I’ll be damned if they use me as a scapegoat for their tyranny. The ATF hit an even new low with this one

  3. I’ve read a couple opinion pieces by liberals who fear the M855 ban proposal will backfire. It will energize the pro-2A voters and get more Republicans elected in 2016.

    We can only hope! Let them call us all cop-killers. We’ll tape it on the locker room wall.

    • In order to be a cop (baby/minority/woman) killer you actually had to have killed one. Like most of things the antis call us, it isn’t valid.

    • If we need more motivation beyond what this admin has done, just since the 2014 elections, much less what they will do before 2017, I will have no hope left for America.

    • I don’t think it will motivate us to vote more or be more politically active, but it might just motivate someone to stand up and start using m855 for what the 2nd amendment was intended for…

      Let’s not forget that the first shots of the American Revolution were fired when British troops moved in to confiscate ammunition supplies banned by the King of England. Personally, I’m not quite there yet, but if it comes down to it, if they want to take my bullets, I’m ok with giving them up… one at a time.

      • As the wise woman wrote,
        “America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.”

    • I’m starting to think they’re right.

      Not many people fussed about the 5.45×39 determination as it was a niche cartridge, used mainly by a rifle that even many gun owners consider “evil.” The SIG brace got a bit more attention, but still really nothing outside of the MSR-type gun owners’ world.

      The M855 determination reaches too far, and even though a lot of the spreading public fear is based on misinformation (“Obama banning all .223 AR-15 ammo!”), there are too many fence-sitters who own firearms chambered in .223/5.56 who are being lit up by this news.

      Sorry grabbers, you grabbed too far, and your hand may be getting slapped on this one.

    • See my response to the first post for a little bit about what my agency issued, the myth of this, and why this is just a stupid gun-grabbing effort by the administration (shocker). These loads are poor man-stoppers compared to commercial defensive loads.

        • Hey Tom, from your response I’m assuming you’re in law enforcement. From your side of the fence, are you or any of your fellow officers afraid of the M855 ammo? Does this ammo appear to be an issue for law enforcement? Thanks for what you do and your time on this question. Stay safe.

    • I’ve got a Sig M400 AR loaded with Winchester PDX .223 60 grain split core JSP. It’ll go through a IIIA vest just like an M855.

      • And actually cause a massive permanent wound channel and not over penetrate, unlike the M855 . . .

      • Seems to me that you have discovered the NEXT argument for banning AR15 ammunition.

        M855 is only the first step.

  4. Suuuuure, because it’s impossible to kill anyone using M193. It’s the Fluffy Bunny of 5.56 rounds.

  5. Where is republican leadership ? We won Remember ? Bounce Boner out on his ass !!!
    Looks more like corrupt , regulatory capture everyday . What are they holding on Congress
    to allow the minority to get its way ?

    • Remember when I said the republican midterm landslide was not a win for gun rights? Remember when everyone said I was full of it? I sure do.

      • +1–Usually the Rs only give than lip service for gun rights. They are controlled opposition–false dichotomy–Hegelian dialectic—binary politics—do you want coke or pepsi–etc.

        • Hey! You must be a dirty demoRAT since you don’t blindly worship the correct consonant!!!

      • Just saw this on Cam&company. For anyone paying attention-there are difference between dumbocrats and repubitards. And don’t be too hard on FOX.

    • Note- the administration is doing this via regulation and going around congress. All congress can do is complain loudly, maybe hold an investigation and request/demand information from the agency. They administration will probably be as responsive as the IRS, DHS and ATF have been in the Tea Party non-profit status denial and Fast and Furious matters. They republicans can threaten to withhold funding or withdraw it by passing a law– realizing that the dems in the senate can filibuster the bill and make it die, while screaming about how the republicans are undermining safety/security if they defund the ATF. Which side do you think will be portrayed in the media as the ‘reasonable’ side?

  6. So just how many cops have been killed with xm855? Seriously, I bet doughnuts kill more cops from clogged arteries. I know cars kill more cops than bullets do. So why do we still have cars?

    • You are absolutely correct. If we wanted to save cops lives, we’d force them to wear their seat belts and wear body armor. On average, only 50-55% of officers shot while on duty were wearing body armor, so banning any ammunition is pointless half of the time. Nearly identical to the number of deaths by gunshots are the number of auto accidents, and since most police officers that I see are not wearing seat belts (and almost all fatalities in wrecks are not), getting them to do that one thing would save 30-40 lives a year most likely.

      This ban isn’t about saving officers lives at all. According to the Washington Post’s year long investigation into officer’s deaths and the firearms that killed them, 70% of officers died from handguns. It also states that only about 15% of gun crime is from otherwise law-abiding people (those who would obey the laws banning this ammunition.)

      If we use the WaPo’s numbers, 511 officers shot to death in the past decade, along with their statistics (30% from rifles, 15% law-abiding), we get 22.9 officers shot with a rifle by someone who would abide by gun control laws before the shooting in the past decade. That’s 2.3 officers per year who would be saved. More officers have died while on the clock in aircraft or riding a motorcycle than this. More have died from slipping and falling and an equal number have died from drowning. This law saves less people than non-slip shoes or life-jackets… It saves less lives than simply asking officers to wear the body armor that won’t even stop these rounds in the first place.

      Link to info:

  7. It occurs to me that another thing these theatrics could accomplish is to build a wall against any possible public sentiment for SBR reclassification. Earnests argument here is that, to paraphrase, “any one should agree that any armor piercing ammo that can be fired from an easily concelable gun” should be banned. Not targeting handguns (yet) but rather the AR and AK pistols. So instead of having to reconsider an onerous prohibition, they have laid the groundwork for lobbying toward an even more insidious one. Brace yourselves for AR pistol ban legislation.

    • This occurred to me as well. I think the greater risk is from an agency rule or executive order limiting the use of sbr’s. Neither side will be able to pass legislation in the current environment.

  8. I am going to predict that this issue (the ban) is already a done deal, otherwise it wouldn’t have been opened for public debate. Yes, I’m a cynic.

    • Ummm, no. Although it may be a done deal, the Administrative Procedures Act requires a period of public comment on any proposed regulation before it may be implemented.

      • I understand the APA is in effect (even though the IRS ignored it, so why couldn’t the ATF?) but they are avoiding the formal process for a reason (in spite of the huge impact of such a ruling), and going the informal route, because they know they are on thin ice, and can choose to just ignore any submissions from the informal process (like the EPA does). That’s why I think this is a done deal.

  9. I do think congress may kill this ban Obama wants too look good for the Brady Group scum who elected him. Strange he hated cops a few weeks ago to help appease his Ferguson, Mo goons.

    Overall keep emailing and calling your elected representatives and senators and pressure them to kill this ban!!!!!

    • Maybe after 2016, but not while Obama is in office to veto anything that might pass congress.

    • I don’t see what congress can do, since Obama will veto any bill. Override? Maybe, but doubtful. Defund the ATF? I like the sound of that, but they have shown no spine whatsoever regarding actual use of their constitutional power.

      • They can impeach B. Todd Jones and send him over to The Senate for trial which would be presided over by the SCOTUS.

    • As others have pointed out, a legislative solution is unlikely. This is headed to court. I think it will take quite a long time to resolve.

        • Interesting thought. The votes are probably there to get articles raised in the House. I’m sure the votes to convict won’t be there in the Senate. Just the same, it might be worthwhile for the House to bring the charges just to focus attention on the issue. I don’t think they have the will to do it because the average voter won’t understand the nuance of the issue, but it’s not a terrible idea.


    I mean, seriously? I don’t know whether he’s that blindly ignorant, or just blatantly duplicitous. Either way he needs to be off the payroll.

  11. wow…when that is their argument/response, you know they have no argument and would lose the debate. this is a very familar, very weak trump card anti’s have always fall back on.

  12. There are a number of manufacturers that make handguns in rifle calibers, with the T/C Contender probably best known. Does a 30-30 Contender cause the ban on this ammo? How about one in 45/70?

    • Thompson contender is a single shot – regardless of the caliber. So no, it will not trigger it. That said, m855 doesn’t appear to meet the definition either; Eitherway a gross overreach on the part of BATF & The White House.

  13. You don’t want cops to die, do you?

    Fact: Go to your local sporting goods store, take your pick of any ammunition there, that ammunition will defeat police officer body armor. Cast lead bullets, jacketed bullets of any type, will defeat police body armor. The AR15 when configured as a pistol may be classified as a pistol – but it is most definitely firing rifle rounds and almost all rifle rounds will defeat body armor.

    Question: How many officer’s have been shot with M855 ammunition? How many have been wounded? Asking the question “You don’t want cops to die, do you?” does not take away the fact that when it comes to officer body armor M855 is not much different than any other cartridge you buy – as all of them will defeat that armor. If you really want to be honest about it – If a cop had to choose between XM193 (a jacketed lead bullet) and M855 (a half steel/half lead core bullet) to get shot with – the M855 is much better as it will not fragment into a million pieces inside his body. Instead it would leave a small, clean shot through with minimal bleeding and minimal damage. We are back to law makers and Ignorant White House Press Secretaries who know absolutely nothing about firearms enforcing arbitrary laws based on “interpretation” to solve a problem that frankly doesn’t exist at all, just because they can.

    • I wouldn’t hang your hat on that, as it’s likely at least one or two have, though fired from a rifle, not an oversized pistol. Of course, that doesn’t matter since an M193 fired from a full-sized rifle would also go through a cop’s vest.

  14. Dear administration,

    If you guys would like to protect police, please stop threatening them with jail when they defend themselves against 300lb robbers resisting arrest. Then we can talk.

    – Law enforcement

  15. These people in Washington are retarded. And I thought we had stupid politicians here in Canada.

  16. I’m a police officer in a small rural town. None of our officers believe gun/ammo control will make any difference in police deaths. The problem is not in hardware. The problem lies with a federal government that doesn’t respect the liberty of the people, manipulates and divides folks, and creates an entitlement mentality.

  17. Classic redirection.
    All bullets are dangerous. Which bullet would they prefer to have criminals shoot at the police? And what is the percentage of officers that wear body armor on a daily basis?
    It’s obvious this is a way to out-price the average buyer by removing a large chunk of the available ammo market. Next to go is lead from the EPA and powder for reloading from the ATF. Every executive action is a step toward tyranny.

  18. West Virginia senate just passed constitutional carry. 16 of 18 dems voted for the legislation.

    • Those 16 Dems might have heard that Mark Pryor was defeated by Tom Cotton, making Democrats an endangered species in West Virginia.

      It’s good to know that they paid attention.

  19. Quite simply more lying gun grabber BS. Simple as that. As a veteran police officer I can tell you that banning anything won’t help protect anyone. All rifle ammo penetrates soft body armor. That is an accepted danger in law enforcement. We use training, tactics and our own (Normally 5.56) rifles to counter the threat.
    I hate when liberals even pretend they care about cops or anything other than their agenda.

    As a Police Officer sworn to uphold the laws of this land, I oppose any such ban or any other infringement on the rights of the citizens of the United States.

  20. Problem is, police don’t wear body armor to defeat rifle rounds. Only pistol rounds, so his argument doesn’t follow. How about, instead of infringing on our constitutionally protected civil rights, provide police officers with a higher level body armor…..if that’s the real purpose. Another instance of treating law abiding citizens like potential criminals. Or does obama have something planned that would give more people cause to shoot cops, and so this is merely a battle shaping operation to give the police an advantage?

  21. Dear Obama Administration,

    All us liberals, especially those in Ferguson, love cops and don’t want any to die.

    Rev Al Sharpton

    [my head is spinning with this line of argument. Is Mr Earnest just Joshing us?]

    • He is a punk and a professional liar. Otherwise he wouldn’t be a mouth piece for a lying liar that lies.

  22. Lololol republican politicians state “You’re either with us or the terrorist”
    Democrats state “you either want (specific?) ammo banned or you want cops to die”

  23. Now we know definitively that this edict originated from the White House – they are defending it. Notice all these BATF rulings and letters and interpretations that came just after the Dems got their ass handed to them in the mid-terms. It will be interesting to see just what the unintended consequences of these actions are… as well as the eventual court rulings when challenged. The BATF seems to always lose in the court of law when they overstep.

  24. Dear White House,

    I’m a cop and a Veteran. Thank you for you concern, but M855 ammunition does not pose a significant risk to law enforcement officers. I face a bigger threat from drunk or distracted drivers. I do not wants cops to die and I oppose the ban on M855 ammunition.


  25. That guy is wrong, he’s full of hot air. I’m not certain that any US cop has EVER been shot by a M855 round! Does he have information to the contrary?

  26. What ever happened to that cost-benefit analysis rule they’re supposed to abide by before promulgating new regulations? We can come back to that later.

    Never mind my harmless ammo, the type of which apparently has never been fired from a handgun, let alone a concealed one, at any armor adorned officers, let alone striking and killing one. Let’s focus on officers’ OWN firearms, which have been used many times to kill officers.

    Just a quick google search returned this nugget from

    “There are no national statistics on how many times officers’ guns are taken away. But the FBI says that of the 616 law enforcement officers killed on duty by criminals from 1994 through 2003, 52 were killed with their own weapon, amounting to 8 percent.”

    Time to disarm the police! After all, if it will save just 52 lives, isn’t it worth it?

    • Dear Government man,
      I own an AR pistol chambered in 5.56 with a Sig arm brace. I have 10,000 rounds of M193 ball ammo. I also have a few hundred rounds of M855. The M855 is not my preferred murder ammo as it tends to over-penetrate soft tissue causing me to have to shoot people more than once to kill them. I do like M855 for long range target practice as the 62 grain bullet is a little more stable at longer distances. So I wish you would not ban this ammo because I need more of it to practice with.
      I will make you a deal. I swear that I will not use M855 to kill cops. I will use 55grain M193 since it will pierce light body armor anyway, if you lift the ban on the M855 ammo.
      Oh, and I promise not to let the arm brace touch my shoulder while I commit these murders.
      Right Wing Gun Nut

  27. Josh, you are such a lying piece of $h!t. As a cop I can tell you that any ammo fired from a .223 caliber pistol will go through my vest like a hot knife through butter. That is why I wear a rifle plate in the front.

    I am so sick of these lying prices of crap in this administration. They talk at us like we are morons. How long are we going to continue allowing these scumbags to continue with this?

    These people do not give a crap about me or any other cop until they can use us to can the flames of the sickening racial devide they have created.

    I can tell you one thing, if Hillary becomes president, this nation is done!

    • >> I can tell you one thing, if Hillary becomes president, this nation is done!

      I think they said the same about Clinton and Obama, too. And liberals said the same about Bush.

      It’s still here.

      • Really? Because I sure as hell can list the freedoms I’ve lost in my lifetime and the men who founded this country would be beyond disgusted.

        • Sure, and I don’t dispute that. But the cries of “sky is falling tomorrow” have been around in US politics for the past 15 years or so. I remember when a Republican acquaintance of mine went into hysterics over Obama being elected in 2008, because, and I quote, “there won’t be another election now”.

    • Yeah thing is the liberals can (and do) always threaten to emigrate to Canada or Australia or the UK if such and such gets elected (though they almost never do) and so far as I can tell they’d actually be happier there anyway.

      Gun owners have nowhere better or even comparable to go. Our only option is stand and fight.

    • As Mark Levin points out, America will still exist, but the transfer to a post-constitutional America will be complete.

  28. Police face much greater danger from being shot by small, concealable guns using standard handgun ammunition. As Archer said, that vest is bullet-proof but it is, you know, (just) a vest.

    Crap I shouldn’t talk, they’ll start banning .32acp and .380

  29. Do I want cops to be killed? Why heavens no! Has ANY COP ANYWHERE been shot with a pistol capable of shooting these things? Far more cops are killed with standard pistols firing common pistol ammo. So with that argument, we must ban ALL ammo. Because no, we don’t want cops to die.

  30. Emperor Palpatine, er, Obama – please cite one police officer killed by an M855 round.

  31. I’ll say it again: Those who keep arguing the irony of the fact that M855 isn’t even that good of an anti-personnel round are missing the point. “What’s that you say? Other AK and AR rounds are more lethal? Well, you’re certainly right. We need to ban those, too!” That’s been the agenda all along, or at least since the umpteenth attempt at a MSR ban failed. Frankly, I’m only surprised it took them this long to argue that M855 and Russian milsurp 5.45 was armor piercing. They don’t care about precedent; they care that “steel tip” plays well to the frightened, liberal mothers in Poughkeepsie who always vote Dem. and depend on the government to protect them.

  32. Discounting ammunitition tyo usage rate in crimes, it’s interesting to note that mortlity rates working on my own farm re higher than that of the police officer.

    Their arguement in lowering one of the lowest rates is bogus.

  33. I don’t want cops to die. I want them to be laid off and then get other jobs where their dominant thread of personality traits don’t cause so much trouble.

  34. I wasn’t expecting him to do anything more than cover his ears… I’d have to take med’s to sleep at night if I was doing his job.

    All part of the plan. They have a short term plan (small bans and restrictions) to meet the long term plan (disarmament).

  35. Where is the NRA? Maybe MIA? Spending all the “Emergency Donations” we are constantly hounded for on a warm sunny beach in the Bahamas? Repubs we handed Congress to to do the People’s will and took the same Constitutional Oath I did?
    Can not ONE SINGLE “supposed” representative for us and for the Constitution ask ONE SIMPLE question of these IDIOTS?……SHOW US THE EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THIS BAN? Name ONE SINGLE cop that was killed with this ammunition? Just One! Would it help if they painted the tip pink? Yeah that’s it, it’s the magical green color tip that’s the culprit. None of the other countless rifle rounds can penetrate vests since they don’t have the evil green tip…oops, just let the cat out of the bag sorry. Bets on the next round to be banned?
    Waiting patiently to turn my banned ammo in…one round at a time.

    • NRA has featured this prominently on their last 5 or so email announcements. 200 House representatives and counting are signing on to a quite strongly worded letter to the ATF director, with a similar one going through the Senate. The opposition to the new ATF framework is substantial and gaining traction.

    • Where in the hell is the rest of the gun rights groups? Congressional response to the BATF proposal is rather weak sauce.

  36. More cops have been killed by retirement (the early 20) or the 2nd job [mall cop / or weekend roofer falling while walking backwards]. Ban that first.

    Also. . .

    Remember the maxim:


    • Very perceptive, It is amazing how this administration goes from denying (fill in the blank) happened, to blaming __________ on someone else, to just doing ___________ without shame.

  37. Please feel free to use and alter the included text below as a talking point in an email, letter (time’s running out) or phone call to your federal senator or representative. Please do so A.S.A.P, and DAILY until we get resolution!

    The BATFE is at it again, in an attempt to regulate away the 2nd Amendment.

    The ATF’s proposed ban on the M855 bullet is an unfounded exercise in eliminating a threat that doesn’t exist. One of the most common rounds used in one of the most popular modern sporting rifles manufactured and sold in the United States, the M855 does indeed meet the “sporting purpose” test of the ATF (while arguably, the “sporting purpose” test is unconstitutional ipso facto).

    I urge you to enact legislation countering the BATFE’s proposed ban on M855 ammunition specifically, ammunition in Common Use by Americans generally, and to otherwise use your position to protect my constitutional rights from infringement by unelected bureaucrats.


  38. Bullshit the only people your trying to protect is the people you hire to try to take away our 2nd ammendment right!!!

  39. I was never interested in M855, because the 55 grain is cheaper and works just fine. But now I want to get some just on principle.

  40. I would bet money that more cops have died from slipping and falling than from M855 rounds.

  41. I think I must have missed when we as a country voted to live under a unitary executive or elected monarchy.

    It’s been moving this way for years, but Obama is exactly the kind of person the Founders feared – and not because of his skin color but because of his temperament. He exercises the authority of his office in the most arbitrary – almost dictatorial – manner and there is nothing, apparently, that the other 2 branches of government can, or are willing to do to check his excesses. He controls a mighty federal bureaucracy that is overwhelmingly populated by people from his own political party and a constellation of federal departments that pass regulations which are de facto laws which completely bypass the Constitutional legislative process. I think this is why Washington warned us against the evils of factions (i.e. political parties). Instead of elected politicians having an allegiance to the Constitution and their institution (the House or the Senate), now the Party is everything. Both the House and the Senate look to the interests of their respective parties and their own self interest, rather than what the Constitution limits them to do – or what is the right and moral thing to do.

    And all those of us who care can do is rage and pound away on a keyboard and commiserate with one another on a website. It’s disturbing to me that the Constitution isn’t worth the parchment it’s written on anymore. We live under the domination of a sort of new mandarin class comprised of politicians, judges, media types, and academic elitists who think it’s their right and responsibility to rule over the rest of us – for our own good. The ends justify the means. Can you imagine what the Founders would think about this country if they could come back from the dead and see what we’ve turned into? Do you think they’d approve or be proud?

    I honestly believe that we are now far less free, more highly taxed, more subject to the arbitrary whims of unelected bureaucrats than were the Founders under British rule. There is no unified opposition to this, and vast swathes of the people don’t even care. They’re ignorant of their own history. They’re too caught up in envying what someone else has, too caught up in being “offended”, too concerned with bringing others down rather than building themselves up (because it’s hard work to do so).

    This ammo ban isn’t being enacted because someone doesn’t know the fine points of the definition of an armor piercing round versus an enhanced penetration round. It’s being done in deliberate contravention of the existing statute because the powers that be know they can get away with it. They don’t care about the actual law. They want to take something away from us because they don’t trust us and they want to control us – and they want to stick their thumb in our eye because they hate us. Obama and his merry band of men are elitist bigots and control freaks. Don’t for a minute think your emails or letters will affect the outcome. They’re going to ban the ammo because no one is going to stop them – not the Courts, and certainly not Congress.

  42. I don’t even own an AR-15, pistol or otherwise but I’ve written both the ATF and my Senator. The bad news is living in RI, I’m not sure it will have any affect.

    If someone in a red state can get their representative to help, feel free to use my letter as a base..
    Senator Reed,

    The ATF’s proposed ban on M855 ammunition is harassment of legal gun owners and I ask that you assist in halting this impending regulation.

    As you are likely aware due to your military service, the reality is all modern rifle ammunition (5.56 and larger) are capable of piercing armor when referring to the soft armor that our police wear so why is the administration working to remove this common ammunition used for legal sporting purposes by millions of Americans if not for harassment?

    My reading of the ATFs own rules is that the ATF actually defines Armor Piercing ammunition as ammunition larger than .22 caliber that, in part, can be loaded into a pistol and also is “constructed entirely from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium;”. The M855 does not fit this description as it is constructed from a material portion of lead and therefore should not and cannot be banned under the ATFs rules. The interesting footnote in all of this is that the remaining ammunition, such as the MK262 & MK318, have actually been tested to have greater lethality so, again, the alleged reason, reducing the danger to those that protect us, would perversely be in more danger when the marketplace only has greater lethality (albeit more expensive) ammunition to purchase.

    The purpose of my letter asking you to protect legal gun owners from overreach by the ATF is not to suggest that our streets shouldn’t be safer or that police do shouldn’t be protected while doing their jobs – I’m writing because this proposed regulation sounds reasonable on the surface but isn’t supported by fact and I can only come to the conclusion that it is ideologically driven by an administration that can not endure a public debate in the appropriate deliberative body of Congress.


    • >> My reading of the ATFs own rules is that the ATF actually defines Armor Piercing ammunition as ammunition larger than .22 caliber that, in part, can be loaded into a pistol and also is “constructed entirely from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium;”. The M855 does not fit this description as it is constructed from a material portion of lead and therefore should not and cannot be banned under the ATFs rules.

      So first of all, these aren’t the “ATF rules”, the definition is set by the law that was enacted by the Congress – 18 U.S.C., § 921(a)(17)(B).

      Also, the “constructed entirely” clause applies to “projectile or projectile core“. ATF claims that the steel penetrator in M855 constitutes just such a core.

      • So M855 has two cores? One of lead and one of ‘banned material’? That doesn’t pass the sniff test.

        By this framework any round with mild steel or one of the other mentioned materials anywhere in the construction excepting the jacket is armor piercing.

        Which is hilarious because lead soft point .223 will go right through a vest too (and do way more damage than M855)

        • >> By this framework any round with mild steel or one of the other mentioned materials anywhere in the construction excepting the jacket is armor piercing.

          Yes, it is (so long as it “can be used in a handgun”).

    • Also from RI, glad to see others here. Also glad im not the only one to write, who knows it may help our reps see the light. Dont forget we stemmed the tide of state awbs when all the blue states were falling. While we are influenced by unions to lean more democrat, rogue island citizens are still very libertarian. The gun grabbers position are often opposed by high 80s percent of people even in the journal. There are more of us seeing threw the bs every day. Keep up the fight!

    • I wrote to my Senators in AZ, but both are worthless. They didn’t even get back to me. I might try my representative next, but now that she has been elected, I doubt she will need to hear from me until the next election cycle.

  43. Guess I’ll have to start marketing partially stabilized zirconium core bullets.
    Doesn’t meet the definition of AP but would go through 3A like butter

    • I can think of some other options there. How about molybdenum? That stuff is damn hard when alloyed with steel even in minuscule amounts, and note that they only ban tungsten alloys, not steel alloys – and for the projectile to be banned, it must be constructed entirely from steel.

      • it can be made from the cheapest softest steel on earth or even brass and its considered AP
        “) The term “armor piercing ammunition” means—
        (i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and
        which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other
        substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron,
        brass, bronze, beryllium copper or depleted uranium;”

        ironically here is a post the ATF has on its own webpage contradicting their own dumb new ban

        ” soft body armor is not intended to stop high powered rifle cartridges. only bullets capable of penetrating
        body armor and designed to be fired from a handgun would be banned; rifle ammunition
        would not be covered”

        • Of brass, yes. But note that this list of theirs does not include molybdenum (or zirconium, or a dozen other materials that would make for a very nicely performing penetrator). It also doesn’t include steel alloys (unless with some other material on that list) – it says “constructed entirely … from steel”. So a steel/molybdenum alloy would not fall under this provision.

  44. Oh how quaint. More sage advice from the same Administration that brought us Dianne Feinstein and double-barrel Biden. Enough said.

  45. 855 who needs it? Everybody knows you can drill out hollowpoint bullets and fill them with mercury and seal it with wax .;-)

  46. “If you oppose the m855 ammo ban, you want cops to die.”

    Hahahaha, oh yeahh?

    The burden of proof falls on you White House. Where’s the empirical evidence? Where’s the data? Where is the unicorn you claim exists?

  47. Everyone is missing the point here. This ban has as much to do with LEO protection as Obama Care had to do with improving health care. It is just the excuse to mask the real purpose of limiting a very large quantity of otherwise readily available ammo to the rabble masses of the public and strangle AR ownership incrementally out of existence. They do not want do too much too fast for fear of causing civil disobedience. It will be slow and steady, just like the analog of slowly boiling the frog. Remember Cliven Bundy out in Nevada? The feds pushed too hard and caused a civil disobedience. The feds backed off. A very good lesson to be learned here.

  48. If cops lives were of any interest to gun grabbers, then Eric Holder and Obama wouldn’t have supported the false narrative of Fergeson MO. The way to protect cops is to jail the repeat violent offenders, jail the militant drug gangs in mass. But then that wouldn’t be politically correct, would it?

  49. *double facepalm*

    Notice how nobody has asked, “well what problem is this trying to solve?”

    How many cops have been killed and wounded by this ammunition?
    and how does this put officers at risk who are experiencing record, historical lows for being shot in the line of duty?

  50. If Obama really cared about saving cops’ lives, he would ban donuts and cigarrettes, not M855 ammo….

    • If Obama really wanted to save cop’s lives, he would start by encouraging parents to step up and start being parents again. He would encourage churches to step up to the plate and help restore the family unit in America. He would support the idea of a “right” and a “wrong,“ as well as be a shining example of it. We would see strong campaigns to bring back the family, not “raise up a village.” Childhood obesity wouldn’t be the recognized, “greatest threat to US security.”

      If Obama really wanted to save cop’s lives, he would encourage perseverance and drive, not welfare and government dependency. He would want to see all sectors of American society not only succeed, but grow up to be a generation of leaders. He wouldn’t try to suppress the black community and force them into government dependence. He would want to truly see ALL PEOPLE have the same chance and shot in our society. He would encourage true education and learning, not “progressive thought” that has all but replaced traditional learning basics (insert math, science, and basic reading/writing skills here).

      If Obama really wanted to save cop’s lives, he would encourage adulthood, not childhood and adolescence ( He would encourage freethinking, and a “nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from earth.” He would also discourage a society from taking its playbook right out of that of communism (

      If Obama really wanted to save cop’s lives, he wouldn’t hire a staff that is willing to lie to the American people to cover their wrongs. Instead, he would have a staff of leaders with moral backbone and character that would have no reason to lie to push an agenda.

      If Obama really wanted to save lives of all American Citizens, he would be willing to lead at all costs and would do the right thing no matter how difficult or tough.

      You see, the reason we are loosing this war is that we like to pick and chose issues. In reality, this is an overall fundamental moral, life philosophy. We are in much more than a fight for gun rights. This is a battle and war for the “soul” of America. This is what was so important to our Founding Fathers when they drafted the documents of this great nation. If they could see what was going on today, they would be rolling over in their graves. Their sacrifice, as well as the sacrifice of generation upon generation is what has truly made this, “The greatest nation on God’s green earth!”

      • I’m pretty sure Obama would think he is doing most of those things with all of his social programs.

        one factor people ought to keep in mind is that black liberals have more faith in the federal government than in states or individuals, and actually for a good historical reason: federal intervention freed blacks from slavery, and enforced the civil rights act of 1964.

        so your arguments sound compelling to me, but to Obama, you’d have to point out how what he is doing isnt accomplishing those goals.

  51. level 3a body armor will stop most handgun ammo up to 44cal. it will not stop any centerfire rifle ammo. but I don’t know of any officers that have been killed with a rifle except at the Hollywood shootout.

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