U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

There Are No Magic Bullets

NCJ Number
Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine Volume: 27 Issue: 6 Dated: June 2003 Pages: 44,46,48,51
Roy Huntington
Date Published
June 2003
6 pages
After arguing for a realistic view of any bullet's capabilities, this article provides an overview of the characteristics of recently developed ammunition for handguns, rifles, and shotguns.
This article advises that any ammunition that can be loaded and shot from a handgun can work or fail, depending upon numerous variables; and although ammo performance is important, proper placement is more important. Thus, although police departments should keep abreast of new technologies in ammunition, it is not necessary to replace the existing duty ammunition every time a new type of ammunition comes on the market. Because reliable feeding is a significant issue with auto pistols, some ammo manufacturers have designed a bullet that is full, metal jacketed (FMJ), which is generally believed to feed the best, but performs like a hollow point, which expands on impact to enhance incapacitation. Such a bullet is manufactured by "Federal." CCI/Speer has its "Gold Dot" ammo, which has the main advantage of a lead core bonded to the jacket at the molecular level, so as to prevent the lead core and the jacket from separating at impact. Winchester's "Partition Gold" is a 165-grain .40 S&W load that advertises an expansion window that makes it suitable for a pistol or a carbine-length barrel; and Remington's Golden Saber ammo has a feature that centers the forward half of the bullet in the bore while the rear engages the rifling, which enables it to retain 97 percent of its weight after expansion. Another high-performance hollow-point ammo is PMC's Starfire. In discussing rifle ammo, the author advises that any high-quality hunting cartridge currently made by a major company will perform in most roles for police. Regarding shotgun shells, the latest generation of solid copper slugs encased in a sabot often deliver rifle-like accuracy when fired in specially designed shotguns.


No download available