Ammo Insanity


As I’ve said before, I’m all in favor of innovation. Without it we wouldn’t have modern marvels like sliced bread and the Keurig machine. But we’re witnessing a disturbing trend, one that is telling us that marksmanship can be bought.

We discussed the R.I.P., Radically Invasive Projectile (Really Impractical Projectile?) in our last post. That was in reaction to the intensive, viral hype it was receiving. Lurking in the background was something that I had read about weeks before the R.I.P. round made its splash. Something I thought would probably quietly go away. But no.

So now we have the Multiple Impact Bullet. This one does the R.I.P. round one better by not having to wait until it impacts a target to fragment. The M.I.P. comes out of the muzzle deploying three tethered satellite projectiles attached to the main one. It’s a design you would have thought the armorer for the Gambino crime family would have developed. “See boss, we tie these t’ree pieces of lead to da bullet wit pieces of piano wire. It comes out spinning, and if you miss wit da bullet, the piano wire strangles the mook.” Doubtlessly followed with a Ba Da Bing, Ba Da Boom.

And that’s basically the theory behind this round that guarantees you don’t even need the most rudimentary gun handling skills to get effective hits on target. You can read the NASA inspired narrative of how it works on the Advanced Ballistics Concepts web site. Fortunately, they have included a simple version so that Neanderthals like me can grasp it:

“In simple terms, the spinning segments are forced outward from the center of rotation until they are slowed to a stop by the tether/brake™ system. The segments are then held in orbit by the tethers and the ever present centrifugal force as they rotate down range towards the target. This wide fixed spread pattern compensates for most if not all of the typical misalignment of the barrel caused by Last Second Twitch.  The final result is a much greater chance of striking the intended target.”

The “Last Second Twitch” has been called a “flinch” for many a year, and it’s a correctable fault. Remove the flinch and maintain proper sight alignment and you’ve drastically increased your chance of striking the intended target. You can do that through practice.

We are however ignoring the true magic of this bullet, as it promises “No more panic fire” simply through its use. Just by having this round in your gun, you will not panic. You can have the entirety of the Crips and Bloods charging you, and you can stand there coolly, smoking a cigarette, drink in one hand, gun in the other, with a witty retort on your lips for when it’s over. Like James Bond. (Sean Connery James Bond, not Pierce Brosnan James Bond.)

“You just point and shoot.” Well, no. This has been the myth associated with shotguns for way too many years. You still have to aim, as a shot pattern doesn’t open up quickly enough to compensate for your weapon not being aligned with your target at close range. And wait, there are Multiple Impact Bullets for shotguns? Doesn’t a normal shot pattern expand to give you enhanced hit probability?`

Intermediate obstacles between you and your target, like an intruder firing around a doorframe? Not addressed. Headshot in a hostage situation? Hope I’m not the hostage. Is it me, or is this a pretty niche specific round?

Enhanced hit probability in a defensive situation is a beautiful thing. It’s not something that can be bought for several dollars a round though. If you want to enhance your hit probability, practice. Yes, practice until you can put your rounds where you want them to go on demand. In a high stress situation you don’t rise to the occasion, you fall back to your level of training.

Now, training is time consuming and expensive. It’s hard. You have to get up, go to the range, set up targets, etc., etc. Few things in life worth having come quickly or easily, and there’s a reason for that. Proficiency with a weapons system comes from your ability to control it and your body. You can’t buy that control. So you’ll have to spend hours on the range, regularly, as marksmanship is a perishable skill. And you’ll have to buy the ammunition to practice with. This article states that the M.I.P. rounds retail for $50 or $60 for a box of ten. That’s $5 or $6 per round. You can get one hundred rounds of practice ammo for that amount, and actually refine your skills.

And at  $5 or $6 per round, how many people do you think are going to fire a sufficient amount of this ammunition through their guns to ensure it will feed and function flawlessly? I’m a firm believer in having at least five hundred rounds of the ammunition I plan on carrying run, flawlessly, through my gun before I carry it. I can guarantee you that I’m not going to spend $2,500 to verify ANY round. Yet there are people who will buy these rounds (this article said that they have already sold $100,000 worth of orders), load them in their gun, fire a round or two, and call it good.

Is that really responsible?


The Tactical Pirate

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President and lead instructor. Follow me on Twitter, and check out our blog.

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