During a busy day in Midtown, NYPD officers encountered a depressed man with a knife. The man was a Broadway stagehand who was brandishing an 8-inch knife.
The man with the knife became aggressive when he was trying to buy beer at a local convenience store.
The store refused to sell him the alcohol and he started yelling at employees.
A police officer confronted the man as he exited the store. The two fought and ended up in a scuffle on the ground.
The depressed man jumped up with the knife in hand…
He charged toward officers. Onlookers ran for cover as police fired 9 rounds at the man.
But the thing that makes this officer-involved shooting different from others is that four of the rounds fired by police failed to penetrate the man’s jacket.
The man wasn’t wearing a bulletproof vest.
According to one NYPD source, “The bullets we have may be defective and that’s very disturbing.”
Only one round penetrated the suspect. That single round killed the man.
But four of the bullets were stopped by his Carhartt jacket. A common jacket that is nothing special.
The 9mm rounds fired by officers were inspected for malfunctions.
A retired NYPD Deputy Inspector said, “I have not heard anything like this. There would be no reason for it. There would have to be some kind of defect. I would certainly look at the ammunition.”
He went on to say, “An anomaly is one thing, but four anomalies is another thing entirely.”
The fact that four rounds failed to penetrate an ordinary jacket is startling.
Maybe there were defects in the ammo…
Or maybe the rounds were a type of bullet that comes apart upon impact such as a frangible bullet.
And because frangible ammunition is available to buy and use for defense…
It’s worth understanding and taking a look at fangible ammo.
What is frangible ammo?
Traditional ammo features a bullet made of solid lead, jacketed in copper. This holds together as it penetrates its target.
Frangible ammo is a bullet that fragments or disintegrates after striking a barrier.
Because of this, frangible rounds are less likely to penetrate or ricochet.
These types of rounds are used by the military and law enforcement in training scenarios.
Even though these rounds break apart upon impact they can still kill.
Make no mistake this is not any type of dud or less-lethal round.
Should you have frangible rounds?
Depending on where you carry your weapon, frangible rounds could make sense.
I would never carry these rounds as my self-defense ammo.
But if you carry your weapon anywhere that round penetration is critical, this type of ammo might make sense.
Say, if you live or work on a boat or aircraft, then frangible ammo might be a good option. Other uses could be in crowded areas or even apartments with thin walls.
Frangible ammo is also popular in training.
If you like to shoot steel then you know of the risks of ricochets. These risks can be minimized with frangible ammo.
Another reason frangible ammo can make sense is that it’s made from copper alloy or powered copper, not lead, so it’s non-toxic.
The problems with frangible ammo:
As I mentioned, frangible is not the best ammo to use for self-defense. It doesn’t penetrate well and might not be effective in stopping a threat.
In a scenario such as the one above, layers of clothing might be enough to stop a frangible round.
Since most frangible rounds are made of copper they are lighter than lead rounds. This could affect your accuracy if you usually train with lead rounds.
In addition, frangible rounds also have less recoil.
Like with any other round, test frangible rounds in your guns. Sometimes there can be function and cycling issues with frangible rounds in semi-autos.
Before using frangible rounds you want to try them out at the range. Compare your lead rounds and frangible rounds. See how different they hit the point of impact.
If you’re interested, I would check out the Speer Lawman Frangible rounds.
If you do shoot frangible rounds, always give your gun a good cleaning after doing so, because you want to make sure the bullet didn’t leave any fragments behind.