Friday, November 18, 2011

Can plastic bullets in a standard handgun be used for self-defense?

What are the disadvantages of using plastic bullets in a handgun for self-defense? What is the effective range? Do they have any stopping power -- how much does it hurt to be shot with them?|||Ok Steve, here is the dope. I understand your concept. You want something that will wound or kill the badguys but not over penetrate and endanger innocent bystanders. Right?

Your desire is commendable, but the solution is not plastic bullets.

Some years ago, AEC (Atomic Energy Commission) Security forces experimented with plastic bullets for use inside nuclear power plants. These were not the primer fired target bullets some other person mentioned (They can be fun BTW), they were aerodynamically build of some super hard plastic and launched at some mighty impressive velocities, I mean about twice standard velocity.

They were acceptably accurate, and produced some fair wound channels in testing, but AEC dropped the idea because the range was far too limited, less than 25 yards IIRC, and the bullets lacked the ability to penetrate cover. AEC decided that if their security forces got into a firefight with terrorists, they would have so many bullets flying around from the badguys, that limiting the combat power of the good guys was wasted effort.

For defense on the streets, I must agree.

For one reason, if your intent is to create a less than lethal projectile, you will not have any more latitude for use than you would the best JHP on the market. You would still be governed by the rules of lethal force engagement.

For another reason, shooting to wound is bad tactics, regardless of the movies we watched as kids. If you have to draw a gun and fire, you must shoot to STOP your attacker, and if the attacker dies as a result, so be it. As it is, using the most effective bullets available, only 26% of gunshot wounds result in death. A wounded attacker may still be able to kill or injure you or a member of your family. So shoot to stop the threat, and don%26#039;t stop shooting until the threat is ended. On the otherhand, if the threat ends, and your attacker is still on his feet and running away from you, you no longer have a right to use lethal force, so quit shooting!

In my opinion, you would be better served by a easily expanding or frangible bullet. Depending on your handgun, I would suggest a soft lead Semi-Wadcutter or Semi-Wadcutter Hollowpoint, or a light for the caliber Jacketed Hollowpoint. I use Federal 125 gr JHP%26#039;s in my M-640, and 200 gr. Winchester Silvertips in my old Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Spl.

Doc Hudson|||I would be wary of plastic bullets. If you are wanting a bullets for self defense would rather rather gamble with plastic bullets or the real deal to protect your family. Me personally I like a shot gun. You dont have to worry about bullets flying thru the wall as bad as say a .45. I dont know if I would trust the plastic bullets.|||That depends on whether you want to be a survivor or victim. I would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6... Forget about it use the real deadly type of ammo {no plastic}.. If you do not , then forget about having a firearm for self-defense...|||If a situation deteriorates to the point where one is forced to use deadly force in a righteous attempt to preserve his own life and well-being, then plastic bullets are useless. In the scenario I have described, resorting to %26#039;less-than-deadly%26#039; force does not assure your own survival nor does it insulate you from civil liability. Do you want to antagonize someone already bent on killing you or causing you grievous bodily harm? Yes plastic bullets hurt. Will they stop a determined aggressor especially if he is drugged up? Do you want to find out???

In a situation that righteously calls for deadly force you want to stop the aggressor, not get him angrier. If the aggressor dies as a result of a lawful attempt to stop him from killing another person, then that really is too bad, but the aggressor never should have placed the other person in a kill-or-be-killed situation. John Wayne was the only one who just shot the bad guys in the arm, and he is... Dead. Hollywood theatrics do not work in the real world.

H|||You pose an interesting question. I have to pot gophers at my homestead right next to a highway and don%26#039;t want to hit a car or anything; so I bought a case of 7.62x39 east german training ammo; which was a plastic bullet they used for indoor shooting. It blows a hold right through 3/8 plywood and I can zap a gopher at 50 to 80 feet with no problem. The fact that it is so light means that at any distance it loses its oomph and cannot hurt anything. For close range self defense purposes you might test those snake shot shells; I use them in a 44 special when on the tractor so I can zap a gopher or snake if necessary. They are deadly at close range and pose no threat at a distance. I believe you can get shot cartridges in many pistol calibers. Get some and try them on a piece of plywood at varying distances. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.|||First things first. Most states legal statutes refer to the use of arms as deadly force. That means you may use force if presented with grave harm to your person or to stop certain crimes on others like rape or kidnapping. So lets stop in the tracks any Plastic bullet BS. Once the trigger gets pulled Some very serious things are going to happen that don%26#039;t get talked about here much. You most likely face a grilling by the police %26amp; DA, even if you were in the right. The bad guy%26#039;s family may seek to sue you for wrongful death or injury. Your name will be on the 6 %26#039;o clock news. The gun, will be locked up in a evidence room for sometime. Etc,etc......

So if you (or any others here) are not prepared to deal with the things beyond the ballistics? Don%26#039;t go armed.....|||A plastic bullet is fired by the primer only, no gunpowder is in the shell. Some all plastic bullets and shells aren%26#039;t the most reliable, and are prone to having very light primer strikes in some revolvers. You can make your own cases fairly easy, but you have to drill out the primer hole for a more effective firing of the plastic bullet, once you do that you have to keep those shell separated from the other cases if you do your own hand loading. It has a limited accurate range of around 7 yards which will put a nasty dent in a aluminum can, and that%26#039;s about it. It%26#039;s comparable to getting shot with a paintball, or getting snapped by a wet towel. perhaps if you shoot an eyeball you can cause serious damage, or maybe a shot to the groin would sufficiently stun, otherwise it%26#039;s not going to do much in the way of discouraging a determined attacker. You might be thinking of the hard rubber bullets that the police or army use for crowd control, they are fired from rifles at much higher velocities and can kill people with a shot to the head, but they aren%26#039;t legally available to the average citizen.

If you really want to go this route and you plan on using a revolver for C.C.W. I%26#039;d suggest you %26quot;stack%26quot; the cylinder with a couple of plastic bullets as the first rounds to come up, followed by the real deal . You may get lucky and discourage a fairly timid attacker , just by showing the gun might get him to break off an assault, but personally I wouldn%26#039;t stake my life on them.|||You%26#039;re not going to stun or disable anyone with a plastic bullet, unless you shoot them by surprise. You wouldn%26#039;t be doing that anyway.

You have no right to even pull a gun on someone if you are not justified in killing them. You may as well use real ammo, then.

Brandishing is for people who want to go to jail or get shot.|||Steve,

While I commend the fact that you want to defend yourself without grievously injuring others, you should really abandon this idea. It%26#039;s bad on so many different levels, I don%26#039;t know where to start! What you need to keep in mind, is that you don%26#039;t want to draw your gun without being in a life-threatening situation. If this is the case, you sure as hell don%26#039;t want to rely on plastic bullets, do ya? Generally, homemade less than lethal rounds are just lawsuit generators.|||If you%26#039;re going to shoot someone in self-defense, you don%26#039;t want to %26quot;stun%26quot; them, you want to STOP them, right now. Handguns are marginal at best at accomplishing this even with JHP ammunition. Using %26quot;plastic bullets%26quot; for defensive purposes is just insane.|||Only if you want to annoy your attacker. A handgun really has to be of serious caliber to be effective. A shotgun is to be prefered for home security,|||You could use plastic bullets, but the range and ability to stop an attacker would be basicaly nil. Firing a gun is considered lethal force, so using a %26#039;less lethal%26#039; round isn%26#039;t going to help you any more than being a %26#039;little pregnant%26#039;. Your best bet is with a dependable hollow point designed bullet. Shooting someone with any handgun is not 100% on stopping someone. Too many cases have shown people taking very hard hit to the body and fighting on.|||A while back there was some surplus Swedish training 9mm ammo that had plastic bullets. I had a friend that bought some but it was wayyy under powered. I have never shot plastic bullets in a pistol, but i have tried South African made .308 with plastic bullets. Accuracy was acceptable up to about 30-40 yards and they would not cycle the action on my FAL. I would think they could break skin and hurt quite badly, but I wouldn%26#039;t use them in self defense; I just don%26#039;t think they would do enough damage to end a dangerous encounter. Also consider though that most people believe 22 lr, 25 acp, and 32 acp are not suitable for self defense even with jacketed hollowpoints. Remember the old addage %26quot;don%26#039;t take a knife to a gun fight%26quot;? If your life could be on the line, use real bullets.

Honestly, does a piece of scum who wants to hurt/kill you deserve plastic bullets?|||Instead of spenind $150-500 for a gun and trying to kill people, then yelling %26quot;self defense, self defense%26quot;, consider this.....

Cost of a new lock for your weak door: $15

Cost of a upgrade to a safer neighborhood: $200-300 month

The best self defense is to keep your mouth shut in public and mind your own business. Price: $0.|||it will still go in to ur skin n you will go to the house but hey du it any way, see what happens it could b funi... film it n put it on youtube i might watch it then put it on my myspace profile :) but yo run from da pigs wen dey come 4 ya!

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