This is a discussion on Performance of Federal's 40 S&W 165 grain EFMJ load in the Detroit Precinct Shootout within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was reading about that recent shootout in January at a Detroit Police Station. It was interesting to learn that the Detroit Police use Federal's ...
I was reading about that recent shootout in January at a Detroit Police Station. It was interesting to learn that the Detroit Police use Federal's Law Enforcement Tactical EFMJ .40 S&W 165 grain ammo. Apparently they had to deal with a lot of public protests against the police using hollowpoint ammo. Previously, the department had issued FMJ ammo. On top of that, due to liability concerns of being sued by innocent bystanders being wounded, the department also wanted ammo that would not penetrate a lot, and thus pose a risk of exiting a suspect's body.
So they basically needed to issue defensive handgun ammo that could be as politically correct as possible. The ammo that they chose to meet their requirements?
Federal's Tactical EFMJ .40 S&W 165 grain load: 165 gr at 1080 fps for 427 ft/lbs of energy
tests have shown that expansion of this ammo is generally very good, as shown by these recovered bullets:
Now the autopsy results done on the gunman armed with the 20 gauge pistol gripped shotgun, Lamar Moore, are interesting. He received relatively minor wounds to his right hand and arm, which quickly exited. A third bullet only barely grazed his back. But two wounds to the trunk of his body were serious.
One was poorly place, and entered his lower right abdomen, and never exited. The second one, however, did prove to be fatal. It entered the upper chest on the right side, and was angled such that it first went through the right lung, then traversed the chest and went through the heart, and finally ended up in the lower lobe of the left lung. So that one round did both serious damage to both lungs, and dramatic damage to the heart, virtually destroying it.
Here is a graphic taken from the autopsy report:
What lessons about ammunition can, or should be learned, from this incident??
It looks like that with good bullet placement, this Federal EFMJ ammo did perform well. And hits to the trunk did stay inside the body, as the Police Department desired.
Would this not be good ammo for civilians to also consider carrying? After all, it appears to be very politically correct.
It appears that the rounds worked as designed, entering, penetrating far enough to inflict serious damage, and not exiting (except for the thinner limb wounds) to endanger potential bystanders. I only wish the "stopper" had been the first shot fired in the station.
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However, it also points out the fallacy of the "we need bullets that do not penetrate deeply and exit".
1) most of the rounds did not remain in the target. They either missed entirely, or grazed or penetrated through thin areas.
2) I don't know how long this subject remained active after being shot. Was it an "immediate stop", or did he continue shooting for 10-30-60 seconds?
I really prefer deeper penetrating rounds that have a better chance of reaching the CNS for an immediate stop as recommended in the FBI Quantico Report.
I'm curious as to how far this round penetrates compared to others. From one side of the body to the other certainly seems like enough pentration (the lung-heart-lung shot). I wonder if a FMJ would have exited, or would a HP have stopped at the heart, all things being equal?
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I'm glad I live in a place and work for a department where ammo is purchased for effectiveness, and not PC BS.
Ye gods, I thought the hollow-points-for-cops argument was put to rest about 25 years ago! Frankly, I'm beyond 'surprised' that the Detroit PD issued FMJ ammo in the 21st century, if for no other reason than increased risk of over-penetration.
PDs are always changing their duty ammo it seems, with cost being probably as big a driver as performance these days. I'd love to see a compilation of what specific ammo is used by PDs across the US.
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I'm glad I'm not using that ammo. I use Corbon DPX in all my guns. It works and I am a much better shot than those really bad hits. I am not going to shoot someone 5 times to take them down unless I am already harmed. Then it may take a full mag to shoot them to the ground. YMMV and MMMV. There is no reason not to go to the range and practice, and then get on a 360 Degree range for more real time work.
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So I would not criticize the officers too much for their shooting. They were taking fire from a pump action shotgun. Its just too bad that no one noticed that a man was entering the station with a shotgun.
Well, when the public found out about this, protests were then quickly organized, protesting the use of ammunition banned by the Geneva Convention. The debate about this was framed as being a human and civil rights issue, with the police department guilty of violating International Law. The fact that most of the folks that police officers were shooting were young black men was a factor, as many felt that their civil rights were being violated.
Detroit Councilwoman Sheila Cockrel led the fight against Hollowpoint ammo, arguing that the ammunition was way too deadly to be issued to police. She explained her opposition by saying this:
"If police do mistakenly shoot someone with this ammo, it's likely to result in death. We just settled a case where the police went into a man's house and arrested him by mistake," Cockrel said. "He wasn't shot -- but what if he had been? The chances of him dying from a hollow-point bullet would be much greater."
While Cockrel said she appreciates the dangers that Detroit police face every day, "they do make mistakes sometimes. And, then, if you issue hollow-point bullets, you're likely to have another grieving mother and father at a funeral."
Cockrel was considered to be the most left-wing member of the Detroit City Council back then. Here is a photo showing how strongly she would argue during the council meetings:
So you can see from the above remarks from back then, how emotional this debate got. Cockrel was creating completely hypothetical situations to criticize the use of the ammo, and was not actually able to cite any real world shootings. The police took offense at her remarks, for she was implying that they would shoot innocent people.
The Detroit City Council ended up bowing to all of this public pressure and debate, and then refused to allocate any city money to pay for any hollow point ammo. This effectively blocked the use of the ammo by the department. The police department had originally selected a CCI-Speer Gold Dot load for use in their guns. But they then found themselves unable to buy the ammunition, due to these politics.
This impasse all took place back in 2000. The decision to switch to using the Federal Tactical EFMJ ammo was the compromise that was eventually made to solve the controversy.
At the time I recall that the police were upset that the city council had even gotten involved. They felt that the matter was one appropriate for the civilian Police Commission to decide. And that the City Council had no right to try to micromanage the Police Department.
Does your local city government work differently than Detroit?
It's a fallacy of logic to conclude that if the military does not use hollow point ammo then a police organization should not use it either when the whole origin of the limitation was built upon an agreement of military powers wishing to even any potential playing field.
I realize I'm preaching to the choir here, but Councilwoman Sheila Cockrel is guilty of paying more attention to the subterfuge of "human rights issues" than reality.
Hollowpoint ammunition is far more likely to incapacitate the person being shot than non-expanding bullets. As a result, fewer hits are necessary to end the fight, and with fewer projectiles penetrating the body the chances of survival are improved. Fewer bullet holes means fewer organs, bones and blood vessels to repair. On top of that, compared to FMJ ammo, hollowpoints offer reduced risk of overpenetration, and are far less likely to ricochet when hitting a hard surface - improving the safety of those uninvolved but in the vicinity of the shooting.
And lastly, I always have to laugh when people whine about hollowpoints being "banned by the Geneva Convention." It was actually the Hague Convention of 1899 that prohibited expanding ammunition in warfare... but warfare among "symmetrical" opposing forces is a vastly different (and political) situation than crime in the streets, even though firearms are used in both situations.
The use of the EFMJ ammo is thus an attractive, if not the only, alternative. God forbid that Councilwoman Cockrel actually does some research and finds out that the EFMJ expands like a hollowpoint!
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She is the step-mother of former Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr., and might possibly have been elected more due to her political connections, than her intelligence.
Her late husband, Kenneth Cockrel Sr., was an avowed Marxist-Leninist, and was an activist attorney that fought for social justice in Detroit during the '60's and '70's. His most famous trial took place in 1969, when he defended Alfred Hibbitt, who was accused of shooting two Detroit police officers in a gun battle at the New Bethel Baptist Church.
During the trial, Cockrel put the entire Detroit police department on trial, accusing it of widespread racism. It was quite a sensational trial. During the trial, Cockrel was charged with contempt for calling the judge ( who was white ) a: "lawless, racist, rogue bandit, thief, pirate, honky dog fool."
Nevertheless, Cockrel managed to win an acquittal for Hibbitt, and was celebrated throughout the city for his accomplishment. Amazingly, he was able to even defeat the contempt charges in court too, after arguing that the Detroit Court system was racist as well. Somehow, juries managed to swallow his arguments. Ironically, Hibbitt himself died 6 years later of a drug overdose.
Since Shelia Cockrel was married to this man, one would have to assume that she shares his extreme views of the Detroit Police. Ken Cockrel Sr. was actually planning to run for Mayor of Detroit after serving on the City Council, when he suddenly died of a heart attack at the age of 51. His son was never elected to office, but became Mayor after the previous Mayor was forced to resign due to revelations of corruption.
Here is a link to a biography about Ken Cockrel Sr.:
The Tactical EFMJ is a small product line, with only one load for each of the popular police rounds: 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ammo.
All 3 loads, though, are quite potent energy and velocity wise. The .45 round is even more robust, with a 200 gr bullet at 1,030 fps for 471 ft/lbs of energy.