RBCD validation!

This is a discussion on RBCD validation! within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was at the Miami Gun Show today and looking for some stuff, notably a stray box of 9mm or 45 RBCD ammo. I found ...

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  1. #1
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    Exclamation RBCD validation!

    I was at the Miami Gun Show today and looking for some stuff, notably a stray box of 9mm or 45 RBCD ammo. I found my only box of 40 at a gun show about 5 years ago. So I go to this ammo dealer and I ask him if he's got any RBCD? He says: Never heard of the stuff...but lemme ask my partner. He's former Force Recon marine and he knows everything about exotic ammo. So he calls the guy over and I ask again. He knows all about RBCD and he says they don't carry the stuff. I ask why and he says they don't want the liability. It's extra LETHAL. Usually it's military SpecOps that go for it in quantity 'cause it's so expensive. That jives perfectly with the other endorsements I've gotten from buddies of mine in a variety of SpecOps components. The universal comment I get from the operators is: When it's ONE SHOT between life and ETERNITY...gimme RBCD everytime! That's a pretty strong endorsement. A lot of folks I know say that the frangibles are worthless, they'll stick to the proven technology of the good old JHP+P etc. But I figure the guys who lay it on the line in real world combat in places where the word reinforcement isn't in the dictionary...well they wouldn't steer me wrong.

    Check some of the stats: http://www.rbcd.net
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array hsuCowboy98's Avatar
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    Ive always heard some pretty great things about the RBCD stuff. Never had an opprotunity to find any though.
    Fear No Evil.

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    I'm not totally sure if this is true but I think I read on another board that the stuff available to the military is not the same ammo that is available to civilians.

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    Distinguished Member Array lowflyer's Avatar
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    I have heard similar testimony from buddies of mine. I am not sure I understand the advantage though. It seems like a heavy bullet will carry more kinetic energy thus maintain its punch longer. The light bullet's energy, while equal, will be all but expended immediately upon impact. If you shoot somebody wearing a heavy coat for instance, it doesn't seem to me that you would get near the same penetration as with standard loads (ie 200-230 gn JHP @ 900-1000 fps). We didn't have RBCD that I had heard of when I was in.

    Anybody know how this really works??? Super light bullets that is.
    Whatever doesn't kill you postpones the inevitable.

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    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    I did as much research as I could on the civilian stuff. There isn't much independent study of it. It seems to be a lightweight lead ball backed by a silicone plug in a copper jacket. One metallurgy test of the ball showed plain ol' lead. Nothing exotic.

    Chrono's did show all the velocity they claimed and complete fragmentation on impact in gel, water or saturated newspaper with limited penetration.

    One complaint that cropped up was falure to cycle the slides on several autos. Use would require a very light recoil spring. The biggest offenders seemed to be 9mm.

    Not all operators have the same missions or potential obstacles. One I know who is back in the "sandbox" right now uses only hardball. Go figure!

    I think frangibles have their place but I'd sure like to see some more independant testing before I bet the farm on any exotic round.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

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    Lightbulb Hmmmmmm

    Quote Originally Posted by ELCruisr View Post
    I did as much research as I could on the civilian stuff. There isn't much independent study of it. It seems to be a lightweight lead ball backed by a silicone plug in a copper jacket. One metallurgy test of the ball showed plain ol' lead. Nothing exotic.

    Chrono's did show all the velocity they claimed and complete fragmentation on impact in gel, water or saturated newspaper with limited penetration.

    One complaint that cropped up was falure to cycle the slides on several autos. Use would require a very light recoil spring. The biggest offenders seemed to be 9mm.

    Not all operators have the same missions or potential obstacles. One I know who is back in the "sandbox" right now uses only hardball. Go figure!

    I think frangibles have their place but I'd sure like to see some more independant testing before I bet the farm on any exotic round.
    I'm sure you're right in many aspects of your statement. I never heard of RBCD until about eight years ago when I asked this SOF guy about what ammo HE uses. It never occurred to me that there might be different stuff for the civilians and the military! It's lead alright. But it's powdered lead compressed into a ball. Launched at ultra high speed it does expend it's momentum into the target.

    I'll bet it would be awesome here in South Florida where the clothing is lightweight. I do however rethink my situation when winter rolls around, even in Miami. Certainly when I travel on vacation in the wintertime.

    I think I may try some RBCD when I get my BullDog 44sp. tho. I've never had any cycling troubles with RBCD 40, but I've not yet tried the 9mm.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    Not for me. Didn't seem to see any prices on their website. Probably only $14 per 50,huh?

    This is a typical example of the higher velocities(real or claimed)produced by shooting a very light(non typical)bullet. When you go, fat bullet at low weight(length),at some point the sectional density turns to crappola. When this happens your accuracy turns into the same as above.

    I have come up with a load (finally)that will shoot a 125gr. NosBalTip(.308") outta my .30-378 @ 4100. I see in their add they are claiming a 160 @ 4300. Huh !!?? I'd have to see this over a chrono to believe it,unless they have some super-dooper powder that has a touch of unreality mixid into it.

    I have never tried this ammo nor have I chrono'ed it,BUT......If this ammo seems to good to be true.........it possibly could be.--------

  9. #8
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    Article From ArmyTimes

    John G. Roos is editor of Armed Forces Journal.


    1-shot killer
    This 5.56mm round has all the stopping power you need — but you can’t use it. Here’s why:

    By John G. Roos
    Special to the Times


    Ben Thomas and three colleagues were driving north out of Baghdad in an SUV on a clear mid-September morning, headed down a dirt road into a rural village, when gunmen in several surrounding buildings opened fire on them.
    In a brief but intense firefight, Thomas hit one of the attackers with a single shot from his M4 carbine at a distance he estimates was 100 to 110 yards.

    He hit the man in the buttocks, a wound that typically is not fatal. But this round appeared to kill the assailant instantly.

    “It entered his butt and completely destroyed everything in the lower left section of his stomach ... everything was torn apart,” Thomas said.

    Thomas, a security consultant with a private company contracted by the government, recorded the first known enemy kill using a new — and controversial — bullet.

    The bullet is so controversial that if Thomas, a former SEAL, had been on active duty, he would have been court-martialed for using it. The ammunition is “nonstandard” and hasn’t passed the military’s approval process.

    “The way I explain what happened to people who weren’t there is … this stuff was like hitting somebody with a miniature explosive round,” he said, even though the ammo does not have an explosive tip. “Nobody believed that this guy died from a butt shot.”

    The bullet Thomas fired was an armor-piercing, limited-penetration round manufactured by RBCD of San Antonio.

    A new process

    APLP ammo is manufactured using a so-called “blended-metal” process, said Stan Bulmer, president of sales and manufacturing for Le Mas Ltd. of Little Rock, Ark. Le Mas is the distributor of RBCD ammo.

    Various bullet types made by RBCD are designed for different effects, Bulmer said.

    The frangible APLP ammo will bore through steel and other hard targets but will not pass through a human torso, an eight-inch-thick block of artist’s clay or even several layers of drywall. Instead of passing through a body, it shatters, creating “untreatable wounds.”

    Le Mas gave Thomas a small number of APLP rounds after he contacted the company.

    After driving off their attackers, Thomas and his colleagues quickly searched the downed enemy fighter for items of intelligence value. They also took time to examine the wound.

    “There’s absolutely no comparison, whatever, none,” to other wounds he has seen from 5.56mm ammo, Thomas said in a telephone interview while on home leave in Florida.

    He said he feels qualified to assess a bullet’s effects, having trained as a special-operations medic and having shot people with various types of ammo, including the standard-issue green tip and the Black Hills Mk 262, favored by spec-ops troops.

    Thomas was the only member of the four-man group who had RBCD ammo. He said that after the group returned to base, they and other members of his group snatched up the remaining rounds.

    “They were fighting over it,” he said. “At the end of the day, each of us took five rounds. That’s all we had left.”

    Congress wants tests

    Last year’s defense budget included $1.05 million for testing blended-metal bullets, Bulmer said. Fourteen months into the 24-month period during which those research and development-testing funds must be spent, the military has not purchased a single bullet from Le Mas.

    Publicly, at least, military officials say RBCD ammo is no more effective than other types now in use and, under certain conditions, doesn’t even perform as well. Those conclusions are derived from a series of tests conducted a few years ago in which RBCD ammo’s effects were observed in ballistic gelatin, the standard means for testing bullets.

    Naval Reserve Lt. Cmdr. Gary Roberts, a recognized ballistics expert and member of the International Wound Ballistics Association, conducted the gelatin tests in March 2002.

    According to his findings, “Claims that RBCD bullet terminal performance can vary depending on target thickness, size or mass were not shown to have merit, as bullet performance remained consistent irrespective of gelatin block size.”

    Roberts found that in gelatin, a 9mm, 60-grain slug exhibited “tissue damage comparable to that of other nonexpanding 9mm bullets and is less than that of standard 9mm [jacketed hollow point] designs, since the RBCD bullet does not create as much tissue damage due to its smaller recovered diameter.”

    A .45-caliber bullet “offered average terminal performance in bare and denim-clad gelatin, similar to that noted with the 9mm bullet. ... The RBCD bullets do not appear to be a true frangible design, as significant mass is retained after striking a target.”

    Not surprisingly, Roberts’ assessment remains a major impediment to getting RBCD ammo into military hands. Considering his standing in the ballistics community, his findings are accepted as gospel by many influential members of the special-operations community.

    But Bulmer insists that tests in ballistic gelatin fail to demonstrate RBCD ammo’s actual performance because the gelatin is chilled to 36 degrees. Their bullets seem to shatter most effectively only when they strike warmer targets, such as live tissue. Bulmer said tests using live animals clearly would show its effects. Despite his appeals for such testing, and the funds set aside by Congress to conduct new tests, the military refuses.

    Bulmer said authority to spend the testing funds initially went to U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla., which delegated testing responsibility to the Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.

    Queries to the command confirmed that it was aware of the testing requirement but had not decided when, or if, the tests will be conducted.

    Bill Skipper, president and CEO of the American Business Development Group, is a lobbyist representing Le Mas on Capitol Hill. “When I heard of the ballistic characteristics of this ammo, as a retired military officer, I realized it has to stay in the good guys’ hands,” he said, adding that SOCom’s reluctance to test it is “irresponsible.”

    “This is an issue of national security,” he said.

    Some supporters of RBCD ammunition suggest SOCom officials may be reluctant to test the ammo because it threatens “in-house” weapons and ammunition programs underway at the command.

    Special-operations forces long have sought a more potent standard round than the 5.56mm, which lacks the punch needed during the long-distance engagements that frequently occur in Afghanistan and Iraq. In response, SOCom is working with weapons and ammunition manufacturers to develop a new round and new upper receivers for M4 and M16 rifles.

    The command apparently has narrowed its search to a 6.8-by-43mm round.

    Indication of industries’ involvement in this effort was seen in October during the annual Association of the U.S. Army exhibition in Washington.

    If Le Mas’ 5.56mm APLP round delivers the performance SOCom is seeking in the new 6.8mm ammo — and Bulmer insists it does — the rationale and the potentially lucrative contracts for producing a new ammo type and modifying thousands of weapons used by special-operations forces would disappear.

    Thomas said he isn’t familiar with the reasons that might keep RBCD ammo from getting a realistic test within the military.

    “The politics, that’s above my pay grade,” he said. “All I really care about is that I have the best-performing weapon, optics, communications, medical equipment, etc. I’m taking Le Mas ammo with me when I return to Iraq, and I’ve already promised lots of this ammo to my buddies who were there that day and to their friends.”

    When military officials in the United States got wind that Thomas had used the round, he quickly found himself in the midst of an online debate in which an unnamed officer, who mistakenly assumed Thomas was in the service, threatened him with a court martial for using the nonstandard ammo.

    Although Thomas was impressed by RBCD ammo’s performance, he feels it should not be the standard ammunition issued to all U.S. forces.

    “The first thing I say when I talk to people about Le Mas’ ammo is, make sure that 22-year-old infantrymen don’t get a hold of this, because if they have an accident ... if they have a negligent discharge, that person is dead. It doesn’t matter how much body armor you have on.

    “This is purely for putting into bad guys. For general inventory, absolutely not. For special operations, I wouldn’t carry anything else.”
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    Until someone can explain the physics behind LeMas claims that the target temperature makes a difference in their bullet performance, I will remain skeptical of their claims.

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    How can it punch thru metal but fragment in clay, flesh or similar?
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    http://www.rbcd.net/2006%20NEW%20PRODUCTS.htm
    I just found this website take a look

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    Quote Originally Posted by AutoFan View Post
    Until someone can explain the physics behind LeMas claims that the target temperature makes a difference in their bullet performance, I will remain skeptical of their claims.
    I'll trust the first hand experience of the operator who has used it. However, until I hear from him (he may be out of the country) as to whether he was using stuff only available to the military. I have also asked him in an e-mail about his recommendations on ammo I can get access to, and about civilian RBCD products and what the difference is.

    Glasers will punch thru glass and still hold together until impacting flesh.

    I'm not so much looking for that "magic" bullet in stopping power, but for the lack of richochet in case of a miss. I know, I know: Don't miss easier said than done....as I hope we all know.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    I, for one, would like to hear first hand reports of it. Especially regarding performance of the civilian pistol rounds and how they function in an automatic. Even more specificly .45 auto! Let us know what you hear.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ELCruisr View Post
    I, for one, would like to hear first hand reports of it. Especially regarding performance of the civilian pistol rounds and how they function in an automatic. Even more specificly .45 auto! Let us know what you hear.
    Well, here are the pix of civilian rounds into their gelatin:

    http://www.rbcd.net/gelatin%20photos.html
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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    Member Array Dave James's Avatar
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    Strange,, when all is said and done ,,no one in the millitary will say they have order it,,and no records come up for it.. according to Doc Fackler and Doc Roberts its never been issued , and the legal beagles in the Judge Advocate backs them up, with the statement it is an illeagle round...

    If Stan would just have some monitored testing done and quite playing the so cal millitary card, it mite be worth having, until then most people I trust how have playing with say its junk..

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