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Has anyone ever actually seen these in the wild or shot any? I think they were made in .38 SPL and .45 ACP. They never sold well but Ive seen conflicting accounts of their effectiveness. Though they were lightweight polymer they reportedly cycled reliably in .45 autos. Some accounts say they were removed from the market for political reasons. Seems like it would be good for home defense especially in urban (apartments) environments.
333906

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Plastic bullets for plastic guns? At 32gr it may penetrate bare flesh but at that light weight I would think even a denim jacket might stop it.
 

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Found this on another site: https://forum.cartridgecollectors.org/t/thunderzap-ammo/8500/8

TZ, as we call it, was invented by my gunsmith here in Michigan. When it was on the market it was sold by Second Chance Body Armor. The only rounds that made the market were .38 Special and .45 ACP. The bullets were made of virgin (if the censor software will let the word remain) polymer and were hollow points. Both rounds left at high speeds but due to the light bullet weight the speed dropped rapidly and the over all range was in the area of 100 yards. If you could see the bullet coming at you at 100 yards you could catch it with your bare hands. Not that I would want anybody shooting at me with anything at any distance (BTDT).


Frank James did an article sometime back about the various rounds on the market and he tested them with gallon bags of water. He made a wooden box about 8’ long and 1 foot wide and deep. He put one gallon freezer bags filled with water in the box and shot into them thru an opening in the one end. That way he could find the expanded bullets and tell how far they traveled. There is a ratio of water to flesh so one could get an guestament of how far the bullets would penetrate a body.


TZ, being fast and made of polymer did not exit the first bag but did blow the end board off the water box. The end was held on with wood screws and not just nailed in place. “It may not kill you but you’d have the world’s worse hickey.” he said.


Bruce never could get the bullets to work right with 9m/m since the pressures soared to the “Holy Sh**” range w/o gaining the speeds needed. At the time .40S&W was not out in any quantity so he did notw ork with them He did some experimental rounds in 12 gauge, .45 Colt, .44 Remington Magnum and .50 BMG. The military looked a the .50’s and according to sources a few of them made it to Panama and worked well.


We or he received reports, unconfirmed, of how well the .38 Special and .45 ACP worked. According to one report a pistol owner was attacked by a mugger in NYC and he/she shot the attacker in the shoulder, removing much of the flesh and muscle tissue. The would was peppered with white granular polymer pieces. The hospital staff was able to save the mugger’s life but he had to mug one armed after he recovered since the shot arm was “shot”.


The second report came out of South Africa. In this case the round was a .45. As the story goes an armed robber entered one of the 6X8 bars that are around SA and announced the holdup. The bartender/owner proceded to fire one shot center mass which caused the robber to drop dead. The story we received was that the flesh was separated from the ribs all around to the spine and the heart was puree. We could never get any police reports or conformation on any use of the rounds on people.


There are any number of confirmed reports of how well the rounds work on deer and smaller animals. I know of at least two police officers that work in small towns that carry TZ as the first round out the pipe and have shot deer that were hit by cars with the rounds. Big bang, big flash and dead deer.


I have no idea what the powders used were but they used a healthy tot of what ever it was in new WW cases. I don’t know what the primers were.


I have a dozen .38 Special rounds and perhaps 25 or so of teh .45 ACP.


There is little or no recoil with either round but the .45 will cycle every .45 handgun we’ve tried them in. (They even worked well in a Thompson; don’t tell anybody!!)
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All plastic bullet ammo marketed by that king of conmen richard davis who went bankrupt after being sued for marketing bogus bulletproof vests. It was junk, bunk and hokum.
and


Richard Davis and Second Chance Body Armor marketed Thunderzap ammunition but it was not invented by Rich. Bruce McArthur, Clarkston, MI was the inventor and patent holder of the ThunderZap ammunition. The ammunition was manufactured by a separate company that was made up of Bruce, Rich Davis, Karen Davis (Rich’s wife of the time) and Bill Stenbeck. While the company is now dissolved, Bruce still holds all the patents on the ammunition and any other ammunition that may be constructed of the same materials.


The ammo itself is a thermo molded plastic bullet with a huge hollow cup. It was meant to be a safe round for home defense yet still have good stopping power. This ammo was ultra high velocity, 2800fps out of a 4 inch revolver. In one of his Second Chance videos Rich shot this round through 2 sides of beef strapped together. It blew a 6 inch hole through both sides of beef ribs. I had the chance to shoot a block of ballistics gel with it and it absolutely destroyed the first 5 inches of the block. This round will self destruct when it hits a wall which made it very safe in a home and you could actually catch it in your hand at 100 yards.


Why did this ammo leave the market? Many have said it was junk but in talking to some of the pros in the field it was removed for political reasons. Rich Davis was in a major battle with NIJ over vest ratings at the time and the government wanted this round to go away. Why? When it hits anything it does tremendous damage and turns into white fluff…no way in the world to get any ballistics off the bullet residue.


I still have a decent supply of this ammo and if I am ever living in an apartment again I will load the house gun with it. For safety of the neighbors it can’t be beat and the shock to the system is tremendous, a shame it went away.

I spoke with Bruce McAuthur. They are totally out of the ammo business and all the Thunderzap ammo is long sold. They tried with 9mm for a while but couldn’t make it feed and all the test 9mm was thrown away long ago. They never offered any for sale and never passed any on to anyone else.
 
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Well it actually seems quite effective at close range:

 
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Never heard of the things, but a really interesting story. I doubt that public opinion would allow them to be sold if they did the close-in damage claimed.
 
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Never heard of the things, but a really interesting story. I doubt that public opinion would allow them to be sold if they did the close-in damage claimed.
It's all in the marketing. Rebrand as "Lead Absent, Minimally Invasive Ammunition," or LAMIA*.

There. It's "green" sounding ammunition that seems non-threatening.

*Hmm. Turns out Lamia in Greek mythology was a lady that became a child eating monster after Hera killed her children. Don't mess with Lamia!
 
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