Police Worried About New Vest-Penetrating Gun

Bill Stewart bill.stewart at pobox.com
Fri Jan 14 15:42:18 PST 2005

At 01:54 PM 1/14/2005, R.A. Hettinga wrote:

>NEW YORK -- There is a nationwide alert to members of law enforcement
>regarding a new kind of handgun which can render a bulletproof vest
>useless, as first reported by NewsChannel 4's Scott Weinberger.
>The weapon is light, easily concealable and can fire 20 rounds in seconds
>without reloading.

A couple of questions to the gunpunks out there...
I've heard that rifles easily penetrate bullet-proof vests,
and that vests are really only useful against average-to-small handguns
and against shotguns.  Is this accurate?
Any idea how much you can saw off a rifle
and still have it penetrate typical cop vests?
(And I assume the "20 rounds in seconds" is just a scary way to say
"it has a big magazine and you have to pull the trigger 20 times".)

Also, the police expressed worry that criminals might hear about
these guns and then the cops would be in big trouble.
Sounds silly to me - while some criminals might buy a
"cop-killer handgun" for bragging rights,
random criminals presumably only buy weapons useful for the
scenarios they imagine being in,
which is Saturday Night Specials for most applications,
or whatever currently fashionable Mac10/Uzi/etc.
for druglord armies that expect to be shooting at each other,
or rifles for distance work and dual-use pickup-truck decoration.
Do many criminals expect to initiate shootouts with vest-wearing cops
in scenarios where a rifle isn't practical?
Do most cops wear bullet-proof vests regularly other than in
holdup/hostage SWAT situations, where the criminal might have rifles anyway,
and where a regular pistol is just fine for shooting hostages?

Or is this mainly a problem for the cases when cops want to stage
military-style pre-dawn assaults on people's houses,
where they expect that the targets usually only have
pistols handy near the bed and don't have time for rifles?

Seems like scare-mongering to me, not a practical concern.

Bill Stewart  bill.stewart at pobox.com 

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