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 Air Marshal's say 357 sig is too powerful 
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 Post subject: Air Marshal's say 357 sig is too powerful
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:06 pm 
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http://washingtontimes.com/national/200 ... -2105r.htm

Air marshals: Bullets pack too much punch

By Audrey Hudson
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
June 13, 2006

Federal air marshals say their guns are loaded with bullets capable of running through more than one person, metal doors and thick glass -- too much firepower for an airplane.
"Not only is the person getting shot in danger, but everyone on the plane is because of the distance it travels," said one air marshal who testified in a recently completed House Judiciary Committee investigation of policies marshals deemed dangerous.
Several marshals say their bullets can penetrate most of the material in planes, leaving pilots and the plane's hydraulics and flight-control system vulnerable if a weapon is discharged. Cockpit doors have been hardened with steel, but the walls on either side of the door have not.
Another marshal told the House committee agents should be issued ammunition loaded with frangible bullets, which break into smaller pieces on impact and thus have limited power to exit the target and continue.
"An aircraft is made up of composites, plastics, and aluminum. If a round were to penetrate through the front plastic/composite windshield of the aircraft, the results would be catastrophic at 500 miles per hour. We should be using frangible ammunition. It's a no-brainer," the Nov. 27 memo said.
The House Judiciary report, released last week, included the committee's concerns about the ammunition, but the Transportation Security Administration's response was redacted from the report.
Federal Air Marshal Service Director Dana Brown is reviewing the agency's use of a .357-caliber handgun and Speer Gold Dot .357 SIG round, nonfrangible ammunition, said FAMS spokesman Conan Bruce.
Mr. Bruce said air marshals used to use frangible ammunition but switched weapons and ammunition after researching testing by outside groups. The change was approved by former FAMS Director Thomas Quinn, a former Secret Service agent.
Massad Ayoob, a ballistics authority and director of the Lethal Force Institute, calls the ammunition "an excellent load" that the Secret Service uses to protect the president. The bullet is designed to expand in the body to cause greater physical harm.
"If you get a peripheral hit in the arm, it has enough power to keep going and kill whoever it hits," said Mr. Ayoob, who explained that the bullet moves 1,350 feet per second.
"It's no trick to change the ammunition load they are using now to 1,500 feet per second to get a 10-inch, very substantial wound, and it would minimize the likelihood of an exit," Mr. Ayoob said. "That would reduce penetration by a few inches and widen the wound, which brings about a faster cessation of the action."
Federal air marshals have tough shooting requirements and "are among the best shooters in law enforcement," Mr. Ayoob says.
Don Strange, former special agent in charge of the FAMS Atlanta field office, said the ammunition FAMS agents use is good for the Secret Service and other law enforcement but not in the "tube of an airplane."
"It would penetrate at least the first body, but it can also penetrate a second and possibly third body," Mr. Strange said.
Mr. Strange has more than 30 years of federal law-enforcement experience but says he was fired from FAMS by Mr. Quinn for criticizing the agency's choice of ammunition, dress code and other policies.
When Mr. Strange informed officials at FAMS headquarters of his concern about the weapon's load, "I told them I hoped the reason we were using it was not because Quinn wants us to, and they said that is the reason."
Philip Van Cleave, a former deputy sheriff and president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, said he was surprised to learn the marshals are not using frangible firepower.
"It's ironic that the very people who are carrying the guns are complaining, that tells you something there -- they don't want to be underarmed, but they want to be able to protect passengers," Mr. Van Cleave said.
Several thousand pilots are trained to carry guns to protect the cockpit, however David Mackett, president of the Airline Pilots Security Alliance, declined to say what kind of weapons or ammunition are used by federal flight-deck officers.
"The federal air marshals are competent and experienced law enforcement, and I would take any recommendations they would make very seriously," Mr. Mackett said.
The House investigation said in its report released last week that policies dictating dress and boarding procedures in sight of passengers undermine the marshals' anonymity and suggested that any marshal who initiated changes fell victim to retaliation.
In its response to the committee, the Transportation Security Administration, which manages FAMS, said the policies have been changed. Air marshals who spoke to panel lawyers disagreed with the TSA's claims in interviews with The Washington Times.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:17 pm 
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No brainer...........change it!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:07 am 
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I'll take their extras. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:48 am 
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Change bbls to 40 Smith and there is your answer - shoot light bullets that are lightly constructed or shoot frangibles....

Problem Solved..

357 Sig creatmore problems than it solves.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:24 am 
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Excuse me for being stupid, but I assumed they were already using frangibles. :? That would be the only sensible ammunition to be using onboard an aircraft.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:45 am 
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BigRobT wrote:
Excuse me for being stupid, but I assumed they were already using frangibles. :? That would be the only sensible ammunition to be using onboard an aircraft.



BigRobT..........remember this is the government we speak of. :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 9:00 am 
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There's nothing to worry about if the bullets were to penetrate the skin of the pressurized cabin. Modern jetliners are able to maintain pressure even if a couple windows are blown out.

The big concern is the number of bodies that may be pentrated.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:03 pm 
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They did an episode on myth-busters about firing guns in airplanes. The bullits only made small holes in the window, at preasure, and caused a small leak.

none of this explosive decompression you see on the movies.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:22 pm 
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grayskys wrote:
They did an episode on myth-busters about firing guns in airplanes. The bullits only made small holes in the window, at preasure, and caused a small leak.

none of this explosive decompression you see on the movies.


Big Surprise, Hellywood got it wrong again!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:41 pm 
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Depressurization isn't that big a deal. Having a bullet go out the side of the plane and into an engine/fuel tank/hydraulic line is a fairly realistic concern.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 4:01 am 
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Short of using a cardboard wad any bullet can do damage to the acft systems. I think it has more to do with personal preferance. How many shots were fired in acft? None to my knowledge.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:10 am 
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Mr. Strange has more than 30 years of federal law-enforcement experience but says he was fired from FAMS by Mr. Quinn for criticizing the agency's choice of ammunition, dress code and other policies.

Gadfly? Crank with axe to grind? Experienced employee with legitimate criticism? Some combination?

I wonder why they wouldn't use a .45 ACP round with with mid-velocity hollowpoints. I'd think the ideal plane load would be a .44 Special -- big enough hole, low enough velocity, although I appreciate that a snub-nose N frame isn't exactly an ideal package.


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 Post subject: Re: Air Marshal's say 357 sig is too powerful
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 2:04 pm 
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DeanC wrote:
... "Not only is the person getting shot in danger, but everyone on the plane is because of the distance it travels," said one air marshal who testified in a recently completed House Judiciary Committee investigation of policies marshals deemed dangerous. .....


I would assume if an air marshal had to shoot someone the person needing to be shot would be in danger...


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:47 pm 
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I was under the impression that our Air Marshals were using something like this:

http://www.magsafeonline.com/magnum_performance.html

I used them, until they blew apart my Taurus P45. Then I stopped. :?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 8:13 am 
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357 sig is powerful, but it makes quick work of small critters, trees and other things. It is a 9mm +p+ maybe more.
The cartridge was created to harness a bottleneck energy, it is a very accurate round, and powerful.

An batf agent who willl remain unmentioned. Told me that another agent got into a gun battle with a guy underneath a house. The porch part. The cop shot at him a few times with the 357sig and found the bullet had gone through two 4x4 posts before entering his right shoulder and exiting out the left. The guys couldn't move afterwards.

At first I did not believe the agent, but the 357 sig will go through multiple trees and still have enough energy to do damage. I shot mine a large tree and it went right through the first tree and then a second it finally stopped in the hill behind my house.

A standard 9mm is stopped by the first tree.


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