Personal Defense

Is Using “R.I.P.” Defensive Ammunition Asking for Trouble?

Apparently I have been out of touch with developments in bullet technology because I had never heard of Winder, Georgia-based G2 Research’s R.I.P. (“Radically Invasive Projectile”) line of ammunition until a friend of mine showed me a box he had bought recently ($35 for 20 rounds of .380 ACP).

 

RIP Ammo

Alot of others, however, took notice when this ammunition was introduced at the 2015 SHOT Show. For example, the story was picked up by the Daily Mail of London, the Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionThe Blaze, the Washington Times, The Daily Caller, guns.com, concealednation.org, and I’m sure others I missed.

My interest is less in the technology (for which see the video above, which has over 7 million views on YouTube) than in the marketing, and especially the naming. I wonder about the advisability of using “R.I.P.” ammo for personal defense in light of the recent case of a Mesa, Arizona police officer who is being charged with second degree murder committed with a rifle inscribed “you’re fucked” on the dust guard (see also Bob Owen’s take on this on bearingarms.com).

I imagine myself on trial and the prosecuting attorney telling the jury that I used “R.I.P.” ammo as opposed to “Critical Defense” or “Ultimate Defense” or “DPX” ammo. May not look so good.

Of course I recognize the alternative argument that you’d rather be alive to defend your use of R.I.P. ammo than not, but is it really that much better than these other self-defense rounds? (Recognizing it is extremely unlikely that someone will have to draw their gun in self-defense, and even less likely that they will have to fire it in self-defense, and even less likely that they will execute a one-shot stop.)

All defensive ammunition is designed to respond to trouble, but is “R.I.P.” on your ammo also asking for it?

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15 thoughts on “Is Using “R.I.P.” Defensive Ammunition Asking for Trouble?

      • I open carried as required for a job I had 45 years ago, in the revolver era, when hollow point ammunition was equated with dum-dum bullets that were deliberately intended to fragment, and was considered evil with their only possible intent in law enforcement, security or self defense use being excessive maiming and killing. As a consequence, FMJ round nose “ball” was the required by many agencies and employers (spitzers were rare but would over penetrate), and at most they might allow half-jacketed soft or flat point. That, thankfully, has changed with hollow points reducing risk of over penetration shoot through and ricochet. Dum-dums were frequently home made by taking a soft point and deeply scoring the lead tip with an X. Those were the only type I ever saw or knew about. Flat tip were easier to modify but it could be done with a round nose soft point. These generally didn’t work well. Fragmentation was very unreliable. These are the copper version of the lead dum-dums, with very high fragmentation reliability.

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  1. Never considered the name of a product vis a vis potential defense liability (criminal or civil), but in this litigious land of the formerly free it certainly is an additional element. Perhaps manufacturers should have two lines of the same product, one for advertising and a second line labeled more softly for sale – gotta love options!

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  2. David – You can “imagine” yourself on trial all you want but the truth is that you have never needed to use a gun for self-defense and you probably never will. But what a wonderful thing it is to “imagine” all those great, hard-ass scenarios where you whip out your gun. You might want to ask your next class of gun students how many of them have ever had daydreams about using a gun. I suspect it’s quite a few. And they get their encouragement from people like you who ‘imagine’ themselves in court.

    David – Give me a break.

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    • You know, I never imagined I would need to defend myself and my family until a few years ago. And when I realized I MIGHT need to do so, I also realized that I had no PLAN for doing so.

      At that point I knew I had to have a plan for the unlikely event that I would need to defend myself and my family. And I can say that — following the advice of the people in GC2.0 I respect most — the first part of that plan is avoidance, and the second part is escape, and any sort of confrontation will be a last resort.

      So, part of the plan is to never have to defend myself and my family. Thinking about how I would do so if need be is not any kind of “daydream” or fantasy – it is a nightmare, and I simply try to minimize the nightmare by thinking about things like: How would it make me look if I used R.I.P. ammo?

      And, I should reiterate, this post was stimulated by the confluence of my friend showing me R.I.P. ammo and the police officer in Arizona with the profanity on his rifle. So, I’m not making this stuff up out of thin air. These are real – if rare – issues.

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    • In a March 21st post on the MTGG blog Mike (who wrote the reply above) said “But it’s one thing to argue the case for gun risk by citing data which shows that gun injuries increase in homes where there are more guns; it’s another thing to convince individual gun owners that such a finding might apply to any of them. Want to counsel a patient about whether his guns represent medical risk? You’ll have to figure out how to do it using language which isn’t perceived as a threat.”

      In this post David is using language a gun owner won’t perceive as a threat. Unless someone has had some ‘good training’ about firearms they have been trained by TV and movies. I am skeptical David is encouraging people to daydream here. Talking about the aftermath of an unlikely event like above is way different than causing people to think someone wants to take their firearms away by making them feel they are being lectured to or getting them to dream about becoming a famous hero on TV.

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      • The key here, I believe, is to be prepared. If you’re going to carry, you HAVE to be ready to use. If you have to use, you’d better be ready for the aftermath. State laws differ, but you might have a prosecutor who wants to fry you for self-defense. You may have a very litigious family of the perp and they want a civil trial for $$$$$ and get the most anti-gun lawyer they can find. What have you said online? What images have you posted? How have you reacted to others’ input? ALL OF THIS WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU. Got a ‘gun happy’ bumper sticker? It may label you ‘fringe’. It ALL matters. If you don’t imagine the consequences of your actions, the outlandish ammo you use, your opinions online, t-shirts, bumper stickers, signs outside your home, you sure won’t be ready for what could be the worst hand you could get dealt.
        Sorry to hijack your reply, Bruce, but this just seemed like a logical spot.
        David – You are absolutely correct in your plan. Law enforcement says about the same thing. Our Sheriff just had ‘Civilian Response to an Active Shooter’ training yesterday – Run, Hide, Fight. Of course, this was for the average civilian – NOT the armed civilian who prefers to defend himself (hopefully find cover, return fire).
        Mike – I think you jumped off the deep end here. This is just like running scenarios in your mind… What would you do if….. That’s all David is doing, but for the final showdown in the courtroom.

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  3. If you look around at some ballistic gel testing on RIP ammo, it’s actually pretty lousy in terminal performance compared to more conventional JHP ammo. It’s also very expensive, and the media controversy and their stupid marketing about the round is just icing on the cake for why I wouldn’t bother with it.

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  4. It never hurts to use similar ammo to what the police are currently using. Bonus points for cycling it out of service annually to ensure reliability. Regarding the company and name, this looks like yet another in a long line of gimmick products intended to appeal to a specific audience enough to generate some high margin sales. A bit of a “smash and grab” approach. No doubt the company will reform and come up with something else in a couple of years.

    Regarding liability or risk due to ammo choice, I have yet to see where this played a *major* role in prosecution or liability. In all cases, including those reported by M. Ayoob, there were serious problems with the justification of the shooting itself, and ammunition was spoken of as supporting evidence. This tells me people that choose to defend themselves with deadly force should spend more time and energy on understanding laws and case precedence around use of deadly force, and then make sure their mindset is aligned accordingly. Ammunition choice is not irrelevant, but is far down the list of important things to keep in mind. one is better off thinking more about situational awareness, conflict de-escaltion, evasion, and when it is legal and not legal to use deadly force.

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    • Very much agree with you. I spend most of my thinking and blogging on those key issues, but I am writing about guns and gear for my book right now so these other things starting to catch my eye. Thanks for the feedback.

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      • Sure, I can see where that would be something you would want to cover. Since this is a forum, and you appear to be seeking topics, in my opinion, there are a number worthy of exploration. Some would include in no particular order:
        1. The rise, fall, and rise of 9mm in police and self defense.
        2. The rise and decline of .40 S&W.
        3. The sharp increase in the number of subcompact pistols and revolvers along with the rise of “shall issue” permits.
        4. The rise of the AR-15 as a “recommended” home defense gun.
        5. The sharp increase in the AR-15 in popularity and various driving factors.
        6. The importance and choices in other related gear such as holsters, laser aiming devices, and flashlights.
        7. How and why different architypes of gun owners favor different types of gear for self defense in different situations.
        8. The impact of training on gear selection and willingness to commit consumer dollars on it.

        I hope this is helpful, and wish you all the best on your book. Your articles are interesting, and I’m very happy to see serious academic attention on these topics.

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