A couple years back I asked, Is using “R.I.P.” Defensive Ammunition Looking for Trouble? I wondered about the advisability of using “R.I.P.” ammo for personal defense given how it might look to a prosecutor or jury in the event of a self-defense shooting, especially in comparison to more innocuous sounding (and LEO-agency adopted) “HST” or “Gold Dot.”
I received as much feedback about the “Radically Invasive Projectile” technology as I did about its advisability. Imagine my surprise, then, when reading a story about the role of trauma medicine in reducing the homicide rate in Chicago to find a reference to “R.I.P.” ammo.
The story largely concerned the importance of individuals getting appropriate medical care soon after being shot. An anonymous official from the Chicago Fire Department went so far as to say, “Everyone knows it’s the fire department that saves lives in Chicago, not the police.”
But in addition to time, the story continues, “the men and women trying to save Chicago’s shooting victims are racing another enemy: the growing lethality of modern weaponry.”
Dr. Ponni Arunkumar is Cook County’s chief medical examiner:
Arunkumar also cites the destructive nature of so-called R.I.P bullets (for “radically invasive projectile”), a type of hollow-point round designed to fragment inside a person’s body, in order to cause maximum trauma. Their manufacturer markets them as “the last bullet you’ll ever need.”
When shooting victims in Chicago started turning up with these wounds, “we didn’t know what we were dealing with,” said Arunkumar. “We had to look it up. Then we looked up the casing and the kind of projectiles and how they produce injury.” What they found was frightening. “Once it impacts the soft tissue, it fragments and goes in different directions. One surgeon described it to me as like little paper clips.”
I had always heard that criminals in inner-cities actually suffer from a shortage of ammunition. So it is interesting to learn that a bullet I have only ever seen one person own, and have never heard a gun trainer recommend, has actually made it to the streets of Chicago.