Is “R.I.P.” Ammunition Creating Trouble in Chicago?

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.



  1. I’d be interested in looking closer at those cases. From the point of the bullets being loaded into the magazine to the shooting, to the post mortem. And I definitely want to see what, “little paper clips,” look like on the x-ray, and hear how many of these wounds can be positively attributed to that projectile.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Years back David, the Glaser Safety Slug and the Magsafe rounds were fairly popular and advocated by some mainstream trainers, like Mas Ayoob. Those were also high cost per round…

        I’d imagine most shootings involving boutique ammunition aren’t, “intentional,” meaning the gun and ammo combination was the result of a burglary, robbery or theft, and that’s what happened to be loaded in the gun. I don’t think that there are many professional hoodlums buying it, or seeking it out. But that’s purely speculative on my part.

        On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 7:55 AM, Gun Culture 2.0 wrote:

        > David Yamane commented: “I would be shocked if it was (m)any. It is not > common or cheap ammunition. Are there other fragmenting bullets out there? > I don’t know but they would also seem uncommon.” >

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What kind of ammo is our average Low-Life using, anyway? Is anyone studying this and compiling data? FMJ is cheap and I doubt many of the criminal element are connoisseurs of fine ammo. But what do I know.

    Liked by 1 person

      • As I am sure David can attest, there is very little information out there on these topical issues or areas of interests, aside from that provided by people who are, “professional hobbyists,” like Greg Ellifritz:

        This is a, “slice,” or quasi-representative example of what one would find in an Ohio suburb. If I did the same in the property room in the rural county in which I patrol, I think the results would be similar.

        On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 11:41 AM, Gun Culture 2.0 wrote:

        > khal spencer commented: “That said, it worries me that these sorts of > advertisements might energize those who are not the firearms community’s > friends.” >

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I can already hear the thundering heard of the left in Chicago heading to the keyboards and microphones calling for this to be banned. I use Hornady Critical Defense and it will fragment as well. However it would be another case of looking at cosmetics rather than facts.

    I did a search and got back this page of images. Looks like all they did was cut down to the mouth of the case.

    Molon Labe!
    Keep your powder dry and your faith in God.

    Liked by 1 person

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