Military vs. Police Handguns
I'm writing a book, and am afraid my total ignorance about guns might be showing. I need a ballistics test to show that a gun was millitary-issue (are there handguns that ONLY military folk have access to?)and not the local, small-town policeman. What kind of handgun would the policeman have? How about military issue only?
I appreciate you at least guiding me in the right direction. Right now, I'm at square one.
Who are you?
With whom are you affiliated?
What's the name of your 'book'? What's it about? Who's your publisher? Is this your first? Fiction or non- ? Short story or novel?
Sumpin' aint jivin' here....
(p/s- yer penmenship needs some work....cuz if yer a writer? just sayin.... )
Originally Posted by clanger
Interesting questions (by Writer) not the interrogation ones [by clanger - take it easy man ].
I am looking forward for answers, very interesting to read and learn...
Seemed like a weird request etc..... I won't elaborate.
-zippin' it here....
Military vs. LEO handguns
As a former Marine I was issued a 1911 as a personal sidearm and it was not exotic in any way. As a Narcotics Investigator I carried a variety of weapons purchased at my expense as the department issue at the time was a heavy barrel S&W Model 10 .38 spl. I carried a Browning Hi-Power and later a Colt Combat Commander which I had hard chromed. Nothing was exotic or out of the ordinary with either of these weapons.
We were issued Remington 870 shotguns with extended mag tubes. We had access to Tactical Weapons when the situation demanded and they consisted of an HK G3 and a couple of H&K MP5's with collapsable stocks. We had a Chief of Detectives who was very close with Federal Law Enforcement and was able to obtain some interesting things for a small (relative) department.
To address the "ballistics test request" most military ammo is Geneva Convention full metal jacketed rounds and frangible ammo is not issued in conflict areas. Police however carry high performance rounds regularly and include Glaser Safety Slugs as well as KTW armor peircing that we would get our hands on. Never validated the claims of KTW myself.
Do some basic research and interview current and former police officers and military personnel and if done openly and in a forthright manner, you might get the information you are looking for. Understand that these forums are sometimes "haunted" by people with hidden agendas to "mall ninjas". I does make some wary as to the motivation of questions like yours. No harm intended.
I'm not sure there's much of a difference between the civilian, military and law-enforcement handguns themselves....
Now sure....as scratch said, military will issue FMJ ammo, whereas most LE's and civilians "in-the-know" are going to be carrying hollowpoints for personal defense. It might be relevant to note hollowpoints are not used because of increased lethality but quite the opposite. Hollowpoints are used in an effort to avoid inadvertant ricochets, avoid overpenetration (curbing the chances of slow death by blood loss), and deliver as much energy from the bullet to the target for the single purpose of stopping a threat. There are plenty of online articles out there which can provide much more than I can, but this should point you in the right direction.
Now civilian rifles, shotguns, and special ammo for both of these on the market are MUCH MUCH more controlled than LE and military for obvious reasons...full-auto assault rifles and armor-piercing rounds are perfect examples. I personally have no problem with the government controlling either of these things.
About the book
My apologies. The original message did come out pretty garbled.
As far as the book: This is my first. I'm just now toying around with plot points, and I'm trying to figure out what clues might work. It's romantic suspense, so I don't need to be TOO technical. But still, my clues have to hold water! Here's the basic story:
The setting is a small town in South Georgia. The heroine's sister has disappeared, it looks like foul play, and she fears her brother-in-law (sheriff or chief-of-police) is responsible. So she goes to a private investigator, and as they search for clues, they learn that the sister has a lover (in some branch of the military... I don't know yet). At one point, my protagonists are shot at, and their car is hit. They go back to Atlanta to get ballistics tests on the car, and it turns out the gun would only be available to someone in military service... it would never be used by a small town cop. (This is when they begin to wonder if maybe the sheriff is being framed, since he wouldn't have this kind of gun.) Eventually, the clues (and I'm not sure what they all will be, but I think a hacked iPhone with GPS will figure in to it) will mount up and point to the sister and her lover, framing the brother-in-law, and trying to kill our heroine (inheritance money involved, here).
Does this make y'all more comfortable answering my questions? Maybe it clarifies a bit what I'm after.
What you've said so far looks very promising, and half-foreign! Clearly, I'm going to have to take some time here to learn gun-speak. Off to do research!
Thank you. And if you have any more specifics, please let me know.
Hi Writer, that is a very nice plot for a movie...Very clever and smart..i kind of guessed half of your story when I read your question, but I really like the twist at the end where the sister is still alive and she is in the plot to kill her sister for inheritance..Very very climatic..Best of Luck with the book..
Hey I got and idea..Have you watched Iron man..try to make the weapon like those rifles made by the gun company owned by Iron man..
Hey another idea just struck me...Make the trigger an electronic trigger, instead of mechanical trigger, make the gun with a touch pad where upon a touch of a finger it sends an electronic signal and fire the gun...well here another idea to add accuracy and minimize all mechanical activities before the shot is fired to add accuracy..There is no firing pin, instead, upon touching the touch pad trigger a magnetic field with high penetrating energy is activated in the chamber and this would cause the gun powder to explode in the cartridge and fire the bullet...Oh yes, here is the twist for the evidence, make the cartridge without a primer..Since the firing pin in the gun is replaced by this magnetic field, there is no need for a primer...After whoever fires these shots, he picks up couple of empty cartridges in a hurry and forget one on site..During investigation, this weird looking cartridge is picked up, with no primer or rimfire, but it is obvious that it has been shot because of the gunpowder residues on it, and that starts the QUESTIOn, what weapon fires this cartridge..
A visit to a friend who is a computer wizzard would hack some militay computer system and discovers that the military is experimenting with a secret weapon of that sort...and you know you can take it from there...BOy I am good..I watch too many movies..
How about that...
You could have the sheriff carry a 9mm Beretta,H&K,Browning,etc. or anything with standard rifling in the bore but have the bad guys shoot the car with a Glock which has a polygonal bore which would leave no rifling cuts on a bullet which they would find embedded somewhere in the car?
Or have the sheriff carry the Glock? But usually the bad guys carry the Glocks!
Do a google search on polygonal rifling and it will be the first wickapdia thinga-me-bobber!
Sure there's weapons that military use. The ammo might be the difference tho being many of the weapons issued can be bought by civilians. So I would imagine that contacting a military base or possibly asking people that are or have been in the military what ammo they used. Many are made just for them and have NATO head stamps. Usually just sets of numbers. Many are easily spotted by reloaders because many military rounds have a crimped primer
pocket (A ring around the primer on the head of the round around the primer).
I believe that these are made by prominent ammo makers but will not use their commercial head stamps (some or all the time). Military ammo many times (at least in Europe) will many times be loaded a little hotter. It's supposed to help with cycling the weapon in more adverse conditions.
So you might want info on head stamps on 223/5/56, 30-06, and 308, 7.62x54.
Also 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, pistol rounds. There's the it's all over the world 7.62x39 (AK round). Older Russian 7.62x25 round for pistols.
Of course all this depends on the time frame as to what armies were using and where.
Hey Devils johnson,we're trying to write a book here. don't complicate things!
It would be to easy if they found a spent case that said military property. LOL!!!
Sounds like you've got your work cut out to make it so it's not too much like a CSI-Miami plot. Try not to have 5 second DNA tests, hehe.
The short simple answer is: No there is no ballistics test that would identify a discharged bullet as coming from a specifically; Military Issue, Law Enforement, Private Citizen, Street Gangsta used firearm.
Ballistics tests as such CAN identify the make and model the round was discharged from. For example: left or right twist in the rifling (if any as some black powder guns don't have any rifling), number and shape of the lans and grooves that make up the rifling and caliber. If the round is found, many of these can be identified and/or deduced. They can also be as specific (if the firearm is also in custody at some point) as to identify/match THE firearm that discharged a specific round found to be the subject of investigation.
More than that will need more from you.
I saw an episode of The First 48 where LEs were able to match a handgun to a shooting by looking at the imprints left on the flat end of a spent casing from the handgun's breech face. I figured I'd mention it since this doesn't necessarily involve a ballistics test and the bullet itself was never found.
There's some discussion of that very subject in an article I read in the Feb 2009 issue of "Shooting Times". The article was written by Allan Jones.
Also... even if it were a military "style/grade" weapon, it wouldn't be in the hands of a former or current military member, state-side. Military weapons are pretty closely tracked, issued, and locked up when not being used for military purpose.
MAYBE a National Gaurdsman would have access to a military weapon and ammo.
Also... Military grade ammo, specifically 9mm, has crimped primer pockets, that make it distinguishable (and not reloadable... )
South Georgia setting
Sounds like Valdosta with Moody Air Force base. Got a local swamp of gargantuan proportion there as well, the Okefenokee. Grand Banks was a WWII era transition strip at the ede of the Okefenokee and was a favorite destination of aircraft importing illegal narcotics. You also have a large college there for the left wing professor that you'll surely need. That juristiction was within the Regional Drug Task force I was attached to in the late '70's. Remember that you are writing a work of fiction. Learn what you can about the weapons class you are intending to use and create a fictional round that meets your criteria.
You could use something like a penetrator round or frangible round on impact with a mercury fulminate detonator. I don't know, you're the writer. You are not going to get any ballistics info from impact damage to a car. You might recover the spent slugs though. And if not too deformed by impact with the steel, examine them. Most spent rounds we recovered from vehicles hit so much metal and interior objects that they were pretty badly deformed.
Good luck with the project.
Last edited by Scratchshooter40; 03-07-2009 at 09:21 AM.
Reason: sp./additional info.
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