Legality of HOLLOW POINT ammo & bullets


#1

Taking cue from Ray’s thread about legality of API bullets, I would like yo know if in your country/state there are some restrictions on owning and using these bullets.
Do you need a special lincense to own/use them?

In Italy cartridges with HP bullets are allowed for target shooting or hunting. No special licnese is required to use them for those purposes, and loose HP bullets can be bought withoput any gun license.

In other words here you can’t use HP bullets for self defense


#2

Pivi,
In the UK all expanding ammunition, including hollow point bullets, falls under Section 5 (prohibited weapons) of the Firearms Act 1968 and so is illegal to possess without a license. This is also the case with armour piercing & incendiary bullets.
A license will however be granted to enable the shooting of deer and some other animals which MUST be shot with hollow point bullets. A license can also be granted to allow the collecting of such bullets.


#3

There is an interesting paragraph in the Home Office guidance on firearms licensing law from November 2013.

[i]v) Display Boards and decorative purposes

2.52 In the absence of a court ruling, inert cartridges and ammunition mounted on display
boards are not regarded as being subject to the Acts. Similarly, inert bullets mounted on
key rings or cuff links are assumed to be exempt.
[/i]

This does not specify anything about bullet type, and it sounds as if an inert cartridge with a hollow point bullet was mounted on a board or keychain, it would be UK legal.

I also heard that the authorities were considering moving hollow point bullets back into the same category as FMJ ammunition. This was intended to reduce the workload required for granting exemptions. However, this has not happened yet.


#4

The only hollow point law in the U.S. is in New Jersey, and basically only restricts people from carrying it in a carry-weapon, or otherwise having it on them for no perceived reason. The law allows for the purchase & sale of such ammo, but suggests that one can only possess it at the place of purchase, and from there - to transport directly to their home, or a shooting range, or on a hunt. Rifle vs pistol calibers or shotgun loads are not defined and thus applies to all. This law is basically never enforced and is virtually unenforceable. The law exists as a result of hyper anti-gun political fervor which desired to somehow find a way to further prosecute criminals using such evil things as Winchester Black Talons which garnered the unfair moniker of “cop killer” for a short time in the early 1990’s. The law is only ever applied when a criminal is apprehended with a weapon, and the weapon is found to contain hollow points. At that point however, the criminal is already in plenty of trouble anyway and could probably care less about the hollow point law.

A link about the law is here, from the NJ state police: http://www.njsp.org/about/fire_hollow.html

Interestingly, there are a number of cartridges that one could carry that offer the performance of a hollow point, but which would not violate the New Jersey law. They are all disproportionately popular in NJ for obvious reasons. They are (or were): Federal EFMJ, Federal Guard Dog, Cor Bon Pow 'r Ball, Hornady Leverrevolution, RBCD Performance Plus, Glaser Safety Slug, some Extreme Shock types, and a wide range of frangible loads. Although mostly unheard of in the U.S., the Lapua CEPP would do as well.


#5

What makes most gun and ammo laws even more ridiculous and childish as most are is that when the violater is a real criminal charged with other “crimes” as well, not some hapless collector caught with his fingers in the candy box, so to speak, by having a coupld of proscribed rounds in his collection, the first thing usually plea-bargained away are the firearms-related charges. “And justice for all?” Baloney!


#6

It may not be well known outside the United States, but in 1990 the Chief of the Judge Advocate General’s Law Branch issued a memorandum that concluded that the use of open tip bullets by snipers did not violate any treaty obligations of the U.S. The conclusion was endorsed by all branches of service and, in effect, authorized the use of the M852 Match cartridge for combat use. The basis for the ruling was that match bullets were not true hollow points because they were not designed to expand on impact. The “open tip” was simply the result of the manufacturing process.

It’s interesting that no such distinction is made when the hollow point bullets are used by law enforcement or any civilian authorities outside the military. I’ve never seen where a similar ruling was ever asked for or given.

The 7.62MM M118 LR (Long Range) is the current U.S. tactical (sniper) cartridge. It is loaded with the Sierra 175 grain MatchKing bullet that the military now calls an open tip. Sierra, however, continues to call the bullet a hollow point.

So, what can be concluded by all of this? I have no idea. Maybe it means that if you call a turd a rose, it officially becomes a rose.

Ray


#7

In Germany, hollow point handgun ammunition (or having slits in the jacket) had been banned since the 1972 gun law, if I remember correctly. (Before that year, gun laws were on a state basis, not federal.) The limit was 25 mm case length.
The 2003 gun law, while expanding the bureaucracy associated with legal gun ownership to an unprecedented level, surprisingly lifted the ban on hollow point handgun ammunition.


#8

The NJ law is strangely enforced with regards to visiting LEO’s. A close friend that is a retired NYS Trooper that was the head of the VFW (Violent Felony Warrant) unit often was in NJ to pick up or had tracked down a bad guy in NJ and the NJ state police or local police that they were coordinating with, would remind them they couldn’t carry HP ammo in their state. He is now with the US Marshall’s and is often assigned Federal Judge protection and when in NJ they are not allowed to carry HP ammo.


#9

That’s so bizarre, aside from being a safer projectile type to use in a crowded city or residential situations, it is obviously more effective at doing the intended job. Ironically there are a few bullets which skirt the NJ law that would be more devastating to a soft target.


#10

That would make an entertaining YouTube video - a Jersey City cop trying to arrest a Federal Marshal, protecting a Federal judge, while carrying HP ammunition.

Ray


#11

As a matter of interest, does that NJ law cover bullets which have a plastic plug in the nose, like the German Action-type 9mms?

I also seem to recall that some hollow-points have had a thin metal nose cover so they look like FMJs.


#12

[quote=“Falcon”]There is an interesting paragraph in the Home Office guidance on firearms licensing law from November 2013.

[i]v) Display Boards and decorative purposes

2.52 In the absence of a court ruling, inert cartridges and ammunition mounted on display
boards are not regarded as being subject to the Acts. Similarly, inert bullets mounted on
key rings or cuff links are assumed to be exempt.
[/i]

This does not specify anything about bullet type, and it sounds as if an inert cartridge with a hollow point bullet was mounted on a board or keychain, it would be UK legal.

/quote]

Hi Falcon,

this surprises me because I had a series of dummies for Peter (Enfield56 on the forum) and he told me that
even the possession of dummies with a lead tip were not allowed in the UK. Or is the above only valid if the
dummy is attached to some thing else. (eg Board or key ring)

cheers
René


#13

[quote=“TonyWilliams”]As a matter of interest, does that NJ law cover bullets which have a plastic plug in the nose, like the German Action-type 9mms?
I also seem to recall that some hollow-points have had a thin metal nose cover so they look like FMJs.[/quote]

I believe the law refers to what state the bullet is in when it impacts the target, so if the nosecone is a fly-away nose cone, then it would be a hollow point. If it is designed to expand open, and has an open hole in the nose of the bullet, then it is a hollow point according to the law. The only gray-area I can think of is the Hornady Critical Defense, since it has a rubber plug in the nose meant for uniform expansion, but the bullet is a hollow point under that even though the plug is there when it impacts. This is one step away from the Cor Bon Pow’R ball with it’s solid plastic nose, which also causes the bullet to expand, but is closer in nature to the Federal EFMJ. One would assume that having hollow points with the tip stuffed with putty or something would not disqualify a person from being subject to the law, but the law doesn’t get into such specifics, so it would have to be hashed out in court as to the owner’s intent.

I’m fairly certain that although the police are being ridiculous with things like warning U.S. Marshals about carrying hollow points, that the law goes virtually unenforced unless a criminal is apprehended with a gun containing such bullets. Maybe if an officer noticed that you were carrying a concealed weapon and wanted to check your permit status he could also check the loaded ammo type, but otherwise I have no idea how they would know. I would think that if this law were being pressed hard against the average person, that the gun blogs would be lit up with stories of Gestapo-tactics, etc… as they always catch on to things like the man in Wash D.C. who is being pressed with charges of illegal ammo possession in D.C. for a few spent casings and a black powder shell of some sort.


#14

In Norway, hollow point cartridges/projectiles for rifles are not regulated in any way. You are legally required to use expanding ammunition (HP, SP, JHP, JSP or other) when hunting big game.
Hollow point projectiles cartridges/projectiles for (centerfire) handguns are only allowed for competition and training use.

Edited:
It should be noted that to buy any kind of bullets or loaded ammunition in Norway you need either a våpenkort - “weapon card”, a small laminated card stating your name and address as well as model, calibre and serial no. of the weapon - or a cartridge collector’s license.