The M855 is a cop killer! ZOMG! Bodies are all over the place!

Apparently there is not a single recorded case of a LEO killed by a round of M855. However I wanted to check what kills cops and specifically what rounds defeat body armor. I found the answers on table 41 of the FBI’s 2013 LEOKA (Law Enforcement Officers Killed And Assaulted.) It does not specify the type of body armor but from 20104 to 2013, 18 officers have died by rounds that defeated their body armor. One was a 9 mm (yeah, I wanna see the details on that one) and a grand total of 3 officers were killed with .223/5.56 ammunition. The rest? 30 calibers in different flavors: from 30-30 to 7.62×39. During the same time period, 3 officers were feloniously killed by knives  and 28 were feloniously killed by vehicles (Table 27).

But racket must be made even if it achieves nothing regarding the safety of the officers….because they care!

Green-Tip-M855

10 Replies to “The M855 is a cop killer! ZOMG! Bodies are all over the place!”

  1. There was in interview with Doc Wesson about body armor, and he noted that the hardest bullet to certify IIA vests for was 115 grain 9×19 ball given that it is relatively pointy and moving pretty quick that it crosses into that cutting/piercing dynamic from the general blunt-force trauma.

    Remember you can shove a knife or shoot a broad head arrow though IIA armor. Not because they’re more powerful than a pistol bullet, but because they CUT through the vest, rather than smash through it like a .44 Mag 240 grain Flat-point will do.




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  2. The cop killed with a 9mm that went through his vest. Don’t know the details but have a theory:

    Bullet proof vests require that the force of the bullet impact is spread out in ALL directions. A shot too close to the edge of the vest will penetrate as the force does not spread out evenly. Vests are not certified within two inches of the edge of the vest. So a shot that hit near the edge of the vest might very well go through and kill.




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  3. So more than 9 times as many officers were killed by vehicles than .223 (28 vs 3). Five times as many were killed with other calibers than .223 (15 vs 3).

    Yet .223 green tip – when they did not specify green tip caused even one death – is the problem?




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    1. The 7.62×39 feature intrigues me. My guess is that gang-bangers are more likely to buy $300 Romanian AK knock-offs than $1200 AR-15’s. You never hear rappers “sing” about their AR’s, do you?




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  4. Weerd Beard is right. I recall hearing , when police use of body armor was first becoming widespread, hearing that 9mm ball, being jacketed, somewhat pointed, and fast, would sometimes punch through police vests. I’d say; It may not be certain, but it’s the way to bet.




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  5. Some 9mm ball ammo, specifically hot-loaded +P, will penetrate IIIA body armor, yes. Is it a big deal? No.

    I also recall a cop who got killed when a perp fired a .22 from a NAA or similar “mini-revolver” into the “gap” around his arm. The cop put 5 rounds of .357 into the perp, radioed for help, then died. The perp lived.

    Bullets do weird things sometimes. No vest is 100% proof. No round is 100% proof. The vest is like a seatbelt; I’ve had my life saved by one, but people still die wearing seatbelts anyway.

    Oh, and I’ve got a stash of 855, and had one long before this latest ban was proffered.

    You runs your risks, you takes your chances. There is no solution, only tradeoffs, and those that think they see solutions are either delusional, or chemists. Or both. 😛




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