Gun enthusiasts are a particular breed. Some are anti-government Second Amendment nuts, clinging to their full-metal security blankets for comfort in a terrifying world. Others are target-shooters, or collectors, or people who just have an affinity for weapons as machines of purpose. That last at least, is pretty understandable — these people usually fall more under the auspices of automotive gearheads than 2A nutjobs. And, as one of these, I’ll go on record as saying that the new R.I.P. round from G2 Research is by far the coolest thing I’ve seen all week.
As you’ll see in the video below, the R.I.P. round is a very particular type of solid copper hollow point. Why copper? Because lead is too soft to maintain its structural integrity after impact, flattening out or folding over before spreading out to do exactly what the R.I.P. round was designed to do. That being:
Split into a cone of nine piercing needles on impact, sending them far throughout the body of the target.
And the fun doesn’t end there, because, being copper, the center core of the bullet still carries enough energy and structural integrity to punch right through a cinderblock, sheet of plywood or windshield. In fact, solid copper rounds are the round of choice for punching through windshields. Let’s see the R.I.P. round in action.
It was for this very reason that another, similar weapon was outlawed by the Hauge Convention (Hague IV 1907, Article 23E) years ago. A “flechette” is a sharp, metal dart or spike — generally, it will have a set of stabilizing fins on the back, much like the darts at your local pub. Flechettes have seen use in tanks as anti-personnel weapons, and in specialized shotgun shells for a century or more.
Death by Flechette takes a long time. Unlike a traditional round, which does most of its damage by transferring kinetic energy in an expanding “bubble” inside the target, flechette needles simply puncture lungs, hearts and vital organs, then pass through the other side. The flechette-like needles that the R.I.P. round produces won’t even offer its victims that cold mercy, though. Because they’re copper.
Copper is much lighter than lead, and hollow points are lighter still because they lack so much material in the center. Copper rounds shoot very flat and accurately for the range they offer, but deliver less kinetic energy when they hit. And the 9 mm round — which is what the first R.I.P. is — is already short on knockdown power. When the round impacts, it expends much of the energy it does have tearing itself apart, which means that those little needles will likely lodge inside the victim rather than pass through. You can see very clearly in the video’s ballistics gel tests that the needles stop a couple of inches below the surface — not near far enough to come out the other side.
Make no mistake, the R.I.P. round is no self-defense weapon. A good self-defense round either delivers massive kinetic energy to stop the target in his tracks or knock him down, or it blows a massive hole in him. The reason that most American police standardized on the .45 and .357 rather than the 9 mm is because a 9 mm round is already short on knockdown power. A 9 mm hollow point is better, because it spreads and makes a bigger hole. But even then, it relies on its mass to deliver that all-important knockdown blow.
So, the R.I.P. is a crappy self-defense round, at best. Encountering one hopped up on adrenaline or drugs, it wouldn’t stop a charging 10-year-old. So, what is this round good FOR then?
Investigating a murder, the first thing police forensics teams look for is the number of wounds. A single stab wound, gunshot wound, or hit with a baseball bat, might indicate anything, including self-defense. However, when forensics teams find a victim with 48 stab wounds, 30 whacks with an ax or a full clip emptied into them — well, that’s definitely a sign that the killer hated the victim, and probably knew them. In cases of multiple wounds, police usually start by looking at the people closest to the victim. Because multiple wounding almost always indicates a crime of hate.
And that, friends, is what the G2 Research’s R.I.P. round truly represents: 96 grains of pure, unadulterated hate. A desire to inflict suffering. Period.
You might be asking yourself how I know why G2 had to make this bullet out of copper, and what would happen to a lead bullet manufactured the same way. Since you ask: Back in my younger and more psychotic days, I used to carry guns with – call it “personalized” – Winchester Black Talon ammo. The real Black Talon ammo, before Winchester stopped making them, following the 101 California Street shooting.
I used to spend my free time modifying Black Talons with a Dremel, cutting through the thick copper jackets in six longitudinal grooves. I never got them to split right on impact; the round was just too soft, and the geometry was wrong. In fact, if I’m honest, my VERY first thought on seeing the R.I.P. was that somebody stole my bullets.
Point is, I speak from experience when I say I know why this round exists, and why people would buy one. It’s for the same reason I cut my own Talons: Because if somebody makes me shoot them, they probably deserved to suffer. For something. I know now that that’s the rationale of a hateful sociopath, and I regret ever thinking it.
Now, I wonder how long it will be before another hateful sociopath finds someone they judge deserving of suffering…and whether or not they’ll regret it at all.