posted on Sep, 1 2008 @ 06:47 PM
I thought I would address the urban myth of teflon coated bullets. In the 1960s Dr. Paul Kopsch (an Ohio coroner), Daniel Turcos (a police sergeant)
and Donald Ward (Dr. Kopsch's special investigator), began experimenting with special purpose handgun ammunition. Their objective was to develop a
law enforcement round capable of improved penetration against hard targets, such as windshield glass and automobile doors. Conventional bullets, made
primarily from lead, often become deformed and ineffective after striking hard targets, especially when fired at handgun velocities.
After some experimentation with steel rounds, the officers settled on a brass core with a 'lubricating' jacket of Teflon. Although a myth persists
that the Teflon is there to either penetrate "bullet-proof" vests more effectively, or protect the bore of the firearm that fires it, Dr. Kopsch
himself has testified that the Teflon actually reduces these bullets' penetration in Kevlar, and is only there to reduce the likelihood of ricochets.
(Kopsch, Turcus, & Ward struck upon the idea of the Teflon coating after finding out that the manufacturers of canes impregnate the plastic tips of
their canes with a Teflon compound; under pressure, the Teflon actually helps the bullet to "stick" momentarily, and it is this characteristic that
reduces the chances of a ricochet off of the glass or metal surfaces of an automobile). The inventors named the round the 'KTW Bullet,' after their
In 1982, the NBC TV network ran a special on the bullets and argued that the bullets were a threat to police. Gun control organizations in the US
labelled Teflon-coated bullets "cop killers", as 'KTW'-derived bullets were often capable of penetrating the Kevlar bullet-resistant vests worn by
American police. Due to a popular misconception, possibly caused by the fact that a "Teflon bullet" sounds more remarkable than a "brass bullet,"
many people believed that the Teflon coating was responsible for the increased penetration, despite it being only a jacket for the brass penetrator.
No law enforcement personnel have yet been killed by this type of armor piercing round when wearing appropriate body armor, making the nickname “cop
killer” somewhat misleading. In fact, some members of law enforcement community argue that the publicity surrounding the use of body armor by police
has encouraged criminals to aim at the head and other body parts unprotected by the armor. The controversy surrounding Teflon-coating can be seen as
an episode of moral panic, and yet another source of contention between gun-control and gun-rights activists. These bullets were outlawed for civilian
sale that same year through legislation by Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Popular culture has picked up on the exaggerated accounts surrounding KTW ammunition, and references to "teflon coated" or "cop killer" bullets
are numerous. In Lethal Weapon 3, Mel Gibson's character uses "cop killer" bullets from a submachine gun to shoot through the thick blade of a
bulldozer, while in Ronin, Robert de Niro's character is wounded when a bullet "sprayed...with teflon" penetrates his body armor. In the videogame
Syphon Filter 3 the K3G4 submachine gun fires "teflon covered bullets" to penetrate flack jackets according to the in-game data. Enemies using these
weapons hurt the player significantly more than normal enemies.
Basically urban myth will only a grain of truth.