60 Minutes “Research” Discovers Bullets Can Cause Damage?!?


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60 Minutes “Research” Discovers Bullets Can Cause Damage?!?

Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- Last Sunday, the “news” program 60 Minutes ran a story it called “What makes the AR-15 style rifle the weapon of choice for mass shooters?

The producer of the piece, Ashley Velie, claimed the intent was to present a story that was “completely apolitical.”  From the very outset, however, starting with the inflammatory and inaccurate title, it was clear the real intent was to vilify the most popular centerfire rifle in America.

It is simply untrue to claim that the AR-15 is the “weapon of choice for mass shooters.”  While Scott Pelley, who presents the story, opened by rattling off a number of horrific crimes that involved perpetrators using AR-15 style rifles, he conveniently ignored the many that do not.  In fact, even the virulently anti-gun Washington Post has admitted that banning AR-15s would not stop mass shootings, stating, “Most mass shooters use handguns, not (so-called) assault rifles.”

So, if this “apolitical” piece couldn’t even get the title right, what else was wrong?


Apparently, 60 Minutes’ goal was to make it seem as if the ammunition people use in an AR-15 is the real problem, as Pelley attempted to offer a lesson in ballistics.  Again, though, the report was conspicuously selective.

For comparison, the program chose to show the different ballistic performances of a .223 round fired from an AR-15 and a 9mm round from a handgun.  As most familiar with firearms know, rifles typically use ammunition far more powerful than that used in handguns.  Yet the AR-15 isn’t even considered powerful by rifle standards; many common long guns fire rounds that deliver far greater terminal performance.

So why compare these two?  According to producer Velie, 9mm handguns are the guns “that kill more people than the AR-15.”

Is that true?

Assuming it is, it’s likely because handguns of all types are far more frequently used in homicides and suicides than ALL rifles combined, not just AR-15s.  Rifles are used in a very small percentage of violent crimes committed using firearms, and AR-15s are an even smaller percentage of all rifles. And the 9mm round is certainly a popular handgun caliber.

But another problem with the ballistic comparison made for the show was the 9mm ammunition used did not appear to be what most people would use for self-defense.  The show seemed to select ammunition with a full metal jacket, rather than a hollow point round.  Why is this important?

For the show’s purpose, a 9mm round with a full metal jacket does not create as much visible damage in the ballistic test conducted.  As shown in the broadcast, the 9mm round zips right through the block of ballistic gelatin.  The .223 round, on the other hand, fragments and tumbles, causing much more visible damage to the gelatin.  This was clearly by design, as the show’s obvious purpose was to make the .223 round and the AR-15 from which it was fired seem more “dangerous.”

Had the show used hollow point ammunition in the 9mm, or ammunition designed specifically for better performance as a self-defense round, the difference in the ballistic test would have been far less dramatic.  Had the show used a handgun capable of firing a larger caliber round, like the ever-popular .45 ACP, the results would have likely created even less visible a difference.

But 60 Minutes wanted to show a stark contrast, and the producers got what they wanted.

Nevertheless, the show’s use of a full metal jacket round in the 9mm actually highlighted one potential problem with using such ammunition for self-defense: over-penetration.  As exhibited in the test, the 9mm round chosen zipped completely through the block of ballistic gelatin.  If you are using your firearm for personal protection and are in a situation where you must use it to stop a violent criminal assault, using a round designed for personal protection, rather than the full metal jacket round used by 60 Minutes, will better ensure the round you fire does not pass through the violent criminal and strike an unintended target.

Another aspect of the test 60 Minutes failed to mention is the fact that, when a law-abiding citizen uses a firearm for self-defense, the actual goal is stop the attack.  If the only way to stop an attacker is to actually shoot him, you want to be able to do so with as few rounds as possible.  The best way to accomplish this is to use a round that will cause as much incapacitation as possible.

In other words, you want your round to perform more like the .223 round 60 Minutes tested, and less like the 9mm round.

While that may sound harsh, that is the reality of using firearms for personal protection.  A firearm can only be lawfully used in self-defense when a person’s life or physical safety is imminently threatened. It doesn’t make sense to choose one for that purpose based on what is perceived to be “the least dangerous.”

And the reality is that, in the hands of law-abiding citizens, firearms are an effective means to stop violent criminals.

And that is really the problem with the 60 Minutes piece.  It spends a great deal of time talking about the horrors of mass shootings and the trials of emergency room physicians treating rifle wounds but little time discussing why law-abiding gun owners might find the AR-15 the right choice for protecting themselves and their families.

Scott Pelley concedes that, while there are “well over 11 million” AR-15s in America (an arguably lowball figure), “they are rarely used in crime.”

Nevertheless, this “apolitical” story can’t seem to grasp the fact that good guys need tools that will give them the best fighting chance against bad guys, who have absolutely no scruples about going into any confrontation “over-armed.”

Because firearms and ammunition actually are apolitical. But the advocacy of 60 minutes is not.

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

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Don Bailey

If you were to take a survey of law enforcement officers and medical examiners, most all would agree that firearms and bullets can kill just about anything or anyone, with the exception of criminals. There are too many stories where a perp was shot three times in the chest or other potentially fatal wounds, and yet survived, –to go and do his time and then get out of the criminal justice to continue his life’s work as a professional criminal.


I have had first hand knowledge re: the subjects of just two of their programs, many, many years ago. They were both FILLED with lies. Since then I have never watched the show. Any story these clowns report is probably just another lie.

George Steele

A worthwhile read is Bernard Goldberg’s book BIAS; it exposes the left-wing bias of CBS dating back to the terror regime of Dan Rather before his faceplant and public disgrace. The problem is not so much that the reporters and everyone else intends to produce slanted reporting; it’s that they don’t recognize that the reporting they do is slanted. They exist in a left-wing progressive silo, where the mantras of the left echo all around them. They just think it’s normal – even centrist. Would they ever consult, for example, the NRA on such a report? HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Charles Valenzuela

60 minutes of lies. For me, as far back as 1983, I realized that virtually every thing that they “exposed” on the show was just a pack of biased lies. How did I figure that out? Because I was frequently heavily involved and had detailed knowledge regarding some of their “expose” slander, and slander was exactly what the show was. What a coincidence, I said to myself. Every time they talk about stuff that I am already familiar with, it turns out to be nothing but blatant lies. . . . . . . Like walking down the road and… Read more »


“Every time they talk about stuff that I am already familiar with, it turns out to be nothing but blatant lies . . .” I have no inside experience with the news media, but I noticed this back when I was still in school – EVERY TIME the news media covered a story or topic I had personal knowledge of, they got it wrong. EVERY BLEEPING TIME! And not just on TV, but in the newspapers as well. Sure, they’ll generally get sports scores and yesterday’s temperature reports right, but if there’s a controversial story with a left vs. right… Read more »

Pete Alves




Bruce Barber

If I am defending my life or the life of people I love from a violent criminal, who cares nothing about anyone else’s life, I want to be able to access a rifle, not a handgun, if it’s available. I will be able to more quickly stop violent murderous behavior with a rifle, than with a pistol. This program certainly helps educate the criminal that if they really want to be “bad”…….then they should shoot people with a rifle, not a handgun.


Only if you ignore the fact that that is just not true. I’ll take my .357 magnum with silver tip hollow point precut rounds. Massive stopping power, easier to aim, quicker to the hand and massive tissue damage. n addition, it has the added advantage of not traveling as far after exiting the criminal so less unintended damage.

ken filene

i have not read all responses, but what stood out to me was the fact that they chose to use a 4″ barrel gun instead of a 16″ 9mm carbine, to compare apples to apples. even using a 9mm round-ball in silver springs, tx. shooting the estimated 450 rounds, you would be able to kill everyone two times over instead of 5 times over—what is the difference?


Folks just do not grasp why or what the media’s agenda is. Enemy of the people!!!!!!!!


Jocelyn Elders started this as Surgeon General for the first Black President, Bill Clinton, when she called for “safer bullets”. Maybe we should all carry Simunitions.

Charles Moore

Primer-driven mini marshmallows. Totally non-lethal, but they would still sting out to 20 of 25 feet. Puffs of cotton will leave a welt!

Roy D.

Fake news does this sort of thing because they have an agenda. NBC did it with the fake car fires “reporting.” It shouldn’t surprise anyone..


Gun ownership MUST REQUIRE SAFETY RESPONSIBILITY ie trigger locks, secure locked area from All Others access not supervised by gun owner. Required gun safety training by certified teacher of weapons and gun laws. Driving is a freedom also with safety training, rules and laws


Driving is a “privilege”, and not a right. Privileges require permission. Rights do not. If you learn the difference, you’ll be on the correct track. Otherwise, you’ll stay out in the weeds all confused. Good Luck with that.

Get Out

Sissy, will you be paying for us to attend a proper shooting school and annual firearms training to keep us “REQUIRE SAFETY RESPONSIBILITY” proficient as you suggest? We’ll need about 4 grand to attend a shooting school in Arizona for semi-auto pistol and revolvers and 2 grand for airfare, room and meals (My choice). We’ll require another $1500.00 for a good quality safe too. I’ll skip the driving lessons, but thanks for the offer.
BTW if you won’t pay for the training, who will?
P.S. Trigger locks shouldn’t be used on loaded firearms, so we’ll pass on those too.

Charles Moore

That’s because cars are a lot more dangerous to more people at a time and kill (NOT! They are more often used irresponsibly and result in far more deaths than guns.) They have never killed, just like guns have not, but are the mechanism employed far more often than guns are misused. It is human behavior, rather than the object that is misused that is responsible. Driving can be RIGHTLY regulated and controlled because it is a privilege; not a right. People need to be competent in what they do and good people take the effort to do so. You… Read more »


#1 BETTER ACCESS to mental health care#2 ENFORCED REASONABLE background checks// and restrictions on threatening individuals#3 ENFORCEMENT OF SAFETY FINES for gun owners unsecured guns


Sissy, I don’t understand “Better Access to Mental Health Care? ” Explain what you mean. While I agree mental health is an issue – in many regards – what are you suggesting re: “Better?” Second, if you are truly interested in the subject of “firearms” I encourage you to do a little research on firearm laws. You may even find that a background check is done each time a firearm is purchased, and the background check is done by the FBI. The exception to this, and it really isn’t an exception, is that an individual who has previously undergone a… Read more »


Graystone, your words are very informative. You were very constructive right up to the end. Why do we have to put a destructive comment at the end? Prof Paul Markel said “we are a beginner once, a student fore life“. We all need to learn and be a blessing to teach. People learn much better when thought without ridicule. Thank you for your earlier words, they were indeed well put.


If your goal is to REDUCE DEATHS, you should be looking into medical malpractice or tyrannical governments.


Sissy it sounds like you been doing too much dope and long time with legs in the air! Getit together with facts and breathe some fresh air!


When are you going to feign outrage over alchohol and all of the deaths it causes. You know, you dont have to undergo any training or certification or background check to buy or consume it. Also, grown-ups who buy it routinely leave it unsecured in their homes and their children DO steal it and drink it, all without training or a background check. Anyone of age can DRIVE to just about any store in America and buy that stuff and get right back in their car. Nobody says a damn thing about that. Why not? Dead is dead. I believe… Read more »


I have said that for years


OK, I’ll buy #1 as being correct (and being correctly at the top of the list). But #2 is a real dilemma… who defines the term “reasonable”? No way is it acceptable for you (or any other hoplophobic leftist) to define the term. #3 is absolutely useless… because requiring guns to be “secured,” as you use the term, makes the gun itself absolutely useless in the real world. Responsible gun-owning citizens already DO keep their firearms secure, in a manner that does not render those firearms useless. #1 will indeed result in reduced firearms-related deaths. #2 and #3 will NOT… Read more »

Dennis Coates

Just shows how F’n stupid you demoRats are. We really need a violent civil war to take these communist piece of poop out


Dennis Coates: Idiotic replies like yours belong in the same looney bin as Sissy’s.

Ron koestlinger

Wow bullets can cause damage? What are they going to report next that water can make you wet?


That was “GREAT”


From Lucky Gunner’s research: handgun calibers OF ALL SIZES can’t create cavity expansion that surpase tissue tolerance. Fragmentation is the key component for any self defense handgun round, especially compared to higher velocity rifle rounds which create cavitation. Over-penetration is an issue in both handguns and higher velocity rounds, but nearly all owners know that, and plan accordingly for home defense. We need to be 100% on our science so the libtards don’t go crazy over inaccurate reporting. The real point is that CCW and other RESPONSIBLE owners SAVE lives. How many die in cars or from pharma negligence compared… Read more »

Charles Moore

With virtually ALL bullets, especially expanding types, higher velocity results in LESS penetration. A 150gr. soft-point from a .30-06 will not penetrate a deer in a broadside shot from 0 yards out to about 85 yards or so. Past 100 yards, they will pass through every time.


Next they will “discover” that smoking cigarettes can give you lung cancer.


And bladder cancer too !

Rick Erdman

Hmmmmm……maybe they will “discover” that fire burns.

Charles Moore

. . . And cows belch and fart.