ATF FOIA Response: 7N6 5.45×39 Classification

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Close your eyes and allow me to take you back to a time when ammunition was cheap and plentiful. Crates of Comm Bloc surplus ammo could be had for the price of a night at the movies. Where ammo shelves were stocked to the brim, and retailers were handing out ‘buy one, get one’ coupons. Remember those days? No, neither do I .

As reported in early 2014 by our own Nathan S., the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE or ATF) officially banned the importation of 7N6 – a version of the 5.45x39mm ammunition most commonly used in AK-74 patterned rifles. Apparently, the ATF received a request from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for a scientific determination on whether 7N6 should be classified as ‘Armor Piercing Ammunition’.

From the ATF notification in March of 2014:

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ATF on 7N6 Ammo Ban

BACKGROUND

Before we get into the latest news on the importation ban, I decided to go to our own resident expert for background information on the 7N6. Thankfully Nathaniel F. was fresh off his latest installment of ‘Intermediate Calibers’ – the 5.45x39mm round. He writes:

Development of the 7N6 began in the late 1950s, when Soviet agents observed test firings of the then new Armalite AR-15 rifle and its .223 Remington caliber. Soviet engineers quickly copied this ammunition design for initial tests as part of an effort to create a new, more economical and lower recoiling infantry rifle round. After an extensive period of ballistic redesign, the program resulted in the late 1960s in a round which was very similar in both size and performance to the American 5.56mm round, as the now-standardized .223 caliber became called.

In both purpose and effectiveness, 5.45x39mm 7N6 round can be considered the direct equivalent of the old US military M193 loading of the 5.56mm infantry rifle caliber and also of commercial 55gr FMJ loadings of the .223 Remington rifle caliber. The 7N6 differs from those two rounds in that it follows the Soviet practice established in the 1950s of using a steel core insert inside of a lead sheath, instead of a plain lead core. This design has the purpose of conserving lead for economic reasons, a critical concern during warfare. However, this style of core is made of very soft (and therefore inexpensive) mild steel and has been demonstrated in multiple different calibers to add no substantial armor piercing effect to a round versus lead-only cored steel-jacketed ammunition of otherwise similar design.

In contrast to the 7N22 true armor piercing 5.45x39mm round, the 7N6 possesses none of the special qualities that purpose-designed armor piercing projectiles exhibit. Its core is flat-tipped and very soft, and it is clad in a substantial layer of soft lead, including a very thick cap on the core’s tip. Like virtually all Russian rounds, the jacket is (like the core) made of soft mild steel, a type which is shared between the 7N6 and importable lead-cored 5.45x39mm ammunition which is not considered “armor piercing”. In a technical sense, the 7N6 can in no way be considered to be an “armor piercing” round when compared to other standard ball rifle rounds in its class. – N.F.

THE LAW

In addition, when reading the section of the United States Code that covers the definition of “armor piercing ammunition, the 7N6 doesn’t appear to meet either of the two listed the criteria. From 18 U.S.C 921 (a) (B) (i & ii):

(A)The term “ammunition” means ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellent powder designed for use in any firearm.

(B)The term “armor piercing ammunition” means—

(i)a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or

(ii)a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.

As you can see, section (B)(i) states the round must be able to be used in a handgun and which has core constructed entirely of a “combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium“. More on this topic later in the story.

In section (B)(ii), the criteria includes ‘designed and intended for use in a handgun‘. And as we know from Nathaniel’s detailed write-up, the 7N6 does not meet this criteria. Besides, 5.45mm is .214 caliber, smaller than the required .22 caliber as listed in subsection (ii).

Now, on with the show…

Fast forward two years, when a curious AR15.com member who filed a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) with the ATF on the specifics surrounding the 7N6 classification as being ‘armor piercing’, received an official response:

7N6

  1. 7N6

If you remember, the ATF stated that the orginal request for a determination came from CBP, however the FOIA response did not reveal any documentation confirming these statements. The FOIA also included the ATF ‘Report of Technical Examination’ of the 7N6 ammunition:

7N6

7N6

7N6

7N6

ANALYSIS

Of note in the lab report is that, although the bullet contains a section of ferrous metal (as determined by its magnetic properties), it also contains lead. Meaning that the bullet’s core is not ‘composed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium’. Every definition I could find relating to a bullet’s ‘core’ defines it as ‘the material encased inside the bullet jacket’.

The 7N6’s core contains lead, is smaller than .22 caliber and is not designed and intended to be used in a handgun. As such, by the legal definition explained in both sections of the 921 United States Code, it is difficult to see how the 7N6 was ever classified as ‘Armor Piercing Ammunition’. Is there a process to get these determinations overturned?

And, in a strange coincidence in timing, just yesterday a federal judge in the 9th circuit upheld a decision in favor of the ATF in a lawsuit by an importer of 7N6, stating the ammunition was in fact “armor piercing”:

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge in Seattle has upheld a decision by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to ban ammunition originally designed for AK-47** assault rifles.

The decision Wednesday by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour came in a lawsuit brought by Redmond-based P.W. Arms Inc., which obtained permits to import more than 100 million rounds of the Russian- and Eastern European-made ammunition known as 7N6.

When the first shipments arrived in early 2014, the ATF deemed them “armor-piercing” and barred their importation for civilian resale.

The company said the agency misinterpreted the definition of armor-piercing bullets under federal law. But the judge disagreed, saying they contain a steel core and can be fired from a handgun.

Coughenour noted that P.W. Arms never disputed the bullets can pierce body armor, and he called the company’s arguments disingenuous.

** (AK-47/AK-74. What’s an entirely different caliber among friends, right?)

CONCLUSIONS

Apparently, P.W. Arms made the same legal arguments we are reiterating here, only to have the federal judge ask for evidence not required in the criminal code. If I had to guess, P.W. Arms didn’t bother to test if 7N6 could actually pierce armor – because that has nothing to do with the legal definition of armor piercing ammunition.

the future?

Outside of the legal definitions, can 7N6 actually pierce armor? Stay tuned for further practical analysis from Nathaniel F. This is going to be good. 



Pete

LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Pete.M@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • iksnilol

    What kind of armor is the question we should be asking here. I mean, any rifle can penetrate soft body armour.

    • LG

      That is just the judges rationale. The “law” defines armor piercing by bullet composition, not by performance. The ammunition in question NEVER violated the law as written. But if the law isn’t enough to remove one’s rights then the courts will not be bothered and just make up rulings to support the federalist government.

      • supergun

        Suppose they rubber coated the bullets. Do you think the judge would change his mind?

    • Retriever222

      Only if they have the velocity. Slow moving rounds like 300BO and 9×39 can’t penetrate level 3A without a steel composition or having a very light grain weight. Also I am assuming you are not talking about ball PDW cartridges and 22lr.

      • iksnilol

        True, but their energy levels (of the subsonic loads) are at handgun territory.

    • Ken

      People in the US are surprised that “bulletproof” vests can’t stop rounds that they weren’t rated to stop.

    • gunsandrockets

      Any firearm firing any ammunition can penetrate armor. Depending of course on exactly what the armor is!

      Which is the kind of trap gun-control advocates have been using since the 1980’s to try to ban as many different kinds of ammunition as possible. As the anti-gunners prey upon the general ignorance of the public and news media when it comes to firearms.

      The current armor piercing bullet law is a kluge left over from the original “cop killer bullet” hysterics of the mid 1980’s. At least the law provides some measure of objective guidelines for determining what is or isn’t banned.

      But leave it to the willful ignorance or willful malice of our courts to twist that law into knots anyway. Clearly by the written text of the law, the multi-component core of 5.45mm 7N6 ammunition does not qualify as armor piercing.

      The same incorrect reasoning being used by the ATF and courts to classify 7N6 as armor piercing could also be used to classify M855a1 and M80a1 bullets as armor piercing!

      • Sunshine_Shooter

        Considering that the ATF tried to classify M855 as armor-piercing, I’ll be surprised if they don’t try the same thing with the new M855a1.

        • Steve_7

          M855A1 is AP ammo, it has a copper core. M855 was declared to have a “sporting purpose” back in 1986, ATF tried to reverse that. M855A1 has never been declared to have a sporting purpose, ergo it’s banned.

          • Err, not it’s not. I don’t think the ATF has said anything about it.

            Copper cores do NOT qualify a round as AP, you’re mistaking “beryllium copper” for “beryllium, copper”.

  • Andrew Miller

    I imagine the “test armor” will be “chain mail” in this case.

    • gunsandrockets

      butted, aluminium, mail!

    • El Duderino

      Or maybe…

      • Andrew Miller

        Oh, I’m sure that’d stop colorful language.
        Bad breath.
        A Feather Duster, maybe…

  • LG

    There is no more 2nd. Amendment or Constitution. All that exists is fiat by judges and politicians. It is all a game wrapped up in “what is the meaning of “is””.

    • KestrelBike

      The United States would not have existed another ten years if the Constitution hadn’t replaced the AoC.

    • parabellum

      Or as the husband of its cofounder might say, “It depends on what the meaning of ISIS”.

      • John Yossarian

        Nice – Took me a while to unravel, but it was worth it!

    • grunion

      Believe as you will but please do not come to my home and attempt to remove my Second Amendment. That much excitement is unhealthy.

  • KestrelBike

    Stupid side-story time: One of my first few 3-gun matches (~2012? Way before the 7N6 ban) I wanted to shoot my AK-74 in a match for fun, but my local club had forbidden the usual-suspect Russian ammo (brown bear, wolf, tula, etc) because they didn’t want their steel targets chewed up as there were quite a few holes in them from steel-core ammo, but I now think that people were shooting them with 62gr green tips or something.

    Anyways, I had purposefully gotten some Golden Tiger 5.45 ammo because the seller I bought it from said that it was non-magnetic, lead-core [as I later found out- it’s not]. I show up to the match and show them my awesome ammo, promise them it won’t ruin their steel targets, and the RO just asks me to shoot the plate a couple times to double-check it doesn’t damage it.

    They had just spray-painted the targets, so I took two shots & rung the steel from ~25yds and there was absolutely no-divot in the steel, so I had fun shooting the rifle at the match. I then realized weeks later while comparing the golden tiger (GT) to some 7N6, that they were both indeed magnetic projectiles and that GT indeed always had steel cores (I believe the only pure-lead-core 5.45 is made by Hornady). But it always confused me remembering shooting the steel plates back at that match and there had really been zero damage, just the flaking off of the spray-paint.

    So, this article and the description of the very soft-steel being as damaging as regular lead-cores clears up quite a lot for me, and I’m real glad to have read it, so thanks! Oh, and nice s*** shenanigans, ATF. You goosestep with the best of ’em. The biggest shocker is a Seattle judge going along with their BS…. I wonder all the time why I comply with the NFA, when nobody in the administration seems to do the same… then I remember that if I get busted, no one’s coming to help and the cards are all stacked one-way.

    • LG

      How does the judge surprise you? He is a functionary of a federalist society. He is “out of business” if common sense and the rights of man are truly upheld. He is fed, sheltered, and put on a pedestal only as a puppet to control the masses. He becomes meaningless unless he does the bidding of the federalist government.

      • John L.

        I read that part as sarcasm, myself…

        • Tom Currie

          Yawn, it was the 9th Circuit. Which holds the record as the Most Reversed of all the US Circuit Courts. And in all probability, the only Circuit with a panel of sitting judges too liberal for Empress Hillary to consider for the Supremes

    • Ken

      They’re not steel core, they’re bimetal jacketed, which means mild steel jacket with a copper plating. The core is lead, but the jacket attracts the magnet. As far as I know, all jacketed ammo imported from Russia is bimetal jacket.

      Bimetal jackets at high velocity do seem to chew up steel targets a bit at close range, but are far less destructive than steel core. A lot of ranges are either ignorant about bimetal jackets, or don’t want any steel core to slip through, so they ban magnetic projectiles entirely.

      • raz-0

        Ranges/matches ban bimetal jackets for two reasons.

        1) They fail the magnet test, and there’s no way to distinguish between them and steel core ammo, so they get banned from use to protect any steel owned by the club, or indoor back stops.

        2) Even if steel isn’t an issue, bi-metal jackets can spark, and be a fire hazard because of that outside due to striking steel or a rock in the berm. Indoors it can be a fire hazard because of unburnt powder residue building up.

        • Wolf Angel

          Unburnt powder? Near the shooter I’d worry more about that big muzzle flash if unburnt existed. Down range, how would it reasonably get there. And what mechanism if any to get enough to be a problem.

          • raz-0

            You wind up with small amounts of unburned powder when you shoot sometimes. The ventilation pushes all the particulates away from the shooter and down range, because that is what it is designed to do. Stuff like acoustic tiling really grabs on to the particulates.

            How big a risk it actually is? No idea. It just comes up when you are dealing with range construction. Some places make a big issue of it, some don’t.

  • Van The Handcannon Man

    (b) (6)

  • PXN

    P.W. Arms should have just spent the few hundred dollars for some level IV armor for the testing, being able to sell 100 million rounds seems the better deal than this court bs game. They would definitely get sold quick stateside

  • Wolfgar

    It depends on what is—–is. What a crock, we are such a banana republic these days.

  • Scott P

    What did you expect??

    Not only that, our government wants to buy up all the surplus 5.45 without any competition from the commercial market to arm the Ukrainians since they were selling it to us depleting their stocks. Government doesn’t ban stuff for only one reason, this ban accomplishes many things for many players.

    This ban also helps the domestic gun industry, less competition from imports. Look at how much the 5.45 market died after the surplus died even with commercial ammo still available.

    Then of course the most obvious one, gun control to keep the people from being well-armed on the cheap.

  • Sulaco

    Jeez it’s the People’s Republic of Seattle what did you expect truth?

  • gunsandrockets

    So at least according the evidence produced by the FOIA, there is no information on where the original request came from for testing the 7N6. For all we know it could have been Obama or the LCAV.

    The timing of the request is certainly highly suspicious. Coming as it did in the aftermath of the failure of the Obama anti-gun legislative package of 2013.

  • Michael silva

    Well itll punch through 2 front f350 brake rotors lined up. So you make the call if itll go through armor. And 54r is next

    • Anonymoose

      Can’t be fired in a handgun. For that matter, no company makes 5.45 or 7.62x54R “handguns” afaik. Some company in Poland was trying to import an AKS-74U-style pistol like 10 years ago, and the ATF used that as “evidence” that 5.45 was “meant for use in a pistol.” A few guys made “pistols” out of PSL parts kits though, but no company anywhere makes them, and we fought off the SS109 ban.

      • Sunshine_Shooter

        I could have sworn there were 5.45 pistols out there, but I can’t find any.

        • Retriever222

          There are, but none that were imported, just built privately stateside.

        • Anonymoose

          Nope. Arsenal makes a factory 5.45 SBR, though. All of their “pistols,” as well as the Zastavas, Centurys, DDIs, etc, are either in 7.62×39 or 5.56.

      • Chris22lr

        No company in Poland makes a 5.45x39mm cal. Kalashnikov derived rifle (short or long barrel) since… 1995.

        Fabryka Broni “Lucznik” Radom only made two select-fire prototypes of Beryl M545 rifle in standard and shortened (Mini-Beryl) length. These weapons, along with other FBR products intended for military and civilian (Archer rifle) markets where shown on 2012 SHOT Show. However, since Beryl M545 couldn’t attract any customer, this project was shelved and company focused on M762 variant in 7.62x39mm cal. (this one was sold to Nigeria).

        FBR never applied to ATF for an approval to export this (M545) rifle to the US because it wasn’t made with a civilian market in mind. In fact, at the time, FBR was co-operating with IO Inc. and sold their rifles through them under “Archer” brand. Archer rifle was approved by ATF for import, and (according to FBR sources) so was Mini-Archer SBR which never hit US shores. The process was done via IO Inc since FBR had no legal representation in US. If they would try to import a 5.45×39 rifle it would be rather named Archer M545 and not “Onyks 89S” – this name refers to a short-lived variant of Tantal rifle which, while similiar, is technically different from Beryl M545. It is also worth noting that FBR doesn’t have legal rights to Tantal/Onyks designs and names (FBR predecessor, ZM “Lucznik” Radom had, but it was sold as a part of ZM bankrupcy process).

        There is only one company in Poland making civilian 5.45x39mm cal. Kalashnikov type SBR. This company is Works 11 from Cracow – a private company which bought several assets from former ZM “Lucznik” (including rights to “oval 11” sign). Works 11 rebuilds old stocks of Tantal and Onyks rifles into civilian legal variants. These are sold in Poland and various European countries including Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland. However Works 11 doesn’t export anything to US. Other Polish AK manufacturers are Pioneer Arms from Radom (also an IO Inc co-operator but they don’t make anything in 5.45×39) and WBP from Rogow (just like Works 11 they remake Tantals into a civilian legal Victor rifles for Polish market, but their exports to US are all new 7.62×39 AKM style rifles).

        TL;DR: there was never any “Model Onyks 89S” rifle made in Poland, nor was it ever “commercially available” anywhere.

  • nova3930

    another example of atf abusing their authority and mangling the law

  • Lance

    Keep saying this Judges: is the reason to vote for Trump!!!!!

    • Amplified Heat

      Does Trump even know what the NFA, GCA, LEOPA, or FOPA are? Reasonable expectations, people.

      • Tom Currie

        You don’t need to like Trump. You are welcome to hold your nose while you vote, but the bottom line this year is simple. ANYTHING that isn’t a vote for Trump, IS a vote for Hillary (and that includes staying home).

        • Brian Nunes

          Unless you vote for Johnson, in which case, a vote for Johnson is a vote for Johnson AND the ability to break up the two party system that is poisoning us. We need to take our options more seriously here…

          • Evan

            A vote for Johnson is the only responsible vote in this election. Trump is every bit as bad as Hillary – and actually worse on some issues.

          • Tom Currie

            Either you are joking or you are insane. A vote for ANY so-called Third Party so-called “candidate” IS a vote for Hillary.

            Absolutely we need to take our options seriously — and there are ONLY TWO options that matter.Just
            because someone craves attention and can get a few petitions together
            to get on the ballot does not make them a serious candidate

          • Evan

            By the same token, I’ve been told that a vote for Johnson is a vote for Trump. It isn’t. Neither Trump nor Hillary is anywhere near fit to be president, and neither of them deserves my vote – or anyone’s for that matter. This is an opportunity to break the two party system, both major parties have nominated horrific candidates who are unpopular with large majorities of the population. Is my vote for Johnson likely to make a difference? Probably not. Hillary will win regardless, as, though she’s no better acquainted with the truth than Trump is, she hasn’t alienated her own party, and she doesn’t say insane things that make people worried what she’d do with access to the nuclear football.

            As I and many others said in the primaries: a vote for Trump was a vote for Hillary. Now that the Trumpkins beat the Republicans, Gary Johnson is the only acceptable alternative (unless former CIA officer and attempted third party candidate Evan McMullin gets on the ballot, which he probably won’t, and if he wanted to be at all relevant should have launched his bid months ago)

          • TexTopCat

            Do you Johnson fans not know that he is as anti-gun as Clinton?

          • Evan

            I do know his record on guns is far better than Trump’s. Trump has been anti-gun his entire public life…until he started “running for president” at the behest of Bill Clinton.

          • n0truscotsman

            “Supports gun ownership rights. (Aug 2012)”
            “Laws regarding guns are ineffective. (May 2011)”

            http://www.ontheissues.org/Gary_Johnson.htm#Gun_Control

            Thats an extraordinary statement to make, considering hillary supported:

            A national gun registry, reversing gun manufacturers immunity, assault weapons bans, magazine limits, separate storage laws, and other measures.

            Where’s the evidence Johnson even supported *one* of these things?

          • TexTopCat

            I think you want to discuss different levels of evil and unacceptability. Neither are even close to being acceptable.

          • n0truscotsman

            Yeah thats a summation of my opinions on the two.

          • nicholsda

            No but HilLIARy is one press conference away from a complete physical breakdown. Do you want that in a President? Why isn’t the leftist media talking about her like they did with McCain? Oh that’s right. They aren’t objective when it comes to looking at one of their own. And it is a known fact that HilLIARy is a person with a temper as bad or worse than Trump.

          • Evan

            Hillary Clinton is awful. I completely agree. However, you have to look at this objectively. Trump is every bit as horrid. The nonsense that comes out of his mouth is no more true than Hillary’s. He’s a danger to the First Amendment in a way that even Hillary isn’t, he never uses words like “liberty” or “Constitution”, he just talks about what government will do. That’s not someone who should be president. And Hillary may be a notorious nasty old harpy who nobody wants to be around, but Trump is likely mentally unstable – not someone who you want near nuclear launch codes. Neither of them should be anywhere near the White House, neither of them deserves my vote, and neither will get it.

            Just because Trump has an R after his name (this year) doesn’t make him acceptable. I am a registered Republican and have only not voted for the Republican candidate in one election, a New York City election where the barely extant NYC Republican party put Bloomberg on its ticket because they had nobody. Politics is more important than “they’re on my team, so I’m voting for them”. Generally, yes, a Republican will be more acceptable to me than a Democrat – I’m even going to vote to reelect Pat Toomey (R, PA) of Manchin/Toomey infamy. Because, as much as I dislike Toomey, he’s better than the alternative. While I don’t like or trust Toomey on guns, I mostly agree with him on most issues. Trump, on the other hand, I don’t mostly agree with. He’s pro-abortion. He’s anti-gun (don’t delude yourself on that one). He’s outright hostile to free speech. He’s pro-gay. His economic policies are insane. His foreign policy is essentially “do whatever Vlad Putin says”, with a bit of unhinged wild card thrown in. Basically, I’m opposed to him on every issue. That I am opposed to Hillary on every issue as well is not a reason to vote for him just because, this year, he has joined the same party that I am a member of. Look at the man, not the letter after his name.

          • nicholsda

            Like many elections, it is the lessor of two evils. HilLIARy would be in prison right now if it wasn’t for ( as was said today, no indictments within 90 days of an election as an unwritten rule in the DOJ ) if our justice system wasn’t broken. Trump can be controlled by CONgress if the Rs keep control. HilLIARy can’t be controlled no matter who is in CONgress. I don’t care for Trump but he sure is better than who the Dems put up. And in 4 years we could get rid of Trump. If she gets in you can bet it would be for 8 years or till she has another stroke/seizure that incapacitates her.

          • Evan

            So, if the election was between Hitler and Stalin, who would you vote for?

            Trump is not a lesser evil than Hillary by any metric. He is every bit as bad on policy, no more trustworthy, and as an added bonus, he stigmatizes the Republican party and conservatism in general. He’s a petty authoritarian and a fool to boot. Trump and his message need to be rejected outright every bit as much as Hillary and hers.

          • n0truscotsman

            A Trump presidency is a huge loss to me, and a Clinton presidency is also a huge loss.

            Why would I jump through the mental gymnastics to justify wasting my vote for either idiot that I dont want to see in office?

          • Tom Currie

            I you are even reading this forum and you don’t know the answer to that question, I simply pity you.

          • n0truscotsman

            So tell me, what do I have to gain by voting for Trump? What assurances do I have that my 2A rights will be protected?

            (especially from a candidate who is Bffs with the clintons and previously publicly supported the democrat candidate’s husband’s 1994 AWB)

          • Tom Currie

            The choice is between a small short-term risk and a guaranteed loss of your 2A rights for at least the next 20-30 years. Trump may not defend all your rights — no viable candidate will — but he can be counted on to make SCOTUS appointments that are conservative to moderate whereas anyone with an IQ above room temperature KNOWS that Hillary’s appointments will be extreme liberals. So the question is who do you want interpreting the constitution for the next 20-30 years – the people Trump is likely to appoint or the people you know Hillary will appoint.

            It really doesn’t matter who gets to rent out the Lincoln Bedroom for the next four years, but it DOES MATTER who gets to decide our rights for the next two or three decades.

          • n0truscotsman

            trump isn’t a small short-term risk to me. His policies regarding other political hot potatoes besides 2A rights are abysmal, and his recent change of heart regarding guns isn’t convincing enough for me.

            Clinton is at least predictable regarding her stance on gun rights, regardless of her recent emphasis on supporting the 2A (which she doesn’t mention as supporting it according to her own personal interpretation). And her stance is abysmal.

            The 2016 election is a terrible one for gun rights supporters.

          • Tom Currie

            Either you are joking or you are insane. A vote for ANY so-called Third Party so-called “candidate” IS a vote for Hillary.

            Absolutely we need to take our options seriously — and there are ONLY TWO options that matter.

            Just because someone craves attention and can get a few petitions together to get on the ballot does not make them a serious candidate.

        • iksnilol

          Or, y’know, vote for a third party.

          I really find it tragic how bitterly people cling to the two party system.

          • Sgt. Stedenko

            The two party bitter clingers are the definition of sheeple.
            Red team and blue team are two sides of the same coin specifically designed to keep the populace divided.

          • Durverger’s Law, actually, not people “bitterly clinging to the two party system”.

            The two party system is the *result*, not the *cause*, of our system. When you have a single vote, single ballot, single office, first past the post electoral system, it *invariably* shakes out into a two party system, because the *only* way a part can achieve victory is through an absolute plurality, so only those parties that have a reasonable shot at a plurality are truly *viable*, other than spoilers who split the votes that would tend to break for one of the two parties.

            “Third” parties are only viable when they cease to *be* third parties, because one of the two major parties disintegrates. Such as when the Whigs disintegrated, and the Republicans formed out of their remains… but it was the Democrats splitting up their constituencies with multiple “third party” variants that allowed Lincoln to win.

            Complaining about this phenomenon as “the result of steeple” is precisely as rational as complaining g that people don’t want to use your nicely laid out sidewalks, and keep cutting across the grass, because you didnt put the sidewalks where people are going to walk.

            Not politics – *basic* political science.

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    Well the 9th Circuit hasnt exactly proved themselves to be even slightly reasonable in recent events. But thats California for you.

    • 9th Circuit is the most heavily overturned court in the federal system.

  • BillC

    The anti lberty ATF and 9th Circus.

  • Glenn Bellamy

    Why is there even ANY discussion of whether it can penetrate armor? That has NOTHING to do with whether it is classified–legally–as “armor piercing.” The only relevant question is whether the core is made “entirely” of one of the listed metals (i.e., steel). ATF reads it as meaning a core “not made entirely of lead, copper or brass.” And now the court is letting them get away with it.

    • Incorrect. Here’s the language:

      “combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium“

      You are making the mistake many people (including a few bureaucrats) have made, which is misreading “beryllium copper” as “beryllium, copper”. Pure copper is just fine as a core without qualifying as AP.

  • B. Young

    I did learn from this well documented article that “ammunition” is defined as:

    “”(A)The term “ammunition” means ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellent powder designed for use in any firearm.””

    Meaning any component of a cartridge is considered “ammunition” so in the future if ammunition is regulated-like limit 500 rounds ammo (Hillary), if you think stashing that case of primers or bullets or brass isn’t ammo your way over the limit

  • Amplified Heat

    You know, it appears the range of manufactured projectile diameters for 7n6 just barely scrapes over the .22″ threshold, and the rifle bore size (the size used for determining NFA DD status) is entirely under that. Seems like these projectiles would be outside the scope of the regs’ applicability once fired from ANY firearm, assuming they didn’t measure at .218″ diameter or something to start with.

  • James

    As always the atf makes up whatever rules they want to play by. Where exactly is a “sporting” purpose mentioned in the 2nd amendment? They constantly violate the ultimate law of the land and should be dissolved but sadly that’s not gonna happen. How is there any possibility of justice when the atf can seemingly pass and enforce laws whenever they want with NO oversight or accountability?

  • 22winmag

    7N6 is a mediocre penetrator that was relegated to cheap export status long ago. It’s decent blasting ammo but nothing to write home about.

    • John Yossarian

      7N6 was the cheapest centerfire rifle ammunition available until the ban. Coincidence? But you don’t do the loading justice to refer to 7N6 as blaster ammo, since I’ve found it to be a good deal more accurate than other military surplus.

  • Giolli Joker

    Seeing the first photo I was worried we had to deal with Glocky’s and McColt’s droppings…

  • datimes

    The left obtains their goals through instrumentalism. This is just another small example of the war on guns.

  • Sermon 7.62

    7N6 is not being made in Russia, it has been replaced by 7N6M in the 1980’s. The core in 7N6M is made of Grade 65 steel, that is much harder than Grade 10 steel of 7N6. Also, there is 7N10 round, and that is a standard round, too. It has a Grade 70 heat treated steel core.

    • Kevin Gross

      You hit the nail on the head! People don’t understand HARDENED STEEL.
      Time line for 5,45:
      1987, Thermal HARDENING of steel cores for the 7N6
      1992 new core designs called 7N10 and 7N22, all hardened
      2002 Tungsten core 7N24
      2016 Tungsten core 7N39, Nicked Named the “Needle”

  • Jim Jones

    And this is why talking about firearms unfortunately ALWAYS ends up involving politics. I don’t trust the republicans with our rights, but at least I know they want my vote. That means that there is some leverage there. The Democrats have taken quite a turn this year. If you think this kind of ruling didn’t come down from the top with a specific purpose, you haven’t been around the block enough times.

  • Armory

    He’s referring to the Federalist party, not the strict definition. The Federalists were the first American political party, in opposition to the Republicans led by Thomas Jefferson. The Federalists wanted more power at the federal level, though I’m sure they’d be aghast at the monstrosity their policies created generations later.

  • AR-PRO

    A Seattle judge,go figure..

  • Guido FL

    This is all political and has nothing to do with any other reason. Obama and his minions will do anything to restrict the firearm sport. This is what happens when liberal judges are allowed to make laws based on personal views .

  • Eric B

    I would agree we need a definition of what “armor” is by the federal government even though as we all know that opens Pandora box. That definition will be used against us because I’m not aware of any soft armor that will stop rifle ammunition of any kind. I have however shot 7n6 at steel and know it won’t penetrate.

    • nicholsda

      Level 4 should be what it is tested against. What, people don’t like Level 4 Armor because it is heavy? Too bad. Level 3 won’t stop a .30-06 M2AP round while Level 4 will.

  • Gregory Peter Dupont

    I’m restating the obvious,but as the OP/writer already indicated;the judge apparently doesn’t know/didn’t bother to do due diligence in learning the differences between the AK 47 and AK 74 family of weapons…not surprised,but still a (possible) point to reopen the case?

  • Hickory Stonewall

    the same ATFeeeee’s run guns

  • Reginald Pettifogger

    In the land ruled by the Queen of Hearts, it is what she says it is.

  • Hurri Cane

    Some of this also hinges on what your definition of a “handgun” is. An AK or AR chopped as short as it can be and still fire is hardly a one handed weapon.

    • nicholsda

      And yet how many persons who have gone thru a Federal Training Center were taught to fire their handguns one handed? Or any police academy for that matter? They are taught to use two hands. Many have never even fired a handgun with just one hand.

  • Mike Lashewitz

    “Shall not be infringed”. We should always be able to carry weapons and ammo equal to or better than that which can be used against us by a “domestic threat”.
    That is what the Second Amendment is all about.

  • Russian Roulette dont Tweet

    I want my cheap surplus 7n6 back. Ban the ATF.

  • talgus

    what is does is not important. it is how it looks. how it feels. get with it. (thkflly multi-K rounds already tucked away. screw you ATF)

  • RSG

    I hope that judge gets cancer. Fuq the ATF. Repeal the NFA and GCA. Prosecute as traitors those that would propose gun control legislation. Start accumulating ammo folks. Buy rifle plates for all family members. Molon Labe.

  • n0truscotsman

    “Coughenour noted that P.W. Arms never disputed the bullets can pierce
    body armor, and he called the company’s arguments disingenuous.”

    LOL…disingenuous? somebody find that man a mirror

  • Fox Hunter

    all armor piercing ammo should just be legalized. ammo would be cheaper if companies were allowed to use other materials like iron or steel to make them instead of just lead. this is just another slimy way to ban ammo and guns.

  • Core

    This is a disturbing trend seen in the unlawful findings of the 9th Circuit Court. Aside from questionable legal determinations by the court, they are violating Second Amendment rights of a huge number of Americans in the concealed/open carry decision. I think it’s clear the court needs to purged and the individuals responsible for violating the US Constitution should be removed and disbarred. It has reached a level of corruption and oversight of authority, that the entire court is at risk of becoming a de facto tyranny of the western states. All Americans should demand that the tyrants ignoring constitutional law, in the 9th Circuit are released.

  • Brian Diffenderfer

    what does it matter if it can or cannot pierce armor, the system is going to keep it banned

  • Y’all should know the difference between caliber designations in mm and in inches (“caliber” as we think of it in the U.S.). In general, metric cartridges are designated by the land diameter of the barrel, whereas standard/imperial cartridges are designated by the approximate projectile diameter or the groove diameter of the barrel. The question of “is 5.45×39 a .22 caliber or larger bullet” is NOT answered by converting 5.45 mm to inches. The actual bullet diameter of a 5.45×39 mm round is 5.60 mm (lands vs grooves, folks). That happens to be 0.22047 inches. Therefore, 5.45×39 IS a .22 caliber or larger projectile. …now, was it “designed and intended for use in a handgun?” No. Definitely not. Does the jacket weigh more than 25% of the total projectile weight? No idea.

  • Bronson

    The amount of incompetency shown by the ATF and the 9th Circuit court makes my blood boil. Why is there a legal definition of armor piercing if it doesn’t even matter?