Last week I was called by a reporter who was looking for information about the Kel-Tec PF9, hollow point ammunition, self-defense, and other related gun stuff. She was referred to me by another reporter who I know to be a fair and conscious journalist.
I spent a LONG time on the phone with her answering a slew of questions. I told her…
- That the PF9 is popular as a self-defense handgun commonly carried by private citizens.
- That the PF9 is popular with police officers as a backup and off-duty gun.
- That it is very popular in Florida and the hotter states where the mercury can sore and clothes are generally lighter than in other places.
- That Kel-Tec is a popular maker of good quality firearms based here in Florida.
- That I own a PF9 and carry it regularly.
- That the PF9′s price is about average for a quality firearm of that type.
- That the PF9 is not a police duty gun, not a target pistol, and not made for hunting.
- That the PF9 is a self-defense firearm designed for concealed carry.
- That a 5 pound trigger is about average for a defensive handgun.
- That the PF9 has a very long trigger pull.
- That the 9mm round is generally considered by many to be the minimum acceptable caliber for self defense, and then only when used with modern defensive ammo.
- That hollow point bullets are the responsible choice of ammo for self-defense due to its reduced propensity for over penetration and ricochet.
- That the 7+ 1 capacity of the PF9 is lower than most 9mm pistols due to the single stack mag necessitated by its slim profile.
- That every law enforcement agency that I know of on the planet uses hollow points mainly due to the aforementioned safety concerns.
- That over penetration and ricochet are dangerous to property and others.
- That hollow points are designed to expand so that their energy is dissipated in the target and the bullet does not continue dangerously out of the target.
- That carrying with a round in the chamber is normal and generally highly recommended.
I even invited her to come out to the range and shoot a gun so she that could actually hold one in her hand and learn about it. She told me about reports that Zimmerman had purchased the handgun after an incident with a Pitbull. I told here about my two Pitt mixed pups who love peanut butter and belly rubs.
After all of that, she prints this:
“It is not a police-duty gun. It is not a target pistol. It is not made for hunting,” said Sean Caranna, executive director of Florida Carry, a nonprofit group that lobbies for the right of gun owners to carry sidearms in the open. “It is a self-defense firearm.”
Translation: It’s designed to shoot people at short range.
It’s not clear what kind of ammunition Zimmerman used, but Caranna said the most popular for that type of gun is hollow-point bullets. They are designed to expand once they hit a target and do more tissue damage.
When I said “It is a self-defense firearm”, I said what I meant. The author’s speculative translation is disingenuous. It’s nothing but inflammatory language calculated to create negative imagery in the mind of the reader.
Some information suggests that you are much more likely to use a gun in self-defense against an animal than a human.
The second time Rene Stutzman quotes me for this story she again uses inflammatory language again to create imagery about hollow point ammunition. I explained to her that the use of non-hollow point ammunition could be irresponsible and dangerous. Hollow point rounds are mandated for use by most police departments due to their reduced propensity for over-penetration and ricochet.
Many consider 9mm the minimum caliber for effective self-defense; and then only when using modern, high quality, defensive hollow point ammo. Non-hollow point 9mm ammo is widely known for over-penetration. Expansion creates a larger surface area to help dissipate the projectile’s kinetic energy onto the target rapidly. The tip cavity of the round also deforms in case of an off-center hit on hard media like metal, rock, or pavement. This helps to prevent ricochet. She asked me about hollow points, at no time did I speculate about what kind of ammo Zimmerman used. I did say that they are a popular choice and what any responsible and well informed person should be carrying in that type of gun.
These design features of hollow point bullets make them the responsible choice for use in a defensive handgun. During a defensive gun use you want your rounds stay where you put them and not to tend to ricochet off or completely penetrate to go on and hit unintended property or people. You also want effective rounds that you can expect to stop your target from doing whatever it was that made you have to shoot it in the first place.