R.I.P. Ammunition: Worth it For Writing Fiction?

It’s rare for something to go viral in both the firearms and crime writing worlds, but G2 Research’s new R.I.P. (radically invasive projectile) ammunition managed to pull off just that. The writing front seems to be attracted to the ammunition’s use in fiction.

Why? Just check out the promo video.

Looks pretty intense, huh? It’s almost like G2 designed the R.I.P. for fiction. That’s fitting, because right now that’s where it belongs.

First thing’s first, this ammunition hasn’t hit shelves yet. Whether the claims the video makes can be lived up to isn’t known.

What is known is this pesky thing called “physics.” A bullet, just like any projectile, exerts kinetic energy onto a target upon impact. It’s that energy transfer that causes damage.

If that bullet splits into two, a little high school science tells us that the kinetic energy in each half would be, well, half.

Keep it going. If the bullet splits into three, each third would contain a third of the original energy. Four pieces, a fourth, and on it goes.

But the R.I.P. allegedly sheds eight fragments from the bullet as it hits, for a total of nine pieces. Now that original kinetic energy – the thing that does the damage – is dispersed over nine pieces. So each piece inflicts roughly a ninth of the damage that the original single, solid projectile could.

Less kinetic energy per piece means less penetration to the target. Makes sense, right?

But the R.I.P. claims to plow through everything from concrete to plywood. That wouldn’t seem to jive with our friend physics.

I could be wrong, but some of these claims seem a little exaggerated, better for getting people worked up. Until the product hits shelves, it’s all hype right now. Words like “hole saw effect” and “defeat every major obstacle” make for flashy marketing and not much else. Being “effective against” plywood and cinder blocks doesn’t mean much, either. Hammers are effective against those things, too. “The last round you’ll ever need” errs toward sloganeering. The last round I needed was the not-so-jazzy .270 I used to put venison in the freezer.

What R.I.P. gets right – its ability to damage vital organs – isn’t anything new. Projectiles have been penetrating vital organs since the spear-chuckin’ days of 10,000 B.C.

It also gets the “nine wound channels” thing correct, since there are nine pieces causing nine separate wounds. But don’t think that’s anything special. It only takes one “wound channel” to get the job done.

I’m not trying to be an ammo hipster here, shrugging off innovation. This might be excellent ammunition. But as far as writing fiction goes, ignore the R.I.P. and stick with generic hollow-point bullets for characters’ defensive ammunition. They explode upon impact, too, only they do a great job of not passing through targets. That’s why they’re often used for home defense firearms. You don’t wind up using your neighbor’s house as a backstop that way.


Get the Book

The Writers Guide to WeaponsThe Writer’s Guide to Weapons: A Practical Reference for Using Firearms and Knives in Fiction (Writer’s Digest Books) comes with everything but the ammo. Pick up a print or digital copy from these fine retailers:

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