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Winchester's Controversy: How the Firearms Brand Stirred Up Debate

Image: Winchester's Controversy: How the Firearms Brand Stirred Up Debate

By    |   Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 03:19 PM

In 1991, Winchester released a new brand of ammunition that mired the firearms company in a controversy for years.

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The Black Talon was a hollow-point Teflon-coated bullet hailed by many as one of the best made for defense. The black-jacketed round was designed to open six metal petals at the tip of the hollow point upon impact. The sharp-edged petals would carve a wider path through the body, causing more damage.

The design also slowed the bullet’s trajectory through tissue. That meant the bullet would stay within the body, something law enforcement praised as a safety improvement. No exit meant no innocent bystanders struck by a stray bullet, according to a 1993 New York Times article about the controversy.

Gun control and medical groups criticize the bullet’s amplified damage effect. Gun rights groups and law enforcement praise the ammunition for its defensive protection.

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In 1993, two mass shootings in New York and San Francisco tipped the scales of public and political opinion against the Black Talon and other hollow points on the market, as mentioned in an article on The Shooter's Log. The outcry centered on the ammunitions’ availability to people outside of law enforcement.

In San Francisco, a man used a .45-caliber handgun loaded with Black Talons to kill eight people and wound six more in a high-rise apartment. In New York, 19 people were slain and six others wounded on a commuter train by a man shooting Black Talons.

With Congress threatening to ban hollow-points cartridges, Winchester bowed to public and political pressure. The company withdrew sale of the bullets to the general public in 1993, and discontinued the Black Talon line, repackaged and renamed it.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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In 1991, Winchester released a new brand of ammunition that mired the firearms company in a controversy for years.
guns, winchester, firearms, gun control
331
2015-19-30
Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 03:19 PM
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