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High-powered guns' ammunition particularly destructive

The high energy of ammunition used in military-style, semi-automatic rifles causes more damage than similar bullets fired from other guns, an Oklahoma City trauma surgeon and police officers said.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL Published: December 23, 2012

High-powered bullets, hollow-point ammunition and close-range shotgun blasts are among gunshot wounds that can be particularly destructive in different ways, Lees said. It's the speed of the bullets fired from military-style rifles that makes the wounds worse than those from lower-powered weapons.

“It's like the difference between being hit ... and being hit with a baseball bat,” Lees said.

Eddie Johnson, a former Oklahoma City police officer who is now a liaison to families for the state medical examiner, was careful to point out that guns don't fire themselves. But the high rate of fire compares with velocities similar to powerful deer hunting rifles, made to kill animals that can be significantly larger than humans.

“I've shot deer at over 150 yards and ... (the bullet) removed the shoulder with a high-powered rifle,” Johnson said. “So there's going to be a lot more shock value with that because of the speed they travel.”