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Yunus 07-12-2011 11:55 AM

Rumor or fact? BATF Classifies .223 as a pistol cartridge?
I've seen this floating around on blogs and a few ammunition websites. However I've not seen anything official from the ATF. Does anyone have a link to the official ATF ruling that this is referencing or has anyone heard about this? I'm trying to understand what this would mean.

BATF Classifies .223, 6.5 Grendel and 6.8SPC as Pi

All I see on the internet so far is fear and conjecture. It would be nice to have some facts as well.

alsaqr 07-12-2011 04:12 PM

There is a prohibition on owning pistol caliber ammo that is capable of penetrating certain body armor. This is why the Chinese made steel core 7.62x39 ammo was banned from import: There was no problem with the stuff until someone chambered a pistol in 7.62x39.

Evidently that companies bullets in those calibers are capable of penetrating some kind of body armor. i am familiar with the Barnes bullets and Elite is wrong on that issue. The Barnes bullets are not solid copper, they are hollow points.

Jpyle 07-12-2011 05:43 PM

Have no firsthand knowledge but my initial thought is that the appeal of AR lower pistols places those calibers under the same requirements of other dual use ammo. The seller must inquire on the use and get proof of age for pistol use from anyone appearing to be under 21.

alsaqr 07-13-2011 12:36 PM


This is all i could find on the web. You have to read an awful lot to find out that Elite may have a spotty reputation.


If any of you team members remember the thread where elite has a customer blacklist that they posted publicly on their website, mostly full of people trying to get a refund, when elite couldnt deliver their ammo based on their Pay now, deliver when it might be available business model..

Stand down all you drama queens At Elite Ammo - Page 1 - AR15.COM

Cory2 07-13-2011 07:28 PM

Yes the .223 is , according to the ever so intelligent atf, a pistol cartridge. All it takes is one person to make a (single, 1, one, prototype) pistol that shoots that caliber. I have a theory that the atf pays people to do it. I would'nt put it past them.

Ploofy 07-13-2011 07:45 PM

I could understand if they did. There are several pistols that shoot the smaller caliber long rifle rounds, and a .223 is perfect for target shooting, so it would make sense to have pistols that shot it. Though I know that there are pistols that shoot .22 LR and a .22 isn't considered a pistol round.

Yunus 07-13-2011 08:01 PM

Thanks for the link Alsaqr after reading that thread it cleared a few things up. The ATF didn't change anything, it sounds like EA had been circumventing the law for a while claiming that their copper zinc alloy metal was not brass and now the ATF disagrees.

I also found this which actually states the law, always a good reference. In addition a couple people in the other thread said that M855 (green tip) is exempt, as well as something in 30-06 caliber.


The definition of AP ammo is at 18 USC sec. 921(a)(17):
"(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.

(C) The term `armor piercing ammunition' does not include shotgun shot
required by Federal or State environmental or game regulations for hunting
purposes, a frangible projectile designed for target shooting, a projectile
which the Secretary finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting
purposes, or any other projectile or projectile core which the Secretary
finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes, including a charge
used in an oil and gas well perforating device."
Legality of AP Ammo

Bigcountry02 07-14-2011 12:08 AM

I too have been running the web on this information. This site was in great discussion on this issue:

Also, only rumor is the TPTB are going to push an E.O. for mag limitation to 10 rounds.

racoleman 07-14-2011 04:02 AM

What about TC encore and contenders in pistol form? Would this make all available pistol Cham wrings qualify?That would really be nuts.

alsaqr 07-18-2011 12:45 AM

There was nothing about this on the Elite Ammo website when i checked it this morning.

Did some research and found out that Elite did make some bullets from turned brass. Solid brass handgun bullets are illegal. This is my post from another website:

Despite what EA says their bullets are not the same as Barnes bullets.

i use lots of Barnes bullets, especially the Triple shocks, MZ muzzleloader bullets and the XPB handgun bullets. Barnes says their TSX, TTSX and XPB bullets are made of 100 percent copper: i believe that to be true. It is legal to make handgun caliber bullets from pure copper. It is not legal to make them from brass or bronze.

Barnes Bullets - Rifle Components

Voila!!! There is nothing on the EA website this morning about the BATFE and bullets:

Elite Ammunition

Then there is this little jewel:

Turned solid brass bullets. Extremely accurate with our signature Extreme Boat Tail that drive up ... More

And another one:

NEW EA Trident 36gr PFP BT Bullet -

IMO: Elite Ammo made a big boo boo and tried to drag Barnes down with them.

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