Talk:Black Talon

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Article update[edit]

Old article found by me, discovered to be ridiculously short, very inaccurate, and full of spelling/grammatical/coding errors. Deleted almost in it's entirety, and replaced by my article (and pics).

--Bullzeye, 20:48, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Might suggest some language changes. Stating things as being 'clearly propoganda' makes the article feel anti-gun control (even if the quotations -are- clearly propoganda).

Yeah, the "Scandal and Beyond" Section feels very POV to me. The 'inflamming', 'propoganda', and 'uninformed' specifically make it seem very anti-gun control. Rlax 15:16, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

After reading the "Scandal and Beyond" section again, I feel that it may very well be POV. But, I'm not extremely familiar with the specific details of the controversy over the Black Talons. Therefore, I've added the "POV Check" template to the article. I'd be more than willing to hear what other people (especially those more familiar with the topic who have not been involved in the 'Scandal and Beyond' section) have to say. Rlax 15:26, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

While I agree that its totally nonbiased, as someone who's very familiar with the situation regarding the Black Talons and their pull from the market, I do have to say its not far off. Some of the Anti-gun advocacy groups were using incorrect information in it's fight. Whether they knowingly used infactual statements, or just were jumping the gun, is yet to be seen. Basically, the entire situation was a repeat of the "Cop Killer Bullet" fiasco 12 years earlier, with misinformation causing FUD. Despite having worked in the gun industry for 13 years, I'm trying to display my answer in an impartial manner. -- Hellmark 02:11, 17 June 2006 (UTC

The section regarding "Law Enforcement Markings" is requesting a citation. The problem is, there is no way to cite a law that doesn't exist. The only thing I can relate it to possibly is the 1994-2004 assault weapons ban, when certain types of rifles were illegal to manufacture/sell new to the civilian/non-law enforcement market. During that time, some manufacturers began putting "Law Enforcement Only" on products. Since the ban expired in 2004, those markings are meaningless, and in fact, were pretty meaningless during the ban. It wasn't the markings that made the items illegal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:13, 24 May 2011 (UTC)


I've removed the NPOV warning tag and made some minor changes. The fact that some anti-gun people might not like being called out on their BS, that doesn't change the fact that they used (sometimes knowlingly) false information to influence public policy. CynicalMe 18:01, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I ( (talk) 12:56, 29 April 2011 (UTC)) deleted the response by—you know, that thing where he/she/it compared you to Timothy McVeigh? Because it was utterly unconstructive and nothing but a personal attack (from, let's recall, a person who asserts that handgun ammunition is designed for killing innocent people). Go to the talk page for that IP: it's nothing but complaints about their constant personal attacks. Look at their edit history, and they just add a bunch of snarky comments to pages. I mean, does this guy not realize this ain't TVTropes?

How about an image here?[edit]

I found a nice image of an expanded Black Talon at this link (, but I don't know if it can be added because of Copyright rules here at Wikipedia. But I was very interested to see just how different the expansion of the bullet looks (in the image it looks like a razor sharp snowflake, compared to the usual mushrooming of a hollow-point). As someone who doesn't know much about guns or ammunition, I can certainly see why so many politicians and reporters could look at the difference in the expansion and think that this is a MUCH more deadly bullet (whether that really is the case or not). So I think it would be very helpful to show a comparison of the expanded Black Talon round versus a typical hollow-point round (as seen on this page: to help explain why there was so much controversy surrounding this bullet.

Also I find it odd that the Hollow Point Bullet article ( has more info about the Black Talon than the Black Talon article itself... Robk6364 00:45, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I was just thinking this too.

I have some black talon ammo, but I'm not well versed on uploading photos. Gravity36 1 February 2009 —Preceding undated comment was added at 00:19, 2 February 2009 (UTC).

    • I uploaded and added to the article three images of 9mm Black Talon ammo that I "shot" last week (pun intended). If you can format the layout of the images better than what I've done, please feel free to do so.Azx2 (talk) 21:14, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

I uploaded a few photos of Black Talons that I made myself and thought they would benefit this page. I also corrected a few minor errors. iceman7840 23:20, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

I like your images, btw, iceman7840. Just wanted to mention that (four years later! lol...) Azx2 22:52, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

adding information[edit]

Added info on the hype and the pressure to remove the ammunition form the public market. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aahztx (talkcontribs) 00:19, 8 November 2007 (UTC)


Black Talon™ (9mm Luger)

It seems rather fetishistic to have three near identical images. Nick Cooper (talk) 19:38, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

agreed. there should only be one of these images, not three near identical ones, especially w/ an article this short. which do you favor keeping Nick Cooper? lmk... Azx2 17:41, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Now that there are only two images, Nick Cooper, are you ok with that? The image above/right (which I'm responsible for) wasn't that good anyway... (but I do think the bullet detail image should remain since it's a nice macro look at the hollow point - wouldn't you agree?) Azx2 22:50, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Wow! Blast from the past! Yeah, when I added the above comment the page had three pictures, with the third being particularly superfluous, as it only showed unopened boxes. I think the two we have now both work, i.e. to show the packagining, and also the great close-up. Nick Cooper (talk) 15:30, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Infobox (2014)[edit]

Hey guys, we need to put an infobox into this article, yeah? I'm thinking maybe Template:Infobox firearm cartridge Would that be right? Azx2 23:05, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

2014 - Black Talons in the news?! Use in Reeva Steepkamp killing?![edit]

Hey, really excited to read this in the Guardian today. It's amazing that BTs are back in the news after so many years!!!

"...Pistorius fired from a distance of at least 60cm and no further than a wall behind him, about three metres away, Mangena said. Mangena also described the impact of the type of bullets in Pistorius's gun, which were designed to cause maximum damage, he said.

"It hits the target, it opens up, it creates six talons, and these talons are sharp," Mangena said. "It cuts through the organs of a human being."

He noted the Black Talon brand of ammunition was often used for self-defence because while it caused significant damage to a human target, it was less likely to penetrate the first target and hit other people.

Pistorius's lawyer, Barry Roux, cross-examined Mangena and said the defence's own forensic and ballistic experts would challenge the policeman's testimony regarding the sequence of the shots. Roux also said defence experts had recovered a bullet and fragments from the toilet bowl that police missed. Mangena said he was aware of that..."<ref name=AP>{{cite web|title=Reeva Steenkamp was standing when Pistorius fired first shot, court told|url=|work=The Guardian|publisher=Guardian News and Media Limited|accessdate=19 March 2014|author=Associated Press|date=19 March 2014|quote=Ballistic expert also tells court bullets fired from athlete's 9mm pistol were designed to 'cut through organs of a human being'}}</ref>

How would it best be integrated into the article? Cheers! JDanek007Talk 18:45, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure how best to integrate it, but saw a mention in reliable source of similar notion here:

"Oscar Pistorius was left shaken after an extremely graphic photograph of Reeva Steenkamp's head wound was shown in court as State Prosecutor Gerrie Nel began his cross-examination demanding he "take responsibility" for killing his girlfriend. On the first day of cross-examination, Mr Nel, known in South Africa as the 'pit bull', asked for permission to show a video in which the athlete is seen firing at a watermelon at a shooting range and appears to whisper: "It's softer than brain, but f**k it's a zombie stopper". He went on to show a graphic photograph of Ms Steenkamp's head wound caused by a Black Talon bullet that impacted her right temple after Pistorius shot her three times through a locked toilet door on Valentine's Day last year. Mr Nel told the athlete Ms Steenkamp's head "exploded" just like the watermelon did, and asked him to look at the photograph, which showed a side view of the model's head, with a mass of blood and human tissue on the back and upper parts, and her eyes closed. "

I created archive version here in case you can't see it because of paywall: ok? Azx2 03:23, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

adding Wound Ballistics (2014)[edit]

Wondering how we could integrate this kind of material into the article? Any suggestions, guys/girls?

The advantage of using a bullet that expands to increase its diameter is because it might contact and rupture the wall of a major blood vessel that would have been barely missed by the smaller diameter of a nonexpanding bullet following the same penetration path.

As a bullet penetrates soft tissue, it loses velocity, and this affects its "effective diameter." When the bullet first penetrates and expands, it is moving so quickly that it crushes almost all soft tissue it comes into direct contact with. However, as velocity begins to slow, soft tissue is then able to stretch around the smooth outer edges of the mushroom-shaped lead core shoulder to move out of the way. As the bullet slows further it plows more and more tissue aside instead of crushing it.

Near the end of the wound track, the diameter of the permanent cavity might be less than 60 percent of the expanded diameter of the bullet. The last few inches of the wound track are the most important because this is where the vital cardiovascular structures are located that you’re trying to damage.

This is where the police only Winchester Ranger Talon (formerly Black Talon and Ranger SXT) bullet departs from conventional expanding hollowpoint bullets. Ranger Talon adds an additional wounding mechanism: cutting. When Ranger Talon expands, its copper jacket peels back to form six sharp claws. These claws protrude outward just slightly beyond the smooth outer edges of the mushroom-shaped lead core shoulder.

Upon impact with flesh Ranger Talon performs identical to conventional hollowpoint bullets. However, as it penetrates and slows it does not suffer a decrease in effective bullet diameter. This is because tissue that stretches and flows around the smooth shoulder of the mushroom-shaped lead core comes into contact with the sharp copper jacket claws and is lacerated.

These lacerations contribute little to overall wound severity.

However, if Ranger Talon happens to pass very close to a major cardiovascular structure, instead of merely shoving it aside as it passes by, one of the six claws might be in position to cut the wall of this structure to cause profuse bleeding.

This additional cutting mechanism gives Ranger Talon the potential to be approximately 3% to 5% more effective than other expanding bullets of the same caliber. In one out of every 20-30 shootings, Ranger Talon might make a difference.

In order for Ranger Talon's increased wounding potential to be realized, at least two conditions must be met: 1) the bullet's wound track must pass close enough to a major blood vessel to physically touch it, and 2) one of the talons must be in the right orientation to physically contact the wall of the blood vessel as the bullet rifles past. If one of these two conditions are not met, the wound will be no more severe than any other JHP expanding bullet.

This very slight advantage could be just enough to save the life of a police officer who has to shoot a psychotic, enraged or chemically intoxicated attacker who is oblivious to being shot.

The Black Talon bullet came under intense negative media scrutiny after it was criminally misused in a shooting rampage in a San Francisco office building in July 1993. Nine people were killed and six wounded by gunman Gian Luigi Ferri. The news media reported falsehoods that Black Talon's "razor sharp claws" created particularly ghastly, devastating and unsurvivable wounds.

The forensic pathologist who performed the autopsies of the fatal shooting victims gave a detailed presentation about his findings at the 1994 IWBA Wound Ballistics Conference in Sacramento: "The 101 California Shooting: The Black Talon Bullet," Boyd Stevens, M.D., Medical Examiner, San Francisco, CA. He stated that the wound trauma produced by Black Talon was unremarkable, meaning the wounds were no different nor any more severe than wounds produced by typical JHP handgun bullets. Each of the victims incurred fatal injury because a bullet passed through a vital structure.

Winchester designed the Ranger Talon with what they call a "reverse-taper" copper jacket. What this means is that the copper jacket on the Ranger Talon is thicker at the tip than at its base, and this is the opposite of conventional hollowpoint bullet designs. This thickness is necessary to provide stiffness to the talons after expansion so they remain in ideal position to cut tissue that flows around the mushroom skirt.

Contrary to the pronouncements of gunwriter Ed Sanow, who claims that the Black Talon/Ranger SXT/Ranger Talon bullet slowly expands during its first 8 inches of penetration, the thick copper jacket requires the bullet to rapidly expand after impact when velocity is highest. Once the bullet begins to slow, the forces acting on the copper jacket and lead core which cause the bullet to deform, decrease. His absurd claim that this bullet gradually expands as it penetrates simply defies the laws of physics, and is based on fantasy.


Lots of good material in here - and the article really needs to be worked on with more about the actual ammo and less focus given to discussing the media coverage and hysteria over Black Talons, imo. But would really love some feedback here! Azx2 04:49, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Black Talon edit summaries should avoid possible incivility (Dec 2014)[edit]

@Wasell: Your removal of the trademark symbol from a Black Talon image caption was appropriate and improved the article. However, your edit summary (rm "™" -- pointless and uncyclopedic[sic]) could be perceived as deliberately discourteous and off-putting to anyone who might have used ™ in this or some other context on Wikipedia - including me.

Rather than seemingly scorning your fellow editor(s) and possibly discouraging their participation by impolitely referring to their contribution(s) as "pointless", you should strive for professionalism and respect and display tact and courteousness. In the edit summary, simply note the removal of "™" per guidelines in the Manual of Style, linking to MOS:TMRULES, where it states, "Do not use the ™ and ® symbols, or similar, in either article text or citations, unless unavoidably necessary for context (for instance, to distinguish between generic and brand names for drugs)."

If you do so, other editors who might not have been aware of that recommendation or even the existence of the MOS will benefit from your effort to enhance their understanding. And I would think that applies to new and experienced contributors alike. Azx2 21:27, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

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