Armour-piercing bullets ordered for WA prisons

The WA government is set to buy 30,000 armour-piercing bullets to be used by an elite emergency response group for WA’s prisons.

A document obtained by confirms the Department of Corrective Service’s emergency support group has requested the bullets for training purposes.

The bullets are for the so-called ballistic escort weapon, a compact gun that has a better firing range than a handgun and can be easily concealed in public areas.

The emergency support group is based at Hakea Prison and provides emergency and security support to all prisons and juvenile facilities in WA.

Controversial … the armour-piercing bullet.

The department currently uses the Fiocchi 4.6x30mm full metal jacket 46EXA bullet in its ballistic escort guns.

The bullet is designed to minimise weight and recoil while increasing penetration of body armour.

It has however been criticised by experts for performing poorly at the point of impact.

According to some reports, slow motion videos show the bullet swerves off course when it impacts soft human tissue.

This is because the mass centre of the bullet sits behind the geometrical centre, causing the back to come forward at impact and tumble through tissue – creating much more damage.

The Department of Corrective Services estimates that 30,000 rounds will be required per year, but it will demand suppliers be capable of making 10,000 rounds available at short notice.

The departmental document said the government was prepared to consider alternative bullet types.



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