In 1982 NBC ran a “Prime Time” special on Teflon-coated bullets labeling them “armored piercing” bullets. Their “expert” claimed that the Teflon increased the bullet's penetration power by 20%. The news show argued that these bullets were a danger to police. In this special, NBC created the term “cop killer” for all armor-piercing bullets.
The truth of the matter was that Teflon did not increase the penetration power at all. In fact, Teflon cut down on the penetration power of the round. The Teflon was used to improve the life of the gun owner’s barrel, but this was in 1982 and the World Wide Web didn't exist to correct that wrong.
People were not as skeptical as they are now, and the confidence of the truthfulness of the mainstream media was high. The alternative media was just a blip on the radar. It only existed in mailings from small organizations that didn't have the capital to reach the masses.
Anti-gun advocates used this mischaracterization of Teflon-coated bullets to push for the banning of armor piercing rounds for “the safety of law enforcement officers.“
In August of 1986 HR 3132 — PL 99-408 was passed by Congress and signed by President Reagan. The new law would ban any handgun round that’s core consisted of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium. It would also prohibit any handgun round whose jacket weights more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.
The public was banned from access to armored piercing handgun rounds. That is until now.
A libertarian aerospace engineer named Austin Thomas Jones didn't like the fact that the government had access to the armored piercing handguns rounds, but the government prevented the general public from owning them. He viewed the law as tyrannical.
Jones has designed soft armor for combat sports. He developed micrometeoroid shielding for soft-bodied spacecraft such as modules for the International Space Station. Micrometeoroid moves at speeds that far exceeds that of bullets, and the strength of the material must be far superior to that of soft body armor.
The work of Defense Distributed on 3D printed firearms inspired Jones to take action to use science to defeat the armored piercing bullet ban. He read through the law and noticed that only certain metals were banned from use in bullets. He thought he could defeat draconian law by simply finding a material that wasn’t banned by the law and designing a superior projectile.
Atlas Arms was born. Much like Defense Distributed, Atlas Arms is a non-profit. It takes its name from the iconic book “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. Rand is a hero to many people and one of the founding voices of the modern libertarian movement.
He recruited Mike Crumling to the project. Crumling was the gunsmith that designed and built the structural cartridges that was used in 3D printed firearms. At the time of joining the project, Crumling was working on other 3D printed firearms endeavors.
The next person that Jones recruited to the team of rebel libertarians was an astronomical data scientist named Lauren. Lauren uses data processing and analysis to infer object properties and characteristics. Her skill set would become critical to the project.
Jones was able to convince a mechanical materials engineer named George that he needed to fight back against tyrannical gun control. George works on aerospace and medical components such as prosthetics. These fields require the use of lightweight yet durable materials. His skill set was invaluable to the team.
With the team assembled the next step was to determine the core of the round. The team knew what materials they couldn't use, so they started an analysis of other viable materials. In the past few years there has been an explosion of new metal alloys and research within material engineering.
The material would have to satisfy two factors that would make it a viable choice for Altas Arms. The first the material couldn't be cost prohibited. The second thing is that it must be readily available to the general public since one of the goals of the project is to make it as DIY-friendly as possible.
Jones and company landed on an unnamed uncommon metal alloy. The material is still a closely guarded secret until all testing is complete to ensure they give the public the safest thing possible.
“We will be releasing loading data,” Jones told me. “This will allow people to reload this ammunition at home themselves. We do not want to release any information that could possibly hurt the end-user.”
The current law does not ban the material that Altas Arms chose. The new material also offers better performance than the metals that are illegal for use in a core of an old armor-piercing handgun rounds.
“The metal alloy is strong,” Jones told me. “it is significantly harder and stronger than the materials that body armor is made out of.”
The team wanted to increase the penetration power of their new round, but also did not want the round to underperform when the target was not in body armor. Their goal was to produce a hybrid round. They used their combined engineering skills to craft a unique design to the core which looks similar to a dagger. The jacket designed to expand and fragment in soft nonarmored targets.
The shape of the round inspired Jones to name it the Dagny Dagger. Currently, Atlas Arms will be producing the Dagny Dagger in 9mm. This 9mm round will be able to defeat all level III body armor. After the test phase Atlas Arms plans to offer the Dagny Dagger in 10mm/.40SW, 5.56, .308, and possibly 5.7.
The target price for The Dagny Dagger is $2 per round. Jones believes with more research and design changes as well as the ability to buy the materials in large quantities that Atlas Arms will be able to cut the price in half to $1 per round.
But this endeavor isn't about making money for Jones. It is about fighting back and making gun control obsolete which is the same goal as Defense Distributed. In the same vein as releasing the 3D gun files online, Atlas Arms will make their designs open source to the general public. The will allow anyone with the will and the means to produce the rounds including home reloaders. Within the year after Atlas Arms carries out all safety testing, all data will be released to the world.
“I want to publish everything open source,” Jones told me. “I want to give it to the public to ensure that it is harder to suppress.”
Jones is probably right about the government suppressing his ideas. I talked to one designer, who does not want to be named because he still deals with the government, who came up with another workaround of the armor piercing bullet ban years ago. This time the designer owned a for-profit company and submitted his design for a patent.
The federal government swooped in and said they would grant the patent, but also gave him the condition that he would only be allowed to sell to the federal government, and they were not interested in buying the round. Because of his other dealings with the federal government, he decided not to challenge them on the stipulation.
Que the FAKE News Attack
Jones will probably face a lot of backlash from anti-gun groups and people in the government who are not gun friendly. Jones is unconcerned with the possible backlash but does think that the government will try to amend the law to ban the new round.
“If they don't like what I'm doing so what,” Jones told me. “What I am doing isn't illegal. I did it in a way that it is not illegal. They will try to amend the definition of armor-piercing bullets. Just like we defeated their imagination when they wrote the law the first time, we will defeat their imagination again when they rewrite the law.”
Atlas Arms has other more ambitious projects planned for the future. They chose to start with this project because of its feasibility. All their projects have a single goal in mind. That goal is to make all gun control obsolete by using technology and disseminating information to the public before it can be shut down.
“I started with this because it is simpler than some of the more radical stuff I have planned later. The design and creations of this round were by no means simple, but the stuff we have planned will be harder. The goals of all the projects are to make it harder for the government to enforce gun control.”
Atlas arms will also be the first third-party group to develop software for the Ghost Gunner 2 which I own and have reviewed in the past. The Ghost Gunner 2 is a product of Defense Distributed who rose to fame when they produced the Liberator. The Liberator was the first all 3D printed firearm.
Atlas Arms has started “Kick Starter like” campaign to raise $30,000 to complete the testing of the round. They will use all capital raised for future prototyping, body armor, ballistics gel, and other expenses. Most importantly the money will be used to keep the ATF, state and federal regulators at bay.
All donations are tax deductible. I donated for the simple reason I like the idea of taking a deduction on my taxes to make gun control obsolete.