Usually I have a great deal of respect for NBC's Law & Order
its accuracy, but I really have to question the decisions behind some of
the content in the last Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victim's
My first issue is based on simple bafflement. The ".44 Caliber Killer"
in the show was, on numerous occasions, described as using a "non-magnum
.44". Well, that would be the .44 Special, right? Not a particularly
powerful round, it doesn't rank high on many expert's list of best
self-defense cartridges. The weird thing was that the name ".44
Special" was never uttered. Always "non-magnum" or "excluding magnums".
Huh? What the hell was it then? A .44-40? A .44 Bulldog? A .44
rimfire? And then Detective Munsch goes on about the ridiculous power
of the .44 and a potential suspect describes her old .44 as a "cannon".
Excluding the .44 Magnum, there is no exceedingly powerful .44 caliber
round (nevermind that the .44 Magnum and the .44 Special bullets are
actually .429 inches in diameter). Can we return to reality here?
Then there's the Black Talons. A Black Talon is a hollowpoint cartridge
that, when it expands, has sharp edges. The copper jacketing around the
lead is designed to split into a number of pointy corners when the
bullet mushrooms. The idea is to get a little more cutting as it passes
through tissue, causing more bleeding from the wound cavity. Now,
whether it matters if a bullet is sharp or not as it passes through a
person's body at the speed of sound is up for some debate. Regardless,
for some reason people apparently thought that while it was okay to
shoot someone, making them bleed amounted to extraordinaly cruel
behavior. Before the rounds could be banned, Winchester decided to
discontinue their sale to civilians.
In Law & Order, Black Talons were referred to as "cop-killers". This
was entirely made up. Never before have Black Talons been called
that. Instead, that moniker has always always always been reserved for
armor-piercing rounds, handgun bullets capable of defeating a police
officer's soft body armor. Black Talons are not armor-piercing
bullets, they are not able to shoot through so-called
bullet-proof vests. They are not sharp in any manner before they
expand, which only occurs after penetrating soft tissue.
Either the writers for Law & Order completely made up their information
or did little in the way of actual research, instead relying on
unsubstantiated myths, rumors, and misconceptions. Whichever was the
case, it sure doesn't do much for their reputation in my opinion.