Shooting Range Ammo Used Day Eric Woods Got Wounded

Still trying to discover the details of what happened March 15th when McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy is reported to have been shot by ricocheting frangible ammunition, I filed a Freedom of Information request asking for its purchase order.

Here’s what I asked for:

“Under the Freedom of Information Act, I request purchase order(s) for the frangible ammunition used on March 15 at the Shooting Range during the SWAT Team training during which Eric Woods was injured.”

Freedom of Information Officer Jan Weech sent the following:

“The document attached is a copy of a quote we received for the Ammunition that we ordered and received.  This Ammunition was the supply that was used at our Range on the date that you requested.”

Take a look at what was purchased from International Cartridge Corporation, based in Reynoldsville,

I’ve copied the “Quotation” document in three parts.  Click on any image and it will enlarge enough for you to be able to read it.

The firm has a web site. You see the top below:

The top of the front page of International Cartridge Corporation's web site.

The second paragraph of the introduction, most of which you can see at the bottom of the screen above, says,

“Conventional ammunition has a significant hazard associated with close range fire, ricochet and over penetration. The International Cartridge Corporation’s round has controlled fragmentation characteristics while maintaining lethal penetrating capabilities. This unique performance reduces hazard for the shooter without compromising firepower.” (Emphasis added.]

There are videos. Here’s a ten-second one entitled “Highspeed Video” that shows what happens to a frangible bullet when it hits something. It breaks apart.

Frangible bullet at eight second mark in the short video.

There’s a longer one which shows the dust left after frangible bullets are shot.

A man pours dust created after frangible ammunition shot into a four-sided target area from one hand to another. It reminds me of the sand in an hour glass.

The video shows a man hammering a bullet. It turns to dust.

Dust remains on the surface after this frangible bullet was hit by a hammer.

It promotes the lack of fragmentation.

An opening title in the longer (about six minute) video entitled introduction.

And the lack of ricocheting.  Actually, the description of the ammunition is “NO RICOCHET.”

The video promotes no ricocheting.

“Standard jacketed ammunition will ricochet and has inherent danger (pictured to the right). Due to the characteristics of ICC frangible ammunition, hazards are reduced and in most situations, eliminated completely.”

"Offering Controlled Fragmentiion" is the title under this section of the video.

There’s a pledge of “Reduced Hazard.”

"Reduced Hazard" is the message under this section of the longer video.

I can't tell whether this man is wearing a protective vest or not as he approaches the target. Note the smaller steel targte resembles the one on the McHenry County shooting range from which bullets are said to have ricocheted into Eric Woods leg, hand, arm and face.

There is no lead in these frangible bullets.

If this frangible ammunition were being used, there should have been no lead fragments removed from Eric Woods at the Woodstock hospital or during the next hospital visit in McHenry.

Training is simulated in a shooting range with steel targets.

Steel plate SWAT training is shown.

And, there’s a section which shows men entering a room for SWAT team practice.

Two men enter the room in one demonstration. See part starting at 4 minutes and fifty seconds into the long video.

The first man to enter engages the closet target, which just happens to be  low, similar, even though a bit higher,  to what those at the McHenry County shooting range described after Deputy Eric Woods was injured by ricocheting bullet fragments.

The first man in the room shoots at the closet target. It is relatively low, on top of a steel drum, and can be seen to the right in this frame of the long video.

The first man in the room hits the low target on the barrel.

After hitting the target on the barrel, these men advance farther into the shooting range. The second man aims at the second target sighted.

Just thought you might be interested.


Shooting Range Ammo Used Day Eric Woods Got Wounded — 10 Comments

  1. Seems to me deputy Woods has the makings of a great lawsuit. He could sue the ammunition company and the Sheriff’s Office. How old is this guy? He could retire young if he’s smart.

    Wait a second, from the above videos and pictures these shooters are more than 4 feet away. probably more like 8-10 feet away.

    Maybe Woods would only have a case against the Sheriff’s Office.

  2. Woods has a slam dunk against the county. He could be on easy street for the rest of his life.
    More of Nygren’s “doing this the right way”. Give me a break!

  3. Did you see the bill?????!!!
    A load of money to spend on shooting our own deputies.

  4. WAIT A SECOND!!! I just read the invoice. $15,600!!!!! Are the rounds made of gold?? Go back to the cheap lead and stand back from the targets.

  5. This nonsense will not end until Nygren is OUT OF OFFICE. Please, please get rid of this guy. The economy is bad enough in general without Boss Hog continuing to muck things up by wasting more of our tax dollars. How’s that “ROAD RASH” story holding up, Keith? Hello, Keith? Damn – it just went into voicemail, again… .

  6. Good reporting, Cal.

    Nice job getting the order for the ammo used at the range on the day Deputy Woods was injured.

    The order shows purchase of 9mm, .40 cal and .223 cal ammo.

    Dep. Hart’s March 16, 2010 “Departmental Correspondence” (supplementary incident report) indicates that he fired “one round of 5.56 cal.” ammo.

    Was Hart using a frangible load?

    I’m sure by now Dep. Woods knows.

    The range accident wasn’t an accident at all.

    If any one of those targets could talk, it would have said,

    “An injury is about to occur, and here is how it is going to happen.”

  7. It really is no surprise that we have a serious discrepancy in the caliber fired and the purchase order calibers. Anyone who is surprised has either been out of the County for a few years, or is so new they have yet to plug into how seriously deficient our Sheriff has been in the oversight of his department. I think it would be appropriate to leave out the deaf, mute and blind. I can’t help but wonder where Lt. Zimke was in his internal investigation when he was distracted by the kick upstairs to Undersheriff. Hey, ridgerunner, try calling again. If Nygren answers, ask him to come out of his bunker and speak openly and candidly to those of us who put him in office. I know – you may have to define ‘open’ and ‘candid’ for him, but be patient, he may still have a ringing in his ears from the gunshot heard ’round the County. Great job, Cal!

  8. 5.56/.223 does come in frangible ammo. Actually, to be fair, frangible ammo is really the safest type of ammo to use in urban settings. It will not penetrate the walls of apartments where an innocent child may be sleeping when the SWAT team enters to arrest the bad guys packaging cocaine. It is substantially more expensive precisely because it is highly specialized. It is also known as a “Safety Round”. This ammo came into popular use when the Air Marshals took wing, precisely because it would not puncture the skin of an aircraft at 30,000 feet. Rapid decompression might suck some unlucky Disney World-bound traveler through a hole the size of a quarter, in the case of a .45 caliber round. Not only does frangible ammo blossom into powder, it also steps up the size of the wound. So, plainly put, this more expensive ammo is safer in an urban environment and and has somewhat more “stopping power” than conventional lead ammo of the same caliber. Cost versus safety. Thats why most police departments don’t use frangible – cost. I don’t find fault with the use, or the expense, of frangible. I believe the issue here is that the round that injured Deputy Woods was conventional, therefore the shrapnel was severe, didn’t disintegrate into powder, and that a conventional round was fired at an unsafe distance from the deputy. In summary: frangible is good because it lowers the possibility of innocents being shot; but the apparent cover-up of the event is the real issue. Of all the money Nygren has spent, frangible ammo should be the very least of our concerns right now. Oh, yeah, and Deputy Woods does have an awesome case against the Sheriff.

  9. Mistakenly the 5.56 ammo rounds are often used synonymously with .223; however there are some minor differences.

    5.56 is the military round and surplus ammo is available. Why did Woods say he was shooting 5.56 rather than .223? Could it be that he is EX-military and uses that term rather than the civilain term?

    5.56 rounds are known to have higher breech pressures than 223 and therefore more prone to injury. A direct conversion shows that 5.56 is actually 217.44 cal.

    Check this website for a good article on 5.56 vs. 223.

    Also Wikipedia has an explanation of the difference of the 5.56 NATO round and the 223.

  10. Actually I see that Dep.HART stated HE was shooting 5.56. Maybe Deputy HART is Ex-Milatary and confused the term. It still is an issue if the report states he was shooting other than a Department purchased round.

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