Today’s San Francisco Chronicle had a story about new lawsuits filed against the City of San Francisco. These lawsuits challenge a city requirement that handguns must be kept either in a locked container or have trigger lock and a city ban on the sale of hollow-point ammunition. With regard to the latter, reporter Rachel Gordon wrote:
The other, which has been on the books in various forms since 1994, prohibits the sale of hollow-point bullets and similar ammunition that fragments or explodes upon impact.
Hollow-point ammunition does not explode nor fragment upon impact. It opens up, becomes wider, and is designed to stop the bad guy without passing through and hurting an innocent bystander. That is why most police officers are issued such ammunition. The only ammunition that fragments upon impact is frangible ammunition which is designed that way to prevent pass throughs or ricochets at a shooting range. Even then, it only comes apart when it hits a hard object like a target backstop.
The only “exploding” ammo I’ve ever read about was in Frederick Forsyth’s Day of the Jackel where the assassin had special ammo made with a drop of mercury in a sealed bullet.