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Paul Markel photo

Simply defined, an intermediate barrier is something that your round has to pass through in order to reach the threat. For the average police officer, this can manifest itself in several forms. Given that much of an officer’s contact with criminals involves a car, they present many issues. To further complicate the matter, an officer not only may have to shoot through a car, but out of it as well.

Officers are primarily “first responders.” That means they must arrive at a scene of some sort of conflict and deal with the environment. That adds structures to the equation as well, which can take the form of walls, fences, windows, doors and other construction materials. The walk up to a structure may add bushes, trees and other fauna to the mix. Responding officers often must react to the actions of a threat. They seldom get to choose their environment—they simply must deal with it with the equipment on hand.

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Penetration through gelatin (top) provides a decent indication of what your round will do through soft tissue.

Sometimes that is a rifle or shotgun, but most often it is the pistol on their side. Choosing the appropriate round to allow the officer to deal with what comes their way is critical, and takes some time and thought.

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Shooting through old car doors and wallboard is a great way to see how your ammo will perform. Make sure a target is behind barriers so you can check for key-holing and fragmentation. Paul Markel photo

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Paul Markel photo Simply defined, an intermediate barrier is something that your round has to…