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US Uses Bullets Ill-suited For New Ways Of War


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Rules of war limit the type of ammunition conventional military units can shoot. The Hague Convention of 1899 bars hollow point bullets that expand in the body and cause injuries that someone is less likely to survive. The United States was not a party to that agreement. Yet, as most countries do, it adheres to the treaty, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Are bullets meant to kill? :unsure:

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Rules of war limit the type of ammunition conventional military units can shoot. The Hague Convention of 1899 bars hollow point bullets that expand in the body and cause injuries that someone is less likely to survive. The United States was not a party to that agreement. Yet, as most countries do, it adheres to the treaty, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Are bullets meant to kill? :unsure:

Yes, but I think the spirit of the law is to prevent the usage of ammunition that is likely to create undue suffering. If you're going to kill the guy, then kill him outright. Don't shoot him and make him suffer for hours and hours while he bleeds to death. Oddly enough, this is completely contrary to the thinking in the law enforcement world, where hollow point ammunition is almost exclusively used, because of the greater potential to cause incapacitation.

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Oddly enough, this is completely contrary to the thinking in the law enforcement world, where hollow point ammunition is almost exclusively used, because of the greater potential to cause incapacitation.

I don't see what's so odd about that. It's a lot easier to justify legally causing pain to one community's murderer than it is another communities soldiers and patriots -- especially if it's to prevent injury to an innocent.

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I remember reading something like that about the shotgun during WWII and about how the Nazis said they execute any American soldiers they caught carrying one. Something about it being against some arms agreement and it being viewed as cruel way to kill someone...? :maybe:

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As everyone knows it is often the intention to wound and not directly kill an enemy during a firefight/battle because it uses a lot more of an enemies resources dealing with a wounded comrade than it does a dead one, not a nice fact but a true one.

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Oddly enough, this is completely contrary to the thinking in the law enforcement world, where hollow point ammunition is almost exclusively used, because of the greater potential to cause incapacitation.

I don't see what's so odd about that. It's a lot easier to justify legally causing pain to one community's murderer than it is another communities soldiers and patriots -- especially if it's to prevent injury to an innocent.

You completely missed the point. I will respond again after I've slept, lol.

Edited by Parabellum
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As everyone knows it is often the intention to wound and not directly kill an enemy during a firefight/battle because it uses a lot more of an enemies resources dealing with a wounded comrade than it does a dead one, not a nice fact but a true one.

Certainly this was my understanding of the ballistic reasons why NATO went over to 5.56mm SA80's from 7.62mm SLRs - in the event of the Russkis pouring across the North German plain, slowing down the attack would be more effectively accomplished by using light rounds which would badly wound but not kill one man and tie up another 3, 4 or 5 in getting him off the battlefield, than by just killing that man and his comrades outright with heavier ammo.

I seem to remember that this calculation was predicated on the average range of engagement on that same North German plain - 5.56mm would have started to slow down, and be more inclined to tumble within the human body upon impact, whereas 7.62mm would just hit with massive force(killing with shock?) but might still just keep going?

I also think I recall (having been spending as much teenage time as possible in BAOR with my school CCF) that the troops weren't too impressed with this rationale - they rather liked the way a 7.62mm round would punch straight through a solid brick or concrete wall and still take out anyone on the other side, at more or less any range...

Theo

Edited by TheoRetiKule
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The main reason for introducing the 5.56x45mm was weight, and to a lesser extent recoil. The 5.56mm allows the weapon to be built lighter, and (in particular) allow more ammunition to be carried within the total weight limit.

A G3 with 100 rounds weigh the same as an M16A2 with 200+ rounds or thereabout (and the caseless G11 would have weighed the same with 500 rounds, or so a promotional poster once proclaimed).

Respectfully

krise madsen

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The main reason for introducing the 5.56x45mm was weight, and to a lesser extent recoil. The 5.56mm allows the weapon to be built lighter, and (in particular) allow more ammunition to be carried within the total weight limit.

A G3 with 100 rounds weigh the same as an M16A2 with 200+ rounds or thereabout (and the caseless G11 would have weighed the same with 500 rounds, or so a promotional poster once proclaimed).

Respectfully

krise madsen

Give the man a prize. :thumbsup:

The "conversion" formula that I was told was this, the standard ten magazines of 5.56mm (30rd mags)= seven mags of .308 (20rd mags).

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Oddly enough, this is completely contrary to the thinking in the law enforcement world, where hollow point ammunition is almost exclusively used, because of the greater potential to cause incapacitation.

I don't see what's so odd about that. It's a lot easier to justify legally causing pain to one community's murderer than it is another communities soldiers and patriots -- especially if it's to prevent injury to an innocent.

You completely missed the point. I will respond again after I've slept, lol.

I'd appreciate that -- and i'm not trying to be combative at all. Just, as i read it, what you said is 'military wants fmj instead of hollowpoint to avoid suffering -- oddly this contradicts police'. I don't see it as odd, for the reasons i stated. I guess i'm misunderstanding something, though?

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Sup, think logisitics.

What takes more of the enemies supplies? Dragging a wounded soldier off the battlefield, stabilizing him, transporting him to the rear, treating him when he gets there for immediate injuries, then taking time for him to recover, then reoutfit him, reissue his gear, move him back to the front, and try and get him fighting again (assuming he's not so badly injured he can't fight - which is what we try for. Never want to see the same guy twice).

Or...

Shooting a guy dead, having their medic come declare him DRT (Dead Right There), and them Charlie Mike?

It was always my understanding that the 5.56mm we use was designed to cause casualties to remove soldiers from the battle field, while also putting max strains on the enemies supplies and logistics by flooding them with wounded and useless soldiers. "Don't do anything to hurt yourself Private! You're no good to the Army if you can't fight!"

*** Upon reading, I see Zebb has already covered this... :blush: Whoops. Hope no one minds the extended reply. :)

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Oddly enough, this is completely contrary to the thinking in the law enforcement world, where hollow point ammunition is almost exclusively used, because of the greater potential to cause incapacitation.

I don't see what's so odd about that. It's a lot easier to justify legally causing pain to one community's murderer than it is another communities soldiers and patriots -- especially if it's to prevent injury to an innocent.

You completely missed the point. I will respond again after I've slept, lol.

I'd appreciate that -- and i'm not trying to be combative at all. Just, as i read it, what you said is 'military wants fmj instead of hollowpoint to avoid suffering -- oddly this contradicts police'. I don't see it as odd, for the reasons i stated. I guess i'm misunderstanding something, though?

What I'm getting at is... how do I put this? In general terms (meaning, that this isn't always the case) when a soldier or a police officer (or even a private citizen) fires a weapon at another human being, why are you firing at that person? You're firing to stop the threat. Right? You want the guy down, and you want him down now. Whether he dies or not is immaterial, so long as he's no longer a threat to you.

Causing the guy pain has nothing to do with it using hollowpoints. You shot him. If he doesn't die outright, he's going to be hurting for awhile, no matter what kind of ammunition you use. Hollowpoint rounds are famous for their anecdotal ability to put a man down, and keep him there. They cause massive internal injury in comparison with FMJ rounds, and thusly, are more likely to do the job.

Case in point: Two friends of mine were on loan to a federal agency on a drug stakeout several years ago. They were supposed to provide support for a federal agent who was making a drug purchase from one of the area's top dealers. During the encounter, a gunfight ensued. The two police officers shot the man a total of five times w/ 230-grain Speer Lawman rounds. He was dead before he hit the ground.

At the autopsy, which one of the officers attended, the medical examiner and the police officer were both astounded by the amount of internal damage the man had suffered. His heart, lungs, and liver were gone. Shredded. Those little 45-cal hollowpoints had carved wounds the size of raquetballs in the man's tissue, and destroyed his vital organs. Such is the effectiveness of hollowpoint rounds. They aren't designed to maim. They're designed to destroy as much tissue as possible, and thusly put a man down ASAP.

Contrast this to incidents where people are shot w/ small-caliber, FMJ rounds, and keep coming and coming and coming. From one perspective, FMJ rounds would seem more likely to produce painful, long-lasting injuries, rather than death. Isn't that the goal of the Geneva Convention: To help mitigate undue suffering on the battlefield?

Now, I'm in no way qualified to debate whether or not the military should do this or that, or to speculate why they don't. I'm just saying that as far as pure ballistic performance, JHP rounds are usually more efficient at putting a man down, and keeping him there. There are obviously time-tested reasons for using FMJ ammunition rather than JHP, and it isn't my place to challenge those reasons. I'm simply pointing out that JHP rounds are more efficient for actually putting your adversary down, and keeping him there.

EDIT

And Cam, I never get tired of reading your replies. :) I can't tell you how proud I am of guys like you and Marcinko. It seems like yesterday you two guys were in high school, lol.

Edited by Parabellum
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Such is the effectiveness of hollowpoint rounds. They aren't designed to maim. They're designed to destroy as much tissue as possible, and thusly put a man down ASAP.

Contrast this to incidents where people are shot w/ small-caliber, FMJ rounds, and keep coming and coming and coming. From one perspective, FMJ rounds would seem more likely to produce painful, long-lasting injuries, rather than death. Isn't that the goal of the Geneva Convention: To help mitigate undue suffering on the battlefield?

Alright, thanks for clarifying. You didn't really say any of that in your original post, but it's a very valid point now that you state it clearly.

Ruin: Well written post, thanks. I'm already familiar with the logistics of the issue, i was only asking about what i suppose was a misunderstood part of Para's post, but thanks for taking the time to reply, anyway.

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