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Hollowpoint ammunition

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posted on Jan, 1 2010 @ 01:08 PM
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With the ongoing debate on which calibre is 'best' in assault rifle use, the general consensus is that 7.62mm out performs 5.56mm round for round in the damage stakes. This is primarily due to the ammunition types that are authorised for use in armed conflice, i.e. ball/FMJ.

The current issue SS109 FMJ Improved Penetrator (IP) 5.56mm round is about as effective as you are going to get within the set perameters. It is most effective at ranges of under 200m when fired from weapons with a barrel length of around 20". the reason for this is that under 200m the round is more likely to fragment due to the higher velocity, thereby increasing the diameter of the wound track. this is also why current weapons with shorter barrels are less effective at these ranges, with their optimum fragmentation range being under 85m (14.5" barrel M4). However it is widely accepted that a 5.56mm round with an appropriate bullet design will be considerably more effective than that currently in use within the armed forces, particularly in these shorter barrels.

My question is this; Exactly where does it state that expanding ammunition is forbidden? The most stated argument is the section of the Laws of War: Laws and customs of war on land (Hague IV) October 18, 1907. Article 23 of Section 1 of the Annex to this document states the following;


In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden -

To employ poison or poisoned weapons;

To kill or wound treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army;

To kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion;

To declare that no quarter will be given;

To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering;

To make improper use of a flag of truce, of the national flag or of the military insignia and uniform of the enemy, as well as the distinctive badges of the Geneva Convention;

To destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;

To declare abolished, suspended, or inadmissible in a court of law the rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party. A belligerent is likewise forbidden to compel the nationals of the hostile party to take part in the operations of war directed against their own country, even if they were in the belligerent's service before the commencement of the war.


I would suggest that this document is out of date. In years gone by medical expertese was such that a bullet that fragmented meant a very poor prognosis for the casualty due to the rudamentary methods of excising thse wounds. Current medical technology and treatments have addressed this, meaning that a broken bullet does not immediately mean death to the casualty. Indeed, we are developing and using fragmenting explosive devices that are designed to cause multiple small injuries for this very reason.

Current modern hollowpoint projectiles simply improve the incapacitation potential of issue ammunition. How would employing this ammunition be any more inhumane or cause any more pain and suffering that issuing a larger calibre? Indeed, I would suggest that issuing a larger calibre is more inhumane than using smaller hollowpoint ammunition simply due to the massive increase in kinetic energy that a heavier projectile deposits on target.

What is the difference between choosing a larger round because it causes more damage and using an expanding round?

There is a trend towards shorter weapons due to the increased mechanisation of warfare, and it is unlikely that the US is going to be issuing a bullpup weapon any time soon. Barrel length is the part of the weapon that is most often sacrificed in the persuit of a shorter weapon. This is at the ultimate detriment of end results for the ammunition. Better bullet design would help combat this.

Therefore I would suggest the widespread issue of hollowpoint/expanding ammunition to troops issued with 5.56mm weapons.

Any thoughts?




posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 03:24 AM
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if i remember right its the hauge convention,exposed lead is what is "banned".they put that in so as not to increase the suffering of enemy soldiers after they were shot,the idea is once they were shot and wounded they were put out of action and no longer a threat to other side ,so there is no reason to kill or inflict horrendous wound by rifle fire.open tip match(OTM) ammo is used by our troops in afganistan, both 223 and 308 ,mostly speicail forces and designated marksmen.and snipers.the key is no exposed lead,no JSP, as all military ammo has lead in it,lead buckshot was at first not allowed then they went to copper or nickel plated buckshot and that was allowed.OTM is just new tech way of saying JHP,but the hole is deeper and wider so as to create air bubble in front of bullet , it makes the round more stable and accurate,and just happens to expand and mushroom on impact with bad guy.

[edit on 2-1-2010 by madokie]



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 04:32 AM
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Good questions and nice post. I have asked some veterans this not too long ago.

The reason they use FMJ instead of expanding ammo is that it will possibly only wound an opponent, which then would need aid rendered. In that case it would take 2 people to carry the wounded out of the line of fire. This would create a reduction of opponents that would surpass the initial wounded.

War is just a game, that is why rules have been set.

So the local VFW claims.



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 04:41 AM
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There are several reason in my opinion

(This is just my opinion mind everyone)

1. FMJ Ammunition overall, functions better than Hollow Point or Soft Nose in most weapons

2. There are times in combat when it is necessary to shoot "through" things; FMJ is FAR superior in this

3. In general rough handling, the FMJ retains it's shape where a HP or SN would deform effecting performance

Semper



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 09:51 AM
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Thanks for the replies guys.


Originally posted by semperfortis

1. FMJ Ammunition overall, functions better than Hollow Point or Soft Nose in most weapons


I can't argue with that. However current ammunition manufacturing may be able to overcome this problem?


2. There are times in combat when it is necessary to shoot "through" things; FMJ is FAR superior in this


Agreed. Indeed 5.56mm SS109 is designed to do this very thing, as it has an IP core. My point is the main issues arising from current theatres is that it is not stopping as effectively when fired at humans in the open, particularly from short barrels. Would some type of expanding ammunition (not necessarily HP) be more effective? Range would be the same, but the ammunition would be more effective at longer ranges.


3. In general rough handling, the FMJ retains it's shape where a HP or SN would deform effecting performance

Semper


Ammo is already commercially available that asresses this point. For example the 5.56 Hornady TAP round looks just like a FMJ, but has a hollow section behind the tip, so it feeds with exactly the same level of reliability as SS109. The tip itself is designed to resist deformation in magazines etc, but the dound opens up like a standard hollowpoint. Penetration in ballistic gel is about 13-14" fired from 30'. This ammo is quite expensive (when compared to mil spec stuff), but these costs would reduce dramatically if put into mass production.

(No I don't have shares in Hornady, I'm just using this round as an example of what is available).

While there are points regarding the technicalities of the round, There are still no actual facts regarding legality.

Can anyone prove me wrong?

[edit on 2-1-2010 by PaddyInf]



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 10:21 AM
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From wikipedia.org on the subject of hollowpoints

The Hague Convention of 1899, Declaration III, prohibits the use in warfare of bullets that easily expand or flatten in the body.[3] This is often incorrectly believed to be prohibited in the Geneva Conventions, but it significantly predates those conventions, and is in fact a continuance of the St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868, which banned exploding projectiles of less than 400 grams, as well as weapons designed to aggravate injured soldiers or make their death inevitable. NATO members do not use small arms ammunition that is prohibited by the Hague Convention.

Despite the ban on military use, hollow-point bullets are one of the most common types of civilian and police ammunition, due largely to the reduced risk of bystanders being hit by over-penetrating or ricocheted bullets, and the increased speed of incapacitation. In many jurisdictions, even ones such as the United Kingdom, where expanding ammunition is generally prohibited, it is illegal to hunt certain types of game with ammunition that does not expand.[4][5] Some target ranges forbid full metal jacket ammunition, due to its greater tendency to damage metal targets and backstops.[6]



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 08:04 PM
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One other point I think we all are missing

Money
Money
Money

Other than just lead... FMJ is perhaps the cheapest route to achieve the best results and all manufacturing facilities are geared up for it as well...

Semper



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 10:31 PM
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another way to get around this "problem" is to "dutch" load your magazine, 1rd AP, next rd OTM,you can do this also with pistol and shotgun.put weapon on 2 rd burst and put both rounds in bad guy, at least one round will incapacitate bad guy, russians have rifle that in burst mode fires 2 rounds before recoil impulse hits shoulder from first round.can put both bullets into bad guy out to 100meters easy.militarys have several problems with this approach,logistics,they have too many different rounds in supply room as is,dumb soldiers,some not all,couldnt figure out simple instuctions,cost and waste.

[edit on 2-1-2010 by madokie]



posted on Jan, 3 2010 @ 01:35 AM
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reply to post by DaddyBare
 


Thanks mate. Finally some legal stuff. While I don't like wikipedia as a source, the one cited by Wiki (Yale Law School) does hold a bit of credence.

Looking at the decleration stated,


The Contracting Parties agree to abstain from the use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core, or is pierced with incisions.

The present Declaration is only binding for the Contracting Powers in the case of a war between two or more of them.

It shall cease to be binding from the time when, in a war between the Contracting Parties, one of the belligerents is joined by a non-Contracting Power.


Therefore as the Taliban are not signatories, the decleration is not binding, freeing up (in theory at least) the use of such ammunition.

These declerations need to be reviewed IMHO. They were made a hundred years ago using out dated ammunition technologies and medical research. The ammunition in use at the time was generally bigger and usually slower moving. The frontal surface of the round was enough to remove the requirement for expansion. To create an expanding round would be seen as trying to cause more suffering.

The use of hollowpoint ammunition is not generally seen to be inhumane by modern shooters. Indeed as DaddyBears source stated, the use of hollowpoints is a legal requirement for the humane dispatch of certain game in the UK, purely because it is seen to be more humane.

I think that sometimes we get so caught up in the legalities and technologies that we forget the reason that we're shooting someone in the first place; to stop (kill) them. When fired from a short barrel the 5.56mm suffers from a reduction in its' ability to carry out its' primary function, at least at long range. From a decent barrel it is not so much of a problem. The use of expanding ammunition could dramatically increase the effective range of the round against unarmoured targets.



posted on Jan, 3 2010 @ 03:58 AM
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An excellent thread Paddy and one which should occupy the minds of our Military Leaders.

I did search the Geneva Conventions especially the Protocols regarding the Laws of (Modern) Armed Conflict but for the life of me, I could not find any reference to exploding or 'dum-dum' small arms ammunition, although I did know there was something 'written' in Law.

So, without wishing to sound patronising, well done to Daddybare for digging around and locating the actual legislation.

There is another Protocol which also covers this, although the detail has been lost in the small print. I refer to:

'Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects' (with Protocols I, II and III)' Geneva, 10th October, 1980.

It deals mainly with land mines and other types of fragmentation weapons or munitions, there is an interesting addition to Protocol 1:



Non-Detectable Fragments prohibits the use of any weapon the primary effect of which is to injure by fragments which in the human body escape detection by X-rays


Having watched a Sky 1 tv programme called 'Inside A Gunshot Victim', it is apparent that most small calibre rounds [up to 9mm] readily fragment once it strikes large, dense bone inside the human body.

I wonder Paddy, whether the current 5.56mm round falls within the scope of Protocol 1, even though it is 'legal' ammunition?



posted on Jan, 3 2010 @ 05:04 AM
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reply to post by fritz
 


I wouldn't think that this convention would have any real bearing on current issue rounds or the introduction of expanding ammunition, assuming that it was made from 'conventional' materials such as brass, lead etc. These would still show up as normal on X-ray.

This is a good point though, as some types of expanding ammunition utilise a plastic tip or ball that is forced back into the round to induce expansion. This may fall foul to the aforementioned protocol, as the plastic will have a lower signature on x-ray. As an aside these rounds have been shown to offer more reliable expansion than hollowpoints when faced with an attacker wearing moderate to heavy cloathing as the cavity of hollowpoint ammo can plug up with material, retarding expansion.



posted on Jan, 4 2010 @ 08:33 PM
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hollows are just nasty... i think the reason they use FMJ is due to the fact that they pass right through (usually) rather than hollows expanding on impact and displacing blood and guts...



posted on Jan, 7 2010 @ 04:17 PM
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Originally posted by conspiracyrus
hollows are just nasty... i think the reason they use FMJ is due to the fact that they pass right through (usually) rather than hollows expanding on impact and displacing blood and guts...


I rather think that if I shoot someone it is with a view to displacing their blood and guts! I would like the tools that enable me to carry out this task in a smart, soldier-like and uniform manner (to quote the drill manual).

I personally can't wait until they give us a general purpose round that turns Terry inside out while spreading their entrails over a 10ft radius. Until then I'm just trying to consider other options.

[edit on 8-1-2010 by PaddyInf]



posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 01:27 PM
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Here's a quote from Hague:



The Contracting Parties agree to abstain from the use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core, or is pierced with incisions.



July 29, 1899



posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 01:30 PM
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Ah.. I think I found it...

NATO does not use ammunition banned by the Hague Conventions (which banned flattening bullets).

So I guess, once again, we are following the rules of another entity outside our control.



posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 01:49 PM
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My experience:

Your 7.62x39 "AK" round outperforms the 5.56 (.223) round from about 150yds in. 200-350yrds, the 5.56 is a better round. Within 45yrds, trust me, it makes no difference. You hit the human target, it's going down.

Hollowpoints vs FMJ...

Generally speaking, it's easier for most weapons, especially high-firing rate weapons, to feed FMJ rounds. There are a ton of issues with HP's because of the variance of form / design. A solid pistol / rifle with a nice. long feed ramp won't have much of an issue with HP's. However, not all weapon systems take that into account.

Range is also an issue. aerodynamics of a high velocity round are very important to ballistic stability. FMJ's can be shaped to account for high speed, long distance shots. HP's, especially pistol loads, have big issues over 75yrds even when shot out of a carbine like an HKMP5.


There is a time and place for both. HP's are great self defence rounds and should always be used in such a role. But there is a huge difference between defending your life, and offensively seeking to snatch the life from another human being.

Me... I prefer the AK / 7.62 system. AR's like to run "wet" / really lubed up. AK's run perfectly either way. AK's are half the price. 7.62x39 is cheaper round allowing more trigger time.

The advantage of the 5.56 / AR system is that it's lighter weight and easier to service.

That's my preference. What is correct for me is not what is correct for every situation. For me, home defense situation, possible urban escape scenario, I'll take two AK-style rifles for $500/ea instead of one AR-style @ $1000/ea.



posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 01:51 PM
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PS - Yea, Geneva Convention banned "wadcutters", fragmentation rounds, hollowpoints, and incendiary rounds.

It's not all bad. There is a place for HP and FMJ use in theater. And I am 100% sure many of our Op's disregard Geneva Convention for a variety of situations.



posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 03:24 PM
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Originally posted by WARBREAD

Hollowpoints vs FMJ...

Generally speaking, it's easier for most weapons, especially high-firing rate weapons, to feed FMJ rounds. There are a ton of issues with HP's because of the variance of form / design. A solid pistol / rifle with a nice. long feed ramp won't have much of an issue with HP's. However, not all weapon systems take that into account.


Grantetd, for true hollowpoints this may be an issue, but not all expanding rounds use a hollowpoint profile. Several have the same shape as ball rounds, but have different internal profiles. Perhapse I should have entitled the thread 'Expanding Ammunition'.


Range is also an issue. aerodynamics of a high velocity round are very important to ballistic stability. FMJ's can be shaped to account for high speed, long distance shots. HP's, especially pistol loads, have big issues over 75yrds even when shot out of a carbine like an HKMP5.


Again, not an issue with many types of expanding ammo. To take an example from what is already on issue, the 7.62mm 168gr Boat Tail Hollow Point used as the staple diet for most sniper rifles in US issue is stupidly accurate at the limits of the calibres range. The hollow point moves the weight of the round further back which increases the stability of the bullet at long range.



There is a time and place for both. HP's are great self defence rounds and should always be used in such a role. But there is a huge difference between defending your life, and offensively seeking to snatch the life from another human being.


Morally, yes. Mechanically, I would say no. In basic terms you are aiming to achieve the same aim; the efficient death or incapacitation of an opponent. The only difference is that one is planned while the other is reactionary.

It may be suggested that the physical act of killing someone in an armed conflict and killing someone in a self/home defence scenario are at the basest level exactly the same. The tool used doesn't care either way.



posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 03:34 PM
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reply to post by emsed1
 


Yea, DaddyBare found it earlier. My argument is that the Hague convention states that the protocols are only binding if the conflict is between two or more signatories. The Taliban are not, hence the convention is void in the current conflict.

As for NATO armies not using weapons banned by the conventions, this is not strictly true. NATO forces choose not to use the weapons, they are not legally bound. I can find no legal requirement for not using this ammunition in Afghanistan, just a legally spurious agreement.



posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 03:42 PM
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Well... I don't 100% agree. I think planning in a home / personal defense scenario dictates HP / rapidly expanding bullets. Most people don't really want to blow a hole through their house and their neighbor's car parked 20m away. Even worse, in the apartment dwelling scenario... over penetration is a very big deal. In a public setting even worse... collateral damage and legalities... something we all have to think about in today's society when going armed.

That said, if I were an assassin looking to kill someone... whole different set of rules. Who cares about collateral damage. Maybe I want to shoot through a house or a car. Bring on the FMJ's in a .308 FAL. In fact, bring on the largest, most violent weapon I can handle.




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