THR MythBusters: No Touch .50 Kill...


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PaladinX13
October 11, 2004, 01:57 PM
The myth goes something like this: The Geneva Convention bans the use of .50 caliber weapons used against humans because the force of the bullet is so great, if a round even passes you, the shockwaves in the air will jellify your insides and kill you.

Sadly, I've heard this myth repeated 2 times in the last 72 hours by self-declared military persons. Bust the myth!

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Kharn
October 11, 2004, 02:01 PM
Anybody want to buy a 100lb pig and brush its tail with a .50 before making it into bar-b-que?

Kharn

Seventhsword
October 11, 2004, 02:13 PM
:D

ID_shooting
October 11, 2004, 02:30 PM
I will bust it...

There is no reg or rule stopping a troop from opening up on personell with a M2.

As for the concussion, unless they changed the rounds in the last 10 years, I know for a fact that near misses do not kill, but they sure do make people move awfully darn quick.

Ian
October 11, 2004, 02:44 PM
The physics part of tht is easy to bust. Look at what happens to a paper target that is the victim of a near miss form a .50: nothing. If it won't damage paper, it certainly won't hurt a person (excluding heart attacks).

Teufelhunden
October 11, 2004, 03:04 PM
From what I've heard, the 'No .50 on Personnel' myth came about in Vietnam. Evidently theatre commanders could limit ammo distributions and had some trouble getting .50BMG to everywhere it needed to be, so they passed a local rule that .50's were not to be used on such (really) soft targets such as personnel, but rather on light vehicles etc.

Don't know if it's true or not, but of the explanations I've heard for the .50 Myth, it's the most plausible.

-Teuf

geojap
October 11, 2004, 04:25 PM
After watching the history channel, I know that 50's were used in Somalia against the khat-chewing hoards that descended on the downed Blackhawk, and it did drive them back with some effectiveness.

HankB
October 11, 2004, 04:51 PM
I remember my father mentioning use of halftrack-mounted quad .50's on a Banzai charge during WWII. It worked well - you actually could depress the barrels below horizontal. But near-misses were just that - misses.

Through the grapevine, someone somewhere "supposedly" questioned the use of anti-aircraft weaponry on infantry . . . the inquiry went nowhere, assuming it existed at all . . . .but quite honestly, I can't see a soldier in actual combat NOT using all available weaponry on the enemy just because some REMF issued an order to the contrary. (Hmmm . . . use the .50s, or get overrun by the enemy . . . decisions, decisions. :rolleyes: )

Shaughn Leayme
October 11, 2004, 07:13 PM
I beleive the first instance was around WWI where I remeber reading about a prohibition on using the 50 cal agaimst personnel as inhumane under the Hague conventions of 1907. But I imagine that any concerns about that went out the window at the first opportunity when the enemy was trying to kick down the door.

If one really wants to interpret the Hague conventions in the strictest sense then one could make a case for prohibiting the use of the 50 Cal and Anti Aircraft weapons (14.5 mm, 20mm, 23mm,40mm etc) being used against ground personnel, but what standing army or soldier is going to hesitate to use any weapon he has at hand when in dire need.

Compared against all the other mean and nasty devices that are on the modern battlefield the 50 caliber is well down on the list of worries, I imagine.

Slaytera666
October 11, 2004, 08:00 PM
An old special forces guy told me that if someone got shot in the face with 50 cal, personel next to him would be wounded from flying pieces of skull and bone matter from the internal pressure of the impact. ?????? Don't know if it's true, but it sounds like it could happen.

BTW I'm military, and I've been told it's illegal to open up with a 50 on personel.

rock jock
October 11, 2004, 08:43 PM
An old special forces guy told me that if someone got shot in the face with 50 cal, personel next to him would be wounded from flying pieces of skull and bone matter from the internal pressure of the impact.
Technically speaking, it would be from the kinetic energy. And yes, I do believe that.

cool45auto
October 11, 2004, 08:50 PM
I know for a fact that near misses do not kill, but they sure do make people move awfully darn quick.
:D :D

Thumper
October 11, 2004, 09:09 PM
BTW I'm military, and I've been told it's illegal to open up with a 50 on personel.

Just so's you know, it's not.

Cosmoline
October 11, 2004, 09:22 PM
It's a complete myth. The Hague Convention does not ban bullets merely because they are big. .50 Ball uses FMJ bullets, so no problem.

MTW, IIRC Kerry cited the "illegal" use of BGM's on human targets in his testimony before Congress.

Kharn
October 11, 2004, 09:56 PM
Somebody might want to tell the Stryker Brigade Combat Team that they cant use their remote-controlled .50s on personel. :rolleyes:

For some reason, commanders love the idea of every vehicle mounting a .50.

Kharn

benEzra
October 11, 2004, 09:58 PM
Sgt. Carlos Hathcock occasionally sniped with a Ma Deuce mounting a 10-power scope, IIRC; the cyclic rate was low enough he could fire single shots with it. No mention of that being illegal, and it's in his official record and such.

Valkman
October 11, 2004, 10:17 PM
Any statement of "fact" with the word "jellify" in it isn't very credible to begin with. I wonder if you shot one by a doughnut store if it would "jellify" all the doughnuts? :D That might be cool.

rock jock
October 11, 2004, 10:27 PM
Valkman, good one. :D

myrockfight
October 11, 2004, 10:39 PM
Sgt. Carlos Hathcock occasionally sniped with a Ma Deuce mounting a 10-power scope, IIRC; the cyclic rate was low enough he could fire single shots with it. No mention of that being illegal, and it's in his official record and such.

I read that account also. I can't remember what book it was, but I was thinking it might be the one by J.T. Ward. Is that right? Great book anyway.

I am certainly not in the military, but common sense, as absent as it is to some, or self-preservation, would certainly rule the moment if a wave of enemy personnel were coming at me and I had the choice between an M-16 and a M2...well most of us would know what to do. If you don't, please don't be in the way of those that do.

I forgot to add that I remember someone telling me they hunted squirrel with a 30-06. As I pictured squirrels exploding, he told me they didn't actually shoot them. They just grazed their heads to knock them out. It's not a fifty, but the scale is about right! Has anyone heard of that?

Average Guy
October 11, 2004, 10:45 PM
At what range? Our platoon sergeant opened up with a HMMWV-mounted .50 over our heads once. Unnerving, yes, but I'm pretty sure my brain wasn't jellified. Then again... :D

Darkmind
October 11, 2004, 10:47 PM
Ok let me start by fixing a few of these. I was a 50 gunner for four years in the Marine Corps so i feel i can help shed a little more light.


(benEzra) Sgt. Carlos Hathcock occasionally sniped with a Ma Deuce mounting a 10-power scope, IIRC; the cyclic rate was low enough he could fire single shots with it. No mention of that being illegal, and it's in his official record and such.


Number one, the M2 Ma Deuce can be fired on fully auto AND SIMI AUTO!



(PaladinX13) The myth goes something like this: The Geneva Convention bans the use of .50 caliber weapons used against humans because the force of the bullet is so great, if a round even passes you, the shockwaves in the air will jellify your insides and kill you.

Sadly, I've heard this myth repeated 2 times in the last 72 hours by self-declared military persons. Bust the myth!


Number two, I do not know much about the Geneva Convention as i have not looked at the whole thing so dont quote me on it. But i can say that i was given direct orders not to fire at persons, insted i was ordered to aim at the gear on their body. This order came directly from the CO of my regament.





Number three, Near misses can kill a man! But they got to be close (really close) to the brain houseing group ( head ). Have you ever seen what happens to a man with busted blood vessels in his brain? Kind of the same concept as a man being killed by a hand grenade without being touched by any shrapnal. The shock wave!



Like i've said before i'm not god and i dont know everything, but because of my extensive experience with the M2 i flet that i could add my .02 cents.

Shaughn Leayme
October 11, 2004, 11:02 PM
The Hague conventions of 1907 do not prohibit big bullets , but it does set limits on what you can do and subject to interpretation of parties at hand and after the fact.

As you can see below a case could be made against the 50 cal and anti aircraft type weapons being employed in an anti personnel role.


Article 22
The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited.

Article 23
Besides the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially prohibited:--

To employ poison or poisoned arms;

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

To kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down 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 of a nature to cause superfluous injury; "

To make improper use of a flag of truce, the national flag, or military ensigns and the enemy's uniform, 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.


If a combatant were to be captured and it could be shown that he employed " arms, projectile, or material of a nature to cause a superflous injury" then the country could conceivably try him/her/them as a war criminal.

BUT both parties have to be signatories to the accord and also declare war as per the rules of the accord.

Vietnam was a police action, not a war in the strictess intepretation of war under International Law.

Gulf War 1 and 2 are also police actions, since they are basically covered by the various UN resolutions .

The War on Terror is also not a formalised war as per the Hague Conventions or International Law.

So really the 4 cases above are not really limited by the Hague accords and it basically means anything goes with the only limiting factors being treaties concerning the use and implementation of Chemical, Nuclear, and Biological agents and some other recognized standards as laid out under International Law.

I should also note that the United States Never ratified the Hague Conventions of 1907 and therefore are not bound by them, but have observed the letter of the accord since it's acceptance.

tulsamal
October 11, 2004, 11:14 PM
I forgot to add that I remember someone telling me they hunted squirrel with a 30-06. As I pictured squirrels exploding, he told me they didn't actually shoot them. They just grazed their heads to knock them out.

There was an article about hunting squirrels with muzzle loaders back in a Gun Digest in the 60's. I remember reading it as a kid. The author said there was an old guy that killed squirrels with a large caliber muzzle loader without ever touching them. He said he sometimes saw a squirrel laying chest down on a big branch of a tree. Chest in contact with the wood. So he would fire a big lead ball into the wood right below the chest. The impact would cause such a snap to the ribcage of the rodent that it would fall out of the tree without a mark on it. Usually just a little blood out the nose. He said the oldtimers called that "barking" a squirrel.

Gregg

tulsamal
October 11, 2004, 11:16 PM
But i can say that i was given direct orders not to fire at persons, insted i was ordered to aim at the gear on their body. This order came directly from the CO of my regament.

That's exactly what I was told (several times) while I was in the active Army in the late 80's.

Gregg

myrockfight
October 11, 2004, 11:41 PM
I'm going to petition Jamie and Adam on the Discovery Channel's Mythbusters to bust this myth! I would love to see a .50 round rip past Buster's head on one of those high speed films. Ahh yes, a show dedicated to THR...I can see it now...:D

Darkmind
October 11, 2004, 11:44 PM
Now that i would love to see. No matter if what i learned/was told, was right or wrong.

Thumper
October 11, 2004, 11:49 PM
That's exactly what I was told (several times) while I was in the active Army in the late 80's.

And it's just as much BS now as it was then. I know because I was personally called out for spreading that same myth by my own CO.

Unfortunately it doesn't stand up to the harsh light of reality. Of COURSE you can engage personnel with a .50.

Forcing the m2 into a single shot mode by leaving the latch handle up and unlocked is not the same as "semi auto."

And no, near misses don't rupture blood vessels in the brain. Physics doesn't work like that. The amount of overpressure a passing bullet causes is miniscule compared to the chemical explosives in a grenade.

It seems that some folks that should know better are eating up the same crap the anti's spew.

WEPS
October 11, 2004, 11:53 PM
back when operation iraqi freedom just started one of our marines was downloadning a M2. unfortunately he was stupid and this is the end result.

(not for the weak)

Darkmind
October 12, 2004, 12:01 AM
(Thumper)Forcing the m2 into a single shot mode by leaving the latch handle up and unlocked is not the same as "semi auto."


Have you ever taken a class on the M2 50?



What is the description of the .50 Cal, HB, M2 Machine Gun?
The .50 Cal, HB, M2 Machine Gun is a belt-fed, recoil operated, air cooled, crew served machine gun, capable of firing single shot as well as automatic fire, and operates on the short recoil principle

Check this link and look about half way down the page. http://www.armystudyguide.com/m2/studyguide.htm

DigMe
October 12, 2004, 12:33 AM
I've believe I've read stories of .50 caliber shots taken to the torso in which the person shot did not die. So...if it's possible to be actually shot with a .50 and not have your insides jellified then it only stands to reason that one passing you and not touching you wouldn't jellify you.

I want to say that Fackler has told of treating someone shot with a .50 BMG round.

brad cook

Warbow
October 12, 2004, 12:41 AM
WEPS wrote:

back when operation iraqi freedom just started one of our marines was downloadning a M2. unfortunately he was stupid and this is the end result.

(not for the weak)

Yikes. What does downloading (I assume that's what you meant) mean in relation to an M2?

Thumper
October 12, 2004, 12:59 AM
Have you ever taken a class on the M2 50?

Yes. I've also supervised a few.

You have to manually release the bolt latch after every shot. That ain't semi auto, right?

JPL
October 12, 2004, 01:09 AM
"I beleive the first instance was around WWI where I remeber reading about a prohibition on using the 50 cal agaimst personnel as inhumane under the Hague conventions of 1907."

I don't believe the .50 BMG was used during WW I.

I believe it was adopted after the war, sometime in the 1920s.

My Uncle spoke very highly of the .50 BMG from his time in combat in Korea.

Said it was VERY comforting to hear one whamming away.

myrockfight
October 12, 2004, 01:51 AM
http://discovery.infopop.net/1/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=6941912904&f=9701967776&m=801108183&r=801108183#801108183

Ok. This is the thread for the show Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel that I started. Maybe it is wishful thinking, but it would be cool to see.

I have no real basis of fact concerning the subject except for the squirrel/large caliber rifle. I don't think the liquefying happens, but I think the concussion of the round could possibly have an effect on a person. Negatively, of course! :D

Destructo6
October 12, 2004, 02:17 AM
the shockwaves in the air will jellify your insides and kill you
I would buy, "Will turn your bowels into jello, just before they evacuate," but not the kill part. Hmmn, I wonder if some old timer used that euphemism for being scared to death and somebody took it literally.

Citadel99
October 12, 2004, 05:07 AM
I've heard that the shooter has only a 50/50 chance of surviving as well!!!

Mark

:D :D :D

DigMe
October 12, 2004, 11:52 AM
I've heard that if you shoot one into the ground it will cause a nuclear bomb sized shockwave that will destroy anything within 50 miles.

:neener:

brad cook

bogie
October 12, 2004, 12:58 PM
I had a DI who maintained that you really should save the heavy stuff for equipment.

He also said that in some instances, uniforms could be considered equipment.

Tory
October 12, 2004, 01:14 PM
"...one of our marines was downloadning [sic[ a M2."

Wow - now I can DOWNLOAD machine guns! That's even better than buying them through the mail.

The internet IS a blessing! :D

CAS700850
October 12, 2004, 01:34 PM
One of teh investigators I work with is ex-82nd Airborne, and said he was instructed that it was against the Geneva Convention to use an M-2 on personnel. The instructor siad it was for use against equipment only, like helmets, web gear, rifles, handguns, etc. :D

As for a near miss causing "jellification", come on... And assault weapons allow drug dealers to shoot thousands of people without reloading.

JPL
October 12, 2004, 02:30 PM
"One of teh investigators I work with is ex-82nd Airborne, and said he was instructed that it was against the Geneva Convention to use an M-2 on personnel."

To me that would be a VERY suspect statement right off the bat.

I'd expect a military person to know that the Hague Accords deals with weapons and wounding, while the Geneva Conventions deals with the treatment of prisoners of war and non combatants.

sumpnz
October 12, 2004, 03:39 PM
I've heard that if you shoot one into the ground it will cause a nuclear bomb sized shockwave that will destroy anything within 50 miles. Nah, that's only if it's 00 Buckshot.

WEPS
October 12, 2004, 04:09 PM
Warbow
"what is downloading in relation to the M2 50."


they were taking it off a CH53 and setting it on the deck to bring it from condition 1 to 4 , when one of the marines hit the trigger bar. BOOOOM!!
on a ship they have what's called hero zones. Hazards Of Elecrtical Radiation Ordnance. the flight line is not always hero safe, so they routinely bring 50's off hello's fully loaded to be downloaded in a hero safe enviroment.

middy
October 12, 2004, 04:40 PM
"Private, I told you the M-2 was not for use against personnel."

"Sir, I was taking out his belt buckle, sir."

SMLE
October 12, 2004, 05:03 PM
My Father was a US Marine in WWII. His recollections are that the use of .50s on the Japs was encouraged. Even 20mm was used in direct fire on Japanese troops as well as 37mm AP, HE and Canister. I have been told that the Marines in Nicaragua in 1964 used a .50 as a sniping weapon and was told of such use in Korea by a Marine who claimed to have observed it first hand as a spotter.

I belive the .50 entered US service in 1918. It didn't see much, if any, use in combat but I have see pictures on US occupation troops in Germany in 1918-19 with water-cooled .50s. Yeah, WATER COOLED! All the hurt and ten times the endurance! Oh BABY!

voilsb
October 12, 2004, 05:36 PM
I'd expect a military person to know that the Hague Accords deals with weapons and wounding, while the Geneva Conventions deals with the treatment of prisoners of war and non combatants.Why? I don't think they teach it, at least not to the every-day Joe. I certainly know I've never had a class on that sort of thing. I had to learn it on my own.

G36-UK
October 12, 2004, 06:22 PM
Just curious, but could someone please describe the damage effects of a .50 BMG round?

I mean, I saw the pic (which looked quite nast btw, what happened to the poor guy?), but I'm curious as to the general damage we're talking in relation to a torso hit, or similar.

Guy B. Meredith
October 12, 2004, 06:29 PM
Back in the 60s I heard the same rumor about the M16 round.

A few years later I heard that a .38 spl could drill a car from front bumper through rear bumper. I told the author that any smoke on the scene was from funny cigarettes, not .38 spl powder.

Guy

sendec
October 12, 2004, 07:39 PM
and have only shot other people's Barretts. Could someone please clarify, are rounds manufactured for MG use designed to be somewhat unstable, in order to disperse the fire through the beaten zone? I got this from a .50 precision shooter who only handloaded and recommended not to use milspec ammo.

I guess an acompanying question would be do the snipers using the Barretts and other .50s use the same ammo as the M2s

JOE MACK
October 12, 2004, 10:27 PM
The only ordinance I've ever seen jellify someone without a direct hit was an NVA regular that was about 20 yards from a bomb crater. He was dead as a mackeral with blood coming from nose, mouth, and ears. Must have gotten too close to where Arclight was hitting. Probably a 500 pounder. :what:

effengee
October 12, 2004, 10:35 PM
Does anybody here have access to a .50 BMG for a little experiment???
Try near missing a watermelon or ballistic gelatin and get back to us ASAP

Myths, like riddles, can be figured out if you scrutinize them hard enough.

The Geneva convention and/or any accords only apply when both parties agree to them during/after a state of war has existed.
This myth about certain weapons being excluded from certain use is often from the Vietnam conflict. NOT a war, as most people think. It is officially termed a Police Action. Let us all hope those that someday police us don't use bombs the size of Honda Civic's dropped from cargo planes and other goodies like landmines and Napalm to resolve the conflict.

Many CO's throughout the years have frowned on their grunts using "odd-ball" equipment or tactics that might bring negative responses from the higher ranking commanders... i.e. Shotguns for their inherent "gory wounding effect", crossbows, silenced pistols, foriegn firearms, abnormal tactics, etc. They also frowned upon collecting ears and scalps, but it really happened... Or the stuff like my buddy who was a doorgunner in 'Nam told me stories of how a body that is shot by a large machine gun will lift off the ground. If hit succesfully and carefully, the body will continue to levitate off the ground untill it literally disintegrates.
A less macabre example of this reality can be had with any rapid fire .22 and a tin can... My friend did it to a cantelope (sp?) got off 6 with a 10/22 before there wasn't anything left to shoot at...

The logistics/command and control structure is augmented by uniformity.
During and following WW2 it was noted that a 10 man squad often carried several different types and calibers of firearms. Ammo supply was bad at best, but even more so when trying to outfit up to 15 firearms of different designations and up to 6 different calibers.
Throughout the years, attempts were made to reduce these numbers to a single type and caliber of sidearm (pistol) and a standard small arm (battle rifle) with one or more members outfitted with a Squad Automatic Weapon aptly knicknamed the "buzzsaw" and others with an anti-armor weapon.
This allows the squad to be light, mobile, and still maintain a high level of lethality across the spectrum of battlefield engagements.

Now, even if you were under direct orders not to engage the single enemy soldier with any of the "abnormal" weapons, and said enemy's infantry suddenly storms your position, what would you do?

A. I'm not using my Ma Duece to grease these guys because of the peace accords or the moral judgement of what constitutes civilized warfare.

B. While Ma Duece cools down, I'll use whatever else is available to kill the enemy before he kills me.

I've heard many a "knowitall" say that shotguns were never used in Vietnam and many a vet say he used one for effectively clearing hooches...
You'll also hear people say that it was illegal for an American soldier to carry anything but an M-16 as his main battle rifle. Yet I know at least one vet who preferred an AK-47 when on point and more than a few early guys who didn't trust the M-16 and opted for the M-14 of Korea fame...
Many a vet also has said to me:
"What's the worst they could do? Send me to the 'Nam, again?"
Meaning: "Next to this, how bad could anything else ever be?"
Besides, they can really only punish you if you live...

As for the near miss theory...
I have heard stories about this happening from larger (20mm and up) projectiles passing very, very close to people and mildly injuring them by the shockwave that was created... Mild concussions, hearing damage, etc.
If a 20mm won't jelly your brains with a near miss, why would a .50???

The squirrel on a branch thing...
Yup, did that. Also hit one with #6 20 guage pellets and didn't see him again until later that year through a scope. He was missing part of his tail and one ear and had a nasty scar on his belly. But he sure wasn't dead.
I once missed a deer's throat with a shotgun slug by a few centimeters. Blew the tree apart right next to his head. He sprayed the ground with brown pellets as he ran off and I never saw him again...
A friend of mine told me that he missed a grouse by mere inches and the bird died of a heart attack. Does that count?

I guess there is no real answer...
There are many cases of soldiers being told not to waste "hard" ammo on "soft" targets for various reasons and far too many uninformed and ignorant people who spew "genuine war stories"

The real issue is whether or not the situation is really desparate enough and the person invloved is smart enough to employ any and all available weapons to gain a tactical advantage...

No military manual of arms that I know of will tell a soldier to bonk a mortar round on the fuse and toss it at a single enemy soldier, but it has been done...

My own humble opinion?
Don't ever intentionally miss your target.
When in combat, fight like your life depended on it. Because it does...

Jimbo

JPL
October 13, 2004, 01:24 AM
"with water-cooled .50s. Yeah, WATER COOLED!"

Water cooled .50 BMGs was the standard last ditch anti-aircraft defense for Navy ships through a large part of WW II.

They were also used by emplaced ground troops.

They were increasingly replaced by the 20mm Oerlikon guns, though.

I think water cooled .50s were used up through the Vietnam War, on river patrol craft.

Freedomv
October 13, 2004, 04:46 AM
This isn't concerning a .50 but some what on the same thought.

When I was a kid growing up on the farm I did a LOT of shooting.

I once shot a rabbit with a .22 cal crossman pellet gun and upon examination found that I only hit his ears and had made a nice hole through them both with out touching his head or neck. I posted him to cure my curiosity and did not find any other wound.

My thoughts at the time were that the blood vessels transfered the little bit of energy from the hit on his ears directly to its brain as they are obviously very close togather. I don't think that I actually killed it with the shot but just stunded it and then picked it up and finished it off before it could recover.

I have seen rabbits litterly shake with fear. ( brother had a snake and would feed it rabbits.) And this may be a contributing factor with a hit to the ears--- something like a heart attack.

Just an observation.
Vern

AK-74me
July 17, 2005, 06:48 PM
I work with two former marines who last night were trying to tell me that if a .50 bmg round passed close enough to you but without hitting you it would rip off body parts. I laughed and called BS of course but they were adiment and claimed to have seen video. After I told a few others who all laughed at them, including other marines, they still wouldn't give in. So what is this like an urban legend in the military or have the antis spewed so much BS even people with some gun knowledge believe such ridiculous things? Any how I tried to explain to them it was physically impossible and one of them said "2 ft. was the limit of how close it could miss you by and still be safe." At the point I gave up and reffered them here. Anyone else have anything to add on this? I sure would like to have more proof to give them because I have a feeling they still aren't going to give it up.

El Tejon
July 17, 2005, 06:53 PM
Water-cooled .50s were keys to labor relations in coaling country in the Midwest as well. :eek:

The Gov. of Illinois told me that if I look at a .50 USMG weapon I will explode. :D

WvaBill
July 17, 2005, 07:00 PM
I know for a fact that near misses do not kill, but they sure do make people move awfully darn quick.

Leaving the quick and the dead? :scrutiny:

White Horseradish
July 17, 2005, 07:58 PM
My grandfather told me that when he was in a hospital during WWII there was a guy there who was running along a ridge and by some freak chance had a cannon shell pass betwen his legs. He did have massive bruising to his testicles, a lot of swelling, but nothng was ripped off.

To my thinking, if something that size won't rip off body parts, neither would a .50.

thereisnospoon
July 17, 2005, 08:01 PM
I thought if you just thought about shooting a .50 round passed a guy he died...isn't that why they want to ban them in Kalifonia>>>

SavageDoc45
July 17, 2005, 08:11 PM
Oh man, such ignorance...

Before my unit deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom (the first one, you know, the invasion) the Battalion assembled at the post theatre for a DOD legal office briefing, during which the DOD man specificly stated that A) nothing in the Hague Conventions prohibited the use of .50 cal weapons on enemy personel, B) The Hague Conventions only apply to signatory nations' UNIFORMED military personel, and finally that C) US military personel always have the right to defend themselves and other personel with deadly force, using whatever weapon(s) are available; including fists, rocks, pointy sticks, knives, shotguns, cannon, etc.

Also, the M2 Heavy Barrel, Flex Mount, Browning Heavy Machine Gun, .50 cal (and other M2 variants) are air cooled, belt feed, SELECT FIRE, automatic weapons. Rotating an arm on the rear of the weapon will depress the bolt latch release, locking the weapon into automatic fire during which one only has to hold down the firing pin release (aka trigger) to cause the weapon to cycle. Rotating the arm the opposite direction unlocks the bolt latch release, necessitating the operator to press both the bolt latch and firing pin releases to cause the weapon to cycle; semi-automatic fire.

In regards to the overpressure casualty myth, I too heard this in the service, however, when one looks at wood, steel, and paper targets engaged with .50 cal weapons, one will find half inch holes and nothing else.

Any questions!?

Rebar
July 17, 2005, 08:22 PM
I recall hearing that ball ammo (fmj) is a-ok to use on people, but not the explosive ammo.

flip180
July 17, 2005, 08:44 PM
It kinda give you an idea as to the power of the .50 cal.
http://www.coolmilitary.com/videooftheweek.html

Flip.

CajunBass
July 17, 2005, 08:53 PM
I wonder if these eight .50's ever got used against "soft targets"?

http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/research/p47-21.jpg

Shovelhead
July 17, 2005, 08:54 PM
I had someone send me that video footage about two weeks ago.
The sender had titled it "Varmint Hunting"

Pretty awesome example of what a .50 can do. :what:


Like the old AT&T Long Distance commercial used to say:
"Reach out and touch someone"...........

AK-74me
July 17, 2005, 09:03 PM
I had someone send me that video footage about two weeks ago.
The sender had titled it "Varmint Hunting"

Pretty awesome example of what a .50 can do.

Yeah I think that was already been debunked in another thread.

First it was said to be a .50 cal used by snipers in the Afgahn montains on Al Queda.

I think everyone figured out pretty quick that the video was varmints being shot and not even a .50 cal but a smaller caliber with the audio edited or slowed down to make the report sound much louder than it really was.

See www.dogbegone.com

Same kind of descruction on the varmits using, .223 and 22-250

Zundfolge
July 17, 2005, 09:15 PM
There have been several videos floating around the net the last couple of years out of Iraq ... showing Iraqi soldiers (and later insurgents) being shot with 20mm and 30mm full auto cannons from gunships.

20mm is much bigger then .50BMG (which is only 12.7mm)

If indeed that was illegal then the leftist media would be calling for the heads of the gunner, his CO, Rumsfeld & Bush on pikes over it.


as for the shock-wave "jellifying brains" just by passing by, that's got to be hokum.

I've seen paper targets shot with .50BMG and the holes in the paper are neatly cut 1/2" round holes ... the amount of force in this "brain jellifying shock-wave" would be so much that you'd see giant ragged holes torn in the paper.

Too Many Choices!?
July 17, 2005, 09:53 PM
And are used on enemies :) , so I don't see why you can't use the M203 :scrutiny: ...

Cosmoline
July 17, 2005, 11:11 PM
DOD legal office briefing, during which the DOD man specificly stated that A) nothing in the Hague Conventions prohibited the use of .50 cal weapons on enemy personel, B) The Hague Conventions only apply to signatory nations' UNIFORMED military personel, and finally that C) US military personel always have the right to defend themselves and other personel with deadly force, using whatever weapon(s) are available; including fists, rocks, pointy sticks, knives, shotguns, cannon, etc.

I want to send whoever was responsible for that briefing a big fruit basket. I'm serious. I want to give them an award for finally putting to rest all these absurd bunkhouse rumors about the big fifty. GOOD WORK AND MAJOR KUDOS!

Hacker15E
July 18, 2005, 06:47 AM
I have personally shot 20mm HEI (larger than .50 cal...) into personnel in Iraq. There is no law or agreement against it.

bogie
July 18, 2005, 08:43 AM
You shouldn't waste a .50 on personnel.

Use it only on equipment.

Uniforms are equipment.

GunnySkox
July 18, 2005, 08:46 AM
Since the concept of "No .50 cal against people-type targets." seems to have been entirely trounced in this discussion so far, I have a secondary question to ask:

What of the Hague Accord/Geneva Convention/Other International Agreement (I dunno which) that prohibits the use of antiaircraft weapons against infantry?

A) Why would _anyone_ make a rule that ridiculous? Right, like if an anti-armor platoon of enemy soldiers comes rolling over a hill while I'm hanging out inside a ZSU-23-4, I'm _not_ gonna tear them a great many new ones with these handy-dandy 23mm cannons (just using the ZSU for an example, it's the only antiaircraft vehicle I could think of that was entirely armed with cannons).

B) What's the root/rationale of that rule?

~Slam_Fire

chopinbloc
July 18, 2005, 10:38 AM
But i can say that i was given direct orders not to fire at persons, insted i was ordered to aim at the gear on their body. This order came directly from the CO of my regament.

okay, the rumor has floated around for a while that it is illegal to use the .50 on troops but not equipment. apparently this rumor has percolated pretty far up the chain of command without verification. this rumor is similar to the one about how you're not supposed to shoot paratroops on the way down, but you can shoot at equipment; i.e. helmet, lbe, parachute harness... this one is also false. one should not shoot personnel escaping from a stricken aircraft unless they are actively hostile. it is assumed that they are out of the fight. paratroopers, on the other hand are parachuting in for the express purpose of killing you.

one should remember that although the us is not a signatory to the second hague convention, (the one that causes all the fuss about jhp's, .50's, at4's, etc. being used on soft targets) we do attempt to follow it. the .50 is not specifically prohibited by the hague convention or any army regulation for use on soft targets, though i can't speak for other branches. it has been mentioned that there have been regional prohibitions of its use on soft targets for good reason. .50 ammo is expensive, heavy and bulky. if it is possible to destroy the enemy by other means, on should do so and save the .50 for what it's best at - destroying lightly armored targets and engaging at extreme range. obviously, if all a soldier has is an m2, that's what he'll kill the enemy with. likewise for an at4 or a tow missile for that matter.

as far as the myth in the original post, i'm sure we all know that's hogwash and with any luck adam and jimmie will do a show on it.

grampster
July 18, 2005, 11:52 AM
I got an e-mail video from a friend who has an aquaintance who's son is in A'stan. The claim is that the film is of 4 kills by US sniper using .50 cal of some sort. Film does not say as there is no audio except the report of the weapon and the echo off the mountains and the exclamation of the one filming the video after the 4th kill.

Friend says his aquaintance was told it was a .50 cal. rifle.
The camera has a zoom feature so it appears the shots are being made from quite a distance. I must say the results of these shots are impressive with respect to the damage being done to the ever deserving recipient. We're talking multiple pieces of goblin being moved around.

I'm not going to attach the video, as it is very graphic!!

50 Shooter
July 18, 2005, 11:59 AM
I think the film your thinking about was one that was of a rockchuck hunt. It's being passed off as a sniper shooting Taliban.

www.gagreport.com/bizarrenews%20-%20video%20-%20US%20sniper%20in%20Iraq.htm

If the link still works, this is where it was taken from.

www.rmvh.com/Scenes.htm

Just more internet hype/urban legend.

Ultima-Ratio
July 18, 2005, 03:15 PM
Apparantly nobody shoots fifties here!
The .50 BMG ROOFUS cartridge was designed to equal the destruction of the 20mm cannon cartridge.
the ROOFUS contains a HE (high explosive!) charge in the bullet and somewhere online is a video of a US sniper using the ROOFUS to disassemble a badguy.

No_Brakes23
July 18, 2005, 03:35 PM
I heard this myth in bootcamp of all places, but it went like this...

The .50 cal is illegal to shoot at personnell, you can only shoot at military equipment with it. So aim at their uniforms, canteens, rifles, rucksacks and other military "equipment" they are wearing. We were also told that hitting a canteen with a .50 cal turns it into a small grenade.

Yeah, whatever.

AK-74me
July 18, 2005, 03:35 PM
Friend says his aquaintance was told it was a .50 cal. rifle.
The camera has a zoom feature so it appears the shots are being made from quite a distance. I must say the results of these shots are impressive with respect to the damage being done to the ever deserving recipient. We're talking multiple pieces of goblin being moved around.

Gramster: that video is BS we have been over it time and again.

Cosmoline
July 18, 2005, 04:10 PM
What of the Hague Accord/Geneva Convention/Other International Agreement (I dunno which) that prohibits the use of antiaircraft weapons against infantry?

I'm not aware of any such rule. In a fundamental sense an AA gun is just artillery pointed up. You can certainly swing it down and shoot some troops on the ground with it. The Hague's idiotic rules against SP or exploding rounds only applies to "bullets", not shells.

Moreover, these archaic rules of war only apply between signatory nations. They have NO APPLICATION IN ANY CONFLICT THE US IS PRESENTLY INVOLVED IN! As JAG has already made clear "...expanding point ammunition is legally permissible in counterterrorist operations not involving the engagement of the armed forces of another State."

http://www.thegunzone.com/hague.html


The entire US military could be using SP rounds in Iraq and Afghanistan without breaking any rules of war. Though of course the Europunks would complain about it. Our troops are being put at risk because of the edicts of a bunch of European suits over a century ago. It's time to give front line troops the same high-quality, lethal bullets we've been using to hunt with for fifty years. The only application for FMJ spitzers should be target shooting and harvesting small fur-bearing animals.

50 Shooter
July 18, 2005, 04:41 PM
Isn't ROOFUS a date rape drug? :neener:

Yes, there are those of us that do shoot .50's here. I think your referring to Raufoss produced by NAMMO. :)

http://www.biggerhammer.net/barrett/raufoss/

http://www.nammo.com/

Most people only collect it as it costs anywhere from $35-$50 PER round if you can find them.

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