Military and hollowpoint ammo...


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WarMachine
October 12, 2005, 07:41 PM
I am not well versed in this area, but it is my understanding all forms of expanding hollowpoint ammunition are prohibited for use in combat (by the Hague Convention?)

I have heard that it was instituted because it was decided that hollowpoint ammunition would impart to undue suffering on recipient of the round. Yet at the same time, we use artillerty, grenades, missiles in combat on a regular basis. It seems to me once I put rounds deliberately into an enemy, it was because he posed a threat to myself, my team, and the success of the battle/war. If he's in pain, that's an unfortunate by-product of being at the wrong end of the enemies' weapons. Getting shot is ofcourse going to cause some sort of suffering unless he takes serious damage to vital organs or the central nervous system.

Ball ammo would be better at penetration, but I would think that there are many other scenarios when hollowpoint ammo be a nice addition. I doubt when we were fighting enemies in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, and other engagements all over the world (many of which we as the public are unaware of) if they gave a rat's behind of what type of bullets they were sending our way.

Your thoughts? Please excuse me if I am mistaken somewhere in my post. I am sick and currenty doped up on cold medicine :D

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PvtPyle
October 12, 2005, 07:53 PM
Hollow points are not general issue for the military. But they are used in some cases, by some units. We have the 77gr Blackhills ammo that was open tip, and there is a 308 round for the sniper rifle that is open tip. While in Afghanistan we got some .45 ammo from another unit that was not only open tip, it was black talons. There was all manner of hell rasied about it until we peoduced the shipping boxes with a DODAC on them and the lot numbers. (We still have the DODAC on file for the next deployment...) We also got Norweigan ammo in 5.56 that was open tip.

So it is out there, and in use. And FWIW, we did not sign the Hauge Convention, or the land mine treaty. We go along with most treaties even though we dont sign them so we look like good guys to the rest of the world, but can do what needs to be done when the need arises.

junyo
October 12, 2005, 08:05 PM
As mentioned the US hasn't actually signed any convention that prohibits the use of expanding ammo. One main reason we go along with it (other than the PR fluff about not inflicting undue suffering) is that ball ammo is more likely to wound. A wounded enemy soldier sucks up enemy resources at a disproportionate rate, so nicking him as opposed to killing him can make sense from a big picture point of view. Also, I believe that in addition to the specific exception for sniper rounds, militaries typically only follow the 'no expanding ammo' rule in warfare. During police/LE actions they have a much broader selection available.

Gifted
October 12, 2005, 08:20 PM
With body armor showing up more on the battlefields(at least the ones we should be fighting on), penetration is another consideration, and hollow points don't go through ballistic plates very well.

Burt Blade
October 12, 2005, 09:04 PM
Keep in mind that a whole bunch of "hollow point" rifle ammuniton is not intended to enhance expansion. A specific example is match-grade 7.62mm NATO ammunition. The jacket is closed at the base to ensure a smooth, consistant boat-tail shape, for maximum drag reduction. It is actually more important than that sub-1mm "hollow" point on the tip. If they made them open at the base and with a sharp tip, there would actualy be far more drag.

You can nowadays add a small plastic cap to finish the pointy shape, and do it affordably, but it was not really cost effective back when the 7.62mm match-grade bullet was designed. Plus, the plastic plug tends to make the point flatten out more on impact. That woudl certainly count as "enhancing wounding effect". There are a bunch of manufacturers using that principle for match-grade softpoints.

Modern premium bullets designed to change shape dramatically and consistantly on impact are amazing little machines.

MikeIsaj
October 12, 2005, 09:10 PM
Never gave it much thought because my experience with hollow points and service 1911's was that they frequently failed to negotiate the ramp on their way to the chamber. Now before everyone gets excited it is important that I said "service 1911's."

I am old an have no experience with the 9mm.

Pilgrim
October 12, 2005, 09:24 PM
One main reason we go along with it (other than the PR fluff about not inflicting undue suffering) is that ball ammo is more likely to wound. A wounded enemy soldier sucks up enemy resources at a disproportionate rate, so nicking him as opposed to killing him can make sense from a big picture point of view.
If this is the case, wouldn't it make more sense to have infantry trainees shout, "Wound! Wound! Wound!" instead of "Kill! Kill! Kill!" during combat training exercises?

Pilgrim

Vern Humphrey
October 12, 2005, 09:32 PM
One main reason we go along with it (other than the PR fluff about not inflicting undue suffering) is that ball ammo is more likely to wound.

If this is the case, wouldn't it make more sense to have infantry trainees shout, "Wound! Wound! Wound!" instead of "Kill! Kill! Kill!" during combat training exercises?


Did I ever tell y'all about the time the sappers got inside my company perimeter on Operation Remagen? Or about the flame thrower team?

Belive me, you don't want to merely wound those boys. You want to kill them, and kill them "rat now!"

The Hague Convention prohibits the use of ammuntion designed to "cause unnecessary suffering." The British used hollowpoints early in the Boer War and got such bad press (thanks to the Germans who raised a stink about it) that it doesn't make sense to allow an enemy such a propaganda victory.

The Hague Convention does not, however, cover criminals, bandits, terrorists and so on. On people like that we are perfectly free to use hollow points and soft noses.

Explosive projectiles are prohibited if they are used directly against personnel. However, if they are used against fortifications, or used with intent to kill through fragments or shrapnel, they are perfectly legal. In other words, if you are charged by the Mongol hordes and you have a 20mm Orlikon, you cannot shoot directly at them. You can shoot at the ground and kill them with fragments.

Silly? Yes -- but that's what you get when people without combat experience make rules for soldiers.

PvtPyle
October 12, 2005, 10:32 PM
Explosive projectiles are prohibited if they are used directly against personnel. However, if they are used against fortifications, or used with intent to kill through fragments or shrapnel, they are perfectly legal. In other words, if you are charged by the Mongol hordes and you have a 20mm Orlikon, you cannot shoot directly at them. You can shoot at the ground and kill them with fragments.

Well, I guess nobody told that to the current crop of fighting men. Cause we shoot HE rounds directly at enemy personnel every day. From helos, from tanks, from hummers. Nobody cares how they get dead, as long as they get dead.

Vern Humphrey
October 12, 2005, 10:36 PM
we shoot HE rounds directly at enemy personnel every day. From helos, from tanks, from hummers.

The people we are fighting nowadays are not legitimate combatants and are not protected by the Hague Convention.

jobu07
October 12, 2005, 10:40 PM
The people we are fighting nowadays are not legitimate combatants and are not protected by the Hague Convention.

The Iraqi's during the first Gulf War and during Op Iraqi Freedom were "legitimate combatants."

mr.trooper
October 12, 2005, 10:53 PM
As has already been stated, We made the rules, and we made sure that we have examptions from said rules that alow us to do whatever we want. :neener:

In other words, "Legitimate Combatant" or not, we can still shoot them however, and with whatever we feel like shooting them with.

Such rights come to those who habitualy save the world from self-destruction. :D

possum
October 12, 2005, 11:21 PM
The Brad's 25mm was very devistating and did the job quite well. Ap is nice but HE is even better! When you run out of coax you don't have much of a choice. :D

Lupinus
October 12, 2005, 11:25 PM
like people we fight agianst given a rats rump roast?

Im tired of us fighting PC war's. You don't let the dog attack with the leash on, you take the leash off and unleash it. It may be more ugly but it gets the job done much quicker and more efficient.

Funny.

Germany underwent a lot of brainwashing, japan even more so.

No ill will (least not untill recently with run wild libralisim) existed soon enough.

Why? Because things were done quickly and efficiently with more concern with getting the job done then tiptoeing around the press and trying to be PC about every little move.

Werewolf
October 13, 2005, 10:55 AM
In my opinion all the conventions held to define the rules of war did so to establish some sense of order and civility.

A glaring example is the prohibition against hollow points to prevent undo suffering.

And that my friends is sheer nonsense.

People talk continuously about ending the horrors of war. But they don't really mean it - because if they did they'd make it so that war is so terrible, so horrible, the consequences so final that even the thought of fighting one becomes unthinkable.

Make war an unthinkable recourse and it will disappear.

Don't believe me? Ever hear of MAD (mutually assured destruction). MAD is the only reason the US and the USSR never went at it tooth and nail directly. The consequences would have been too horrible to endure and might possibly have meant the end of mankind if not the end of life on Earth as we know it. But that's the whole world you say? Really? Have Pakistan and India had a knock down drag out lately? Not since they both acquired nukes they haven't.

Now that the USSR is defunct, war is more common today than ever because the consequences can be born - afterall - soldiers are a renewable resource.

The various rules of war conventions do nothing to eliminate or even restrict war. Quite the contrary - they make war bearable and thus more common than needs be.

Eliminate all conventions, all rules of war. Make war what it is - a terrible and costly endeavor - and it will slowly go away.

Make war civilized and it will always be the end result of old men thumping their chests and showing their @ss by sending young men out to fight and die for causes the young men have neither the experience nor wisdom to understand.

On second thought maybe if we made it so that the old men who start wars had to fight them...

TexasRifleman
October 13, 2005, 11:00 AM
The most important factor is whether you plan on winning or not.

If you win all your fights, there is no one to bring you up on "war crimes" charges. So, use all the HE, hollow points, etc you want on the enemy, just don't lose so you don't have to face a trial.

All these conventions are to prosecute the losers. :evil:

Vern Humphrey
October 13, 2005, 11:37 AM
So, use all the HE, hollow points, etc you want on the enemy, just don't lose so you don't have to face a trial.

All these conventions are to prosecute the losers.

The United States has a pretty good track record of investigating war crimes and other offenses committed by our own personnel, and prosecuting them when the evidence supports such action.

middy
October 13, 2005, 02:00 PM
Explosive projectiles are prohibited if they are used directly against personnel.
"Well sir, you said it was okay to use HE rounds on enemy equipment... I wasn't shooting at him, I was attempting to destroy his uniform."

Vern Humphrey
October 13, 2005, 02:24 PM
"Well sir, you said it was okay to use HE rounds on enemy equipment... I wasn't shooting at him, I was attempting to destroy his uniform."


Or his vehicle, equipment, bunker, and so on. As I said, it's silly, but that's what you get when people with no combat experience make rules for soldiers.

KC&97TA
October 13, 2005, 02:27 PM
There is hollow point amunition other than the black hills for the 5.56 (M16 variants), the black hills is molly coated and used in the match grade weapons. I can't speak for all the services but in the Marine Corps, 98% of the personel have the green tiped ball ammo, and tracers where justified.

The other 2% are the "cool guys", if you will, who are off in 2-13 man teams and they have what ever is clever if you get were I'm going. :neener:

We do have hollow point 5.56 ammo. Don't know the DODIC, but last time I was over in Iraq I was with a much "cooler" unit than the one I'm with now, the hollow points were for urban areas to prevent over penitration. But I never told you this, because my unit got them through the "Really Cool guys" in the Army that don't were any type of uniform, if you get were I'm going.

bad LT
October 13, 2005, 02:43 PM
Um, given the state of many military weapons/magazines maybe we want to use ball ammo - a gun that goes "BANG!!!" and shoots a FMJ bullet is more important than one loaded with the latest hollow pont round that gets caught on the feed ramp.

So issue EFMJ rounds to everybody!!!

PvtPyle
October 13, 2005, 06:59 PM
If the HPs got hung up on the feed ramps, or caused any other problems, we would not use them. In oder to get a DODAC assigned to the ammo, it goes thru some pretty extensive testing. Crane does not cut corners when it comes to testing, and they have a really good track record of not letting crap get out to troops hands.

Kurush
October 14, 2005, 01:03 AM
I have heard that it was instituted because it was decided that hollowpoint ammunition would impart to undue suffering on recipient of the round.Around the end of the 19th century, a British ordnance factory in India, called the Dum-dum arsenal, figured out that they could get better performance out of the .303 ammunition (which was all round nose at that point) by filing the jacket off the tip of the bullet, thus making the first JSP.

When Britain got involved in the Boer war, its rivals in Europe decided they'd make political hay out of Britain's new ammo by decrying it as inhumane. Remember, this was before WW1 and the European powers still had some illusions about "civilized" war. So they all signed this silly convention that banned expanding ammo, dropping bombs from balloons, and gas weapons (that worked well :rolleyes: ). During WW1 Germany (I think... someone else may have started it) accused everyone else of atrocities for issuing "inhumane" serrated bayonets; but actually they just wanted to stop people from sawing through their chicken wire trench defenses.

So here we are, 100 years later, equipping our soldiers with useless 9mm FMJ and unreliable M855 (nearly useless at long range), because of 100 year old politics. So we make up for it by double tapping and shooting personnel with .50 BMG and 25mm HE. It's more humane, you see.

Make war an unthinkable recourse and it will disappear.Funny you should mention that, when the Maxim gun was introduced many people made just that prediction. Didn't work out apparently.

Creeping Incrementalism
October 14, 2005, 04:14 AM
Explosive projectiles are prohibited if they are used directly against personnel. However, if they are used against fortifications, or used with intent to kill through fragments or shrapnel, they are perfectly legal. In other words, if you are charged by the Mongol hordes and you have a 20mm Orlikon, you cannot shoot directly at them. You can shoot at the ground and kill them with fragments.

Do you have any reference about this? It sounds to me like the non-existent "no 50 cal against personnel" law.

MTMilitiaman
October 14, 2005, 05:48 AM
I used to live with a guy who was a Marine. The way he explained it to me is that none of the rules matter much when your life is on the line, and I imagine he is right. People are going to do what they have to do to come home. He said that some of these weapons weren't supposed to be used directly against personal but people rarely complained if they were and it was easy enough to say that the intended target was enemy assets, like the rifle in the guy's hands.
Likewise my brother said that during MOUT training they were instructed specifically to shoot all the bad guys twice in the head even after they were on the ground before passing them. The reason, he said, was first to ensure the safety of soldiers and secondly to avoid prisoneers. It takes relatively little effort to pull the pin on a grenade or squeeze off a burst from an automatic rifle than can kill or maime an entire squad and so administering controlled pairs eliminates this possibility. Also, since the provisions of the Geneva Accords only apply to enemy soldiers taken captive behind your lines, it prevents logitics from having to find medical care for a bunch of wounded prisoneers. I think this is why the wounding theory doesn't hold up when critically evaluated. And you have to admit, it makes sense. Can't argue with two to the head.

spartacus2002
October 14, 2005, 07:29 AM
Explosive projectiles are prohibited if they are used directly against personnel. However, if they are used against fortifications, or used with intent to kill through fragments or shrapnel, they are perfectly legal. In other words, if you are charged by the Mongol hordes and you have a 20mm Orlikon, you cannot shoot directly at them. You can shoot at the ground and kill them with fragments.


Urban Legend. All DoD weapons systems are vetted against the Hague conventions and other customary international law, and are approved for use against personnel. There may be local Rules of Engagement prohibiting certain items like tear gas, or like tying rope between the tripstakes on anti-tank mines, but you can use .50cal MGs on the enemy.

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