Military and hollowpoints


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frez
March 6, 2007, 05:12 PM
Would 5.56mm rounds be much more effective against ragtag insurgents if they use hollowpoints? Is there any way to back away from that treaty that banned hollowpoints?

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scout26
March 6, 2007, 05:14 PM
We never signed the convention, but we have 'agreed' to abide by it.

So no, we will not use hollowpoints.

SoCalShooter
March 6, 2007, 05:16 PM
.223 rounds will do some funny things once they hit soft tissue, the need for hollow points really is not necessary, my understanding is that hollow points are best for pistol rounds to get good expansion and knock down power but that soft points are better for rifle rounds.

CWL
March 6, 2007, 06:15 PM
5.56 NATO round doesn't need a hollowpoint because this tiny bullet doesn't cause (additional) damage by expansion.

The needlelike 5.56 bullet is spin-stabilized in the air, upon hitting & entering human issue, this stability is lost so the bullet will tumble in a "J" pattern. When this bullet has tumbled to a sideways position, it will break into two main pieces and several minor pieces (jacketing material & bits of lead). This behavior is much more tramautic than one hollowpoint bullet.

I have spent a bit of time in the jungles of SE Asia speaking with former communist fighters of several nations. To them, there is a mystique about the M16 rifle and 5.56mm bullet. They feared this bullet because it would shatter inside the body, making it almost impossible to provide adequate medical care -to a man, they would rather be shot by a 7.62x39 bullet.

I would imagine that insurgents in the Middle East feel the same way about 5.56mm wounds today.

Our problem is not how to create additional damage from our bullets, our problem is in finding BGs so we can shoot them.

Zoogster
March 6, 2007, 06:32 PM
It does not matter, the way the 5.56 round most commonly employed, the M855 is designed, it fractures at the cannelure after penetration creating multiple wound channels. Since high velocity ammo damages tissue differently than pistol ammunition, it creates very effective wounds. This is one of the big reasons the M4 has so much criticism, the short barrel stops this fragmenting except at extremely close range because it drops the velocity below that required to fracture.

So the M855 and its NATO equal are far more effective than a civilian .223 remington FMJ round. Other nations have designed rounds that accomplish the same thing to maximize performance.

Since body armor is now standard for many Armed forces around the world, rounds like hollow points that penetrate even worse are less desirable than ones that function in a way that allows penetration and then increases lethiality in other way such as yawing and tumbling or fracturing to create more wound channels.

The terminal ballistics of high velocity rounds is very different after you reach a certain speed than from something like a handgun. The area surrounding the wound channel is damaged as well, not just the tissue directly in the bullets path. This means expansion is less important than say the number of wound channels created while retaining the speed to create uniquely high velocity wounds.

So there is no need for hollowpoints. They penetrate body armor less effectively, retain less energy if they do penetrate, are banned by agreement, and other technological improvements have made them unnecessary to achieve effective terminal performance.

Cosmoline
March 6, 2007, 06:39 PM
You guys have some strange ideas about the 5.56 FMJ. It most certainly would kill better if it were expanding. At sufficient velocity, with the right bullet, it *CAN* fail on entry and do additional damage by fragmenting slightly. But this doesn't happen if the bullet is AP or if the velocity is too low due to range or shorter barrel length. And sometimes it just doesn't happen. To rely on a bullet's probably FAILURE to increase its lethality is both playing games with both the Hague and the lives of our soldiers. FMJ's are an idiot's choice for any sort of combat, hunting, or personal protection. The police don't use them and no sane civilian shooter would use them in anything but a large bore firearm. They are ILLEGAL for hunting anything bigger than a varmint because they kill so unreliably. On top of this, they are exceedingly primitive. There's 100 years of bullet design that boneheads at the DOD won't utilize because of their hidebound and baseless insistance on following some ancient treaty. It's a crime, and it has killed many, many Americans.

You can either wave your little flag and take any attack on the 5.56 FMJ as some insult to the troops, or you can wake up to a century of ballistic development.

.223 rounds will do some funny things once they hit soft tissue, the need for hollow points really is not necessary, my understanding is that hollow points are best for pistol rounds to get good expansion and knock down power but that soft points are better for rifle rounds.

That must be why so many hunters use FMJ's on game.

Zoogster
March 6, 2007, 07:02 PM
If the velocity of the .223 is too low then your working with a .22 caliber round that even if it expands does far less damage than is adequate. Hollowpoints bleed velocity faster so at many ranges the 5.56 with hollowpoints would actualy become less effective and not more since your working with such a light weight round with more significant wind, and later clothing, and flesh resistance.
Making a .22 caliber round expand at the expense of high velocity terminal performance by bleeding too much of the energy to expanding to less than .30 is not IMHO a good tradeoff in comparison to splitting into multiple wound channels after penetration and retianing energy to create high velocity wounding.

In house clearing or short range fights it would increase the performance UNLESS the opposition was wearing body armor that slowed it to pistol speeds and then you may end up with pistol terminal performance, which means it would be like getting hit with a .22 hollowpoint, a big step backwards.

The real solution would be to go back to a better round, especialy since the current M4 barrel length does not impart enough velocity. Many are realizing this and using 7.62x51mm chambered firearms.

Now the 7.62x51mm round would definately benefit from an expansion design as the ballistics and design is different and the round heavier and would have its terminal performance increased much more signifcantly outweighing the downsides. It has mass and speed, the 5.56 only has speed and so anything that reduces that main attribute is arguably detrimental in the majority of potential military uses.

Going back to the 7.62x51mm would save more lives than trying to make the 5.56 more effective than the most common military version already is. It is not the civilian .223 FMJ, and yes the civilian round would be better suited as a hollowpoint because it does not "fail" and create multiple wound channels, nor do most civilian uses of it requiring penetrating body armor and still being effective or penetrating cover and remaining capable. Deer don't wear body armor, and they are not shot while behind cover.

Deer Hunter
March 6, 2007, 07:07 PM
5.56mm bullets will not fragment properly under 2700 FPS. Under that velocity, then yes, hollowpoints would be nice to have. Other than that, I feel they are not needed.

Zak Smith
March 6, 2007, 08:18 PM
Related excerpt

Just as the War On Terror was getting underway, the U.S. Army Special Operations
Command (USASOC) created the Special Purpose Rifle - Variant (SPR-V) program to
fill the need for a modular assault rifle capable of shooting 5.56 in addition
to 7.62x39mm. With barrel and bolt switched, it was to fire 7.62x39mm from
indigenous AK-47 magazines. It needed to retain the characteristics of the M4
and remain compatible with the Special Operations Peculiar Modification (SOPMOD)
accessories. Robinson Armament produced the RAV02 and Knights Armament Corp
produced the SR-47 in response to the USASOC SPR-V solicitation. Ultimately,
the SPR-V program was rolled into the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)
Special Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) project, and fell victim to politics.
Even though the project was canceled, Special Forces soldiers had come to
realize 7.62x39mm provided increased lethality over 5.56, especially when
penetrating barriers.

Troubling reports about 5.56's performance were coming back from the field.
Several soldiers had been killed or wounded by Taliban fighters who had already
been shot multiple times by the Americans' 5.56 M4 carbines. These failures to
incapacitate spurred the 5th Special Forces Group (SFG) to design an "Enhanced
Rifle Cartridge" (ERC) to outperform 5.45x39mm, 5.56, 5.8x42mm and 7.62x39mm.
MSG Steve Holland (5th SFG (A)) and Cris Murray of the U.S. Army Marksmanship
Unit (USAMU) led the ERC project to provide optimum terminal performance from an
M4 with minimal changes to the weapon. Troy Lawton (Chief Ballistics
Technician) and Cris Murray (Service Rifle and R&D Gunsmith) of the USAMU
assisted in developing loads, and built the rifles for the ERC project.

Ragnar Danneskjold
March 6, 2007, 08:22 PM
Using hollow points increases the risk of misfeeds. If I were in a combat zone, I would prefer a round that is more reliable, even if it does takes an extra round or 2 to do the same damage. So even if they were legal, I would still use FMJ.

frez
March 6, 2007, 08:29 PM
Since body armor is now standard for many Armed forces around the world, rounds like hollow points that penetrate even worse are less desirable than ones that function in a way that allows penetration and then increases lethiality in other way such as yawing and tumbling or fracturing to create more wound channels.

Okay, so just how many Taliban and Iraqi insurgents wear body armor? Do also they have generation 4 NVG's while they're at it?

Nightcrawler
March 6, 2007, 08:31 PM
Fragmenting ammo penetrates cover poorly. It will also have a hard time with a Combloc chest harness full of steel AKM magazines.

A modern bullet design would be best. Some kind of soft-point designed to maximize penetration while still providing expansion. Penetration is important on the battlefield, not just in today's wars but in tomorrow's. The bullet has to make it through the enemy soldier's rucksack without falling apart, you know?

But, I guess the DOD thinking is, if we started doing it, then all of the other countries might do it too. Personally, I think the notion that it's okay to nuke somebody, or drop a cluster bomb on him, but shooting him with a hollow point is just cruel, is ridiculous.

Zak Smith
March 6, 2007, 08:40 PM
You guys know that both Mk262 and M118LR are OTMs, right?

Ragnar Danneskjold
March 6, 2007, 08:42 PM
Personally, I think the notion that it's okay to nuke somebody, or drop a cluster bomb on him, but shooting him with a hollow point is just cruel, is ridiculous.

Word.

rickomatic
March 6, 2007, 09:10 PM
Howabout the old adage that it's better anyway to just badly wound an enemy, because it takes one or two more out of the fight to attend to him? Or is that just an old wives tale?

Ragnar Danneskjold
March 6, 2007, 09:12 PM
Do insurgents care about tending to the wounded?

.cheese.
March 6, 2007, 09:17 PM
You guys know that both Mk262 and M118LR are OTMs, right?

Humor somebody who is not as well educated on this topic.

What is MK262, M118LR, and OTM?

Jorg Nysgerrig
March 6, 2007, 09:36 PM
We never signed the convention, but we have 'agreed' to abide by it.

The United States signed the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 in 1900 and 1910 respectively.

EricTheBarbarian
March 6, 2007, 09:38 PM
penetration.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 6, 2007, 09:40 PM
Mk262 is the 77gr 5.56mm match round the military uses. M118LR is the 7.62x51 match round used. OTM is a "open tipped match" bullet. Essentially a hollow point, except that the tiny, tiny hollow point is an artifact of the manufacturing process used to produce a uniform, consistent jacket and does not cause expansion.

Cosmoline has some points that FMJ, particularly in 5.56mm may not fragment reliably in some circumstances. However, when it does, the damage is usually far beyond what a hollow point round would do. However, it seems that once you move away from the complex construction of M855 or the not-so-attentive construction of M193 and start using bullets with a good ballistics coefficient and a consistent, uniform jacket - you get much more reliable terminal performance.

In addition, hollow point rounds must be designed with certain velocity limits in mind. Go above that limit and it explodes on contact and doesn't penetrate. Go below that limit and it fails to expand because there is not enough velocity. So while fragmentation is hampered by reduced velocity, so is hollowpoint expansion.

model4006
March 7, 2007, 12:30 AM
hey nightcrawler you ever see the box o truth write up about a chest full of magazines stopping bullets? steel akm magazines didnt hardly slow down xm-193, plus it would burn you.

Nightcrawler
March 7, 2007, 12:56 AM
I've seen the Box of Truth. I also recall reading about a military test they did. The 77 grain penetrated the best, and the LeMat fragmenting stuff did the worst. FWIW, the SS109 ammo, despite its tendency to fragment, is still classified as ball ammo. If it was "designed" to fragment, the military wouldn't use it, as it'd be a violation of the Hague Accords (which also outlaws things like dum-dum bullets and exploding rounds). The fact that it does, I think, is more of a convenient side-effect of a round designed to have superior long-range performance and penetration. Also, contrary to some internet myth, it's not "armor piercing" ammo either, it just has a hardened penetrator tip.

I might be wrong on this, though. Is there anything in the original design for the SS109 round that specifies jacket separation to enhance terminal ballistics.


However, it seems that once you move away from the complex construction of M855 or the not-so-attentive construction of M193 and start using bullets with a good ballistics coefficient and a consistent, uniform jacket - you get much more reliable terminal performance.

So it's been shown that the heavier rounds with superior ballistic coefficients are more effective as well? Interesting! Thanks for the info!

RustyShackelford
March 7, 2007, 01:18 AM
I would think the military troops and PMCs(private military contractors, :cool: ) want to use standard FMJ type 5.56mmNATO rounds in their M-16/a2 and M-4 rifles because;

1) The FMJ loads would punch deeper than most JHP/fragmented rounds. The ball rounds may do better against things like armor, bldg materials, glass, etc than standard JHP rounds.
2) The military type FMJ loads would feed better under the harsh conditions our troops/PMCs carry these rifles in. Sand, dirt, etc could jam up these weapons and some JHP 5.56mmNATO loads may not function 100%.
3) FMJ or ball rounds may be cheaper and easy to buy/get for most of these units. JHP loads may "work" better under some conditions but may not be practical for most uses.

Rusty S
:D

Zak Smith
March 7, 2007, 01:20 AM
For the two people who have claimed feeding problems with JHP/OTMs, can you refer to any studies which back this up with Mk262?

Geronimo45
March 7, 2007, 01:28 AM
Maybe cost plays a role? I've never seen HP ammo cheaper than its FMJ counterpart - so, methinks that creating a hollow-point bullet is a more expensive endeavor than a FMJ bullet. With all the ammo that the military buys/expends, the total difference in cost between FMJ and HP could be pretty noteworthy.

Thain
March 7, 2007, 01:41 AM
I find it bizare that the Hague Convention of 1899's main effect was to ban the use of certain types of (then) modern technology in war: bombing from the air, chemical warfare, and hollow point bullets.

Declaration I - On the Launching of Projectiles and Explosives from Balloons

Declaration II - On the Use of Projectiles the Object of Which is the Diffusion of Asphyxiating or Deleterious Gases

Declaration III - On the Use of Bullets Which Expand or Flatten Easily in the Human Body


Laws of War :
Declaration on the Use of Bullets Which Expand or Flatten Easily in the Human Body; July 29, 1899

The Undersigned, Plenipotentiaries of the Powers represented at the International Peace Conference at The Hague, duly authorized to that effect by their Governments,

Inspired by the sentiments which found expression in the Declaration of St. Petersburg of the 29th November (11th December), 1868,

Declare as follows:

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.

My Source: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/lawofwar/dec99-03.htm


So, even if the US considers itself a "Contracting Power" be default, I don't think that Iraqi rebel forces could be considered anything but a "non-Contracting Power."

Besides, we just love the "launching of projectiles and explosives" from the air... Heck, last I checked, we had a whole branch of the military that did nothing but deliver force via the air.

"Asphyxiating or Deleterious Gases" could be one for the lawyers to parse over, but I'm pretty sure white phosphorus falls under this heading. Say what youwill about our reasons and goals, but the US Army is known to (and admits to) have used it in Fallujah. Napalm, OC, and pepperspray might also be "asphyxiating or deleterious..."

But we hold hard and fast to the bullet restriction. I wonder if the M16-family would have such trouble with JHP versus FMJ if we'd been using the hollowpoints since 1964. Seems we've fixed alot of other problems with the rifle in forty years, surely some wizard at Armalite, Colt, or Springfield would have come up with something...

frez
March 7, 2007, 01:51 AM
Do insurgents care about tending to the wounded?

well duh.

Zoogster
March 7, 2007, 01:41 PM
So, even if the US considers itself a "Contracting Power" be default, I don't think that Iraqi rebel forces could be considered anything but a "non-Contracting Power."

Besides, we just love the "launching of projectiles and explosives" from the air... Heck, last I checked, we had a whole branch of the military that did nothing but deliver force via the air.

"Asphyxiating or Deleterious Gases" could be one for the lawyers to parse over, but I'm pretty sure white phosphorus falls under this heading. Say what youwill about our reasons and goals, but the US Army is known to (and admits to) have used it in Fallujah. Napalm, OC, and pepperspray might also be "asphyxiating or deleterious..."

But we hold hard and fast to the bullet restriction. I wonder if the M16-family would have such trouble with JHP versus FMJ if we'd been using the hollowpoints since 1964. Seems we've fixed alot of other problems with the rifle in forty years, surely some wizard at Armalite, Colt, or Springfield would have come up with something...

The real reason is far more political: It benefits our troops to have limitations on things that are less important to our capabilities. We have the most powerful military in the world so we support bans on many force multipliers like chemical warfare, and nuclear weapons. It is why we don't resort to nuclear weapons even though many think it is suitable often enough. Truthfuly weapons like the nuetron bomb which have a short range, don't create fallout and don't destroy almost any objects and simply kill all living things with radiation and leaving most objects completely suited for capture and use by the occupiers would be extremely useful to us tacticly. You could killed everything at a base with them and then come in and take over the base, and just replace the damaged electronics and clear the dead bodies. However since we have the most powerful military in the world as soon as we make it acceptable to use nuclear or chemical or biological type weapons we are no longer clearly capable of winning a fight against everyone. It would be like being the biggest most powerful well trained hand to hand fighter in a room, and then handing out guns to everyone. It would hurt us.

Besides, we just love the "launching of projectiles and explosives" from the air... Heck, last I checked, we had a whole branch of the military that did nothing but deliver force via the air.

Because it has been deemed suitable to ignore this rule because we benefit so greatly, and rule the air, therefore by making this rule obsolete we benefit without increasing risk to ourselves because other nations are incapable of taking over our airspace. It requires high levels of technology competative with ours which is something most of the third world cannot afford and does not have. It would be analogous to of saying it is okay to use a weapon that we know the enemy will be clumsy and incapable with, and that we will excel with, but still banning that which would be easily employed by them. This contrasts greatly with allowing something that they could be very capable and dangerous even with low technology with. Someone does not need an advanced rocket capable of delivering a payload anywhere on earth to deliver a nuke or dispurse a deadly biological disease, they can just be smuggled in and used, or delivered in a more conventional method. So THOSE things we want considered inhumane and war crimes, while the things that others cannot excel with are acceptable and humane versions of warfare.

The British said the same things when they had perfected standing in an open field and exchanging musket fire with an opponent when we started using snipers and guerrila tactics that took away thier advantage. We become barbaric, cowardly, not proper soldiers etc. The were the best at a specific tactic, so it was the most "civilized" and those that played by a different set of rules were heathens and barbaric suited for less humane treatment as they were cowardly and nothing better than common thugs. We do the same thing, and those that take away our advantage by using what we have decided are unacceptable tactics are war criminals not subject to the same protections or treatments of anyone else. We will only treat them well if they play by the rule set that favors us. Our government, and other powerful nations' governments believe very strongly in maintaining a monopoly on force.

This is why we do not use our deadliest weapons even though we have them. Making thier use acceptable would benefit the weakest least capable nations the most, and make the most capable and powerful nations, especialy the most powerful nation, ourselves, less powerful. Just like firearms are most beneficial to women and the elderly and weaker human beings because it puts them on par with the strong powerful men in the world. Well our nation is the strongest most powerful man, why start passing out guns or legalizing and making acceptable thier use?

frez
March 7, 2007, 04:31 PM
And the most powerful nation in the world is struggling for control with a group of ragtag insurgents in an unconventional war. How powerful are all the big weapons when you can't use them. Not very.

Thain
March 7, 2007, 07:07 PM
And the most powerful nation in the world is struggling for control with a group of ragtag insurgents in an unconventional war.

This is hardly a unique occurance... Afgahnistan (US, USSR, UK)... Vietnam... Boer Wars... Revoultionary War... Thermopylae...

Lucky
March 7, 2007, 07:28 PM
Iraqi insurgents use HP, because it's what the Iraqi police use and they're kind enough to share.

Zoogster
March 7, 2007, 08:11 PM
Iraqi insurgents use HP, because it's what the Iraqi police use and they're kind enough to share.

Who have also been given large numbers of protective body armor over the past few years.

Entire branches of government have disappeared to people wearing police uniforms, vehicles painted impersonating police vehicles, and showing up outfited as the police to arrest or question people. Pretty hard to believe at least some of that gear is not genuine...


And the most powerful nation in the world is struggling for control with a group of ragtag insurgents in an unconventional war. How powerful are all the big weapons when you can't use them. Not very.

Once you make thier use acceptable you have opened a pandora's box. Not only does it become acceptable to use them, but any future nations will be more inclined to "pre-emptively" strike the USA if they begin to have problems before the USA can use its powerful weapons as they would have shown they are inclined to do.

Many capable nations that have elected not to develop Nuclear weapons by choice who could have them within a year or two such as Japan would suddenly have them.

Right now nukes are a big no-no. Changing that is against the most powerful nation's best interest. For example large chunks of our military could easily be wiped out with suicide nuclear bombers. Having hundreds of thousands of soldiers deployed, and better logistics, technology, and hardware suddenly is not such an advantage when a handful of enemy agents can anihilate large segments of your fighting force. You think IEDs or car bombs are a problem now, just imagine when they only have to get within many miles of your base.

The best unshielded electronic gismos in the world become pretty worthless when you have EMPs destroying them all. Being all powerful and self sufficient at home becomes impossible when multiple highly deadly man made disease that destroy corn and wheat make feeding your nation nearly impossible, but dont effect countries that live on rice or potatoes. Think about that, Russia did, I imagine China has as well. Bio agents are far deadlier than any Nuclear threat ever was. If an organized release of multiple man made diseases intentionaly altered to be resistant to most medical treatments were released at once, large segments of the population would be dead before they even started trying to identify and figure out how to treat the disease, nevermind identify multiple ones quickly enough to save people when they are unique and unheard of.

Russia devloped far deadlier agents than we even dreamed of. In fact they have recently shared some medical breakthroughs with the west that they learned while modifying existing diseases into new far more resistant and deadly strains and types that have never existed in the wild.
http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=16485&ch=biotech Mentions modifying DNA to create custom tailored weapons. How it was done has enabled it to be used for highly useful medicinal and peaceful purposes since, yet it has a highly sinister source.

Imagine something with a month long incubation period, that is transmissible through air not long after infection. All those kids going to school, workers going to work, and people going in and out of airports and on planes together for hours would be spreading it before they even knew it existed, and taking it home to suddenly kill everyone in waves of outbreaks. A far deadlier and different scenario than the Hollywood movies like Outbreak where the disease is obvious within hours. Such things have been created.
Plant diseases can be created to target any crop relied on as food. Then released by the dozens, and while people are busy trying to identify a single cause checked against lists of known diseases before they even can figure out how to fight it, multiple ones have destroyed the entire food source. Livstock go unfed, carbohydrates are few, the nation begins to starve and cannot even function, nevermind fight. Where you would get food to eat would be a main concern, and you can bet people would not all keep going to work with diseases spreading and killing. The entire economy would collapse.

Luckily such things can only be created by highly educated advanced societies, however they can be distributed or copied by less advanced nations. They don't require devices to spread. A handful of suicide disease spreaders could just infect themselves and catch airline flights constantly for a few weeks and do nothing more than breathe. Those fellow passengers would go home, infect thier children and spouse and co-workers, who would go to school and jobs and other locations and do the same. most of the population would be infected before it was known to have been done.


Trust me, America does not want to start undoing the rules established for warfare. We would have the most to lose, and the least to gain.
We want WMDs to remain taboo and unused. We want the side with the best logistics and Jet fighters, and advanced soldiers to be the clear decisive winners.
When that changes, the world becomes a war torn place where the little guy is as powerful as we are, and we revert back to a world undetered by American threats and power. A world far worse for us than anything currently.

frez
March 7, 2007, 09:48 PM
The only thing you can do is nuke them all. But then Russia and China have nukes. And those countries are so big, you can't nuke all of them.

44AMP
March 8, 2007, 12:45 AM
And when they came about. Back in an era before aircraft, before all but the very beginnings of current technology. An era where wars were fought by the soldiers and saliors of soverign nations. All others were bandits (pirates).

An era when war was not something to be avoided at all costs, but a recognised method of settling rivalry between nations. In those days, civilian populations were not involved in the fighting, except those who happened to be between the armies clashing.

World War I opened the floodgates, and World War II finalized the doctrine of total war. Many of the "gentleman's agreements" of the earlier ages were discarded, but some were kept. FMJ ammo was kept. Why?

1. Cost. Fmj ammo is the cheapest to make.
2. Reliability. The primary reason FMJ is used is it is the most reliable feeding of any bullet design.
3. Effectiveness (penetration). Other than AP, FMJ is the most effective penetrator available.
4. PR. By abiding by the "rules" we have the moral high ground (such as it is).

Remember, the military really has no interest in the individual effectiveness of it's ammo. It looks at the big picture. How good a "stopper" an particular bullet is is of no concern (or very little concern today).

remember, until we faced the Japanese in WWII, we had never fought a modern enemy who's troops refused to surrender when beaten. Europeans have been playing war for centuries, and developed rules to maximize individual survival (no hollowpoints, etc.) and minimize the damage to nations (loser nation was not sacked, it paid reparations, and ceeded a territory or two). Those are the kind of rules we adopted. Other parts of the world played by different rules. Often no rules at all.

The idea that wounding an enemy is better than killing them (because it takes two or three to care for the wounded man) only works when fighting enemies who place the same value on the lives of their troops as we do. Groups who employ suicide attacks easily write off their wounded. Thus rounds which are more likely to wound than kill can place us at a disadvantage tactically. We tend to overcome that disadvantage with firepower.

There is no magic bullet. Period. Everything fails from time to time, even with the proper placement. there are, however some generalitites that hold true. And one of them is, bigger bullets tend to work better. Small bullets can work well enough, but the margin is less.

Another "truism" is that there is no free lunch. For everything you get, you give up something. Bigger bullets tend to work better, but they weigh more, cost more, recoil more, etc. And the military prefers large munbers of "works well enough" over "works best" for most things.

frez
March 8, 2007, 01:41 AM
Well, I think funeral expenses for each soldier killed costs more than a few HP rounds.

That's on top of the $200,000 the family gets.

Also, HP can't go through walls as easy as FMJ. Better at reducing civilian casualties in urban areas like Baghdad?

Davo
March 8, 2007, 04:48 AM
frez again, theres no free lunch...that decreased penetration from an already poor penetrator like the 5.56 nato could mean better/more effective cover for the bad guys. The "shoot to wound" argument is bogus, and was never a consideration.
I actually believe that the arguement over hp rounds, shotguns etc is humerous. The enemy wont loose sleep over using whatever they can, we would use it if we wanted to also...no doubt. A "legal" killing with a .50 as opposed to a killing via HP .223 makes no difference to anyone really, shooter or shootee;)
Even here in the US LEO's use HP's almost universally, ironically they are fine for Americans, but in the sandbox its different I suppose.

USAFA06STX
March 8, 2007, 04:49 AM
Not meaning to threadjack, but does anyone know of another nation's military that issues hollow point bullets to regular, average, run of the mill soldiers (ie, not special operations or counter terrorism units) during military conflict?

fattsgalore
March 8, 2007, 06:28 AM
I get people saying the 5.56 round turn end over end but after reading many articlules on the subject. The 5.56 unless a head shot is not the most effective round. I get the tumbling effect ok, but at close ranges and with a armor piercing bullet they go straight through. Reading articlues on special forces men whom opted for the m14 cause of it's stopping power. And instances where people were shot in excess of 10-20 time before they stopped moving. Make mine .308 or that new 6.8mm round.

As for the Geneva convention gose it's a law that has no presadence on a battle field.(I still believe in crimes agianst humanity) Killing is killing no matter how you look at it. Theres never been a good war, think about it.

Oohrah
March 9, 2007, 10:57 PM
As far as the Convention POOHEY !!! I seem to remember in dense
cover in the land of bad guys 12 ga Shot Guns worked just fine! Also
not being in Migratory Birds area, the Buckshot (lead worked just fine)
Can recall hearing about flechetts but never saw any or steel shot.
What's up with that?
If I use .223 stuff, give me soft points or hollow points. Ya all can keep
the AP stuff and all the theory that goes with it. In fact, I would rather
use expanding ammo in anything that needs to be dead. You might
consider why non expanding ammo is against the law for big game hunting
in all the states I know of. Guess two legged game takes more killing
with solids to penetrate the vitals and not mess things up like expanders.

Stainless Chili
March 9, 2007, 11:22 PM
Their sidearms, 9mm [mostly], might/would be better with HPs.

Going to the .45ACP might be a better idea if we are limited to FMJ.

As for the rifle round, I agree that the limited targets are the biggest problem.

thexrayboy
March 9, 2007, 11:34 PM
Have questions about the difference between .223 and 5.56 Nato?
Wondering how the Nato 5.56 is designed and under what conditions is it most effective?
Want to know the when to use Nato spec XM193 vs M855?

The ammo-oracle is your friend. Just like box-o-truth can answer some of your questions about penetration this site can tell you more than you might want to know about 5.56Nato.

http://www.ammo-oracle.com

buttrap
March 10, 2007, 06:01 AM
The latest version of the Hague Accord from 1984 or so does not mention or ban any bullet types but refers to causing "unnesasary suffering", using a FMJ vs a HP can be considered to cause that. They just stick to them as they feed better and penetrate cover and people better is all.

kennyboy
March 10, 2007, 03:05 PM
Since body armor is now standard for many Armed forces around the world, rounds like hollow points that penetrate even worse are less desirable than ones that function in a way that allows penetration and then increases lethiality in other way such as yawing and tumbling or fracturing to create more wound channels.

I am not trying to slam the author. I just want to make a few comments regarding my beliefs on body armor and armed forces around the world. I doubt that the U.S. will have to worry about the armed forces that do wear body armor. This is due mainly to the fact that today's enemies are not soldiers fighting in service to their country. Today's enemies are insurgents and terrorists, slum fighting for their own personal cause, usually without body armor.

While the U.S. does not have good relations with some of the country's that sport body armor, I doubt that the U.S. will be meeting those enemies anytime soon. Political talk is probably more of a weapon against the majority of countries sporting body armor.

FMJ is more effective againt enemies that do have body armor. Hollow points in .223 are probably more effective on soft tissue. However, given that round's high velocity and tiny bullet, the bullet passes so quickly that the amount of damage achieved with HP is minimally more effective than with FMJs. Either way, I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of any bullet.

Lucky
March 10, 2007, 03:15 PM
For several years you could purchase Iraqi flak jackets off Ebay. Essentially they were a cross between US PASGT and civilian armour, but with a larger metal rifle/trauma plate.

Maybe it was only R.G. that got them, but that's still significant.

Hell, the Russians had a titanium shovel that was worn like armour. Not to mention all the body armour issued to their troops.

I disagree on dismissing enemy's likelihood of having body armour. First of all you always prepare to fight the best. Second of all, even the mediocre will have armour.



The Israeli's got hit by an anti-ship missile fired from Lebanon. It shouldn't have happened, Hezbollah weren't supposed to have that capability - everyone knew that. In short they were stupid, underestimated their opponent, and a bunch of sailors died in the most horrible way imaginable.

Hezbollah did have it and they used it. And as proxy wars become more common expect Iran or China or Russia or DPRK or someone to be supplying all sorts of goodies to whomever starts acting up.

Zoogster
March 10, 2007, 03:57 PM
Good points Lucky.

Also consider that we have sent a lot of body armor to Iraqi police over the last few years, and anything that has been given to the Iraqi government has previously been later used by insurgents. So any insurgent that can afford it can likely aquire it just like other equipment we have given to them. So insurgents wearing body armor is a very real possibility to run into. Of course even our military would not report use of body armor being effective for insurgents, as that would quickly result in many more insurgents using it as they watch many of the same big media giants as we do, and would see the news reports.

Body armor is standard issue now. The USA and Russian and many other powers in the world have long issued supplies or clandestine support for the enemies of thier enemies/competing powers, even if just to keep them busy and less of a threat.

America and the CIA even have many ties with the Chechen rebels which are the Islamic fanaticists giving Russia so much trouble.
http://www.mosnews.com/news/2005/03/23/chitigov.shtml

The CIA gave much of the training and support to the elements the US currently fights in Afghanistan to help them use terror and guerrilla tactics in fighting off the Soviet Union. They succeeded against the Soviets, and was the straw that broke the camels back in bankrupting the Soviet Union. CIA created the "Golden Triangle", the remote area in Asia responsible for much of the world's Heroine prior to the CIA later setting up the same funding system in Afghanistan and the "Golden Crescent" and making it the leading supplier for the world of illegal Heroine. The same has been done in South America to fund anti communist forces with drugs such as cocaine. Much of the organized drug infrastructure in the world was originaly created by the CIA to fund anti communist operations and guerrilla rebels, even knowing full well the market for these drugs is mainly America and Western Europe. It allowed funding without public scrutiny because they did not need to use taxpayer money. (Of course many others seeing the great profit to be made created thier own cartles independently, but the model and majority originaly have links to intelligence agencies.) It was a product that could be created for very little capital, and could bring in millions to fund wars. Of course this means it must remain heavily illegal to keep the value of small amounts high enough to fund remote guerrilla villages that can only produce small quantitites.

My point is Russia and counter world powers like China play the exact same game. To expect that funding and gear will not be provided, especialy with such basic and common equipment as body armor is folly at best. Russia and China want to tie us up and wear us down and keep us busy in fighting rebels so we are less of a world power and threat as much as we want to do the same to them. We all often pretend it does not go on, because we don't need public outcry leading to a much deadlier nuclear world war.

Russia was behind Vietnam, as well as China. In fact it was a wonder to many in Vietnam that the pilots of many enemy aircraft encountered flying Migs were blue eyed caucasians.

I would not at all be surprised if the aid given by Iran to Iraqi insurgents was not funneled to Iran indirectly and in a difficult to trace manner by the Russians. In fact I think it is likely as Russia and Iran have pretty decent relations. It is not hard, they give support to Iran for something not related to military support, and Iran uses the funding not needed for what the Russians are supporting for military support of insurgents. That setup keeps Russia's hands clean, even if it was thier idea from the start. Iran benefits, probably recieving more aid than the value of thier contributions to insurgents, and Russia benefits by keeping American forces busy, and just returning more of what we give to them.

All the big powers support the enemy of eachother, and they try to do it in the ways that create as few ties as possible, usualy through indirect support. They also pretend it is not going on and give hard stares at the other ones to give a little less support, but rarely call eachother on it. Nobody wants WW3

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