Why No Hollow Points for Soldiers


PDA






Craig_VA
August 10, 2008, 12:12 PM
On occasion, posts in this and other forums raise the question of hollow point versus ball ammunition for self defense, law enforcement, and military. Often the question arises why the U.S. military only issues ball ammunition for most combatants. (Based on multiple posts in THR, it appears they do issue hollow point for some non-combat law enforcement purposes.)
To be sure I understood the background, I found the relevant Declaration of the Hague Convention, and am reproducing it below. I am not a lawyer, and this does not represent a legal review of the current state of international treaties and conventions or the "law of war." It does give us, however, the point in time (1899) that this rule became codified.
My source is
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/lawofwar/dec99-03.htm
from
http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Hague_Convention

Craig_VA
==================================
The Avalon Project Normandy Sabbath - Lawrence Beal Smith, 1944 : Courtesy of the U.S. Army Center of Military History at Yale Law School
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.

The present Declaration shall be ratified as soon as possible.

The ratification shall be deposited at The Hague.

A proces-verbal shall be drawn up on the receipt of each ratification, a copy of which, duly certified, shall be sent through the diplomatic channel to all the Contracting Powers.

The non-Signatory Powers may adhere to the present Declaration. For this purpose they must make their adhesion known to the Contracting Powers by means of a written notification addressed to the Netherlands Government, and by it communicated to all the other Contracting Powers.

In the event of one of the High Contracting Parties denouncing the present Declaration, such denunciation shall not take effect until a year after the notification made in writing to the Netherlands Government, and forthwith communicated by it to all the other Contracting Powers.

This denunciation shall only affect the notifying Power.

In faith of which the Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Declaration, and have affixed their seals thereto.

Done at The Hague the 29th July, 1899, in a single copy, which shall be kept in the archives of the Netherlands Government, and of which copies, duly certified, shall be sent through the diplomatic channel to the Contracting Powers.

[Signatures]
Source:
The Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907
A Series of Lectures Delivered before the Johns Hopkins University in the Year 1908
By James Brown Scott
Technical delegate of the United States to the Second Peace Conference at the Hague
In two Volumes
Volume II - Documents
Baltimore, MD : The Johns Hopkins Press, 1909.

Laws of War Page http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/lawofwar/lawwar.htm

19th Century Page http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/19th.htm

20th Century Page http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/20th.htm

1998 The Avalon Project.
The Avalon Project : Laws of War - Declaration on the Use of Bullets Which Expand or Flatten Easily in the Human Body; July 29, 1899 was last modified on: 08/10/2008 11:57:55

======================

If you enjoyed reading about "Why No Hollow Points for Soldiers" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
csmkersh
August 10, 2008, 12:26 PM
As stated else where,

the US was not a signatory nation to the 1899 Hague Conventions.

DoD has determined that open-tip ammunition is not banned by the 1907 Conventions to which the US is a signatory nation.

The US currently does issue open-tip ammunition for combat operations such as sniper work.

Hardware
August 10, 2008, 12:51 PM
Point of fact, ball ammunition does not have to be used against insurgents. The agreement below only governs contests of arms between two or more sovereign powers. Even if we were party to it.

Eric F
August 10, 2008, 12:54 PM
Why No Hollow Points for Soldiers
Cost

CountGlockula
August 10, 2008, 12:57 PM
Also, FMJ are more effective on insurgents and through their homes.

Vaarok
August 10, 2008, 12:57 PM
Penetration of cover, too.

RNB65
August 10, 2008, 12:58 PM
Cost

And reliability. The risk of jamming is always greater with JHP than with ball. Not a problem when hunting deer but not good in a firefight.

psyopspec
August 10, 2008, 01:06 PM
Because my boss says so, and regardless of why I'm bound to follow his lawful orders.

bhp31
August 10, 2008, 01:08 PM
i always just figured that it's because it is the goal of the military to maim, rather than kill....

you maim soldiers and their fellow soldiers see it,,it has a detrimental impact on morale...

at least that was the way of thinking during WWII.

Happiness Is A Warm Gun
August 10, 2008, 01:12 PM
I never felt the need in Iraq to have JHP with one exception:
M9 9mm. If I need to draw my nine then likely the SHTF. The idea of having to shoot a BG with 9mm FMJ wasn't very comforting.

Ironically the Iraqi were more afraid of 9mm then anything else we carried (M4, SAW, .50 cal M2).

Happiness Is A Warm Gun
August 10, 2008, 01:14 PM
always just figured that it's because it is the goal of the military to maim, rather than kill....

you maim soldiers and their fellow soldiers see it,,it has a detrimental impact on morale...

at least that was the way of thinking during WWII.

Not only morale. A wounded soldier consumes a lot of resources and does nothing to help the fight.

SaxonPig
August 10, 2008, 01:19 PM
Some people get really upset for some reason when I say this, but the above comments are correct. Military strategy is to wound enemy soldiers, not kill them. A wounded soldier is out of the fight (the primary goal) but continues to consume resources such as food, water, medical supplies, and requires other personnel to care for him. Wounding an enemy is much better than killing him.

Of course, the individual soldier shooting at an enemy is thinking about killing him. But the top brass prefers you wound him.

csmkersh
August 10, 2008, 01:41 PM
The policy of wounding an enemy combatant was valid when fighting in Europe. We've since learned that many non-Europian nations have less regard for their soldiers lives and will leave wonded lay until the battle is over. No longer can we expect one wounded to equal 3 out of action so we might as well plan on a KIA for the opponents. Won't tie up our medics or use our supplies either.

DoubleTapDrew
August 10, 2008, 03:28 PM
I would venture to guess cost and penetration of cover, especially on suppressive weapons like the SAW (and using the same eases logistics). Also isn't the 5.56 intended to fragment rather than expand like a hunting bullet?
I wouldn't feel comfortable with fmj in a 9mm as your last chance weapon.

AF_INT1N0
August 10, 2008, 03:39 PM
I never felt the need in Iraq to have JHP with one exception:
M9 9mm. If I need to draw my nine then likely the SHTF. The idea of having to shoot a BG with 9mm FMJ wasn't very comforting.

Ironically the Iraqi were more afraid of 9mm then anything else we carried (M4, SAW, .50 cal M2).

Same with Afghans...

I think that is because everyone can get a rifle.. Only powerful had handguns.. also handguns were used a lot for executions.

JWF III
August 10, 2008, 05:37 PM
In the "old world style" of combat, the enemy was civilized. Meaning that they would take care of their wounded. For every man wounded, there was one corpsman/medic, one soldier to help with evacuation, and the wounded, that was taken out of the fight. If there was more wounded than medics, you could figure 2 soldiers per wounded. Generally speaking it takes at least 2 people to take care of 1 wounded in the field.

We (the US) failed to keep up with the times as combat has changed. This started (AFAIK) in Vietnam. And on to today. Our modern enemy does not care if their fellow soldier/insurgent/terrorist is killed, wounded, or mamed. They'll just leave them there, where they lay. They will not tend to anybody, probably even after the fight, unless they may be their leader or religious leader.

In todays combat, the best would be to just flat kill them. That way you don't have to worry about the possibility of them trying just 1 last kill, or body booby trap IED.

My 2 cents
Wyman

The Lone Haranguer
August 10, 2008, 05:52 PM
2. DoD has determined that open-tip ammunition is not banned by the 1907 Conventions to which the US is a signatory nation.

3. The US currently does issue open-tip ammunition for combat operations such as sniper work.

On these two points: this applies to the match bullet used in sniper rifles. The fact that it has a hollow point is incidental to the design of the bullet and is not specifically designed to expand.

IMO, regardless of who signed what, there should be no constraints on bullets for this particular enemy, who are not uniformed soldiers of a recognized military force of a warring nation, but terrorists. Do you see our police forces only shooting criminals with FMJ bullets?

ZMP_CTR
August 10, 2008, 05:58 PM
Some people get really upset for some reason when I say this, but the above comments are correct. Military strategy is to wound enemy soldiers, not kill them. A wounded soldier is out of the fight (the primary goal) but continues to consume resources such as food, water, medical supplies, and requires other personnel to care for him. Wounding an enemy is much better than killing him.


100% correct

Larry E
August 10, 2008, 05:58 PM
Along with all the above the current enemy knows that our troops will pick up their wounded and care for them, so why should they waste their time and resources.

Jim K
August 10, 2008, 07:00 PM
"Military strategy is to wound enemy soldiers, not kill them."

That is absolute, stupid nonsense and I would like to see any army manual that says that, or any version of it. The object is to kill the enemy. Period. A wounded enemy is an enemy who remains deadly or who can return to battle. (If an army really believed such a silly thing, it would issue rifles in .22 LR or .32 S&W!)

The U.S. has made open statements at various times that we would abide by the Hague conventions even though not a signatory, and we have kept our word. The only reason for the exception for some sniper ammunition was that the most accurate bullets available were target type open point bullets; the DoD lawyers determined that the expansion would be insufficient to violate the convention.

In addition, if the U.S. did issue expanding or hollow point bullets, the pro-Jihad press (CNN, MSNBC, NYT, etc.) would have yet another reason to beat up on the U.S. ("Army using vicious, cruel, 'dum-dum' bullets", Wolf Al Blitzer would scream.)

In fact, the whole thing is silly. The wounding power of modern high velocity bullets is such that hollow points add little or nothing to lethality. They are mandated for hunting not because they are more deadly but because they cause rapid bleedout and are deadly sooner.

Jim

jetrecbn
August 10, 2008, 07:38 PM
Iraqi police were quick to sell some HP ammo. I don't know who would buy such thing.:rolleyes:

If you enjoyed reading about "Why No Hollow Points for Soldiers" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!