handgun ammo in war


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AcceptableUserName
July 28, 2009, 04:26 PM
This is a two part question. First off, why and how did the .45 FMJ stake it's claim as a man killer in war? How did it behave in that kind of a scenario? seems like military has always used FMJ rounds all the way across the board. Is this because of cost? Or is it a penetration issue? was it a 230 grain FMJ rn that built the 45's rep as a man killer?

Also, these days what kind of ammo would be used in Iraq in a Beretta m9 or for the Navy, a Sig p226? and why?

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earlthegoat2
July 28, 2009, 04:39 PM
fmj will be used because of the geneva convention

all ammo used in war has to be fmj or of a non expanding design.

highorder
July 28, 2009, 04:44 PM
fmj will be used because of the geneva convention

Old myths die hard...

It was actually the Hague Convention of 1899, but the USA was not a signatory.

FMJ just feeds more reliably.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/dec99-03.asp

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.

rcmodel
July 28, 2009, 04:44 PM
The U.S. military switched from the .45 Colt SAA to a .38 caliber revolver in 1892.

It proved to be incapable of stopping Moro warriors in fighting in the Philippines.

SO the .45 Colt SAA was brought back into service. In the mean while, the 1911 was being invented.

At about the same time, the Hague Convention set out the rules of land warfare, and lead bullets were prohibited for use against a civilized enemy.

It was O.K. to use them against "heathens & natives" but you just never knew when one of those little wars would blow up into a real civilized war and you would be fighting real civilized solders with mustard & nerve gas, artillery shells, & those kinder gentler FMJ bullets!

SO, yes, the 1911 was 230 grain FMJ from the get-go as it replaced the 255 grain Colt lead bullet that had proved so effective in the Philippines..

As is the 124 grain 9mm used in the Beretta M9.
And in fact all GI ammo since WWI.

rc

earlthegoat2
July 28, 2009, 04:46 PM
Old myths die hard...

It was actually the Hague Convention of 1899, but the USA was not a signatory.

Ahh, right you are.

AcceptableUserName
July 28, 2009, 04:48 PM
Too bad there isn't a database or collection of accounts of how the 9mm fmj has performed in life or death situations for GI's. I'm sure a pistol isn't used much but I'd like to know how the 9's done with fmj when it has been used. I totally forgot about conventions. I figured the FMJ was used primarily for it's better penetration.

rcmodel
July 28, 2009, 04:56 PM
9mm FMJ is way better then a sharp stick.

It is especially effective in sub-machine guns.

I don't think you will find any valid facts as to the military effectiveness of 9mm vis .45 ACP.

It was never about effectiveness or stopping power when we switched from .30 caliber rifles to .22 cal rifles either.

It was about how many rounds a GI could carry, and how many rounds would fit on a cargo plane or ship.

rc

CoRoMo
July 28, 2009, 05:25 PM
I recall something about a turn-of-the-century requirement that the round be able to stop a cavalry horse. Thus the .45 was chosen.

I've found a few posts about that. Is that also a myth?

DMK
July 28, 2009, 05:27 PM
The U.S. military switched from the .45 Colt SAA to a .38 caliber revolver in 1892.

It proved to be incapable of stopping Moro warriors in fighting in the Philippines.

SO the .45 Colt SAA was brought back into service. In the mean while, the 1911 was being invented.Wasn't the 1911 originally designed to shoot a .38 caliber round?

I thought I read somewhere that the Army asked that the caliber be changed to .45 after the Philippines experience

rcmodel
July 28, 2009, 05:47 PM
No, the 1911 was always a .45 ACP.

Browning had designed the earlier .38 Colt Model 1900 and Model 1902 in .38 ACP.

But during that time the Army had formed the Thompson / La Garde commission in 1904 to study handgun stopping power following the Philippine fiasco.

They had reached the conclusion that the army needed a .45 caliber cartridge, to provide adequate stopping power against a man.

Browning & Colt then had a working Model 1905 in .45 caliber.

It was improved & modified until by the time it won the service pistol tests against all comers, it was the 1911.

Here is a pretty good account of it all.
http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/history/background.htm


BTW: As for stopping a horse?
That was probably very true when the .45 Colt SAA was adopted in 1873.

Not so much a factor by 1911 with horse solders on the way out and WWI on the horizon.

rc

BCRider
July 28, 2009, 05:52 PM
I recall something about a turn-of-the-century requirement that the round be able to stop a cavalry horse. Thus the .45 was chosen.

I've found a few posts about that. Is that also a myth?

You may have at least a grain of fact in that one. I've seen more than one account about the orginal Colt Walker being sized to be able to take down a horse with decent reliability. Also the choice of the old 45-70 round seems to have had something of this same desire in its selection.

In general though I think RC is right. There's been a shift away from making one bullet count in favour of hosing down an area. To do that takes a LOT of ammo so the squad that can carry more rounds is the squad that is more effective.

CoRoMo
July 28, 2009, 07:20 PM
Hard to imagine the velocity-cursed .45, penetrating enough horse to drop it.

rcmodel
July 28, 2009, 07:32 PM
How big do horses get?

70 cm / 27.5" of penetration should reach the boiler room from most angles.
And you don't have to kill it to make it stop chasing you at a full-tilt boogie!

http://www.firearmstactical.com/images/Wound%20Profiles/45ACP%20230gr%20FMJ.jpg

rc

Vern Humphrey
July 28, 2009, 07:39 PM
BTW: As for stopping a horse?
That was probably very true when the .45 Colt SAA was adopted in 1873.

Not so much a factor by 1911 with horse solders on the way out and WWI on the horizon.
In fact, the Cavalry was the functional proponent for the M1911 -- one reason it has both safety lock and grip safety, to make for safer handling on horseback. In 1911, no one had any inkling of what WWI would be like -- many European cavalry units were armed only with sabers or lances. Europeans though giving them firearms would detract from their real combat role, the charge with white weapons.
Hard to imagine the velocity-cursed .45, penetrating enough horse to drop it.
Nevertheless, it did.

I know the guy who restored General Pershing's 1916 Dodge Touring Car, which he used during the Mexican punitive expedition. He did not know the story of Patton and that car until I told him -- then he called a buddy at the Library of Congress, and got copies of the orginal newspaper account, complete with photographs. He displays this with the car.

Patton was sent out to contract with local ranchers for hay. While tooling around, he heard a rumor of some Villanistas at a nearby hacianda, so he went out to check.

The Villanistas were there, with horses saddled and bridled in the courtyard. They heard him coming. Their plan was to let him pass and slip out and go the other way. Plan B, if he stopped, was to wait until he got out of the car, then ride him down.

Patton pulled up, got out, and suddenly the gates of the hacianda banged open and three mounted Villanistas came galloping out, whooping and shooting. Patton, armed with a Colt SAA, but using ammunition ballistically identical to .45 ACP, killed the lead horse. The other horses went down over the carcass, and Patton shot all three Villanistas.

He came driving back to Colonia Dublan with the highest ranking Villanista tied to the hood. The picture shows the dead man astride the hood, facing the windshield.

Yes, the .45 will indeed kill a horse.

Bass Killer
July 28, 2009, 07:43 PM
This is a two part question. First off, why and how did the .45 FMJ stake it's claim as a man killer in war? How did it behave in that kind of a scenario? seems like military has always used FMJ rounds all the way across the board. Is this because of cost? Or is it a penetration issue? was it a 230 grain FMJ rn that built the 45's rep as a man killer?

Also, these days what kind of ammo would be used in Iraq in a Beretta m9 or for the Navy, a Sig p226? and why?

124 grain NATO, straight shooting, great at 50+ yards

finfanatic
July 28, 2009, 07:53 PM
Patton was an Olympic pistol shooter in 1912, and finished 5th because he put so many rounds into the same hole? He also shot a .38 pistol instead of the .22 the other shooters were using.

This was in the Modern Pentathlon...swimming, sword (fencing), horseback riding, cross country running, and pistol shooting at 25 meters.

blikseme300
July 28, 2009, 10:14 PM
George Patton was unique soldier. His successful confrontation had noting to do with the magical 45-caliber. It had everything to do with preparation.

General George Patton survived his confrontation due to preparedness (ie, able to do good shot placement), situational awareness and a lethal cartridge. The magic triangle IS important. A miss with a nuke is useless compared to a hit with a .22

Footnote:
I had no choice which handgun to carry when I was in uniform. I survived 2 potentially deadly confrontations when faced with AK47-bearing opponents. I am here, they are not. Is the 9mmP superior? No, I hit where I aimed, quickly.

BCRider
July 28, 2009, 10:18 PM
Yep, during the initial stages of WW1 calvary was still widely used. It wasn't until things ground to a halt and the whole trench war thing took over that the calvary was put out to pasture for the remainder of the war as far as being an effective fighting weapon is concerned. This may not have been that obvious to the American forces and possibly American accounts of the war that made it into your history books since America didn't join in until later when the whole trench war was in full swing.

But even with WW1 showing the way I'm pretty sure calvary was still kept as a major arm of most armys for quite a few years more even after WW1 was over. Old generals do like their traditional solutions after all. Just look at the difficulty Jimmy Doolittle had in showing how advantagious that directed air power could be when used against warships.

Bass Killer
July 28, 2009, 10:40 PM
george patton was unique soldier. His successful confrontation had noting to do with the magical 45-caliber. It had everything to do with preparation.

General george patton survived his confrontation due to preparedness (ie, able to do good shot placement), situational awareness and a lethal cartridge. The magic triangle is important. A miss with a nuke is useless compared to a hit with a .22

footnote:
I had no choice which handgun to carry when i was in uniform. I survived 2 potentially deadly confrontations when faced with ak47-bearing opponents. I am here, they are not. Is the 9mmp superior? No, i hit where i aimed, quickly.

amen, they dont make em like patton anymore. That man was one of a kind. A master of war and strategy.

trex1310
July 28, 2009, 10:55 PM
I was under the impression for some reason that all ammo used by
the US military was determined by JAG.

Kind of Blued
July 28, 2009, 11:03 PM
I was under the impression for some reason that all ammo used by
the US military was determined by JAG.

Attorneys have never written the rules, in the military or otherwise.

L-Frame
July 29, 2009, 12:15 AM
It's also a myth that the Moro's were knocked down like bowling pins with the .45's. They did no better against the drugged up Philippino natives than the .38's did. In fact, the Moros often took rounds from the Krag rifles issued to many soldiers and still hacked them to death before dying. The most sought after weapon in the Philippine jungles during the insurrection was the 12 gauge shotgun.

GRIZ22
July 29, 2009, 12:19 AM
I was under the impression for some reason that all ammo used by
the US military was determined by JAG.

A bit OT but JAG is very involved in establishing rules of engagement.

KenWP
July 29, 2009, 01:02 AM
I really can't understand why you couldn't use expanding bullets in a war but you can use landmines and hand grenades. With a horse as long as you break a front leg as it is moving it will go down.
It did not help that the Moros were hopped up on something plus there frame of mind.

L-Frame
July 29, 2009, 01:14 AM
It really is silly. The handgun is the wimpiest weapon on the battlefield, and to say it is wrong to use hollopoints in battle when other weapons do immeasurably more damage is crazy.

JohnnyOrygun
July 29, 2009, 02:07 AM
Just a quick note, it wasn't Doolittle, but Billy Mitchell who was a strong proponent of air power. He also predicted the attack on Pearl Harbor... Now back to your original thread subject...

Not to disparge Doolittle, he lead the famous air attack on Tokyo off of the Hornet...

Second interuption over, now back to the thread...

I heard that the 230 gr came from John Moses Browning filing/grinding down a 45 colt round and 230 just happened to be the weight when he stopped. But I don't know if that story is real, but it is interesting.
JohnnyOrygun

Big Bill
July 29, 2009, 02:30 AM
Back in WWI they used the best pistol round they had - .45 ACP. However, these days they use the superior 9MM. That's just the way it is!

General Geoff
July 29, 2009, 02:36 AM
A miss with a nuke is useless compared to a hit with a .22


Ehh, might want to rethink that just a bit...


(close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons :D)

REAPER4206969
July 29, 2009, 06:34 AM
Back in WWI they used the best pistol round they had - .45 ACP. However, these days they use the superior 9MM. That's just the way it is!
Yep! Too bad the 9x19 cartridge was not around then.

blikseme300
July 29, 2009, 07:03 AM
The 9x19 was accepted into use by the Imperial German Navy in 1904 and by the Imperial German Army in 1906.

This cartridge did see much service in WW1.

The Germans used the famous Luger pistol chambered in 9mm as well as the first sub-machine gun used in combat, the Bergmann MP18.

Quoheleth
July 29, 2009, 08:44 AM
IIRC, in the Phillippean (sic) insurrection, the round initially used was the .38 Smith & Wesson - a poor precursor to the .38 Special. If the Special is a poor performer, the S&W was infinitely worse lobbing its 158gr RN lead bullet at something like 600 fps. Yes, the Special was commercially available, but just like you can't stuff a .357 Mag into a .38 cylinder due to length, you can't stuff a .38 Special into a .38 S&W chamber...at least, w/out danger to one's fingers and hand.

Since we're tossing trivia in with our posts, Picher, OK, has the dubious distinction (among others) of having lead from its mines being used in every major US conflict in the 20th century since the Spanish-American war (including the Philippine insurrection, both world wars, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama and Gulf War I).

Q

RDak
July 29, 2009, 09:19 AM
A little off-topic but didn't the British originally use a 200 grain bullet in their .38 S&W cartridge?

And wasn't that 200 grain bullet outlawed by the Geneva Convention because it caused draconian wounds?

jbrown50
July 29, 2009, 09:57 AM
The Myth of the "Geneva Convention" and other Gunstore Bullroar.

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

Ash
July 29, 2009, 10:18 AM
They used the 38 Colt, which was the precursor to the 38 Special. The 38S&W was a different round and is not related to the 38 Special except that both rounds have Smith and Wesson in their name.

As mentioned, Jimmy Doolittle was an air racer (flew the GB), Mitchell, who was already old during WWI, was the proponent of air power, sank the USS Alabama, among other ships, and got court marshaled for insubordination.

The power and effectiveness of small arms bullets is largely a minor issue as most soldiers are killed by other, generally exploding, means.

Vern Humphrey
July 29, 2009, 10:46 AM
George Patton was unique soldier. His successful confrontation had noting to do with the magical 45-caliber. It had everything to do with preparation.
The claim was made that the low-velocity .45 could not penetrate a horse. Patton proved that claim wrong.

RDak
July 29, 2009, 11:00 AM
It was the Hague Convention. Thanks for the info.

Ash: I'm confused, my old Webley and Scott Mark IV shoots .38 S&W.

Quoheleth
July 29, 2009, 11:47 AM
They used the 38 Colt, which was the precursor to the 38 Special. The 38S&W was a different round and is not related to the 38 Special except that both rounds have Smith and Wesson in their name.

That's what it was - the Colt cartridge, not the S&W. Had the name wrong, but the ballistics were close.

See, for discussion, on the .38 Colt: http://www.frfrogspad.com/colt1889.htm

Q

Bass Killer
July 29, 2009, 12:23 PM
Yep! Too bad the 9x19 cartridge was not around then.

Have you heard of the FN Hi Power? or Luger pistol? Both very active in WW2.

Jorg Nysgerrig
July 29, 2009, 12:28 PM
One glance at the history of WWI should make it clear that no international laws applied to the use of weapons.
This statement is simply wrong. You may wish to read up on the Hague Conventions of both 1899 and 1907, as those international laws were certainly applied to the use of weapons in WWI. The fact gas wasn't included in those Conventions does not mean that they were ignored.

For further evidence of such regulation, look up the German protests of the US using shotguns during WWI as an alledged violation of the Hague Conventions.

sw282
July 29, 2009, 03:07 PM
This stopping power debate will never end. There was a show on the Military Channel last night about the top10 weapons for urban warfare. The calibers represented were all over the chart. 9mm.-45ACP-223-5.7x28-6.8SPC-6x35. The biggest criteria was stopping power. Top winner #1 choice was a weapon chambered in 45ACP. they said it won because of the 45's legendary stopping power. #2 winner was chambered in 5.7x28. Also because of ITS stopping power. 5.7 had great stopping power becaue of its ability to penetrate body armor through both sides. The top 2 winners in the stopping power class were the smallest and biggest rounds. My old M79 had REAL stopping power

Ash
July 29, 2009, 05:56 PM
The Brits used a version of the 38S&W, the 380/200, and the 38S&W has certainly been around for a very long time. I have a Hopkins and Allen in 38 S&W. But the 38 Special is evolved from the 38 Colt, not the 38S&W. That is why, by the way, those British revolvers that were originally 380/200 (38S&W) that were rechambered for 38 Special are not real safe as the 38S&W has a fatter cartridge.

I used to think the same, that the 38 Smith and Wesson Special was naturally an evolved 38 Smith and Wesson, but was corrected some years back.

Jim K
July 29, 2009, 06:56 PM
Yep, old myths die hard.

"The .38 revolver was succeeded by the M1911 auto pistol." Nope. The .38 revolver was succeeded by the Model 1909 revolver, using the .45 caliber M1909 revolver cartridge. The M1911 came along two years later. In the famous tests of the Colt automatic pistol, the Model 1909 revolver was the control gun and kept pace, shot for shot, with the auto pistols. There were two failures of the revolver, both due to lack of powder in the cartridges!

Jim

Vern Humphrey
July 29, 2009, 07:06 PM
We should point out that the M1909 was adopted because we had run out of Colt SAAs, which had been arsenal refurbished, barrels cut to 5 1/2 inches (the so-called "Artillery Model) and issued to units.

Dr.Rob
July 29, 2009, 07:18 PM
And add to that the model sent to the Phillipines was a version of the 1878 DA revolver.

I have often read that counter-terror forces use hollowpoints and in the case of places like Afghanistan where you are arguably fighting 'terrorists' that HP ammo COULD be allowed, even under Hague accords. Thing is logistically, we have a lot of FMJ laying around, easier to ship what we have.

CoRoMo
July 29, 2009, 07:27 PM
The claim was made that the low-velocity .45 could not penetrate a horse.

Actually, I simply said that the imagery didn't come easy. Not to say that it didn't come.

John Parker
July 29, 2009, 07:40 PM
Didn't I read this thread like a month ago? Deja vu!

Bass Killer
July 29, 2009, 09:58 PM
I was under the impression for some reason that all ammo used by
the US military was determined by JAG.

whata, what?

Beagle-zebub
July 30, 2009, 02:17 AM
(close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons )

That's what an airburst is, no?

REAPER4206969
July 30, 2009, 05:10 AM
Have you heard of the FN Hi Power? or Luger pistol? Both very active in WW2.
http://www.ar15.com/images/smilies/icon_smile_wink.gif

RDak
July 30, 2009, 08:06 AM
The Brits used a version of the 38S&W, the 380/200, and the 38S&W has certainly been around for a very long time. I have a Hopkins and Allen in 38 S&W. But the 38 Special is evolved from the 38 Colt, not the 38S&W. That is why, by the way, those British revolvers that were originally 380/200 (38S&W) that were rechambered for 38 Special are not real safe as the 38S&W has a fatter cartridge.

I used to think the same, that the 38 Smith and Wesson Special was naturally an evolved 38 Smith and Wesson, but was corrected some years back.

I see, thanks for the info.

Loyalist Dave
July 30, 2009, 08:45 AM
all ammo used in war has to be fmj or of a non expanding design.

I thought sniper ammunition for many years was 168 grain spitzer, boat tail, hollow point, in .308 or 7.62 Nato, while machine gun ammunition is 147 grain FMJ?

Back in WWI they used the best pistol round they had - .45 ACP. However, these days they use the superior 9MM. That's just the way it is!

Um, no I was around the USMC at Quantico when the debate over the .45 acp to the 9mm was going on, and it was all about logistics, NOT "superiority". In fact I made some high ranking enemies when I pointed out that the real reason was our NATO allies had switched from 7.62 NATO rounds to 5.56mm in their rifles, and they didn't want to foot the bill for the handguns and subguns too (they having so much sub-gun ammo stockpiled), so the USA ate the bill when it came time for handguns. FYI it was the Beretta shooting "superior" 9mm rounds that kept blowing up when using "hot" 9mm ammunition, and the NATO specs for their subgun ammo was above SAAMI specs for 9mm rounds. The Marine Corps pistols were literally 45+ years old, and they were comparing them to new, out-of-the-box Berettas..., not very "fair", and a fallacy when I demonstrated what could be done with my new out-of-the-box 1911A1. (I didn't make friends doing that either..., or when I pointed out that lots of the high rankers suddenly started showing up at skeet and trap ranges with very nice Beretta shotguns... I wondered about that out loud a bit too loud :what:)

SO..., IF it's so "superior" then why are we switching back to .45 acp in many units? :D

Lets avoid the traditional .45 vs 9mm debate?

FYI the British SAS has had wonderful success with the Browning Hipower in 9mm in the past for many decades, as have the Israeli's unto this day. Neither round trumps the other; there are pros and cons to both depending on the mission, especially if you are only discussing the FMJ bullets.

In answer to the original question..., the .45 acp got a good rep in the trenches of WWI, as did the 12 ga shotgun. Stock "GI" 1911's don't like any other bullets than FMJ (im-ex). The original purpose in The Great War for the 1911 was to arm cavalry soldiers (and officers), and later it was used as a backup gun for crew served weapons such as machine gunners. Americans do have the tradition of officers carrying pistols, BUT the majority of handguns used by American soldiers in the field is as a backup to their primary arm. Europeans have a much stronger tradition of only officers carrying side arms, and they are not as much for shooting the enemy as they are for keeping discipline among their own troops. Rommel only mentions pulling his pistol once in his book (iirc), and he points it at his own machinegun squad and orders them to kill the French (who were at that time charging with bayonets). Otherwise Rommel mentions carrying a rifle. The Germans put the 9mm round in their subguns, and the MP40 made it really famous. A great gun. The British used Tommy Guns for a long while before going to the Sten in 9mm, and other 9mm subguns in the future.

Military questions often are impacted by tradition as well. Think about the Spaniards use of 7mm Mausers vs the USA and trap door Springfields.

LD

HB
July 30, 2009, 04:15 PM
Yep! Too bad the 9x19 cartridge was not around then.

Te he te he te he :D

GRIZ22
July 30, 2009, 06:38 PM
I thought sniper ammunition for many years was 168 grain spitzer, boat tail, hollow point, in .308 or 7.62 Nato, while machine gun ammunition is 147 grain FMJ?


The HP on the sniper ammo is there for ballistic reasons not for expansion. US Army JAG considered this question and agreed it was okay to use.

hinton03
July 31, 2009, 04:07 AM
I know this off subject, but lawyers have a unique role in todays military operations. During the Kosovo conflict lawyers were an integral part of the target selection teams; they helped determined whether a targets military value out weighed its potential for collateral damage. In many cases a lawyers recommendation removed targets from the list or caused intensive planning by weaponeers and engineers to develop alternate methods of attack to reduce collateral damage.

I admit it was different kind of war, in the invasion of Iraq (full ground combat) it was clear that they were pervasive.

Vern Humphrey
July 31, 2009, 09:58 AM
Not helped, hindered. Targeting in the Kosovo conflict was notoriously bad.

Elsewhere, such as in Afghanistan, targets have disappeared while lawyers dithered trying to make up their minds.

Noveldoc
August 1, 2009, 11:59 AM
One thing to note. When the .45 auto case was designed, we already had the 30-06 military round. 45 case head has exactly same dimensions as the 30 06.

So might have been a commonality money saving thing.

Tom

Vern Humphrey
August 1, 2009, 12:46 PM
Browning produced the .45 ACP for Colt in 1904, while the .30-06 was not developed until 1906. The .30-03 (from which the .30-06 was developed) was essentially the 7X57 Mauser, with the neck expanded to 7.62mm and the case lengthened 6 mm.

The more likely scenario is that Browning used the 7X57 case, because the geometry of the extraction groove had been worked out and was known to be effective.

DMK
August 1, 2009, 02:23 PM
A little off-topic but didn't the British originally use a 200 grain bullet in their .38 S&W cartridge?

And wasn't that 200 grain bullet outlawed by the Geneva Convention because it caused draconian wounds? They did use a 200gr bullet at first. I remember reading somewhere that they thought it was quite effective too. Something did happen along the way and it was switched to a 158ish gr bullet.

Before WWII, the Brits were quite enamored with heavy bullets moving relatively slow. Another, possible more famous round is the .455 which is slightly heavier and slightly slower than 45ACP.

Vern Humphrey
August 1, 2009, 02:26 PM
And wasn't that 200 grain bullet outlawed by the Geneva Convention because it caused draconian wounds?
No. The British used a huge hollowpoint with the .455 cartridge, known as "the manstopper." It was that hollowpoint bullet that ran afoul of the Hague (not the Geneva) convention.

Logos
August 3, 2009, 12:42 AM
The big walker .45 caliber horse pistol could indeed stop a horse reliably.....but only if held by the barrel and then clubbing the butt into the space between the eyes of the horse.

Anything else was less reliable as not many could consistently put a bullet into the same place.

;)

5knives
August 3, 2009, 01:38 AM
Loyalist Dave's comments are 100% on the money.

Might just add that the U.S had first forced the NATO transition to 7.62 and THEN almost immediately demanded the switch to 5.56, no way were the NATO Allies going to drop the 9x19 (which was quite satisfactory for their use) without an argument.

That is how the U.S got the 9mm, as Dave has stated..

True also that in the European model, handguns are essentially badges of rank, and the only real combat the cartridge sees is in the various SMG's, where the 9mm is a fine performer. 9mm makes all the sense in the world from their viewpoint.

The attitude of the chairborne brass is that handguns are more a comfort factor for the troops with very little utility in modern warfare. So it wasn't worth arguing about.

As always, JMO, others may and will disagree Machts Nicht to me, I am not emotionally invested in the discussion!

Regards,
:)

Logos
August 3, 2009, 01:55 AM
In America, the M1 Carbine must have been a badge of rank, since a lot of officers carried them.

They were nice and light and pleasant to shoot.

:)

5knives
August 3, 2009, 03:14 AM
Logos,

Essentially correct, the Carbine was designed to replace the pistols. That applied to junior Officers, and NCO's Senior Officers as usual armed themselves with T/O weapons they considered appropriate.

The intent was to give a little better hit probability, in a small lightweight package. Which role the Carbines fulfilled well. Being light and handy 'everyone' wanted one or thought they did. Survivors of a fire fight or two tended to have differing opinions and chose M-1's.

Experienced junior Officers tended to carry M-1's in combat. That was the situation from the introduction of the Carbine, through Korea.

The Marine Corps dumped the Carbines after Korea, and went back to M-1's and 1911's, Army kept them a while longer.

Inadequate performance on target and reliability issues were the only reasons I ever heard given.

Regards,
:)

Logos
August 3, 2009, 12:26 PM
Yeah......"nice and light and pleasant to shoot" usually means trouble if you need to stop something dangerous from harming you.

Heavy and big and noisy and unpleasant is usually better.

;)

9mmepiphany
August 3, 2009, 10:53 PM
the restriction of handgun ammo to FMJ isn't specific....it just trickled down from rifle bullet specifications

friscolatchi
August 8, 2009, 01:00 PM
I'd rather take 3 guys out with a 9mm then one with a 45. Shooting and wounding in war can be preferable to killing. One wounded soldier means that 3 are not shooting at you.

Vern Humphrey
August 8, 2009, 01:12 PM
Take it from an old infantryman, a wounded man can kill you. It doesn't do you much good to put your enemy into the hospital if he puts you into your grave before he goes.

Tim the student
August 8, 2009, 01:45 PM
One wounded soldier means that 3 are not shooting at you.

How do you figure that?

Logos
August 8, 2009, 04:19 PM
I suppose he means that two have to tend to the one wounded.

This was the theory behind adopting the .223, but I'm not sure it applies with handguns.

With the handgun you're often within spitting distance of your adversary......so just wounding him may be a big problem.

Tim the student
August 8, 2009, 05:02 PM
I suppose he means that two have to tend to the one wounded.

Medics treat only "you're gonna die in like 2 minutes" type wounds immediately now, and return fire, as per combat casualty care course - it is "new", but has been the standard for a couple of years now. (http://www.naemt.org/education/PHTLS/TCCC.aspx, http://www.dmrti.army.mil/courses.html) Even disregarding that, who has two medics out with them to work on one guy when in contact? And after that, at least in Iraq and Afghanistan, the enemy doesn't have medics.

With the handgun you're often within spitting distance of your adversary......so just wounding him may be a big problem.

Indeed, Vern Humphrey spoke the truth when he said that a wounded man can still kill you - so why possibly risk it? I would rather have one guy that is dead, and not a threat anymore, than 3 that are still threats with holes in them.

Vern Humphrey
August 8, 2009, 05:15 PM
This was the theory behind adopting the .223, but I'm not sure it applies with handguns.
The theory behind adopting the .223 and the M16 (which had been tested and rejected by the Army) was that it would boost the economy in New England, especially among union workers.

Logos
August 8, 2009, 05:40 PM
Awww.....those nasty old unions.

:D

Maybe the people who rejected the .223 were idiots. Seems to have done well for forty years or so.

;)

Vern Humphrey
August 8, 2009, 06:23 PM
Maybe the people who rejected the .223 were idiots. Seems to have done well for forty years or so.
I was there. I commanded an Infantry company (A-1/61 IN) in Northern I Corps. The people who rejected the .223 were right on the money.

Logos
August 8, 2009, 06:30 PM
How strange that it has done so well for forty years or so.

Wonder if they were just union-bashers like you?

;)

Probably should discuss the .223 somewhere else, though.

Vern Humphrey
August 8, 2009, 06:39 PM
How strange that it has done so well for forty years or so.
Actually, it hasn't -- there have been over 3,000 engineering changes in the M16. The current version is ultra-refined. And troops still complain about stopping power and ammunition.

May I ask if you've personally shot anyone with the M16?

Bill B.
August 8, 2009, 07:42 PM
why and how did the .45 FMJ stake it's claim as a man killer in war?

IMO the Grease Gun and the Thompson Sub had a whole lot to with that ................more than a 1911 I am quite sure!

Vern Humphrey
August 8, 2009, 07:57 PM
IMO the Grease Gun and the Thompson Sub had a whole lot to with that ................more than a 1911 I am quite sure!
The M1911 and the .45 ACP had a reputation long before the Thompson or Grease Gun came on the scene.

The M1911 got its baptism of fire at Bagsak Mountain in the Phillippines in 1913. It was carried and used at Tampico in 1914 and in Haiti in 1915. Duing the Mexican Punitive Expedition, in 1916, it was used in the cavalry charge at Ojos Azules. It was carried into the trenches in France in 1917 and 1918 -- where it was so effective in clearing trenches that Pershing ordered every infantryman be issued a .45 -- which is why the M1917 Colt and Smith and Wesson revolvers were issued. We couldn't produce M1911s fast enough.

Sergeant (then Corporal) Alvin York used an M1911 to shoot down a squad of Germans who charged him wheh his rifle was unloaded. Hanneken killed Charlemagne Peralte in Haiti with a .45 in 1919.

The .45 doesn't need the Grease Gun or the Thompson to make its reputation -- it did very nicely before those weapons came along.

LeonCarr
August 8, 2009, 08:34 PM
Mr. Logos,

The Walker Colt "Horse Pistol" was a .44, not the .45 you mentioned. Also, it was called the Horse Pistol because the handgun was so large it was usually carried x2 in holsters that hung over the saddle horn, not because it would kill a horse (even though it easily would). :)

Anyway, one of the reasons for the legendary stopping power of the .45 ACP is it was primarily used in warfare on small statued people (Moros, Japanese) or soldiers who had been in the war a long time and were mostly malnourished from being in the field for years (Germans/Nazis/Japanese). In a nutshell it is easier to stop somebody 5 feet tall and 100 pounds than a bigger healthier criminal who eats on a regular basis. That is why in the WWII post war period when the 1911 began to make inroads in Law Enforcement the cops found out that the legendary stopping power of the .45 was exactly that...a legend. That is when the hollow point rounds for the .45 (Super Vel, Winchester Silvertips, etc) started to come into being.

I am not hating on the .45 or any other cartridge (except the .25 auto :)), but the above is what I know about use of the .45 in war, and how it got its reputation.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

tipoc
August 8, 2009, 08:47 PM
As Vern said the .45 acp rep was made with ball ammo. After all there was nothing else that fed reliably in semis back then but FMJ.

Browning first produced the .45acp with a 200 gr. pill at about 900 fps from the GM. But the U.S. military wanted to reproduce, as much as they could, the 850-900 fps they got from the 250 gr. RNL bullet from the Colt SAA in .45 Colt. they had great confidence in that round which had proven it's worth for decades prior to the arrival of the 1911. So a 230 gr. pill at 825-850 fps came about for the 1911. This round built on the rep of the .45 Colt. It proved it's worth.

To understand why the U.S. dropped the battle rifle in 30-06 and .308 and went to a carbine and it's many variations in .223 you can reverse engineer it and ask "What did they have to counter the 7.62x39 from the SKS and later the AK?" and "Why were those carbines so dominant?"

The U.S. needed something that was more controllable in 3 round bursts, rapid fire, and full auto then the .308. Something you could clear a room with but still good at 150 yards and beyond. Something with 20 and 30 round mags. That's why the .223 and the M16 and all the variants that have come since.

tipoc

W L Johnson
August 8, 2009, 09:28 PM
and troops still complain about stopping power and ammunition
When haven't they?
Name one weapon in all of history that the troops haven't complained about.
Some troops even complained about the 30-06 in WW-II.

Logos
August 8, 2009, 09:52 PM
....there have been over 3,000 engineering changes in the M16. The current version is ultra-refined. And troops still complain about stopping power and ammunition.

Vern,

The .223 is a fine round that has served well for over forty years. If it were not a fine round it would be gone.......like the '06. But we're off topic talking about the .223 here.

The M16 is a fine weapon that has served well for over forty years. If it were not a fine weapon it would be GONE......like the M1 Carbine.

But we're off topic talking about the M16 here.

I can't begin to tell you how far off topic you are when you start to ask about how many people I've shot with an M16 firing the .223!!!

:D :D :D

If you are trying to make the point that you don't know anything about firearms until you've killed somebody......that's silly.

Leon, it was a while back, but I suspect I just used the term "Horse Pistol" in a generic sense in referring to a gun large enough to be used as a club to kill a horse.......no reference to .44 or .45 intended, just smacking a horse in the head.

Guess I was off topic.

:D

John C
August 8, 2009, 11:34 PM
I was there. I commanded an Infantry company (A-1/61 IN) in Northern I Corps. The people who rejected the .223 were right on the money.

Hey, Vern;

Having been a history major in college, I had to look up the 1/61 Infantry history. It turns out that you're immortalized on the internet by Michael Raffin:

Later, it became apparent that if it hadn't been for Alpha Company, we probably would have had more casualties. By late afternoon, one of its platoons had become mired, (APCs stuck in the mud) and pinned down as it received heavy enemy fire. Its commander, although wounded when a rocket hit his APC, went berserk (and he was kind of gung-ho already anyway) and led his men against enemy positions. His advance must have surprised the enemy, and their distraction allowed us to progress when we finally went in. But unlike berserkers, he then directed the evacuation of his own wounded until finally he had to be medevaced. (Later I learned his name was CAPT Vernon.)

This is from http://one-six-one.fifthinfantrydivision.com/kenty.htm

Thanks for your service.

Sorry to interrupt this thread. (The 1/61 Infantry history is quite interesting reading for those of you interested in the Vietnam War)

-John

Erik M
August 8, 2009, 11:41 PM
The U.S. military switched from the .45 Colt SAA to a .38 caliber revolver in 1892.

It proved to be incapable of stopping Moro warriors in fighting in the Philippines.


This was the .38 long colt, not the .38 special.

Seven For Sure
August 9, 2009, 01:51 AM
A 200 gr. 10mm FMJ @ 1200 - 1250 fps would make an excellent sidearm IMO.

Byron
August 9, 2009, 02:39 PM
The myth of taking three out and the m 16 with its M 193 bullet stays around for some reason. I was a Spec 4 with D Co,3/8th Inf,4th Inf Div 68-69. NVA do not stop to treat a wounded man nor did we. If a rifle is taken out of the fight it makes that point more vulnerable.Wounded men are Dangerous as Vern pointed out.My experience with the M 193 cartridge showed it to be quite lethal. When I got there,the M 193 had gone back to the original powder it was designed for,we had cleaning kits,LSA was a good lubricant and anyone in their right mind no matter what war it is, will keep their rifles clean. Byron

James T Thomas
August 9, 2009, 03:18 PM
The 230 grain 45 ACP round was thought at the time to give the fighting US soldier a better chance of battlefield, front on combat effectiveness, than the 9mm was showing for those shot in the back of the head while lined up, kneeling before a ditch. You do need better penetration for the latter.

Byron
August 9, 2009, 03:30 PM
I was privledged to know a man inthe N GA mountains that was a combat engineer.He landed ahead of the 4th Inf on Utah and was dismantling mines. He said about 30 days was about it for one having to do this. He was put in an infantry unit. He was able to get two German P-38's in shoulder holsters. He liked these when a room had to be cleared over a 45. Byron

9mmepiphany
August 9, 2009, 04:06 PM
than the 9mm was showing for those shot in the back of the head while lined up, kneeling before a ditch. You do need better penetration for the latter.

don't you mean the 7.62x25mm Tokarev? :D

James T Thomas
August 9, 2009, 06:08 PM
"9mmpip:"

"Da," Tokarev.

justashooter in pa
August 9, 2009, 08:40 PM
Yep, during the initial stages of WW1 calvary was still widely used.

and by the polish in the opening of the second war.

hitler's armies were never more than 25% mechanised. they used horses and wagons till the end, and trains wherever available.

justashooter in pa
August 9, 2009, 08:43 PM
Hard to imagine the velocity-cursed .45, penetrating enough horse to drop it.

google "thompson lagard tests".

oh hell, i'll do it for ya':

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thompson-LaGarde_Tests

what wiki doesn't tell you is that lung shots with the 30 luger and all the 38's left the animals standing for hours, and that lung shots with the 45 dropped them in minutes.

JohnBT
August 9, 2009, 10:20 PM
"If it were not a fine round it would be gone"

Thanks, I needed a good laugh.

John

HatFried
August 10, 2009, 01:51 AM
what wiki doesn't tell you is that lung shots with the 30 luger and all the 38's left the animals standing for hours, and that lung shots with the 45 dropped them in minutes.

Um...no.


7.65mm Luger
Weight: 92.5 grs.
Style: FMJ-FP
Velocity: 1420 FPS
Energy: 340 FPE Stag
Weight: 1200 – 1300 lbs.
00:00 - Shot through lungs left to right.
00:30 - Dead.

.38 Long Colt
Weight: 148 grs.
Style LRN
Velocity: 723 FPS
Energy: 191 FPE Stag
Weight: 1200 lbs.
00:00 - Shot through lungs; animal jumped around.
02:30 - Shot through lungs; animal jumped around.
03:20 - Shot again; staggered 30 second.
03:50 - Dead.

http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/history/background.htm

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