"The gun was designed to wound, not kill an enemy"


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parsimonious_instead
June 2, 2011, 09:34 AM
I was just reading a comment about the basics of rifle shooting on a general interest men's site.
One commenter spoke about a relative's experiences with a .30 carbine, which according to this person was "designed to wound, not kill an enemy, because wounded men take more resources to deal with."
I don't think any weapon was intentionally designed to "just wound" other than "less than lethal" stuff for use against criminals and unruly mobs.
I would guess it's unethical according to the laws of war and also rather stupid from a tactical point of view, because there would be times when you would want to kill an enemy pretty quickly - an underpowered weapon gives them a chance to continue fighting.
I *have* heard that there were some issues related to the .30 carbine. Apparently some of the issue ammo was underloaded, which did create a lack of stopping power. The full-auto version also had muzzle climb issues ("how could I have missed? I sprayed a whole 30-round mag at those advancing Chinese"). Tales of ineffective .30 carbine might have also arisen from enemy troops wearing multiple layers of very heavy clothing.

(I'm excluding an intentional tactic of scoring deliberate, aimed shots at non-vital areas against an enemy, as in the 'sniper' scene in Full Metal Jacket)

Any thoughts about this "designed to wound" stuff or the general effectiveness of .30 carbine?

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Dreamcast270mhz
June 2, 2011, 09:41 AM
.30 carbine will pierce a 1/4 in steel plate at 100 yards. It is a long barreled pistol, not much more and out past 150 yards it has little effectiveness.

Sam1911
June 2, 2011, 09:44 AM
"Designed to wound" is one of those persistent myths that just won't die. Somehow folks lost sight of what compromise means in cartridge and weapon development.

The .30 Carbine was designed as a replacement or alternative to a sidearm for drivers, officers, and other troops who's primary duties were other than shooting at the enemy.

No one has ever said that the .45ACP was designed to "wound but not kill" the enemy, but if our soldiers had been routinely shooting their 1911s at heavily clothed and concealed enemy troops between 75 and 150 yards away, there would have been "a few" reports that the weapon wasn't really accurate or powerful enough for the task. No big surprise there.

The .30 Carbine round is in the same ball-park as a .357 Magnum, speaking in broad terms. Was the .357 Mag designed to "wound but not kill" anything?

The whole idea that a wounded soldier takes up more enemy resources than a dead one has some flaws (not all of our enemies have had the resources ... or really interest ... in patching up wounded conscripts), and was never a deliberate part of US military doctrine.

Unistat
June 2, 2011, 10:32 AM
^ Yes.

Unfortunately I've heard otherwise knowledgeable people who really ought to know better say this, usually about the AR-type rifles and the .556 round.

Most often, it just reveals that the speaker has a bias against said gun/caliber.

LibShooter
June 2, 2011, 10:41 AM
The .30 Carbine, like the M-16 and the Brown Bess, was designed to poke holes in people from a distance. Because of relative limitations caused by trade-offs and extant technology some guns do it better at greater distances than others. Therefore some guns are more likely than others "to wound, not kill an enemy" but almost all military firearms were designed to kill the enemy.

MtnCreek
June 2, 2011, 10:43 AM
not all of our enemies have had the resources ... or really interest ... in patching up wounded conscripts
Probably not since 1940's Europe.

Compared to the Garand, were there a lot of M1 & M2 carbines fielded in Korea? 1:100, 1:10,…..?

MtnCreek
June 2, 2011, 10:45 AM
almost all military firearms were designed to kill the enemy
Which military firearms were not?

mgmorden
June 2, 2011, 10:46 AM
Sam1911 hit the nail on the head.

The whole "it takes more people out of the fight to care for the wounded" nonsense is just unimaginably short sighted. Realistically, wounded will only be dealt with so long as there are sufficient resources and extra men to deal with the issues. They're not dropping their guns and hauling every wounded soldier to the rear for treatment every time someone is shot.

Carl N. Brown
June 2, 2011, 11:03 AM
I have heard the "wounded men take more resources to deal with" as an unintended consequence, not as a design intent.

Following the history of the "light rifle" program that led to the .30 Carbine cartridge and the M1 Carbine (researcher Larry Ruth gathered a lot of gov't documents on that), the M1 Carbine was designed to give soldiers who would otherwise be armed with a pistol or unarmed, a weapon capable of engaging the enemy out to 300 yds requiring less training than a pistol and not adding more than 5 pounds to their equipment load. That was the design intent.

Now it has been observed that a wounded soldier ties up more resoutces than a dead soldier, but that is an unintended consequence, not a design intent of the weapon. The design intent of the carbine was to be half the weight of an M1 Garand (10 lbs) or Thompson (12 lbs), but more effective than a pistol or revolver.

EddieNFL
June 2, 2011, 11:08 AM
Which military firearms were not?
Been awhile, but IIRC the AR5, AR7 and the MA1 (?) were designed as survival firearms.

Yeah, kind of a stretch.

EddieNFL
June 2, 2011, 11:10 AM
Different twist on the subject, but what was the FMJ designed to do?

LibShooter
June 2, 2011, 11:19 AM
almost all military firearms were designed to kill the enemy
Which military firearms were not?

I imagine in some lab or arsenal somewhere in the last couple of hundred years somebody designed some gun for some special mission that renders some high value target unconscious so he can be brought back for some enhanced interrogation.

Seems likely to me.

Sam1911
June 2, 2011, 11:23 AM
what was the FMJ designed to do? Reduce fouling at higher velocities, feed reliably, and (when compared to some other designs) to stay within the bounds of the Hauge Convention guidelines. (But I haven't read any official documents that say so. Curious what they did cite as the reasons for that change, especially in handgun cartridges?)

mgmorden
June 2, 2011, 11:39 AM
I imagine in some lab or arsenal somewhere in the last couple of hundred years somebody designed some gun for some special mission that renders some high value target unconscious so he can be brought back for some enhanced interrogation.

Seems likely to me.

Throwing chunks of lead at high velocities isn't optimal for that though. Something like a taser or dart gun would be far more likely a candidate, and at that point you'd be out of the realm of "firearm".

Tommygunn
June 2, 2011, 11:41 AM
The whole idea that a wounded soldier takes up more enemy resources than a dead one has some flaws (not all of our enemies have had the resources ... or really interest ... in patching up wounded conscripts), and was never a deliberate part of US military doctrine.

During the 1980s my father (U.s. Navy, Korean War Vet, U.D.T.) and I got into a discussion in which this topic came up. There was (according to him) some thought given to the idea of creating a light weapon that would be characterized more by an ability to "wound" rather than kill. One idea which popped up -- and was quickly discarded -- was the idea of a bullet that yawed or "key-holed." This actually can happen and it usually winds up in inaccurate, even wildly inaccurate, shot placement. However the idea was that if one deliberatly designed a bullet that keyholed from the outset, this problem could be overcome. Usually when a bullet keyholes it means something was done wrong in the manufacture, design, or assembly of the round.
Unfortunatly it turned out impossible to overcome, keyholing bullets just won't cooperate with interesting "outside the box" thinking. They are just inaccurate because it's their nature.
Somewhere else along this development line came the development of the 5.56 round, designed primarily to be effective -- with a high muzzle velocity compensating somewhat for the 55 grain weight of the round ( the mass of the .30 Carbine bullet) but also be light enough so soldiers could carry more ammunition. The basic idea, not primary, but rather somewhat secondary or "behind-the-scene," was also the idea that if it wounded more often than kill that would tie up resources.
But it is also true, IMO, that there never was any official policy that stated it was better to wound. "...(N)ot all of our enemies have had the resources ... or really interest ... in patching up wounded conscripts."~~Sam1911. True ... and I think after Korea, many in the American military were very aware of that, if the Japanese had not taught them in WW2.

hso
June 2, 2011, 11:45 AM
Myth (that I used to be guilty of perpetuating)

No firearm is "designed to wound" if they kill.

CajunBass
June 2, 2011, 11:53 AM
"The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is often difficult to verify their authenticity." - Abraham Lincoln

I don't care who you are. THIS is funny! :D

Oh as to the thread subject.

People say all kinds of silly things.

galena
June 2, 2011, 12:01 PM
"Designed to wound........" I first head this line of thought as a kid back in the 1950s in reference to the German Luger 9mm. Keep Shootin'

BBQLS1
June 2, 2011, 12:41 PM
Somewhere else along this development line came the development of the 5.56 round, designed primarily to be effective -- with a high muzzle velocity compensating somewhat for the 55 grain weight of the round ( the mass of the .30 Carbine bullet) but also be light enough so soldiers could carry more ammunition. The basic idea, not primary, but rather somewhat secondary or "behind-the-scene," was also the idea that if it wounded more often than kill that would tie up resources.


If I'm reading this correctly, I don't think this is true at all. At close ranges (~100 yards) the 5.56 is known to tumble and fragment causing more damage than just passing through. It is almost a way to get an expanding bullet without using an expanding bullet.

rodregier
June 2, 2011, 12:50 PM
In a law enforcement context, the NY Stakeout Squad was reportedly very happy with .30 Carbine with hollowpoint ammunition.

Tommygunn
June 2, 2011, 12:55 PM
If I'm reading this correctly, I don't think this is true at all. At close ranges (~100 yards) the 5.56 is known to tumble and fragment causing more damage than just passing through. It is almost a way to get an expanding bullet without using an expanding bullet.

IIRC, early 5.56mm. did this, but I don't believe it was originally designed to do that; I think it was a happy serendipity that it turned out to behave that way.
It has been a long time since I've read about the actual development of the M-16 and the round though, so I may be wrong.
My main point was that the "design to wound rather than kill" idea was not a modern invention but actually did go back to some post WW2 thinking, although it was never adopted as any kind of "official policy." It was a wrong idea and I think that the more enlightened people back then knew that. Just my two cents though.

md2lgyk
June 2, 2011, 01:24 PM
I can think of a couple of firearms not designed to kill people. Both the Navy and Coast Guard use line throwing guns. And flare guns (though I'm not sure they are actually firearms).

USAF_Vet
June 2, 2011, 01:37 PM
Another perpetual gun myth that just won't die. I've heard the same thing about military shotguns. But a shotgun blast, be it slug or buck delivered at range, is devastating. A 12 ga. pumpkin ball slug hitting center mass at 500 yards is not only a helluva shot, but might not be lethal due to the loss of velocity. Bring that same shot into the range it was designed for and kiss yer keister bye bye.

In certain situations, the 'designed to maim, not kill' argument can be used for virtually anything.

Zundfolge
June 2, 2011, 01:41 PM
The .30 Carbine was designed as a replacement or alternative to a sidearm for drivers, officers, and other troops who's primary duties were other than shooting at the enemy.

^^This


The M1 Carbine was designed to be the original PDW (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_defense_weapon).

Bubba613
June 2, 2011, 01:42 PM
Firearms are designed to emit projectiles at high speed in a specific direction.
That's pretty much it. Everything else depends on the intent of the shooter.
I am tired of the "guns are designed to kill" and "this gun is designed to wound" nonsense.

sixgunner455
June 2, 2011, 02:14 PM
Different twist on the subject, but what was the FMJ designed to do?

Poke holes in people and things, and punch through barriers on the way, while complying with the laws of war.

Justin Holder
June 2, 2011, 02:16 PM
The FMJ bullets that the military is required to use ARE more likely to wound when compared to expanding hunting bullets. Any hunter will tell you a fmj bullet is a very poor killer. One exception being the "poison pill" of the 5.45x39 witch I believe was purposely designed to tumble after hitting a target thus doing considerable damage.

Maybe "designed to take out of the fight" is a better way of saying it. In a military context you don't necessarily have to kill the enemy, just remove him from the fight.

mgmorden
June 2, 2011, 02:54 PM
The basic idea, not primary, but rather somewhat secondary or "behind-the-scene," was also the idea that if it wounded more often than kill that would tie up resources.

Those are denial words from someone unwilling to give up the myth ;). Unofficial, official, secondary, or whatever you want to call it, the whole "others will take care of them draining resources" is a concept that doesn't even hold water.

Wounded are a secondary concern on the battlefield. If you're already winning a fight, and you have the resources to do so, then they will be cared for, but NOBODY drops everything to tote every wounded soldier back to the rear for treatment.

The reality is that for any intense battle, the only difference between a wounded solider and a dead soldier is the wounded one will lay there and yell while the dead one stays silent. Other than that - same outcome. Nobody is going to spend time tending them if they could otherwise make a difference in the outcome of the battle.

Castr8r
June 2, 2011, 03:22 PM
For what it's worth (or fuel for the fire...), when I was in Basic training (US Army, FT. Leonard Wood, Mo.; July 1963) we were told taught that the purpose of the full metal jacket was to stop the enemy soldier from participating; hopefully wounding him so it would take two or more to take care of him. We were also informed that the Geneva Convention prohibited the use of expanding bullets as "inhumane" as they were designed to make grievous wounds. There is the possisibility that my memory may be faulty- lessee; 2011 minus 1963 = 48 years! (Damn, I'm gettin' old!)

Sunray
June 2, 2011, 03:27 PM
"...what was the FMJ designed to do?..." Reduce the horrific wounds caused by lead bullets.
"...designed to be the original PDW..." Nonsense. It was designed as a replacement to a sidearm. It's far easier to train a non-shooter, like most W.W. II troopies were, despite the rhetoric, to be competent with a rifle than it is a handgun. Nothing whatever to do with wounding or anything else.
Neither was the 5.56. The 5.56mm M16 was adopted because McNamara wanted it. Strictly a political decision.

Harley Quinn
June 2, 2011, 03:49 PM
30 Carbine revolver...I remember when shooting this, right after came out 40 years ago, a handgun range at some steel targets...Boy did the owner get hot:what:

Not sure it can pierce at 100 yds or not, but sure did do some mangling of 1/8 " at 30 feet:)

The 30-06 and 308 for that matter...Killing machine in the hands of a Marine:D

AirForceShooter
June 2, 2011, 03:54 PM
All military rifles and rounds are designed to kill. The problem is most are really bad at killing and wind up wounding.

Want to make sure you kill an enemy.
Artillery or Air Power. Works every time.

AFS

rocky branch
June 2, 2011, 03:57 PM
As stated a myth that will not die.

I have personally witnessed badly wounded guys that were able to keep firing and reloading their weapons.
A friend was killed by a wounded VC.
Wounded are usually taken out of the fight, but that don't mean they can't fight if they have to.
Many wounded are unable to continue, but it's not something to plan or rely on.

AirForceShooter
June 2, 2011, 04:18 PM
That myth also assumes the enemy gives a damn about their wounded.
When civilized nations fought that was the case.
Not any more.

AFS

Tommygunn
June 2, 2011, 04:31 PM
Those are denial words from someone unwilling to give up the myth . Unofficial, official, secondary, or whatever you want to call it, the whole "others will take care of them draining resources" is a concept that doesn't even hold water.

Wounded are a secondary concern on the battlefield. If you're already winning a fight, and you have the resources to do so, then they will be cared for, but NOBODY drops everything to tote every wounded soldier back to the rear for treatment.

The reality is that for any intense battle, the only difference between a wounded solider and a dead soldier is the wounded one will lay there and yell while the dead one stays silent. Other than that - same outcome. Nobody is going to spend time tending them if they could otherwise make a difference in the outcome of the battle.

This is what I said;

But it is also true, IMO, that there never was any official policy that stated it was better to wound. "...(N)ot all of our enemies have had the resources ... or really interest ... in patching up wounded conscripts"~~Sam1911....

As I stated, I heard this from my father, who had served in Korea. What I said was that the "wound" theory was around. If it had never been around, how would my father have heard it back in the 1950s? ? ? ? ?
I never said it was "official policy" to develop a cartridge that wounds instead of kills. I never said that, and it never happened. It really is a practical impossibility anyway. Even a .22 Rimfire will kill with good shot placement. How do you make a "wounding" bullet? Make one that only bruises?
If you're saying it is a "myth" this concept was ever officially adopted or pursued I agree -- in fact that was the gist of my earlier post.
But if you're saying it never existed anywhere, you're just plain wrong.
And those aren't "denial words from someone unwilling to give up the myth," they are words stemming from what I was told by someone who'd "been there, done that."
If you wish to continue claiming it was never an idea that had been thrown out then I await your "words from someone unwilling to give up the myth" that the idea of a "wounding" bullet, albeit both "unofficial" and "shortsighted," wasn't something that was "making the rounds," back then. Explain why my father had heard of it from that era. Can you?

metalman8600
June 2, 2011, 04:43 PM
Just wounding an enemy in war is a bad tactic. Death can have a psychological effect on the other combatants. While a good tactic might be to wound 1 guy in the legs, and then kill all the guys who rush over to help him.

mgmorden
June 2, 2011, 04:46 PM
Explain why my father had heard of it from that era. Can you?

Because that's likely when the rumor started. It's been around a long time, and just because it was being circulated amongst soldiers of the time (who were likely looking for reasons to justify the step DOWN in power first from .30-06 to .308 and then to 5.56 NATO) doesn't mean that there was any link - whatsoever (not even unofficial) to this "goal" with respect to the DESIGNERS. Soldiers don't design the weapons nor the bullets, and they're as susceptible to rumors as any other group.

SaxonPig
June 2, 2011, 05:43 PM
Current military thinking is that it's better to wound an enemy soldier. Wounded he requires care, uses resources, and is out of the fight. Dead he is far less costly to the enemy.

I have had this discussion before and many get violent in their dissent but this is not my philosophy, it's the Army's.

LibShooter
June 2, 2011, 05:47 PM
Maybe FMJ ammo was designed to kill the first guy AND the guy behind him?

Seriously, I figure FMJ was designed to kill, it's just not as effective at it as hollow points are.

I suspect the rules codified in the Hague date back to a time when war was thought to be more civilized. European nations expected to start a war in the fall and have the soldiers back in the fields by planting time... so why not give a wounded soldier a fighting chance at survival. The medical state of the art at the time was unlikely to get him back in the fight at hand.

Besides, with the tactics at the time a serious wound was as good as a kill.

Cosmoline
June 2, 2011, 06:13 PM
This is a strange myth. I think it emerged as a POST-HOC JUSTIFICATION for the absurdities of the Hague Convention. Way, way back before even WWI, some suited gentlemen in Europe had the idea that hollowpoint rounds being used against certain dark natives in the colonies should not be permitted to be used against Europeans.

The justification was NOT that these bullets killed better. In fact ballistic science in the 1890's was in its infancy and it was not clear that expanding rounds did kill better. The justification was that the WOUNDS WERE INHUMANE. They could not be treated by medical science of the era, and let to real horror shows. Keep in mind that this was before WWI rendered something like a dum dum bullet rather quaint on the scale of horror shows**. So ironically their concern was that the hp's and sp's would wound worse than the FMJ's, which would be more likely to kill or not kill leaving a "clean" wound without fragments. Remember that this was the day and age when it was the infection that killed you provided you survived the hole.

Now fast forward past two world wars and countless lesser conflicts, culminating in a sum total of carnage unlike anything the globe had seen to that point. Because civilian leaders and military brass are by definition idiots, they had never rescinded the absurd doctrine from Hague. Soldiers were left to try to figure out why the devil they were being issued ammo with bullets that had been out of date for half a century. I suspect that this "wound but not kill" justification came from their experiences--to try to explain this strange rule they had to operate under. They could see that their ammo was less effective than the .30-30 SP's back home. So, the thinking went, they must be getting intentionally inferior bullets because the brass cleverly plans to wound the enemy. Alas, the brass just didn't give a flying nun about any of them. It was and remains easier not to rock the boat.

We still see other justifications cropping up, such as the claim that SP's and HP's won't feed well or can't penetrate barriers, etc. Bullet design technology can create pretty much any projectile you can imagine these days, so there's no reason our guys couldn't have access to many types depending on the mission. It's a shame.


**This was also an issue with earlier "exploding" bullets of the pre-cartridge era, going back at least to the American Civil War. Some claimed them to make inhumane wounds.

parsimonious_instead
June 2, 2011, 06:36 PM
That myth also assumes the enemy gives a damn about their wounded.
When civilized nations fought that was the case.
Not any more.

AFS

At the very least, we do. I just googled for "treating enemy wounded in Iraq" and came up with stories about how well we treat both our own wounded, and theirs.

There's also the 2005 story about an Army medic that survived being hit by a sniper, shot the man who shot him, and administered lifesaving first aid.

metalman8600
June 2, 2011, 06:57 PM
There's also the 2005 story about an Army medic that survived being hit by a sniper, shot the man who shot him, and administered lifesaving first aid.

Illogical absurdity!


Plus, everyone knows there is only 1 rule of war... to win.

Cosmoline
June 2, 2011, 07:02 PM
I've also heard the excuse that we stay with FMJ because small arms no longer matter in a war. It's all artillery! LOL

At the very least, we do. I just googled for "treating enemy wounded in Iraq" and came up with stories about how well we treat both our own wounded, and theirs.

So wait.. we're issuing FMJ because we want to tie up our OWN medics?

There is no valid excuse for the old rule. It stays in place because of a combination of inertia and lack of concern for the front line troops.

hammerklavier
June 2, 2011, 07:09 PM
If you are winning the battle, then the wounded will be taken prisoner, which means they'll be tying up more of your resources -- not the enemies.

LibShooter
June 2, 2011, 07:23 PM
I think there are a few reasons for the persistence of FMJ.

A) FMJ is the rule, therefore the guns are designed to work with FMJ therefore they work better with FMJ so the next generation is deigned for FMJ and so on for a hundred years.

B) "It was good enough for us at Normandy... It's good enough for you in Iraq."

C) Hardly anybody gets fired for ordering what the guy before him ordered.

Cosmoline
June 2, 2011, 08:25 PM
That toon actually brings up another point--these are not actually soldiers we're fighting. They belong to no recognized military and fight for no recognized nation. There's a very good argument that Hague doesn't even apply to them, and was never intended to. They're just criminals, and there's no reason troops shouldn't use the same kind of expanding rounds law enforcement use world-wide. Furthermore, the rules of engagement limit our troops to what amounts to a modified right to self defense. And Hague never prevented the use of ANY weapons in self defense. There was a memo from DOD lawyers to that effect floating around early in the Iraq war IIRC. The more tissue destruction a bullet does to a potential suicide bomber, the better.

Ramone
June 2, 2011, 08:25 PM
The .30 Carbine round is in the same ball-park as a .357 Magnum, speaking in broad terms. Was the .357 Mag designed to "wound but not kill" anything?


As I understand, Coming from a USMC family, and having had the honor of counting among my father, uncles and Grandfather, Veteran Marines of every conflict since the Great War, the rumor of the 'underpowered' .30 Carbine came out of the Korean Conflict- where operations were conducted in Arctic conditions ( when Major General OP Smith lead the retrograde assault from the Chosin*, Temps were lower than -30f). In these conditions, ANY ammunition will fail to perform- especially when actions are freezing shut/open.

The .30 Carbine was designed as a replacement or alternative to a sidearm for drivers, officers, and other troops who's primary duties were other than shooting at the enemy.


Again, to my understanding, correct- according to familial wisdom, the M1Carbine was issued in hopes that butterbars and Rear Echelon Pogues would be less likely to shoot themselves in the foot or their friends in the back.

That toon actually brings up another point--these are not actually soldiers we're fighting. They belong to no recognized military and fight for no recognized nation. There's a very good argument that Hague doesn't even apply to them, and was never intended to. They're just criminals, and there's no reason troops shouldn't use the same kind of expanding rounds law enforcement use world-wide.

It doesn't matter who we are fighting- our soldiers are still soldiers, and as such, are bound by the rules of warfare. We hold the high ground, as we should, as the greatest nation. If the Hague or the Geneva Convention does not apply to them, it still applies to us.

*one of my late uncles was with the 1st Marines at the Chosin- if I used the word 'retreat' he would rise up out of the ground and beat me to death with my own spine.

EddieNFL
June 2, 2011, 09:58 PM
Reduce fouling at higher velocities, feed reliably, and (when compared to some other designs) to stay within the bounds of the Hauge Convention guidelines. (But I haven't read any official documents that say so. Curious what they did cite as the reasons for that change, especially in handgun cartridges?)

IIRC the FMJ existed before Hague Convention of 1899. Developed for the reasons you mentioned and required by the convention because the Germans complained softpoints used by the British in Africa (and elsewhere) caused more severe wounds than FMJs.

Millwright
June 2, 2011, 10:21 PM
Cosmoline,

At last a sensible answer !! One encompassing ballistics, history and political ethos extant at the time !!

Well done !! >MW

Ole Coot
June 2, 2011, 10:57 PM
I was given a bad rifle in '64, think I should sue? All the firearms I own now have the same defect. Wonder if anyone told Gunny Hathcock and the men he trained back when I was a youngster "Be careful and don't kill anyone". I never met the man, wish I had. Like most things I was told it went in one ear and out the other picking up speed. Simple, you are the enemy I kill you or if you get lucky you may get me, but not back then.

goon
June 3, 2011, 12:15 AM
Current military thinking is that it's better to wound an enemy soldier. Wounded he requires care, uses resources, and is out of the fight. Dead he is far less costly to the enemy.

I have had this discussion before and many get violent in their dissent but this is not my philosophy, it's the Army's.

I doubt that.
We were trained to shoot center mass. Lots of organs in that general region and poking holes in them tends to lead to blood loss that will kill the recipient.
No one ever trained me to just shoot him in the knee cap.

Tim the student
June 3, 2011, 12:29 AM
Goon, I doubt SaxonPig's assertion as well. We were trained to shoot center mass as well. Two rounds there, not just one.

Not only that, but I treated way more enemy than friendlies (and we had plenty of friendlies wounded as well). If that is what the Army wants, they are doing it wrong.

It must just be a conspiracy from way up high. :rolleyes:

Deus Machina
June 3, 2011, 12:33 AM
I doubt anything is specifically designed to wound.

What guns are designed to do is stop an enemy.

This usually means reasonable power to kill him, but if he takes two to the chest and drops, as long as he's not shooting at you it's all good as far as the military is concerned.

makarovnik
June 3, 2011, 05:26 AM
Since the .30 carbine uses a box magazine, why wasn't the bullet profile a pointed or spitzer type? It would have better penetration then right?

boatmanschneider
June 3, 2011, 07:14 AM
Wether a weapon or ammunition was designed to be more likely to wound than kill does not have much bearing on how it is used.

As I recall when clearing a room/house, every man puts(that has a clear shot) two rounds in the enemy before they pass. Once passed a wounded enemy is a pow. We were trained not to leave wounded enemy in the room behind us. Very unsafe. To leave a man with him would break up the momentum of the attack and limit rooms cleared.

When assaulting an objective. The every man in the assault element puts two rounds in the enemy bodies as they pass(+general muzzle awareness, don' endanger fellow soldiers).

When the assault element has reached LOA the Support element assaults across the objective doing the same thing.

A status of the friendly unit is taken. Aid an Litter Is called if needed POW/Search team searches enemy bodies(carefully) and collect intel.

Then move off objective a specified distance to reduce chance of enemy firing on own grid when they hear of the action. Det team will blow any thing they are told too and the PSG or FSG is last man out counting every man as objective is cleared.

But I was infantry. Maybe the enemy get stress cards now and can pull them out when the feel they need a time out?

I am sure there are weapons designed to incapacitate and/or shooters trained to do so. People with the training and weapons access to take advantage of those tactics. I think they call the Special Forces or something like that.

Owen
June 3, 2011, 10:01 AM
Current military thinking is that it's better to wound an enemy soldier. Wounded he requires care, uses resources, and is out of the fight. Dead he is far less costly to the enemy.

I have had this discussion before and many get violent in their dissent but this is not my philosophy, it's the Army's

The Army documents their philosophy (aka doctrine) pretty regularly. Can you point me to a document stating this?

Harley Quinn
June 3, 2011, 12:15 PM
If you were in the Marines, it was told to all of us at one time or another wounded takes 3 out:what:Mentioning one wounded takes others to care and therefore not in the fight...

Right or wrong it has been told over and over...Those never in the service might think the above story is a myth, to say that small arms weapons, are made to wound :confused:

:)

merlinfire
June 3, 2011, 01:06 PM
If any rifle or pistol caliber has ever been designed to wound but not kill......

I'd say the inventor was not very good with his design. Because they still kill with a vengeance.

farson135
June 3, 2011, 01:23 PM
MtnCreek- "Which military firearms were not?"

Not a firearm but the m14 anti-personnel mine (other countries had their own versions).

OT- The .30 is not a great round and I sure as hell wouldn't use it, but it did the job.

DesertVet
June 3, 2011, 01:31 PM
Anybody who went through Basic Training with the M-16 was told this story by a Drill SGT. The story goes that if you wound an enemy soldier, it takes TWO enemy soldiers to carry the wounded soldier off the battlefield. Now..whether this is just repeating a "myth" or if it was EVER the US Military's thinking behind the use of 5.56 mm, I have no idea! I just know pretty much EVERY PVT Joe Snuffy was told that story by a Drill SGT in Basic with the M-16 that I ever trained or deployed with.

Cosmoline
June 3, 2011, 01:38 PM
It doesn't matter who we are fighting- our soldiers are still soldiers, and as such, are bound by the rules of warfare. We hold the high ground, as we should, as the greatest nation. If the Hague or the Geneva Convention does not apply to them, it still applies to us.

But Hague, by its own terms, applies solely to inter-nation warfare among signatory nations. Remember it was set up to prevent the use of "colonial" weaponry against "civilized" uniformed troops. I suppose the UCMJ might be amended to force troops to use FMJ everywhere, from MP duty to predator control, but I've never heard of such a law. Furthermore there's nothing "low road" about using the most effective projectile for the task at hand.

As criminals I believe they should be tried in civilian courts and duly executed or sentenced, but there's no doubt whatsoever that they have to be treated as armed and extremely dangerous criminals until they're actually in custody. In the circumstances given their known tactics that means shoot to kill, not shoot to stop. The rules of warfare would only apply to them if they formed a government, formed a military force, wore uniforms and agreed to follow those rules themselves. Maybe then there would be an argument to avoid shooting them with SP's. But in such a case they would have long since given up the fight and signed documents of surrender. Because this is a criminal gang, that's a non-sequitur.

FYI, here's the Hague Convention itself:

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

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

Vern Humphrey
June 3, 2011, 01:43 PM
One commenter spoke about a relative's experiences with a .30 carbine, which according to this person was "designed to wound, not kill an enemy, because wounded men take more resources to deal with."
Now, let him prove it.

Military design starts with a document called "Required Operational Capability" or ROC. If it ain't in the ROC (or amended versions thereof), then it wasn't designed to merely wound. Let him produce the ROC and show us that capability was specified in black and white.

Carl N. Brown
June 3, 2011, 03:54 PM
Larry Ruth in "M1 Carbine: Design, Development and Production", The Gun Room Press, 1979, cites Major H.P. Smith and William H. Davis, "History of Small Arms Material U.S. Carbine, Caliber .30", Small Arms Branch, Industrial Division, Ordnance Department, 1945.

In a letter of March 25, 1938, from Rapp Bush, Lt Col, Infantry, Subject: Weapons and Ammunition carriers, to: The Chief of Ordnance, Lt Col Bush goes over the large number of personal who would ordinarily not be armed with the rifle but with the pistol, and the combat load of such personnel being close to what is humanly bearable, and ends with a specification:
The Chief of Infantry considers that the type of weapon required for ammunition carriers is one fullfilling the following general characteristics:
a. Weight (weapon and 20 rounds of ammunition)--not to exceed five pounds.
b. Range--Effective at 300 yards.
c. Magazine Fed.
d. Operation --Automatic desirable; semi-automatic essential.
e: Method of carrying--Over shoulder with sling.

To get the weight of a usable automatic rifle under five pounds they looked at the 1905 .32 WSL Winchester Self-Loading as a candidate cartidge. The .30 Carbine was developed from that older round before any carbines were designed.

The design goal was rifle+20 rounds at five pounds total (all the extra weight an ammunition carrier for .50 M2, 60mm or 81mm mortar, or 37mm antitank gun, could reasonably be expected to carry).

Nothing about must only wound enemy to tie up additional enemy personnel.

Added: wouldn't a .45 1911, web belt, holster, magazine pouch and three loaded magazines push that magic number of 5 pounds?

Maverick223
June 3, 2011, 04:16 PM
If the .30 M1 Carbine was designed to wound instead of kill it was an utter failure...same for the 5.56NATO and the M16/M4. ;)

LibShooter
June 3, 2011, 06:48 PM
Back in basic training for the Navy in 1943... my father's instructor told him the Japanese sometimes used wooden bullets to wound sailors because it took three men out of the fight. He also told him the tactic wouldn't work against the Imperial Navy because they wouldn't take the time to rescue their shipmates during a battle.

I'm sure that was period inspired racism, but that's what he said.


But Hague, by its own terms, applies solely to inter-nation warfare among signatory nations.

Maybe that's the letter of the law. This country should abide by the spirit of the treaty against all enemies, IMHO.

Shadow 7D
June 3, 2011, 06:55 PM
Hey, it isn't limited to one weapon, I was told as a kid, by a family friend that 'commie China 7.62' was steel cored so it would pass through and just wound....

Maverick223
June 3, 2011, 07:00 PM
Maybe that's the letter of the law. This country should abide by the spirit of the treaty against all enemies, IMHO.Let me play devils advocate for a moment. So we should always hold ourselves above the enemy even if they don't abide by the conventional laws of war?...What about nations that threaten us with the use of NBCs...should we bring our proverbial sticks & stones to the gunfight? :evil:

I agree with you in theory...but as with the example mentioned above, war might not always (or often) be as clear-cut as one might believe.

:)

Apocalypse-Now
June 3, 2011, 07:07 PM
I was just reading a comment about the basics of rifle shooting on a general interest men's site.

was it "GQ"?

metalman8600
June 3, 2011, 07:38 PM
I see a lot about "rules of war" here, and I have to say something about it.

There is no such thing as laws of war. Only law is to win. Think about it.

The "laws of war" were made up by the people who won the previous wars using any means necessary. Plus, if you do break the "rules of war", does it make that war less ok than one where you followed the "rules"?

"Daddy UN, that country is at war with me!"
"Did they break the rules?"
"No"
"Then its ok, play ball."


If a country doesnt follow the "rules of war" and wins, does that win get retracted? Does the UN or something step in and say "Since you used hollow-points in this war, your win doesn't count." Or since they won the war, they make the "rules" now?

War isn't a game, it's not soccer or football, it's war. War is war. The only rule is to not loose.

The only reason a side might abide by a certain moral standard is in hoping the enemy does the same. They aren't rules, they are courtesies which hope to be reciprocated.

Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for. If you a side feels like their motivation isn't enough to use hollowpoints or other methods for, then why are they fighting for it?


Here is a hypothetical question, say for instance very modern, very powerful country is getting absolutely smashed by the massive militaries of foreign armies. And there is a very high possibility that this country will loose the war. Now this country likes to pompously think of itself as being a moral high horse with all it's "rules of war" and stuff like that. Yet this country's military is getting crushed by invading forces. Do you think that country will keep to it's "rules of law" moral code? Hell no. They are going to do anything they can in order to win, to survive. They will break out the hollowpoints, they will shoot the enemy medics, they will use guerilla tactics, they might even send a couple nukes over to the invading country. That is why "rules of war" is such a farce, because everyone knows that all political power comes from the barrel of a gun and that politically, might equals right.

Shadow 7D
June 3, 2011, 07:49 PM
There is no such thing as laws of war. Only law is to win. Think about it.
FAIL

http://faculty.ed.umuc.edu/~nstanton/FM27-10.htm

Seems the MILITARY would disagree with you, and guess what, if you break it, YOU WILL BE PUNISHED... so it makes it a HUGE deal, even if the other side doesn't abide by it, we, the US will, cause we are like that.

So, please, don't make yourself sound even more uninformed.

metalman8600
June 3, 2011, 07:53 PM
Shadow 7D, you don't seem to understand my post.

Cosmoline
June 3, 2011, 07:55 PM
Shadow 7D, look at what that booklet says:

It is especially forbidden * * * to employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering. (HR, art. 23, par. (e).)


By that logic, standard soft and hollow points would be A-0K. They are most certainly not intended to increase suffering. They decrease it, in point of fact. That's why they're usually mandated when we're taking medium or large game. EVERYBODY knows this. Everyone posting here certainly does. But nobody in the brass or civilian leadership has the guts or cares enough about the front line troops to do anything about it. So it goes on and on and on.

Maybe that's the letter of the law. This country should abide by the spirit of the treaty against all enemies, IMHO.

Does that mean police officers need to switch to FMJ only? There's also the fact that the treaty's ban is nonsensical, and that there is nothing wrong or inhumane about using expanding rounds. If you're going to shoot them, you presumably want them to be stopped and that means doing the maximum tissue damage possible. If that's immoral, then every one who carries and every LEO in the nation is immoral.

Think of it this way. Hague's ban is an early version of Teddy's "Cop Killer Bullet" ban. It identifies certain projectiles as inherently unethical to use against a white man. Are you sure you want such a rule enforced beyond the strict limits of the treaty? Is it really that near and dear to your heart?

We're not talking about some bullet designed to inject WP into a torso. These are the same rounds everyone EXCEPT the organized military has been using for several generations now.

Heretic
June 3, 2011, 09:13 PM
The people we are fighting are a military force. If they were criminals, operations would be carried out by INTERPOL.

I have always been an advocate of arming our soldiers with at least a .30 cal battle rifle and a .45 cal sidearm. If this "wound instead of kill" thing doesn't exist, I can't figure out why the 5.56 or 9mm.

Maverick223
June 3, 2011, 09:27 PM
If this "wound instead of kill" thing doesn't exist, I can't figure out why the 5.56 or 9mm.Ever heard of anti-gravity devices for the front line infantry?...they haven't either, so they figured it might be handy to have something that they are capable of carrying along with enough ammo and provisions to complete the task. :rolleyes:

Shadow 7D
June 3, 2011, 09:49 PM
Cosmoline, I don't disagree, and one could point out that it was mostly limited to European countries, AND only if both sides abide by ALL the particulars, I was a MEDIC, how many time in Iraq do you think I ran around with my red crosses on??? Read the convention, it specifically mentions 'dum dum's and SP's as being inhuman and maiming rounds. The idea was a clean kill, or recoverable wound.

I understand it, but, on the other hand, a FMJ round, is a 'little' cleaner when it comes to a through and through wound.

But, speaking of particulars, a US soldier is going to shoot what doesn't get him locked up by his own side, so I guess that FMJ is here to stay, for now I guess.

Vern Humphrey
June 3, 2011, 10:01 PM
The people we are fighting are a military force. If they were criminals, operations would be carried out by INTERPOL
INTERPOL is not an operational police force -- it's merely a central clearing house for information.

LibShooter
June 3, 2011, 10:01 PM
What about nations that threaten us with the use of NBCs...should we bring our proverbial sticks & stones to the gunfight?

Kinda. I think the US is party to a treaty banning any use of biological weapons. Therefore we should never ever use them. Ever.

That doesn't mean we have disarmed ourselves. I don't believe the US ever agreed to never use nuclear weapons. So there's that.

We are party to a treaty saying we won't use hollow point bullets. Therefore we shouldn't. The fact that the bad guys don't have serial numbers or uniforms issued by a government doesn't matter. Besides, FMJ ammo seemes to be working just fine.

Here's the thing, we should never ratify a treaty we don't intend to abide and we should abide all treaties we sign. If the situation changes so much that we don't want to obey a particular agreement any more, we should publicly renounce it.

Does that mean police officers need to switch to FMJ only?

Nope. The spirit of The Hague protocols covers how we kill foreigners. What we do to each other isn't covered by letter or spirit.

Apocalypse-Now
June 3, 2011, 10:17 PM
FAIL

http://faculty.ed.umuc.edu/~nstanton/FM27-10.htm

Seems the MILITARY would disagree with you, and guess what, if you break it, YOU WILL BE PUNISHED... so it makes it a HUGE deal, even if the other side doesn't abide by it, we, the US will, cause we are like that.

So, please, don't make yourself sound even more uninformed.

he wasn't referring to the international rules of war.

SharpsDressedMan
June 3, 2011, 11:14 PM
"Rules" of war are flexible. I can tell you that as the war against the Japanese in the Pacific in WWII heated up, our guys were moving fast across some islands, encountered evidence of atrocities and tortures to captured US soldiers, and orders were given at times to "not take prisoners". The speed with which our troops advanced,, with no time or ability to deal with prisoners, combined with the anger of finding US soldiers hung, gutted, and tortured by the Japanese, made the order acceptable and necessary. Like it or not, this was the case, as related to me by my dad, who was heavy weapons infantry in the Phillipines. He was issued a carbine, but the carbine's reputation then was that it was innefective at killing reliably, and he quickly found a Garand, and carried it for the rest of the war. The carbine was designed to kill, not wound; it just wasn't as good as the Garand at that task.

exavid
June 3, 2011, 11:53 PM
Rules of War are for armies that are winning. If they're losing they're going to use whatever they have on hand. The US for instance once said we wouldn't use atomic weapons in a first strike. Wanna bet? If Russian armor had stormed through the Fulda Gap in the late 50s or early 60s you think we'd have abstained from dropping a big one on them? The USSR could have fielded a much larger army on the ground in Europe than anyone else and they could have done it faster being much closer. Nope, I firmly believe our 'rules of war' would have been modified very quickly. The rules are what the winner decides and can be enforced only by the winner. The only question is 'who is the winner'.

LibShooter
June 4, 2011, 12:24 AM
The US for instance once said we wouldn't use atomic weapons in a first strike.

I don't think the US ever formally made such a promise. Weren't "Battlefield Nukes" deployed just to stop a Soviet invasion of Europe.

Lately I think we've promised not to use nuclear weapons against countries that don't have their own nukes, and are signatories of the Non-proliferation Treaty.

We still aren't saying we wouldn't nuke a country with its own nukes... I think.

Maverick223
June 4, 2011, 01:13 AM
So it's okay to deploy nuclear weapons on someone that threatens (or God forbid follows through on the threat) to attack us with nuclear weapons...but not use dum-dums, HPs, SPs, et cetera when someone does likewise (or, in the case of our current foes, employs other tactics/weapons barred from use by Hague {specifically those in Hague '07 Sec. II, Chapter. I - Article 22})? :confused:

I do believe we should lead by example...but not at the expense of our brave men and women that serve us in the armed forces.

:)

metalman8600
June 4, 2011, 01:48 AM
Rules of War are for armies that are winning.... The rules are what the winner decides and can be enforced only by the winner. The only question is 'who is the winner'.

Exactly.

You only abide by "the rules" if it is going to be an easy victory for you.

Kind of like "I'd never kick a guy in the balls." You definitely would if he was 300 lbs of muscle and about to kick your ass if you didn't.

LibShooter
June 4, 2011, 11:16 AM
So it's okay to deploy nuclear weapons on someone that threatens (or God forbid follows through on the threat) to attack us with nuclear weapons...but not use dum-dums, HPs, SPs...

Exactly. We never made a promise to never use nukes. We did make a promise to the world not to use HPs. If we decide we need them we need to change or exit the treaty. We shouldn't violate it.

Sam1911
June 4, 2011, 11:19 AM
Looks like the original question has been sufficiently answered and now we're wondering off into WMDs and nukes.

Let's call it asked and answered.

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