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.50BMG Against Geneva Convention?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by EvisceratorSrB, Aug 24, 2006.

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  1. EvisceratorSrB

    EvisceratorSrB Member

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    I heard a rumor that soldiers issued the .50BMG M82 Barrett semi-automatic sniper rifle are not allowed to engage human targets. This didn't seem right, but it came from the mouth of a marine. Anyone know?
     
  2. Eightball

    Eightball Member

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    I've heard that every so often, as well. Never did know the validity. But, then again, most of the stuff the insurgents are doing is against the Geneva convention as well.....so should we really be bound to it, when fighting an enemy who jumps with joy that we don't use what we have at our disposal? :mad:
     
  3. crazed_ss

    crazed_ss Member

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    I heard that when I was in the Marines too.
    I think it's an old wive's tale.
     
  4. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    AFAIK they are procured for anti-materiel sniping (destroying truck engines and the like). 7.62 is fine for human targets out to any range you can think of and it isn't worth the extra effort (50BMG rifles are heavy SOBs)/risk/money to use the 50s against soldiers.

    Doesn't mean they aren't allowed... just a "primary role" thing.
     
  5. Fosbery

    Fosbery Member

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    It's got nothing to do with the Geneva convention. There is something about the Hague convention but I think it's mostly a myth.
     
  6. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    Hague in 1899 (which is included by reference in Hague 2 in... 1915?) said you couldn't use explosive or expanding bullets against soldiers. It was a reaction to the British use of soft-points in India (the original Dum-Dum bullets) as much as anything.

    That's your "FMJ only" rule... but an FMJ .50... or 30mm... is fine...
     
  7. stillamarine

    stillamarine Member

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    Besides the US never signed the Geneva Convention anyways
     
  8. Jorg Nysgerrig

    Jorg Nysgerrig Member

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    The .50 caliber thing is a recurring myth.

    From https://www.tbs.usmc.mil/Pages/Training%20Corner/sho's/J/BOJ4704%20Law%20of%20War%20-%20Code%20of%20Conduct.doc
    Small Arms Projectiles. Small arms projectiles, those weighing less than 400 grams (14 ounces) must not be exploding or expanding projectiles. An example of an expanding projectile is hollow point ammunition that is designed to expand dramatically upon impact. Much “mythology” exists about the lawfulness of sniper rifles, .50 caliber machine guns, and shotguns. Bottom line: They are lawful weapons although rules of engagement, commander’s guidance, and tactics may limit their use.


    The US has indeed signed and ratified the Geneva Conventions of 1949, with reservations. They have also signed protocol additions since, however, those haven't been ratified.
     
  9. ConstitutionCowboy

    ConstitutionCowboy member

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    I Like The 50BMG For When...

    ...6 or 7 of them line up in my sights.

    Woody

    "Knowing the past, I'll not surrender any arms and march less prepared into the future." B.E.Wood
     
  10. ebd10

    ebd10 Member

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    Well, that load bearing harness on the enemy's torso is "materiel" :D :D
     
  11. Handgun Midas

    Handgun Midas Member

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    For what it's worth

    The author of Jarhead, a Marine sniper during Desert Shield\Storm, describes how when the instructor brought the 50's to the desert to introduce it to the snipers, he did state that it would be against Geneva to use on infantry.
     
  12. lamazza

    lamazza Member

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    This doesn't make much sense..what about the .50 machine gun?
     
  13. garrett1955

    garrett1955 Member

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    Yeah my cousins husband who was a Marine Told me about that when we were shooting my .50. Then he just laughed, and said their excuse was, they were aiming for the belt buckle. lol Anti material, right?
     
  14. Hoppy590

    Hoppy590 Member

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    a topic on this a little while ago gave the best advice

    its an anti material rifle, used for engaging enemy material... so aim at thier uniform.
     
  15. buzz_knox

    buzz_knox Member

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    It's a myth that continues to have life despite being refuted over and over, much like the claim that shotguns, flamethrowers, napalm, and anti-aircraft weapons are prohibited for use against personnel.

    The Hague Convention of 1889 prohibit use of explosive rounds against personnel. The std. load for the .50 rifles (the Raufoss) doesn't contain enough explosive to fall within the Accords, and, IIRC, JAG has ruled they are legal for use against personnel.
     
  16. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    The Marines who tell you that you can't use 50BMG on combatants are the same Marines who tell you that the AK-47 uses the same round as an M-14. You get a ton of really bad gouge in the military on any technical subject that's not actually physically unfolding in front of the speaker.

    I'm not saying that your friend made it up, he probably heard it from a guy who heard it from a guy, etc., who all thought it was true.

    I was stationed with a LCpl who was dead convinced that it would be illegal if he shot a burglar with his gunshow 8mm Mauser, because "the Geneva Convention says that it's illegal to use a weapon over 7.62 caliber on a person, Gunny told us so." Everything about that sentence is wrong, except the last part...

    -MV
     
  17. zoom6zoom

    zoom6zoom Member

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    Like the scene in "Quigley Down Under" when he took out two of the opposition with one shot from his Sharps...
     
  18. DontBurnMyFlag

    DontBurnMyFlag Member

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    so i guess we arent allowed to us the m2 browning machine gun? or what about when we target humans with the strykers 20mm? :rolleyes:

    Ive heard rumors, but they hold no water. The hell with the UN and the geneva convention.
     
  19. Frog48

    Frog48 Member

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    They're all just rumors.
     
  20. strambo

    strambo Member

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    Soldiers aren't experts on all things "firearm" by virtue of wearing a uniform. They are proficient with the weapons they routinely train on and carry and know what their Drill sergeant and squad leaders tell them. If they have firearms knowledge beyond the narrow scope of their duties, it either comes from listening to other soldiers/NCO's who may be talking outside their knowledge base or from extracurricular firearms activities like being a "gun-nut" and/or visiting THR.;)
     
  21. pete f

    pete f Member

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    If any of this would be true, It would be against the "rules" to use Arty on any place containing people, and you know that ain't true.

    My moms cousin flew p-38's during the war and in late 44 and early 45, was used almost exclusively as a ground support/ground attack role. He operated a H model and it had one or two 20 mm cannon in the nose as well as 4 .50 BMGs. He had home movies made from gun camera film where you can see him strafing troop columns leaving the Ardennes in january 45, No one was complaining about using 20mm or .50 BMG against troops then.

    During Viet Nam, the use of Spad's and their four 20mm cannon in ground support roles was common, as was the use of gun trucks, http://academic.uofs.edu/faculty/gramborw/atav/gunstory.htm

    We are currently using 50 bmg for convoy protection in iraq, too

    http://www.defensetech.org/archives/001291.html


    As well the army has no problem with using 120 mm main tank gun in an anti personnel role if needed either.
    http://avengerredsix.blogspot.com/2005/08/canister-shot.html

    He talks about the rumors of "unfair munitions" also read that he talks of taking out individual enemy with the main tank gun. 120 mm Heat DP rounds are certainly more than a few ounces of HE, again, in war, what works, works. http://avengerredsix.blogspot.com/2005/07/12-november-broken-arrowor-something.html read the first comment after the little story.


    Most of this is just BS. in war, what ever works, works.
     
  22. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    .50cal/targets-loopholes

    When I served in the US Army(1989-1993), we were trained that the .50cal could not be used directly at enemy soldiers. You could fire a M-2 .50 at vehicles, aircraft, etc but not directly at human targets. Now the "loophole" is a US military service member could say they were aiming at "equipment" like eyeglass frames, ;) . It's tricky but if you are shooting a .50BMG you can get around those rules.

    Rusty
    :D
     
  23. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Member

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    The only thing I could find was a mention in the Hague convention about weapons and ammunition that caused undue suffering.

    I think an argument could be made that the .50 is a weapon that virtualy eliminates suffering on the battlefield when used in an anti personell role.

    If it is discouraged in its use on human targets, its probably just the bean counters thinking about how much each round costs vs the worth of one of the enemy. (joke)
     
  24. CK

    CK Member

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    I wonder if the terrorists read the geneva convention.
     
  25. NorthernExtreme

    NorthernExtreme Member

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    If it can be used or abused against us, you can bet your bottom dollar they have read it.

    We all know they can care less about following it them self, but if it can be used as a weapon against us...
     
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