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handgun ammo in war

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by AcceptableUserName, Jul 28, 2009.

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  1. AcceptableUserName

    AcceptableUserName member

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    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?
     
  2. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    fmj will be used because of the geneva convention

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

    highorder Member

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    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

     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  5. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Ahh, right you are.
     
  6. AcceptableUserName

    AcceptableUserName member

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    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.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
  8. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    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?
     
  9. DMK

    DMK Member

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    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
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  11. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    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.
     
  12. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Hard to imagine the velocity-cursed .45, penetrating enough horse to drop it.
     
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  14. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    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.
    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.
     
  15. Bass Killer

    Bass Killer Member

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    124 grain NATO, straight shooting, great at 50+ yards
     
  16. finfanatic

    finfanatic Member

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    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.
     
  17. blikseme300

    blikseme300 Member

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    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.
     
  18. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    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.
     
  19. Bass Killer

    Bass Killer Member

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    amen, they dont make em like patton anymore. That man was one of a kind. A master of war and strategy.
     
  20. trex1310

    trex1310 Member

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    Ammo

    I was under the impression for some reason that all ammo used by
    the US military was determined by JAG.
     
  21. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    Attorneys have never written the rules, in the military or otherwise.
     
  22. L-Frame

    L-Frame Member

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    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.
     
  23. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    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.
     
  24. KenWP

    KenWP member

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    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.
     
  25. L-Frame

    L-Frame Member

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    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.
     
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