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Military and hollowpoints

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by frez, Mar 6, 2007.

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  1. frez

    frez member

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    Would 5.56mm rounds be much more effective against ragtag insurgents if they use hollowpoints? Is there any way to back away from that treaty that banned hollowpoints?
     
  2. scout26

    scout26 Member

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    We never signed the convention, but we have 'agreed' to abide by it.

    So no, we will not use hollowpoints.
     
  3. SoCalShooter

    SoCalShooter Member

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    That's for me to know and not you!
    .223 rounds will do some funny things once they hit soft tissue, the need for hollow points really is not necessary, my understanding is that hollow points are best for pistol rounds to get good expansion and knock down power but that soft points are better for rifle rounds.
     
  4. CWL

    CWL Member

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    5.56 NATO round doesn't need a hollowpoint because this tiny bullet doesn't cause (additional) damage by expansion.

    The needlelike 5.56 bullet is spin-stabilized in the air, upon hitting & entering human issue, this stability is lost so the bullet will tumble in a "J" pattern. When this bullet has tumbled to a sideways position, it will break into two main pieces and several minor pieces (jacketing material & bits of lead). This behavior is much more tramautic than one hollowpoint bullet.

    I have spent a bit of time in the jungles of SE Asia speaking with former communist fighters of several nations. To them, there is a mystique about the M16 rifle and 5.56mm bullet. They feared this bullet because it would shatter inside the body, making it almost impossible to provide adequate medical care -to a man, they would rather be shot by a 7.62x39 bullet.

    I would imagine that insurgents in the Middle East feel the same way about 5.56mm wounds today.

    Our problem is not how to create additional damage from our bullets, our problem is in finding BGs so we can shoot them.
     
  5. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    It does not matter, the way the 5.56 round most commonly employed, the M855 is designed, it fractures at the cannelure after penetration creating multiple wound channels. Since high velocity ammo damages tissue differently than pistol ammunition, it creates very effective wounds. This is one of the big reasons the M4 has so much criticism, the short barrel stops this fragmenting except at extremely close range because it drops the velocity below that required to fracture.

    So the M855 and its NATO equal are far more effective than a civilian .223 remington FMJ round. Other nations have designed rounds that accomplish the same thing to maximize performance.

    Since body armor is now standard for many Armed forces around the world, rounds like hollow points that penetrate even worse are less desirable than ones that function in a way that allows penetration and then increases lethiality in other way such as yawing and tumbling or fracturing to create more wound channels.

    The terminal ballistics of high velocity rounds is very different after you reach a certain speed than from something like a handgun. The area surrounding the wound channel is damaged as well, not just the tissue directly in the bullets path. This means expansion is less important than say the number of wound channels created while retaining the speed to create uniquely high velocity wounds.

    So there is no need for hollowpoints. They penetrate body armor less effectively, retain less energy if they do penetrate, are banned by agreement, and other technological improvements have made them unnecessary to achieve effective terminal performance.
     
  6. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    You guys have some strange ideas about the 5.56 FMJ. It most certainly would kill better if it were expanding. At sufficient velocity, with the right bullet, it *CAN* fail on entry and do additional damage by fragmenting slightly. But this doesn't happen if the bullet is AP or if the velocity is too low due to range or shorter barrel length. And sometimes it just doesn't happen. To rely on a bullet's probably FAILURE to increase its lethality is both playing games with both the Hague and the lives of our soldiers. FMJ's are an idiot's choice for any sort of combat, hunting, or personal protection. The police don't use them and no sane civilian shooter would use them in anything but a large bore firearm. They are ILLEGAL for hunting anything bigger than a varmint because they kill so unreliably. On top of this, they are exceedingly primitive. There's 100 years of bullet design that boneheads at the DOD won't utilize because of their hidebound and baseless insistance on following some ancient treaty. It's a crime, and it has killed many, many Americans.

    You can either wave your little flag and take any attack on the 5.56 FMJ as some insult to the troops, or you can wake up to a century of ballistic development.

    That must be why so many hunters use FMJ's on game.
     
  7. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    If the velocity of the .223 is too low then your working with a .22 caliber round that even if it expands does far less damage than is adequate. Hollowpoints bleed velocity faster so at many ranges the 5.56 with hollowpoints would actualy become less effective and not more since your working with such a light weight round with more significant wind, and later clothing, and flesh resistance.
    Making a .22 caliber round expand at the expense of high velocity terminal performance by bleeding too much of the energy to expanding to less than .30 is not IMHO a good tradeoff in comparison to splitting into multiple wound channels after penetration and retianing energy to create high velocity wounding.

    In house clearing or short range fights it would increase the performance UNLESS the opposition was wearing body armor that slowed it to pistol speeds and then you may end up with pistol terminal performance, which means it would be like getting hit with a .22 hollowpoint, a big step backwards.

    The real solution would be to go back to a better round, especialy since the current M4 barrel length does not impart enough velocity. Many are realizing this and using 7.62x51mm chambered firearms.

    Now the 7.62x51mm round would definately benefit from an expansion design as the ballistics and design is different and the round heavier and would have its terminal performance increased much more signifcantly outweighing the downsides. It has mass and speed, the 5.56 only has speed and so anything that reduces that main attribute is arguably detrimental in the majority of potential military uses.

    Going back to the 7.62x51mm would save more lives than trying to make the 5.56 more effective than the most common military version already is. It is not the civilian .223 FMJ, and yes the civilian round would be better suited as a hollowpoint because it does not "fail" and create multiple wound channels, nor do most civilian uses of it requiring penetrating body armor and still being effective or penetrating cover and remaining capable. Deer don't wear body armor, and they are not shot while behind cover.
     
  8. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Member

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    5.56mm bullets will not fragment properly under 2700 FPS. Under that velocity, then yes, hollowpoints would be nice to have. Other than that, I feel they are not needed.
     
  9. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Related excerpt
     
  10. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    Using hollow points increases the risk of misfeeds. If I were in a combat zone, I would prefer a round that is more reliable, even if it does takes an extra round or 2 to do the same damage. So even if they were legal, I would still use FMJ.
     
  11. frez

    frez member

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    Okay, so just how many Taliban and Iraqi insurgents wear body armor? Do also they have generation 4 NVG's while they're at it?
     
  12. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    Fragmenting ammo penetrates cover poorly. It will also have a hard time with a Combloc chest harness full of steel AKM magazines.

    A modern bullet design would be best. Some kind of soft-point designed to maximize penetration while still providing expansion. Penetration is important on the battlefield, not just in today's wars but in tomorrow's. The bullet has to make it through the enemy soldier's rucksack without falling apart, you know?

    But, I guess the DOD thinking is, if we started doing it, then all of the other countries might do it too. Personally, I think the notion that it's okay to nuke somebody, or drop a cluster bomb on him, but shooting him with a hollow point is just cruel, is ridiculous.
     
  13. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    You guys know that both Mk262 and M118LR are OTMs, right?
     
  14. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    Word.
     
  15. rickomatic

    rickomatic Member

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    Howabout the old adage that it's better anyway to just badly wound an enemy, because it takes one or two more out of the fight to attend to him? Or is that just an old wives tale?
     
  16. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    Do insurgents care about tending to the wounded?
     
  17. .cheese.

    .cheese. Member

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    Humor somebody who is not as well educated on this topic.

    What is MK262, M118LR, and OTM?
     
  18. Jorg Nysgerrig

    Jorg Nysgerrig Member

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    The United States signed the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 in 1900 and 1910 respectively.
     
  19. EricTheBarbarian

    EricTheBarbarian Member

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    various
    penetration.
     
  20. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Mk262 is the 77gr 5.56mm match round the military uses. M118LR is the 7.62x51 match round used. OTM is a "open tipped match" bullet. Essentially a hollow point, except that the tiny, tiny hollow point is an artifact of the manufacturing process used to produce a uniform, consistent jacket and does not cause expansion.

    Cosmoline has some points that FMJ, particularly in 5.56mm may not fragment reliably in some circumstances. However, when it does, the damage is usually far beyond what a hollow point round would do. However, it seems that once you move away from the complex construction of M855 or the not-so-attentive construction of M193 and start using bullets with a good ballistics coefficient and a consistent, uniform jacket - you get much more reliable terminal performance.

    In addition, hollow point rounds must be designed with certain velocity limits in mind. Go above that limit and it explodes on contact and doesn't penetrate. Go below that limit and it fails to expand because there is not enough velocity. So while fragmentation is hampered by reduced velocity, so is hollowpoint expansion.
     
  21. model4006

    model4006 Member

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    hey nightcrawler you ever see the box o truth write up about a chest full of magazines stopping bullets? steel akm magazines didnt hardly slow down xm-193, plus it would burn you.
     
  22. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    I've seen the Box of Truth. I also recall reading about a military test they did. The 77 grain penetrated the best, and the LeMat fragmenting stuff did the worst. FWIW, the SS109 ammo, despite its tendency to fragment, is still classified as ball ammo. If it was "designed" to fragment, the military wouldn't use it, as it'd be a violation of the Hague Accords (which also outlaws things like dum-dum bullets and exploding rounds). The fact that it does, I think, is more of a convenient side-effect of a round designed to have superior long-range performance and penetration. Also, contrary to some internet myth, it's not "armor piercing" ammo either, it just has a hardened penetrator tip.

    I might be wrong on this, though. Is there anything in the original design for the SS109 round that specifies jacket separation to enhance terminal ballistics.


    So it's been shown that the heavier rounds with superior ballistic coefficients are more effective as well? Interesting! Thanks for the info!
     
  23. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    5.56mmNATO rounds in OIF/SW Asia...

    I would think the military troops and PMCs(private military contractors, :cool: ) want to use standard FMJ type 5.56mmNATO rounds in their M-16/a2 and M-4 rifles because;

    1) The FMJ loads would punch deeper than most JHP/fragmented rounds. The ball rounds may do better against things like armor, bldg materials, glass, etc than standard JHP rounds.
    2) The military type FMJ loads would feed better under the harsh conditions our troops/PMCs carry these rifles in. Sand, dirt, etc could jam up these weapons and some JHP 5.56mmNATO loads may not function 100%.
    3) FMJ or ball rounds may be cheaper and easy to buy/get for most of these units. JHP loads may "work" better under some conditions but may not be practical for most uses.

    Rusty S
    :D
     
  24. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    For the two people who have claimed feeding problems with JHP/OTMs, can you refer to any studies which back this up with Mk262?
     
  25. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

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    Maybe cost plays a role? I've never seen HP ammo cheaper than its FMJ counterpart - so, methinks that creating a hollow-point bullet is a more expensive endeavor than a FMJ bullet. With all the ammo that the military buys/expends, the total difference in cost between FMJ and HP could be pretty noteworthy.
     
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