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U.S. Army Switching to Hollow Point Ammunition

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Aragon, Jul 8, 2015.

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  1. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Member

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    I'm pretty sure the Army can be jailed for saying "hollow points" in New Jersey.
     
  2. steveracer

    steveracer Member

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    I think you guys need to talk to a JAG from time to time.
    There are provisions in current military law to REQUIRE expanding ammunition to reduce the probability of collateral damage.
    AND we already use hollow point ammunition in DMR and Sniper rifles all the time for BETTER ACCURACY.
    AND we did not ratify the appropriate sections of the Hague Accords, so it does not matter.
    JHP ammo has been in the Yellow Book for a very long time. There are more than 10 NALCs with "hollow point", "ogive tip", and similar language.
     
  3. moxie

    moxie Member

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    Aragon,

    Re your post #24.

    I mentioned the next generation pistol because you mentioned it in the OP #1. The "sources" you quoted predicated a switch from ball to hollowpoint on adopting a "next generation handgun."

    So, as Deus Machina also pointed out, the new pistol needs to happen before the ammo switch can happen. And I made the case that the new pistol ain't gong to happen, so we can forget about the switch to JHP for general use.
     
  4. 45_auto

    45_auto Member

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    Don't count on the Marines turning in their M45A1's.

    If an expanding 9mm (.356") bullet is good, doesn't that mean that an expanding .45 (.452") bullet is even better? An expanded 9mm is typically about .62" in diameter, an expanded .45 is typically about .74" in diameter. Assuming equal penetration, why wouldn't you want 60% more surface area to cause damage?
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
  5. TimSr

    TimSr Member

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    Even so, if our allies have been abiding by this agreement, and we have also, to some extent, then to unilaterally, suddenly announce to the world, that you have decided to now ignore it, without consultation of other foreign leaders, especially our allies, would be an incredible foreign policy blunder.


    As for the usefulness of switching to hollow points in military situations against people assumed to be soldliers, and equipped as much (to varying degrees) a hollow point's limitations for pentration make no sense whatsoever.

    I suspect this is a rumour based on somebody's offhand comment, and am skeptical that it is seriously even being considered.
     
  6. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    JAG cleared the use of open tip ammo back in the 1980's. It's been issue for 30 years. Even the military didn't pass the memo around and there were stoppages while the officer corps got educated. Think about that - Command didn't even tell junior officers it's ok to use ammo in the logistics chain boxed with a NSN and they gave orders to prevent it.

    That's how off base we are now on the tools of war.

    The significant point of the TTAG article was opposition - who would oppose the adoption. I'm going to suggest that there won't be a major outcry by foreign nations against the evil hollow point bullet.

    It will largely be American Citizens complaining to their Congressman. Only 1 in 100 has served, leaving the 99 clueless and floundering around with misinformation, 30 years behind the times.
     
  7. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    The Geneva Convention............. Rules of war.
     
  8. Garrobo

    Garrobo Member

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    Just go back

    to the 1911, 250 grain lead bullet. No hollow point needed.
     
  9. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Member

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    Although this is pretty much just Internet rumor, this interested me because I have been toying with the idea of doing a scholarly article on the subject of the Hague Conventions.

    As others noted, there are actually two Hague Conventions dealing with small arms ammunition - the 1899 convention which prohibits expanding projectiles, or projectiles with an exposed core and the 1907 convention which more broadly prevents "To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering;"

    I think one important factor to keep in mind when reading the Hague Conventions is that they were devised and written prior to the discovery of antibiotics, or modern terminal ballistics for that matter. Up until WWII, the U.S. lost more soldiers to disease and accidents than it did to bullet or bomb. Lack of sanitation and proper hygiene was a bigger killer than any artillery.

    At the time, a clean wound without ragged edges was notably more survivable than a ragged wound with debris in it. The types of wounds created by expanding bullets of the day were more prone to infection and a long, slow lingering death by sepsis. It wasn't the death that the powers that be objected to; but the suffering leading up to an inevitable death that the medical technology of the time could do little about. Although even then, it was a bit hypocritical since things like artillery shrapnel and bombs created wounds just as bad or worse than any expanding bullet. And even then, interpretations differed - for example the Germans felt that the use of shotguns in WWI trench warfare violated the Hague Conventions.

    As noted, the U.S. has not ratified either provision of either convention; but despite that has observed both of them as part of the Laws of Land Warfare. Another point of note, the prohibitions do not apply universally, and arguably you'd have to go back to WWII to find a combatant we have fought where they might apply.

    My thought is a good argument can be made that modern hollow point ammunition is actually more in keeping with the original intent of the Hague Conventions than FMJ ammo (which is one reason the police forces of practically every signatory of that convention use hollow point ammunition - because it is safer for non-combatants and more humane).

    While this is technically true, the type of "hollow point" ammunition approved by JAG is boat-tail hollow-point or more accurately, open-tip match. There is a tiny open tip at the front of the bullet due to the reverse-drawn jacket (which provides better accuracy). This is allowed because the bullet is not designed to expand or flatten and there is no exposed core of the bullet. So while it is sometimes described as a "hollow-point" it is not a "hollow-point" in the sense that term is typically used to described hunting or self-defense ammo (or in the way the Hague Conventions defined it).

    Actually, almost all of our allies interpret the Hague Conventions differently and even among signatories there isn't universal agreement about what is and is not allowed. For example, both the British and the Swiss took the view that the United States 55gr M193 FMJ ammo and 62gr M855 FMJ ammo were prohibited by the laws of war because they were too prone to fragment. Both countries intentionally made their 5.56 ammo with thicker jackets so as to reduce the likelihood of fragmentation as the bullet yaws in accordance with their own views on the laws of war.

    So while most Western countries claim to abide by the laws of war, there is some significant variation even among allies about what that means.
     
  10. Thermactor

    Thermactor member

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    I'm excited. Hopefully they will choose Federal 9BPLE, since they are deep in 9mm rounds. Their pistols are rated for NATO spec ammo anyway so +P+ Should not be a big problem.
     
  11. Thermactor

    Thermactor member

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    Since when has the U.S. ever abided by the rules when it comes to fighting war? We make them up as we go along and it's been a do as I say, not as I do thing for ages.
    I'm telling you. 9BPLE will tip the strategic balance and ensure American sidearm primacy for years to come.
     
  12. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    This is not exactly accurate. IMHO, and I have written on the topic, the distinction is not declared war or not it is they type of conflict, to wit international armed conflict versus non international armed conflict. Those are specific terms with specific definitions. Different international laws apply to each. I will post more after work. I see more misinformation spewed on this topic than on any other firearms related topic I read about online.
     
  13. MagnunJoe

    MagnunJoe Member

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    Expanding ammo is too expensive. The U.S. Military is cheap when it comes to things like that. I don't think is going to happen. Imagine our soldiers firing an average of 10K HP bullets per kill.
     
  14. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    I don't guess anyone has stopped to think why the US military doesn't use a lot HP ammo. It's not because they can't, it's because they would rather use armor piercing rounds for most combat situations. LE agencies and military police use HP because their targets generally aren't wearing body armor and they limit collateral damage to bystanders.

    Pretty simple really.
     
  15. Hypnogator

    Hypnogator Member

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    Here's an interesting concept that purports to do both: https://www.lehighdefense.com/collections/ammo/products/9mm-luger-115gr-xtreme-penetrator-ammunition

    I carry these in .380 in my LCP to give adequate penetration with at least some hope of enhanced incapacitation, based on ballistic tests in gelatin. :cool:
     
  16. Drail

    Drail Member

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    I was taught that the main reason our military uses ball ammo is for feed reliability - not because of any treaty agreements. If it won't feed REALLY REALLY reliably - it really doesn't matter what kind of terminal effect can be attained. And if you're cranking out hundreds of rounds per minute there is no benefit to hollow point ammo. Of course Special Forces troops using handguns would be in a completely different class. They might have an actual rulebook - but we'll never know what's in it. Actually I don't think those guys worry too much about "rules".
     
  17. TimSr

    TimSr Member

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    That's a thought I was trying to convey. The ability to shoot through certain objects, materials, and protective gear would be a greater asset than bullet expansion in a military application.
     
  18. Aragon

    Aragon member

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    No. So long as the caliber is 9mm, different ammo can (and apparently is) used without changing sidearms make/model.
     
  19. Aragon

    Aragon member

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    You got that right. A quick surf through this thread makes one shake their head...
     
  20. Aragon

    Aragon member

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    Thanks for the sanity check...
     
  21. 4thPointOfContact

    4thPointOfContact Member

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    One point no one seems to have brought up yet, the Geneva and Hague Conventions are both "agreements between the signatories".

    As an example BigBox and LargeSack have agreement with ProduceProviders and MigrantManagers to purchase orangellos $10/bushel. They are all signatories the "Orangello Convention"; a contract.

    Along comes CutThroatComestibles and it wants to buy orangellos from ProduceProvides but PP will only sell at $11.50/bushel. "Hey, that's unfair, the Orangello Conventions say you'll sell at $10! What gives?"

    "BigBox and LargeSack all agreed to purchase a least a minimum number of bushels each year; to label the produce as being from either ProduceProviders or MigrantManagers; and to provide medical insurance for anyone who works over 12-hours a week.
    You want to purchase an amount that's not worth our time, to label it as your own produce and you won't offer insurance to anyone who works less than 36-hours a week."

    "But the Convention says you'll sell at $10/bushel!"

    "But you're not a signatory to the contract."
     
  22. Ankeny

    Ankeny Member

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    Beat me to it. As for OTM pistol ammo, it's all over the place. USPSA Open shooters blast away with "Hollow Points" all the time because the jacket is crimped in the front so gasses don't vaporize exposed lead on the base of the bullet. Makes for lousy self defense loads because they are not designed to expand.
     
  23. Thermactor

    Thermactor member

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    Nice post,
    bonus points for the use of the word "comestibles"
    I haven't heard it for a long time!
     
  24. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    Since warfare is a two way firing range, and use of HP ammo would likely incite any enemy to do the same, is it really in the best interest of the US soldiers to use said ammo? As i understand it, typically encountered enemy small arm rounds won't penetrate US body armor anyways so the real issue is what HP ammo will do to unprotected areas of the body, such as limbs. Will HP ammo wounds result in greater maiming, death and potential for life long debilitating wounds? It seems highly plausible. I suppose the 5.56 lethality will improve more so than 7.62 so in that regard it may make sense but would it really make enough of a difference to subject US soldiers to more horrific wounds?
     
  25. Thermactor

    Thermactor member

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    Justin,
    imagine the use of 7.62 soft point hunting ammo in the battlefield. My ignorant mind says that it would be significantly more lethal than the thru-and-thru of the big FMJ, and more lethal than a 5.56 hollow point.
    As far as armor penetration goes, I don't think it makes a difference considering the plates worn in combat are supposed to stop a 7.62 FMJ anyway. (again taking a wild guess)
     
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