Long Over Due Hollow Points on the way, US Army

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by HK_User, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Hollow Point Ammunition for the U.S. Army: A Good Idea?
    Deane-Peter Baker
    August 11, 2015

    With the minimum of fanfare, the U.S. Army has made an announcement that challenges a long-standing prohibition in international humanitarian law: the banning of ‘expanding’ or hollow point ammunition from the battlefield. The announcement came in the context of a presentation on the updated requirements for the next-generation U.S. Army handgun—designated the XM-17—which took place at a Picatinny Arsenal Industry Day last month.

    Earlier discussion of the requirements for the XM-17 suggested strongly that the new handgun would need to be at least .40 or .45 caliber to achieve the ballistic effects specified by the U.S. Army solicitation. However in this new statement, the U.S. Army spokesman quietly added another consideration: that the new handgun be compatible with “special purpose ammunition,” specifically jacketed hollow point (JHP) ammunition. For those companies planning to submit one or more designs for the XM-17 competition (success in which will result in a massive order of 280,000 handguns at a minimum) this means that handguns chambered for the NATO standard 9mm round are now serious contenders alongside .40 or .45 caliber guns. That’s because JHP ammunition dramatically increases the lethality of ammunition, such that a smaller round like the 9mm can achieve effects similar to significantly heavier bullets like those fired from .40 or .45 caliber pistols.

    How does it work? Put simply, hollow points expand on impact. The design of JHP rounds means that the bullet typically turns into a mushroom shape when it hits its target, resulting in a larger wound channel than would be made by an equivalent full metal jacket (FMJ) round. It was precisely this tendency to create more significant wounds that led to the inclusion of clause IV, 3 in the 1899 Hague Declaration, which states that “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.”

    It’s noteworthy that the “special purpose ammunition” announcement by the U.S. Army, though low-key, was accompanied by a presentation by a representative of the Army Judge Advocate General’s Office. While no transcript of that presentation is currently available, at least one firearms focused media outlet reports that the legal justification given is essentially two-fold: first, that the U.S. is not a signatory to declaration IV, 3 of the Hague Conventions and so isn’t bound by its constraints; and second, that hollow point ammunition, because it transfers more of its energy into the target when it impacts, is less likely than FMJ to penetrate through the intended target and continue on, posing a risk of causing harm to non-combatants.

    As a military ethicist, I welcome this move. There’s a good reason that police forces almost universally use hollow point rather than FMJ ammunition. The danger of over penetration with FMJ is significant—unacceptably so in a context where there is the real possibility of causing casualties among innocent bystanders. Unlike the situation at the turn of the 20th century when the Hague Conventions came into effect, today’s soldiers find themselves increasingly engaged in conflicts in built-up areas where non-combatants are around every corner. If the principle of discrimination—that which requires that combatants take every reasonable effort to avoid harming non-combatants— is to be taken seriously, then allowing the use of hollow point ammunition seems to be not only ethically acceptable, but under some circumstances ethically mandatory.

    Make Mine a 10mm.
  2. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    [applaud][applaud] It's about time!
  3. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Though I think this is a great move, I wonder if they are using this move to validate all of the .gov JHP purchases made over the last few years?!
  4. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Hmm, good point:cautious:
  5. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Just means what ever it means in a mean world so it don't mean nothin'.
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Have to say, I'm good with hp for side arms. Less enthusiastic about them for long guns. For close work with side arms, it makes sense to take the opposition out of the fight ASAP. With longer ranges, taking them out of the fight simply makes for more of the opposition to care for the down tango. Force reduction works for me. Even if the clause IV, 3 in the 1899 Hague Declaration remains unsigned by the USA, there is a good case to honor it if for no other reason than setting an example. Now, if others violate it, the gloves come off.
    pearlselby, Ganado and Yard Dart like this.
  7. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    It means another governmental buying privilege/ preference. It means another billion+ rounds bought by our government. It means another round of high prices and shortages, just like with the .22lr.
    Which consequently, leaves a large sector of the population scrambling for ammo again, and more panic buying.:cautious::eek:[gun2][gun][cow][patr]:(
  8. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    I can see that Ghrit. I've never been sold on the HP for the 5.56mm anyways. I've always thought "the hole is too small" to really perform like it's supposed to. In my experience only, I haven't noticed much if any difference between the HP and a good soft point on small game(all I've ever shot with the 5.56) The HP's I've loaded break up more than the SP's. This is in the 52-55 grain weight. I've used the 55grain mainly because I bought them by the 5k lots and they are cheaper than the heavier bullets.
  9. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    FMJ 5.56 does just fine when you hit them three or four times....just for good measure of course..... ;)

    7.62 leaves a prettier exit wound...:rolleyes:
    oldawg, Tully Mars and Ganado like this.
  10. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Then we will have all those FMJ to pick for our own.
    Tully Mars and Yard Dart like this.
  11. BlueDuck

    BlueDuck Monkey+++

    Depends on the bullet. I shoot a Speer 52 gr. Hollow point (the flying ashtray) in my .223 and 22-250 and they shoot and expand very well. Works well on coyote sized game and smaller.
    Yard Dart and Tully Mars like this.
  12. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Naw, they are .gov, they be stored somewhere until they rot. No one will see any use, and we will be paying for all....again.
    Georgia_Boy likes this.
  13. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    I'll stick with my .45's.[coo]
  14. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    I was using the Sierra 52 grain HP.
  15. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Or this;)

    10mm Delta Elite.
  16. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Ah. That would be the 10mm. [coo]

    Its on my list. [tongue]
    Tully Mars likes this.
  17. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    In an age of tyranny, supplying the government with weapons and ammunition used to more effectively kill people should send up caution flags.

    The next "enemy combatant" may very well end up being our own citizenry.
  18. William Warren

    William Warren Monkey++

    My dad told me once that the Model 1911 was invented because troops fighting in the Philippines with "Black Jack" Pershing needed the extra stopping power to hold off native soldiers whom were high on some form of local narcotic. I don't know if it was just an old soldiers tale, or had some basis.

    I carried a Model 1911A1 sidearm in Vietnam, and as far as I'm concerned, any solution that spares soldiers the weight of those old blunderbusses would be welcome.

    William Warren
  19. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    More of the Worlds Troops carried a 9MM Pistol than ever carried a 45ACP.....
  20. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I carried both tactically and much preferred the Beretta for shoot-ability/accuracy, capacity and weight.... though many have complained of the knock down-stay down power or lack of, with the 9MM in recent years through heavy combat action.

    I support whatever the troops want to use in their tool kit.... unfortunately, it will come down to lobbyist and low bid......
    UncleMorgan, Ganado and Tully Mars like this.
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