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Old 03-15-2006, 20:28   #36
The Reaper
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Originally Posted by kgoerz
Speaking of AMMO.....The biggest problem I have seen and always hear about is the velocity of .223 or 5.56. You all know what I am talking about. It just zips thru the Threat, not putting him down. My question is can Military units use Hollow points or soft tipped Ammo these days. I know Contractors use them. But are our Troops still restricted to Ball Ammo??? Never heard of this rule being changed
The 5.56x45mm bullet rarely if ever zips through. After a few inches of tissue, the bullet yaws and reverses to go base forward. If it hits with the velocity over 2500 fps, it may seperate at the cannelure and frag the majority of the lead core into adjacent tissue while the tip continues generally forward. If it is over 2700 fps at impact, it will almost certainly frag. This was what most people referred to as "hydrostatic shock", which is actually the temporary cavitation the round causes. Some tissue structures are elastic enough to return to normal after the stretch (less the permanent wound cavity), some other structures are not (brain, liver, etc.).

The DoD JAG has determined that Open Tip Match (OTM) ammunition is designed to be more accurate, and not to cause increased damage. The hollow point, as Gene noted, is only a tiny hollow and does not create an effective wound beyond the increased accuracy causing it to go where it is aimed much more effectively than the M855. If it the newer cannelured Mark 262 75/77 gr. 5.56, it will also frag if it impacts at the appropriate velocity.

There is a separate legal determination that pretty much any hollow point ammo can be used (by certain special units) if the threat is criminal or terrorist in nature, rather than a Geneva/Hague protected combatant.

The conventions which we are ordered to abide by limit the types of ammo we may use against other protected combatants. Clearly, we would require that our normal opponents, like the FSU, not run functional hollow-points, non-radio opaque, or exploding bullets. Note that our current opponents are not protected by the Conventions.

There has also been effective 7.62x51mm FMJ which fragged horribly, it was an 80s era German load, IIRC. Fully legal, very nasty.

Hard to get a round which penetrates, but does not overpenetrate, and yet is a good tissue destructor. Some people complain that the M855 overpenetrates on structures, others will say that it underpenetrates. The Mark 262 is better than the M855 at almost everything but LR penetration. The LeMas is one of the best compromises that I have seen, but it is expensive and has not been ruled on by the JAG, to my knowledge.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - President Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

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