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Old 05-20-2006, 18:11   #46
swatsurgeon
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Chuck,
I forgot one point you brought up...the bullet that went thought a IIIa vest and one that went through 3/8th inch steel both still did the same thing....This I can't explain. How it can be AP and still cause the same degree of injury is beyond me. Yes we had x-rays and the dispersion of metal fragment was still there as though no vest or steel was infront of the animals.
Your question of glass is an excellent one...sorry, no answer on that. If I ever have the opportunity to be on-site at another shoot, I will do the glass infront of the tissue test.

My ability to educate is really not there. A person must want the knowledge to be able to learn, then my job is easy.
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Old 05-20-2006, 18:34   #47
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BTW, if anyone is interested... I will not go back to a forum (tacticalforums) that uses terms like 'quack' to describe me. My professionalism prevents me from stooping to their immature level. Doctors that do this are typically relieved of their license to practice as are lawyers and other professionals. This site stands as a testimony to those that serve their country as professionals. They have welcomed a civilian (me) whose only offering to them is a higher intellect about what I practice and know and the ability to deal with reality and reason. The term 'expert' has been granted to me by many judges, attorneys, physicians and others, both civilian and federal when I testify in court and give lectures around the country. I really don't care for the term since it is arbitrary and sometimes earned for the wrong reasons, but that is for everyone else to figure out for themselves.
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(adapted from: Sherwin B. Nuland, MD, surgeon and author: The Wisdom of the Body, 1997 )

Education is the anti-ignorance we all need to better treat our patients. ss, 2008.

The blade is so sharp that the incision is perfect. They don't realize they've been cut until they're out of the fight: A Surgeon Warrior. I use a knife to defend life and to save it. ss (aka traumadoc)
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Old 05-20-2006, 19:29   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRealChuck
Don't question me because I'm SF, and I know everything tactical is BS. It's pathetic. I've seen absolutely no coherent arguments for this ammo on this forum. I've seen no one bring in their first or second hand experience with teh ammo or otherwise. I've seen an admitted ignorance of the subject, but it works, and references to TacticalChildren.com. I've also seen guys using their current or former MOS, which grants very little knowledge on the subject of wound ballistics, to say shut up, I know best because I'm in SF. Wow, I'm blown away. huck
Gee Chuck, how do you really feel
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Old 05-20-2006, 19:36   #49
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Dr. Roberts,
If you are reading this thread, I have posed an observation that waits for a reply.

"This is only one example of hundreds that I have that bullet performance in the human body was not validated by gel testing of that particular round."

Why is it that I have bullets in my office, in the coroners lab, in the Commonwealth Attorney's office that did not perform as predicted in ballistic gel. Un-expanded/partially-expanded, different levels of penetration, jacket separations are all facts in evidence in many of the cases I see. How is this possible if gel represents the terminal ballistics so accurately? Please note that we can discuss injury severity at the same time: comparisons of SXT's or Gold Dots in the thoracic or abdominal cavity vs the actual or predicted injury severity in a block of gel.
My only wish is that I am able to reach the appropriate people that have narrowed their mindset on the necessary properties of bullet wound formation: bullets are meant to kill; an injured patient or opponent is a mission failure.
Why is the human body a disconnect for you with respect to gel testing? This is all said with respect for you as an expert in terminal ballistics....living tissue is the realm of real world wound ballistics, is it not? If you have published or commented on the direct correlation of gel to tissue, I am happy to be educated.
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(adapted from: Sherwin B. Nuland, MD, surgeon and author: The Wisdom of the Body, 1997 )

Education is the anti-ignorance we all need to better treat our patients. ss, 2008.

The blade is so sharp that the incision is perfect. They don't realize they've been cut until they're out of the fight: A Surgeon Warrior. I use a knife to defend life and to save it. ss (aka traumadoc)
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Old 05-20-2006, 21:26   #50
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Guys:

Question about this Le Mas BMT ammunition.

Has ARL done any testing on this ammunition and if so, what are the results in terms of a mission needs statement or a requirements document?

I am also willing to bet that anyone who asks, Mr. Buehler will respond that the ammo isn't 'smart'. That their AP ammo is superior to other types of AP ammo and their anti personnel ammo is superior to other designs at short ranges, but they have no ammo that knows when to penetrate and when to expand or explode.

This alone gives credibility to the ammo and company. However, I will wait to read an ARL report as they are, IMHO, the final say on ammo.

Gene
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Old 05-21-2006, 06:35   #51
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Trauma Surgeon Evaluates LeMas

Good day, gentlemen

I must declare first of all that I am a member of tacticalforums. I have not been a member there for long and I do not know any of the members there or here personally. I don't have any vested interest in a company, individual or product. The only interest I have is in projectiles and projectile injuries.

Let me start by saying that there are two issues here:

1) The debate about gel vs tissue as a test medium.
2) The debate about the validity and verifiable details surrounding the Le Mas bullet as a product.

As regards number (1) my stance is that ballistic gelatin cannot ever replicate the human body as a target medium exactly. I don't think anybody is going to dispute this. The three most pertinent points here are:

a) The body is composed of multiple densities and is not homogenous like the gel.
b) The range of clothing and intermediate targets in a real life shooting is not something that can be replicated or predicted before the fact.
c) The angles of incidence and range of fire in a real shooting are highly variable.

So if a question comes up about the use of gel to exactly simulate the human body as a target, we must all agree that this is not possible. My view at the moment is that we are all in agreement, even those who use gel daily for testing.

Now, this does not exclude gel entirely as a valid testing medium. For just as Dr Vail and I have seen projectiles that have been recovered at surgery which do not match typical expansion or deformation parameters in gel, we also have (I am assuming you have, Dr Vail, if your experience is similar to mine) examples of surgically-recovered projectiles that have expanded or suffered impact deformations that are at least similar to those observed in gel (or even water tank) firing. Some of these configurations have been exactly the same. This means that there is some overlap in the final expansion/deformation configuration of gel-fired projectiles and real life human shootings as is borne out by our experience in the hospital. There isn't any ammunition that I have seen and handled that has not at some point, because of the unique real-life shooting variables involved, expanded or deformed in a manner that has been demonstrated in gel or in water. Of course the exact percentages are a subject for a separate debate, but what I am saying is that there is demonstrable overlap (depending on circumstances) between gel firing and human firing, as regards all the ammunition that we have encountered to date. If I have seen this in my relatively small sample of cases (when compared to the number of shootings globally) then the number is significant and cannot be ignored. I have been provided various projectiles from ballistics laboratories in SA and in the US and I have compared these to retrieved projectiles in the hospital. Their features macroscopically, radiologically and in terms of behaviour in a magnetic resonance scanner have been comparable and similar in many cases.

Now, I understand that the bone of contention here is that the manufacturers of the Le Mas projectile claim that no such overlap exists in the behaviour of the projectile in living tissue versus a homogenous medium, for example gel. This means testing of the projectile by conventional means is not going to reveal the properties of the projectile upon impact with living tissue, according to the manufacturer's advertised claims.
Now I must point out here (and you must surely agree) that if this is indeed the case, then the Le Mas projectile is unlike anything that has ever been developed before. It must either have a unique construction, or unique materials, or a combination of both: after all, those are the features that will set it aside from competing ammunition. I am sure you will agree that velocity is a variable that is easily matched by a competitor, so we can exclude that. I would like a declaration that no Le Mas projectiles incorporate discrete components of any other ammunition being produced today.

The critical part of my post has arrived. I put it to you that the failure to demonstrate the properties of the Le Mas projectile in conventional laboratory testing does not absolve the manufacturer from conducting tests (or developing new tests if needs be) to consistently and scientifically quantify the properties of the projectile upon impact with the target, whether the 'ideal' target is specified as being tissue of a certain temperature or not. Basically you have to provide me details (assuming I was a potential buyer) of the ideal parameters of the use of this projectile and I have to be able to validate that with testing procedures on my own.

This may seem obvious to you, but in fact there is more to this than that simple statement. At present, the argument for the effectiveness of the Le Mas projectile is based on reported tests on hogs. In those tests (as far as I can tell, because I don't have data from the manufacturer detailing all the parameters of the test firings, which is not an unreasonable request) the terminal trajectories have involved multiple body areas on the hogs, and therefore there have multiple degrees of inhomogeneity (if I may put it so clumsily). There have been thoracic hits, hind quarter hits, mixed tissue densities and target thicknesses. Now, do you think it is unreasonable for an unbiased outsider such as myself to ask how the manufacturers can claim consistent results in these highly variable circumstances when Dr Vail and I have already declared that we have seen 'deviation' from the norm in the configuration of retrieved projectiles from human bodies and when we both agree that this is due to the inhomogeneity of the living target? I guess what I am saying to you all is that there must be at least some failures of the Le Mas projectiles, even when shot against living tissue of the required temperature, and the cause of these failures must surely be quantifiable and documented, preferably by non-destructive means. This holds true even if the manufacturer claims that the Le Mas projectile behaves like no other. One universal unshakeable factor is "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" and I want to know what the circumstances are when shooting living tissue, where I will not get a 'free lunch' with the Le Mas projectile. This is the starting point for determining how the projectile works.

For the purposes of describing the effects of the projectile upon impact against living tissue, and in the absence of a partially lucent material such as gel, what steps have the manufacturers taken to provide alternate imaging of the targets that were shot? There has been some mention of X-ray imaging. Are these images available for analysis? I would be interested in seeing those. What sort of controls have been put in place as a reference for that imaging? I have already suggested to Dr Vail some basic procedures I would put in place if this was my product or if I was attempting to demonstrate the effects of the product in a medium that does not lend itself to the same analysis as a lucent medium such as gel. If this truly is a revolutionary product, is it unreasonable to ask for pre and post X-ray imaging to document the distribution of projectile and bone fragments and is it unreasonable to ask for pre and post cross-sectional imaging to document tissue disruption? If I have been able to do ballistics-related CT scans on home-made jigs here in London as a radiographer, surely Dr Vail as a trauma surgeon must have the wherewithal to get scans of the target meat in question.
These questions are just related to the target testing of the Le Mas projectiles: I will get on to Mr Bulmer's advertising and marketing statements in due course (and Dr Vails's stance on those as a medical professional).

Last edited by Odd Job; 05-21-2006 at 07:03.
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Old 05-21-2006, 07:35   #52
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Odd Job,

Welcome to the board. Please fill out your profile.

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Old 05-21-2006, 08:40   #53
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Odd Job:

Welcome to the board.

Some of what you are asking has already been answered by Dr. Vail and others here.

For example, he already stated the number of conventional rounds that he has seen that have failed to perform as intended.

Try doing a search of this site for "LeMas" or "BMT Ammunition" for additional information.

I am a soldier, not a ballistician or a physician, but I will tell you that in the hundres of rounds of LeMas I have fired, all have worked as intended and I have seen no failures except when rounds were completely defeated in hard armor. For example, in four counsecutive live tissue shots on caprines, every bullet functioned exactly the same way. The wounds produced look almost exactly like the ones from Dr. Vail's work and the LeMas promotional materials. I have seen the bullet function across a wide range of velocities, while I am sure that as with all expanding bullets, there is a threshold beyond which the bullet may not function to its full capability, I have not reached that in my experience.

As far as demanding declarations of composition, I am not sure why that would matter to you as long as the ammo works as claimed.

I would also disagree that it is the manufacturer's responsibility to provide a test medium other than ballistic gelatin. The test medium that it is currently performing as claimed in is the desired performance medium; i.e., live tissue. Your statement that the alternate media is a requirement to sell the ammunition may be a requirement for some countries, but terminal performance in live tissue is an entirely adequate demonstration for others.

Appreciate your well-thought out contribution to this discussion.

I wish that the prime detractor of this ammunition would step-up and post during one of his many visits to this site. balpro is Gary Roberts. He does a lot of reading here, but thus far, appears to prefer to let others make his arguments for him.

TR
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Old 05-21-2006, 08:59   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swatsurgeon
My only wish is that I am able to reach the appropriate people that have narrowed their mindset on the necessary properties of bullet wound formation: bullets are meant to kill; an injured patient or opponent is a mission failure.
SWAT Surgeon:

Excellent and clear comments. Thank you for taking the time as well.

If we are talking about the Army then wounding isn't considered a failure. The military has always gone for penetration of hard material at relatively long distances over terminal effects. Being able to punch holes through walls, steel, trees etc and then wound someone is better than allowing the guy to continue to shoot because the bullets couldn't get to him. Impossible to model so the Army goes with the BFFI concept. Probably more right than wrong.

BTW -- are there any independent tests of the Le Mas rifle ammo in terms of exterior ballistics? Got to hit the guy before the bullet can do its job.

Gene
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Old 05-21-2006, 09:08   #55
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Gene:

In my experience, given the right rifle and shooter, the LeMas rifle ammo holds better than 2 moa with all loads I tried, some have been under 1 moa.

APLP could better answer that as the vendor, I have seen his partner John make some impressive shots with it.

As far as your comment on wounding vs. killing, you are spot on. Incapacitation would be my word to describe the desired effect.

TR
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Old 05-21-2006, 09:20   #56
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Oddjob,
I will answer your questions in a little while...have a OR case to do in a minute.
Somehow the tangent is getting more play than the original intent:
The fact that the LeMas round tested in gel performed in a different way than in live tissue and the fact that the gel reports and the opinion of ballistics experts based on the gel tests have made it so difficult/impossible for this ammunition to have an opportunity for field testing. The gel was the "1st stop" on the road to further evaluation and by the reports generated, it "failed" to perform as advertised....but it didn't; it has completely different properties in tissue as compared to gel. This is the primary point I made. How many other types of ammunition that have been developed in the past, never made it past the gel block because of 'anemic' performance? The test can be valid for features of each round as I stated and clearly understand. If I was comparing a Hydroshok in 2 different calibers, etc.
I will get back to your questions in a few hours.
Thank you for your ability to question and reason what you know and have read.

TR: incapacitation is a better term...thank you.
ss
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(adapted from: Sherwin B. Nuland, MD, surgeon and author: The Wisdom of the Body, 1997 )

Education is the anti-ignorance we all need to better treat our patients. ss, 2008.

The blade is so sharp that the incision is perfect. They don't realize they've been cut until they're out of the fight: A Surgeon Warrior. I use a knife to defend life and to save it. ss (aka traumadoc)

Last edited by swatsurgeon; 05-21-2006 at 09:22.
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Old 05-21-2006, 09:53   #57
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@ The Reaper

It is not so much the number of failures I am after, but the circumstances surrounding the failures. This will allow us to have an envelope of characteristic performance taking into account the type of tissue traversed and the configuration of the projectile. That envelope in turn allows us to specify the limitations of application. I would be curious to know what the terminal trajectory and final configuration of the projectile was in each of those cases. I am still very interesed in seeing the X-ray imaging as regards these tissue tests.

In terms of the components of the projectile, it would be necessary to know what they are so that the radiological density of the fragments can be used to determine which fragments went where. It would also be a step in the right direction to support the manufacturer's claims that the ammunition is unique. Tissue imaging and projectile analysis will support this, because obviously the radiological appearances of Dr Vail's tests will be different from those of a similar, competing brand. If your X-ray appearances are like nothing I've ever seen before, I am going to sit up and take notice, but I need to know what metals I am looking for.

Quote:
I would also disagree that it is the manufacturer's responsibility to provide a test medium other than ballistic gelatin. The test medium that it is currently performing as claimed in is the desired performance medium; i.e., live tissue. Your statement that the alternate media is a requirement to sell the ammunition may be a requirement for some countries, but terminal performance in live tissue is an entirely adequate demonstration for others.
You misunderstood me. I am asking for alternate tests, not alternate media. Non-destructive documentation of the effects of the projectile are needed and this is not an unreasonable request. If your claim is that the projectile has performed hundreds of times with consistency in tissue, then it should be no problem to be able to document that radiologically. That is the only way I can think of arriving at data that is reproducible independently when gel testing is excluded. An autopsy is not a valid starting point for mapping the wounding capabilities of the projectile. It is destructive, does not allow for multiple planes of investigation and is dependent on the technique of the operator. Furthermore it does not provide a way to map the locations of all the projectile fragments within the subject (to check for consistency and configuration of fragment deposition in the wound).

It would clear up a lot of questions if Dr Vail would let me see some X-ray imaging of the damaged tissues, but I still maintain that some control-based study is needed to finally quantify the performance of the Le Mas bullet. One of the things that I suggested to Dr Vail was that he had pre and post imaging, temperature differential based studies to document what the effects of the projectile are in cold vs warm tissues. After all, if temperature is cited as one reason why the gel is not good for testing, why not shoot hogs at various temperatures? Would it not be in your favour to demonstrate failure of the round at low temperature? And would it not be quite easy to produce a sample of warm firings, with consistent radiological appearances, and a sample of cold firings, with consistent (but different) appearances?
You would then be able to say to the skeptics: "Here, these are our results. We shot 50 pig thighs at a warm temperature and here are the 3D reconstructions of the wound channels and here are the X-rays, all showing consistency of performance and demonstrating the wounding potential of these rounds in that tissue."
And then you could say "But look at the cold tissue. Here we have shot another 50 pigs, also through the thigh and the imaging proves that the internal damage is not the same as the warm samples. And we have CT Hounsfield measurements to document the density of all the tissues in the terminal trajectory in each case, so that you can see that we have used tissue blocks that are as 'uniform' as possible for the cold and warm tests."

Last edited by Odd Job; 05-21-2006 at 09:58.
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Old 05-21-2006, 10:00   #58
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Brilliant thread.

Thank you, gentlemen.
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Old 05-21-2006, 10:37   #59
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Odd Job:

I understand your question on the failures. I have seen the rounds work on live tissue out to 225 meters from a 10.5" gun, and they functioned as designed. I have never seen a LeMas round overpenetrate and exit a live tissue target either. Given that there is a performance envelope for any rounds, that would be more than acceptable for me from that barrel length. I have not seen any out to failure. I would say that this is not directed at you personally, but the demands for ever more testing seem to increase all of the time. I suspect that if they were tied to a purchase agreement; i.e., if the rounds meet these performance criteria, we will purchase X number of rounds, that the testing requirements would be more palatable. Or if an impartial forensic pathologist acceptable to all parties had agreed to validate the rounds under a final set of protocols. Otherwise, it is an issue of bankrupting a company by requiring more and more tests, regardless of how well they performed in the previous ones. Kind of like the story about the produce imports in Japan sitting on the dock awaiting inspection till they will fail inspection. And as with any live tissue testing, we should not be requiring the deaths of more specimens than required for the value returned of new data.

Frankly, I see nothing wrong with posting and examining the X-Rays, but I will defer to the experts on that. If I can get my hands on some, I will be more than happy to post them. We did not scan they ones we shot, but I am pretty sure that they are going to show a generally spherical deployment of tiny particles at varying distances away from the wound track. That is what the ones we shot showed. I too would love to see MRI or CT imaging with computer enhancement providing a three dimensional view of the deployment of the round in live tissue, better yet with a time line.

As far as identifying the specific composition of the bullet, I suspect that it is like asking for the formula for Coca-Cola. It would appear to be an industrial secrecy sort of thing. I am not a radiologist, but in my limited experience as a layman, any metallic particles will show up, though some metals have more density and are more radio-opaque than others.

If Gary Roberts were to engage Dr. Vail here directly in a professional discussion, he could possibly work out a set of protocols for further live tissue testing with X-Rays and any other desired use for the specimens.

For terminal ballistics, I do not care about the performance envelope in any tissue other than live tissue at any target temperature other than 98-105 degrees. In that range, the LeMas has performed beyond my expectations. IMHO, for shooting bad guys, there is no simulant for live tissue better than live tissue.

TR
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Old 05-21-2006, 11:39   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odd Job
You would then be able to say to the skeptics: "Here, these are our results. We shot 50 pig thighs at a warm temperature and here are the 3D reconstructions of the wound channels and here are the X-rays, all showing consistency of performance and demonstrating the wounding potential of these rounds in that tissue."
Odd Job,

So if I read this right you’re saying we should shoot the pigs in the “thighs”?? Are you suggesting we try to replicate ballistic gelatin performance in live tissue or vice versa?????

Let me help you out in the marksmanship department, when soldiers aim a weapon they aim to kill. That usually entails a shot to the thoracic cavity or cranium, not the thigh.

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