Why does the military only use FMJ?

Why does the military only use FMJ?

This is a discussion on Why does the military only use FMJ? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am meeting with an Army recruiter, this week, I've been kicking around the idea of joining, even though I'm 36. We'll see, fiance, doesn't ...

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Thread: Why does the military only use FMJ?

  1. #1
    Member Array ENSANE1970's Avatar
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    Why does the military only use FMJ?

    I am meeting with an Army recruiter, this week, I've been kicking around the idea of joining, even though I'm 36. We'll see, fiance, doesn't like the idea. I don't like the idea that, if sent into a hostile environment, which I expect, why the UN finds JHP's cruel. I don't understand this mindset, if I'm going into battle, I want the best ammo I can have. After all it's called war, the object is to eliminate the enemy. Why use a pass through round like the FMJ, in certain calibers, when a double tap in the same caliber, in a JHP would get the job done, dead is dead, in my book. It's almost like the UN and the Geneva convention, want to create a "level playing field". There is no level playing field in war, those who go home, alive are the winners, I want to be a winner, given the option.
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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    It the Hague something or other that restricts JHP's It limits anything jhp or Dum dum from way back in the day the Geneva convention has nothing to do with it

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    Yup...as Bud sez, the Hague Convention of 1899, Declaration III, prohibits the use of bullets which easily expand or flatten in the body in a time of war.
    USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947

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    The FMJ is better for military applications because of its penetration capabilitys. When shooting doors, walls with people behind them, people in vehicles, aircraft, boats and anything else that the enemy has that needs to be shot, its the best thing going.

    Sure the round will zing right though the BG. Not a problem, just shoot him more.It will also go though him and pierce his buddy standing behind him.

    Ammo is cheap...in the military it is free.

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    Member Array ENSANE1970's Avatar
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    Sorry Bud I thought I had seen somewhere, that the Geneva convention had something to do with that decision. I can't remember where I got that info, I maybe read it wrong.
    If you want a battle of the wit's, please come armed.

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    Senior Member Array palmgopher's Avatar
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    i think part of it has to do with the damage a hollowpoint does compared to a fmj and how hard it is to patch someone up. You know easier to get the boys back in the fight if hit with fmj.

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ENSANE1970
    Sorry Bud I thought I had seen somewhere, that the Geneva convention had something to do with that decision. I can't remember where I got that info, I maybe read it wrong.
    Taint no thing Poll 100 people about it and 98 will tell you its against the Geneva Convention to use JHP

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    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Also, the US DIDN'T sign the Hague Accord. We abide by it but we don't have to. Our military snipers use OTM bullets, which are OK because the wounding mechanism is the same as FMJs, they don't expand or flatten, the design is for ballistic purposes only. A bullet can fragment, but not expand or flatten. The HA, IIRC only applies to GOVERNMENT MILITARIES. So since the Taliban/AQ/ whoever ISN'T an actual government military, just mere civilians basically, the HA regarding the use of non FMJ bullets doesn't apply. Neither does the ban on firing on people in a religious building. But because the enemy is not governmental, both aforementioned "rules" are null and void.

    .50BMG cannot be used as anti-personnel weapons, but to only disable military equipment. Loophole: I am not shooting at that enemy soldier. I only want to disable his uniform shirt by placing a hole in it. Oops, got him too.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

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    Member Array JaredMcLaughlin's Avatar
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    Congratulations meeting with a recruiter. Don't take your age as a problem, use it as a virtue. Some of the older soldiers I worked with were a great credit to our unit as they brought in years of life experience that us younger guys didn't have. Good luck, and enjoy.

    I think other people have mentioned it, but we never did sign the portions of the Hague Convention which limit us to FMJ. However, we follow those rules as policy. Even if we had signed, the rules are limited to a case when two armies wearing uniforms, carrying their arms in the open, with a recognized command structure oppose each other. Those armies also must be of two nations who both signed the agreement. However, we follow these rules no matter what, for reasons unknown to me.

    I wouldn't take this as a problem, though. FMJ stills does the job. We still have some of the finest equipment on the face of the earth. Better yet, though, we have the best trained soldiers there are. You'll find that training is the most important part of the equation, and why something like ammo is minimal in its impact on effectiveness in our military.

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    Senior Member Array Packman73's Avatar
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    "Mandated by the Geneva Convention of 1922, the purpose of enclosing bullets with full metal jackets was to reduce combat fatalities. The bullets were designed to pass through bodies and, if no major organs were struck, only to wound the victim. Before metal jackets, bullets often detoured inside the body."
    -- Gerald Posner,

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    Distinguished Member Array dimmak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freakshow10mm
    Also, the US DIDN'T sign the Hague Accord. We abide by it but we don't have to. Our military snipers use OTM bullets, which are OK because the wounding mechanism is the same as FMJs, they don't expand or flatten, the design is for ballistic purposes only. A bullet can fragment, but not expand or flatten. The HA, IIRC only applies to GOVERNMENT MILITARIES. So since the Taliban/AQ/ whoever ISN'T an actual government military, just mere civilians basically, the HA regarding the use of non FMJ bullets doesn't apply. Neither does the ban on firing on people in a religious building. But because the enemy is not governmental, both aforementioned "rules" are null and void.

    .50BMG cannot be used as anti-personnel weapons, but to only disable military equipment. Loophole: I am not shooting at that enemy soldier. I only want to disable his uniform shirt by placing a hole in it. Oops, got him too.
    Excellent post Freak,
    Kind of hard to disable the RPG or the "tactical" shemagh without "disabling" the operator, huh?
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    Great points freakshow10mm....back when I was on USAF active duty (1989 - 1992), the armory would issue "force protection" ammo....JHPs....to aircrew and security forces.
    USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947

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    Member Array BigDaddy5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freakshow10mm
    .50BMG cannot be used as anti-personnel weapons, but to only disable military equipment. Loophole: I am not shooting at that enemy soldier. I only want to disable his uniform shirt by placing a hole in it. Oops, got him too.
    Actually this is not true. This has been linked in the past to Vietnam where .50BMG was rather expensive and officers didn't want soldiers expending it at the rate that the BMG was capable to do.

    It is in no way outlawed by any convention. If it is, why the .50 only? Why not a larger caliber? Why not .50AE? Why are the larger 30mm, or 120mm rounds acceptable? There is nothing in any convention that I've read that suggest the limit on round size.

    Often civilian laws are passed to restrict this round, and this further fuels the rumor of .50 BMG being outlawed, but there is no international ban on the use of the round for military purposes.

    As far as hallow points goes, one of the more logical reasons behind not using it is incase of an armored target. The M9 training (Air Force - afman36-2227v1 if you want to verify) encourages the firer to shoot twice for the chest, and once in the head. Personally, I put the first 6 rounds in the head, since it's the smaller circle, and place all the rest in the chest, but the point behind the training is to shoot twice in the chest, once in the head.

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    Member Array JaredMcLaughlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddy5
    Actually this is not true. This has been linked in the past to Vietnam where .50BMG was rather expensive and officers didn't want soldiers expending it at the rate that the BMG was capable to do.
    I know I heard this the whole way through basic training, and everytime the subject came up in the National Guard. Then, suddenly, we were in a combat zone and that supposed rule went out the window. Never heard it again. I think it's just a rumor.

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    Senior Member Array palmgopher's Avatar
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    well if 50 cal was not to be used against combatants......then why do they let snipers use them to take out people? it is just a rumor really. Nothing anyone can really find in writing.

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