Is It True That American Soldiers are Not Allowed to Use Hollow-Points?

This is a discussion on Is It True That American Soldiers are Not Allowed to Use Hollow-Points? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I was reading this article: Corps to use more lethal ammo in Afghanistan - MarineCorpsTimes.com when I hit this set of paragraphs: Before the SOST ...

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Thread: Is It True That American Soldiers are Not Allowed to Use Hollow-Points?

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    Senior Member Array McPatrickClan's Avatar
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    Is It True That American Soldiers are Not Allowed to Use Hollow-Points?

    I was reading this article:

    Corps to use more lethal ammo in Afghanistan - MarineCorpsTimes.com

    when I hit this set of paragraphs:

    Before the SOST round could be fielded by the Corps, it had to clear a legal hurdle: approval that it met international law of war standards.

    The process is standard for new weapons and weapons systems, but it took on added significance because of the bullet’s design. Open-tip bullets have been approved for use by U.S. forces for decades, but are sometimes confused with hollow-point rounds, which expand in human tissue after impact, causing unnecessary suffering, according to widely accepted international treaties signed following the Hague peace conventions held in the Netherlands in 1899 and 1907.

    “We need to be very clear in drawing this distinction: This is not a hollow-point round, which is not permitted,” Brogan said. “It has been through law of land warfare review and has passed that review so that it meets the criteria of not causing unnecessary pain and suffering.”

    ****END OF PARAGRAPHS FROM ARTICLE****

    Is this true? Am I understanding correctly that our troops cannot use the most lethal ammo because of "international laws?"

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    From Fr. Frog: A Glossary of terms for the.

    Emphasis added for clarity.

    Geneva Convention(s) - A set of international agreements to provide for "civilized" behavior between nations at war. It is most frequently referenced for it's banning of the use of expanding bullets in small arms ammunition by warring parties (which was actually originally proscribed by the Hague Accords of 1899 and 1907 ). In actuality this "ban" is very misleading for while expanding projectiles are proscribed, the use of mines, explosives, and flame weapons which indiscriminately shred and maim their victims are not. In fact, an expanding bullet is simply an attempt to make a small diameter projectile as effective as a large diameter non-expanding one. The conventions only apply to a declared war against national enemies by signatory parties. In regards to the use of "open tip match" bullets by the military the Hague Convention IV of 1907 prohibits the employment of, “arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering,”d the "unnecessary suffering" is not defined. Bullets which yaw and fragment in tissue were specifically not prohibited. This position was not disputed by the 1978 UNCCW Conference and was reconfirmed during its’ review in 1994 - 1996. Thus the JAG decision to authorized certain OTM (open tip match) projectiles, which yaw and then fragment just like many FMJ bullets, for unrestricted land warfare use is perfectly legal under international law; neither the UN nor any other organization have any grounds to protest.


    The assessment of meeting international law standards appears to be a standard CYA exercise, so a formal position can be offered if necessary.
    Smitty
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    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    Yes, you can set out a land mine that will spray thousands of metal fragments everywhere and literally vaporize enemy soldiers where the stand, but you cannot use a "hollow-point" projectile fired from a rifle to increase lethality. Nobody has ever challenged this outmoded, stupid rule, because every nation knows that if you have a rifle round that incapacitates more often than it kills, the enemy uses more resources to treat a wounded soldier than a dead one.....
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

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    Mic
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    You use what is issued, and that is ball ammo (maybe some tracer thrown in there) in all caliber
    Timid people sleep peacefully at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.


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    Quote Originally Posted by McPatrickClan View Post
    I was reading this article:

    ****END OF PARAGRAPHS FROM ARTICLE****

    Is this true? Am I understanding correctly that our troops cannot use the most lethal ammo because of "international laws?"
    The simple answer is "yes".
    Rick

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    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edr9x23super View Post
    Yes, you can set out a land mine that will spray thousands of metal fragments everywhere and literally vaporize enemy soldiers where the stand, but you cannot use a "hollow-point" projectile fired from a rifle to increase lethality. Nobody has ever challenged this outmoded, stupid rule, because every nation knows that if you have a rifle round that incapacitates more often than it kills, the enemy uses more resources to treat a wounded soldier than a dead one.....
    Except that rifle rounds are pretty good in the terminal ballistic category already.

    I have heard this "wounding instead of killing stuff for as long as I can remember. Does anyone have any acutal verifyable statements to back this up.

    Also I believe the prohibition does not extend to special forces types.
    Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.

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    The prohibition extends to everyone, in accordance with the "rules" gasmitty posted above. SOF has, however, been using the OTM (open tipped match) ammo for a while now, which has led to some misunderstanding. Also, the fact that this is not a declared war against another signatory to the Hague/Geneva conventions opens the door to circumventing these "rules." So far, however, the US has continued to abide by them.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    Cool. Good to know. So in your experiance does the OTM actually improve barrier penetration?

    I can see and understand both the increased accuracy, as well as the increased terminal preformance, but that last one is a bit off for me.
    Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.

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    Distinguished Member Array ArmyCop's Avatar
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    I was a Combat MP Sgt. in Iraq 2003. Our Handguns were loaded with 9mm hardball. M16's FMJ's - No hollowpoints allowed for us.
    For God, Family and Country!

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    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowsbane View Post
    I have heard this "wounding instead of killing stuff for as long as I can remember. Does anyone have any acutal verifyable statements to back this up.
    This one doesn't require verifiable statements; it's common sense. Dead soldiers are ignored... they're dead. Wounded soldiers must be dealt with; this uses up manpower as their fellow soldiers rescue/carry them to safety. They also use up medical supplies and transportation resources for evac.

    Although most of this extra strain occurs after a battle, it's nevertheless a demoralizing sensation for a soldier to hear his comrade screaming in agony while writhing on the ground covered in blood. Hollywood seems convinced that this inspires righteous anger and moment-of-truth courage but the truth is that it simply compounds terror and panic.

    However, Infantry soldiers are NOT trained to waste time trying for a critical wound instead of a kill. They ARE trained to shoot COM when a target presents itself, and to maintain steady (steady, not necessarily accurate) suppressing fire when moving.
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    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    It is only common sense if you are dealing with an actual front with reinforcements and supplies coming in on a regular basis. Much like Europe in 1942.

    However, such a doctrine ignores that in more recent wars, (Vietnam and Iraq for example) one would be hard pressed to say that the enemy gives two shakes for their wounded, and quite often they either leave them to die, or for our people to treat them, nurse them back to health and then keep them maintained in some prison. That is of course not considering the times where they decide to pull the pin on some grendade and take out the medic or anyone else that is near them. Either way our resources are depleted in the same if not greater capacity than such doctrines would suggest the enemy to have to deal with. I say greater because often due to superior training we offer higher casulty ratings, as well are often just in better health.

    It also ignores the fact that decent training takes a great deal of time and resources in order to provide a soldier that is capable of being more than just a bullet stopper, and that it can also be quite demoralizing for everyone in a squad or whatnot to realize that despite their two weeks training, they are the most experienced soldiers there. (Much like the battle for Stalingrad.

    I am sorry if this sounds like I am getting on your case about a differing viewpoint, it is not intended as such.

    Although perhaps it should be it's own thread......
    Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    My unit was issued JHP ammo in 03....what we were told at the time was there wasn't enough ball ammo...
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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    Member Array Alf87's Avatar
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    It is only common sense if you are dealing with an actual front with reinforcements and supplies coming in on a regular basis. Much like Europe in 1942.
    No, it's common sense in all situations. When one of your men gets wounded whether you're being advanced upon, mortar attacked or even in training scenarios, it always takes away from the mission because you've got to release resourses to aid the wounded. However, we've always trained shooting COM and not worry about trying to wound someone. But if they are wounded, it does take resourses away from the fight.

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    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    So you would say that the Taliban or those we are fighting in Iraq, people who truely want to die for their cause really bother to take the resources to take care of their wounded on any sort of mass scale instead of telling them to pull that pin for Allah, or just allowing us to use our resources to care for them.

    I am glad that we don't train our military to pull any punches though. Militaries are more for fighting than policing.
    Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.

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    Member Array DIXIETWISTER's Avatar
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    Hollow points= less penetration.......right? not too good against body armor. if the taliban has any.
    You may not like guns. You may choose not to own one. That is your right.
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    2)Pray they get there in time." - A wise man

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