Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Small Caliber FMJ Rounds Ineffective?....

Sebastian has a post up discussing the use of the 5.56 round by the U.S. military, specifically the M855 Steel Tipped penetrator round. Here's the article.

It should be of no surprise that a varmint caliber rifle round that doesn't expand or fragment is going to perform poorly in combat situations. From what I understand, M855 is good for punching through barriers (I.E. mild steel) which makes it terrible as an anti-personnel round. M193 is much better since it will fragment given adequate velocity.

As stated in the article,
The Hague Convention of 1899 bars hollow point bullets that expand in the body and cause injuries that someone is less likely to survive. The United States was not a party to that agreement. Yet, as most countries do, it adheres to the treaty, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
I've discussed this before, and I still think it's ridiculous. Regardless of whether military issued 5.56 is fragmenting or not there is no doubt that there are many 5.56 loads which are more effective than what our soldiers are currently using. If we're going to hamper them with small caliber weapons those weapons need to inflict maximum damage on the enemy. At the very least they should be allowed to use hollowpoints in the M9. You're in a heap of shit if you need to draw your sidearm in a war zone conflict, yet troops are armed with 9mm ball ammo. There's a reason no one uses 9mm ball ammo, or any FMJ ammo for carry / self-defense. The military should jump on the bandwagon and use the best rounds available, particularly since our enemies aren't abiding by the "rules of war."


DoubleTapper said...

Here in Israel, we are trained to shoot until the target drops. I carry 85 9mm fmj rounds for my Glock 17.

While training I shoot an average of 7 rounds into each target, then close in and verify with a head shot.

It's a method that's prooven itself in combat / anti-terror situations.

It won't work for cops trying to disarm a suspect by shooting him.

How do they train you guys?

DoubleTapper, blogging on Guns Politics Defense from Israel

Tam said...

M855 will fragment just fine, actually. It just needs velocity to do so.

The problem is that out of a 14.5" M4 barrel, its reliable fragmentation range is maybe 75 yards, after which it's going too slow to reliably do its thang.

Unknown said...

HOLLOW POINTS!! FRAGMENTING BULLETS!! Your insane man! That might cause horrific injury on a scale not seen in warfare!

It's best to stick with incindiaries and Willy Pete, and let's not leave out Ma-Duece and 500 lb. guided bombs. They're way more humane.

Mike W. said...

"M855 will fragment just fine, actually. It just needs velocity to do so."

I learn something new everyday.

Question though. M855 is 62gr while M193 is 55gr. If they're having problems with lack of fragmentation out of 14.5" barrels why not switch to the lighter M193 for increased velocity.

Also, how much of a role does bullet construction play in the lack of fragmentation? M855 is a steel tipped penetrator round. Generally a round designed for penetration isn't going to fragment as well as a similar non-penetration round correct?

Is it wrong to assume that M193 would be better suited for applications where quicker fragmentation in soft targets is needed.

Another thing,

"The problem is that out of a 14.5
M4 barrel, its reliable fragmentation range is maybe 75 yards, after which it's going too slow to reliably do its thang."

Why the fuss about its ineffectiveness then? It seems most of the combat in Iraq is door-to-door close quarters stuff that's well within 75 yards.