Why The Govt Purchase Of Ammunition Should Scare The Hell Out Of You

By James Smith

Recent articles that have been published,  give great detail about the extraordinary large purchases of ammunition by the United States Government. This ammunition has been of varying calibers, mainly .357 Sig and .40 S&W. However, they all have been what are known as “Hollow Point” rounds.

From Wikipedia:

A hollow-point bullet is an expanding bullet that has a pit or hollowed out shape in its tip, often intended to cause the bullet to expand upon entering a target in order to decrease penetration and disrupt more tissue as it travels through the target. It is also used for controlled penetration, where over-penetration could cause collateral damage (such as on an aircraft). In target shooting, they are used for greater accuracy and reduction of smoke, fouling, and lead vapour exposure, as hollow point bullets have an enclosed base while traditional bullets have an exposed lead base. In essence, the hollow point bullet has several purposes: hollow points are designed to increase in diameter once within the target, thus maximizing tissue damage and blood loss or shock, and to remain inside the target, thereby transferring all of its kinetic energy to that target (some fraction would remain in the bullet if it passed through instead). Jacketed hollow points (JHPs) or plated hollow points are covered in a coating of harder metal (usually a copper alloy or copper coated steel) to increase bullet strength and to prevent fouling the barrel with lead stripped from the bullet. The term hollow-cavity bullet is used to describe a hollow point where the hollow is unusually large, sometimes dominating the volume of the bullet, and causes extreme expansion or fragmentation on impact.[1]

Many articles state that the hollow point round is banned in combat due to it’s brutal devastation it causes upon the human body.

However, in reality, this is not the case.

Most people will wrongly state that their use is outlawed in the Geneva Convention. The ammunition’s forerunner was banned in 1899, and a portion of that ban is shown here:

Declaration on the Use of Bullets Which Expand or Flatten Easily in the Human Body” adopted at the First Hague Peace Conference of (29 July) 1899 which states:

The Undersigned, Plenipotentiaries of the Powers represented at the International Peace Conference at The Hague, duly authorized to that effect by their Governments,

Inspired by the sentiments which found expression in the Declaration of St. Petersburg of the 29th November (11th December), 1868,

Declare as follows:

“The Contracting Parties agree to abstain from the use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core, or is pierced with incisions.”

The present Declaration is only binding for the Contracting Powers in the case of a war between two or more of them.

It shall cease to be binding from the time when, in a war between the Contracting Parties, one of the belligerents is joined by a non-Contracting Power.

The United States only conceded to this, but did not sign. Where the U.S. did commit to was the Hague Convention IV of 1907, Article 23(e) of which Annex states:

“…it is especially forbidden -

To employ arms, projectiles, or material{sic} calculated to cause unnecessary suffering;”

The US’s observation of the Convention meant that ammunition used by troops would be solid ball ammunition. However, in 1985 the rules of combat changed with an opinion written by Judge Advocate General, written by Col W. Hays Parks, Chief of the JAG’s International Law Branch, for the signature of Major General Hugh R. Overholt, which stated:

“…expanding point ammunition is legally permissible in counterterrorist operations not involving the engagement of the armed forces of another State.”

In October of 1990, Col. Parks, at the request of the Commander of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and coordinated with the Department of State, Army General Counsel, as well as the Offices of the Judge Advocates General of the Navy and Air Force wrote a Memorandum that concluded:

“The purpose of the 7.62mm “open-tip” MatchKing bullet is to provide maximum accuracy at very long range. … Bullet fragmentation is not a design characteristic, however, nor a purpose for use of the MatchKing by United States Army snipers. Wounds caused by MatchKing ammunition are similar to those caused by a fully jacketed military ball bullet, which is legal under the law of war, when compared at the same ranges and under the same conditions. (The Sierra #2200 BTHP) not only meets, but exceeds, the law of war obligations of the United States for use in combat.”

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