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Blended metal bullets

  1. Jul 9, 2004 #1
    Hmm...our U.S. Military complains that the 5.56 mm bullet doesn't contain the stopping power that certain situations call for, sometimes. With that on the back burner, take a look at new blended-metal technology from LeMas Ltd. This ammunition is (claimed) to be able to punch through hardened armor, yet expand when it hits softer targets. A recent report surfaced that one of our contractors in Iraq had the opportunity to use this bullet, and the subsequent shot that an Iraqi gunman recieved in his buttocks ripped him a new one...literally. His lower left abdomen was shredded by the bullet. I'm wondering how this bullet does it. I'm also wondering, on a practical level, if we should equip our soldiers with it. (I'm not sure about giving it to your everyday, normal soldiers, but I think giving our special forces the opportunity at least to use it might be warranted.) Anyway...anyone who can tell me more about these things and/or wants to comment, hit me.
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  3. Jul 10, 2004 #2


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    those and other sorts of research/development should be banned by congress.
  4. Jul 10, 2004 #3
    [edited: political content]
    But really I heard a description in 1961, about quartering lead bullets, so that on impact they made a little bitty hole in front, but a hole in back so big, you could wiggle your head around in it with getting any blood on your ears. That was from a sharp-shooter at the time. So, they are shooting people in the back, and boasting about the frontal abdominal wounds. This seems to be some inhumane shop talk, for sure.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2004
  5. Jul 19, 2004 #4
    Altering ammunition would be a no-no IAW the laws of war. That aside, the question would be if it was preferrable to put one round into a warm body and "splode 'em" to be done with them or to use a standard ball round to possibly wound them and create a need for someone to assist the wounded and expend other resources. Either way, it's not a pretty business.

    Instead of killing/wounding we should develope a "sleep ray" or a "happy ray" or if that fails just drop tons of Hello Kitty merchandise on them.
  6. Jul 19, 2004 #5


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    Why? As distasteful as it may be, war exists. So long as war exists, we have the responsibility to adequately equip those we send to fight it. Lets go easy on the politics in the engineering forum though...


    This isn't that much different from hollow-point rounds, which fracture on impact. Just more advanced.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2004
  7. Jul 19, 2004 #6


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    I recall reading about this at thememoryhole.org. I also recall that the bullet shot at the buttock did more than just "rip him a new one". It killed the guy.

    All I can say is that these bullets are not "legal ammunition" as far as international regulations are concerned - just as Napalm and Nukes are considered illegal for usage in conventional war. This is an engineering forum, so I won't go any further along this line.

    You are really not going to know about it if Black-Op teams are being assigned such types of ammo, are you ?
  8. Aug 9, 2004 #7
    @ Gokul,

    You quite right about it not being legal.
    However war will be war, not really thé place for legan actions.
    Ammo like this has been around for eons.
    Ranging from the teflon coated "cop-killers" to hydro-shock ammo and dum-dum munitions.
    War is hell and you can fairly savely assume you'll get killed by any type of bullit when it hits you.

    You can even see it this way: Why not let soldiers shoot bullets the are sure to kill an enemy? Instead of wounding then and letting them die in agony several hours/days later because of bloodloss or a wound gone septic?

    All in all munitions are an interesting though rather gore filled subject to discuss, yet do you want this on an sience forum?
    Sounds more like a subject for the NRA-forums (do they have them).
  9. Aug 9, 2004 #8


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    lets not be ignorant of politics as well. what gets done with a stroke of a pen directly affects you in matter of months.

    personally (and its only my opinion) - i would never do development in weapons or anything (for anyone) that could facilitate mass murder (high explosives, vx gas, bio, fission, etc). surely some others would take on that - but if i could lessen the number of people who do it just by one, its already something.

    its not as much politics as it is a humanitarian issue. weapons like that most of the time end up in wrong hands, and even if you equip the US soldier with it - its still a shaky 'reason' to kill hundreds of thousand of people (nam, korea, iraq, japan). sure they 'contained' communism - but it was stupidity on both sides that led to mass extinction.

    To ignore such politics is to be ignorant, and as engineers/scientists you should get more vocal about your planet and what goes around it. A lot more could be said, but back to the topic.. a bullet exploiding in your ass is not fun for the one who's ass hosts that bullet.
  10. Aug 11, 2004 #9


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    The reason weapons are developed to maim rather than to kill are as follows. A dead soldier is left for dead. A wounded soldier is looked after. If you have to tend to injured men, perhaps give them immediate medical attention, perhaps take them with you, it reduces the capacity you have to fight back. Wounded soldiers are an immense drain on resources. Grim yes, but it's war after all.
  11. Aug 12, 2004 #10
    Using expanding ammo is not against the law. It is just frowned apon. for some reaosn people feel the need to site the Geneva Convention which has nothing to do with ammunition. The 1907 Hague convention does, the US is not a signatory of most of it however. The hague convention does have a clause in it though that say that signatories will only have to use said ammo against other signatories, and that, that clause is void if the other nation violates it. Seeing as how we are not signatories, nor are the terrorists, (or iraq for tha matter).....

    Where the U.S. did sign on, however, was with 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;"
    In observance of this, for many years U.S. Military snipers went afield with M-118 ammo, a 7.62 X 51mm 173-grain solid-tipped boat tail round manufactured to much closer tolerances than M-80 "ball."

    This practice began to change subsequent to a 23 September 1985 opinion issued by the Judge Advocate General, authored by W. Hays Parks2, Chief of the JAG's International Law Branch, for the signature of Major 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."
  12. Aug 23, 2004 #11
    As vegasshadows points out the Hauge convention states (the part that the US has ratified anyhow) that a bullet must not cause undo suffering (?). <p>
    I was wondering If a bullet was constructed of Solder (Tin / Lead) and (tiny) metal scrapes (Tungsten / endothermic material ) and the solders melting point and eutectic (SP?, state transition region) point were set such that when the heat generated by the compression of the tungsten would cause the the bullet to hold together momentarily while it passes through a rigid material and then fall apart when it entered a softer (and warmer) material to let say some kind of double centroid. Then would this type of round be possible? There would have to be some sort of insullation (plastic) to keep the initial heat of the launching explosion from melting the solder. If the bullet passes into a cool medium with a gradual deceleration (ballistic gellatin?) then would the bullet remain stable?
  13. Aug 24, 2004 #12


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    I think they should perhaps develop a non-lead bullet. I don't think it is healthy for survivors to perhaps get lead poisoning that lasts long after the fight is over. This is more for civilian use than war perhaps, where innocents are shot during robberies and such. But I'm not sure war veterans 20 years after the war should still be feeling the effects of lead poisoning if such is the case.
  14. Aug 25, 2004 #13
    I meant to say exothermic of course not endothermic
  15. Aug 25, 2004 #14
    What do you suggest?
    zinc? tin? depleted uranium? tungsten?

    Non of those will improve you life very much if you end up walking around with them for 20 years.
    The material has to have a high weight in order to pack enough punch.
    *or you have to increase the velocity very much*
  16. Aug 26, 2004 #15


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    I dont know. Just thought it was worth a look see. Could one perhaps coat a lead bullet, for the dense weight, with a substance that would not fly apart or grow too thin during mushrooming to allow for lead to be exposed to the bloodstream? Perhaps some sort of plastic?
  17. Aug 30, 2004 #16

    Hmm that would kinda defy the point of a bullit wouldn't it.
    Research in done on how to make a bullit more deadly (or non lethal but thats another story).

    Coating it would lessen its effectiveness.
    A bullit desintergrating in a body is (from the shooters point of view) a good thing.
    It adds to the tissue damage, thus making the bullit more effective.
  18. Aug 30, 2004 #17


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    Bullets are not aways desiged to kill more, I would not think. Just to defend oneself sufficiently.
  19. Aug 30, 2004 #18


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    Also, I have heard that a 22 can do more damage than a somewhat larger bullet because it moves around in the body more. One could use a shotgun effect with coated 22 bullets and they would do much damage but not cause lead poisoning.
  20. Sep 1, 2004 #19
    22's are indeed more damaging.
    However this is mostly when someone is hit in the head.
    Its even so that you stand a better chance of suviving being shot through the head with a 40 than with a 22, a 22 bounces around bcause it lacs the power to exit the skull.

    However the biggest damage done by a bullit isn't the hole it makes when passing through your body.
    The "advantages" of an expanding large call (e.g. 38 and up) bullit is the fact it carries more energy than a 22, and it transfers it very rapidly to the surrounding sissue.
    Thus destroing all the tissue around it because of the shockwave.

    A small bullit and shot, although they move around in the body, create far less damage due to their low energy.

    Take two bullits of the same call.
    Say 40 cal, one beeing a normal fmj, it tears a hole through a person, only doing (relatively) minor shock damage.
    Now take an expanding 40 cal (of whatever type, you have the standard hollowpoint, but there are far more advanced expanding munitions) the round penetrates the skin, expands and transfers all its energy to the surrounding tissue.
    If it has power enough it will leave the body while transferring energy, resulting in a baseball sized exit wound.
    The damage in the soft tissue however would be as big as an basketball, completely tearing apart the victims inside.

    Coating on 22's would be a good idea, 22 hits on the body are more likely survivable than a 40 cal (whitch would exit the body annyway so there wouldn't be any lead left in the body).

    On expanding bullits is useless, on the one hand the coating would probably not survive the expanding, and the victim wont probably'either.

    Last note, in general the body will encapsulate the bullit should it remain in the body.
    As long as it remains encapsulated it's no more harmfull as a coated bullit.
    Only when the encapsulation is broken, or the round comes in contact with (acidious) fluids lead will come into the bloodstream.
  21. Sep 1, 2004 #20
    Nope their designed to have as much stopping power as possible.
    If your defending youself you want that first round that hits your assailant to be effective, otherwise he might have the chance to harm/kill you.

    Note, i'm not some gun nutter.
    I strongly oppose the private posession of firearms other than those specifically designed for match shooting.
    Especially the Us mentality (not all Us citizens) of having the right of a firearm to defend yourself is plain rediculous.
    The Dutch system of strongly controlled permits is sufficient.
    All country's should use this system.
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