Britain’s SAS Gets “Man-Stopper” Rounds for Fight Against Terrorists

According to dailystar.co.uk, “SAS: Special forces soldiers are going to play a role in domestic counter-terrorism.” So, like the French and unlike Americans, the Brits have no compunctions about deploying military troops inside the country. Hey, if you’re already sliding down the slippery slope to a police state, that’s how you roll. And to take on this new mission, the SAS are loading-up with what the Star calls super-special deadly “Man-Stopper” rounds . . .

Special soft-nose bullets designed to drop Jihadis on the spot will be issued to the crack force in the next few weeks. The bullets, described as the most lethal ever made, are manufactured by a Swiss arms company which makes ammunition for the special forces. One of bullets “hyper-expands” and has a devastating effect on a human body by causing a massive hole and almost instant death . . .

One source said that a single expanding round will blow a human head to pieces.

Another bullet being issued to the crack unit is designed to break up or fragment on impact also causing serious wounds to the victim. The bullet is designed not to pass through a body and so lessen the risk of innocent civilians being killed or injured. The senior defence source said: “These bullets are designed to drop a terrorist where he stands.

“You want a bullet which will give you an instant kill when you are up against someone wearing a suicide vest. You need one round one kill and at close quarters and the best ammunition is a soft nose bullet. The bullet opens up when it hits a target so all of the energy passed directly into a terrorist. Most bullets will go clean through a body at close range but these ones don’t. It’s not pretty but its very effective.”

Yup, you guessed it! The SAS are loading-up with “man-stopper” hollow-point ammunition.

This is a story because the Brits signed – and previously strictly adhered to – article IV,3 of the Hague Convention of 1899: Declaration concerning the Prohibition of the Use of Bullets which can Easily Expand or Change their Form inside the Human Body such as Bullets with a Hard Covering which does not Completely Cover the Core, or containing Indentations.

[Note: the U.S. did not sign Article IV but still refrains from using hollow-point ammo in combat.]

Now that the UK is in the EU, I wonder if any peaceniks will take the Brits to the European Court of Human Rights for issuing the SAS with the same “blow your head off” ammunition found in American civilians’ guns (void where prohibited by law). If so, Her Majesty’s Government will no doubt claim it’s OK because the hollow-point rounds are for the SAS’s domestic anti-terrorism efforts – which aren’t military operations. Unless it’s convenient to call them such.

Meanwhile, there’s more cool ammo for the SAS!

It is understood that the SAS are also to be issued with state-of-the-art “silent ammunition” – known as whisper rounds.

Unlike normal ammunition the bullets travel at subsonic speeds and are only lethal up to ranges of 100m but they are virtually silent when fired.

The “whisper” ammo means that troops using them do not have to use silencers – which can effect a weapon’s accuracy.

Wait. What? Anyway, it looks like the SAS is getting up to date, even if the anti-gun UK media doesn’t have a clue. The more worrying aspect: British troops walking the streets. Again. Hey, did you know that the Brits quartered troops in London apartment buildings to man anti-aircraft missiles during the London Olympics? And you thought the Third Amendment was an anachronism.

comments

  1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    More breaking and vital news from Oceania.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      Yes, I’m thinking the French Revolution x 200+ years of technology.
      You can ban guns, you can’t abolish the “idea” of a gun, and we always progess to the more spectacular. So, thank you brits.

  2. avatar Tom W. says:

    Yes but the everyday “Bobbie’s” will only have a leetle club.

    When seconds count the SAS is only a civilian deployment away.

    Cool.

    Sigh….

  3. avatar FedUp says:

    If your SAS carbine is integrally suppressed, you don’t need to put a can on it to quietly shoot subsonic ammo, right?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      That’s ‘Souper-SeeKrit’ information…

  4. More FUD in that article than behind 10 gun shop counters.

  5. Also, bullets do not stop people.

    Brick walls stop people. London traffic jams stop people. Scottish food stops people (wanting to live). Bullets put holes in them. Holes just slow people down. Sometimes dramatically.

    1. avatar Lance F says:

      Two weeks ago I was deer hunting with my 7mm Rem. Mag. I gave a doe a Texas brain shot (first time I have taken a shot like that) she still ran 100 yards before collapsing. She had a broken left shoulder, a baseball sized chunk of lung left and a hole I the heart. The ammo was Winchester ballistic silver tips. I doubt there ammo is better then that stuff. The bullet still exited too.

      1. avatar The Dude Abides says:

        Silver tips have always had a bit of a problem putting someone down. Just ask the FBI.

    2. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunniess says:

      I like the article talking about making a headshot more deadly. I mean a rifle bullet with a clear head shot is pretty likely to stop somebody. The issue is making a head shot on the target. It’s hard enough to do without worrying about civilians thrown into the mix.

    3. avatar Bob in MI says:

      I don’t know about that. Bullets (plural) stop people. A 6-8 round burst from my 240 tended to anyway.

      1. Your bullets didn’t stop them. It did definitely kill them, and well done there. Stopping something is different than radically slowing them down though and that’s what those pedants among us who speak of bullets not stopping anything are getting at. To stop something in motion is a whole different matter because it not just affects their intentions (what those that speak of machine gun effectiveness against soft targets are getting at) but specifically it speaks to their actual motion. If you were to actually “stop” someone, they wouldn’t fall. They’d simply become absolutely motionless instantaneously to the observer and their intentions would thence be irrelevant. Bullets don’t stop people, they slow the hell out of them occasionally and change their directions frequently but they do not stop them.

        I’d bet that 240 would have been more effective with expanding projectiles in the mix though.

  6. avatar CTstooge says:

    State-of-the-art my ass. More like Boer War tech.

  7. avatar JohnF says:

    So, the SAS is Britain’s most elite fighting force. If the Daily Star is going to use a term like “man-stopper rounds,” shouldn’t they also be asking what the heck were the SAS was using before? “Man-slower-downer rounds?” “That-will-leave-a-mark rounds?” “They-make-a-big-bang-that’s-really-scary rounds?”

    1. avatar Baldwin says:

      Hilarious!

  8. avatar jwm says:

    Dum-dums. And upside down loaded hollow base .455 rounds. Brits have been there and done that.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Something about wrapping the cartridges in lard-coated paper, or filling the hollow tip with bacon fat?

      1. avatar jwm says:

        The paper cartridges for the new Enfield rifled musket had a beeswax lubricant in them. The soldier was supposed to bite one end of the cartridge open and load from there. Rumor circulated amongst the local troops that pig and beef fat were used in the cartridges. Unclean. Helped spark the Sepy Mutiny.

        The .455 hollow base bullets I referred to were for the many variants of the .455 Webley service revolvers. A self contained cartridge that used a soft lead hollow based bullet similar to a minie ball. In an attempt to get more stopping power some of the bullets were loaded in the cases backwards. Leaving a huge hollow point projectile.

        How effective were they? I dunno.

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          And hog hide bodybags for the jihadis.

        2. avatar 16V says:

          In early factory loadings the .455 Webley looks a bit weak on paper, 250-ish grain projectile and only high 600s FPS.

          That said, like a .45ACP, it’s a big honkin’ pill. From the history I remember, Webley ran double-pressure proof rounds through their guns on a regular basis, and the Webley guys I’ve met reload them up pretty aggressively. Alternatively, I believe you can mill the cylinder for half-moons, and run .45ACP +P without issues.

          There are some spectacular battlefield cartridge fails out there, but I don’t recall reading any that blamed the .455 Webley for being wimpy.

  9. avatar Bungameng says:

    Well, the Hague convention applies only to military conflicts.

    Which is why, for example, Czech cops have been using them for quite some time, but not Czech soldiers. I suppose that Czech police is not the only force using them in Europe.

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      Aren’t hollow points banned for citizens in Czech Republic?

      1. avatar Raoul Duke says:

        Yes.

  10. avatar ThomasR says:

    So I guess the “professional journalists” in The U K. are just as professionally proudly ignorant when in comes to all things of the gun as are the U.S. propogandists (journalists).

    1. avatar bethan says:

      Most journalists are fine it’s just the mail is well its like a middle class right wing paper with factcheckers fired from the national enquirer for being too loose with the truth.

  11. avatar Mr. AR-10 says:

    “Members of the elite units counter-terrorist team will also be issued with the HK MP 7a1 – a submachine which was used by members of Seal Team 6 to kill Osama Bin Laden.

    The weapon is regarded as the best close-quarter submachine gun in the world and is described as the perfect counter-terrorist tool.

    It is small enough to be hidden under clothing bur has a rate of fire of 950 rounds per minute and weighs just 2.65lbs.

    British special forces are also likely to be equipped with a smart grenade launcher, called an XM25, for use in war zones in Iraq and Syria.

    The computerised weapon allows soldiers to kill enemies hiding behind walls and inside buildings.”

    Wow, sure are loads and loads of silliness in this. Mind, they are telling all the UK proles that this is what SOF will be using in and around London, should the need arise (which, presumably, it has).

    Seems like they really are out to do some serious reassuring to the great unwashed now huh?

    I wonder how many of them over there are looking across the pond longingly at the second amendment? Not many of them will admit to such you know, some will but not all of them.

  12. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

    Let’s get this straight. There is no constitutional prohibition of using military assets in US domestic law enforcement. It is a legislative prohibition growing out of Reconstruction. The Third Amendment is a prohibition of the military seizing or quartering i. your property in peacetime without your consent or without compensation in wartime.

    1. avatar Craig says:

      While using the standing military for internal security isn’t prohibited by the Constitution, it’s generally not the American way. One of the reasons why we had a tiny regular, Federal army until the Mexican War was fear of the military overthrowing the Republic, like what almost happened towards the end of the Revolution.

      A fear of governmental power and restraining the government’s main weapon is not a bad thing.

      1. avatar Taylor says:

        Agreed.

        Call me naive but I would hope our current military would never allow itself to be used against the American people. Famous last words I suppose.

  13. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    ‘So, like the French and unlike Americans, the Brits have no compunctions about deploying military troops inside the country.’

    IMHO the distinction between MILITARY troops and PARAMILITARY troops is moot. Lets hope the SAS doesn’t go around throwing flash-bangs into baby cribs like our ‘troops’.

  14. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    This is article is why people who have no clue about guns, shouldn’t be making laws about them.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Or writing about them. If bullets did what that reporter claimed, I want some for my EDC.

      1. avatar Katy says:

        Indeed. I’ve got some subsonic rounds form my 9mm, but they still make a lot of noise. I would love to get my hands on something in the Aguila Colibri-noise class, but with the efficacy of a hollow point centerfire.

        1. avatar int19h says:

          There is actually such a thing as rounds that are effectively silenced without a need of a silencer, but I doubt they were talking about that. Basically, the idea is to prevent the gases from ever escaping by trapping them inside the case. So the case has a piston between the powder and the bullet, which transfers energy to the bullet as the powder is burning, but is arrested at the very end of the case such that it seals them. The bullet keeps on flying, while the case gets ejected with the gases still trapped.

          Naturally, this system is very limiting in efficiency. For one thing, the bullet is only accelerated very briefly (you can make the case longer to counter that, but ultimately it needs to be short enough to extract). For another, you need a thick-walled case so that it doesn’t rupture when extracted. So it’s useless for rifles (not much sense there anyway, since a good can suppress almost as well, with much better terminal ballistics), and really only useful for ultra-concealable “spy guns” and the like.

          The only real-world weapons that use this principle that I know of are both Russian: PSS pistol and OTs-38 revolver – both using special 7.62×42 ammo. The muzzle energy is comparable to weak .32 ACP loads.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PSS_silent_pistol

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OTs-38_Stechkin_silent_revolver

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Now you have an ejected case still filled with high-pressure gas.

          How do they bleed off the trapped gas?

        3. avatar CentralIL says:

          They bleed the gas off slowly. Days or weeks if I remember right.

  15. avatar John L. says:

    “One source said that a single expanding round will blow a human head to pieces.”

    Yes, but only when anti-gun folks in the US realize we’ve had the same thing for years here!!

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Well we all know that discussing such things in the presence of anti-2A types WILL make their heads want to explode. I suspect that only their extreme hard-headedness and the available empty space to absorb the pressure inside are the only things that save them from this horrible fate.

  16. avatar racer88 says:

    Man… those are some magic-ass bullets! Silent “whisper rounds” that will “blow a human head to pieces!”

    Well… do ya feel lucky? Do ya? Punk?

  17. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

    The Waffen SS always gets the latest equipment.

    1. avatar I'mRonBurgundy? says:

      Yeah man. If the Germans had deployed the STG44 in larger numbers it might have been a VERY different war.

      1. avatar int19h says:

        It wasn’t the quantity of StG-44 that was the problem for Germans, it was the timing. They did produce them in fairly large numbers – over 400,000 is nothing to sneeze at – but by the time they could produce them in such quantities, the war was already lost, with Soviets on a steady offence after Kursk, and Western Allies in France and Italy.

  18. avatar Derwood67 says:

    I’m too lazy to look it up, but I’m pretty sure the UK is very wary of mixing civil and military on their streets (barring Northern Ireland’s history). I don’t believe the SAS or any military units can patrol overtly or covertly without prime minister approval of handover of control from civil to military. During a siege, the SAS will be tooled up, on site and ready to roll…but will stay put until that handover is given, and technically during that time civil power is in the hands of the military. Whether British SCO19 police units get the same ammo is probably more of a point (and they probably won’t) but “SAS” sounds way cooler.

  19. avatar GuyFromV says:

    That was even more over-the-top than I was expecting, I knew the punchline was that they were just going to end up being HPs but holy crap.

  20. avatar marco says:

    So when is TTAG going to do a review of “The bullets, described as the most lethal ever made, are manufactured by a Swiss arms company which makes ammunition for the special forces.”?

    1. avatar Jordan says:

      No kidding. When can we expect these super-duper head popping murder bullets on store shelves? They will be perfect when the zombie apocalypse kicks off.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “No kidding. When can we expect these super-duper head popping murder bullets on store shelves? They will be perfect when the zombie apocalypse kicks off.”

        Been out for quite a while now:

        http://www.hornady.com/ammunition/zombiemax

  21. avatar Lt Dave says:

    Ummmm … don’t they know about the “dead man switch” most suicide bombers use?

    Just wondering.

    1. avatar defensor fortismo says:

      For that matter, there’s also chicken switches, the bomber doesn’t have to be the one pressing the button or even aware of said button.

      1. avatar Xpunge says:

        Ring, ring…. ‘ello.

        BOOM!

  22. avatar JonT says:

    Being a Brit who has an interest in shooting I have read the UK press for years and have never ONCE read a believable article on a gun related matter. Much the same goes for TV News over here. The UK media are absolutely cretinous on this subject and completely unreliable. The article you sight here is just “par for the course”. I think it’s a combination of disdain and fear.

  23. avatar Ralph says:

    The Hague Convention prohibition on expanding bullets only applies in military conflicts between signatories. It is not a general prohibition. AFAIK, IS never signed the damned thing.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      IS distributes copies to its troops in the form of a comic book so they have something to chuckle about in their after-murder parties. It is widely used as a handbook to teach the most effective techniques to kill infidels who think you can write a treaty to conduct a “civilized” war. Great hilarity ensues.

  24. avatar Tom says:

    Ummmmm, deploying of military troops inside the US isn’t prohibited by the constitution. In fact historically it isn’t even that rare. It happens all the time with things like disaster relief efforts and other such states of emergency. Even armed military intervention happens for things like riot control, and while I don’t agree that such a thing should happen I suppose I wouldn’t be complaining if it stopped a city from burning because people decided it was a good day to loot and torch everything. Too situational to apply absolutes.

    The SAS aren’t exactly going to be patrolling the streets. There just aren’t enough of them and their time is too valuable for that sort of thing. If they are set up as a reactionary force to respond to events as quickly as they can it makes sense. They will simply have the same problem that all other such forces have, response time. As to them being military instead of a police force… Were I someone in a bad situation who has been rescued by another individual, well lets just say that about the last thing I am worried about is the patch on his shoulder.

    Separation between military and law enforcement is a practical need in a nation. The two operate under very different mindsets and crossing them can be dangerous. That being said, a terrorist attack is much closer to a military situation to begin with so maybe it is a “right tool for the job” sort of situation.

    I just had a mental image of NYPD cops trying to stop an active shooter situation with multiple hostiles and a lot of hostages…. 14% hit rate and a whole bunch of bystanders…. I’ll take the SF guys thank you.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Umm, a distinction needs to be made between the US Army, a federal organization, and the National Guard, which is nominally a State based organization under the command of the state Governor that may be (and often is) called into national service. The Governor is the one who calls out the Guard in the event of a natural disaster, not the President. The Guard is what used to be called the organized militia.

    2. avatar int19h says:

      >> The two operate under very different mindsets and crossing them can be dangerous.

      Which is exactly what this country is doing with SWAT…

      (Even more so as most SWAT cops are on it only part-time, and otherwise they’re on the regular force. So mentality from one bleeds into the other.)

      1. avatar jwm says:

        SWAT should be called out only after shots have been fired or hostages taken.

  25. avatar Noishkel says:

    What? You mean the Brits are getting access to ‘munitions’ I can just get pretty much get at Wal-mart?

    1. avatar JonT says:

      Precisely.

  26. avatar Southern Cross says:

    It sounds like “One source” doesn’t know what they are talking about.

    And it looks like the SAS are finally catching up to the 1980s in ballistic technology.

  27. avatar 277Volt says:

    That paper’s description reads like an ad for whatever “wunderbullet” that just hit the market.

  28. avatar Fuque says:

    If you consider their target audience, it all reads as a validating point. “Why we took your guns away”.. those super duper, man hunting super secret bullets designed only for humans who turned to the darkside, are shot from objects that are beyond your sphere of understanding…. The poor common Brit is destined to believe every fairy tale told to them when it comes to guns.

  29. avatar Mark Chamberlain says:

    I couldn’t help but notice there were many shots of SAS in the video carrying M4’s and M16’s. Must be that whole European bull pup movement didn’t work out so well in the UK if the SAS seems to prefer a Eugene Stoner rifle/carbine.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      It’s not an anti-bullpup thing, it’s an anti-SA80 thing. Everyone knows it’s still a turd, even after all the numerous attempts to fix it. At best, it is no longer a disaster, but it’s still a heavy, unreliable, not particularly ergonomic weapon. For their army, the Brits stick to it because of that whole national pride thing more than anything, and it “works” well enough. But for special units for whom a weapon malfunction is literally death, and ergonomics are important because milliseconds count, they go look for something better. And for their kinds of operations, ARs are actually near perfect – light, ergonomic, easily customizable for different missions, and not particularly expensive.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      The brits issue the sa-80 and its follow ons. Quite possibly the only ebr that makes the AR family look superior.

  30. avatar I'mRonBurgundy? says:

    The SAS is a no-shit tier 1 fighting force. They have the training and the mindset, they can carry what they damn well please. What the Dailymail either doesn’t know or doesn’t care to know is that 95% of the equipment they carry is available off the shelf here in these United States.

  31. avatar Goodacre says:

    I remember using these HyperDeath(tm) bullets back in my counter-strike days – I’m glad they have managed to scale down AWP technology to fit inside regular bullets!

  32. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Aw c’mon…I want to see exploding heads! Check out “The Kingsman” for hundreds of blowed up noggins…

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      I hereby nominate “Scanners” for the Best Exploding Head Award. It’s a classic.

  33. avatar Ing says:

    So…you can tool up to kill people inside your own borders (including your own citizens) in the most viciously effective way imaginable, but you darn well better be nice to those foreign enemies. Got it.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Well, they are strangers in a strange land.

  34. avatar Lurker_of_lurkiness says:

    So basically hollow point deer rounds

    and

    frangible coyote/prarie dog/ground hog rounds?

    What technology, much impressed wow

  35. avatar the ruester says:

    These people burned down the white house? Had the largest empire? Fought Hitler? My God, how?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      With an infallible belief in their superiority. Which appears to be lacking in all the modern brits save the military and soccer hooligans.

      Modern Man is hard at work in this country to bring us down, also.

  36. avatar Excedrine says:

    Sooo.. the SAS has adopted PSS-type ammunition? For those wondering what that is, YouTube is your friend.

  37. avatar Stuki Moi says:

    And the drones go: Wooww! Our gommiment os sooo goood!! And touugh!! Hail to theeemm!!

    When this is what contemporary Europe has devolved to, I have to admit I find it awfully hard to fathom how The Caliphate can be all that much worse……

  38. avatar An English Person says:

    Anyone else noticed how similar to “STOP, Armed Police!”, “Stop, Ahmed please!” sounds?

  39. avatar LordGopu says:

    Lol all this talk of head exploding made me think of Hot Fuzz. And that was a comedy film. Funny how the news pretty much made the same punchline as that movie, but they were trying to be serious.

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