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Hollow point bullet (courtesy

Sources tell TTAG that the United States Army is switching from ball to hollow-point ammunition for its next generation handgun. The Army dropped the bombshell yesterday at the Modular Handgun System Industry Day in Picatinny, New Jersey. The event was held as part of the Army’s procurement process to replace the Beretta M9 handgun and the ammunition used for the gun. After making the announcement, an Army lawyer mounted the stage to mount a defense for the switch hollow-points . . .

The U.S. did not agree to a ban on expanding ammo by international treaty. And the the Army’s prepared to defend the decision in the court of international law and opinion. His core argument: countries that will denounce the use of hollow-point use the hollow points for their police forces.

The Army said it will rely on FBI data to evaluate bids for the new ammunition. It also said that it knows it will get heat for the move, but claimed the administration supported the change at the highest levels at the Department of Defense. In other words, this is as close to a done deal as it can get without a signed contract.

The question is: what about rifle ammo? We’re looking into it. Watch this space.

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    • Wonder what this will do to the price of hollow point and ball ammo? Any speculation?

    • I am surprised that the US Army is not bound by the hague convention given it’s past of abiding by the terms of the convention. What other international laws is the US Army not bound by?

      • Actually, the ban isn’t exactly on hollow points per-se. It’s a ban on ammunition designed to inflict “unneeded suffering”… It was written back when fragmenting projectiles primarily killed through secondary infections. Given that modern hollow points are specifically designed to put the target down as fast as possible, the traditional interpretation that the ban applies to all expanding projectiles is no longer true.

        • Recall one reason to change the barrel and create the M-16A2 was that bullet weight and barrel twists would cause the bullet to tumble creating grievous wounds. That there was a concern that this could get banned.

        • I always wondered if this was a valid argument. I kept reading the “unnecessary suffering” aspect of it and thinking how stupid it was. I’d say unnecessary suffering is having to have 10-12 5.56mm sized holes in ya to cause you to leak empty! 😀

        • The reason for the M16A2 barrel with it’s 1:9 twist (or was it 1:7?) was to stabilize the new 62 grain M855 round. The 1:12 twist barrel in the M16A1 would not stabilize the heavier bullet in flight leading to inaccuracy. The change to the M855 penetrator from the M193 55 grain was a post Vietnam pivot from war in Southeast Asia fighting an unarmored Southeast Asian enemy back to preparing to fight Ivan and his Warsaw Pact puppet allies in Europe. The M855 was designed to be able to penetrate a steel helmet with liner or loaded AK mags carried in a load bearing vest on Ivan’s torso to include the soft armor he wore under his shirt for fragmentation protection.

        • A headshot would take the target out, no undue suffering. Base of the skull, too. #nopain

        • @ Mark Chamberlain

          The M-16A2 and M-16A4 and M-4 series have a 1 in 7 twist. LE and civilian ARs have a 1 in 9 to handle light 40-50gr SP and HP bullets for hunting.

          M-855 was developed based on a Russian lie Russians claimed to have level 3 armor for troops but action in Afghanistan showed there vest to be inferior even as a flack jacket. In some cases Russian vets say it could stop a 7.62×39 round but 5.45mm 7.62×54 and .303 calibers used by the Islamists always punched them. M-193 in Nam preformed very well in stopping an enemy. In Iraq M-855 and most 62gr ammo preformed poorly. My opinion for wars in the mid east use M-193 ball and some solders did but very rarely.

        • I never did understand all this undo suffering bullsh t , I know we aren’t killing Bambi here . We are talking about shooting humans that have cogitative skills and can understand what they’re involved in and do want to kill us first , and in the case of our most recent threats , also want to rape and kill our wives , sell our daughters into sex slavery and whack off our heads if we don’t kneel down before what’s his name . I don’t now or have I ever seen a need to be as humane as possible in our kills . I say we should blast the gun out of their mits , catch em and cut off both their hands and their breeding tools and send them back where they come from so they can spread the word . WTF.

        • The other posters to your question may be correct but I recall an episode of American Rifleman explaining the twist rate was changed from the original design to meet USAF requirements for accuracy in Arctic conditions.

        • The slower twist rate on any round does make it less accurate at longer ranges. The trade off, in terms of killing or disabling, is that the unstable nature of the high velocity, low weight round causes it to ‘keyhole’ and travel in erratic patterns through the enemy’s body. Shot in the forearm the M-16 round traveled up the forearm, through the upper arm and exited the neck of the enemy soldier doing extensive damage along the way.

          The loss of accuracy is well within the range of acceptability for close quarter [under 100 meters] action.

          With rare exception, head shots are the stuff of movies.

          The current issue M-16 type is more accurate and less lethal than the original.

        • Swiss Army uses 1:10 twist with 63gr bullets in their standard-issue SIG SG550 rifle. And I haven’t heard anyone ever complain about accuracy with those puppies – and they qualify (and generally shoot) at 300m. Furthermore, there’s plenty of evidence that they are quite capable of shooting MOA groups when properly maintained. So you might want to revise that “up to 100 yards” figure waaaay upwards.

          The only reason why US uses 1:7 twist is because tracers need it to stabilize.

        • int19h wrote:

          “The only reason why US uses 1:7 twist is because tracers need it to stabilize.”

          Mostly correct.

          Back during the development of the M16A2 for the Marine Corps, renowned arms designer Rob Roy of Colt told me that the only reason for the 1:7″ twist rate was to comply with the NATO’s accuracy requirement applicable to both the SS109 ball and L110 tracer ammunition: primarily to the tracer round.

          The L110 (US designation M856) is an overly long projectile; seeing as how it had to also meet NATO’s 800-meter “length of trace” requirement, leading to the projectile’s needing to pack in the extra pyrotechnic flare material to meet that requirement.

          BTW: Rob told me that the 62 gr. SS109/M855 bullet needed only a 1:9″ or 1:10″ twist rate for sufficient stabilization for down-range accuracy.

      • The Hague Convention of 1899 was appended with several Protocols that are effectively separate from the main agreement. As such, the Protocols were to be signed/ratified by each nation separately. Protocol IV, which governs the use of expanding ammunition, was never signed by the US.

        Instead, the US has generally abided by the Protocol because we’re the good guys.

        • IIRC it also only applies when it involves two (or more) signatory nations. in other words, if we didnt sign and the other dude didnt we can shoot them with whatever we want.

          not to mention that we are no longer fighting other countries, we are mostly doing antiterrorism and they have no protection other than war crimes.

        • yeah.. Good guys only use drones with non-holllow hellfires that take out the entire house and that next to it, to hell with the innocent bystander we’re the good guys !!

      • @Borg–“What other international laws is the US Army not bound by?”

        The United States Constitution is the only one I am concerned the Army isn’t bound by. 40,000 soldiers being down sized means More technology in the hands of a few, instead of a love of country in the many.

        @Matt–“A headshot would take the target out, no undue suffering. Base of the skull, too. #nopain”
        The only reason why the 5.56 is used as a rifle is precisely because it is made to wound and take out more of the enemy soldiers caring for the wounded, piss poor weapon selection when an enemy is prone to blowing themselves up as martyrs. Don’t get me wrong head shots definitely work, and usually the only time to make that shot is before you are engaged and can return fire.

        • That the 5.56 was designed to only wound is a myth.
          The reason its effectiveness has dropped so much is that changes made to the design had impact on the mechanics behind the bullet.
          In theory, the round is so super fast that it disintegrates upon impact because of the pronounced tumbling effect, causing a massive wound much larger than the caliber size would suggest.
          The original 5.56 M193 cardridge was very light (55 gr) and caused massive fragmentation upon impact. However, NATO got worried about its penetration capability, particular in the light of Soviet “bulletproof” vests of the time. That’s when the Belgian 62 gr SS109 with steel tip was adopted. However, as the bullet was much heavier, it was also slower, so the range for reliable fragmentation dropped seriously.
          Then came the M4. Cutting down the 20″ barrel to 14″5 makes for a handy carbine but again even slower muzzle velocity. Now the reliable fragmentation distance was only ~50 yards.
          So… what happens when the bullet doesn’t tumble and fragment violently? It pokes a .22 caliber hole.

          Another factor that I believe could have an impact (no sources here) is that combat got faster. Back in the WWII days, you’d more often sit in cover and shoot at your enemy, so it didn’t really matter if he died from the wound right away or bled out slowly. Now with todays CQB tactics, it does matter alot if the person can still shoot back (at least for a time) when you face each other at rather close distances without real cover. Shot placement is king here. A larger bullet placed in a non vital area won’t incapacitate the target quickl, either. Particularly not when the target is very determined, drugged up or doesn’t care because he thinks he’ll get virgins if he does.

        • The original Stoner design, as submitted to the army, actually had 1:14 twist. Not 1:12, 1:14! By all accounts, it caused bullets to tumble like crazy very reliably, producing horrific wounds – and with a light 55gr bullets, still be plenty controllable in full auto.

          The army changed it to 1:12 because they were worried that bullet instability would affect accuracy too much in more extreme environmental conditions causing further destabilization. It still worked pretty well to induce fragmentation with light cannelured 55gr bullets fired out of a 20″ barrel.

        • I’m sorry, but this information is simply not true. The M855 was designed to kill. There is no munition (minus less than lethal) that is designed to maim.

          The 5.56 was selected for many reasons, cost and consistency amongst the top.

      • The US was never bound by the terms of the Hague Convention because we never signed it. DOD has generally complied with those terms voluntarily but we are not legally bound by it.

      • The Hague Convention rules only applied to wars between signatory countries in about 1810. Anybody we would be fighting now would probably not have been a signer of that agreement. But hell we follow agreements only as long as it benefits us to do so.

    • So what century will New Jersey arrive at the same conclusion?

      Better stock on 9mm while you can. Production will ramp up eventually but in the short term civilains will get the short straw.

      • The military wouldn’t be buyin ammo off the shelf. It would be ammunition specially produced for the military. It won’t impact the availability of ammunition for the civilian market.

      • Don, common misconception about munitions procurement. People often believe that as the government buys ammunition it negatively impacts civilian product availability. This is simply not true. Much of the ammunition on the shelves, and in bulk are “Code B” rejects. Civilian manufacturers react prioritize government procurement first and foremost. So more orders will in fact benefit you. Obviously, ammunition not in our procurement is not influenced by military purchasing, but if hollow points were to become the service ammunition it could very well improve availability.


    • So what century will New Jersey arrive at the same conclusion?

      Better stock on 9mm while you can. Production will ramp up eventually but in the short term civilians will get the short straw.

      • If anything, NJ will use it to justify the ban because “civilians don’t need deadly military bullets”.

        (The fact that FMJ has been used by the military before that will be conveniently ignored.)

      • Don, common misconception about munitions procurement. People often believe that as the government buys ammunition it negatively impacts civilian product availability. This is simply not true. Much of the ammunition on the shelves, and in bulk are “Code B” rejects. Civilian manufacturers react prioritize government procurement first and foremost. So more orders will in fact benefit you. Obviously, ammunition not in our procurement is not influenced by military purchasing, but if hollow points were to become the service ammunition it could very well improve availability.


    • Wait aren’t we in the 21st Century?

      And great now we’re breaking the Hague Convention….
      Hey that means the military can now use poison rounds!!!

        • International customary law does not work that way.
          And I guess that that means that Iran is free to develop it’s nuclear potential, right? You cannot be bound by the NPT if you haven’t signed it.

      • @Tessius, we are, but the Army’s ammo is not. If they do adopt hollowpoint, they will have caught up to the 20th Century since HP were generally de regueure by the 20th Century.

    • When James Puckle invented the Puckle Gun in 1718, he designed it with two barrels and two chambers. One shooting round balls for use against Christian enemies and square (cube) bullets for use against Muslim Turks, as the square bullet was thought to cause more grievous wounds and convince the Turks to convert for the “benefits of Christian civilization.”

      While I don’t think conversion should be part the the Army’s mission, I have no problem with the Army using ammunition that causes more grievous wounds on ISIS or terrorists. So yes, welcome to the 21st century, or 1718. Either works for me.

    • Not trying to be paranoid, but am I the only one that could see this as an excuse to buy up all the 9mm hps and cause an ammo shortage?

    • Gentleman,
      This is nothing new. Troops have had 9mm HP in OEF/OIF during last 5-8 years.

      The issue is fragmentation. Fragmentation can lead to unnecessary suffering. Which is “banned” under a Hague Convention agreement. Hollow point technology has improved drastically over the last 20 years. Fragmentation is fairly consistently controlled, or can be.


  1. If my memory is correct the United States never signed on to the expanding ammo ban in the first place and none of the Hogue conference was ratified by the senate anyway.

    BTW, about time.

    • speaking of the hogue conference, didnt they also decide all revolvers must use rubberized grips to help absorb recoil impulse and make shooting more confortable?

      ; )

      • The ones Ruger uses are awful. You can still get the old style wood side panel grips from Ruger, but Altamont makes some fancier ones for less money. Ruger just went cheap with the Hogues. Anyway, like I said below, must have been a Freudian slip.

    • You are correct. Moreover, as i recall, even if we’d signed the convention, it only applies to signatories and to conventional war. It does not apply to fighting involving non-state actors such as terrorists. So for example, it is allowable to use it against the Taliban and ISIS, Al Queda, and all the rest.

      • In 1899 the ‘state actors’ were usually conscripts compelled into service by despots. Not only was it deemed humane to give them as much of a chance to survive their wounds as possible, it was also extremely likely that once shot they would lay down their arms and wait for medical help. It probably didn’t help that during the Hague convention the United States was embroiled in the Philippine Insurrection. Anyway, the enemy today has little in common with conscripts forced into arms.

    • I think we should also start using biochemical warfare against ISIS — we have the largest inventory anyway — but punish anyone who does use against us because they violate Hague. There is a big difference between we using it and, say, Iraq or ISIS.

      • It is the official Army policy (if not military policy in general) not to use biological or chemical weapons in warfare. Which is why we are destroying up our entire stockpile of chemical and biological weapons, along with the Russians. It is technically the policy of the United States to only use Nuclear weapons in response to another WMD attack.

        • >> It is technically the policy of the United States to only use Nuclear weapons in response to another WMD attack.

          This is not true. US (and NATO in general) has never adopted the “no first use” policy, and in fact explicitly rejected it several times. Historically, it was primarily over worries of being overwhelmed by conventional Warsaw Pact forces in Europe (which NATO estimated to be way larger and more efficient than they actually were); the thinking was that tactical nukes, at least, would be necessary to stop the invasion. The justification for it in this day and age is unclear.

          The countries that have proclaimed no first use are China, India, and USSR/Russia, though the latter has dropped the policy a few years ago (basically under the same justification that NATO used during the Cold War, but in reverse).

  2. Certainly cheaper than paying for new systems to replace the M9 and M4. I’m guessing they are now going to buy a new round of M9’s. Regardless, it’s about time.

  3. Yeah, not sure it was more ethical to shoot someone 7 times rather than 3 times.

      • Being that their sidearms remain relatively unused in combat (generally speaking), we probably won’t see much of an increase in lethality or a decrease in mortality unless this is extended to the rifle as well.

        • I know several guys who had to put 5 or 6 or more rounds of 9mm into a haji to put them down. Had a discussion with a grunt with a couple of tours in Afghanistan who said he had never dropped a BG without multiple 5.56 hits, nor had he heard of any one shot stops.

      • I’m certain that if the US military switched to more effective expanding ammunition it would save the lives of many American soldiers and civilians (innocent bystanders killed by overpenetrating bullets). Hell, I’ve read US Army reports advocating the adoption of expanding ammunition using the argument that it would save a lot of lives in urban warfare.

  4. Actually makes a lot of sense, rare for the Obama administration. Now they can stick with the 9mm rather than going .40 or .45.

    • Give Barry a chance. He will likely report the U.S.A. to the UN. It won’t be the 1st time he has done so.

    • Yes. From a logistical perspective, the 9mm is probably the way to go.
      1) NATO allies use 9mm. Even if the won’t use our HP rounds, we could use their ball ammo.
      2) I am sure we have massive stockpiles of 9mm all over the world. Rather than scrap it, you use the ball ammo for training until it runs out.

  5. I picked up on that as well but you got there first. Also, it was a convention not a conference.

  6. Funny that the news was released in NJ… which (effectively) bans the use and possession (outside the home/range) of hollow points, even if you have a carry permit.

    • To the gun-banners, it makes perfect sense. Now they can say that ordinary citizens don’t need hollow points because they’re “military-grade weapons of war that have no place on our streets”.

    • To be fair, you can’t have your gun outside the home/range, either. You can have hollowpoints anywhere you can have your gun.

      I’m not saying it’s a GOOD law… but there’s not much ADDITIONAL burden in practical terms placed on the use of hollowpoints.

      • The hollow point ban does not apply to hunting, however that does not guarantee that you will not get arrested for possession of hollow point bullets.

      • For the benefit of readers not intimately familiar with NJ gun laws, your commentary may be substantially (albeit not perfectly) correct. Unfamiliar readers will find it hard to imagine how onerous it is to have a gun in NJ. One is allowed to possess a gun in NJ only in the: home, one’s business; on property you own; range; where you can hunt; or, where you can target practice. One may transport a gun between one’s home vs. one’s business, property, gun-smith; hunting place or range, place of business, property you own.

        Suppose you want to transport to a place of target practice that is not, actually, a range. You can do that (legally) only if you are a member of a gun club that provides its membership list to the NJ State Police annually. I.e., this is a potential got-cha!

        Suppose you are moving from an old home to a new home. That’s fine. You can transport your gun from old to new home.

        You are allowed hollow-points in any of the places mentioned above. You are allowed to transport hollow-points between any of the foregoing points; e.g., from home to a range or a hunting place. Makes sense, doesn’t it? So, the reader will suppose that one may transport one’s hollow-points from an old-home to his new home. Makes perfect sense doesn’t it? WRONG!!! Google Brian Aitken. The courts sent him to prison for 3 years because he transported his hollow-points from an old to new home!

        In my opinion, it is exceedingly unlikely that one can possess or transport a gun or hollow points in NJ for a decade without violating NJ laws. Over such a period of time, its merely a question of whether your violations will be detected or not. If detected, you will almost certainly be prosecuted.

        To understand the depth of insanity of NJ weapons laws you must come to grips with the fact that possessing a child’s slingshot is a felony. Once the reader has wrapped his mind about that fact, then he understands the true depth of NJ weapons laws.

        • Hold on… *takes drink* *spits drink all over screen* …a FELONY? For a SLINGSHOT?

  7. I always thought that a guy using a flame thrower while having ball in his 1911 was odd.

  8. So the anti war democrats and their anti war president Obama, are supporting a more lethal way to kill another person? I hope they will support the use of firing squads for first degree convicted murders. But I doubt that will happen. The progressives and the libertarians are hypocrites on this issue.

    The thief who steals, who beats an 80 year old as part of the “knockout game” , invades the home and leaves people bloody and frightened is not “innocent ” when they are accused of a murder they did not commit.

      • True. But I’ve noticed a trend in people espousing progressive ideals to an almost cliché degree while calling themselves libertarian.

        • That’s because a large part of social progressivism is libertarian in nature – the part of it that is about the liberty of people to do as they will with their own bodies.

    • Anyone else find it hilarious they announced the plan to use hollow points in New Jersey?

    • The progressives and the libertarians are hypocrites. That one was pretty funny. Anymore hilarious statements for the day?

      • I thought the progressive and the libertarian were both against the death penalty, and both against making the police more lethal. Am I wrong?

        • >> I thought the progressive and the libertarian were both against the death penalty, and both against making the police more lethal. Am I wrong?

          Yes, you’re wrong. On death penalty, libertarians don’t really have this as a consistent point in their party platform, and individual opinions vary widely. For liberals, you could argue that it is becoming the party plank, but even so, in a 2014 Gallup poll, 49% of Democrats polled were in favor, and 46% against. If you assume that most independents are libertarians (which is probably close enough in US), then 62% were in favor and 32% against.

          On police militarization and excessive use of force, libertarians are generally against it, not to make it “less lethal”, but to remove the tools that are shown by track record to be used largely to violate individual rights and liberties than for legitimate criminal activities. Liberals have not joined that fight until very recently, but their justification is largely the same, except that they focus more on the collective rights of minorities rather than individual rights (but it so happens that in this case those coincide – individual rights are violated as libertarians say, and in aggregate those violations generally affect minorities). Libertarians are more likely to focus on police accountability rather than the specific tools, though.

        • @int19h: That was an excellent summary.

          While I no longer consider myself libertarian as I’m more anarcho-capitalist these day, I am opposed to the death penalty, and have been for a long time, because I no longer trust my government with that kind of power. That’s a different reasoning from that which I’ve heard given by liberals who don’t support the death penalty. Mine is not from compassion but from distrust of the current system.

  9. It’s ironic that liberals get upset about civilians having access to “weapons of war,” but now our men and women in uniform will be using a product that was previously and expressly non-military.

    • This sets up the government to ban hollowpoints for civilains. Why do we need weapons of war? Our soldiers are using hollowpoints!?

      • Not civilians in general. Ammosexuals. And no one cares if we get rid of those losers and their families.

        • Good luck with that. We have more guns and we know how to use them far better than liberals. (If you think the military is obeying an order to confiscate guns… good luck with that as well.)

        • Please let us know how Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot are doing at the next tea party. I’m sure you fit right in.

        • So the people without guns are going to come kill the people with guns? And you’re going to do it in the name of ending violence too.

          Liberals love to talk about how much smarter they are than everyone else, but then you say things like this.

        • So, genocide is part of god’s plan? If you represent the other side you fascisexual, then I’m glad to be an ammosexual.

          And since you have no problems with threatening families, right back at you. Remember, it was you wishing for a genocide.

      • When is the last time our enemy has had Level III or even Level IIIA body armor? I’m sure our theoretical enemies and future enemies do/may have Level III armor but I just found it strange that the Army (and the Military in general) went with M855 and then M855A1 and then what is it M995 true AP ammo? I get its use for barriers (which is important) but with M855 its like poking a punch of nail holes in the target (provided the round is stable)

        • M855 was designed to poke holes in Ivan and his Warsaw Pact buddies. These guys wore steel Helmets with liners, load bearing vests with AK mags around their torsos and soft body armor to protect against fragmentation. Very different from the SE Asian enemy the military just got done fighting.

        • In Afghanistan some and some in ISIS now have Armor. ISIS also has captured humvees and other things we gave to the Iraqi’s

          • This drives me crazy . They are driving our vehicles , sleeping in our tents , using our small arms and ammo and even our training . The only thing we didn’t leave them was our planes . We build it , we break it . Same old story , over and over . If we would have only known what was coming we would have left a few thousand throat cutters behind . Maybe we did . Crazy stuff . They don’t even bother to remove the decals .

      • More likely than a lot think. I cannot see it being used against the citizenry prior to any foreign enemy.

    • Handgun ball ammo isn’t going to go through a vest either. Rifle ball vs HP ammo also doesn’t make a difference on soft armor, nor will either go through a plate.

  10. I think its a good step in the right direction to supply the military with hollowpoint pistol ammunition. Not so certain that would be an improvement for rifles, however. The latest ammo is supposed to have a semi armor penetrating capability which I suspect they would lose if they move to a conventional jacketed hollowpoint configuration.

    • It would not, only because the Geneva Conventions do not cover ammunition. One of the Hague Conventions (IV of 1899) does, but the US did not ratify it. We have until now adhered to it anyway. The provision was meaningless to begin with, as spitzer bullets, just getting it’s start then, and now the most common bullet on the battlefield, flatten easily, just not on the same axis as open tip or hollow point.

  11. Wow. Civilians have been using JHPs for decades. Any marginally knowledgeable shooter, who isn’t from San Francisco, knows that JHPs are far more effective than FMJs for self defense. Finally the Army is “authorizing” what police and taxpayers have been doing for decades. Perhaps the Federal Gov’t is not the intellectual juggernaut that we should trust our lives to.

    Still, I’d much rather wait for good news than have something really bad happen really fast (especially if I’m the one who has to clean it up).

    • Accur81, I smell a long game here.

      Now will come the claims that hollowpoints are “lethal military-grade ammunition” that has no place on the streets of ‘America the eventual Utopia’.

      …and must be banned immediately ‘for the children’, of course.

      • Well, hollow points are used by the military and have no sporting purpose and must be banned to mere serf civilians.

        • Those f$&@ers will ban anything they can. Going after M855 was just the beginning. Things could get truly ugly if we have an anti-gun POTUS in 2016 stacking SCOTUS with additional anti-gun “justices.”

  12. Could this have anything to do with trying to dry up M855 in the future if they include this to rifles? I find it hard the same administration that signs every treaty to weaken America would play word games to use hollow points.

  13. The next step should be to fill the hollow points with lard (pig fat) – and publicize it widely. No more paradise and no 72 virgins for the martyrs. (There’s a shortage of virgins anyway….)

  14. Just in time as the economy falls apart the military will have more effective ammo to use on the American citizen.

    • Ron; you are so right. This change isn’t ment for enamy combatant. It’s ment for us. That why the Obama administration aprove of this change. A more effective means of put down U.S. citizens under marshal law.

    • They won’t be sending the Army after your butt. They will be sending gangbangers and criminal illegals. The White House pretty much admitted that yesterday when Josh Ernst blamed the Republicans for murder by a five time criminal deportee. They didn’t vote for his amnesty plan so Obama made sure criminals would be set lose on the general population until he gets what wants. The purpose of civilian disarmament isn’t use the police and Army to enforce their will. it is to outsource social controls to gangs.

  15. So, does this mean the commercial release of a couple billion rounds of obsolete ball ammo?

    • Who knows with this administration. One positive might be a general increase in supply of HP lowering the price of self defense ammo. Hoping the price of ball projectiles I use for my target reloads aren’t drastically affected.

  16. First, it is about time. The US seems to be the only country in the world that follows these stupid, outdated treaties, so I ask why should we. Second, hollow-points were not completely forbidden. I was an USAF SP back in the 80’s, and for a time, I worked the armory. Some aircrews that carried unmentionable resources would carry snub nosed revolvers with low velocity hollow-points. The excuse was that if they had to shoot, the hollow-points would cause less damage to the aircraft. I am uncertain if that was true or not, but at the time, it seemed plausible.

    • What kind of ‘unmentionable resources’ are you referring to?

      A coupla hookers for the colonel at a forward operating base?

      • I don’t know , it was this white stuff in 20 pound packages coming from somewhere in central and south America and we flew it into a little airfield in Mena Arkansas and some tiny airstrip in southern West Virginia . They never told us what it was but I do know we traded a lot of old 1960’s and 1970’s US military arms for it that used to belong to Iran . I guess that’s all I know . Ollie out .

  17. Great, now Feinstein can get up there and talk about how we serfs should not have acess to “Military-grade” ammunition.

  18. Possibly rifle ammo…awesome!

    The 5.56 round may not be a major hitter, but give it a HP or SP and it can do a lot more damage than a FMJ would do. I’ll take that as a win in my book.

    • Isn’t the prohibition against “dum-dum” bullets from the Hague Convention of 1899? I know it’s not part of the Geneva Convention. It was passed due to pressure by the British after the Boers shot them up with bullets scored with a gross-cut to cause expansion.

      • It’s in Protocol IV to the Hague Convention. We never approved of that protocol so we’re not bound. Even if we did approve it, the “ban” only affects conflicts between signatories, so the Taliban, ISIS, al Qaeda etc. are screwed.

  19. Does this mean that FMJ pistol ammo might go the way of the dodo? Even in big-bore loads like .44 and .45, FMJ makes no damn sense when you can get your mitts on hollow points. I’d love to see Winchester white box (and related bulk brands) go HP.

    • As long as FMJs are cheaper to make than JHPs, we will continue to have FMJs in every caliber.

    • Penetration? I’m not very knowledgeable about it but always figured that FMJ .45ACP would be more likely to penetrate moderate cover and still be lethal. I prefer FMJ .45ACP and carry it, specifically WWB.

    • “Even in big-bore loads like .44 and .45, FMJ makes no damn sense when you can get your mitts on hollow points”
      For hunting rounds, solids make far better rounds that hollow points. I’d never take a HP in a pistol to hunt pigs, but I do so with hard cast lead SWC’s all the time, with great results.

  20. Anybody else remember the Government purchasing billions of rounds of JHP pistol ammo?

  21. “And Smith and Wesson is proud to present to you, the new Modular Handgun System for the United States Military… the S&W M&P40 and M&P40C … ”

    “And Federal Premium Ammunition is proud to present you the new Modular Handgun System round for the United States Military.. Federal Premium Personal Defense Hydra-Shok 155gr .40 S&W” …

    (let the record reflect that Speer Gold Dot is at least as good and absolutely could be their choice but I just think Federal would be more likely to get that type of contract).

  22. who needs hollow point when we have M855A1? not to mention hollowpoints are already in the inventory!

  23. HP rounds for pistols make a certain amount of sense. But for rifles? That’s actually pretty stupid. Barrier and body armor penetration. People do tend to hide behind things.

    • Doesn’t matter what rounds you are firing today, current level ceramics beats almost all but some of the most dedicated AP rounds. And you can make rounds that have both excellent terminal ballistics and good penetration of barriers. MK318 is a example.

      • Mk 318 Mod 0, AKA Federal T556TNB1 is freaking awesome. For 5.56, anyways. I’d call it the HST of the 5.56 world, but arguments could certainly be made for the 70 grain TSX or Mk 262 being great improvements over the M855. Even old school M193 blows up milk jugs pretty nicely.

  24. Is it bad the first thought that came to my mind was “Woot! Cheap surplus hollow points!”?

    • Hmmm my first thought was “ok, and how long before the ATF reveals a rule change that bans the possession and use of ‘military style’ ammunition by civilians”

      Hope you are right and I am wrong

      • I am too. But every attempt they’ve made in the past to ban ammo on similar guide lines has failed. That we have to keep worrying about it coming back up though is most likely an unfortunate reality. :/

      • You gotta remember that thanks to disgraced former US Senator Thomas Dodd (D-CT), GCA`68 has that ubiquitous “sporting purposes test” provision.

        “America is at that awkward stage; it’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.”
        –Claire Wolfe

  25. Coming to an MSNBC propaganda piece soon…
    “The suspect was arrested with an arsenal of almost 3 firearms and several dozen rounds of highly-deadly military grade, expanding point bullets.”

  26. Just stock up on HP’s and you’ll be fine. BTW millions of humans have died being shot by “obsolete ” round nose ammo. Head shots for “more deader”…

  27. Makes sense, but my guess is this is done so the feds can grab up more ammo and create scarcity in the civilian market

  28. Um. You can’t argue with people questioning you without telling us who this mythical “source” is. MPs on bases went with JHPs about 5 years ago. You’re the only one telling us this and you don’t provide a link or a source. Or a reason why you omitted the source.

  29. Check out this Army contract presolicitation notice:

    Army Contracting Command at Rock Island is going to solicit bids any day now for a handgun ammunition contract (~57 million rounds/year). The vast majority of the cartridges will be 9mm, and the small remainder will be .38 and .45. Importantly, one of the contract line items will be 9mm jacketed hollow point rounds, but the presolicitation notice doesn’t give any insight to how many of the 9mm rounds will be JHPs. Once the government posts the actual solicitation, we’ll have a better idea of how many hollow points the Army is buying.

    • If Federal gets the contract, then these will be 147 grain 9mm JHPs, 1000fps, and 325 ft-lb of energy. That is the Mk 243 spec.

  30. The Hague Convention, Protocol IV, did not ban hollowpoint ammo generally. It prohibited the use of certain ammo in conflicts between signatories.

    The US never agreed to that prohibition, but even if it did, the “ban” would have no effect on conflicts between the US and non-signers, like the Taliban, ISIS, al Qaeda etc.

  31. —I read an article regarding dum-dums, maybe it was on this site—–the hollow point bullets produced by the town with the same name made them for the troops in india, who were looking for a harder hitting bullet. but the ones I remember were hand crafted by the individual shooter, (some time around the 1930’s, then rubbed with garlic to cause an infection). the round was very effective, but I think the garlic was just to give the ‘personnel touch’ for the victim.-

    • The dum dum bullets were made by the Ordnance Factory Dum Dum which is still making armaments in India. The were given a cross sawn into the crown of the bullet to cause fragmentation, or simply expansion where possible. They were apparently outlawed by the Hague convention and Dum Dum stopped making bullets. They were a British Empire product, and were more likely complained about by the Boers to their forebears the Dutch, who banned them.

      • not sure about the sawed x——dumdum arsenal of india was were a brit capt developed the mark iv bullet, in soft point and hollow point——-and the uprising regarding ammunition in india, was fueled by the paper cartridge for the muzzle loaders, that was to be bite open, was lubed with pig lard or cow fat. I still believe the hashed x bullet heads were created outside the factory, used by criminals and axis forces in the pacific———but I am no expert

  32. Knowing the military’s willingness to spend money on useless bull shit. They’ll stay with 9mm and purchase RIP rounds, Just because they are cool and shiny.

  33. Army is obviously switching to Glock 22 in 40SW, that explains why Glock opened production lines in GA to meet contract demands.

    • Funny you mention that. Glock apparently doesn’t meet the requirement as is because of the fact an external safety is still required specifically as per MHS terms. They tried to say, the trigger blade IS an external safety, were told Nein! Bitter, bitter, eine kleine safety switch and they produced their MHS variant with a 1911-style safety.

      I also got from same source that although initially the MHS terms were modular gun (not only backstraps but grip switching / sizes etc) OR 2 separate guns in full size and compact, they’re not actually considering 2 pistol systems, only totally modular guns . That would make the Sig P320 total front runner but the Beretta APX or whatever? is tailor made for this trial. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Beretta to win again and suddenly 9mm hollowpoints are the magic cure to Berettas in combat … but…

      I still say our troops would be better equipped AND happier off with S&W M&P 40s in full-size and/or compact (with them both being further adjustable via backstrap sizing for each user) and a nice and powerfully-ballistical .40 S&W hollowpoint from 135-165 grains.

  34. i got instructors, a few first sergeants and one full bird looking into this so far no confirmation …..

  35. I still doubt the Army will pick a new handgun if we don’t switch calibers. it be nice to see the M-9 use 147gr HP bullets. If we goto .45 then it makes less sense to use a HP sence .45 goes slow and did well with ball ammo.

    Overall MHS is a ICC… a Waste on billions of dollars for no real upgrade, unless we go back to .45.

    As for ammo this would be great news… If we stay with 9mm caliber and the M-9.

    As for 7.62mm M-80 and 5.56mm M-193/M955
    Since we just went to M-855A1 (Army) and Mk-318 (USMC) I doubt we will see a 55gr or a 62gr HP adopted any time soon.

  36. How many people were killed by the DoD w/ 9mm? How many were killed w/ small arms? What is the ration of enemy kills w/ small arms vs. everything else? I am guessing very very small.

    • Most casualties of modern warfare are from artillery, crew-served weapons, aerial attack, and explosive munitions. Small arms like rifles and pistols are a drop in the bucket. Even in the War on Terror the biggest killers in infantry combat are machine guns and grenade launchers. The exception is in close quarters.

  37. Hallelujah!
    Common sense at last ! This will save many lives in our military, and complicate those of the enemy.
    Now, PLEASE mandate HP ammo for ALL rifles and MG ‘s !

  38. So, .40 S&W and .45 ACP is likely what the Army’s new handgun will be chambered in isn’t it? I can’t imagine the Army going to 5.7 and it appears they are hell bent on dumping 9mm.

    This is absolutely astonishing in a military sense. No nation’s military has ever used hollow point ammunition, ever.

  39. How true is this? It would be a violation of the section of the Geneva Conventions covering Land Warfare.

    • It was the Hague convention and the US did not sign it. Many comments on this above.

      • The US did not sign the Saint Petersburg Declaration of 1868 either.
        this means that the US will be free to develop explosive ammo making the difference between 9mm 40 and 45 meaningless.

  40. Is this practical though? I thought that hollow points were useless against body armor.

  41. It is all about intent and proper usage. If the intent is to have maximum effect on intented target with minimum secondary effect on secondary non intended targets, its more humane then to use controlled expansion bullet heads on military ammunition. Ball or sharppoint ammunition more than often overpenetrate and maime or kill innocent persons behind or next to intended targets.

  42. I don’t have a problem with the military using hollow point ammunition. It didn’t make sense to me that they would use something like 9mm without using hollow points.

    His core argument: countries that will denounce the use of hollow-point use the hollow points for their police forces.

    But the two aren’t supposed to have the same overall function, at least not in the US. Oh, I forgot that we are “the world’s policemen” and our policemen are looking like a standing army. I guess the comparison makes sense to him. 🙁

    • I think the point, rather, is that it doesn’t make sense to argue against HP on humanitarian grounds, given that all police forces in the world use them. Regardless of the purpose of the force, either the bullet is humane or it is not. If it is not (and if you believe that matters), you just shouldn’t use it, period. If you use it, you should shut up.

      • The argument can easily be diverted from a black & white view of humanitarian or not to the notion that militaries would be firing more rounds at enemy combatants than civilian law enforcement would be firing at civilian suspects. As such, more hollow points fired with less due process would create a greater humanitarian issue.

        Remember, I support the notion that the military ought to be able to use hollow point bullets if that is what the military deems is best. I just think the comparison to civilian police forces is a weak one.


    We all know that a hollow point bullet will have more stopping power however there is serious draw backs. For example thick clothing and even 3/16th mild steel will stop cold this proposed 9mm round. I would lean towards cartridges that have higher velocities of smaller calibers such as the 22 TCM and the FN 5.7×28mm with almost twice the velocity at 2000 to 2200 fps and bridges the gap between a handgun and the M16 with its longer range giving them a big plus in combat. Ammo is lighter with far less recoil and packs far more punch with its hydrostatic shock causing what is known as remote wounding and will smoke through 3/16th plate steel.

    I have the wrong job!
    L. Clay Cooper USAF Ret

    • I have personally witnessed a 22 WMR penetrate a class II body amour from a rifle repeatedly and a couple of rounds made it through from my PMR with the other ones that didn’t exit the jacket really fu_ked up the block wall I had it hanging on . 15 feet using ammo I choose not to disclose . Sorry , you will just have to believe me .
      The problem of coarse is the issues of ejection on this round in semi auto and magazine capacities , the issues with rim fire ammo has been resolved if you’re willing to pay the cost . The other issues are currently being worked out . Magnum Technologies and Kel Tec are ahead of the curve and improving on these problems . Very effective caliber , under utilized , but fast and accurate out to 100 yards . I prefer 40 grainers .

    • The notion that thick clothing can stop a round from a firearm – any round from any firearm (well, maybe except 2mm Kolibri) – is a long-running myth with no grounding in reality, and has been thoroughly debunked by practical tests. No amount of clothing will stop a .30 Carbine round at any reasonable combat distance, and no amount of clothing will stop a 9mm round at handgun distance.

      Hell, even standard-velocity .22 LR has been demonstrated to punch right through a frozen turkey wrapped in three layers of denim at 300 yards.

  44. Dip all bullets in pig blood. Let the world know you dipped all the bullets in pig blood. You will find that there will be very few terrorists willing to fight.

  45. So is there a link to another article or news source on this supposed adoption of hollow points by the military. Not that I don’t trust TTAG, but I do like multiple conformation sources when it comes to things like this.

  46. 30 round magazine ( 1 green tip , 2 FMJ , 2 HP ) 6 times . That’s how I roll . Good morning NSA !
    HEY DrGonzo , the house next door was full of bad guys and gals and future bad boys and girls .
    If they weren’t so freaking fanatical they would see their suitation and stop cutting off peoples heads . Hopefully those people in the house next door were facing Mecca and on a prayer rug talking to what’s his name when hellfire arrived .

    • “and future bad boys and girls .” & “Hopefully those people in the house next door were facing Mecca and on a prayer rug talking to what’s his name when hellfire arrived .”

      You come off sounding like a psychopath. You probably don’t care, most psychopaths wouldn’t. Ever hear of genocide?

      ETA: For those wondering, mark s. was replying to this comment:

      • Sorry John , I sure hope I’m not one , probably wouldn’t know if I was . I think psychopaths can be delusional . I’ll try to tone it down next time , my remark was probably uncalled for . I really don’t want innocent children killed or maimed any more than you would but you have to be practical and understand that these people are letting their 10 year olds chop off the heads of Christians just because they won’t face Mecca and pray to what’s his name . Your right though , I shouldn’t be so crass . I didn’t view your web sight , I figured it was horrific . God bless .

        • OH , and by the way , I know all to well about genocide , and what I said in no way could be construed to imply genocide . On the other hand , what is happening to Christians is genocide and should be called only that .

        • I understand your disgust at what’s being done to innocent people. No need to tone things down unless you want to as you have the same freedom of speech as I do (not getting into the fact that TTAG is private property). As long as you don’t mind being perceived in that way that’s up to you. We all get carried away in the moment at some time or another.

          My protestations were about “future” perpetrators (neighbors) caught up in the collateral damage. In context, they wouldn’t have chopped a single hand nor head yet.

          I too believe there is a Christian genocide underway or at least it seems that way. It’s horrible.

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