Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Praxis: The Brits revisit the Dum Dum Arsenal.

Expanding bullets were given the name Dum-dum, or dumdum, after an early British example produced in the Dum Dum Arsenal, near Calcutta, India by Captain Neville Bertie-Clay. There were several expanding bullets produced by this arsenal for the .303 British cartridge, including soft point and hollow point designs. These were not the first expanding bullets, however; hollow point expanding bullets were commonly used for hunting thin skinned game in express rifles as early as the mid 1870s. . .

In 1898, the German government lodged a protest against the use of the Mark IV bullet, claiming the wounds produced by the Mark IV were excessive and inhumane, thus violating the laws of war. The protest, however, was based on the comparison of the wounds produced by expanding and non-expanding bullets from high velocity sporting rifles, rather than a comparison of the expanding .303 British bullets with the previous, large bore service cartridge it replaced, the .577/450 Martini-Henry. Because the energy was roughly the same, the wounds caused by the expanding bullet of the .303 were less severe than the those caused by the larger caliber, solid lead bullet used by the Martini-Henry.

The German protests were effective however, resulting in the ban of the use of expanding bullets in warfare. The British replaced the hollow point bullets with new full metal jacket bullets, and used the remaining stocks of expanding bullets for practice.

The Hague Convention of 1899, Declaration III, prohibits the use in international warfare of bullets which easily expand or flatten in the body, giving as example a bullet with a jacket with incisions or one that does not fully cover the core. This prohibition was an expansion of the Declaration of St Petersburg in 1868, which banned exploding projectiles of less than 400 grams.

Because of the greater effectiveness in disabling or killing the target, the use of expanding rounds remains legal, or even required, in some circumstances. Examples of this are use of appropriately expanding bullets in hunting, where it is desirable to stop the animal quickly either to prevent loss of a game animal, or ensure a humane death of vermin, and in law enforcement or self defense, where quickly neutralizing an aggressor may be needed to prevent further loss of life. -- Wikipedia.

The Boffin Bullet.


Mark Matis said...

Of course, the REAL question is what is most effective against armor? Or is shooting for the groin the only worthwhile tactic?

And if you're in lone wolf mode, what is most effective through auto glass or body sheet metal?

Rider said...

Where might I be able to get me some of them thar dum dums?

Don't wanna bring a knife to a gun fight!

MamaLiberty said...

A "humane" bullet for war. Has much the same ring as "government help." Oxymoron.

The humane thing would be not to invade other countries to kill them by any means. But if they come to kill us, they get whatever we can throw at them.

I don't want to see them suffer... I want to see them DEAD.

Anonymous said...

These are long projectiles.

1.) Are they suitable for 1:9 twist rates, as used in the A2 modification to the M-16, or are they useful only with the M-3/M-4's 1:7 barrel?

2.) It is somewhat counter-intuitive to use long-range bullets in a 14.5 inch tube, no?

3.) Are 62gr OTMs a better all-around choice?


ParaPacem said...

Good questions, but I would argue that an even better one is this:
Are the makers now increasing the weight of the steel and copper components to keep overall bullet weight the same? If NOT, then the ballistics will be all over the place and the POI will vary by very undesirable amounts. Additionally, if the weights are not the same and the deployed troops will have to re-zero and learn new compensations for the bullet weight, then ALL of the older rounds must be very thoroughly removed from service, lest an intended head shot in a critical moment, turn into a 'six inches over the head' shot as a muzzie launches a 7.62.

Allen said...

how does this compare to the 5.45X39 bullet with the steel core and hollow space in the nose?

this allowed the steel core to shift once it hit a solid object and yaw.

this looks like it would be lighter and faster, but probably drop velocity quickly due to it's light weight. so it would have a reduced range and effectiveness.

also it would be worse through barriers (glass, car doors,ect). the hollow steel core is less likely to stay together.

Johnny said...

Note that these will have been designed for the SA80 with its 20.4" 1/7 barrel. I doubt the performance in an M4 carbine matters since (from the British POV) if they aren't any use for that there's plenty of M4 carbine ammo available from the Americans - the M4 carbine (Canadian C-7 carbine) is limited issue in the British Army (special purpose forces).

Anonymous said...

I'll stick with my 7.62, don't have to re-zero, re-equip, etc. Works fine every time.


Bad Cyborg said...

MamaLiberty wrote: "I don't want to see them suffer... I want to see them DEAD."
Actually, I have no problem with them suffering a while so long as they for sure die. Somebody invades my territory I WANT 'em to suffer before they die. I want their comrades to see what they have in store for them if they continue on their course.

Sometimes I think that if hostilities begin, our side ought to count coup by cutting something off the ones we kill. It doesn't have to be their dicks - female soldiers don't have one anyhow. How about we cut off their right thumbs. Everybody has one and nobody has MORE than one. Make for some interesting video to send to the loyalist headquarters. Couldn't do anything positive for their morale, neither.

Mark, why shoot for the groin when the head is so much larger a target? Easy enough to drop a flap of armor to cover the family jewels. I cannot think of anything you could see through that would stop a .308. Anything that could kill a deer ought to put paid to a statist in a head shot.

For anyone: what is that pinkish-gray stuff between the lead or steel core and the copper jacket in the graphics? Also, I thought I read somewhere that a .308 (7.62x51) would penetrate anything but kevlar-backed ceramic. Also, how well would body armor handle a .556 at roughly 4500ft/sec? You can buy plastic pieces to sabot a .556 into a 7.62 (or really any .30 cal) rifle cartridge for a couple of cents apiece. Maybe less.

Bad Cyborg X