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back to article Met used 'dum-dum' ammo on de Menezes

The latest reports from the Stockwell Two trial, in which the Metropolitan Police are corporately in the dock for wrongly shooting dead Jean Charles de Menezes in 2005, have it that the plods used "dum dum" bullets. Even after all this time, the term "dum dum" still carries misty pejorative connotations in the British public …

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Anonymous Coward

Release to detonate

If I were carrying a bomb, I would have it wired to a button in my pocket so that the bomb explodes when the button is released.

Perhaps if we could persuade all suicide bombers to do likewise then we could persuade the police to stop shooting people in the head. Worth a try, anyway.

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Flame

Re-Release to detonate

But you are only allowed to assume terrorist ingenuity if it suites you, i.e. spending taxpayers money on ID cards, the rest of the time they are all dumb a-rabs who can be foiled by our outstandingly intelligent anti-terror plod ;-)

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Pirate

Pop Quiz....

Problem with wiring it to a button is how do you get through the ticket barriers, especially if you other hand is a hook ?

Secondly, when you put fifteen rounds in someone 'just to be sure' the choice of ammo is a secondary consideration.

Clearly hand held phasers are the way to go in this situations. Although clearly my first choice would be to educate the world to embrace agnosticism / piracy to prevent these squabbles about whose imaginary friend is better.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Release to detonate

In which case you'd be an impossible target to stop - startle you and you explode, shoot you and you explode. Of course the tactical powers that be are also well aware that many bombs are wired to detonate up at someone other than the suicider's command,, it's still the best of the calculated risks to blow you away and hope you're not carrying such a sophisticated device.

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Anonymous Coward

Dead man switch

Even if I intended to blow myself up in a crowded tube train, or somewhere spectacular like the middle of Trafalgar Square at a crowded time/special event, I wouldn't be happy to have the goodies set to go off if I get jostled hard, stumble and instinctively grab for support with my "trigger hand" or am forced to take my hand out of my pocket. I'd want a nice positive safety that would be released when I was almost on top of the target to minimise the chance of accidental embarrasment. "Negligent martytrdom" maybe.

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IT Angle

Needs to be said

Mr Page, you clearly know far too much about ammunition. May I humbly suggest you don't go out in public in London, lest you become a target of the Met yourself?

That said, still a better-written article than most of the tripe online about this particular topic.

I've been wrestling with the following train of thought. If the cops suspect that someone is going to detonate a bomb in a crowded place, and assuming they have a good idea that it's not on a 'release to detonate' trigger, then it seems to be morally justifiable to take one life to save many.

Problem is the justification for the suspicion in the first place.

How sure does one have to be that someone is going to blow themselves up before an armed cop is allowed to take his head off?

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Or...

Have the suicide bomber command detonated.

There are lots of ways around stopping someone from interfering with the detonation of a bomb. Unfortunately without prior knowledge of the device the Police can only respond in a way that is most likely to prevent it's detonation. That is to kill the person carrying it outright.

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Thumb Up

Title

I was under the impression that hollowpoints were always used by police, to minimize bystander casualties. In which case, the use of this ammo is nothing to do with Special Branch, explosive-clad terrorist hunting etc.

Interesting history lesson nonetheless.

John

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Pirate

"suicide bombing for dummies"

@ Anonymous Coward

The mechanism you are referring to is know as a 'dead mans switch' and is the preferred kit for people with an IQ higher than your average suicide bomber. More often used as an escalation style visual deterrent by criminals who don't want to get shot by police.

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Shoot to Kill, or simply "Kill."

When does anyone outside Hollywood <em>Not</em> Shoot to Kill? AFAIK, all forces say 'shooting to injure' is stupid, doesn't work and shouldn't be tried; you should either be prepared to Kill, and justify it, or don't shoot.

"Shoot to Kill", as in the euphemism used in Northern Ireland, simply meant

a "Shoot" policy. As in, don't even try to arrest them, just kill them.

Which is what happened to De Menzes.

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Black Helicopters

Re-Re-Release to detonate

What if you need to scratch your nose? Or get you travelcard out of your wallet?

Better to have an ordinary press-to-'splode button AND a deadman sensor monitoring your heartrate.

Oh dear, did I just pass information to terrorists? Of to gitmo for me...

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At least we now know...

... that summary public execution is the sentence for the offence of Having A Swarthy Complexion In Times Of National Hysteria - an offence of which de Menezes was self-evidently guilty.

Despite becoming blase about mass murderers after two decades of regular IRA bombings, it's still a bit worrying to us regular tube travellers to have murderous mad moslems toting rucksacks of weedkiller on to underground trains. Quite unsettling, in fact. But I'm not sure I feel any more secure knowing that the Met has set loose a pack of heavily-armed mad dogs.

Don't get me wrong: the more jihadists we catch and convict, the better. Shooting the fuckers may even be necessary if we're sure they pose an immediate threat - but let's at least try a bit harder to get the right people.

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AH

Couple of Additional Points

The FBI have been using Glaser Safety Rounds (a variety of hollow point - shot suspended in teflon) for many years. The 'Safety' part of the name is partly PR, but partly valid: when used in densely populated urban circumstances a hollow point tends to disintegrate when it hits brick, whereas a FMJ round will tend to go straight through. Cuts down on innocent bystanders getting hit by missed or through-and-through rounds.

So bad nasty hollow points are actually good for a) taking out hostage takers/terrorists with a single shot (98% disabled with a single shot with a Glaser) b) doing so while minimising risk to anyone standing behind the target.

The only detail is that if you're hit with a dum-dum/Glaser you're not just disabled, you're dead. Which is where differentiating between suicide bombers and Brazilian electricians becomes fairly important.

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Anonymous Coward

dum dumb and dumber

If these things are so destructive then why was he shot 7 times in the face ? Was there much face left after the 3rd or 4th shot ?

Apparently the inquest reports that police have to achieve "70% accuracy" to pass their training. So that's all right then. I can sleep safely in my bed.

(fwiw imho etc condemnation should be reserved solely for the people who created the policy, gave the orders, then tried to keep it quiet - not the ones who were facing what they beleived to be a terrorist)

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Pirate

Either way it will ruin your day..

As I understand it, as a layman, ALL anti-terror plod use hollow-point rounds.

This includes those swaggering around at the ports and airports with a Koch on their chests. You just know they do the "Are you looking at me?" in the mirror at the station.

When a jacketed round penetrates deeply into the body it tumbles and travels rear-end first. This action makes a few "re-adjustments" to the internal layout on the way. They aren't much more humane.

The plus point of summary pavement executions is that the perpetrator re-offending rate is very low. The minus point is that when the constables do an oopsie-daisy, pretty much all firearms lack an UNDO button.

30 plus years of IRA threat (really competant terrorists) and Britain never gave-in. 5 years of activities from the amateurish Muslim terrorists (on UK soil) and we throw away privacy, justice, freedom, due process and trust in the police.

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Bronze badge
Coat

What were the Met doing there at all?

Why are the Met shooting people in the first place? Surely you don't need guns in order to predict the weather?

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Anonymous Coward

Suicide bombers in the middle-east

have been using the so called dead-man switch for decades now. This is why most checkpoints try to stop people outside the usual explosion radius. Israel goes so far to check people with robots or order them to take off their clothes before coming closer and also uses robots to remove dead bodies just in case they have an active bomb on. The most common system is the so called push/release switch, where the bomber have to push the switch first, then release it for detonation. Unfortunately the only safe protection against suicide bombers is to keep them out of the target area, in this case the UK (impossible since all of them were UK citizens) or to avoid doing anything that makes them bomb something in the UK (for example the UK might try to stop bombing other countries).

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Joke

Reminds me of the Iranian Embasy

The shoot to kill by the SAS went along the lines, when they found the body with dozens of rounds in. When asked why the SAS put this many shots were fired into the hostage taker, the line came back "we ran out of ammo".

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Tom
Bronze badge

Reoffending rate

"The plus point of summary pavement executions is that the perpetrator re-offending rate is very low."

Mind you, it's impossible to re-offend if you are innocent in the first place.

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Coat

the forecast

It was all a cover-up. Earlier the met office had mistakenly issued a "hail of bullets likely" statement and then had to send officers out to verify their predictions.

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Pirate

ballistics

Don't forget the wonderful (if you're on the good end of the firearm that is) effect of cavitation - coz the human body is mostly water, a projectile that enters the body at a fast enough speed (> speed of sound in water) and you get cavitation effects.

And if that's not enough, then should said projectile hit a major blood vessel then shock waves will travel thru the cardio vascular system..

I'm no expert (by any means) in ballistics, but the course I did as a medic sure did open my eyes..

Guns are horrible things. Period.

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Black Helicopters

The main difference between the IRA and Al-Qaida

When the IRA would try to blow up civilians in the tube, they'd walk the bomb in, set it down, and leave, then repeat as desired.

Al-Qaida wannabe types just walk the bomb in, and blow themselves up.

Let's hope they're not watching old BBC archives from the 70s and 80s.

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Silver badge

Re: Shoot to Kill, or simply "Kill"

In the Netherlands at least policemen are supposed to shoot to kill ONLY if they or others are threatened AND shooting to incapacitate is no longer an option. Aiming for the legs is a way to stop people in their tracks rather well, without resorting to lethal force. An advantage is that if you make a mistake, apologies are more readily accepted by those shot in the legs rather than the head.

Until we have instant repair systems even for the more advanced forms of death, I do feel shooting to incapacitate is a good idea, though there are circumstances which call for more drastic measures.

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Boffin

At last!

A journo what actually knows something on the subject of firearms! Actually, one who know rather a lot, even! Huzzah!

A couple pedantic points:

1) Hollow-point and soft-point pistol bullets are very unreliable in the expansion department - they simply don't carry enough energy to perform in a predictable fashion. Most will expend a little, most of the time, depending on 'good' shot placement. But don't count on it.

2) Glaser Safety Slugs aren't, strictly speaking, 'hollow-point' or 'soft-point,' but are instead *frangible.* They're designed to disintegrate upon impact - be that impact with flesh, body armor, or a nearby wall when the plods (inevitably) miss with one, some, or most of their shots. The *safety* aspect comes from the fact that they DON'T ricochet, and the resulting fragments are too small to cause serious injury. By and large, Glaser's lack penetration, producing shallow (albeit impressive), often non-imparing wounds, and so are generally *not* used by LEO. Oh, and they stopped using the liquid teflon suspension a long time ago, discovering it to be needless and expensive.

3) 'Shoot to kill' is still an appropriate phrase, because very often even though the plods are *trying* to kill, they're instead merely shooting. And missing. A lot.

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Shoot to kill

I believe the rules are based on...

Unless you are intending to kill a person, do not under any circustance point a firearm/weapon at them.

Shoot to kill and screw up, boy done good.

Shoot to incapacitate and screw up. Well, you can figure the rest.

Hence, 'if you are going to shoot a person, make damn sure you want them dead'. Not 'if you are going to shoot a person, make damn sure they are dead'.

I feel sorry for all involved in this one. Me thinks it is just one very sad set of mistakes.

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IT Angle

IT angle..

I know that there isn't one in this story, and not everything El Reg covers is strictly speaking IT related, but has anyone considered expanding the remit of IT within their organisation to include some of this stuff?

I'm really tempted to gen up a business case to get my place to use the Reg's definition of IT, if only to equip my engineers with guns (and- thinking about it, to set up a team solely devoted to Paris Hilton).

Also- Mr Page's articles are always an interesting read: useful information and insight all in one package. Good work, Fella

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Pirate

US mk262, shotguns, "less lethal" munitions (rambling american alert)

It's worth mentioning that the US mk262 round makes use of the Sierra "Matchking" 77gr Boat-tail Hollow point projectile. The hollow point is intended to reduce mass at the tip of the bullet, increasing its ballistic coefficient and helping to stabilize flight at ranges past a few-hundred-meters.

This is technically a hollow-point bullet, however.

Also frangible bullets are starting to appear on the scene. A frangible bullet is NOT something you want to hit unprotected soft tissue. It shreds/tears soft tissue well beyond repair. Kind of like a small/fast 12 ga shotgun shell loaded with buckshot, which is another thing permitted on the battle field that causes way more damage than a "dum dum" bullet.

Rubber bullets are meant to be "skip fired" off of the ground into crowds, if they are used as direct-fire munitions they are easily capable of seriously damaging tissue. One TV cameraman was severely injured in Washington DC a few years back when he was hit with a rubber bullet in the side of the head. It fractured his eye socket and caused him severe head trauma.

All of this reminds me of something that William S. Burroughs once wrote:

"As one judge said to another 'Be just and if you can't be just be arbitrary.'.".

Truth be told is that the whole point of firearms is to KILL. Killing is nasty business and it is absurd to think that one way of killing is somehow more honorable than some other way. Even when justified killing should be a matter of abject necessity and treated with the gravity that it deserves. To try to legislate around what is and is not permissible on the battlefield grants an unjustified level of legitimacy to warfare.

Warfare deserves to be given the lowest of low statures in our society. While I respect the people who have given and dedicated their lives to warcraft in the interest of protecting my country, community, family, and self; I do not think that their craft should be legitimized any more than it needs to be.

Getting to the point:

Here in the US nearly all Police forces are well armed with (what in the rest of the world is considered) large caliber ( > 7.62mm) pistols. Most of our police forces also have a "SWAT" or military style component that includes snipers, submachine-gun-toting entry squads, and even grenadiers.

It has been determined that when one needs to deploy a firearm against an individual who is a danger to his/herself or others it is by necessity a "terminal force" situation. This is different from combat where tactics center around some larger strategy intent on domination of some geographic region or political goal. On the street in the context of police work you don't have such a thing as "suppressive fire"; The officer who is deploying lethal force has to account for every single pull of the trigger. The intent is not to scare, not to deter, not to give the subject cause for surrender. When a policeman places his finger on the trigger the opportunity for surrender or deterrence has evaporated. In police work once the officer has committed to fire he or she has committed to taking a life in the interest of the greater good.

There is a consensus here in the US that because of this there is no conflict in using expanding bullets. In fact they are preferred because of their reduced risk of over penetration, which reduces the likelihood that an innocent bystander might be harmed.

I don't know what the average UK "guy on the street" thinks regarding this matter. I know that if Jeremy Clarkeson is any indication of the british opinion of the average american what I am saying here is probably not going to be of much value. One thing we americans do know, however, is dealing with violence in the streets and armed police work. Being the son of a 40 year veteran of police work, firearms instructor, and hostage negotiator I thought that perhaps what I know might be of some value here.

One last thing: At the end of the day it is training, training, training that saves lives in terminal force situations. If the british public are concerned about gun saftey among police on the streets there should be a concerted effort to push the police service to continually and rigorously train those officers that are requred to carry sidearms. Trigger time saves lives, this is always true.

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Anonymous Coward

More on ira differences

In addition to the comment about the ira's tactic of planting a device and leaving, they were also sporting in their approach a lot of the time. A fair amount of times they would actually call in a bomb threat to someone in order that a chance was given to clear the area. This gave rise to the idea of terrorism, whereby they actively tried to terrorise. Nowadays terrorist seems to be the wrong phrase - their primary intention is to kill, hurt or maim. Terror is a byproduct.

(Before the flames come, i know this wasn't true in all ira cases, it was still evil etc. and many people were hurt when no warning was given or said warning was ignored. All i'm suggesting is that terrorism in this country seems to have gone to a new level these days, and the response has changed also)

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Dead Vulture

the question of tactics

shooting an enemy repeatedly is a well tested tactic of the modern warfare. the question of whether or not it is necessary in a law enforcement scenario is more of policy, as is the criteria for confirming if a target is a legitimate threat.

cops are not soldiers, their targets don't wear uniforms that clearly identify them as threats. soldiers use deadly force as a matter of course rather than as a last resort.

as an american living in the states, i hear about people on the news getting shot all the time. as a veteran of the us army, i know how ludicrous it sounds saying that a hollow point to the head more humane than a FMJ to the body. it sounds ludicrous but it's true.

any hunter, soldier, or cop will tell you that aiming for the center of largest visible section of your target makes you more likely to hit your target. the largest visible section is called the "center mass".

if your target is human and standing upright, center of the target is going to be the midsection. if you aim for the center, you are probably going to hit the stomach, intestines, or gall bladder: organs which are full of acids, bile, and/or various wastes. these are specialized systems in the body meant to contain things that are potentially toxic to the bloodstream.

if you hit with a jacketed round (or worse, an armor piercing round) to a point on the body with little bone, you get a relatively "clean" exit, lower blood loss compared to a hollowpoint, and a perforation of one or more of those waste carrying organs. the result is a person who is bleeding but not dead, and leaking waste, possibly into their bloodstream, meaning that even if you stop the bleeding, there is a still serious risk for sepsis.

so, crazy as it sounds, it's safer for the public (dead man's switches not withstanding) to put a confirmed threat down for good with one or two to the head.

headshots are tricky though, especially at a range where your target can see you and knows you are going to shoot. a popular close quarter tactic with special operations and SWAT types in the US is to stop the target from moving with a "doubletap" (2 shots in rapid succession to the same target area) high on the torso, ideally to the center of the chest, followed by one or two to the head.

so, the concept of shooting someone multiple times to make certain that they are indeed neutralized is a very effective technique and can be considered humane when compared to some of the guerrilla tactics that soldiers sometimes come up against.

so, do not question the tactics that were employed. those were definitely correct. you should question if those tactics should have been employed in the first place.

BTW, for an effective non-lethal way to deal with suicide bombers, i think some sort of liquid restraint, akin to a spiderweb, should be developed. like a ball of rubbery glue or foam that seals the target up and dries instantly.

if you can restrain the target instantly, then all the cops have to do is make sure the guy can breathe.

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@Michael H.F. Wilkinson

Shooting to disable is pointless (no pun intended). If you shoot someone in the legs you won't stop them firing back or setting off a bomb, so the only reason to do so is if you don't think they are a threat to you.

In that case, of course, there's no excuse for shooting them at all.

If you shoot someone, it should be with the sole intent of killing them as instantly as possible. If you don't need to do that, you don't shoot.

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Anonymous Coward

keep it clean

>bayonets, bows and arrows - they're all fine

If they are dirty or rusty you're just as guilty of a war crime as shooting someone with a holowpoint. strange world isn't it

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Anonymous Coward

Calcutta - the northwestern Raj

Although it depends a touch on how you define the Raj, the furthest eastern point I guess would've been the white Rajas of Sarawak, in which case maybe you have a point, but generally Calcutta is considered to be northeastern.

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Bronze badge

Good article!

Very well written. In the FMJ category, you didn't mention the amazing wound ballistics of the US .223 round used in the Isn't-it-swell-Mattie-Mattell M-16. While it has a full metal jacked, it is fired with such a high velocity that once it hits flesh it begins to turn end-on-end.

Now, on to the original Times article: "Police marksmen shot Jean Charles de Menezes seven times in the head with hollow-point “dumdum” bullets designed to kill instantly, the Old Bailey was told yesterday." All bullets are designed to kill. Got it? Good! For heaven's sakes, its a deadly weapon! Hello, there's a reason for the term "deadly."

"Their usual and more powerful 9mm jacketed soft-point bullets would pass through the other side." Umm, I don't think that Adam Fresco of The Times has a clue what he's writing about. The cartridges have the same amount of powder, its just the bullet shape that is different. And with a head shot, there isn't enough mass to cause the bullet to stop in the head. There are very few rounds which dump all of their kinetic energy in a short distance. I really don't know why any department would not favor a hollow-point bullet. The hollow-point is designed to stop within the target, while round-nose bullets will typically over-penetrate and hit something (someone!) behind the target.

I'm glad that Lewis has a reasonable take on this.

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@Michael H.F. Wilkinson

You'll find that 1) Here in the Netherlands, the police are trained to shoot only under dire circumstances. They are trained to aim for the central mass of the target, to minimise the chance of a miss and they use hollow-point, 9mm para ammunition to do so. The effects of a police bullet are nearly always fatal, even if the target isn't killed on the spot.

2) There is no such thing as shooting at the legs to disable someone. There's a large amount of arteries running through those legs and any bullet that could stop a person, WILL damage those arteries causing the victim to bleed to death rapidly. The only valid reason to shoot at extremities is if the target is wearing body armour over the central mass.

3) As indicated above, there is no way to shoot to disable. Any target that is still alive after being shot is almost certainly still a threat, so shoot him again! There have been a few incidents where soldiers have in fact fired a large number of rounds into a target, after initially dropping the target. The justification is always the same 'He moved'.

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rather than a dumdum

how about using less powder in the round? It won't go so fast and it is more likely to stop in someone or make a low-speed ricochet.

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Hunting and Over-Penetration

I should point out the flipside of this argument. The use of FMJ as a hunting round is generally quite frowned on, as it's less likely to be immediately lethal than a round capable of significant deformation. The thinking behind this is if you're going to shoot at something, you're likely to kill it, so make sure it's dead quickly with a minimum of suffering.

Also a FMJ round, especially if it's a high velocity rifle round, is very likely to go through walls, trains, and several people because they're designed to penetrate body armour. Using a round that deforms makes it less likely to be lethal to anyone who happens to be anywhere near the target. Minimising collateral damage, as it's so nicely called, is probably more important than minimising suffering.

At the end of the day, guns don't kill people, people kill people. Quite often people order other people to kill people. The most important thing we can do is make sure the people giving the orders aren't idiots, and that the people identifying who to kill aren't idiots.

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Just technobabble

The point is not the bullet, but the policy in practice.

In this case, had the victim been a suicide bomber, the chain of events took so long to unfold that he would have had sufficient opportunity to detonate the device well before he was pinned down and terminated with extreme prejudice. No, the Met's "shoot to kill" policy has no cash value against suicide bombers as long as PC Plod persists in clumping about in hot pursuit, and the technology of prevention is irrelevant. The value of the policy is somewhere is - like ensuring public compliance with diminishing opportunities to articulate dissatisfaction with the conduct of government, e.g. the undemocratic ratification of the EU "Reform Treaty"?

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Anonymous Coward

The not-so-hollow-point

...being that anyone with a mental age above nil who has seen even the grainy cctv pictures of Jean Charles passing the ticket barriers could ascertain instantly that he was not carrying a home-made bomb.

The problem here is that responsibility is divided between those who actually authorised the execution and those who carried it out. In no circumstances should a British police officer be authorised to execute someone unless they themselves have positively identified a danger to themselves and/or the public. "Being in posession of a swarthy complexion and a dodgy address" won't ever cut it. We're importing enough cr*p from over the water without additionally suffering from retarded morality that allows ad-hoc state executions couched in childish terms like "perceived threat" and "collateral damage".

Leave that sort of rubbish "pushing the envelope" in dot-com conference calls.

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Thumb Down

Huh ?!

" (fwiw imho etc condemnation should be reserved solely for the people who created the policy, gave the orders, then tried to keep it quiet - not the ones who were facing what they beleived to be a terrorist) "

Absolutely, definately NO.

That position wasn't tolerated at Nuremberg and it must not be tolerated anywhere else. Everyone must be held accountable.

Better that 100 coppers die protecting one innocent than one innocent die protecting a hundred coppers.

Putting a gun in someone's hand is the quickest way to strip them of their civilisation.

Society must decide what may be done in its name. Sadly most of it doesn't care.

The Price of Eternal Vigilance is Freedom !

Notice how many posts here are anonymous ? Ask yourself why

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@ John Waters

Quote: "I don't know what the average UK "guy on the street" thinks regarding this matter."

I think the consensus is we don't like guns and we don't want our police routinely armed.

Quote: "I know that if Jeremy Clarkeson is any indication of the british ..."

God forbid! Do you Americans *really* think that big-faced petrolhead controversialist arsehole REALLY represents the average Briton? I despair!

Quote: "... (the) opinion of the average american what I am saying here is probably not going to be of much value."

Not so. I appreciated your reasoned and informed comment. Most welcome.

Yes, of course firearms officers must be highly trained. In the de Menezes case, however, it was their supervisors and the intelligence-gatherers whose training seems to have been woefully inadequate.

I think their ultimate boss, Commissioner Blair, needs training in telling the truth. But lying seems to go with that surname.

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Stop

@ John Walters

"7.62 pistols"?! where have you ever seen those? Standard law enforcement issue is either 9mm, in the Glock or the old Beretta 92, some play with the 10mm, there's FBI and the like who use .40 cal, and .45 ACP is making a return. Does anyone (except for custom single shot long barrel hunting pistols) even *make* such a thing?

Rifles, on the other hand, come in 7.62mm (.308 cal) and specialty SWAT units will carry bolt or semi auto rifles for sniping, and occasionally EOD work. Some richer police agencies will outfit their officers with available AR series rifles, M4 variants, firing the much smaller 5.56mm (.223) round. Then there's the HK in the 9mm pistol round. You can thank certain bank robbers and foreign gangsters in LA for the need to have the 5.56 rifles available.

I hope your original comment was a mistake of caliber, not some rectalspeak for anti-gun propaganda purposes. :)

the rest, hollowpoint rounds are attempts to limit overpenetration, to keep the round inside the target and not through bystanders. It also makes it much easier to do forensics afterwards. If I'm concerned about hydrostatic shock, I use the 45acp round, in FMJ works perfectly well. the hollowpoints sit in a box and don't get used, unless I need to. Like a first aid or snakebite kit-it's useless until it isn't, and then there's no substitute.

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Silver badge

@Anonymous Coward

About 70% accuracy -

AFAIK the policeman in question fired 10 rounds, hit poor guy Carlos in the head with 7 - he was right on the mark then...

However, bearing in mind the distance to target I'm a bit worried about what would his score be if he was shooting, say, from the other end of the platform?

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Go

Title

Rick: The Tokarev (7.62x25) and 32 ACP (also 7.62) are common handgun calibers in europe. What we americans consider "small caliber" is usually deemed "adequate" across the pond.

Also, chill out, you are getting way too excited over what is basically a misunderstanding on your end. Also, if you don't know about 30 caliber pistols it tells me that you probably have never read a reloader/handloader manual, which tells me that you probably don't have a whole lot of detailed practical knowledge of small arms and their munitions.

SO LET THE FISKING BEGIN!

1) Yes, people make handguns in 7.62. The Walther PP/PPK, Sig Sauer P230, Beretta Tomcat, various kahr, kel tec, and other CCW pistols all come in 32ACP (aka 7.65x15 browning), One of the most infamous pistols in modern arms history, the CZ52 was/is chambered in 7.62x25mm. The famed mauser broom handle and origional luger pistols also fired a lower pressure loading of the tokarev (it was not called the tokarev then, however, it was the "30 mauser" or "7.62 mauser").

I am reciting these from memory, i am sure I am missing a great many 30cal/7.62mm pistols.

Now that "HK in the 9mm pistol round" that you are talking about; HK has made a great many pistols in 9x19mm, one of which is the P9 series. The P9, of course, shared its roller-delayed blowback operating system with the CZ52. Which, pray tell, "HK in the 9mm pistol round" do you mean? HK also makes guns in 357 sig, 40 "slow & weak", 45 ACP, and 380 (9mm kurz).

Very very few SWAT teams use semi-auto weapons for sniping. I have not heard of a single instance of an SPR or PSG type weapon being deployed stateside for police work. Its almost always a bolt-action and almost always either an FN or Remington 700 in .308 (7.62x51).

Of course now there is a resurgence of anti 5.56 (223) sentiment amongst LEO and military operators alike. The truth of the matter is that the .223 is a terrible antipersonell round and new weapons from DSA (their shorty FAL "OSW" subcarbine), Alexander Arms (the 6.5 Grendel and 50 beowulf), Noveske (their "project leonidas" carbine, based on the AR10), Bushmaster (the 45 bushmaster), and my personal favorite (my bespoke AR15 rifle is one of these) teppo jutsu's 458 SOCOM. All offer superior CQB knock-down power, most from an only slightly modified AR platform, some (the grendel, osw, leonidas) can actually reach out well past the useful range of the 5.56. Barret, LMT, Noveske, and most other "black rifle" vendors also sell rifles chambered in 6.8mm SPC, which is issued to some of our more elite soldiers where 5.56x45 is no longer desireable.

The 5.56 was designed to counter the threat posed by large numbers of north koreans and communist chinese charging troops en masse in north korea. We needed something that could lay down huge amounts of suppressive fire in a lightweight package. The AR platform and its 5.56x45 cartridge has done a commendable job and countering most of the threats that have come down the pike in the last 50 years, but the simple truth is that technology progresses. The 5.56x45 is not the best tool for the job these days and is dutifully being replaced by other cartidges.

My comment was not a mistake, and your response only serves to indicate that you have a lot of reading to do in order to come up to speed.

BTW, my personal carry pistol, an HK USP in 45 ACP, usually has a full compliment of either Remington Golden Sabers or Federal EFMJ's. I will not use FMJ's in an urban terminal-force like situation (I live in the city), I think that it is inappropriate and places bystanderss at risk. Not to mention Golden Sabers offer accuracy that prior to their release was only available with handloads or match cartridges from black hills or cor bon. That's saying something. :)

Oh, and the custom single shot pistols are only fun if they are chambered in the JDJ family of cartridges made by SSK Industries. Make sure that you look up SSK, Noveske, Teppo Jutsu, Alexander Arms, DSA, and the CZ52 before you respond. :)

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Huh?

"This was fairly stupid, as the expanding bullets represented no more than a return to the type of trauma inflicted by the previous generation of weapons."

Oh, so that's fine then. It's just a return to previous... Hey, so having slavery back would be OK too, I suppose? Who'd have imagined? After all, being no more than a return to the type of trauma inflicted by the previous generations, it would be fairly stupid to be against it. Really...

And am I the only one here who thinks it's pretty weird (and indicative of sick minds) to hear people discussing how best, most efficiently or whatever to destroy human tissue? People seem to even enjoy this discussion -- come on, I can feel your excitement emanating from the tubes of the internets... :O)

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Dead Vulture

hats off..

..to our brave boys in, erm, plain clothes, who managed to achieve *higher* than 70% accuracy at a stunning 2 feet away from an unarmed Brazilian electrician. I can sleep well at night knowing that such dedicated and heroic professionals are making sure that other swarthy skinned tradesmen are not threatening the security of the Realm by waving Oyster cards or buying newspapers without sanction.

righto, time to put my new bulky jacket on and nervously jump over the barrier, off to work, hope this tan looks good on me!

enough sarcasm, let's tell it like it is.. the Met are vivious bungling fools and murderers, and are still trying to weasel out of the fact that they screwed up and gunned an innocent man down in cold blood. I'd put every one of them involved on trial for murder, no bail, no pay while suspended. But that will never happen, of course, they'll get away with it AGAIN.

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Flame

God people are full of boll**ks about firearms

Lets see, how many "misconceptions"......

Hollow points, Jacketed Hollow Points, Expanding Full Metal Jacket and all the rest have squat to do with minimising bystander caualities.

The sole intention is to dump as much of the rounds kinetic energy into the target as possible. A wholly secondary effect will be to reduce over penetration and to possibly cut down on mowing down kindergarden children.

Almost all of these rounds FAIL to act in this way. The wounding effect is dependant upon

1. The round either expanding or fragmenting (or both) in the body

2. Velocity and energy transfer to the body via hydrostatic effects, leading to both temporary and permanent crush and cavitation injuries along the wound channel

Trouble is when a jacketed hollow point hits the body it needs a fluid (read flesh) to fill the round cavity causing expansion/fragmentation.

Alas most folks wear clothes and on a regular basis the cavity will fill with material/cloth/leather/denim, fail to expand and will continue on its merry way with substantially reduced effects.

"if you're hit with a dum-dum/Glaser you're not just disabled, you're dead"

Again wishful thinking I'm afraid, the only way to ensure an immediate kill is by what is euphamistically know as Central Nervous System Collapse. Basically you have accurately hit a small section of the brain where it is joined to the spinal cord. Otherwise you get twitching, tremors, some motor mobility and other such stuff before you shuffle off this mortal coil.

Pistol round hit on the body will not lead to instantaneous death.

Frangible rounds are typically made up of sintered metal powder. Basically take fine metal dust, and compress under heat and pressure. They will upon impact with a SOLID surface return to the dust from which they were made. They don't have any magical killing capacity, they are used mostly in firing ranges where you want to cut down on lead exposure.

The Glaser round is not a frangible round it effectively a physically unstable pre fragmented round and has better surface wounding capabilities.

As for the bloody .223 round, it has very low penetrative capacity against solid surface and continues (in the ever popular War on Terror) to fail to deliver what the grunt on the ground requires.

One particular fun one is that unless the round velocity stays above ~2500 feet per second on impact, it will not tumble and will zip on through the bad guy. Alas lots of the US soldiers want the handy dandy short M4 carbine which due to barrel length drops muzzle velocity below the magical figure at about 100 odd mtrs. The failings of the .223 are why many of the lads grab an AK where they can get away with it and why, yet again the military are still looking at a better round in either the 6.5 or 6.8SPC

If you would like to have a look at some of the actual results of various type of round go to

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/theboxotruth.htm

Bizarre but illuminating ...............

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Re: Anonymous coward

"Better that 100 coppers die protecting one innocent than one innocent die protecting a hundred coppers."

You might have trouble recruiting any coppers with this attitude or at least run out of those you do recruit. Aren't the coppers innocent too at least until proven otherwise? The quote works for innocent vs. guilty but not death vs. death.

Better we find a non-lethal, safe way to stop these guys and then nobody has to die. In the meantime we have a heck of a problem balancing public safety with public freedoms.

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Innocent bystanders

Several messages explain that hollow point bullets are good for preventing damage to innocent bystanders. I'd like to note that if they get hit by this kind of ammo, their chances to survive are also nil. Consider a gun fight in the street, with the crooks and the cops all moving fast and shooting at the same time. In this kind of situation, would you want the cops to use the deadliest kind of ammo available?

Most cops out there aren't exactly top notch marksmen.

Of course, I've nothing against a police sniper using this kind of ammo, but giving hollow point ammo to 'normal' cops seems like giving a lighter to a 3 years old child.

Ah, and I for one would like to see the police forces everywhere using 'less lethal' but incapacitating rounds. This way, errors can be fixed (usually in a hospital) rather than covered by a sheet (in the morgue).

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in the balance?

"In the meantime we have a heck of a problem balancing public safety with public freedoms."

to live?

I know that you're going to reply by saying that the victoms of the bombings had a right to live too, but ffs, an innocent man was brutally shot dead by the so-called elite police firearms unit, no serious attempt was made to identify him, they simply assumed that he was the man they were after, and tried to cover up by lying through their teeth about it with the connivance of the media, and even now in the inquest they're trying to denigrate his character and justify their actions by claimng that he was a cokehead!. And we're supposed to look up to these people? Be grateful that they're so successfully "protecting" us?

I happen to have a fairly swarthy complexion myself, being of Mediterranean descent; so would it still be ok if the cops gunned me down for no good reason just because I might be a suspect on the basis of my skin colouring? try telling that to my wife and kids if it ever happened.

Aplogists can try to justify all they like, but it's still a f***ing disgrace, and shame on anyone who tries to make out that this sort of outrage is acceptable. It's not far from the self-righteous and dogmatic justifications that the real terrorists use to whitewash the evil that they do.

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Unhappy

The Terrorists Won That Day

However you want to treat this case, an innocent man shot dead or the police executing a guy, the fact is that fear drove the decisions made that day. Superior officers giving the order out of fear that another bomb was going to be let off.

The firearms officers fearing for themselves and citizens.

I was not there, I don't know how De Menzes reacted, perhaps he reacted out of fear too, albeit for different reasons?

Regardless of the ammo used or the political correctness of it, the fact remains that the poor man lost his life.

Do don't know if the police acted incorrectly that day. But I doubt that they were out to kill an innocent man.

I think the media has a lot to answer for. Events such as the bombings drive them into hysteria.

Terrorism is about instilling fear, if governments and individuals give into fear, then terrorists win.

Don't give in!

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