Modern armies do not give cities to plunder, prisoners of war are not enslaved and not executed, weapons, in turn, are becoming more and more accurate. All this can create the illusion that in military affairs, there is no longer just discipline but even some kind of civilization and humanism. A striking example of one of the “celebrations of humanism” is, of course, expansive ammunition for small arms. About them today and we’ll talk.

What is it?

You should start with the fact that expansive ammunition, in any case, should not be confused with explosive ammunition for small arms. The only thing common between them is that both of these species are currently prohibited by international UN conventions. So, expansive bullets or “unfolding bullets” is a type of ammunition, the design of which provides for a significant increase in the diameter of the bullet at the time of hitting the soft tissue. This is necessary to significantly increase the wound channel weighting the damage inflicted on the victim while reducing the overall depth of penetration of the bullet.

Note: same explosive ammunition differs in that they have an explosive charge, which at the time of collision leads to the rupture of the bullet into many fragments.

Expanding bullets in our time can be divided into three groups:

• The first is a jacketed hollow-point bullet. The bottom line is that due to the partial absence of a hard shell, such a bullet is much easier to “flatten” in contact with the flesh and increase in diameter.

• The second is these bullets with an expansive plane. Here the meaning is reduced to the presence of” protruding ” from the bullet planes, which in contact with the flesh are deformed and increase the area of ammunition.

• The third is a bullet with a plastic tip. These weapons differ only by the principle of the device. They have exactly the same effect on humans (or animals).

All-in for victory

In fact, the expansive bullets were invented by a man by accident. In the same way as online casinos (And how to construct roulette? Why invest your own funds? Is there a chance to cheat the system? Only Scr888 online casino includes comprehensive answers to popular questions on the topic).

With the advent of firearms, people used predominantly soft lead bullets (as they were very cheap and easy to manufacture). Round lead balls had a custom at contact with flesh to be deformed, flattened, increasing thereby the area. With the increasing diameter of the wound, it was harder. So formally, the first harquebus and musket ammunition were expansive.

Shell-less bullets Minier acted similarly and were used with the first muzzle-loading rifles. The situation with ammunition began to change only by the middle of the XIX century when all over the world armies began to move from smoothbore weapons to rifled ones. Then it turned out that shell-less ammunition extremely negatively affects weapons, causing the emergency breakdown. To solve this problem, gunsmiths began to make bullets shell: lead core began to be placed in the “clothes” of harder metal, such as copper, brass, steel, nickel silver, and some others.

But the solution to one problem immediately gave rise to a new one

It turned out very soon that shell ammunition has much less stopping power. Bullets with a shell did not leave terrible wounds and most often either stuck in a body or passed on departure. It got to the point that in 1895 in the UK, the military demanded to develop new, heavier bullets that can stop any person. It was then that the first real expansive ammunition, bullets to the cartridge, was created: 303 British, which was used by Lee-Metford and Lee-Enfield rifles. The inventor of the new bullets was an officer of the British army Neville Bertie-Clay. Ammunition was produced in the working-class suburb of Calcutta, Dum-dum, for which they received one of the names that are used to this day.

The new British bullet was missing part of the shell. However, it turned out very soon that there were problems with this type of ammunition. Therefore, expansive bullets began to evolve with each new year actively. It is noteworthy that the expansive ammunition immediately gained great fame and generated an international resonance. In 1877, the first Hague peace conference was held, at which expansive munitions were banned, calling them “inhumane” and “violating the laws and customs of warfare.”

Needless to say, countries did not care about the ban written on a piece of paper? 

Formally, the countries of Europe, of course, comply with the decision of the first Hague peace conference to this day. However, this has never prevented all belligerents from using expansive bullets already in the First World War. World War II was no exception. However, before that, Europe remembered the expansive ammunition during the Soviet-Finnish war, where expansive bullets were used by both the Red and Finnish army. Ironically, during each of the conflicts, all parties regularly accused each other of violating the convention.

After World War II, the notorious fame of expansive munitions poisoned the lives of weapons designers and served as an occasion for political debate and diplomatic speculation. For example, during the Vietnam war, the Soviets accused the Americans that the standard ammunition for the M16 – 5.56×45 mm rifle is, by definition, expansive. The Americans were also not far behind. During the Soviet-Afghan war, Washington already stated that the standard ammunition AKM-5. 45×39 mm is expansive. All this happened possible due to the fact that there are no really clear criteria defining an expansive bullet until now.