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Old June 27th, 2019, 11:27 AM #21
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The round was selected by the USG partly because it's a lot less lethal than other rounds and as such it does not inflict unnecessary suffering, relative to rounds that were commonly used in combat during the time that the AR was designed.
I am not trying to be contrary, but you are saying that by being less lethal (and we are not talking TASER or bean bag version of less lethal) it does not inflict unnecessary suffering. Which is the greater suffering, wounding someone who may eventually die from the wound or killing them straight out?
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Old June 28th, 2019, 04:12 PM #22
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Originally Posted by KJackson View Post
I am not trying to be contrary, but you are saying that by being less lethal (and we are not talking TASER or bean bag version of less lethal) it does not inflict unnecessary suffering. Which is the greater suffering, wounding someone who may eventually die from the wound or killing them straight out?
First thing: I'm not an expert in this stuff. I am however, frustrated that media outlets describe the AR without consideration of all of its attributes, including Hague and other treaty compliance, how that compliance plays a role in what "lethal" means, how lethality and Hague compliance played a role in why the USG selected the AR, how that compliance can be understood and why its important in these discussions.

Second thing: I welcome input on these issues from others. I am certain there are many members who know far more about the AR and the Hague conventions and other treaties to which the US is beholden.

Re: "...you are saying that by being less lethal it does not inflict unnecessary suffering."

I am saying something like that. I'm saying it is not designed to inflict unnecessary suffering, and it may not inflict unnecessary suffering when it is used. From my understanding the infliction of unnecessary suffering is not the intent of the weapon's design or functionality.

A secondary issue on your question is related to "WTF is unnecessary suffering to begin with?" How do experts define this?

Here's some good reading on that:

https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/custo.../v1_rul_rule70

Definition of means of warfare which are of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering

The prohibition of means of warfare which are of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering refers to the effect of a weapon on combatants. Although there is general agreement on the existence of the rule, views differ on how it can actually be determined that a weapon causes superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering. States generally agree that suffering that has no military purpose violates this rule. Many States point out that the rule requires that a balance be struck between military necessity, on the one hand, and the expected injury or suffering inflicted on a person, on the other hand, and that excessive injury or suffering, i.e., that which is out of proportion to the military advantage sought, therefore violates the rule.

Some States also refer to the availability of alternative means as an element that has to go into the assessment of whether a weapon causes unnecessary suffering or superfluous injury.

In its advisory opinion in the Nuclear Weapons case, the International Court of Justice defined unnecessary suffering as “a harm greater than that unavoidable to achieve legitimate military objectives”.

A relevant factor in establishing whether a weapon would cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering is the inevitability of serious permanent disability. The US Air Force Pamphlet, for example, lists as one of the bases for the prohibition of poison the “inevitability of … permanent disability”.

The rule prohibiting the targeting of the eyes of soldiers with lasers, as laid down in Protocol IV to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (see Rule 86), was inspired by the consideration that deliberately causing permanent blindness in this fashion amounted to the infliction of superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering. When adopting the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel landmines, States were basing themselves, in part, on the prohibition of means of warfare which are of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering. The serious disabilities that are frequently the result of the use of incendiary weapons prompted many States to propose a ban on their use against personnel (see commentary to Rule 85).

A related issue is the use of weapons that render death inevitable. The preamble to the St. Petersburg Declaration states that the use of such weapons “would be contrary to the laws of humanity”, and it was this consideration that led to the prohibition of exploding bullets by the Declaration. The US Air Force Pamphlet, for example, states that “the long-standing customary prohibition against poison” is based, in part, on “the inevitability of death” and that international law has condemned “dum-dum” bullets because of “types of injuries and inevitability of death”. Several military manuals and official statements state that weapons that render death inevitable are prohibited.



Re: "Which is the greater suffering, wounding someone who may eventually die from the wound or killing them straight out?"

I don't know the answer to this question.
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Old July 10th, 2019, 09:28 AM #23
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Originally Posted by Bigsawer View Post
Every article or tv show involving the adoption of the AR by the military states the biggest factor of selecting .223 was the increase of ammo, due to weight savings, that a soldier can carry of a caliber adequate to take the adversary out of the fight. Not once over the many years of reading and watching have I ever heard of reference to being swayed by a treaty.
This. Volume of fire is greater when you can hump more rounds per rifleman / automatic rifleman. Comes down to logistics and a calculated guess that volume of fire and a smaller logistics footprint is better than penetration and range.

The 5.56 round is plenty lethal. It's an absurd argument though that it is MORE lethal or powerful than most centerfire rifle rounds. It's civilian equivalent is a freaking gopher round for goodness sake.

Just another example of people taking one or two factoids, taking them out of any context and talking out of their ass, and trying to demonize an inanimate object for political reasons.
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Old July 10th, 2019, 12:07 PM #24
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Originally Posted by Bigsawer View Post
Every article or tv show involving the adoption of the AR by the military states the biggest factor of selecting .223 was the increase of ammo, due to weight savings, that a soldier can carry of a caliber adequate to take the adversary out of the fight. Not once over the many years of reading and watching have I ever heard of reference to being swayed by a treaty.
To add to this, there's some excellent commentary from Jim Sullivan following an HBO interview in which he participated some years ago. Following the interview he was frustrated because HBO had misrepresented some things he said about the AR:

https://thefederalist.com/2016/05/31...-about-ar-15s/


They didn’t lie about what I said, they just omitted key parts, which changed the meaning.

The examples I most object to are: 1) When I appear to say that the civilian-model AR-15 is just as effective or deadly as the military M16, they omitted that I had said “When firing semi-auto only” and that “the select fire M16 on full auto is of course more effective”; and 2) the interviewer pretended not to understand the relevance that, due to the Hague Convention, military bullets cannot be expanding hollow points like hunting bullets that give up all of their energy in the target body instead of passing through with minimum wound effect, with most of the energy still in the bullet and wasted.

Instead we (Armalite) went the small-caliber, high-velocity route and gave the bullet the right twist of 1:14 to be stable in air but unstable in tissue, where it tumbled and gave up all of its energy in a few inches and complied with Hague. This gave us a small cartridge that was half the size, weight, and recoil of a 7.62 NATO so the soldier could carry twice the ammo, fire controllable full auto, and be far more deadly out to 300 yards, the three characteristics that determine military rifle cartridge effect.

But 5.56 can’t complete with hunting cartridge bullets, which can legally be expanding hollow point that are more lethal than tumbling. Their lethality is based entirely on how powerful they are. 5.56 is only half as powerful as the 7.62 NATO (.308) hunting bullet. That doesn’t mean I’m not pleased to see AR-15s sell on the civilian market. It just means I didn’t realize they would 57 years ago. And I’m not on the wrong side of any gun issue unless someone wants to argue that an infantry rifle cartridge should kill a cavalry horse at 1,000 yards (30-06 criteria).


Anyway, like HBO it seems that 60 minutes may be intentionally obscuring facts that are very relevant in these discussions.
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Old July 10th, 2019, 12:22 PM #25
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Same people who call it FULL SEMI-AUTOMATIC
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Old July 11th, 2019, 10:57 AM #26
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Originally Posted by WildWeasel View Post
A new AR 15? Illegal. A new AR10? Same laws as a bolt action rifle, magazine aside...
SSSSSSHHHHH!!!!

move along folks
nothing to see here

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Old July 11th, 2019, 11:02 AM #27
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Originally Posted by Bigsawer View Post
Every article or tv show involving the adoption of the AR by the military states the biggest factor of selecting .223 was the increase of ammo, due to weight savings, that a soldier can carry of a caliber adequate to take the adversary out of the fight. Not once over the many years of reading and watching have I ever heard of reference to being swayed by a treaty.
Agree.

The 308 that was used previously has better distance characteristics. However, in Vietnam most engagements were at short range, hence the preference to carry more ammo. Snipers still use the larger .30 cal rounds and larger.
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Old July 11th, 2019, 11:57 AM #28
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Well technically the military did choose the 5.56/.223 because it causes more damage...but without killing. 1 wounded soldier takes 2-3 other soldiers out of the fight while they tend to the wounded.
I would be interested to see a source for this. I see it state on the internet often enough, yet don't believe I have ever seen an attributable source. There are a good number of sources that contradict this, including this one:

Hutton, Robert (ed.), The .223, Guns & Ammo Annual ed., 1971.

Which states that 5.56 was required to match lethality with .308 at realistic combat distances as a requirement to adoption. It is not in question that 5.56 was adopted in part because ammo weighs approximately 1/3 of .308 ammo, and that rifles can be made lighter and with lower recoil, which correlates positively with increased lethality*. As far as the Hague Accords playing huge into the development of 5.56, I don't know that they did beyond dictating mechanism of damage (eg fragmentation because it wasn't on the no no list for uniform conflict). Incidentally we never signed that page, but do seem to somewhat take it seriously. Kind of. But not really.

In fact, the only reason the U.S. Military did not adopt it sooner was exposed in a series of IG investigations: Army Materiel Command had cooked the books on **M14 trials and Army Leadership was intentionally biasing any and all trials involving the M16.

One interesting tidbit is that U.S. Army Special Forces Command broke with Army and in 1963 requested to standardize on the AR15.

*Militaries around the world produced a number of studies showing that accurate follow up shots and increased rates of fire correlate positively with increased lethality. I want to say that the U.S. Army ignored recommendations to switch to a .270 caliber projectile as far back as the early 1930s, though their reason was logistical (giant stockpile of .30-06) vs political. But when the M1 Garand ended up not being compatible with original .30-06 stockpiles, they went ahead and produced new ammo anyway. Also bear in mind that lethality can be thought of in terms as terminal effectiveness on an individual as well as overall battlefield lethality. A round that is 100% lethal on the individual is still often a unsuitable for adoption by the military for a number of legitimate reasons.

Other examples of the Military knowing that they wanted to get more, smaller rounds on target include PROJECT SALVO, PROJECT NIBUCK, FRP, ACR, and SPIW. In the end, a SCHV round made more sense to them than devving out duplex rounds or flechette guns, and that is what we've stuck with. All of these projects made tradeoffs in individual lethality vs overall battlefield lethality, but 5.56 seems to have been the best option at the time. Good enough for govt work, as the saying goes. Russia and China seem to agree, given their adoption of EXTREMELY similar cartridges.

**Periodically, militaries get obsessed with having one single cartridge for both individual weapons, squad automatic weapons, and crew served. We are currently going through a phase of that right now with the cased telescoping 6.8 trials that are taking place. The military just adopted the fantastic M855A1, yet here we are, not learning from history because OVERMATCH. The M14 complemented the M60 and also did great at CMP style trials, which have long been a bias in U.S. Military history (1903 sights vs 1917 sights. Leadership and Joe disagreed mightily on which had better combat sights).

Now that I've concluded my long winded diatribe on the wound vs kill thing, I do want to add that I agree with your main point, which is that the media exhibits bias, ignorance, and intellectual dishonesty when it comes to the AR15 and 5.56x45mm. They are neither WMDs nor are they poodle poppers. They are good tools with uses that are dictated by their users. If the user is evil, they get used for bad stuff.
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Old July 11th, 2019, 12:09 PM #29
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The M1 Garand was built to be compatible with the existing stockpiles of ammunition. What caused the change to M2 ball ammo was that many firing ranges...particularly National Guard...didn't have sufficient bullet drop area for the standard longer-range, heavy bullet M1 rounds. The Army standardized in the M2 ball because of that...not because the Garand couldn't handle the heavier M1 round. In fact, it was common during the war for soldiers to keep their Garands loaded with 172 grain black-tip armor piercing rounds due to better penetration. Their rifles suffered no ill effects.
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Old July 11th, 2019, 01:20 PM #30
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Originally Posted by TheOriginalMexicanBob View Post
The M1 Garand was built to be compatible with the existing stockpiles of ammunition. What caused the change to M2 ball ammo was that many firing ranges...particularly National Guard...didn't have sufficient bullet drop area for the standard longer-range, heavy bullet M1 rounds. The Army standardized in the M2 ball because of that...not because the Garand couldn't handle the heavier M1 round. In fact, it was common during the war for soldiers to keep their Garands loaded with 172 grain black-tip armor piercing rounds due to better penetration. Their rifles suffered no ill effects.
I have read that as well as reports that M1 ball damaged the barrel (due to the bullet forming a poor gas seal) or the op rod in garands (due to it being higher pressure). I honestly don't know what is true and what is speculation at this point. I considered looking it up but decided the reason for the switch was less relevant than the fact that a switch was made. Thank you for your correction, though.
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