Tuesday, January 24, 2006

One more reason to hate lawyers

Found a link to this earlier today:
"An Army judge advocate general (JAG) temporarily banned Army and Marine Corps snipers from using a highly accurate open-tip bullet. "

You're probably aware that the Geneva Convention or some other agreement we never signed on to forbids the use of bullets designed to mushroom or upset upon impact. Well, a long time ago Sierra bullets started making a match grade that has a small hollow point. Not for expansion; if you read the box, it specifically says NOT to use this bullet for hunting as it will NOT upset. These bullets are specifically allowed for military use because of that. Part of their manufacturing process uses a small rod to hold the bullet for part of the shaping, when the rod is removed it leaves a hollow. What happened here is some JAG lawyer heard 'hollow tip' or 'hollow point' and had a fit without bothering to find out what they were talking about.

There ought to be some kind of regulation that before some REMF(to borrow a phrase) can make a ruling on equipment/actions, they have to run it past somebody who actually knows their ass from a hole in the ground. Won't happen, but it should. And please note in the article that the sniper who blew the whistle was screwed over for making noise, even though it corrected a real problem. Idiot bureaucrats in uniform are still idiot bureaucrats.

On a side note, I read years ago that when the U.S. first began using the .223 cartridge in the M16(ok, 5.56x45mm if you're going to be picky and metric) Sweden had diplomatic fits because the little 55-grain bullet will sometimes, if velocity is high enough, not only yaw and tumble after impact but break apart at the cannelure(the grooved band running around the waist of some bullets), thus causing worse wounds. Turned out that while they were bitching at us, the .30 caliber machinegun ammo they were making for their forces was specifically designed to do just that.

The JAG lawyer had the same attitude that kept many police departments from using hollowpoints for many years; screw whether it stops the bad guy better, we think they're mean. Difference being that the cops were wanting actual designed-to-mushroom ammo; the snipers were using already approved ammo that this idiot couldn't bother to find out about before taking fingers to keyboard.

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