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legality question about ammunition .

r16

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as far as ı know it is forbidden to use explosives in rounds smaller than 20 mm . But as ı saw it in a TV series that mentioned the Raufoss (ı guess) 12.7 mm round to be used in a sniper rifle . As ı was also writing something on British fighter guns in 1940 ,which might be more useful if HE than API , in a scenario ı was thinking of .Can anyone help me out on such legal points ? Are/were they legal or do people close their eyes ?
 

Speedy

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Hi
(sorry for my English)

AFAIK this ban is stated by St.Petersburg Declaration in 1868. Declaration went to forbid the use by the forces of contracting parties of "any projectile of a weight below 400 grammes" filled with explosive or incendiary substances.
But later interpretation was that the direct shooting with such ammo against people is forbidden; but against other targets the use of explosive rounds is allowed. Even in XIX century long range big bore rifles with such ammo were used against transport (burning ammunition wagons etc.). In both world wars rifle caliber explosive bullets were also frequently used by land forces for target designation and in aircraft and AA weapons, especially in WWI against hydrogen-filled balloons and airships.
 

Orionblamblam

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Get a shotgun. All manner of explodey goodness is available in 12 guage, substantially smaller than 20mm.
Dragonsbreath.jpg


FRAG-12%20Projectile_1.jpg
 

Orionblamblam

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sferrin said:
What the hell is that top picture? :eek:

Dragons Breath loads for a 12 guage. High magnesium content I gather. Entirely useless from a tactical standpoint, and certainly not what you'd want to fire off for home defense... but I imagine they're entertaining as hell. I see 'em regularly at the gun show at the South Town Expo Center (one coming up weekend after next, IIRC). I've never fired one, but from some quick online digging it looks like quality control might not be everythign it could, leading to some duds. Might be because the magnesium oxidizes over time, dunno.
13495519gvpvrhulkffstn4.jpg


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Vfwh2C5FsY&NR=1

One online source is here (Google searched, no other data): http://www.garysguns.com/exotic.htm

Note that they also have bolo and flechette rounds for the 12-guage (bolos are *great* rounds for home defense, except the local DA will send you to PMITA Prison for the rest of your life if you actually use 'em), as well as armor piercing high explosive rounds for your .50, and explosive rounds for 30-06, .308, 7.62x39. Yee-haw!


The second photo is obviously a 12-guage grenade, the FRAG-12. Seems like a lot of metal, not so much explosive. But clearly small-scale explosive rounds are feasible, and there are a lot of targets that the military would do well to shot such rounds at. See here: http://www.defensereview.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=741



Now, what you *really* want is a refined version of this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMJ8-56L3Lc&feature=related
Heh.
 

sferrin

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I imagine that Dragons Breath would be good for getting toilet paperers out of your yard though. ;D Would give new meaning to "get off of my lawn!"
 

Orionblamblam

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sferrin said:
I imagine that Dragons Breath would be good for getting toilet paperers out of your yard though. ;D Would give new meaning to "get off of my lawn!"

Gotta say that with a gravelly voice and an Eastwood squint.
 

Abraham Gubler

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The Hague Conventions (1908) provide the currently recognised legal governing for small arms in use in lawful combat. Which by the way does not cover policing and there is split recognition about the definition of a legal combatant in insurgency operations (hence Gitmo and all that).

Small arms rounds (fired against individuals) that "expand or explode" are banned. Attempts by the German government after WW1 to cover shotguns (shot, slug, flechette ammo) in this category failed in the 1920s. Other attempts to replace this prohibition with high energy expending ammunition have also failed.

Frankly the military and moral arguments that existed i100 years ago for this ban are no longer relevant. Interestingly the same conventions also banned the dropping of bombs from air vehicles but when a military need arose for this the convention was soon forgotten.

For a long time FMJ ammunition made a lot of sense for armies to maximize the damage they inflict upon other armies. Now with CQB one shot, one kill and zero ricochets are what is needed but we are stuck with the bullets of 100 years ago.
 

Orionblamblam

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Abraham Gubler said:
Frankly the military and moral arguments that existed i100 years ago for this ban are no longer relevant. Interestingly the same conventions also banned the dropping of bombs from air vehicles but when a military need arose for this the convention was soon forgotten.

That's the key. It's easy to ban things that the military doesn't see much value in. Harder to ban the things that are obviously useful.

The last time that the Second Amendment came before the US Supreme Court in a major way prior to the recent Heller case, was the Miller case of the 1930's. The short form was that the USSC said that it is ok to ban sawed-off shotguns, because sawed off shotguns serve no military purpose. And yet... soldiers have found sawed off shotguns fantastically useful militarily. Someone's hiding behind that bush? Bam! One shot, you got him. Buckshot rounds for 40mm grenade launches were quite popular in Nam. Perhaps not so much so in Iraq, dunno.

There is a design for an infantry weapon that marries a .45 submachine gun to a 12-guage pump shotgun that fires little grenades. I understand that the US Colonial Marines are quite pleased with it.
 

Abraham Gubler

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The story behind the banning of dum dums is quite interesting. I’ve just written a big story for publication in February on this and how it affects current lethality issues with small arms.

Basically the British Army introduced hollowpoint ammunition with the .303 so they would hit as hard as the Martini-Henri rifles they were replacing (this is late 19th century). At the time the basic infantry engagement of the British Army was a square against charging ‘natives’ armed with primitive weapons. Along comes the Boer War and these very hard hitting rounds create some gruesome wounds amongst the Afrikaners and the Germans officially protest leading to a ban inclusion in Article 3 of the 1899 Hague Conventions. This is later ratified and included in further Hague Conventions.

While the British at first protested the ban they later embraced it with the change in infantry tactics forced on them by the 7mm Mausers used by the Boers. The new tactics were long range rifle barrages and machinegun fire. To make these applications more effective you needed FMJ bullets not dum dums as FMJ encouraged ricochets. You would effectively create a mass beaten zone hundreds of metres from your line that the enemy would have to march through. It’s still basic contemporary SFMG and artillery suppressive fire tactics.

Also the lower wounding potential of FMJ bullets caused more wounded rather than killed enemy in the beaten zone. This placed more burden on the enemies logistics as they had to evacuate and treat their wounded. When battles were between infantry armies in the hundreds of thousands this made a strong difference. It worked and it stopped the German Army dead cold at the start of WW1. Ironically if the Germans had never protested and the British still used hollowpoint .303 they may have had the edge and turned the allied flank and won WW1 before Christmas!

Track forward 80 years and the Cold War is over and infantry combat is at close quarters against an enemy that thinks suicide belts are a great weapon. In this case the FMJ bullets are a major hindrance as their ricochets create a higher risk of civilian wounds and deaths in the urbanised battlefield. The lower wounding potential means it’s much harder to effect incapacitation on the enemy.

Of course this is all military, moral and ethical logic which count for very little in any kind of public debate on this issue.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Orionblamblam said:
There is a design for an infantry weapon that marries a .45 submachine gun to a 12-guage pump shotgun that fires little grenades. I understand that the US Colonial Marines are quite pleased with it.

I prefer their MG42s mounted on swinging arms... Something about rock music?
 

Longshaor

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The origins of Dragon's Breath

This is actually a pretty neat idea. It was developed by the US Army in the late '50s or early '60s as an ARTILLERY round. Some limited field testing was carried out in Vietnam. They found that it was an effective anti-personnel weapon, but only at very close range. Probably gave their enemy a bit of a scare though...

Cheers!
 

Orionblamblam

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Re: The origins of Dragon's Breath

Longshaor said:
This is actually a pretty neat idea. It was developed by the US Army in the late '50s or early '60s as an ARTILLERY round.

I suspect the origins go back much furthe than that. Back when a cannon was a metal tube you stuffed gunpowder and "stuff" into and then lit a fuse, I have little doubt that some artillerymen or cannoneers thought "hey, let's put something flamable in there and see what happens."
 

Abraham Gubler

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Re: The origins of Dragon's Breath

Longshaor said:
This is actually a pretty neat idea. It was developed by the US Army in the late '50s or early '60s as an ARTILLERY round. Some limited field testing was carried out in Vietnam. They found that it was an effective anti-personnel weapon, but only at very close range. Probably gave their enemy a bit of a scare though..

Burning magnesium in my artillery gun barrel? I'll pass. Especially as Splintex can have the same point blank spray effect and WP the same incendiary effect both with the advantage of longer range bursting options as well.
 

Orionblamblam

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Actually, done properly, you can fire out all manner of horrible things without necessarily damaging the barrel... magnesium, sodium, even powdered titanium or depleted uranium. The cannon barrel has limited oxygen within it, and the metal obviously won't burn without oxygen. So there could be very little combustion within the barrel, and thus no damage.

If you wanted to use a Dragon's Breath type round ina cannon shell for actual tactical effect, rather than just a source of late-night-in-the-desert-amusement, you package the powdered metal in a plastic or aluminum container that falls apart shortly after leavign the barrel. Given that you need to restrict exposure of that stuff to the atmosphere during storage anyway, that's what you'd almost have to do. Perhaps cast the powder within some sort of wax, with an explosive/ignition charge within, timed to go off a meter or so beyond the barrel.
 

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Orionblamblam said:
Get a shotgun. All manner of explodey goodness is available in 12 guage, substantially smaller than 20mm.

Yes but shotguns are not a legal weapon either, according to the Hague Convention and not generally used in warfare by civilised nations, as the Kaiser Wilhem II declared when told about the USMC's use of shotguns on the Western Front.
 

Orionblamblam

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rickshaw said:
Orionblamblam said:
Get a shotgun. All manner of explodey goodness is available in 12 guage, substantially smaller than 20mm.

Yes but shotguns are not a legal weapon either, according to the Hague Convention and not generally used in warfare by civilised nations...

Incorrect. The US has used them in warfare a little short of forever. My father, for instance, spent his last two weeks in Nam with a Remington pump. Didn't like it as much as his M-60, but he found it quite handy.

as the Kaiser Wilhem II declared when told about the USMC's use of shotguns on the Western Front.

Guffah. Taking an anti-semetic inbred mentally unstable European hereditary monarchical tyrants idea of "civilized" with the slightest bit of seriousness is damned funny. Let me know when the ghost of Willy comes back and says something about shrapnel producing artillery shells being "uncivilized."
 

TomS

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rickshaw said:
Orionblamblam said:
Get a shotgun. All manner of explodey goodness is available in 12 guage, substantially smaller than 20mm.

Yes but shotguns are not a legal weapon either, according to the Hague Convention and not generally used in warfare by civilised nations, as the Kaiser Wilhem II declared when told about the USMC's use of shotguns on the Western Front.

And the German complaint was pointedly rebuffed -- shotguns are not "calculated to cause unnecessary suffering" and are perfectly legal under the Hague Convention. They have seen combat use by MANY nations, including Britain, the United States, France, Australia, and New Zealand. They continue to be fielded quite widely by the United States military, as they are a great platform for door breaching and non-lethal projectiles.

For a very detailed essay on the legality of shotguns in war, I direct you to the US Army's JAG corps' Army Lawyer article on the same (apoligies for the rather messy link):

https://jagcnet.army.mil/JAGCNETINTERNET/HOMEPAGES/AC/ARMYLAWYER.NSF/c82df279f9445da185256e5b005244ee/6ae1de28fab6310685256e5b0054ec6b/$FILE/Article%202.pdf

PS: the Army as well as the Marines used shotguns in World War 1, and it was actually an Army soldier (of the 77th Division) who was the first one threatened with execution under the German complaint.
 

Abraham Gubler

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rickshaw said:
Yes but shotguns are not a legal weapon either, according to the Hague Convention and not generally used in warfare by civilised nations, as the Kaiser Wilhem II declared when told about the USMC's use of shotguns on the Western Front.

Urban myth. Germany took the US to court over shotguns after WW1 and lost. Because the ammunition does not expand or explode it simply shoots multiple projectiles from the one cartridge.
 

sferrin

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Now if it were a shotgun round packed with glass. . .
 

Rickshaw

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I think you'll find that the American rejection of the German protest about the illegality of Shotguns, under Article 23(e) of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land of 18 October 1907 had more to do with politics (and diplomacy) than it did with the actual legality of the matter. The article concerned stated (emphasis added) that:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hague04.asp#art23 said:
Art. 23.

In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden -

To employ poison or poisoned weapons;

To kill or wound treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army;

To kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion;

To declare that no quarter will be given;

To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering;

To make improper use of a flag of truce, of the national flag or of the military insignia and uniform of the enemy, as well as the distinctive badges of the Geneva Convention;

To destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;

To declare abolished, suspended, or inadmissible in a court of law the rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party. A belligerent is likewise forbidden to compel the nationals of the hostile party to take part in the operations of war directed against their own country, even if they were in the belligerent's service before the commencement of the war.

The German protest, it should be noted referred specifically to "sawned off" weapons. As to whether or not such weapons caused, "To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering" could be debatable however, it was never taken before an international court of justice for judgement.

The Germans put their view. The US it's. That does not mean it has been judged either way by an impartial body. Both sides sought to further their viewpoint at the expense of the other. Personally, I suspect that the American viewpoint was a case of sophistry. If one reads the claim that,

http://www.tacticalshotgun.ca/content_sub/shotguns/da-pam_27-50-299.html said:
The only instances even where a shotgun projectile causes more injury to any one enemy soldier than would a hit by a rifle bullet are instances where the enemy soldier has approached so close to the shooter that he is struck by more than one of the nine . . . [No. 00 buckshot projectiles] contained in the cartridge.

It is put in such a way as to claim that the victims of these shotguns would not normally be close to the firer when, as they were utilised for trench clearing when ranges were short enough to ensure that the target was likely to be close enough to indeed be struck by "more than one of the nine...contained in the cartridge". This is stretching credibility IMO.

What is interesting is that,
http://www.tacticalshotgun.ca/content_sub/shotguns/da-pam_27-50-299.html said:
In August 1992, the Government of Germany issued a new law of war manual.16 Paragraph 407 of the manual states: "It is prohibited to use bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body (e.g., dum-dum bullets) (Hague Decl 1899). This also applies to the use of shotguns, since shot causes similar suffering unjustified from the military point of view. . . ." The issue of whether shotgun buckshot violates the prohibition contained in the Hague Declaration Concerning Expanding Bullets of 29 July 1899 is addressed later in this article. Since the German manual's objection to the shotgun relies upon the 1899 Hague Declaration Concerning Expanding Bullets, it can be assumed that the Government of Germany no longer regards the combat use of shotguns as a violation of the general prohibition of weapons causing superfluous injury, contained in Article 23(e) of the Annex to Hague Convention IV of 18 October 1907, as previously asserted in its diplomatic note of 23 September 1918.

Yet, the US study where this statement was made conveniently ignores the fact that the German Government does regard the use of Shotguns still illegal, merely under a different treaty and article! ::)

It would be interesting if German troops serving in Afghanistan witnessed American troops using shotguns, whilst under say, German command as part of the NATO force there. The German commander would be duty bound to prosecute.
 

Orionblamblam

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rickshaw said:
The German protest, it should be noted referred specifically to "sawned off" weapons. As to whether or not such weapons caused, "To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering" could be debatable however...

Not really. A sawed-off shotgun is nowhere near as nasty as a typical landmine, and the Germans sure didn't have a problem with *those.*

It is put in such a way as to claim that the victims of these shotguns would not normally be close to the firer when, as they were utilised for trench clearing when ranges were short enough to ensure that the target was likely to be close enough to indeed be struck by "more than one of the nine...contained in the cartridge". This is stretching credibility IMO.

The credibility that is stretched is the claim that getting shot at point-blank range with 12-guage full of buckshot is somehow more "unnecessary suffering" than getting hit with some weak-ass pistol round. The pistol round hits you in the belly, and you spend the next 12 hours dying in agony as your bowels empty into your bloodstream. Get shot in the belly with load of buckshot, you're dead in seconds.


Yet, the US study where this statement was made conveniently ignores the fact that the German Government does regard the use of Shotguns still illegal...

For Germans.


It would be interesting if German troops serving in Afghanistan witnessed American troops using shotguns, whilst under say, German command as part of the NATO force there. The German commander would be duty bound to prosecute.

Not according to what you've posted. If the German commander saw *German* soldiers using a shotgun, then, perhaps.


I've never seen a good explanation for the European disdain for shotguns.. apart from an aristocratic view that such weapons are "peasant" weapons, not proper for the brass-bebuttoned highborn lords who populate the officer corps. Americans, fortunately, have rarely had much use for such viewpoints. We did once have a group of such, but they got their asses handed to 'em in the 1860's.

In any event, here may well be the future:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4ebtj1jR7c
 

Orionblamblam

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sferrin said:
Go duck huntin' with that. ;D

Or this:
img_4596.jpg


The duck would probably have to be pretty close, however.

Note: this is a *Russian* combat shotgun. Woo.


Or this:
XM26_2_highRes.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM-26
The M26 MASS was developed by C-More Systems to meet the requirements of U.S. troops in Afghanistan for a lightweight door breaching and less-lethal delivery system which would eliminate the need to carry an additional weapon such as a pump-action shotgun.

The M26 has been in development at the U.S. Army's Soldier Battle Lab since the late 1990s. The idea was to provide soldiers with lightweight accessory weapons, which could be mounted under the standard issue M16 rifle or M4 carbine. These would provide soldiers with additional capabilities, such as: door breaching using special slugs; very short-range increased lethality, using 00 buckshot; and less-lethal capabilities using teargas shells, rubber slugs, rubber pellets, and other less-lethal rounds.
 

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Oof, rather big and clumsy... Just what you need in an urban combat context. I kid of course. Wielding the XM26 would be a matter of retraining I guess.
 

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New small-caliber explosive rounds of being developed for anti-material use, like the .50 "reactive Material Enhanced Bullet".

There's also reactive material shrapnel that explodes when it strikes a solid object, I'm not sure what the Geneva view is on that one.
 

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Regards the Germans (who's contribution to the great war was poison gas, flame throwers and submachine guns) getting the vapors over shotguns.
I think their problem was more with the targets than the projectiles.
 

Orionblamblam

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Finally stumbled across the webpage of the company that makes these goofball 12-gauge shells:
www.atlasammo.com

Dragon's Breath Flare
An incredible FIREBALL blasts from your shotgun past 100 ft., igniting everything in it's path!! NOT AVAILABLE IN: CALIFORNIA, IOWA, ILLINOIS, FLORIDA, OR MASSACHUSETTES, SORRY!

Double Mule
TWO yes TWO 1 oz. Slugs stacked together. KICKS like a mule, hits twice as hard! The ultimate STOPPER!!

Bolo
TWO heavy duty slugs are molded onto each end of a 5 in piece of steel wire. When fired a 240% expansion rips COMPLETELY THROUGH your objective!!

Pit Bull
PURE POWER!! SIX OO-BUCK PELLETS BLAST OUT ALONG WITH ONE HEAVY DUTY SLUG! Loaded extra hot for MAXIMUM stopping power! Once it bites it won't let go!!

Flechette
It's like shooting NAILS from your shotgun! Dozens of SHARP tiny steel darts (Flechettes) BLAST from your shotgun causing an unbelievable TRAUMA effect! NOT AVAILABLE IN: CALIFORNIA, ILLINOIS, FLORIDA, OR MASSACHUSETTES, SORRY!

Detonator
A deep hollow slug for loading cumbustible materials. load your own formula or ours. The explosive tip DETONATES ON IMPACT with an incredible SHRAPNEL effect.

Terminator
TERMINATE your objective with a hollow core slug sealed with dozens of tiny lead pellets. The slug mushrooms to nearly 1 1/2 in on impact forcing the pellets to spread like a disease!!

Rhodesian Jungle
A proven jungle warfare round GET EM IN THE BUSHES. (Never shoot at anything you can not POSITIVELY INDENTIFY!!)

Sporting Tracer
OVERCOME 100’s of shot’s fired in MYSTERY with one shot!! Designed to improve accuracy by TRACING WITH THE PATTERN!!

Door Buster
Tiny lead shot filled cup acts as a solid projectile. All energy is expelled on impact BLASTING AWAY your objective without penetration!!

Shredder
Dozens of RAZOR SHARP steel tacks BLAST from your shotgun! Lead shot adds to the effect "shredding" your objective with virtually no response from unwanted intruders!!

Mini-Missle
An ARMOR PIERCING steel core projectile is swaged into a high velocity lead slug. DEFEATS MOST STEEL OBJECTS UP TO A 1/4 in THICK!!

Power Blanks
A thunderous 120+ decibel report with a dazzling 3 ft. muzzle flash! Equal to an actual blast. Safe for all shotguns and flare pistols.

12 Ga.Super Flare (Red)
A SUPER BRIGHT flare blasts 300+ feet illuminating a large area and can be seen for miles. Repels moisture in most conditions. Red or green varieties.

12 Ga. Super Flare (Green)
A SUPER BRIGHT Green flare blasts 300+ feet, illuminating a large area and can be seen for MILES. Repels moisture in most conditions

12 Ga. Super Flare (White)
A SUPER BRIGHT White flare blasts 300+ feet, illuminating a large area and can be seen for MILES. Repels moisture in most conditions

12 Ga. Super Flare (Blue)
A SUPER BRIGHT Blue flare blasts 300+ feet, illuminating a large area and can be seen for MILES. Repels moisture in most conditions

12 Ga. Super Flare (Yellow)
A SUPER BRIGHT Yellow flare blasts 300+ feet, illuminating a large area and can be seen for MILES. Repels moisture in most conditions

Comet Flare (Silver)
A Flare with a tail!

Comet Flare (GOLD)
A flare with a tail!!

Non-Lethal Bouncer
Two large Zytel ball travel with accuracy up to 35 yards with the impact equal to a FAST PITCHED BASEBALL!! Guaranteed personal bodyguard protection with MAXIMUM punch!!

Non-Lethal Avenger
Stop an intruder in their tracks! Hollow steel balls eliminate multiple room penetration AND your objective! Light recoil allows use by most family members.

Non-Lethal Stinger
16 Zytel OO-Buck Balls come together to give you the power to protect yourself without the worry of eminent death. The NON-LETHAL alternative with low recoil.

Non-Lethal Hammer
A ballistic bag with stabilizing tails filled with tiny shot forms an extremely accurate "bean bag". Great for NON-LETHAL power in the most threatening situations. effective up to 30 yards!!

While these rounds are all legal (except in some of the more politically corrupt states), using them in the home defense role would be insanity. The Bolo round would be fantastically effective... it'd shred the intruder, while it would stand almost no chance of penetrating doors and walls. All this is great... until the local prosecutor gets ahold of you. Blasting away at someone with non-standard ammo is something that screams "arrest and sue me now."
 
J

joncarrfarrelly

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Orionblamblam said:
I've never seen a good explanation for the European disdain for shotguns.. apart from an aristocratic view that such weapons are "peasant" weapons, not proper for the brass-bebuttoned highborn lords who populate the officer corps.

More likely the opposite.
The shotgun was the prime sporting weapon of the aristocratic classes and they
probably didn't like having its image sullied by the uncouth Americans. ;)
You have to remember that hunting was literally the preserve of the landed classes.

Jon
 

Orionblamblam

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joncarrfarrelly said:
The shotgun was the prime sporting weapon of the aristocratic classes and they
probably didn't like having its image sullied by the uncouth Americans. ;)
You have to remember that hunting was literally the preserve of the landed classes.

Yeah, that's a point. To my mind it's always seemed odd that the sharpshooter has generally been ignored or even disdained by miliary forces, including, for a long time, the US military, given the incredible usefulness of such skills. The fact that a lot of the best snipers have been along the lines of backwoodsmen like Alvin York. Might barely have somethign to do with that. When you are both poor *and* dependent upon hunting for your next meal, i imagine you get pretty good at putting a bullet on target. And since "poor" is a class that nobody of Real Quality comes from...
 

r16

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and the poor rarely respected the rich which the officers came from .Though , being hardly informed American history ı am somewhat confused .I thought Americans had a healthy respect for and a good mileage with Kentucky rifles against the British . But then it may be that too much individualism in such sharpshooters might have negated their usefulness in military life .
 

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r16 said:
I thought Americans had a healthy respect for and a good mileage with Kentucky rifles against the British


Indeed so. And every time the US goes to war, we find that sharpshooters are a great thing to have in great abundance. But until, IIRC, Viet Nam, *between* wars the Army and Marines ignored sharpshooting, did minimal training and support. Since Viet Nam, though, there's been a lot more respect paid to the skill.

In every war there are amazing tales of sharpshooting skill. The War Of Southern Aggression produced some of the niftiest, with actual Sharps Shooters (shooting the Sharps rifle, hense the word) taking down Southern artillery by shooting the sand berms the artillery was hidden behind. With every shot, a bit more sand would be kicked up and tossed down the muzzle of the enemy cannon. Fire a few cannon shells with sand in the barrel and pretty soon your cannon is no good.
 

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I think you'll find there has always been an emphasis within the US military on marksmanship and in particular, the USMC has been keen practitioners of the art. Lee Harvey Oswald who was a US Marine during the 1950s was highly trained as were all Marines on the range, scoring highly. With the advent of both the M16 and Vietnam simultaneously, marksmanship suffered. While its now pointless with the M4.
 

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rickshaw said:
I think you'll find there has always been an emphasis within the US military on marksmanship and in particular, the USMC has been keen practitioners of the art.

Individual marksmanship has always been of value in the US military; but what has occasionally suffered is an appreciation specifically for snipers.
 

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