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The Shadow of the Hague

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The Shadow of the Hague Ballistic Problems Past and Present. Peter J. T. Knudsen Institute of Forensic Medicine University of Southern Denmark – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Shadow of the Hague


1
The Shadow of the Hague Ballistic Problems Past
and Present.
  • Peter J. T. Knudsen
  • Institute of Forensic Medicine
  • University of Southern Denmark
  • And
  • Danish Defence Health Services

2
The Hague Declaration of 1899
  • The Contracting Parties agree to abstain from the
    use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in
    the human body, such as bullets with a hard
    envelope which does not entirely cover the core
    or is pierced with incisions

3
Dèclaration de la Haye 1899
  • Les Puissances contractantes s'interdisent
    l'emploi de balles qui s'épanouissent ou
    s'aplatissent facilement dans le corps humain,
    telles que les balles à enveloppe dure dont
    l'enveloppe ne couvrirait pas entièrement le
    noyau ou serait pourvue d'incisions.

4
Interpretation
  • The Contracting Parties agree to abstain from the
    use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in
    the human body,
  • vs.
  • such as bullets with a hard envelope which does
    not entirely cover the core or is pierced with
    incisions

5
The effect on the bullet
  • The Contracting Parties agree to abstain from the
    use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in
    the human body,

6
The design of the bullet
  • such as bullets with a hard envelope which does
    not entirely cover the core or is pierced with
    incisions

7
Wound profile 7,62 x 51 mm expanding bullet
8
Application of the Hague Declaration in Denmark
a hundred years later
  • Fragmentation behaviour of 7,62 x 51 mm NATO
    bullets

9
Case
  • In 1989 a man killed his son, his ex-wife and her
    boyfriend and finally killed himself when
    confronted by a police officer. The child was
    killed with a hunting rifle, but the couple and
    he were killed with his Home Guard rifle, a M/75
    rifle, the German Heckler and Koch G3, using
    Danish service ammunition produced by the State
    ammunition factory, the Ammunitions-arsenalet
    (AMA)

10
Bullet parts found at the autopsy of the woman
11
Bullet parts found at the crime scene
12
  • Reported in1980 (1) and by Fackler in 1989 (2).
  • 1. Stiefel D Die Wirkung von
    Vollmantelgeschossen gegen Weichteile, Deutsche
    Waffenjournal 1980750 (letter).
  • 2. Fackler ML Wounding patterns of military
    rifle bullets, International Defence
    Review.1989559-64.

13
Experimental confirmation
  • Tests were conducted at the Army Combat School,
    Experimental and Safety Section, confirming the
    fragmentation of the M/75 bullet in ordnance
    gelatin

14
Collection of Danish cases
  • Having obtained the necessary permissions all
    know fatal cases using the M/75 were collected.
    The results confirmed previous reports they
    were all fragmented.
  • Knudsen PJT, Theilade P Terminal ballistics of
    the 7.62mm NATO bullet, Autopsy findings.
    International Journal of Legal Medicine
    199310661-67.

15
The problem
  • Having drawn the attention of the manufacturer
    to the fragmentation of the Danish ammunition an
    redesign was performed, after some discussions,
    however.
  • The M/75 bullet was of similar design to the
    German bullet, a natural decision since the
    weapon was German. It had a steel jacket with a
    thickness of 0,35 mm.
  • The redesigned bullet is of a design very similar
    to the US bullet, not as a result of copying but
    after considerable experimentation. The need to
    follow NATO standardisation requirements led to a
    similar solution to the similar problem. The new
    M/94 bullet has a tombak jacket that is 0,80 mm
    thick

16
The Scandal
  • A year after the publication of the findings, a
    newspaper happened to read it, and suddenly the
    front page was decorated with a story that the
    Danish Defence used Dum-dum bullets. The redesign
    was fortunately under way, but the Minister of
    Defence had to take action, and ordered a recall
    of all cartridges from Danish Forces in
    international operations ex-Yugoslavia and a
    purchase of a large number of bullets from a
    foreign manufacturer to be fitted into Danish
    produced cases, until the new bullet could be in
    production.

17
The old and the new
  • M/75 M/94

18
  • This bullet, that is now the standard 7,62 x 51
    NATO bullet in the Danish Defence is still in use
    as M/94, and has been proved to fulfil the
    requirements. I was allowed to publish the
    experimental work leading to the new bullet.
  • Knudsen, PJT, Vigsnæs JS, Rasmussen R, Nissen PS
    Terminal ballistics of 7.62mm NATO bullets
    experiments in ordnance gelatin, International
    Journal of Legal Medicine, 199510862-67.

19
And now for something not so different, but more
relevant
20
The 5.56 x 45 mm NATO bullet
  • Developed for military use based on the .223
    rifle bullet.
  • In the NATO countries used in the original M16
    rifle.
  • Modified as the US M855 or NATO SS109 for the M16
    and derivatives

21
Design of the SS109
  • Full metal jacketed bullet
  • Lead core and steel penetrator in the tip
  • High velocity approx. 920 m/sec at the muzzle

22
Wound ballistic properties of the SS109
23
7,62 x 51 mm NATO M/75vs.5,56 x 45 mm NATO
SS109
  • Similarities
  • FMJ
  • Fragments by break-up at cannelure up to 100 m

24
7,62 x 51 mm NATO M/75vs.5,56 x 45 mm NATO SS10
25
7,62 x 51 mm NATO M/75vs.5,56 x 45 mm NATO
SS109
  • Dissimilarities
  • No non-fragmenting bullet that will pass NATO
    requirements is commercially available, as far as
    I know!

26
The moral - dilemma
  • One day perhaps yesterday there will be a
    NATO-certified non-fragmenting bullet.

27
The moral - dilemma
  • What will YOU do?
  • Call your MoD to tell them to buy new bullets and
    scrap the millions in the depots?
  • Is that a wise move career-wise?
  • Or do you shut up and hope nobody notices?
  • And what if someone else finds out and they ask
    you, the expert?
  • And so on and so forth

28
Questions?
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