A small part of this grew out of an M1911A thread posted herein. This is NOT an M1911 vs anything type of thread. If you proceed in that fashion, I'll proceed in an "I'll report your posts along those lines" fashion, so please don't derail this thread along those lines.
I trust our mods and admins will be able to sort it through, and prevent thread derailment while still allowing the derailment of individuals who'd like to yank this thread off topic. Given the nature of what I propose, I think they, as well as each and every one of us, have a serious and vested interest in this topic.
This begins with what I discovered on Wikipedia:
"Dissatisfaction with the stopping power of the 9mm Parabellum cartridge used in the Beretta M9has actually promoted re-adoption of handguns based on the .45 ACP cartridge such as the M1911 design, along with other handguns, among USSOCOM units in recent years, though the M9 remains predominant both within SOCOM and in the US military in general."- Source
I LIKE the 1911 design. Solid, decent handling, and packs a punch. But for carry, I prefer the 9mm. Part of SOC's and the Marine's decision to go with the .45 is that they're limited by international military-use convention to FMJ rounds. In that type of round, effective stopping power begins with the .45 caliber diameter. However, we can use JHP rounds here at home, which have the same or better stopping power as a .45 ACP FMJ round. This, and the fact that you can carry 16+1 shots in most 9mm vs the 9+1 in most 1911s is why the FBI and the vast majority of civilian law enforcement agencies switched from 1911s to .38s, to 9mms.
The only reason the military maintains any hold to the 1911 is because as a Geneva-mandated FMJ round, it alone holds the punch that's required.
I think it's time for a change!
1. This ruling originated during a time when battlefield medical practice was ill-equipped to deal with the infection and subsequent mortification rates of soldiers who'd been struck with fragmenting rounds. As a result, such rounds were banned. It was deemed enough for a round of stopping power to simply stop the action of the soldier on the battlefield, without inflicting additional wounds which would either result in his demise or require exorbitant efforts on the part of the enemy in order to prevent his demise.
One must remember much of these mindsets originated from both the cap and ball days our our own civil war, as well as the "sawbones surgery" options available at the time.
2. Yesterday's fragmenting rounds literally fragmented, causing serious damage and infection. Today's expanding rounds stay together. Yes, they exert a greater stopping power, but less ancillary damage.
3. The use of body armor largely attenuates the effect of expanding rounds, while simultaneously increasing stopping power of non-armored counter-forces, while actually reducing the carnage of those forces.
4. There is a thread that allowing JHP would result in greater injury to our own troops, but I find this ridiculous when the enemy has been using mines, people-bombs, and IEDs since the 1950s.
My thoughts herein are based on a couple of key goals:
Goal 1. Maximum effectiveness
Goal 2: Minimum death
Goal 3: Minimum collateral damage
Goal 1 Maximum effectiveness. This is easy. Employ a fully-fragmenting round which effects maximum damage to the human body is the most preferable in a war-time scenario. One shot, one kill. On to the next target.
However, it's not most preferable given international law and our rules of engagement, which have long since ruled such results are inhuman. Many JHP rounds, while expanding, and imparting maximum energy to the target (vs mostly passing through), tend to fragment, leaving the recipient in a severely injured state involving many organs, and requiring serious medical attention to fix, with a poor prognosis for long-term recovery.
Argument 1: The use of FMJ bullets often requires multiple rounds to put down the enemy, usually resulting in the same or worse damage.
Solution: An expanding round, but cohesive round which imparts maximum energy on the target while minimizing the enemy soldier's wounds overall. This would drastically reduce medical requirements, recovery times, etc.
Counter-arguement: Why would you want to stop the enemy, but allow him to get back into the fray as soon as possible?
Goal 2: Minimum death: Employ rubber bullets, semi-penetrating non-lethal narcotics, sticky foam, or other means to subdue the enemy and sort things out later.
For whatever reason, our governments have chosen to use other means. Dang. We can air-drop a swimming-pool-sized sticky bomb over a known outdoor gathering of insurgents and stop 80% of them without harm to any of them (other than the few on the fringes who might fire upon us and we'd fire back). Not only that, but the sticky stuff tends to stick the evidence to the perp. "Oh, that's not your weapon? Why is your hand wrapped around it's hilt, hmmm???"
Goal 3: Minimum collateral damage.
For us civilians, I think this should be of paramount importance. None of us wants to defence ourselves against a perp, even of the most violent and vile kind, if that means robbing anyone else of their right to a happy and healthy life. I've personally known only one such child who was caught in the crossfire, and it was definately avoidable (parapalegic courtesy of a lead .38 that penetrated the perp's body and struck a child's spine).
I'm tired of collateral damage, and tired of the old world rules which both reduce any troops' effectiveness, while increasing their exposure, complicating enemy injury and increasing the loss of innocent civilian life.
We have the technology to create rounds which will penetrate any armor, all the way through the person, if necessary, then backfire to ensure a kill on the target upon which the soldier pulled the trigger, without resulting in any collateral damage whatsoever.
Expensive? Oh, heck yes! But it's not even a drop in the bucket compared to what's been spent on the war on terrorism, and maybe not "oh heck yes" at all given the last 50-70 years of development in rounds for both private use and law enforcement.
1. The prohibition against fragmenting ammo arose from a time when it meant maximum damage and potential death. A LOT of things have changed since then.
2. It's been unfairly extended to today's expanding ammo, because it lumps today's modern, non-fragmenting designs in with the "dum-dum" designs of old.
3. By sanctioning today's designs, as exhibited by those embraced by the FBI and the vast majority of both US and overseas law enforcement agencies today, we would achieve a moderate measure of mortality reduction both on the battlefield as well as with civilian casualties, while making inroads into even more effective, but less lethal means of accomplishing nationaly policy.
Open for thoughts.