Talk:Expanding bullet

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Movie reference[edit]

I have only seen the movie and have not read the novel, but I believe that in The Day of the Jackal they refer to mercury and glycerine as bywords for nitroglycerine and mercury fulminate, both explosive compounds, so I will take this piece out.

Should this page also not include the Dum Dum pop, or at least a link to its entry?

Dum Dum pops are a flavored candy put on a stick. they have been around since 1924. see here: for more information, including history.

go for it. vroman

Page moved[edit]

I have moved the page from Dum dum to Dum-dum. This makes the title consistent with the text. Axl 10:39, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)

illegal combatants subject to summary execution?[edit]

The article states:

Illegally modified bullets found on a soldier would be evidence that the soldier was not following the conventions of land warfare, and he could be treated as an illegal combatant (subject to summary execution).

I do not believe that prisoners ever are subject to summary execution. Prisoners are supposed to be treated according to the Geneva Conventions by their captors. If doubt exists that they are entitled to being classified as a POW, then a "competent tribunal" is supposed to convene to make a determination about their status. I believe that, until that time, an execution, or even brutal treatment, constitutes a war crime.

I removed the reference to execution, and placed a link to unlawful combatant. 3mta3 06:19, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

You do not understand why an illegal combatant is not, by definintion, a POW. An illegal combatant forfeits all of the privledges accorded a prisoner of war. The intent of this was to limit, if not outright stop, warring parties from dressing their troops in enemy uniforms to gain an advantage on the battlefield. Most armies do cheat from time to time (Germans in U.S. uniforms during the Battle of the Bulge), but the idea is to strongly discourage this behaviour.

The presence of illegal combatants masquerading as civilians, hiding in mosques or churches, dressing as friendly troops, makes a mockery of the Geneva Convention, the law of land warfare, and make it all but impossible to correctly distinguish lawful combatants from innocent bystanders. It much more likely that civillians will be mis-identified and killed or wounded as a result. There is an exception in that militia or military units that do not have uniforms, but otherwise fight as military units and otherwise obey the law of armed conflict are lawful combatants (think of Confederates soldiers fighting without uniforms, but in ranks and under the Confederate flag).

If caught, long standing tradition holds that spies, sabatours, soldiers wearing the other sides uniforms etc. are illegal combatants and can be subject to summary justice, including execution. Looters commiting mayhem in an area under martial law can likewise be executed.Sorry, but if you are dressed in civilian attire, hide on the roof of a civilian home, take a few pot shots at soldiers, ditch your weapon in a gutter; you are an illegal combatant and have no reasonable expectation of POW status.

To the unsigned poster above: If a person does not qualify for combatant status, they become subject to the criminal law applicable. That means they can be arrested, tried and sentenced, but Geneva Convention 4 prohibits punishment without due process. To confirm what 3mta3 said, it also provides that: "Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal." (Geneva Convention 4, It's quite true that there used to be a tradition of summary execution for violations of IHL, but that's no longer official policy in "civilized" armed forces. But I'm getting a teeny bit off-topic ;-) UrsusMaximus (talk) 13:12, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
May I also add that a combatant doesn't become an illegal combatant by using expanding bullets. It is a violation of the laws of war, and a person can be punished but Article 85 of the GC IV states that "Prisoners of war prosecuted under the laws of the Detaining Power for acts committed prior to capture shall retain, even if convicted, the benefits of the present Convention". Sjö (talk) 15:39, 29 January 2011 (UTC)


this article needs some serious work on referencing. Check out WP:CITE and then find a free bibliography maker of the net. Enjoy. --CyclePat 21:41, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Marc Bossuyt and Jan Wouters (2005): Grondlijnen van internationaal recht, Intersentia, Antwerpen enz., p. 539 (in Dutch) says dum-dum bullets were first produced in 1867. In 1868, a Saint Petersburg declaration (written bij 26 states) said that this type of bullet was "be contrary to the laws of humanity"; so the 26 states forbade the use of these bullets. NL-Ninane 20:00, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

On a related note, the article states “These were not the first expanding bullets, however, and the term ‘Dum-dum’ is considered a slang term.” Source referenced is source #1. The link says: “1. An expanding bullet design originally developed by the British military units stationed at the Dum Dum Arsenal in India. In order to compensate for the issuance of smaller caliber, jacketed ammunition, the soldiers began cutting the jackets off at the nose in order to assist in terminal expansion; 2. A slang term used to refer to any type of soft-nose or hollow point bullet.” It does NOT say anything about any previous or later “expanding” (or otherwise) round. Keep your stories straight, it might help your credibility. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:54, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

OK, adding a source showing hollow point express bullets in established use by the mid 1870s. scot (talk) 19:38, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

I have read that the actual innovation of the dumdum bullet was made by the Bengalese. The word comes from the Bengali language, and was pronounced Däm du däm. Obviously the Brittish were made aware of this and started experimenting with the design, that's why it's complelety understandable that the development happened in Calcutta, India. I'm not adding this into the actual article, but it's a lead for someone to study the origins of the word and find a reliable source for this!//MRM — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:20, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

My Grandfather told me that in the WWI trenches it was common practice to use pliers to remove the copper jacketed lead projectile from the ammunition for the .303 Leigh Enfield. The front of the projectile was inserted into the cartridge case. The brass jacket did not cover the rear, now forward part, of the projectile. It was believed that the round so modified maximized lethality.

During the Great Depression and the Second World War, when the only ammunition inexpensively available in certain calibers (such as .30/06) an old American hunter's trick was to pull the bullets and reverse them in just this manner, placing the exposed lead of their bases forward. This would cause the bullet to expand like a softpoint bullet, at least sometimes; the projectiles, having not been designed for use in this manner, usually did not give consistent accuracy, expansion, weight retention, or deep penetration. But for light game like whitetail deer, it was said to be better than the alternatives. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:08, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Is a merge desirable?[edit]

I can't help but remark that the matter of this page seems to be overlapping a lot with that of Hollow-point bullet. Would it not be desirable to cull the intersting parts of this page and make them into a section of the one I mentioned? If not, can somebody explain clearly how the expanding bullets are not a subset of hollow point ones (or the reverse, though as far as I can tell all expanding bullets have a hollow in the tip) --Svartalf (talk) 22:42, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

I think articles should be merged. This article is awkwardly positioned as a short subset of bullet, and superset of hollow point bullet and soft point bullet (which is similarly short, as well as partially overlapping). The current article division is esoterically gangly for most readers. I think the most logical organization would be to have hollow point bullet and soft point bullet merged into expanding bullet. ENeville (talk) 16:01, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Oppose: Hollow point and soft point rounds are both notable enough to stand as their own articles. Faceless Enemy (talk) 05:39, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Support Expanding bullets are are subtype of Hollow tip.--Gilderien Talk|Contribs 20:15, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
You probably mean the other way around, don't you? There are many expanding bullets that are not hollow tip.Sjö (talk) 08:33, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Oppose The two are different--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 13:46, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Oppose As noted above, all bullets of this type are expanding bullets but there are many different versions. (talk) 18:46, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

German complaints to the Hague Convention[edit]

There's been a rumor ever since that the real motivation for the German complaints was that when they copied the bullet, its blunt shape caused frequent feedway stoppages in Maxim guns. Is this worthy of inclusion? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:54, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Any citation? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:06, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Taiwan section of backup[edit]


Terror In Formosa (The Daily News, Perth, 1947).jpg

This section is barely intelligible English. A better translation from the original language is needed.

When 1947,Taiwan happen a massacre,which known as 228 incidence (Kanji:二二八事件)in this event,one Taiwan doctor show the evidence to the United States consulate, which him fought the national government using expanding bullet shooting at crowd,orignial this kind of bullet should banned in military use or conventional war.[1] [2]

Although the mission was ordered to recall the army post in mainland China, unable to verify the use of weapons, but in an interview in the February 28 Incident documentaries, more than the victims of widow and to assist emergency physicians have confirmed that the injured and dead bodies serious wounds torn, broken and other human tissue and ordinary bullet wound completely different situation[3]

This weapon is enough to show why the international disabled, inhuman, cruel and bloody features.[Asia's Unknown Uprisings 1]


  1. ^ "Terror In Formosa". The Daily News. 1947-03-31. 
  2. ^ February 28 Incident and the United States, Chen Cuilian, page 11, Hosei UNIVERSITY fifth, 1995-01
  3. ^ George H. Kerr. [http: // "XII The February Incident, 1947"] Check |chapterurl= value (help). Formosa betrayed.  (English)

Hague Convention of 1899, Declaration III[edit]

Declaration III expressly states that the ban on expanding bullets only applies to international warfare between states that have signed the convention, which should be mentioned in the article, along with what the article already says about international customary law and later reinterpretation of the threaty/declaration. Unfortunately the properly sourced (see reference with full text of Declaration III) text has now been twice removed by User:Sjö, with no valid reason for the removal. Thomas.W talk 13:03, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

Similar texts can be found in other treaties. That doesn't mean that parties that didn't sign the treaties are never bound by the rules in such treaties. Sometimes they are bound by those rules, which is why I referred to customary international law and jus cogens in my edit comment. As you can see in the section there is disagreement about the issue so per WP:NPOV Wikipedia should describe the standpoints and stay neutral. Saying in Wikipedia's voice that the declaration only applies to the signatories isn't NPOV.Sjö (talk) 13:11, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
Reporting what the original treaty says and what later reinterpretations are, is as neutral as it can possibly be, while redacting the original text and in effect only reporting the later reinterpretation is POV. Thomas.W talk 13:19, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
You misrepresent both your and my edits. As I see it, when you write "thus prohibiting the use of expanding bullets only in international warfare between countries that have signed it" it can only be taken to mean that the declaration only is binding for the signatories. And I did write about the US position. Anyway, I'm going to rewrite the section, hopefully to something we can agree on. Sjö (talk) 05:51, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
If you can find them, please add some reliable sources that oppose the Red Cross' position. So far, all I've found are blogs and other unsuitable sources. Sjö (talk) 07:09, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
The convention as signed was only binding for the signatories (and only in international warfare between two or more of them), since it was a treaty between a number of nations, not rules imposed on everyone by a few. The widening of the scope of it, to cover all countries and all situations, is a later reinterpretation of the treaty/declaration that has no legal basis, since sovereign nations are bound only by whatever bilateral/multinational treaties they sign (see Supranational law). Thomas.W talk 09:05, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure that supranational law applies here, but your assertion that treaties only bind the parties to them is not quite correct. Some or all of the regulations in a treaty can become a part of international law and so binding even for countries that didn't sign them. That's what Peremptory norm is about (redirected from jus cogens which I linked earlier) and is also mentioned in Customary international humanitarian law. And yes, peremptory norms necessarily are interpretations that are later than the treaties they are based on, but it doesn't mean that they are any less valid.
In the laws of war case law and custom is often as important as the text of the treaties themselves. An example is the Saint Petersburg Declaration of 1868 which by its wording prohibits the use of explosive bullets like the ones now accepted for use for anti-equipment purposes like in light AA guns and aircraft cannons. Sjö (talk) 06:54, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

Cite error: There are <ref group=Asia's Unknown Uprisings> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=Asia's Unknown Uprisings}} template (see the help page).