Expansive Bullets: Flowers of Death

The ruthless logic of war in most cases is aimed at inflicting the maximum irreparable damage on the enemy. This explains the rapid development of military technologies and the creation of ever new means of mass destruction. Expansive bullets, which are currently prohibited for use in hostilities, stand out for their cruelty.

Against the background of such sophisticated weapons of mass murder as nuclear weapons or multiple launch rocket systems, the history of the expansive bullet is little known and is almost forgotten, although with its “help” tens of thousands of people died or were crippled in due time.

How expansion bullets work

What does expansive bullet mean? One of the meanings of the Latin word expansus is extensibility. With regard to a bullet, this means that at the moment it hits the target, it sharply increases in diameter, multiplying the damaging effect. Striking a person, they open like a flower. Hence their ominous name - "flowers of death".

A shot of an expansive bullet, as a rule, was fatal, since, when it opened, it increased the focus of tissue damage, while remaining inside the body, while a conventional bullet passed through.

History of appearance

The "homeland" of cartridges with an expansive head is 19th century England, mired in numerous colonial wars. The small-caliber shell bullets that were in service at that time did not cause serious damage to the enemy. As already mentioned, from close range they pierced the body right through.

The development of the new cartridge was entrusted to the British officer Neville Bertie-Clay, who served in the Doom Dum arsenal near Calcutta. Later the name of the arsenal passed to the infamous bullet. Bertie-Clay apparently knew ballistics and physics well and did not reinvent the wheel. He just sawed off the tip of a regular bullet.

However, this simple know-how turned her into a terrible means of defeat. In addition, now almost any soldier could make expansive ammunition using a simple file, making a cross-shaped incision on them.

For the first time, expansive bullets were massively used in the battle of Omdurman (Sudan). According to eyewitnesses, the hit led to extensive cavity wounds and severe bone damage. Survivors usually became disabled, in connection with which the use of expansive bullets was prohibited by the decision of the Hague Peace Conference of 1899. 8 years later, at the Second Hague Conference, this ban was duplicated.

Was created 2 main types of expansive bullets: with an expansive cavity and semi-shell. Semi-jacketed expansive action is an expansive lead bullet in a copper or brass sheath. Its appearance is associated with the creation of a smokeless powder - cordite. At the time of the shot, after a conventional lead bullet, small fragments remained in the barrel bore, which made the barrel unusable over time.

Semi-sheathed expansive bullet

To prevent this from happening, lead bullets were placed in a copper or brass sheath. At the same time, the expansive action was retained, but it was significantly less compared to ammunition with an expansive cavity.

With the advent of high-precision ammunition and body armor, the use of expansive bullets in conflicts has practically disappeared. Today, the main area of ​​their application is hunting for large animals. Expansive ammunition is in demand here.

Modern developments

However, development continues. So 3 years ago the company G2 Research presented a modern version of the expansive bullet - the 9 mm G2R RIP cartridge with eight small teeth - trocars. According to some experts, today it is "the most expansive bullet."

As a result of the shot of the expansive bullet G2R RIP, trocars, like a hole saw, bite into oncoming obstacles, clearing the way to the target for the main striking element - the bottom part. Plus, the trocar teeth create a turbulent flow that stabilizes the flight of the bullet and ensures more accurate hitting of the target.

What can be opposed

It is worth remembering about the "close relatives" of expansive shells - bullets with a displaced center of gravity, one of the varieties of pointed bullets that replaced the obsolete blunt bullets at the beginning of the 20th century. The new ammunition had improved aerodynamics, lighter weight and a higher muzzle velocity.

The displaced center of gravity led to the fact that at the moment of hitting the body, the bullet did not flatten, but began to tumble chaotically. In this case, the outlet could have formed in the most unexpected place. It is not hard to imagine that the wound from such a bullet was no less severe than from an expansive bullet.

The US Army used the M-193 off-center bullet extensively on the M-16 rifle during the Vietnam War. Our answer was the 5.45 x 39 (7N6) cartridge for the Ak-74 assault rifle, which was tested in Afghanistan.