The Army’s More Deadly Bullet: Stateside Only

Sunday, April 22, 2012
By Paul Martin

By MARK THOMPSON
Time.com

The Army has just ordered its first batch of 9mm Jacketed Hollow Point bullets. But it’s limiting the rounds to its law-enforcement personnel based only in the U.S. and its territories.

So how’s that for a paradox: the Army is buying deadlier bullets for use on American soil, most likely for use against Americans, than it issues to U.S. soldiers waging war in Afghanistan, who use theirs against al Qaeda and the Taliban.

“The 9mm JHP is only used by Army law-enforcement personnel in their law-enforcement role,” an Army spokeswoman told Battleland Tuesday. “This cartridge cannot be used in tactical or combat situations, and is restricted for use to the continental U.S., Hawaii, Alaska, and U.S. Territories.” She added that while the Army has approved the use of such ammo by its internal police forces in 2006, the service just issued its first contract for this kind of bullet.

Army officials decided to allow all its law-enforcement personnel to use it in the wake of several high-profile on-post shootings, including the killing of 13 people, allegedly by Army Major Nidal Hasan, at Fort Hood in 2009. The Army Criminal Investigation Command has been allowed to use the bullets since 1998.

The Army told bullet-makers in February that “the 9mm JHP cartridge is required to rapidly and effectively incapacitate a deadly criminal when the situation warrants the use of deadly force.” Such rounds are widely used by police departments around the country. The Army plans on buying between 500,000 and 1 million of the rounds annually.

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