- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The U.S. Army may use hollow-point ammunition for its new Modular Handgun System, which will replace M9 Berettas used since the mid-1980s.

The Army decision to consider the fragmentation rounds was made after a recent Pentagon legal review. The rounds are already used in some counter-terrorism operations.

“Special purpose ammunition,” for the XM-17 is permissible, said Richard Jackson, special assistant to the Army Judge Advocate General for Law of War, Army Times reported.

Complaints against the M9 are that it doesn’t have much stopping power on battlefields filled with modern technology, Army Times reported. The hollow point rounds would mitigate that problem.

Mr. Jackson said that few states have signed the Hague Convention of 1899, which was designed to stop states from using weapons that cause inhumane injury.

“Law enforcement agencies use hollow points all over the world, so if it doesn’t violate the human rights standards that applies these days, why are we applying those standards on the battlefield?” Mr. Jackson asked, The Washington Post reported.

The U.S. strives to abide by Article 23 of the Hague Convention of 1907, but Mr. Jackson says there are times when using hollow point ammunition may be the best battlefield option.

“There are actually humanitarian benefits from the use of this type of ammunition. By staying in the target there isn’t as many collateral effects … it will not go through the target into a bystander nearby or someone in the next room,” Mr. Jackson said, The Post reported.

More than 20 companies are vying for the contract to make the new XM-17 pistol. The awardee will be tasked with supplying the Army with roughly 300,000 pistols by 2018.

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