These Are the 5 Most Deadly Types of Bullets

    Kyle Mizokami

    Security, North America

    You can’t fire a gun without a bullet.

    Since their invention in the tenth century, engineers, soldiers and tinkerers have constantly tried to make firearms more deadly. Typically that involves moving to heavier bullets driven by more powerful gunpowders, and while that is effective it is also louder, generates more recoil and necessitates new firearms. One solution is the creation of newer, deadlier ammunition for existing guns.

    Dum Dum Bullets

    Dum Dum bullets were developed for use by British and colonial forces on India’s Northwest Frontier in the 1890s. The infamous bullet design was created by the Dum Dum Arsenal, located just outside Calcutta. Dum dums consist of an ordinary copper jacketed lead bullet with the lead exposed at the nose, usually through a deep x-shaped cut in the nose. The theory is that upon impact, the lead slug expands and mushrooms to a much wider diameter than the bullet itself. The mushrooming also generates sharp points that cause grievous wounds passing through human flesh.

    The 1899 Hague Declaration concerning Expanding Bullets was an attempt to ban dum dum–type bullets for use in military conflicts on the grounds they caused especially severe wounds. The declaration language targets “bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions.” One informal test determined that dum dums were “probably” more lethal but not as lethal as modern jacketed hollow points. Dum dum bullets were reportedly used by the People’s Liberation Army’s 27th Army against civilians during the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

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