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Can they make the bullet trail look like a rainbow too?

In what apparently is not a joke, the US Army is asking for biodegradable ammo that has seeds in it to grow plants. I suppose when you’re out there shooting people in the face for a living, it’s good to be environmentally conscious.

The request is for grenades and tank rounds. This may actually be a decent idea but I question their priorities.

18 Responses to “Can they make the bullet trail look like a rainbow too?”

  1. Phenicks Says:

    how about poison ivy, cocklebur and stinging nettle?

  2. Lyle Says:

    That has to be a subsidiary of theOnion.

  3. Phelps Says:

    Not sure if I should go with

    Load them with kudzu


    Load them with rape seed.

  4. McThag Says:

    I am waiting for DuffleBlog to open a “No, really we didn’t write this” section.

  5. Miguel Says:

    Y’all laugh, but there was a development on shells

    Plant like a true gun-loving ‘Murican by firing off a few rounds of shotgun shell flower seeds. These innovative shells take the boring hard work out of farming and gardening – and replace it with the thrill of taking aim, pulling the trigger, and planting!

  6. Phenicks Says:

    This is better, and they can be one w/ their friends…

    Some fertilizer w/ the seeds.

  7. Ellen Says:

    It would be more feasible to make biodegradable land mines. Wars usually last several years; current land mines last several decades. And for all those decades, people who live there step on them and blow parts of their bodies off. Not a good way to help the former adversary forget their grudges!

    It’d make life easier in former war zones if the trigger mechanism, and detonator, could crumble away over the course of a year. Get rid of the detonator, and you might not even have to worry about the explosive. Seeds optional.

  8. Andrew Says:

    Expect this to change come January 20th. Along with SecNav’s Green Fuel initiative.

  9. divemedic Says:

    If you read the proposal, it is only for practice ammo. I know our range has to periodically spend gobs of cash to clean lead from the berms. I can only imagine what it costs to clean up artillery shells.
    I think this is cost effective and a good idea.

  10. Drang Says:

    As divemedic says, it’s for practice/training ammo. The nature of this proposal does not involve any money from the .gov unless someone actually comes up with a viable option.
    The only thing keeping ranges at most (all) installations from being declared Superfund sites is that the EPA doesn’t test the soil there.
    So, yeah, I concur, this is actually a good idea.

  11. Publius Says:

    I think they should stop trying to pretend otherwise and focus on doing what they do best: killing people and breaking things. That’s what the military is for.

  12. dustydog Says:

    The Marine Corps Marathon also organizes a half-marathon in Fredericksburg, Virginia every year. A few years back I ran the half marathon, and the racing bibs were eco-friendly: bio-degradable and implanted with seeds. We were encouraged to plant them after the race. The bibs quickly dissolved when exposed to sweat, or to water. The race had water tables every 2 miles. As you might imagine, the idea failed miserably.

    I can only hope the exact same thing doesn’t happen to the military.

  13. MajMike Says:

    Could be a quite efficient operation. Plant the seed/round in a host whose decomposing body would provide a natural fertilizer and water it all in with a natural water-substitute.

    I would still be concerned about ballistics, penetration, and cost per unit. Once the project’s completed, we could continue research on unicorn farts to provide low-cost pollution-free fuel for our vehicles.

  14. Matt D Says:

    They’ll have to have different stock numbers for different environments. Can’t very well plant pendleton-friendly flora in lejune. The logistics guys will love it!

  15. Sigivald Says:

    Yeah, like Matt D said, they’ll need a giant logistics nightmare to prevent horrible invasive species issues.

    The Armed Forces plainly need some shaking up, somewhere.

  16. Sigivald Says:

    (For training ammo, also, remember that it has to perform just like the real thing to be any good for training on.

    Which means, one assumes, very similar masses and thus densities.

    I think this is trying to solve a not-much-of-a-problem* in a silly way.

    “Spread less lead around” is okay. “Plant seeds with rounds because hippies” is … stupid.)

    (* Lead on an artillery range in the desert – and that’s where all the ones I can think of are, YMMV back east – is … just not that important.

    Metallic lead doesn’t really leach out a lot, it just sits there; that’s why we can still find recognizable Civil War bullets in the South, with just a coat of oxide on them.)

  17. Ravenwood Says:

    They should allow them to use hollow points so that the rounds don’t over-penetrate. That way when they clear the bodies away, the ammo goes with them.

    Alternatively, do both and leave the bodies where they fall. Then you end up with your own fertilizer to make the plants blossom.

  18. John Hardin Says:

    @Drang: It’s a good idea up until such ammo is available and laws are passed that require you use it when shooting at a range or competition (or, given the ignorance of legislators, when hunting)…