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A hard look at handgun stopping power

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by Iceman cHucK, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. Iceman cHucK

    Iceman cHucK

    Jun 23, 2008
    WA state
    If you are interested in this subject a must read is the referenced article below by Chuck Taylor. If you don't know who he is, you need to find out. He heads up American Small Arms Acadamy.
    Real world experience spoken in easy to understand terms. Needless to say I agree with everything he says. 45hardball gets the job done and has for almost 100 years!
  2. Merkavaboy

    Merkavaboy Code-7A KUZ769

    Well, I guess all those guys out there who have been shot with .45 hardball, some of them multiple times, and didn't immediately fall over dead weren't familiar with Taylor's writings from 2003.

  3. TwinFourFives


    Jan 13, 2010
    I have a major problem with this article. To quote the very first paragraph, "
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"The controversy continues: Which is the better manstopper? -- big, slow bullets or those which are small, and fast? Upon which are you willing to bet your life? -- documented history, computer simulations or limited case-study review?"[/FONT]

    Not to sound cliche, but assuming your life will be saved by which cartridge you carry is delusional. This kind of thinking can get people unnecessarily hurt or killed. 45's are not a joke. 9mm's are not a joke. 22s are not a joke (just cheap enough to have lots of fun with).

    Lets say, hypothetically that i am in a gunfight. My weapon of choice is a 1911, but my adversary has a 32 pocket pistol. Caliber won't save me from dying. If i take a round to the heart because i'm not moving and seeking cover, i'll be dead. If i stand still in the open and shots ring out, we both get hit, the fact that i have a 45 and he has a 32 doesn't magically get rid of the bullet hole in my heart. Unless i make a CNS hit, or blow his shooting hand off he'll still be able to shoot me.

    People that survive gunfights are the ones who avoid getting shot. Even if you have a big caliber and make the first shot, don't count on it to stop the fight right when it impacts. This is delusional on all accounts, even with a rifle.
  4. 481


    Feb 20, 2009
    Ahh....Chuck Taylor and his "They all fall to forty-five ball" mentality.

    He's missed the boat for years by remaining stuck in the past. History can be a good teacher, but it is a lousy master as it lacks foresight. There are examples of every handgun caliber failing in some way, at some point, utilizing every bullet design.

    When folks start talking in "absolutes", they are destined for a fall.

    Still, I enjoy his writings and observations on his torture test of the Glock pistol design. After that, it's all noise.

    He'd do well to read MacPherson.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  5. I've got one of his books. Both good and funny at the same time.

    I wonder what he would have done if his 1911 failed the torture test. Would he have told us it failed?

    He really, really, hates double-action pistols, 9mm, and exotic bullets :rofl:
  6. Dexters


    May 3, 2004
    First indication that this isn't a good article is that he doesn't define terms such as "Man Stopper" and "effective". Nothing new in the article.

    Hitting someone in the thorax or cranial cavity is better than other parts of the body. Great! I hope the BG stays still long enough for me to hit either of those targets. If not I'll be aiming at the center of mass.

    "So, look at the overview before you decide what you are going to bet your life on. And remember too that regardless of your choice of weapon, caliber or bullet style, you must still get solid hits in the thorax or cranial cavity to stop your assailant with a minimum of shots fired. There is simply no substitute for marksmanship, a point that, all too often seems to be overlooked."
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  7. 481


    Feb 20, 2009
    Yeah, his perspective and stories, some a bit dated, are still good reading, so I can't totally dismiss Taylor.

    If a 1911 failed his torture test, I am sure he'd manage to blame it on ol' Gaston hisself. :rofl:

    Taylor started out hatin' on the Glock in 1992, but his test seems to have instilled in him a real respect for the design after all that he's put it through.

    Last number I saw was the 270,000+ round mark.

    While 1911s are fine guns, I doubt that they'd go as far without barrel and major parts replacement. 270,000 rounds is alot of shootin!
  8. tjpet


    May 14, 2001
    Utah-Idaho border
    Handguns are ineffective when a human body is really adrenalized.

    In my own military experience the only hand-held weapon generally available to civilians that will stop a man in his tracks with one well-placed round is a shotgun with 00 buck.

    A .45 will stop'em dead but only with a headshot in most cases.
  9. 82ndVet


    Dec 15, 2008
    Canton, GA
    :yawn:.....There really is no science here to discuss, or no legitimate arguments to debate here. With a properly placed shot, all calibers can kill....including a .22 in the eyeball, or a BB up a nostril. :deadhorse:
  10. 481


    Feb 20, 2009

    I am not sure that I wanna know how you came up with that one. :outtahere:

  11. 82ndVet


    Dec 15, 2008
    Canton, GA
    Well, as a kid, I preferred to shoot from the hip, and got lucky once or twice...just like Chuck Taylor...:laughing:

  12. thegriz18

    thegriz18 Paper Killer

    Jun 17, 2007
    Friend Zone
    I respect Taylor for his knowledge of how to fight. I've read one of his books and it seems that he does know how to fight with a pistol. His theory on stopping power and types of bullets, based on his personal opinion, is just that, opinion. I imagine that a great deal of those one shot stops he had with a 45 was due to good shot placement.
  13. Jeepnik


    Mar 5, 2008
    Agree with him or not, Chuck has seen the elephant. Of the above posters I wonder how many have.
  14. 481


    Feb 20, 2009
    Taylor's experience is not being questioned here. There is no doubt that Taylor has had combat experience.

    His "opinion" regarding wound trauma and the advice he dispenses and how it holds up when it's exposed to light of reality is what is being discussed.

    Just because he's seen combat and even shot few (or even several) folks does not make him an expert ballistician or even qualified to comment on wound trauma and incapacitation mechanisms.
  15. kgpcr


    Jan 22, 2010
    So very true. I used to get people tell me all about the M16 and how it was or was not a good weapon. Most of them never held one much less saw what they did in combat.
  16. glock20c10mm


    Dec 4, 2004
    Out West
    Nothing to mention on Chuck, as I agree with what all others have said in reguard to him and his "work".

    As to the post above, the M16 is fine as a general firearm. It did start out life with MAJOR problems, but was fixed over time. It's the round it launches that isn't up to the task. As Dr. Fackler (trauma surgeon from the Veitnam era) will tell you, it has proved to have just as many spectacular stops as it has dismal failures to stop. Dr. Fackler also said that some 45 Auto rounds do more damage and stop more effectively on average.
  17. glock20c10mm


    Dec 4, 2004
    Out West
    You think that has any bearing on how you preach against Dr. Courtney's work on Ballistic Pressure Wave? :whistling:
  18. 481


    Feb 20, 2009
    Your comment is off topic since this thread has absolutely nothing to do with BPW.

    By stalking me like this and attempting to bait me into an argument with an unrelated question, it is clear that you need to re-familiarize yourself with the GT CoC and seek help.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  19. 9mm +p+

    9mm +p+

    Mar 1, 2005
    Old Dominion
    Taylor can't be taken seriously, 45 ball is not the almighty hammer of thor like he makes it out to be. It's just his misguided opinion, his just happens to get published somehow. Personally i couldn't care less what he thinks, not matter how many critters he's supposedly seen...
  20. coal


    Dec 20, 2009
    Agreed. Getting press/pushished does not itself make an opinion fact. There's far more involved than the bullet.

    Me, I think what matters is in this order:
    1) Archer
    2) Bow
    3) Arrow

    9mm aides the Archer in follow-up shots and gun control. 9mm fits more Arrows in a smaller Bow. Many praise the .45acp consider only the Arrow. That's short-sighted IMO.

    I own 9mm and .45acp. Overall and most days, I'll take 9mm: Citizen: Caliber Acedemic?. I like having both though.