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Truth Behind Stopping Power - Magic bullet vs shot placement

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by eXistenZ, Oct 12, 2009.


  1. eXistenZ

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    While browsing through previous Combat Handguns issues I ran across this article and felt it was very well written and should be considered mandatory reading. It may be long but it's worth it. Enjoy! :wavey:

    http://www.tactical-life.com/online/combat-handguns/truth-behind-stopping-power/
     

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  2. TM1

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    Logical article, I'd agree.
     

  3. JohnKSa

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    Some years ago I spoke with a TX constable who had done extensive study of LE shootings.

    He came to a similar conclusion--namely that winning a gunfight meant putting as many shots as you could on target as rapidly as you could and hoping for the best. In the final analysis his feeling was that getting a rapid stop was largely a matter of probability and the best way to help your chances was to get a lot of shots on target really fast.

    His caveat was that you needed something that would reliably get to the vitals with a decent sized bullet. His practical minimum was .380 but he advised FMJ in that caliber to get sufficient penetration.

    One interesting comment he made in the course of the discussion was: "Don't pick a caliber so large that it gets you killed.". His point was that if your caliber choice significantly hampers your ability to get a sufficient number of shots on target very rapidly (either due to more recoil or lower capacity) that it was likely to hurt your chances of surviving a gunfight.
     
  4. BOGE

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    Hey, he just described over 75% of the posters in Caliber Corner. :supergrin::rofl:
     
  5. fastbolt

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    Just 75%? :whistling:
     
  6. Gallowglass

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    Opening with this
    and closing with this
    struck me as a little incongruous.
     
  7. Dreamaster

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    Not at all... he is saying "Pick one of the top 4 or 5... then forget about it"... in other words, he's telling people like me "HST's aren't magical Dreamaster, if you can't find them, buy something else in the top rated list and stop worrying about bullet selection... don't come to Caliber corner and debate the merits of .1" extra expansion all day."
     
  8. eXistenZ

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    That's also what I got out of this article. It blows my mind when I see someone post "Wow look at those results! I need to sell my Rangers and get those HSTs because they expanded .1 more and retained 1% more weight!" :faint::faint::faint::faint:


    PS: I carry HSTs :supergrin: My disclaimer being that they are a good solid affordable round and the biggest plus of all is I CAN FIND THEM LOCALLY! I would just as soon carry Rangers, Golden Sabers, TAPs, etc...
     
    #8 eXistenZ, Oct 14, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  9. Gallowglass

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    Yeah. I used to tutor english and I'm teaching an intro to writing course, so I've developed the ability to spot discrepencies in writing even when I'm not looking for them!
     
  10. SDGlock23

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    Good read, it makes a lot of good, valid points.
     
  11. English

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    Wow! This is what I have been looking for all these years! Someone who knows the truth!
    Not true!
    Not true!
    Not true
    That is because most .45 are just not very good. The assumption here is that it is "common knowledge" that the .45ACP is the best stopper and so if evidence shows it isn't much good then nothing can be any good.
    Some bullets traverse the circumference under the skin. This happens with bullets with nice ogives which are not powerful enough and have poor barrier penetration properties hitting the skull at a glancing angle. It is unlikely with TC or hollow points in 357SIG or 10mm. A thick skull has less resistance than windscreen glass. People going for head shots have to hit the ocular cavity, about 3"x2" in size with ordinary bullets or hit about 1.5" inside the visual edge of the skull with better bullets, about a 5" inch diameter circle.
    You don't need to destroy the CNS. Just damaging it enough will do to stop someone. What is this undefined term "shock"? Sounds like pseudo science to me!
    This I can agree with apart from his idea that it is to produce "shock".
    I can agree again apart from the "shock" idea.
    This means pick the best magic bullet you can find in as big a calibre as you can manage! I think this must be the part that is meant in the title!

    Don't bother looking for a better magic bullet too frequently!
    That bit is good advice but overall, C-

    English
     
  12. Ak.Hiker

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    The percentage will go up when you factor in the guys that pick their ammo from watching videos on utube.
     
  13. eXistenZ

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    I don't suppose you could offer proof to any of your opinions could you?

    I have personally observed the first two and for the last one, well it's a universal truth that handguns are lousy for killing/stopping people. How many people survive getting shot with a handgun vs. surviving getting shot with a rifle vs. getting shot with a shotgun? Go forth, Google, and learn. :thumbsup:

    If you're going to rate an article I would appreciate it if instead of just writing "Not true!" you would take the time to write a well thought out response as to why you feel this to be true along with supplying facts. If that's not to much to ask. :dunno:
     
  14. vafish

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    The article is wrong,

    There are magic bullets.

    The problem is you only get 1, and you don't know if it will be your 1st shot, your 5th shot, the 10th shot in your 3rd magazine or if you left it in a box of ammo at home.

    If someone attacks you, you need to keep shooting them until you get to your magic bullet that stops the fight.
     
  15. English

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    Well. I sympathise with your desire since I often try to argue against people who quote authority without any support of logic or fact. On the other hand it is a lot to ask because a proper answer would take a lot of my time and I didn't think the article justified it. In this case I responded only because it irritated me with its platitudes and complete lack of anything worth reading it for.

    For the first "not true" I was responding to the sentence, "Adherents of this approach like big-bore guns, preferably .45s." This might be true for many but not for all. 10mm, 357SIG and .357 Magnum are all better choices and the 9x23mm Winchester is probably better than any of them, in my opinion. That is three medium bore and one in between.

    For the second, it would be a very rare individual who believed in better bullet performance related to design, weight and velocity who would scour the earth for a difference of 2%.

    For the third, I believe that 10mm, especially and the two 357s are very good stoppers with good loads and bullets. The fact that only a very small percentage use them means that we don't have good statistics but past stats for 357 Magnum and present stats from PDs for the 357SIG seem to indicate good stopping power for relatively high speed 125 gn hollow points. More common cartridges and bullets like all but a few 9mm, .40S&W and .45ACP are poor stoppers. But a universal truth means all of them and not just most.

    I should say that my opinions are biased by the fact that I believe the findings of the Courtneys - that is, I believe ballistic pressure wave incapacitation effects work when the hydrodynamic pressure created by the bullet is high enough. That gets me into lots of arguments here but it is hard to argue with their data. In fact no one has yet argued with their data but just call them liars. Some scientists lie but eventually they get found out and so it is something the relatively few scientist would do. The slight "fame" dr Courtney has achieved on GT and the slight career advancement he might have achieved do not balance the risk of faking evidence. In contrast, calling scientists liars because they say they have evidence for something that others don't believe is something many people here have no compunction about. I find that quite astounding.

    As far as I am concerned, pistol bullets hitting deer at pistol velocities and producing collapse within 5 seconds is a very good indication that they will do the same thing with humans, give or take a little. if you allow for the fact that the deer probably does not know what it is doing for that time and that a BG would probably be unable to make a controlled shot either means it is a very useful effect in a gun fight. As Vafish says, the problem is that you don't know which one is the magic bullet. What you do know from the Courtney's work is that with a good design and velocity the 357SIG averages out at about every second or third bullet and with good 10mms it averages out at about two out of three bullets. At 5 yards you can make 5 good hits with a 10mm it the time it takes a rifleman at 100 yards to make one good hit. That seems like pretty good stopping power to me and asking for much more is indeed looking for magic.

    English
     
  16. eXistenZ

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    Responses in bold blue.
     
  17. glock20c10mm

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    Exactly why I don't carry Desert Eagles chambered for the 50AE.
     
  18. glock20c10mm

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    Just another opinion. As English has already pointed out, the author did contradict himself. I'm not impressed, nor did I learn from it. Not to say others won't, as there's almost always something to learn from everything.

    Good Shooting,
    Craig
     
  19. Glolt20-91

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    The author's ramblings showed his bias opinions, plus contradictions. The author should know from his 'street' comments that a person may only get one shot off on a felon, vis a vis, exemplified by engaging multiple felon scenarios. The concept of a fast shooting, more fired bullet v heavier, more powerful calibers doesn't hold water when a 3XL felon is only showing a through the arm/shoulder target.

    When Texas DPS et al state the .357SIG is a 'stopper' on violent felons, that tells me the fast 9s have the ability to overcome mental, drug and chemical dump (adrenaline) issues.

    There's more, but the article has already taken up too much of my time and I'm tired.

    Nice comments Craig.

    Bob :cowboy:
     
  20. English

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    1) It was you who asked for more detailed opinions but thank you for thinking I should be writing for money.

    2) It is the shred of knowledge passed from person to person that is the problem. Not all rifle shots incapacitate with one shot. Plenty of pistol bullets incapacitate with one or a few shots but some are much better than others. Everyone with a shred of knowledge "knows" that all pistol round suck but the evidence contradicts that knowledge. But just keep right on believing that the majority automatically knows best. It is both comforting and comfortable.

    6) You misunderstand. The deer were shot perfectly so that none of the heart, major blood vessels or CNS were hit. The purpose of this was to measure the frequency of rapid stops with different pistol bullets at pistol bullet speeds when the traditional causes of rapid stops were eliminated. In ordinary self defence terms you could think of these shots as deliberately imperfect shots.

    7) It seems futile to insult you. If you don't believe that 5 shots with a 155 gn GD 10mm at close range from Double Tap will put someone down as quickly and as reliably as one .223 at 100yards you need to study some more.

    You might recall that the article was about handgun stopping power and not rifle stopping power. No one will argue that good rifles are not generally more effective than good pistols but we can't carry rifles in concealed holsters. If you study a little more you will find out that many rifle bullets are unreliable stoppers. If you study a little of the Courtney's work you might realise why this is but if the BG is 100 yards away it doesn't matter as much as if he is 10 feet away.

    Even if you read the FBI's output you will discover that someone with their heart shot out can still operate at a lethal level for 15 to 30 seconds. That is, heart shots are not "stoppers" within the time frame of the typical handgun fight. Other bleed out injuries will take longer. All bleed out injuries are reliable killers but they are useless stoppers in most circumstances unless, like a Komodo Dragon, you can wait in relative safety for your victim to die.

    Of course, as Mroz said, the only sensible strategy is to shoot an attacker to the ground. This uses a totally different strategy in which your repeated shots keep disrupting him enough to stop him shooting at you until you make a lucky hit on his CNS or incapacitate so much of his relevant musculo skeletal system that he is unable to fight back. Having a superior bullet and loading, rather than a magical one, does more damage and causes more disruption per shot and, if you use one with a high enough pressure level of the ballistic pressure wave effect, you also have a good chance that one of those bullets will incapacitate the CNS without directly impacting it.

    You are doing a great job of repeating the shred of knowledge known to every knowledgeable shooter. You need to start thinking for yourself.

    English