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View Full Version : Good article on handgun stopping power


Socalman
05-26-2012, 7:34 AM
While reading another board I came across this article and thought I would share it with everyone here,

http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/printable/node/7866

hossb7
05-26-2012, 7:42 AM
In my opinion, this is one of the best resources on handgun caliber effectiveness:

FBI: Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness
http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf

giantsfan
05-26-2012, 7:51 AM
In my opinion, this is one of the best resources on handgun caliber effectiveness:

FBI: Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness
http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf

I agree. Read this a couple nights ago. Blew away a lot of misconceptions I had about caliber, "stopping power" and how the body reacts to being shot.

Awesome read..

ZombieTactics
05-26-2012, 7:51 AM
While reading another board I came across this article and thought I would share it with everyone here,

http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/printable/node/7866


Best part:
"The results I got from the study lead me to believe that there really isn't that much difference between most defensive handgun rounds and calibers. None is a death ray, but most work adequately...even the lowly .22s. I've stopped worrying about trying to find the "ultimate" bullet. There isn't one. And I've stopped feeling the need to strap on my .45 every time I leave the house out of fear that my 9mm doesn't have enough "stopping power. Folks, carry what you want. Caliber really isn't all that important."

den888
05-26-2012, 8:29 AM
Good info, thanks for sharing.

.45 ftw!
05-26-2012, 8:44 AM
Very cool when he says that many one-shot stops occur simply because the target doesnt want to be shot again--by any caliber

fullspeed1
05-26-2012, 8:49 AM
Soooooo, Shot placement does matter?!!!! Weird.....

fullspeed1
05-26-2012, 8:50 AM
Very cool when he says that many one-shot stops occur simply because the target doesnt want to be shot again--by any caliber

+1,000,000;)

glockman19
05-26-2012, 8:54 AM
Very informative...Thanks

Pretty clear...want a 1 shot stop...a centerfire rifle or 12 gague shotgun appears to be the most efficient.

Yes...shot placement is most important.

I was more surprised at the ratio of shots taken and fatal hit's...it appears that 25-30% of ALL shots were fatal.

njineermike
05-26-2012, 8:57 AM
Big game hunting is a real eye-opener in debunking myths about "stopping power". The calibers are larger, the shots much better placed, the rounds travel much faster and the animal, which is usually equivalent in size and mass to a human (deer, antelope, etc. not elephants and rhinos) STILL manage to run and fight back with lungs shot out, major arteries punctured and broken bones. Imagine what an adrenaline fueled bad guy of the same size shot 3 or 4 times with a handgun can do after he's been hit.

fullspeed1
05-26-2012, 9:02 AM
Very informative...Thanks

Pretty clear...want a 1 shot stop...a centerfire rifle or 12 gague shotgun appears to be the most efficient.

Yes...shot placement is most important.

I was more surprised at the ratio of shots taken and fatal hit's...it appears that 25-30% of ALL shots were fatal.

It's amazing that this isn't common knowledge(we are dealing with the public/people here:rolleyes:), With the near daily thread regarding (ad nauseam)caliber wars...Being a Paramedic, I can tell you there are very few places to get hit that will instantly kill you.....I will still depend my life on my 9mm, Anyday:)

dem0critus
05-26-2012, 3:17 PM
While reading another board I came across this article and thought I would share it with everyone here,

http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/printable/node/7866

This is really good. Essential information. Thanks man.

FalconLair
05-26-2012, 3:33 PM
Soooooo, Shot placement does matter?!!!! Weird.....

who would have knew? lol im comfortable with any of the guns i carry mainly because i know my aim is gonna be the same regardless of caliber

Wombats Are Dangerous
05-26-2012, 4:14 PM
Great information!

This brings up a question in my mind about other shooting statistics. Are there any studies about how many people actually stop shooting to check if the assailant is "stopped" in self-defense and property defense shootings? Do people that aren't trained in stressful shooting scenarios have the wherewithal to not empty the entire magazine?

KandyRedCoi
05-26-2012, 5:36 PM
While reading another board I came across this article and thought I would share it with everyone here,

http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/printable/node/7866

In my opinion, this is one of the best resources on handgun caliber effectiveness:

FBI: Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness
http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf

thanks!

RMikeL
05-26-2012, 7:37 PM
Great post!

USMC 82-86
05-26-2012, 8:36 PM
It's amazing that this isn't common knowledge(we are dealing with the public/people here:rolleyes:), With the near daily thread regarding (ad nauseam)caliber wars...Being a Paramedic, I can tell you there are very few places to get hit that will instantly kill you.....I will still depend my life on my 9mm, Anyday:)

This ^^^. I agree with the very few places a person can be hit and killed instantly. The term center mass should always be kept in mind. One thing is true, if you always focus on C.O.M. you should make good hits. Second, most of the places on the human body that are vulnerable are located in the center line of the body. Most of the major vessels in the limbs of the body run along the inner portion of the arms and legs away from outward threats. Same is true for the centerline of the body the carotid artery along with the IJ are deep inside the neck closer to the centerline, the EJ is also in this general area. Inside the chest cavity and abdominal cavity you have the heart, aorta, vena cava and the major branches to the lungs, liver, kideys, spleen and pancreas also the stomach and the SMA and IMA in the mesentery are all here as well.


So yes shot placement is most important factor regardless of caliber. Basically any shot outside of that narrow window in the centerline is a shot in the dark because it is a toss up if you will hit any major vessels or deliver any type of systemic shock. I have worked in the operating room for almost 20 years and seen many gunshot victims. There is an important fact about gunshot wounds with a handgun. Meaning if they made it to the O.R. no major organs were hit or at least no major vessels within the organs were hit to cause instant death. Now, with that said I have seen many who were shot multiple times who did die on the table because enough systemic damage was done.


We had a man once who was shot with a .22 and he went home instead of seeking immediate treatment and he died due to major blood loss. When he came to us his abdomen looked like a balloon about to pop. The bullet struck a vessel in his mesentery. My guess is he probably felt he suffered no major damage and went home and it cost him his life. Another case was in south orange county we had a guy who was shot by LEO's after confronting the officers with knife he used to cut is wife and her mother. He was shot 7 times, and just had to much internal damage to survive but again he made it to the O.R. From the report the surgeon gave us he was still charging the officers as the final round hit the man.


Shot placement is king!

Rorge Retson
05-26-2012, 8:50 PM
Big game hunting is a real eye-opener in debunking myths about "stopping power". The calibers are larger, the shots much better placed, the rounds travel much faster and the animal, which is usually equivalent in size and mass to a human (deer, antelope, etc. not elephants and rhinos) STILL manage to run and fight back with lungs shot out, major arteries punctured and broken bones. Imagine what an adrenaline fueled bad guy of the same size shot 3 or 4 times with a handgun can do after he's been hit.

I disagree with the comparing of big game against humans.

Certainly, animals that are shot will flee until they bleed out or are otherwise incapacitated, but humans have the extra burden of a big brain. Along with that big brain come things like, "Ouch, that stung, what was that..............???

OHMYGODIAMSHOT!!!! Imma gonna DIE!!! AH - SOMEONE - HELP!!! Elizbeth, Imma commin to join ya'....

That's when 99.8% of people fall down and stop what they're doing, and why the guy in the study says what he did, about people stopping when they are hit with ANY round - people are MUCH different than animals in this regard.

Manolito
05-26-2012, 9:07 PM
Great post I appreciate the information.

The one factor I saw in war was the desire to fight. I have seen people continue to fight for up to a minute knowing they were dying and others give up over a small piece of schrapnel.

I have seen people with a wound in the arm that I was sure they would be back in three months die in transport and others with a sucking chest wound that I was sure would not make the trip and return to fight in four months.

We will continue to prepare for war to insure peace.

fullspeed1
05-26-2012, 9:14 PM
Great post I appreciate the information.

The one factor I saw in war was the desire to fight. I have seen people continue to fight for up to a minute knowing they were dying and others give up over a small piece of schrapnel.

I have seen people with a wound in the arm that I was sure they would be back in three months die in transport and others with a sucking chest wound that I was sure would not make the trip and return to fight in four months.

We will continue to prepare for war to insure peace.

Wound in the arm, Most likely referring to a severed Brachial...If you can't control the bleeding, It will eventually stop on it's own;)

pyromensch
05-26-2012, 9:20 PM
this is more detailed, in respect to other reports that i have seen.

thanks for posting, put it in my files

pyromensch
05-26-2012, 9:21 PM
who would have knew? lol im comfortable with any of the guns i carry mainly because i know my aim is gonna be the same regardless of caliber
you/i hope....under stress.

locosway
05-26-2012, 9:43 PM
Big game hunting is a real eye-opener in debunking myths about "stopping power". The calibers are larger, the shots much better placed, the rounds travel much faster and the animal, which is usually equivalent in size and mass to a human (deer, antelope, etc. not elephants and rhinos) STILL manage to run and fight back with lungs shot out, major arteries punctured and broken bones. Imagine what an adrenaline fueled bad guy of the same size shot 3 or 4 times with a handgun can do after he's been hit.

Yep, and if anyone wants to see a .45 not work, go to www.liveleak.com and add /view?i=b04_1337719658 to the end of the url.

JeremyS
05-26-2012, 10:30 PM
Are there any studies about how many people actually stop shooting to check if the assailant is "stopped" in self-defense and property defense shootings? Do people that aren't trained in stressful shooting scenarios have the wherewithal to not empty the entire magazine?
The author of that believes this explains the numbers that show certain calibers "required" more hits to stop a threat. If a threat stops 4 seconds after being shot, some calibers are easier to shoot accurately and rapidly and you can get more hits in those 4 seconds than with more powerful handgun calibers. If everyone shot once and waited, he guessed that the percentages would even out a lot more.

Wombats Are Dangerous
05-26-2012, 11:17 PM
I disagree with the comparing of big game against humans.

Certainly, animals that are shot will flee until they bleed out or are otherwise incapacitated, but humans have the extra burden of a big brain. Along with that big brain come things like, "Ouch, that stung, what was that..............???

OHMYGODIAMSHOT!!!! Imma gonna DIE!!! AH - SOMEONE - HELP!!! Elizbeth, Imma commin to join ya'....

That's when 99.8% of people fall down and stop what they're doing, and why the guy in the study says what he did, about people stopping when they are hit with ANY round - people are MUCH different than animals in this regard.


This reminds me of an argument all of my in-laws had over the dinner table. They're all retired military or LEOs and they all favor various calibers. My wife's uncle, a big proponent of shot placement over caliber selection, asked the entire table, "So who wants to volunteer to stand 10 yards in front of my .22 Ruger and tell me it doesn't have enough stopping power after I shoot them with a full magazine in the face?"

I LOLed for 10 minutes. :smilielol5: