Marshall Report


Number 6
April 2, 2005, 04:00 AM
Does anyone know where I can get an online copy of the much cited Marshall report? I've seen many people reference it on message boards in one way, and have read a scholarly book where it was referenced in quite a difference fashion. I think it's about time I actually read the report for myself.

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April 2, 2005, 12:48 PM
I disagree with his methodology and think he is a quack but you asked

Vern Humphrey
April 2, 2005, 01:10 PM
I disagree with his methodology and think he is a quack but you asked

There are three problems with his methodology:

1. The quality of the data. Several persons whom he has cited as sources have said in print that they did not give him the data he says he got from them. His refusal to allow peer review of the data also makes it questionable -- in the end, only a case-by-case review of each data point can determine if the data is real, or simply rumours and cop talk.

2. The treatment of the data. Various statisticians have pointed out some difficulties -- in some cases, his data changes over time, for example in ways that indicate poor statistical skills.

3. The application of the data. The "One Shot Stop" doesn't tell us much -- a 155 howitzer in the direct fire role would have a 100% one shot stop record, but would hardly be a suitable defense weapon. Similarly, a highly "shootable" and controlable weapon might be a real winner, but show few one shot stops because of the tendency of shooters to try for multiple hits.

The BEST study would be simply "Stops / Encounters." That would tell us what winners use.

April 2, 2005, 09:55 PM
Even if the stories are/were more or less true and there is no hanky panky with the results, there are problems with the concept he puts forth.

First of all, he is trying to quantify something that just can't be sharply defined. There are too many variables in a shooting to allow a concrete solution.

Next there is the problem of accurate reporting of the facts. A shooting is a traumatic event, honest mistakes are easily made.

He only works with data where there was only one body hit. How can you decide the probability of a one shot stop when you disregard all shootings where more than one was fired?

There are other problems that I will concede to be unavoidable, but that don't/can't help determine a definite answer, which is an impossible goal anyway.

The one thing he has done, which was a stroke of genuis, was to start with results of real shootings and attempt to quantify the performance of what works in reality. Up to that point,it was common for researchers to measure a cartridges performance in ballistic gel or whatever and make an educated guess as to how it would work in a real life. There were some real turkeys came out of that approach.

Even with all the problems, if Marshall and Sanow have the best/most honest information they can get, there would be some value in thier figures. They may help give a general/approximate ranking of relative effectiveness. Just don't convince yourself they are the be-all and end-all on the subject.

Don in Ohio

Number 6
April 2, 2005, 10:50 PM
Hmm, this appears to be a different Marshall report than what I was referring to, I guess I should of done a little more research, or have been more clear on which report I was referring to. The report that I was thinking was the one done by I believe General Marshall after WWII, where as I have read from the myriad of online opinions, the reports reveals that the based upon the weapon platform the soldier had, there was a tendency to fire ones weapon more if there were more rounds present. Hence the argument that come from another military report that is purported to state that 5.56 round and the extra magazine capacity inspired the individual soldier to shoot his weapon more often. Now my curiosity with this report lies in two areas. Firstly is that this report is cited as a justification for a particular caliber in the various 7.62x51 vs. 5.56x45 debates, so I would like to actually read the report to see what it actually says. Secondly, I read a book last year called On Killing, where the author who was a soldier and is now a psychology professor at West Point, says that the in Marshall’s initial report he found that soldiers were not firing their weapons, or purposely missing their target, due the psychological revulsion of having to kill their fellow man. The authors argument was then that due to advances in training methods and conditioning, the psychological prohibition on killing was greatly reduced, therefore there was a tremendous increase in the number of soldiers firing their weapons in combat. Now I do not wholeheartedly agree with the author here, but his argument and data are certainly very compelling. I was wondering if this report that is cited is available online or if someone has the full citation of it. Perhaps I am confusing the names of the two different reports.

April 3, 2005, 09:35 AM
"Perhaps I am confusing the names of the two different reports"

Yes I believe you are correct. All of the above references are to Evan Marshall a retired Detroit LEO who wrote some books with Ed Sanow and has written many articles. His work is controversial (SP?).

I also found the book On Killing interesting and rather thought provoking but not conclusive.

If you do find an online copy of the report referenced in the book could you please post it. I believe many here would like to read it.

Good luck with your search.


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