homicide call today: .40 cal performance


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cookekdjr
September 25, 2005, 09:27 PM
Called to a homcide scene today. A crazy woman stabbed a man through the heart with a butcher knife.
The crazy woman was still on the scene when cops arrived. She refused to put down her knife, and she charged one of the cops. He drew his service pistol (a new S&W semi-auto in .40 cal; Atlanta just switched from 9mm to .40) and shot at her three times.
The bullets struck the woman in the femur and abdomen. She went down immediately. She was in surgery this afternoon, and it looks like she will live.
RE: .40 call performance, the crazy woman was within 10 feet of the cop, maybe less, when she moved towards him. She dropped in her tracks. Its important to note that she has mental problems, and folks in her condition and demeanor are typically more difficult to stop, and often display superhuman strength. The man she killed was at least 6'1" and 210lbs. Probably bigger, but that's my conservative estimate.
Also, recently I think I mentioned I could not recall someone surviving a .40 cal shootout. I remembered one. At my old agency, a deputy fired at a suspect a single time, and the man went down immediately. He did survive. Funny thing is, I seem to recall it was a warning shot.
That agency also had two separate incidents where a bank robber armed with a shotgun pointed the shotgun at a deputy in an attempt to escape. Both times, the deputy shot the robber with his Glock .40 cal (22 or 23, I forget which). Both robbers died. The same deputy, by coincidence, was the deputy who killed the robber in each instance.
Although I don't own a pistol in this caliber, I have alot of respect for the .40.
It really seems to get the job done.
-David

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Kitt
September 25, 2005, 11:05 PM
I have carried a HK 40 compact for several years and just bought a HK 40 fullsize. I have been loading them with Corbon ammo but recently I picked up some Double Tap 165 gr Gold Dots and I am very impressed with them. The 45, 40 or 9mm will get it done if the bullet is placed in the right place.. Thats it practice,practice,practice...

Braden
September 25, 2005, 11:49 PM
Not to take anything away from the caliber, but the fact that she dropped immediately probably had a lot to do with shot placement. A hit to the femur will nearly always put someone on the ground immediately...just like a hit in the pelvic region (maybe the shot in the abdomen hit the pelvic bone). This is why I think it's a good idea to not only pracitce COM and head shots, but also pelvic shots. The pelvis is a large target and if someone is CLOSE then it will usually drop them in their tracks. That being said, the .40 S&W has definitely proven it's worth from what I've seen

Kitt, that Double Tap ammo is great isn't it?? I've been shooting the 165 grain Gold Dots from Double Tap for a while now and I love that stuff. I shot about a thousand rounds of it without a single FTF or other problem. After that it became my carry ammo. Good stuff!!

wingman
September 26, 2005, 12:06 AM
The 40cal is a fine load however no handgun can be considered a one shot
man/woman stopper. Just an opinion.

Standing Wolf
September 26, 2005, 12:28 AM
At my old agency, a deputy fired at a suspect a single time, and the man went down immediately. He did survive. Funny thing is, I seem to recall it was a warning shot.

I'll bet the bad guy felt seriously warned.

Trebor
September 26, 2005, 02:10 AM
Thanks for the reports. Always interesting.

cookekdjr
September 26, 2005, 10:02 AM
Thanks for the reports. Always interesting.
Your welcome, Trebor. Its fascinating to watch the patterns and trends develop with different calibers. Regardless of the trends, there are alot of unexpected results.

nrmcolt
September 26, 2005, 10:42 AM
If not a problem, may I know what kind/brand did the police officer use to stop the crazy woman?

Thanks and regards

cookekdjr
September 26, 2005, 11:26 AM
Just talked to an APD officer. He took out a cartridge, said its a Winchester hollow point, bottom of cartridge says Winchester and .40 S&W.
I asked if its a silver tip or other brand name.
He said "its nothing sexy like that".
I'm guessing the department buys it in bulk. I doubt its anything like Ranger Talons, but I really don't know. My best guess is its the cheapest hp they make.
I'll try to check some more before I move to the feds next month.
-David

cookekdjr
September 26, 2005, 11:37 AM
Not to take anything away from the caliber, but the fact that she dropped immediately probably had a lot to do with shot placement. A hit to the femur will nearly always put someone on the ground immediately...just like a hit in the pelvic region (maybe the shot in the abdomen hit the pelvic bone). This is why I think it's a good idea to not only pracitce COM and head shots, but also pelvic shots. The pelvis is a large target and if someone is CLOSE then it will usually drop them in their tracks. That being said, the .40 S&W has definitely proven it's worth from what I've seen

Braden,
My experience mirrors your comments. If the caliber is strong enough, a pelvis and/or femur shot can be devestating. If the bones are shattered, the person is no longer ambulatory. Also, because there are major arteries in the upper thigh and pelvic region, a person can rapidly bleed to death from gunshot wounds to these areas.
-David

P.S. There was another homicide last night. Father and son killed in a home invasion. Another attorney got the call, so I have not determined the caliber yet. Will let y'all know when/if I find out.
-David

Double Naught Spy
September 26, 2005, 02:00 PM
Not to take anything away from the caliber, but the fact that she dropped immediately probably had a lot to do with shot placement. A hit to the femur will nearly always put someone on the ground immediately...just like a hit in the pelvic region (maybe the shot in the abdomen hit the pelvic bone). This is why I think it's a good idea to not only pracitce COM and head shots, but also pelvic shots.

Pistol pelvic shots don't drop people any more often than gut shots. The pelvis is a large target, most of which consisted of non-locomotion-bone. Unless you strike the pubis or acetabulum, a pistol round won't do a whole lot. The main body of the pelvis is the iliac blade and it serves more for support of the organs, abdominal, and back muscles, not locomotion.

People think that if they "shoot them in the pelvis, the pelvis will break and the person will drop." The problem is that most folks have no idea where to shoot to actually hit the key stress areas. In part this is because those areas are deep inside without a lot of external features to use as point references, especially when the person has on clothing. Sadly, a lot of instructors and texts talk about how effective pelvic shots are, but don't really have any data to support their claims in regard to pistol calibers and few for rifle calibers. In many cases, the examples are that "the person was shot in the pelvis and went down." Now, what they don't ever seem to know is if the person went down because they were shot or because the pelvis was hit. I find it somewhat amusing and downright scary that I have seen firearms instructors explaining about shooting the pelvis and how effective it is, putting their hands on their hips to indicate the location of the pelvis. Their hands are on the iliac blades, the least useful part to shoot.

The effectiveness is often attributed to the fact that the person went down who shot in the pelvic region. This doesn't mean the person went down because of some devastating structural collaspe. I have seen several reports of folks going down after being shot in the arm, gut, and via non-bone shots to the thigh.

The devastating pelvic breaks hyped by gun writers isn't as common or easy as implied. If you take some time and get into the biomechanical aspects of how the pelvis works as a locomotor structure and where the stress points are on the pelvis for locomotion, versus just being an anchor point for muscles and organs, the difficulty of the shots will become apparent. Also, if you take the time to review supposed pelvic shots in the gun literature, most are shooting scene reports where the writer is assuming a low abdomen shot has hit the pelvis and caused pelvic collapse. The don't follow up with any actual medical reports stating exactly what damage was done to the pelvis, if any. In other words, they don't know or fail to report the critical information needed to know how effective the shot was or was not..

As an aside, if you get a chance to see war damage on bones, it can be enlightening. For example, there is an innominate from Little Bighorn that shows a beautiful hole right through the iliac blade believed to be caused by a .50 caliber (or thereabouts) rifle. While the wound itself was not likely to be immediately fatal, the resulting intenstinal damage and subsequent sepsis would have been. The really cool part, however, is that the pelvis, hit by a large caliber rifle shot, did not result in pelvic devastation. It just poked a hole through it. There was no hard tissue locomotor failure, but as noted, the majority of the ilium isn't locomotor.

cookekdjr
September 26, 2005, 03:17 PM
Double Naught,
You are right. Chipping the upper "hip bone" = probably not much damage.
Bullet strikes below that, down to upper thigh, are often fatal or disabling.
-David

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