Pre-fragmented rounds


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PlayboyPenguin
October 9, 2006, 01:06 AM
I have been considering getting a set of the pre-fragmented rounds for my carry weapons. That way i would have to worry less about penatrating and assailant and hitting a bystandard. Anyone have info as to whether this wuld be a good or bad idea?

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Odd Job
October 9, 2006, 08:12 AM
Yes I have info for you. This is a bad idea, unless you can prove that the place you are likely to have to draw and fire has components or furniture that absolutely must not be perforated. For the ordinary citizen this usually does not apply.

I saw first hand the results of a shooting where a young man sustained a gunshot wound to the upper arm with prefragmented ammunition. There are a few varieties of these, common examples being Glaser and Magsafe. In this particular case, the wound was characterised by shallow penetration of the fragments into the triceps muscle with a fairly wide area of destruction of that muscle. Some of the fragments struck the victim's lower chest area but none of them penetrated the thoracic cavity. I have a photograph and two radiographs of this case and I saw the victim myself. The chances of that particular shot being lethal are very low. In fact this guy was not even a resus case. He was treated in a side bay. However, of the many other gunshot wounds of the upper arm that I have seen (with intact core ammunition) several have managed to perforate the upper arm and then penetrate into the thoracic cavity, resulting in life-threatening injuries. Many of these projectiles fractured the humerus too. Take note that in most of these cases in SA the upper arm was either bare, or only protected by a light cotton shirt. If you are in a different climate and the assailant has a thick coat or several layers of clothing on his upper body, then the performance of the prefragmented ammunition will be even worse than the case that I saw.

In short: stay away from that ammunition, unless you have an environmental reason why you can not tolerate perforated furniture or components at the scene.

Grape Ape
October 9, 2006, 09:38 AM
I use to carry them, but stopped because of under penetration worries. I donít worry much about arms in the way, I figure that if my assailantís arm is between us it is probably holding a weapon, and wrecking said is probably going to cure that.

My issue is fat guys, gym rats and worst of all former gym rats going to fat. They are a minority, but there are plenty of guys walking around that with enough tactical fat on them that 4-6 inches of penetration might not reach anything important.

DogBonz
October 9, 2006, 11:07 AM
tactical fat :D

Dravur
October 9, 2006, 03:40 PM
I must have a bullet proof coating then. :neener:

PlayboyPenguin
October 9, 2006, 03:51 PM
Here I thought I was doing a good thing these last few months losing 30lbs. Now I hear I was just making myself less bulletproof.

LAK
October 10, 2006, 08:15 AM
Underpenetration is a greater personal liability than overpenetration IMO. Fragmenting bullets - and including very light bullets that open too quickly and offer only shallow penetration - are unreliable and a bad idea all round IMO.

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DRMMR02
October 10, 2006, 08:31 AM
Question: If most standard pistol rounds don't even go through the first target, how much force does a bullet really have when it does get all the way through? This may be a stupid question, but if we're concerend with a bullet not even going into the first thing it hits far enough to stop it, how much damaging potential does it have after it does get all the way through?

statelineblues
October 10, 2006, 08:32 AM
Depending on caliber, you might look into Federal Premium Expanding Full Metal Jacket - it's a good alternative if you can't use hollowpoints for self defense (like us in NJ :fire: )

Odd Job
October 10, 2006, 09:24 AM
@ DRMMR02

Question: If most standard pistol rounds don't even go through the first target, how much force does a bullet really have when it does get all the way through? This may be a stupid question, but if we're concerend with a bullet not even going into the first thing it hits far enough to stop it, how much damaging potential does it have after it does get all the way through?

I think the only reasonable issue to discuss here is the potential for damage to the surroundings, should the shooter miss the intended target.
But...to satisfy your curiosity there are many cases in the literature where a single shot has damaged two individuals.
In a study that I conducted in Johannesburg in 2002, I took a sample of 150 gunshot victims and determined whether they had penetrating or perforating injuries. (Many people don't know the difference between penetration and perforation. In penetration, all of the projectile components remain in the target, in perforation a portion of the projectile or the whole projectile exits the target).
Here is what I found:

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g154/Odd_Job/Typesofwounds.jpg

Note that there was one confirmed .303 rifle injury and one confirmed shotgun injury and there are two cases where I can't be certain whether a rifle or a handgun was used, but the majority of these cases involved handguns.
So, certainly, a very significant number of shootings are perforating in nature. Whether the exiting projectile has enough energy to damage a second person depends on too many variables for me to offer a worthwhile answer. My opinion is that you should assume (in most cases) that when you pull the trigger, a person standing directly behind the target will be hit by your bullet too.
There is another thing you have to understand: you can have a perforating injury even if the projectile does not remain intact. Look at these figures for the detection of projectile fragments in those 150 cases:

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g154/Odd_Job/ProjectileDetection.jpg

Note that there were fewer cases where projectiles were not found in the patient's clothing or detected on X-ray, than there were cases where the victim sustained a perforating injury. This means that in at least a few cases there was a perforating injury but at least some of the projectile components were retained in the victim's body or in his clothing. Therefore you have to consider the potential variable of a reduced mass projectile exiting the first target and striking the second.

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