great article on why the 40 and 45 is top dog


November 18, 2006, 11:02 PM
I found this article while searcing the net on teh effectivness of the 9mm verses the 40cal and I must say after reading this guys real world experiences I will always use a minimum of a 40 of 45 given the chance for HD. Not trying to get a war started on whats best but this is some intresting reading form a medical examiner on real life wound balistics, please read it is very informative though maybe not for the faint of heart.

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November 18, 2006, 11:29 PM
I've read bits and pieces of that from other sources - nice to read the whole thing - thanks.

I generally agree. My unscientific studies (on deer) have given me enough evidence that big, slow bullets kill more efficiently that I've traded in the 9mm for a .45. Having fewer shots is a little unsettling, but I'm very comforable with the cartridge and platform.

November 18, 2006, 11:33 PM
Thanks and I am glad I found and saved it, I was searcing to try and make myself figure out why I exaclty purchased a 40 cal CZ40P since I have never had a 40 before and that article made me feel much better on my inpulse buy on a 40, and I am now thinking hard on getting a compact 40 to replace my 38 snub(yes I am still keeping guys).

November 18, 2006, 11:40 PM
Here is the link that I found it on and it also has more great links to more articles and some great balistic charts and info an varies calibers which made me a true believer in large slow moving bullet weights compaired to fast smaller weights.

November 18, 2006, 11:57 PM
Yeah, because we all know the 40 and the 45 have killed way more people than the 357 or the 30.....:evil:

November 19, 2006, 12:11 AM

Well, anyways- I agree with him that .45acp/.357mag > .40sw > 9mm, but I don't know who that thread -ERRR!- "article" is converting. No hard stats, no references, no sources. Just one guy's casual observations in the morgue. And only observations of those who died! So if he has any information on 9mm/.380acp... it's that they are DEAD from those rounds. He has no information on how quickly the fight was stopped, which is the direction he takes his conclusion. I suppose the whole "joke" about guessing caliber based on number of holes from x-ray (in that bigger calibers generally had less holes), but man. THat's a stretch.

Interesting though. THanks for sharing.

November 19, 2006, 12:20 AM
This "article" was THOROUGHLY discussed here some time ago.

Here's the THR thread that hashed it to death.

And here's the thread on another forum that is the source of the "article".

When finally pressed, the author finally admitted that:

He had absolutely no medical training or background and therefore is NOT a medical examiner. (You get to read about 15 pages into the thread before this rather pertinent bit of information is finally revealed.)
"Often the ME can't tell what caliber and/or bullet was recovered at autopsy."
"I mainly get the skeletal remains and the ones that are so decomposed that the ME can't do much with them."
He was basing his assessment of effectiveness on "PENETRATION. Pure and simple" (There's the answer to all the perceptive folks' question of how a bullet in a dead body can be "ineffective".)
He's actually an anthropologist.

Furthermore, one of the responders on the THR thread worked in the same area and field. He emailed the thread/article author but never received a response.

Here's what the author says as his opening statement for the thread: "One of the benefits of working in a morgue is that I get to see what works and what doesn't. Ballistic gelatin is good as far as it goes, but there's nothing like seeing what a bullet actually does once it strikes bone, flesh, and organs."

Wow!, the reader thinks, "This guy has the real inside scoop! He's such an expert that he even knows better than people like Fackler who have spent their whole lives studying terminal ballistics in gelatin.

His second post starts out: "The .357 is gloriously effective." Not "IMO it is gloriously effective." Not "I think the .357 is very effective". No, he makes his statement as if it is an incontrovertible fact. Later in that post he says: "this is from experience that I've made my calls on what works and what doesn't." Again, not his opinion, but his experience tells him what works. (We later--much later--find out that nearly all the revolver shootings he sees are suicides. You'd think that would be relevant enough to put in there right up front. Like "The .357 is gloriously effective when people use it to shoot themselves in the head.") :rolleyes:

Contrast that with this post later in the thread when some of his inconsistencies are pushing him into a corner.

" dissertation isn't on ballistics, wound characteristics, or anything else even vaguely related to this topic."

"'re absolutely right that often the ME can't tell what caliber and/or bullet was recovered at autopsy, and I clearly stated that in one of my earlier posts. "

"I've seen 9mm rounds fragment before reaching the vital organs and I don't think I've ever seen a .45 do that. That's all I've said, nothing more."

The last comment stands in STARK contrast to his unqualified endorsement of the .357Magnum as being "gloriously effective."

I'm not saying his opinion is invalid. It's as valid as anyone else's. But I AM saying that whether by design or by accident, his initial postings painted him as an expert in the field of terminal ballistics making unassailable statements backed up by forensic evidence--it wasn't until 15 pages into the thread that he started saying things like "I think" "I don't think", etc. and it finally becomes obvious that he's merely stating his opinion. That nothing he's saying is anything close to "evidence".

Finally, his numbers don't work out. Look at this post for an analysis of what it would take to make it possible for him to view the number of autopsies a year that he claims he does.

November 19, 2006, 12:40 AM
Nice post John!

Redneck with a 40
November 19, 2006, 01:38 PM
The 357 mag 125 grain is still the benchmark by which all other calibers are measured, 98% one shot stop during a 35 year street record with the police.

Double Naught Spy
November 19, 2006, 04:22 PM
JohnSA, I believe your assessment to be correct. The guy's arguments are not convincing. With that said, however, the fact that he is an "anthropologist" may not be necessarily relevant as a negative in terms of being a person quite knowing about facets of death. He is likely just skilled in the wrong aspect of it and how it relates to actually stopping people.

He went to Knoxville and has a degree in anthropology and works in an MEs office in Atlanta. Chances are he was a student of Bill Bass, creator of 'the body farm' at UT and one of the most amazing forensic anthropology programs in the world for dealing with decomposing or fully decomposed dead people. He has worked in places such as Kosovo with human remains (recovery?). He is probably a forensic anthropologist. As a forensic anthropologist working in the ME's office, he very well may be certified through the American Board of Forensic Anthropology in order to work there as a physical anthropologist doing forensic anthropology.

Even with such an extensive background, however, his background is likely missing something very critical. His area of expertise would be with the long dead and often not those for whom it could be ascertained how long they lived after suffering many various types of insults such as gunshot. As we know, it is possible for a BB gun to kill a person, or a .17 hmr or a .22, but it can take quite some time before that happens (as with any caliber).

The necessity of 'effectiveness' when it comes to self defense isn't something that can be quantified or qualified based on the numbers of folks killed by a given caliber. Otherwise, the .22 lr looks to be king by sheer numbers (according to many folks). The real question, as you know, is what the shot person was able to accomplish and whether or not that person was able to continue an assault or injure others before being stopped by a given caliber and it is in that area that the anthropogist working in the ME's office would appear to be lacking critical data.

November 19, 2006, 05:03 PM

You are such a parade-rainer......


.357 magnum
November 19, 2006, 06:08 PM
Well I am not so sure how the guy at the morgue see's it. But you are right the .40 and .45 have an excellent street record. I would not use anything under the .40 for self-defense. The .45 is a proven man-stopper and the .40 in it's short history has established itself as an excellent stopper.

Have a good one!

November 19, 2006, 06:47 PM
I must comment here on the often used "kinetic energy" as a measure of stopping power. Julian Hatcher had two stopping power formulas [~ 1930s] ,the first was based on energy. He found that this did not conform to the real world. He reworked things and came up with one based on "momentum" which he found did conform to the real world. All too often people think that they 'understand ' energy but I'll take momentum any day.....It's interesting that the writer wants 40 or 45 [I agree from my own tests on 'chucks and feral dogs] and in Africa for hunting dangerous game they also want 40 or larger !!

November 19, 2006, 07:11 PM
The 357 mag 125 grain is still the benchmark by which all other calibers are measured, 98% one shot stop during a 35 year street record with the police.

Source, please.

Anyone can make an assertion; an assertion is not a fact.

Assertions sell books and boxes of ammo.

They sure sold a bunch to me... :rolleyes:

November 19, 2006, 08:07 PM
He ... works in an MEs office in Atlanta.He says he does, but when you look at the number of autopsies he claims to witness each day, the number are completely unreasonable. If you look at the post I linked to where I did the math based on publicly available information on GA autopsies, particularly in the area he claims to work, things just don't add up.

In one place he mentions that one day there were "ONLY" four gunshot autopsies. If you work those numbers, he's witnessing autopsies on about 1/20 of the TOTAL gunshot deaths on the ENTIRE nation. Completely out of the question.

Some of what he says convinces me that he knows the field he's claiming to work in, but many of his other claims just don't hold up to simple analysis.

That said, your point is well taken--"The real question, as you know, is what the shot person was able to accomplish and whether or not that person was able to continue an assault or injure others before being stopped by a given caliber and it is in that area that the anthropogist working in the ME's office would appear to be lacking critical data."

November 19, 2006, 08:29 PM
But as the .40 S&W can be had in smaller more CHL friendly pistols (Like the SIG 239) do you lose much out of a smaller barrel?

.357 magnum
November 20, 2006, 05:59 AM
If you go under four inches you lose some ballistics. My son carries a 3.5 inch in a .40- For barrels under four inches I would go to Corbon's 135gr or Speer Gold Dot 155gr for self defense loads. The ballistics on the .40 are tested at the four inch barrel length.

[I have money down on a 5inch Taurus 24/7 OSS in January]

Take care!

November 20, 2006, 06:40 AM
Depends on if <4" polygonal or conventional rifling. Polygonal rifling makes back up alot of that difference.

Phil DeGraves
November 20, 2006, 09:18 AM
The most important thing is to hit what you aim at. Caliber is secondary. It isn't going to do you any good to be shooting a "fight-stopping" .45 if you flinch and miss. It may be better for that person to use a .38 or 9mm that they can control better and therefore increase the likelihood of a hit. This ballistics stuff is so obvious. The larger the bullet, the bigger the holes, the more damage to the target. The bigger the holes, the greater the blood loss. The heavier the bullet (the better the sectional density), the deeper the penetration. The deeper the penetration, the more target damage. You don't have to be a scientist to figure this stuff out.

November 20, 2006, 12:04 PM
Frankly I considered this guy an " ego poster " at the time of the original threads , I don't think he had any ill intent at all , just that he had a ready audience and ran with it . Personally I have no idea what the " best " caliber , or heck even gun is , I just know what I have found best for me . The forum threads have become entertainment to me anymore since I am appairently not bright enough to be converted by either sides logic LOL .

November 20, 2006, 02:18 PM
I wonder why a guy, last week here in Michigan, died with one shot to the chest with only a 32cal revolver? He must have been not wearing a coat or a shirt, or already had a wound, or something:confused:

Cousin Mike
November 20, 2006, 02:36 PM
Anyone can find SOME instance where someone was killed with one-shot-thru-the-pinky-finger with a .22 short, or survived a .44 Magnum in the face point blank. Proves nothing about a rounds general effectiveness, or lack thereof.

My humble, and not-nearly-expert opinion?

Anything 9mm or larger will do the job just fine if you do yours... That said, I carry a .45 or a .357.

November 20, 2006, 02:50 PM
"I've seen folks killed by a bb to the eye"

holy s***

ill have more respect when watching "a christmas story" now ...jokingly but respectively serious at the same time

.357 magnum
November 20, 2006, 04:42 PM
I am going to sell my .45's and get a .32acp, I will sleep better at night!
[did I mention this will happen when when hell freeze's over?] I would not want to bet my family's safety on a 32 acp!

Really the .40 and .45 are awesome caliber's and I can shooot the .45 better then any of the caliber's. I would bet most people could, it's a slow cartridge, no serious recoil issues. It took me longer to shoot the .40 accurately with hotter loads. Love the .40 also!

November 20, 2006, 05:29 PM

If only you knew the truth...

Well, here's a little peek behind the curtain. The original poster is a forensic pathologist at the CTU. The vast majority of his autopsies are performed on victims of Jack Bauer or Chuck Norris. The 8 a day is just an average. Jack tends to kill a whole bunch of people in a 24 hour period, and then take a year off. Chuck averages about 20 killings a day, but usually his anger obliterates the body so totally that there isn't enough left to examine.

The original post has been beaten into a fine paste, so I'm going to go ahead and lock this down.

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