"One Shot Stops": testing the effectiveness of handgun rounds


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.38 Special
July 15, 2009, 09:50 PM
So yet another thread got sidetracked into a "Jello Junkies vs. Morgue Monsters" argument, with the usual slanders, personal attacks, and general eye-poking, and it got me to wondering: what is the best way to measure handgun "stopping power"?

My personal feeling is that the basic premise of Marshall and Sanow's work is sound. I cannot see any better way of testing handgun effectiveness than evaluating the results of shooting a bunch of people with various handgun rounds.

But obviously this opinion is not universal, and I think most people would agree that Marshall and Sanow's work is imperfect. So I'm asking: what do you think is the best way to test handgun "stopping power" and why?

(Please, please, please, let's not turn this into another game of junkies vs. monsters. It's old, no one cares, and it's not going to be settled on yet another internet poop-flinging contest.)

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Oro
July 15, 2009, 10:33 PM
I think the best way to settle the argument is to realize that:

1) It's shot placement and what it hits, not what it was hit with.

2) Move on to more interesting and meaningful discussions.

MikkOwl
July 15, 2009, 10:46 PM
Stopping power is, I gather, only a theoretical measurement of how much damage the bullet will do if it hits. Therefore recoil, accuracy, weight and all that is completely irrelevant. When choosing a cartridge then, stopping power is only part of the consideration.

I think that stopping power should be measured by constructing a more human-like ballistic doll (ever seen "Deadliest Warrior"? They have some interesting ideas there), test on normal ballistic gel, do math, physics and theorycraft, collect data from actual shootings and morgues, and then compile it all into a reasonable guesstimate style report.

Summarized:

1. Ballistic Gel
2. Ballistic Anatomic Doll (with various types of clothing and all kinds of angles)
3. Ballistic real world people (shootings, autopsies)
4. Physics & number crunching & comparing to other cartridges
5. Summarize into a reasonable report.
From all this, a reasonable impression can be found.

kanewpadle
July 15, 2009, 11:04 PM
So yet another thread got sidetracked into a "Jello Junkies vs. Morgue Monsters" argument, with the usual slanders, personal attacks, and general eye-poking, and it got me to wondering: what is the best way to measure handgun "stopping power"?

My personal feeling is that the basic premise of Marshall and Sanow's work is sound. I cannot see any better way of testing handgun effectiveness than evaluating the results of shooting a bunch of people with various handgun rounds.

But obviously this opinion is not universal, and I think most people would agree that Marshall and Sanow's work is imperfect. So I'm asking: what do you think is the best way to test handgun "stopping power" and why?

(Please, please, please, let's not turn this into another game of junkies vs. monsters. It's old, no one cares, and it's not going to be settled on yet another internet poop-flinging contest.)
If you didn't want this thread to degenerate then you should never have brought "Marshall and Sanow" into the discussion. Who doesn't agree with Marshall and Sanow and how is their work imperfect? Have you bothered to read any of their work? Or have you jumped on the "misinformed" bandwagon? Most people that bash their work never even bothered to read it let alone understand it. Way too many opinions are formed while reading the many BS posts in gun forums such as this. It would be nice if people would take the time and effort, do their own research, and form their own opinions. Stop by Evan Marshall's site, READ, and make your own decision.

Not bashing you. But you did make the statement.

www.stoppingpower.net/forum/

CWL
July 15, 2009, 11:27 PM
You asked for it.

I've read their book, plus their follow-up material. The basis of their claims is from "studying" hundreds of shootings gathered from all over the USA and boiling this down into a formula of likely "stopping" percentages for most common calibers and bullets.

My question, which is the same one that has never been answered, is HOW did a pair of nobodies such as M&S (without the authorizations of, or financial backing from any LE or medical Agencies) ever have "pull" to get Medical Examiner or Police Departments to release the results of firearm fatalities/injury investigations?

Try calling-up your local Medical Examiner and ask them for an autopsy report from a recent firearms fatality. It won't happen.

I say M&S is crap because they made up the majority of their data.

Trebor
July 15, 2009, 11:35 PM
I cannot see any better way of testing handgun effectiveness than evaluating the results of shooting a bunch of people with various handgun rounds

Actually, if it was done scientifically, that would be the best way to determine handgun effectiveness against humans. But, you'd have to do it so that you could control the experiment, acurately measure the results, and then be able to allow others to replicate your experiments.

Obviously, since we're talking about shooting *real people* here, under labratory conditions, that isn't going to happen. (Nor should it. Science should only go so far.)

Short of that, there is no way to scientifically study the result of shootings of human beings based on autopsy reports, etc. The plual of "anecdote" is not "data."

The M&S info is not scientifically rigerious by any means. People tend to trust the data in so much as it meets their own preconceived notions.

psyopspec
July 15, 2009, 11:45 PM
So I'm asking: what do you think is the best way to test handgun "stopping power" and why?

Ever noticed how it's measured in ambiguous terms rather than a number? The guy at the gun shop assures me that a 1911 has "good stopping power" and that if I put hollow points in it I'll have "REALLY good stopping power." A way to calculate it? There ain't one, as stopping power is not quantifiable measurement, but rather a phrase tossed around in gun shops to make you buy stuff.

Shot placement. Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement.

Gun Slinger
July 15, 2009, 11:58 PM
Ah, "Stopping Power"...

Pointless arguments "rage on"

Senseless conjecture.







:evil:

MCgunner
July 16, 2009, 12:17 AM
My personal feeling is that the basic premise of Marshall and Sanow's work is sound.

http://www.ballisticstestinggroup.org/mwc.htm

The definitive work, far as I'm concerned, is Doctor Michael Courtney and wife, fellow physicist, Dr. Amy Courtney with the Ballistics Testing Group, West Point, NY. Drs Courtney agree with you on the M/S data. In their work, they show a correlation coefficient of over .9, forget the exact number, between wounding measurements and models in their work and the M/S data set. Read about it, it's complicated and I can't tell the story second hand. :D I'm just a layman, they're the experts.

This is an old argument, but finally physicist, not just medical examiners, are working on the subject. Again, read some of the papers on that site. Very enlightening and confirm and give reasons for some of the things I've known instinctively from hunting over the years. I've never shot a human, but hogs and deer I have shot, a lot of.

You know, in science, often one discipline will think they know it all, they're the experts, it's their science. Then another discipline will come along and re-write the science. Geneticists and their work with mitochondrial DNA are adding much to and busting myths of the anthropologists who for years were THE authorities. There are other examples, but that one comes to mind. It's about time the physicists got involved in the big/slow, small/fast argument. The effects of a bullet is a physics argument, after all. What does an MD know about the workings of mass at high speed? They see the crush cavity, that's pretty much it.

BTW, Dr Courtney's presence on this very site is where I found out about all this research. He has a lot of informative posts if you wanna search his name in the search function. If you guys keep this bout alive like the 1500 before it, he might just pop in and put in his 2 cents, which are worth a lot more than my 2 cents. :D

.38 Special
July 16, 2009, 12:43 AM
I think shot placement is indeed very important. Obviously it does not matter what caliber you are using if you hit your bad guy in the hand. And it probably doesn't matter much what the caliber is if it disrupts his central nervous system. But there is a lot of room in between those two extremes. I think, if presented with the option of hitting the bad guy center-of-mass with a .22 LR, and hitting him center-of-mass with a .44 Magnum, most folks would prefer the latter. So cartridge does matter, at least to a certain extent. Moreover, I am not aware of any research indicating that caliber is totally unimportant. Nobody is arguing that .38 Special/158 LRN is interchangeable with .357 Magnum/125 JHP, as far as I know. So "shot placement" isn't the entire argument.

Posts #4 and #5 illustrate the emotion that unfortunately pervades the argument. I guess I'll just point it out as an example of the kind of post I'm hoping to avoid, and move on.

And I suppose I have to reject the idea that there really isn't any way of knowing, at least outside of laboratory conditions. I guess in the strictest, most rigorously scientific sense, it is probably true, but I'm not sure we need to meet that standard in order to have really useful information.

And I appreciate MCgunner's post. I'll have to spend some time with that link...

.38 Special
July 16, 2009, 12:46 AM
I do find the results of the handgun hunters very useful, BTW. These are folks firing a wide variety of handgun bullets into live targets, many of which approximate the weight of average humans. Obviously animals are not a perfect human analogue, but I do think certain broad conclusions can be drawn from the field: that you cannot count on a "one shot stop" unless you hit the CNS, and that non-expanding roundnose bullets suck regardless of caliber, are two that come to mind.

pps
July 16, 2009, 01:01 AM
My personal feeling is that the basic premise of Marshall and Sanow's work is sound. I cannot see any better way of testing handgun effectiveness than evaluating the results of shooting a bunch of people with various handgun rounds.

The premise lead to faulty data collection. A case in point is that multiple hits to center of mass were not included. Is that not real world data? If 5 hits to center of mass fails to stop but the 6th succeeds...is that 5 failures and a stop in reality? M&S data collection technique throws out all that data.

What of the smaller calibers like the 22lr rated at what 30 something percent by M&S? How many times were people hit multiple times with a total failure to stop? That data was discarded, thus making the "30%" a meaningless number as so many failures were thrown out. Thus, the smaller calibers will tend to look more effective than they really should be.

I don't question the intent of M&S, but their data collection has rendered the data as being next to worthless. Is it less worthless than shooting jello? that could be debated endlessly. What the jello does do is this: It provides a repeatable consistent tool to compare bullet performance relative to one another in terms of expansion/penetration/core-jacket seperation...et al. Does it tell me how it will perform on the street if I do my job with picking the right location, maybe...maybe not.

What do I base my choices on? To some extent...all of the above.

Dimis
July 16, 2009, 01:13 AM
Ask a knife fighter what the best knife to use and he will tell you the one in your hand

with that out of the way i personaly look to see how big it is and how hard it hits OR how fast it is and how hard it hits

i find that most people fall into two catagories the big n slow or small and fast groups i tend to fall in the "one in my hand" catagory if it shoots it has the potential to injure and kill

ive stated on here before that i deliver pizzas and i will not go into some places unarmed at first i had nothing bigger than a .25 auto did i feel 100% safe with the mouse gun not really but i felt alot safer with it than without it thats for sure

now i have a .38+P rated revolver do i feel 100% safe with it again no but i do feel even safer with it than the .25

i could own a .50AE or .500S&W and still not feel 100% safe because its still gonna take more than just caliber to determan a fatal or stopping shot

unfortunatly the answer will forever be the poo flinging contest because alot of people dont think of the formula to a stopping shot instead they fall into the snake oil solutions of caliber wars and dont want to practice for a situation that may never happen to them or there ego wont allow them to shoot a "girl" caliber or whatever there excuse is these days if all else fails give me a gun ANY gun id rather be armed with a pipsqueek .22 short derringer than nothing at all

kanewpadle
July 16, 2009, 01:19 AM
You asked for it.

I've read their book, plus their follow-up material. The basis of their claims is from "studying" hundreds of shootings gathered from all over the USA and boiling this down into a formula of likely "stopping" percentages for most common calibers and bullets.

My question, which is the same one that has never been answered, is HOW did a pair of nobodies such as M&S (without the authorizations of, or financial backing from any LE or medical Agencies) ever have "pull" to get Medical Examiner or Police Departments to release the results of firearm fatalities/injury investigations?

Try calling-up your local Medical Examiner and ask them for an autopsy report from a recent firearms fatality. It won't happen.

I say M&S is crap because they made up the majority of their data.
Ah..... So the expert has spoken.

Prove they made up their findings. I bet you can't.

Go to Marshall's website and ask for yourself.

It's real easy to bad mouth someone online. Let's see if you can grow a pair and ask him yourself.

harrygunner
July 16, 2009, 01:20 AM
Most people on the planet are not interested in analyzing the "obvious". Like most of the world, gun forum members are rarely scientists and rightly are a cross section of society.

If done properly, there is information in shooting encounters. And it makes sense to use a non-physical parameter to compare outcomes. Scientists do it all the time. But a lot of people take the phrase "One shot stop" literally.

Statistics is exactly what you want to use for complex situations that are not easily modeled. If you want to keep your data gathering and analysis simple, the "Central limit theorem" helps smooth out complexities that are often brought up on gun forums.

There are a few people quietly, scientifically analyzing bullet design. I've felt that a computer model of the human body would be interesting. Failure modes (what makes a person "stop") would be postulated and modeled using physiological and empirical data. As our knowledge improves, object oriented sections of the body model would be updated.

We could "shoot" the "body" within the model and compare results to real encounters. Eventually, model results would reasonably match real results and bullet designs could be compared on a computer.

But, the customer base is not interested. And even a scientist is likely to admit that shot placement will overwhelm advantages of one bullet design over another. Still, history is filled with unexpected breakthroughs when someone took a look at something that was "obvious".

kanewpadle
July 16, 2009, 01:31 AM
Most people on the planet are not interested in analyzing the "obvious". Like most of the world, gun forum members are rarely scientists and rightly are a cross section of society.

If done properly, there is information in shooting encounters. And it makes sense to use a non-physical parameter to compare outcomes. Scientists do it all the time. But a lot of people take the phrase "One shot stop" literally.

Statistics is exactly what you want to use for complex situations that are not easily modeled. If you want to keep your data gathering and analysis simple, the "Central limit theorem" helps smooth out complexities that are often brought up on gun forums.

There are a few people quietly, scientifically analyzing bullet design. I've felt that a computer model of the human body would be interesting. Failure modes (what makes a person "stop") would be postulated and modeled using physiological and empirical data. As our knowledge improves, object oriented sections of the body model would be updated.

We could "shoot" the "body" within the model and compare results to real encounters. Eventually, model results would reasonably match real results and bullet designs could be compared on a computer.

But, the customer base is not interested. And even a scientist is likely to admit that shot placement will overwhelm advantages of one bullet design over another. Still, history is filled with unexpected breakthroughs when someone took a look at something that was "obvious".
Well said.

True most people are not interested in the obvious but there sure are a lot of experts on these gun forums. They read things and not knowing whether the information they are reading is accurate and true, they pass it on to the next person or forum. He said this, she said that. But there is never any proof except for hearsay and secondhand news.

DougDubya
July 16, 2009, 02:03 AM
One shot stops are a unit of possible measure, never a tactical concept.

Go with what you aim best with and hit most easily and often with.

Frank Ettin
July 16, 2009, 02:04 AM
I tend to think these discussions get way overdone and there are probably no ultimate answers. For one thing, in real life there are too many variables. For another thing, randomness and chance will play some role, to some degree, in the outcome of any shooting event. There seem to be some general themes, however.

[1] Shot placement is king.

[2] As I recall the tables tabulating results of actual events on the street, for at least .45 ACP all JHPs performed close enough to the same, and all JHPs performed uniformly better than FMJs.

[3] Adequate penetration is vital. (But excess penetration doesn't do anyone any good.)

[4] Bigger holes are better than smaller holes.

[5] Sometimes a .32 in the thigh has stopped a fight. Sometimes 10 rounds of .45 ACP +P, JHP COM didn't.

[6] With a handgun, there will always be compromises -- size, concealability, and manageability against size and power of the cartridge.

[7] There are no magic bullets.

LightningJoe
July 16, 2009, 02:04 AM
Stopping power mostly in the head of the guy who gets shot. Even if he were made out of Jello, what the bullet did to a human would be radically different from what it did to ballistic gelatin.


All those real shooting incidents involve real humans who don't know what caliber they've been hit with and whose reactions won't be proportional to the type and severity of injury they experience.

CWL
July 16, 2009, 02:38 AM
Ah..... So the expert has spoken.

Prove they made up their findings. I bet you can't.

Go to Marshall's website and ask for yourself.

It's real easy to bad mouth someone online. Let's see if you can grow a pair and ask him yourself.

Well, proof should fall on the ones who claim the data, they've never showed their data, so I don't believe them.

Since my mother is a surgical forensic pathologist with close to 40 years experience, I have had direct access to people who do the medical examinations and know proper medical procedures. Since I've worked in the legal field, I'm familiar with legal and HIPPA regulations plus proper procedures involved in shootings -no DA, Judiciary, police Agency, medical professional or any law firms representing anyone involved in a shooting would publicize any information. I've twice fired weapons in anger while in Asia and have never seen anyone practicing a one-shot-stop combat philosophy. I've squatted in the forests of Cambodia talking with ex-Khmer Rouge guerrillas and discussed the merits of small arms, none of the seasoned veterans have ever stopped at one-shot unless it was an execution. I've also spent considerable time & money training with SWAT, SEAL and a Delta Operator; none of them have ever come close to sharing a "one shot stop" methodology in their combatives philosophy.

Nah, I don't believe in magic bullets.

Perhaps you should put down your videogames, go into the world, get an education and learn that M&S 'statistics' isn't real math. :rolleyes:

C-grunt
July 16, 2009, 02:45 AM
The problem with trying to measure the "stopping power" of a bullet is that its not the bullet that stops the bad guy, its the injury.

If you take two shootings for instance. 1 is a 9mm shot to the heart that kills the person and the other is a 44 mag to the shoulder that the person lives. Does that show you that a 9mm is more effective than a 44 mag? No, it shows you that wounding the heart is fatal and a shoulder wound is survivable.

Your dealing with human bodies here. None are the same and none will react the same. Two people could be shot in the exact same place with the same bullet. 1 might die, the other might walk to the hospital. Or what if one guy is suffering from terminal cancer? What if ones a 25 year old olympic wrestler and the other is a young teenage girl? You can never scientifically pre determine a response on human behavior.

What you can put numbers to is the data of the projectile. A 45 acp is going to create a bigger wound than a .22lr everything else being equal. Does that mean its going to be a better "man stopper" if you shoot a would be murderer? That depends on the guy getting shot. Whats his health like, body structure, pre disposition to being shot?

Easy way to sum this up. You have a .45 acp and get attacked by an Olympic wrestler. He is 6 foot 5 and 270 lbs of ripped muscle in excellent shape. I have a .22lr and my attacker is a 95 year old great grandmother thats 96 lbs and has severe pneumonia. I think my scenario as a better chance of a "one shot stop" than yours and it has nothing to do with the rounds we are using.

logjam
July 16, 2009, 02:48 AM
A little bitty .22 round punched into someone's belly will "kill'a fella". It won't knock someone down, but a .22 can and does kill.

So carry one. If you come up to some guy in a dark alley pop one of those .22 rounds in the middle of his forehead. He'll likely recover and you will have time to get away. No need to kill some one.

GodGuns&Guitars
July 16, 2009, 02:49 AM
Over a few years I've been on some shootings either as one involved or as one of the investigators. Involved shooting: BG took six 158 grain JHP's from a 357mag and was still standing before being shot with a 12 guage. All six shots were center mass in the area of the heart. Had you been close enough to him, he'd have killed you with his knife.

Two other instances where the assailants were shot with 22 long rifles from hand guns and died right then and there. One shot kills on both of these men. Another assailant shot twice with a 40. He was still laughing as he was cuffed and hauled off to the hospital. I think a lot of it has to do with the persons will to live. Plus what ever kind of stimulant they may be on.

I do have to agree with a couple of other people, shot placement is crucial. You want them down and out for the count, snot locker is the best shot.

Frank Ettin
July 16, 2009, 03:03 AM
In any case, what is supposed to be the point of the exercise? If anyone figures that somehow there's a way to establish the Remchester 218 grain, .45 ACP. Platnum Dagger JHPs are the guaranteed absolute ultimate self defense cartridge, of if you are going to use a 9mm, the Winmington 122.5 grain bronze tip JHP is guaranteed to be better than anything else in that caliber, he's mistaken.

It seems that all any of the tests and studies can really tell us is that in general terms, we can more reasonably expect better results more often with some calibers and bullet types than others.

Shear_stress
July 16, 2009, 09:30 AM
Your dealing with human bodies here. None are the same and none will react the same. Two people could be shot in the exact same place with the same bullet. 1 might die, the other might walk to the hospital. Or what if one guy is suffering from terminal cancer? What if ones a 25 year old olympic wrestler and the other is a young teenage girl? You can never scientifically pre determine a response on human behavior.

Right. In real world data there are so many confounding variables to correct for (caliber, load, exact shot placement, bullet path in the body, range, shootee body weight, age, sex, cardiovascular strength, presence or absence of mind altering drugs, dose of drugs, lean muscle mass, body fat percentage, size and health of internal organs, heart rate at time of shooting, concentration of stress hormones in blood, pain tolerance, platelet count ----should I go on??) Even if you had data for each variable and corrected for each one, your sample size and statistical power would shrink to comically small values.

And this is why folks in the laboratory use genetically identical animals kept under identical conditions when comparing different "treatments".

Thaddeus Jones
July 16, 2009, 09:51 AM
Anyone here old enough to remember the "coroners big three"?

That referred to the rounds that coroners recovered from dead bodies most often. Those "big three" rounds were .22, .38, and double 00 buckshot.

If placed properly, any handgun round can produce the elusive "one shot stop". Don't forget that the primary purpose of a handgun is to enable you to fight your way to your shotgun or rifle (at least that is how I was trained). Much better chance of obtaining a "one shot stop" with those. My 0.02

MCgunner
July 16, 2009, 10:12 AM
I, personally, don't think the M/S data is junk. I think it's relevant and compares effectiveness of rounds to each other. If your vaunted round ain't on top, I'm sorry. However, they are not absolute numbers, only relative to each other. If a round scores over 70 percent, it's worthy of consideration for carry.

However, looking that stuff over, it hasn't changed my carry platforms. I carry the most powerful gun I can comfortably shoot and carry 24/7. I like the little pocket 9s and the .38 snubs. That's what I carry in a pocket. No, .38 special and 9x19 don't score on TOP of the M/S data, but they work well enough in the data. If one don't do it, I have 12 more in the Kel Tec to get the job done, all I need do is squeeze again.

Theory is theory and I look at it with interest and cuss and discuss it on the net. But, what I carry has a lot to do with what I can carry 24/7 because if it's at home when I need it, it's worthless. What cracks me up is the guys that carry their 1911s come hell or high water, won't be caught with a .38. Nope, by gawd my life is important! Cops carried the .38 for 80 years, but nope, ain't enough, never mind modern ammunition. I ain't settlin' for less than my .45! Meanwhile, the .357 magnum, in many loadings, and especially compared to ball, is more effective. If they won't settle for less than the best, they should be totin' the .357. Ya know, a SP101 is a helluva good carry and easier on the hip than any full size 1911.

Not to be outdone are the guys with the little .32ACPs that yap about shot placement and "having a gun". Wow, there's not a happy medium here? I think there is and M/S's data confirms that the 9x19 in its best +P loadings is nearly as effective as the .45ACPs or .357s best loadings, nearly, not quite, but nearly. .32 is way down on the list. Well, guess what, I sorta figured that, ROFLMAO. But, it's still fun to cuss and discuss these things face to face or on internet boards and I find the subject interesting enough to read the various research from M/S to Dr. Fackler to Dt Courtney. I happen to believe that Dr. Courtney's work is the best on the subject, the most well done, based in actual physics and backed up by neurology and statistics and other studies by statistical correlation. That's my opinion. But, hey, I also believe in natural selection, to the chagrin of many a Baptist, so sue me.

Ya know, carry what makes ya happy and I will, too. Meanwhile, let the arguments continue. :D

Just One Shot
July 16, 2009, 10:15 AM
A .380 through the heart is better than a .45 through the shoulder.

:neener:

MCgunner
July 16, 2009, 10:24 AM
Yeah, but a .380 that just misses the heart with a thorax hit vs a .357 magnum with the same shot placement?

Straight Shooter
July 16, 2009, 10:42 AM
A .380 through the heart is better than a .45 through the shoulder.

In almost every thread where someone compares a .45 with whatever the guy with the .45 somehow always misses :confused:

Man, those of us with .45s really need to practice more... :rolleyes:

Vern Humphrey
July 16, 2009, 11:23 AM
That's why for the study to be valid it would have to have three things:

First, valid data.

Second, valid statistical interpretation.

And finally, the dependent variable should be stops/encounters, not "one shot stops." In other words, the question to be answered is, "What do winners use?"

huntsman
July 16, 2009, 01:03 PM
There ain't one, as stopping power is not quantifiable measurement, but rather a phrase tossed around in gun shops to make you buy stuff.

Sounds reasonable to me, just like 80% of the fishing lures are made to catch fishermen instead of fish.

tipoc
July 16, 2009, 01:38 PM
"One Shot Stops": testing the effectiveness of handgun rounds

If the op didn't want a discussion of M&Ss work he may have tried to pick a different title for this thread. M&S developed the "One Shot Stop" formulas and statistics and are most well known for that. It is what they decided to make the marquee for their work in three books and many articles. So whenever someone refers to "One Shot Stop" stats they are referring to M&S work by default since no one else uses the concept.

To me it's most useful to look at their work as a part of a 30 year old ongoing study of wounding factors. More serious work has been done over the last 30 years or so than the previous 70 and a good deal has been learned. It's in this way that I encourage folks to read their books. There is no other way to adequately understand where they went wrong and what they did right other than looking at their books, and the work of others, and seeing them as part of an ongoing discussion.

The old concept of choosing the most powerful round you can handle well, in a gun matched to the task, and accurate shot placement has been re-inforced in every study conducted.

tipoc

ArmedBear
July 16, 2009, 03:26 PM
In other words, the question to be answered is, "What do winners use?"

THAT is what's essentially impossible to measure, at least if you want to draw conclusions about rounds. There are too many variables.

Home invaders are more likely to be "hopped up" on meth than homeowners.

Violent sociopaths are more likely to pull the trigger than cops.

Those who act offensively might have the advantage in terms of shot placement, since they shoot first.

Not sure how you can really surmise all that much about a BULLET from that.

THE MACHINIST
July 16, 2009, 03:35 PM
Special Agent UREY W. PATRICK

FIREARMS TRAINING UNIT
FBI ACADEMY
QUANTICO, VIRGINIA

July 14, 1989


Physiologically, no caliber or bullet is certain to incapacitate any individual unless the brain is hit. Psychologically, some individuals can be incapacitated by minor or small caliber wounds. Those individuals who are stimulated by fear, adrenaline, drugs, alcohol, and/or sheer will and survival determination may not be incapacitated even if mortally wounded.

The will to survive and to fight despite horrific damage to the body is commonplace on the battlefield, and on the street. Barring a hit to the brain, the only way to force incapacitation is to cause sufficient blood loss that the subject can no longer function, and that takes time. Even if the heart is instantly destroyed, there is sufficient oxygen in the brain to support full and complete voluntary action for 10-15 seconds.

Kinetic energy does not wound. Temporary cavity does not wound. The much discussed "shock" of bullet impact is a fable and "knock down" power is a myth. The critical element is penetration. The bullet must pass through the large, blood bearing organs and be of sufficient diameter to promote rapid bleeding. Penetration less than 12 inches is too little, and, in the words of two of the participants in the 1987 Wound Ballistics Workshop, "too little penetration will get you killed." 42,43 Given desirable and reliable penetration, the only way to increase bullet effectiveness is to increase the severity of the wound by increasing the size of hole made by the bullet. Any bullet which will not penetrate through vital organs from less than optimal angles is not acceptable. Of those that will penetrate, the edge is always with the bigger bullet.

LoneStarWings
July 16, 2009, 03:41 PM
A little bitty .22 round punched into someone's belly will "kill'a fella". It won't knock someone down, but a .22 can and does kill.

So carry one. If you come up to some guy in a dark alley pop one of those .22 rounds in the middle of his forehead. He'll likely recover and you will have time to get away. No need to kill some one.

I can't tell if you're joking with the comment that someone will recover from a .22 to the head but I had a family member who comitted suicide with a .22 rifle and it just took one shot to the head and he was gone.

SlamFire1
July 16, 2009, 03:56 PM
My personal feeling is that the basic premise of Marshall and Sanow's work is sound. I cannot see any better way of testing handgun effectiveness than evaluating the results of shooting a bunch of people with various handgun rounds.

That would be the best way, assuming the data base is large enough, and the scoring is correct.

I have read criticisms of the M&S data, mainly that statistical tests show that the results are made up. I don’t know what statistical tests these are, but I do know that financial expenditures can be examined for “randomness”, and that people have gone to jail because the “statistical test” showed their numbers to be made up.

I would agree with M&S on one thing: handguns are not very reliable weapons. If you don’t hit something mission critical, the target does not have to stop. Look, a fast ball at 90 mph is equal to (or greater) in momentum to a 158 grain 357 slug. How many batters have you see hit by fast balls? Were they picked off their feet and blown into the backstop? No. We have seen the expressions of pain, of jumping around on one leg, maybe if the ball hits the helmet the guy slumps to a knee. Momentum is the only energy conserved in a collusion. Kinetic energy is not. Any jumping, slumping, movement after the hit is due to the human’s reaction to the event. Ever been stung by a Yellow Jacket? The sting has zero momentum or kinetic energy, and yet that little wasp caused me to go from 0 to 60 in three seconds.

The amount of momentum a handgun can deliver is insignificant to the on target momentum transfer you can create with a pole axe, war hammer, mace, or flail. A solid hit with one of those will provide a one stop kill.

ScareyH22A
July 16, 2009, 04:03 PM
I wish someone could conduct a test. You know how when a boxing trainer is holding on to a suspended heavy bag and the fighter punches it, you can see the force being absorbed by the bag and the trainer. I wonder if there's a way for someone to conduct a similar experiment with bullets. And even measure the force with some sort of sensor.

huntsman
July 16, 2009, 04:06 PM
Of those that will penetrate, the edge is always with the bigger bullet.

Is that an endorsement for big and slow is the way to go? :)

MikkOwl
July 16, 2009, 04:06 PM
That stuff is easy to calculate. It's so small it's negligible. There's no more testing required. Suspending dead pig sand shooting them shows that they barely even swing in the slightest from being shot.

MikkOwl
July 16, 2009, 04:07 PM
Is that an endorsement for big and slow is the way to go?
No, it's an endorsement of extremely large, explosive and fast. But since that is not quite so practical or easy to score hits with.. :)

The idea is to do a lot of damage and to hit. Repeatedly.

Gryffydd
July 16, 2009, 04:14 PM
I think in order to really reflect the reality of handgun stopping power you'd have to include data from all kinds of confrontations. This would include instances with multiple hits, it would include exact details on precisely what what damaged by each shot, it would include information on whether the deceased was on drugs, alcohol, or was extremely enraged during the shooting, etc. etc.
M&S didn't (and largely couldn't) do any of those. What you're left with is a cute over simplification of the issue. Sure, you get numbers that largely reflect what one would logically expect from a given caliber--but that shouldn't surprise us.
A center of mass hit from a 9mm blows through the heart causing a tick in the one shot stop column and a .357 125gr COM hit that narrowly misses everything vital and doesn't make a tick in the 1 shot stop column doesn't make the 9mm have better stopping power. Sure you can aggregate the data, but you still don't know about shot placement. For all you know .357 carriers are better shooters on average than 9mm shooters and get vital/CNS hits more often. This is the problem with non-controlled non-repeatable research. You have too many variables and you can't control most of them.


Now, to actually answer the OP's question, here's my opinion...
So I'm asking: what do you think is the best way to test handgun "stopping power" and why?
1. Measure penetration potential, the FBI 12" minimum is a good starting rule
2. Look at every performance related figure possible, aggregate them, and apply some logic...
3. Pick something that you can shoot well in a package you can carry.

I would define #2 as looking at muzzle energy, frontal area, sectional density, momentum, Taylor KO factor, etc. None of them is a very good way to measure effectiveness by themselves, but if you look at them all you start to get a good idea of a round's potential.
Every single one of those except #3 is repeatable, controlled, and consistent.
That's about it. Shot placement is King, penetration is Queen, and everything else is angels dancing on the heads of pins. And yet for some reason we'll spend hours arguing about those angels, or shaking that pin around...

ScareyH22A
July 16, 2009, 04:27 PM
That stuff is easy to calculate. It's so small it's negligible. There's no more testing required. Suspending dead pig sand shooting them shows that they barely even swing in the slightest from being shot.

Assuming that the bullet doesn't pass right through the suspended pigs or even using sandbags instead, it doesn't swing at all? I'm sure an average guy could punch a sandbag and make it swing quite a bit. And I've seen clay wounds on TheBoxOTruth that looked pretty impressive.

MikkOwl
July 16, 2009, 04:32 PM
It swings I'm sure, just so little it's not even worth talking about. Barely moves.

Bullets are cutting weapons foremost. Imagine talking about knock-down power with knives for example.. :D

There's videos floating around of people getting shot with body armor by all kinds of vicious high end firearms, and nothing special happens. One guy was standing on one foot as he took a round to the center mass (7.62mm NATO I think) and he had no problems keeping balance.

It's similar to getting hit by a thrown baseball, if that gives a good impression of how small it is.

Vern Humphrey
July 16, 2009, 04:33 PM
Quote:
In other words, the question to be answered is, "What do winners use?"

THAT is what's essentially impossible to measure, at least if you want to draw conclusions about rounds. There are too many variables.

Home invaders are more likely to be "hopped up" on meth than homeowners.

Violent sociopaths are more likely to pull the trigger than cops.

Those who act offensively might have the advantage in terms of shot placement, since they shoot first.

Not sure how you can really surmise all that much about a BULLET from that.
Who cares about a bullet? What we care about is winning. One of the major flaws in Marshall's "study" is that it assumes the cartridge and bullet are the most important factors -- but that has never been proven.

The first task is to identify the winners and losers. Next, sort the data for common factors among those groups. It is those currently unknown common factors that are important.

Let us suppose, for example, that we find cops armed with revolvers more commonly win than those with automatics. That would be valuable information.

ArmedBear
July 16, 2009, 04:41 PM
Let us suppose, for example, that we find cops armed with revolvers more commonly win than those with automatics. That would be valuable information.

It wouldn't, however, imply that one should go get a revolver, in the least.

It would merely offer an opportunity to form several other hypotheses to test.

And I LIKE revolvers. A lot.

Vern Humphrey
July 16, 2009, 04:57 PM
It wouldn't, however, imply that one should go get a revolver, in the least.

It would merely offer an opportunity to form several other hypotheses to test.
You are absolutely right -- a good study gives you a platform to launch another, more in-depth study. I personally suspect that a detailed multi-variate analysis of data from a study like this would show that training trumps all.

Gryffydd
July 16, 2009, 04:58 PM
It's similar to getting hit by a thrown baseball, if that gives a good impression of how small it is.
Yes, but who's throwing the baseball? Randy Johnson? :evil:

A 100mph fastball carries 103 lb/ft, just for your random number of the day :)

MikkOwl
July 16, 2009, 05:00 PM
I think just a fairly regularly (hard) thrown baseball :) It's not going to bother people getting hit. The effect is just irrelevant.

And to join the other discussion: Yes, training and skill trumps all, but it doesn't hurt to maximize once's chances with also having great equipment.

Vern Humphrey
July 16, 2009, 05:07 PM
Yes, training and skill trumps all, but it doesn't hurt to maximize once's chances with also having great equipment.
And that's what a study of winners and losers would show -- with multi-variate analysis, you could sort out and measure all factors, training, equipment ammunition, experience, and so on.

MikkOwl
July 16, 2009, 05:12 PM
Is there any significant difference between military applications (Using sidearms temporarily as self-defense only) versus law enforcement applications? I wonder.

Law enforcement and civilian is pretty similar, especially if talking about carry.

EDIT: for example, I imagine that military situations on average are longer ranged than civilian/law enforcement, which could factor into things.

tipoc
July 16, 2009, 05:14 PM
From ScareyH22A,
I wish someone could conduct a test. You know how when a boxing trainer is holding on to a suspended heavy bag and the fighter punches it, you can see the force being absorbed by the bag and the trainer. I wonder if there's a way for someone to conduct a similar experiment with bullets. And even measure the force with some sort of sensor.

These have been done a good bit over the years. Maj. Julian Hatcher conducted a number of these tests in the middle of the last century. Quoting from Robert Rinker's book on Ballistics, pg. 342: "He wrote that if a man were holding up a 1/4" thick by 14" square steel plate, he would have no problem if he were shot at close range by a .45 ACP....the plate would only move back about 3/4" at 2 feet per second. This is based on a 230 gr. bullet at 800 fps. and a plate weight of 13.6 pds."

The mathematical formula for this is simple. Many folks have rigged up ballistic pendulums, etc. over the years. There is very little movement even with a 30-06.

We can measure how much the target will move when struck by a bullet and we can measure how much striking momentum the bullet will have when it hits.

tipoc

ArmedBear
July 16, 2009, 05:15 PM
And that's what a study of winners and losers would show -- with multi-variate analysis, you could sort out and measure all factors, training, equipment ammunition, experience, and so on.

More likely than not, it would demonstrate that, for one to have the best chances of surviving a deadly encounter with a criminal, he should simply become someone highly trained and physically fit, with years of Special Forces training and many real missions under his belt. Weapons would be almost irrelevant.

Vern Humphrey
July 16, 2009, 05:49 PM
More likely than not, it would demonstrate that, for one to have the best chances of surviving a deadly encounter with a criminal, he should simply become someone highly trained and physically fit, with years of Special Forces training and many real missions under his belt. Weapons would be almost irrelevant.
In that case, we should start looking for physically fit SF veterans.

When I first broached the stops/encounters (winners and losers) formula to Sanow, he said, "What if it turned out the .25 automatic was the most effective weapon? Would you accept that?"

Well, duh, yeah. If that's what the winners use! In real gunfights.

tipoc
July 16, 2009, 05:55 PM
Back to M&S for a minute;

They have published 3 books and many articles purporting to show the best bullets to use in any given caliber and, in some cases which calibers produce more "One Shot Stops" than others. There is a lot of useful information in their books. They have some strong defenders (Massad Ayoob is one). But the work on the OSS concept is wrong and flawed.

Let's just look at a few things, not the only things, but just a few to show the problem they have had. We won't get into how they gathered their information or processed it, that's something else.

1) M&S regard a OSS as any hit to the torso which completely incapacitated the attacker. Incapacitation meant the attacker was physically unable to attack anyone even with a knife. The attacker could run up to 10 feet after being shot.

It is only the above incidents that they included in their figuring. Any others were ignored. Right here are a couple of problems. a)Why 10 feet? Why not 7 feet or 12? If a person is walking 10 feet can't they still be shooting? b)All hits to the torso are weighed evenly. A shot through a love handles is the same as a shot through both lungs. Shot placement is ruled out of the picture along with the type of wound. c) Who decides they are "incapacitated" that is incapable of attacking or harming anyone? If they are dead it's clear but if they are shot by a cop and drop to the ground and play dead or are stunned or in agony, who decides to keep one in as a OSS and toss the other.

These are just a couple of problems but there are more.

tipoc

Vern Humphrey
July 16, 2009, 05:55 PM
Is there any significant difference between military applications (Using sidearms temporarily as self-defense only) versus law enforcement applications? I wonder.
I've used a handgun twice in combat -- I would hate to state that means I have the same experience a LEO would have. We might have similar amounts of experience, but I suspect there would be differences. For example, I don't know of any LEO who ducked down behind a log, then popped up and shot the guy who just just popped a claymore on him as the guy moved to the next detonator.
Law enforcement and civilian is pretty similar, especially if talking about carry.
LEOs mostly carry openly, civilians mostly carry concealed. LEOs often have advanced warning -- they come into the danger zone because dispatch sent them there.

EDIT: for example, I imagine that military situations on average are longer ranged than civilian/law enforcement, which could factor into things.
I couldn't say -- I have a friend who won the DSC crawling through a VC base camp, reaching into spider holes, hauling the occupants out and shooting them at contact range with a .45. (This is a very LARGE friend.)

MikkOwl
July 16, 2009, 06:47 PM
I was thinking of that the environment where handguns were used in the military operations would typically be a bit different from most times LE discharge their weapons. For example, LE might shoot people not armed with firearms more often, from a shorter distance, be more likely to use their weapon indoors (though perhaps the military is catching up with that - combat is more centered around urban environments now than in the past), be more hesitant to fire than a soldier, be less fatigued than a soldier, have a cleaner firearm in a cleaner working environment. EDIT: There's a difference in military vs military combat, and military vs partisan (Iraq etc) conflicts.

Regarding the training, experience and fitness (mentally and physically) and speaking about law enforcement again: There are limits to the quality of the manpower available and the means to train them. I do not doubt that they could be trained much more than they currently are. But never the less, what kind of weapon they have does influence their chances, especially so if they have lower skills. Gangbangers are better off using high capacity 9mm or .38 ACP for sure, as their accuracy is so low that having more bullets is the one way to have a chance at actually hitting people. Cops who only shoot once a year are also probably better off with easier to shoot, higher capacity firearms. SWAT teams on the other hand, might benefit more from trickier, but more powerful firearms with less capacity (.45 for instance). They are more prepared and trained than the rest, with I'm sure much better accuracy on average.

One shot stop ideas should be completely discarded and instead focus on how to drop someone with what tools you have at your disposal, no matter what it takes.

MCgunner
July 16, 2009, 06:59 PM
Have any of you guys ever shot anything other than paper? Just wondering. I know Vern has and he's STILL a .45 guy, but oh, well. :D

wvshooter
July 16, 2009, 10:53 PM
There is no good way to test the relative effectiveness of different handgun rounds. Too many variables when it comes to shooting creatures in the 200 pound class. Unfortunately, the great majority of we unwashed, I'm including myself, have a TV show idea that being shot means dropping to the floor, ground, whatever. It isn't so. The idea of a "one shot stop" is just a fairy tale. Ditto for two shot, three shot, and four shot stops. The only exception is a disruption of the lower brain stem or the nerves inside the spinal column.

Shoot an attacker five times in the heart with the best 45 load and if he's holding a baseball bat and determined to kill you he'll turn your skull into mush in 4 seconds before he expires in 15 seconds.

Ragnar Danneskjold
July 16, 2009, 11:04 PM
If you ever plan on firing only 1 round at a BG, no matter what caliber, you have a highly flawed plan.

gunlaw
July 17, 2009, 01:13 AM
the stastics are after the fact and really inconsiquential. use a round that goes bang when you squeeze the trigger. the threat does not care that you are useing the stastically best round for one shot stops.

Vern Humphrey
July 17, 2009, 11:43 AM
And as we discussed above, the idea that it's the cartridge (and a particular load in that cartridge) that is the deciding factor is unproven. I suspect that if we did a real study, we'd find out that training was the crucial factor. The ergonomics of the pistol might well be a factor -- one pistol might be more difficult to shoot well than another model, even if they fired the same cartridge. Tactics may come into play as well -- who shoots first likely wins.

pps
July 17, 2009, 12:19 PM
"And as we discussed above, the idea that it's the cartridge (and a particular load in that cartridge) that is the deciding factor is unproven. I suspect that if we did a real study, we'd find out that training was the crucial factor. The ergonomics of the pistol might well be a factor -- one pistol might be more difficult to shoot well than another model, even if they fired the same cartridge. Tactics may come into play as well -- who shoots first likely wins."

Bingo...and you didn't have to consult some worthless chart on "one shot stops" to figure that one out.

Gryffydd
July 17, 2009, 12:58 PM
Since there is no separation between psychological stops and stops due to good hits, it could theoretically be that the .357 125gr round did so well because the noise deafened, the flash blinded, and the concussion stunned the person who was shot? :evil:

HoosierQ
July 17, 2009, 02:04 PM
You know, this "one shot kill" stuff is just kind of...I don't know...extraneous...when the subject is a round of ammunition.

I mean without a doubt there is documented proof of someone being killed with probably every single round ever made. Conversely, there is going to be documented proof of someone surviving being shot with every single round ever made.

.50 BMG...now way...right? Of course somebody has survived a .50 BMG. .25 ACP, yep plenty of people pushing up daisies there. I am not talking about the odds here of course.

I would think the best thing you can do is split the difference between a round that you fire well and one that packs a wallop. Which of course is why the vast majority of SD rounds are .380, 9mm, .38, .357, .40, and .45.

The Lone Haranguer
July 17, 2009, 10:46 PM
Whatever you do, don't choose X load because M&S say it has one or two percentage points more "one-shot stops" more than Y load. The number of shootings is so small and the criteria for what constitutes an "OSS" so limited that such variations are meaningless. And don't assume that because, for example, "XXX load has 97% OSS" that the BG will go down 97 out of 100 times when you shoot him with it! Are you really going to shoot an attacker just once and wait for him to fall?

JImbothefiveth
July 17, 2009, 11:19 PM
But obviously this opinion is not universal, and I think most people would agree that Marshall and Sanow's work is imperfect. So I'm asking: what do you think is the best way to test handgun "stopping power" and why? Well, I think it should at least involve ballistics gelatin. This will let you know if a caliber will meet some minimum standard, while humans are not the same. What might stop one person 100% of the time might not stop someone who's on drugs. With ballistics gelatin you can at least know which one will probably be more effective.

Vern Humphrey
July 18, 2009, 01:09 PM
Well, I think it should at least involve ballistics gelatin. This will let you know if a caliber will meet some minimum standard
The problem there is, how do you correlate that minimum standard to effectiveness in actual shootings?

rbernie
July 18, 2009, 01:36 PM
You can't. That doesn't bother me, because I am convinced (given the zillions of variables involved in each shooting, and how different they are from shooting to shooting) that you never can decompose a shooting into a normalized data set against which you can perform such a correlation.

My approach is to find a bullet design and chambering that works reasonably well in simulated tests such as the FBI test protocol, and move along to focus on the stuff that really matters (like learning how to shoot accurately under various circumstances).

Vern Humphrey
July 18, 2009, 02:12 PM
You can't. That doesn't bother me, because I am convinced (given the zillions of variables involved in each shooting, and how different they are from shooting to shooting) that you never can decompose a shooting into a normalized data set against which you can perform such a correlation.
Well, using enough computer power and multi-variate statistics you can isolate the important factors.

But my approach to selecting a defense weapon is:

1. Reliability. It's got to go bang every time you pull the trigger. If it doesn't, all you have is a funny-shaped club.

2. Shootability. That's accuracy in my hands (not off the bench, or from someone else's hands.) Or to put it another way, given that it went bang, did it hit the person attacking me?

3. Power. Given that it went bang and hit my attacker, did it have the effect I need to stop him?

4. Concealability. With the laws as they are, I have to carry concealed.

pps
July 18, 2009, 03:34 PM
Well put Vern.

As such I cast my lot with a .357 full size in my medical bag and a snub on my strong side front pocket(the snub gets 38's because I cant hit worth poo with the scandium/.357 combo) Used to carry a .45 until I had to sell it for text books way back when....then got so much into revolvers that I haven't reacquired a 1911....yet.

paul45
July 18, 2009, 03:38 PM
So yet another thread got sidetracked into a "Jello Junkies vs. Morgue Monsters" argument, with the usual slanders, personal attacks, and general eye-poking, and it got me to wondering: what is the best way to measure handgun "stopping power"?


(Please, please, please, let's not turn this into another game of junkies vs. monsters. It's old, no one cares, and it's not going to be settled on yet another internet poop-flinging contest.)

Then for God's Sake......Why start ANOTHER thread about it? God Almightly....How many times can this be discussed??

Do a darn search if you want to read 5000 threads about this. :cuss:

.38 Special
July 18, 2009, 06:17 PM
I assume you are being forced to read the thread, possibly at gunpoint. Do you need us to call 911?

Everyone else: thanks for contributing.

wvshooter
July 18, 2009, 07:17 PM
Personally, I don't think this could ever be discussed too much. Bring it on and on and on.

MikkOwl
July 18, 2009, 07:32 PM
How can anyone be annoyed at these topics re-appearing? There are thousands of members at the very least. There's new members every single day. How many of them got a chance to discuss about these things? Would you prefer that all the old threads are randomly revived to the left and right, and the topic is split into 100 different topics floating about? It's one of the most controversial subjects. It's also very fun to talk about. The last word has not been said in it by far. There's much more to be found in it.

I have no clue why this forum has not done what is completely logical and natural in most other forums - get ONE definite caliber thread going, and sticky it. That way it's all in one place, people who want to read and discuss (there's tons) can do that and everyone is happy.

Archie
July 18, 2009, 07:44 PM
I've been following this discussion since the late 1960's.

The first 'scientific' study was done by Major Julian S. Hatcher in the early part of the 20th Century - had to be after 1911 because the .45 ACP and the 9mm Lugar round were both included. They shot cattle and human cadavers (not soon to be repeated). The results were made from direct observations of the shooting done, by men who had served in combat and in police work. They concluded a big heavy round was the way to go.

Other studies have been done since then. Jeff Cooper had a formula for predicting 'stopping power', roughly based on Hatcher's findings. It favors large heavy bullets, oddly enough.

In about 1973/74, the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) funded and performed a study to determine "Incapacitation Index". Incapacitation was defined as rendering the assailant incapable of posing a further threat, not requiring, but including death of the assailant.

To lay the groundwork, a number of trauma doctors were interviewed to determine what sort of wound would cause (or most likely cause) an instant incapacitation. The consensus was a wound generating the largest temporary cavity inside the body of the assailant at a depth of (some depth I don't recall at the moment) would be most likely to render him or her incapacitated.

Following that, the study tested various rounds in something along the lines of ballistic gelatin to see which rounds gave the greatest temporary cavity. They fired a number of rounds of each type and averaged the results. Then they announced the winners.

Sadly, when they repeated the tests a year later, the results were different. The top ten finishers were not the same as before (with one or two exceptions, the .44 Magnum 240 grain loading always did well) and the order of finishing was different.

Other tests and studies have been done with differing results. I recall the Strausburg Goat Shoot, the Marshall - Sanow study and some others that escape my memory. The DeMaio study of dead people in the morgue (which only determined that a person shot to death with a .32 ACP was just as dead as a person shot to death with a 106mm Recoilless Rifle) was another.

But all these data collection attempts could only give a 'probability' factor in incapacitating or stopping an attacker. Nothing is absolute. The variables of shot placement, energy delivered, size and condition of the attacker, mental condition to include drug effects of the attacker and so forth complicate the matter almost infinitely.

I would like to see the type of study as done by Marshall and Sanow performed on a larger scale. No 'editing' of information, simply what caliber was used, the approximate range and the immediate results. With enough data, that would show the 'likelihood' of a instant incapacitation with a specific round. With great enough data, it would iron out the 'sucker shot to the back of the head' and the 'huge lineback on PCP' factors. It would even out the 'nicked his left pinky' and the 'centerpunched the heart and spine' hits.

However, even that would only show a relative probablilty. There just ain't no guarantees in life.

I carry a large caliber sidearm with heavy bullets when I have a choice. You guys are all big kids; choose what you feel is best.

golden
July 20, 2009, 07:49 AM
ARCHIE,

If I remember right, the turn of the century tests were run by General THOMPSON of THOMPSON submachine gun fame. One of the results of those tests was that the .30 MAUSER round was highly rated. It had the highest velocity and a lot of energy. Therefore I am leary of them.

My own observations are that big, heavy bullets can work, but they will probably not expand unless an exotic bullet is used, like the HYDRO-SHOK which expands well at under 1,000 fps.
The negative is that you increase recoil and reduce magazine capacity as well as require a larger gun.

1911 compared to the GLOCK 19, but which one do you want dragging down on your hip for 8, 10, 12 or 14 hours. I know which one makes me happy.

M&S'S work is supported by a number of sources including the gunfighting experience of my agency.
M&S'S research shows that certain rounds are more effective. The old .38 Special 158 round nose was abominal. No one seems to dispute this.
On the other hand, M&S show that certain rounds are very effective. The .357 magnum using 125 grain jhp. I don't know of any agency that has had bad luck with this ammo. HATCHER would have called this round less effective than say the .45ACP or .45Long Colt. Experience agrees with M&S.

What also makes M&S interesting is that they offer an explanation of why the 158 grain .38 Special works so poorly and the 125 grain .357 magnum works so well. It is a combination of the the temporaty and permanent stretch cavities.

My agency swore by the .357 magnum and had plenty of "in the field tests" (CALLED GUNFIGHTS) with actual dead bodies to study. I doubt HATCHER had even a fraction of the data we had to use.

The result, my agency wanted a .357 magnum autoloader. They ended up with the BERETTA 96D shooting the .40 S&W.
My agency pushed for the development of the high velocity .40 caliber rounds using 155 grain bullets. It has proven as effective as the .357 magnum using 125 grain jhp bullets.
You get the bigger hole and heavier bullet with larger magazine capacity and smaller gun. The only negative is recoil and recovery time between shots.

I carry .40 caliber on duty and usually a 9m.m. off duty. The 9 is lighter, so recoil is a strong consideration that is often underrated. I also prefer to have more ammo than less, since I carry only two magazines instead of three when I am on duty.

It all comes down to a horse trade and what you are willing to live with.
Weight versus recoil. Size versus concealability. Velocity versus penetration.

I would take a mild recoiling 9m.m. over a .44 magnum any day. If I have to fire at multiple targets, only one of those two calibers has any real chance of hitting two or three targets in a across the room range gun battle.
Remember the CIRILLO drill of taking on 3 opponents at short range in as short a time as possible. CIRILLO did it with a .38 Special. Could he have done as well with a heavy recoiling magnum?


Just my 2 cents worth.

Jim

Vern Humphrey
July 20, 2009, 02:34 PM
If I remember right, the turn of the century tests were run by General THOMPSON of THOMPSON submachine gun fame. One of the results of those tests was that the .30 MAUSER round was highly rated. It had the highest velocity and a lot of energy. Therefore I am leary of them.
The Thompson-LaGarde tests did not give high ratings to any high-velocity small caliber. In fact, their conclusion was the United State should not adopt any pistol of less than .44 caliber.

fastbolt
July 20, 2009, 04:59 PM
Some interesting comments, observations and experiences can be found in this thread.

I like this one by Vern Humphrey.
And as we discussed above, the idea that it's the cartridge (and a particular load in that cartridge) that is the deciding factor is unproven. I suspect that if we did a real study, we'd find out that training was the crucial factor. ;)

And somebody else remembers the LEAA's 'Computer Man' test. :)

Handguns are a compromise for use as defensive weapons.

Whenever the subject of 'handgun effectiveness' & 'stopping power' arises around me I tend to try and steer the subject more toward training, mental focus, mindset and the ability to physically & psychologically endure an unexpected, chaotic, rapidly evolving situation in which the imminent threat of serious bodily injury and/or death is reasonably perceived to exist.

Once the various popular arguments and theories are thrown out, and someone inevitably starts to proselytize, there's some potential for the wheels to come off the conversation. ;)

The puzzle of what it takes to immediately incapacitate an attacker has been, and is still being, studied by any number of folks.

It's still just a handgun, though.

People being people, especially lay persons, I suspect that there's still the potential for what's known as selective perception, misinformation effect and confirmation bias to occur and occasionally muddy things ...

Selective perception can occur when someone only pays attention to whatever it is they've chosen to consider and actively ignores, or fails to notice, other information which doesn't support their beliefs.

The misinformation effect can occur when someone is subjected to so much misinformation that it has an effect on their beliefs and memories of events.

Confirmation bias occurs whenever someone selectively looks for, and finds, information that confirms some belief already held by them. They may be predisposed to believe what they hear from other folks whenever it confirms what they already believe.

Over the years of working in the LE field, which included just shy of a couple of decades also working as a firearms instructor, I came around to being much more concerned about the quality and frequency of knowledge and training of the folks who lawfully carried handguns as defensive weapons. The caliber came to concern me much less than the person using it. Ditto the particular make/model of handgun ... although disparate impact (grip, trigger reach, etc) and controllability issues could certainly have an influence.

I started my LE career carrying an issued .357 Magnum revolver and one or another Magnum revolver, a .45 Commander or a bit later a .38 Spl J-frame on my own time. Throughout the course of my career I also carried issued pistols chambered in 9mm, .40 S&W .45 ACP. I own quite a few pistols chambered in all 3 of these nowadays common defensive calibers.

I finished my LE career carrying an issued .45 and either a compact/subcompact 9mm pistol or one or another .38 Spl J-frame off-duty ... and still do now that I'm retired. My .40 S&W and .45 ACP pistols still get used for a good amount of range practice, but otherwise they mostly remain in the safe.

My smaller 9mm & .38 Spl guns see the bulk of my retirement CCW usage. They simply fit my needs and preferences when it comes to convenience, comfort, carry methods and my manner of dress when I'm engaged in my usual activities. They also get used a lot for continued practice. ;)

It's just a handgun ... and ammunition development has enjoyed some improvement and refinement in the last couple of decades, too. ;)

golden
July 22, 2009, 07:37 AM
Vern,

During the THOMPSON LAGARD tests, cattle were shot. The only reported 1 shot stop (the cow did not need to be finished off) was with a .30 caliber round.

The .44 caliber or greater recommendation was not linked to any result of the tests that I can see. It was more likely a personal opinion based onthe problems encountered in the Philippine campaign.

Jim

Vern Humphrey
July 23, 2009, 01:08 PM
Regardless, the Thompson-LaGarde test did not recommend a 9mm. They spefically stated the US Army should adopt nothing smaller than .44 caliber -- and that was based, among other things, on the spiral fractures produced by hits on long bones.

jimsmith80
July 23, 2009, 04:05 PM
Someone might want to note to the guy who "read their book and other stuff" that Marshall Snaow wrote at least three books! Who knows how many colums and other papers.

I am sure that their method is not perfect. However we should be greatful to them for even endevoring to attempt such reaserch! Perhaps more of us should put in a some good work to try to expand the knowlage out their instead of slandering others who have. I do not think that suck experts as Massad Ayoob and others who quote their work if it was all "Made up".

With all that in mind I do know however that their is absoultly no such thing as "Stoping power". All you can do with any weapon is convince the other persons body to shut down. Most of the time that is not so easy! The reason that shot placement comes up so often is that a vast majority of the time, the first time a person shoots at another person they miss almost on porpuse. Their is a natural aversion to killing another human. To you tough guys out there who say "well I don't care I would never do that" then talk to me after you have pulled the trigger. I have both fired at other people and been shot more than once myself ( I suppose I'm just a sh*t magnet). Never have a seen a "stop". I took an 7.62x39mm round high in the groin. In what most people would consider "center of mass". The bullet hit my femoral Vein, my femur, and a nerve. Now most people would consider that a good hit. Well I then engaged the guy until I ran dry, then reloaded my weapon and countiued until I killed the one who shot me, then kept firing until I passed out from loss of blood. I was luckey in that I was only 3 mins away from the hospital. My freinds loaded me into the Armored Vhecile and got me there. I don't have to be told that 99% would have never stayed awake as long as I did, let alone be able to reload and keep in the fight. God was with me. The point is, is that each of us are differint. We can study past shootings, we can shoot into jell, and we can crunch the numbers. But what it comes to is shoot a caliber that has a good record, and that you can control, and get hits fast with. They never go down with just one.
If its worth shooting, then its worth shooting again! Or front sight fire, repeat as nessary.
I am sorry I if bored or offended anyone with my story, but we are talking about gunfighting here so I hope that you can take something from it and learn.

Vern Humphrey
July 23, 2009, 04:16 PM
However we should be greatful to them for even endevoring to attempt such reaserch! Perhaps more of us should put in a some good work to try to expand the knowlage
We can't "expand the knowledge" because they have basically poisoned the well. The poor quality of their work has put it in such bad repute that police departments generally refuse to give such information to researchers any more.

jimsmith80
July 23, 2009, 04:36 PM
Vern have you reviewd their books? How many of those "poisoned" police departments even know of them. Have you tried to ask any department? If the investgation is still ongoing then that is one big reason for them to not disclose the imformation, plus they genrally will want a reason why you are collecting the imformation.
And expanding the knowlage does not mean just their kind. do experments, test stuff! build on what many others have done.
Now in what of what they have done do you have such a problem with? Which one of their books? which section? What do you think of their section on "cap & ball wound ballistics"? What is the problem with that section?

Vern Humphrey
July 23, 2009, 04:44 PM
How many of those "poisoned" police departments even know of them. Have you tried to ask any department?
There are plenty of accounts of police refusing to provide data because of Marshall and Sanow.

If you are going to use Massad Ayoob to bolster Marshall and Sanow's credentials, why not ask Massad to come to this thread and give us his personal endorsement? He is on this board, you know.

christcorp
July 24, 2009, 02:37 PM
I will never buy such stats. Even the M&S stats. Why? Because in the real world, there is no "1 Shot Stop". People don't shoot a perpetrator once; see if he keeps coming; shoots again; waits again to see if he's still coming; etc... You shoot until they stop being a threat. So, immediately; any test or statistic that actually measures "1 Shot Stop" is already flawed because the overwhelming majority of shootings will not be a "1 Shot". The other reason I reject such stats and studies, is because any caliber, if shot in the right spot, can drop a victim in their tracks. Also, the criminal who is shot once, then they turned and ran away, could have died 10 minutes late. Caliber is insignificant. However, this counts in the stats as a "1 Shot Stop".

And from a strictly mathematically view; 4 shots from a 32auto will cause more damage than 1 shot from a 45acp. And if you don't hit a person in a vital area, they will not stop because of PHYSICAL reasons. They may stop because of psychological reason. "Oh my GOD, I've been shot!!!!!" Brain kicks in and goes defensive. So possibly, because the 45acp or 40SW has more energy, and it will get the attention of the person shot more readily, it's possible that a larger weapon will stop a victim quicker because of psychological reason.

This is not to say that a larger caliber isn't better. Just that if shot in a VITAL area; ANY CALIBER will be a 1 stop shot. If shot in a NON-VITAL area; even a 44 magnum can be ineffective in stopping an attacker. But a larger bullet is definitely better than a smaller caliber. Not because of ballistics; but simply because of the laws of physics and mathematics. A larger hole creates MORE blood loss and the larger area increases the percentage of hitting a vital organ or CNS. I.e. Making up mathematical numbers for illustration only: Not shooting at all; any gun; results in a 0% chance of hitting a vital area. Shooting a 9mm/380/38spl/357 results in a 50% chance of hitting a vital organ or CNS. Shooting a 32auto results in a 40% chance of hitting a vital area. While shooting a 40sw results in a 60% chance of hitting a vital area. And shooting a 44/45 will result in a 70% of hitting a vital area. These are made up numbers, but the concept is accurate. But that is the ONLY argument that holds any water in WHY a person should carry a 45acp over a 32acp.

But in reality, a person that has been shot ONLY 1 TIME; which is what the M&S study is based on; and multiple shots don't count; only got shot 1 time for one of 2 reasons. And they obviously died, because you aren't going to study a live person.

1) He was shot once and it hit an immediate vital area such as the heart, CNS, brain, etc... In this case, it wouldn't have mattered if the person was shot with a 32acp or a 44 magnum.
2) He was shot once and immediately left the scene. In this case, there are 2 factors to consider. A) 95% of all crimes are thwarted with just the presence of a weapon by the potential criminal. This means that this criminal PROBABLY would have left immediately, but the potential victim didn't give him a chance. B) The person who eventually died from the "1 SHOT", could have died hours later. He could have died from an infection from the would and died days later.

But the biggest problem is that "1 Shot", whether they STOP or NOT, is not the norm. How many people were shot multiple times with a 44 magnum and DIDN'T die? How many were LESS times with a 32acp and DID die. Most anyone who works in areas that require results and measurement; whether soft/hard science, engineering, medical, math, etc... has taken statistic classes in college. And one thing that ALL statistics students realize, is that you can make a statistic show ANYTHING you want it to show. If I study 5 shootings; and 1 person each was shot with a 32, 380, 9mm, 40sw and 45acp respectively; and the person shot with the 32acp and 380acp died; and the people shot with a 9mm, 40sw, and 45acp survived; the stats can SHOW; that the 32 and 380acp has a 100% stopping ratio; and the 9mm, 40sw, and 45acp has a 0% stopping ratio. I don't agree with this, but it is a legitimate argument.

Sorry, but I don't buy the M&S findings. They are too skewed. There is ONLY 1 FACT. If a bullet hits the CNS/Vital area; then NO MATTER WHAT the caliber is; it can be a "1 Stop Shot". And if you DON'T hit a vital area/CNS, then a "1 Stop Shot" is not guaranteed; NO MATTER WHAT THE CALIBER.

Oyeboten
July 24, 2009, 03:39 PM
Why is the traditional .38 Special 158 RNL considered to be a poor defensive round?

Vern Humphrey
July 24, 2009, 03:55 PM
Why is the traditional .38 Special 158 RNL considered to be a poor defensive round?
Because it is, of course!

Handguns in general are poor defensive weapons. We use them because of their portability, not because of their overwhelming power.

There are pretty severe limitations on what we can expect from handguns -- for example, a full-charge .44 Magnum would be too difficult for most people to control in a defensive situation. So we have sought other ways to make them more effective. One way is to re-design the bullet for better terminal effect. One good strategy is to make the bullet expand on impact. Another is to use a wide, flat point.

A simple experiment you can do is to shoot a .38 Special RNL bullet at a piece of typing paper (not tag paper designed for target use) and shoot a wadcutter or semi-wad cutter at a similar piece of paper. Then look at the bullet holes.

The one shot with the RNL will show shreds of paper sticking out behind the bullet hole. Smooth that out and look at the hole. You will see an irregular hole, smaller than the bullet, surrounded by a black mark (called the Scuff Collar), with tears radiating out from the hole. What has happened, the small hole admitted the tip of the bullet, which "shouldered" its way through, creating the Scuff Collar and the tears.

In flesh, the effect would be similar -- the RNL makes a small hole, and shoulders its way through. The permanent cavity -- the hole left by the bullet -- is small and tends to close up, reducing bleeding.

Now look at the nice round hole chopped by the wadcutter. No tears, no scuff collar -- it makes a full-diameter or near full-diameter hole, which doesn't close so easily and makes for more bleeding.

Oyeboten
July 24, 2009, 04:05 PM
So...a 158 grn Semi-Wadcutter, would be considered a superior defensive projectile, to the 158 RNL...


And...possibly, better yet, would be a 148grn Hollow Base Wadcutter, loaded bakwards...

Vern Humphrey
July 24, 2009, 04:21 PM
Yep -- I'ved tried the hollowbase loaded backwards (in a .357.) It leaded badly, but the terminal effect was all I expected.

mgregg85
July 24, 2009, 04:22 PM
My personal feeling is that the basic premise of Marshall and Sanow's work is sound. I cannot see any better way of testing handgun effectiveness than evaluating the results of shooting a bunch of people with various handgun rounds.

But obviously this opinion is not universal, and I think most people would agree that Marshall and Sanow's work is imperfect. So I'm asking: what do you think is the best way to test handgun "stopping power" and why?


Evan Marshall was my CCW instructor, he used to own and operate a shooting range here in Midland, MI. He made a point of saying that people worry too much about caliber and carrying a monster handgun and he said that you should just carry the most powerful gun that you can comfortably and accurately shoot and carry.

I got to leaf through his collection of bullets that he gel tested and he sold me on the Corbon DPX ammunition after showing me the bullets that were capable of penetrating a car door and then still penetrating and expanding in ballistics gel.

alistaire
July 24, 2009, 04:22 PM
I will never buy such stats. Even the M&S stats. Why? Because in the real world, there is no "1 Shot Stop". People don't shoot a perpetrator once; see if he keeps coming; shoots again; waits again to see if he's still coming; etc... You shoot until they stop being a threat. So, immediately; any test or statistic that actually measures "1 Shot Stop" is already flawed because the overwhelming majority of shootings will not be a "1 Shot". The other reason I reject such stats and studies, is because any caliber, if shot in the right spot, can drop a victim in their tracks. Also, the criminal who is shot once, then they turned and ran away, could have died 10 minutes late. Caliber is insignificant. However, this counts in the stats as a "1 Shot Stop".

Read Marshall and Sanow's books before telling us why they are wrong, please.

Gun Slinger
July 24, 2009, 05:18 PM
Evan Marshall was my CCW instructor, he used to own and operate a shooting range here in Midland, MI. He made a point of saying that people worry too much about caliber and carrying a monster handgun and he said that you should just carry the most powerful gun that you can comfortably and accurately shoot and carry.

I got to leaf through his collection of bullets that he gel tested and he sold me on the Corbon DPX ammunition after showing me the bullets that were capable of penetrating a car door and then still penetrating and expanding in ballistics gel.

Man, that takes me back some. Used to love perusing the small library of rounds that he'd amassed whenever I got up that way to do some shooting at his place. :D

I miss it especially since he permitted rifles on the range and it was a convenient place to shoot my AKs when the weather got "snotty".

I probably spent more time BS'n with him after shooting than actually shooting and he always had some sort of a "deal" for me that I just couldn't pass up.

He always had time to trade "war stories" with me no matter how busy he seemed to be and it is such a loss that his place is longer open for business. :(

jimsmith80
July 24, 2009, 06:13 PM
I did not know that Ayoon is on here, but his book "combat handgunnery" Mentions M&S and their reaserch. So I would be glad for his imput, but I personaly do not know him. I just know what he wrote and published! And Vern I still did not get an answer to the question of if you have review or read their books before slandering them? How many of the rest of you have? I don't belive everything that is written or what ever but one should at least have looked at the material before they say its wrong!

CleverNickname
July 25, 2009, 01:37 AM
http://j.photos.cx/DaffyBugs45-9mm-fbc.gif

RON in PA
July 25, 2009, 05:24 AM
I have M&S's first book and have looked at their other books as well as their many articles. They have been roundly criticized for analysis techniques and data acquisition, especially for throwing out multiple shot data. I understand their rationale for doing so, but it's very controversial and folks will argue about it forever.

One thing that people never state or just are not aware of is that M&S never did statistical analysis, they only presented raw data, ie., number of cases and percentage of one stop shots. A number of years ago I decided to do some statistical analysis on their data and used the chi square analysis. I chose data where there was at least 100 shootings reported for a particular cartridge and what I found was that if M&S reported a 10 per cent spread between two cartridges there was a statistically significant difference in effectiveness. Would I use this to select a cartridge, no, basically because of the controversy about their data acquisition. I am a firm believer in penetration and hitting them in the "sniper's triangle" as well as shooting till they drop. I will never forget that in the early 1980s a mentally ill women with a Ruger 10/22 rifle went on a shooting spree in a Philadelphia suburb shopping mall and sent a bunch of innocent folks to the morgue.

alistaire
July 25, 2009, 11:09 AM
The problem with multiple shot data is simple: If the perosn does not stop, you can rate both bullets as failed. But what happens if the person stops? how do you rate the two bullets? Do they both get credit? Does one? If so which one?

If you allow multiple shot stops, there is no way to meaningfully rate the results.

hillbillydelux
July 25, 2009, 11:28 AM
The best way to increase ones chances of stopping the bad guy from doing whatever he is doing is to take whatever gun you happen to be using as a defensive weapon, aim and keep pulling the trigger until you run out of ammo. Period.

Vern Humphrey
July 25, 2009, 11:44 AM
The problem with multiple shot data is simple: If the perosn does not stop, you can rate both bullets as failed. But what happens if the person stops? how do you rate the two bullets? Do they both get credit? Does one? If so which one?

If you allow multiple shot stops, there is no way to meaningfully rate the results.
That's only true if you assume at the outset that the cartridge (and a particular loading of that cartridge) is the key determinant of effectiveness.

If on the other hand, you are trying to determine what differentiates winners from losers, without any preconcieved notions, then you include all encounters and do multi-variate analysis.

And as I have said before, I suspect such an analysis would show training is the most important factor in winning.

massad ayoob
July 25, 2009, 12:35 PM
Vern Humphrey writes,

There are plenty of accounts of police refusing to provide data because of Marshall and Sanow.

If you are going to use Massad Ayoob to bolster Marshall and Sanow's credentials, why not ask Massad to come to this thread and give us his personal endorsement? He is on this board, you know.

Hey, Vern. Happy to respond.

First, I think you'll find that departments who want to stay out of this and cite Marshall and Sanow do so because a certain group was known to flood them with hate mail when Marshall and Sanow referenced them.

I've known both Evan and Ed for many, many years and have found them both to be totally honest and up front. Those who criticize them generally don't know them.

I am not a statistician and cannot comment on how they did the stats. I know they were braver than me to try.

After decades of staying in touch with police departments to get a feel of what guns and loads were working best for them, I can say that in the service handgun calibers, Marshall and Sanow's recommendations are pretty much the same as what I'm seeing from those sources.

Anyone who has a "crisis of confidence" in their equipment due to the "IWBA versus M&S debate" can simply choose a "load of compromise," something both sides agree works well. That would include the 158 grain lead hollowpoint +P in .38 Special, and the better 180 grain .40 S&W and 230 grain .45 ACP JHP loads.

Cordially,
Mas

Vern Humphrey
July 25, 2009, 01:07 PM
Howdy, Mas.

The question is, do you endorse their findings? That is, do you inject yourself into the controversy?

I know Sanow -- and I don't disagree that he's a nice guy. But that has nothing to do with the study. My position is:

1. The a priori assumption that it is the catridge (and a particular loading at that) that is the determining factor is wrong.

2. The data is questionable -- people cited by M&S as data sources have denied they provided data.

3. The statistical analysis is inadequate. As someone else pointed out, it takes a 10% difference to make a statistical difference between cartridges, if the data is assumed valid.

After decades of staying in touch with police departments to get a feel of what guns and loads were working best for them, I can say that in the service handgun calibers, Marshall and Sanow's recommendations are pretty much the same as what I'm seeing from those sources.
No surprise there -- after all, the cartridges they list at the top have long been considered the most effective. More than a hundred years ago, without any study at all, a lot of people concluded the .38 Long Colt was inferior to the .45 Colt, based on what they saw in the Philippines.

Deltaboy
July 25, 2009, 01:13 PM
Thanks MA it great to read your articles here and at Backwoods Mag.

massad ayoob
July 25, 2009, 01:37 PM
Kind words appreciated.

Vern, I've found both Ed and Evan to be nice guys AND honest men. Taking your points in order:

1. I don't recall either Marshall or Sanow ever saying that ammunition performance was THE determining factor, just A factor. In fact, both have made it clear that they consider shot placement the key factor.

2. We share some of the same sources, and I'm hearing what they heard.

3. As noted, I'm not a statistician and do not have standing to argue with how they interpreted their figures. Anyone who quibbles with their results is free to perform their own exhaustive studies.

JohnKSa
July 25, 2009, 01:42 PM
In almost every thread where someone compares a .45 with whatever the guy with the .45 somehow always misses

Man, those of us with .45s really need to practice more...Ironically, it's been theorized that part of the reputation that the .45ACP has garnered was built during the era when it was not a commonly issued LE weapon. The officers who chose it and were allowed to carry it were usually "gunny" types who purchased their own weapon and were likely to actually practice on their own time. Not surprisingly the .45 shooters tended to get better results in shootouts than the officers who carried the issue weapons and practiced only when they had to or when they were afraid of failing a qualifier.My personal feeling is that the basic premise of Marshall and Sanow's work is sound. I cannot see any better way of testing handgun effectiveness than evaluating the results of shooting a bunch of people with various handgun rounds.The nature of the topic (which prevents conducting controlled, real-world experimentation on humans) is going to make any research open to question and vulnerable to nit-picking.

I think there are some problems with the M&S work. I also think that it's extremely unfortunate that instead of addressing the problems constructively their opponents have attempted to discredit them and have tried to completely dismiss their work & their approach to the problem.

I think it's obvious that the real issues aren't who M&S are, what they did or how they did it but rather that some didn't like the results they obtained.

.38 Special
July 25, 2009, 02:14 PM
I think there are some problems with the M&S work. I also think that it's extremely unfortunate that instead of addressing the problems constructively their opponents have attempted to discredit them and have tried to completely dismiss their work & their approach to the problem.

I think it's obvious that the real issues aren't who M&S are, what they did or how they did it but rather that some didn't like the results they obtained.

I think this sums it up perfectly.

Sunray
July 26, 2009, 02:40 AM
"...One Shot Stops..." No such thing with any handgun round.

Vern Humphrey
July 26, 2009, 10:13 AM
I think it's obvious that the real issues aren't who M&S are, what they did or how they did it but rather that some didn't like the results they obtained.
Sounds like you're casting aspersions on those who criticize Marshall and Sanow.

tipoc
July 26, 2009, 02:38 PM
From JohnKSa:

I think it's obvious that the real issues aren't who M&S are, what they did or how they did it but rather that some didn't like the results they obtained.

Disagreement with how they present the evidence and how it was gathered isn't the same as disagreeing with the results. The statement also creates a straw man by lumping all criticism in together.

From Mas:

3. As noted, I'm not a statistician and do not have standing to argue with how they interpreted their figures. Anyone who quibbles with their results is free to perform their own exhaustive studies.

Kinda ducks the question and mildly insults the questioner. A fella can only question if they can respond by performing their own exhaustive tests? I'm out a luck then. Being a nobody without resources, maybe best to keep quiet.

I don't have any major disagreements with a lot of M&S write and say. Their gelatin tests are as good as anybodies. Their recommendations on ammo are sound, their many anecdotes are instructive, their history of developments in ammo are on point and useful, etc., etc. I recommend their books to folks. It's the "One Shot Stop" that causes a pause as here the science is poor and the work misleading.

Fact is M&S recommendations aren't all that different from many others. A good round in a service caliber is a good round and some are slightly better at some tasks (penetration through barriers, for example) then some others, as are some bullets. Developments in handgun ammo have developed rapidly over the last 30 years. M&S have helped me to keep abreast of some of them even if I strongly disagree with some of what they say.

tipoc

golden
July 26, 2009, 03:30 PM
Vern,

I think that critizing those who rant and nearly foam at the mouth with hatred anytime a quote from the M&S books is sufficient to make me wonder what is wrong here.

I used to be a COOPERITE. I really did believe that a .45ACP ball was effective 19 out of 20 times. Not anymore.

Has anyone questioned where Jeff COOPER got his data? Did he publish a list of morgues or police departments that supplied him with the grounds for his 19 out of 20 statements.
When I read COOPER'S book, it was pretty clear, he was giving his opinion based on his own observations. He never provided proof or scientific data for them.

Does anyone call COOPER a fake or a liar because they disagree with him? I think that some of the attacks on M&S border on fanaticism.
If you disagree with their data, why not just say why and see what the reply is?

M&S have issued results similar to other groups who did not have a personal agenda (THE FBI).

The FBI started the modern stopping power debate when poor tactics used by its agents resulted in the so called "MIAMI MASSACRE", were two criminals shot it out with a group of 8 FBI agents.
The FBI blamed the poor performance of their agents on the failure on ONE BULLET!
No one wants to admit they made a mistake and a beauracy is even less likely to admit it. I speak from experience on this.

What about all the other shots fired?
Why was only one agent carrying a semi-automatic pistol? The rest had revolvers.
Why did they not have even one AR-15 or MP-5 with them? They knew these two bad guys used at least one RUGER Mini-14 and one shotgun when the pulled robberies.
Why not call for uniformed police officers to back them up before forcing the stop?
Why did one agent not even fire a single shot?
ON AND ON.
The result, the FBI said it was the failure of ONE BULLET to not penetrate enough.
So now only deep penetrating rounds will do. Well, how many other gun fights have been lost by a failure to penetrate? I don't know the answer and from what I have seen, neither do the heavy bullet backers or they would be throwing out example after example to prove M&S wrong.

The M&S books list the 155 grain .40 caliber load as very, very effective. Equal or superior to an .45ACP load.
This statement usually sends the FACKLER followers into fits. However, it was not M&S who were responsible for developing this load. It was the I&NS with their gunfight experience along the southern border.
Can anyone tell me why that FBI data is more reliable than the data gathered by the BORDER PATROL in actual gunfights.

The BORDER PATROL, along with many police agencies acknowledged the great effectiveness (for a handgun) of the .357 magnum.
Does anyone question the effectiveness of this round? Is there anyone who wants to claims that .45ACP ball is a better round at incapacitating a bad guy?
Yet, many of the heavy bullet backers claim a 230 ball is more effective than a 155 grain hollow point moving 300 feet per second faster.

So why, when we are talking about 9m.m. versus .45ACP or .40 caliber versus .45ACP are we shooting the messengers. M&S, have issued their opinions.
If you disagree with M&S, please document with actual data (like gunfight results). Don't forget to list your sources or we will know that you are liars and fakes like certain people have been known to call M&S.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Jim

kmbrman
July 26, 2009, 06:18 PM
Thanks Jim for your 2cents . What a lot of the disagreement is over is just some folks rooting for their favorite load. The actual results of M&S is what matters to LE. The 155Gr.JHP in .40 S&W has been the best in Actual shot results. The Kansas State Patrol uses the 45ACP in Glock21. Texas has gone for the 357SIG round in Sig pistols ,but at last account there have not been enough shootings to see where it rates in stops. Anecdotal statements from officers who have had to shoot BGs with it [357 Sig.] state that the person hit went down in a heap.

Vern Humphrey
July 26, 2009, 06:41 PM
If Massad Ayoob is still here, there's one point I'd like to add. In discussing the use of sights in gunfights, Mas made a critical point (I'm going by memory here.) The question was raised that since some people do use them and others don't, it really doesn't matter.

Mas pointed out if you separate winners from losers, you find that winners are much more likely to report using the sights, and losers to report not using them. Now that is a valid approach.

rbernie
July 26, 2009, 07:04 PM
From a purely statistics perspective, the M&S study methodology was/is so insanely poor and so utterly intellectually indefensible, that frankly I didn't think that anybody much tried to defend it anymore. I am surprised that it generated this much heat within this thread.

Say what you will about their conclusions - their means of identifying appropriate data for analysis is fatally flawed.

JohnKSa
July 26, 2009, 10:08 PM
Sounds like you're casting aspersions on those who criticize Marshall and Sanow.The statement also creates a straw man by lumping all criticism in together.Since I said in my post I believe there are problems with M&S' work, I'm one of their critics and obviously I'm not casting aspersions on myself. I'm also lumping myself in with their critics but I'm not one of their "opponents".

The issue is not their "critics" but rather their "opponents". As an example, a critic is someone who states that there are problems with your work or points out problems with your work. An opponent is someone who writes a letter to try to get you fired.Disagreement with how they present the evidence and how it was gathered isn't the same as disagreeing with the results.I agree, and that's part of my point.

M&S' opponents have not simply pointed out the issues with the evidence and how it was gathered, they've tried to completely dismiss the entire effort and discredit M&S besides. Beyond just saying that the evidence is presented poorly and there were problems with how the data was gathered I've seen allegations that the data wasn't gathered at all but was simply made up. That goes far beyond disagreeing with the evidence presentation and data gathering.

In my opinion, the real issue that M&S opponents have with M&S isn't with their processes or presentation but rather with their results and that's why they declared an all out war on M&S rather than saying--you have to do X, Y, & Z to fix your process & presentation. It's worth noting that the M&S opponents should have access to shooting data as well, yet they have not even attempted to publish conflicting results based on studying large numbers of shootings--an approach that the FBI's expert, Patrick Urey stated would be productive in his paper entitled "Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness".

Gryffydd
July 26, 2009, 11:27 PM
3. As noted, I'm not a statistician and do not have standing to argue with how they interpreted their figures. Anyone who quibbles with their results is free to perform their own exhaustive studies.


From a purely statistics perspective, the M&S study methodology was/is so insanely poor and so utterly intellectually indefensible, that frankly I didn't think that anybody much tried to defend it anymore. I am surprised that it generated this much heat within this thread.

Say what you will about their conclusions - their means of identifying appropriate data for analysis is fatally flawed.
...Better get your exhaustive study started :neener:
But seriously, you don't have to do your own exhaustive studies to understand their methods sucked. Statistics are statistics whether you're studying shootings or anything else under the sun.

.38 Special
July 27, 2009, 12:59 AM
The one thing missing from most of the "critiques" of M&S is the thing I was most looking for from this thread: how would you do it better?

We already know that the M&S data is horribly flawed, that they made up half their data and faked the rest, and that when they're not busy hoodwinking the shooting public they eat babies. Yet another post to that effect isn't exactly groundbreaking work.

I hope the folks who have critiqued without offering alternatives will chime back in.

pps
July 27, 2009, 01:20 AM
The one thing missing from most of the "critiques" of M&S is the thing I was most looking for from this thread: how would you do it better?

Number one, I'd save all the raw data/reports, of course with names left out so that victims privacy was respected. Some of the data that was thrown out, such as multiple failure.

Also, I'd like to see how many shootings could be subdivided into groups where the BG was on stimulants/hallucinogens, cross referenced by body mass and enumerate if a stop was elicited...and how many COM shots it took to elicit compliance.

Also, layers/type of clothing the bullet had to penetrate. There would have to be sufficient incidents to be able to get meaningful analysis. Also, it would be nice to have the database accessible for peer review and possible compilation of data as new data comes in on "new and improved" bullet designs.

.38 Special
July 27, 2009, 01:28 AM
Number one, I'd save all the raw data/reports, of course with names left out so that victims privacy was respected. Some of the data that was thrown out, such as multiple failure.

I know that in hunting, the first shot, if not fatal, can sometimes seem to make the animal "bulletproof". Subsequent shots -- even shots that should be quickly fatal -- seem to have little effect. I am not sure if this is ever the case in humans, but I can understand leaving out such instances.

Also, I'd like to see how many shootings could be subdivided into groups where the BG was on stimulants/hallucinogens, cross referenced by body mass and enumerate if a stop was elicited...and how many COM shots it took to elicit compliance.

This would be interesting, but I'm not sure if it would be statistically relevant, unless it can be shown that dopers or the obese are more often shot with one caliber over another.

Also, layers/type of clothing the bullet had to penetrate. There would have to be sufficient incidents to be able to get meaningful analysis. Also, it would be nice to have the database accessible for peer review and possible compilation of data as new data comes in on "new and improved" bullet designs.

Yes, this would also be interesting and useful information to have -- but does the lack of such information devalue the information that was provided?

christcorp
July 27, 2009, 02:31 AM
The one thing missing from most of the "critiques" of M&S is the thing I was most looking for from this thread: how would you do it better?

The first thing I realize, is that it really doesn't matter. So I wouldn't even try to validate such a theory on 1 shot kills. Why? Self defense and shooting an attacker, is NOT MATHEMATICAL. And as such, statistics will play very little in finding the truth. On the other hand, physics and biology are 2 areas that do play an important part in determining if an attacker can be stopped or not.

1) Self defense; shooting another human being; and their psychological response based on numerous factors at that time and place; makes such a theory as "1 Shot Stops" a non-mathematical reality. In other words; no two people shot with the same caliber bullet, in the same exact location, are going to have the same exact REACTION to the shot.

2) Everyone agrees that shot placement is the most important factor when using a handgun for self defense. Whether the gun is a 45acp or a 25acp; if shot in the proper location, the target WILL CEASE their attack on you. And counter to that; even the 44mag or 50cal shot in a non-vital area will allow the target to continue their advancement towards you.

3) No human in their right mind is going to attempt "1 Shot Stops". if they do, they are crazy. Yes, if the criminal took off running after the 1st shot; you shouldn't be chasing them and continuing your shooting. But if they are still in the same spot they were when you made the first shot, then you should be continuing your shots until the attacker is no longer a threat, or when you run out of ammunition.

Even with hunting rifles/rounds where the effects of hydrostatic shock (If you go with that belief) doesn't kill an animal with one shot if they aren't shot in the proper location. Anyone who's hunted, has undoubtedly had to track an animal they have shot. And sometimes, we don't find the animal. And that shooting is done with a similar weight 140-180 grain bullet; that happens to be averaging 2200-3000 fps. And worse yet, the animal doesn't experience the same rationalizing psychological responses that human have. Meaning; They might be motivated by instinct and fright, but they aren't affected by a fear of dieing that humans go through.

The one and only truth when it comes to self defense shooting, is the law of physics and biology. The BIGGER the bullet, the more "POTENTIAL" blood loss the shooting victim will experience. If the shooting victim is mentally aware of it, it will "PROBABLY" have a psychological affect also on their behavior. This psychological behavior can happen from being shot with ANY CALIBER cartridge; however; some of the smaller caliber bullets aren't as effective in "Getting the attention of the shooting victim". In other words, like I mentioned earlier, the shooting victim has to be MENTALLY AWARE that they've been shot for the psychological affect to kick in. But other than that, the larger the bullet the more blood loss it can potentially can cause; and thus the quicker the person being shot will stop advancing and being a threat.

But sometimes we have to compromise on the size of the caliber we are carrying for protection. Carrying a 12 gauge or assault rifle isn't practical, so we choose handguns. Sometimes carrying a full size auto or revolver like a 1911A1 or a S&W 686 4" isn't always a practical gun to carry. So we sometimes go with a smaller caliber gun. Sometimes the availability of the ammo, price, etc... is a factor. Maybe it's a gun passed down to you. Maybe the person isn't comfortable with the kick of a larger caliber; or psychologically, they aren't comfortable without having 15-18 rounds in the magazine. Whatever the reason to use a smaller caliber gun, certain compromises must exist. Just like having a handgun at all, compared to a shotgun, is a compromise. The smaller the caliber, the better marksman we need to be. But if you're good, then a smaller caliber will work just fine.

I consider my "Self Defense" guns very logical. I'm not saying they are the best available. I'm saying they are logical for MY USE. The BIGGEST holes (Collectively) I can put into a human body is made by a shotgun. So I have a 12 gauge shotgun using either #4 or #00 buck. If that isn't possible or feasible; then if I'm at home; then it's a S&W Model 13-1 357 magnum with 158 grain Hydra-Shocks in it. It's a compromise from the 12 gauge, but it's more easily available; simpler to shoot for my family members when stress/fear/etc.... are involved in the situation. For me, when I'm carrying, I try and carry my SigSauer P220 45acp. It's the biggest caliber bullet efficiently available. (No, I won't consider a 50 cal). The 45acp with a JHP, will create the largest hole possible. And the larger the hole, the more blood loss and the better the odds are that I can hit a vital organ or the CNS. But sometimes the 45acp isn't practical. So I carry either the 32acp walther/feg PPK or the CZ-82 9mm Makarov. As for diameter, both are generally going to make about the same size hole as the 9mm, 38spl, etc... As for the 40/10mm; if I can go that big, I'd go with my 45acp. I doubt there's a 40/10mm the size of a walther PPK that wouldn't be about the most uncomfortable thing to shoot. So for civilian use, I find the 40/10mm to just be a waste of a caliber. Same with many of the calibers like the 327, 357 sig, 45gap, etc... Police, FBI, etc... can do quite well with a 9mm if they need magazine capacity; and a 45acp if they were content with 8 rounds. Anyway, that's another issue. Point is; my compromise when using the 32acp or 9mm makarov is that I have to improve on my accuracy, being the hole is smaller. But when shooting ANY HANDGUN, we have to improve on accuracy because of the simple fact that it's a handgun.

So, M&S or anyone else can do all the studies and make all the stats they want. And if you believe that the stats have meaning, then by all means get the gun they say is the best for 1 stop shots. And because your confident level will be so high, you can have the Barny Fife arrogance and only put one bullet in the gun. Me personally; I'll be using my FMJ in my 32acp; HP in my 9mm makarov and 45acp; and #4/00 buck in my 12 gauge. IF; let me emphasize the word IF: I choose to actually pull out a gun on someone and pull the trigger; no M&S stat will mean anything. Because I WILL empty the entire magazine/Cylinder into that person's body. I even practice at least once a month, being able to shoot a magazine of 8 rounds, into a paper plate, at 20-30 feet, all in less than 2 seconds. If I can't hit all 8 in the plate, then I need to keep practicing. Then I practice 3 different plates. 3+2+3. Anyway; that's why I don't need to do such stats and why I believe that a 1 stop shot theory is a waste of time.

Vern Humphrey
July 27, 2009, 10:45 AM
The one thing missing from most of the "critiques" of M&S is the thing I was most looking for from this thread: how would you do it better?
Start by looking at winners and losers.

Abandon the a priori assumption that it is the cartridge (and a particular loading of that cartridge) that is the important factor.

Use multi-variate statistics to locate those factors that are statististically significant in separating winners from losers.

Publish both the results and the data base -- allowing peer review.

Marlin 45 carbine
July 27, 2009, 11:06 AM
just IMO a shot placed in the snot locker or headlight is gonna stop an attack.
from anything even .22LR Hi-Vel.
I once was at the scene of a woman attempt suicide with a .25acp by placeing the gun under her chin and fireing. the slug stopped in the 'roof' of her mouth - doesn't say much as there's no telling about the make or condition of the ammo.
a fellow that lived down the street from me attempt suicide with a .38 spcl by shooting hisself in the head. he stuck the muzzle against his head forward of the temple area and succeded in blinding hisself but lived to regret his actions. I wasn't present when he did this but talked with his brother who was there.
another fellow in a neighboring county (didn't know of him but know fellas that did) stuck a 12ga under his chin and pulled the trigger - blew his face off but he lived through it - and another few years as a veggie.
granted the only lesson of this relevant to stopping an enraged/determined attacker in a combat situation is placement which is king.

CorpITGuy
July 27, 2009, 11:30 AM
I don't understand why this is always so controversial. Carry as much as you can, and let shot placement do the rest. If you aren't going to carry if not with a .22 LR, then for goodness sakes, carry the .22. If you can/are willing to carry a .45 or .357, DO IT!

I'm just happy to see armed citizens who can defend themselves, no matter what caliber they're packing! :)

Gryffydd
July 27, 2009, 12:12 PM
The one thing missing from most of the "critiques" of M&S is the thing I was most looking for from this thread: how would you do it better?
I think this thread has had quite a number of good answers to this question. Though it certainly has taken quite the path, as any thread on M&S will do...

tipoc
July 27, 2009, 01:49 PM
From JohnKsa:
Beyond just saying that the evidence is presented poorly and there were problems with how the data was gathered I've seen allegations that the data wasn't gathered at all but was simply made up. That goes far beyond disagreeing with the evidence presentation and data gathering

I've seen the same allegations as well and they are wrong and beside the point. There are two things to point out here: One, the folks who made these allegations did so in the early and mid 1990s, over a decade ago. This was when the Fackler and M&S debate was at it's height and allegations were flying back and forth. The heat died down from that fight some years back. Two: None of the "enemies" of M&S are here at present so fighting them, rather than replying to the critiques, is fighting a "straw man". The old fight becomes an excuse for not dealing with new questions. Most folks don't "foam at the mouth" when M&S are mentioned.

It is a mistake to believe, even for a minute, that many newer shooters don't accept on face value the "One Shot Stop" statistics as valid. For that reason it's useful to point out, calmly and logically, the problems with them.

tipoc

Skillet
July 27, 2009, 05:12 PM
"they were shot at a range of 200 yards...with a .22."-man in the wheelchair from the movie Shooter

Shot Placement is all that matters. you have to hit it in the vitals. the bullet has to mushroom. it needs to do alot of damage inside of the body. a 7mmm mag bullet will do more damage if it mushrooms right in an elk than a full metal slug will out of a shotgun. why? NO clean holes. a rifle bullet wound does massive damage inside of the body. because it mushrooms. a shotgun's slug, will make a clean hole and keep on flyin. no clean hole means more damaged tissue.

NoAlibi
July 27, 2009, 08:00 PM
Soda_monkey236
a shotgun's slug, will make a clean hole and keep on flyin. no clean hole means more damaged tissue.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=102299&stc=1&d=1248734512

BuckHammer® Lead Slugs

When it comes to delivering devastating knockdown power and superior accuracy, no other lead slug offers a more lethal combination than the Remington BuckHammer. Specifically designed for rifled barrels and rifled choke tubes, these high-performance slugs are capable of producing 3-inch or better groups at 100-yards with nearly 100% weight retention and controlled expansion to nearly one-inch in diameter.

Weight: 1 3/8 oz. (601.56 gr.)
Velocity: 1500 fps
Energy: 3000+ ft/lbs

So, you think a slug weighing 1 3/8 oz. at 1500 fps making a "clean hole" almost 1" in diameter wouldn't cause enough damage?

You might want to rethink that statement.
.
.

Dr_2_B
July 27, 2009, 08:53 PM
I'm one of those guys who believes that in the next 20 years, this debate will actually be resolved. More evidence will parse this out now that we've really decided what we want to study.

DougDubya
July 27, 2009, 09:00 PM
It hasn't been resolved since 1970 to 2009, it won't be in another 20 years. Better to spend the time shooting better with what you got.

JohnKSa
July 28, 2009, 02:02 AM
There are two things to point out here: One, the folks who made these allegations did so in the early and mid 1990s, over a decade ago. This was when the Fackler and M&S debate was at it's height and allegations were flying back and forth. The heat died down from that fight some years back. Two: None of the "enemies" of M&S are here at present so fighting them, rather than replying to the critiques, is fighting a "straw man".While the heat may have died down, those allegations are alive and well. I've seen them repeated frequently just in the last few months.

There may have been some specific enemies that are no longer around, but there are still a lot of M&S opponents on the web making some pretty nasty allegations. Maybe no one's posting them on this thread yet, but I believe that anyone interested in the caliber question who's spent a reasonable amount of time on the web has seen them and has them in mind while reading this thread.

I think it's reasonable to assume that some newer shooters do take M&S at face value just as it is reasonable to assume that some newer shooters take all the wild allegations about M&S at face value.For that reason it's useful to point out, calmly and logically, the problems with them.See, here's where all those allegations stop being "beside the point".

Where did you get your information on the problems with the M&S OSS numbers? My guess is you got it (indirectly) from something one of the M&S opponents alleged. Just because it's not as wild as some of the allegations doesn't mean it's automatically correct. On the other hand, for example, if you were to have some personal insight into statistics and how they relate to studies like the M&S work that would be pretty interesting.

Gryffydd
July 28, 2009, 02:26 AM
Where did you get your information on the problems with the M&S OSS numbers? My guess is you got it (indirectly) from something one of the M&S opponents alleged.
Nope. I got it from a junior level statistics class and a little common sense.

JohnKSa
July 28, 2009, 04:35 AM
Nope. I got it from a junior level statistics class and a little common sense.Ok, now that's something to work with.

What was it about their study that initially led you to believe that their statistical methods were flawed?

What objections did you have to their statistical methods based on what you learned in your statistics class?

rbernie
July 28, 2009, 09:22 AM
What was it about their study that initially led you to believe that their statistical methods were flawed?Rather than retype the same stuff that's been circulating for the last decade and a half, or better, I'm going to borrow content that's freely available and find-able via Google search.

http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs31.htm

Closing the Book on Marshall & Sanow's One-shot Stopping Power Fraud

Over the past couple of years we've published several articles presenting evidence that discredits the Marshall & Sanow one-shot stopping power system of rating "bullet effectiveness". Our purpose in beating this dead horse was to present our criticisms from many different angles so that our message could be understood by the widest audience possible. The final chapter is now being written. We're closing the book on Marshall and Sanow by making several reference articles freely available on the Internet, where they'll be available to anyone and everyone who's interested in the details. As we put the Marshall - Sanow fraud to rest, we offer the following final commentary. Immediately following our remarks are links to reference articles that have never before been made available to you on the Internet.

The professional wound ballistics community believes that both Evan Marshall and Ed Sanow have intentionally misrepresented Marshall's "one-shot stop data" as a valid statistical sampling of "actual street results". Valid statistical samplings always report a plus or minus percentage of sampling error, which is based on consideration and evaluation of all factors that affect statistical certainty. This vital statistical process allows researchers to determine how meaningful or meaningless the findings are. Fackler's article, Too Good to be True, discusses, among other things, the significance of determining statistical certainty.

Marshall & Sanow have never performed a statistical certainty analysis of Marshall's one-shot stop data. They present raw "data," which is totally meaningless in context even if it was honestly collected and examined as claimed. Marshall's sampling methodology and the manner in which his data is presented are no more accurate or credible than any other nonscientific (for entertainment only) survey, and this generously assumes that Marshall is being completely honest.

Anyone who still believes the Marshall "findings" to be true should submit one of Marshall's "one-shot stop" books or articles to a professional statistics organization that has absolutely no interest in ballistics or the outcome, like http://www.westat.com. An unbiased organization such this is fully qualified to analyze and critique the validity of Marshall's methodology and "findings".

Marshall, Sanow, Massad Ayoob and other "one-shot stop" advocates either ignorantly or intentionally mischaracterize and attempt to discredit the professional wound ballistics community as lab coat wearing nerds who never step foot outside the confines of a controlled laboratory setting. These uninformed or dishonest gunwriters attempt to portray wound ballistics professionals as incompetent dunces who are unwilling to consider "real world shooting results," lest the "real world laboratory of the street" contradict cherished "laboratory gelatin results" and "laboratory theories." One need only peruse a few issues of the IWBA journal, Wound Ballistics Review, to learn otherwise. Many of the articles are written by law enforcement officers or other professionals who work closely with law enforcement agencies.

Marshall & Sanow are preparing to publish a third book, Street Stoppers II. Until recently, we had planned to obtain a copy and publish a book review. But unless Street Stoppers II contains startling new information, we're moving on.

But before we close the book on Marshall & Sanow -- hopefully for good -- we'd like to express our appreciation to IWBA and the authors below, who've kindly granted us permission to re-print the following articles.

Maarten van Maanen's article, Discrepancies in the Marshall & Sanow "Data Base": An Evaluation Over Time, was the subject of Calibre Press' Street Survival Newsline (No. 419, dated 11/16/99), a law enforcement newsletter that's distributed to thousands of law enforcement officers worldwide. Calibre Press is a major law enforcement training organization. They produce and present the highly acclaimed Street Survival Seminar as well as publish the award winning books Street Survival, The Tactical Edge and Tactics for Criminal Patrol. The staff of Calibre Press reviewed van Maanen's article and found van Maanen's evidence of fraud and deceit so convincing as to warrant alerting the law enforcement community to his findings. If there's any one organization that has its finger on the pulse of what's going on in the "real world laboratory of the streets," it's the folks at Calibre Press.

(In 1993, Calibre Press permanently removed Marshall & Sanow's first book, Handgun Stopping Power, from their catalog after law enforcement members with the International Wound Ballistics Association presented them with compelling evidence that the book was teeming with falsehoods. Since then, Calibre Press has refused to carry Marshall & Sanow's books.)

Note: The founders of Calibre Press, Charles Remsberg and Dennis Anderson, recently retired and sold the business to another company. Mr. Remsberg personally made the decision to reject the Marshall/Sanow books because he did not want to offer flawed information to law enforcement officers. We applaud Mr. Remsberg's integrity and high regard for officer safety. It is unknown if the new owners of Calibre Press are aware of the problems with Marshall/Sanow, but current editions of the Calibre Press catalog contain the latest Marshall/Sanow book.

Reference Articles

Fackler, Martin L., MD.: "Book Review: Street Stoppers: The Latest Handgun Stopping Power Street Results." Wound Ballistics Review, 3(1); 26-31: 1997.

MacPherson, Duncan: "Sanow Strikes (Out) Again." Wound Ballistics Review, 3(1): 32-35; 1997.

van Maanen, Maarten: "Discrepancies in the Marshall & Sanow 'Data Base': An Evaluation Over Time." Wound Ballistics Review, 4(2); 9-13: Fall, 1999.

Fackler, Martin L., MD.: "Undeniable Evidence." Wound Ballistics Review, 4(2); 14-15: Fall, 1999.

MacPherson, Duncan: "The Marshall & Sanow 'Data' - Statistical Analysis Tells the Ugly Story." Wound Ballistics Review, 4(2); 16-21: Fall, 1999.

rbernie
July 28, 2009, 09:23 AM
What objections did you have to their statistical methods based on what you learned in your statistics class?
The second article, in particular, is an interesting answer to this question.

http://www.firearmstactical.com/marshall-sanow-discrepancies.htm

http://www.firearmstactical.com/marshall-sanow-statistical-analysis.htm

rbernie
July 28, 2009, 09:34 AM
An interesting review by Doc Roberts, from back in 1992:

http://www.firearmstactical.com/afte.htm

Selected excerpts:

Throughout the text, Marshall and Sanow offer "street results" which purport to show the "stopping power" and percentage of "one-shot stops" that particular handgun bullets have produced in actual shootings.
....
Their "field data" appears to be based on anecdotal "war stories" which are incomplete and unverified, as illustrated by the example below.
Additionally, Marshall’s and Sanow’s "street results" and "one-shot stop" statistics fail to address what anatomic structures are disrupted and damaged by the bullet. They also ignore the crucial fact that many adversaries are incapacitated due to psychological rather than physiological reasons: they decide to stop, but are not forced to stop. Mr. Wolberg never provided Marshall or Sanow any of the reports, test results, photos or evidence which they insist the inspect prior to including a shooting in their data base. As a result, the veracity of their entire data base is questionable. The verisimilitude of the author’s "street result" data is also in doubt since they violate basic principles of scientific research by not publishing their original data and by claiming "secrecy" when asked to identify their source documentation so that independent researchers who investigate wound ballistics could inspect their original information and verify their results.

JohnKSa
July 29, 2009, 03:35 AM
Rather than retype the same stuff that's been circulating for the last decade and a half, or better, I'm going to borrow content that's freely available and find-able via Google search.
...
http://www.firearmstactical.com...
...
International Wound Ballistics Association
...
Fackler, Martin L., MD
...
Fackler, Martin L., MD
...
http://www.firearmstactical.com...
...
http://www.firearmstactical.com...
...
http://www.firearmstactical.com...My guess is you got it (indirectly) from something one of the M&S opponents alleged.No guessing required now... ;)

Gryffydd
July 29, 2009, 08:14 AM
No guessing required now...
I think it's funny how you're doing the same thing people keep accusing the M&S critics of doing. Rather than countering the arguments made in rbernie's links, you just say "oh, Fackler" and roll your eyes. Just because it was written by somebody who was an "opponent" doesn't release you from still having to address the arguments.

RDak
July 29, 2009, 08:53 AM
I always like reading these discussions because they give me a better handle on understanding articles and/or studies I have read on this subject.

Since my mother is a surgical forensic pathologist with close to 40 years experience, I have had direct access to people who do the medical examinations and know proper medical procedures. Since I've worked in the legal field, I'm familiar with legal and HIPPA regulations plus proper procedures involved in shootings -no DA, Judiciary, police Agency, medical professional or any law firms representing anyone involved in a shooting would publicize any information. I've twice fired weapons in anger while in Asia and have never seen anyone practicing a one-shot-stop combat philosophy. I've squatted in the forests of Cambodia talking with ex-Khmer Rouge guerrillas and discussed the merits of small arms, none of the seasoned veterans have ever stopped at one-shot unless it was an execution. I've also spent considerable time & money training with SWAT, SEAL and a Delta Operator; none of them have ever come close to sharing a "one shot stop" methodology in their combatives philosophy.

But this quote sticks out to me for some reason. The bolded part, after I thought about it, is true. I read it and said to myself "well duh" CWL is correct. (I'm embarrassed that I never thought about this real world factor. :o)

I guess we'll never really know for sure about one stop results but I don't feel as bad because we almost always fire more than one cartridge.

But, darn it, I'd still like to know the definitive answer!! :D

rbernie
July 29, 2009, 10:07 AM
No guessing required now... I also note that evidently Doc Robert's (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5789204&postcount=133) viewpoints are meaningless. Throwin' the baby out with the bathwater is hardly an intellectually rigorous exercise.

I guess we'll never really know for sure about one stop results but I don't feel as bad because we almost always fire more than one cartridge.
And this is clearly one of the big flaws in their study. By eliminating those incidents where multiple shots were fired into The Bad Guy, they eliminate a huge amount of potentially useful data and focus only on those incidents where ONE SINGLE SHOT was either physically incapacitating OR emotionally incapacitating (but we'll never know which, since we don't actually know how the bullet performed, where it hit, what tissue it disrupted, or whether The Bad Guy lived or died).

But, darn it, I'd still like to know the definitive answer!!Doc Roberts has some really interesting wound physiology work that should be mandatory reading for anyone that claims to have an opinion in the matter. He can be found over on TacticalForums (http://www.tacticalforums.com/).

RDak
July 29, 2009, 10:57 AM
Thanks for the info. rbernie!

I just registered at that site but have to get approved, so I have to wait before reading Doc Roberts stuff.

NoAlibi
July 29, 2009, 01:15 PM
I have not read M&S yet, but with so many posters advocating pulling the trigger until the magazine is empty (A philosphy that I basiclly subscibe to) I was wondering where in M&S's book, if at all, do they recommend that you pull the trigger only once?

PS - This has been a very enjoyable and interesting discussion and I commend the posters for keeping such a contoversial topic this civil. It's the practice of "Loyal Opposition", as the Brits say, that serves the community best.

hardluk1
July 29, 2009, 01:34 PM
This is get'n real good now.

rbernie
July 29, 2009, 03:10 PM
Anyone going over the TF for a look-see would be advised to be professional and polite. That is a forum for serious-minded folk and I would recommend that any interactions be done thoughtfully.

JohnKSa
July 30, 2009, 03:39 AM
I also note that evidently Doc Robert's viewpoints are meaningless.Dr. Roberts the Navy dentist? I didn't say they were meaningless, but it's pretty obvious Dr. Roberts relies quite heavily on Fackler for his facts--about a third of his cites are to works by Fackler.

Ok, you want to know what I think of Dr. Roberts' comments? Ok, there is one thing that jumps out at me after briefly skimming his "review" of the M&S book. Let's look at this paragraph:The penetration depths of test shots into ordnance gelatin listed by Marshall and Sanow in Table 17-1 are considerably deeper than those reported by other wound ballistic research facilities throughout the United States, as illustrated by the following examples: Table 17-1 lists the penetration of the Winchester 147gr JHP as 15.9 inches, while data from the Southeast Missouri Regional Crime Laboratory indicates only a 13 inch average penetration; with the Federal .357 Magnum 125gr JHP, Table 17-1 lists a penetration depth of 13.3 inches, while the FBI reports only a 10.6 inch average penetration; and Table 17-1 gives a penetration depth of 17.1 inches for the Remington .45 ACP 185gr JHP, while Letterman Army Institute of Research data shows only a 10.9 inch average penetration.3,4,5Unfortunately, I don't know how LAI or SE MO lab tests ammunition penetration so I can't begin to explain why their numbers might differ from the M&S figures. It would have been nice if Dr. Roberts had described their methods so we would have some idea of how to compare them...

BUT, happily, I happen to know how M&S got their penetration figures and also how the FBI got theirs. Now, the question that an unbiased and critically thinking reader would ask is: "WHY is there such a marked difference in the two results?" A biased reader is already done. Depending on his view, he's either decided that Dr. Roberts is an idiot and just trying to make M&S look bad or he's sure that M&S must be idiots (and bad liars for that matter) for not making up numbers that agreed better with the FBI's results.

But we're assuming that maybe there is a reason for the difference so let's look a little deeper.

The M&S number is derived from bare gelatin testing while the FBI figure is an average penetration figure involving multiple tests using not only bare and clothed gelatin but also such intermediate barriers as two pieces of 20 gauge, hot rolled steel, two pieces of half-inch standard gypsum board, one piece of three-quarter inch AA fir plywood, one piece of A.S.I. one-quarter inch laminated automobile safety glass placed at an angle of 45°, heavy clothing at 20 yards and automobile glass at 20 yards.

Not too surprising then that the FBI average penetration figure is a good bit different than the M&S number.

Unfortunately now we're left with only two options. Either Dr. Roberts, the esteemed dentist, and self-proclaimed terminal ballistics expert doesn't know how the FBI tests penetration or he intentionally did an apples to oranges comparison in an attempt to unjustly discredit M&S. Neither option is particularly inspiring...

Well, whichever of the two options you choose to believe, you're left with the dilemma that Dr. Roberts is FAR less critical of Wolberg and the San Diego PD who, with impunity, quote a 13.0" penetration figure for the 147gr 9mm bullet, in spite of the fact that that number differs from the FBI figures by almost exactly the same magnitude that the M&S .357Mag number does.I was wondering where in M&S's book, if at all, do they recommend that you pull the trigger only once? They absolutely do not make that recommendation at all!

They gathered and presented the data the way they did in an attempt to isolate caliber differences--it was not in any way, shape, or form meant to be advice on how many times to fire in a self-defense scenario. I have no idea how people got the impression that M&S were recommending shooting only once in self-defense.

RON in PA
July 30, 2009, 04:03 AM
M&S never said to pull the trigger only once, but they did give the distinct impression in their first book that repeat shots didn't contribute to "stopping".

JohnKSa
July 30, 2009, 04:29 AM
...they did give the distinct impression in their first book that repeat shots didn't contribute to "stopping".I'd be very interested to see a quote from any M&S work that gives the distinct impression that repeat shots don't contribute to stopping.

rbernie
July 30, 2009, 09:25 AM
Either Dr. Roberts, the esteemed dentist, and self-proclaimed terminal ballistics expert doesn't know how the FBI tests penetration or he intentionally did an apples to oranges comparison in an attempt to unjustly discredit M&S. While your observations are not inaccurate, it is unknown whether the FBI test protocol was fully followed in the test data presented (since at the time the review was written, the full protocol was less than five years in existence and the actual date of the test is unknown). I will absolutely concur that more rigorous test data should have been included in the critique, if the point was to stand on its own merit (as it should). I am surprised that you haven't taken fault with the FBI test protocol itself, since it is largely the work of Fowler, et al. and uses ballistic gel testing as the core of its effectivity evaluations.

But why not swing at the rest of the issues presented in ANY of the papers or the comments made here, and not just at one piece of low-hanging fruit? Discrediting the body of objections to the M&S work based upon one paragraph in one paper written fifteen years ago, even when eloquently done, hardly seems intellectually rigorous.

I do find it interesting that you choose to vocalize the fact that Dr Roberts' medical degree is dental (impugning his capacity to speak on these sorts of matters, presumably) rather than address any of the wound analysis that he's conducted in the last fifteen years or any of the other objections he raised. He is no less a member of the IWBA than Marshall or Sanow, and (to his credit) he publishes work that includes source data and that is freely open to peer review. Neither Marshall nor Sanow possess medical degrees or any other formal qualification in terminal ballistics, and yet nobody in this dialog felt the need to sneer at 'the Detroit beat cop and self-proclaimed terminal ballistics expert' as a means of not-so-subtle character malignment.

You asked:

What was it about their study that initially led you to believe that their statistical methods were flawed?A number of answers have emerged, and yet sadly you have neglected to respond or acknowledge those answers. Very specifically, the second and third of the seven criteria used to collect source data, while not ill-intentioned, seem likely to doom the results.

Handgun Stopping Power: The Definitive Study
by Evan P. Marshall & Edwin J. Sanow

Excepted from Chapter 7:
1) Only torso shots were counted
2) Multiple hits were NOT counted
3) A stop was defined as: "if a victim was assaulting someone, he collapsed without being able to fire another shot or strike another blow. If he was fleeing, he collapsed within 10 feet."
4) Having or being able to review some of the following: police reports, evidence technician reports, statements by the victim (if he survived), homicide reports, autopsy results and photos
5) Recovered bullets were examined or photographed by Marshall or photos were provided by a second party
6) A minimum of five shootings were required for the load to be included in the study

christcorp
July 30, 2009, 11:02 AM
M&S never said to pull the trigger only once, but they did give the distinct impression in their first book that repeat shots didn't contribute to "stopping".

This is another reason to question their reasoning. The "BASIC" laws of physics and biology; that ANY JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL Student knows; is that the MORE holes in the human body; the more blood loss; thus the lower blood pressure; and greater chance of death. Even if slightly, it obviously contributes to "STOPPING". Plus, the MORE shots taken, the more the odds go up of hitting a vital organ or the central nervous system. I.e. If you shoot once, and only hit a lung, then you have a 0% chance of that single bullet jumping out of or around inside the body, and striking the brain stem, spinal cord, or other portion of the CNS. If you fire even just 1 more bullet, your odds of hitting the cns and creating an immediate stop, just went up 100%.

And while we're at it, we all recognize that you can manufacture and take 50 cars right of the assembly line with the same exact motor and everything, and in the Daytona 500, they will not perform exactly the same. Obviously, the DRIVER is a major deciding factor. If it wasn't for the abilities of the drivers, there'd be no reason to watch the daytona 500. It would be a tie race among many of the cars. Well, a shooting victim is exactly the same way. 2 people shot by the same exact gun; same exact ammo; same exact spot on their body (Minus the CNS); will react to this shot completely different from each other.

I know that M&S aren't intentionally trying to mislead people. I know they mean well. And I know they are trying to provide a "SCIENTIFIC" means of rating different caliber hand guns. Well guess what; the NON-Scientific attributes to a gun shooting is EQUALLY as important to the Scientific portion of ballistics, kinetic energy, diameter size, etc...

Case in point. Can there be, and have we seen reports where an individual was shot with a small caliber handgun and stopped/died in their tracks? E.g. shot in the head, heart, CNS? Most definitely... We know this has happened. And we almost all agree that just about any caliber if shot in the brain stem, heart, or other part of the CNS will drop an attacker right in their tracks. 25acp, 32acp, 9mm, 45acp, 44 mag, etc... So, the question becomes; does a larger caliber handgun actually increase the chances of stopping an attacker with just one shot? The ONLY THINGS that a larger caliber bullet does when shot at another person is:

1. Creates a larger hole; thus more blood loss; thus faster chance of passing out due to blood loss. (But much of this is up to the shooting victim and their psych at the time)

2. Because of more energy, the round will get the "ATTENTION" of the shooting victim more quickly. This can cause a quicker "Psychological" response to being shot. Again; this depends on the person. Some people will realize they've been shot, and their brain will immediately shut down and they will collapse, even though not dead. Others will keep on coming. Some people will see the sight of their own blood and they'll faint.

3. The large bullet, not only creating a larger hole and more blood loss, also increases the odds of hitting a vital spot or CNA based on the simply law of physics. If a 25acp and a 45acp are shot at the same person, in the exact same spot, and the 25acp missed the spinal cord by 0.00001 inches; the 45acp WOULD HIT IT!!! This is simple physics.

These are the only things a bullet can do proactively to a shooting victim. Everything else leading to the "RESULT" of the gun shooting, is totally up to the psychology and mental condition of the shooting victim.

These are just some of the reasons I don't buy the research. On top of what I've already mentioned stating that the ONLY way a shooting victim was shot only once (Which is an extremely SMALL PERCENTAGE of shootings); is if the victim was shot once and ran away; or the shooter shot once and ran away. In which case, we have no idea how long it took for the shooting victim to die. Did they run down the street and died 10 minutes later. Did it hit them in the heart and they died immediately. If they hadn't ran away, or the shooter hadn't taken off running, WOULD the shooting victim has stood there and fought back for another volley of shots; which then wouldn't have been used in their study because it was more than 1 shot? But to think that a 2nd or more shot wouldn't have contributed to stopping is plan stupid.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 30, 2009, 11:09 AM
this debate will actually be resolved.

I do not share that opinion. In fact, I will bet my last nickel that nothing will be "resolved", other than what we already know - shot placement is everything, and if it ain't a longgun, it ain't a "stopper". I actually laughed when I read that statement. :D

tipoc
July 30, 2009, 01:20 PM
Where did you get your information on the problems with the M&S OSS numbers? My guess is you got it (indirectly) from something one of the M&S opponents alleged. Just because it's not as wild as some of the allegations doesn't mean it's automatically correct. On the other hand, for example, if you were to have some personal insight into statistics and how they relate to studies like the M&S work that would be pretty interesting.

Actually John I got it from reading their books. Back in posts number 55 I raised a few problems with their studies. I said...



They have published 3 books and many articles purporting to show the best bullets to use in any given caliber and, in some cases which calibers produce more "One Shot Stops" than others. There is a lot of useful information in their books. They have some strong defenders (Massad Ayoob is one). But the work on the OSS concept is wrong and flawed.

Let's just look at a few things, not the only things, but just a few to show the problem they have had. We won't get into how they gathered their information or processed it, that's something else.

1) M&S regard a OSS as any hit to the torso which completely incapacitated the attacker. Incapacitation meant the attacker was physically unable to attack anyone even with a knife. The attacker could run up to 10 feet after being shot.

It is only the above incidents that they included in their figuring. Any others were ignored. Right here are a couple of problems. a)Why 10 feet? Why not 7 feet or 12? If a person is walking 10 feet can't they still be shooting? b)All hits to the torso are weighed evenly. A shot through a love handles is the same as a shot through both lungs. Shot placement is ruled out of the picture along with the type of wound. c) Who decides they are "incapacitated" that is incapable of attacking or harming anyone? If they are dead it's clear but if they are shot by a cop and drop to the ground and play dead or are stunned or in agony, who decides to keep one in as a OSS and toss the other.

These are just a couple of problems but there are more.

It's not just a matter of their statistical problems though these have been referred to. It is a matter of method . Their method is off when it comes to the OSS statistics and in trying to show what they try to.

tipoc

Japle
July 30, 2009, 02:22 PM
Posted by NoAlibi:
I have not read M&S yet, but with so many posters advocating pulling the trigger until the magazine is empty (A philosphy that I basiclly subscibe to) I was wondering where in M&S's book, if at all, do they recommend that you pull the trigger only once?


“The key is to hit them hard, hit them fast, and hit them repeatedly. The one shot stop is a unit of measurement not a tactical philosophy.”
Evan Marshall

Also, I've taken statistics classes. What M&S published doesn't qualify as statistics. It's simple arithmetic.
They established their criteria for what a "one-shot stop" means (not everyone agrees with their criteria, but it's reasonable and they had to use something), went through as many verified shootings as they could and averaged the results.

I also find it interesting that Fackler's followers seem to slam M&S at every opportunity, yet M&S gave Fackler full credit for his contributions to the field in their books.

Gryffydd
July 30, 2009, 02:23 PM
One of my main problems with their philosophy is that they don't differentiate between psychological stops and true stops. I understand that if they had enough shootings you would start to see better numbers due to more real stops with the better rounds. However, some of their rounds have shockingly small sample sizes. So small that they really shouldn't have even been published. Second of all, that's such a huge unknown that even with a sample size in the thousands it makes the margin of error enormous.

Japle
July 30, 2009, 02:36 PM
One of my main problems with their philosophy is that they don't differentiate between psychological stops and true stops.

What's the difference? How could anyone know? How could it be measured? Is there a space on police shooting reports for psychological vs. true stops?

Look, as long as the guy attacking you stops after you shoot him, that's a true stop.
If psychological stops were a real phenomena, we could all just carry .357s loaded with those super-loud Winchester blanks that make the huge fireballs. Then we wouldn't have to worry about hitting innocent bystanders.
Better wear your earplugs 24/7.
And some good welding goggles.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/Japle/Flash2.jpg

CWL
July 30, 2009, 02:49 PM
I also find it interesting that Fackler's followers seem to slam M&S at every opportunity, yet M&S gave Fackler full credit for his contributions to the field in their books.

Are you aware that Martin Fackler is a retired Army Colonel, battlefield surgeon and medical pathologist? He conducted wounding research on the behalf of the US military and law enforcement agencies, and developed the formulation & use of ballistic gelatin to reproduce bullet woundings in human tissue.

Martin Fackler has been "up to his elbows" in the investigation of bullet-produced trauma. The details of his research is available to anyone to look at and he has no need to claim "secrecy" of his source data. Martin Fackler conducts research and substantiates his findings in the manner that all modern research is required to do. Because of this, there has been no credible challenge to his findings.

Compared to the education, background and research of Dr. Martin Fackler, M&S's look like a pair of bubbas in new camos, claiming to be Vietnam Snipers...

tipoc
July 30, 2009, 02:58 PM
From Gryffyd,
However, some of their rounds have shockingly small sample sizes. So small that they really shouldn't have even been published. Second of all, that's such a huge unknown that even with a sample size in the thousands it makes the margin of error enormous.

Yep and this is another problem with their work. To take one example, In their most recent book ("Stopping Power" 2001, pg. 309) they present figures on the .41 Magnum. In their first book they also presented figures on the .41 ("Handgun Stopping Power", 1991, pg. 213). In both the total number of shootings is so low as to have no practical purpose, even mentioning, much less trying to draw any definitive conclusions from.

Yet trying to draw definitive conclusions about "handgun Stopping Power" is at the heart of OSS work. They repeat often throughout their works that their results make all experimentation and theorizing about which rounds are best in terms of stopping power meaningless next to the "proven street results". A term they repeat often.

tipoc

tipoc
July 30, 2009, 03:08 PM
What's the difference? How could anyone know? How could it be measured? Is there a space on police shooting reports for psychological vs. true stops?

Good point and one that was mentioned. M&S record a stop as some one who was shot once in the torso, could move up to 10 feet after that, and then was physically incapable of hurting anyone or continuing the attack. If they could still attack then it's not recorded as a OSS. But who decides that they are not "physically" incapable of attacking or just really hurting or playing dead or something else?

tipoc

Gryffydd
July 30, 2009, 03:17 PM
What's the difference? How could anyone know? How could it be measured? Is there a space on police shooting reports for psychological vs. true stops?

Look, as long as the guy attacking you stops after you shoot him, that's a true stop.
For practical defense purposes, yes, as stop is a stop. The difference is that their data is focused on particular bullets in particular calibers fired in particular loadings.That's actually one of their main problems. Their results are tied to particular loads, when there's no way to determine whether the load that was used was actually a determining factor in the stop. It's just not scientific to exclude such incredibly important variables as SHOT PLACEMENT for crying out loud, and then to apply it to statistically insignificant sample sizes and then purport the results as meaningful. Again, with a large enough sample size you could start to reduce the margin of error due to shot placement and psychological effects, but how would you even measure whether you'd reached the point where you've achieved a sample size sufficient to eliminate those factors when you don't even measure them?

tipoc
July 30, 2009, 04:21 PM
Compared to the education, background and research of Dr. Martin Fackler, M&S's look like a pair of bubbas in new camos, claiming to be Vietnam Snipers...

Ah! I have a problem with this. See I believe you can disagree with Fackler (or anyone else for that matter) and not have better credentials than he does.
If we replace M&S names in the above quite with names like P.O. Ackley, Phil Sharp, Elmer Keith, Jeff Cooper, etc. you can get the idea.

I think M&S are off base on the OSS data and conclusions. I also think their books and articles are worth reading and studying some because of what they say that is right.

tipoc

JohnKSa
July 31, 2009, 03:14 AM
While your observations are not inaccurate, it is unknown whether the FBI test protocol was fully followed in the test data presented (since at the time the review was written, the full protocol was less than five years in existence...Government agencies create protocols for a reason. Speculation that the FBI may not have followed its own testing protocol is pointless in the absence of some evidence that demonstrates (or strongly implies--or even weakly implies for that matter) that they didn't.I am surprised that you haven't taken fault with the FBI test protocol itself...Why in the world would I care how the FBI tests ammunition? :confused: The testing method doesn't really matter as long as it's implemented consistently and provides information that is useful in comparing one caliber to another in at least some respect. The only reason I brought up their testing methods was because Roberts obviously either had no clue about their testing methods or knew the methods but disengenuously used the figures to try to discredit M&S anyway.

Also, as pointed out, he doesn't even comment on the fact that Wolberg's penetration figures for the 147gr 9mm differ in a similarly significant manner from the FBI figures.I do find it interesting that you choose to vocalize the fact that Dr Roberts' medical degree is dental...Oh, come on....nobody in this dialog felt the need to sneer at 'the Detroit beat cop and self-proclaimed terminal ballistics expert' as a means of not-so-subtle character malignment.You should re-read the thread. Some of the labels given to M&S on this thread:

a pair of nobodies who made up their data
the M&S fraud...intentionally misrepresented their data
Compared to ... Dr. Martin Fackler, M&S's look like a pair of bubbas in new camos, claiming to be Vietnam Snipers...

Yeah, I'm really stepping over the line by noting that "Doc Roberts" is a dentist. :DA number of answers have emerged, and yet sadly you have neglected to respond or acknowledge those answers.I think everyone (well almost) is missing the point.What M&S published doesn't qualify as statistics. It's simple arithmetic.
They established their criteria for what a "one-shot stop" means (not everyone agrees with their criteria, but it's reasonable and they had to use something), went through as many verified shootings as they could and averaged the results.Yes.Multiple hits were NOT countedOk, explain how counting multiple hit shootings would make it easier to compare large numbers of shootings and provide more revealing results. A stop was defined as: "if a victim was assaulting someone, he collapsed without being able to fire another shot or strike another blow. If he was fleeing, he collapsed within 10 feet."How would you define a "stop"? How would your definition make it easier to compare large numbers of shootings and provide more revealing results?a)Why 10 feet? Why not 7 feet or 12? If a person is walking 10 feet can't they still be shooting?Ok, use 7 feet or 12 feet or whatever number you think sounds good. How does that make it easier to compare large numbers of shootings and provide more revealing results?

Let's take another tack. Going back to the FBI testing, why did they choose to use "three-quarter inch AA fir plywood". Why not birch plywood? Why not A plywood instead of AA? The bottom line is that you have to pick something when you set up a study/test and no matter what you pick it's not going to be perfectly representative.

Even if M&S had restricted their data to ONLY heart shots, we'd have people asking if the bullet hit one of the ventricles, the atria or the large vessels at the top of the heart and explaining how different the results could be from that HUGE difference in shot placement. The point of picking a large data set is that you hope that some of the variables will average out and you'll be left with something that gives you a hint of what you're looking for.

The M&S data isn't rigorously scientific, but they never claim that it is. I think it's a mistake to read off the numbers and say that load X is better than load Y because it scores 1% (or 10% or maybe even 20%) better. It's a lot more complicated than that, especially when the sample sizes are tiny. On the other hand when you see that load X scores 40% or 50% better than load Y and both load X & Y have been used in around 1K shootings each then perhaps there's some useful information in there somewhere. Is it really 40% better? I wouldn't bet on it. But is is better? I wouldn't bet against it. ;)Abandon the a priori assumption that it is the cartridge (and a particular loading of that cartridge) that is the important factor.Is it really necessary to explain why people don't undertake the huge effort (and career risk if M&S' experiences are any judge) of a study of caliber performance with the starting assumption that caliber performance isn't an important factor?

For what it's worth, I agree heartily that caliber performance plays a MUCH smaller role in whether the opponent stops or not than most people seem to. Based on the responses I've seen on the web, I'm far more likely to err on the side of undervaluing caliber differences as a factor than overvaluing them. But I do believe that there are SOME differences and I also believe that:

1. People desperately want to quantify those differences, small though they may be.
2. People will keep trying until they quantify those differences or prove conclusively it can't be done.
3. No one is going to start a major work on caliber performance difference based on the assumption that it's pointless because caliber performance difference is not an important factor.

tipoc
July 31, 2009, 01:49 PM
The M&S data isn't rigorously scientific, but they never claim that it is. I think it's a mistake to read off the numbers and say that load X is better than load Y because it scores 1% (or 10% or maybe even 20%) better. It's a lot more complicated than that, especially when the sample sizes are tiny. On the other hand when you see that load X scores 40% or 50% better than load Y and both load X & Y have been used in around 1K shootings each then perhaps there's some useful information in there somewhere. Is it really 40% better? I wouldn't bet on it. But is is better? I wouldn't bet against it.

Here ya get to what is the only use that M&S numbers can be put...a rough comparison. Unfortunately that is not how they are presented and so not how many use the numbers. Again they are presented as hard numbers that end all debate, testing and theorizing because they are based "ON actual street results!". But unfortunately, because they are not scientific and are anecdotal they are useful for rough comparisons only. Along with data from the scientific testing of the labs and other factors they can be helpful in bullet selection.

So I agree with ya here John. M&S figures can be one factor to look at in bullet and cartridge selection. The info is not completely useless.

The tests in 10% ballistic gelatin, which use known barriers like specific types and grades of wood, sheetrock, auto glass, etc. (so that others may replicate the tests for verification purposes) are very useful in evaluating bullet performance. M&S make heavy use of them.

M&S need no defending, they are doing quite well. They are not victims here. The OSS theory, like some others before it has holes. So what?

The attempt to show, or prove, that any particular load and bullet type in a certain caliber will guarantee 94% of the time OSS with a hit anywhere to the torso is sort of a reverse quest for the holy grail. The more you look for it the further from grace one gets. If a 125 gr. .357 Magnum bullet at 1400 fps is the grail we oughta all carry that.

tipoc

DougDubya
July 31, 2009, 02:48 PM
tipoc - Marshall doesn't believe in te "one-shot stop." That's the reason why he carries three handguns and keeps a rifle within running distance.

I never cared for Sanow's writing, but he compares gelatin performance with the rough numbers he got from his study.

Everyone seems to only talk about the Holy Grail of OSS's, the 125 grain .357 Magnum SJHP, but during the 90's, the 230-grain Hydra-Shok ruled the roost as well, at 92-93% and was much gentler to shoot.

Said .45 round also ruled the roost with Fackler's testing.

To quote Marshall on his website "The One Shot Stop is a rough unit of measure, not a tactical suggestion."

tipoc
July 31, 2009, 04:34 PM
It goes without saying (or should to anyone familiar with their writings) that neither Marshal nor Sanow advocate in a defensive situation only shooting a person one time. They don't.

It's also interesting to me that over and over again in their work it's like 2 different people with different opinions on the subject are writing the same paragraph. One who believes that the OSS statistics show absolutely and beyond all doubt (their words) which rounds of what caliber will produce the best results in producing stops. The other advocating a good bullet, in a gun the shooter can handle and proper shot placement. Both names appear on the books though.

M&S recommendations closely follow that of others. This is the case and ain't accidental. As I said before a good bullet is a good bullet. The 125 gr. .357 is not the Holy Grail. As Percevel searched for the grail he was transformed by the search coming closer to grace. But the search for the magic bullet producing more stops than any other has the opposite effect on the searcher. The more they seek it the further away from knowledge the seeker grows.

tipoc

.38 Special
July 31, 2009, 08:01 PM
If I have any say in this, I'll ask the mods to kill the thread. Once again, it's degenerated into a foodfight, with at least one moderator participating in the festivities.

*sigh*

rbernie
July 31, 2009, 10:26 PM
Waitacottonpickinminnit. In your very first post, you started this thread with the following: My personal feeling is that the basic premise of Marshall and Sanow's work is sound. I cannot see any better way of testing handgun effectiveness than evaluating the results of shooting a bunch of people with various handgun rounds.
The thread then, as they do, latched onto that and off they went. I cannot fathom HOW you thought that this thread would ignore the bait that you yourself dangled in front of them. I don't think that it's appropriate for you to be actin' the role of the poor jilted thread starter when you trolled for the very reaction that you now decry.

So far, I think that everybody has been fairly well behaved, and while many folk remain in disagreement this certainly has not been a highly angst-ridden thread. Research has been cited, references given, and in general this was a fairly analytical debate (as far as these sorts of things go).

So what did you actually expect would happen here?

You asked:what is the best way to measure handgun "stopping power"?
Did you actually expect that the two established camps in this debate (borne of work spanning decades) would NOT interact but that some new, as yet unknown means of finding The Magic Chambering And Bullet would leap from these pages?

I am dumbfounded.

Nevertheless, if you want this thread closed, I am happy to close it. Just PM me and let me know.

NoAlibi
August 1, 2009, 01:31 AM
rbernie
Nevertheless, if you want this thread closed, I am happy to close it. Just PM me and let me know.


I’m fairly new to this site and I’m not really understanding your position on closing the thread at the request of the OP.

If I start a thread and it “degenerates” into a rational discussion where posters offer facts and plausible opinions and there is only a modicum of unsupported or taunting remarks, I can have the thread closed because I don’t like what has transpired?

This controversy has arisen numerous times over the years, but for me this has been one of the most enlightening discussions that I’ve heard. Has anyone noticed that the hardliners in the different camps have softened some of their rhetoric and have even conceded on some points that they were almost adamant about? I'd say some progress has been made and even though a consensus will probably not be reached - there is progress nonetheless.

Well, I haven’t made up my mind yet and I,for one, would like to see the discussion continue.

And another thing if I may - If a few hotheads get into it and become less than civil in their remarks why punish the rest of the posters and readers for the hotheads’ actions. Give them, or me if I get ornery, a “timeout”, delete or edit the posts, but don’t cut off the knowledge because of them.

Thank you for your consideration – NoAlibi

.38 Special
August 1, 2009, 01:43 AM
Rbernie, you're a significant part of the problem here. You either did not read the entirety of my opening post or chose to ignore the parts that do not support your argument.

The key bits:

"So I'm asking: what do you think is the best way to test handgun "stopping power" and why?"

and

"Please, please, please, let's not turn this into another game of junkies vs. monsters. It's old, no one cares, and it's not going to be settled on yet another internet poop-flinging contest."

Unless you and the other guilty parties can quit with the "My side is right and your side is a pack of liars" business -- not to mention the "Well, you're a troll so don't whine when we insult each other on your thread" -- I would much prefer the thread be closed.

<edit> NoAlibi makes a valid point, however. If folks are getting some use out of this thing, fine. I would just really appreciate it if we could drop the attacks on people and stick to debating the facts -- in particular, how we can improve on bullet testing methodology, rather than how stupid Fackler, Marshall, Sanow, and their mothers are.

pps
August 1, 2009, 03:11 AM
"So I'm asking: what do you think is the best way to test handgun "stopping power" and why?"

and

"Please, please, please, let's not turn this into another game of junkies vs. monsters. It's old, no one cares, and it's not going to be settled on yet another internet poop-flinging contest."

lol. All in the same breath you first ask for a poop slinging contest, then ask to not have a poop slinging contest. Then you ask the mods to lock the thread...It's like having an argument with an angry hormonal wife.:banghead:

JR47
August 1, 2009, 12:36 PM
I have to agree that posts listing "requirements" are going to be attacked for methodology.

The actual distance agreed upon for bullet performance was 8", minimum,. The FBI increased that to 12" for "obese people". The older thread has the cite for that. The rest of the FBI protocols were just as arbitrary, and not the result of "scientific consensus".

Fackler was just as guilty of ignoring physical phenomena as M&S. He could determine a neuro-electrical component to the wounding models, but, being unable to actually quantify the results, and reconcile them to his theoretical model, he chose to declare them unimportant. Today's instrumentation prove that wrong.

As far as asking one's mother for data on forensic autopsies, how is that any different that M&S? In the list of acknowledgments, beginning on page IX of their 1992 book, Handgun Stopping Power, there are a number of clinical forensic pathologists, and the labs that they work for. I would be willing to bet that even mommy couldn't equal that.

Face it, the ONLY definitive answer will come from clinical testing of subjects with their "fight-or-flight" physical reactions alerted, and quantifiable conditions imposed. However, that would seem a remote possibility in today's moral climate.

m2steven
August 1, 2009, 10:09 PM
I don't even know why this is a topic of debate. I am a smallish guy and played high school football. I've been "centered" by a 250 pound guy and flattened. I've been grazed by the same guy and kept going. The smaller the other guy, the less energy was imparted therefore less injury to me. Now, some smaller guys can tackle because of good technique. A bullet does not have any technique. It's just going to scrub off energy. The more it's able to scrub off, and the more organs and blood vessels and arteries it breaks - the more injured the person is going to be.

Therefore if you have a large caliber weapon and place your first shot properly - you'll do more damage than with the same shot with a smaller caliber - even if both shots kill the target. Death may occur before maximum damage has occured. However, if you're under stress - you may be better served by a less powerful cartridge as your next shots may be better placed.

A shoulder shot from a .22 will not disable as will a shoulder shot from a .45 auto. It can't. You have to judge same impact zone for each caliber and bullet type. In real life these studies have not been done except perhaps by the Nazis. But I can tell you that these studies don't need to be done.

The best placed highest caliber shot wins. There will be cases when the overkill factor takes over and size after a point is moot. Shoot the biggest bullet you can place into the target accurately. Obviously you can make a lousy large caliber bullet.
But if you compare apples to apples - the lousy big bullet beats the lousy small bullet.

Shoot the biggest bullet you can comfortably shoot, and shoot one designed to impart maximum energy. For me that's a 19 or 20 shot 9mm auto. Maybe a 15 shot 40 cal. But in a world full of multiple person gangs, I don't want to rely on a 7 shot
45 auto. If i'm attacked by 3 or 4 people, I want spare ammo. I don't want to rely upon myself being calm and hitting all 4 on the first shot. That being said, my favorite gun is my 1911.

Japle
August 2, 2009, 12:02 PM
Posted by tipoc
M&S recommendations closely follow that of others. This is the case and ain't accidental. As I said before a good bullet is a good bullet.

When Marshall had his own gun shop, he stated repeatedly that he'd be comfortable carrying any of the JHP ammo he had in stock.
He favors DPX, but some of his buddies, mostly current and former cops, carry 9PBLE, Gold Dots, Golden Sabres, etc. and there's no argument about which one is the best. Nobody knows. Nobody is collecting data the way he and Mas Ayoob used to.

Still, the word filters out from the big PDs and SOs and Federal agencies. Virtually everyone is happy with their issue ammo. No one I know of is carrying FMJ or SP or subsonic 9mm anymore. They've all gone to the new JHP designs. Why? Because it works. It makes the cops feel safe.
Some departments have switched from .40 to .45 or 9mm because of gun issues or to get away from the snappy recoil of the .40, but no dept has gone back to their pre-2000 ammo.

And that's one of the reasons no one is collecting data anymore. There's no point to it. All premium JHP ammo from the major companies is good. None of it is perfect. When it comes to shooting hostile humans, there are so many variables that you can't tell the difference between good loads.

John Jacobs tells a story about a Border Patrol agent who complained about the performance of the 110 gr .357 ammo he had used in a gunfight. The bullet hadn't expanded. It turnes out the bullet had gone through the perp's heavy leather belt and into his abdomen. Jacobs asked what the perp had done after being shot. "He fell down", the agent said. "He was in a lot of pain".
The bullet hadn't expanded because the hollow point was plugged with leather. It still produced a one-shot-stop. Hard to complain about that!
Now, how would you classify that shooting? Good ammo, bad placement, excellent result. Hummmmmm ..........

I'm a huge fan of the scientific method, but this is an area where it's usefulness is questionable. We have to accept that we can't accurately measure the effectivness of handgun bullets on violent humans. What we can do (and seem to have done) is design bullets that do the job really well and try to improve those designs.

BTY, I carry a Glock 19 loaded with the old standby 9PBLE.
DPX might be better, but I have a few hundred rounds of 9PBLE and I sorta doubt that anyone I shoot would be able to tell the difference. ;)

Odd Job
August 2, 2009, 12:40 PM
Doc Roberts has some really interesting wound physiology work that should be mandatory reading for anyone that claims to have an opinion in the matter. He can be found over on TacticalForums.


One small point, I do not believe he can be found there any longer. There was a small exodus from TF earlier this year (I will not go into why)
Best to look on M4carbine.net instead:

http://www.m4carbine.net/forumdisplay.php?f=91

Odd Job
August 2, 2009, 01:03 PM
So far, I think that everybody has been fairly well behaved, and while many folk remain in disagreement this certainly has not been a highly angst-ridden thread. Research has been cited, references given, and in general this was a fairly analytical debate (as far as these sorts of things go).

So what did you actually expect would happen here?

Exactly right.
We can all disagree, it is no problem. But there is no reason to close the thread (that I can see).

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