40 vs 45


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sixgun MAK
February 28, 2010, 11:56 AM
What's your opinion?

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Lonestar49
February 28, 2010, 12:03 PM
...

Can't go wrong with either choice..

OMMV,


Ls

youngda9
February 28, 2010, 12:06 PM
Hooray for caliber wars ! ! ! Let the games begin :|

xXxplosive
February 28, 2010, 12:09 PM
IMO, anything that starts with the #4 is OK.............for me though, it's the
.45ACP hands down.

Taurus_9mm
February 28, 2010, 12:25 PM
I vote both and 9mm too just to round things out. :evil:

NG VI
February 28, 2010, 12:38 PM
I tend to like the smaller grips on double-stack .40s over the double-stack .45s I have handled and fired.


I've owned more .40 (4) than .45 (1) pistols, they're both great calibers.

RyanM
February 28, 2010, 12:59 PM
.40 vs. .45... hm...

I put one round of each into my gladiatorial deathmatch arena, and they just sit there!

Motownfire
February 28, 2010, 01:24 PM
I prefer the .40S&W, but that's only my opinion. The reason I went with it is because that's what all the cops I work with are issued and they all had good things to say about it. The 45 is a great proven round also. You can't go wrong either way.

19-3Ben
February 28, 2010, 01:28 PM
I put one round of each into my gladiatorial deathmatch arena, and they just sit there!

Don't be too impatient. They are sizing each other up, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

19-3Ben
February 28, 2010, 01:30 PM
Ok. To give a real reply, I like .40 more for 2 reasons:

1) Much cheaper so I can practice more.
2) Better capacity.

But .45 is a fantastic, time tested round that can do very well at just about anything you really want it to do.

Gouranga
February 28, 2010, 02:10 PM
Both rounds will put a serious hurt on someone and you cannot argue with their popularity. Personally, I prefer the 40 ONLY because of the greater capacity and lower cost.

BsChoy
February 28, 2010, 02:47 PM
I just heard from one of the guys I work with that the FBI just did some re-evaluations on calibers using modern JHP ammunition. They found very little discernable difference in the on target effects. Shoot someone in the boiler room and they theoretically should go down without issue no matter what caliber you use of the 3 or 4 popular SD rounds.

djardine
February 28, 2010, 03:09 PM
I too like the .40 for more capacity and cheaper rounds. Around here, .45 ammo is roughly $18-19 a box and .40 is $12-13. I just finished watching "Best Defense" on the outdoor channel and their test of the two rounds convinced me that the .40 is plenty powerful for home defense, and for law enforcement purposes. Just my 2 cents

KevinR
February 28, 2010, 07:44 PM
40 you are looking at 1200fps@ 500Ftlbs

45 you are looking at 950fps@ 375Ftlbs

Its just me! and I dont meen to insult anybody! but I personally think the 45 is painfully slow and underpowered. :what:

SOCO
February 28, 2010, 08:04 PM
I was on the fence between 9mm and 45 ACP ... so I went with the 40 S&W as a nice medium. Plus, the fact that the Glock 27 was the same size as the Glock 26 sold me on the .40.

LeontheProfessional
February 28, 2010, 08:10 PM
I go with the 40 just because it is cheaper and greater capacity. The 45 is a good hard hitting round that has been around for a very long time. Sure the 45 has less energy but it has more momentum than the 40.

-v-
February 28, 2010, 08:26 PM
10mm Auto. Lets be real, both of those rounds are weak medicine in comparison.

Stevepwns
February 28, 2010, 08:42 PM
I like my 40, itts cheaper, has better velocity and in most cases ( for home defence) most shots are taken within 20 feet. At that range a 40 will do more than enough damage.

lilidiot
February 28, 2010, 08:53 PM
Yawn......When the military switches to .40 I will be impressed, I think. They are in the business of killing people and the 1 mm difference doesn't seem to mean squat! They already abandoned the .45 as useless.

You boys work it out what you want to use punching holes in paper.

okespe04
February 28, 2010, 08:54 PM
I don't know why but I have never been able to shoot .40 well. I stick with 9mm, .45acp. .380 Auto, and .357.

NG VI
February 28, 2010, 09:22 PM
lilmf that's a terrible way to pick cartridges.

FWIW, the military also picks the worst possible ammunition for pistols available, because it is cheap, a known quantity, and possibly silly treaties we never signed.

abuelo
February 28, 2010, 09:24 PM
Actually if you average out the ballistics for the two rounds ( not just looking at the best load for either calliber) They actually come out very close to the same.. The 40 operates at higher pressures and also tends to have more snappy recoil.

Airburst
February 28, 2010, 09:53 PM
-v-
10mm Auto. Lets be real, both of those rounds are weak medicine in comparison. tee hee hee.

duns
February 28, 2010, 10:05 PM
The caliber question is confounded by the large number of different bullet designs and cartridge loadings available. As far as I can make out, 9mm, .,40, and .45 are all about the same in self-defense effectiveness. I have a hunch that the increased shootability of the 9mm makes it the best choice.

Boats
February 28, 2010, 10:42 PM
.45ACP for big bores, 9mm for capacity. The .40S&W brings nothing to the table. The .45ACP has better shooting characteristics in terms of recoil impulse and the biggest practical projectile going in autos. The 9mm trumps it on capacity, shoots faster shot to shot, and performs just as well on everything but automobile glass--which is not an everyday concern of mine.

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 28, 2010, 10:51 PM
The caliber question is confounded by the large number of different bullet designs and cartridge loadings available. As far as I can make out, 9mm, .,40, and .45 are all about the same in self-defense effectiveness. I have a hunch that the increased shootability of the 9mm makes it the best choice.

This. 60 years ago when everyone was using FMJ, I can see why a bigger bullet diameter would be the better choice. But this is 2010. Modern JHP rounds have basically evened out the terminal ballistics of the three calibers. When you really boil it down, all three main calibers, .45 .40 and 9mm, when using modern bullet designs, have pretty much the same effect on human tissue. So how do we decide what to use? Well it seems to be the round that offers the greatest capacity and the lowest recoil would be preferable.

Demitrios
March 1, 2010, 12:40 PM
Ryan M says: .40 vs. .45... hm...

I put one round of each into my gladiatorial deathmatch arena, and they just sit there!

I just pictured this when you said that. Pardon the crudeness.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b22/DemitriosX/40SWvs45ACP.jpg

REAPER4206969
March 1, 2010, 12:57 PM
Yawn......When the military switches to .40 I will be impressed, I think.
The U.S. coast guard has switched to .40, and there are reports of CAG ("DELTA") using Glock 22's. Not that it matters...

Strahley
March 1, 2010, 01:00 PM
Whichever you shoot better and fits in your budget

03Shadowbob
March 1, 2010, 01:16 PM
40 you are looking at 1200fps@ 500Ftlbs

45 you are looking at 950fps@ 375Ftlbs

Its just me! and I dont meen to insult anybody! but I personally think the 45 is painfully slow and underpowered

My .45 carry ammo is usually Corbon DPX 185gr +P that travels at 1075 fps with 475ft/lbs.

NMGonzo
March 1, 2010, 01:30 PM
cost and availability

a 1911 in .40 would be my holy grial

NMGonzo
March 1, 2010, 01:40 PM
The .40S&W brings nothing to the table.

People that think that leave keep the prices of .40 low and availability high.

Thanks!!

UpTheIrons
March 1, 2010, 01:45 PM
What's your opinion?

Yes!

easyg
March 1, 2010, 01:53 PM
.40 vs the .45

You can't go wrong either way.


I prefer the .40 because I can shoot it from a 9mm size pistol.
Most .45 pistols that I have fired are just too fat in the grip or they lacking in magazine capacity.

ArmedBear
March 1, 2010, 02:41 PM
Modern JHP rounds have basically evened out the terminal ballistics of the three calibers

BS

If the JHP has improved the 9mm greatly (it has), then the same bullet design has improved the .45 by just as much.

Bullet technology may have made the modern 9mm JHP preferable to the FMJ .45 Ball round for many applications (problems have been noted if your attacker is wearing heavy clothing and turn the JHP into a FMJ for all intents and purposes). It has also elevated the 9mm above the threshold for a good defensive "stopper."

However, a 230 grain .45 JHP is still going to have more of an effect on human tissue than a 115 grain 9mm JHP.

The reality is that every handgun round -- every firearm cartridge, actually -- is a compromise between size, weight, recoil, practical accuracy, and effectiveness. If effectiveness were the only variable to consider, we'd all be carrying .45-70 BFRs.

REAPER4206969
March 1, 2010, 02:48 PM
However, a 230 grain .45 JHP is still going to have more of an effect on human tissue than a 115 grain 9mm JHP.
But not enough to over come the other advantages of the 9x19mm.

hillbillydelux
March 1, 2010, 02:53 PM
- .45 will blow your arm clean off but is so slow you can dodge the bullet. and 8 rounds will never be enough if the appocylipse happens on your morning drive to work.

- 9mm will just zip right through someone and kill 5 innocent bystanders on the way. but the person you actually shot at will only get mad and take your gun and beat you with it because it is such an innefective round. And all that ammo you can stuff in a mag is only good for pray and spray.

- .40 is a worthless compromise that will never rival the massive and all powerfull 10mm. But since its the only handgun I own then it must be 100% more effective than 9mm or .45

I think this will sum up the rest of the thread:neener:

Air,Land&Sea
March 1, 2010, 03:09 PM
Why are you assuming that an apocalypse is a bad thing? That completely distorts the discussion.

SsevenN
March 1, 2010, 04:11 PM
As others have said, all modern SD handgun calibers perform the same, with negligibile differences, if you want to understand why this is, read through this...

http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm

Here's a very short snip...

The important question to be asked, of course, is: What makes a good self-defense load?

The answer to that question is that ammo should meet the FBI's requirement of:
1) at least 12" of penetration in properly prepared ballistic gelatin/soft tissue, and
2) expand to the largest diameter possible in order to cause the largest possible wound.

While some people question the 12" penetration limit, it is not subject to discussion in this article. The FBI is deemed to be more knowledgeable than most, and it is backed up my Dr. Martin Fackler and others who have spent their life discussing the subject. Duncan McPherson, in his book "Bullet Penetration: Modeling the Dynamics and the Incapacitation Resulting from Wound Trauma" actually argues that 15" is not an unrealistic requirement a bullet should obtain. He does point out, however, that 11.5" of penetration shouldn't completely disqualify a bullet from being acceptable either. While 12" should be a minimum requirement, 18" is the approximate maximum desired penetration depth. Beyond that, and the bullet is likely to exit the intended target and retain enough energy to cause others harm if a person should be in the line of fire. Obviously you should never take the shot if you're not sure of what's beyond your target and rely on your ammunition to do your job of being prudent.

I will briefly point out that the 12" penetration requirement stems from the fact that not all shots are frontal-torso shots. Many times the bullet must penetrate significantly more tissue, such as when the person being shot has his arms extended in front of him, if the shot is at an oblique angle, etc. You choose ammunition based on a worst-case scenario, not the best.

pingpingping
March 1, 2010, 04:15 PM
I wish 9mm were more the size of a .45.

easyg
March 1, 2010, 04:32 PM
all modern SD handgun calibers perform the same, with negligibile differences
Real life shootings contradict this notion.

SsevenN
March 1, 2010, 04:52 PM
easyg, review the material I posted. The quantifiable differences between 9, 40, and 45 are minimal to the point of being obsolete when deciding on caliber. There are many other factors, that actually have a discernable effect in a shootout, mostly related to depth of penetration. Once again, take a second to peruse the material at your leisure.

LeontheProfessional
March 1, 2010, 05:05 PM
When looking at the differences between the three rounds many people like to quote examples from Iraq, Vietnam, WWII etc. These examples don't really matter because the military only uses FMJs

Wishoot
March 1, 2010, 05:11 PM
.22 lr

Just to be a jerk.

REAPER4206969
March 1, 2010, 05:15 PM
Real life shootings contradict this notion.
Real life shooting results are meaningless.

ArmedBear
March 1, 2010, 05:31 PM
the other advantages of the 9x19mm

Which are what?

Real life shooting results are meaningless.

LOL

REAPER4206969
March 1, 2010, 05:36 PM
Which are what?
Higher capacity/smaller/lighter pistol size/less recoil/lower cost/higher availability. All while providing almost equal terminal ballistics.

LOL
You will lose that debate.

ArmedBear
March 1, 2010, 05:44 PM
Higher capacity/smaller/lighter pistol size/less recoil/lower cost/higher availability. All while providing almost equal terminal ballistics.

The problem is that almost none of the above are true. I shoot a 13+1 shot .45, and it's very comfortable and easy to shoot rapidly. It fits in the same holster as the 9mm version of the gun. This isn't 1988, and you're not looking at 15+1 for a relatively light 9mm vs. 7+1 for a heavy .45.

WRT lower cost, I don't know a serious auto pistol sport shooter who doesn't load his own, or a defensive pistol application where I give a crap whether a round costs me $.25 or $.50.

My life vs. a dollar. Hmmmm... YMMV of course.

Availability? In Iraq, sure. I'm not in Iraq.

And if you think that 17 rounds vs. 14 makes a bigger difference than a more effective round, you either need target practice, or to quit the Rambo fantasies.

Almost equal terminal performance? Again, only if you believe that real-world shooting results are meaningless. Personally, think that real-world shooting results are, well, the whole point of having a gun for defense or hunting, but I certainly see people at the range who seem not to think that making noise is more important than hitting anything...:p

You will lose that debate.

Only in front of a panel of complete idiots.

Read your statement again. Try reading it aloud to yourself and listening.:D

oasis618
March 1, 2010, 05:49 PM
Real life shooting results are meaningless.

I thought real life shooting results were the point...?

LeontheProfessional
March 1, 2010, 06:07 PM
The reason real life shooting results may not be meaning full is that there are usually too many unknowns to know for sure. This is why testing in ballistics gelatin has its place. Now that does not mean that repeated real life results are less meaningful.

easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca
March 1, 2010, 06:08 PM
So now it is the big .40 vs .45 debate:

Have both, definitely prefer shooting the 45.

However, 40 brass is more plentiful....infinitely more plentiful where I live.

So shooting the 40 is cheaper for more practice....I need the practice because my Norkie NP58 Sig clone in 40 recoils harder than my GP100 with full power 357s.

Both are accurate enough to 15 meters, but beyond that, I have a problem with the shorter sight radius of the Sig clone in 40...not the caliber's fault.

Quick double taps are fine with 45 in 1911s, next to impossible with me shooting the 40 in the Sig clone. I'm talking major power factor ammo.

ArmedBear
March 1, 2010, 06:13 PM
Now that does not mean that repeated real life results are less meaningful.


Bingo.

Also, we're talking about comparative results here, too.

9mm is, on average, much more effective than it used to be, with modern bullets. But so is .45 ACP, and a 230 grain bullet still weighs more and retains more momentum in the target than a 115 grain bullet does, and .45" is still bigger than .35".

.40 S&W is a different story... Some .45 ACP rounds shoot similar bullet weights at lower speed with slightly larger diameter, which means inferior penetration with a bullet that's light for the caliber. I suspect that .40 S&W shooting heavy bullets might well be more effective than .45 ACP shooting light ones. I have never seen any sense in <200 grain bullets with a .45, and my defensive load uses 230 pre-cut JHP bullets with +P loadings.

Deanimator
March 1, 2010, 06:15 PM
.45 in single column autos and revolvers, .40 in double column autos.

.45 is just too big for a double column auto for me.

dg12
March 1, 2010, 08:48 PM
Pay attention V, what was the question posed? Start another thread pertaining to 10mm. Let's get back to 40 <> 45

I shoot both, 40 is fasterwhich makes a huge diffrence in fatality. The FBI and the 2 guys who corroborated with them, examined many corpses and found the 40 and excellent round.

Like BsChoy stated, these 2 guys determined HP's were not as relevant as previously thought.

.45's are good rounds for defense too especially if you find good choice ammo.

Full Metal Jacket
March 1, 2010, 09:08 PM
both are effective stoppers with quality jhp's. it basically comes down to what you prefer to shoot & what capacity your prefer: a snappy 40cal with more rounds, or a 45 where the recoil is more of push, and therefore more pleasurable to shoot for most.

easyg
March 1, 2010, 10:20 PM
easyg, review the material I posted. The quantifiable differences between 9, 40, and 45 are minimal to the point of being obsolete when deciding on caliber.
Despite the material you posted (which I have seen before now), there is no getting around the fact that the 9mm does not enjoy the reputation as a superior self defense caliber....at least not when compared to the .40 and the .45, or the .357 magnum.



Real life shooting results are meaningless.
If you truly believe this statement, then I guess there's just no point debating the matter with you further.
Needless to say, I could not disagree more.

REAPER4206969
March 1, 2010, 10:33 PM
If you truly believe this statement, then I guess there's just no point debating the matter with you further.
Bring it.

CHEVELLE427
March 1, 2010, 10:39 PM
:rolleyes:love my xd45 tactical and the 1911 but my xdsc40 conceals better

when a xdsc45acp comes out i will carry one

easyg
March 1, 2010, 10:40 PM
Real life shooting results are meaningless.
Bring it.
Against my better judgement, I just have to ask....

So, you really believe that how effective a caliber is, when actually used against live humans, is "meaningless"???

RP88
March 1, 2010, 10:45 PM
40 you are looking at 1200fps@ 500Ftlbs

45 you are looking at 950fps@ 375Ftlbs

Its just me! and I dont meen to insult anybody! but I personally think the 45 is painfully slow and underpowered.

compare both when using the control of one company and one bullet design (ex: compare two PMC loads of common grain-sized bullets) and you'll see that the .45 is about even with or above the .40 in terms of energy.

It really does come down to cost and size

REAPER4206969
March 1, 2010, 10:51 PM
So, you really believe that how effective a caliber is, when actually used against live humans, is "meaningless"???
Yes...

bds
March 1, 2010, 10:56 PM
Easy answer - I shoot both. :D

Like both for ease of reloading and plenty good for stopping power.

Thanks to California laws, both of my 40 and 45 compacts have 10 rounds - so no round count advantage either.

Ragnar Danneskjold
March 1, 2010, 10:57 PM
This all assume you hit what you're shooting at with every round you fire. Which if one looks at most shootings, is woefully overconfident.

Confederate
March 1, 2010, 11:43 PM
I don't have any experience with the .40, but I've heard from federal agents that they were a disappointment -- not that it's a bad caliber, but that it failed to live up to expectations.

The whole idea was to develop a semi-auto round that would be the semi-auto version of the venerable .357 magnum. The round would be fast, have a flatter trajectory and put people down with one well-placed shot. Alas, the "perfect storm" of the .357 was a bit elusive in this case. One agent bemoaned the fact that a 40-year old woman took one hit center mass with a .40S&W and didn't go down immediately. She had to be shot again to put her down, and this dampened a lot of expectations. Yes, no round is wholly effective, but this certainly wasn't a .357 125gr JHP!

Even so, I think I'd prefer a .40 over a .45 ACP, all things being equal. Ammo is lighter and you can probably get another round or two into a magazine. As good as the .357 is, the recoil and blast can be difficult to master, and it's unlikely that anyone will ever get an auto round that will equal the 125gr JHP. The 10mm, in my opinion, would come pretty close, but it just didn't get the recognition it deserved.

I had a friend who shot a Moro square in the chest with a .45 as he (my friend) waded ashore in the Philippines just days after MacArthur. The attack was sudden and totally unexpected. It didn't even slow the guy down. The gun malfunctioned, but he used the muzzle of the gun to bring the fight to an end, but at that moment he lost all faith in the .45. I explained that no handgun can stop people 100 percent of the time, and that both the guns and ammunition have seen significant improvements, yet he wouldn't hear any of it. In short, opinions vary.

I'd use either caliber without hesitation. I don't have a .40S&W, but I have several .45s and 9mm pistols. In my .45s, I prefer the 185gr JHP over the heavier bullets. The 185gr JHPs have an excellent reputation, especially the +Ps. All these calibers are outstanding, though, and I'd love to have a .40, but ammunition is just too expensive to invest in a new one.

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/SW645.jpg

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/4506_fired.jpg

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/SW457_2.jpg

REAPER4206969
March 1, 2010, 11:49 PM
U.S. Department of Justice
Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness
Special Agent UREY W. PATRICK

FIREARMS TRAINING UNIT
FBI ACADEMY
QUANTICO, VIRGINIA

July 14, 1989
Introduction
The handgun is the primary weapon in law enforcement. It is the one weapon any officer or agent can be expected to have available whenever needed. Its purpose is to apply deadly force to not only protect the life of the officer and the lives of others, but to prevent serious physical harm to them as well.1 When an officer shoots a subject, it is done with the explicit intention of immediately incapacitating that subject in order to stop whatever threat to life or physical safety is posed by the subject. Immediate incapacitation is defined as the sudden2 physical or mental inability to pose any further risk or injury to others.
The concept of immediate incapacitation is the only goal of any law enforcement shooting and is the underlying rationale for decisions regarding weapons, ammunition, calibers and training. While this concept is subject to conflicting theories, widely held misconceptions, and varied opinions generally distorted by personal experiences, it is critical to the analysis and selection of weapons, ammunition and calibers for use by law enforcement officers.3,4



Tactical Realities
Shot placement is an important, and often cited, consideration regarding the suitability of weapons and ammunition. However, considerations of caliber are equally important and cannot be ignored. For example, a bullet through the central nervous system with any caliber of ammunition is likely to be immediately incapacitating.5 Even a .22 rimfire penetrating the brain will cause immediate incapacitation in most cases. Obviously, this does not mean the law enforcement agency should issue .22 rimfires and train for head shots as the primary target. The realities of shooting incidents prohibit such a solution.





Few, if any, shooting incidents will present the officer with an opportunity to take a careful, precisely aimed shot at the subject's head. Rather, shootings are characterized by their sudden, unexpected occurrence; by rapid and unpredictable movement of both officer and adversary; by limited and partial target opportunities; by poor light and unforeseen obstacles; and by the life or death stress of sudden, close, personal violence. Training is quite properly oriented towards "center of mass" shooting. That is to say, the officer is trained to shoot at the center of whatever is presented for a target. Proper shot placement is a hit in the center of that part of the adversary which is presented, regardless of anatomy or angle.
A review of law enforcement shootings clearly suggests that regardless of the number of rounds fired in a shooting, most of the time only one or two solid torso hits on the adversary can be expected. This expectation is realistic because of the nature of shooting incidents and the extreme difficulty of shooting a handgun with precision under such dire conditions. The probability of multiple hits with a handgun is not high. Experienced officers implicitly recognize that fact, and when potential violence is reasonably anticipated, their preparations are characterized by obtaining as many shoulder weapons as possible. Since most shootings are not anticipated, the officer involved cannot be prepared in advance with heavier armament. As a corollary tactical principle, no law enforcement officer should ever plan to meet an expected attack armed only with a handgun.
The handgun is the primary weapon for defense against unexpected attack. Nevertheless, a majority of shootings occur in manners and circumstances in which the officer either does not have any other weapon available, or cannot get to it. The handgun must be relied upon, and must prevail. Given the idea that one or two torso hits can be reasonably expected in a handgun shooting incident, the ammunition used must maximize the likelihood of immediate incapacitation.





Mechanics of Projectile Wounding
In order to predict the likelihood of incapacitation with any handgun round, an understanding of the mechanics of wounding is necessary. There are four components of projectile wounding.6 Not all of these components relate to incapacitation, but each of them must be considered. They are:
Penetration. The tissue through which the projectile passes, and which it disrupts or destroys.
Permanent Cavity. The volume of space once occupied by tissue that has been destroyed by the passage of the projectile. This is a function of penetration and the frontal area of the projectile. Quite simply, it is the hole left by the passage of the bullet.
Temporary Cavity. The expansion of the permanent cavity by stretching due to the transfer of kinetic energy during the projectile's passage.
Fragmentation. Projectile pieces or secondary fragments of bone which are impelled outward from the permanent cavity and may sever muscle tissues, blood vessels, etc., apart from the permanent cavity.7,8 Fragmentation is not necessarily present in every projectile wound. It may, or may not, occur and can be considered a secondary effect.9
Projectiles incapacitate by damaging or destroying the central nervous system, or by causing lethal blood loss. To the extent the wound components cause or increase the effects of these two mechanisms, the likelihood of incapacitation increases. Because of the impracticality of training for head shots, this examination of handgun wounding relative to law enforcement use is focused upon torso wounds and the probable results.
Mechanics of Handgun Wounding
All handgun wounds will combine the components of penetration, permanent cavity, and temporary cavity to a greater or lesser degree. Fragmentation, on the other hand, does not reliably occur in handgun wounds due to the relatively low velocities of handgun bullets. Fragmentation occurs reliably in high velocity projectile wounds (impact velocity in excess of 2000 feet per second) inflicted by soft or hollow point bullets.10 In such a case, the permanent cavity is stretched so far, and so fast, that tearing and rupturing can occur in tissues surrounding the wound channel which were weakened by fragmentation damage.11,12 It can significantly increase damage13 in rifle bullet wounds.





Since the highest handgun velocities generally do not exceed 1400-1500 feet per second (fps) at the muzzle, reliable fragmentation could only be achieved by constructing a bullet so frangible as to eliminate any reasonable penetration. Unfortunately, such a bullet will break up too fast to penetrate to vital organs. The best example is the Glaser Safety Slug, a projectile designed to break up on impact and generate a large but shallow temporary cavity. Fackler, when asked to estimate the survival time of someone shot in the front mid-abdomen with a Glaser slug, responded, "About three days, and the cause of death would be peritonitis."14
In cases where some fragmentation has occurred in handgun wounds, the bullet fragments are generally found within one centimeter of the permanent cavity. "The velocity of pistol bullets, even of the new high-velocity loadings, is insufficient to cause the shedding of lead fragments seen with rifle bullets."15 It is obvious that any additional wounding effect caused by such fragmentation in a handgun wound is inconsequential.






Of the remaining factors, temporary cavity is frequently, and grossly, overrated as a wounding factor when analyzing wounds.16 Nevertheless, historically it has been used in some cases as the primary means of assessing the wounding effectiveness of bullets.
The most notable example is the Relative Incapacitation Index (RII) which resulted from a study of handgun effectiveness sponsored by the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA). In this study, the assumption was made that the greater the temporary cavity, the greater the wounding effect of the round. This assumption was based on a prior assumption that the tissue bounded by the temporary cavity was damaged or destroyed.17





In the LEAA study, virtually every handgun round available to law enforcement was tested. The temporary cavity was measured, and the rounds were ranked based on the results. The depth of penetration and the permanent cavity were ignored. The result according to the RII is that a bullet which causes a large but shallow temporary cavity is a better incapacitater than a bullet which causes a smaller temporary cavity with deep penetration.



Such conclusions ignore the factors of penetration and permanent cavity. Since vital organs are located deep within the body, it should be obvious that to ignore penetration and permanent cavity is to ignore the only proven means of damaging or disrupting vital organs.
Further, the temporary cavity is caused by the tissue being stretched away from the permanent cavity, not being destroyed. By definition, a cavity is a space18 in which nothing exists. A temporary cavity is only a temporary space caused by tissue being pushed aside. That same space then disappears when the tissue returns to its original configuration.
Frequently, forensic pathologists cannot distinguish the wound track caused by a hollow point bullet (large temporary cavity) from that caused by a solid bullet (very small temporary cavity). There may be no physical difference in the wounds. If there is no fragmentation, remote damage due to temporary cavitation may be minor even with high velocity rifle projectiles.19 Even those who have espoused the significance of temporary cavity agree that it is not a factor in handgun wounds:




"In the case of low-velocity missiles, e.g., pistol bullets, the bullet produces a direct path of destruction with very little lateral extension within the surrounding tissues. Only a small temporary cavity is produced. To cause significant injuries to a structure, a pistol bullet must strike that structure directly. The amount of kinetic energy lost in tissue by a pistol bullet is insufficient to cause remote injuries produced by a high velocity rifle bullet."20
The reason is that most tissue in the human target is elastic in nature. Muscle, blood vessels, lung, bowels, all are capable of substantial stretching with minimal damage. Studies have shown that the outward velocity of the tissues in which the temporary cavity forms is no more than one tenth of the velocity of the projectile.21 This is well within the elasticity limits of tissue such as muscle, blood vessels, and lungs, Only inelastic tissue like liver, or the extremely fragile tissues of the brain, would show significant damage due to temporary cavitation.22
The tissue disruption caused by a handgun bullet is limited to two mechanisms. The first, or crush mechanism is the hole the bullet makes passing through the tissue. The second, or stretch mechanism is the temporary cavity formed by the tissues being driven outward in a radial direction away from the path of the bullet. Of the two, the crush mechanism, the result of penetration and permanent cavity, is the only handgun wounding mechanism which damages tissue.23 To cause significant injuries to a structure within the body using a handgun, the bullet must penetrate the structure. Temporary cavity has no reliable wounding effect in elastic body tissues. Temporary cavitation is nothing more than a stretch of the tissues, generally no larger than 10 times the bullet diameter (in handgun calibers), and elastic tissues sustain little, if any, residual damage.24,25,26





The Human Target
With the exceptions of hits to the brain or upper spinal cord, the concept of reliable and reproducible immediate incapacitation of the human target by gunshot wounds to the torso is a myth.27 The human target is a complex and durable one. A wide variety of psychological, physical, and physiological factors exist, all of them pertinent to the probability of incapacitation. However, except for the location of the wound and the amount of tissue destroyed, none of the factors are within the control of the law enforcement officer.




Physiologically, a determined adversary can be stopped reliably and immediately only by a shot that disrupts the brain or upper spinal cord. Failing a hit to the central nervous system, massive bleeding from holes in the heart or major blood vessels of the torso causing circulatory collapse is the only other way to force incapacitation upon an adversary, and this takes time. For example, there is sufficient oxygen within the brain to support full, voluntary action for 10-15 seconds after the heart has been destroyed.28
In fact, physiological factors may actually play a relatively minor role in achieving rapid incapacitation. Barring central nervous system hits, there is no physiological reason for an individual to be incapacitated by even a fatal wound, until blood loss is sufficient to drop blood pressure and/or the brain is deprived of oxygen. The effects of pain, which could contribute greatly to incapacitation, are commonly delayed in the aftermath of serious injury such as a gunshot wound. The body engages survival patterns, the well known "fight or flight" syndrome. Pain is irrelevant to survival and is commonly suppressed until some time later. In order to be a factor, pain must first be perceived, and second must cause an emotional response. In many individuals, pain is ignored even when perceived, or the response is anger and increased resistance, not surrender.




Psychological factors are probably the most important relative to achieving rapid incapacitation from a gunshot wound to the torso. Awareness of the injury (often delayed by the suppression of pain); fear of injury, death, blood, or pain; intimidation by the weapon or the act of being shot; preconceived notions of what people do when they are shot; or the simple desire to quit can all lead to rapid incapacitation even from minor wounds. However, psychological factors are also the primary cause of incapacitation failures.




The individual may be unaware of the wound and thus has no stimuli to force a reaction. Strong will, survival instinct, or sheer emotion such as rage or hate can keep a grievously injured individual fighting, as is common on the battlefield and in the street. The effects of chemicals can be powerful stimuli preventing incapacitation. Adrenaline alone can be sufficient to keep a mortally wounded adversary functioning. Stimulants, anesthetics, pain killers, or tranquilizers can all prevent incapacitation by suppressing pain, awareness of the injury, or eliminating any concerns over the injury. Drugs such as cocaine, PCP, and heroin are disassociative in nature. One of their effects is that the individual "exists" outside of his body. He sees and experiences what happens to his body, but as an outside observer who can be unaffected by it yet continue to use the body as a tool for fighting or resisting.





Psychological factors such as energy deposit, momentum transfer, size of temporary cavity or calculations such as the RII are irrelevant or erroneous. The impact of the bullet upon the body is no more than the recoil of the weapon. The ratio of bullet mass to target mass is too extreme.
The often referred to "knock-down power" implies the ability of a bullet to move its target. This is nothing more than momentum of the bullet. It is the transfer of momentum that will cause a target to move in response to the blow received. "Isaac Newton proved this to be the case mathematically in the 17th Century, and Benjamin Robins verified it experimentally through the invention and use of the ballistic pendulum to determine muzzle velocity by measurement of the pendulum motion."29




Goddard amply proves the fallacy of "knock-down power" by calculating the heights (and resultant velocities) from which a one pound weight and a ten pound weight must be dropped to equal the momentum of 9mm and .45ACP projectiles at muzzle velocities, respectively. The results are revealing. In order to equal the impact of a 9mm bullet at its muzzle velocity, a one pound weight must be dropped from a height of 5.96 feet, achieving a velocity of 19.6 fps. To equal the impact of a .45ACP bullet, the one pound weight needs a velocity of 27.1 fps and must be dropped from a height of 11.4 feet. A ten pound weight equals the impact of a 9mm bullet when dropped from a height of 0.72 inches (velocity attained is 1.96 fps), and equals the impact of a .45 when dropped from 1.37 inches (achieving a velocity of 2.71 fps).30





A bullet simply cannot knock a man down. If it had the energy to do so, then equal energy would be applied against the shooter and he too would be knocked down. This is simple physics, and has been known for hundreds of years.31 The amount of energy deposited in the body by a bullet is approximately equivalent to being hit with a baseball.32 Tissue damage is the only physical link to incapacitation within the desired time frame, i.e., instantaneously.





The human target can be reliably incapacitated only by disrupting or destroying the brain or upper spinal cord. Absent that, incapacitation is subject to a host of variables, the most important of which are beyond the control of the shooter. Incapacitation becomes an eventual event, not necessarily an immediate one. If the psychological factors which can contribute to incapacitation are present, even a minor wound can be immediately incapacitating. If they are not present, incapacitation can be significantly delayed even with major, unsurvivable wounds.
Field results are a collection of individualistic reactions on the part of each person shot which can be analyzed and reported as percentages. However, no individual responds as a percentage, but as an all or none phenomenon which the officer cannot possibly predict, and which may provide misleading data upon which to predict ammunition performance......

REAPER4206969
March 1, 2010, 11:52 PM
Ammunition Selection Criteria
The critical wounding components for handgun ammunition, in order of importance, are penetration and permanent cavity.33 The bullet must penetrate sufficiently to pass through vital organs and be able to do so from less than optimal angles. For example, a shot from the side through an arm must penetrate at least 10-12 inches to pass through the heart. A bullet fired from the front through the abdomen must penetrate about 7 inches in a slender adult just to reach the major blood vessels in the back of the abdominal cavity. Penetration must be sufficiently deep to reach and pass through vital organs, and the permanent cavity must be large enough to maximize tissue destruction and consequent hemorrhaging.
Several design approaches have been made in handgun ammunition which are intended to increase the wounding effectiveness of the bullet. Most notable of these is the use of a hollow point bullet designed to expand on impact.





Expansion accomplishes several things. On the positive side, it increases the frontal area of the bullet and thereby increases the amount of tissue disintegrated in the bullet's path. On the negative side, expansion limits penetration. It can prevent the bullet from penetrating to vital organs, especially if the projectile is of relatively light mass and the penetration must be through several inches of fat, muscle, or clothing.34




Increased bullet mass will increase penetration. Increased velocity will increase penetration but only until the bullet begins to deform, at which point increased velocity decreases penetration. Permanent cavity can be increased by the use of expanding bullets, and/or larger diameter bullets, which have adequate penetration. However, in no case should selection of a bullet be made where bullet expansion is necessary to achieve desired performance.35 Handgun bullets expand in the human target only 60-70% of the time at best. Damage to the hollow point by hitting bone, glass, or other intervening obstacles can prevent expansion. Clothing fibers can wrap the nose of the bullet in a cocoon like manner and prevent expansion. Insufficient impact velocity caused by short barrels and/or longer range will prevent expansion, as will simple manufacturing variations. Expansion must never be the basis for bullet selection, but considered a bonus when, and if, it occurs. Bullet selection should be determined based on penetration first, and the unexpanded diameter of the bullet second, as that is all the shooter can reliably expect.




It is essential to bear in mind that the single most critical factor remains penetration. While penetration up to 18 inches is preferable, a handgun bullet MUST reliably penetrate 12 inches of soft body tissue at a minimum, regardless of whether it expands or not. If the bullet does not reliably penetrate to these depths, it is not an effective bullet for law enforcement use.36





Given adequate penetration, a larger diameter bullet will have an edge in wounding effectiveness. It will damage a blood vessel the smaller projectile barely misses. The larger permanent cavity may lead to faster blood loss. Although such an edge clearly exists, its significance cannot be quantified.
An issue that must be addressed is the fear of over penetration widely expressed on the part of law enforcement. The concern that a bullet would pass through the body of a subject and injure an innocent bystander is clearly exaggerated. Any review of law enforcement shootings will reveal that the great majority of shots fired by officers do not hit any subjects at all. It should be obvious that the relatively few shots that do hit a subject are not somehow more dangerous to bystanders than the shots that miss the subject entirely.




Also, a bullet that completely penetrates a subject will give up a great deal of energy doing so. The skin on the exit side of the body is tough and flexible. Experiments have shown that it has the same resistance to bullet passage as approximately four inches of muscle tissue.37
Choosing a bullet because of relatively shallow penetration will seriously compromise weapon effectiveness, and needlessly endanger the lives of the law enforcement officers using it. No law enforcement officer has lost his life because a bullet over penetrated his adversary, and virtually none have ever been sued for hitting an innocent bystander through an adversary. On the other hand, tragically large numbers of officers have been killed because their bullets did not penetrate deeply enough.





The Allure of Shooting Incident Analysis
There is no valid, scientific analysis of actual shooting results in existence, or being pursued to date. It is an unfortunate vacuum because a wealth of data exists, and new data is being sadly generated every day. There are some well publicized, so called analyses of shooting incidents being promoted, however, they are greatly flawed. Conclusions are reached based on samples so small that they are meaningless. The author of one, for example, extols the virtues of his favorite cartridge because he has collected ten cases of one shot stops with it.38 Preconceived notions are made the basic assumptions on which shootings are categorized. Shooting incidents are selectively added to the "data base" with no indication of how many may have been passed over or why. There is no correlation between hits, results, and the location of the hits upon vital organs.





It would be interesting to trace a life-sized anatomical drawing on the back of a target, fire 20 rounds at the "center of mass" of the front, then count how many of these optimal, center of mass hits actually struck the heart, aorta, vena cava, or liver.39 It is rapid hemorrhage from these organs that will best increase the likelihood of incapacitation. Yet nowhere in the popular press extolling these studies of real shootings are we told what the bullets hit.



These so called studies are further promoted as being somehow better and more valid than the work being done by trained researchers, surgeons and forensic labs. They disparage laboratory stuff, claiming that the "street" is the real laboratory and their collection of results from the street is the real measure of caliber effectiveness, as interpreted by them, of course. Yet their data from the street is collected haphazardly, lacking scientific method and controls, with no noticeable attempt to verify the less than reliable accounts of the participants with actual investigative or forensic reports. Cases are subjectively selected (how many are not included because they do not fit the assumptions made?). The numbers of cases cited are statistically meaningless, and the underlying assumptions upon which the collection of information and its interpretation are based are themselves based on myths such as knock-down power, energy transfer, hydrostatic shock, or the temporary cavity methodology of flawed work such as RII.




Further, it appears that many people are predisposed to fall down when shot. This phenomenon is independent of caliber, bullet, or hit location, and is beyond the control of the shooter. It can only be proven in the act, not predicted. It requires only two factors to be effected: a shot and cognition of being shot by the target. Lacking either one, people are not at all predisposed to fall down and don't. Given this predisposition, the choice of caliber and bullet is essentially irrelevant. People largely fall down when shot, and the apparent predisposition to do so exists with equal force among the good guys as among the bad. The causative factors are most likely psychological in origin. Thousands of books, movies and television shows have educated the general population that when shot, one is supposed to fall down.




The problem, and the reason for seeking a better cartridge for incapacitation, is that individual who is not predisposed to fall down. Or the one who is simply unaware of having been shot by virtue of alcohol, adrenaline, narcotics, or the simple fact that in most cases of grievous injury the body suppresses pain for a period of time. Lacking pain, there may be no physiological effect of being shot that can make one aware of the wound. Thus the real problem: if such an individual is threatening one's life, how best to compel him to stop by shooting him?




The factors governing incapacitation of the human target are many, and variable. The actual destruction caused by any small arms projectile is too small in magnitude relative to the mass and complexity of the target. If a bullet destroys about 2 ounces of tissue in its passage through the body, that represents 0.07 of one percent of the mass of a 180 pound man. Unless the tissue destroyed is located within the critical areas of the central nervous system, it is physiologically insufficient to force incapacitation upon the unwilling target. It may certainly prove to be lethal, but a body count is no evidence of incapacitation. Probably more people in this country have been killed by .22 rimfires than all other caliberscombined, which, based on body count, would compel the use of .22's for self-defense. The more important question, which is sadly seldom asked, is what did the individual do when hit?





There is a problem in trying to assess calibers by small numbers of shootings. For example, as has been done, if a number of shootings were collected in which only one hit was attained and the percentage of one shot stops was then calculated, it would appear to be a valid system. However, if a large number of people are predisposed to fall down, the actual caliber and bullet are irrelevant. What percentage of those stops were thus preordained by the target? How many of those targets were not at all disposed to fall down? How many multiple shot failures to stop occurred? What is the definition of a stop? What did the successful bullets hit and what did the unsuccessful bullets hit? How many failures were in the vital organs, and how many were not? How many of the successes? What is the number of the sample? How were the cases collected? What verifications were made to validate the information? How can the verifications be checked by independent investigation?




Because of the extreme number of variables within the human target, and within shooting situations in general, even a hundred shootings is statistically insignificant. If anything can happen, then anything will happen, and it is just as likely to occur in your ten shootings as in ten shootings spread over a thousand incidents. Large sample populations are absolutely necessary.




Here is an example that illustrates how erroneous small samples can be. I flipped a penny 20 times. It came up heads five times. A nickel flipped 20 times showed heads 8 times. A dime came up heads 10 times and a quarter 15 times. That means if heads is the desired result, a penny will give it to you 25% of the time, and nickel 40% of the time, a dime 50% of the time and a quarter 75% of the time. If you want heads, flip a quarter. If you want tails, flip a penny. But then I flipped the quarter another 20 times and it showed heads 9 times - 45% of the time. Now this "study" would tell you that perhaps a dime was better for flipping heads. The whole thing is obviously wrong, but shows how small numbers lead to statistical lies. We know the odds of getting a head or tail are 50%, and larger numbers tend to prove it. Calculating the results for all 100 flips regardless of the coin used shows heads came up 48% of the time.
The greater the number and complexity of the variables, the greater the sample needed to give meaningful information, and a coin toss has only one simple variable - it can land heads or it can land tails. The coin population is not complicated by a predisposition to fall one way or the other, by chemical stimuli, psychological factors, shot placement, bone or obstructive obstacles, etc.; all of which require even larger numbers to evidence real differences in effects.





Although no cartridge is certain to work all the time, surely some will work more often than others, and any edge is desirable in one's self defense. This is simple logic. The incidence of failure to incapacitate will vary with the severity of the wound inflicted.40 It is safe to assume that if a target is always 100% destroyed, then incapacitation will also occur 100% of the time. If 50% of the target is destroyed, incapacitation will occur less reliably. Failure to incapacitate is rare in such a case, but it can happen, and in fact has happened on the battlefield. Incapacitation is still less rare if 25% of the target is destroyed. Now the magnitude of bullet destruction is far less (less than 1% of the target) but the relationship is unavoidable. The round which destroys 0.07% of the target will incapacitate more often than the one which destroys 0.04%. However, only very large numbers of shooting incidents will prove it. The difference may be only 10 out of a thousand, but that difference is an edge, and that edge should be on the officer's side because one of those ten may be the subject trying to kill him.
To judge a caliber's effectiveness, consider how many people hit with it failed to fall down and look at where they were hit. Of the successes and failures, analyze how many were hit in vital organs, rather than how many were killed or not, and correlate that with an account of exactly what they did when they were hit. Did they fall down, or did they run, fight, shoot, hide, crawl, stare, shrug, give up and surrender? ONLY falling down is good. All other reactions are failures to incapacitate, evidencing the ability to act with volition, and thus able to choose to continue to try to inflict harm.
Those who disparage science and laboratory methods are either too short sighted or too bound by preconceived (or perhaps proprietary) notions to see the truth. The labs and scientists do not offer sure things. They offer a means of indexing the damage done by a bullet, understanding of the mechanics of damage caused by bullets and the actual effects on the body, and the basis for making an informed choice based on objective criteria and significant statistics.





The differences between bullets may be small, but science can give us the means of identifying that difference. The result is the edge all of law enforcement should be looking for. It is true that the streets are the proving ground, but give me an idea of what you want to prove and I will give you ten shootings from the street to prove it. That is both easy, and irrelevant. If it can happen, it will happen.
Any shooting incident is a unique event, unconstrained by any natural law or physical order to follow a predetermined sequence of events or end in predetermined results. What is needed is an edge that makes the good result more probable than the bad. Science will quantify the information needed to make the choice to gain that edge. Large numbers (thousands or more) from the street will provide the answer to the question "How much of an edge?".41 Even if that edge is only 1%, it is not insignificant because the guy trying to kill you could be in that 1%, and you won't know it until it is too late.





Conclusions
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.44.....

easyg
March 1, 2010, 11:56 PM
The whole idea was to develop a semi-auto round that would be the semi-auto version of the venerable .357 magnum.
I don't think that this was ever a goal of the .40S&W.

However, the .357Sig was designed with the goal of matching the performance of the 125g .357 magnum round from a 4" barrel.

REAPER4206969
March 2, 2010, 12:02 AM
Yes, no round is wholly effective, but this certainly wasn't a .357 125gr JHP!
That "mythical" .357 load was BS too.

easyg
March 2, 2010, 12:07 AM
That "mythical" .357 load was BS too.
Care to elaborate?

The 125g .357 magnum round, fired from a 4" barrel, is an excellent self defense round.

REAPER4206969
March 2, 2010, 12:16 AM
The 125g .357 magnum round, fired from a 4" barrel, is an excellent self defense round.
Yes it is, but it is not the "one-shot stop death ray" the uninitiated make it out to be.

Gryffydd
March 2, 2010, 12:31 AM
40 you are looking at 1200fps@ 500Ftlbs

45 you are looking at 950fps@ 375Ftlbs

The .45 can only push a 185 to 950fps huh? That's news to me.
How about we look at some Doubletap data:
.40 S&W 180gr JHP 4.5" Barrel: 1140fps
.45 ACP 185gr JHP 5" Barrel:1225fps
I'll leave it up to you whether the 1/2" or the 5gr makes the bigger difference.

LeontheProfessional
March 2, 2010, 12:35 AM
The half inch because it allows for more powder, Just a guess.

Full Metal Jacket
March 2, 2010, 12:43 AM
Yes it is, but it is not the "one-shot stop death ray" the uninitiated make it out to be.

:eek: :)

Full Metal Jacket
March 2, 2010, 12:48 AM
The .45 can only push a 185 to 950fps huh? That's news to me.
How about we look at some Doubletap data:
.40 S&W 180gr JHP 4.5" Barrel: 1140fps
.45 ACP 185gr JHP 5" Barrel:1225fps
I'll leave it up to you whether the 1/2" or the 5gr makes the bigger difference.

yeah, but that double tap ammo is pushed to pressure levels that are beyond SAAMI specs, and is not recommended in glocks or any other gun that does not have a fully supported chamber (like my emp40, which has less case support than the glock 40cals).

so that double tap stuff isn't feasible or safe for a lot of people to use.

Full Metal Jacket
March 2, 2010, 12:51 AM
interesting post, reaper. thanks :)

REAPER4206969
March 2, 2010, 12:58 AM
You're welcome.

Gryffydd
March 2, 2010, 01:14 AM
yeah, but that double tap ammo is pushed to pressure levels that are beyond SAAMI specs, and is not recommended in glocks or any other gun that does not have a fully supported chamber (like my emp40, which has less case support than the glock 40cals).
That's all well and good. The important thing is to compare similar ammo. Don't do like KevinR and compare nuclear .40S&W loads with super light target .45 loads.
My reason for picking Doubletap is that it shows the absolute top end for both.

Confederate
March 2, 2010, 01:48 AM
There is a problem in trying to assess calibers by small numbers of shootings. For example, as has been done, if a number of shootings were collected in which only one hit was attained and the percentage of one shot stops was then calculated, it would appear to be a valid system. However, if a large number of people are predisposed to fall down, the actual caliber and bullet are irrelevant. What percentage of those stops were thus preordained by the target? How many of those targets were not at all disposed to fall down? How many multiple shot failures to stop occurred? What is the definition of a stop? What did the successful bullets hit and what did the unsuccessful bullets hit? How many failures were in the vital organs, and how many were not? How many of the successes? What is the number of the sample? How were the cases collected? What verifications were made to validate the information? How can the verifications be checked by independent investigation?

Yes...but [the .357 125gr JHP] is not the "one-shot stop death ray" the uninitiated make it out to be.
It may not be the one-shot-stop "death ray," but I don't believe that any other caliber or load is its equal. For years, those who have been shot with this load and survived have been interviewed. They almost invariably say they were physically overwhelmed after being hit, even in the extremities. No handgun round is perfect in stopping power, but I don't believe there's any round that's better than, or equal to, the .357 125gr JHP. It's been years since I've studied the data, but when I did back in the early 80s, I was thoroughly impressed with what I read. The fact that so many have tried to emulate this load in semi-auto loads is a tribute to its effectiveness.

While traveling cross country, it's the load I carry. In my home, I choose a .38 Spc load. I put a great deal of stock in bullet placement, but in the past I've traveled with and been very comfortable with a .22 Ruger Standard Auto. While not generally deemed an adequate self defense round, the Ruger's sheer firepower makes it as comforting as having a much larger caliber. Overall, I think people underrate handguns. Even the lowly .25 has been used to put people down and out, and I've yet to read a press account of a small caliber failing to defend someone. In fact, in a surprising number of cases, the tiny caliber has killed an attacker.

Even so, sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you! Bottom line: If there's a better load out there than the 125gr JHP .357, I've yet to hear about it.

.

REAPER4206969
March 2, 2010, 02:17 AM
For years, those who have been shot with this load and survived have been interviewed. They almost invariably say they were physically overwhelmed after being hit, even in the extremities.
Did their brain bleed too?
The fact that so many have tried to emulate this load in semi-auto loads is a tribute to its effectiveness.
It's a tribute to good marketing.
Even the lowly .25 has been used to put people down and out, and I've yet to read a press account of a small caliber failing to defend someone. In fact, in a surprising number of cases, the tiny caliber has killed an attacker.
man who police said shot his Wal-Mart co-worker in a dispute over the length of a work break has been released from custody because his actions may be protected by Montana's recently enacted "castle doctrine" law.

The shooting, which took place Monday evening, is under investigation by the Billings Police Department and could still result in charges. But Yellowstone County Attorney Dennis Paxinos said language in the "castle doctrine" bill passed during the last session of the Montana Legislature required him to release the shooter until more information becomes available.

The law asserts, among other things, that a person has a "natural right" to use firearms for self-defense and is not required to summon law enforcement assistance before using "justifiable" force to ward off an attack.

"The play of (House Bill) 228 with the current law causes us some pause to do a much more thorough investigation to determine if we can charge anyone," Paxinos said.

When police arrived at the Wal-Mart on King Avenue West at about 9:15 p.m. Monday, they found Daniel Lira, 32, inside the store's loading dock area with a gunshot wound.

Billings Police Sgt. Jay Berry said that Lira hit co-worker Craig Schmidt, 49, in the face. Schmidt fell backward, then pulled out a .25-caliber semiautomatic Beretta handgun and shot Lira, police said. The single shot was fired at a range of 10 to 15 feet.

Lira, 32, was taken to St. Vincent Healthcare and later released. Police Sgt. Kevin Iffland said the bullet grazed the side of his head from front to back.

Paxinos said that prior to passage of House Bill 228 authorities would have had probable cause to arrest Schmidt for assault with a weapon.

Now, he said, they need more details about whether there was a history of aggression between the two men, what they may have said to each other when the incident occurred and other information that will shape whether it was reasonable for Schmidt to believe his life was threatened. Other details such as the size of the two men - Schmidt weighs 150 pounds and Lira weighs 300 pounds - could also affect whether a self-defense claim is reasonable, Paxinos said.

"I'll have to do the investigation while the guy is free to move around," said Paxinos, who along with other county attorneys opposed House Bill 228 during the legislative session.

The "castle doctrine" bill, which was sponsored by Republican Rep. Krayton Kerns of Laurel and supported by the National Rifle Association, sparked passionate debate about self-defense rights before passing the Legislature.

"Once somebody punches you, and you're down and incapacitated, that person has already demonstrated an intent for violence and you can't tactically assume that they're only going to hit you once," said Gary Marbut of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, who crafted the bill.

But those opposing the "castle doctrine" legislation argued that existing law already protects those acting in self-defense, and that the new code would only create unnecessary burdens for prosecutors and police officers.

"There's just such a disconnect between words on paper and what happens on the streets of Montana, and I think legislators had to be more sensitive to what's happening on the street," said Jim Smith, spokesman for the Montana County Attorneys Association.

Aside from potential legal charges, it was unclear if Schmidt or Lira will face disciplinary action from Wal-Mart. Schmidt has a permit to carry the concealed weapon, but a spokesman for the company said it would be inappropriate to discuss whether Wal-Mart has a policy about employees carrying guns.

"We are still gathering details at this time, and we're now most concerned about the well-being of the people involved," Kelly Cheeseman said.

PAPACHUCK
March 2, 2010, 05:44 AM
Any quality, service caliber handgun, with quality JHP ammo, will do the job.

You have to do yours.

Shoot the gun/caliber YOU shoot best.

Shot placement rules, period.

RevolvingGarbage
March 2, 2010, 09:23 AM
" Police Sgt. Kevin Iffland said the bullet grazed the side of his head from front to back."

So he either nearly missed the guy, or hit the head but the bullet failed to pierce the skull? The guy did discontinue his "attack" anyway from what the story says, so even though its a pretty poor example of a .25 auto being used as a defense, it still ends in the "threat" being stopped.

KevinR
March 2, 2010, 06:17 PM
compare both when using the control of one company and one bullet design (ex: compare two PMC loads of common grain-sized bullets) and you'll see that the .45 is about even with or above the .40 in terms of energy.





Hornady Catalog with lightest bullet for each factory load

40 S&W = 1180FPS @ 489 ftlbs
45 Auto = 970FPS @ 388 ftlbs

lilidiot
March 2, 2010, 06:20 PM
Just take a look at the "Box of Truth" .40 is a bummer and no better than 9x19.

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/buickot3.htm

Gryffydd
March 2, 2010, 06:26 PM
Hornady Catalog with lightest bullet for each factory load
Also from Hornady: 45 Auto = 1055FPS @ 494 ftlbs

Cherry picking your data isn't helping your case. Look at all the manufacturers and you'll find that the .40 does not out pace the .45 when comparing the best loads from each.

NG VI
March 2, 2010, 07:15 PM
You also see that it isn't significantly better or significantly worse... Maybe shot placement, recoil profile, and capacity matter most?

Sweet. Yet another excuse to practice more.

NMGonzo
March 2, 2010, 07:16 PM
I, for one, don't want to be shot with any of the commercial offerings.

NG VI
March 2, 2010, 07:18 PM
So you'd be down with being shot with a handloaded service caliber?


:neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener:

CHEVELLE427
March 2, 2010, 07:46 PM
anything is better then a sharp rock on the end of a stick

off duty cop here killed someone with a 22lr a few months back

saturno_v
March 2, 2010, 10:15 PM
The whole idea was to develop a semi-auto round that would be the semi-auto version of the venerable .357 magnum.

Confederate

Not at all...the equivalent (and some more) of a 357 Mag in a semi-auto package already existed....the name was 10mm Auto but the smaller framed FBI agents could not take the recoil.

The 10mm smaller brother, the 40 S&W, was designed to reach 45 ACP performance level in a 9mm frame size with double stack magazine.

It did reach its intended purpose very effectively (and the huge commercial success is a proof of that) but the 40 S&W is no 357 Mag....(full power 357 Mag that is)

easyg
March 3, 2010, 10:38 AM
Just take a look at the "Box of Truth" .40 is a bummer and no better than 9x19.

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/buickot3.htm
I wouldn't say it's a "bummer".
After all, when they both expand the .40 will still made a bigger hole.
And when neither expand the .40 will still made a bigger hole.

I like the 9mm, but there's just no getting around the fact that the .40 offers a bigger and heavier bullet traveling at nearly the same speed as the 9mm.
And in most pistols the mag capacity is very close.

And from everything that I have seen, heard, and read, the .40 is better at bringing down the bad guys.

lilidiot
March 3, 2010, 10:54 AM
From what I have seen and read the 9x18 Makarov is also real good at bringing down bad guns too and has been doing it much longer as well.

The fact of the matter is, the human body is intolerant to being struck with projectiles hitting it while flying around a 1,000 feet a second regardless of their size.

duns
March 3, 2010, 11:10 AM
And from everything that I have seen, heard, and read, the .40 is better at bringing down the bad guys.
There's a lot of literature to that effect and that may be why so many police forces bought the .40. This can be called proof by assertion or argumentum ad nauseam. If there is any solid evidence for the superiority of one of the three major calibers, I should like to see it (I am already familiar with the work of Marshall and Sanow, and Fackler).

easyg
March 3, 2010, 11:12 AM
The fact of the matter is, the human body is intolerant to being struck with projectiles hitting it while flying around a 1,000 feet a second regardless of their size.
You might be surprised at what the human body will tolerate.

From what I have seen and read the 9x18 Makarov is also real good at bringing down bad guns too and has been doing it much longer as well.
I don't know how effective the 9x18 Mak is when it comes to quickly stopping bad guys....it certainly seems weaker than the 9mm on paper, and even the Russians have abandoned it.
In fact, I don't think that any military still uses it.

easyg
March 3, 2010, 11:17 AM
There's a lot of literature to that effect and that may be why so many police forces bought the .40. This can be called proof by assertion or argumentum ad nauseam. If there is any solid evidence for the superiority of one of the three major calibers, I should like to see it (I am already familiar with the work of Marshall and Sanow, and Fackler).
Certainly no "hard evidence", but for what it's worth, it seems that very few police agencies are going back to the 9mm.
Seems that more and more are going to the .40S&W, the .357Sig, and even the .45GAP.

lilidiot
March 3, 2010, 11:19 AM
You might be surprised at what the human body will tolerate.


I don't know how effective the 9x18 Mak is when it comes to quickly stopping bad guys....it certainly seems weaker than the 9mm on paper, and even the Russians have abandoned it.
In fact, I don't think that any military still uses it.
You might want to look in there sub machine guns, there it is and still in use for it's remarkable feeding ability and still in full production in Russia as well. You can even buy it here and at only $12.00 bucks a box of 50. What about that!

I thought you said I would be amazed at what the human body can tolerate too.

Just saying you know.

NMGonzo
March 3, 2010, 11:26 AM
So you'd be down with being shot with a handloaded service caliber?

:neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener::neener:

:what:

easyg
March 3, 2010, 12:40 PM
The police department use their weapons for self defense only. The function of the military is to kill people.
Those lines get more blurry every day.
There are cops, DEA agents, Border Patrol, and such who have seen more "combat" than many military units.

When I was a soldier in the U.S. Army I definitely did more "police work" than "killing"....even in Desert Storm.

The 9x19 mm NATO is the world wide choice for this purpose.
Worldwide, I'm willing to bet that cops do more "real world" life or death shooting with handguns than the military does.

The rifle is the military's primary weapon.
Heck, the vast majority of military personnel will never even fire a handgun, not even once, in their entire military service.

When it comes to handgun selection, the military is NOT necessarily the best guide to follow.



Easy

NG VI
March 3, 2010, 01:08 PM
Gonzo, words are fun

Steve H
March 3, 2010, 01:15 PM
this may go on for a few pages.....................

Full Metal Jacket
March 3, 2010, 02:45 PM
http://i854.photobucket.com/albums/ab104/champop1911/jackson4ns6.gif

KevinR
March 3, 2010, 04:39 PM
Cherry picking your data isn't helping your case. Look at all the manufacturers and you'll find that the .40 does not out pace the .45 when comparing the best loads from each.
__________________


If you want your 45 to perform like a 40 then buy a 40 :neener:

Gryffydd
March 3, 2010, 04:51 PM
If you want your 45 to perform like a 40 then buy a 40
If a .40 S&W could push a 230gr bullet to 1,000fps I might. Till then I'll stick with the .45acp ;)

Edit to add:
You actually make a good point, though I'm not sure it's the one you meant to. That point being: if you want to throw 165 or 180gr chunks of lead, go for the .40 S&W. At least 180 has good SD in .40.

165gr in .45 has the SD of a Necco wafer.

RyanM
March 3, 2010, 05:11 PM
Edit to add:
You actually make a good point, though I'm not sure it's the one you meant to. That point being: if you want to throw 165 or 180gr chunks of lead, go for the .40 S&W. At least 180 has good SD in .40.

Which actually is a valid consideration, recoil-wise. The bit of conventional wisdom that everyone ignores in these threads (probably because it's about the only gun-related "conventional wisdom" that actually makes any sense) is carry the biggest caliber you can control. If all you can control is a 147 gr bullet, carry a 9mm. If you can control a 180 gr bullet, carry a .40. If you can control a 230 gr bullet, carry a .45.

It's really not that hard.

easyg
March 3, 2010, 05:18 PM
The bit of conventional wisdom that everyone ignores in these threads (probably because it's about the only gun-related "conventional wisdom" that actually makes any sense) is carry the biggest caliber you can control. If all you can control is a 147 gr bullet, carry a 9mm. If you can control a 180 gr bullet, carry a .40. If you can control a 230 gr bullet, carry a .45.

It's really not that hard.
Actually, it's not that simple.

There are other factors to consider.
Just to name a few....

Magazine capacity
Ease of concealment
Hand-to-gun-size-fit
Cost of ammo

A lot of folks like more magazine capacity than they typical single-stack .45 pistol offers.
But a lot of folks also want a smaller pistol that fits their hand better than a double-stack .45 does.

RyanM
March 3, 2010, 05:23 PM
Just append my sentences "if you can control an X, carry a Y or smaller." That should cover it.

KevinR
March 3, 2010, 06:11 PM
If a .40 S&W could push a 230gr bullet to 1,000fps I might. Till then I'll stick with the .45acp



I have looked everywhere and I can only find one mfgcr that advertises 230gr at 1000fps. Even the Winchester and Hornady +P loads are not that hot. It must be considered a +P+ load.
It is farrrrr from the norm and the fact that no major mfgcr has this offering makes me think it is un-safe. :what: Also none of my reloading manuals even come close to that number while staying under the 21,000 psi SAAMI pressure limit. I think I will stick with my 40:rolleyes:

LawofThirds
March 3, 2010, 06:36 PM
Most of my reloading manuals are showing 880-920ish for max non +p loads, hardly a stretch to think that another 4,000 psi wouldn't show some reasonable gains above that.
Hornady is showing 950's for their 230 +P, Federal shows 900 fps for a non +p loading and Speer is taking the slow award with a short barrel offering at 820 fps.

Also, velocity isn't everything. If that was true, we'd all be shooting .001 Magnums with a .1 grain bullet moving at a bajillion fps.

For what it's worth: I like .45's lower operating pressure (which tends to indicate a higher margin of error available), higher bullet weight, overall larger expansion diameter and the lower noise/recoil.

If I want lots of rounds I'll go for 9mm, and if I want blazing fast, I'll shoot .357 Magnum or .357 sig.

40 just doesn't answer any questions I ask.

dom1104
March 3, 2010, 06:44 PM
For me, I have no use for the 40. 45 cal guns are usually large and heavy, and low capacity. They also fire a pricy round, reloaded or not.

The chance of any of us being ina gunfight is EXTREMELY low.

The chance of us losing that gunfight due to caliber is even lower.

The chance of going broke by shooting too much.....


So I shoot 9mm. But shoot and carry whatever makes you happy, the chance you will use it for anything other than sport is very small.


And don't get mad at each other about it, that would be silly

NMGonzo
March 3, 2010, 07:28 PM
Gonzo, words are fun
You don't say ... :D

NG VI
March 3, 2010, 08:21 PM
I've also heard they mean things!

MTS840
March 3, 2010, 08:47 PM
Worldwide, I'm willing to bet that cops do more "real world" life or death shooting with handguns than the military does.

The rifle is the military's primary weapon.
Heck, the vast majority of military personnel will never even fire a handgun, not even once, in their entire military service.

When it comes to handgun selection, the military is NOT necessarily the best guide to follow.


Agreed.

As far as handguns are concerned, many police agencies are way ahead of the military in terms of handgun selection and realistic combat training.

Gryffydd
March 3, 2010, 08:56 PM
I have looked everywhere and I can only find one mfgcr that advertises 230gr at 1000fps...It is farrrrr from the norm and the fact that no major mfgcr has this offering makes me think it is un-safe.
From Doubletap's page regarding that load
"The fastest 230gr loading on the market! All in a package that is just shy of a +p rating!" Sorry, but I'll take the manufacturer's (mfgcr?) word word over yours. Your loading manuals do not include the powders they have access to. I don't think selling unsafe +P+ ammo as non +P is a liability they'd like to incur if they want to stay in business.
In the end, none of it matters, as the .40 can't push a 230 to 950fps either, and loads that do that are common.

KevinR
March 3, 2010, 09:10 PM
.40 can't push a 230 to 950fps either, So you admit it then :what: (word word) ?

Gryffydd
March 3, 2010, 09:28 PM
I'm a bit confused. Admit what?

Lv4snobrdg
March 3, 2010, 09:33 PM
.45 always and forever

for no other reason than I was asked for my opinion

Air,Land&Sea
March 3, 2010, 09:47 PM
Another good thing about .45 is that you don't have to stew over between 155 vs. 165 vs. 180 gr. Just get some 230 gr. Hydra-Shox and be done with it.
That was easy.

:uhoh::eek::barf:

m2steven
March 3, 2010, 10:56 PM
I believe the small but measurable superiority of the 45 can be discarded in favor of the 40 caliber with capacity being the deciding factor. I would rather have 15 40s over 8 45s any day.

I've shot lots of steel with both and both hit really hard.

saturno_v
March 3, 2010, 11:13 PM
Gryffydd

We did already talk long time ago about the 45 Vs. 40 and we pretty much agreed that in the end they are pretty much equal in their capabilities.

A 40 S&W doesn't "need" a 230 gr. bullet because a 180 gr. .40 cal has already the same SD of a 230 gr. 45.

And a 200 gr. 40 pill has even higher SD than a 230 gr. 45 cal and it can be launched at 1100 fps (Double Tap) :D:evil:


....and if I need something really more capable than a .40 I can always grab my S&W 1006 in 10mm which blows away any 45 ACP loads...230 gr. hard cast from Double Tap at 1120 fps with tremendous SD :evil::neener:

saturno_v
March 3, 2010, 11:15 PM
40 just doesn't answer any questions I ask.

45 power level in a smaller package (both ammo and gun), higher magazine capacity on average (well lately you have few double stack 45 but the grip is nto for everyone) and a little bit less excpensive ammo on average 9I do nto reload...yet)

The 40 has answered to few of my questions!!! :D:evil:

Gryffydd
March 4, 2010, 12:50 AM
We did already talk long time ago about the 45 Vs. 40 and we pretty much agreed that in the end they are pretty much equal in their capabilities.
Yup, that about sums it up. Personally, I prefer heavy bullets in handguns--the heavier the better, but that's just a personal preference. Also, being mainly a revolver fan, the 8+1 capacity of a .45 1911 feels pretty plentiful, so the capacity of a .40 S&W doesn't really appeal to me that much. Just a personal thing. And if I really want capacity I'll take a 19+1 9mm loaded with some nice +P+ rounds ;)

But pretty much equal is a far cry from
40 you are looking at 1200fps@ 500Ftlbs

45 you are looking at 950fps@ 375Ftlbs

But then with a statement like
Its just me! and I dont meen to insult anybody! but I personally think the 45 is painfully slow and underpowered

TG13
March 4, 2010, 01:50 AM
45 Super..

Rexster
March 4, 2010, 05:16 PM
I work for a large PD, about 5000 officers. When I started, in the early 1980's, we had to use .357 sixguns for our rookie year, then could switch to autoloaders. By far, the popular choice was .45 ACP, and bad guys hit with .45 ACP fell when we hit them in the right places.

In 1997, we (the PD) changed to all-.40 DA autopistols for new primary duty weapons, though nobody had to switch from what they were already using; existing weapons were "grandfathered." (We buy our own weapons.) By now, through attrition and changes of assignment of older officers, most duty pistols on the street are .40, and when we hit bad guys in the right places, they fall. Same as .45 ACP. We patrol a big city, and do shoot plenty of bad guys over time.

I went with the .40 voluntarily in 2004, setting aside .45 pistols, and have not lost any sleep over it. My present P229 duty pistols are a great fit for my hands; I would not go back to a 1911 as a primary weapon for street patrol duty if offered the chance.* I choose to use the same P229s for most concealed carry on my own time. I may revert to a 1911 for concealed carry after retirement, or use other than .40 for plainclothes/non-patrol use before retirement, but that would be because of the weapon itself, not the .45 or other bore size.

*To be clear, I think the 1911 is a great pistol. Our mandated retention-style duty rig, plus my ultra-skinny hands, long arms, and short torso, created a perfect storm situation, when drawing a 1911, that caused me have issues attaining a consistent and proper grip on a 1911. This in an individual issue, and nothing I said in the above paragraph is meant to disparage the 1911, or those who carry them.

rc109a
March 4, 2010, 06:02 PM
Maybe he was asking about 45LC...:evil:
My choice is the 41Mag... just to be different...:neener:

digisol
March 5, 2010, 01:04 AM
Had both, loved one, and it was not the Beretta 96 in .40cal

Colt Gold Cup National Match .45, all the rest are just distant seconds.

Could not sell the 40 fast enough, had several 9mm autos, can't say a bad thing there, if you want more bang then go for a Colt in 10mm auto, will definitely get the attention of an intruder.

Actually have owned three .45's, great handgun, the SS Colt Gold Cup was my favourite even over very flash race guns.

makarovnik
March 5, 2010, 02:00 AM
They are both good. I like the .45 a little better, but not by much.

LHshot
March 5, 2010, 06:39 AM
Better get 'em both...

gglass
March 5, 2010, 08:25 AM
Instead of listening to opinion, hyperbole and anecdotal evidence, you can now see real bullet tests from ammoguide.com.

This graph represents the most common bullet weights for self-defense. I did not add bullets with exceptionally low bullet weights so as not to skew the results.

The 9mm and .40 S&W show data from a 4" barrel and the .45ACP shows 5" barrel data. The .45ACP holds a 1" advantage in barrel length due to a lack or 4" barrel data for that caliber.

Draw your own conclusions.

http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/74/94045ind.jpg

outerlimit
March 5, 2010, 09:37 AM
.40S&W is a poor substitute for .45acp.

The muzzle energy advocates are always forgetting things like momentum and the size of the bullet.

gglass
March 5, 2010, 10:04 AM
.40S&W is a poor substitute for .45acp.

The muzzle energy advocates are always forgetting things like momentum and the size of the bullet.

Since you seem to believe that drivel, I suggest that you sell your handguns and simply throw your big bullets.

Better yet... If you could throw your 2 pound gun at 70 MPH, you could achieve devastating ballistics.
2 pound gun = 14,000 gr
70 MPH = 102.667 fps
Energy = 329.39 ft/lbs

Ballistics is an equal measure of projectile weight and projectile velocity. That is why tiny .22 caliber bullets fired at 3,300 fps from the AR15/M16 platform are so deadly.

dom1104
March 5, 2010, 10:15 AM
Since you seem to believe that drivel, I suggest that you sell your handguns and simply throw your big bullets.

Better yet... If you could throw your 2 pound gun at 70 MPH, you could achieve devastating ballistics.
2 pound gun = 14,000 gr
70 MPH = 102.667 fps
Energy = 329.39 ft/lbs

Ballistics is an equal measure of projectile weight and projectile velocity. That is why tiny .22 caliber bullets fired at 3,300 fps from the AR15/M16 platform are so deadly.


Gglass.. bravo sir. BRAVO. I am still laughing at the 2lb thrown gun thing. That made my day.

outerlimit
March 6, 2010, 04:04 PM
Since you seem to believe that drivel, I suggest that you sell your handguns and simply throw your big bullets.

Better yet... If you could throw your 2 pound gun at 70 MPH, you could achieve devastating ballistics.
2 pound gun = 14,000 gr
70 MPH = 102.667 fps
Energy = 329.39 ft/lbs

Ballistics is an equal measure of projectile weight and projectile velocity. That is why tiny .22 caliber bullets fired at 3,300 fps from the AR15/M16 platform are so deadly.

:confused: Well that's a poorly worded arguement that doesn't even bother to address what I said. Since you obviously don't even know what the definition of ballistics is, please navigate your internet browser toward an online dictionary or wiki, that might help you a bit!

Since you brought it up.. About the 5.56x45mm.. No, I'm sorry to say you've got that completely wrong as well. The reason why .22 caliber bullets fired at 3100fps are so deadly is because when they hit a target at over 2700fps, they fragment upon impact, but still have sufficient mass to cause massive tissue disruption. Why did you respond to me when you didn't even address what I said and brought up more energy "drivel"?

Bovice
March 6, 2010, 04:54 PM
Ok ok ok! (voice of Leo Getz as played by Joe Pesci)

If we're discussing the kinetic energy of the rounds, consider the source of the numbers on energy.

The equation relating mass and velocity to kinetic energy is K.E.=0.5(m)(v^2).

Now, based on this relation, which factor do you think has a greater influence on kinetic energy of a system?

If your answer is velocity, you are correct. That is true because the velocity term is squared. It increases at a non-linear rate. That's what exponents do.

Now, if we consider the base weight of a .40 (180gr) and a .45(230gr), and the .40 is moving at 1091 ft/s and the .45 is moving at 930 ft/s, square each of these terms. for the .40, v^2=1,190,281 and .45 v^2=864,900. The difference in weight between these two bullets is about 3 grams. Have you looked at how small a gram is lately? It's not a whole lot.

Now, since I've proven that the kinetic energy between the two most common loadings for each caliber shows the .40 to be higher, let's now discuss how this is transferred to the unlucky S.O.B. who gets in the way.

Assuming both are reliably expanding hollowpoint bullets moving at the given velocities, and both hit center mass and behave as they are engineered to (expand and stop inside the body), the energy gets dumped entirely into the person. That energy is what is responsible for tearing up their insides, making them bleed out, and die from their injuries. This puts the .40 ahead of the .45.

Someone earlier made the mistake of saying the .45 was a half inch bigger than the .40. I laughed. I laughed hard. We're talking 5 hundredths of an inch. Take out your ruler, look at one inch, and try to break it up into a hundred little pieces. Pretty small, right? Now, envision 5 of those little pieces, and that's the difference in diameter. Not a whole lot of difference.

I know a lot of you have nostalgic feelings about the .45, but the numbers are on the side of the .40. We're not talking about a HUGE difference, but it's still a difference.

By now you're probably about to post "SO I BET YOU THINK THE 9MM IS A LIGHTNING BOLT THROWN BY ZEUS, DROPPING ANYBODY WITH ONE HIT!" Before you make a fool out of yourself and make me post again, this is why the 9mm has a "shortfall".

The 9mm is typically moving at such a velocity that it just zips right through. If it does, you have leftover kinetic energy that does not get transferred to the target. If it does stop, then that's excellent. That will probably be a very disabling hit.

outerlimit
March 6, 2010, 05:03 PM
Excellent post Bovice. But because velocity is squared (as you mentioned), it has more of an effect on energy calculations than does mass. This is the exact reason why kinetic energy is not a good real world indicator of performance. There are 50-64gr. 9x19mm loads made by manufacturers such as Magsafe that have massive amounts of energy, but very poor terminal performance (by design).

Gryffydd
March 6, 2010, 09:26 PM
The 9mm is typically moving at such a velocity that it just zips right through. If it does, you have leftover kinetic energy that does not get transferred to the target.
I love the idea that a bullet that makes two holes does less damage simply by not stopping within the target. (Bullet design issues aside) That's like saying the 9mm could be more deadly if you fired it at lower velocity. "Dang, it went right through him! Let's make it less powerful so it'll do more damage!"

duns
March 6, 2010, 09:42 PM
The 9mm is typically moving at such a velocity that it just zips right through. If it does, you have leftover kinetic energy that does not get transferred to the target. If it does stop, then that's excellent. That will probably be a very disabling hit.
Leftover kinetic energy in this scenario would make very little difference to the damage done unless we are talking of rounds with enough energy to produce hydrostatic shock damage, then there might conceivably be some loss of effectiveness. Otherwise, in making a hole right the way through and assuming it expanded, then it's done more damage than had it come to rest only part way through.

PS What evidence is there that a 9mm round (I assume we are talking hollow points here) typically "zips right through"? I've heard it said before but not seen any data to that effect.

Bovice
March 6, 2010, 09:56 PM
that brings up another point in the argument. Are two holes better than one? If you were to shoot someone and the bullet passed completely through a vital area, they are now bleeding from two places. Since the diameter of the bullets of each respective caliber are not greatly different in terms of the hole they make on a human body because the cavitation track made by the bullet will close itself, two holes would mean more bleeding, more bleeding means a faster drop in blood pressure, a large drop in blood pressure with no treatment means death.

LeontheProfessional
March 7, 2010, 01:44 AM
I am a .40 fan. Now with that being said, 45 has a greater momentum than 40. Momentum = mass x velocity. This is equates to stopping power. Now the real question arises. What is more important in dealing with ballistic performance: momentum or energy?

Autolycus
March 7, 2010, 02:05 AM
Give me a 9mm and I will be happy. I like the .40 S&W as well as the .45 ACP but it really depeneds on the platform of weapon I am shooting.

duns
March 7, 2010, 03:50 AM
I am a .40 fan. Now with that being said, 45 has a greater momentum than 40. Momentum = mass x velocity. This is equates to stopping power. Now the real question arises. What is more important in dealing with ballistic performance: momentum or energy?
Great question. I've attempted to explore it with a simple calculation based on conservation of energy and conservation of momentum. All the details are in the calculation below. From this calculation, I conclude:
(1) Penetration depth is related to energy. A more energetic bullet will penetrate deeper.
(2) Penetration time is related to momentum. The heavier the bullet (the greater the momentum), the longer it will take to penetrate to its final depth.

So given two bullets of different masses but with equal impact energy and equal cross-sectional area, both bullets will penetrate to the same depth but the heavier bullet will take longer to do the penetrating. I would guess that a slower penetration rate would decrease the effectiveness. So a light fast bullet should be more effective than a heavy slow bullet (energy and cross sectional area being the same).

So, in answer to the question, I think stopping power is mainly about the energy and if you can achieve the energy in a lighter bullet, that will be more lethal than achieving the same energy in a heavier bullet of the same caliber. Of course, this calculation is highly idealized and neglects many real life factors.

http://i943.photobucket.com/albums/ad274/riskassessor/Misc/ballistics.gif

LawofThirds
March 7, 2010, 04:26 AM
Unless of course the slower, larger bullet does more tearing damage rather than cutting damage and thus spreads the disruption of nerve endings and blood vessels farther outside of the bullet path.

The other thing to consider is that as long as your hollowpoint technology opens fully at both the faster and the slower velocities, with a heavier bullet you have more material to potentially open a larger permanent wound channel.

Muzzle energy is an illustrative measurement but it is not the sole indicator nor does it determine terminal ballistic effectiveness. Perhaps something new like opened bullet diameter * velocity * mass * time to full expansion / bullet capacity.

Any way you look at it, both are effective, they clearly go about being effective in completely different ways.

Cpt. America
March 7, 2010, 04:40 AM
I've seen the damage of both and I would go with the .45 acp anyday over the .40 S&W.

duns
March 7, 2010, 04:40 AM
Unless of course the slower, larger bullet does more tearing damage rather than cutting damage and thus spreads the disruption of nerve endings and blood vessels farther outside of the bullet path.

The other thing to consider is that as long as your hollowpoint technology opens fully at both the faster and the slower velocities, with a heavier bullet you have more material to potentially open a larger permanent wound channel.
Please bear in mind that my intention was to look at the influence of energy and momentum so I kept other factors the same to avoid too many variables. E.g. I assumed the same expanded cross sectional area for both bullets. Also, to keep the energy the same in both calculations, I had to reduce the velocity of bullet 2 to an unrealistically low level. These calculations are not intended to compare actual real world bullets because in a more realistic comparison additional parameter changes would have to be taken into account.
Muzzle energy is an illustrative measurement but it is not the sole indicator nor does it determine terminal ballistic effectiveness. Perhaps something new like opened bullet diameter * velocity * mass * time to full expansion / bullet capacity.

Any way you look at it, both are effective, they clearly go about being effective in completely different ways.
Experimental data would be needed to produce the kind of empirical correlation that you suggest.

The calculation was enough to suggest to me that energy is the dominant factor and that it could be marginally better to achieve the required energy with a lighter faster rather than a heavier slower bullet. I could be way wrong because this is such a simplified calculation but that's the tentative conclusion I draw from it.

shockwave
March 7, 2010, 07:34 AM
that brings up another point in the argument. Are two holes better than one? If you were to shoot someone and the bullet passed completely through a vital area, they are now bleeding from two places.

As it happens, this is an area long on conjecture and low on hard data for obvious reasons. But there's a fairly good analysis of this question here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stopping_power#Energy_transfer). There are two chief schools of thought on the matter. The "absorbers" argue that a bullet that passes through a target is carrying residual energy with it - which is bad because you want all the energy of the projectile to affect the target. Ideally, the round would come to a stop just as it breaks the skin on the back. Payload delivered.

The "exit wound" school notes that a small entry wound is usually dwarfed by the large hole on the other side, and more trauma and bleedout results from a good healthy rip-through. As noted in the article, all this activity slows the bullet down and alters its trajectory, so there isn't much danger posed to those downrange.

If the police statistics are at all representative (and I think they are), then on average in a gunfight you'll land about 1 in 5 shots, the others going astray. This suggests that in a populated environment you'll be better off with ammo that deliver its energy quickly on expansion, because you're fully responsible for any rounds that miss.

KevinR
March 7, 2010, 07:55 AM
Shockwave
Excellent article, I saved that one on file. Thanks

GLOOB
March 9, 2010, 01:18 AM
Better yet... If you could throw your 2 pound gun at 70 MPH, you could achieve devastating ballistics.
2 pound gun = 14,000 gr
70 MPH = 102.667 fps
Energy = 329.39 ft/lbs

You know the average claw hammer weighs only 16oz? And a baseball weighs only 5 oz, and the average person can't throw one even 50mph? You know what a slung shot is, and how lethal they are?

If anyone out there could actually throw a 2 pound steel ball (or maybe hatchet/hammer/spear?) @ 70mph, 12 times in ten seconds with 1 hand, be able to initiate and release a throw as fast as one could pull a trigger, maintain 6" groups at 21 feet, and could carry around 12 of 'em, that would indeed be devastating. :)

GLOOB
March 9, 2010, 01:38 AM
So given two bullets of different masses but with equal impact energy and equal cross-sectional area, both bullets will penetrate to the same depth but the heavier bullet will take longer to do the penetrating.

1. What makes you think that a bullet will do more damage if it decelerates faster?

2. Wrong about equal penetration. In this particular scenario, the lighter bullet might not penetrate as far. It will impact at a higher speed, creating a bigger shock wave.

If the target is small/delicate enough, the shock wave will cause the target to explode into little pieces, i.e. a small fruit, coke can, squirrel hit by a .223 hollowpoint. If the target is larger and tougher, then the shock wave is just wasted energy.

On at the other extreme, too big and slow, and you end up with a hammer. It might break some bones, but it won't penetrate as far. There's obviously a compromise that takes place. I think the .40 might be the best compromise out there, for many people.

My opinion is that .40SW is a bit more size-efficient as a cartridge, with similar SD performance (using modern HP) and recoil. So it has the real advantage of greater capacity.

The only place where .45 ACP really holds an edge is with FMJ. What some people don't realize is that the "measly 0.05 inch bigger bullet" actually has 27% greater cross sectional area than the .40 SW. Yeah, that's right. Stop breaking rulers into little bits and try picking up a calculator. Keep calling a 27% difference insignificant, if you don't want to be taken seriously! (0.452*0.452)/(0.4005*0.4005)=1.274

TG13
March 9, 2010, 04:04 AM
ad hoc mathematics..

velocity is not static.. your mathematics do not take that into account.. nor does it take air densities into account.. nor coefficient of drag on the projectile..

and the other variable is the powder charge.. even though manufactured cartridges are closely monitored, there is a minute variable in the powder charge from one cartridge to the next.. and if your going to rely on mathematics, this has to be taken into account..

one .45 cartridge may be loaded and exceed the stated .40 cartridge for energy.. and the reverse can be true also..

and all this talk about velocities and .22s... i guess the real winner is the 5.7x28.. LOL..

easyg
March 9, 2010, 09:53 AM
.40S&W is a poor substitute for .45acp.

The muzzle energy advocates are always forgetting things like momentum and the size of the bullet.
I'll concede that the .45 is larger in diameter.
But only by .05".
You'll have to decide for yourself how significant that size difference really is.

But the momentum argument is not so clear cut.
Most of the online ballistics are generated using .40 rounds shot from a 4" barrel handgun and .45 rounds shot from a 5" barrel handgun.
I've yet to see ballistics of a .45 shot from a subcompact pistol vs a .40 shot from a subcompact....say a 3" to 3.5" barrel.

duns
March 9, 2010, 03:18 PM
1. What makes you think that a bullet will do more damage if it decelerates faster?

I think you are referring my post #139 with its attached calculation. In my (highly idealized) calculation, two bullets of the same cross-sectional area and same impact energy were found to penetrate to the same depth but the travel time was found slightly longer for the bullet with the higher mass, i.e. its deceleration rate was less. I don't know what is the influence of the deceleration rate on the human body or even if it has any influence.

2. Wrong about equal penetration. In this particular scenario, the lighter bullet might not penetrate as far. It will impact at a higher speed, creating a bigger shock wave.

If the target is small/delicate enough, the shock wave will cause the target to explode into little pieces, i.e. a small fruit, coke can, squirrel hit by a .223 hollowpoint. If the target is larger and tougher, then the shock wave is just wasted energy.
It was a premise in my calculation that the two bullets had the same penetration depth. That was the starting point for my calculation not the conclusion. My model didn't include any shock wave effects. My calculation had the limited purpose of exploring the question of which was more important, energy or momentum. The model suggested to me that energy controlled the penetration depth and momentum controlled the penetration time. Penetration depth is obviously important but I don't know whether or not penetration time is important.

crashclint
March 9, 2010, 11:58 PM
Both are great rounds, but I prefer .45.

Reading people talking about the 9mm having more capacity, I don't spray and pray, I am pretty good at hitting what I aim at without expelling a butt load of rounds. :D

GLOOB
March 10, 2010, 06:11 PM
It was a premise in my calculation that the two bullets had the same penetration depth. That was the starting point for my calculation not the conclusion.
Well, it was my impression that you started with the premise that the bullets were the same diameter and energy at impact. Then you calculated that they would penetrate to the same depth. Not taking into account the greater vibration, sound, and shock wave that would result from the impact of the faster lighter projectile. Why would I have gotten that idea? Oh, I dunno:

I think you are referring my post #139 with its attached calculation. In my (highly idealized) calculation, two bullets of the same cross-sectional area and same impact energy were found to penetrate to the same depth.
... my bold and italics.

farmallmta
March 11, 2010, 01:05 AM
.45 is painfully slow

Yes, but slow plus lower energy for the larger mass means the .45 is less likely to blow out the other side of the dummy you're shooting at, causing collateral damage to those behind. Plus you still get the big ball peen hammer effect on your perp.

Pretty useful characteristics, when you think about it along those lines.

christcorp
March 11, 2010, 09:51 AM
For the "Jell-O" shooter, it's definitely possible for the 40 to come up with some better numbers. But people aren't Jell-O. The 45acp has been, is, and will always be a better caliber against people than the 40sw. Yes, the slower and heavier bullet is what makes it better. Now, if you don't have confidence in your abilities to hit your target, and you need 13, 15, or more rounds, then the 40sw is a better caliber. But if you know how to hit your target, the 45acp is better. And no, you're not the police. You're not being offensive and breaking down doors on a crack house doing a drug bust. You're not going into a gang environment trying to take down members. You are defending yourself against a threat against you. No, the 45acp wins every time. Matter of fact, the ONLY reason I have ever heard of police forces ever going away from the 45acp, was because of their need for a larger capacity gun for their "Offensive" in nature and unique requirements compared to someone using a gun simply for defensive purposes. But even some of them are moving or thinking of moving back to the 45acp.

Rshooter
March 11, 2010, 02:05 PM
.357 and .45 for me. If I can't do it in six or ten I do not need to be there.

Hangingrock
March 11, 2010, 10:07 PM
I was in a situation that made a lasting impression with me (nineteen at the time).

An adversary was hit center mass with a 45ACP went down, got back up center mass hits with a M1 carbine went down came back up and center mass hits with an M14 finished it. Our adversary during this up and down confrontation managed to toss a grenade and hose us with a PPS43. (Gunnery Sgt Korea veteran told me that’s what it was.)

What does this little story have to do with the comparison of the 40-S&W and 45-ACP you ask? There are no guarantees. Use either one but be prepared for the unexpected should plan “A” not work you’d better have plan “B”

outerlimit
March 12, 2010, 12:18 AM
Absolutely, there's no guarantees. Anyone who's seen a deer shot through the heart with a .270 and then run 200 yards before collapsing knows this.

But if there's a choice between 9mm, .40S&W and .45acp I'll choose .45acp everytime. What caliber do I carry most often? 9mm, because I'm perfectly comfortable with it, but I know .45acp is better.

Would I be comfortable carrying a .380 mouse gun? Not at all. Maybe a Manurhin PP with hot Fiocchi, but that's pushing the limits of my comfort level.

jackpinesavages
March 12, 2010, 06:27 AM
I have 3 of em. :D















:eek:

REAPER4206969
March 12, 2010, 06:33 AM
The 45acp has been, is, and will always be a better caliber against people than the 40sw.
Cool story, man.

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