A first hand account. Single 9mm fmj fatality


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swmed
June 1, 2010, 07:12 AM
Hello forum. I've always come to THR for the considerable knowledge forum member have on various topics.

Keep up the good posts guys.

-

I'm in training as an ER Technician & have recently seen an unfortunate but interesting case.

A gun shot victim was brought into the ER with a single gun shot wound to the upper chest.

Specifically through the sternum. (wound almost exactly between the pectoral muscles)

The victim also had an exit wound almost straight out the the back. It looked as if the bullet changed direction after impact then going slightly upward & exiting. Basically straight through.

I've always been interested in reading about ballistics. And to read it & then see it. Is very different. And this fit the definition of a "one shot stop".

The bullet was a 9mm fmj. The victim was by all means in prime health. And roughly (being vague) 180lbs.

The report we have puts the shooter out to 10 or 15 feet away that the shot was fired at the victim.

Accounts point to an almost immediate drop after impact.

This sounds like a street brawl, bar fight that got out of hand. And the victim was in the middle of it etc.

At first I was thankful it wasn't a jhp. But that quickly changed.

Having two wounds to get at, while performing chest compressions. Just didn't work. The amound of fluid loss was so immediate, that even before arrival at the ER the EMTs (whom both have seen gsw before) called the chances of survival slim.

We live in a smaller community & lack a few things larger citys have.

It was shocking after reading the endless debating on 9mm vs "whatever caliber" to see a real world result on a round that most have discounted as being ineffective of one shot stops etc.

I have no idea if the bullet after leaving the body had allot of energy left & went much further or dropped after exit.

But maybe its something our Police are looking into for evidence.

With the accounts I have read about our troops shooting enemys 5 or more times with 9mm fmj's. I now wonder about accounts where 9mm fmj worked well. Or any fmj against soft targets for that matter.

This info was posted as an observation. I hope it can help in whatever way something like this can. If not to just talk & learn from it.

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WardenWolf
June 1, 2010, 07:38 AM
Good post, but there's a couple of important things to note here. One is that, by your description of the wound, it sounds very likely that the round hit the spinal column, which would, of course, result in the immediate drop. Even without a direct hit that severs it, the immediate nerve shock to that area would generally result in the subject going down immediately.

Second to note is that, while a straight-through FMJ shot through an upper torso area may result in a non-survivable wound, it is generally not going to stop the person instantly. A bullet that goes clean through without expanding does not transfer all of its energy to the target. In layman's terms, it means it does not do all the damage it could possibly do whlie going through. In this case, it was a lucky or exceedingly well-aimed shot that just happened to disrupt his nervous system in just such a way to bring him down instantly. This whole incident is a prime example of why shot placement is more important than the caliber or type of ammo you use.

btg3
June 1, 2010, 07:42 AM
Thanks for sharing an objective, detailed, factual incident. Even so, it is a single data point with so many factors that it would be erroneous to conclude this is "representative and repeatable with confidence".

redneck2
June 1, 2010, 07:58 AM
Back many years ago, I knew a guy that did a suicide attempt. Put a .410 shotgun to his chest and pulled the trigger. Survived, though pretty mutilated.

The 9mm vs. .45 debates are for internet idiots that play too many video games and live in a fantasy world.

I had a friend that worked in the ER at Gary Methodist Hosptial. Had a guy stagger in that had been hit with a 9mm seven times. He was out in a couple of days.

Never say always, never say never.

Ragnar Danneskjold
June 1, 2010, 07:59 AM
You're lying. Everyone knows 9mm is one of the worst self defense rounds ever made. You need at least 5 9mm rounds center mass to have the same effect as 1 .45 round whizzing by.

In all seriousness though, this really drives home that the caliber war crap is pointless. A bullet no matter how small to the right place will drop a grown man in his tracts. And a bullet no matter how bug to the wrong place can let him keep fighting for who knows how long. Practice to hit what you're aiming at.

Nushif
June 1, 2010, 08:15 AM
Nay! If I hit someone with FANGFACE!(tm) .45 ACP they're dead instantaneously. Even if I hit 'em in the toe.

Fred Fuller
June 1, 2010, 08:53 AM
swmed,

As near as I can tell, it pretty much boils down to two things where GSWs are concerned- placement, and penetration. There are a whole lot of variables in the way individual humans react to being shot, or shot at, but as far as physiological and not psychological effects are concerned, placement and penetration are the determining factors as to outcome.

fwiw,

lpl

CCWB
June 1, 2010, 09:08 AM
Make fun of me if you choose, but I've never had a hollow point pass through an object, so I'm thinking it must have been a target round. Also, I thought it was illegal to carry a target round in a weapon for self defense. At any rate it did boiled down to a piss poor or very well placed shot. And it blows that this person seems like a wrong place wrong time accident.

thanks for the real life account

pockets
June 1, 2010, 09:12 AM
I thought it was illegal to carry a target round in a weapon for self defense.
Where would that be illegal?

Dave P
June 1, 2010, 09:15 AM
"At any rate it did boiled down to a piss poor or very well placed shot"

Center of mass is not good enough for you???

shockwave
June 1, 2010, 09:33 AM
Even so, it is a single data point with so many factors that it would be erroneous to conclude this is "representative and repeatable with confidence".

The OP did not say that this was representative or repeatable.

There is no argument regarding the effectiveness of a 9mm round. It's on a par with .38 spl and usually a bit more powerful (http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/9mm%20vs%2038%20Special.htm). This report is a reminder that shot placement is critical.

I thought it was illegal to carry a target round in a weapon for self defense.

Never heard that before.

CCWB
June 1, 2010, 09:45 AM
the op said the victim was in the middle of it, so I originally thought they were in the wrong place and it was a freak accident type of shot. Center mass is what I shoot for so it would have to be the area of choice. As far as legality, why would you risk your life with a target round over a hollow point? I'd rather know my round is dumping 100% or close to it in my intended target. Without knowing for sure what was used, my HP rounds have never passed through. I'll check various laws to better educate myself though.

hammerklavier
June 1, 2010, 09:47 AM
Energy smynergy, if the shooter wasn't knocked to the ground by the recoil then the person shot will not be knocked to the ground by the bullet. Bullets kill primarily by blood loss, secondly by destroying important organs.

Taurus 617 CCW
June 1, 2010, 09:50 AM
From what I have learned, all hollowpoint bulets will reliably expand at 1400 feet per second. Many handgun calibers are not capable of producing those velocities. That's why we see such unpredictable performance in calibers smaller than the service cartridges (9mm, .357, .40, .45). I agree that shot placement is more important than caliber.

MachIVshooter
June 1, 2010, 09:59 AM
Welcome aboard, swmed.

Thanks for sharing your account of the incident.

However, single incidents like this one must be chalked up as anecdotal. Statistically, 80% of handgun wounds are survived. detailed information about bullet type and shot placement for that figure simply isn't available, and we can probably assume that most of the shots are not as well placed as the one you witnessd. But still, many people have survived COM hits with 9mm and other common handgun rounds.

I wouldn't want to be shot with a 9mm FMJ, for sure, no matter where it hits. But I am also not going to switch my carry load to FMJ and fire only once at an assailant because of isolated incidents in which it worked.

SaxonPig
June 1, 2010, 10:05 AM
Any caliber can kill a man if he's hit in the right spot.

Back in the 1970s in my home town there was a man who was an enforcer for the local Hells Angels named Armand Bletcher. He was about 6'6" or so and weighed around 400 pounds. He was also a body builder and was hugely muscled.

One night he called a guy and promised to come over and "mess him up." Guy was waiting with a S&W Model 39 and put one FMJ round in Bletcher's chest as the big man advanced on him. Bletcher dropped like a stone, dead before he hit the floor. Slug punched the heart and while there is often a few moments before the effect hits with heart shots, in this case the reaction was immediate.

Two lessons. Any caliber, even the ones some "experts" dismiss can be effective. Two, don't bring muscles, or karate, or a knife to a gunfight.

WhippingBoy
June 1, 2010, 12:15 PM
swmed, you say it went in the front and out the back. Do you have any info on what it hit on the way through? You say 'lots of fluids', does that mean a major artery, or the heart, or something else? Ayoob, if you've ever read his accounts, generally qualifies SD shootings with this information to better explain the results of shootings. It certainly helps explain why a shooting did, or didn't, end effectively.

sniper5
June 1, 2010, 12:28 PM
Make fun of me if you choose, but I've never had a hollow point pass through an object,


Won't make fun, but I have. Several times. One that comes to mind was National Shooting Club incident. Perp was struck twice with .45 Hydrashocks. One in the arm, one in the torso just to the right of the sternum. 1/2" hole in, 1/2" hole out through the back. Both bullets were recovered later by crime scene technicians, neither expanded.

There is no magic concerning bullets, it's all about physics.

The last time I saw a hollow point round expand and penetrate completely through the body was 2 days ago. Can't talk about it (look up HIPPA) because it involves patient confidentiality.

Shawn Dodson
June 1, 2010, 12:36 PM
Based on the description of the wound path through the body, the bullet most likely damaged or disrupted the spinal cord and produced instant flaccid paralyis, which caused him to collapse.

Full Metal Jacket
June 1, 2010, 01:20 PM
I've always come to THR for the considerable knowledge forum member have on various topics.



:eek:

W.E.G.
June 1, 2010, 01:32 PM
Anybody shot between the shirt pockets is usually going to die. If a major blood vessel is severed, they die real fast.

If the bulet hits the spine, or passes very near, they also "drop like a rock."

Zane
June 1, 2010, 02:21 PM
Having two wounds to get at, while performing chest compressions. Just didn't work. The amound of fluid loss was so immediate, that even before arrival at the ER the EMTs (whom both have seen gsw before) called the chances of survival slim.


The chance of survival is essentially zero. CPR is going to do nothing for the person. The only way they could survive is an immediate thoracotomy with rapid repair/control of the injury and likely a crap load of transfused blood. If the guy loses vitals during transport, you can do CPR. If the guy loses vitals while you are watching/extricating then just grab an go.

The victim also had an exit wound almost straight out the the back. It looked as if the bullet changed direction after impact then going slightly upward & exiting. Basically straight through.

Make sure you don't say things like "entry" and "exit" in your report.

rocky branch
June 1, 2010, 02:33 PM
Any hunter or combat vet, or medical guys can tell you, death is fickle.

I have seen guys shot to pieces with open skulls who survived.
Others with imperceptable wounds who were dead when they hit the ground.

Certain projectiles are more predictable than others, in the end, results are incidental.

CoRoMo
June 1, 2010, 03:06 PM
...a round that most have discounted as being ineffective of one shot stops...
I can't possibly believe that there is a majority opinion believing this. Even those who believe the round to be less effective than another, would still acknowledge that a round through the heart, and especially if it then hit the spine, would bring about a "stop".

KodiakBeer
June 1, 2010, 03:44 PM
I don't think most people grasp basic anatomy. In fact, these type of threads are pretty good evidence of that.

If you get a frontal shot into the lower 2/3rds of the sternum, the guy is going down pretty quick and it doesn't matter if you're using HP's or FMJ's or 9mm or .454. The heart is directly beneath the lower sternum (no, it's not on the left side), just an inch or so below the surface. Above the heart is the Aorta and Vena Cava, the two largest blood vessels in the body. You rupture any of those and blood pressure begins to drop immediately.
The bigger the rupture, the faster the incapacitation. So yes, marginally, the bigger the bullet the better, but the difference between a 9mm and .45 is only 1/10th of an inch. HP's make bigger holes than FMJ's, so your choice of bullet style makes far more difference than your choice of caliber.

Any hunter can tell you about the deer he shot with a .308 that ran 100 yards before dropping, with its lungs and heart made into soup. The damage from a handgun is far less than that, so you can't count on even a perfect handgun shot stopping an assailant from shooting back. In physiological terms, unless you get a CNS hit, it's blood loss (lack of oxygen to the cells) that incapacitates. So, even a perfect heart shot might leave the person active for as long as a person can hold their breath.

sniper5
June 1, 2010, 06:25 PM
The heart is directly beneath the lower sternum (no, it's not on the left side), just an inch or so below the surface.

Mostly true. The heart sits at an angle with the left ventricle lying slightly to the left of the sternum. You can pull up chest xrays to check this. In fact the landmarks for hitting the left ventricle are the 4th intercostal space, midclavicular line, which will just about dead center the left ventricle. Although when I used to do IC sticks I usually preferred the subxyphoid approach because it was easier to find on fat people.

Bentonville
June 1, 2010, 06:42 PM
Hey, Sniper5!!!:mad: I resemble that remark !

Zack
June 1, 2010, 06:51 PM
I watch the ER shows on tv, I forget the names but they show real stuff, cameras on scene. I seen a few guys get shot in the head, some lived and some do not.

JR47
June 1, 2010, 06:57 PM
From what I have learned, all hollowpoint bulets will reliably expand at 1400 feet per second.

Actually, the lower threshold of expansion has long been considered 1000 fps. That has been lowered lately in many cases by the factories and their research.

The location described was also seen in a Laurel, Maryland shooting early one Sunday morning. A domestic, in which the male decided to assault the officer with a kitchen knife. The officer discharged a single round, a 180 gr. JHP .40 cal. HydraShok. It struck nearly dead-center of the sternum, literally. The man collapsed "immediately" according to family witnesses, and the officer.

CPR, intubation, and a drug challenge en route to the ER, approximately 10 minutes away, left the man successfully dead.

Penetrating the heart, or it's major vessels into or our of the heart, causes rapid incapacitation, and almost certain death in the field.

sonier
June 1, 2010, 07:00 PM
It was a perfect well placed shot and the round did the job, for those who we feel that in a scenario we must use a firearm, if we are not competent enough to make a perfect shot we use more destructive rounds HP larger caliber etc. If i felt i could keep my cool and make a perfect placed shot i would use a 9mm, but personally I dont think i could be that good of a shot in a bad scenario so i use a 357 mag, explosive if you hit them anywhere center mass to abdomen theres a better chance they will go down with one shot, than a FMJ 9mm.

RockyMtnTactical
June 1, 2010, 07:01 PM
This kind of thing happens.

There is no exact science behind one shot stops, barring a CNS shot. One shot stops are possible, although they are really the exception.

Erik M
June 1, 2010, 07:12 PM
if the round went straight through in the area of the sternum then my guess would be that it hit one of the major artery's or veins connected to the heart. the op did say the immediate loss of 'fluid', a large amount i assume, would suggest this. I had always read that a 9mm fmj doesn't leave a big enough hole for someone to bleed out quickly.

Red Cent
June 1, 2010, 07:36 PM
THE Classic:


Matix was then shot in the right forearm, probably by Grogan.
McNeill returned fire with six shots from his revolver, hitting Matix with two rounds in the head and neck.
As Platt climbed out of the passenger side car window, one of Dove's 9 mm rounds hit his right upper arm and went on to penetrate his chest, stopping an inch away from his heart. The autopsy found Platt’s right lung was collapsed and his chest cavity contained 1.3 liters of blood, suggesting damage to the main blood vessels of the right lung.
..........Platt had to climb across the hood of this vehicle, a Cutlass. As he did so, he was shot twice, in the right thigh and left foot. The shots were believed to have been fired by Dove.
Platt ......................received another wound when turning to fire at Hanlon, Dove and Grogan. The bullet, fired by Risner or Orrantia, penetrated Platt's right forearm, fractured the radius bone and exited the forearm.
...........Platt was shot again shortly afterwards, this time by Risner. The bullet penetrated Platt's right upper arm, exited below the armpit and entered his torso, stopping below his shoulder blade.
As Platt entered Grogan and Dove's car, Mireles, able to use only one arm, fired the first of five rounds from his pump-action shotgun, wounding Platt in both feet.
Mireles drew his .357 Magnum revolver, moved parallel to the street and then directly toward Platt and Matix. Mireles fired six rounds at the suspects. The first round missed, hitting the back of the front seat. The second hit the driver's side window post and fragmented, with one small piece hitting Platt in the scalp. The third hit Matix in the face, and fragmented in two, with neither piece causing a serious wound. The fourth hit Matix in the face next to his right eye socket, travelled downward through the facial bones, into the neck, where it entered the spinal column and severed the spinal cord. The fifth hit Matix in the face, penetrated the jaw bone and neck and came to rest by the spinal column.[20] Mireles reached the driver's side door, extended his revolver through the window, and fired his sixth shot at Platt. The bullet penetrated Platt's chest and bruised the spinal cord, ending the gunfight.
The shootout involved ten people: two suspects and eight FBI agents. Of the ten participants, only one emerged from the battle unharmed. The incident lasted more than four minutes and approximately 145 shots were exchanged.

wideym
June 1, 2010, 08:21 PM
I've seen insurgents hit COM with 5.56 run away and I've seen some drop dead as as door nail. One of the guys in my platoon had his guts hanging out after an RPG hit his truck, yet he lived without major complications, while one guy at Taji had some minor scrapnel wounds in his calf and died of shock within 10 minutes.

The human body is a wonderful yet weird mechanism. Sometimes the most horrific wounds are survivable and the smallest less invasive wound will kill ya.

Oyeboten
June 1, 2010, 08:59 PM
Bullet upon exit might have been caught in one's bare hands with no injury...or maybe not, hard to guess. Often enough, upper body through-and-throughs are caugh the back side of the person's shirt.


Indeed, perforating the edge of the Heart or Aorta would usually occasion a nervous disruption, followed very quickly by a drop in both Blood Pressure and Oxygen to the Brain...unconsciousness...and, fatality following closely unless Surgical intervention and repair is timely.

CPR would probably only make things slightly worse, by accelerating the rate of Blood loss.


There are many stories, and videos showing also, where a person is shot with a small caliber Handgun, and drops instantly, unconscious apparently, yet later it turns out that no especially serious wound had occurred.


Possibly some people's unique Nervous System merely reacts that way, while others, do not.

30mag
June 1, 2010, 09:26 PM
10-15 feet is three to five yards. That's REALLY close.
I imagine you could stop most people with one shot at that range with most calibers.

Hatterasguy
June 1, 2010, 10:50 PM
As long as you put rounds on target any bullet will do.

swmed
June 1, 2010, 11:14 PM
Paralysis was something we all thought at the time.

Upon turning the victim over to address the exit wound, we noted it was about an inch & a half away from the actual spine. But close enough that I can not say if it wasn't a factor. Or if the spine wasn't damaged somehow by the proximity of the wound.

There was allot more going that we couldn't see. Damage to the spinal cord even with out a direct hit is very possible. The shot went through the sternum. Which isn't a thin weak bone.

So what it did when it moved through the body and passing by the spine or by how close. I also don't know.

But speculation we couldn't do. We had to address what we saw & choose then.

I personally feel the patients sympathetic response was limited. The proximity to the spine would be my guess. But I just don't know.

Blood transfusions were performed. We were almost pouring it into the patient. I have to be vague about some details intentionally for patient privacy.

But the amount of fluids we were giving was allot as an understatment.

This case is one for our books as it brings allot to the table for any team to address.

As we do compressions, we can't address the bleeding wound on the back. And can't get enough hands on to address the wound to the front because we had to keep on compressions.

There were hard calls to make. Several times we were able to stop and get started on the patients back when it seemed the situation became more stable.

Both wounds were very similar in the amount of fluid loss. (still more from the front would be my guess)

And both wounds pumped blood out as we performed compressions...

The location of the shot, made our attempts to address the wounds while simultaneously performing critical compressions feel feeble.
:(

If the shot didn't penetrate as far as it did, it would of made our job easier.

Knowing a jhp would dump more energy & cause more damage still isn't a reassuring thought. :rolleyes: So I won't speculate if the patient would of survived from a jhp.

The few of us that know what the difference is in the ER agreed that we wished it was a jhp because this is certain -

It would of given us one less serious gushing wound to address, causing less fluid loss & decreasing the chance of spinal injury/shock from the proximity of the wound. Changing the entire dynamic in our response to attend to the wound.

Having these two wounds in this case set in motion a series of fatal events inside the patient.

Being struck anywhere between the nipples & the chin with a fmj or jhp is going to cause something very bad to happen. Being an highly vascular area of the body & sudden change to venous pressure could/would be catastrophic.

One of us talked to the police to get some more details. The account they told us was the shot buckled this 180lbs victim from their early first contact with those at the scene who were eye witnesses.
(didn't fall backwards, knees went out & then collapsed to the side in fetal position)

The challenge to keep switching ER Tech's every 5m to 10m to perform chest compressions while performing blood transfusion. Then to just have it pumped in & right back out again.

We had people waiting in a small line to switch off for compressions...

The heart was intact, (pulse) and could without a doubt function. But as to it's functioning properly? we didn't have the time to tell.

The amount of fluid in the upper chest was very notable. And when I say fluid, I mean blood as one poster asked.

5 hours later of intense work. The patient couldn't hang on. The only other option was air evac to our major city which he would not have survived in our opinion.

If we had a vascular surgeon here the patient would of could of made it IMO.

Everyone was wiped out. All of us could of gone on for days for this patient. But in the end it, the situation didn't become stable enough to perform any move or procedure other than what we did. (RIP)


As to the events leading up to this. It wasn't a case of wrong place wrong time. Sounds like a crowd of people in the street fighting.
Looks like the victim was a somewhat willing participant in the event that lead to their own death. The knuckles on each of the patients hands had signs of impact.

And I would like to stress the shape the patient was in. Top shape. Not linebacker big. But large in muscle mass & tone. And average height.

The patient had everything a person needs & more for anyone to survive an event like this. The amount of time it took from the shot fired to the ride into the ER was less then 8m from what I know!

Time, physical condition & youth was on the patients side. By far.

If this topic does anything for anyone, is great.

One thing I would like others to take away is the leathality of any projectile.

There are posts all over the internet on forums who's topic states the 9mm (or any fmj round) lacks the power to stop a person dead.
When I see these ignorant posts saying "they would rather have a rock or sharp stick than a 9mm fmj vs whatever". I will now do my part to educate instead of just rolling on...

Please don't make this a thread on bullet design. But that no matter the bullet design, all of them are capable in stopping a person in their tracks and ending life. Period.

For others online to have a cavalier attitude towards fmj is an outright disservice to those reading the forums who don't have the knowledge that all bullets posses inherent lethality & thus furthering a cavalier attitude.



I've Seen a few GSW to date. Each time drives home the old lesson of safety.

Stay alive, stay safe everyone :)

MachIVshooter
June 2, 2010, 12:15 AM
The few of us that know what the difference is in the ER agreed that we wished it was a jhp because this is certain -

It would of given us one less serious gushing wound to address, causing less fluid loss & decreasing the chance of spinal injury/shock from the proximity of the wound. Changing the entire dynamic in our response to attend to the wound.

That can't be said with any degree of certainty. A HP may have perfromed just as the FMJ did. Or it may not have exited, but done far more damage inside. It doesn't really matter if there is a hole in the skin for the blood to leak out of; if it's getting out of the organs/arteries, it's blood loss. In fact, blood contained within the chest could further complicate the situation by restricting lung expansion. You may have had to make a second hole.

Bullet wounds are strange things, so it's kinda pointless to speculate about how a different one would have performed. .45 slugs have skipped off of skulls, yet a .22 LR or other small bullet to the peanut has resulted in DRT. Shoot, I remember seeing a cruiser cam recording of an officer struggling with an intoxicated man. The officer shot him with a .45 at contact distance and hit him square in the middle. The guy kept fighting for a good while before he finally stumbled and retreated to sit on the tailgate of his truck. DOn't know if he later succumbed to his wounds, but he still had plenty of fight in him after being drilled COM with a big bullet.

GlockStar
June 2, 2010, 01:51 AM
Thanks for the post. Interesting to see real feedback like that.

Mr. Bojangles
June 2, 2010, 04:52 AM
Just remember not to define entry and exit wounds as such on your dictation or nurses notes. List them as wounds or GSW only.

chieftain
June 2, 2010, 09:05 AM
10-15 feet is three to five yards. That's REALLY close.
I imagine you could stop most people with one shot at that range with most calibers.

AS a matter of fact that is not true, and never has been true. Hand guns frankly suck at stopping anyone. The closer the bad guy is to you the more you need your shoulder weapons (rifle/carbine/shotgun superior accuracy, and effectiveness on target)

Besides Trauma ICU earlier in my career, I worked in an inner city ER just prior to my medical retirement.

From the leading Terminal Ballistics researcher in America today, Dr Gary Roberts, USNR LtCmdr, and former Reserve LEO in California too.


NONE of the common service pistol calibers generate temporary cavities of sufficient magnitude to cause significant tissue damage. Anyone interested in this topic should read and periodically re-read, “Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness” by Urey Patrick of the FBI FTU, as this remains the single best discussion of the wound ballistic requirements of handguns used for self-defense -- it is available at:
http://www.firearmstactical.com/hwfe.htm .

Keeping in mind that handguns generally offer poor incapacitation potential, bullets with effective terminal performance are available in all of the most commonly used duty pistol calibers—pick the one that you shoot most accurately, that is most reliable in the type of pistol you choose, and best suits your likely engagement scenarios.

Basically all the standard service calibers work when using good quality ammunition.

Basically all the standard service calibers work when using good quality ammunition.

The keys are:

-- Cultivate a warrior mindset
-- Invest in competent, thorough initial training and then maintain skills with regular ongoing practice
-- Acquire a reliable and durable weapon system
-- Purchase a consistent, robust performing duty/self-defense load in sufficient quantities (at least 1000 rounds) then STOP worrying about the nuances of handgun ammunition terminal performance.


And if you think you might be headed for one, or know you are going to a fight, take a shoulder arm, in fact take several, and either leave the pistol, or understand it is a secondary weapon.

One gets “CAUGHT” with a pistol, one goes to fight with a shoulder weapon.

Go figure.

Fred

Steve Marshall
June 2, 2010, 11:24 AM
I get a kick out of what people "know". None of the following is easily verifiable. You'll have to take my word on them. I witnessed 2 and did one.
#1. I shot a water buffalo 5 or 6 times with a 50 and little immediate visible effect. After a few seconds, it fell down and was dispatched with an M-16.
#2. I saw a water buffalo drop as if pole axed with one round of M-16.
#3. Tex was shot in the nostril with what we assume was an SKS/AK round but we weren't sure. It knocked out several several teeth. Tex didn't realize he'd been shot until the firefight was over. That's a hole in the nostril, several teeth missing and a hole through his cheek. Jello junkies and naysayers discuss amongst yourselves.

Omaha-BeenGlockin
June 2, 2010, 12:08 PM
All bets are off once you start putting holes through flesh. Been that way as long as I can remember.

mustang_steve
June 2, 2010, 10:41 PM
I'll throw a few pennies to consider into this.

FMJ ammunition doesn't deform, as it was designed to pass through the target. This means a deep but narrow wound channel if the bullet performed optimally.

JHP ammunition deforms into a flower shape when performing optimally, and this flower is spinning, so you basically have a twisting torn wound channel (as opposed to punctured like the FMJ would most likely do, provided it's not tumbling for whatever reason). This wound channel is significantly larger, and while penetration is far lower, overall tissue damage has the potential to be far more devastating.

Rifle rounds are the worst simply due to the supersonic velocities combined with the sheer kinetic energy many of these rounds have. The overall effect is debatable, but anyone that's seen what a .308 does to an animal can attest, the wound channel is significantly worse than any pistol round could deliver.

MachIVshooter
June 2, 2010, 10:49 PM
Rifle rounds are the worst simply due to the supersonic velocities combined with the sheer kinetic energy many of these rounds have

The energy really has nothing to do with their lethality. It's just a byproduct of mass and velocity.

It is the velocity that causes the tremendous damage, and the point at which that kind of damage starts to occur is closer to mach 2. Many handgun rounds are supersonic. They don't cause that kind of immense damage. But starting at around 2,000 FPS, the effects of hydrostatic shock and the resulting cavity stretch, both temporary and permanent, become evident. That's why a 5.56mm bullet can make a 6" wide wound channel, even though it has only about the same amount of energy as a stout .44 magnum load fired from a handgun.

easyg
June 3, 2010, 10:26 AM
The few of us that know what the difference is in the ER agreed that we wished it was a jhp because this is certain -

It would of given us one less serious gushing wound to address, causing less fluid loss & decreasing the chance of spinal injury/shock from the proximity of the wound. Changing the entire dynamic in our response to attend to the wound.

That can't be said with any degree of certainty. A HP may have perfromed just as the FMJ did. Or it may not have exited, but done far more damage inside. It doesn't really matter if there is a hole in the skin for the blood to leak out of; if it's getting out of the organs/arteries, it's blood loss. In fact, blood contained within the chest could further complicate the situation by restricting lung expansion. You may have had to make a second hole.
Exactly.

Blood "gushing" from two holes is no worse than blood gushing from one hole and also filling up the thoracic cavity or the abdominal cavity.
What matters is the lack of blood to vital organs like the heart and the brain.



I'm surprised that you guys didn't crack open the chest and perform hand compressions to the heart itself while trying to isolate the source of the bleeding.

Poprivit
June 3, 2010, 01:18 PM
Discussion of 9mm vs. 45 is a game. Think of two relative sizes - elephant and a .577 Nitro 750 gr, bullet. Place one over the other (your choice). 12,000lb elephant, 750-gr, bullet. From 5 yards you can't see the bullet. 1998 Botswana. One shot from a Searcy .577 into the brain, one dead elephant. Anything into the brain is an instant drop. If you could drive a .22 lr into the brain, which it would have to penetrate 2.5 feet of honeycomb bone, it would kill.

winchester '97
June 3, 2010, 01:53 PM
Once again, its not how big the bullet is, its where you put it, shot placement is more important than caliber with anything over .32 cal IMO.

30mag
June 8, 2010, 12:15 AM
Quote:
10-15 feet is three to five yards. That's REALLY close.
I imagine you could stop most people with one shot at that range with most calibers.
AS a matter of fact that is not true, and never has been true. Hand guns frankly suck at stopping anyone. The closer the bad guy is to you the more you need your shoulder weapons (rifle/carbine/shotgun superior accuracy, and effectiveness on target)

Besides Trauma ICU earlier in my career, I worked in an inner city ER just prior to my medical retirement.

From the leading Terminal Ballistics researcher in America today, Dr Gary Roberts, USNR LtCmdr, and former Reserve LEO in California too.

Quote:
NONE of the common service pistol calibers generate temporary cavities of sufficient magnitude to cause significant tissue damage. Anyone interested in this topic should read and periodically re-read, “Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness” by Urey Patrick of the FBI FTU, as this remains the single best discussion of the wound ballistic requirements of handguns used for self-defense -- it is available at:
http://www.firearmstactical.com/hwfe.htm .

Keeping in mind that handguns generally offer poor incapacitation potential, bullets with effective terminal performance are available in all of the most commonly used duty pistol calibers—pick the one that you shoot most accurately, that is most reliable in the type of pistol you choose, and best suits your likely engagement scenarios.

Basically all the standard service calibers work when using good quality ammunition.

Basically all the standard service calibers work when using good quality ammunition.

The keys are:

-- Cultivate a warrior mindset
-- Invest in competent, thorough initial training and then maintain skills with regular ongoing practice
-- Acquire a reliable and durable weapon system
-- Purchase a consistent, robust performing duty/self-defense load in sufficient quantities (at least 1000 rounds) then STOP worrying about the nuances of handgun ammunition terminal performance.
And if you think you might be headed for one, or know you are going to a fight, take a shoulder arm, in fact take several, and either leave the pistol, or understand it is a secondary weapon.

One gets “CAUGHT” with a pistol, one goes to fight with a shoulder weapon.

Go figure.

Fred

First off, I was addressing how in the limited scope of such a situation in which say THE BULLET TRAVELS THROUGH THE SPINE after traveling 10-15 feet, most calibers will stop someone with one shot.
I'm sorry I didn't outline this qualification specifically because I thought that since the situation was outlined in the OP, the thread would be discussing it.
My mistake.

As is however, I think most FBI studies have concluded that the only thing that directly correlates with the effectiveness of a round is placement, penetration and permanent cavity.

Buck Snort
June 8, 2010, 02:15 AM
:eek:
Now FMJ, THAT'S not nice!!

Buck Snort
June 8, 2010, 02:41 AM
QUOTE: "10-15 feet is three to five yards. That's REALLY close.
I imagine you could stop most people with one shot at that range with most calibers."

Chieftain wrote: "AS a matter of fact that is not true, and never has been true. Hand guns frankly suck at stopping anyone."

Patently false. He said "most people" and that includes old folks, young children, those frail with dibilitating disease, those with a mordib fear of firearms, etc. "Most people" would drop like a rock after having been shot at 15 ft. It's the people who WOULDN'T that concern me. Among their ranks are many loaded to the gills on illicit drugs.

HisSoldier
June 8, 2010, 03:43 PM
Just remember not to define entry and exit wounds as such on your dictation or nurses notes. List them as wounds or GSW only.

What's that about?

sniper5
June 8, 2010, 07:43 PM
Quote:
Just remember not to define entry and exit wounds as such on your dictation or nurses notes. List them as wounds or GSW only.
What's that about?

In the bizarre parallel universe of medicolegal issues, if you go to court they will look for ways to discredit your documentation. If you classify entrance and exit wounds the lawyer will ask you where you got your training as a criminologist. If you don't have any that you can document your entire chart will be dismissed as "filled with false information, speculation and inaccuracies" and and you will be discredited and your testimony considered invalid. Not a big deal if you're a witness, it means you get to go home early, but if you're a plaintiff or ,worse, a defendant it kinda sucks.

Double Naught Spy
June 8, 2010, 08:55 PM
In the bizarre parallel universe of medicolegal issues, if you go to court they will look for ways to discredit your documentation. If you classify entrance and exit wounds the lawyer will ask you where you got your training as a criminologist. If you don't have any that you can document your entire chart will be dismissed as "filled with false information, speculation and inaccuracies" and and you will be discredited and your testimony considered invalid. Not a big deal if you're a witness, it means you get to go home early, but if you're a plaintiff or ,worse, a defendant it kinda sucks.

So you are saying the paramedic should not say things for which he does not have specific knowledge as s/he may be sued at some point for statements made?

I guess technically, he can't see it was a through and through either if he can't identify and entry and exit. You just know you have wounds on opposing sides that may or may not connect to be a single incident. Could be two shots. Can't count on witnesses to know for certain how many times he was shot either.

sniper5
June 8, 2010, 09:27 PM
So you are saying the paramedic should not say things for which he does not have specific knowledge as s/he may be sued at some point for statements made?

I guess technically, he can't see it was a through and through either if he can't identify and entry and exit. You just know you have wounds on opposing sides that may or may not connect to be a single incident. Could be two shots. Can't count on witnesses to know for certain how many times he was shot either.


Generally not sued for the statements made per se unless the statement is libelous, but if you have to defend against malpractice (and contrary to what some believe about good samaritan laws, first responders CAN be sued and have been, because they are providing care as their job, not as a bystander) you don't want your documentation of care to be discredited. If your documentation of care is considered false or sloppy or improper, then your care rendered will be considered likewise. That will open a whole can of worms as well. Reading charts, you can definitely tell who's gone to court and who hasn't.

Also, in the real world, I have seen even trauma surgeons and ER docs get surprised frequently when someone has 2 holes one of which looks like an entrance and one looks like an exit and reports of one shooter and only one shot fired and look at the x-ray and find 2 bullets. In one case, come to find out that 2 people had fired, everyone tunnelled on one and didn't notice the other, and one bullet had expanded by going through an object before making contact with the subject. You hear the words "maybe" and "possible" used a lot before CT studies are done even by people with lots of knowledge and experience who are pretty sure about what they are seeing.

GLOOB
June 8, 2010, 09:33 PM
There are many stories, and videos showing also, where a person is shot with a small caliber Handgun, and drops instantly, unconscious apparently, yet later it turns out that no especially serious wound had occurred.
Possibly some people's unique Nervous System merely reacts that way, while others, do not.

Sometimes people drop instantly to the ground from CNS hits. Sometimes they are shot through the heart, and that HURTS. A shot to the solar plexus can also temporarily immobilize someone beyond any voluntary control.

But does no one consider that sometimes people may drop, even feigning death, voluntarily? Especially if that person is unarmed and has no reasonable escape or defense? It's nothing more than waving the white flag. It's saying "I give up. You win! I don't want to play anymore. I'm no longer a threat, and I don't want to get shot again." The guy with the gun wants you to act like a dead man, then why not go along with it? Make the guy with the gun happy, and maybe he won't shoot you 15+1 times.

sniper5
June 9, 2010, 12:51 AM
Sometimes people drop instantly to the ground from CNS hits. Sometimes they are shot through the heart, and that HURTS. A shot to the solar plexus can also temporarily immobilize someone beyond any voluntary control.

But does no one consider that sometimes people may drop, even feigning death, voluntarily? Especially if that person is unarmed and has no reasonable escape or defense? It's nothing more than waving the white flag. It's saying "I give up. You win! I don't want to play anymore. I'm no longer a threat, and I don't want to get shot again." The guy with the gun wants you to act like a dead man, then why not go along with it? Make the guy with the gun happy, and maybe he won't shoot you 15+1 times.

Actually, sometimes not voluntarily. There was a study done during WW1 wherein doctors noticed people dying from what should be survivable wounds. The belief was held, and I believe there is still evidence to that effect, that some people might literally be scared to death, believing that they are dead because their subconscious equates being shot with being killed. I don't know how all of that is explained physiologically, but it has been documented to have happened. True or not, there seems to be a link between the will to survive and survival, even with people who are not consciously aware. Some people in (and out of) the medical community swear by it.

harmon rabb
June 9, 2010, 08:27 AM
I thought it was illegal to carry a target round in a weapon for self defense.

that's not true in any state. in fact, a few commie/socialist/libtard states ban hollow points, but none of them ban fmj's.

chieftain
June 9, 2010, 01:06 PM
True or not, there seems to be a link between the will to survive and survival, even with people who are not consciously aware. Some people in (and out of) the medical community swear by it.


Yup! I have seen it many times in combat, ER, ICU's etc.

Both ur guys and the bad guys. Very hard to stop a guy that doesn't want to be stopped and die. Very easy to kill or stop a guy that doesn't know he's in a fight, or doesn't have either a will to live, or a strong will to live. Don't ever underestimate physical condition either. Subjectively I personally put greater weight on the person's will, but physical condition IS a major component.

Don't ever count on a successful stop with a handgun, it's not a magic wand and it aint a rifle. Keep shooting until they are down and/or out of the fight. And even when down, they may not be out of the fight.

The ONLY thing approaching a sure single shot stop is a CNS hit. Otherwise, remember the vast majority of folks shot by handguns live. Number one reason is shot placement, number two reason is lack of power vs rifle/carbine/shotguns.

Immediately killed = stop. Stop does not have to mean killed. Killed may not stop if the BG stops after he hurts you or yours.

Don't confuse Killing with stopping. Killing will stop, but the question is the time frame of the kill, immediately or some later time, seconds, minutes, hours, days?

The only effective way of effecting a faster stop with handguns is a bunch of "good" hits with "high quality" bullets, short of a CNS hit, gives best POSSIBILITY of a timely stop. (drop the fluid level, let them bleed out, Hypovolemia, the faster the better = more holes)

AS recommended by the leading Terminal ballistic researcher and the FBI, if immediately stopping the bad guy is necessary and the desired goal, when ever possible use a shoulder weapon.

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