What makes the .357 Mag 125gr unquestionably the best manstopper?


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cleetus03
July 12, 2011, 01:45 PM
I've been curious about this for a while............so here it goes;

I've come across dozens of sources on the "internet" stating the .357 magnum in 125 JHP as the most effective handgun caliber and load in existence for self defense.

Do the terminal ballistics of this load really stand out that much greater compared to the plethora of other handgun caliber loads? If so why? And if not also why?

I appreciate any help or info yall can give me!

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wow6599
July 12, 2011, 01:54 PM
This is likely to open up a can of worms, but I tend to believe there is something to it -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrostatic_shock

JFrame
July 12, 2011, 02:18 PM
I'm guessing the reputation stems largely from Marshall & Sanow's "One-shot stop" database, which gives the .357 (with certain loads) the highest number of one-shot stops against the highest number of recorded instances, bumping up its empirical body of data.

Of course, there's a lot of controversy and debate surrounding the compilation of this DB...


.

CDW4ME
July 12, 2011, 02:27 PM
The books Street Stoppers and Handgun Stopping Power by Evan Marshall are likey the source of the data.

However, 45 acp in better loads equals the the .357 and select 40 S&W and 9mm +P+ are only a few points behind.

In any of those calibers you can find at least 3 loads that have been 90% effective based on actual shootings.

I'm not worried if something is 90% vs 96% either way that load has proven effective, selection should be based on feeding reliability and hitting POA.

Regardless, I still prefer the 45 acp (230 gr.), 40 (165 gr.) .357 SIG (125 gr.)

wow6599
July 12, 2011, 02:28 PM
I'm guessing the reputation stems largely from Marshall & Sanow's "One-shot stop" database, which gives the .357 (with certain loads) the highest number

Yeah, it's Federal's 125 gr JHP????? I can't remember the product number, but I do know that they are very hard to find.........if even still being made.

Shmackey
July 12, 2011, 02:30 PM
Nothing.

NMBrian
July 12, 2011, 02:30 PM
Its just my opinion, but id say with modern HP ammunition, all of the "service" calibers are so close in stopping power, that the difference is really negligible.

A center mass hit with 9mm, .40, .45, .357mag, etc are all going to bring someone down 90%+ of the time.

IMO.

JFrame
July 12, 2011, 02:32 PM
Yeah, it's Federal's 125 gr JHP????? I can't remember the product number, but I do know that they are very hard to find.........if even still being made.


Yep -- assuming this link is an accurate reproduction of M&S's DB, it's a Federal 125-grain slug producing 96% OSS against 523 shootings:

http://www.familyfriendsfirearms.com/Stopping%20Power%20Statistics.htm


.

Cosmoline
July 12, 2011, 02:49 PM
They have good velocity and expansion but I'm not sold on their penetration esp. against the much larger folks around these days (some two or three times the size of the average man in the 1970's) and the heavier clothes in these parts during the winter.

But if you're dealing with skinny guys in light clothes, they appear to be fine choices.

Searcher4851
July 12, 2011, 02:57 PM
What makes the .357 Mag 125gr unquestionably the best manstopper?

It isn't. Don't believe everything you read on the internet.
The statistical information compiled in the quoted database is merely that. It doesn't really meet the criteria of an actual study. They sort of allude to that in the fact that they eliminated shot placement from their compilation. They also didn't classify the "subject" of the shooting. (250 pound man or 80 pound kid)
It is interesting, but without more information, and a more strict criteria for shots to be evaluated, it is by no means the be all end all.

Kleanbore
July 12, 2011, 03:17 PM
Posted by cleetus03: I've come across dozens of sources on the "internet" stating the .357 magnum in 125 JHP as the most effective handgun caliber and load in existence for self defense.You might want to read, study, and think about this (http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf) FBI report.

Here are some relevant excerpts:

Few, if any, shooting incidents will present the officer with an opportunity to take a careful, precisely aimed shot at the subjectís 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.

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 first paragraph (together with the obvious fact that one has to hit something vital) explains very well why a defender may well have to shoot very rapidly and repeatedly at a moving target, and the second, which is stated n the context of common handgun ammunition, why more "bang" is not necessarily better.

If one attends or participates in a realistic defensive pistol shooting course, he or she will see instructors and experienced competitors firing rapidly at multiple torso-sixed plates, and hitting them, say six times in three tenths of a second. Personally, I cannot do that with a concealable .357 Magnum with Magnum loads. I doubt that very many people can do it.

From that, I conclude that a .357 magnum revolver is not the most effective weapon in existence for self defense against human attackers.

The report also explains in some depth why the M&S study methodology probably does not, because it cannot, provide reliable conclusions.

tipoc
July 12, 2011, 04:02 PM
I've come across dozens of sources on the "internet" stating the .357 magnum in 125 JHP as the most effective handgun caliber and load in existence for self defense...
Do the terminal ballistics of this load really stand out that much greater compared to the plethora of other handgun caliber loads? If so why? And if not also why?

There is only one original source for this claim and that is Marshal and Sanow. No one else ever claimed it to be true. The "dozens of sources" all go back to the only original source for this claim and that is M&S. The work of M&S on their "One Shot Stop" statistics is more questioned than accepted.

The .357 Magnum made it's reputation with various 158 gr. SWC rounds for about 40 years before a reliable 125 r. jhp was introduced by Lee Jurras and Super Vel ammo in the mid 1970s. That round started a certain debate about which bullet weight was best in the .357 for defensive use. But the .357 already had a well established reputation as a hunting and defensive round prior to the introduction of the 125 gr. jhp.

Even then M&S did not claim that all 125 gr. loads were "the most effective" they claimed that certain brands of ammo loaded with specific bullets were, particularly the Federal and Remington loads. They also granted the 96% rating (the same they gave that 125 gr. 357 load) for some 45acp and some 40S&W loads. Certain loads of the 9mm trailed these by only a few percentage points.

So do the "terminal ballistics" of this load stand out a great deal more than other rounds? No not according to M&S and they are the only source for that one shot stop info.

If we look at what the term terminal ballistics actually means,which is what a bullet does after it strikes, than bullet construction plays an important often critical role. Depending on the caliber, bullet type, weight, velocity, etc. a number of service calibers will do equally effective jobs. So again we can say that no the .357 Mag with a 125 gr. load does not stand head and shoulders above some other rounds and loads.

The 125 gr. loads from Federal and Rem. are good loads for defense but they are also one choice from a number of good choices. Type of gun, how well the shooter can handle the load and their gun and shoot it, etc. play a more important role.

tipoc

GLOOB
July 12, 2011, 04:24 PM
A .357 revolver will score higher one shot stops compared to a semiauto, because it holds less ammo and has higher recoil than 9mm or .45. When you have 6 slower shots, you have to make them count.

When you have a 15 rounds on tap, some people will make hastier shots and double taps. Or total mag dumps without even aiming. If one of those shots wings the target, there ya go. It doesn't take that much to skew the statistics.

But that's neither here nor there, because the M&S statistics are all BS, anyway.

SharpsDressedMan
July 12, 2011, 04:36 PM
I think because it has the recorded history of knocking down people more often with one shot than any of the other REPORTED OR TESTED BULLET/CARTRIDGES. You have heard of one shot stops? A talley was done back in the 1980's by some ballistiticians, gathering what data there was from police, FBI, medical fascilities, etc, and doing a comparative report on available handgun rounds.

easyg
July 12, 2011, 05:21 PM
It might not be the best, but having shot many animals with a variety of handgun calibers, I do think that the 125g .357 magnum load performs well above many other loads.
It's a great load.

ColtPythonElite
July 12, 2011, 05:25 PM
I've seen .125 grainers drop deer like a bag of hammers. I can't argue if it's the best manstopper or not, but I'd guess it would rank pretty high on the list if there was an accurate way to compare rounds. Of course, it doesn't matter what data you compile or how you compile it, there's always gonna be a naysayer ready to shoot it full of holes.

Thompsoncustom
July 12, 2011, 05:46 PM
1900 fps and 1000 lbs of energy thats what :)

ColtPythonElite
July 12, 2011, 06:18 PM
I doubt if anybody is getting 1900 fps out of a revolver.

Vern Humphrey
July 12, 2011, 06:32 PM
The .357 125-grain load is effective in the self defense role. However, there is no statistically valid study that shows it to be more effective than several other rounds.

Thompsoncustom
July 12, 2011, 07:28 PM
Its tested out of a 5 inch revolver.
http://www.swampfoxgunworks.com/swampfox/product.php?productid=17712&cat=375&page=1

357 Terms
July 12, 2011, 07:56 PM
^^^^1.250-1.253 max overal length? large pistol primers?

LKB3rd
July 12, 2011, 08:30 PM
125 grain .357's are ludicrously loud, and I would prefer to use something that statistically is minute amounts worse, that wont make me deaf for a week and do permanent hearing damage.

SharpsDressedMan
July 12, 2011, 08:56 PM
How valid a study is is in the eyes of the critic. For some, they will never be conclusive enough. For others, they may accept them for wha they are. I view the Marshall-Sanow thing as good as it gets, without spending thousands of hours and way-too-much money for marginally more effective notetaking.

wow6599
July 12, 2011, 09:25 PM
1900 fps and 1000 lbs of energy

1.250-1.253 max overal length? large pistol primers

How are these numbers safe......or even possible? I would like to know the PSI range they are getting up to.

Maple_City_Woodsman
July 12, 2011, 10:08 PM
Besides internet rumor, and "studies" full of glaring methodological flaws?

Nothing.

tipoc
July 12, 2011, 10:28 PM
From Swamp Fox...
If you like the bullets but don't want max power we
can load them to your spec's, Just let me know.
max overall length 1.250" to 1.253"
Over 25 years experience loading ammo

My Lee reloading manual gives the Min. OAL for it's listed loads for 125 gr. bullets from the .357 as between 1.535" to 1.580" Usually the Max OAL for the .357 is 1.590 or so. I'm a bit suspicious of that claimed 1900 fps.

By the way I'll repeat it...not even M&S claim the 125 gr. bullet from the .357 Magnum is the "best manstopper". No one who has done any serious study on handgun ammo claims that.

tipoc

Mr.454
July 12, 2011, 10:40 PM
One argument for the .357 is that it is considered a hunting round, while 9mm and .45 are not. If you can't reliably bring down a fuzzy little deer with your gun, how would you feel against a 250 pound guy with a gun. But since I live in a ccw area and not oc I have to balance weight and size issues hence the 9mm. But given the opportunity I will always bring too much gun rather than just enough. And this brings us to the futility of these caliber discussions, we all have to make compromises. If your a peace officer you have department issued weapons you are stuck with. For our poor soldiers they are bound by international agreements and government penny pinching. And as for ccw holders we have to work hard to keep those guns covered and comfortable. I'm sure if all of us had our way we would just carry FALs loaded with hollow points.

jojo200517
July 12, 2011, 10:49 PM
So you guys are telling me I shouldn't be shooting 158 grain .357 magnums? I like my big heavy bullets. For the same reason I like my 230 grain +p .45acp. I'm not sure they are either one "unquestionably the best man stopper". I'm thinking a howitzer somewhere has that title. But for pocket size power i'm sure any of them would do fine if they are put into the target at the proper place.

Bullets, apply liberally to target, reload and repeat if necessary. Warning may contain chemicals known to cause cancer in the state of california.

basicblur
July 12, 2011, 10:56 PM
I view the Marshall-Sanow thing as good as it gets, without spending thousands of hours and way-too-much money for marginally more effective notetaking.
And I thought I was the only one leaning towards this conclusion... :uhoh:

I've read Fackler? etc 'til I thought my eyes were going to bleed-seemed a bit of a cat fight to me. I also have a study from other PhDs that dispute Fackler. I've read a number of respected folks in the industry that seem to come down on the M&S side. I've also seen a lot of folks whine 'bout M&S, but the very talking points they complain about M&S acknowledge in their books (maybe they didn't actually read a M&S book?).

Who's right-heck if I know, but assuming M&S ain't lying (I can live with a bookeeping/documentation mistake here and there), I'd tend to believe their reports.

Anywho-while Fackler etc. discount hydrostatic shock, I was recently listening to a ProArms podcast on the 357 SIG-seems a number of the ProArms folks have started carrying 'em, and with a recent outbreak of water moccasins, they reported they noticed they killed more than a few simply by hitting near 'em in the water.

Hmmmmm....

GCBurner
July 12, 2011, 11:14 PM
"Best" defensive round is open to endless armchair debate, but "highly effective" in the right load and barrel length is beyond doubt.

NM Mountainman
July 13, 2011, 01:45 AM
I agree that the M&S stopping power studies do not constitute scientific, statistically valid, measurements of the effectiveness of handgun ammo. I also agree with the posters who said that the data in the studies is of some value and may be as good as as any we are ever likely to get. If (big if) the M&S studies were valid, there would still be a margin of error in measurement which would imply that all loads whose ratings differed by less than 5% or 6% would be essentially equivalent for all practical purposes. The M&S ratings of loads in the range of 90% and above do NOT imply that a LEO can expect a one shot stop (with a torso hit) 90% of the time. The M&S studies simply are not statistically valid enough to have that kind of predictive power. But it would probably be reasonable to expect that a load with a rating above 90% would usually be more effective (on the average) than one rated 70 or 75%.

The use of JHP ammo in .357 mag by LEO's was most common during the period of time ranging from the mid 1970's to the late 1980's (early 1990's?) The most commonly used weights were 125 gr. and 158 gr. During most of this era before Gold Dots, XTP's, and other improved designs became widely used, the commonly available JHP bullets were simple "cup and core" bullets which often didn't expand reliably. The common wisdom I frequently heard repeated during that era (including statements by Marshall in a magazine article) was that JHP bullets typically required an impact velocity of about 1200 fps (or more) to expand reliably and adequately. The .357 Mag. 125 gr. JHP was one of the few available loads in common use by LEO's which could consistently deliver that kind of velocity at 25 yd from a 4" barrel revolver.
Among the LEO's I shot, reloaded, hunted, and talked with, the load had a reputation as an effective man stopper. But the load was not revered, and there were quite a few reports of "failures to stop" with the load. It had a reputation of sometimes fragmenting and failing to penetrate deeply enough. I saw several coyotes who kept on running after one or two hits in the chest with the load. One of my LEO friends fired three 125 gr. JHP loads at close range into the chest of a German Shepherd which then required a 4th shot through the head to stop it. I knew of one state trooper who was fatally wounded after he emptied his revolver into the door of a pickup, and none of the 125 gr slugs penetrated through the door to hit the felon in the truck. But overall, the load usually worked as good or better than anything else available. It and the 110 grain loads were probably the only JHP loads which could often give pretty good expansion from .357 snubs.

During that era, Speer and Hornady (as well as a few other makers) offered .357 JHP bullets in 140 or 145 grains. Speer offered Lawman ammo loaded with this (pre Gold Dot) bullet. A lot of shooters and LEO's who tried the load claimed that it delivered most of the penetration of a 158 gr bullet and most of the expansion of a 125 gr. bullet when fired from a 4" barrel. A lot of shooters and authors at that time claimed that it was also the most accurate bullet weight in many .357 revolvers, and that it didn't have the tendency to cause flame cutting in the frames of S&W M19 revolvers to the extent that the 125 gr bullets did. I used the Speer 140 gr load in my S&W Model 19 (with 4" barrel) to drop a nice mule deer buck at a range of a little over 50 yards. The bullet entered the lungs, expanded, stayed intact, and penetrated almost all of the way through the animal. The buck walked less than 15 feet and fell. This and other 140 grain loads may have been the most accurate and most effective .357 mag loads available at that time, but they were not used widely enough by enough LEO's to gain as big of a reputation as the 125 gr load did.

So the .357 mag 125 gr JHP load was and is an effective load which usually performed well for LEO and self defense use. But there is no evidence (except for the M&S studies) to support the claim that it is or was the most effective handgun load. And if you look at FBI protocol gelatin test results of the modern Gold Dot, Golden Sabre, XTP, and HST 125 grain .357 mag loads (fired from 2.5" and 4" barrels) , you will find the results are approximately equal or only slightly superior to several loads in the common semi-auto service cartridges.

Shanghai Dan
July 13, 2011, 02:10 AM
@ThompsonCustom:

Its tested out of a 5 inch revolver.

That must be one special load! Commercial loads don't get close to that (http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/357mag.html), even the hot Cor-Bon loads.

MachIVshooter
July 13, 2011, 03:12 AM
As has been said repeatedly, while the .357 125 gr. JHP is a pretty good load, it's not significantly more effective than any other good HP load in common service calibers. Heck, when much of the M&S data was gathered, .40 S&W didn't even exist yet, let alone some of the modern JHP's and stout loads that have made lesser cartridges real performers.

With the right load, you'll get effective performance with anything 9mm and up. The 10mm auto is about the most power that is useful on a Human target for defense, though. Anything more potent (such as .44 mag) won't incapacitate any faster and poses too much risk to bystanders.

Any cartridge producing between 350 and 800 ft/lbs is going to be effective enough without being excessively powerful (overpenetrating). What I mean is, over 350 they should expand a bullet and drive it deep enough, under 800 they aren't likely to push an expanded bullet out the back of the target with enough energy to kill another person.

In summary, with the proper bullet selection, any of the following cartridges (or similar unlisted ones) is an effective SD handgun round:

7.62x25mm
.327 Mag
9x19mm
9x21mm
.38 Super
.38 Spl +P
.357 Mag
.357 Sig
.40 S&W
.400 Cor-Bon
10mm Auto
.44 Spl.
.45 ACP
.45 Super
.460 Rowland
.45 Colt

All of these, with modern bullets, are capable of nearly doubling thier original diameter and penetrating at least 12" in calibrated gelatin. .32 H&R Mag, .380 ACP and standard pressure .38 Spl. teeter on the bottom end. I do regularly carry a .380, but with the understanding that it's not going to be as effective as a larger cartridge. This is offset by the extremely diminutive and light weight gun (P3AT) being able to be carried when larger guns are inconvenient or impossible.

I personally feel that anything smaller than .30 caliber or less (handguns) or that makes less power than the .380 is insufficient for SD. This includes .22 Rimfire, 5.7x28, .25 ACP, .32 ACP and a nuumber of other, less common cartridges.

On the other end, I feel that anything more potent than 10mm is too much of a liability. This includes .44 mag, .45 Win Mag, .454 Casull, .460 S&W, .480 Ruger, .50 AE, .500 S&W, etc. These powerhouses are best left for taking game or enjoying recoil and muzzle blast at the range.

YMMV

SwampFox Premium - Max Velocity Ammo
1 each 50 round box
357 Magnum
125gr Speer Gold Dot Bullets
New Starline Brass or Top Brass
Winchester or Remington large Pistol Primers
Hodgdon and/or Winchester Powder, Hand Weighed
1900fps 1000 ft/lbs energy@ Muzzle. From a S&W 5 inch barrel.

If you like the bullets but don't want max power we
can load them to your spec's, Just let me know.
max overall length 1.250" to 1.253"
Over 25 years experience loading ammo

Hahaha. 25 years experience loading ammo, and he list a max COAL that is less than the CASE LENGTH (1.29")???

And sorry, but those numbers are pushing it from a carbine, let alone a revolver.

The only thing that guy has to sell is BS.

GCBurner
July 13, 2011, 03:25 AM
Don't forget the 9x23 Largo and 9mm Winchester Magnum. My Super Star 9mm Largo, with CCI Blazer 124 grain Gold Dot Hollowpoints, hits with considerable authority. These loads, and the .38 Superautomatic, are the closest auto pistol loads to the .357 Magnum with similar bullet weights.

MachIVshooter
July 13, 2011, 04:10 AM
Don't forget the 9x23 Largo and 9mm Winchester Magnum. My Super Star 9mm Largo, with CCI Blazer 124 grain Gold Dot Hollowpoints, hits with considerable authority. These loads, and the .38 Superautomatic, are the closest auto pistol loads to the .357 Magnum with similar bullet weights.

Hence "or similar unlisted ones" ;)

Although top 9mm Largo loads are only equal to light .357 mag loads. I've tried to push the envelope a bit, but the Star just isn't that strong, so I won't stoke them the way I do 9x19 loads fired from my 5906. 9x23 Winchester can be truned up a bit more than 9x23 Largo. Rather uncommon, though. 9x21 and .38 Super dominate the upper end of the 9mm caliber spectrum.

9mm Win Mag, of course, is more potent. It's also a rare critter; AFAIK, only AMT and LAR ever chambered guns for it, and they were monsters.

Chief_Cabioch
July 13, 2011, 04:57 AM
I'll put my Ballistics of my Model #57 S&W .41 Mag up against the .357 anyday.......just sayin....using nothing but 175 grain Winchester Silver tip ammo....

175 gr (11.3 g) STHP: 1,250 ft/s (380 m/s) 607 ft lb

Rexster
July 13, 2011, 10:36 AM
Among peace officers who used it, and saw, or heard firsthand the results of colleague's shootings, the .357 Mag did not need M&S to know it tends to change a bad guy's channel. We can argue all day long about hydrostatic shock, and whether the .357 is fast enough to cause it, but one sure thing is that the .357 Mag tends to chop an impressive wound channel. I have seen plenty of bullet holes cause by handgun bullets, but the hole left by a Federal 125-grain .357 Magnum, launched from my GP100, was a sight to behold, a gruesome, gaping hole.

My wife as a forensic investigator for a very populous county's M.E., so she sees more bullet holes than I do, by far. Se was very excited to tell me about the wound caused by a Speer 135-grain .357 Magnum Short Barrel, and how it had produced an instant stop, and instant death; the deceased hardly even bled.

FWIW, it doesn't have to wear the "Magnum" label; another impressive wound channel described by my wife was caused by a detective's 357 SIG, that instantly stopped a violent sex offender. I do think there is something extra that happens when the impact velocity reaches a certain level, just a bit above that typical of .38 +P and 9mm +P. Of course, just how much this really matters is certainly open to debate, and recoil tolerance must be considered.

These are just some rambling thoughts from my fatigued brain, as I wind down from a long night shift. I haven't had more a brief nap since Sunday; I am typing this Tuesday morning.

Rexster
July 13, 2011, 10:40 AM
I'll put my Ballistics of my Model #57 S&W .41 Mag up against the .357 anyday.......just sayin....using nothing but 175 grain Winchester Silver tip ammo....

175 gr (11.3 g) STHP: 1,250 ft/s (380 m/s) 607 ft lb
I liked this load for the Model 58 I carried for most of the last half of the 1980s; very confidence-inspiring, but with amazingly reasonable recoil. I retired the gun when it got too loose for me to feel comfortable firing it rapidly DA.

goon
July 13, 2011, 01:56 PM
What makes the .357 Mag 125gr unquestionably the best manstopper?


Delivering it to a CNS component... Same as any other decent handgun cartridge.
After shooting real rifles at steel targets, and seeing that rather than being blown back by several feet they just fell down, I realized that things stop doing what they're doing because a hole is delivered to the right place. Best way is to shut down the CNS. Alternatively, interrupt the flow of blood by stopping the heart or introducing a leak.

The idea of "knock-down" power in most handgun rounds is laughable.

Fishslayer
July 13, 2011, 02:23 PM
I think "unquestionably" is overdoing it.

So which dog do you have in the fight?:rolleyes:

golden
July 13, 2011, 02:27 PM
The 125 grain .357 magnum load made its reputation with several large law enforcement agencies which had good results with it.

This was before MARSHALL & SANOW started writing about it.

When the I&NS decided to adopt a semi-auto to replace the .357 magnum, they wanted a gun that fired a round that was as effective as the 125 grain load used by the BORDER PATROL.
The PATROL has shot a lot of people and has not had any complaints when using the 125 grain load.

That was the impetus behind the development of the 155 grain .40 S&W load they adopted.

The round was also popular with state police and highway patrol for the same reasons.

While there are now a lot of effective loads now, back in the day when the 125 grain load was supreme, you had many NOT EFFECTIVE loads like the .38 Special round nose which was frequently called the widowmaker for its spectacular failures.

Jim

tipoc
July 13, 2011, 03:20 PM
On the ammo of the Border Patrol:
The information I'm passing on here is taken from an excellent article by John Jacobs (a former Border Patrol Agent who was involved in the selection of ammo for the agency) and is printed in Marshal and Sanows 2001 book "Stopping Power".

For many decades the Border patrol issued a .38 Spl. load though many agents were authorized to carry other arms. The .357 Magnum in various 158 gr. loads was a favorite but so was the 45 Colt and 45acp for some and the .38 Super.

In the early 1970's they standardized on the .357 magnum (though some agents carried other guns and ammo) and began to issue 158gr. semi-jacketed soft point ammo to the agents as the approved load. The agents were happy with the round and it's ability to incapacitate but it did have a tendency to over-penetrate and not expand.

In 1980 the BP adopted as standard issue ammo the .38 Spl. 110 gr. JHP +P+ "T load" or "Treasury Round" as it was called. Jacobs says they were happy to finally have a proven JHP round. After a few years doubts arose over the round.

In 1984 the Border Patrol officially assigned several agents to perform testing on handgun ammo and make official recommendations. The ammo was not only for revolvers but also to be for semis. In the article Jacobs tells the story of the testing and the results.

To make that story short;
1)they adopted the 357 Mag load in a 110 gr. JHP to replace the 110 gr. 38 Spl. load as the standard approved load.
2)Agents could also carry in the .357 the Federal 125 gr. load or the Winchester 145 gr. STHP but only if they spent their own money on the ammo and would have to requalify with that ammo. According to Jacobs the latter 145 gr. load was the favorite choice among agents who bought their own ammo.
3)Agents were also authorized to carry da/sa autos in .45acp or .38 Super.
4)They also approved a 9mm+P+ load but that load was hard for them to come by for various reasons at the time so in 1987 they adopted the 9mm +P+ 115 gr. Federal load. This was as agents moved to hi capacity 9mm pistols with 15 to 20 rounds on tap.

The common denominator was that they were looking for rounds jhp rounds that produced at or close to 400 ft. pds. of energy at the muzzle. And bullets that did not break apart and penetrated to where they wanted.

The above lasted till 1994 where the agency transitioned to the 40S&W and a 155 gr. bullet.

So the U.S. Border Patrol approved several calibers and ammo for it's agents which all did the job and allowed a variety of firearms to choose from. They did this until they were compelled to standardize on one type of handgun and the 40S&W.

tipoc

Sean Smith
July 13, 2011, 03:29 PM
M&S "One Shop Stop" numbers aren't unreliable because of some stuffy ivory tower academic has semantic quibbles about them, they're unreliable because their entire methodology is pants-crappingly retarded even to a layperson if you think about it for 30 seconds.

First, it excludes most of the times a bullet in fact fails to stop someone. If I hit you once and it doesn't work, I'm going to shoot you again, but this doesn't count as an OSS fail in their system. Think about that: if I have to put 15 bullets in you to stop you, it doesn't count as a failure to stop. If anybody can explain how that doesn't flunk basic common sense I'm all ears.

Second, it treats all torso hits as equal. Being shot in the shoulder is counted identically to being drilled straight through the heart. Common sense dictates that bullets don't, in fact, work that way. If this is too airy-fairy intellectual for you there is really no point in discussing it further.

That .357 Magnum load became popular in an era when hollow points often didn't expand reliably unless they were driven to the highest velocity possible. 125gr @ 1,400+ FPS fit that bill as well as anything in existence back then. With modern hollowpoint designs those conditions no longer exist, and you can get reliable penetration & expansion from heavy and slow 9x19, .40 S&W and .45 ACP loads as well as .357 Magnum or anything else (within reason.)

Last I checked no reputable agency that actually uses its guns for a living ever gave a crap about M&S numbers. That's what you call "a hint."

357 Terms
July 13, 2011, 03:40 PM
Times change. In the 70's nothing beat the 357 jhp 125grn load, nothing. Today with bullet tech and more calibers ( ex; the .355 er sorry the 357 Sig and the .40 S@W especially the 155grn load and even +p 9mm) the playing field has leveled. My 357 is still my EDC ( 2.25 DAO sp101 with 125grn Barnes XPB) only because I shoot it good and i know that it will function EVERY time. Personal choice.

One thing; the 357 Sig was desingned and implemented to mimic the 125 grn 357 load. A whole new auto caliber designed to replecate the ballistics of ONE load in another caliber, says something.
There is nothing really different between most calibers nowadays. I still use my 357 to hunt deer, although with much heavier bullets, no "practical" auto, not even the venerable 10mm, will match the power, acuracy and penetration of my handloads in my 6.5in Blackhawk.

Kleanbore
July 13, 2011, 04:29 PM
According to the FBI report cited above, unless the diameter of the permanent wound channel is larger, the advantage that the higher energy projectile would not accrue from higher "stopping power." A 9MM +P load generally has enough penetration to impair the functioning of whatever internal pert of the human anatomy that it hits.

For law enforcement, the advantage that a .357 SIG or a .357 SIG has over a 9MM load is the ability to penetrate a plate glass window or a car body--something that the sworn officer may have the need to do, but not something that most civilians will likely be justified in doing.

Back in revolver days, officers whose "beats" included the highway and rural areas could take advantage of the additional penetration. In urban areas, however, that attribute could present a liability, and many departments carried .38 Special ammunition.

Repasting the above excerpt from the FBI report may help refocus here:

Few, if any, shooting incidents will present the officer with an opportunity to take a careful, precisely aimed shot at the subjectís 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.

The practical meaning of that is that a handgun that can be kept on target during more rapid firing has an advantage over one that cannot.

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.

Essentially, what that means is that with the same bullet diameter, more energy is not necessarily better--enough is enough. Elsewhere in the report, it is stated that given the same penetration, the advantage goes to the larger bullet.

The greater penetration of the Magnum load is, of course, advantageous in game hunting, and the higher velocity results in a flatter trajectory.

Thompsoncustom
July 13, 2011, 05:17 PM
so your saying that a .357 bullet traveling at 900fps is going to the same damage as a .357 traveling 3000fps minus the penetration?

Sean Smith
July 13, 2011, 05:40 PM
so your saying that a .357 bullet traveling at 900fps is going to the same damage as a .357 traveling 3000fps minus the penetration?

What happens at 3,000 FPS is irrelevant because no handgun bullet - you know, the actual topic of conversation here - is going to sniff that kind of velocity. Or 2,000 FPS. Hell, even hot 125gr .357 Magnums don't typically hit the mythical 1,500 FPS in real life, because those velocities are typically from long test barrels. Reality is more like 1,350 FPS from a 4" barrel, where 124gr 9mm +P and 155gr .40 S&W are pushing 1,200+.

Vern Humphrey
July 13, 2011, 06:13 PM
Way back in the Stone Age, I took a Colt M357 with me on my first tour in Viet Nam. Back in those days, modern bullets were not yet on the market. I loaded 148-grain hollow-based wadcutters backward, over all the Unique I dared.

I used this load twice, and the results were dramatic, to say the least.

wheelgunslinger
July 13, 2011, 06:19 PM
That's one of the hinges of the whole 357 debate. Is your carry gun able to get the bullet up to the vaunted speed?
Probably not, unless you carry something with a long barrel. And most people don't.

9-ball
July 13, 2011, 07:10 PM
Nothing, makes a bullet the ideal manstopper. As man stopping bullets don't exist.

MachIVshooter
July 13, 2011, 07:18 PM
I still use my 357 to hunt deer, although with much heavier bullets, no "practical" auto, not even the venerable 10mm, will match the power, acuracy and penetration of my handloads in my 6.5in Blackhawk.

With this statement I beg to differ. Top loads from .357 in a 6" revolver are balistically identical to top loads from a 10mm in a 5" autoloader, both teetering on the 800 ft/lb mark.

Accuracy is going to be a function of the platform, of which both cartridges are available in phenomenally accurate guns.

Penetration is also a dead heat between the two with the heavier bullets in full jacket or hard cast trim.

Both are extremely flexible, having a wide range of bullet types and weights, being agreeable with many different powders and generally forgiving to the handloader. Power levels can range from ~300 ft/lb cream puffs (even lighter for the advanced handloader) to the aforementioned 800 ft/lb sledgehammer loads.

They truly are ballistic twins that coexist peacefully on the market only because they seldom exist in the same type of gun. For this reason, I see .357 autoloaders and 10mm revolvers as particularly pointless, offering only drawbacks (long, rimmed cartridges no good for autos, moon clips are a PITA). The only upside to the 610 is being able to use .40. But then, a quick barrel change offers the same thing in an auto, and without the worry of the shorter cartridge having carboned up the chamber and making cleaning necessary to transition back to the 10mm. And if you've ever handled one of the .357 autoloaders that have been made, it's easy to see why 10mm is the superior choice in that platform. The Coonan was the most practical, but it still had a loooong grip and only held 7 rounds, where a more ergonomically pleasing 10mm can hold 15+ rounds (upwards of 20 with aftermarket IPSC Tanfoglio Witness mags)

basicblur
July 13, 2011, 08:48 PM
First, it excludes most of the times a bullet in fact fails to stop someone. If I hit you once and it doesn't work, I'm going to shoot you again, but this doesn't count as an OSS fail in their system. Think about that: if I have to put 15 bullets in you to stop you, it doesn't count as a failure to stop.
Either I'm losing something in the translation, or it must be a different book than the one I read?
If the person was shot once in the torso and they didn't stop, then it was listed as a failure to stop.

Second, it treats all torso hits as equal. Being shot in the shoulder is counted identically to being drilled straight through the heart. Common sense dictates that bullets don't, in fact, work that way.
I think it's more about the way people work than the way bullets work. As stated, some folks shot in the shoulder will decide it jest hurts too much to continue-some will attempt to cram that gun down your throat.
There are just too many variables with humans for this to be an exact science (as some seem intent on making it), but they admit as much. You'd think over time, trends would emerge.
'Course, this is assuming M&S aren't flat out lying-which I've seen no one prove.

For law enforcement, the advantage that a .357 SIG or a .357 SIG has over a 9MM load is the ability to penetrate a plate glass window or a car body--something that the sworn officer may have the need to do, but not something that most civilians will likely be justified in doing.
From what I've heard (Ayoob/ProArms Podcasts), the 357 SIG has confounded the 'experts'. Lab results seem to suggest overpenetration would/might be a problem, but field results tend to suggest otherwise.

Iff'n you need a time killer?
"We're Getting the Band Back Together" to discuss the .357SIG cartridge (http://proarmspodcast.com/page/4/)

EDIT: 357 SIG discussion starts at the 8:30 mark.

357 Terms
July 13, 2011, 08:48 PM
Mach I V I beg to differ on penetration: check and search for "sectional density" on this site. As to acuracy, I really have to disagree!

The Lone Haranguer
July 13, 2011, 08:51 PM
Massad Ayoob has published anecdotes about this load's effectiveness but IIRC stops short of proclaiming it the best, period. I've fired the Remington version, which is supposed to reach 1400 fps from a four-inch barrel. Trust me, you want a revolver with some weight to it to shoot these well. Out of the smaller Ruger SP101 I was using, the blast and concussion were like a thunderclap and the kick was nasty. These are also the loads that tear up S&W K-frame revolver barrel forcing cones. And just because Marshall/Sanow said X load is "97% effective" or whatever does not mean it will "stop" 97 out of 100 times with a single shot. Who fires just one shot, anyway?

Shawn Dodson
July 13, 2011, 09:30 PM
The above lasted till 1994 where the agency transitioned to the 40S&W and a 155 gr. bullet.

Which was abandoned a couple of years ago in favor of 180gr JHP.

351 WINCHESTER
July 13, 2011, 09:32 PM
It's always been a good performer especially when loaded to pressures/velocities of day's gone by.

Vern Humphrey
July 13, 2011, 10:38 PM
assuming M&S ain't lying (I can live with a bookeeping/documentation mistake here and there), I'd tend to believe their reports.
Whether they're lying or not shouldn't be the question. A truthful man with sloppy data handling protocols will produce a worthless study. The issue is the rigor of their work -- bookkeeping and documentation mistakes are enough to invalidate any study.

SharpsDressedMan
July 13, 2011, 10:57 PM
Vern, do you have some more definitive report, or are we just still cruising in the darkness of space? I can understand being critical, but is there a better summary of bullet/cartridge performance out there?

OtG
July 14, 2011, 12:03 AM
If anybody's interested, this is the most in-depth review I've seen of the Marshall & Sanow book:
http://yarchive.net/gun/ammo/marshall_sanow.html

Now back to lurking.

janobles14
July 14, 2011, 12:15 AM
it may have been mentioned deep in one of the earlier posts but i didnt see it so i will propose it now.

when a great portion of fackler's data was gathered it was gathered from various sources that included BOTH law enforcement shootings and "street" shootings. without a doubt the LEO's were MUCH better shots and at the time used the .357 revolver as their sidearm. i truly think this could skew the data drastically.

basicblur
July 14, 2011, 01:48 AM
If anybody's interested, this is the most in-depth review I've seen of the Marshall & Sanow book
Well it didn't take long into that read for the author to start criticizing the writing style.
From yet another source, it's once again looking like a cat fight...

Demitrios
July 14, 2011, 02:58 AM
I was always of the opinion that heavy explosives were unquestionably the best manstoppers. . .

MachIVshooter
July 14, 2011, 03:00 AM
Mach I V I beg to differ on penetration: check and search for "sectional density" on this site. As to acuracy, I really have to disagree!

Don't be insulting. If you'd been around this board any amount of time, you wouldn't insinuate that I need a lesson in sectional density.

I've been shooting and handloading both of these cartridges for many years and own many guns in both chamberings. I know a thing or two about this.

For starters, the two most common "heavy bullet" loads found are .357 158 gr. and 10mm 200 gr. These have almost identical SD (.177 and .179, respectively). Take it up to the uncommon loads offered by Buffalo Bore and the like (.357 180 and 10mm 220), and you still have very little separation (.202 and .196) Only with 200 gr. does the .357 pull away, and not by that much: A 230 gr. .400" bullet scores .205, while the 200 gr. .357" bullet hit .224. These are the heaviest commercially available loads (and bullets, AFAIK) in either caliber, and only Double Tap loads them. To go heavier in either cartridge, you end up having to either encroach on powder capacity or realize that they won't function in every gun so chambered. Take it to custom cast bullets and single shots, the sky is the limit for either.

As for accuracy? Half of the 10mm's on the market are target guns. Two of my four are, the Kimber Stainless Target II and the Witness Limited.

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n117/Hunter2506/KimberStainlessTargetII10mm.jpg
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n117/Hunter2506/WitnessLimited10mm.jpg

Believe me, these production autoloaders will shoot just as straight as any production revolver in a similar price range (~$1,000). Increase the budget, increase the performance, regardless of which cartridge. Accuracy-wise, autoloaders give up nothing to revolvers by nature of design, and vice versa. It's all about the manufacture.

I don't have a dog in this fight, so why would I argue if not to set the record straight? As I said, I own many guns in both calibers and enjoy them all. The 10mm does happen to be my choice for woods gun, not because I believe it has a ballistic advantage (As I've demonstrated, it doesn't), but because it has a definite capacity advantage.

You can believe whatever you want and disagree with me until you're blue in the face, but the fact remains, the 10mm and .357 Magnum are ballistic twins. Anyone with a good understanding of both cartridges knows this.

Sean Smith
July 14, 2011, 10:15 AM
"Either I'm losing something in the translation, or it must be a different book than the one I read?
If the person was shot once in the torso and they didn't stop, then it was listed as a failure to stop"

If they were only shot once and it worked, it counted as a stop.
If they were only shot once and it failed, it counted as a fail.
If they were shot repeatedly to achieve a stop (presumably because, you know, the first shot didn't do the job) it was excluded from the study.

Basically their system ignores the vast majority of one shot stop fails by design, because in real life if the first shot doesn't work you just shoot the son of a bitch again. This is a glaring flaw that has nothing to do with semantics, writing style, or complicated statistics. It's also a little depressing how some people seem to take pride in their ignorance of these subjects and seem to despise education generally, but that's a whole other discussion.

Treating being shot through the heart the same as a flesh wound is something that seems so glaringly wrong to me that I'm really struggling to understand how anybody can see it as anything but a colossal flaw that violates basic common sense. Normally the mantra is SHOT PLACEMENT! (and rightly so), but in this case we can ignore that as a factor in the effect of a handgun wound? Really?

basicblur
July 14, 2011, 11:54 AM
If they were shot repeatedly to achieve a stop (presumably because, you know, the first shot didn't do the job) it was excluded from the study.
I can see why they might exclude multiple shots-if they were shot multiple times, how do we know the first shot didn't stop them (how many times have we seen LEO shootings with many more rounds fired than were really needed)?
Which shot came first, and which shot of the multiples stopped them-how would they know?

It's also a little depressing how some people seem to take pride in their ignorance of these subjects and seem to despise education generally...
It's not the education that some folks despise... :D

Vern Humphrey
July 14, 2011, 12:46 PM
Following OLtG's link, I found this interesting:

Only torso shots were used

He noted that there were several stops where the hollowpoints failed to expand convincing him that bullet placement is the real key to stopping power.

There's a basic problem here -- if "torso shots" were used, we know there are places in the torso where a bullet will have little immediate effect, and other places where the effect will be dramatic -- as Marshall admits when he says "bullet placement is the real key."

So we have a situation where bullet placement is key, but we lump together all "torso hits" as if they should all have equal value.

1911Tuner
July 14, 2011, 12:46 PM
The .357/125/1450 seemed to hit the near-perfect balance of velocity, energy, rapid expansion and penetration. The belief that it's head and shoulders over the first runner-up is...IMO...a bit overstated.

For one thing, the velocity required to achieve that balance is measured from a 4-inch barrel...and how many of us carry a 4-inch service revolver as a matter of course?

Marshal and Sanow put together some very good data, but it was flawed in several respects. The greater the number of actual shootings, the more reliable the results extrapolated. The cartridge in question had a large database to draw from. Many others only a small numbers, and the rating could easily be skewed from that alone. For instance...If there was only one shooting with a given cartridge, and the victim dropped immediately...it would have a 100% rating. If two shootings were recorded...with one dropping and one running 75 yards before collapsing...your results adjust to 50%.

Finally...we never depend on a one-shot stop...at least not if we want to live. The .357/125/1450 is a beast...both in blast and recoil...and that means that a fast second hit is more difficult to achieve than with, say...the .45 ACP's best with "only" a 90% rating. When the Baker Flag flies, lives are often lost in fractions of seconds. That extra 2/10ths of a second that it takes to recover from the blast of the .357 and get back on target may well be all it takes for your dying attacker to put one through your boiler room.

So, the cartridge may be the last word, but the combination of the gun and the cartridge can easily make for a less effective tool.

MachIVshooter
July 14, 2011, 03:36 PM
So, the cartridge may be the last word, but the combination of the gun and the cartridge can easily make for a less effective tool.

Well said.

Being able to control the firearm well enough to score accurate hits in the event of a miss or the first hit being inneffective is more important than having a round that is a decisive fight stopper if it scores a good hit the first time.

I've personally found that this can be difficult with the .357, especially in light weight revolvers. Ever try to empty a 340 PD (or even an SP101, M60) quickly and accurately? Much more difficult than with a compact 9mm or .45.

Vern Humphrey
July 14, 2011, 03:49 PM
Well said.

Being able to control the firearm well enough to score accurate hits in the event of a miss or the first hit being inneffective is more important than having a round that is a decisive fight stopper if it scores a good hit the first time.

I've personally found that this can be difficult with the .357, especially in light weight revolvers. Ever try to empty a 340 PD (or even an SP101, M60) quickly and accurately? Much more difficult than with a compact 9mm or .45.
And that is the key point -- it is the gun-cartridge-bullet-and-man combination that makes a weapon effective. A cartridge that is highly effective in one gun -- say a full-charge .357 in my Colt M357 -- may be much less effective in a smaller, lighter gun -- such as your 340 PD. A gun and cartridge that is effective in the hands of one man may be less effective in the hands of another.

SharpsDressedMan
July 14, 2011, 05:26 PM
BE YOUR OWN EXPERT!! We have so many people with expertise (and I am sincere on this) that disagree, I do not think there is a quantified answer. Part of the reason for all the disagreement is, as some have noted, two different people shot in a similar place on the body often react differently. How can a study then return any results? It's a crap shoot (pun intended) with ammunition, but shot placement is still a good idea, gvien that bullets sometimes fail AND different people shot react diffrently. Oh, hell, just shoot them twice just to double your odds! :D

Vern Humphrey
July 14, 2011, 06:31 PM
as some have noted, two different people shot in a similar place on the body often react differently
By the same token, two hits in the "torso" may result in damage to two differrent organs, with different results.

SharpsDressedMan
July 14, 2011, 06:38 PM
BUT, two good torso hits STILL inproves your odds of incapacitation. :)

Vern Humphrey
July 14, 2011, 06:42 PM
BUT, two good torso hits STILL inproves your odds of incapacitation.
And three is better yet.

But I was talking about a single torso hit on each of two different men. My point is, the torso is a pretty big part of the body, and there are many different organs in there. So one man hit in the torso may not react the same way another man hit in the torso would react, depending on the actual location of the hits.

basicblur
July 14, 2011, 06:59 PM
So we have a situation where bullet placement is key, but we lump together all "torso hits" as if they should all have equal value.
I think they only reason torso hits are lumped together is that's where most folks are going to be aiming (COM).
Don't think I ever heard anyone claim all torso hits have equal value, although some may be trying to read that into some studies?

Vern Humphrey
July 14, 2011, 07:11 PM
I think they only reason torso hits are lumped together is that's where most folks are going to be aiming (COM).
That's called "looking where the light is."
Don't think I ever heard anyone claim all torso hits have equal value, although some may be trying to read that into some studies?
When torso hits are all lumped together, the claim is inherent in the lumping. If the person compiling the data recognized that a hit in the stomach, for example, is not the same as a hit in the heart, he would separate them into different categories.

Let me give a famous example -- a study was done comparing violent crime in Seattle, WA with Vancouver, BC. Vancouver has less violent crime, Vancouver has more "gun control." And that "proves" gun control works!

Except that it doesn't -- and the flaw was in lumping all the inhabitants of the cities together. When you look at the demographics, Seattle has a lot of Blacks and Hispanics -- and it's mostly in those populations the violent crime occurs.

Vancouver has very few Blacks and Hispanics, but a lot of Orientals -- who are very law abiding.

When the study was re-done, comparing like with like, surprise! It turns out White citizens of Vancouver are more likely to commit violent crimes than White citizens of Seattle.

Rexster
July 14, 2011, 07:21 PM
Until it becomes legal and ethical to test live ammunition on live humans, there will be no controlled experiments on the ability of a cartridge to do anything. Moreover, humans being used in such an experiment must be, somehow, convinced to attack during the experiment, and somehow, all of them must attack with equal determination.

The next best thing is results from one load, used repeatedly, against real bad guys. Some LE agencies will have this information, due to using standardized weapons and ammo. The problem is, this info is not readily available to the public. One thing that is not so easily suppressed is the collective unhappiness of a group of officers with their mandated ammo. My employer did not have one single mandated duty cartridge until 1997, but all the rookies had to start with a .357 sixgun, and use it for their first year of service, until
about 1994. I started policin' in 1984, and during the time from '84 to '97, only heard one complaint about how a 125-grain .357 performed, and it was
third-hand info from an officer with an agenda. (He worshipped the 1911 and
.45 ACP; yes, we had those working with us, who thought any officer that did
not immediately switch to the 1911 at the end of his rookie year was just not
a man.)

Keep in mind that when Texas DPS switched to 357 SIG, one big reason was a collective residual affection for the .357 Magnum, which had been standard before the agency switched to the P220. Texas LEOs collectively tended to
really like the way the .357 Mag had performed over time.

Nowadays, there have been enough shootings with the .40 S&W, to date, LEOs are largely happy with it.

Moreover, for those who accept M&S, the better .40 and .45 loads in the M&S data were within mere points of the .357 Mag data, well WITHIN the point spread that M&S themselves claimed was their acceptable margin. (I no longer
recall what that margin was.)

Let's also keep in mind that the M&S data is now OUT OF DATE. Ammo technology has marched onward.

My wife has an M.D. After her name, works as a forensic investigator for a very large county's M.E., and sees more death scenes than most homicide detectives. She has told me that all good JHP ammo does quite well today,
when well-placed, and expands reliably. Before anyone claims that pathologists are seeing bodies only at the morgue, I will repeat that my wife works as a forensic investigator, and sees death scenes. Examination of blood spatter evidence is a science, and tells an investigator how fast and how far a bleeding person moved from point of injury to point of death. (Yes, "spatter" is correct.)

As I have said recently, in this thread pr another here, my wife has commented on the impressive wound channels caused by the Short Barrel Gold Dot .357 Mag, and the 357 SIG in recent shootings. (I don't recall the brand of the 357 SIG, but all of them are very close in spec.)

My take on all of this is that the .357 Magnum is a very good defensive cartridge, but with today's bullet technology, the other common duty cartridges are darn good, too. Shot placement is paramount, regardless.

Vern Humphrey
July 14, 2011, 07:25 PM
What you have said is absolutely correct.

Now, general experience allows to make gross discrimination, but when we try to convert that into decimal points, we're engaging in imitative deception.

I can say, for example that the .357 mag 125-grain load does well. I can't say that it does 0.1779845% better than the .357 Sig, however.

THplanes
July 14, 2011, 08:17 PM
"Either I'm losing something in the translation, or it must be a different book than the one I read?
If the person was shot once in the torso and they didn't stop, then it was listed as a failure to stop"

If they were only shot once and it worked, it counted as a stop.
If they were only shot once and it failed, it counted as a fail.
If they were shot repeatedly to achieve a stop (presumably because, you know, the first shot didn't do the job) it was excluded from the study.

Basically their system ignores the vast majority of one shot stop fails by design, because in real life if the first shot doesn't work you just shoot the son of a bitch again. This is a glaring flaw that has nothing to do with semantics, writing style, or complicated statistics. It's also a little depressing how some people seem to take pride in their ignorance of these subjects and seem to despise education generally, but that's a whole other discussion.

Treating being shot through the heart the same as a flesh wound is something that seems so glaringly wrong to me that I'm really struggling to understand how anybody can see it as anything but a colossal flaw that violates basic common sense. Normally the mantra is SHOT PLACEMENT! (and rightly so), but in this case we can ignore that as a factor in the effect of a handgun wound? Really?

There is a reason multiple hits are excluded. Just because there are multiple hits does not mean it is a OSS failure. The first round may have been enough. Most of us train to shoot until the threat is gone. I'm not going to stop shooting and evaluate the effectiveness of each shot. Since there is no way to determine which shot was the stopper they exclude any multiple hit shootings. This almost certainly biases the study, it's self selecting for people who are susceptible to OSS - psychological or physiological.

The idea behind lumping all torso shots together is that with a large enough sample size the results will average out. So the larger the sample size, the more accurate the results.

Lastly, you have to understand that M&S don't present the study as being quantitative. Meaning they don't expect a load that gives a 90.45% OSS to give this number in actual shootings. They are perfectly aware the study is biases to the high side. The numbers are simply meant to give a hierarchal rating of the loads.

tipoc
July 14, 2011, 09:32 PM
For information purposes: M&S wrote 3 books on this topic, two of these were published in 1992 and one in 2001. They have written no books since though they have maintained a web site and written a number of articles.

The criteria for what constituted a "One Shot Stop", OSS, remained the same in all books and articles.

The criteria were and are;
1) Only hits to the area from the collar bone to the waist line (torso hits) from any angle, counted. Hits to arms, shoulders, head, neck, etc. were omitted.
2). Multiple hits were excluded. In part because the aim of the study was to view the "effectiveness" of specific bullets and rounds. Though in the second book double taps were included.
3) To meet the OSS criteria the aggressor had to stop what they were doing and be, in the opinion of the shooter or another observer, physically incapable of further aggressive action.
4) If after being shot, the aggressor either collapsed or could run or walk up to 10 feet.
5) M&S say they excluded all reported shootings where they did not have more than one report of the shooting and where they could not examine the bullet, other physical evidence, etc.
6) They had to have more than 5 cases where a round met the above criteria before that particular round could be included in the study.

If you look at the actual criteria (see above) you can see that there are a number of problems with it. If you try to compare one caliber to another and even one load or bullet in the same caliber one to another the work shows it's limitations.

When they were asked (many times) to show the raw data on which their studies were and are based they have always refused to show it to any third party observers.

The very best you can get from their studies is that one particular bullet may work some better than another in a given caliber.

In the second book they include some information on the results of double taps.

By the time of the third book they were including information from ballistic gelatin tests which had become the industry norm for testing bullet performance.

To be considered an "expert" in any particular area of science I figure one should have some respect for science and knowledge of it. M&S fall short of that mark. For this reason I tend to be very wary of anyone claiming that one particular bullet and load is the "absolute best", "unquestionably the best", etc., under all conditions and for everyone.

tipoc

Vern Humphrey
July 14, 2011, 10:04 PM
When they were asked (many times) to show the raw data on which their studies were and are based they have always refused to show it to any third party observers.
And that's an important point. Science (and this purports to be science) requires peer review. To be acceptable to the scientific community, all data (not just Marshall and Sanow's) has to be available for other scientists to check.

Sanow once told me the reason they don't do it is "because they would just pick it apart."

Well, yeah . . . that's the whole idea -- other scientists take your articles, data and methods and pick them apart and see if they can stand up to scrutiny.

.45FMJoe
July 14, 2011, 10:40 PM
It's not.

158gr or go home.

Loosedhorse
July 14, 2011, 10:41 PM
I always thought, at close range on unarmored foes, 00-buck out of a 12 gauge was "unquestionably" the best manstopper. Now I do realize this is the handguns subforum, not shotgun or NFA items, so perhaps that explains the .357 choice.

Even Marshall and Sanow said, in their later book, Street Stoppers, that the best handgun/caliber/bullet combos seem to top-out at around 95% (nothing got to 100), and that many calibers approached that top-out, from the lowly 9mm+P to the .45 (each with appropriate HP ammo).

So anyone should feel good about choosing .357 for SD (if he shoot it well); but several other calibers should do just as well.

MachIVshooter
July 14, 2011, 11:33 PM
Let's also keep in mind that the M&S data is now OUT OF DATE. Ammo technology has marched onward.

Not according to DML5. Lol. Of course, the rest of us understand this to be true, and in the circles I've discussed M&S, the most oft-cited reason to largely ignore it (after the completely unscientific methodology) are advancement in bullet design and materials, and cartridges that either didn't exist or were in their infancy when this data was gathered, leaving them with few or no examples.

But one doesn't need to pick it apart scientifically to see that it's flawed. For example, they show the .44 Mag. 240 gr. JHP to be only two percentage points more effective than a .32 ACP 60 gr. HP (75% and 73%). One would have to be completely retarded to believe that the .32 auto would be anywhere near as effective as a .44 magnum under any circumstances, yet this is what their report articulates. The reality is that one probably wouldn't even get to the heart if it hit a rib, while the other is going to make that rib into toothpicks and continue on to turn the heart into scrambled jello before exiting out the back with enough energy remaining to kill the poor b@$tid behind the BG.

I always thought, at close range on unarmored foes, 00-buck out of a 12 gauge was "unquestionably" the best manstopper.

If we're going to include long guns, I'd vote for a .300 Ultra mag pushing a 110 gr. V-max at about 4,200 FPS. That'd pretty well liquify the guts and splatter them behind the former human being.

So anyone should feel good about choosing .357 for SD (if he shoot it well); but several other calibers should do just as well.

Exactly. This is what I was getting at with my little list in a previous post; Any handgun pushing a decent sized bullet of proper contrction at a respectable velocity will get the job done, despite M&S nonsense.

Loosedhorse
July 15, 2011, 12:05 AM
For example, they show the .44 Mag. 240 gr. JHP to be only two percentage points more effective than a .32 ACP 60 gr. HP (75% and 73%). Where are those figures from, please?

I checked Handgun Stopping Power. It lists 3 different 240 HPs for .44 Mag, varying from 80 to 86%. It lists one .32 HP (the Silvertip), with a 61%.

This table (http://www.familyfriendsfirearms.com/Stopping%20Power%20Statistics.htm) (which is barely updated from the book) lists between 80-88% for .44 Mag HPs; and 63% for the .32 Silvertip. I would appreciate an updated source!

MachIVshooter
July 15, 2011, 12:31 AM
Where are those figures from, please?

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

About halfway down are links to PDF files with the tables

Rexster
July 15, 2011, 09:47 AM
Evan Marshall himself reminds folks, on his site, that the data in the M&S books is out of date. I like reading the anecdotes in the books; many are little gems of tactical insight. The guest-authored chapters, penned by men who have been there and done that, are quite good, too. I pay no attention to the old data, or the "Fuller index" that was an attempt to predict stopping power of new rounds that had no track record.

FWIW, Evan does not want anyone to defend him on forums. I will say that Evan, without Ed Sanow, is a very reasonable person, and leave it at that. I am old enough to remember articles written by each of them, before they started their stopping power project. Evan is back to being the Evan I remembered reading when I was a rookie LEO,
when I devoured everything I could find that seemed street-relevant. Evan worked for Detroit PD at the time, and I worked for another big-city PD; both of our cities were vying for murder capital of
the USA at the time. (I still wear the same badge.)

I don't think anything penned by Ed Sanow was of benefit to me. I never saw any indication that he had been under fire, or fired a weapon in the line of duty. He wrote like a typical gun writer.

I also liked reading stuff penned by Mas Ayoob and John Farnam, back in those days, and it was and is relevant, but Evan worked in an environment similar to mine, and had more experience laying hands on bad guys. It is possible that something Evan wrote may have kept me from being hurt or killed.

Vern Humphrey
July 15, 2011, 10:10 AM
I don't think anyone is attacking Evan Marshall -- it's his data and his handling of it that are under discussion.

Loosedhorse
July 15, 2011, 10:38 AM
Thanks, MachIVshooter.


The 75% number you quoted, however, for the ".44 Mag. 240 gr. JHP" is from a selected subset of the data, involving just one load with a database of only 4 shootings from 1992 to 1996; it is therefore not surprising that its percentage came out to 75%--there were only 4 other possibilities.

If we aggregate the data for .32 HPs and .44 Mag 240 gr JHPs (which seems to me fairer that using a percentage based on 4 shootings when many others are available) we'd find 140/227 (for about 62%) and 262/313 (about 84%) respectively. (Those numbers are hand-tallied and -calculated, so I apologize for any error; and I did lump the 240 SJHP with the two 240 JHP loadings.)

Personally, I think we should be careful in using FTI sources in evaluating Marshall & Sanow. I do not mean to suggest FTI is inaccurate (I think they are accurate, especially regarding the pernicious effects of the refusal to release raw data and to be more transparent about criteria for case selection), but FTI's tone is not of an objective evaluation, but rather of untempered gotcha-criticism. I would want to be especially careful not to inadvertently adopt that tone.

Warts and all, Marshall and Sanow's data and conclusions have promoted some conceptual milestones (that quickly opening JHPs may be better than "controlled expansion" in some calibers, that penetration beyond a certain level does not improve effectiveness, that short-barrel ballistics should be looked at separately, that looking at gel tests can help us design and select better bullets, etc.), as well as some intriguing puzzles (the inexplicable effectiveness of the .32 original Silvertip). All historical (retrospective) data studies will be open to criticism--just ask John Lott!--and I would argue should be accepted as studies with limitations, rather than rejected as junk.
I'd vote for a .300 Ultra mag pushing a 110 gr. V-max at about 4,200 FPSBe very interesting to see a gel-penetration study of that load. The Hornady .308 110 load (http://www.hornadyle.com/products/more_detail7481.html?id=72&sID=79&pID=1) makes 9.25 inches.

MachIVshooter
July 15, 2011, 12:12 PM
The 75% number you quoted, however, for the ".44 Mag. 240 gr. JHP" is from a selected subset of the data, involving just one load with a database of only 4 shootings from 1992 to 1996; it is therefore not surprising that its percentage came out to 75%--there were only 4 other possibilities.

That was my point; The problem with this "study" is that the parameters are, well, not really paramters at all. Just a lot of anecdotes that basically only prove one thing: Any bullet through the torso has a high probability of killing you. I don't think we need statistical data from 20,000 shootings to understand this concept, though.

If you took all the same loads and compared each one using 50 dead-center torso shots on normal sized men, you'd have something workable for drawing a useful conclusion. Of course, this is not really possible short of genocide.

Be very interesting to see a gel-penetration study of that load.

Perhaps I'll load some up for my sister's rifle (she has the .300, my only RUM is a .375). At those velocities, I don't expect there will be a block left to analyze; The hydrostatic shock of a decent sized bullet moving that fast is incredible. Even if it didn't reach 12", I expect the damage caused would have virtually 0% survivability with a torso shot on a real living thing in the 100-250 lb range.

Loosedhorse
July 15, 2011, 12:31 PM
That was my point; The problem with this "study"Marshall and Sanow, I believe, never presented the 3 stops/4 shots data and then claimed that load had a 75% rating (those numbers I think were calculated by FTI, comparing the 1992 and 1996 data sets).

I believe M&S always presented aggregate numbers, not "1992-1996" numbers. So, if they never presented 4 shootings as stand-alone data, I'm not sure they should be criticized for "claiming" the load had a 75% track record--I don't think they ever made that claim.Of course, this is not really possible short of genocide.Some would therefore conclude that M&S did the best they could with what data was at hand (though they can still be criticized for lack of data-sharing and transparency).

As I said, historical studies have limitations. If someone has have one anecdote, well, he has a story. If he has hundreds of anecdotes, he begins to have analysable data. Analysis of such data will be limited by case-selection bias (when that exists, as it does with this dataset), and by mixing of disparate cases (center-torso vs. non-center-torso shots). But it is still data. We can be careful not to "overconclude" from such data, but some conclusions--or at least hypotheses--can reasonably be induced.

tipoc
July 15, 2011, 12:54 PM
Warts and all, Marshall and Sanow's data and conclusions have promoted some conceptual milestones (that quickly opening JHPs may be better than "controlled expansion" in some calibers, that penetration beyond a certain level does not improve effectiveness, that short-barrel ballistics should be looked at separately, that looking at gel tests can help us design and select better bullets, etc.), as well as some intriguing puzzles (the inexplicable effectiveness of the .32 original Silvertip). All historical (retrospective) data studies will be open to criticism--just ask John Lott!--and I would argue should be accepted as studies with limitations, rather than rejected as junk.

I'm not sure that M&S take credit for all of the contributions attributed to them in the quote above. If they do it is unfortunate because most of the things credited to them in the above, they were not a part of or not chiefly responsible for.

Of the things mentioned above the only one I recall them pushing early was that short barreled ballistics should be looked at separately and pushing the concept of designing bullets specifically for short barrels. This in itself was an outgrowth of their favoring light weight bullets at a higher velocity and followed the growth of the market for smaller handguns. It was a variety of ammo manufacturers and engineers there who actually saw the marketing opportunity for that and designed the bullets and not M&S.

The other things mentioned either predated them (the rate of expansion of jhps), they were not a direct part of (the selection of 10% ballistic gelatin as the industry norm, Fackler played a key role in that), The discussion of penetration depths and effectiveness was much older than they, etc.

There is a good deal of useful information in their books. I give them credit for publishing articles by John Jacobs and others who disagree with the approach of M&S. The information on the history of the 40S&W and the 9mm, etc. is useful. The history of the various testing of handgun calibers and trials is useful. But their central conception of the OSS statistics is so seriously flawed as to render it about useless. Not completely useless but close to.

tipoc

Loosedhorse
July 15, 2011, 02:02 PM
I'm not sure that M&S take credit for all of the contributions attributed to themI wrote they promoted them, not that they invented them. Ideas about terminal ballistics predate even Fackler and Hatcher--or Thompson and LaGarde, for that matter. Ordnance gelatin goes back to the 1940s. NIJ/LEAA gave high ratings to low-penetration/high-temporary cavity loads in 1975 and 1983.

The M&S theories produced a lot of discussion that ran well outside of LE circles--can we give them credit for generating a lot of talk on the subject, and thus getting lots of ideas--even opposing ones--out into the general domain? And for the hard work of compiling and looking at data that everyone else was happy to ignore?

Geez, guys, I live near Boston--but I always give those :cuss: Yankees credit for making our baseball seasons more...interesting, and every once in a while for fielding a respectable team! :D

Vern Humphrey
July 15, 2011, 03:35 PM
NIJ/LEAA gave high ratings to low-penetration/high-temporary cavity loads in 1975 and 1983.
I remember it well -- they were laughably wrong, but at a high cost to the taxpayer.

What they did was construct a model man, sliced into 1 centimter layers, with each layer diced into 1 centimeter cubes. Then they had doctors score each cube for "incapicatation."

Next, they fired various guns and loads into Duxseal -- which leaves the temporary cavity -- filled the cavities with plaster, broke away the Duxseal, and plotted the temporary cavity (their assumption was that every cubic centimeter in the temporary cavity was destroyed.)

Then they used range data from US Army recruits qualifying with the M1911 to estimate the probable error and assumed the temporary cavity to be located in the body according to that data.

Ammunition that produced large temporary cavities was obviously favored in this "study" regardless of penetration.

rolandedwinjohnson
July 15, 2011, 04:41 PM
I had a Marlin 1894 CS that was just about the cats meow with the 110 to 125 grain bullets. Hardly any recoil and right on target from contact range to 75 yards. All that extra velocity was nice too.

Loosedhorse
July 15, 2011, 09:31 PM
they were laughably wrongI think that's harsh. They were incomplete. For their day, they were state of the art, and it's perhaps too easy to laugh at their errors in retrospect.

If someone holds the NIJ recommendations as partly responsible for the 1986 Miami Shootout, then I can certainly understand bitterness...but not laughter.

earplug
July 15, 2011, 09:47 PM
I wonder if the shooters and targets reaction to the blast and recoil has resulted in more one shot incidents?
A less irritating round to shoot might work just as well, but shooters are able to fire more rounds before seing the target react. This would screw the one shot stop stories.
I haven't been down range while a .357 is fired, but I suspect the blast would get my attention.
I am a fan of the .357.

357 Terms
July 15, 2011, 09:47 PM
Bottom line in regards to M@S; they did more research than any of us have ever done. So who are we to....

rscalzo
July 15, 2011, 09:52 PM
Don't believe everything you read on the internet.


Say it ain't so !!!!:what:

Loosedhorse
July 15, 2011, 10:37 PM
A less irritating round to shoot might work just as well, but shooters are able to fire more rounds before seing the target react.You could have someting there. I took a .357 revolver to a course a ways back. Lots of different ammo. When I got home, I decided to load it with .38+Ps, or light .357s like Golden Saber; full-house .357s took too much recovery time for me.

But I never thought how that delay of the second shot might "produce" a one-shot stop.

tipoc
July 16, 2011, 04:10 AM
Personally I always give credit and some respect to M&S for what they have done that is positive. I have done that here. But we are on a thread which proclaims "the .357 Mag 125 gr. unquestionably the best manstopper" and the central people responsible for that bit of irresponsible silliness are M&S. They have earned the criticism through their hard work which was off track and has mislead a good many shooters, particularly the inexperienced.

Bottom line in regards to M@S; they did more research than any of us have ever done. So who are we to....

Such servility is not becoming. Their methods were wrong. That is pretty obvious. When a fella is wrong he's wrong regardless of credentials. If they were Doctors with years of training I might question their advice and look for a second opinion. In this case they did not have years of training and were gun writers who collected a number of stories. Had they said that and drawn some conclusions from the anecdotal evidence I'd have no problem. But when they proclaimed that their opinions were the last word on the subject and rendered all other opinions obsolete and that there was some science to it... well it invites a closer look into their claims.

Over the years myself and many others have found that the 125 gr. loads that get close to 1400 fps from a 4" barrel also produce a good deal of noise, muzzle flash and felt recoil, so much so that it slows down rapid and accurate shot placement. A 148 gr or 158 gr. round at about 1100-1200 fps from a 3" to 4" barrel works quite well and allows for rapid and well placed accurate shots for many, me included.

tipoc

357 Terms
July 16, 2011, 04:21 AM
^^ so do you think that the 9mm, 40 or 45 is more effective? they all cant be the same. One has to be better than the other if only marginally.

KJS
July 16, 2011, 07:27 AM
Its just my opinion, but id say with modern HP ammunition, all of the "service" calibers are so close in stopping power, that the difference is really negligible.

A center mass hit with 9mm, .40, .45, .357mag, etc are all going to bring someone down 90%+ of the time.

That seems a popular view, though it seems many disagree otherwise there would be no point to these other rounds that cost far more to practice with at the range, offer less ammo capacity, and are really LOUD in the case of .357s.

Don't high quality .45 HPs expand to about .70", making for one hell of a big hole?

KJS
July 16, 2011, 07:35 AM
This argument gets even more difficult when it comes to home defense where handguns aren't the only viable choice. Clearly one pretty much has to stick to handguns in certain situations, seeing how shotguns & ARs make really bad concealed weapons.

I knew an ER doc who after treating a whole lot of gunshot wounds was totally unimpressed by the stopping power of any handgun. It seems that patching up a guy with 7 bullet wounds and then releasing him as his injuries were not serious enough to require admittal to the hospital, really turned him off to handguns for home defense. He keeps a 12 gauge ready for that use, commenting that he never gets to work on folks shot at close range with a shotgun. Seems they get delivered to the morgue instead of his ER.

Loosedhorse
July 16, 2011, 10:37 AM
the central people responsible for that bit of irresponsible silliness are M&S.Is that true, or is that just how their data was interpreted by some others?

Chapter 1 (page 3) of Handgun Stopping Power begins: Stopping power is an illusion.

It is important to start a book on handgun stopping power with that in mind. There are no magic bullets. There are no manstopping calibers. There is no such thing as one-shot stopping power.

Everyone reading this book will make more survival-oriented decisions if they expect their bullet to have little, if any, effect on the target. Instead they will fire from behind cover or get behind cover as soon as possible. They will fire numerous times. They will be more precise in their fire. They will keep their gun pointed at the target until they are absolutely certain the action is finished.

Perhaps they say somewhere, "Unless you're using .357 125gr HPs; then, you don't have to bother doing any of that"? ;)

1911Tuner
July 16, 2011, 11:03 AM
Quote:

>Everyone reading this book will make more survival-oriented decisions if they expect their bullet to have little, if any, effect on the target.<<M

Ba-Da-Bing! We have a winner.

I saw it written...can't remember who by...that you should expect your adversary to continue to do pretty much the same thing he was doing before he was shot.

tipoc
July 16, 2011, 03:26 PM
Is that true, or is that just how their data was interpreted by some others?

The answer is both. The evidence for that is in this thread and in their writings. These express contradictory statements and concepts often in the same paragraph which give rise to and allow ample room for confusion. The useful bit from them which you quoted above...

Stopping power is an illusion.

It is important to start a book on handgun stopping power with that in mind. There are no magic bullets. There are no manstopping calibers. There is no such thing as one-shot stopping power.

appears in their 1992 book titled "Handgun Stopping Power: The Definitive Study". Their next 1992 book was titled "Street Stoppers: The Latest Handgun Stopping Power Street Results" and their 2001 book is named "Stopping Power: A Practical Analysis of the Latest Handgun Ammunition". In all of these the "One Shot Stop" OSS statistics are advanced, explained, defended and utilized.

So either "Stopping power is an illusion" and there is no "one-shot stopping power" or one can write a number of books, articles, lectures etc. and make a career in which the idea of such is a critical componant. I can forgive the mistakes made by newer shooters who don't catch all the disclaimers in the fine print but I am a bit critical of the fellas who write the print large and small and accept and/or disavow the confusion that follows in their wake.

As i have said, there is a good deal of useful information in their books and writings but as the titles of their books imply the central thrust is off base.

tipoc

Loosedhorse
July 16, 2011, 04:04 PM
So either "Stopping power is an illusion" and there is no "one-shot stopping power" or one can write a number of books, articles, lectures etc. and make a career in which the idea of such is a critical componant.If some feel that there is something to learn from the compiling and analysis of actual shooting data--while others are saying in essence, "Oh, that way madness lies"--well, that honest difference of opinion by itself could account for for a lot of books, articles, lectures, etc. Even a career. Do you begrudge Marshall, Sanow, MacPherson, and Fackler their careers? They (and others) have all feasted on this controversy.

And perhaps your "either/or" is a false dichotomy. Perhaps we are, as adults, all familiar with many concepts that are both true to some extent, and yet also false to some extent?The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.

---F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Handle With Care", Esquire Magazine (March 1936)

tipoc
July 16, 2011, 04:59 PM
If some feel that there is something to learn from the compiling and analysis of actual shooting data--while others are saying in essence, "Oh, that way madness lies"--well, that honest difference of opinion by itself could account for for a lot of books, articles, lectures, etc.

But I am not saying that "madness lies"in that direction. Honest figures presented straight forwardly are useful and can help us in the selection of bullet type, caliber, load, etc. for any particular job.

The compiling of actual shooting data can be and has been a useful contribution. Unfortunately neither you nor I know can know, because they refuse to share that with their peers, exactly what information M&S used to compile their figures. We can also see for ourselves gaps in the useful of the information as it is presented to us by them. And that is the rub my friend. The heart of the disagreement between us.

I embrace all of M&S that is useful and accurate and toss out that section that is based on faulty science, poor figuring and posturing. It seems that you on the other hand embrace and defend it all, what is useful and the faulty science. Maybe under the cover that poor science is better than nothing, or that M&S put out a good effort. But that is a false dichotomy. We have plenty of reliable information from other sources. We are not in the dark or back to square one (as some here seem to feel) if we reject some bad assumptions made by M&S or others along the way.

Can I begrudge a fella for using sleight of hand to build a career? I don't begrudge them anything. I'm just pointing out some contridictions.

Perhaps we are, as adults, all familiar with many concepts that are both true to some extent, and yet also false to some extent?

Yes and it is our responsibility to know the difference between which is which and not duck it.

You have faith in M&S. I don't, I cannot buy a pig in a poke. You gotta open the poke and let me see what is squirming inside before I lay down that dollar.

tipoc

Loosedhorse
July 16, 2011, 06:09 PM
It seems that you on the other hand embrace and defend it all, what is useful and the faulty science.Closer, I would say, to considering it all, rather than accepting it or dismissing it. Acceptance and dismissal both imply certainty. If I don't have enough info to say that something is sound science, how can I have enough to say it must be faulty science?

So, I look at it all, in some places with a raised eyebrow. But I haven't seen the evidence of "sleight of hand" or other mischief that you apparently have, so I assume bona fides.

I also come at this data from a hunting perspective. In that realm I am well aware that with some calibers well-hit animals are said to run farther than with others; that some calibers are more trusted to "turn the charge" of dangerous animals; and that solid or expanding bullets (and sometimes very specific solids or expanding bullets) are preferred for certain animal/situation combinations. All this by the way of the "experience" of many hunters, uncollected data, passed-down stories mixed in with occasional necropsy results. And yet that clearly non-scientific "collective wisdom" is dearly held.

So it remains to me puzzling how much of M&S's work I am supposed to dismiss with certainty, and why.

goon
July 16, 2011, 10:07 PM
^^ so do you think that the 9mm, 40 or 45 is more effective? they all cant be the same. One has to be better than the other if only marginally.

I think that the best loads for all of them, and the .357, are going to have a virtually identical effect on an aggressor.
Which is to say you might have to use two or three more of them than Marshall and Sanow say you should have to use.

KJS
July 17, 2011, 12:41 AM
Does focus on which is most effective in stopping with one shot really that vital?

You can get a 9mm Glock. You can get a 10mm Glock. As far I know, a 10mm throws a 180 grain slug at roughly the same velocity as a .357 Mag would toss a 180 grain slug. Now while the guy with his 10mm Glock gets back on target after that substantial recoil, might his buddy with the lowly 9mm be able to fire two shots?

Could a gun with "less stopping power" potentially have equal or greater stopping power in real terms if it can be accurately fired more rapidly due to less recoil due to using less powerful ammo?

357 Terms
July 17, 2011, 01:50 AM
A 22lr can be fired quickly and accurately. If shot placement and follow-up shots are the most important factors why not carry a 22?

SharpsDressedMan
July 17, 2011, 02:14 PM
Let's not forget that the alleged performance of the 125gr .357 Mag round in past shootings has resulted in ammo companies coming out with higher performance bullets and loadings for the .357 SIG, 9mm in +P and +P+, and better .38 Super and similar rounds (9x23, 9mm Super comp). Now they will be added to any study about actual bullet performance, as they are actively being used by police and armed citizens.

PowerG
July 17, 2011, 03:17 PM
I have done some research on Marshall and Sanow's book, and let's just say I wouldn't make ammo choices based on it. I am firmly in the camp that believes hydrostatic shock from a handgun bullet is an illusion in most cases, and a truly determined attacker is more likely to be stopped by (1) proper bullet placement and (2) adequate penetration. These qualities can be obtained from any number of platform/caliber/ammo combinations.

Each and every shooting is a discrete event, with too many variables to be compared statistically.

easyg
July 17, 2011, 07:18 PM
I knew an ER doc who after treating a whole lot of gunshot wounds was totally unimpressed by the stopping power of any handgun. It seems that patching up a guy with 7 bullet wounds and then releasing him as his injuries were not serious enough to require admittal to the hospital, really turned him off to handguns for home defense. He keeps a 12 gauge ready for that use, commenting that he never gets to work on folks shot at close range with a shotgun. Seems they get delivered to the morgue instead of his ER.
Actually, I've seen more folks in the ER from shotgun wounds than handgun wounds by far.
Mostly those hit with birdshot, but sometimes those hit with buckshot.

Vern Humphrey
July 17, 2011, 08:01 PM
Actually, I've seen more folks in the ER from shotgun wounds than handgun wounds by far.
Mostly those hit with birdshot, but sometimes those hit with buckshot.
But is that a result of effectiveness of the weapon, or of where you are?

For example, if you live in a community with little violent crime and a lot of bird hunters, you would expect to see what you've described.

Bovice
July 17, 2011, 08:02 PM
There are two different running opinions that make the biggest splash on this site. One is that your service round-chambered pistol is inadequate in any and all situations, and that you'd be likely to do more damage with a slingshot and a marble. The other opinion is that good, possibly numerous hits with a pistol will drop an enemy. I'm in the second camp. I have an extremely hard time believing that two rounds from a service-caliber handgun applied to a human's chest is not going to do the job. If you hit the heart or the lungs or even both, the lights are going to fade.

You do not need a rocket launcher to bring down a man.

Vern Humphrey
July 17, 2011, 08:10 PM
There are two different running opinions that make the biggest splash on this site. One is that your service round-chambered pistol is inadequate in any and all situations, and that you'd be likely to do more damage with a slingshot and a marble. The other opinion is that good, possibly numerous hits with a pistol will drop an enemy. I'm in the second camp. I have an extremely hard time believing that two rounds from a service-caliber handgun applied to a human's chest is not going to do the job. If you hit the heart or the lungs or even both, the lights are going to fade.

You do not need a rocket launcher to bring down a man.
I have seen men take multiple hits and continue to fight.

One of my best friends was hit 8 times with an M1 rifle and survived.

Another friend took multiple hits from AK 47s over a 45 minute fight, and only died as the fight was ending.

I saw an NVA hit with M16s, fall, get up fighting, take more hits and fall again. And when I stepped over his body, he tried to shoot me in the back.

357 Terms
July 17, 2011, 08:18 PM
Just assume you have multiple attackers shooting at you, you have sooo much stress and precious fractions of a second to react. There is no guarantee that you will hit the men COM, let alone a double tap. When you hit them (wherever it may be) would you rather have a 9mm or a 125grn 357?

Chief_Cabioch
July 18, 2011, 02:42 AM
yes, 12 Gauge 00 makes quite a mess of things, especially with a 30" full choke barrel

Chief_Cabioch
July 18, 2011, 02:46 AM
In my opinion it's where you hit, not what you hit with, most of the time, a well placed 22 rimfire is liable to hit in the shoulder and come out the hip.....doing extensive damage along the way, just sayin......my own preference is as big as I can handle 41 Mag. or 45ACP and be able to regain the target as fast as possible.

wheelgunslinger
July 18, 2011, 10:56 AM
I have seen men take multiple hits and continue to fight.
Yep.

Way too many variables.

MachIVshooter
July 18, 2011, 11:42 AM
Could a gun with "less stopping power" potentially have equal or greater stopping power in real terms if it can be accurately fired more rapidly due to less recoil due to using less powerful ammo?

This was touched on earlier, and yes, scoring multiple hits > a single hit from a more potent cartridge in most cases.

However......

# of bullets into the body vs. incapacitation is not a linear equation, and human beings vary greatly in both physical robustness and mindset.

What I'm trying to say is that the second, third, fourth, etc. shot into the body does not increase the odds of stopping the threat by a percentage. If you make multiple bad shots, then you could end up with an entire magazine in your opponent and he's still in the fight.

On the other hand, the second (or 3rd, 4th) shot may make all the difference, if the preceeding resulted in just a fleshwound and a subsequent hit got a vital organ or scored a CNS hit.

As has been said on this thread and many others, anyone worth shooting is worth shooting more than once.

A 22lr can be fired quickly and accurately. If shot placement and follow-up shots are the most important factors why not carry a 22?

Some people do. That said, the biggest reason I and many others advocate NOT carrying a .22 LR has little to do with power; It's about reliability. World-wide, I'd bet .22 LR duds alone are greater in number than all the .357 magnum ammo sold in a given year. Something like 6 BILLION rounds of .22 LR are manufactured globally every year.

The other thing is that most .22 pistols hold 10 or fewer rounds. IMO, with such a disparity in power, you need a much greater capacity to mitigate it. On that note, I can't think of very many situations involving defense against other human beings were I wouldn't rather have my PMR-30 than a 5 or 6 shot revolver. Kind of along the same lines as I'd rather have my wimpy AR-15 in a fight than my M1 Garand. A lot more rounds on tap, and you can get more of them on target, faster. Shots that miss or never get fired have a 0% effectiveness, no matter what cartridge or who rates them.

easyg
July 18, 2011, 12:25 PM
A 22lr can be fired quickly and accurately. If shot placement and follow-up shots are the most important factors why not carry a 22?
Because the .22LR, when shot from a handgun, performs dismally at QUICKLY STOPPING aggressive humans.

Yeah, you might kill your attacker, but you are not likely to quickly stop your attacker.
It does you no good whatsoever if the man who gutted you with a butcher knife dies hours later in the ER from the .22 round you put in his chest.

The whole point of carrying a handgun for self defense is to stop the attack as quick as possible.
The 125g .357 magnum round, when fired from a 4" barrel service revolver, quickly earned a great reputation for doing just that....quickly stopping an attacker.


a well placed 22 rimfire is liable to hit in the shoulder and come out the hip.....doing extensive damage along the way, just sayin.
This is an old shooting myth.
Yes .22 rounds do tend to travel once they hit the body but they do not have enough energy when shot from a handgun to travel through that much tissue.
No way, no how.

goon
July 18, 2011, 02:24 PM
Just assume you have multiple attackers shooting at you, you have sooo much stress and precious fractions of a second to react. There is no guarantee that you will hit the men COM, let alone a double tap. When you hit them (wherever it may be) would you rather have a 9mm or a 125grn 357?

I think with the right 9mm load, it basically doesn't matter. I take it you're a lover of the .357. So am I. But it's not a magic talisman. It's actually quite pathetic compared to almost any rifle cartridge, and rifle rounds fail to stop at times.

357 Terms
July 18, 2011, 03:22 PM
I totally agree goon, its just that the 357 will give a marginal advantage,it has to. May not make a difference most of the time; but it might. I realize its mostly apples and oranges.

flightsimmer
July 18, 2011, 03:33 PM
I dunno? LOL
Yeah, it's been photo-shopped but the wound channel wasn't.

http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo106/flightsimmer_2009/10mm-1.jpg

10mm, when you care enough to send the very best.

Sean Smith
July 18, 2011, 03:46 PM
There are two different running opinions that make the biggest splash on this site. One is that your service round-chambered pistol is inadequate in any and all situations, and that you'd be likely to do more damage with a slingshot and a marble.

Nobody is making this argument. It's a straw man you made up to try to make your opinion look more reasonable. What people actually do is emphasize that handguns are comparatively weak weapons, which is objectively true short of a .500 Magnum and the like.

The other opinion is that good, possibly numerous hits with a pistol will drop an enemy.

If you replace "will" with "has a good chance to" you're on to something that like 99% of the people here would agree with.

I have an extremely hard time believing that two rounds from a service-caliber handgun applied to a human's chest is not going to do the job. If you hit the heart or the lungs or even both, the lights are going to fade.

Except that we know for a fact that people are shot multiple times in the chest with handguns without being stopped. Hell, there are plenty of recorded incidents of high-power rifles and 12ga shotguns failing to stop.

It's like you're trying to make the worst post possible on this subject. Bravo.

Vern Humphrey
July 18, 2011, 04:19 PM
Except that we know for a fact that people are shot multiple times in the chest with handguns without being stopped. Hell, there are plenty of recorded incidents of high-power rifles and 12ga shotguns failing to stop.
And if you need a witness to swear to that, I'm available.

1911Tuner
July 18, 2011, 04:28 PM
Vern. Yep.

Many times, it depends a lot on the physical condition of man who is shot and what his level of determination is in continuing the fight. If he's seriously pumped up on adrenalin...or cocaine...or even a gutful of Pabst Blue ribbon...he may be able to absorb several hits from so-called "manstoppers" and show little or no reaction. Others have been tagged in the wrist or the elbow with .22 Shorts and dropped like a sack of wet laundry, screaming for mommy.

MachIVshooter
July 18, 2011, 04:32 PM
Hell, there are plenty of recorded incidents of high-power rifles and 12ga shotguns failing to stop.

Tens of thousands, in fact. Even the mighty .50 BMG has failed to effect one-shot stops.

Frankly, I don't think anything short of about a 40mm round that will actually dismember a person could be unequivocally counted on to stop them.

Loosedhorse
July 19, 2011, 11:22 AM
And there you have it. We may have the reductio ad absurdum argument, on one hand, that since some aggressor has (in some unspecified place at some unspecified time, anecdotally) taken a .50 BMG hit and kept on fighting (perhaps saying, Jesse Ventura-like, "I ain't got time to bleed!"), that nothing is dependable. Well, nothing is. We knew that already. Even if a round meets or exceeds the FBI's minimum penetration standard...as I believe .50 BMG does.

And we may have the argument that "of course" we know that the Remington .357 Mag 125gr SJHP is the best handgun round ever was, is, and ever gonna be, because 97.3% (or whatever) is clearly different than 95%. Or 91%.

But I suspect that a lot of us are in the middle. We still think that 12 gauge, .50 BMG, or .357 Mag HP has a better probability of stopping a fight NOW than does a .380 FMJ. We understand that placement is king, but we may be more comfortable with a round that has a 90+% "street record" than a round that's 50-60%. I suspect that even those who "dismiss" street records entirely perhaps don't use (for example) RNL loads in their .38 snubs, for whatever reason, even though they penetrate great.

M&S's data present some very interesting puzzles that (I think) are not adequately explained, like the successes of the .32 original Silvertip and the ISP 9mm 115gr +P+ load, despite the "inadequate" penetration of each. Am I supposed to believe the ISP load is actually bad, but the data showing its dismal performance were mischievously excluded?

And then there's the "who cares" factor introduced by new bullets. If (for example) a Corbon DPX will expand AND penetrate...what's left to argue about?

bassdogs
July 19, 2011, 11:36 AM
Sorry about your friend, but I suspect he didn't contribute much to the fight after the first few hits from that M1. Like others have said on here, you're not likely to be carrying an AK for SD unless you're in Alaska or Iraq. Given the choices in handguns I have to agree that any service caliber weapon with appropriate loads will give you the advantage you are looking for in a confrontation with a bad guy. Its a pick your poison kind of argument. I have a 357 colt trooper on the shelf in the family room, a Glock 40 with 15 180 gr JHP, for CC, and a Judge 410/45LC in my wife's car. I suggest that the nay sayers go for their Smart phones to dial 911 and I'll pull the Glock. Will see who has the best chance of survival.

SharpsDressedMan
July 19, 2011, 10:30 PM
If I ever have to shoot a person in self defense, my actions will be to shoot UNTIL they stop. Whatever handgun and load I am using WILL, unequivocably, STOP the attacker. It may take all the rounds in my gun, and I may have to reload, but the cartridge I am using WILL stop the attacker. You non-believers need a new mindset. :D

Chief_Cabioch
July 19, 2011, 10:47 PM
Quote:
a well placed 22 rimfire is liable to hit in the shoulder and come out the hip.....doing extensive damage along the way, just sayin.

This is an old shooting myth.
Yes .22 rounds do tend to travel once they hit the body but they do not have enough energy when shot from a handgun to travel through that much tissue.
No way, no how.

Ya sure about that? ....might want to read this article first.......

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/criminal_mind/forensics/ballistics/4.html

Patriotme
July 19, 2011, 11:03 PM
http://www.handloads.com/misc/stoppingpower.asp has some really good info on the topic. Like everything else it's open to debate.

JShirley
July 19, 2011, 11:14 PM
It's not "unquestionably". I question that statement.

There are a lot of factors that go into what's going to be most effective in a given situation. The .357 Magnum 125-gr from a 3 to 5" barrel at reasonable ranges- with the right bullet and velocity- should be plenty effective though. Other calibers/bullet combinations that should also be effective (assuming you have chosen the correct velocity and bullet combination):

9x23mm 124-gr HP
9x23mm 125-gr JSP
.40 S&W 135-gr JHP
.40 S&W 155-gr JHP
.40 S&W 165-gr JHP
10mm 135-gr JHP
10mm 155-gr JHP
10mm 165-gr JHP
10mm 180-gr JHP
.41 Magnum 180-gr JHP
.41 Magnum 200-gr JHP
.41 Magnum 210-gr SJHP
.44 Special 180-gr JHP
.44 Special 200-gr JHP
.44 Special 210-gr SJHP
.45 ACP 185-gr JHP
.45 ACP 200-gr JHP
.45 ACP 230-gr JHP
.45 (Long) Colt 200-gr JHP
.45 (Long) Colt 230-gr JHP

The truth is, when you choose a quality bullet at a reasonable velocity, I would feel perfectly comfortable with any of the combinations I've listed. Hell, in the last few years, I've frequently just had a 9x19mm around as my "get to my rifle" home piece or CCW. (Of course, I've almost as frequently had something like a S&W 629 loaded with .44 Special JHP (http://georgia-arms.com/new44special200grgolddothollowpoint100pk.aspx) near the bed or IWB. ;))

Bullets are designed for different missions. There are same-weight bullets that open up or fragment much more dramatically at the same velocity, and there are some manufacturers who tend to load their ammunition down. The shooter needs to do the research, perhaps even just go test the rounds he's considering carrying. I know from my own testing that bullet performance is much different from a 3" barrel than a 4.5. A very effective bullet from a 3" barrel may be traveling too fast, and not penetrate adequately if fired at a close target from a 6" barrel. Some of this can be resolved with modern "controlled expansion" bullet designs (bullets like Gold Dot come to mind), but some of these, in turn, will open very little or not at all if fired from a short barrel or when not loaded "hot" enough.

Most important of all: maintain situational awareness, know when to run and when to shoot, and be able to hit your target.

John

I'm3rd
July 21, 2011, 11:56 AM
Tens of thousands, in fact. Even the mighty .50 BMG has failed to effect one-shot stops.

Frankly, I don't think anything short of about a 40mm round that will actually dismember a person could be unequivocally counted on to stop them.


You must not have seen the video of a British sniper taking out a Talibaner from over 1 mile away with a .50 BMG sniper rifle. The hit was clearly shown in the video clip, and the Taliban guy was simply blown apart. As seen on the video it looked like a stick of dynamite had exploded in his gizzard. I have also seen several videos taken during the Iraq invasion in which a .50 BMG rifle hits an enemy at much closer range. The videos all show a cloud of red spray behind the victim and a large red splatter on a masonry wall behind him. Not even Superman could take a hit like that and be able to continue firing back, hence an authentic "one shot stop".

I'm not saying that the proven effectiveness of .50 BMG shootings have any relevance to .357 mag shootings. Just saying that there are shoulder fired rounds in existence that are authentic "one shot stoppers" unless they hit a non-critical body part, and even a 16" navy cannon shell wouldn't necessarily stop a determined man if it only clipped off his big toe.

Chief_Cabioch
July 22, 2011, 02:49 AM
JE223March 4, 2007, 06:38 PM
I just finished the .41 Magnum test and here are the results :

Firearm - S&W 57 .41 Magnum revolver with 4" barrel length

Cartridge - Remington 210gr Soft Point SWC (very old looking box - says 'Index 1041' on it)

Block Calibration - 11.8cm @ 605 ft/sec

Shot 1 - Impacted at 1308 ft/sec, penetrated 16.0" in the gelatin block and then ~ 4" in a polyester bullet arresting box. Recovered diameter was 0.491". Track is outlined in yellow on the first picture.

Shots 2 & 3 were fired over a chronograph skyscreen, but no reasonable velocity measurements were produced (the screen flashed something like '145 ft/sec' on one of the shots). We had gusting winds of at least 15 mile/hour, so no more attempts were made to utilize the chronograph. For what it is worth, I did not notice any 'soft' or 'hard' shots - the recoil felt consistent.

Shot 2 - Penetrated 16.0" in the gelatin block and then ~ 4" in a polyester bullet arresting box. Recovered diameter was 0.484".

Shot 3 - Penetrated 16.0" in the gelatin block and then ~ 14" in a polyester bullet arresting box. Recovered diameter was 0.471".

Shot 4 - Penetrated 16.0" in the gelatin block and then ~ 14" in a polyester bullet arresting box. Recovered diameter was 0.501".

Shot 5 - Penetrated 16.0" in the gelatin block and then ~ 12.5" in a polyester bullet arresting box. Recovered diameter was 0.499".

JShirley
July 22, 2011, 08:07 PM
...which is why you notice I suggested SJHP, NOT SWC, in that caliber/weight.

Cryogaijin
July 23, 2011, 07:44 AM
This discussion is an absolutely excellent example of just exactly how different people react to similar stimulus. This discussion also demonstrates the problem with talking in absolutes when referring to anything outside a lab.

Something I'd like people reading this thread to think about is this: If you see all the different responses and outcomes to simple "High velocity lead goes into the bad man" Think about all the different responses and outcomes to how people respond to various medicines, to being tazered, to anesthetics, or to pepper spray.

You can put a full magazine through where someone's heart is supposed to be, but if they have situs inversus, all you're doing is winging one lung. Their heart is on the other side.

There is too much variation among the human species for there to be a "perfect" anything. There are, however, "works in most situations."

Prosser
July 23, 2011, 08:04 AM
Delusions and gunwriters. i tend to think a .475.510 caliber HP that expands to 2 bore size,
at 1500-1600 fps would be a bit better then any wimpy 125 grain. 357 WHATEVER.,http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/Socrates28/expanded475275grainbullet.jpg

Loosedhorse
July 24, 2011, 09:40 AM
This study (http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/7866) is being discussed in an adjacent thread. It shows that, in shootings using the .357 (Mag or SIG), only 9% of those receiving hits were not incapacitated. That's as good as the center-fire rifle shootings they looked at...and better than shotguns.

I guess .357 unquestionably is the best manstopper, after all! ;):D

Prosser
July 24, 2011, 11:10 PM
I suspect most of the .357 'stops' occur because of a couple factors.
First, it's a common LEO backup gun caliber in a snubby. Most stuff like this occurs at night.

The combination of a light bullet, short barrel .357 doesn't make a super great SD round, but, it makes one heck of a flash-bang grenade, and, it's directional, and doubly effective at night. Combine this with the arms length most of these type of shootings occur at, and you can see why it is effective, not as a defense round, but, as a defense weapon.

Loosedhorse
July 25, 2011, 11:35 PM
The combination of a light bullet, short barrel .357 doesn't make a super great SD round, but, it makes one heck of a flash-bang grenade, and, it's directional, and doubly effective at night. Combine this with the arms length most of these type of shootings occur at, and you can see why it is effective, not as a defense round, but, as a defense weapon.Great theory. And the proof that you're correct, and it is NOT "a super great SD round" is where, exactly?

PabloJ
July 26, 2011, 12:08 AM
I've been curious about this for a while............so here it goes;

I've come across dozens of sources on the "internet" stating the .357 magnum in 125 JHP as the most effective handgun caliber and load in existence for self defense.

Do the terminal ballistics of this load really stand out that much greater compared to the plethora of other handgun caliber loads? If so why? And if not also why?

I appreciate any help or info yall can give me!
I actually think modern rendition of the stuff they used at KO Corral is superior to anything else. I would take Corbon 200gr .45 Long Colt JHP load at about 1100fps over anything else.

Prosser
July 26, 2011, 02:00 AM
I'm with Pablo.

There are far too many far superior ballistic combinations around to say the .357 is THE manstopper.

First, WHAT .357 round is supposed to be this magical stopper? Which bullet, what velocity?

My only concern with light for caliber bullets is their lack of penetration, and quickly diminishing wound cavity, caused by the lack of bullet weight.

tipoc
July 26, 2011, 03:38 AM
This study is being discussed in an adjacent thread. It shows that, in shootings using the .357 (Mag or SIG), only 9% of those receiving hits were not incapacitated. That's as good as the center-fire rifle shootings they looked at...and better than shotguns.

I guess .357 unquestionably is the best manstopper, after all!

And there ya go! Another excellent study "proving" that the .357 mag 125 gr. jhp bullet from a 4" barrel at 1400 fps is better than a 12 guage. Ellifritz' study ain't really a "study" just a fellas opinion...a wrong one at that.


It was discussed here a little bit ago...http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=604721&highlight=ellifritz
tipoc

easyg
July 26, 2011, 04:29 PM
My only concern with light for caliber bullets is their lack of penetration, and quickly diminishing wound cavity, caused by the lack of bullet weight.
The 125g .357 magnum does not lack penetrating ability at all.
In fact, overpenetration can be a real concern when shooting non-hollowpoint .357 magnum rounds.

Even the 115g 9mm FMJ can totally penetrate the typical unarmored human body.

Prosser
July 26, 2011, 10:54 PM
Easyg: That was why I asked my question. The round usually referred to as 'the stopper' is a 125 grain HOLLOWPOINT, at some high velocity, or, as I said, I think mostly out of snubs, 1200 fps or so. it does NOT over-penetrate.
1350 fps, about 15" of penetration.
http://www.brassfetcher.com/357%20Magnum%20Hornady%20Critical%20Defense%20125gr%20bare%20gelatin.pdf

A bit faster, and depending upon the bullet, it might penetrate more or less.

Brassfetcher seemed to be of the opinion that the light projectiles were going too fast, causing seperation, and bullet failure. That might actually be a reason for thier effectiveness, since secondary projectiles caused by bullet fragmentation can cause considerable damage.

That said, their is another alternative:
A cast bullet that mushrooms at speeds in the 1350-1600 fps range, or tumbles a bit, and, maintains it's speed through the target.

tipoc
July 27, 2011, 12:29 AM
Brassfetcher seemed to be of the opinion that the light projectiles were going too fast, causing seperation, and bullet failure. That might actually be a reason for thier effectiveness, since secondary projectiles caused by bullet fragmentation can cause considerable damage.

I'm not sure that brassfetcher did make that point. They were commenting only on a specific load and bullet, the Hornady 125 gr. load. Most ammo manufacturers have for the last 20 or so years been struggling to meet the FBI specs of 12-14" of penetration in 10% ballistic gelatin with expansion for jhp rounds no matter what caliber. Brassfetcher's point was that they preferred a round that expanded more at shallower depths even if the trade off was less penetration than the Hornady round. If the round expands more, and causes more damage by doing so, it slows down some thus utilizing more kinetic energy. They preferred a round that made a bigger hole even at the expense of an inch or so penetration. They made no mention of fragmentation because the fragmentation of the Hornady round was within normal parameters.

Penetration depths were sufficiently deep but we would have liked to have seen greater expansion and penetration depths around ten inches maximum in order to increase the kinetic energy transferred to more shallow structures in the body... Muzzle velocities on the tested lot were very tight, helping to increase the consistency of the bullets terminal effects on the target. We would not hesitate to recommend this cartridge for self-defense usage in a four-inch .357 Magnum revolver, though we caution that there is a trade-off present to increase penetration depths through a reduction in the kinetic energy transferred to shallow tissues in the body. This reduces the potential for damaging more tissue on the vast majority of possible shotlines, while adding the benefit of being able to moderately damage any tissue in the body on any conceivable shotline.

They recommend the Hornady load for self defense and carry especially from a 4" wheelgun.

Take some time over at the Brassfetcher site and compare the expansion and penetration of various rounds and calibers. Much of it does as well or better than a number of loads for the 357.

tipoc

RevDerb
July 27, 2011, 08:02 AM
The title of this thread drives me absolutely nuts! I had never heard (until I read it here) that the .357 Mag - 125gr had the reputation stated in the title. As you can see from the 4000+ views and 150+ responses to this thread demonstrates that opinions are like (fill in the blank), everyone has one. There are no "opinions" that are unquestionable. A baseball bat applied to the side of the head is also an effective manstopper but it simply doesn't work 100% of the time. Where you hit is more important than what you hit with. (oh, yeah, IMHO:D)

easyg
July 27, 2011, 12:20 PM
Where you hit is more important than what you hit with.
Yes, shot placement is paramount.
No one has said otherwise.

But no matter how good you are, there's just no guarantee that your round will hit the exact area of the target that you were aiming at.
You might be aiming for the target's heart but instead hit the target's left shoulder due to the movement of the target.

With that in mind, it makes sense to use a caliber that causes more damage than a caliber that causes less damage....
A .22 round to that shoulder will most likely not affect the target as much as a .357 magnum round to that same shoulder.

sthomper
March 8, 2012, 04:09 PM
Besides internet rumor, and "studies" full of glaring methodological flaws?

Nothing.


well...if it happens to be the best manstopper and you just happen to be unaware of it then it is something.

mgregg85
March 8, 2012, 05:10 PM
Zombie thread...

I can never stop my eyes from rolling when I see a thread dealing with "the best pistol cartridge evarrr!?!??"

I'd say the .357 is eclipsed by the .41 mag in revolvers but most .41 mags are too big. .357 mag is probably the best revolver loading for self defense when you factor in size and all.

Now when you start talking about all handguns you have to consider the big 10mm, when loaded to full power specs it beats the .357 magnum.

Prosser
March 8, 2012, 07:13 PM
I thnk you are finally sniffing the right side of the tree.

What makes that .357 load so effective is a number of factors that lead a LOT of people to shoot it, alot.
Quote:
Well said.

Being able to control the firearm well enough to score accurate hits in the event of a miss or the first hit being inneffective is more important than having a round that is a decisive fight stopper if it scores a good hit the first time.

I've personally found that this can be difficult with the .357, especially in light weight revolvers. Ever try to empty a 340 PD (or even an SP101, M60) quickly and accurately? Much more difficult than with a compact 9mm or .45.
And that is the key point -- it is the gun-cartridge-bullet-and-man combination that makes a weapon effective. A cartridge that is highly effective in one gun -- say a full-charge .357 in my Colt M357 -- may be much less effective in a smaller, lighter gun -- such as your 340 PD. A gun and cartridge that is effective in the hands of one man may be less effective in the hands of another."

I am not a great fan of the .357 round, 125 grain load, but, I recognize it for what it is:
First:
It was available in a huge number of guns, LEO carry guns, and most important, it's as much as you can carry in a snub and shoot reasonably accurately. Even at the 1204 fps I get with Corbon's 125's, our of a 360PD,
it's very hard to find anything more powerful that will come out of a 12-15 oz gun, and still be even close to shootable. Like it or not, the .357 comes in more small guns then any other caliber, and is the most commonly available powerful round you can put in a light gun, and be able to shoot.

So, you have light recoil in a heavy revolver, duty gun, and, heavy recoil in a light snub, but, still shootable.

Most shootings occur at night, and, the .357 125 grain load is both loud, and blinding, aiding in it's scare and effectiveness factor. If a self-defense shooting occurs at more then 5 yards, you've got problems. I suspect most of the sampling of .357 shootings took place at night, and point blank range.
Accuracy was not as much of a factor as we believe, since at that range
the combination of blinding flash, burning powder, and getting hit with a bullet tend to overload the person on the receiving end.

I have come to the rather backwards conclusion that the .357 out of a light 5 shot is as much firepower as I can carry, in a small package, consistently.

I can't be the only person in this situation, and, considering the state I live in has between 40-45 million people, and they have suffered the same absurd carry laws, I'm sure I am not alone in coming to the same conclusion.

So, you have as much power as most people can shoot, in the most commonly available CCW firearms, a tremendous number of those guns available, and, at the time, LEO's carrying the same round in both duty and CCW guns. It's sort of a process of natural selection, with a round that
while not perfect, still does the job consistently, out of a variety of guns.

Also the round feeds on it's own success. Since so many guns are produced to shoot it, they are relatively less expensive, and more diverse then most other calibers. Also, the competition can lead to similar loads being available
for reasonable prices.

Inexpensive guns, with reasonably priced ammunition, and the entire variety
of holster options designed for the guns, and you have value in the round, gun, holster combination.

You have the Ayoob factor as well. The round is popular with many LEO agencies, and, if you have to defend yourself, defending yourself in court is easier, and less costly, if you can point to the LEO in the court room and say I carry it because he does.

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