1986 Miami-Dade: .357 Magnum or .38 Special?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by WrongHanded, Aug 10, 2022.

  1. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    Lung shots can stop someone and can certainly be lethal. However Ive seen many people shot or stabbed in the lungs and still be completely ambulatory for a long time after. If you are after immediate forced incapacitation, a shot through the lungs is not a target you should be aiming for. Is it really bad for you? Yes. Will it kill you? Yes. Will it stop a determined or drugged up attacker before they are able to kill you and others? I wouldn't bet on it.
     
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  2. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    The FBI's Ammo Tests, by Charles Petty, in June 1990, is an accurate report
     
  3. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    False. FBI chose reduced velocity 10mm because it outperformed .45 ACP in its tests.

    False. The FBI developed its reduced velocity 10mm load 2-3 years before it began issuing the S&W 1076 pistol to agents. FBI SAIC FBI-FTU John Hall recognized that 230gr .45 ACP and 180gr 10mm both had the same sectional density and he experimented by personally handloading 10mm about 100-150 faster than .45 ACP 230gr.

    False. FBI tested several different cartridges and none performed as well as its reduced velocity 10mm load.
     
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  4. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    @Shawn Dodson The problem I have with the assessment of how handgun bullets work - in those various links you provided, and so with the FBI also - is that there's strong evidence that it's not entirely correct.

    There are compelling arguments that increasing the velocity of a handgun projectile, can increase the wounding damage. This has been observed in handgun hunting. It has also been observed that even with a non-expanding projectile (one with a wide flat nose) the wound diameter greatly exceeds the bullet diameter, which disproves the concept that "crushing" is the only way handgun bullets cause wounds. It's just how slow handgun bullets cause wounds. Fast handgun bullets cause spray, which greatly increases wound diameter and has a positive correlation with velocity.

    Basically, I think they had a very narrow view of handgun cartridge potential. And with that narrow view and low expectations, it's hardly surprising they got what they were looking for. Slow bullets that don't do much wounding damage.
     
  5. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    I agree. The whole body can continue function for a significant amount of time (in the context of a violent encounter) without replenishment of oxygenated blood. Potentially minutes. It's only the brain that can't go long without it. Typically 10-15 seconds.

    But yeah, aiming for the lungs rather than the heart doesn't strike me as a great idea. Though considering how people have a tendency to panic under stress, missing the heart multiple times seems like a real possibility. Might as well do some significant wounding to the lungs whilst missing, because it's at least cumulative to the effect of blood pressure loss.
     
  6. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    From what medical experts have observed, from what trauma doctors I have talked to have observed, and from what I have observed in the ER and OR, duty caliber handguns wound by crushing tissue. When we talk about no wounding outside of the bullet track, we are talking about wounds that can actually be a substantial difference in a fight. Bruising radiating away from the wound track is not stopping a fight. Tne ballistic guys have stated that the heavy loaded hunting calibers do start to show significant wounding outside the bullet track. Doc Roberts has stated this starts around the 44 magnum level.
     
  7. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    So, what diameter are these wounds (observed by medical experts and trauma doctors) coming out as? Because "crushing" suggests wounds about the diameter of the expanded bullet. What I'm talking about is wounding in excess of that, but by projectiles moving 1200fps or faster. So not really typical duty cartridges. Which is kind of my point.
     
  8. DR505

    DR505 Member

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    Not to nitpick, but John Hall was an SSA, a Supervisory Special Agent, which is a GS-14 level position (or a GS-15 if one is a Unit Chief). There is no such thing in the FBI as an SAIC. If you are referring to a Special Agent in Charge, the proper abbreviation in BU-speak is SAC. You also sound out the letters and never say "sack." An SAC is typically in charge of one of the 56 field offices spread throughout the country and is an SES level position. Beneath an SAC in the field is the Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC, a GS-15 level position) and numerous SSAs (GS-14). Under the SSA, who normally supervises an investigative squad, is the Special Agent (SA), a GS-13 level position.

    John Hall was one of my instructors when I went through the academy and we had several discussions. He had been at Quantico for many years by then. Sorry for the thread hijack!
     
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  9. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    That article was in the first American Rifleman I received as a 14 year old junior NRA member. I think I pretty much memorized it over the next few years, and probably accounts for why I covet the rare 147 gr .38 Special +P+ loadings.
     
  10. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    He may have defined vitals in his own way to suit his own arguments or to highlight what he thought was most important, but the "heart and great vessels of the torso" are not what are considered to be the limits of "vitals" by medical professionals...which is what I think is causing the confusion about not including things such as the lungs.

    Redefining concepts, particularly when narrowing the definition to fit the scope of particular topic in the context of the paper, is not an uncommon practice in academia or writing in general.

    His focus is on blood loss. So he doesn't consider the lungs to be "vitals" as they don't produce the amount of bleeding he feels is necessary. The brain would not be there either.
     
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  11. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    Ive seen plenty of wounds from handgun rounds in excess of 1200 FPS. +P 9mm loadings can get up there. 357 Mag and Sig do it easily. Ive seen only a handful of wounds from 44mag and I cant remember anything larger. The magnum muzzle blast will greatly increase a wound at contact shot distances, but other than that 357 magnum wounds look very similar to the duty calibers. As far as what size the wounds were, that depends on the size of the projectile and the time frame the wound is being observed. Swelling can make the wounds appear smaller and dead bodies drying out can make the wounds open up a decent amount. I had this recently where a guy committed suicide in an alley early in the morning. The body was in direct sunlight which here in Phoenix in the June/July heat, get really hot. I got to watch the skin dry out and start to peal throughout the investigation. The gunshot wound was more pronounced at 1 PM than it was a 7 AM.
     
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  12. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

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    I don’t know what the average in gelatin for 1986 vintage STHP was, but it is absolutely clear from the autopsy photographs, the one that hit Platt did much better than 10.5”.
    Correct. It’s very common to hear that the FBI watered down the 10mm to deal with recoil issues, but the reality is as you say. Their testing showed they could get the performance they needed without full power ammo so that’s the direction they went well before they started issuing 10mm pistols to agents.
     
  13. Remington1911

    Remington1911 Member

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    You can NEVER EVER say ALWAYS, what I said was that it happens more often then not.

    Currently the people drifting into LE (where I am right now) are about a 20% ex military, 80% civilian backgrounds. If you have been around for 20-ish years like I have you can think back and see the change in the "type" of people coming in. With current events we have seen several ups and downs to the enrollment in our academy, we generally run 20-ish students, this round there are 8. And of those 8 ZERO have any formal firearm training background. And being a rural area every male, and all but one female has "hunted" in the past. Some things to unlearn here.

    How long ago did you leave?
     
  14. Remington1911

    Remington1911 Member

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    The human body is a fantastic thing, it can take so much and keep on ticken, or take so little and off like a switch.
     
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  15. DR505

    DR505 Member

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    Last time I was teaching firearms at the academy was 2012.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2022
  16. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    You are correct. Hall was an SSA, not an SAIC.
     
  17. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    I've seen the photos as well as the x-ray. The wound track appears to me to be about 11 inches total.
     
  18. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    Metro Dade police recovered only .38 Special cases and ammo, no .357 Magnum.

    The book mentioned by Ohen Cepel in post #7 is probably one of the best references that's currently available.
     
  19. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    I just ordered it. Hopefully it's an honest and detailed account.
     
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  20. Old_Grouch

    Old_Grouch Member

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    Well, it was written by someone who was actually there; not a bureaucrat or a "journalist" so there's a pretty good chance it's credible.
     
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  21. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

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    Ok, here's my "analysis" based on the pictures.

    "The bullet went through the upper arm on an angle for 3-4" of penetration, exited unshored (equivalent to 2-4" of penetration) under the arm, entered the chest from the side already expanded and then penetrated 7-8" into the chest."

    What part of it do you disagree with?
     
  22. Remington1911

    Remington1911 Member

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    Lots have changed in 10 years.

    I am counting down, two years ten months and retirement.....can't wait.

    It changes by the day, will I do the rest of the year, only a couple months, or will I run on that day.....currently running out the door and tossing them all my crap while giving the middle finger is winning.
     
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  23. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

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    A good friend of mine relayed a story to me.

    A few years ago, the FBI wanted to know how to teach agents to shoot faster, with good accuracy.

    They brought in some world class pro shooters. One, arguably, the best pistol shooter alive.

    They set up high speed cameras. And recorded numerous strings of fire.

    After a period of analyzing all their data, they brought them back in.

    “We have analyzed all the video..our firearms staff has determined you are doing it wrong..you are slapping the trigger. Not pinning the trigger to the rear and, not releasing the trigger to the reset. Your finger is coming completely off the trigger and then, you are slapping it again for the next shot…”

    “Why do I keep winning every competition. I enter?”

    “We don’t know. But, we think you’re doing it wrong…”

    End of study.

    Another trivial sidebar. Had that first arm/chest hit been ball ammo, it likely would have perforated the bad guys heart.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2022
  24. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    It also seems strange to take your gun out of the holster and lie it on the seat beside you so it would be "readily available" -- but that's what some of them did. Apparently they didn't understand inertia -- so when the shooting started, they were down on the floor boards looking for their guns.
     
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  25. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    I have honestly wondered if it was typical behavior for some of them, to take their gun out of the holster and put it on the seat for reasons of comfort. And that they just did the same thing they typically did without thinking about consequences, and made up an excuse afterwards.
     
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