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45Acp fails and 9mm saves the day in shoot out in Ohio

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by BHP9, Apr 5, 2003.

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  1. BHP9

    BHP9 member

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    I was talking to a police officer today that told me a story that adds much more evidence to some of my findings through by tests down through the years with the .45Acp v/s the 9mm.

    I own and shoot both calibers and have conducted penetration tests and uncovered a U.S. Government test made in 1945 with these two calibers. In the Government test the 9mm penetrated a G.I. STEEL helment at a phenominal 130 yards while the .45 ACP bounced off at a mere point blank range of only 30 yards.

    My own tests including shooting at steel 55 gallion drums at a range of only 3 feet showed the .45 acp would penetrate only one side of the steel drum using full power loads while the 9mm using weak wimpy loaded down ammo easily penetrated both sides of the steel drum.

    The Shoot out:

    A man in a basement with a knife faced 6 police officers and refused to put down the knife. He raised the knife and was shot twice with a 1911 using soft points by the first officer. The man was wearing a winter coat and the .45 slugs only penetrated only about an inch into the flesh. No. 2 officer then shot the man with a .38 special and again no reaction at all. Officer no.3 shot the man with one shot out of a 9mm and the bullet went through the man and he dropped him and he later was saved by parametics but was permanently paralized.

    I think that the longer the range the lethality really goes down when using the .45 Acp. I think that in its original military loading with a full metal jacketed bullet at close ranges of 7 to 10 yards the .45acp really does its bestand contrary to popular belief soft points may actually decrease the lethality of the .45 acp cartridge especially as the distance increases.

    Smaller bullets traveling at higher velocity were proven many years ago by famous gun-smith P.O. Ackley to penetrate armor plate (.220 swift) when even 30-06 armor piercing bullets failed to penetrate the armor.

    This idea has born frutation in FN's latest military pistol that actually fires a shortened .223 cal rifle round. Its extremely high velocity for a pistol round penetrates most if not all modern body armor even when not using armor piercing ammo but ordinary Full metall jacketed ammo.
     
  2. Feanaro

    Feanaro Member

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    Interesting. I kinda figured 9MM would penetrate better, it is smaller and faster. Although I'd prefer to get hit with neither. :D

    BTW, what is this about 9MM saving the day in Ohio?
     
  3. BHP9

    BHP9 member

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    Sorry about that I hit the post button too soon, scroll back up and read the ammended post again.
     
  4. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

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    Chuck Taylor had 5 one-stop shots with .45 ball, or something like that. One was through a car window of a truck driving away from him.

    Design irrespective, bullets are bad news - on the receiving end.
     
  5. DeltaElite

    DeltaElite Member

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    Just imagine if they had a real caliber like 10mm. ;)

    It's a nice story that fits your theory.
    Where and when did it happen? Other than Ohio.
    Is there any data to support this story, or is it just a story?

    Inquiring mimes wanna know. :D
     
  6. 444

    444 Member

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  7. DeltaElite

    DeltaElite Member

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    Wow, now that's a well thought out response. :neener:
     
  8. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    That sounds a little fishy to me.
     
  9. HKcenterMass

    HKcenterMass Member

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    Why dothe 9's always have to prove something? Its like little man's syndrome. Shoot what you like and be happy.
     
  10. hondo68

    hondo68 Member

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    After taking two .45's and a .38 you could have knocked him over with a feather. 9mm is better than .45, but this ain't the story to prove it. .357 SIG is better than both.
     
  11. DeltaElite

    DeltaElite Member

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    All calibers have their place.
    I believe in shooting what you like.
    I just want to see some documentation and not some story from a cop. Cops lie. :D

    BTW, 10mm puts all the calibers listed so far to shame. :neener:
    I do have a fondness for 357Sig. :D
     
  12. TheMariner

    TheMariner Member

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    HKcenterMass is right.... Doesn't really matter....

    What does matter is the shooter. As a professional marksman, I could drop a person at 50yrds with a .22LR from a Ruger Mk II. You pick which eye. Accuracy is what is imperative. I'm as good with a 9mm as a .45 ACP but I prefer the .40S&W as an inbetween. THe 9mm is easy to handle one handed where any .45 requires two hands for me. THe .40 is, for me, a nice balance between size of bullet, kick, cost, guns in the chamber, and reasonable round capacity. 10 shots of 9mm WILL affect a smaller volume than 10 shots of .40 or .45, given the same bullet type from the same manufacturer, at the normal engagement range of about 15 feet. THat is a simple fact of physics. But 1 shot of any of them to the neck or heart is going to kill.

    Me? I prefer as big a bullet as I can handle from any position. THe .40 happens to fit the bill. I have an uncle who could easily man handle a .44 mag or .50AE, but he prefer's is old 9mm with its 14 round magazine. My father trusts his life to my Walther P99, in .40S&W. For him and me both, 10 shots per mag is plenty. Both of us are crack pistol marksmen at ranges under 15 yrds.
     
  13. rennaissancemann

    rennaissancemann Member

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    Old news...

    This is an old argument with no absolute answer that I’ve ever heard. If physics alone were the determining factor in stopping power, then high velocity, small bore pistol rounds would rule the day. The fact is that they don’t. I’m not saying that they’re not effective, small caliber bullets kill people every day, but stopping power is a loosely defined quality ascribed to a cartridge used for hunting or self defense. Generally speaking; hollow point bullets have greater stopping power than fully jacketed ones. Larger bullets have a greater stopping power than smaller ones. Higher velocity rounds have a greater stopping power than lower velocity ones. Clothing can effect how a bullet performs. So can some pharmaceutical substances. Shot placement always counts.

    Anecdotal stories like this abound, but a .45 does a consistently better job of stopping an opponent than 9 mm does. Maybe it’s because high quality .45 caliber hollow points cause more tissue damage than a high quality 9 mm hollow point. Maybe it’s because more folks that use a .45 for social purposes practice more often than the folks that choose a 9mm for the same purpose. Maybe… I don’t know for sure, and I’m not certain that anybody does.


    Respectfully
     
  14. Gerald McDonald

    Gerald McDonald Member

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    Having had an uncle killed by a robber with one shot from a 22 long in the side of the head from approx 10 feet, I'm more of a believer in shot placement than size.
    Gerald
     
  15. Flatfender

    Flatfender Member

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  16. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Without question, physics alone IS the determining factor.

    But, NOT highschool physics.

    This is a very complex problem; the oversimplified, pablum-physics doled out in little bite-sized spoonfuls to highschool students isn't going to begin to scratch the surface.
     
  17. agtman

    agtman Member

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    :rolleyes:


    And then there are the more commonly reported incidents that don't fit the "9mm-as-Uber-cartridge" theory, like this one:

    http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?threadid=63621

    There, a BG took repeated hits point-blank from an off-duty cop's 9mm and kept coming. Maybe the 9mm is only effective from a distance - ya think? BTW, can you figure out which cop in Jersy is now carrying a .45? :scrutiny:

    Weekend chuckle: :D What'd ya call an unfired 9mm round? *














    * A FTS waiting to happen. :what:


    :neener:
     
  18. HKcenterMass

    HKcenterMass Member

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    Amen, there is no "correct" answer here. To blanketly say that the 9mm is better than the .45, or the .45 is better than the 9, is quite honestly a stupid, stupid statement, we are all dumber for having to listen to it, and may God have mercy on your soul. Its a personal thing, if a certain caliber works better for you, that doesnt make it a better round for everyone... for me, a .45 is better suited for me because it is my opinion that 850 fps with a .45 size bullet is sufficient for getting the job done against a human aggressor...if your hollow point "cocoons" from heavy winter clothing, you still have i nice size bullet leaving a nice size hole... now, i like my 9mm as well, but use it more for warmer weather b/c its easier to conceal, and you dont have to worry about heavy clothing and cocooning. I'm sure everyone has seen this, but i'll post it. :
    Bye the way, has anyone taken any of chuck's tayols classes?

    "The controversy continues: Which is the better manstopper? -- big, slow bullets or those which are small, and fast? Upon which are you willing to bet your life? -- documented history, computer simulations or limited case-study review?"

    Of late we have seen a rash of "new revelations" on the old subject of bullet performance, specifically the issue of stopping power and whether or not hollow point bullets are all they're cracked up to be. These "revelations", based upon results obtained in irrelevant target mediums like gelatin, clay, wet Los Angeles telephone books, limited personal experience or, worse, pure assumption based on nothing at all, are beginning to inundate the pages of the gun press and completely muddle an already abstract and sensitive issue.

    Perhaps none of this makes much difference to many readers, but it does indeed matter to a significant percentage of people -- those who either carry a gun for a living or train those who do. In other words, some of us read the trade journals for reasons other than simply to be entertained.

    I've said many times that life and death are serious business -- too serious to be left to amateurs. A harsh statement? Perhaps. But to me the problem is that these days it seems like everybody wants us to believe that they have all the answers. And maybe they do, but, at times, I can't help but wonder...

    I note that the most prominent writers espousing these "revelations" never give the source of their percentages or the details of their examination -- and I feel this to be significant. On the other hand, I've known Jeff Cooper, for example, for two decades and, while it's no secret that we have differing views on many things, I can tell you that he was once a Professor of History and as such, views all issues from that perspective.

    Thus, his review of historic and technical data covering more than a hundred years, shows that the .45 ACP, for example, "gets the job done nineteen times out of twenty or perhaps a little bit more". Now, years later, he has come under criticism for this statement by these same writers, none of whom possess his credentials or intellect.

    He isn't alone. The same critics also debunk Hatcher, even though his famous Relative Stopping Power thesis has been far more accurate than anything else so far, and has withstood the test of time -- more than seventy years, as a matter of fact.

    Why the assault? Charitably, it's my guess that at best, these writers undertook a less comprehensive examination than Hatcher or Cooper and subsequently concluded that the .45 was only about 65% effective. Neither Hatcher or Cooper ever claimed that the .45 ACP is infallible, only that it is 85-92% effective, depending upon the type of bullet used.

    I, too, am a student of history with a pretty fair amount of background, experience and even a bit of expertise with firearms, because as far as I'm concerned, all of these things are part of truly being a professional. And I think it's worth mentioning that Jeff's preference for the big bore is shared by not only the late General Hatcher, but by Elmer Keith, Colonel Townsend Whelen, and tens of thousands of GI combat veterans and lawmen for more than eight decades.

    I've examined the same data as Cooper and been in eight handgun fights myself, as well as dozens more involving other small arms, and I can see readily why he feels the way he does. In fact, in general, I concur with his findings because what I have seen in actual combat mirrors both his views and those of General Hatcher.


    Were I to "play the percentages," or base my opinion on a more narrow examination such as (for example) a review of the files of the law enforcement agencies with which I have been associated or draw from my own personal experiences alone, I could legitimately state that .45 ACP 230 gr. "hardball" fired from a M-1911 Colt auto, is 100% effective!

    How? Simple -- in all of the departmental shootings in which it was used, it worked. And because in five of the seven pistol fights in which I have been a participant, I used a .45 with ball ammo -- and it worked. I won all five with my first shot, my opponent collapsing before I could fire again. Five center hits, five one-shot stops, five DOS (dead on the scene).

    Perfect, right? 100% effective. See what I mean about percentages? It's all in your perspective, isn't it?

    The first handgun failure-to-stop (FTS) I experienced was with a 4-inch .357 Magnum and 158 gr. JHPs. My adversary panicked upon realizing he had been hit in the chest, abandoned his weapon and ran a full sixty yards in the opposite direction before he became incapacitated, collapsed and died.

    My second FTS was with a 9mm Browning P-35. The subject, a terrorist (who was "rockin' 'n rollin'" an AK-47, fortunately with the stock folded, at me during the entire encounter) was struck under the left nipple by my first shot with no effect. Luckily -- and coincidentally -- my second shot, while it struck within two inches of the first, penetrated sufficiently to shatter his spinal column, both incapacitating and killing him almost instantly.

    Were I to take the limited view of the writers in question, I could claim the .357 and 9mm to be completely ineffective. But we both know that such a claim would not only be rubbish, but actually insulting to your intelligence.

    Again, perspective.

    Obviously, the answer lies somewhere in between the two extremes. The rub is in the fact that however "high tech" the testing methodology, there is really no way to obtain data of absolute value by using artificial testing mediums. If you want to find out what really happens in gunfights, you've got to shoot people, not clay, Jello, water jugs, or water-soaked phone books.


    And people are different from each other. They possess wildly varying physical and psychological characteristics, from a testing standpoint, all of which are completely uncontrollable. This is why I, too, feel that only an overview of history can give us the broadly-based perspective we need.

    How? Because history has recorded what actually happened, pretty accurately for the most part. And when we skim the extremes from both the top and bottom of the spectrum, we find an astonishing consistency over a very long period of time.

    This is the best we can hope for, remembering that we're dealing with a highly diverse, abstract and complex subject. And, like it or not, it won't be superseded until/unless we have the socio-political-legal ability to hook up a thousand or so humans to our technology and shoot them under varied conditions and record what actually happens!

    Don't laugh. The inability to do this is why we are forced to utilize artificial mediums or review shooting files in the first place.

    And I think that it shows a definite loss of perspective when someone who claims to be an expert makes statements that clash with over a century of observed, recorded history, especially when their opinion comes solely from shooting a couple of water-filled 1 gallon plastic milk jugs or looking at a limited number of police files.

    Take just a moment and think about it -- are you willing to bet your life or the lives of those you train on bullet performance in artificial mediums or opinions based upon a superficial review of a small number of police files? I'm not and I don't think you are either.

    Another observation -- more personal, but still true. Invariably, those who debunk large bore/low velocity handguns prefer them for their own personal use.

    And while casting stones is not my intent, I can't help but note that what a man selects for his own defense is the most valid indicator of what he really thinks works best! He can say whatever he wishes, but it's what he does that "tells the tale," as far as I'm concerned.

    Logically, the performance of a given number of different projectiles in a medium of consistent density can only be a valid measure of comparison in that medium. There is no definitive proof that those projectiles will behave in the same manner in human beings, all of whom exhibit different bone structure and varying degrees of water content, muscle bulk, muscle tone, nerve sensitivity and mental/emotional condition.

    No, I'm not trying to convince you that frangible bullets never expand. However, I am saying that in the real world, reliable expansion is highly questionable at typical service handgun velocities and is influenced heavily by what the bullet encounters during its passage through the target. This in itself is yet another uncontrollable variable, particularly when we consider the different barrel lengths in use and their effects on velocity.

    In short, I'm trying to make you think -- no more, no less. By showing you these bullets, all claimed to be Red Hot Expanders, that didn't perform as claimed when shot into real people...

    ...maybe, just maybe, we can keep some of those we train from getting hurt unnecessarily or even save a life or two.

    So, look at the overview before you decide what you are going to bet your life on. And remember too that regardless of your choice of weapon, caliber or bullet style, you must still get solid hits in the thorax or cranial cavity to stop your assailant with a minimum of shots fired. There is simply no substitute for marksmanship, a point that, all too often seems to be overlooked.

    Otherwise, you're casting your fate to the wind.
     
  19. goon

    goon Member

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    Chuck Taylor had 5 one-stop shots with .45 ball, or something like that. One was through a car window of a truck driving away from him.

    Why was he shooting at the guy if he was driving away?
     
  20. Shane

    Shane Member

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    Sounds fishy to me....only a 1" deep wound?. Either someone isn't measuring the wound correctly, or the man was wearing more than a winter coat. A .45 ACP should be able to get more than 1 inch penetration through coat and flesh, IMO. YMMV
     
  21. gudel

    gudel Member

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    i'm skeptical about this story. Link to the original news site please. :cool:
     
  22. Blueduck

    Blueduck Member

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    Gotta remember shooting a fleeing felon was the rule of law and perfectly acceptable for LEO's not too long ago. Still often is under more stringent circumstances (jeopardy from him/her escaping).

    "Joe Psycho" guns down two people, refuses to stop and is running toward a crowded mall. Though it may make Roy Rogers blanch, one right between the shoulder blades is a Policeman's proper response.

    Sorry to get OT, but assuming a back shot is a bad shoot is a pet peeve of mine ;)
     
  23. BHP9

    BHP9 member

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    to HKcenterMas

    ..
    Excellent reply and well written and I do agree and or sympathize with most of what you say but in a way your last statement reflects a point that is often overlooked by even the most intelligent people many of which are not immune to seeing what they wish to see.

    Case in point:

    Did you know that in the infamous Thompson tests of early in the last century that most experts chose to totally ignore the fact that the .30 Luger did about as well as the .45 acp when shooting gigantic animal steers in the tests that took place in a Chicago slaughter house. The big bore boys that have been beating the big bore drums for years simply chose to ignore how well the much smaller but much higher velocity 30 luger did in killing the steers.

    I really think in a big way the results agree with your last statement and that is under ideal conditions if shot placement is precise as in the slaughter house tests with cattle, that precise accurate penetration with small diameter bullets (solids or expanding bullets) kills as quickly as the larger bullets if either small or large bullets are put in the same place with the same penetration to reach and thereby destroy vital organs.

    In other words internal organs like the heart stop working just as fast when hit by small or large diameter projectiles and if this were not true you would not see such tradgedies as the instant deaths of people that were shot for fun with .177 caliber air rifles because the idiots that shot them thought that such a small caliber weapon could not really hurt anyone.

    In conclusion I would have to say the 9mm Luger is prehaps in the U.S. (Not the entire rest of the world that has used it successfully for almost 100 years) the most underrated of cartridges and the .45 Acp the most Mythical and most overrated cartridge. In some circumstances the 9mm may indeed be the better overall cartridge when things like distance (residual velocity) , odd angles (shooting through an arm to reach the body) or penetrating barriers such as thick clothing, body armor, or barriers such as wood or sheet metal (cars) are concerned.

    This is not to say the .45acp is a dud, far from it, almost 100 years of history as proved otherwise but saying that the .45 acp is in the superior cartridge is to ignore the history of the 9mm luger cartridge. 1/10 of an inch bigger diameter difference and a way lower velocity and penetration of the .45acp does not make for a superior cartridge over the 9mm.


    I myself feel well armed with full metal jacketed ammo in the .45 acp (the ammo that really made the reputation of the .45acp) and I would feel equally well armed with the 9mm with just about any reasonable bullet both in 121 grain soft point or full metal jacketed ammo.

    Marksmanship in the end may indeed be the best insurance as to the handguns lethality no matter what caliber you may choose to carry.
     
  24. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    Cite?

    Mike
     
  25. firestar

    firestar member

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    NO WAY! There is no way a puny little 9mm could even have penetrated a t-shirt let alone a winter coat! A .45 could knock down a wall and STILL have enough energy to go to work, come home, cook dinner, clean the house, give the dog a bath and kill 3-4 fat guys with one shot. Haven't you heard that the .45 is the best caliber ever and nothing else even comes close?

    :rolleyes:
     
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