Quantcast

A gel expert explains

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by labnoti, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    8,056
    There's a big, big unstated assumption there: That wounding is the only thing that is materially useful in causing an non-volitional alteration of behavior by an aggressor.

    A lot of fights have been won, or at least altered in their course, by a punch in the gut. Yet a trauma surgeon who inspected the abdomen of a gut-punched person 30 minutes later might find no wounding whatsoever. Does that mean that hits to the solar plexus don't have any material chance of helping you if you are fighting for your life? No, it most definitely does not mean that.

    Fackler-ish studies of gunshot victims aren't going to account for any similar effects occurring in gunfights involving humans. But handgun hunter observations of the behavior of animals immediately after being shot can illuminate this area - an area that is totally "dark" to the Fackler wound-centric methodology.

    Fackler's stuff, and those expanding on it with similar methodologies, is great, and a very useful contribution to the literature. Where thinking goes off the rails is when people insist that this is the only method of study, the totality of terminal ballistics. I'm not sure even Fackler would claim that. Most real scientists are careful to make modest claims. Meanwhile, non-scientists love to fill in the gaps on the things left unsaid.
     
    Mycin likes this.
  2. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,421
    Instant/rapid incapacitation is a function of placement and penetration. What you hit is more important than what you hit with. For example, in 1992, South Carolina Trooper Mark Coates was shot by an attacker who was armed with a .22 caliber mini-revolver and was rapidly incapacitated when the single penetrating bullet cut a major vessel. Immediately prior to being shot Coates shot his attacker 5 times with no stopping effect because the bullets did not disrupt and damage vital tissues. In the video of the shooting go to the 8:30 mark to observe the attack. Coates is shot at about the 9:10 mark. He is hit, takes a few steps and immediately collapses onto the pavement. See -
     
  3. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,421
    In your example a punch to the gut is not hitting the "solar plexus". A punch to the gut produces a differential pressure between the abdominal cavity and the thoracic cavity, which stretches the diaphragm muscle as the contents of the abdominal cavity are displaced into the thoracic cavity, and is commonly referred to as "having the wind knocked out of you." It can be painful and cause the diaphragm muscle to spasm, which makes it difficult to breathe.
     
    JR24 likes this.
  4. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,421
    You do realize Fackler was a hunter, don't you? He stated, "The field is the ultimate laboratory."
     
  5. Apuesto

    Apuesto member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2019
    Messages:
    129


    Pray tell us what your credentials are to make such a statement. Would I be correct in assuming you have none?

    For the record, I am not a physician or a physicist either, I merely state what I have observed.

    Blowing smoke was also considered serious conversation, and no doubt unbelievers endured scorn; until enough people realized that it did not quite match observation and regulated it to a not so nice common phrase that made the prevailing experts a bunch of fools.
     
  6. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,799
    ..'a punch with a lot more force than a handgun round.
     
  7. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,799
    You state what you think you have observed. without considering irrefutable the facts of basic Newtonian physics.
     
  8. Apuesto

    Apuesto member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2019
    Messages:
    129
    And yet people make such a brewhaha about wound channel results in gel testing when evaluating defensive ammo? There seems to be a bit of a disconnect.

    That said, I do agree with the gist of your statement. Its just that I do not put any value in gel test results when choosing a caliber to drop a particular animal. There are just way too many variables in real life for a simplistic test like a gel test to be more than of academic interest. As I mentioned in a previous post, it's no more than a more sophisticated pine board test.

    Not an experienced hunter when compared to people like John Taylor who actively suggested that knock "down power" of caliber needs to be considered when selecting a caliber for an animal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
  9. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,799
    True fact, except in screen fiction.
     
  10. Apuesto

    Apuesto member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2019
    Messages:
    129
    ... and again, what are your credentials to make such a comment?

    Are you a physicist?
    Are you a physician?
    Do you work in a field where you are considered a subject matter expert in physics?
    Have you actually attended tertiary level physics classes?
    Other than what you have read on Wiki, just what do you know about "Newtonian physics"?
    Do you actually understand when something is considered irrefutable as opposed to a mere theory?
     
  11. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    8,056
    Right. Quite distracting. Even though none of the tissue involved is being stretched beyond its resilience. No wounding. Significant chance of alteration of behavior.

    This became quite clear to me when I had an abdominal catheter removed from my abdomen a few years ago. It had been in place for a period of many weeks, but was no longer needed. So I laid on a table and the doctor simply pulled it out. It wasn't exactly painful, but the feeling of having my abdominal contents pulled out of place, even momentarily (everything "snapped back" as soon as the tube was out and no longer imparting any pulling force), was completely debilitating. There was no blood. There was no new wounding of any material sort. But if a fire had broken out in that room, it would have just laid there for the first 15-20 seconds of it, because I was totally incapacitated by the sensation of having my guts stirred.

    Would it have knocked me out for good? No, but it sure would have rendered me combat-ineffective for a few seconds... plenty of time for an assailant to land other blows or shots.
     
  12. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,421
    Significant chance of alteration of behavior, which means: maybe or maybe not. "Maybe" is not a reliable mechanism. Drugs, alcohol, being psychotic and crazy, sheer anger and determination, which are probably the kinds of people one would end up shooting in self-defense, rules out the maybes. These kinds of people often don't react as one would expect a reasonable person to react.
     
  13. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    8,056
    As I stated in my first contribution to this thread, this is all probabilistic.

    Even the most powerful hitters in major league baseball are "maybe" going to hit a home run. They usually don't. Does that mean that good baseball GM's and managers simply disregard batters' power in deciding who to sign and who to put in as a pinch hitter? No, that would be beyond idiotic. Just because a factor isn't "reliable" doesn't make it a non-factor.
     
  14. boom boom
    • Contributing Member

    boom boom Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Messages:
    3,527
    Location:
    GA
    In essence, wounding/incapacitating power in any specific real life situation is a multivariate problem with incomplete data. The ballistic gel/controlled animal tests/etc. are all proxies for the effects on humans. The controlled nature of the tests allow focus on a couple of variables such as penetration and/or wound channels/ballistic gel disturbance but essentially have to ignore others using the ceterus paribus principle (all other factors being held equal).

    The opposite source of data is that of morgues/hunting resulting in death. In this, like others, the data derived is problematic because a selection bias occurs. In essence, you are building a generalizable argument over a set where the "death" occurred with no data as to where it "failed". To fill the gap, you would also need data where only "wounding" occurred and those where incapacity to continue the assault was due to physiological and not psychological reasons.

    Given medical ethics and patient privacy, I am doubtful that any complete data of bullet removal and impact that cause "wounding" but not death can be assembled. In many such situations, the doctors would scarcely take time to measure things like the wound channel or depth of penetration. Radiology information might yield some clues but with no systematic comparisons of different bullet types, calibers, propellant energy, etc., you might get one variable which is penetration with little information on other factors.

    To complicate matters further, things like distance, length of barrel, actual velocity of the bullet on exit, the angle of penetration, the bone, internal organs, and fat structure of the individual shot, presence of drugs in the system, ad nauseum ( it is a many factor problem as I said and I do not even attempt to be comprehensive in the factors to consider) all make a difference.

    To answer the question with a great degree of scientific certainty would more or less require unethical and immoral testing on human subjects under controlled circumstances. Thus, we are left with the use of proxies such as live animal testing or ballistic medium testings of some sort. Or alternatively, we construct backwards from real life situations to attempt to discover key factors that led to a success--one would be the use of hunting anecdotal evidence or we attempt to reconstruct a situation from medical records, police reports, and witness reports. The risk to using proxy information is that inevitably real world conditions will deviate some degree from the controlled circumstances in the test in unpredictable ways. The risk to using "real life" situations is selection bias and the risk of incomplete/incorrect data.

    The good news is that if you consider any sort of self defense scenario that one can get useful information from imperfect sources or analysis that is good enough to act.

    One way to look at a successful result in the self-defense problem for individuals that are not in the military or police (avoiding conflict for them may not be possible for example) is
    a) situational awareness and use of avoidance techniques, along with hardening of infrastructure so that one does not need to use a firearm because the attack was averted before it began,
    b) if the attack cannot be avoided, carrying and willingness to use a firearm regardless of caliber can increase the likelihood of successful survival of the attack,
    c) training in the use of the firearm used in self-defense along with tactical considerations such as use of cover and movement improves one's ability to survive,
    d) long arms are generally preferable than handguns in that most people shoot long arms better with less training, long arms can and do fire more powerful cartridges, and long arms are generally more of a psychological disincentive for an attacker to try to press their attack,
    e) aside from rimfires in current use, handguns generally are more successful in stopping an assault if they have an ability to penetrate enough to get to vital neural structures or the heart and/or they cause enough bleeding to terminate the assault,
    f) rimfires are better than nothing obviously but have historically demonstrated the least ability to immediately terminate an assault through incapacitating the attacker and may also demonstrate less reliability in the ammunition,
    g) there are times that alternative weapons at hand may be better use than the firearm in terminating the assault--a woman at the gas pump spraying the mugger with gasoline when he tried to mug her is an example, use of your key fob to trigger the car honking, etc.
    h) I am sure that I am leaving out other items but no one wants a treatise here.

    Most of this thread seems to be focused on E) with a splash of D) and C) and the implicit assumption is that an attack is occurring so what is best for the defendant to use as far as cartridges.

    The point that I am trying to make is that one is dealing with probabilities and not certainties and thus a holistic concept of the problem of self defense might serve oneself better than searching for the ultimate self defense cartridge.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
    ATLDave likes this.
  15. Apuesto

    Apuesto member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2019
    Messages:
    129
    FWIW, I did not advance any theory as to what is at play when a bullet knocks down an animal. You seem to have assumed I am claiming it is the kinetic energy only. Whether it is or not, I don't know and I am not in the habit to claim things that I don't know about.

    I have knocked animals off their feet and seen other knock animals off their feet i.e. stopping power. I have also noticed a strong correlation between a bullets ability to drop an animal quickly and kinetic energy at impact, and I'd go out on a limb that the majority of other hunters have noticed the same.
     
  16. labnoti

    labnoti Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2018
    Messages:
    1,281
    Thanks for the link. Two things: The video mentions ".357 Magnum" but it doesn't make it clear whether that was the gun or the cartridge. It also mentions "+P" when describing the ammunition which makes me think the revolver was loaded with .38 Special. From pictures of Blackburn like this one:

    mark-coates-richard-blackburn-shooting-full-dash-cam-backup-arrives-karpiscoatesblackburncrime-1.jpg
    we can see he was only gut-shot, not shot "center mass" as some accounts have been told. I think Fackler would agree that the bullets used can make all the difference, even more than the cartridge (whether they were Magnums or only Specials). It was 1992. Were they .38 Special +P Lead Round Nose? But I also agree the five hits, because they appear to have been only peripheral, do reinforce IWBA's assertion that a .22 rimfire through the aorta has a greater effect than a .44 Magnum that misses it by 1/16th of an inch.
     
  17. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,799
    You entered the conversation with this:


    Strange! I have never encountered an experienced hunter of big game who did not understand what it was the stopped and killed animals.

    You were provided a link to a discussion of how bullets stop humans, but without availing yourself of the knowledge therein, you replied with something abut being attacked by a block of gelatin.

    Wouldn't that be "knockdown power"?

    Regardless, your choice of phrase "knock animals off their feet" certainly implies that you are contending that the case involves force and motion. Had you said "dropped the animals", people would have inferred otherwise.

    But if the effect were due to force and motion, it would not be due to kinetic energy, which is force times distance. Rather, it would be due to impulse, which is force integrated over time, or the change in momentum.

    And that brings us back to the fact that, were the impulse capable of "knocking an animal off its feet", the equal and opposite reaction would knock the shooter off his feet.

    That's pointed out in the Quantico report.

    If you would like to understand this better without going into Newtonian equations involving force, mass, acceleration, and velocity, try this:

    Put your rifle to your shoulder and have someone shove it back to simulate recoil Have them practice until they can consistently approximate the impulse of real recoil. Then have then place the buttplate on a real anuima, about where you would shoot it. Have them duplicate the shove. Watch the effect. Nothing.

    What bings the animal down is wounding. I thought that all hunters knew that.

    Of course, with a high intensity rifle, the wounding mechanism will include the effects of the dynamic pressure wave (the so-called "hydrostatic shock") in addition to the permanent wound channel.

    I hope this helps.
     
    JR24 and boom boom like this.
  18. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,799
    Yes indeed, and that's why analyses based on a few data points comparing how many shots may have been required for one cartridge vs. another in real incidents are not meaningful.
     
    boom boom likes this.
  19. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,421
  20. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,421
    The following is a brief explanation of wounding mechanisms and wounding effects.

    When a bullet penetrates a body structure it crushes tissues it comes into direct contact with. The hole it produces is called the permanent cavity.

    As the bullet penetrates it also propels soft tissues laterally away from the wound track producing a temporary cavity (it literally causes soft tissues to “splash” like when a rock is thrown into a pool of water). These tissues stretch to absorb the energy transferred to them by the passing bullet. The temporary cavity may or may not cause permanent damage to soft tissues depending on how far the tissue was stretched and the ability of the soft tissues to tolerate stretching. Nonelastic tissues may tear and/or rupture. Elastic tissues have varying degrees of elasticity.

    The bullet may expand or yaw, which increases the amount of tissues it comes into direct contact with, which also usually increases the size of the temporary cavity.

    Bullet shape is also a factor. A smooth streamlined bullet is hydrodynamic and can pass through soft tissues without creating “turbulence” (temporary cavitation) unless it yaws. However a flat nose or expanded bullet is not hydrodynamic and the leading edge propels tissues radially away from the oncoming bullet, increasing the amount of temporary cavitation it produces.

    Finally, if the bullet fragments these small fragments can pepper soft tissues surrounding the wound track with holes allowing the subsequent temporary cavity to tear open these holes as tissues stretch to absorb energy.

    The combined damage of crushed, torn, ruptured, broken and splintered tissues is called permanent disruption – it is all the permanent damage caused by the bullet.

    Non-elastic soft tissues such as brain, liver, kidney, spleen and pancreas can be permanently disrupted by the stretch of temporary cavitation.

    Elastic soft tissues such as skin, muscle, bowel, heart, lung, bladder, blood vessel and nerve are able to stretch and rebound. Tolerance for stretching varies by tissue type, organ size as well as if it’s restrained and cannot stretch without tearing (for example, intercostal muscle tissue).

    The wound profile exhibited in properly prepared and calibrated Type 250A ordnance gelatin allows us to see and reasonably quantify the bullet’s wounding components in soft tissues – penetration, expansion, fragmentation and yaw – and how these mechanisms cause soft tissue damage.

    The illustration below is a graphic example of how to interpret a bullet’s wounding effects (wound profile) produced in properly prepared and calibrated Type 250A ordnance gelatin caused by the wounding mechanisms of a penetrating bullet.

    attachment.jpg

    The illustration depicts an appropriately scaled wound profile illustration superimposed on an illustration of the human head. Likewise, one can overlay the same wound profile on a human torso of the same scale and understand how the bullet interacts with anatomic structures along the wound track to obtain a reasonable indication of its wounding effects on various elastic and non-elastic tissues at specific locations along the wound track.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
    Kleanbore likes this.
  21. labnoti

    labnoti Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2018
    Messages:
    1,281
    "All else being equal, as bullet mass and velocity increases, so does tissue disruption - in a smooth continuum - with no sudden changes at any threshold velocity." - Martin Fackler, Wound Ballistic Review, Vol. 4, Issue 2.

    Fackler wrote this specifically to dispute the claim (published by DiMaio) that above a certain velocity (like 2625 fps) that wounding increases dramatically. It does have the implication that the faster we drive a handgun bullet, the more tissue disruption will increase. Also, as we increase bullet mass, tissue disruption will increase. It does not, however, seem to contradict the idea that there are certain thresholds in the level of tissue disruption that result in tissue destruction. Boone's theory and velocity threshold seems to be based on the idea that handgun projectiles do not reach this critical velocity threshold that DiMaio described, which Fackler disputed. But Fackler also concurs with the idea that different tissues have different levels of elasticity and some withstand more disruption better than others. Fackler asserts the cavity of temporary disruption of tissue created by handgun projectiles is too small to wound many tissues significantly, and the tissues in the chest, like liver, that it does destroy are not critical enough to continued function that rapid incapacitation occurs as a result of their destruction. So it seems that there would be some threshold where bullet mass and/or velocity would result in sufficient temporary tissue disruption as to overcome the elasticity threshold of more types of tissue, resulting in their destruction and a greater permanent wound cavity.
     
    Apuesto likes this.
  22. Pudge

    Pudge Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Messages:
    273
    Location:
    Tioga County, PA
    I got hit in the shin with a fragment of a cast lead .38 special. It barely penetrated the skin, didn't bleed. It felt like I'd been hit with a baseball bat. Why did a ricochet fragment not feel like the recoil of my revolver? Seriously, it almost put me on the ground, if that was what recoil felt like, nobody would shoot for recreation.
     
    Apuesto likes this.
  23. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,799
    Obviously, you were wounded. Something was cut. A nerve was briuised, or worse. That can hurt.

    It didn't "knock you off your feet".

    Right?
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
  24. Pudge

    Pudge Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Messages:
    273
    Location:
    Tioga County, PA
    Correct, the 8 grains of lead travelling (I'm not sure, muzzle velocity of about 700fps, ricochet would be about 500 - 300?) at a fairly low velocity did not knock me off my feet. But your characterization of the impact of a projectile on a game animal equating to shoving a rifle against it does not correspond to my experience. The wound I experienced was the effect of the impact, not placement and penetration. It barely broke the skin, and when I removed the projectile with a pocket knife, I created a bigger and deeper wound in the same place, but the experience was far less damaging or incapacitating.
     
    Apuesto likes this.
  25. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,799
    Yo do not understand.

    The total force, integrated over time, imparted to (and upon impact, by) the bullet is the same as that felt through the butt-plate. Period. That's Newton's Third Law of Motion.

    If we fire the rifle at an animal protected by body armor, the armor will spread the force over a large area, and the bullet will not penetrate.

    Moreover, the animal will not be "knocked down".

    I saw an instruction produced for law enforcement cadets. To debunk the myth of "knock down power", a man put on a very substantial piece of body armor. Another fired tewnty round from a hand-held 7.62MM FAL rifle at the armor, point blank.

    The man with the armor was not "knocked down". In fact, he said the impact was barely noticeable.

    Some of the people who watched the video with me appeared amazed.

    Why, I do not know. That should have been obvious to anyone who had taken eleventh grade physics.

    What??

    That fragment was capable of very little impact. But it was small and sharp, and it broke the skin, obviously hitting a nerve.

    Does this help?
     
    JR24 likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice