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Does Energy Count In Handgun Calibers?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by kokapelli, Oct 28, 2012.

?

Do you think energy counts in handgun calibers?

Poll closed Nov 27, 2012.
  1. Yes

    208 vote(s)
    79.1%
  2. No

    49 vote(s)
    18.6%
  3. Don't know

    6 vote(s)
    2.3%
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  1. hardheart

    hardheart Member

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    I think a lot of people didn't read the first, or any other, posts before voting. Or they wanted to vote in a way to point out that the title wasn't specific enough, somehow expecting full description despite the character limit.

    Some people also seem to be confusing velocity with energy. I say this because the 5.7 has been mentioned. Out of the Five Seven, the 5.7x28 doesn't have more muzzle energy than any other service caliber, and a lot less than other rounds coming out of semis or revolvers. It would be pointless to make energy comparisons. The difference is in velocity. So the key difference for many ought to be velocity. Heck, that's what separates rifle and handgun rounds to begin with, along with aerodynamic design for extending range. The difference in energy and momentum comes from velocity, not usually mass. 147 grain 9mm may not strike down all forms of animal life with ease, but it's still heavier than a 130 grain .270.

    That's also why I mentioned someone falling on their butt (I thank swype for the 'into' post) Also consider getting hit by my truck. At something like 4400 pounds, that's 30,800,000 grains. Plugging that into a muzzle energy calculator - at around 2 mph it is beating the 5.7 out of a pistol. Yet, if I was pushing my truck and I accidentally bumped you in the chest, there wouldn't be a spike in your blood pressure causing remote hemorrhaging and broken bones.

    Energy as a general idea is not the thing, velocity is. It is why hydrostatic shock, cavitation, etc are discussed for long guns. 'Energy' is important when it means that fluids and insides get accelerated beyond what they are designed to handle. If there was a poll asking about the importance of 'energy dump' for arrows, throwing knives, blow darts, melee weapons like daggers, war hammers, etc, then the results would likely not be the same. But there is this idea that bullets is bullets, and it doesn't matter how fast they go because at the 'speed of a bullet' things happen.
     
  2. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Correct. it's the heat that goes into the bullet as the metal bends and into the body from movement of tissue. Which is why energy more closely models temporary wound channel.
    And that's why it more closely relates to permanent wound volume.

    I understand that this is over simplified due to different bullet diameter and expansion rates . But I believe if you look at some gel test from rounds with equal momentum and different energy (think 9mm 147gr @ 1000 vs +p 124gr@1220) you will find generaly the penatration to be similar but the round with greater energy will have a larger temporary cavity.
    Also if you look at rounds with equal energy where they have different momentum they will have similar temporary cavitys and the round with more momentum will have more penatration.
     
  3. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Only if I move.
     
  4. hardheart

    hardheart Member

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    Well, I would consider that a safe bet. I just think the notion of unqualified 'energy' doesn't allow for a clear discussion on how the target reacts to the impact. Knockdown keeps getting mentioned for one.
     
  5. 481

    481 Member

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    I am surprised by that. Along with "stopping power", I thought that such terms were on their way out given their lack of a generally accepted definition/validity.
     
  6. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Which is really unfortunate because "stopping power" and "knockdown power" are a lot easier to type than "energy and momentum required for a bullet to achieve adequate expansion and penatrate enough to have a greater chance of CNS damage or blood loss to cause rapid incapacitation which causes the BG to fall down and stop agression":rolleyes:
     
  7. 481

    481 Member

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    Fixed it for you.

    It might be more cumbersome, but the proper articulation of complex interactions often requires that.
     
  8. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Or people could just stop arguing insignifigant details.
    Because my use of "greater chance" makes the addition of "placed in a vital location" redundant;);)
     
  9. 481

    481 Member

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    Therein lies the rub. What are the insignificant details and how are they determined to be so?

    Nope. "greater chance" suggests only a probability. "placed in a vital location" specifies a definite condition/effect.
     
  10. hardheart

    hardheart Member

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    I don't think they are the same thing. Too many people think that the 'heavy' bullets are 'heavy' enough to actually imbalance the target and cause 'knockdown' by shifting the target off it's center of gravity. Handgun bullets have a little trouble doing that with bowling pins, which weigh less than four pounds. Stopping is stopping, but the mechanism isn't clear. Heck, that's one problem with M&S, what about being shot made the perp stop? Blood loss, pain, disruption of nerve signal, damage to the musculoskeletal structures, emotional response? Shoot someone in the kneecap and they'll probably stop kicking you, and likely fall down. That isn't about blood loss or CNS damage.
     
  11. 481

    481 Member

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    I agree.

    "Dumbing it down" to the point of employing inaccurate & sloppy catch-phrases isn't the answer.
     
  12. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    I think the Army says you need 45 fpe minimum to kill a man.
     
  13. coolluke01

    coolluke01 Member

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    More important buzzwords then are Penetration, Placement and Momentum.
     
  14. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    That's awfully vague to be definite condition and doesn't really specify anything.
    I mean It might be more cumbersome, but if you want to specify a definite condition/effect your really going to have to define what exactly is a vital location.
    But since vital location is really going to be vague because some locations are much more vital than others nailing down a definite condition or effect would probably be better left as a vague statement of probability.
     
  15. hardheart

    hardheart Member

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    we should probably get it back on topic. So, I would ask, how does the energy from a handgun, which is limited in the mass and velocity a person can reasonably expect to handle from the platform, assist in the stopping of a threat/assault? Stopping the threat would be the important action, so then the question is how does energy contribute to the performance of that action.

    Maybe a comparison of how a handgun stops a threat compared to how a taser or chemical spray does it.
     
  16. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I'm less concerned about how the majority of the poll responders vote, than I am how the SMARTEST poll responders voted.
     
  17. 481

    481 Member

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    "placed in a vital location" actually specifies something tangible as opposed to "greater chance" which does nothing of the sort.

    Then it becomes more cumbersome. It is in error to over-simplify the mechanics of the terminal ballistic event since it involves great complexity.

    At least specifying that a bullet strike a vital location defines what needs to occur. A vague statement of probability doesn't.
     
  18. 481

    481 Member

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    Who would those folks be? :scrutiny:

    :D
     
  19. 481

    481 Member

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    Through the production of stress (force) that exceeds the elastic limit of the tissues that the bullet strikes resulting in damage to those tissues.

    The underlying equation for this is Newton's second law of motion (F=ma) which, interestingly enough, serves as the primary basis of the derivation of the Schwartz bullet penetration model.

    The entire derivation of Schwartz's model is covered thoroughly on pages 16-18 of Quantitative Ammunition Selection -it's a surprisingly simple and elegant process, IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  20. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    You can't quantify "vital location" any better than you can quantify "stopping power".
    Because it is just as much an error to over-simplify the anatomy of the human body since it involves great complexity.;)
     
  21. velo99

    velo99 Member

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    As far as shot placement....
    If you want to put a BG down, use a follow up shot to the pelvis. Sherrif told me about that one. BG can't stand and it is extremely panfull.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  22. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Going on the wisdom that placement is key, and that adequate penetration is necessary to reach the "right" place...it would seem that momentum would be of greater importance than energy. Momentum is the property that causes an object to keep moving after it encounters an outside/resistive force, and the easiest path to adequate momentum is mass.

    I can't speak for anybody else, and this will probably elicit cries of "Over penetration" and placing Auntie Gert in jeopardy a block away...but I want a bullet that will drive through 6'5" Mongo the Mauler from front to back or on a quartering angle through his heavy coat stuffed with newspapers...aka "Poor Man's Body Armor"... and I want to make big holes in him before he can gut me or cave my head in or break my arms.

    Just my 2% of a buck.
     
  23. 481

    481 Member

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    Sure I can. I can "quantify" (actually, it would be "specify", but we'll not worry about that distinction just now) a "vital location" as being the heart, the brain, the great vessels, the spinal column, the lungs, etc. That is highly specific.

    That "quantification" cannot be done for "stopping power" since it has no unitary measurement and is nothing more than a loosely phrased concept whose meaning varies with the person using it- it's extremely vague.

    Specifying a "vital location" is not an "over-simplification" of the human anatomy. It simply refers to the location of the structures (the heart, the brain, the great vessels, the spinal column, the lungs, etc.) that we all know about in the context of this topic. By calling the heart or lungs or CNS a "vital location" we are not calling it something other than what it is or redefining its function; we are simply saying "that is where the specific organ/structure that we are referring to is located".
     
  24. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Any one would be specific, as a whole they are not specific and which one is hit would certainly change the probability of incapacitation.
     
  25. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    Certainly you can, many people use the term center mass, however, we were taught to shoot high center chest. In simpler terms, draw an imaginary line between the armpits and shoot to the center of the line, works for all shooting angles.

    There were also training session that we used targets that had locations of human organs printed on the backside.

    If hunters know the vital organ locations of game they are hunting, it would seem prudent for a person who is in a personal defense situation to know the same.
     
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