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Evan Marshall versus firearmstactical.com

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Koblenz, Aug 8, 2007.

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  1. Koblenz

    Koblenz Member

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    I have noticed that there are two opposing schools of thought on what type of handgun ammuntion has the best stopping power. One is lead by Evan Marshall, who examines shooting statistics and often finds that the higher velocity/lighter bullet loads have the best stopping power. The other school of thought, which I have encountered on the firearmstactical website, says that the heaviest bullet loads, like 147 grain in 9mm, and 180 grain in .40, have the best stopping power.

    I don't know which side is right. I have read a bit on Evan Marshall's stopping power website, and also some on the firearmstactical website, and both make sense to me in their arguements.

    Would anyone care to say which side you think is right, and why?
     
  2. AZAndy
    • Contributing Member

    AZAndy Member

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    You know, it's funny how different studies can yield different statistics. I keep seeing the .45 230gr as having something like a 95% chance of a one-stop shot (which is different, I must mention, from one-stop shopping).

    As for myself, the caliber I'm carrying depends on the weather (.45 when I can hide it under garb appropriate to cooler weather, smaller when it's hotter). A .380 or 9x18 only gives around a 50% chance of a one-shot stop, but I'm perfectly prepared to fire several times if necessary. :)

    A.
     
  3. 336A

    336A Member

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  4. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

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    I buy chaeap ammo and practice a lot. May take 2-3 shots, but I WILL hit what I aim at.
     
  5. denfoote

    denfoote Member

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    Oh LORD, here we go again!!

    This is going to be worse than flogging a deceased equine!! ;)

    This will explode into full nuclear exchange, quickly!!! :eek:

    Git that bomb shelter open pronto, Ma!!
    The nukes are on the way!! :what:

    [​IMG]


    :evil: :evil:
     
  6. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    The Truth is, when dealing with Premium American made defense ammo, there is not enough difference between them to reliably select "the best" load.

    Truth is, there IS no "best load".
    One test will rate a particular brand/type of ammo a couple of percentage points over something else, and the next test shows something else a percent point or two over others.

    About 15 to 20 years ago, American ammunition makers under went a great "sea change" in bullet design.
    Prior to this, you had the choice of lead bullets or jacketed bullets.
    Some jacketed bullets had exposed lead tips, and some even had holes in the nose.

    Under pressure from American law enforcement to come up with more effective ammo, the ammo makers were faced with the seemingly impossible demand for bullets that would penetrate about 12 inches, reliably expand to a larger size, AND retain almost all the bullet weight without fragmenting.

    To do that, the makers employed modern design and manufacturing techniques.
    Prior to this bullets were either cast or swaged lead, or copper jackets with lead swaged into the jacket.
    The new ammo uses manufacturing techniques that allow pre-stressed bullets that often employ internal folds or plated-on jackets that will penetrate deeply, stay in one piece, and still "mushroom" or expand.

    Due to these new bullet designs that perform with reliable and repeatable results, premium American defense ammo is approaching the statistical limit as to what can be expected from a pistol.
    In other words, the bullets are about as close to 100% reliable as we can get with current technology.

    It's no secret that the world's police and military anti-terrorism forces use American defense ammo almost to the exclusion to any made anywhere else.
    This is because of the revolution in bullet design that's on-going here.

    In short, looking for "the best" defense ammo is an exercise in futility. Save the effort for more important things, and just select any Premium American defense ammo that's reliable in YOUR specific gun.
    Reliability it THE most important issue, with accuracy a distant second, at best.

    Whatever premium defense ammo you pick will perform with the margin of error of any other premium ammo.
     
  7. Gord

    Gord Member

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    No firearm - especially a handgun - can be counted on to reliably put down an attacker with any given number of shots, and certainly not one.

    If you need to shoot, keep shootin' until they're down. There are no magic bullets, magic calibers or magic guns. There is only the volume of fire required, which will vary with each incident. You might need one round or ten of 9mm. You might need one round or ten of .45ACP. You might need one round or ten of .17HMR.

    People are shot with 12-gauge buckshot and live.
    People are shot with .22 and die instantly.

    It's more about luck than anything else, unless you've got time to set up a shot and aim leisurely - in which case your life is not in immediate danger and you are not justified in shooting anyway.
     
  8. CWL

    CWL Member

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    Evan Marshall has tried to create a 'formula' for rating bullet performance ie. "one shot stop %".

    Unfortunately, he (and his partner Sanow) are not trained in scientific statistical analysis. Their premise is full of holes because their stats do not take into account an endless list of variables from barrel length to total# bullets fired, let alone what kind of bodyshape/mass/size of target to actual wound location of bullet. Worst is that they have never shared the sources of their shoot data -leading many (including myself) to believe that much of it was fabricated.

    On the other side of this contraversy are people like Dr. Martin Fackler, who was a surgical pathologist for the Army and has personally operated on battlefield injuries as well as conducted numerous autopsies of gunshot victims. Dr. Fackler has had direct support and access to both military wounding data as well as LE shooting data. Lastly, Dr. Fackler was one of the early proponents of using ballistic gelatin as a means to test bullet performance.

    Which one are you going to believe?
     
  9. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Marshall and Sanow's data is useless from a statistical standpoint. Also, they don't describe their methods, nor let anyone else evaluate their raw data. If they tried to present information like that in a scientific forum, they would be laughed out of town. Their data is also frequently published in gun rags that accept a lot of money from ammo manufacturers. This may or may not introduce bias into their results.

    I tend to believe Martin Fackler. I would dispute whether or not he has actually operated on gunshot wound victims. He is a pathologist, and unless the Army is different from the real world, the only people pathologists operate on are already dead.

    I would tell you though that Fackler's data correlates well with my experience as a surgeon.
     
  10. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    I am of both sides, fast and light in 9mm and slow and heavy in 45. I also like fast and heavy in 357mag, and slow and light in 41mag(if I had one.)


    Also keep it civil or we will shut this down.
     
  11. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    Marshall and Sanows 'data' and methodology have been pretty much discredited. And the number of shooting they claim to have data for is statistically insignificant.

    I was surprised to see no mention of Duncan McPherson's "Bullet Penetration". Perhaps because of the extremely technical nature or the work.
     
  12. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    Firearmstactical's webmaster and main supporters are proponents of Fackler's "penetration is the main thing" school of thought.

    I mostly agree...mostly.

    From everything I've read, my choice is to strongly prefer rounds that punch to 12" - 14" range AND expand. And as a bonus, pile on as much raw energy as possible :).

    That's why I trust the very best 38+Ps in snubbies: the better grades of 158gr plain lead hollowpoints doing 850ish or better (Remmie or the standard pressure Buffbore for starters), the Speer Gold Dot 38+P 135gr, the Winnie Supreme 130+P in a pinch, a small number of others.

    But given a choice (and the opportunity to carry more gun), I like the Gold Dot 125gr "high speed" 357 slug pushed to 1,500+ as loaded by Buffbore or Doubletap. I think those are some of the most hardcore brutal handgun loads for personal defense ever thunk up. I blew up a bowling ball with one, split it in half violently and sent fist-size pieces of concrete core 20+ feet. It's about 800ft/lbs energy. Gel tests say they dump that energy into less than 14" and being Gold Dots with bonded jackets, they don't come apart (much, anyways). If there's one round I wouldn't want to be shot with, that's it, and in some ways it doesn't follow Fackler's thinking...it COULD penetrate a LOT deeper with that much energy on tap, instead the energy goes into expansion and wound channel...with enough punch left over to make Facklerites (barely) happy, which is why you don't see 'em dissin' this load.

    ---

    What I really want to do is send a 140gr at that speed...I think it can be done easily in either 356GNR or 38/44B&D, even in a modified New Vaquero cylinder. Get some of the reloader-supply 140gr all-copper Barnes, load 'em that way, you'd have one serious rocker of a load.
     
  13. Chrome

    Chrome Member

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    I'm from the school of thought that no one wants to get shot and auto-loaders were invented for a reason. ;)

    Later,
    Chrome...
     
  14. ilcylic

    ilcylic Member

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    Frankly, I think I like 1 old 0311's answer best. :)

    My personal thought on the "bullet war".

    Some people like heavy and slow. Some people like light and fast. Personally, I'll take heavy and fast.

    10mm by Doubletap is what I load into my magazines.
     
  15. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

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    I prefer the .40 S&W as it is right in the middle. Good capacity and larger bullets than 9mm.
     
  16. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    A while back David Spaulding, a LEO and gun writer, wrote that from the many videos of real shootings he has seen that the is SOME difference in reaction between more powerful rounds and weaker ones. He said the amount of reaction (by those being shot) was noticable but not super dramatic.

    So while I do feel the .45, other things being equal, is more likely to stop an assaliant than a 9mm (or .40, or .38, or...) it is not a magic bullet and it's only somewhat better.

    The good thing about the .45 is you can pick just about any load and it's a good load for the street.
    The .40s, .357 magnum, .357 Sig, etc... you can pick the middle to top loads and they are good loads for the street.
    For such as 9mm and .38 Spl, you need to look at the top loads for good stopping power.

    .22s, .32s, .380s... no choce but get the best load you can find and practice alot!

    They will all work if you have good shot placement (and for such as .22s and .32s, excellent shot placement.) It's far more what you can do with what you have than what kind of gun or bullets you have.
     
  17. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Lets say you get your 12-14" of penetration, and the bullet expands to 0.75 inches. That all sounds pretty good to me.

    What do you think the bonus "raw energy" will add to this? At handgun velocities, the only significant effects of energy are to cause expansion and penetration. Beyond that, energy has no effect on tissure trauma until you get considerably faster than handguns.
     
  18. XD Fan

    XD Fan Member

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    Stuck up here (rural Missouri) and got Dixie on my
    A 9 mm on my left hip and a .45 on my right hip. Shoot'm both to slide lock.:evil:

    Just kidding.
     
  19. choochboost

    choochboost Member

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    The Firearms Tactical website is not maintained so the info is not the most current. About what "side" I am on, I would say Firearms Tactical's and those of the same school of thought. Why? Because they seem to invite scrutiny of their findings and their conclusions seem much more credible than M&S.

    It's not as simple as light and fast vs. heavy and slow, but more specificially about what rounds are more likely to penetrate deeply, expand reliably, retain weight, etc. There are loads that are recommended by the Firearms Tactical crowd that some would consider light and fast.
     
  20. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    Lone_Gunman is dead right. Studies posted in SIPRI's 'antipersonnel weapons' suggest that 'hydrostatic shock' doesn't become a factor until velocities on the order of 600 m/s are reached. Whether you believe in the effect of temporary cavities, they are minimal at handgun velocities. Your best best is poking holes in something important.
     
  21. Koblenz

    Koblenz Member

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    So I gather the consensus on Marshall is that his methodology is flawed, plus nowadays the top brands of ammunition are all good so it doesn't much matter which one you pick.
     
  22. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I refuse to care what anyone else thinks on this subject anymore. Me, I choose the platform I chose for other reasons than "stopping power" OR big bullet. My personal minimum caliber limit for self defense is .380 and I would prefer .38 special or 9mm and up. I don't think there's a dimes difference in 9mm plus P from outfits like Corbon and a .45 in its best loadings and Marshall seems to agree with me if you look at his stats. If you hit center mass, a few times, either will work to stop the fight. I carry the 9 because it comes in a 14 ounce, 13 shot platform and fits in a pocket and is a gun I can hit with even at 25 yards if need be. That right there is far more important to me. Wear your 40 ounce gun every day all day if you want to and delude yourself that one shot is going to do the job better because the bullet is .1" more diameter. I frankly don't care because I carry what I carry because I like it and it ain't yours and you didn't pay for it and you don't have to rely on it. I practice and I plan on outshooting the BG anyway. I'm not going to rely on the caliber, I'm going to rely on my skills which are pretty decent at this point even if I'd have to practice 100,000 rounds a year for another fifty years just to polish Jerry Miculeks boots.

    My normal carry battery consists of a .380, a 9x19 (have a service sized one, but don't carry it), .38 Special snub, and .357 magnum. I have a .45 I can carry IWB, but why bother when the .357 is a lot easier to carry? I'll take .357 at 550 ft lbs and 1335 fps about and in a compact gun to a full size .45 any day. My .357 is very shootable, an SP101. I love shooting that P90 in .45, just ain't a real practical carry, though I prefer it to any 1911.
     
  23. mightyike

    mightyike Member

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    As a surgeon:

    Nothing beats close range high velocity.
    I've taken care of a person shot 6 times at point blank range from a Ruger Blackhawk 44 magnum.....the man on the floor was rolling around and not one bullet hit a bone or vital organ, one was close, tore out his sternocleidomastoid muscle and exposed the great neck vessels but no other major trauma. I have taken care of a person shot point blank with a 38 special in the mouth and the lead bullet impacted on a molar, not penetrating the skull but knocking the victim out to leave the shooter with the impression that the man was dead...

    There is a big population of arm chair shootists and desperado's telling you what to do....
    buy a reliable and power-enough handgun that you can shoot. Practice if you can. Purchase any good quality expanding ammo, I prefer the higher velocity because I have taken care of many high velocity wounds (but always remember-high velocity is a term that means about 1500 fps....most handguns do not approach that nor impact at that velocity) and hope you never have to use a gun to kill someone. It's not a movie or Rambo or TV, it's real. Practice practice practice. Point shoot point shoot point shoot....Evan Marshall is very intelligent and experienced. There are always stories as above, I have many many more, but they are only anecdotal.
     
  24. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    not trying to start an argument but full house 357 and 10mm start to get into the area where hydrostatic starts working. maybe not much of a factor and they have some drawbacks(muzzle blast and flash) but they do work better than 38s and 9mm.IMHO 45acp is a perfect blend of punch a big hole while not blinding and deafining you.And while I'll carry anything a 45 lives in my nightstand.
     
  25. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Want a big hole? Does a pretty good job on .300 lb hogs. Of course, a .385 grain Minie at 1300 fps ain't no .45ACP.

    :D

    [​IMG]
     
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