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Interesting Stopping Power article/study

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by IdahoSkies, Jul 22, 2011.

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  1. IdahoSkies

    IdahoSkies Member

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    Came across this at another forum. Link posted for those who are interested.

    http://cafe.comebackalive.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=53535

    Author is Greg Ellifritz, TDI Instructor/Staff.

    Excerpt:

    "This study took me a long time and a lot of effort to complete. Despite the work it took, I'm glad I did it. The results I got from the study lead me to believe that there really isn't that much difference between most defensive handgun rounds and calibers. None is a death ray, but most work adequately...even the lowly .22s. I've stopped worrying about trying to find the “ultimate” bullet. There isn't one. And I've stopped feeling the need to strap on my .45 every time I leave the house out of fear that my 9mm doesn't have enough “stopping power”. Folks, carry what you want. Caliber really isn't all that important."
     
  2. 357 Terms

    357 Terms Member

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    wow! Maybe I should buy a 22 carry pistol..... nah!
     
  3. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    Nihilism. Because good data is hard to get, it must not exist.

    I seem to remember reading that the impetus for the 1911 pistol was the dismal failure of .38 Long Colt against the Moro guerillas in the Philippines. Yet I'm supposed to be convinced that a .22 is as good as a .45, "as long as you do your job."

    Well, I'm not convinced.
     
  4. chhodge69

    chhodge69 Member

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    I'm not convinced either... this doesn't pass the sniff test.
     
  5. Jeb21

    Jeb21 Member

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    I don't understand the problem. The most important factor was hit location. The minor differences between the standard defensive calibers had little to no impact.
     
  6. Ogie

    Ogie Member

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    "I seem to remember reading that the impetus for the 1911 pistol was the dismal failure of .38 Long Colt against the Moro guerillas in the Philippines. Yet I'm supposed to be convinced that a .22 is as good as a .45, "as long as you do your job.""

    The Krag rifles didn't do so great against drugged up assailants either. I'm pretty sure the 1911 would have met with the same results.

    The study shows what other studies have reported as well. Caliber, from .38 special upward, just doesn't make much difference in a handgun.
     
  7. Dr_B

    Dr_B member

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    According to those data, I should carry a shotgun everywhere. So....
     
  8. gvf

    gvf Member

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    I've seen this before - the science behind it is pretty loose. But you may as well pay attention to it as any other study of "stopping power". There are too many variables in any shooting to make accurate conclusions about what's causing what. If you took a pen and paper in hours you would still be writing the variables, from slight variations in angle/height/distance of the gun, to the same with the shooters hand, the gun, it's condition, the time of day, the size of each shooter, physical health, weather, season, clothing, on and on and on.

    There is not enough data to measure comparisons - you'd need hundreds and hundreds of thousands of shootings with detailed knowledge of each to even start. That doesn't exist.

    Neither does "stopping power" outside of ballistics - once you put the round in a gun, it's no longer just ballistics. Once you add in even 1/10th of the variables it's not about any one thing.

    Shoot what you think you could shoot best on the worst shooting day you've ever had or would ever have: it likely will be in an SD crisis. Carry that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  9. Prosser

    Prosser Member

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    I did a similar study. Mine was to find out the effect of .375 H&H rifle slugs on humans. Only one I could find was an accidential discharge that blew the hunters arm pretty much off, causing death by bleeding. So. It's not a one shot stop, since the guy lost his arm, and died later, like 5 hours. Therefore, the .375 is just as effective as a .22lr....

    In short, use a bit of logic. Yes, we need to get outside of the box to get effective stopping power compared to the service calibers. .45 might work, but, you can do FAR better then the normal .45 ACP loading.

    My bottom line is the 250-260 grain, at 950-1200 fps that the original .45 Colt rounds were so effective with.

    My friends have found the .500JRH, with 430-440 grain bullets, at between 950 fps and 1350 fps kill with about the same effect as a .375 H&H rifle. WHY would you carry anything less?
     
  10. unspellable

    unspellable Member

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    The dirty little secret about the Moro situation is that after the 38 Colt didn't stop them two different 45 rounds were put into service, the old 45 Colt and the 45 Revolver. They also failed to stop along with the Krag's 30 Army round. The only conclusion you can draw from that is that no non-expanding bullets makes a good stopper.
     
  11. possum

    possum Member

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    I was given a copy of this, and a whole bunch of other info in a recent course with Paul Gomez, I am glad to see that this is getting around.

    For all those that have an issue with it, he says pretty plainly in the report if you don't like it/ agree to do your own research.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  12. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

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    For those who do not have an issue with it, re-read and reflect upon this, posted by gvf:


    If that very true assessment does lacks sufficient "power of legitimacy" for some, go to this and read pages 13-15.

    That should amply explain the shortcomings inherent in Mr. Ellifritz' study, and it should dissuade anyone from trying the same thing on his own.
     
  13. PedalBiker

    PedalBiker Member

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    The key to a good statistician is knowing which variables can be ignored, which can be controlled for and whether the study even had any value worth reporting.

    I'd call this study interesting, possibly even useful. But key variables were ignored while minor ones were overemphasized. I understand the reason he grouped results the way he did. One major problem is that there is so much choice in ammunition these days. One brand, one caliber, one bullet weight will have three hollow point options. Most options don't have any reasonable track record.

    I still like to see gelatin tests for the rounds I carry, particularly the Denim ones.

    Police departments are run by folks who really don't want to spend extra money on ammo if they don't have to. With a few exceptions most of them buy some kind of "premium" hollow point and they don't bother with .22s or .25's.

    I don't worry about windshield and drywall tests, but otherwise I'm looking for similar results to the FBI requirements.
     
  14. gvf

    gvf Member

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    The article referenced by KLEANBORE is a seminal FBI study of
    "HANDGUN WOUNDING FACTORS AND EFFECTIVENESS"

    Among the conclusions reached is this very important one to do with psychology. It's worth quoting:

    "Further, it appears that many people are predisposed to fall down when shot. This phenomenon is independent of caliber, bullet, or hit location, and is beyond the control of the shooter. It can only be proven in the act, not predicted. It requires only two factors to be effected: a shot and cognition of being shot by the target. Lacking either one, people are not at all predisposed to fall down and don’t. Given this predisposition, the choice of caliber and bullet is essentially irrelevant. People largely fall down when shot, and the apparent predisposition to do so exists with equal force among the good guys as among the bad. The causative factors are most likely psychological in origin. Thousands of books, movies and television shows have educated the general population that when shot, one is supposed to fall down."

    So, this effect takes care of numerous shootings, (hopefully an effect on the BG and not you). And the question really is: what about the rest: i.e., when there is no awareness of being shot, lack of pain, use of drugs, booze, adrenaline etc.? And the article focuses primarily on those and the science which underlies caliber choices - which may give an "edge".

    But, the important point about the "fall downs" based on psychology as opposed to physical cause, is that they are UNPREDICTABLE. That doesn't mean there isn't science involved in shootings and that it doesn't include ballistic considerations. There is and it does. But to me it also means Fate is involved, (or Fate in the guise of chance, fluke, coincidence). That, together with the very low likelihood of actual being in a shooting, makes me not worry so much about which gun, caliber, to pick.

    I likely will be better off in a self-defense crisis having a gun and having practiced with it. Beyond that: "?"

    That's as good as it gets...
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  15. Ogie

    Ogie Member

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    "The dirty little secret about the Moro situation is that after the 38 Colt didn't stop them two different 45 rounds were put into service, the old 45 Colt and the 45 Revolver. They also failed to stop along with the Krag's 30 Army round. The only conclusion you can draw from that is that no non-expanding bullets makes a good stopper."

    Uh....pretty much what I said earlier and not really a secret at all.

    Also, you can't even draw a conclusion about non-expanding bullets. You have to keep in mind that the Moros were highly drugged and that looking for "one shot stops" under those circumstances is highly unlikely.
     
  16. VA27

    VA27 Member

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    The above quoted for truth. Have a loaded gun and know how to use it. Everything else is just window dressing.

    An unknown Marine Gunnery Sargent, upon being questioned about the combat effectiveness of the 5.56mm, said:

    "Shoot him where he's biggest and do it more than once. If he thinks he's dead, he'll fall down. If he doesn't, you have to convince him some more."

    I think that applies to all armed confrontations.
     
  17. 481

    481 Member

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    Thank you for the well thought-out perspective.

    The pursuit of a statistically driven "combat data" model would require an immense pool of extremely detailed data (one that will never exist for obvious reasons) in order to properly address the multitude of variables implicit in its composure and for that reason this newest attempt is just another exercise in advanced speculation much like the preceding M&S debacle.

    Words to live by. :)

    Don't try this at home folks. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  18. THplanes

    THplanes Member

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    So can you point me to the psychological studies that support these claims. As a secondary question, even if all rapid incapacitation that doesn't come from a CNS hit is psychological in nature, where are the psychological studies that demonstrate caliber and load make no difference.

    Do we attribute a deer shot with a service caliber handgun, non CNS wound, falling in a few seconds to deer TV.
     
  19. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    It appears the author did a lot of personal research for this project; however, a national database repository for shooting incidents does not exist, therefore the reader only reads an insufficient amount of data that the author gathered. Given the tens of thousands, or more, of lethal and wounded victims/felons over the decades w/o a total database is lacking from my point of view.

    Given the efforts of Gene Wolberg, forensic pathologists, Dr Fackler and Duncan MacPherson et al, during the IWBA years; ballistic gelatin that replicated soft tissue became the standard for predicting bullet penetration. In handgun service calibers, tissue destroyed in the crush cavity and laceration are the only wounding factors. At one time the hypothesis of hydrostatic shock, also known as ballistic pressure waves was presented; however, industry professionals have rejected that hypothesis based upon extensive modern ballistic research.

    Current published research, 2006, conducted by Duncan MacPherson can be read in his "Bullet Penetration: Modelling the Dynamics and Incapacitation Resulting from Wound Trauma" book. MacPherson's research concluded that there can be psychological effects that can not be predicted in the 'wound trauma incapacitation' model.

    MacPherson established a bullet penetration mathematical model that verified properly calibrated ballistic gel as a soft tissue simulant; this was based upon shooting 400 rounds of various types of ammunition through a cumulative total of 2,000 pounds of gel.

    Generally speaking, if one knows the captured bullet's weight, impact velocity and expansion; then it can be predicted how far the bullet will penetrate in soft tissue. With the possibilities of angling or through the shoulder shots, including those against very large felons, an average of 14" is recommended with the minimum being 12". A bullet that expands wider than the average will penetrate less through soft tissue and a bullet that expands less than the average will penetrate deeper.

    The adage of shooting until the threat no longer exists is still the benchmark for defending oneself and others is still paramount.

    Bob
     
  20. Prosser

    Prosser Member

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    Ddouble
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  21. Prosser

    Prosser Member

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    This is a pretty good place to start with comparing calibers, and how they might effect a target.

    http://brassfetcher.com/index_files/Page1950.htm

    Something that isn't brought up much is the ability of heavy bullets to maintain their speed through a target, creating secondary projectiles out of bone increasing the wounding effect.

    Someone mentioned that non-expanding bullets aren't very effective as stoppers. I beg to differ. Depending on bullet shape, weight, and velocity you can
    create a very large, and effective hole.

    This is an exit wound created by a 440 grain, .500 caliber LFN, at 950fps(.500JRH). The effect on the animal was compared to a .375 H&H rifle.
    440grainHardcastat950fps500JRH300wincartridgeforcomparision.gif
    Here is a .452" LFN hole that proved fatal:

    45deer0111150fps45ColtexitHardcast.gif
    .45 Colt, LFN, 1150 fps.
    Wound channel is a function of bullet design, VELOCITY, and bullet weight.

    While you can't come up with a magic bullet, you can now come up with calibers, bullets, and velocity in pistols that hit like rifles.

    Perhaps instead of ending with .45 caliber, we should use that as a starting point and go up.;)

    This one says it all:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYSGuiko6Gg&feature=related
     
  22. amazon shooter

    amazon shooter Member

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    This is the result of my study after 65 years.

    This subject is an enigma and will probably never be solved. There are just too many variables and subjective factors involved.

    Each individual will react differently to a gunshot wound. One's will to fight on or to give up is determined only at that moment and can never be calculated. How do you calculate your "will to live" on a scale of 1 to 10!

    However, this magic bullet theme pops on gun forums like mushrooms after a spring rain. It is guaranteed to get the heart thumping and the blood boiling.
    And everyone has a sensible argument. But when all is said and done, aren't we just talking about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

    Personally, I like the full-figure angels with the 45 inch waists and not the skinny ones.

    First and foremost - be aware of what is going on around you and avoid any potentially dangerous situations when possible.

    Second - It helps if you have a killer instinct, if not, don't carry a gun. When that violent confrontation comes, it's going to happen fast and furious and you will probably have a few seconds to know if have survived a shoot out or knife attack.

    The conclusion is simple - carry a gun and caliber that you will trust your life with. To each his own.
     
  23. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    Or...just believe this author's conclusions, and switch to a .22. Apparently works as well as the larger calibers, and is cheaper, easier to shoot accurately and quicker for follow-up shots. Not that you'll need any. Everything else is overkill--you meanies!

    ;)

    Or...you can decide the data presented actually shows that--guess what?--Marshall and Sanow were right: .357 is the best, only 9% of those shot were not incapacitated. That is as good as the data on centerfire rifles, and better than shotguns!

    .357's better than having a shotgun! It's been proven. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  24. Sky

    Sky Member

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    Fall down?

    Stopping power?

    In Honolulu a troop got out of a UH-1 helicopter which had landed on the side of a hill. The troop ran "up hill" and the rotor blade took his head off a cleanly as any guillotine. The body continued to run another 4 steps before falling.

    Bodies of all organic creatures exhibit different characteristics when mortally wounded.

    So if a BG were shooting at you and some magic guillotine took his head off would the body continue to shoot until internal pressure dropped to a point where nothing functioned? Again the are to many variable to forecast the end result with 100% certainly?

    Many have been shot with all kinds of calibers and that was their last day on earth. Did they cease to exhibit aggressive tendencies immediately? Some did some did not.

    Think the study was an honest attempt to just state the facts as he found them. Thanks for the post.
     
  25. THplanes

    THplanes Member

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    I would suggest that the surface area of the permanent crush cavity is a better measure of wounding than the crush cavity. Pulped tissue doesn't bleed, other than the blood actually in the destroyed tissue. The surface of the wound is what bleeds.

    Hydrostatic shock is not the same thing as a ballistic pressure wave

    MacPhersons book is from 1994. There was a second printing in 2005. I've just started reading it so I can't comment on it yet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
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