I shot a deer from about 40 yards with a .50 cal muzzle loader. The projectile was a .45 caliber 250 grain Barnes MZ, hollow point. I think this gets about 1200 fps out of my gun. I didn't recover the bullet, but I know from past experience that these things expand very nicely. It was a perfect kill shot - entered the left side of the chest, straight through the heart and out the other side. Both lungs were deflated and the heart was utterly destroyed - opened up like a clam shell. All four chambers of the heart were open to the chest. Loss of blood pressure must have been instantaneous - I cannot imagine there was any significant perfusion to any part of the body after that hit. Despite sustaining a wound like that, the animal jumped over a fence and went about 30 yards by the time the smoke had cleared. She dropped, twitched, and died right there. From the time of the hit to the time of death was probably 3-5 seconds. Translate this into a defense shooting. I don't think I could hope for a better shot, or more lethal damage to an assailant. But it is not hard to imagine what a determined attacker could do in that 3-5 seconds. It's certainly enough time to get off a few well-aimed shots. It's probably enough time for an attacker to close in with a knife and stab me. This has led me to consider: 1) Avoid lethal combat situations to begin with. Surely being armed would improve your chances, but even if you put the bad guy down there is no guarantee he won't put you down, too 2) Don't expect an assailant to go down no matter what you shoot at them and no matter where you hit them 3) Finding cover and don't get shot yourself is probably more important than getting off your shots 4) Consider CNS as a target? What do you think about this? I just found it sobering to realize what a living organism is capable of even after sustaining a devastating wound.