Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Overpenetration in defensive ammo?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by aroseli2, Mar 6, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. aroseli2

    aroseli2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    East central IL
    It seems like you can't read any article about selecting handgun ammunition that doesn't mention overpenitration of bullets. The logic that comes up all the time is that you don't want your bullet to go through the bad guy and hit innocents. Appears logical until you consider the fact that it is assumed that each bullet hits the bad guy before going on. Does anybody have a percentage of fired bullets in real life defensive shooting situations that actually strike the target?

    Obviously an expanding bullet with adequate penetration is a better choice than hardball providing it functions well in your gun. I also understand the logic of choosing a bullet for indoor use that isn't going to penetrate three walls and kill the neighbor next door. This talk about going through the bad guy and into an innocent is starting to annoy me though.:banghead: Practice, accuracy and shot placement are even more important than ammo choice in my opinion but if innocent people are standing directly behind your target I think they are just as likely to be hit with a Glaser that went right next to your target as they are to be hit by a hardball that went through your target.

    Thoughts on this?
     
  2. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,245
    Location:
    High up in the Rockies
    IMHO, a much more legitimate concern is the bullets fired that do not impact the desired target due to stress, lack of skill, lack of practice, hangover, or whatever else inpacts your shooting.


    You are personally responsible, morally, civilly and criminally, for every single bullet that exits your muzzle!
     
  3. aroseli2

    aroseli2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    East central IL
    That's what I'm saying. Stray bullets are much more dangerous than ones that keep going after hitting a bad guy. It seems like for every time I hear "practice" I hear 2 "these bullets are best cuz they won't go through and hurt somebody else."
     
  4. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Messages:
    5,060
    Location:
    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    The two are different aspects of the same equation. Ideally, you will practice to the point where you are confident of your skills to not miss your target, and at the same time, use ammunition which will not penetrate significantly past a target through which it has already gone.
     
  5. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,245
    Location:
    High up in the Rockies
    You're right. since I don't use hardball in my defensive handguns, overpenetration isn't a concern for me.

    Missing my target due to adrenaline and stress is far more of a concern.
    Even after 20+ years of LE.
     
  6. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Messages:
    5,060
    Location:
    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    Agreed. Many folks who have been in automobile accidents can tell you, their hands were shaking uncontrollably after the incident. Since your hands are the only thing holding a pistol on target, it's very difficult to ascertain just how well your aim will be during an adrenaline dump. This is one of the key reasons I prefer a long gun for home defense. At least that way you have one (relatively) fixed point from which to aim (your shoulder).
     
  7. aroseli2

    aroseli2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    East central IL
    Thanks CheyGriz. That's what I'm sayin. Here's some stats I found after a quick search.

    Hit Potential In Gun Fights

    The police officer's potential for hitting his adversary during armed
    confrontation has increased over the years and stands at slightly over 25% of
    the rounds fired. An assailant's skill was 11% in 1979.

    In 1990 the overall police hit potential was 19%. Where distances could be
    determined, the hit percentages at distances under 15 yards were:

    Less than 3 yards ..... 38%
    3 yards to 7 yards .. 11.5%
    7 yards to 15 yards .. 9.4%

    In 1992 the overall police hit potential was 17%. Where distances could be
    determined, the hit percentages at distances under 15 yards were:

    Less than 3 yards ..... 28%
    3 yards to 7 yards .... 11%
    7 yards to 15 yards . 4.2%

    Full article here:
    http://www.virginiacops.org/Articles/Shooting/Combat.htm
     
  8. Ken451

    Ken451 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Ohio
    Here is one brief piece by Dr. Gary Roberts which includes some statistics"
     
  9. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,524
    Any bullet that has enough momentum to penitrate deep enough into a human body to reach the vitals will easily pass through two layers of dry wall used in typical interior construction. There is no such thing as a "safe" bullet.
     
  10. c1ogden

    c1ogden Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    NJ
    I agree that missed rounds are more dangerous than shoot-throughs but they are a problem that we can do something about. When the NY city PD switched over from .38 revolvers to 9mm autos they were restricted to FMJ ammo. (Hollow points had always been strictly prohibited.) The 9mm FMJ overpenetrated much worse than the .38 solids that they have been using for the last hundred years. It took less than 2 years before they racked up more than 2 dozen shoot-throughs and finally allowed HP loads.
     
  11. sailorken

    sailorken Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    I agree that worrying about shoot-throughs is insignificant compared to the danger of missed shots. In all situations, you need to be aware what else is down range before you take a shot.

    Just pick whatever you think is the best defensive ammo.
     
  12. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    14,613
    Location:
    Texas
    I've seen several references to an NYPD study suggesting that shoot-throughs occured at a high rate with 9mm FMJ; but dropped to something like 2 (IIRC) after going to 9mm JHPs. However, I've never been able to find the actual study myself, so that may just be Internet myth.

    On the flipside though, let's say you could have a magic bullet that would 100% meet the FBI criteria for bare and clothed gel penetration, be 100% guaranteed not to overpenetrate if you hit. and be tremendously effective against a person; but would be stopped cold by a single sheet of 1/2" sheet rock (such a round does not exist currently by the way).

    If you were defending your home, would you feel good about a fight where almost everything in your house was hard cover for the intruder; but the intruder could shoot through almost every part of your house with ease? Would that solution be more or less likely to result in the injury of an innocent third party?
     
  13. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,295
    The logic also assumes solid center mass hits to the torso.

    Hits along the periphery of the torso (as well as arms and legs, which are also frequently hit) present a short through-and-through penetration path.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page