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Two holes are better than one?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by WheelMan, Oct 7, 2003.

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  1. WheelMan

    WheelMan Member

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    My thoughts on over-penetration:

    First, all things being equal a bullet that exits Mr. Badguy has done more damage than one that stops. It's pentrated further, damaging more tissue and it's made twice as many holes, the one in the back being somewhat larger generally. At the very least he'll bleed faster. And more importantly it means my weapon has the penetration potential to get through the guy at non-optimal angles and through obstacles/clothing.

    So keeping that in mind:

    What are the odds of me needing to present my weapon? slim
    Odds of firing the weapon once presented? slight slimmer maybe
    Odds of bullet once passing through badguy passing through other obstacles (in the case of home defense) and striking an innocent? Even Slimmer

    Since 90% of the caliber discussion around here is about giving yourself a marginal advantage in a shooting situation I figure the marginal advantage enjoyed by knocking two holes in the guy is worth the slim chance that the bullet might extend out and do unintended harm. Plus the knowledge that you can go deep on the fellow at odd angles is worth the risk of going straight through him at optimal angles. If you consider that if you miss it's an automatic "over-penetrate" it makes even more sense.

    Ok, so all that being said. It would still behoove you to be able to maintain the situational awareness necciary to hold your shot if the BG is in front of something you don't want to hurt, this is a tough, and blinding fast tactical desicion,which is why people who do this sort of thing for a living train so much.
     
  2. synoptic

    synoptic Member

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    While I'd agree that two holes are better than 1, killing the bad guy quicker is not worth killing the people behind him. If you're in an area where your neighbors are far away then by all means penetrate. Otherwise, I'll just fire 2 shots instead of 1 ;)
     
  3. lycanthrope

    lycanthrope Member

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    I feel that the best bullet will expand and stop just under the skin before possible exit. Nothing is worth endangering an innocent bystander....

    And, if you have to count on another leak hole to bleed someone out then they are stil shooting back and you had better be following up with #2. Second leak holes kill, but in self defense we need incapacitation with a hit. A bullet actually falling out the far side doesn't mean that.
     
  4. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Interesting!!! I just did a post re rule #4 ...... under such conditions.

    The time available for decision making would IMO be infinitesamily small ......
    and that bothers me.

    I sure would NOT want to get a bullet harming an innocent.

    But when ........ push comes to shove .. it's your skin on the line and I guess .... you just have to do .... what has to be done!! Hopefully, all or most here do train themselves, witrh carry piece/pieces ....... and so would hopefully be ''connecting'' well... but of cpourse ....... stress and adrenaline are not good companions for calculated and accurate shooting!!

    I would always hope (but never assume) that presentation of one's carry piece might - could ... defuze a situation but we have to be mindful of the need to stop .. yeah STOP a threat .....

    Maybe there is only one way we'd ever find out....................... :eek:
     
  5. WheelMan

    WheelMan Member

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    I'm not couting on it, just hoping for that little extra advantage, same as the guy who finds the fastest 9mm he can stuff in the highest capacity magazine he can find. It's all about maximizing your chances.

    If I pull a gun and fire it I'm endangering innocents, and If I have to tilt the scales, however slightly, in my favor or there, I'm going to tilt them in mine, if I don't why am I defending myself with deadly force anyway?

    Now I wouldn't advocate blasting away at home intruders with a .300 win-mag in an apartment building, that would be reckless, but when it comes to living in a small town neighborhood and firing a handgun (my situation) overpentrating isn't something I worry about too much (i.e. I'm not going to give up penetration to avoid it).
     
  6. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

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    Well, I use a .223 for home defense. Good tissue and armor penetration, not so much in drywall.

    I like penetration. I shot my 1st dear with a .340 Weatherby. It fell over and kicked twice. I recovered the bullet from the skin on the far side of the dear. It was a rear 3/4 shot and it went through the right lung, heart, left lung, left shoulder blade and stopped in the skin. I think that most people will agree that a .340 is way over-kill on a deer. With that shot placement I could have done the same job with a MUCH weaker round and not pulverized many pounds of good meat. However, if the idea is to stop something. That was stopped. Instantly and completely. Had it been an attacker, taking out a shoulder blade would have at least rendered an entire limb useless.

    In the realm of self defence, shattering someone's shoulder blade after piercing a lung can only be a good thing. Plus there's leather jackets, limbs or items in the way, etc . . .

    Penetration is nessisary to reach organs and the CNS to cause major damage, expansion just makes damage MORE major. On a deflecting bone hit a low penetration round may just make a large flesh wound but a high penetration round could turn that bone into useless and damaging fragments.

    So as I said, I'm all for the penetration, but mushrooming is nice if I can have it too :)
     
  7. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I have a hunch a bullet that goes all the way through a bad guy isn't going to have enough energy left to do much damage. I'm sure it's been known to happen; on the whole, however, I'd guess it's extremely unlikely.
     
  8. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    Yeah, I've got no problem w/ putting 2 holes in a BG, but if it had any chance of causing a 3rd hole in someone else, I'd be a little more careful.
     
  9. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

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    If I have to shoot to stop somebody, I would like to do it with the most gun I can handle well. A bit better chance of a quick stop.

    Sam
     
  10. DontShootMe

    DontShootMe Member

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    Cmon now,

    Who's gonna carry FMJ's ???

    It's either JHP's or EFMJ's

    or if Revo then add wadcutters as well
     
  11. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    To all you guys who are fretting about over-penetration, I have a question...

    Do you think there is any chance you might actually miss the bad guy entirely during a gunfight?

    If the answer to this question is "yes", then you can stop worrying about overpenetrating, and start worrying about hitting a bystander with a bullet moving at full velocity.

    You are more likely to hurt a bystander with a miss than with a bullet that overpenetrates.
     
  12. WheelMan

    WheelMan Member

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    On the FMJ vs HP issue I see it like this.


    Handgun bullet velocities are low enough that mechanical crushing is a much more significant wounding effect than shock propagation. Since that's the case, the most critical thing about the bullet that comes out of your gun is that is smashes something important to the badguy. Luckily for badguys most of the more important things are surrounded by relatively non-important things. Our bullet must get through all this mess to get to something critical.

    Now there is no better penetration than clean through, and the ideal round (from a penetration standpoint) would be able to drill a hole through a human from every possible angle (i.e. shoot him in the heel and it comes out the top of his head). Of course that's not going to be an ideal round in general as it's probably going to be hard to control and render you deaf and whatnot, but it illustrates that the most important factor for our bullets performance is that it actually gets to something important.

    Expansion is icing on the cake.

    If I have a handgun that shooting FMJ's can "clean through" a human torso from any reasonable defensive angle then you might say I have some "energy to burn." My bullet can do more work than I need it to, so to recover a bit of that extra energy I can make an expanding bullet so that I'm driving a bigger hole in the guy. The important thing is that I shouldn't sacrifice penetration for expansion, expansion is not critical to stopping, but penetration is. Expansion is just an extra perk of firing a round that is more powerful that it needs to be from a pure penetration standpoint.

    So basically the more powerful your round is the more you can afford to burn on expansion. If I used a .32 or light 9mm load I'd use FMJ to make sure I was getting through to vitals, if I were going to use a .44 I could have a highly expanding bullet but the speed and weight of the .44 will make sure it still driven deep.

    Of course it's never as simple as that.
     
  13. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    It's all about energy

    Let's say you fire your weapon at a BG using a 125gr bullet.

    And lets say that it hits the BG at the velocity of 1130 fps with an energy level of 354 ft/lbs.
    Good so far.

    But it exits said BG at 201 fps with an energy of 179 ft/lbs
    Not so good.

    That means the BG has "absorbed" 175 ft/lb of energy*.
    Well it's better than a miss.

    This also means that if someone is standing close enough to be hit by that "spent" bullet they could concievabily be wounded just as severely.
    Not good at all.

    Wouldn't it be better if the same BG absorbed ALL 354ft/lbs?
    Most definately!

    Personally I want to dump as much energy as possible inside my target.

    Exit holes are only larger if the bullet has expanded. If the bullet expands properly then the chances are it will not exit.



    Two holes ARE better than one... that's why they invented the double tap.





    *By the way .380 has an energy level of 160 ft/lbs at 50 yards!
     
  14. asiparks

    asiparks Member

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    Could be barking up the wrong end of the dog here, but in cases where the bullet doesn't exit, isn't it cheerfully richocheting around inside, bouncing of bones and causing multiple wound channels as fragments of bullet and bone go whizzing off in different directions ?

    Maybe I watch too much CSI :D
     
  15. WheelMan

    WheelMan Member

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    No, it would be better if he had a big gap where his spinal cord should be.

    People don't have hitpoints and his guts don't care how many joules the bullet spent ripping a hole through them, only that the hole is there.

    I'd like somebody to explain this "energy absorbed" thing to me. I'm going to assume you're talking about heating up his innards or something , because after you've knocked a hole in him what else is there to do?

    If people died from absorbing energy... well we'd all be dead, especially sunbathers :)
     
  16. sm

    sm member

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    Stop Immediate Threat, Use Enough Gun, If two holes happen due to one quick accurate hit...stuff happens, rule 4 is there for such...
     
  17. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    True, the last guy I shot in the spine dropped like a bag of rocks. But he didn't die. The upper one third of him still works.
    Exit wound was same size as entry and they tried to say I shot him in the back. But the shirt button they found ½ way through him proved different.

    I'd wager that more people die each year in America from Melaoma than from gunshot wounds.


    Let me restate my position here for those who don't get it.

    I want EVERYTHING I dump into the BG to STAY inside the BG.
     
  18. caz223

    caz223 Member

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    Energy is nice to wound/incapitate.
    Short of a CNS hit, where energy doesn't matter, the other types of hit DO matter.
    Shoot a gallon jug full of water at 25 yards with a .45 colt 250 grain projectile moving at 900 FPS. Big hole in water jug. Water leaking out, prolly a little less than half full, unless shot in the bottom.

    Now shoot a gallon jug full of water with a .44 mag 240 grain projectile at 1600 FPS.
    Water jug ripped open, contents of jug spilled almost instantly. Jug empty.

    Your flesh is made of 98% water.
    Barring a CNS hit, you want to disorganize organized matter, cause shock, and trauma, and generally rip the water jug open as much as possible.
    Lots of energy helps out.
    FPS also helps out opening up hollow points, causing them to stick around, and NOT exit.
    Bullets that are too heavy will cause exessive penetration.
    Balancing bullet weight and FPS are important in figuring out the correct formula to achieve optimal results without injuring innocent bystanders.
     
  19. lycanthrope

    lycanthrope Member

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    Any of you hunt? Compare the Barnes X to the Nosler Ballistic Tip. The Barenes penetrates anything and petals back nicely, but animals have a tendancy to run a few yards. Now, use a Ballistic Tip at high velocity and you have a small hand grenade on impact (but many hunters won't use them for the damage they cause to meat). Deer drops like a sack of wet cement with a decent hit. Maximum tissue disruption is necessary to anchor someone quickly. If you had an ounce of lead to throw into someone would you do it from a pistol or a shotgun?
     
  20. Obiwan

    Obiwan Member

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    Not even worth worrying about.
     
  21. Smoke

    Smoke Member

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    Agree whole heartedly. Thats why I fire 2 rounds before assessing. (4 holes)



    I feel the best bullet will expand and exit the body with full velocity and fall harmlessly to the ground .02 inches from the exit wound.



    That smells suspiciously of common sense....whats that doing in a thread of this nature. Don't you know this is an emotional subject!



    Now quit that! I said: "No Common Sense Here!"



    Hmmm...this reeks of truth.

    Shoot until the threat stops. No matter how many rounds it takes of whatever super duper ballistic-tactical-HP-Talon-Sabre-FMJ bullet you have in the gun. If you over penetrate (think low outside gut) and hit an innocent bystander; finish stopping the threat and apply first aid to the injured.

    When someone is pointing a gun at you, and maybe even firing it at you - I think any consideration to over penetration or knowing your back stop is gonna fly out the window.

    My $.02
     
  22. synoptic

    synoptic Member

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    When you miss the BG you have 100% over penetration. Now you have a bullet flying through the air waiting to lose velocity and fall to the ground, or run into something. A bullet designed to expand such as a JHP, first off, will lose velocity much faster than an FMJ due to it's hollow nose causing more drag. Second, if it does strike something, such as a wall or whatnot the bullet will expand and lose energy at a much quicker rate than one that did not expand and just penetrated.

    Now for energy, while it is true humans do not have "Hit Points", the more energy absorbed quickly by the body the more damage will be done in the form of shock, heat, etc... Why does getting punched hurt? Because your body is absorbing the energy of the other person's fist. The harder the punch the more damage. Same with a bullet, the harder the bullet hits you the more energy it is leaving behind. If a bullet stops and leaves you with all its energy that will be the hardest hit. IIRC the reason the military went to .45's back in the day was because the 9mm's were going straight through the indians and not leaving enough energy behind.
     
  23. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    Does an exit wound facilitate faster bleeding?

    Not really.

    Most bleeding from handgun wounds to the torso is internal.

    Choose a bullet that consistently penetrates to vital depths, 12-16". It provides a balance between adequate penetration and reliable expansion to optimize wounding potential.
     
  24. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    Do you believe everything you see in Hollywood movies or just this myth?

    So you'd be willing to stand on the other side of a BG or a gelatin block and test this opinion?

    :rolleyes:




    Amen brother, Amen!
     
  25. horge

    horge Member

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    With the odd exception, no one's really arguing.
    Bigger disruption, better stoppage.


    The real question seems to be:

    Is the benefit that produces overpenetration worth the risk of harming innocents?

    There should be no argument that we should do our utmost to spare innocents from risk.

    We're here to save lives, including our own, not to take them carelessly-- that's the whole argument of gun-grabbers, no? That gun owners are selfish, careless and reck not for innocent lives put at risk?

    As for missing shots or not having time to weigh the backstop/consequences.... well, those are valid tactical points, but quite beside the moral question.


    Personally, I'd rather punch more holes on the side that's safe to penetrate.



    :)
    JM2P
     
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