Is there any real evidence that one caliber is a better fight stopper than another? - Page 2

Is there any real evidence that one caliber is a better fight stopper than another?

This is a discussion on Is there any real evidence that one caliber is a better fight stopper than another? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by Sig35seven Leroy Thompson discusses the importance of hydrostatic shock in choosing a specific design of .357 Magnum and 9x19mm Parabellum bullets. In ...

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Thread: Is there any real evidence that one caliber is a better fight stopper than another?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sig35seven View Post
    Leroy Thompson discusses the importance of hydrostatic shock in choosing a specific design of .357 Magnum and 9x19mm Parabellum bullets. In Armed and Female, Paxton Quigley explains that hydrostatic shock is the real source of “stopping power.” Jim Carmichael, who served as shooting editor for Outdoor life magazine for 25 years, also believes that hydrostatic shock is important to “a more immediate disabling effect” and is a key difference in the performance of .38 Special and .357 Magnum hollow point bullets. In “The search for an effective police handgun,” Allen Bristow describes that police departments recognize the importance of hydrostatic shock when choosing ammunition. A research group at West Point suggests handgun loads with at least 500 ft-lbs of energy and 12 inches of penetration.

    A number of law enforcement and military agencies have adopted the 5.7x28mm cartridge, which is reputed to cause considerable hydrostatic shock.These agencies include the Navy SEALs and the Federal Protective Service branch of the ICE. (Source: The FNH Five-seveN Pistol, Chris Boyd, Law Officer, Volume 3, Issue 9, 2007 Sept 1)




    We've got plenty if you look at the evidence. These are gel tests that certainly show more than 'just a hole'. We also have many real life situations to evaluate the effectiveness of a certain bullet on human and animal targets.
    Again, for pistol bullets, I'm pretty sure the hydrashok theory has been disproven.

    Regarding: 'look at the evidence' - that's exactly what I'm asking for, what and where is the evidence?

    Gel tests basically are to gain some insight to bullet performance and comparison. So according to gel tests, what is the incapacitation time of a .45ACP?
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  2. #17
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    Shot placement

    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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    Ive never been a fan of hydrostatic shock theory myself its a marketing ploy to sell fancy bullets. A heart shot is a heart shot, a lung shot a lung shot, and a graze is just that. There will never be a unified theory of projectile killing capacity because guns, calibers, shot placement, and the targets are so varied. One thing is proven though accurate shots makes people die faster. I'm sure everyone will agree with that. Buy more ammo, practice more often, and practice under stress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    ...Again these are gel tests. Unless we can produce a study that definitely links gel test penetration and expansion performance to incapacitation time among the listed calibers, we still got nothing.
    There have been several studies where the holes in cadavers were compared to the holes created in ballistic gel, and the results were almost identical - unless a bone was struck. So the ballistic gel studies show what a bullet can do under optimum conditions (no bones).

    Incapacitation times are too variable to have a lot of meaning. Deer hunters will talk about hitting a deer in the lungs with a 30-06 and still having the deer run 100 yards before dropping...or hitting it in the same spot with a .243 and having it drop immediately. From the reading I've done, it looks like the experts have pretty much concluded any of the major calibers from 9mm on up - particularly in their heavier bullets - will perform at about the same level. Larger bullets going faster get some improvement, but not enough to provide a statistically meaningful improvement in your self defense plan.

    So if you are shooting ANY of the calibers on your list, the way to improve your odds is to concentrate on aiming, control and extra rounds. And from what I've seen of your shooting, you don't need to worry about the first two! Or run thru multiple scenarios in your mind first (one of my favorite sections on this site) so that you have an idea of what to do and do not panic.

    For myself, I'm seriously considering a S&W Model 10 for my next handgun purchase. 6 rounds of 38+P in a gun known for instinctive pointing, backed if needed by another 5 rounds in a Model 60 BUG. If that doesn't do the trick, then maybe I should have been carrying my rifle instead!

  5. #20
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    I just read again a chapter in MAs Ayoob Combat Handgunnery (Gun Digest) and the chapter on Jello Junkies and Morgue Monsters and he recommends a source in there but I cannot recall it right now (I am in the office not at home), I'll check. The point he makes is that we must compare not only lab experiemtns and repeatability (gel test, animal mediums) but also real world experience (actual shootings). He states he examined actual shooting and names the depts... His conclusions are the smaller faster bullets are good stoppers, they penetrate deep, good hp's expand the wound cavity is good i.e. 115gr 9mm +p+ around 1300 fps and 125 gr 357 mag around 1400 fps. And heavy slower bullets 38 spcl 158 around 850 fps, 9mm 147 gr subsonic at 900 fps, and 45 acp 230 gr at 850 fps are also good stoppers according to real world experience and this seems to hold true with the tests except for what he points out is "penetration in ballistic gelatin" since 12" is the minimum any not delivering that are immediately failed, whether the wound track at 6" of depth is 6" wide or not if that bullet goes 11.4 inches it has not attained the minimum depth standard. It also does not take into account tissue disruption from a bullet impact and expansion can affect other tissue not directly touched by the bullet, tissue can be severed just from the "shockwave" (my word).

    Chossing ammo based upon these two great sources Ayoob recommends:
    .45 ACP - 230 grain jhp
    .357 mag. - 125 jhp
    .38 spcl - 158 lead semijacketed hp (softed lead help the slower light bullet in a short barrel open up, according to the sources mentioned)
    9mm - 115 +p or 124 grain +p jhp

    I don't have the other calibers so I do not recal the recommendation but I am sure they are in print elsewhere on the net...

  6. #21
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    Again, this is not about how to shoot a gun or whether good shot placement is better than poor shot placement. What I want to know is why we believe what we believe about caliber effectiveness. Why is it somebody buys a .357 sig over a 9mm if they have no evidence it's any better than a 9mm? The same for any of them. Why do we think what we think about caliber effectiveness? More to the point, let's see the documentation that convinced us.

    BTW, I too have read, just recently even, that the comparison of cadaver and gel cavities have a very high degree of correlation, but so what? Neither says a thing about incapaciation. OTOH I have been told by one person I have confidence in, whose name I don't have permission to disclose, says after seeing hundreds of gunshot wounds and talking to the ER doctors that patch them up, they cannot tell from the wound what cailber made the wound. It'd be like us looking a cavity in a gel block and being able to tell what caliber made it.
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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1 old 0311 View Post
    By ALL standards/studies the .357 mag. is top dog.
    Can you please tell the information source?

    Quote Originally Posted by JT View Post
    Why didn't you include .45 ACP in your list?
    It is the first one in the list.
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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmb View Post
    I just read again a chapter in MAs Ayoob Combat Handgunnery (Gun Digest) and the chapter on Jello Junkies and Morgue Monsters and he recommends a source in there but I cannot recall it right now (I am in the office not at home), I'll check. The point he makes is that we must compare not only lab experiemtns and repeatability (gel test, animal mediums) but also real world experience (actual shootings). He states he examined actual shooting and names the depts... His conclusions are the smaller faster bullets are good stoppers, they penetrate deep, good hp's expand the wound cavity is good i.e. 115gr 9mm +p+ around 1300 fps and 125 gr 357 mag around 1400 fps. And heavy slower bullets 38 spcl 158 around 850 fps, 9mm 147 gr subsonic at 900 fps, and 45 acp 230 gr at 850 fps are also good stoppers according to real world experience and this seems to hold true with the tests except for what he points out is "penetration in ballistic gelatin" since 12" is the minimum any not delivering that are immediately failed, whether the wound track at 6" of depth is 6" wide or not if that bullet goes 11.4 inches it has not attained the minimum depth standard. It also does not take into account tissue disruption from a bullet impact and expansion can affect other tissue not directly touched by the bullet, tissue can be severed just from the "shockwave" (my word).

    Chossing ammo based upon these two great sources Ayoob recommends:
    .45 ACP - 230 grain jhp
    .357 mag. - 125 jhp
    .38 spcl - 158 lead semijacketed hp (softed lead help the slower light bullet in a short barrel open up, according to the sources mentioned)
    9mm - 115 +p or 124 grain +p jhp

    I don't have the other calibers so I do not recal the recommendation but I am sure they are in print elsewhere on the net...
    Excellent reference and information - thanks.

    Unfortunately that's not what I asked. I asked "Is there any real evidence that one caliber is a better fight stopper than another?" Not are there many calibers that are good.
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  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by GM View Post
    It is the first one in the list.
    LOL! i'm sorry for the confusion. After JT pointed out that I had omitted the .45, I edited the OP and added it at the top of the list. It is there now isn't it?
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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    Excellent reference and information - thanks.

    Unfortunately that's not what I asked. I asked "Is there any real evidence that one caliber is a better fight stopper than another?" Not are there many calibers that are good.
    I would say not in the major calibers based on what I've read... the only magic bullet I have ever read about is the one which got Kennedy.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmb View Post
    I would say not in the major calibers based on what I've read... the only magic bullet I have ever read about is the one which got Kennedy.
    LOL! Good point! Who said there's no such thing as a magic bullet?

    You see where this is going don't you? We can't prove what we can't prove, so why do people believe what they do about a superior caliber (without mentioning any names)?
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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    LOL! i'm sorry for the confusion. After JT pointed out that I had omitted the .45, I edited the OP and added it at the top of the list. It is there now isn't it?
    I see LOL. Sorry for that JT.
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    LOL! Good point! Who said there's no such thing as a magic bullet?

    You see where this is going don't you? We can't prove what we can't prove, so why do people believe what they do about a superior caliber (without mentioning any names)?
    Are you saying that all calibers are equal? A 22 long rifle is the same as a 45 ACP? There is certainly factual historical evidence and studies that verify that all calibers are NOT equal. What is your point?
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  14. #29
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    Not sure if this adds any light:

    http://www.firearmstactical.com/wound.htm

    It obviously is not caliber specific, but it highlights the problem in trying to quantify stopping power. Many humans stop because of psychological factors. Humans are actually tough animals physically, and a determined opponent can continue to function long after receiving a fatal wound. IIRC, in the 86 Miami FBI shoot-out, the BG continued for 4-5 minutes after receiving a fatal wound, during which time he killed a couple of men.

    For those not familiar with that fight, Youtube has a fairly accurate movie clip...at least, accurate by the standard of most movies!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBGfKtuo2AM

  15. #30
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    It doesn't address any caliber having an advantage, but it sure is interesting and worthwhile! Thanks for posting it! Could you post a link to that?
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