The problem with these "studies," snakyjake, is that there are simply observations. They don't "prove" anything, and can't really be used to predict anything with anything approaching any degree of certainty. They are interesting, they can show us general trends (sometimes), or how specific events unfolded in specific cases, but they aren't definitive of anything at all.
Ballistics tests, for all their failings, at least meet the basic requirements for "science." They are repeatable, they are fully quantifiable, and they allow us to accurately predict what will happen the next time we perform the same tests. Do they tell us definitively what will happen in a real shooting? Of course not, but they are at least as predictive as these types of studies, and perhaps more so in some cases.
Well I'm happy. I posted on another forum that I was thinking of carrying a .22 sometimes. I was torn apart by other posters. BUT: Bests out a .45! Can't believe this is true except for one interesting possibility: the relative easy of accurate shooting UNDER STRESS - THE WORST STRESS WE CAN IMAGINE. Just a fractional inch of better placement could indeed do it.
Originally Posted by JD
I hope the OP thinks of this: submit all data to an independent research organization, must be some who would be interested in results like this in the firearms field.
OF COURSE, comparisons of ammo in shootings no matter where are rife with error due to the complexity and number of variables in a shooting: virtually everything, from weapon to distance and angle, prior health conditions, visual circumstances, likely hundreds - and to really study even a small group of these would take such a huge sample of actual events that it would be impossible to find them.
Congrats to OP on all this exhaustive work!
If cornered and DPF being justified I would have no problems slamming seven .380 90 grain gold dots into someones chest.
Yeah, but I'll take my 11 .40 caliber, 165 grain JHPs over those any day. And that's if I don't reload... Bigger, heaver, greater sectional density and there's more of them.
Originally Posted by dripster
Hamlet - from what set of numbers do you draw the conclusion that a .22 "bests" a .45?
Thought it was on the "totals" of each caliber, maybe I read it wrong. My 22 is in any case a 5 1/2" barrel and too heavy for carry. So, I won't be doing that anyway.
Originally Posted by OPFOR
There's one overwhelming success constant in these data: Three rounds on target. There is no caliber, however, that drops the elephant in the room: What to do next; flee, move or keep firing? And at whom? To or from where; against how many, how rapidly, at what risk?
Calibers do not a gunfight make. G_d forbid this should happen to any of us, lest we be bankrupted defending ourselves for having protected ourselves.
Perhaps this might be a non-profit "foundation" worth forming; one that specialized in defending and supporting the costs of defense for those who have reasonably drawn and used firearms to defend themselves. We take for granted that the authorities will side with the skilled shooter righteously defending himself and loved ones.
The gunfight itself is more predictable than the outcome of the legal aftermath.
Thanks for the post JD. Lots of interesting info in the article.
What does that mean, or what does it do to settle the caliber wars. Nothing. I don't think the original writer intended for it to do that.
What can I or others get from the article. In my view it is this. Any gun is better than no gun. Shot placement is still key. Beyond that, it boils down to personal preference and trade offs in caliber for size and weight. Something that there will never be a consensus on. But that is ok, because there are guns and calibers available for what everyone prefers or can learn to live with.
The main thing, carry daily and practice with what you choose to carry so you are proficient with it.
Number of people not incapacitated with a .357 mag = 9%, same as a rifle and better than a shotgun. I have two 9mm pistols and wanted to add a new one with a more powerfull caliber. I was undecided between the .357 mag and a .45. This review helped me make up my mind.
I saw a similar thread here last year that basically said, (I apologize I can't remember the name of the person who posted it). There is a slight difference if one shot placed center mass, and absolutely no difference between the 3 main calibers with 2 shots in the same area:
"Step 2 of the ballistic profile:
One shot stop % on center mass that struck the heart or severed a major artery/vessel:
9mm +P = 92%
40 S&W = 94%
45 ACP = 94%
Two shots, same criteria:
9mm +P = 99%
40 S&W = 99%
45 ACP = 99%"
It's an interesting read, but the data has no value. First off, no two human being are exactly alike. The data does not take into account the condition of the person shot, drunk, on drugs, in a rage, etc.. Lastly, it does not address hit placement. How do you quantify that? You don't because you can't. A millimeter in any direction makes a big difference. People spend way too much time looking for a magic bullet and not enough time training to improve accuracy.
Maybe I don't understand the statistics but the .32 seems like a very good round according to what I see.
Percentage of people who were immediately stopped with one hit to the head or torso - the .32 had a better percentage than any other hand gun caliber. Am I missing something?
I'm not a big follower of these statistics.
There is a lot that can happen in a gun fight.
You should be running bullets in a fight, not numbers.
Interesting information though.
I wouldn't draw any conclusions from those numbers, not only is the sample size pretty small but we have no idea of knowing the circumstances surrounding those shootings. Whose to say whether these occured in actual shootouts or if somebody sidled up on the victim with a .32 mousegun and put it right behind their ear or perhaps some of them were just straight up executions? We don't know, so we can't draw a conclusion from these examples.
Originally Posted by harrydog
I think it's good information. Info is always good and interesting.
However, it's much better to make your decisions based on ballistic knowledge than to follow charts of any type. If there is a good balance struck between the 4 main critera that accurately predicts ballistic outcome. This means consistant performance, and not " fluke" performance.
This always means heavy, deep penetration, achieved with any combination of the 4 elements.
Big heavy bullets tend to be consistant, and eliminate variables dependent on perfect conditions.
Anything 357/38, 9mm(with heavy loads)40, and 45 are always going to be good choices for predictable performance.
Anything less is a Los Vegas roll of the dice.
Thanks so much for your hard work to put together and shearing with us, great read.