An Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power

This is a discussion on An Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Here is something I think people should know. It really is not an opinion either, it is result and conclusion from my experience which I ...

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  1. #106
    Member Array Peyton's Avatar
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    Here is something I think people should know. It really is not an opinion either, it is result and conclusion from my experience which I incorporated in my training programs for others. For 23 years now there has not been one exception either, anyone who does the scenario based drill discovers this truth.It does not matter what they thought before either or how strongly either.

    Here is something I think people I think people should know. It really is not an opinion either, it is the result and conclusion from my experience which I incorporated in my training programs for others for 23 years now. Understand please that everyone I have run through the drill ,and there are no exceptions at all, discovers this truth for themselves. That truth is when somebody is trying to kill you (or your brain tells you they are and it’s the same thing) then you cannot use the sight of the pistol. You will not be able to look at anything but the person about to kill you. You won’t ‘know’ the pistol has sights on it, it wont and can’t even occur to you.

    My late friend Jim Cirrillo talked about this fact many times over the years. He had been in more than dozen gunfights and I can’t remember off hand how many felons he killed with a handgun as stake out detective in NYC in the mid sixties. Now Jim had been in so many gunfights he almost ‘got used to it’. He was the only exception I ever met to the ‘can’t use sights at all in the real deal’ too. And he acknowledged that he did not sue the sights in most every gunfight he was in anyway. The point is’ learn to point shoo’t as it is all you will have in the real deal and all you will need. Not you and not I will evr have Jim’s experience and arrive to the mental level he did about a deadly gunfight. That is just not going to happen period.

    In my classes even some people who have never fired handgun before, or any gun in 20 minutes can learn to hit a 6 inch circle, at 25 feet in very low light. Light so low they could not see the sights anyway. After more drills and work they can do this same thing on moving living attacking human being in the scenarios under that stress level. This is the ‘missing link’ too in most all firearms training I have seen (exception being my Israeli training years ago), target shooting skills mean nothing in the real deal. Trigger pull, breath control, stance all that stuff is totally irrelevant to using handgun for self-defense Changing magazines quickly is a skill that will almost never come up so it not relevant really either.
    You can’t fix something until you know what ‘does not work’ and why. Under adrenal stress, which is the only thing you can count on when your life is directly on the line, none of the things most people practice at the ‘range’ to prepare themselves for that event have not much if any relevance at all to actual shooting another human being trying to kill you before he can kill you.
    Aimed fire is a skill you need too and here is why. If the guy is shooting or in the case I am thinking on at the moment, stabbing people at random, AND he is not directly attacking you yet, THEN you can and you should use the sights to kill him so as to avoid hitting innocents.
    But when your life is immediately on the line your brain (amygdala won’t allow you to look at anything but the guy about to kill you and with both eyes wide open so you must learn to shoot like that and it’s called ‘point shooting’. People re-invent the wheel ery few deacdes and call it other stuff to make it seem ‘new’ and ‘innovative’ but it means not using the sights of the gun.

    Most shooting occur at night in low light and at very closer range, like 5 or 6 feet or less. Please think on these relates in preparing to defend your life or oyur loved ones. It’s not a ‘sport’ it’s not a ‘game’ of any kind. It is just a horrible experience in every way to shoot another human being. It is just tragically necessary sometimes though.

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  3. #107
    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    AZ Hawk - If the bullet gets deflected around the (hard, curved, specifically designed to protect the brain) skull, then, by definition, most of the momentum of the bullet is NOT absorbed by the skull. Note this quote - "In all 4 cases the .45 ACP did not enter the brain case it spun around the outside of the skull."
    Yes, I saw that, but I know it is physically impossible for a projectile with the size and a energy of a 230 gr. .45 ACP bullet to strike directly between the eyes and then move laterally. Remember the whole equal and opposite thing?

    The wounds he is describing are known as "glancing" wounds or blows, where the bullet would strike at an odd angle and then deflect off. It is possible due to skin elasticity for a bullet to spin around the skull, but it's not possible for this to occur when the bullet strikes directly in the forehead or between the eyes as he is describing. (I consulted my cousin who is currently doing his residency).
    Last edited by AZ Hawk; October 18th, 2011 at 12:26 AM.
    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

    “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.” ― Thomas Paine

  4. #108
    Member Array Peyton's Avatar
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    Your arguments are reasonable and understandable too.

    But there you have it still as I had the pictures, police report, DA's depositions, medical report, and more. It happen that’s all there is to it. But why is another issue to understand.

    Your physics while correct are not applied appropriately here. Energy transfer and the second derivative of velocity (acceleration) are the determinate factor in understanding these cases. It is like IF the boxer’s punch misses, THEN its potential power is not relevant.

    Or looked at another way, the .45 ACP never transferred energy or gave it up when it hit the guys in the forehead. It spun around his spherical skull and then went through walls etc and had a lot, almost all of its original energy after it spun off the guys skull. Thus there was little or almost none ( not enough to do damage or even KO the guy) energy left behind (or expended on) for transfer to the person hit by the bullet.

    It all come to the very same thing really. But also your response is perhaps somewhat close to what I would have even said many years before I interviewed these people and assembled all the supporting evidence. I can guarantee to you it occurred. Understanding why is all that’s significant here.

    But of course its also a “freak occurrence’ too but I think not nearly as odd or unusual as people would reasonably think I feel. If I found four cases pretty easily and in just 3 months, then would one not think there must be a lot of examples more of this happening out there?

    All the evidence, testimony etc is the DVD I produced under contract and I do not get a dime off it sales and thus have no profit interest here in mentioning it either. But if you need to really understand why this occurs get the DVD ‘Handgun Stopping Power" Paladin Press

  5. #109
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    You are correct too, but the skull is spereical and designed to deflect. It can not be stuck in most people (skull form) at other than an angle that facilates deflection.That's what ti evolved to do to protect the brain. There really is thus no truly ' head on strike' possible, but yes some are more 'head on' than others.

    The fact is the scar was right between his eyes and just a bit above the eyebrow ridge. To me that is reasonably called "right between the eyes".

  6. #110
    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peyton View Post
    You are correct too, but the skull is spereical and designed to deflect. It can not be stuck in most people (skull form) at other than an angle that facilates deflection.That's what ti evolved to do to protect the brain. There really is thus no truly ' head on strike' possible, but yes some are more 'head on' than others.

    The fact is the scar was right between his eyes and just a bit above the eyebrow ridge. To me that is reasonably called "right between the eyes".
    The human skull in regards to the "brain case" is ovaloid in shape, not spherical, and it evolved to protect the brain from blunt trauma, not from small, extremely fast moving projectiles designed to penetrate and/or perforate. A "head-on strike" is rather simple depending on where you are looking. The temple is an obvious flat point as is most of the side of your head.

    cranium_side.jpg
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    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

    “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.” ― Thomas Paine

  7. #111
    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peyton View Post
    Your arguments are reasonable and understandable too.

    But there you have it still as I had the pictures, police report, DA's depositions, medical report, and more. It happen that’s all there is to it. But why is another issue to understand.

    Your physics while correct are not applied appropriately here. Energy transfer and the second derivative of velocity (acceleration) are the determinate factor in understanding these cases. It is like IF the boxer’s punch misses, THEN its potential power is not relevant.

    Or looked at another way, the .45 ACP never transferred energy or gave it up when it hit the guys in the forehead. It spun around his spherical skull and then went through walls etc and had a lot, almost all of its original energy after it spun off the guys skull. Thus there was little or almost none ( not enough to do damage or even KO the guy) energy left behind (or expended on) for transfer to the person hit by the bullet.

    It all come to the very same thing really. But also your response is perhaps somewhat close to what I would have even said many years before I interviewed these people and assembled all the supporting evidence. I can guarantee to you it occurred. Understanding why is all that’s significant here.

    But of course its also a “freak occurrence’ too but I think not nearly as odd or unusual as people would reasonably think I feel. If I found four cases pretty easily and in just 3 months, then would one not think there must be a lot of examples more of this happening out there?

    All the evidence, testimony etc is the DVD I produced under contract and I do not get a dime off it sales and thus have no profit interest here in mentioning it either. But if you need to really understand why this occurs get the DVD ‘Handgun Stopping Power" Paladin Press
    My physics are correct, as we know with certainty a .45 ACP will penetrate the skull, and if I had access, I could probably show you hundreds of images from WWII and Vietnam to prove it.

    By the way, weren't Sanow and/or Marshall found to have made up data?
    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

    “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.” ― Thomas Paine

  8. #112
    Member Array snakyjake's Avatar
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    I liked this story.
    Guy gets shot in the head with a 45, and survives with a normal and healthy life.

  9. #113
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Well, this has been an interesting little side discussion.

    All I know is that, in the real world, strange things happen when bullets hit bodies. A bullet may penetrate a skull (or other bone), or it may get deflected...no way to predict ahead of time. Just keep shooting until there is no longer a threat.

    You two can continue this little debate...carry on.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  10. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Well, this has been an interesting little side discussion.

    All I know is that, in the real world, strange things happen when bullets hit bodies. A bullet may penetrate a skull (or other bone), or it may get deflected...no way to predict ahead of time. Just keep shooting until there is no longer a threat.

    You two can continue this little debate...carry on.
    ---------------------


    Your are dead right 10th SF man! Anything can happen in combat I have been there. Two guys get the dam near identical wound which is not 'life threatening'. One dies but the other does not even go to an aide station until later on and sees it as a superficial wound. The difference is their 'mind set', one thought he’d die and so he did. The other did not so since it was not a life threatening would he did not die.

    After years of reviewing shooting cases and it is now dam near 1000 of them where all the facts were written down by the coroner, RO, etc, I must conclude that being stopped immediately by an handgun bullet of any will almost always be attributable to one of two factors 1) He was hit and the bullet entered the brain case or ruptured the left ventricale of the heart OR 2) He was hit and he ‘knew’ that people who are shot ‘died ‘and fall down first and he thought he would to and so did but first he shut down attack wise.
    '
    Now it is argued this 'idea' that a .45 ACP to the head' and right between the eyes ( though what I actually saw was slightly above) could have little or no affect on the person shot 'can't be true.

    Of course it is true, and demonstravbly true since it has happened and is well documented. By this I mean in these cases the guy shot in the head half the time then attacked the guy who shot him immediattely.

    One guy was just sittng at a poker table in gambling shack too and not threatening or uattacking when shot in the forhead from the other side of that table.

    I know from direct research that these things do and did happen. I found 4 cases in just three months. Surely it must not be that rare.

    Perhaps people here a need to believe that I am ‘lying’ or ‘making this up’. But I have the absolute evidence of everyone who saw the incidents, shot the guy, was shot, the police & medcal reports report etc, These things did occurr period, ther can be no debate there with me you see , no ’ argument‘ or ‘speculation‘. It is tactical mistake to close your mind to these realities .

    Perhaps I should post video here (if I can figure out how) of the eye whitness testimony of these events etc.

    The fact is I have documented many more cases of multiple abdominal hits with the .45 ACP not stopping an attacker. One guy shot 6 times by police with .45 ACP pisols was not eben slowed down and eluded the officers when he jumped in his car and fled. Two days later on the run and no medical attention he decided towalk into the hospital and the slugs werre removed from his body and of course the cops were right here too.

    But this 'not getting an immediatte stop' is true of any handgun cartridge too. The handgun is just not generally powerful enough to stop an animal immediately that is as big as a human being. But when we crunch a whole lot of documented cases into an elementary statistical analysis we see that handguns often do stop an attacker.

    I must conclude from my research and those of others in this field that this is partly the result of ‘psychological’ factors and not always or only ‘physiological’ ones.

    This also supports the original poster here who decided ,and I am paraphrasing here: "All 'handguns suck' in stopping an attacker immediately sometimes, and that "Most calibers in handguns almost regardless of caliber have about the same result on the people shot with them''.

    A serious mind in terms of actually realizing it 'could happen to you' is then preparing for same will thus not exclude these facts. But will incorporate these possibilities into their survival strategy.

    EXAMPLE" A home invader duo breaks in, there is shooting and you have just shot them both with your.45 ACP . Of course it isn't a printed target so you will not know if you hit them or not right away, and neither might they.

    Hence, .If your expectations is that when 'hit with your .45 ACP' a few times at such close range that 'they would collapse immediately', then you have put an obstacle to your correct mindset for combat because you now are in a situation not thought of or prepared for. You may thus ‘hesitate’ or not seek cover, or other things that might get you killed.

  11. #115
    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    1. Common handgun calibers DO suck, and I never said otherwise.

    2. What do abdominal hits have to do with head shots?

    3. I don't carry a .45, I carry a Glock 19.

    4. I've read Lt. Col. Grossman's "On Killing" and "On Combat," and I fully understand the "warrior mindset."

    5. If this guy got shot in the head with a .45 from 5 feet away, and it is as well documented as you claim, then where is the documentation?

    6. I have no expectations in regards to what will happen if I have to shoot someone. My instructor always says, "Shoot 'em to the ground," and my mindset is to continue shooting until they fall.

    7. I'm not sure most of what you just wrote has anything to do with what we were talking about before...
    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

    “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.” ― Thomas Paine

  12. #116
    Member Array snakyjake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Hawk View Post
    5. If this guy got shot in the head with a .45 from 5 feet away, and it is as well documented as you claim, then where is the documentation?
    Did the Oct 13, 2011 story I posted not work as a documented claim? The guy was shot in the head with a .45, and survived enough to reopen his store again.
    Jury Convicts Catonsville Man in 2009 Convenience Store Killing - Catonsville, MD Patch

  13. #117
    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snakyjake View Post
    Did the Oct 13, 2011 story I posted not work as a documented claim? The guy was shot in the head with a .45, and survived enough to reopen his store again.
    Jury Convicts Catonsville Man in 2009 Convenience Store Killing - Catonsville, MD Patch
    I didn't see your post.

    And, no, as "shot in the head" in a news article could be (and probably is) a flesh wound from a bullet that simply grazed his head, but hey, at least they didn't call it the handgun an assault weapon...
    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

    “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.” ― Thomas Paine

  14. #118
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peyton View Post
    Your are dead right 10th SF man!
    Just to be clear - I was never in the Special Forces.

    Army life is hard enough on the family - those SF guys have it much, much worse.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  15. #119
    Member Array Peyton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    AZ Hawk - If the bullet gets deflected around the (hard, curved, specifically designed to protect the brain) skull, then, by definition, most of the momentum of the bullet is NOT absorbed by the skull. Note this quote - "In all 4 cases the .45 ACP did not enter the brain case it spun around the outside of the skull."

    Peyton - First, welcome. Second - what leads you to the conclusion that the .357 Mag with 158 gr JHPs out of a 4-6" barrel is the best bet? Just curious. Thanks.
    There were alot of cases I reviewed where the .357 JHP at 158 grains was used. Even when I looked at single hits to the cheat or abdominal cavity, that is one shot, the ,357 was clealry superior to nay other rond. This includes really big bores like the .41 and .44 Magnum . These big bores on most size people ironically have too much weight and velocity so the hydrostatic shock damage is less as the bullet has passed through the body very often and enrgy is wated. Also and though this is somewhat complex, the distribution of the temporary stretch cavity is skewed and not fully formed. Now a .44 Magnum would perform better on some guy 6'4" and 325 lbs of muscle.

    I see a video button here so I will try to upload the testimony of one of the police officer I interviewed who saw the .45 ACP point blank head shot not slow the guy down. Hope it works and where doe it go when I upload it?

    Hum it won't allow you to uplaod it only lets you give URL to YOUTUBE where it si supposed to be, this is real limitation too. I will have to think about uploading it to YOUTUBE first it first there it seems.

  16. #120
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    [QUOTE=shockwave;1946517]Ballistic statistics are always problematic to interpret because they involve people in highly unusual circumstances. There are four elements that factor in any analysis, yet the statistics we have generally do not give us information about all four. These are:

    i totaly agree on all points.

    Here is the URL of my interview of the police officer than saw the .45 ACP that hit the guy between the eyes and yet had no real affect.
    This was a' rare case' but not one that hardly ever happend either.

    Guy shot with .45 in head but no ill affetcs on Vimeo
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