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; Dam the VIDEO testimony I posted here from my DVD HGSP of the cop talking about the guy shot point blank with a .45 ACP ...

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  1. #121
    Member Array Peyton's Avatar
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    Dam the VIDEO testimony I posted here from my DVD HGSP of the cop talking about the guy shot point blank with a .45 ACP right between the eyes with no ill affects to speak of , well I guess seems to have shut down this discussion? I have other intresting video testimony like this if anyone wants to see them too. I think it is educational as some of it seems to defy the 'odds' , or as some have said "physics".

    In one case I have a guy hit by three 12 gauge shotgun balst in the abdomen and chest with '00' buck and 14 Nine Milimeter,Golden Saber JHP bullets in the same areas and not go down but keep firing and reloading his weapon. I do not have the copyright on that video but it is amazing, I mean one of those 'you have to see it to believe it deals'. He is hit so many times by about 9 cops firing at him from maybe 25 feet away (from cover of their cars) that you can see pieces of his clothing flying off his body. He is knocked down two times by shotgun blasts and gets back up each time. He dies, but if he was able to keep shooting back for some time after being hit.

    These things are unusual of course, but they do occur which is my tactical point here.
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  3. #122
    Member Array snakyjake's Avatar
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    Thanks for the interesting video. Too bad we don't the angle that the bullet hit the forehead.
    Regarding the shotgun: It goes to support what I've read about incapacitation being achieved by hitting a major organ, CNS, or bleeding out.
    I'd like to a new forum setup for people to post these kinds of reports.

    Jake

  4. #123
    Member Array Peyton's Avatar
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    Let me mention this too.The other end ot the telescope in my ersearch is the psychological factor. I have to conclude that a signficant number of 'stops', I mnean people fallling down and stopping their attack when shot is mainly psychological.

    As you say Jake, major organs need to be hit to physiologically stop an aggressor with a handgun, that is get an near immediatte stop. If bullet enters the brain case (regardless of claiber) we have a near instant stop. If a bullet hits the left ventricle of the heart, we most always have an instant stop do to blood pressure dropping to near zero immediattely.

    But I have seen many cases where no vitals were hit, I mean arm, leg or toso hits even with light claliber weapons (.22 rimfire or .380 and even .25 acp)where the person shot, even once stoped and fell at once. I can only conclude this is for psychological reasons.

    On the other hand, back when PCP was a popular drug, these people would take a lot of hits an keep on attacking.

    I also investigated the FBI shooting in Mimai where a sevral FBI men were killed and others wounded. The FBI launched a cover up of their poor and inexcusable tactics in that case. Thye kenw the two men were armed with Ruger Mini 14, .223 rifles, yet the chased them and treid to stop them with only 9mm pisotls (loaded with silver tip hp rounds).

    The bank robbers jumped out of the car and began firing fast and accurately on the FBI guys before the FBI guys all even exited the car.THye FBI guys in my estimation personnaly perfomed well despite being greatly outgunned. Thye returned fire and scored several hits on the attackers. The bank robbers were not on any drugs and were not wearing any body armor.

    Even so they took several hits that I would have expected to stop them ,but they kept firing and moving. It was only the alst FBI man who though his hand was mangkled by the .223 hit managed to get his shotgunout of the trunkand rack it with one hand and he walked up and shot the bank robber point blank.

    The FBI review was a coverup because they blamed the 9mm silvertips rather than there poor tactics.Worst of all they denied entirely the hydrostatic shock effects were real.This is absolutely false and they really knew it too. But that mythology is still in circulation among some LEO's and others.The erason the 158 grain JHP .357 Magnum has the best stopping power of any handgun round is directly because of its high velocity , 1350+ fps and its resulting hydrostatic shock affects.

    When i did this study the /49 S&W round was very new and there were just not enough cases to draw a conclusions statistically back then.But even then I 'suspected' that the .40 SW in JHP might be coming close to .357 Magnum in stopping power. The TSC looked simlar to a .357 magnum ,158gr in JHPin 10% ballistic gelatin.

    But keep in mind expanding bullets do not always expand. If the hollow point is filled with clothing, especailly a 'leather jacket plug' it won't expand and will perform like FMJ. The physics of expanding bullets is greatly misundertood. It is not the expansion of the FMJ bullet itself that causes the damage,(that is expanding the PCC) it is the hydrostaic shock wave that is created by de-accerlating the bullet through that expansion that is the reason organs not hit by that bullet can be ruptured or explode (like water laden organs such as the liver,kidneys or an artery). This creates the TSC (temporary stretch cavity)

    So Ihave people tell me their .45 ACP HP expands reliably in gelatin, but they don't realize that is not the question. It can expand, but how fast it expands and we are dealing with 'thousands of a second' here determines if it will produce a damaging and quick stopping TSC.The .45acp is moving around 850 fps and sometimes is hot loaded in JHP to 1100 tops mostly, that is often just short of what is needed for a damaging TSC. But of course I do not feel 'underarmed' with my1911 in my hands either, i'd just feel better with .357 Magnum.

  5. #124
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Interesting.

    Most folks (medical types) that I've read seem to be of the opinion that TSC does not cause permanent damage until you get into rifle bullet velocities.

    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  6. #125
    Member Array Peyton's Avatar
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    Yes it is true that most medical people do not understand terminal ballistics very well unless they have worked on a large enough number of both handgun and rifle shot cases, I have observed this to be the reality .

    This is partly why I interviewed trauma surgeons with that precise varied and unusual medical experience in Newark NJ (which the doc there called "The capital of the gun and knife club of the world" and In LA during the drug tuff wars.

    So the statement "Most folks (medical types) that I've read seem to be of the opinion that TSC does not cause permanent damage until you get into rifle bullet velocities" is also true in my experience. Which bring up a key thing to understand too.

    Most pistol calibers just do not have the velocity to propagate a TSC of enough amplitude and compression to achieve incapacitation througha hydrostatic shock distribution affects. Obviously the .45 ACP at 850 FPS almost simply can not for example.

    It appears that a velocity of a minimum of 1,350 fps or more is needed to achieve productive hydrostatic shock affects in a handgun caliber. This is what 10% gelatin testing and the street data indicate.

    Hence it is not surprising that .357 Magnum is the best handgun man stopper , since the 125 or even 158 grain JHP bullets obtains a velocity about 13 in all factory loads, and in some hand loads close to 1475 fps. A 4 to 7.5 inch bbl is needed to get this velocity though.

    Consequently there is no logic that I can see (off hand anyway) to use a .357 Magnum in a 2.5 inch bbl. You get a lot of muzzle blast and recoil for no increase in stopping power. If one had a 2.5 bbl .357 revolvethen a hot .38+JHP would likely be more controllable and just as effective terminal ballistic wise.

    What remains not fully understood here is why sometimes less velocities like the average 1,150 fps of say a 9mm JHP can affect hydrostatic shock affects. Though it is fairly clear why stopping power drops off as a rule in higher velocity, heavier handgun calibers such as the .44 Magnum and .41 Magnum, why a lower velocity sometimes work is not clear or truly accounted for to my satisfaction.

    You can get ‘esoteric’ here and point out that micro turbulence is the last unsolved problem of Classical Newtonian physics and such and that is what you have here when a hi speed projectile hits a water laden but varied density of tissue such as the body to some extent. But to me that is the same as saying, “We don’t really know”.

    The .357 Magnum in JHP seems to be the ideal balance between velocity and bullet weight to generate a destructive TSC at the best depth in most people and all three major manufacture’s bullet designs here perform about the same.

    All that said one has to conclude that psychological factors and not physiological medical ones account for a significant number of handgun hits stopping people. Consider the stats reported on very light calibers like the .22 Rim fire at the start of this thread. How can we explain that but through psychological factors?

    But the RAS responce (recticular activating system) which is neurological measureable phenomina may be the answer here. Yet then we are vexed with 'what is psychological and how is it any diifrfent from physciological then?"

    I do know for sure than two soliders for example can sustain a near identical and superficial wound and one dies pretty quick and the other is simply undecided weather to go to an aide station for the wound or not and only does so when the potential for infection is articulated to him.

    Bottom line since I have no neighbors for miles, no kids in the house or anybody in any other rooms and so over pentration is not an issue here, there is just my wife and I in our bedroom which is our ‘safe room‘well call me sentimental but I keep the AK-47 as my first weapon by the bed for home defense.


    I seldom even carry a handgun when I leave the ranch too. If I do it is for one reason really and that is in case I am in a populated area and some madmen starts shooting or stabbing people randomly in shopping mall, restaurant or whatever I have the means to stop them.
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  7. #126
    Member Array Bear2's Avatar
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    Not scientific at all, but at 10-20' I know the blast alone from my 44 mag is going to be more impressive than a 25 ACP, and by more than 1%.

  8. #127
    Member Array Peyton's Avatar
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    I like your wording there. There were not enough cases in either 41 or 44 Magnum to be statitstically signficant really.

    But the caes I did have 37 combined with gelatin tests (hueristicaly determined and evaluated) These two big bore calibers are overpowered for most humans of average size. That is to simplify it a bit the round 'blasts through' before it can delivers it's full potential energy. Its 'too fast and too big' so it exits the body before it can yield it full potential destructive energy into it.

    On the other hand it likley is going to do the intended job anyway. So in sense this is academic on my part.

    Yet consider this we all can agree the gun that is best is always whatever you have in your hand when you need it.But that means carrying it on you all the time too. Now, what are you likley to carry all the time, a ginat .44 or small, easily concealable comfortable .380 or 9mm?

    And if your at home and not carrying then a shotgun beats any pistol hands down and all the way around.

    My point here the liitle .22 lr and (not so much the .25 as it is FMJ) can stop a attacker too, and you are more likley to have it than a .44 Magnum. I am licensed in 37 states to carry and a Model 20 or any 44 Mag ios too mcuh gun to carry and too much gun to shoot even on the range (bt yeah I like blasting with them too who does not?).

    Sincen my home is also where my firearms training school is (rmcat.com) I have three ranges on my property and can practice and shoot any time I want. Actually I mainly on shoot when I have class though. Even so I can draw that PPK or the CZ64 ( a clone) and hit a 5 inch circle in fraction of second ( .57 of averge and often even .33) when the target is no kore than 25 feet away. Most shooing occur at les than 10 ft.
    Now if I can do that under stress and rweal event (and let me tell oyu flat out that relaity transcends all else in self-defense situation, that is it will always be more decisive entirley over your gun's caliber, design,load,marksmanship, speed or anything else) The nthat ,380 to the forehead will stop the miscreant as fast and as reliably as a .44 Magnum to the head will. But I am going to ahve that .380 on me as its easy to do so, se my point here.

    Now I do admit I like that low crack and recoil of .44 Magnum like SW 29 etc. and that stifying dirt kicking hgh around the point of impact too. But it is just not too practical to carry all day concealed.

  9. #128
    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    I think shotgun statistics would be pretty impressive in any study
    “I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.”
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  10. #129
    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peyton View Post
    Sincen my home is also where my firearms training school is (rmcat.com) I have three ranges on my property and can practice and shoot any time I want. Actually I mainly on shoot when I have class though. Even so I can draw that PPK or the CZ64 ( a clone) and hit a 5 inch circle in fraction of second ( .57 of averge and often even .33) when the target is no kore than 25 feet away. Most shooing occur at les than 10 ft.
    Once again, I'm going to have to call you out.

    Grammar issues aside, it's not humanly possible to hit a target in .33 seconds from a draw, and it's ridiculous to even claim that you can. That would be an amazing time even if you were already drawn and aiming at your target with finger on the trigger.

    Take a look at this: Human Benchmark - Reaction Time Stats

    According to this website which tracks human reaction time, the average reaction time in regards to how fast a person can click their mouse button in response to a change in color is 0.215 seconds. Keep in mind that in this situation, your hand is already on the object you need to use to complete the test, i.e., the mouse button. In the case of shooting a firearm, your hands are generally at your side, and you need to clear your garment, grab the gun, bring it up to firing position, aim, then shoot.

    So what you are saying is that you can react, draw, aim and fire in 0.33 seconds...?

    In all honesty, you never really held any credibility, but now you're just being ridiculous.
    tacman605 likes this.
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  11. #130
    Member Array Peyton's Avatar
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    The 800 + cases I studied of shooting convinced me that somewhere between 35% and maybe even as high a 50% of attackers who are shot with handguns and stop their attck,do so for pyscholoical reasons. In simpler terms,they stop their attack as they do not want to be shot again,and maybe run off.

    Now think on this too,supose a would be assailant accosts you alone at night and you draw your .25 auto , step to the corner deep and shout "Backoff or I shoot" . Now does anybody here imagine the bad guy is going to say "Go ahead shoot me with that dam mouse gun, that ,25 isn't enough to stop me" No, not going to happen. So know assume you shoot that guy as son as he makes it clear his criminal assult intentions, how les likley is he to continue with his assault plan?.If you study the stats first offersd you can see how this factor might make the .25 as good as the .44 magnum in sense.
    Now I know for sure that the .357 Magnum JHP has the best stopping power of nay handgun. But I do not carry mine as its too heavy and big for CCW on a daily basis. I carry a PPK clone in 9X18 Makarov. I am not worried much about its stopping power if I have to use it either.But sure i'd like to have the .357 power,it just is not practical for CCW carry.

  12. #131
    Member Array Peyton's Avatar
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    I somewhat understand your doubt here. Of course from my side of it since I have been timed so often I can not have any doubt. But yes, at times I run way over the figure since we are talking 100's of second here. And yes it is just about as fast as the reaction time on a mouse click for many, maybe most people, but not quite that fast as you point out that time as being
    0.215 seconds.

    Now I am drawing from concealment at my own volition, that is, not when I hear a electronic beep and then draw. That latter situation is not quite as fast.

    As far as my 'credibility' here that naturally means nothing to me. I impart this information about terminal ballistics etc because I am a recognized expert on same and court accepted expert whiteness in this area. I am thus in touch with cases and facts few people are. Further I understand terminal ballistics as well as anyone and much better than all but a few people. Not much changes in that field really except very rarely with the introduction of an innovative pistol load like the "Devastator".

    Now there, in court 'my credibility' means something to me, but not so much here of course.

    Here we should be just be exchanging information discussing something like rational adults. There is no need to take anything personally here at all. There is nothing at stake here at all. So why not keep our minds open and be courtious to one another?

    Now early in this thread I spoke of the .45 ACP 'point blank' to the head having no really ill affects, or the stopping of the assailant or the if the victm was shoot, not dying or having any serious medical problems from the ,45 ACP to the forhead. This occured in 4 separate shootings I documented so there must be many more. Some here thought that impossible, even thinking the ‘physics’ alone would make it not possible. This is not surprising to me either. It sort of defies ‘common sense that this could happen.

    So I put up the video of the cops testimony of same. Now you were wrong on that, and as I said quite understandably so too, so is it not possible you are mistaken on this one too? Everyone can see for themselves that video I put up so regardless of what they thought before, there the proof and evidence is. Terminal Ballistics is a much ‘trickier’ subject than people realize. That’s why I am paid as an expert witness’ and why I am always very conscious of my court testimony, needless to say I have to be that way.

    And sense you so kindly asked about my ‘credibility‘, people also come from all over the world to get my firearms instruction too. Want proof of that, fine, go to Home | RMCAT - Rocky Mountain Combat Applications Training Then please report back what you find.

    Now I am 62 and can draw certainly in less than ½ a second, given I am not otherwise incapacitated, seated in a very low chair etc. I mean no adverse conditions but given just my standing there, relaxed with my weapon concealed lawfully and the pretty much ideal circumstances.

    But what I have hard time even visualizing is the reports I got here about it taking 3 or 4 seconds for people to draw from concealment. I do not doubt it is possible to be that slow, but it just seems like a very tediously long time. I mean count it off 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004. What is the person doing in all that time? Even an ankle holster can be drawn faster than that by some people I know.

    By the way, a guy I let shoot on one of my firing ranges here is faster than me. But like cowboy action shooting the draw differences are measured at the second decimal place as rule. He puts an apple on the top of his gun hand, tosses it up in the air and draws from his cowboy holster and shots it every time in mid air. This takes less than one second. Now he is semi pro and this is a cowboy fast draw rig he has, but it also a single action pistol too.

  13. #132
    Member Array boatman's Avatar
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    I like alot of what peyton is saying. The study, while very interesting, I don't think is a great thing to base your gun choice on.

    How many times do you read a story where the 2 assailants shooting at each other from 20' feet away both empty entire clips and hit nothing!

    So thinking you are going to get a head shot unless at point blank range is statistically not good. Center of Mass, no sights as what Peyton said in his original post I think is more real world.

    Also, multiple rounds. Why would you shoot just 2x?

    An interesting study would be to see how 5 or 10 COM shots with a 22 vs 45 etc would make a difference. From the study in the OP, showing not too much diff on 2 or 3 shots, I would think 10 of anything would show even less diff.

    Again, I am restating what others have, but accuracy and quantity I think are going to be more important than caliber.

    Pretty sure that vet at the horse track uses a 22, so it seems a 22 to the brain is pretty effective...

  14. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peyton View Post
    ... I carry a PPK clone in 9X18 Makarov. I am not worried much about its stopping power if I have to use it either.But sure i'd like to have the .357 power,it just is not practical for CCW carry.
    Hello Forum.

    I've read this thread from one end to the other with the greatest of interest this evening.

    Peyton, I could not help but notice the quote of yours above. I am new to concealed carry, but have been carrying a CZ-82 for more than a year now. I have wondered about its limitations, and its benefit of being easily concealed and worn regularly. I would love to have a larger weapon, but I wonder if I would carry it as much.

    This thread has been very insightful. I feel more aware of the various limitations I am balancing against, while having a weapon that I actually carry routinely and without hesitation. It has become somewhat second nature now.

    Thanks to all for the mental capital and time that has gone into this fine, instructive, and valuable discussion.
    Last edited by Hankosaurus; January 3rd, 2012 at 03:06 AM. Reason: typo
    HANK
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  15. #134
    Member Array Peyton's Avatar
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    On the CZ82 I just got some of the (mm laser cartriges for my school, about $100 each). I use them to train people of course. But DAMM! THEY FIT THE CZ82 in 9 X 18 Makrov too!!! I have to say, like I mentioned I have 3 ranges here at RMCAT.COM and yet I do not shoot that much except when teaching a class and even then just to demo technique and what is possible with proper practice.

    But using the CZ82 and the 9mm laser cartidge I find myself point shooting so remarkably well it is surprising me. It is a very 'natural pointer' and the speed and accuracy is almost supernatural with it now. I mean head shots are instant and unfailing, I am doing practice on doing 'eye socket' shots now 'point shooting' in a fraction of a second' in low light.

    They have the laser cartrdiges in 40SW and .45ACP but they only really work well with 'non-striker fired pistols' of course. The primer is rubber and is a switch to momentarily fire the laser so it has to be struck for the laser to fire each time. With a striker fired pistol, and I am not a fan of them, you can only pull the trigger once then you would have to 'rack the slide' to re-cock the weapon to try a another laser flash feedback shot again.

    Wiht the 92F or CA82 with external hammers (internal would work for repeat shots too) every time you pull the trigger the laser flashes for 1/10 of a second it might be less. This allows practice on quick multiple targets. In a half second I can darw and hit head shots on 3 targets at 25 feet. While I shoot well with my 92F (but the 92F is most always too much to carry around ccw wise) now my 92F seems bit 'clunky' and 'hard to point' compared to the CZ82. There is no way with out a lot of pracitce that I could draw and instantly hit the 'eye 'of the human target instantly with the 92F, but with the CZ it is not that hard really after little practice.

    Now anybody who has 'been there' (and I have a few others here have too) know it the adrenal stress that makes it all diffrent. So I am not really likely going for that 'instant eye shot' if it were for real out there. I was practicing it out of mainly 'how far can I take this skill' using this new device atttiude. Frankly, I do not carry all the time either and first survival strategy and self-defense startegy is to be aware alert and stay away from places and people that such a thing as a shooting might come up. I carry mainly when I leave my property and maybe my wife and I have dinner in Colorado Springs because if some 'madman' comes barging in shooting people radomly I strongly feel I have to use the expereince I have to stop it immediattely.

  16. #135
    New Member Array RAMIfied's Avatar
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    Finally! this was a very refreshing take on things, and even though the caliber wars will go on it's great to read some data that one can wrap his head around and ponder.
    Thanks JD!

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