FBI Standards: Should we care?

This is a discussion on FBI Standards: Should we care? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I hear a lot about the FBI minimum penetration being 12"s, the 4 layers of denim thing, and all this other data they use and ...

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Thread: FBI Standards: Should we care?

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    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    FBI Standards: Should we care?

    I hear a lot about the FBI minimum penetration being 12"s, the 4 layers of denim thing, and all this other data they use and a lot of people look at it as the "gospel" of ballistics. My question is this: Since when has ANY government agency done anything the private sector doesn't do better?

    I'd trust the guys at Hornady (who have to turn a profit) to give me a product that works vs. using FBI specs to choose my SD rounds. And Hornady is just an example, ANY bullet manufacturer probably does more and better testing than the FBI ever dreamed.

    So I ask, do you take the FBI specs into account when choosing a bullet to stake your life on? Or do you choose another way?

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    You might find this video interesting...

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    Member Array Runt's Avatar
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    It's your choice to choose your SD ammo as you see fit. I want my SD ammo to be the best it can be and do what I need for it to do. I don't want a round that's going to clog with fabric and act like a FMJ.
    Remember, Life is not like a box of chocolate's.. It's more like a jalapeno pepper, because what you decide upon today can really burn your butt tomorrow..

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    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    this is from wikipedia:

    According to Dr. Martin Fackler and the International Wound Ballistics Association (IWBA), between 12.5 and 14 inches (318 and 356 mm) of penetration in calibrated tissue simulant is optimal performance for a bullet which is meant to be used defensively, against a human adversary. They also believe that penetration is one of the most important factors when choosing a bullet (and that the number one factor is shot placement). If the bullet penetrates less than their guidelines, it is inadequate, and if it penetrates more, it is still satisfactory though not optimal. The FBI's penetration requirement is very similar at 12 to 18 inches (305 to 457 mm).

    A penetration depth of 12.5 to 14 inches (318 and 356 mm) may seem excessive, but a bullet sheds velocity—and crushes a narrower hole—as it penetrates deeper, while losing velocity, so the bullet might be crushing a very small amount of tissue (simulating an "ice pick" injury) during its last two or three inches of travel, giving only between 9.5 and 12 inches of effective wide-area penetration. Also, skin is elastic and tough enough to cause a bullet to be retained in the body, even if the bullet had a relatively high velocity when it hit the skin. About 250 ft/s (76 m/s) velocity is required for an expanded hollow point bullet to puncture skin 50% of the time.

    The IWBA's and FBI's penetration guidelines are to ensure that the bullet can reach a vital structure from most angles, while retaining enough velocity to generate a large diameter hole through tissue. An extreme example where penetration would be important is if the bullet first had to enter and then exit an outstretched arm before impacting the torso. A bullet with low penetration might embed itself in the arm whereas a higher penetrating bullet would penetrate the arm then enter the thorax where it would have a chance of hitting a vital organ.

    Stopping power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    just an FYI S&W worked with the FBI to create the .40 cal

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Yes and no. I don't much care about whether or not my rounds will expand after first going through sheet steel or windshields (other than while on duty). I do not see that as very relevant for a civilian.

    However, I DO care about whether my rounds will penetrate at least 12 inches (15 is better) after first going through heavy clothing.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    The Feds need all the help they can get.:)
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    Senior Member Array SFury's Avatar
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    Well, someone has to have a standard. Otherwise, how do you know what to look for in a specific type of round? Whether it be for hunting, SD, competition shooting, or anything else.

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    Senior Member Array Happypuppy's Avatar
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    I don't think it really matters if you trust them. The value is they are consistent. The same tests across a broad spectrum of ammunition. I really like the Personal Defense line. Light recoil , makes it very accurate in my hands. Great consistent expansion as well. I don't carry it however and in my 9mm carry ranger 127 's and 230 HST in my .45. Why? Good results in the FBI tests and good reports on the street. Until Hornady allows there loads to go through the FBI tests I only have company tests. Maybe they do great maybe not. I don't want to need a load to preform and they don't. As far as penetration, yes it's overrated IMO But 12-15 inches is a safe bet most of the time.

    As far as shooting through glass or a car... It could happen. A car jacking, roadside assult and a couple other senerios.


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    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    Close enoughf for Goverment work ; )
    H/D
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    I think the data is very relevant, and it should be considered when choosing a round for self defense. I do however believe that as a civilian, my standards can have a little more flexibility. IMO those seeking out trouble, running towards the action, etc, may have higher standards. That being said *most* of my guns meet the FBI minimum standard, with the excepting of my sig 238, which is so 'carryable' that I just can't help it sometimes.
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    VIP Member Array sgb's Avatar
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    Yes I put considerable weight into The IWBA's and FBI's penetration & expansion guidelines. Just as I put considerable weight into training.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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    Member Array VNvet's Avatar
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    I do listen to what the FBI and the Military is doing, but I do listen to what I read from the manufacturers also. The cost and availability are the controlling factors in what I buy for my SD rounds.

    Vv

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    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    I will not go so far as to say we should not care but we need to consider the real world. The video above makes good sense for a short study and presents no real issue to argue.
    Back in the real world any SD situation you get into is going to be close,if it is not they call that a gun fight and not SD.
    When you consider the distance most SD Handgun shooting happen, what round you have is going to be a wash in the end.
    Last heavier bullet yes and no example if your shooting a full size 9mm then 147gr will do but if is a compact 9mm you may wish to use 124 or even 115.
    I carried a 1911 Army issue and I carried the 92F/96 Army issue if given a choice I would take the 1911 if there was any chance I may have to use it.
    When it comes to SD you shoot what you have, you shoot center mass to stop the threat. You shoot 2 round,4 round 6 round empty the thing what ever it takes to stop the threat.
    On the streets now I retired most of the time I carry a SR9C Ruger with the 10 round mag. It is loaded with 124gr JHP.
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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Sure we should care. Anytime we can find more information it helps us in our decision making. Thats what most of us come here for. To learn from new information.

    Michael

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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smolck View Post
    I hear a lot about the FBI minimum penetration being 12"s, the 4 layers of denim thing, and all this other data they use and a lot of people look at it as the "gospel" of ballistics. My question is this: Since when has ANY government agency done anything the private sector doesn't do better?

    I'd trust the guys at Hornady (who have to turn a profit) to give me a product that works vs. using FBI specs to choose my SD rounds. And Hornady is just an example, ANY bullet manufacturer probably does more and better testing than the FBI ever dreamed.

    So I ask, do you take the FBI specs into account when choosing a bullet to stake your life on? Or do you choose another way?
    Because the FBI/IWBA tests set a standard, and Hornady just wants to sell you ammo, and will tell you it's the greatest, regardless of performance. Just for example. Or for another example, you;d have companies like Exxxtreem Shokk telling you their "scientific watermelon test" is the basis of ammo performance.

    I do put weight in the studies. Mainly because there's a direct corellation between rounds that do well in those tests and rounds that perform well in the real world.
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