FBI Miami Shootout and 9mm

This is a discussion on FBI Miami Shootout and 9mm within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been reading up on this incident and the switch from 9mm to 10mm to 10mm lite(.40 S&W). This was looked at as a caliber ...

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Thread: FBI Miami Shootout and 9mm

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    Member Array mbell1968's Avatar
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    FBI Miami Shootout and 9mm

    I've been reading up on this incident and the switch from 9mm to 10mm to 10mm lite(.40 S&W). This was looked at as a caliber failure of the 9mm silvertip 115 grain hollowpoint. After all the shots fired initially prior to the two agents being killed, this was the only solid hit that was capable of stopping Platt (bad guy) immediately. This round came within an inch of hitting his heart. What you don't hear as much about is why the two dead agents and another agent failed to perceive Platt approaching them as they took cover behind their car. Platt surprised them and killed both of them at close range with his .223 rifle and injured a third agent who also took cover behind the car. This seems more like a training/tactics failure as all three agents didn't keep an eye on where Platt was and/or just didn't think he would go on the offensive like he did. If they had put more 9mm hits on him as he approached, I'm sure he would have dropped or retreated. My point is you can't expect any one shot from any duty caliber handgun to immediately kill a bad guy, training, perception, and awareness seem just as important, if not more so than caliber. Thoughts?????
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    This one has been beaten nearly to death in the quarter century since it happened. In the first years following the incident, the FBI and the "gelatin junkies" worked on overtime to solve the ammunition "problem" revealed by the Great Shootout. I don't mean to belittle their findings, but when the smoke cleared and the incident could be objectively analyzed, ammunition failure was far from the top of the list of things that went wrong that day. Failures in tactics, planning, awareness and equipment all contributed to that disaster, but perhaps the biggest takeaway was that the fighting spirit exhibited by Agent Mireles, in spite of crippling wounds, brought the shootout to a close.

    I think "bring enough gun" and "shot placement trumps bullet type" are the practical lessons learned for us mere mortals.
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    The FBI was still very much in the mold of J Edgar Hoover at the time. Even though the man was long dead the explanation could not be a human related failure. To publicly acknowledge that imperfection just could not happen. Good men died who didn't have to. It sucks. But I think the FBI truly did a disservice to their agents memories by trying to blame it on a bullet.
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    IMHO had the agents notified local LEO and requested backup there would have been a lot more personnel and firepower on scene.There was a lot of Agencies that wanted all the glory and didn't want to have to share it,sadly it usually ends up costing them in dead agents.
    Nowadays with units like the Federal Marshalls Fugitive task force and others the cooperation between Federal,State,County,and Local LEO's is a step in the right direction,not to mention the weapons systems available
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    Yep. No longer have the desire to engage in this topic ans try to wade thru all the misinformation.
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    I'm sad that it happened, but at least something fantastic came out of it....the 10mm.
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    Senior Member Array RubenZ's Avatar
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    I agree. This incident was not a failure because of bullet stopping power. It was agents who didn't know what the heck they were doing.
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    Rubenz I don't think it was the agents did not know what they were doing, I do think they had no idea what they were up against and woefully misjudged their opponent.

    As has been stated there were a multitude of errors that day. Training, tactics, rifles and subguns not deployed, even down to the fact the agent lost his glasses. Whatever was the root cause it was a great tragedy and changed a lot of the way things are done today.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    Agreed. Judgement, tactics & a series of seemingly random happenstance, not equipment, created the tragedy's "Perfect Storm". It's seldom one BIG thing, but rather a series of small things, that result in disaster.
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    Senior Member Array RubenZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacman605 View Post
    As has been stated there were a multitude of errors that day. Training, tactics, rifles and subguns not deployed, even down to the fact the agent lost his glasses.
    Sooooo in other words, they didn't know what they were doing LOL If an error was training, tactics then doesn't that mean you don't know what your doing? or you didn't train well enough to do it?
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    If I'm not mistaken, most of the agents on the scene had .38 Special revolvers. Only two or three had S&W 9mm semiautos. And the deciding factor of the fight was that one of the bad guys had a .223 Mini-14, which handily outclasses any caliber of handgun in firepower.

    I don't think it's really much of an indictment of the 9mm as a caliber.
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    The Miami shootout brought to the forefront of LE many glaring deficiencies. Much of which was poor tactics and insufficient training to deal with the caliber of criminal that Platt and Matix posed. Tactics and training do not get the amount of discussion here as terminal bullet performance does simply because the majority of those here are not interested in obtaining quality training when they believe a magic bb from their 380 is all that's required.

    Those that denigrate others interested in the science of terminal ballistics as jello junkies are in their own world of denial.

    ALL the lessons learned from the Miami shootout should be given weight by any serious student of the gun.
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    Member Array Walden's Avatar
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    I still trust the 9mm, especially with modern bullet designs.
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    Member Array mbell1968's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Yep. No longer have the desire to engage in this topic ans try to wade thru all the misinformation.
    Just wondering what misinformation you are talking about? Wikipedia and The Gun Zone have excellent information on the subject. I also read W. French Anderson's Forensic Analysis of the 4/11/86 FBI Firefight, an excellent book if anyone is interested. Very well written with scene photographs, autopsy information and photographs, statements from participants, and drawings by the author with bullet paths and injuries to Platt and Matix. Have to admit, Platt was a determined killer and tough. The 9mm wound was a fatal one, it was just not immediately fatal.

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    Distinguished Member Array grouse's Avatar
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    This fight if nothing else should show everyone who carries a handgun that a handgun against a rifle is a gross mismatch.
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