Stopping Power: Myths, Legends, and Realities

This is a discussion on Stopping Power: Myths, Legends, and Realities within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Interesting article from a surgeon's point of view. Not looking for a caliber war at all, just thought the article was interesting and pretty much ...

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Thread: Stopping Power: Myths, Legends, and Realities

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    Member Array RookWV's Avatar
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    Stopping Power: Myths, Legends, and Realities

    Interesting article from a surgeon's point of view.

    Not looking for a caliber war at all, just thought the article was interesting and pretty much says what most already knows.....shot placement is superior to caliber performance.

    The point here is that no single ammunition that is typically used by law enforcement officers today can reliably claim to have superior stopping power.
    Stopping Power: Myths, Legends, and Realities - Article - POLICE Magazine
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    For people with less time than I have allow me to post the heart of the article (spoiler alert!):

    "... shot placement with any commercially available ammunition will offer you the best chance of maximizing your duty ammunition's stopping power."
    TX expat, OldVet, niks and 7 others like this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad426 View Post
    For people with less time than I have allow me to post the heart of the article (spoiler alert!):

    "... shot placement with any commercially available ammunition will offer you the best chance of maximizing your duty ammunition's stopping power."
    Who'd have thunk it!
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    Senior Member Array USM1976's Avatar
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    You will never get an argument from this retired LEO who wroked in Homicide for a number of years. I have seen .22s kill people rather quickly while .357 in a man who walked to the ambulance with the bullet in his chest...there are no guarantees in life.

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    With all of the problems that the concept of "stopping power" suffers from (no commonly agreed to definition, no apparent unitary basis, doesn't address shot placement or what anatomical structures are hit, etc.), I am surprised that the term is used by anyone anymore.
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    Distinguished Member Array SCXDm9's Avatar
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    Great info... thanks for posting.


    I'll go ahead and post it to save others the effort.... Unless the bullet comes from a Glock, if its fired from a Glock nothing really matters except that was a Glock!

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    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    So and Im trying learn something here at my old age not buck the trend by asking.
    The statement shot placement with any ammo will maximize its effectiveness I have no doubt be it a 22 to a 50 caliber.
    But this equates to a 9mm in the chest will do as much damage as a 40 45 357 that hits the exact same spot with the same bullet type??? Not saying it wont just in my old grey head that isnt adding up.
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    Member Array Naufragia's Avatar
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    Great read. Thanks!

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    Distinguished Member Array shadowwalker's Avatar
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    I still believe that 2 to the chest and 1 to the head works
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost1958 View Post
    So and Im trying learn something here at my old age not buck the trend by asking.
    The statement shot placement with any ammo will maximize its effectiveness I have no doubt be it a 22 to a 50 caliber.
    But this equates to a 9mm in the chest will do as much damage as a 40 45 357 that hits the exact same spot with the same bullet type??? Not saying it wont just in my old grey head that isnt adding up.
    i think the point is more like, if you hit the brain, spine, heart etc. it won't really matter much which one hit it. seems right to me. that's why i carry 9mm. i'm more worried about my aim than bow big the bullet is. i wouldn't want to get hit with a 9mm hp going 1100fps.

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    VIP Member Array xXxplosive's Avatar
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    In short...................Accuracy Is Everything.
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    Member Array GetSmith's Avatar
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    Shot placement is king. Shoot the largest caliber you can with the greatest accuracy. I don't have much ballistics experiance but in my line of work (medical imaging) I have seen hundreds of gang bangers come in shot up. Granted these thugs aren't trained but in reality most CCW holders aren't either. Range time counts very little when the SHTF.

    Anyway, most of the thugs that have came in are shot by 9mm. Why, it's the cheapest "effective" round. I've seen very little bone damage done by 9mm bullets. Never have I seen a 9mm penetrate through and through the spine or any long bone.

    Once a saw a guy brought in that had half of his pelvis shattered in multiple pieces, that was from a 45 cal. I'm betting if that was a 9mm it would have not done near the damage. When SHTF things don't play out as you see. Sure two in the chest and one in the head sounds great and would certainly get the job done. When your up against a 300 lb drugged out thug things don't always play out how you see in your minds eye.

    I say why choose. Shoot both, carry both. They are just tools after all. Sometimes a carpenter needs a finishing hammer, sometimes he needs a sledge. Always carry the right tool for the job.
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    VIP Member Array xXxplosive's Avatar
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    IMO.....carry the gun you shoot the most accurately with and that you can get off multiple shots fast....after all we're talkin CQB here.
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    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    Good deal then. Right now im in the middle with 40 cal. Rather be 45 or 357 but it is what it is for now. Wife is comfortable with 40 fast and accurate as she is a 9mm. So am I. Move her up to 45 or 357 and her speed suffers some. Which puzzles me on the 40 vs 45 because to me the 45 has less snap but she swears it has way more and it shows in her shooting.
    Anyway since I havent had a old English uncle I didnt know existed pass on and leave me the castle yet, since we both shoot it well and its big enough though not the biggest, 40 cal it is for us both and stock up on the ammo for now.
    Still have a sp101 or lcr on the wish list though
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    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Semi metallic brake pads greatly increase stopping power.
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    My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon. Go big or stay on the porch.

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