What about the "pain" factor in "stopping power"?

What about the "pain" factor in "stopping power"?

This is a discussion on What about the "pain" factor in "stopping power"? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; People endlessly toss around velocities, energy in foot lbs, expansion, penetration depth, and caliber size when talking about "stopping power". But something I never see ...

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Thread: What about the "pain" factor in "stopping power"?

  1. #1
    Member Array vashooter's Avatar
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    What about the "pain" factor in "stopping power"?

    People endlessly toss around velocities, energy in foot lbs, expansion, penetration depth, and caliber size when talking about "stopping power". But something I never see mentioned is the simple, sheer pain of getting shot. Now I've never been shot, but I have read plenty of first hand accounts about how painful it is and how it can feel like a burning hot hammer is smacking into you. I have to believe that this pain factor is another variable in deterring an attacker. I mean, I know how much it hurts to have a small nail get driven into a finger ()... I can only imagine how much more painful it is to have a much larger chunk of metal rip open your flesh moving 1000 FPS and super hot. I think this makes the less touted calibers like the 380 ACP more viable in real world terms...
    I'm not saying that pain equals stopping power absolute, as adreneline and drugs can overcome pain, but it's just something else to consider.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    The pain factor might be helpful in stopping some people, but I consider it a bonus not to be relied on whatsoever. Some people are tough, some are doped, some are both.

    I rely only on that which disrupts thier CNS. Them bleeding out is only due to my missing the CNS 10 times.
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array havegunjoe's Avatar
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    I don't think pain enters into the equation. I think most criminals think they are invulnerable or are destined to die anyway. Hollyweird gives us a skewed perspective on being shot, or even being punched in the nose. Heck, an hour later we see the same guy who was shot running around in another movie so it can't be that bad, can it?

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  5. #4
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Actually I do think pain can be a factor, but not one to be relied upon at all.

    The BG's on smack, coke, Meth or PCP probably will be very unlikely to respond - and certainly it is IMO not gonna be a stopping factor. Even potentially enough adrenaline can dull pain perception short-term.

    OTOH, and as an extreme opposite - I do feel that the "Whuss" BG could well suffer and feel the pain of a hit immediately, and even register a shock effect - leading to maybe a surrender. I stress, I see that as an extreme case and again - certainly not something we could or should place any reliance on.

    All too often pain is a delayed effect - something a hyped up person works thru - and we are concerned ourselves with the time frame of just a few seconds probably - the time during which cessation of hostilities is very much needed if we are to win the encounter.
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  6. #5
    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    Pain is not a factor in stopping someone. If they are going to stop from the pain, they would have stopped from being scared of your gun. If they are determined the pain will not register until too late for you.


  7. #6
    Member Array turbo93's Avatar
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    I have also read it time and again and saw it recently on the discovery channel where a Sargent in Falujah got a ak 47 injury in the arm and did not even know he as wounded till he saw the blood

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    I got shot with 8 pellets of #4 buck a few years back in a hunting accident. I wasn't sure what had happened until I saw some holes in my clothes. I cleared my gun, had a short conversation, cut off some of my clothes, and walked a half a mile or so to the car. I dont remember it feeling hot. It never hurt until after I was in the hospital and the Nurse was cleaning me up. The next day, after the dope wore off, I could barely walk. I was definately "combat effective" until that point. I got hit in the left arm, through and through. Both legs through and through, with one still in my left leg (is it going to rain? yep.) One hit T-n-T in the crotch one in my side that travelled to my back and lodged near my spine, and one in my butt that fell out on the way to the hospital.
    Lessons learned? I could have fought back if I had needed to. I don't know if the surprise factor had anything to do with not feeling pain. Basically it was like an ambush, I had no time to prepare and didn't see it coming. I was totally unprepared mentally for geting shot, although alert to the woods around me hunting wise. Maybe the more sudden Adrenaline dump had something to do with it, as P95 said? I do recall the sound of the shot. Placement! None was in a "vital" area at least stopping power wise. Near miss to large arteries in my arm and legs, no penetration into my stomach from the crotch or side hit, no spine injury, and my butt is in as good of shape as it ever was. As for stopping power, at the 20 yards the LEO told me the range was, the pattern was pretty big, and the pellet energy was pretty small, I guess. Good thing it wasn't a .30-06. I went home with some band-aids on the holes and a 4x4 where they took the pellet out of my back.

    For the purpose of this discussion, I can only think of it as if you had ambushed a BG. His Adrenaline is up a little as he does his robbery or whatever and you pull out your CCW. His Adrenaline peaks as you shoot, something he's mantally unprepared for. He goes from mentally unprepared to surfing a wave of Adrenaline in less than a second or so. Doubt pain would be a factor.

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    With insanity, drugs, alcohol, and adrenalin, I would not count on pain being an important factor.
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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Been shot , it was not life threatening , it just pissed me off ( sorry for the french ) .. pain is NOT a factor in stopping power , in fact with a non incapacitating wound it may well work against stopping .
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  11. #10
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Pain is relative.
    Pain in my hand or shin is commonplace and easier to cope with.
    Pain in my eyeball or between my legs is hard to cope with.

    I'd rather be shot with a .45 in my shin than a .22 in the groin.

  12. #11
    Member Array floridaguy911's Avatar
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    Interesting story superhouse. I wouldnt depend on pain myself.
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  13. #12
    Member Array gotammo's Avatar
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    pain becomes a factor after its over at the time it is much less a factor, during times of stress your pain tolerance skyrockets as a defense mechanism. How many videos have you seen were someone gets shot and they don't seem to notice. I would think that the psychological effect of be shot would be greater.

  14. #13
    Array QKShooter's Avatar
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    The two people that I know who have been gunshot - one close range with a .357 did not even know that he was actually shot right when it happened...it just felt hot - and that was a solid hit to the upper leg that really removed/destroyed meat.
    Likewise with the other.
    I had been shot with an arrow when I was younger and felt the impact but, absolutely no immediate pain.
    For some strange reason it's NOT like smacking your thumb with a hammer which TRULY hurts.
    I'm certain that the look on my face was totally stupid though when I saw that I was hit.
    I don't think you can factor debilitating pain into stopping power at all.
    And for sure not with a drugged up Bad Guy.

    Oh and I do know first hand (no pun intended) of a guy that nailed his hand to a wood stud with a nail gun and he did not feel it right away either. I'm sure it hurt like heck later on though.
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  15. #14
    Member Array General Geoff's Avatar
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    Above a certain threshold, the body does not register pain. Placing your hand on a hot stove, or hitting your thumb with a hammer is typically just "below" this threshold, and as such you feel the intense pain immediately.

    Any trauma which would otherwise cause significantly more pain than that (including but not limited to: gunshots, impaling, dismemberment, etc.) is likely to be completely blocked by the central nervous system as a defense mechanism. Yeah, you'll be feeling some pretty intense pain later, but the moment it happens, you'll be lucky to feel ANYTHING. Usually the area subjected to trauma just goes numb, or feels somewhat hot or cold.
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  16. #15
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    I can also throw in my experience that pain would have no effect.

    When I was younger, I sawed most of my thumb off on a table saw. It went through the bone but the thumb was not completely off. You would think that would hurt. No. The amount of blood was amazing and, as I was holding my thumb together blood was streaming out like a squirt gun.

    I asked for a band-aid. Hey, it's only a flesh wound!

    The paramedics came, did a very professional job (kudos to all paramedics) and they whisked me off for four hours of surgery and I was painfully in the hospital for almost a week. They saved the thumb.

    Pain? Not until much later...

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