Caliber selection: medical examiner's advice

This is a discussion on Caliber selection: medical examiner's advice within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I stumbled upon this string of articles by accident as I was looking for information on a carry-related topic. I find it helpful to have ...

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Thread: Caliber selection: medical examiner's advice

  1. #1
    Member Array FreeDelivery's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Caliber selection: medical examiner's advice

    I stumbled upon this string of articles by accident as I was looking for information on a carry-related topic. I find it helpful to have insight from someone who makes a living noting the effects of munitions on the human body. I'll tell you right off that he advocates large and slow (.45) vs. small and fast (9mm/.380), although he typically sees a lot more of the latter.

    Without further adieu, NOTES FROM THE MORGUE:

    1. Washington State Gun Lawyer
    Note: use find feature to scroll down to title "Observations From the Morgue"

    2. Mark S. Knapp, Federal Way Firearms Lawyer - A Police Officer's View From The Morgue: Notes on terminal ballistics

    3. Mark S. Knapp, Federal Way Firearms Lawyer - More on Terminal Ballistics: Hardball v Hollowpoint
    Note: not sure if this is written by the same guy

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    I think this was referenced in a thread a long time ago and there were some questions about the credibility of the original source.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I have no doubt that as long as I do my part my federal HST will do their part
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    The original source was a forensic pathologist who had also done a lot of mass casualty work.His credibility was reinforced several times by people who personally knew him and/or spent time at the range with him. After all the internet know it alls got upset and tried to ruin his credibility because he had gored their ox he got fed up with wasting his precious time and went back to work.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

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    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
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    I respect the opinions of others, however, I still am confident that if I do my part in placing the bullet into a vital area, the outcome will be favorable and allow me to escape danger. Not everyone can carry a large caliber handgun all of the time, unless of course you are talking about open carry which is another subject altogether.
    God bless our troops!

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    Member Array Double Naught Spy's Avatar
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    The work may have been credible, but the sample process may not. When it comes to self defense, it isn't just a matter killing the attacker, but stopping the attacker. Many of those in the morgue very well may have lived for some time before death, hence more time to do harm to good people.

    What is not told by the morgue data is how many times a given caliber did not stop an aggressor or how many times a given caliber was used relative to the number of people in the morgue. So what is missing is the aspect of relativity.

    In short, the morgue data are interesting, but when taken out of context, loses a tremendous amount of validity.
    Considering yourself to be defenseless is the first administrative step to becoming a victim.

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    Senior Member Array ASSA9's Avatar
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    I carried 9mm for years and did try switching to .45cal
    After owning three .45cal handguns I found I was not able to
    hit and control it as well as 9mm and .380 so I switched
    back to them.
    IMO you can't stop what you can't hit. having said that if YOU
    can control a .45 gun you should look into carrying one.
    I too have seen this thread before and took note of the fact
    that data is missing .
    For example,how many rounds were fired from the guns
    that were compared to each other.
    With my experience with the .45, I would bet it was about
    the same number, but the guy with the .45 just missed
    and the guy with the 9MM or .380 missed less.
    As I said ,just my option.
    Zoe: "Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?

    Book: "Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps."

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    Member Array chuckE's Avatar
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    You also have to consider the economics of a caliber. In addition to what ASSA said, though my EDC is a .40, G23, I find that I'm unable to afford to practice as much as I need or want due to the cost of the ammo.

    I'm now wishing I had a G19, a 9mm just so I'm able to shoot more and be able to have better shot placement when and if the time comes.
    Bitter and clinging to my guns and my religion.

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    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    It doesn't take much reading to tell that the author favors .45 and was going to come to that conclusion. This isn't research, it's anecdotal.
    The pictures served no purpose other than try to convince you that he had once been in a morgue.
    Keep in mind when the police shoot someone it's to kill, when a citizen shoots someone it's to stop the threat.
    Having said that, I would favor a .45 also, but not for the reasons given. I like big slow bullets, plenty of knock down power without going through walls and hurting others.
    But I would carry a lighter, more easily concealed pistol. So for me it's a 9mm.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Ok so who is he? What is his name and where does he work?
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    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASSA9 View Post
    ...I found I was not able to
    hit and control it as well as 9mm and .380 so I switched
    back to them...IMO you can't stop what you can't hit...YOU
    can control a .45 gun you should look into carrying one...
    +1

    I carry a .38 +P and a .357 Sig. Shot a .45 ACP a few weeks back, and think I may switch to that some day (still need to shoot a 10mm). But none of the data matters if you can't control the shot.

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guns and more View Post
    Keep in mind when the police shoot someone it's to kill, when a citizen shoots someone it's to stop the threat.
    Having said that, I would favor a .45 also, but not for the reasons given. I like big slow bullets, plenty of knock down power without going through walls and hurting others.
    But I would carry a lighter, more easily concealed pistol. So for me it's a 9mm.

    Why do you think this? Police are trained to shoot the same way we as civilians train to shoot. Shoot COM or head to stop a threat. Police do not shoot to kill anymore than we shoot to kill.

    As a side note, no handgun bullet has knockdown power. If it did, the shooter would, by laws of physics, also be knocked down from recoil.
    I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.
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    Member Array FreeDelivery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guns and more View Post
    Keep in mind when the police shoot someone it's to kill, when a citizen shoots someone it's to stop the threat.
    I don't buy it. Shoot to stop the threat no matter who you are.

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    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tally XD View Post
    Why do you think this? Police are trained to shoot the same way we as civilians train to shoot.
    I read where police were recommending shooting for the throat with a shotgun, and head shots with a pistol because of the difficulty in hitting vital organs with a COM shot. (I believe it was the thread about the cops view of the morgue, but I'm not sure)
    I thought, "I couldn't intentionally shoot someone in the throat with a shotgun."

  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guns and more View Post
    I read where police were recommending shooting for the throat with a shotgun, and head shots with a pistol because of the difficulty in hitting vital organs with a COM shot. (I believe it was the thread about the cops view of the morgue, but I'm not sure)
    I thought, "I couldn't intentionally shoot someone in the throat with a shotgun."
    I think police are trained to shoot COM, the largest presented target spot of the human body.

    The throat, even with a shotgun, is a small target to shoot for especially if the subject is in motion.

    If the target is stationary and I have a pistol for my weapon, I am aiming for the upper lip just under the nose. Bullet should pass through the teeth and into the spinal column for (hopefully) instant cessation of threatening activity.

    Shotgun? Head or chest depending on whichever part of the body is most exposed.
    I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.
    - Barack Obama Chicago Tribune, April 27, 2004

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