DocGKR says that Bob Pilgrim, the author of the referenced article, is the pseudonym of a well respected retired FBI agent that he knows personally. M4Carbine.net Forums - View Single Post - More Lemas BS...
I don't think the observations of a man with Mr. Pilgrim's background that even DocGKR respects can easily be dismissed.
Howard, I'm running a little slow this morning and don't understand what you mean in your post. Can you elaborate?
Howard - Man, I respect you from over at the USCCA, but I don't get what you trying to learn here? The folks who make this ammo have been shown to be liars - they lie about what their bullets are made of - as one of the other members here showed when he took the bullet apart.
Over at warriortalk, they ran some of these bullets through chemical analysis - no magic powdered metals, just plain old lead for the most part.
It's just a very fast, very light JSP bullet. No magic - just basic physics. You get a nasty, but shallow wound.
Might it work? Sure. Should you use something that doesn't meet the minimum 12" penetration? I don't. If someone is attacking you, your shots will likely hit their hands and/or arms before even reaching their torso. Penetration is important - second only to shot placement.
Why do folks/departments who should know better use this stuff? All I can say is, when things don't make sense...I suspect you would need to follow the money.
I wouldn't use the stuff if it was a magic fairy ray of uber death, just based on the complete and utter LIES (and there is no other word for them) used in their claims and advertising. The makers/manufacturers are beneath contempt, and I won't use anything that they're a part of, period.
Part of what motivates me to continue poking at this issue is that nearly all the negative remarks about this ammo deal with their misleading marketing. I am intrigued by the observations of its performance made by the retired FBI agent who wrote the article referenced in the OP and observations made by Dr. Vail, a trauma surgeon. I am further intrigued by the fact that a respected PD chose this ammo.
I have asked DocGKR, who knows the retired FBI agent who wrote the article to contact him and get the back-story of his report. Also, as an "industry professional" he would have some credibility if he contacts the Coral Gables PD to see what due-diligence they performed in making this choice. Even though he is the leading detractor, I'm assuming he is sufficiently professional to report what he finds with minimum prejudice.
If he provides you with the information you requested, please share it with us. I have pulled this ammo from my firearms as previously stated, however, I am very interested in hearing more about the article in your OP.
Scientific Evidence for "Hydrostatic Shock"
by Michael Courtney, PhD, Ballistics testing Group
and Amy Courtney, PhD, United States Military Academy
The entire paper is very understandable and is well worth reading. Some interesting quotes:
Debates between bullets that are “light and fast” vs. “slow and heavy” often refer to “hydrostatic shock," which describes remote wounding and incapacitating effects in living targets in addition to tissue crushed by direct bullet impact. Considerable evidence shows that “hydrostatic shock" can produce remote neural damage and rapid incapacitation.
The FBI recommends that loads intended for self-defense and law enforcement applications meet a minimum penetration requirement of 12” in ballistic gelatin. Maximizing ballistic pressure wave effects requires transferring maximum energy in a penetration distance that meets this requirement. In addition, bullets that fragment and meet minimum penetration requirements generate higher pressure waves than bullets which do not fragment. Understanding the potential benefits of remote ballistic pressure wave effects leads us to favor loads with at least 500 ft-lbs of energy.
With a handgun, no wounding mechanism can be relied on to produce incapacitation 100% of the time within the short span of most gunfights. Selecting a good self-defense load is only a small part of surviving a gunfight. You have to hit an attacker to hurt him, and you need a good plan for surviving until your hits take effect. Get good training, practice regularly, learn to use cover, and pray that you will never have a lethal force encounter armed only with a handgun.
Hi Howard - I read that article a while back. The most interesting thing to me is that while what they call a "pressure wave" can contribute to terminal effect, they still recommend the primary consideration be: hitting your target; and a minimum of 12" penetration.
The issue is that ammo like RBCD does not meet the 12" standard.
"Pressure wave" is also not the same thing as "hydrostatic shock." The latter refers to permanent wounds caused by the temporary stretch cavity (the tissue gets stretched too far and/or too fast) - generally happens only with rifle bullet-type energy levels.
"Pressure wave" refers to a wave that travels through the large arteries around the heart (so, shot placement in the upper chest is key) to the brain. IIRC, it only has enough energy to cause damage for about 18" or so, so hitting someone in the femoral artery in the leg isn't going to do it. The hits need to be near the heart.
Any bullet that stops inside the target will transfer all its energy, whether that happens via fragmentation or expansion.
The authors (to their credit) agree that "pressure wave" doesn't always happen, and doesn't always work to stop the threat - thus their recommendations.
In the end, this is a very fascinating discussion of terminal ballistics. But, it doesn't really change anything - hit your target in the high chest, and use a bullet with at least 12" penetration (that will hopefully stop inside the target).
I think the safest thing to do is use ammo that has been proven, both by testing and real world use, the makers of RBCD, from my own research, haven't provided enough data, or any, to suport their claims.