GUN EDU - Stopping power Fact or Fiction

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by TwistedMind, May 12, 2006.

  1. TwistedMind

    TwistedMind New Member

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    This is something I feel really needs to be addressed. I keep hearing about stopping power over and over and I think its time we have some facts on it.

    Im not takeing credit for this writeing as I just copy and pasted it from a credible source and below you will find impact ballistic images that will help you to understand.

    From Firearms Tactical Institute


    We want to make you aware of the wealth of wound ballistics information available to you from sources other than newsstand gun magazines. Our objective is to provide you the knowledge tools you need to fully understand the qualities a bullet must have in order to be reliably effective in stopping a determined homicidal attacker.
    Chances are, if you’re an average person, your primary (perhaps only) source of information about wound ballistics is what you've read in newsstand gun magazines. Problem is, most newsstand gun magazines are not a credible wound ballistics reference. Why?

    Because a few questionable gun-writers (and editors) apparently recognize that magazine articles are the only source of information about wound ballistics for most people. It appears they’ve chosen to prey on a general lack of knowledge about wound ballistics to misinform and invent controversy. Controversy sparks reader interest and promotes sales. Most anyone familiar with the popular media recognizes this.

    These discredited authors have been so successful in influencing the popular gun press (including honest editors and authors who don’t know any better) that most information published in newsstand gun magazines about wound ballistics is tainted.

    The basics of terminal performance, wounding effects and wounding effectiveness are pretty easy for ordinary people to understand, and this creates a conflict of interest for some gun-writers because there really isn't much to write about.
    Instead of sticking to simple facts these particular authors would rather delude you with paragraph after paragraph of mystical concepts such as "energy transfer," "neural shock," "Fuller Index," "one-shot stopping power," "Strasbourg Tests," and "street results." Although this stuff makes for interesting and entertaining reading, it's really nothing more than a bunch of sophisticated junk-science they've invented to ensure they have plenty to write about.
    These pseudo-expert 'master psychics' of wound ballistics want you to believe only they (and they alone) possess the clairvoyance to properly interpret and evaluate the factors that make a particular bullet more effective than others. They tell an alluring tale, but these discredited few are actually snake-oil salesmen who've been quite successful in creating a market to peddle their brand of proprietary nonsense.
    Having failed to influence law enforcement to any great degree, these gun-writers invented a new controversy: "civilians need personal defense ammo that penetrates the human body less deeply than law enforcement ammunition". Unfortunately, this kind of 'expert advice' can get you or a loved one killed if the shooting situation you face doesn't conveniently fit their stereotypical 'civilian self-defense shooting scenario.'

    Wound ballistics is a specialty field that doesn’t receive much exposure outside the few professional disciplines that have a need for valid, scientifically verifiable information about ballistic injury. As a result, the average person isn’t aware this information exists or that it can be easily obtained. Sadly, this situation has allowed junk-science to flourish virtually unchallenged in newsstand gun magazines.

    We’ve reprinted a few wound ballistics articles and put together a Suggested Reading list of publications from various sources, which, if you're interested, should help you learn more about the science of wound ballistics. Hopefully, the knowledge you acquire in reading these documents will keep you from being victimized by those unscrupulous few who seek to exploit your ignorance for profit.

    Our goal is to instill a healthy attitude of skepticism in you so you're not as willing to believe everything you read. Hopefully, you'll learn enough here such that you'll be able to evaluate the qualifications of so-called ballistics experts.


    Wound ballistics related articles:
    Patrick, Urey W.:"Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness." U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1989.
    Roberts, Gary K.; Wolberg, Eugene J.: "Book Review, Handgun Stopping Power: The Definitive Study." Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners Journal, 24(4); 383-387: 1992.
    Fackler, Martin L., MD.: "Book Review, Street Stoppers: The Latest Handgun Stopping Power Street Results." Wound Ballistics Review, 3(1); 26-31: 1997.
    MacPherson, Duncan: "Sanow Strikes (Out) Again." Wound Ballistics Review, 3(1): 32-35; 1997.
    van Maanen, Maarten: "Discrepancies in the Marshall & Sanow 'Data Base': An Evaluation Over Time." Wound Ballistics Review, 4(2); 9-13: Fall, 1999.
    Fackler, Martin L., MD.: "Undeniable Evidence." Wound Ballistics Review, 4(2); 14-15: Fall, 1999.
    MacPherson, Duncan: "The Marshall & Sanow 'Data' - Statistical Analysis Tells the Ugly Story." Wound Ballistics Review, 4(2); 16-21: Fall, 1999.
    Dodson, Shawn: "Reality of the Street? A Practical Analysis of Offender Gunshot Wound Reaction for Law Enforcement." Tactical Briefs, 4(2); April 2001
    Suggested Reading:
    Fackler, Martin L., M.D.: "The 'Strasbourg Tests:' Another Gunwriter/Bullet Salesman Fraud?" Wound Ballistics Review, 1(4): 10-11; 1994.
    Dr. Martin Fackler, IWBA president, reviews the authorless "Strasbourg Tests," a purported study of the reaction of several hundred live unanesthetized "human-sized" goats that were allegedly shot to test the "one-shot stopping power" of various handgun cartridges. Fackler explains the many incongruities, inconsistencies and absurdities which lead him (and most other wound ballistics experts) to conclude that the "Strasbourg Tests" are a hoax.
    MacPherson, Duncan: "Bullet Penetration -- Modeling the Dynamics and the Incapacitation Resulting from Wound Trauma." Ballistic Publications, El Segundo, California. 1994
    The model of bullet penetration dynamics presented in this book is derived from general equations of motion, with validation done by, and empirical constants determined from, special tests. This penetration model is a significant technical advance over previous terminal ballistics models and is directly related to understanding the effect of the bullet parameters (velocity, diameter, weight, shape) in the production of an incapacitating wound. Incapacitation from wound trauma is a complex subject that has been controversial for many decades; this book discusses all aspects of this subject and includes a recapitulation of both earlier modeling efforts and the medical issues.
    The new penetration model and the other analyses in this book are important to Trauma Surgeons, Forensic Pathologists, Firearms Examiners, and Criminalists and are described with the precision required by these professions. However, even the more technical sections are written in a style and vocabulary that are understandable to the layman. This outstanding book should be read by law enforcement personnel and others critically dependent on handgun bullet performance as well as all those with a technical or professional interest in any aspect of wound ballistics.
    The topics covered in this book include physiological and psychological effects in incapacitation from wound trauma, tissue simulant preparation and use, modeling of bullet penetration, modeling of bullet expansion, and modeling of incapacitation from wound trauma. The primary focus is on handgun ammunition, but the principles and many of the results are also applicable to rifle ammunition. The book has 303 pages, including 69 pages of bullet photographs and graphs of test results.
    Fackler, Martin L., M.D.: "FBI 1993 Wound Ballistics Seminar: Efficacy of Heavier Bullets Affirmed." Wound Ballistics Review, 1(4): 8-9; 1994.
    Fackler presents findings from the 1993 FBI Wound Ballistics Seminar. The following is a short extract:
    "The Firearms Training Unit of the FBI held a Wound Ballistics Seminar from 19 through 22 January 1993 at the FBI Academy.
    "Thirty-seven forensic pathologists, trauma surgeons, law enforcement trainers, firearms examiners, and ordnance engineers met to discuss handgun bullet effects and bullet testing. This group unanimously affirmed the principles set down by the FBI workshop of 1987: primarily among these was that a bullet must possess the capacity to penetrate deeply enough to reach and disrupt vital body structures if it is to stand any chance of performing reliably in the variety of circumstances a law enforcement officer might meet in a gunfight. Since the 1987 workshop, most law enforcement agencies have adopted the more deeply penetrating heavier bullets. At the 1993 symposium, trainers from five large departments (California Highway Patrol, Indianapolis PD, San Diego PD, Louisiana State Police, and Amarillo PD) reported data showing excellent performance from bullets chosen using the FBI penetration criterion. Several of these trainers had polled their counterparts in other departments and found that their highly favorable observations and impressions of the heavier bullets were widely shared.
    "The findings of this symposium are especially timely since it appears that three gunwriters have recently attempted to trump up a 'controversy' by claiming that the heavier subsonic bullets used by the majority of law enforcement agencies have been turning in a poor record in 'street' shootings. The story of how several senior trainers exposed this attempted fraud by these gunwriter/bullet salesmen was the subject of IWBA Bulletin No. 1, which accompanied the third issue of the Wound Ballistics Review."
    Newgard, Ken, M.D.: "The Physiological Effects of Handgun Bullets: The Mechanisms of Wounding and Incapacitation." Wound Ballistics Review, 1(3): 12-17; 1992.
    This article examines the physiological mechanisms of the human body to provide a medical answer to the question: How many times is it necessary to shoot an assailant before he is incapacitated?
    Newgard reviews the physiological mechanisms of gunshot wound trauma incapacitation:
    "The only method of reliably stopping a human with a handgun is to decrease the functioning capability of the central nervous system (CNS) and specifically, the brain and cervical spinal cord. There are two ways to accomplish this goal: 1) direct trauma to the CNS tissue resulting in tissue destruction and 2) lack of oxygen to the brain caused by bleeding and loss of blood pressure."
    Newgard discusses the body's blood loss sensory and compensatory mechanisms (venous constriction, increased cardiac output and vascular fluid transfer), and the degree in which these mechanisms respond to, and compensate for, hemorrhagic shock. He reviews clinical tests of human tolerance for blood loss, which "demonstrate that adequate blood pressure can be maintained with minimal symptoms until a 20% blood deficit was reached." Newgard provides the following example:
    "For an average 70 kg (155 lb.)* male the cardiac output will be 5.5 liters (~1.4 gallons) per minute. His blood volume will be 60 ml per kg (0.92 fl. oz. per lb.) or 4200 ml (~1.1 gallons). Assuming his cardiac output can double under stress (as his heart beats faster and with greater force). his aortic blood flow can reach 11 liters (~2.8 gallons) per minute. If one assumes a wound that totally severs the thoracic aorta, then it would take 4.6 seconds to lose 20% of his blood volume from one point of injury. This is the minimum time in which a person could lose 20% of his blood volume.... This analysis does not account for oxygen contained in the blood already perfusing the brain, that will keep the brain functioning for an even longer period of time.
    "Most wounds will not bleed at this rate because: 1) bullets usually do not transect (completely sever) blood vessels, 2) as blood pressure falls, the bleeding slows, 3) surrounding tissue acts as a barrier to blood loss, 4) the bullet may only penetrate smaller blood vessels, 5) bullets can disrupt tissue without hitting any major blood vessels resulting in a slow ooze rather than rapid bleeding, and 6) the above mentioned compensatory mechanisms."
    Newgard investigates the survival times of persons who received fatal gunshot wounds to determine if the person who was shot had enough time to shoot back. He concludes:
    "Instantaneous incapacitation is not possible with non central nervous system wounds and does not always occur with central nervous system wounds. The intrinsic physiologic compensatory mechanisms of humans makes it difficult to inhibit a determined, aggressive person's activities until he has lost enough blood to cause hemorrhagic shock. The body's compensatory mechanisms designed to save a person's life after sustaining a bleeding wound, allow a person to continue to be a threat after receiving an eventually fatal wound, thus necessitating more rounds being fired in order to incapacitate or stop the assailant."
    * Teal italicized text added for clarity.


    Wound Profile Illustrations
    "The wound profile was developed at the Letterman Army Institute of Research in order to measure the amount, type, and location of tissue disruption produced by a given projectile, and to present the data in a standardized, easy to understand picture.
    "The entire missile path is captured in one or more 25 x 25 x 50 cm blocks of 10% ordnance gelatin at 4°C. The penetration depth, projectile deformation and fragmentation pattern, yaw, and temporary cavity of the missile in living anesthetized swine tissue are reproduced by this gelatin. Measurements are taken from cut sections of the blocks after mapping of the fragmentation pattern with biplaner x-rays. These data are then reproduced on a life sized wound profile which includes a scale to facilitate measurement of tissue disruption dimensions, a drawing of the loaded cartridge case before firing, the bullet weight and morphology before and after firing (and calculated percent of fragmentation), and the striking velocity.
    "This technique allows us to determine the wounding character of the projectile without the need for elaborate and expensive high-speed cine and X-ray equipment, or the need for shooting live animals.
    "The method improves our understanding of the wounding process and should lay the groundwork to assure more rational and effective treatment." Fackler et al.1









    .22
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    .38
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    .45
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    .357 mag
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    9mm
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    .223
    [​IMG]
    5.56 military
    [​IMG]
    7.62
    [​IMG]
    30-30
    [​IMG]
    .308
    [​IMG]
     
  2. michael

    michael FLORIDA > *

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    it says .357mag/9mm

    and .224 :o
     
  3. lobstradomus

    lobstradomus New Member

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    Damn, a lot of information there that I look forward to going through later. However in the first link "Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness" the last 3 sentences really caught my attention. "Given desirable and reliable penetration, the only way to increase bullet effectiveness is to increase the severity of the wound by increasing the size of the hole made by the bullet.... Of those that will penetrate, the edge is always with the bigger bullet." That to me sounds like stopping power. Maybe I just have an unorthadox personal definition of it, but I always equated stopping power with the ability to stop someone quickly, usually by killing them (due to massive blood loss.) Maybe I am missing the point but I think the fault is with people who think the phrase "stopping power" means physically knocking someone down or that one shot can kill instantly.
     
  4. michael

    michael FLORIDA > *

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    stopping power is the quickest way to stop the assailant.. a rocket would be best..if it stops them in their tracks, it has a good stopping power... a .45 and a .22lr will both kill someone, given time, but a .45 will typically kill them quicker which is why it's said that it has more effective stopping power.

    So, really, stopping power is "one shot instant kill" or "knocking them down."
     
  5. KIDRR

    KIDRR Duck dog>* OT Supporter

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    Nice info but:cliffs:
     
  6. michael

    michael FLORIDA > *

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    big round at a high rate of speed = good

    whodathunkit?
     
  7. TwistedMind

    TwistedMind New Member

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    A larger hole is desirable.

    IMO

    A decent sized hole say 9mm that begins to tumble once it impacts does alot more damage to internal functions and has alot more of a chance of dirupting CNS functions. If you look at the impact charts you see that the .45 cal makes a nice size hole but does not appear to deviate from its ballistic trajectory, and also that it doesnt really have a very large temporary cavity either. So unless you hit the heart, or spine the bullet is most likely going to pass straight threw and cause ( minimal Imediate damage ) even if it does eventually result in a fatality.


    From the article

    "Instantaneous incapacitation is not possible with non central nervous system wounds and does not always occur with central nervous system wounds. The intrinsic physiologic compensatory mechanisms of humans makes it difficult to inhibit a determined, aggressive person's activities until he has lost enough blood to cause hemorrhagic shock. The body's compensatory mechanisms designed to save a person's life after sustaining a bleeding wound, allow a person to continue to be a threat after receiving an eventually fatal wound, thus necessitating more rounds being fired in order to incapacitate or stop the assailant."
     
  8. TwistedMind

    TwistedMind New Member

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    STFU read and learn something noobert
     
  9. lobstradomus

    lobstradomus New Member

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    I think we are arguing semantics now, but since the only instant kill is when the brain is destroyed, and its not the bullet that will not knock them down its the massive loss of blood (putting aside a shot to the head,) shouldnt stopping power really refer to how fast it causes the person to bleed out?
     
  10. TwistedMind

    TwistedMind New Member

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    thats not true. Head shots are not a guaranteed instat death.
    Case and point A friend of mine tried to commit suicide. He shot himself in the head with a .22.

    The round penetrated his skull bounced around inside, did not come out, and did not kill him. Hes a fully functional human being now just slower than he used to be.
     
  11. KIDRR

    KIDRR Duck dog>* OT Supporter

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    Thats it, I'm sending Diane Feinstein down to Texas to fuck up your whole state. :coolugh:
     
  12. lobstradomus

    lobstradomus New Member

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    I agree with you. I'm just saying a larger hole would have, by my definition, more stopping power since it would cause more damage. I'm not saying that a 45 has more stopping power because its a bigger caliber than say a 9mm, just that the larger the damage the more stopping power the round had.
     
  13. lobstradomus

    lobstradomus New Member

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    Didnt really destroy his brain though, just damaged it. Now if you took the persons head clean off, that would be about as close to instant death as makes no difference. Now that would be stopping power.
     
  14. TwistedMind

    TwistedMind New Member

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    Even without the brain your body would continue to function for several seconds. Reflex discharges etc. Im a firm beliver in center mass shots. Larger target + chance to sever spinal cord FTW
     
  15. jonny427

    jonny427 Scooby Doo OT Supporter

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    Barrett .50 to the head?
     
  16. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    Stopping power to me indicates a quanitifiable quality with measureable effect. This doesn't exist. You can study wounding and what makes a firearm wound effective but there is absolutely zero way to come up with a measurement system for how it will effect a person.
     
  17. CPipes

    CPipes Shit definitely just got real!! OT Supporter

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    I have no clue what i'm looking at. But i know i'm still getting a .357 mag :bowdown:
     
  18. DaJMan

    DaJMan When i was young, i dreamed of being a baseball

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    i think stopping power should be replaced with "possible effectiveness" or something along those lines...

    and yes from what i saw for a round to be most* effective it must penetrate into the vital organs, and also create a large* hole... so a well designed hollow point of any round larger than and including 9mm would be most* effective

    but im only a n00b to wound balistics, so i could be way off
     
  19. lobstradomus

    lobstradomus New Member

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    Thats exactly what I'm thinking. :eek3: I think we may have solved this whole "stopping power" issue in under 20 posts.
     
  20. DaJMan

    DaJMan When i was young, i dreamed of being a baseball

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    :run:
     
  21. Bigsnake

    Bigsnake OT Supporter

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    I didn't read the original post but skimmed it, which means I looked at the pictures.

    Those charts are specific to one type of ammunition, not just caliber. A .45 ACP hydrashok will be a little different than a .45 hardball.

    I'll just stick with the 9mm w/ Corbon Hollowpoints.
     
  22. michael

    michael FLORIDA > *

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    the amount of time it takes to incapacitate an attacker.
     
  23. Accord

    Accord New Member

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    In for later.
     
  24. kellyclan

    kellyclan She only loves you when she's drunk.

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    Maybe.

    Destroying the lower brain stem is the only way to drop someone cold, and that's an impossibly tiny target to hit from a CQB point of view.
     
  25. kellyclan

    kellyclan She only loves you when she's drunk.

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    But they've got detached muscle! :eek3:
     

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