Discussion in 'Handguns' started by diesel, November 16, 2015.

  1. diesel


    Any discussion of stopping armed adversaries with a handgun has to include the psychological state of the adversary. Psychological factors are probably the most important relative to achieving rapid incapacitation from a gunshot wound to the torso.5 First and foremost, the psychological effects of being shot can never be counted on to stop an individual from continuing conscious voluntary action. Those who do stop commonly do so because they decide to, not because they have to.

    The effects of pain are often delayed due to survival patterns secondary to “fight or flight” reactions within the body, drug/alcohol influences and in the case of extreme anger or aggression, pain can simply be ignored. Those subjects who decide to stop immediately after being shot in the torso do so commonly because they know they have been shot and are afraid of injury or death, regardless of caliber, velocity, or bullet design. It should also be noted that psychological factors can be a leading cause of incapacitation failures and as such, proper shot placement, adequate penetration, and multiple shots on target cannot be over emphasized. 5 Ibid.

    Tactical Realities
    Shot placement is paramount and law enforcement officers on average strike an adversary with only 20 – 30 percent of the shots fired during a shooting incident. Given the reality that shot placement is paramount (and difficult to achieve given the myriad of variables present in a deadly force encounter) in obtaining effective incapacitation, the caliber used must maximize the likelihood of hitting vital organs. Typical law enforcement shootings result in only one or two solid torso hits on the adversary. This requires that any projectile which strikes the torso has as high a probability as possible of penetrating deeply enough to disrupt a vital organ.

    The Ballistic Research Facility has conducted a test which compares similar sized Glock pistols in both .40 S&W and 9mm calibers, to determine if more accurate and faster hits are achievable with one versus the other. To date, the majority of the study participants have shot more quickly and more accurately with 9mm caliber Glock pistols. The 9mm provides struggling shooters the best chance of success while improving the speed and accuracy of the most skilled shooters.

    While some law enforcement agencies have transitioned to larger calibers from the 9mm Luger in recent years, they do so at the expense of reduced magazine capacity, more felt recoil, and given adequate projectile selection, no discernible increase in terminal performance.

    Other law enforcement organizations seem to be making the move back to 9mm Luger taking advantage of the new technologies which are being applied to 9mm Luger projectiles. These organizations are providing their armed personnel the best chance of surviving a deadly force encounter since they can expect faster and more accurate shot strings, higher magazine capacities (similar sized weapons) and all of the terminal performance which can be expected from any law enforcement caliber projectile.

    Given the above realities and the fact that numerous ammunition manufacturers now make 9mm Luger service ammunition with outstanding premium line law enforcement projectiles, the move to 9mm Luger can now be viewed as a decided advantage for our armed law enforcement personnel.
    whitewolf68 likes this.
  2. An interesting read for sure. Hopefully everyone will take the time to go through all four posts.

    I would tend to agree that the current crop of 9mm ammunition is far better than those of only 15 years ago but old "facts" are sometimes hard to change.

    There is another fallacy that always makes it into these types of discussions and that is that the police are good shots. I can say on very good authority that they are not.

    The training I received as a rookie copper in Ohio was minimal and most departments are not about to blow their budgets on beat cops shooting twice a month refreshers.

    Add to that the fact that a lot of the shooting "practice" is merely meeting the MINIMUM requirements of the job and they are really loose. We have current sheriffs and city cops show up from time to time and other than a better familiarzation with their sidearm, they are about as weak as any of the middle of the pack shooters.

    However, to give them credit, they are there to IMPROVE with their sidearm under some kind of simulated stress conditions. They realize it and accept it and appreciate the fact that they have the opportunity to do it. Of course it's on their own dime, like the rest of us as no city manager would send their own police out to play in some kind of gun games with city money.

    But I digress.

    The discusssion goes on and on about which caliber is "best" but in today's times, the choice is really what caliber will you CARRY every day? A Kimber 1911 may be the best sidearm in the world but if it's in the safe, it's pretty much as effective as a bag of marbles when the SHTF.

    If a full sized 45ACP sidearm is comfortable for you to carry and you get so used to it that you feel naked when it's on the desk, then switching to a compact 9mm will have you feeling woefully undergunned even though you're probably carrying twice as many rounds!

    There are 4 main calibers in the semi-auto world. 380, 9mm, 40sw and 45ACP. Any of them will do the anticipated job when required. You are not about to be taking 20 yard defensive shots right out of the gate. Being accurate at 50 yards is swell but if you can't recognize the danger and get the first shot off under two seconds, what's the point of hitting something at 50 yards from a bench?

    Anyway, carry the caliber you feel comfortable with and can work with. If the 380 is your choice, make sure it works for you in a variety of scenarios. Play them out in your mind. Think about what you'll do in situations. Have an idea or a plan and use whatever caliber you're CARRYING. And by all means get some realistic training in to know the weakness of your sidearm and yourself.

    It's 2:30pm. Do you know where your sidearm is?

    diesel likes this.
  3. I'll try to make this not too long. My excursion into handguns began in the 70s',first was a S&W M10 38sp,almost immediately after that one was a S&W M19 357Mag,and then a S&W M29 44 Mag followed. Since I was already reloading for rifle,reloading for revolvers was easy. I read anything that concerned ballistics,no internet back then. The aspect that interested me most was 'wound cavity',reference to part 3 of this 4 parter. All articles pointed to higher velocity equals larger wound cavity with quite a few articles emphasizing the need for sonic ( above 1100 fps) velocities. The sonic shockwave (just like the sonic boom of a projectile or a military jet) causes a large cavity at surface entry only. I used 38special for testing as it can be loaded below,at and above sonic. Using a chronograph to verify velocities and testing at/into water filled 1 gallon containers,results were consistent. Jacketed hollow points AND jacketed soft points were used so that results were not influenced by the hollow point. Distance was probably about 5 yards. Subsonic tests totally destroyed the container,typically multiple splits and water everywhere. Sonic tests caused explosive results with no difference between jhp and jsp.
    So my revolver reloading,for that kind of specific purpose was and still is
    -38sp 110jhp 1300fps
    -357M 95sjhp(a remington bullet for 38sp-no longer available) was able to reach 1800fps
    -357M 110sjhp I can still reach 1800fps with SR4756
    When I got into pistols
    -9mm 88/90gr jhp 380 bullets 1500fps
    -10mm 155jhp 1400-1500fps I got 135gr and 150gr bullets to try
    When I start with 41M,I'll be first trying 170gr jhp

    I load many other weights and styles for range use.
  4. 90g jhp 380 bullets at 1500 fps!!!!!

    Ouch! That's a power factor of 135!

    Pretty serious out of a 380 for sure.

  5. no,you didn't read it properly. I load 380acp bullets into 9mm brass,they are the same diameter,.355"
    I've also loaded those light 380acp bullets into 35Rem rifle brass,3000 fps was attainable. the following pic


    reloading gives the ability to do strange and useful loads.
  6. Some very viable point made in those posts. I can understand where the author and data gatherers made the arguments. I suppose I need to rethink my EDC gun.

    Again very good points. Mer personally I carry my 1911 99% of the time simply because I am most familiar with it from the military. I do love 9mm though for all the point previously given. Yes I do feel naked when I am at work without my sidearm on me. My employer also has a strict no gun policy even in personal vehicles, so I abide by those rules until I can get legal clarification that they cannot enforce that in personal vehicles. No getting to the feeling of being undergunned. In some respects I can say yes simply because I am used to the feel of a .45 being propelled down range or forward at an attacker. Having a 9mm though still would be a viable solution for me simply because I am used to that as well. In essence the same argument or statement has been made that any firearm in my hand is a good one in a SHTF scenario.

    Unfortunately I do know where my sidearm is at 2:30pm most days, at home and not with me because of work and their archaic rules. :mad::(

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