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A different take on stopping power

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I searched and couldn't find this (though this is probably a redundant post) so apologies if it has been posted before.

The disclaimer out of the way I found this study on stopping power interesting:

An alternate look at stopping power

As interesting as the conclusions is that the guy basically did his own study which means that if you're willing to invest the time deferring to experts (or personal beliefs) isn't always where the data points.

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Very interesting article. I'm sure there will be differing opinions on the research and what conclusions can be drawn, but he at least seems to support his conclusions with facts. Thanks for posting.

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Interesting to me that he keeps saying that the results are skewed because of the different types of ammo used (FMJ vs. JHP), and that he doesn't believe some of the results, but then somehow comes to the conclusion that caliber doesn't matter. If the data is flawed, doesn't it stand to reason that the conclusion is flawed as well?

Sorry, it doesn't add up. But thanks for posting it. If nothing else, it reaffirms what I already believed to be true.

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Truly effective stopping power starts at 12 gauge/.308. Anything below that is a compromise. Notice I didn't include any handgun calibers. I carry a .38 Special and I would rather carry a 12 gauge all the time. Hard as heck to hide a Mossberg 500 under a poloshirt!

When handgunners,especially those carrying WW1 pistols, talk stopping power they actually mean Relative Stopping Power.

Sort of like arguing about whether it hurts more getting by a Toyota or a Buick. Neither hurts as much as a Kenworth 18 wheeler!

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Guest grimel

That guy is exactly what is wrong with terminal ballistics. First, he has no idea of a statistically valid sample (neither did M&S nor it seems Ayoob). Second, he (and Ayoob) suggest doing your own study. Great, where will you (he) start? How are you going to control for single variable? How will you collect the data? How will you classify a stop? What will be your criteria for properly performing bullet? How about variations in barrel length (initial velocity)?

The simple way to stop the silliness is take the time to read and halfway understand the FBI requirements, then, buy the ammo that meets those requirements.

One last thing, the shooter is better served with NATO spec FMJ that hits where aimed than the best FBI performing bullet that hits "somewhere" in the torso. The shooter is even better served learning WHERE the shots need to be located to stop someone and how the path to those spots change depending on orientation to the bad guy.

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People have survived shots directly to the surgical zone in nearly every caliber/cartridge imaginable. However a well placed shot to those areas has the highest probability of stopping an assailant. It is better to shoot someone with a well placed 9mm than a poorly placed 12g or even rifle round. There is no sure thing and it is a lot harder to hit an assailant with anything under stress than they think.

Plenty of people assume they will be just fine if they can hit paper. Add in stress and it becomes a different story. Add in stress and a moving target, or you are moving and it gets harder. Add in stress, a moving target and shoot at something that is truly human sized and it is much harder than that. A B27 is flat, when you add in the true factor of a curved target and that target zone gets really small. If you are truly to be proficient, you have to realize these things and attempt to simulate them.

That is one of the reasons I have always liked Louie Awerbuck's courses. He has targets that are human shapes, move and he can simulate stress effectively. That is some humbling training right there.

There are plenty of people killed every year by major pistol cartridges. Do yourself a favor and pick a cartridge you like and spend the rest on ammo and a variety of quality training. There are numerous places to get good training in every area of the country. Some of the best schools are even here in this area.

Quality training teaches you the above and how to prepare yourself mentally. Mindset and tactics are the most important aspects. Skill with your weapon and proficiency are the next most important aspect. You will revert only to the level which you are proficient when the stress hits. You will not rise to the occasion. Your choice of gun and caliber are the least important given you use quality dependable equipment. And that isn't hard to find in this day and age.

Edited by Warbird

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That guy is exactly what is wrong with terminal ballistics. First, he has no idea of a statistically valid sample (neither did M&S nor it seems Ayoob). Second, he (and Ayoob) suggest doing your own study. Great, where will you (he) start? How are you going to control for single variable? How will you collect the data? How will you classify a stop? What will be your criteria for properly performing bullet? How about variations in barrel length (initial velocity)?

The simple way to stop the silliness is take the time to read and halfway understand the FBI requirements, then, buy the ammo that meets those requirements.

One last thing, the shooter is better served with NATO spec FMJ that hits where aimed than the best FBI performing bullet that hits "somewhere" in the torso. The shooter is even better served learning WHERE the shots need to be located to stop someone and how the path to those spots change depending on orientation to the bad guy.

Valid criticisms of the study to be sure. The research was "everything I could find" which is fine for the purposes of this paper but not valid for actual scientific conclusions.

Problems noted, he left out a very important caliber. That is the 0mm or the 0.0X. You can load the zeros to any pressure you want and the results will be the same. I would wager that the zeroes stopped more attacks than any other caliber. And the zeroes are where the attack stops when the attacker realizes you have a weapon. You don't even have to shoot.

I realize everyone wants to prepare for the worst case scenario, a crazed pcp fiend who doesn't even feel the bullets and is only incapacitated by structural damage. That is wise planning but probably not realistic. You probably won't be attacked by a deranged, numb, pcp user.

You'll probably be attacked by someone who isn't necessarily rational but also isn't completely crazy. Well, you probably won't be attacked at all so I should say "If you are..."

Once people start getting shot the semi rational ones stop. Cause they are getting shot and all. So "incapacitation" as defined by "when the attack stops" isn't really incapacitation. That is the moment people stop fighting. It isn't that the couldn't keep going, it is that the choose not to. Honestly two rounds from a paint ball gun or a strongly worded letter would do it for me.

I think the conclusion of the study, if I had done it, would be: Shoot someone twice and chances are they'll quit. Caliber does't matter.

But that is just me. The data is there and collected so interpretations should be easy. But my interpretation is that people don't like to be shot. I could be wrong about this, there may be a weird group of fetishists who like to be shot but I am guessing that most people prefer not to suffer grievous injury.

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Guest grimel

Once people start getting shot the semi rational ones stop. Cause they are getting shot and all. So "incapacitation" as defined by "when the attack stops" isn't really incapacitation. That is the moment people stop fighting. It isn't that the couldn't keep going, it is that the choose not to. Honestly two rounds from a paint ball gun or a strongly worded letter would do it for me.

I think the conclusion of the study, if I had done it, would be: Shoot someone twice and chances are they'll quit. Caliber does't matter.

But that is just me. The data is there and collected so interpretations should be easy. But my interpretation is that people don't like to be shot. I could be wrong about this, there may be a weird group of fetishists who like to be shot but I am guessing that most people prefer not to suffer grievous injury.

Only there are a blue million gang bangers who have been shot with service grade handguns and lived to continue banging. These people are not going to be stopped by a couple rounds unless the rounds damage something. You are suffering from a gun as a magic tailsman belief. If you want to risk your hide to caliber doesn't matter seeing the gun will stop them, 2 shots will surely stop them, fine, but, don't post some jibberish "research" as fact to support your belief. Even the idiots M&S admitt they tossed at least half the shooting in any given load because they involved MORE than one hit.

Ever thought that those who aren't impressed by your pistol probably are more apt to need more than 2 minor caliber holes and serious structural damage before they decide to stop?

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I realize everyone wants to prepare for the worst case scenario, a crazed pcp fiend who doesn't even feel the bullets and is only incapacitated by structural damage. That is wise planning but probably not realistic. You probably won't be attacked by a deranged, numb, pcp user...

Once people start getting shot the semi rational ones stop. Cause they are getting shot and all. So "incapacitation" as defined by "when the attack stops" isn't really incapacitation. That is the moment people stop fighting. It isn't that the couldn't keep going, it is that the choose not to. Honestly two rounds from a paint ball gun or a strongly worded letter would do it for me.

Or, as I like to say, there may be crazed, male silverback gorillas on crack roaming the streets of Tennessee but I've never seen one of them. I agree with your estimation for the most part. Now, there may be exceptions to the rule and there probably are those who would keep coming after taking a couple of .380. .38 Special or even 9mm rounds but, to my mind, those same folks would probably keep coming after being shot with a .40, a .45 or basically anything short of a 12 gauge - and they might even keep coming after being shot with the 12 gauge.

Only there are a blue million gang bangers who have been shot with service grade handguns and lived to continue banging. These people are not going to be stopped by a couple rounds unless the rounds damage something. You are suffering from a gun as a magic tailsman belief.

How many such 'gang-bangers' do you regularly encounter during the course of your daily life? That is not a rhetorical question as such things should be taken into consideration when deciding how much gun is 'enough'. Hell, as for me, for ten years I lived on East Fifth in Knoxville (right in the 'hood) where there was a crack house on the corner and drive-by shootings literally across the street from us. Sometimes it was hard to get home because the hookers would block the entry to the alley our garage was located on trying to make you stop so they could try and pick up a 'John'. Yet I walked down the street pretty often to go to the corner store, etc. and my lily-white self still didn't have daily or even frequent encounters with gang-bangers. In fact, I don't recall having ever had a run in with anyone I could confirm as being a gang member. I didn't even carry a gun, at all, back then so now that I live in a more rural/lower crime area anything I carry should put me ahead of the game.

Of course, that was in the '90s and maybe the bangers have gotten worse, I don't know. I think there are probably more gangs in the area, now - including some of the Latin gangs. I do believe there are more meth-heads now but there were more crack-heads then. The world, in general, probably is a little more dangerous now. I have to say that I believe an honest citizen is more likely to be targeted randomly for a violent attack even if they mind their own business and avoid 'bad areas' than that same honest citizen would have been ten or fifteen years ago. Certainly things have become dangerous enough that I believe that carrying a firearm whenever legal/possible is a good precaution to take. Also, you have to take your location into account. I'm probably a lot less likely to encounter Crips, Bloods or MS13 in downtown Loudon than I would be if I lived in Memphis, etc. or even if I were back on East Fifth. When I go somewhere that such encounters might be more likely, sure, I'd want to be carrying a high-cap 9mm if possible but around where I live and even in most parts of Knoxville and the surrounding area and the majority of the parts of Chattanooga we sometimes visit, I am confident that a .380 or a five-shot J-frame are 'enough' to allow me to get out of the types of bad situations I might encounter.

Edited by JAB

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I just really don't get why people are willing to take chances with their personal safety. To each his own, however.

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This has always seemed a trivial argument to me. Just learn to place your shots center mass, every time, preferably in the 4 inch heart area. I don't know if I buy the argument that caliber doesn't matter but it cannot be denied that a 9mm to the chest beats a 20mm that missed.

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I just really don't get why people are willing to take chances with their personal safety. To each his own, however.

So which do you carry - an AR or AK pistol?

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I just really don't get why people are willing to take chances with their personal safety. To each his own, however.

There is nothing to 'get'. It is simply that there are those of us who don't believe that we are taking any more of a chance with our personal safety in the majority of our daily lives by carrying a .38 or .380 than by carrying a .45. If others disagree and feel that they 'must' carry a full-sized handgun in a caliber starting with a number no smaller than '4' then more power to them. I just disagree.

I'm sure we all have our minimum idea of what is 'enough'. For instance, you aren't going to catch me carrying a .22 as anything more than a BUG unless I have no other option but a .38, .380 or even a .32 like my wife carries will not leave me 'undergunned' for the places I go in regular, daily life. There are still some situations, however (like going to areas with higher crime rates), where the smaller guns will stay at home and I'll want nothing less than a high-cap 9mm while there are other situations (camping in potential bear territory) where I want a minimum of a .357 loaded with Buffalo Bore 180 grainers.

Edited by JAB

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So which do you carry - an AR or AK pistol?

I do believe I said "to each his own".

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I do believe I said "to each his own".

Yah, I saw that, just curious. Since you're unwilling to take any chances with your personal safety (utilizing the relatively weak pistol cartridges), you obviously have chosen a rifle caliber for its stopping power. I'm assuming you went for the Ak pistol, but the AR might make sense, too.

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Yah, I saw that, just curious. Since you're unwilling to take any chances with your personal safety (utilizing the relatively weak pistol cartridges), you obviously have chosen a rifle caliber for its stopping power. I'm assuming you went for the Ak pistol, but the AR might make sense, too.

It's always interesting to me how making a generic comment will put some people on the defensive. But if you're comfortable with what YOU carry, then what I think shouldn't matter, should it?

Edited by DaddyO

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It's always interesting to me how making a generic comment will put some people on the defensive. But if you're comfortable with what YOU carry, then what I think shouldn't matter, should it?

Oh, I'm not on the defensive, just curious as to what you carry as you always say the same things in caliber discussions.

Since compromise isn't part of your vocabulary, I'm curious as to what you chose. The very fact that you won't say leads me to believe that you have indeed compromised and carry some sort of standard pistol cartridge...

And yah, as all handgun cartridges are a compromise, I've very comfortable with what I carry.

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And yah, as all handgun cartridges are a compromise, I've very comfortable with what I carry.

Yep, but some are just more of a compromise than others.

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Guest grimel
How many such 'gang-bangers' do you regularly encounter during the course of your daily life?

Of course, that was in the '90s and maybe the bangers have gotten worse, I don't know. I think there are probably more gangs in the area, now - including some of the Latin gangs. I do believe there are more meth-heads now but there were more crack-heads then. The world, in general, probably is a little more dangerous now. I have to say that I believe an honest citizen is more likely to be targeted randomly for a violent attack even if they mind their own business and avoid 'bad areas' than that same honest citizen would have been ten or fifteen years ago.

When I go somewhere that such encounters might be more likely, sure, I'd want to be carrying a high-cap 9mm if possible but around where I live and even in most parts of Knoxville and the surrounding area and the majority of the parts of Chattanooga we sometimes visit, I am confident that a .380 or a five-shot J-frame are 'enough' to allow me to get out of the types of bad situations I might encounter.

If you have illegals in the area you have latino gangs.

As for Chattagnooga:

published Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

[h=1]3 injured in Chattanooga shootings[/h]

1 dead 5 injured:

By Kate Harrison

The Chattanooga Times Free Press

updated 7/4/2011 11:17:51 PM ET

Chattanooga, Tenn. — Fireworks crackled up and down Arlington Avenue on Monday afternoon as children played with snappers and sparklers. The night before it had been gunshots ringing out in the street, killing a 25-year-old father of five and injuring two others.

The triple shooting was the third in four shooting incidents that broke out in Chattanooga in 36 hours over the holiday weekend, leaving Melvin "Brando" Fennell dead and six others injured. The shootings spanned from Bonny Oaks to Amnicola Highway to Hixson. No suspect names have been released in any of the shootings.

Just a few blocks away from the triple shooting, a woman was beaten brutally by her boyfriend Sunday night, police said. The woman was treated and released from a local hospital.

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Jerri Weary said investigators don't believe any of the incidents are related, and she could not confirm if any are gang related.

But she did say the high rate of bloodshed is nothing new.

"We've seen that already this year," she said, referring to the concentration of violent incidents in such a short span. "Unfortunately it's not really anything new at this point."

Fennell's death marks the 15th homicide for the year, according to Chattanooga police. Thirteen of those slayings this year have been shooting deaths. In 2010, there were 20 homicides, and 15 of those were shooting deaths.

Knoxville:

[h=1]Two Dead in Tennessee Hospital Shooting[/h] [h=6]By DERRICK HENRY[/h] [h=6]Published: April 19, 2010[/h] A gunman fatally shot a woman and injured two others before killing himself outside a hospital in Knoxville, Tenn., the police said.

gangs in tn

Gang-Related News Articles

Little Loudon: (ripped from the Tennesseean http://www.tennessean.com/includes/publicus/projects/projects04/about/map/gangsroll9.xml)

MS-13, Ganster Disciples, Vice Lords, Crips,

It isn't like the movies and TV shows. They are getting "smarter" and now running around in full gang dress too many hassles from the police that way.

That isn't including the Outlaws.

How many do I run into in a given day? Don't know, but, with increasing numbers, the locations they inhabit here, and the general proximity of everyplace to everyplace else why take the chance when a more servicable pistol is readily available?

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Yep, but some are just more of a compromise than others.

Well, I figured that's where you'd land - you agree they're all compromises, so it's simply a matter of where one decides to draw the line...

There's a word for calling people out for something while you do the same thing - hypocrisy.

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Interesting, thanks for sharing.

I searched and couldn't find this (though this is probably a redundant post) so apologies if it has been posted before.

The disclaimer out of the way I found this study on stopping power interesting:

An alternate look at stopping power

As interesting as the conclusions is that the guy basically did his own study which means that if you're willing to invest the time deferring to experts (or personal beliefs) isn't always where the data points.

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Only there are a blue million gang bangers who have been shot with service grade handguns and lived to continue banging.

Yeah, I suppose. What's a blue million? You have a million blue examples of this to show me or are you talking about stories you heard, scarenarios and such? Wait, are smurfs being dragged into this?

These people are not going to be stopped by a couple rounds unless the rounds damage something.

Yes, the elusive gang banger who wants to get shot, some kind of weird super warrior.

You are suffering from a gun as a magic tailsman belief. If you want to risk your hide to caliber doesn't matter seeing the gun will stop them, 2 shots will surely stop them, fine,

I can't imagine two well placed wouldn't damage something, they've got skin, right? I imagine that two well placed rounds would at least puncture the skin. I would also imagine that blood would come out of the skin.

but, don't post some jibberish "research" as fact to support your belief.

I'm pretty sure I am able to post the stuff I find interesting as long as it is okay with the mods.

Even the idiots M&S admitt they tossed at least half the shooting in any given load because they involved MORE than one hit.

You got me, I suppose, somehow

Ever thought that those who aren't impressed by your pistol probably are more apt to need more than 2 minor caliber holes and serious structural damage before they decide to stop?

Well, I'm not quite sure you understood my criticism of the study. Let me try to make it clearer. My criticism of the study (not that I necessarily agree with the conclusion) was that "incapacitation" was defined as "the attack stopped" This definition, I think, is a problem. Stopping an attack is not "incapacitation" stopping an attack is making people wish they were doing something else.

In the study actual incapacitation, where they can't do something else, is lumped in to where they quit attacking you. Two swats upside the with a phone book will likely be incapacitating to most people if you went by the study. If, on the other hand, you went by actual incapacitation you'd likely need more than two swats with a phone book.

I'm probably not clear enough yet. The club, that lock you strap on your steering wheel is an easy thing to get around. If you really want the car you'll be able to bust it in a few seconds. Yet the club actually works when it comes to auto theft (or so I am told). The reason it works is that car type thieves would rather go to the next car than steal one with the club on it. Why? Less work, same payoff.

My criticism of the study is along the same vein. The study doesn't really address stopping power, it addresses the ability of getting shot to make you want to quit. Which, as I noted earlier, is a pretty common thing. You start getting shot and maybe it is better to find something else to do.

From this you conclude I am an advocate of some weird pistol myth. Any pistol will do or something. This is untrue. If I were to carry a pistol, which I don't because I am a lazy type person, I would carry something serious. At least a 38 and likely a nine. Probably a 357 to be honest.

Why not a 22 short? Well it would probably suffice in all honesty most of the time. But here;s the thing, it isn't like this stuff happens on a daily basis. If I have to pull out a gun things have already gone bad and the situation is already not normal. If I've gone to the trouble of packing a gun I will pack something that will legitimately incapacitate the threat. Cause how do I know that a 22 in the leg will actually send him running?

I suspect we agree more than you realize.

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Yep, but some are just more of a compromise than others.

I don't think I quite agree there. They compromise in other areas. For example. Compare a same size 9mm and .45. Typically, if the 9mm holds 15 or so rounds, a .45 that size will hold about 10. You may think that's enough, but either way you're either compromising capacity or size of the round. I think the important thing is figuring out the best area to compromise. Do you want to conceal easily? Want to pack a big punch? Want lots of capacity? You really can't have it all.

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There is also a difference between physiological stopping someone and psychologically stopping someone. Both can stop someone just as equally well as the other. It is the unexpected that stops most people psychologically.

I was told this story by a training officer, I'll use it as an example of a person being psychologically stopped.

They were training on how to react to the unexpected but it was under another guise so it was unexpected. No one knew they were going to be shot at. They were using a 38 special revolver loaded with blanks as the weapon of choice for the training. It just so happened the first person who was part of the scenario was a person who would suffer from a psychologically incapacitation. The student came in expecting one thing and then had someone shoot at him. The student immediately fell to the ground, lying there unresponsive in a huddled mass. At that point the isntructor said his heart came up in his thoat because he had thought someone had accidentally loaded live rounds into the revolver, shooting and killing the student. He said it took a few minutes but the student finally woke up but was still in an obvious state of shock over being shot.

Mental state, or if it is skewed through the use of drugs, has a lot to do with how a person is going to react to being shot if the shot isn't physiologically incapcitating. Shot placement is more important than caliber but caliber also helps in those less than perfect shots. But caliber isn't the end all be all in stopping a person.

For me it is all a wash. I carry 9mm just as much as my 45 ACP and don't feel under gunned at all with either. I am more concerned with my training as well as being mentally prepared for any encounter. I am always running scenarios in my head, looking for exits or restrooms as well as just being aware any time I am away from home. Carrying yourself in a positive manner will prevent you from becoming a victim in most cases. Criminals are looking for those they can easily turn into victims.

Dolomite

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Interesting how some consider the meth-head or the gang banger "mythical", just because they have never encountered one, but watch them puff their chests out when someone challenges their rationale for carrying a weapon and calls them paranoid.

To the one who doesn't believe in carrying, the bad guy is "mythical", just because they have never encountered any kind of trouble themselves.

Q: What's the definition of "paranoid"?

A: Someone who is more prepared than you.

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