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Vig Creed
11-14-2003, 04:01 AM
There have been several heated discussions here recently involving so-called "stopping power". It has (belatedly) occured to me that perhaps we should define what we mean by "stopping power", especially as opposed to "killing power", to make sure we are all talking about the same thing.

Having some first and second hand knowledge of the effects of various loads on street criminals (and a few cops), and big game animals, the difference between "stopping power" and "killing power" (TO ME) is:

(1) Rounds with excellent "stopping power" usually produce a "lightning bolt" effect on the target that almost instantly incapacitates. Example: Hot 357 Mag 125gr JHP.

(2) Rounds with excellent "killing power", on the other hand, may or may not have an instantaneous "lightning bolt" effect on the target, but typically penetrate deeply enough to have very good eventual killing power. Example: 357 Mag 158gr JHP.

Others may have different definitions and ideas of what constitutes good "stopping power", and I'd be interested in seeing them posted and discussed.

creed

Gabriel Suarez
11-14-2003, 04:44 AM
Boy, that's kinda like Point Shooting and Sighted Shooting.....or Weaver and Isoceles.....or????

dgg9
11-14-2003, 11:05 AM
I am still working on a local case here in PA where a suspect responded to being hit twice with Remington 147gr Golden Saber 9mm ammo in the chest and pelvis by firing one single round of Hornady XTP 10mm 200gr ammo that killed one of the officers.

PA criminals are carrying 10mm?? That's not reassuring.

Stopping the fight happens most often due to the psychological not physiological reasons, most argue that this based in the realization by the person being shot that they are either A. going to keep fighting until they physically cannot or B. they are going to give up because they have been shot and the are afraid of being shot again and/or dying.

Perhaps that's where the "light and fast...energy dump" school of thought gets something of a grain of truth? This is sheer speculation, but maybe the perceived shock of the higher velocity round (if indeed there is a different perceived shock at all) makes people decide to "quit" more readily.

Awesome post, btw.

MTS
11-14-2003, 11:10 AM
David,

Thanks. Great Post.

V42
11-14-2003, 11:24 AM
Fantastic post, David!

Sadly sobering for those of us who depend on less than a belt fed firearm for defensive purposes.

John Silver
11-14-2003, 12:03 PM
one man was struck four times in the chest and abdomen at 10 yards with OO Winchester Ranger Tactical Buckshot and drove away.


I expect failures from pretty much everything, but that has got to be some sort of record.

The two words that come to mind reading your excellant post are: head shot. Yes, even those have failed, but I'm not going to wait around to find out. It at least should ("should", not "will") give me the fraction of a second to shoot them in the head again.

Somehow over the years I've gone from carrying 7+1 in a .45 and not worrying about it to thinking I should spend $80ea on a few 15 round Glock magazines for my .40. Posts like these don't help me financially, but they are great reminders how uncertain the real world is.

Thanks for taking the time to relate all of those incidents.

michael
11-14-2003, 12:55 PM
Excellent post, David. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that people succumb due to psychological rather than physiological reasons. I've read many reports like yours and none of them are anything that can be quantified. My own street experience backs this up. I've been to the scenes of more shootings than I can remember and they are all different. In the one shooting I was involved in, the suspect took 5 hits from 9mm 115gr. silvertip, four of which were fatal, and continued the fight for 30 seconds until he was physically subdued. He survived for about 3 hours and died in surgery. The will to survive is the determining factor, not what ammo is used. The brain is a powerful weapon and can will the body to fight on even though the body is already medically dead.

Vig Creed
11-14-2003, 11:11 PM
The "lightning bolt" stopping effect is my feeble attempt to describe the one shot stops that I've personally seen or investigated.

All of us who have worked the street know that nothing is 100% certain with regard to "stopping power". But honesty demands that we also admit that some calibers/loads (like full-power 357 Mag JHP's and 12ga OO Buck) are much more likely to be instant stoppers than others.

creed

billcameron
11-14-2003, 11:26 PM
I think successful "stopping power" can be defined differently depending on how your opponent is armed. For instance a pelvis hit that makes it impossible for the opponent to move, at least at any speed, should constitute adequate "stopping power" if he is armed with knife or club. But if he is on the ground unable to get up, but with full use of his hands and arms with a handgun you have not achieved adequate "stopping power" in this instance.

Anthony
11-15-2003, 12:50 PM
David,

Thanks. Great Post.

Great post indeed.
I'll add my 0.01 cents worth. ( This isn't even worth 0.02 cents !)

I've seen men mowed down with 7.62 GPMG machine gun fire. They dropped on the spot. The image remains with me unfortunatly. They were not BGs or terrorists; just loyal, honorable soldiers, doing their duty.
That is not relevant to Vig Creed's question.
What might be, is the fact that I knew a man who took a .50 calibre from a Browning MG in the chest. ( It struck no vital organ !) Now that's a BIG bullet, a HEAVY bullet, a FAST ( high velocity ) bullet, but most of all, - a BAD bullet !?, to be hit with, - but he was/is ok.( It's been along time that I have seen him.)
This maybe a little irrevelent here; - but EVERYBODY who entered the British field hospital in the Falklands ( during the war ) - both British and Argentine ( there were more of them ) - got out alive ! They were treated by the importance of the wound ( freind or enemy - was not of importance.) The hospital was known as the "Green and Red Life Machine". Named after the Green berets of the Royal Navy - ( doctors/surgeons attached to the Royal Marine Commandos,) and the Red berets of the Army - ( doctors/surgeons attached to the Parachute Regiment.)
There were some incredible wounds; - resolved by these fine men.

A RM Commando, who took a .223 through the temple ( it exited out of the other temple !) from an Irish terrorist "sniper" was healed !
I knew him well. He was alittle "slow" after the wound, and given a job in the stores. It was somewhat strange talking to him, as, because of his wound, one of his eyes would focus on you, while the other would be looking over your shoulder.

The only thing I can add of value to this thread is the following: - Don't expect a certain result from your favorite bullet !
It would seem that most on this Forum have been there.
If you have to shoot an honorable enemy, - close in and except his surrender !
If you have to shoot a BG or terrorist, - close in and pump him/her full of bullets untill he/she stops moving !
Even dead, - sometimes your foe will "jerk" around quite abit. This is normal, just like a "be-headed" chicken.
Watch carefully, and you will be able to tell the difference. If your "downed foe" seems to still be a threat, then "pump" him/her with more bullets ! Aim for the head, - although this may be somewhat diificult, due to the "jerking" movement.
Regards.
Anthony.

Vig Creed
11-17-2003, 06:47 AM
Perhaps comparing a hunting arrow with razor type broadhead vs 357 Mag 125gr JHP would better serve to illustrate the "killing power vs instant stopping power" question?

A modern razor head hunting arrow has plenty of killing power on human size targets, probably more than a 125gr 357 Mag JHP, but very little instantaneous stopping power.

In other words, while a relatively slow razor head arrow will go all the way through the target and kill very well, it usually won't put the target down instantly. While a high velocity 357 Mag will usually drop a human instantly with one torso shot, often without penetrating all the way though or killing him.

Unfortunately, while it certainly exists, the killing power vs stopping power distinction between different calibers and bullet types isn't quite so easy to see or understand.

creed

Vig Creed
11-17-2003, 01:49 PM
Cameron, Cameron, Cameron...........

Far be it for me to try and convert "true-believers" of other, perhaps irrevelent, testing methods. But..........the truth is that observations from the street are the only relevant observations that exist regarding ACTUAL "stopping power".

If you disagree, maybe you can explain another way we can observe the actual "stopping power" of various calibers/loads when used against real humans?

With regards to "Killing Power".....I would agree with your premise that, all else being equal, the bullet doing the most physical damage will have the most killing power. But, as I keep trying to explain, IMMEDIATE stopping power and EVENTUAL killing power are not necessarily the same things.

Surely you can understand this apples/oranges distinction? :confused:

creed

Wayne Dobbs
11-20-2003, 07:26 AM
David DiFabio,

As a native Texan and a retired Texas Peace Officer, I've always paid attention to Texas DPS (or as we call them here, the HIGHWAY PATROL) and what they're doing in training and operatons. They are a shining example of public service, courtesy and of being true gentlemen (and ladies...). Their training is excellent and you should see their new firearms training complex ($7 million plus)!

What I wonder about is whether the wave of handgun training that came with the autopistol transition craze of the 19880s may positively affect so-called "stopping power" results due to better markmanship, better mental preparation and better tactics on the part of the officers in fights. DPS had very solid revolver training under Reeves Jungkind and he fought the change to autopistols tooth and nail, stating that no DPS trooper ever lost a fight due to insufficient ammo capacity (and he was right). It certainly looks to me after many years of policing, researching shooting incidents and viewing the information (both factual and fictional) that's out there that the service pistol calibers out there all work about the same and there is much more variation in shot placement vs effectiveness than there is in caliber vs effectiveness. I've personally seen some great work done with .38 Spl RNL ammo and some really crappy work done with .357 Mag JHPs and .45 ACP JHPs.

I've come down to teaching new officers and armed citizens these things:

1. The gun you choose must be stone reliable.
2. The gun must be easy for you to manage and shoot (not too many levers, buttons and switches to think about).
3. You must train and practice to the point to where shooting the gun well is reflexive and not cognitive.
4. You must be mentally prepared to fight and have response tactics pre-loaded and ready to execute.
5. After all of this, worry about what type of ammo is in the gun.


Thanks for the work you do, David because it's very informative and credible in my opinion.

Wayne Dobbs

chucky
11-20-2003, 12:24 PM
on feral dogs and small deer. Admittedly, most were with 12 ga slugs, or 308 class rifles, using good sp's. The match bthp rifle bullet was never intended to expand in flesh, so choosing it as a SWAT sniper load is an irresponsible decision. I have also seen such effects with truly high velocity jhp pistol loads on animals, but it is not as reliable, nor does it work as well on animals much above 50 lbs.

However, nearly a million people are dog-bitten each year in the US, and at least as many more escape such a fate by pure luck. So a pistol load's effectiveness against dogs is a relevant study, in and of itself. Also, a really large percentage of human males have no-where near the resistance to shock that such animals have. Smash a man's testicles in your hand, and the odds are 100 to 1 that he will be seriously disabled. Try that on a few really adrenalized Rottweillers, and so on, allowing 6 months recuperation between experiments, and you will find those odds to be quite the reverse. :-)








QUOTE=Vig Creed]The "lightning bolt" stopping effect is my feeble attempt to describe the one shot stops that I've personally seen or investigated.

All of us who have worked the street know that nothing is 100% certain with regard to "stopping power". But honesty demands that we also admit that some calibers/loads (like full-power 357 Mag JHP's and 12ga OO Buck) are much more likely to be instant stoppers than others.

creed[/QUOTE]

Anthony
11-20-2003, 12:57 PM
1. The gun you choose must be stone reliable.
2. The gun must be easy for you to manage and shoot (not too many levers, buttons and switches to think about).
3. You must train and practice to the point to where shooting the gun well is reflexive and not cognitive.
4. You must be mentally prepared to fight and have response tactics pre-loaded and ready to execute.
5. After all of this, worry about what type of ammo is in the gun.


Thanks for the work you do, David because it's very informative and credible in my opinion.

Wayne Dobbs[/QUOTE]****************

You've summed up my thoughts exactly.
I like to study number 5, probably because numbers 1 through 4 have been taken care of along time ago.
Regards.
Anthony.