Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Stopping Power"

This article on an alternative look at stopping power is really interesting and deserves a full read:

The average number of rounds until incapacitation was also remarkably similar between calibers. All the common defensive calibers required around 2 rounds on average to incapacitate. Something else to look at here is the question of how fast can the rounds be fired out of each gun. The .38 SPL probably has the slowest rate of fire (long double action revolver trigger pulls and stout recoil in small revolvers) and the fewest rounds fired to get an incapacitation (1.87). Conversely the 9mm can probably be fired fastest of the common calibers and it had the most rounds fired to get an incapacitation (2.45). The .40 (2.36) and the .45 (2.08) split the difference. It is my personal belief that there really isn't much difference between each of these calibers. It is only the fact that some guns can be fired faster than others that causes the perceived difference in stopping power. If a person takes an average of 5 seconds to stop after being hit, the defender who shoots a lighter recoiling gun can get more hits in that time period. It could be that fewer rounds would have stopped the attacker (given enough time) but the ability to fire more quickly resulted in more hits being put onto the attacker. It may not have anything to do with the stopping power of the round.

By all means read the whole thing, and read it with an open mind. The charts are fascinating. You guys now where I come down on this...I carry a 9mm precisely because I subscribe to the multiple hits theory, and the faster I can deliver those shots the better.

BTW, if you send me an email through any of our sights, please include you email address so I can answer you!

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Michael, if you look at the chart, a 25acp is better than the 9mm,and we all know this is not true, just goes to show you, you can make anything look good on paper!

3rdman said...

Anon,

Like Michael said read the whole article. He states that the 9mm was mainly FMJ not hollow point and he believed it affected the results on the 9mm. What I take from it is no matter what caliber you choose it is about shot placement and follow up.

JD said...

I had the pleasure of meeting the author, Greg Ellifritz @ TDI back in May.

A little about the author of the article:

"Greg has been an adjunct instructor for the Ohio Peace Officer’s Training Academy, teaching firearms, defensive tactics, bike patrol, knife defense and physical fitness topics. He has taught firearms and self defense classes at the national and international level through the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, The American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers and Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police. He has a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management and has written for several publications including: ‘The Firearms Instructor”, “Ohio Police Chief”, “Combat Handguns”, “Concealed Carry Magazine” and “The Journal of the American Women’s Self Defense Association”. "

Also, regarding the 9mm vs. .25ACP, if you look at the chart for "Failure to Incapacitate" you'll see a totally different view of the .25 when compared to the 9mm.

http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/publicfiles/Ellifritz_Failure_to_Incap.png

Hazcat said...

3rdman, I agree with your conclusion. It is one reason I have never felt 'under gunned' by carrying my .380.

Doc O Glock said...

And most interesting the results with a long gun. Much higher incapacitation rates on one hit.

Anonymous said...

Re "Stopping power";

No one wants to leak.

Walt Rauch

Anonymous said...

All my handguns are 9mm and love them but I have been tinkering about getting a high volume 22. No recoil and really cheap to practice firing fast groups. Five 22 long rifles in the chest is more lead than a 45. That was a great article and it just goes to show that you should never stand infront a round no matter what caliber it is....lol. except a 25..it is still a woosee

nj_larry said...

I try to tell this story anytime the stopping power thing comes up. In my humble opinion I agree that shot placement is nearly everything. I illustrate with these two stories.

I worked with two officers back in the 1980's who died in the line of duty. One was a shear giant of a guy. Probably 325 lbs at 6 feet give or take a inch or two. One nite in 1980 he stopped at a traffic light, as was pieced together later. He still had on his soft body armor. Guy comes up to rob him. Altercation ensues. My colleague empties his service 357 at the bad guy. Bad guy is shooting a freaking .22 sawed off rifle. One round enters the armpit hole of the body armor as my colleague has his arm extended out shooting his revolver. He bleed out and died on a shitty nondescript street in Queens NY. It took six years but the BG was finally arrested.

The next year in 1981 another colleague was real proud of his new red BMW. He had put a silent alarm on it. Very high tech for the time. Well yup, BG tries stealing it from the parking lot. My colleague rushes out, gun drawn, IN HAND and handles the guy. Only problem is the pal of the BG drops a round into my friends head. If I recall it was a 38 special, nothing fancy. One round. Fight over. Make the funeral arrangements, comfort the family. BG was arrested 17 years later.

You'll excuse me for the memories but it just is my little way of honoring these two guys. Both in their early 30's and lives cut short by miscreants. But I did learn from both incidents that ANY firearm can kill you deader than dead in short order.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with the first commenter, (Anon @ 10:05 ).
While it is true that by any scientific standard pretty much any other caliber is more effective than the anemic .25ACP, that only applies if it is with you.
A .25 in the pocket is far more effective protection than a 9mm left in the car.
Tom B.

Anonymous said...

Talked to a customer yesterday-I do not know the guy, first time in the shop-who said he had one of his crew show up late to work. The reason was that he'd been in a fight that apparently turned into a long distance gunfight, which slowed down his commute to the job site. Turns out he'd been shot in the forehead from what was apparently a considerable distance. The bullet was stuck under the skin a little and he was so amped on adrenaline he didn't notice. He pulled it out at work. Caliber unknown, but apparently something of the pocket pistol variety.

Very little works perfectly in a fight.

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Steve said...

Too bad about the spam, but it seems to be everywhere. I had read this article from Buckeye Firearm Assoc. a few weeks ago, and it was an interesting read. Sometimes there is too much emphasis on the tool, and not on how to use the tool. Reminds me of a tactical shotgun class I took at TDI, and someone brought this ridiculously big drum magazine. Looked cool, it worked sometimes, but he had issues with it. Would I want to bet my life on tacticool? No thanks. The best gun is the one you have at the time you need it. I just went to the local gun store, and tried out a number of guns until I found one that felt right in my hands, and I felt good shooting at the range. Get good with what you have.

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Muhammad Amir said...

The .40 (2.36) and how do you stop spam the .45 (2.08) split the difference. It is my personal belief that there really isn't much difference between each of these calibers.

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