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Old 11-08-2012, 06:19 PM   #201
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Originally Posted by bowserb View Post
Could you elaborate on that statement? Muzzle Energy is a calculated number based on muzzle velocity and bullet weight. I was under the impression that ME was what makes the 55gr 5.56mm AR round (1325 ft.lb.) so destructive compared to a less powerful round of the same or even greater weight.

Before I jump in and spend $550 on another handgun and have to add another round to my ammo inventory, I'd like to research the other variables to which you refer. I mean the variables that don't apply equally to most rounds. For example, bullet type is a variable, but most rounds will be available in the same variety of FMJ and JHP bullets. And again, please reference ordinary OTC rounds, as I don't load and am not likely to start.

Thanks for the advice.
What is there to 'elaborate' on????
These are simply numbers which have absolutely nothing to do with wound ballistics.
Any handgun caliber (32 thru 45) that can propel a bullet of medium weight at 1000+fps that will expand by about 50% but retain 65+ % of it's weight will have the same basic (wound channel) effect on a human animal. These 'energy' numbers are more 'stuff' that do not show how any bullet will effect the target.
To prove this just ask anyone who has a lot of knowledge about autopsies if they can tell you what 'caliber' a weapon (or how many ft/lbs of energy it had) was used if there is a complete pass through of the human body by a non expanding handgun bullet. They will tell you they have no idea what caliber (32 thru 45) caused the wound!!! So 300ft/lb or 600 ft/lbs what is the difference????
These number do give you an idea of the amount of recoil you will have to deal with though!!!!
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:58 AM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimRau View Post
What is there to 'elaborate' on????
These are simply numbers which have absolutely nothing to do with wound ballistics.
Any handgun caliber (32 thru 45) that can propel a bullet of medium weight at 1000+fps that will expand by about 50% but retain 65+ % of it's weight will have the same basic (wound channel) effect on a human animal. These 'energy' numbers are more 'stuff' that do not show how any bullet will effect the target.
To prove this just ask anyone who has a lot of knowledge about autopsies if they can tell you what 'caliber' a weapon (or how many ft/lbs of energy it had) was used if there is a complete pass through of the human body by a non expanding handgun bullet. They will tell you they have no idea what caliber (32 thru 45) caused the wound!!! So 300ft/lb or 600 ft/lbs what is the difference????
These number do give you an idea of the amount of recoil you will have to deal with though!!!!
You mean other than basically a very large part of that contradicts statistics from real world shootings complied from law enforcement data and FBI statistics, research in the area by Dr. Martin Fackler (who has essentially spent his entire life studying wound channels relative to various types of ammunition), data complied by Duncan McPherson as well as data on the topic from Evan Marshall, Ed Sanow and Richard Fairburn?? For clarification, Dr. Martin Fackler was head of wound ballistics research for the US Army's medical training center the Letterman Institute. He was part of the FBI Wound Ballistics Workshop of 1988 in Quantico.

With regards to the claim that whoever conducts autopsies cannot tell you the diameter of the bullet used to kill someone or make a valid estimate based on the wound channel, if that is the case, the forensic pathologist you are talking to is a complete idiot and would last less than a day at any state crime lab. ER docs in trauma centers who see a large number of gunshot victims can give you a fairly solid guess based on entry diameter of the wound alone if it is a straight shot even when there is no recovered bullet. A forensic pathologist at a state crime lab can nail it down to caliber based on entry diameter as well as wound channel and overall amount of damage as the difference between a .32 and a .45 or the like is very substantial.

Furthermore, a .32ACP may be lethal in a certain number of shootings but just looking at those cases which wind up on the autopsy table is a fallacy of small sample. It does not account for the cases where a .32 did not stop the bad guy, where it failed to penetrate obstacles or thick layers of clothing and then fail to disable an attacker, where it failed to expand with any reliability or the cases where it just did not penetrate deeply enough to cause any serious damage and the bad guy kept going.

What are you referring to as a bullet of "medium weight" at 1000fps? The average .32 ACP round is between 60 and 73 grains and moves at around 950-1050fps (if you include the hot Corbon round) with muzzle energy of around 125-160ft. lbs. Is 73 grains medium weight? If so, to suggest that the wound channel from a .32 hollow point is "basically the same" as the wound channel from a 230gr +p .45acp JHP is utter nonsense. The wound channel from the .45 is massive in comparison. Even if you compare the wound channel from a high performance 9mm 124gr JHP, the wound channel from a 230gr +p .45acp is still considerably larger and the difference in effectiveness is confirmed by research conducted by everyone listed hereinabove including real world shooting data.

However, I will agree that muzzle energy is by no means the end of the story. An ultra high velocity bullet of lesser weight may look good on paper in terms of muzzle energy but perform horribly in real world shootings. Usually, it is because lighter, high velocity bullets suffer from under penetration when viewed in the light of the thickness of the average human torso. Additional factors that have an adverse effect on this type of bullet are thicker layers of clothing (JHPs with smaller openings have a greater tendency to clog and then fail to expand) and they also suffer from under penetration when striking bone or when the target is hit from a less than optimal angle that requires above average penetration depth to hit vital organs.

As for the .32, one of the most common self defense loads is the 60-65gr JHP that usually has performance of around 925 fps muzzle velocity and 123 ft/lbs. muzzle energy. Diameter is usually .311-.312. Even if you assume fortuitous expansion, based on actual test data of these rounds you might get to .49" diameter but when they actually expand to that size, they all suffer from rather horrible under penetration with average penetration under 7.5". The only .32 acp rounds that penetrate deeply enough (when fired from compact concealed carry type pistols) are FMJs but then you are back to overall diameter at or not much over .312".

Compare that with a .45acp 230gr +p Hydra Shok. Through light clothing, average recovered diameter is .94-.98" with around 13" of penetration. Wound channel volume in the nature of 8 to 9.5 cubic inches - you will never see that kind of wound channel from a .32 or a 9mm unless they invent a bullet which can circumvent the laws of physics. Further, even if .45 entirely fails to expand, it still hits the target with a diameter of at least .451" moving at 928fps with around 440lb-ft energy. I'll take that over the best .32acp or 9mm load any day of the week with FBI one-shot stop data to back it up. I guess if you need a really ridiculous comparison to emphasize the point, look up the wound channels from a hot 10mm load and then compare that to a .32, a .380 or a 9mm as the difference in damage to human flesh, muscle and bone is massive.

Needless to say, this does not even consider the completely dismal performance of the .32 or .380 and even the .38 special when it comes to shooting through obstructions like glass, sheet rock, etc. The military and most law enforcement around the world did not drop these rounds because they were getting the job done or because they had lots of extra money to spend on re-arming with more powerful handguns -- they dropped the smaller calibers because bad guys were not dropping in a timely manner when hit by them.

Muzzle energy is not everything but it is certainly not entirely irrelevant or just a bunch of silly numbers intended to mislead consumers. If the wound channels for a "medium weight bullet at 1000fps" was the actually the same across different calibers, the military, the FBI and local law enforcement would be carrying high capacity .32 acp instead of 9mm, .40S&W or .45acp.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:52 AM   #203
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:03 PM   #204
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You mean other than basically a very large part of that contradicts statistics from real world shootings complied from law enforcement data and FBI statistics, research in the area by Dr. Martin Fackler (who has essentially spent his entire life studying wound channels relative to various types of ammunition), data complied by Duncan McPherson as well as data on the topic from Evan Marshall, Ed Sanow and Richard Fairburn?? For clarification, Dr. Martin Fackler was head of wound ballistics research for the US Army's medical training center the Letterman Institute. He was part of the FBI Wound Ballistics Workshop of 1988 in Quantico.

With regards to the claim that whoever conducts autopsies cannot tell you the diameter of the bullet used to kill someone or make a valid estimate based on the wound channel, if that is the case, the forensic pathologist you are talking to is a complete idiot and would last less than a day at any state crime lab. ER docs in trauma centers who see a large number of gunshot victims can give you a fairly solid guess based on entry diameter of the wound alone if it is a straight shot even when there is no recovered bullet. A forensic pathologist at a state crime lab can nail it down to caliber based on entry diameter as well as wound channel and overall amount of damage as the difference between a .32 and a .45 or the like is very substantial.

Furthermore, a .32ACP may be lethal in a certain number of shootings but just looking at those cases which wind up on the autopsy table is a fallacy of small sample. It does not account for the cases where a .32 did not stop the bad guy, where it failed to penetrate obstacles or thick layers of clothing and then fail to disable an attacker, where it failed to expand with any reliability or the cases where it just did not penetrate deeply enough to cause any serious damage and the bad guy kept going.

What are you referring to as a bullet of "medium weight" at 1000fps? The average .32 ACP round is between 60 and 73 grains and moves at around 950-1050fps (if you include the hot Corbon round) with muzzle energy of around 125-160ft. lbs. Is 73 grains medium weight? If so, to suggest that the wound channel from a .32 hollow point is "basically the same" as the wound channel from a 230gr +p .45acp JHP is utter nonsense. The wound channel from the .45 is massive in comparison. Even if you compare the wound channel from a high performance 9mm 124gr JHP, the wound channel from a 230gr +p .45acp is still considerably larger and the difference in effectiveness is confirmed by research conducted by everyone listed hereinabove including real world shooting data.

However, I will agree that muzzle energy is by no means the end of the story. An ultra high velocity bullet of lesser weight may look good on paper in terms of muzzle energy but perform horribly in real world shootings. Usually, it is because lighter, high velocity bullets suffer from under penetration when viewed in the light of the thickness of the average human torso. Additional factors that have an adverse effect on this type of bullet are thicker layers of clothing (JHPs with smaller openings have a greater tendency to clog and then fail to expand) and they also suffer from under penetration when striking bone or when the target is hit from a less than optimal angle that requires above average penetration depth to hit vital organs.

As for the .32, one of the most common self defense loads is the 60-65gr JHP that usually has performance of around 925 fps muzzle velocity and 123 ft/lbs. muzzle energy. Diameter is usually .311-.312. Even if you assume fortuitous expansion, based on actual test data of these rounds you might get to .49" diameter but when they actually expand to that size, they all suffer from rather horrible under penetration with average penetration under 7.5". The only .32 acp rounds that penetrate deeply enough (when fired from compact concealed carry type pistols) are FMJs but then you are back to overall diameter at or not much over .312".

Compare that with a .45acp 230gr +p Hydra Shok. Through light clothing, average recovered diameter is .94-.98" with around 13" of penetration. Wound channel volume in the nature of 8 to 9.5 cubic inches - you will never see that kind of wound channel from a .32 or a 9mm unless they invent a bullet which can circumvent the laws of physics. Further, even if .45 entirely fails to expand, it still hits the target with a diameter of at least .451" moving at 928fps with around 440lb-ft energy. I'll take that over the best .32acp or 9mm load any day of the week with FBI one-shot stop data to back it up. I guess if you need a really ridiculous comparison to emphasize the point, look up the wound channels from a hot 10mm load and then compare that to a .32, a .380 or a 9mm as the difference in damage to human flesh, muscle and bone is massive.

Needless to say, this does not even consider the completely dismal performance of the .32 or .380 and even the .38 special when it comes to shooting through obstructions like glass, sheet rock, etc. The military and most law enforcement around the world did not drop these rounds because they were getting the job done or because they had lots of extra money to spend on re-arming with more powerful handguns -- they dropped the smaller calibers because bad guys were not dropping in a timely manner when hit by them.

Muzzle energy is not everything but it is certainly not entirely irrelevant or just a bunch of silly numbers intended to mislead consumers. If the wound channels for a "medium weight bullet at 1000fps" was the actually the same across different calibers, the military, the FBI and local law enforcement would be carrying high capacity .32 acp instead of 9mm, .40S&W or .45acp.
Whatever.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:04 PM   #205
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Well, at least I know I'll be well served by my .40's, .41's, .44's, .45's, and .50 AE if the BGM (Ballistic Gelatin Monster) shows up in the middle of the night.

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Old 11-10-2012, 01:38 AM   #206
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My point here is that many people WAY over complicate this issue!!!
I have spent the last four decades researching and testing this subject and I too at times got all hung up in the theory and academics of this but, as I have said (many times) and the data supports, if you use the BEST self defense ammo in ANY of the common handgun calibers in use today they have the same basic effect (wound cavity produced) on the human body!!!! So use what ever weapon you shoot best (hit probability is the most important consideration) in any of the current calibers with the BEST ammo and you will be fine!!!!

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Old 11-10-2012, 12:43 PM   #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimRau View Post
My point here is that many people WAY over complicate this issue!!!
I have spent the last four decades researching and testing this subject and I too at times got all hung up in the theory and academics of this but, as I have said (many times) and the data supports, if you use the BEST self defense ammo in ANY of the common handgun calibers in use today they have the same basic effect (wound cavity produced) on the human body!!!! So use what ever weapon you shoot best (hit probability is the most important consideration) in any of the current calibers with the BEST ammo and you will be fine!!!!
Took you 40 yrs to figure that out
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:57 PM   #208
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:02 PM   #209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimRau
My point here is that many people WAY over complicate this issue!!!
I have spent the last four decades researching and testing this subject and I too at times got all hung up in the theory and academics of this but, as I have said (many times) and the data supports, if you use the BEST self defense ammo in ANY of the common handgun calibers in use today they have the same basic effect (wound cavity produced) on the human body!!!! So use what ever weapon you shoot best (hit probability is the most important consideration) in any of the current calibers with the BEST ammo and you will be fine!!!!
If you place some limitations on the circumstances, maybe for anything .380 and up. Yes, I'd still exclude .32 as a self defense round. The hollowpoints or FMJs in .32 have fairly anemic performance at best. Most of the truly small pistols for the .32 do not exactly lend themselves to shooting with a high level of accuracy under stress so counting on precise hits is a bit of a gamble. Based on how small many .380s and 9mm are now, the compact .32s are on the verge of obsolete as a Ruger LCP .380 loaded with FMJ or maybe Hornady JHPs (these still fall a little short in terms of penetration) is small enough to conceal in just about any type of clothing in any season unless you are one of those guys who wears a Speedo to the beach. lol

.32 might be semi-feasible with Glasers but to make sure they work you often have to go with a lighter recoil spring and verifying reliability still costs a bit even if you only test 100 rounds (about $140). I am not really a fan of exotic ammo...

The smallest carry gun/caliber I am really comfortable with is the LC9 loaded with Golden Saber 124gr bonded JHP +P. The LC9 made the ammo choice for me - it likes that round better than any other I tested with it. Part of the reason this is as small as I like to go is hand-size. I have large hands and the LC9 is almost too small for me to handle well -- I'd run into problems with anything more compact.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:54 PM   #210
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I haven't read this thread in a few weeks. This is such a great thread. It's a perfect example of this forum overall, well done people.

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