Ballistics as Viewed in a Morgue

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by Sonic82, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. countryboy

    countryboy New Member

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    That was a good enough read I had to save it to review it again later. Thank you for the link.

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  2. Powersportgiant

    Powersportgiant New Member

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    About 8 paragraphs in, I have bookmarked it for later reading. Thanks for sharing this !
     
  3. DodgeThis

    DodgeThis New Member

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    I just had to read this out to my wife. She's in total shock as we don't live far from Atlanta. Definately an eye opener.
     
  4. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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  5. lyodbraun

    lyodbraun New Member

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    Very good read will read again when I get a chance to get on my laptop.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  6. Sonic82

    Sonic82 New Member

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    I read this about a year ago and haven't re-read it. If I remember, he's a retired LEO now working in his retirement years in a Medical Examiner Unit in Atlanta. He discusses, in laymans terms, his observations of the effects of various calibers on deceased victims as a morgue employee. He draws various conclusions on effectiveness of common ammunition. It's not real technical, there are tons of those articles concerning ballistics...I liked it because it's real life observations, something you don't hear often.

    Just wanted to add why I remembered the article; I had just bought my SIG P229 in .40SW. I had researched the .40 extensively before I bought it. Time after time the .40 would get slammed with the 'Short and Weak' (SW) business. I purchased it anyway. I then stumbled on the link I posted and he explains that he thinks the .40 is a decent, effective round. Which made me feel pretty good about it :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  7. CubDriver451

    CubDriver451 New Member

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    I found that site quite a while ago and found it interesting as well. While there are a lot of articles and writings on various aspects of ballistics, it is rather uncommon to find any research on the actually effectiveness of bullets beyond gel tests. While the information is not presented in scientific terms, and is somewhat limited in the number of circumstances being discussed, it is still very valuable.

    We seem to have a lot of posts here asking for advice on caliber and bullet selection both. Everyone is certainly welcome to their own opinion, and I do indeed have one as well. I think that what is brought to light in this article is that shot placement is first and foremost in importance, and that caliber and bullet type are much less of a concern than many would like to think. All that being said, it cannot be argued that a large hole in vital organs will almost always get the job done. Whether you are talking about four legged critters or two, big holes let lots of blood out and lots of air in. There is always a balance to be struck between caliber, velocity, expansion, penetration and a host of other factors. My experience on game animals (with handguns) is that bigger is gooder. Large diameter, heavy bullets at moderate velocity, when placed properly, have never failed me. I think the same is true when talking about defensive ammo. Velocity is fine, as is expansion, but the bullet must penetrate deep enough to reach vital organs and be of adequate size to do substantial damage to tissue.

    Another poster made mention of people referring to the .40 S&W as the .40 short and weak. Most of us that pick on the forty do so more in jest than anything, and mean no real harm to anyone's (overly)sensitive feelings. While I do prefer the 10mm over the .40, this is not to speak poorly of the cartridge. The .40S&W has proven itself to be a fine cartridge for the intended purpose over a fairly significant time period. It is however shorter and weaker than true full power 10mm loads, thus the nickname. I have nothing against the forty, I'm just don't think that it has any particular advantage over other cartridges that I prefer. There is always a trade off between various elements, and the .40 fits well into the re that is was created for. It is a medium bore, moderate velocity cartridge that can be put into a reasonably small package. There is nothing "wrong" with any of that.

    JW
     
  8. Paladin201

    Paladin201 New Member

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    Nice article, but I question the part about looking at an x-ray and counting the hits. One bullet means 40 or 45, multiple mean 380 or 9mm. I don't care if you are carrying a 44 mag, if you are threatened to the point of requiring lethal force you better be putting more than one round in your target. No gun gives a guaranteed one shot kill every single time. Especially if the guy is a practitioner of modern chemistry.
     
  9. Chandler51

    Chandler51 New Member

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    I think a .50 BMG to the grape might challenge that theory... :)
     
  10. Paladin201

    Paladin201 New Member

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    True, but if you put a .50 BMG to the grape, there's not going to be much to look at in X-rays.
     
  11. Chandler51

    Chandler51 New Member

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    Ha..yeah...it'd be one of those "well, there's your problem" moments...
     
  12. trex1310

    trex1310 New Member

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    Not necessarily. If your target is down after 1 round.
     
  13. big shrek

    big shrek Well-Known Member

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    I prefer to triple-tap, which occurs well before they hit the ground.
    I credit SASS, IDPA, IPSC, & GSSF for helping me to become a speedy freak with a variety of weapons :)

    Oh, and Jerry Miculek, his vids truly motivate you to practice hard!!
     
  14. Paladin201

    Paladin201 New Member

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    Down does not mean out. Just because you see the guy fall doesn't mean the threat has been neutralized. If you wait to see, the first indication that he is still functional might be him pulling out a gun and putting a bullet in you. More than a few cops have been surprised by a suspect they thought was down.
     
  15. Please note: All coroner/medical examiner reports start with a dead body resting very quietly on the exam table. That is a misleading beginning from which to start.

    Some twenty years ago, a Texas medical examiner named (Doctor) Vincent DiMayo went on record as saying "... a .32 to the heart will kill just as dead as a .44." What he said was correct, but very misleading.

    In the infamous "Miami Shootout", one of the villains - Michael Lee Platt - was shot early in the fight by a 9x19 caliber round which killed him. The wound destroyed one lung and caused non-survivable damage to his internal workings. However, it didn't stop him at the moment. Platt went on to kill two of the FBI agents and wound several more.

    So much for the 'dead is dead' theory of firearms effectiveness.
     
  16. Paladin201

    Paladin201 New Member

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    You point out something that is often overlooked in the caliber wars. People often confuse killing power with stopping power. Not the same thing. Killing power means the ability to create a fatal wound. Whereas stopping power means the ability to immediately disable the target, taking them out of the fight and neutralizing the threat. But a gunshot wound can be fatal without immediately disabling the target. Especially if they are high on meth or PCP. The vast majority of people who die from gunshot wounds die from blood loss, but that can take from a number of minutes to hours, depending on the location of the hit. And during this time the person can remain quite dangerous. A 22 wound to the liver will almost certainly be fatal without immediate medical treatment. But it's not going to be a stopper. Disabling a target comes from the nervous system shock resulting from massive tissue and organ damage. The only sure way to achieve that is to put multiple shots into our target.
     
  17. Reaper61

    Reaper61 New Member

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    I read this last night (after getting yelled at by my Battery Commander for wasting the paper I printed it on). I thought it was pretty good. The author says a bunch of times that he is not an expert these are just his observations. Very informative IMHO.
     
  18. trex1310

    trex1310 New Member

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    That may be true. Then again, shooting someone while they are down
    may get you a manslaughter/murder conviction. I based my comment
    on personal experience. You read all manner of this double tap, triple
    tap nonsense on the internet, mostly by people that have never shot
    anything but paper. It pays to be cautious in more ways than one.
     
  19. Nocturnal_Emissions

    Nocturnal_Emissions New Member

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    I thought it was very interesting too, especially the thought that 9mm deflects off bone(aka ribcage) so you wonder the probability of hitting ribs and not hitting vital organs. I start to think if it's true that calibers starting with 4 will go through bone, maybe if they tested that along with ballistics gel and penetration tests, there might be some new statistics to add to the caliber debate. My mind races!;)