Wacking Power - 45 ACP

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by parinoid54, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. parinoid54

    parinoid54 New Member

    I have followed Evan Marshall and his published works on stopping power, and I assume most of us have watched movies showing the "power" of the 45 ACP in all its Hollywood glory. However, have any of you heard of local shootings in your neck of the woods where the 45 was used, and its "effect?" For all its jello/milk jug/melon performance, what experiences have you heard of about real life effectiveness? Please, I have heard that anyone shot anywhere with a 45 will "tear off their arm" etc., and those kind of stories are for kids.

    Marshall states that the number one "man stopper" is the 125gr, 357 Mag, at 1450fps - by documentation. But what about us who use the brick thrower? Again, whatever stories you have in your small towns, I would like to hear.

    Perhaps hearing your reports will be a great and comforting night time sleep aid :D
  2. JonM

    JonM Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    One shot stop is a 1980s gunrag myth that persists today. The reason it is a myth is it promotes the idea that people should shoot once and that's enough. You shoot and continue shooting until the threat stops.

    The reason .45acp works so well is the bullet is heavy enough and has enough energy to go through bone clothing and pocket crap with little to no deflection.

    The reason for using a 1911 as a defensive gun is its unrivaled ease of quick accurate follow up shots. Its ability to be carried safely in such a way that allows the owner to have access to the first round and every round without long nasty double action trigger pulls. Or long creepy mushy single action trigger pulls.

    The .45acp is also an accurate bullet it is accurate out of a wide variety of guns. It is a bullet that has a history dating back to the early days of metallic cartridges in the form of the .45long colt in the colt peacemaker. With the advent of smokeless powder and automatic pistols browning took th 45lc and shrank it down to function in an automic pistol. He chose the 45 due to its long history as an effective manstopper.

    The 45acp is the gold standard by which all other cartridges are measured. None come close without sacrificing accuracy or recoil or compactness.

  3. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

    The .45 ACP is the Great Grandson of the legendery family of .45 handguns. The .45 Colt was called a "Horse Killer" by mounted troops during the NDN wars. It has become an American Icon of defensive side arms. The legend lives on.:D

  4. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

    I'm unaware of anyone ever being attacked by ballistics gell. All the math formula's in the world mean jack at 0200 when you hear that bump in the night. With a .45, you are well armed. You are well armed with any of a number of other calibers as well. Worry less, shoot more. Plenty of people have defended themselves well with guns chambered in "inadequate" calibers. Center mass with a .380 is better than a miss with a .44 mag.
  5. mudslinger79

    mudslinger79 New Member

    Any caliber will lay someone out depending on shot placement. Lay a .22 in someones throat or sinus cavity and its lights our. 45 in my opinion is a monster. I love it, I carry it. I depend on it.
  6. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

    .45 ACP Well Armed or Barely Armed?

    Stopping a violent attacker is a process. The goal of that process is to take your attackers blood pressure to ZERO as quickly as possible.
    (Unless the brain or spinal cord is struck) None of the major handgun calibers, not even the storied .45 ACP, has the terminal ballistics to end an attack through shock alone.

    There were articles in the 80's talking about FBI statistics and labeling the .357 Mag as the #1 man stopper and the .45 ACP as a very close #2 however, there have been numerous recent articles regarding autopsy results where the majority of coroners can find "no distinguishable difference" in the wound cavities of ANY of the major calibers, IE, 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP.

    Studies of US Military actions dating back to the turn of the 20th century support the idea that a larger handgun slug is more effective than the smaller calibers. The .45 ACP was after all, designed to replace the .38 Long Colt after that rounds dismal failure in stopping enemy combatants and prisoners in the P.I. conflict.

    Gulf War I was the first major foray into violent use of the 9mm by US Forces after its adoption by the US Military in 1985 when it replaced the .45 ACP and again, there have been multiple reports of a yet another .38 diameter pistol round failing to stop enemy troops as effectively as the .45. (We must remember that the Geneva Convention restricts our Forces to Full Metal Jacket, "ball" ammo only) So it's not really fair to say the 9mm in civilian hands would suffer as badly as it does in military hands, "we civi's can stuff the mag with much more effective rounds".

    We must remember that most all of the marketing BS we read from the manufacturers is just that, BS. Looking at performance in the hands of US Troops clearly shows a preference for the .45 ACP above anything else simply because it seems to incapacitate bad guys "faster" than the smaller diameter rounds.

    This knowledge is a good baseline to use when selecting handguns.

    IMHO being armed with any handgun is to be "barely armed". If we expect trouble we grab the shotgun or rifle so make your handgun/caliber decision based on:

    1. The largest round the "YOU" can shoot effectively.
    2. The largest gun the "YOU" can conceal effectively.

    Then practice often and if at all possible get yourself some professional training.

  7. JonM

    JonM Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    i agree. the purpose of a rifle or shotgun is to be well armed when your expecting life threatening danger. unfortunately i cant carry my AR15 while shopping at walmart :( the purpose of a handgun is to be armed when your not expecting life threatening danger.

    to this end you want a round that will make big holes allowing the goblin to leak as fast as possible in order to save lives that would otherwise be ended by said goblin's actions.
  8. mach1337

    mach1337 New Member

    Sorry but I have to share this short story...

    A really good friend of mine who shares the same love for guns as I do always has this conversaiton everytime one of us goes to buy a new gun... He always said that he would never buy a 9mm because it didnt have enough stopping power. Always said he would never go smaller then .40.

    Sad part now. He got shot a week ago. He is fine now and recovering. But he was shot with a 9mm. And not a good shot at that. Got him in the stomach about a inch above his right hip and exited after it clipped his left hip. Took out about 12 inches of small intestine and split his colon in half.

    Well first thing he said to me when I got to the hospital was and Im not even joking "sherman remember how I said 9mm is a P!$$& round. Well I was wrong"
    He was drunk when it happened and believe me he stopped instantly. thats my argument for stoppng power...
  9. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

    Found this on the webz;


    General Julian Hatcher, a noted forensic pathologist, in the early 1900’s developed a good formula to determine the theoretical stopping power of a firearm cartridge. His formula has withstood the test of time and validation from other studies and data related to stopping power.

    You want a handgun cartridge that has a Hatcher value of over 50 for the most effective stopping power. Values over 55 have diminishing returns in that you don’t gain any significant increase in stopping power for the extra recoil and control you must cope with. Handgun cartridges that don’t make a value of at least 50, should not considered for self-defense. If the rating of your handgun cartridge is under 30, it only has about a 30% chance of producing a one shot stop. Hatcher Ratings of 30 to 49 raise a one shot stop to approximately a 50% chance. Ratings of 50 or higher produce a one shot stop about 90% of the time.

    Handgun Cartridge Type ..................... Hatcher Rating

    .45 ACP full metal jacket 230 grain .......... 49.1

    .45 ACP jacketed hollow point 230 grain ...... 60.7

    .44 Magnum full metal jacket 240 grain ....... 92.3

    *.44 Magnum lead wad cutter 240 grain ......... 136.8

    .44 Special full metal jacket 240 grain ...... 51.6

    *.44 Special lead wad cutter 240 grain ............. 76.5

    .41 Magnum full metal jacket 230 grain ............. 54

    *.41 Magnum lead wad cutter 230 grain .............. 80

    10 millimeter full metal jacket 180 grain .......... 50.3

    10 millimeter jacketed hollow point 180 grain ..62.1

    .40 S&W full metal jacket flat nose 180 grain ...... 53.4

    .40 S&W jacketed hollow point 180 grain ....... 59.4

    .38 Special full metal jacket 158 grain ...... 26.7

    *.38 Special lead wad cutter 158 grain ............. 39.7

    **.357 Magnum full metal jacket 158 grain ..... 32.7

    **.357 Magnum lead wad cutter 158 grain ............ 48.5

    .357 SIG full metal jacket 147 grain ................ 36.6

    .357 SIG jacketed hollow point 147 grain ..... 45.2

    9 millimeter full metal jacket 147 grain ............ 32.3

    9 millimeter jacketed hollow point 147 grain ... 39.9

    .380 Auto jacketed hollow point 95 grain ..... 18.3

    .32 Auto jacketed hollow point 71 grain ...... 11.1

    .25 Auto jacketed hollow point 50 grain ...... 3.7

    .22 Long Rifle jacketed hollow point 40 grain ... 4.2

    * Jacketed hollow points will have the same rating as wad cutter bullets if the bullet hollow tip is greater than 1/2 of the caliber of the bullet.

    * .357 Magnum ratings are taken from a firearm with a 3 inch barrel. Longer barrels will raise the rating of the round.

    HAVEGUN New Member

    Wife likes shooting 1911's as much if not more than our Model 10 .38.

    Her 1st choice for defense is the revolver. If it hits the fan she wants simplicity. Does not want to deal with extra complications like, is there one in the chamber, is the safety in the correct position? She just can't accept Con 1 as safe. She thinks of it as Condition Red and is dismayed I always carry Con 1.

    I never ever gave her any grief about that. I often work odd hours so if she is alone having to deal with a zombie it is better for her to have confidence in the gun and certainty that it will work as she expects.
  11. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

    More info for the Hatcher Formula

    The Hatcher Formula is an attempt to mathematically evaluate the approximate effectiveness of pistol ammunition at incapacitating a person. Developed by Gen. Julian Hatcher in the 1930's, it uses the bullet momentum, frontal area, velocity, and a 'form factor.'

    The formula is:
    RSP = M * A * F
    where RSP = Relative Stopping Power Index, M = Momentum of the bullet in foot pounds, A = Area of the bullet in square inches, F = Form factor derived from his observations with some additions for later bullet types. The table lists an RSP for each 'Form Factor', whether or not that form of bullet actually exists for a particular caliber or weight. The form factors presented below include:

    0.70 Fully Jacketed Pointed
    0.90 Fully Jacketed Round Nose
    1.05 Fully Jacketed Flat Point
    1.10 Fully Jacketed Flat Point (Large flat)
    1.00 Lead Round Nose
    1.05 Lead Flat Point
    1.10 Lead Flat Point (Large Flat)
    1.00 Jacketed Softpoint (unexpanded)
    1.35 Jacketed Softpoint (expanded)
    1.25 Lead Semi-wadcutter
    1.10 Hollow Point (unexpanded)
    1.35 Hollow Point (expanded)

    Hatcher's Theory Of Relative Stopping Power

    The standard Kinetic Energy equation (½mv²)uses kilograms and meters-per-second and yields Joules of KE.

    In Ballistics Kinetic Energy is expressed in Foot Pounds (ft-lbs) rather than Joules. Furthermore, the standard equation usually uses 980.261 cm/sec (32.16 feet per second) as a standard, but in reality that number varies depending upon your position on the earth - different latitudes or altitutes have small differences in acceleration due to gravity. Since bullet weights are expressed in grains and velocity is in feet per second, in Ballistics, you see Kinetic Energy formulas expressed like KE = mv²/450240. (The mystery factor of 450240 is (7000 * 32.16 * 2) or (GrainsInPound * FeetPerSecond * 2). The table uses latitude 41º at sealevel (32.1607 ft per second).

    Hatcher's Theory Of Relative Stopping Power
  12. mudslinger79

    mudslinger79 New Member

    Yea... :) What he said.
  13. parinoid54

    parinoid54 New Member

    Jello Junkies vs Morgue Monsters


    WOW! I have read some of what Hatcher has written and was impressed.

    Was it Hatcher or Martin Fackler (sic?) who came to their conclusions by shooting human cadavers? :eek:
  14. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

    I'm thinking live goats, the size of the human thorax.

  15. colmustard

    colmustard Active Member

    Very impresive post cane. That info is very intresting, and making me want to possibly switch from my .38 s&w back to my .40 sigma or .45 1911 ;)
  16. ballfan4141

    ballfan4141 New Member

    there is not too much difference at all between the three major pistol calibers (9mm, 40, 45) and I will go with a 9mm because I can have more bullets. someone in trouble should always want more magazine compacity. what is more effective.

    17 rounds of 9mm
    15 round of 40 sw
    12 rounds of 45 acp

    after you shoot 12 rounds of 45 acp bullets and you have to defend yourself more I guarantee you will say to yourself give me that sissy 9mm. H&K still use 9mm in their main sub machineguns. after the thompson there really isnt much other popular choice for 45 acp sub machine guns.

    however I am not going to say take a 32 acp pistol with a 30 round magazine. once you get to 9mm it steps it up to the next level of efficient power. when it comes to 9mm 40sw and 45 acp go based upon what you like to shoot and favor.
  17. mudslinger79

    mudslinger79 New Member

    The State and local police in my area have been instructed in certain situations to unload there mag! Doesn't seem to crazy to me. God forbid I EVER have to use my pistol it will be unloaded on the threat.
  18. HKSlinger

    HKSlinger Member

    Sorry to hear about your friend. Hope he makes a full recovery. Tough way to become a 9mm believer.
  19. parinoid54

    parinoid54 New Member

    But, wasn't this the Strausberg test using live Alpine goats? I know I drink a lot of kool aid, but I am certain (as much as an idiot can be) that one of these guys used "zombies," somewhere in the early twenteth century. As I remember, he used how much the cadaver would move after being hit.

    As far as the 9mm goes, the 86 Maimi shoot out showed a lot; about not only penetration, but also of impact force, hence the 10mm/40S&W. And then the Hollywood bank robbing machinegunners, unaffected by the police' 9mm (yes, wearing body armor), where the LAPD started allowing the use of the 45 for more of a forceful "hit."

    I know, perhaps I am answering my own question; but I was/am looking for more "evidence," in the real world. I don't get to read your local newpapers, and God knows the national media will not report "good" shootings, which is why I am asking you country boys to pass on what you know about fight-stopping use of the 45. Remember, I only just bought my first 1911's less than a year ago, so for now - I am going on a lot of faith and heresay.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  20. parinoid54

    parinoid54 New Member

    For whatever it may be worth to you and others (and your friend), your story was the icing on the cake for me. I am selling my 380 as my "back up" and replacing it with a 9mm. At least now that some, like Ruger LC9, are making them in small enough packages to deep carry. Please tell your friend that I ask God be with him and comfort him.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011