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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Realistic Expectations

I think this is where we go astray; we expect way too much from our handguns. Hunters have known that seemingly equivalent shots on similar animals can produce very differing results. One may instantly drop while the other runs, yet both received lethal hits to the heart/lung area. This is so often seen that's it's accepted. Deadly force scenarios for most of us are much rarer and there are folks interested in self-protection that have no experience in hunting; they have never seen anything shot. They have never seen a deer with a shredded heart run a hundred yards. They have seen shoot-em'-ups on television and movies. Many of us do not have the proper "respect" for what adrenaline can do and most have not witnessed the damage a person on PCP can withstand and just keep going!

If a 150 pound deer can be shot through the heart with a .30-06 180-gr. expanding bullet at 2700 ft/sec and keep moving, should we expect that a 200 pound human hit with a 180-gr. expanding forty-caliber bullet at 975 ft/sec to be instantly incapacitated?

I believe it's an unrealistic expectation to assume that any defensive pistol cartridge will deck a human being as though struck by lightning. It will happen on some occasions, but not all and probably not the majority.

The high-velocity rifle bullet doesn't always stop the game animal even with good hits, but normally the animal will not run as far before dying as when hit with an arrow. Even though hemorrhaging severely, they can go surprising distances if too quickly pursued. Adrenaline and the will to live push them beyond what many consider possible.

I submit that pistol bullet impact is more akin to the effect of the arrow than the centerfire rifle bullet.

In a life-and-death struggle, seconds seem like hours. The good guy has been forced to shoot the felon, but nothing happens despite a good hit. He shoots again and again and again and finally the bad guy drops. The actual time frame may have been but a few seconds, yet to our survivor, his handgun/load seemed not up to the job. None of them are in my opinion. Some are better than others, but none smite like the Hammer of Thor and it's simply not realistic to expect it. It could also be dangerous. Expect a failure and be mentally prepared to deal with it. Expect that multiple shots may be necessary to actually stop a determined aggressor.

By Stephen A. Camp

full article
http://www.snubnose.info/docs/No_faith.htm
 

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Thanks for the post! That was an excellent article and something that is very important to remember (or consider if it's the first time hearing it). If I could carry a .308 in my pocket or on my waist, I would... ultimately we sacrifice power for portability and concealability.
 

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That's interesting. It's definitely something we should all mentally prepare for, despite the fact that self defense situations are rare. You never know when it will happen to you.
 

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Most people believe what they see in the movies, one shoot the BG drops. But it is not like that in real life. I have seen people hit with a 45apc and drop like a rock. I have also seen the same hit with a 45acp and the combatant keep coming, even after 3 to 4 hits before dropping. Each case or shooting is different. I know that if I have to use my snubby that it may take more than one shoot. I also know I am also rolling the dice with my 1911. Like I said real life is not like the movies.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wish I could find it......... A "true account" of a man taking a 12 GA slug .72 inches through the cap clavicle and the scapula getting up and running quite far and hiding I dont recall if he died or not but there was a .72 inch hole with a minimum a FT Ton of energy from the collar bone to the hip! There is another story in one of the late Jim Cirillo books of a man taking 11 thirty eights to the face from powder burn range and walking to the ambulance! Documented actual police shootings!

I am sure some of you could come up with other similar stories eleven thirty eights to the head inches away and none penetrated to the brain! He was down and unconscious for a time but :shock:

Still others have died from wounds about as serious as a pellet to the thigh.
 

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Interesting thread.

I remember the Jim Cirillo story. From what I remember it knocked the guy out but he came to a little while later. The bullets hit him in the forehead and traveled under the skin but on top of the skull and exited the backside.

A few years ago I read a story about a boy, I think he was 13, that saved his aunt. A bad guy broke into the house and had a knife to her throat. The boy went up to his uncle's room, got his 45, then came down and shot the bad guy in the chest. The bad guy ran out of the house into the street and died. Autopsy showed the the bullet had severed the aorta! :shocked:
 

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Great post and great article.

It is factors such as these that make the whole "9mm vs .40" argument (for example) moot. The FBI did a study which found that caliber and bullet size matter little, it's shot placement - but that even then unless it's a central nervous system shot, "stopping power" is a myth.

I train and try to train my wife that: if you feel you are justified in pulling the trigger, KEEP pulling the trigger till the bad guy stops or your gun does.
 

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On the TruTV channel there are always those shows of LEOs chasing BGs and BG's robbing stores and such. While I can't actually verify the stories, the videos are interesting. In one particular case, two BGs rob a store and one of them is seen on camera lifting up his shirt as he inspects his newly-created wound. He runs out of the store and makes it about 10 yards where he drops dead.

ian

p.s. please take this with a grain of salt.
 

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Excellent thread. A couple thoughts:

- A handgun always stops better than no weapon at all.

- You can land a lot of follow up shots very quickly with a handgun, as compared to say, a bolt action rifle.

- The biggest difference between animals and humans is that we tend to know we're mortally wounded whereas animals don't. Most people have seen enough TV that they believe that a gunshot wound about anywhere results in instant death. Upon being shot, most humans will collapse, pass out, or be otherwise incapacitated, even if the wound is not incapacitating. There are a bunch of instances of people dieing from shock, not from the bullet wound - the fact they are shot literally scares them to death. Now this clearly is not always the case - lots of people will act just like a wounded animal and exert all remaining energy and life either retreating or attempting to eliminate the threat. I would argue that the more likely someone is deserving of being shot, the more likely they are to continue after being shot.
 

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apollosmith said:
The biggest difference between animals and humans is that we tend to know we're mortally wounded whereas animals don't. Most people have seen enough TV that they believe that a gunshot wound about anywhere results in instant death. Upon being shot, most humans will collapse, pass out, or be otherwise incapacitated, even if the wound is not incapacitating.
Yep.

The last paragraph of page 13 of the FBI report addresses that issue: http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf

Basically, some people will just fall down because they know they've been shot. One shot is enough, regardless of where it hits them or how they're wounded. A great example of this is the Secret Service officer protecting Ronald Regan who was shot. He took a .22 to the torso, and immediately dropped. One of who I would imagine are the most trained professionals, who's job it is to take a bullet, dropped simply because he knew he was shot. (He survived, incidentally.)
 

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And interestingly enough in the same event the President got hit in the chest, didn't go down and did not even know he had been shot until told that in the hospital.
 

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HERMIT said:
And interestingly enough in the same event the President got hit in the chest, didn't go down and did not even know he had been shot until told that in the hospital.
If I remember correctly, Reagan almost died because of the little .22 round.

ian
 

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ian husford said:
HERMIT said:
And interestingly enough in the same event the President got hit in the chest, didn't go down and did not even know he had been shot until told that in the hospital.
If I remember correctly, Reagan almost died because of the little .22 round.

ian
That is true. Came closer to dying than the public ever knew.
 

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I heard or read somewhere that we carry handguns because a rifle or shotgun is to cumbersome to pack around all day.

I agree with apollosmith that a handgun is better than no weapon at all.

It is a game of compromises. How big of a firearm can I carry comfortably all day and what is the biggest or smallest caliber I feel comfortable using.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
MasLakas said:
I heard or read somewhere that we carry handguns because a rifle or shotgun is to cumbersome to pack around all day.

I agree with apollosmith that a handgun is better than no weapon at all.

It is a game of compromises. How big of a firearm can I carry comfortably all day and what is the biggest or smallest caliber I feel comfortable using.
Amen, I'd rather have my .357 mono a' mono, my P226 if its more than 1 on 1 but, I carry my Kahr. The gun I have with me is better than the one at home. In the same vain (chances are about the same as being struck my lightning while collecting the mega million jack pot from the lotto ticket that miraculously stuck to my shoe the day after Jenifer Aniston buys me flowers) If I have to go looking for trouble I'll take the toy thats in my trunk.
 

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hedonistic said:
Amen, I'd rather have my .357 mono a' mono, my P226 if its more than 1 on 1 but, I carry my Kahr. The gun I have with me is better than the one at home. In the same vain (chances are about the same as being struck my lightning while collecting the mega million jack pot from the lotto ticket that miraculously stuck to my shoe the day after Jenifer Aniston buys me flowers) If I have to go looking for trouble I'll take the toy thats in my trunk.
That's a very good point. What are the chances you are going to have to use your gun? Pretty slim in my opinion.

If you add up all the odds then I agree that having a handgun will be enough to deter the crime. Just looking down the barrel of a gun will make most criminals think twice. Taking evasive action along with good cover can also improve your odds and if you have to use it, KNOW HOW to use it. Practice, practice, practice. Try competition shooting. You will be amazed at what a little stress will do to you and your gun.

I get really discouraged when I go to the range and see people shooting at a full-size silhouette and missing. When you squeeze the trigger you had better make sure you are hitting the vital areas of the target every time. Not only for your sake but for the sake of the innocent bystander.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
MarshallDodge said:
When you squeeze the trigger you had better make sure you are hitting the vital areas of the target every time.
I used to work at a range. I frequent quit a few (less so with ammo prices lately.) I have noticed those who aim for the T on the head and, the nipples to Adams apple triangle always shoot better. I guess if you pay attention enough to aim center vital over center mass you pay more attention to your shooting too!
 

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MasLakas said:
I heard or read somewhere that we carry handguns because a rifle or shotgun is to cumbersome to pack around all day.

I agree with apollosmith that a handgun is better than no weapon at all.

It is a game of compromises. How big of a firearm can I carry comfortably all day and what is the biggest or smallest caliber I feel comfortable using.
Absolutely.

I'd love to carry my Beretta 92 with 15 rounds in it every day, but for the sake of discretion I carry my Kahr MK9 with 6.

My wife carries a Beretta .22LR, and is a little concerned that it won't "be enough", but she knows that anything bigger would be too uncomfortable to carry and she would end up leaving it at home.
 

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hedonistic said:
I have noticed those who aim for the T on the head and, the nipples to Adams apple triangle always shoot better.
This is the "aim small, miss small" school of thought, which I agree with. Your eye can focus much better on a smaller object. Try shooting at a 6" diameter bullseye and a 2" diameter bullseye at the same distance with the same gun. I guarantee your groups will be smaller on a 2" diameter bullseye.

If I am shooting at something that has the shape of a human silhouette I try to focus on something small, like the 5 or the X in this target.


In a self defense scenario your target will mimic a silhouette but it probably won't be all black. You will need to quickly focus on a point that you want to hit on your target and bring your gun up to that point and squeeze.
 
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