REALLY good video talking about handgun terminal performance

BurnOut

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Nov 24, 2013
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Here.

It's kinda long and dry, but contains a lot of really good info regarding terminal performance of handgun ammo. I will say that the discussion focuses on self defense ammo, and therefore their comments pertain to human targets (and human target analogs like organic ballistic gel), but the long and short of it is that there seems to be a threshold right at 2200 FPS (impact velocity) that must be met in order for the temporary wound cavity to meaningfully become part of the permanent wound cavity. Below that threshold, any damage done by the bullet is limited to tissue through which the bullet physically passes, meaning that penetration and expansion are the key factors in determining the effectiveness of a particular hit; in other words, if the (handgun) bullet doesn't physically touch it/punch through it/whatever, it won't be meaningfully damaged by the shot.

All of that said, as previously mentioned the discussion focuses on human targets/analogs, so what is true on those targets won't necessarily translate to other targets that we might shoot with handguns, like deer or pigs... that 2200 FPS threshold might apply or it might not (I don't know), but IMO for the purpose of matching the tool (handgun/ammo) to the job (target type), penetration and expansion should be the primary considerations, leaving the concepts of hydrostatic shock/temporary wounding on the table for mental masturbation alone.
 

theLBC

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it is more about shot placement than anything.

remember that guy that took 14 shots from a .45 and kept fighting (until 3 headshots finally put him down)?
 

BurnOut

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it is more about shot placement than anything.

remember that guy that took 14 shots from a .45 and kept fighting (until 3 headshots finally put him down)?
That's kind of the corollary to the, if-the-(handgun) bullet-doesn't-touch-it-it-doesn't-get-damaged concept... humans/animals are electrically controlled, hydraulically operated machines, and without either causing massive damage to the electrical system (brain, brain stem) or a critical loss of hydraulic pressure (plummeting blood pressure due to critical organ damage), they're going to retain some measure of capability to act. Whether that action takes the form of running away or attacking or anything else is irrelevant for the purpose of discussion. The "shot placement" point also speaks to what the two ammo guys said as well... muzzle energy, etc... isn't NEARLY as important as being able to shoot well and place shots where they need to be placed in order to get the desired effect.
 
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G22OneShot

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Apr 13, 2013
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This information has been out there for a while but as with all things guns you have die hards that have a difficult time letting go of certain beliefs they have in their mind that are based solely from word of mouth, speculation, or mis-applied causation.

I had the opportunity to attend a demonstration day, for lack of a better term, where Mr. Boden went over all the same points. He backed up every claim with a real world demonstration. Guys were encouraged to present whatever firearm and ammunition they wanted and Boden would run them through the tests.

As they point out in the video in the end the best advice they could give was carry something that you can shoot a lot, fast, accurately. In the end they determined there were really only two realistic mainstream handgun calibers that should be considered for self defense. The 9mm for capacity and control, and the 45 because that at 150% is going to leave a nice big hole to bleed from.

They dispelled a lot of myths I was certain were true when they did all the tests. First they showed me just how much handguns suck at killing people quickly. Plenty of people have died due to handgun injuries but there is no shortage of footage out there of someone sustaining a fatal gunshot wound, and going on to kill someone or carry on a gunfight before finally succumbing to their injuries.

Another truth is that the particular bullet choice matters far more than the caliber choice in almost every circumstance (handguns that is) This is especially true anytime there is some barrier between u and the bad guy. (Glass, wall, clothing, etc) Finally, there has been a large push to develop rounds for self defense that don’t over penetrate. In turn we have developed lots of new self defense ammo that is highly ineffective. Get something that goes big and deep.And then shoot em with a lot of it. Most importantly, get to a rifle.
 

OutThere

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Jul 23, 2020
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Johann is a stand-up, no BS guy. I've been to 3 of his testing seminars. We shot everything that everyone brought with them.

He's a very patient and knowledgeable guy, answering every question we had.
 

346ci

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Great video. A big reason I moved from .40 S&W to 9mm long ago. In a match, I could send more 9mm down range faster and accurately.