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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Physiologically, no caliber or bullet is certain to incapacitate any individual unless the brain is hit. Psychologically, some individuals can be incapacitated by minor or small caliber wounds. Those individuals who are stimulated by fear, adrenaline, drugs, alcohol, and/or sheer will and survival determination may not be incapacitated even if mortally wounded.

Barring a hit to the brain, the only way to force incapacitation is to cause sufficient blood loss that the subject can no longer function, and that takes time. Even if the heart is instantly destroyed, there is sufficient oxygen in the brain to support full and complete voluntary action for 10-15 seconds.
 

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So true. "Knock down" is a myth when it comes to pistols. What one wants is a pistol caliber that will create the deepest and largest hole in the body with good speed and accuracy. That is why I like the .45. It creates a large permanent cavity in the target which is deep reaching; meaning internal organs are damaged. It does much more damage, from what I understand, than a 9mm. Of course, a .40 might do even more damage, but I like the power and weight of most .45 which helps me with accuarcy. I tend to "jerk" my guns and lighter guns only exasperate my poor shooting technique.

Edit: The reason for my flinching with lighter caliber guns is that when I was a youth I trained shooting pistols with a friends guns... .44 magnum and a .357. Ever since I have anticipated recoil. I could work this problem out if I trained with a .22 for a while, which I plan on doing once I get some time.
 

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In equal sized weapons I don't think there is a significant amount of difference between the various calibers. The quality of the load in the gun can matter more. And no one that I'm aware of really knows what factors make the most difference as far as putting someone down in a fight. But the caliber and load are the only things that we can control in a fight. The only advantage a handgun has is that it will likely be with you when the situations goes down the toilet.

I've heard of it put this way. People stop fighting for only a few reasons: they chose to (psychological stop), a solid central nervous system hit (brain or upper spine as they can continue to fight from the ground without the use of their legs) or loss of hydraulic pressure (blood loss and its associated effects).

I'll add that if I knew that I was going to be in a gunfight I'd bring either my Mossberg 12ga or my AR and still plan on having to hammer the person with repeat hits to be sure that they understand that they are losing.

Steelheart
 

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I believe that situational awareness, shot placement, and the will to kill, are more important than caliber size. If I new that I was going to be in a gunfight and had time to bring something that would mean that I also have time to avoid a gunfight. ;)
 

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As They Say ~ Theirs A New Sheriff In Town ~

"Theirs A New Frontline Self Defense Gun To Consider"
Tell Me at the end of this Clip, that the First Shot doesn't Lead to Total Incapacitation...!!! The other 4 shots are for Good Measure... Because Dead Men Tell No Tales...!!!...<:))
http://tinyurl.com/ypms4e

Personal Note: After taking My Judge to the range and shooting #4 Shot... I can say that 4's are devastating at a close range BLAST...!!! Just like in the Clip...

Also I think were talking Self-Defense here... So Don't Shoot anybody in the Back, or more than 25 Feet away from your Front... OR You May Have Trouble Explaining It To A JUDGE...!!!...<:))

Good Target Pattern Report on different Loads...
http://tinyurl.com/2s27rs

How would you like having "THE JUDGE" pointed at you and seeing all them Red Winchester Ball Cartrages In That Wheel Looking Back At You... Just seeing a barrel with a 45 Cal. Hole, would normally have everybody running for cover...hehehe...<:))

That "little .410" round in OOO Buckshot (3 balls) is roughly equivalent to three rounds of 9mm - simultaneously delivered... The .9mm pistol may be criticized for a lack of stopping power, but there's no doubt that three .360 caliber balls delivered simultaneously packs a serious wallop...<:))
 

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After reading a few books that give factual first person accounts of battles in Vietnam. Were soldiers are getting hit with AKs and ARs and staying in the fight. It is all about where somebody is hit. And their mental attitude or will to live.
 

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Steelheart said:
I've heard of it put this way. People stop fighting for only a few reasons: they chose to (psychological stop), a solid central nervous system hit (brain or upper spine as they can continue to fight from the ground without the use of their legs) or loss of hydraulic pressure (blood loss and its associated effects).
None of that stopped the "Black Knight" in the "Holy Grail". :shooter: :fart: :angel:
 

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I'd bet on the rabbit from the end of the movie.

And yes, the fight avoided is the best way to win a fight.

Steelheart
 

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I agree with NYPD in AZ in almost everything he says. It sounds as if he knows what he is talking about. The only exception is that if you can get enough penetration, with proper shot placement, taking out the central nervous system by severing the spine will immediately put 'em down too.
 

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If you don't have the option of good shot placement, go for as many holes as you can and reload as need ;) hard for your attacker to fight back if his arms, legs and chest are full of holes...
 

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Good topic. There seems to be a great deal of "conventional wisdom" to the contrary of what's been said so far here. The "conventional wisdom" however is not wise.

There are all sorts of Urban Legends,fallacies, and down right bad info being toughted on the Internet and in some periodicals. Or at plain old bull sessions at the local watering hole,range,gunstore, or club.

On the other hand we have a good core of members and staff who know of these things and can advise others truthfully. There are no 100% for sure absolutes for most of this stuff discussed.

There are so many variables that cannot be tested scientifically or known how these varibles are part of the case by case basis for each shooting event.
Only what is really known can be presented.

But the core of what is true and needed has been presented here at this thread by all who participated.
 

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Myth Busters has done many shows on various aspects of shooting and firearms. One show a couple of years ago, was about stopping power, hollywood vs. reality. Their findings verified the myth of one-shot-stops, among other things. Sadly, I didn't get to see the entire show and have been searching for it since, but it's out there somewhere if anyone has luck finding it.
 

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"That didn't Hurt"!!! (Pierce gets it!) What have we learned so far from "Mythbusters"? A. Don't hide behind a car door in a gunfight. & B. Shoot well and often in a gunfight. Good discussion without the typical degradation into a shouting match about the 'best handgun caliber'. Variables are the key, as Qwiks is talking about, and there is no way to isolate, define and control every variable. Train well and learn to recognize problems before they occur.
 

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I have never seen anything living stay standing after a hit to the center with a .44 mag although I haven't had an encounter with a grizzly bear yet. Also if you want a one shot stop go for the pelvis, if you break a bone in there they can't stand, and they can't run after you. won't help if the other guy has a gun, but amugger with a knife has to get close to you to hurt you.
 

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People had continued to fight after good hits from 12ga slugs so I know that a 44 mag isn't Thor's Hammer. No, I haven't seen it but I've chatted with those who have (they were either running the gauge or right close by).

I'd be cautious about intentionally trying for the pelivic shot. It'll likely be a more difficult shot than a torso hit (but it should be easier than a head shot) but it might be harder to defend in court afterwards (yes, I know that we shouldn't have to worry about it but we do). Now I'm not suggesting that the pelvic shot is without merit, just that a basic torso hit (trying for the CNS hit but being content with a solid shot to the vitals) it likely to be easier. And if one is nice, many are better.

Steelheart
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have seen human beings survive after many traumatic events which most people would think they are killed instantly. Case in point:

1. Boyfriend shoots his ex-girlfriend in their Brooklyn apt. 3 hits, approx. in a 6 inch circle center of chest with a Ruger Service Six in .357 loaded with 180 grain Winchester Black Talons. She died at the hospital 7 hours later, not instantly. This is the amazing part--Detectives at the scene concluded she crawled around the apartment until she reached the kitchen and the phone to dial 911. This was due to blood patterns on the floor. (This is my experience, not something I picked up in a book or online)

And yes, I have many gory true life stories as any police officer would. Just wanted to re-iterate the point that there is no such thing as the stopping power of a handgun. Remember, pain is mental, not physical. If an individual's pain receptors are not reading what the brain is telling them they're not gonna feel a thing and keep fighting. I've seen it time and time again.

A hit to the central nervous system is the ONLY way to INSTANTLY take down and assailant. This is a proven medical fact. As I and others have said in this topic, sufficient blood loss can take a fair amount of time to cause death and you can continue on for up to 20 seconds even if the heart is destroyed.

I know....I know if you put enough holes in 'em they're going down.

My goal is to put 'em down instantly so myself and the people around me are in as little danger as possible.
 

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I was told by several cop friends of mine that if I were to get in a situation where I had to fire my weapon that in my statements to the police on the seen should be this "The person was threating my life, I was in fear for my life, I shot to stop him\her." Notice I did not mention shoot to kill. This is important because it denotes intent. When I am defending my life I will never intentionally kill someone, true death may result from the my actions of self defense, but after I shoot my would be attacker and he\she stops attacking me I am not going to shoot again because the threat is gone, and any violence on my part after would be considred assault. At least this is how it works in my neck of the woods, so a shot to the pelvis is a viable option if you are defending your life against an attacker armed with anything but a gun, but a center mass hit is the way to go if the assailent is armed with a firearm. The laws for self defense will differ from state to state, so check it out. I will not worry about shot placement in court so long as I had the right to use lethal force, if I didn't I should not have brandished my firearm in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
NYPD in AZ said:
My goal is to put 'em down instantly so myself and the people around me are in as little danger as possible.

It's during the incident when shot placement really matters. I've seen too many innocent children killed by rounds that missed their target. (I'm talking rounds from the police and perp) Most cops can't disconnect their emotions during a life and death situation so I don't expect an armed civilian to do so. However, this is where the problem lies. The emotional and rational parts to the brain MUST be separated during such conflicts. (This takes extreme discipline and is quite difficult to master) If such can be accomplished then training takes the hold over emotion leading to resolution---minus the casualties.


There's an old saying in the police academy I'll always remember and use:
"THINK AS YOU ACT, NOT BEFORE OR AFTER"
 

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Steelheart said:
People had continued to fight after good hits from 12ga slugs so I know that a 44 mag isn't Thor's Hammer. No, I haven't seen it but I've chatted with those who have (they were either running the gauge or right close by).

Steelheart
NYPD's first post mentioned a point that maybe should be repeated - about drugs. I don't know what all the scientific body mechanisms are, but some people know well that BG's high on drugs can fight on much too long after they're "dead" (lethally wounded), even with a good center shot or shots with ANY caliber. It's scary.
 

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Topic split and side topic moved to Politics.

Good call NYPD.

Steelheart
 
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