Kevin Rose Posted October 10, 2004 Report Share Posted October 10, 2004 Re: Firearm Muzzle Energy Because it is a readily available measuring method to compare differant bullets and it is not convieniant for most people to go out and conduct live fire trials on living subjects. Since there is no real reliable way to measure bullet effectiveness its as good as any other. I think you know the bowling ball, 2x4 analogies are bogus anyway, like most things its how you use it. If you want to stick to useless but easily measured values that it certainly your option. I'd suggest that gun weight is even easier to find and measure, and has about the same correlation to effectiveness. Killing the opponent is not the typical objective of bullet buyers, itâ€™s stopping the opponent from doing whatever made you shoot at him. The opponent dying from a bullet wound two weeks after he beat you to death with his bare hands isnâ€™t the ideal outcome. So what Iâ€™m saying is based on the idea that you want to stop this guy right now from doing something bad. Muzzle energy is predominantly determined by velocity. The most significant velocity effect on a human is a larger temporary wound cavity. Temporary wound cavities are not correlated with any combat significant effect unless the cavity: 1) is huge compared to the target size (for example, very high velocity varmint bullets blowing up small critters), 2) strikes a confined area like the head. If they disrupt the kidneys, liver, spleen, pancreas - the few organs that are susceptible to this - it may well kill the target, but it's likely to take hours or days. And this isnâ€™t too useful when he's shooting at you now. In particular, pistol class bullets do not produce significant effects from temporary cavities. Rifles can, but you need impact velocities at over several thousand FPS with a good sized bullet to get the tearing and shredding effect that do useful things. Until you reach cannon round size and velocities, a through and through peripheral hit on a determined opponent won't do anything useful. If a bullet hits "the good stuff" the caliber is pretty unimportant. A CNS hit with a .22 or a .458 will both drop the guy right now. The likelihood of striking major blood vessels is really pretty much the same between a 9mm bullet and a 17mm bullet per MacPherson. Arteries are can be blown out by a small bullet or a large bullet, they are not that tough. If you strike a major blood vessel the guy should drop in short order. (Except when he doesn't, like Michael Platt didnâ€™t that day in Miami.) These effects are determined by bullet placement, not caliber. If you assume that the bullet doesn't hit anything particularly exciting it appears that the predominate incapacitation mechanism is the permanent wound cavity. Essentially, how big a hole does the bullet drill into the target and hence how much tissue is destroyed by the bullet. Velocity doesn't really matter except that the bullet has to be able to penetrate any barriers and still penetrate deep into the target. Wide, shallow wounds are not very effective in forcing someone to stop attacking. Bullets that sail right thought the target don't add anything. What you are doing, as a shooting instructor once said, is â€œdepressurizing their circulatory systemâ€. You put enough bullets in them the blood loss and shock, broken bones and other bad things that this causes will eventually cause them to go down. So, fundamentally, it's the actual bullet diameter inside the target and how much tissue it crushes that determines how effective the bullet is. Not the velocity or the energy. But bullet placement is even more important. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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