Posted on February 15, by Leslie Hawthorn Ed. I originally composed this post as a resource for folks at my employer, Red Hat. Obviously, the Red Hat specific bits have been removed, e. Many thanks to Somay and S.
This was a PDF file that was sent to me by a coworker. I simply copied the text and placed it in this format, here on Loose Rounds, so it was easier to see. It is an executive summary of justification for law enforcement agencies on 9mm for duty carry.
If you have followed us here, you know I have been talking about numerous agencies switching back to 9mm over the last few years, as well as the FBI testing for their switch. Great strides in bullet technology have been made in the past decade and 9mm is on the top of its game.
With a select few rounds in 9mm, that have been tested for duty carry, 9mm is fast becoming one of the best options for duty carry. This goes into some detailed history of testing, common caliber myths and justification for 9mm use over other calibers. The picture below has absolutely nothing to do with the content below.
I put it in to give others a frame of reference, on the type of rounds being discussed below. Caliber, when considered alone, brings about a unique set of factors to consider such as magazine capacity for a given weapon size, ammunition availability, felt recoil, weight and cost.
What is rarely discussed, but most relevant to the caliber debate is what projectile is being considered for use and its terminal performance potential. One should never debate on a gun make or caliber alone.
In each of the three most common law enforcement handgun calibers 9mm Luger. The choice of a service projectile must undergo intense scrutiny and scientific evaluation in order to select the best available option. Studies simply involving shooting deaths are irrelevant since the goal of law enforcement is to stop a threat during a deadly force encounter as quickly as possible.
Whether or not death occurs is of no consequence as long as the threat of death or serious injury to law enforcement personnel and innocent third parties is eliminated. Handgun stopping power is simply a myth.
In order to have a meaningful understanding of handgun terminal ballistics, one must only deal with facts that are not in dispute within the medical community, i. Medical Realities Shots to the Central Nervous System CNS at the level of the cervical spine neck or above, are the only means to reliably cause immediate incapacitation.
In this case, any of the calibers commonly used in law enforcement, regardless of expansion, would suffice for obvious reasons. Other than shots to the CNS, the most reliable means for affecting rapid incapacitation is by placing shots to large vital organs thus causing rapid blood loss.
Simply stated, shot placement is the most critical component to achieving either method of incapacitation.
Wounding factors between rifle and handgun projectiles differ greatly due to the dramatic differences in velocity, which will be discussed in more detail herein. The wounding factors, in order of importance, are as follows: A projectile must penetrate deeply enough into the body to reach the large vital organs, namely heart, lungs, aorta, vena cava and to a lesser extent liver and spleen, in order to cause rapid blood loss.
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With modern properly designed, expanding handgun bullets, this objective is realized, albeit more consistently with some law enforcement projectiles than others. The extent to which a projectile expands determines the diameter of the permanent cavity which, simply put, is that tissue which is in direct contact with the projectile and is therefore destroyed.
Coupled with the distance of the path of the projectile penetrationthe total permanent cavity is realized. Due to the elastic nature of most human tissue and the low velocity of handgun projectiles relative to rifle projectiles, it has long been established by medical professionals, experienced in evaluating gunshot wounds, that the damage along a wound path visible at autopsy or during surgery cannot be distinguished between the common handgun calibers used in law enforcement.
That is to say an operating room surgeon or Medical Examiner cannot distinguish the difference between wounds caused by. The temporary cavity is caused by tissue being stretched away from the permanent cavity.
If the temporary cavity is produced rapidly enough in elastic tissues, the tensile strength of the tissue can be exceeded resulting in tearing of the tissue. This effect is seen with very high velocity projectiles such as in rifle calibers, but is not seen with handgun calibers. For the temporary cavity of most handgun projectiles to have an effect on wounding, the velocity of the projectile needs to exceed roughly 2, fps.
At the lower velocities of handgun rounds, the temporary cavity is not produced with sufficient velocity to have any wounding effect; therefore any difference in temporary cavity noted between handgun calibers is irrelevant.
Fragmentation does not reliably occur in soft tissue handgun wounds due to the low velocities of handgun bullets.New emphasis When writing a Clinical Evaluation Report you are required to ensure the essential requirements for safety, performance and risk-beneﬁt (respectively numbers 1, 3 and 6 in Annex I of.
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