Range Accident Reveals .45 Stopping Power. Or Not.

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Gun guru john Farnham received an email from a friend who works at a commercial, indoor pistol range.

“Last Friday, we experienced an injury/accident at our range. It is  not our first, but it is the most serious to date.

A father, and his sixteen-year-old, son were shooting in a booth. Upon finishing, the father placed his 45ACP 1911 pistol (brand unknown) into a hard, carrying case. Father claims that he manually ‘decocked’ the pistol  (on a live round) prior to putting it away. He further claims that when he closed and case, the pistol discharged while still inside.

I was not an eye-witness, but I can’t imagine how that is possible! So, in my opinion, his “version” of events is dubious, but police are still investigating. In any event, here is the object-lesson:

The single, errant bullet struck the son in his pinky-finger, then went on to enter the kid’s abdomen. For a teenager, the kid was big and pudgy, in excess  of two-hundred pounds.  The round, a 45ACP Winchester Silvertip, is a good,  high-performance, defensive pistol round.  It penetrated a shirt, an undershirt, and then six inches of fatty abdomen before stopping. It did not exit.

Upon being thus struck, the kid was able to walk, without assistance, out of the range and into our lounge area, where he sat down and quietly waited. Police and EMS arrived within minutes, and the young man was transported to a local hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery,  and the only apparent, permanent disability will result from trauma to his  finger!

Here is the lesson for all of us:

This mild-mannered teenager, not belligerent nor under the influence of any drugs, absorbed a full-power, hollow-point 45ACP bullet, at point-blank range, and subsequently displayed scarcely more than moderate discomfort!  He was able to walk under his own power, never lost consciousness, never collapsed, and  reportedly joked with ambulance attendants on his way to the hospital!”

John Farnham comments:

The foregoing is, of course, anecdotal, but it emphasizes an important training axiom: A pistol, any pistol, is a poor fight-stopper! We carry pistols  because they’re convenient, not because they’re effective.

In order to gain the most/best effect, we need to shoot with surgical precision, striking vital organs, and do it multiple times, in rapid succession. Even then, we dare not expect miracles, even with “high-performance” ammunition!

comments

  1. avatar Joe nobody says:

    I heard a story of a police officer who stopped a very large man on a motorcycle. this man ended was a fugitive and began,to draw his national american arms .22 mouse gun. The police officer responded accordingly and fired five winchester silver tips(.357)into the perp. As if unscathed the man fired one .22 round into the police officers jugular. The officer died within seconds. The fat fugitive rode off into the sunset with five slugs in his gut. Hearing about winchester silvertips getting caught in fat seems to be a common trend. They are designed to dump as much power as quickly as possible. That is why I prefer lighter faster defense loads. I carry remington golden saber 185 grain plus p in my .45. remember, too much expansion is a bad thing, balance it with penetration. And above all the most important aspect of defensive firearm use is shot placement. Location, location, location. This young boy should be glad he is a on the heavy side. Maybe I should put on a few pounds it would make for effective body armor.

    1. avatar Charles says:

      I thought the heavier, slower bullets penetrated deeper. Am I wrong?

      1. avatar Joe nobody says:

        More likely I am wrong…. Thats what I get for commenting so early in the morning. But the olus p deffinetwly helps with penetration lol

        1. avatar Charles says:

          Been there, done that. Maybe we should write a “four rules of blog/forum safety” post.

          Rule one: never post before coffee

        2. avatar Joe Wolvie says:

          Always keep the coffee mug loaded

          Always keep the coffee cup muzzle pointed at your mouth.

          Never touch the keyboard before caffeine is fully engaged.

          Know your posts and what’s behind them

        3. avatar Charles says:

          Bam! In the ten ring.

        4. avatar Matt G. says:

          Charles is correct. Heavier bullets penetrate better, lighter loads tend to have more energy, but dump it faster. Both work.

      2. avatar Joey Miller says:

        Expansion is another factor, a bullet that expands more would penetrate less but leave a wider cavity. A balance of expansion and penetration makes for the maximum cavity, that is the bullet should expand as much as possible while still passing completely through the enemy.

        Penetration is also a matter of momentum, which is the product of mass and velocity. So bullets that are heavier and faster have more momentum, but of course heavy things take more power to gain velocity so there is a trade-off there.

    2. avatar Justin says:

      Sounds like the Trooper Coates murder, with a few facts wrong. The in-car video of this murder has been shown in police academies nationwide and it is thought to be one of the catalysts for officers now calling in their location when on a traffic stop. The offender is a very large, fat man…

      “Corporal Mark Coates was shot and killed after stopping a car for weaving in traffic on I-95 near the Georgia border. During the traffic stop the suspect began to struggle with Corporal Coates and they both fell to the ground. The suspect fired a .22 caliber handgun into Corporal Coates’ chest, but the round was stopped by his vest.

      Corporal Coates was able to force the man off of him and return fire, striking the suspect five times in the chest with his .357 caliber revolver. As he retreated for cover and to radio for backup, the suspect fired another shot. The round struck Trooper Coates in the left armpit and traveled into his heart. The suspect survived the incident and was sentenced to life in prison.

      Corporal Coates had been with the South Carolina Highway patrol for 5 years, and had previously served with the United States Marine Corps. He was survived by his wife, two sons, parents, sister and brother.

      Read more: http://www.odmp.org/officer/420-trooper-mark-hunter-coates#ixzz1e4dcTspL

      1. avatar Joe nobody says:

        Thanks for keeping the facts straight.

  2. avatar Texan says:

    Interesting post. And just in time for Thanksgiving, where I’ll be eating massively building up my self-defense system.

    Time to go get started on some Krispy Kremes…

    I’m glad the kid will be ok.

  3. avatar Joe nobody says:

    Let me add one thing. I recommend you look up a brassfetcher on youtube. He has a great series of ballistics gelatin videos. They are the best I have seen and he covers didnt calibers and popular defense loads. He doesnt ha e many views but he deserves them. Im not affiliated with him or anything I just thought some of you,guys would appreciate them.

  4. avatar Rabbi says:

    Good bullets with bad placement does no good.

    Need make proper hits and keep hitting until the threat stops

    1. avatar Joe nobody says:

      My point is that winchester silvertips may not necasarrily be good bullets. Unless of course your killing werewolves.

      1. avatar Richard Head. says:

        Good joke but if taken to the letter you become werewolf dinner as that crap is made of aluminum.

        Just saying this in case some newbie gets in the undead trend and starting shooting black dogs with this thing.

        Children you need a good hard cast Keith style semi wadcutter either from lead or silver.

  5. avatar HSR47 says:

    If we assume the story above to have veracity, all that it really proves is that shot placement matters more than caliber. Recall for instance, the case of a hotel clerk stopping a male intent upon raping her with a single .22lr round. This also is anecdotal evidence that people should not rely on their defensive loads forever, and that newer bullets likely trump older ones–Hell, in the silvertip testing video above, 2/3 of the bullets recovered after testing suffered core/jacket separation. That is not something that inspires confidence…

    1. avatar Joe nobody says:

      I will have to try to find the link to the story, I read about it a long time ago.

  6. avatar Windy says:

    I know a retired LEO that alternates ball FMJ +P with his hollow point+P in his carry 1911 for just the reasons above; he did 2o years at the Secret Service before becoming the chief of a mid sized city PD…. I wonder how common his load out is.

    1. avatar AB says:

      I know of more than one LEO that staggers his magazine loads with ball and HP ammo… “So long as you are double tapping…” they say.

  7. avatar Mike says:

    Be careful, you’re going to have the tacticool guys carrying a separate magazine of ball ammo just in case they have to stop a fat kid.

  8. avatar Ronaldo Ignacio says:

    First, Focus on the ND.
    How much energy was dumped penetrating the hard case?

    1. avatar Jeff O. says:

      That’s the key bit that everyone seems to be overlooking.

  9. avatar aircooledTOM says:

    Lack of penetration is not a new thing with a .45 cal. If the round first had to get through a case and then smacked his finger, and THEN entered his chubby body some of its energy was probably used up and it’s changes in shape had probably already begun in earnest. A very slow moving round like the .45 is still my choice because it puts all of its energy into the target and does not over penetrate. I’d rather have to shoot a fat guy twice in the chest and be sure that I’m not killing a kid in the next room. This is an argument for controlled pairs and avoiding areas where there might be 6 inches of gelatinous mass (center chest).

  10. avatar Dogman says:

    Another reason to adjust the rules of a gunfight to include a new Rule Number One. Old Rule Number One: Have a gun. New Rule Number One: Avoid the gunfight.

  11. avatar joe says:

    I often carry 10mm FMJ or sometimes lead(with a LWD barrel) in my Glock 20.

  12. avatar Sean says:

    I’ve known people that carry 2 different defensive rounds in their gun, one light & fast, easy expanding, and a 2nd type of “deep penetrating” type round that is still a hollowpoint or expanding round of some type.

    The sectional density, weight to speed ratio, and expansion characteristics of the round (HST, Ranger Talon, Gold Dot) must all be taken into account when choosing a defensive round.

    Personally, I favor penetration over expansion.

    I’m trying to punch holes in things shielded by bone deep in the body. Better to punch a slightly smaller deeper hole, than a slightly larger, but shallower hole IMO.

    SGM Kyle Lamb has said before in regards to handguns’ effectiveness,
    “One MAG, one kill.”

    I’ll trust his experience over mine.

  13. avatar GaryinVT says:

    I wish a lighter and smaller pistol that holds, say, 5 or 6 rounds of .45ACP pistol were available. Too much recoil? Self defense guns don’t need to be comfotable. Ruger LCP Mucho Grande, maybe?
    “…we need to shoot with surgical precision…” LOL! Training yes, absolutely, but as a regular Joe (or Gary) I’m pretty sure my self defense scenario will be weak handed falling backwards in the dark over something that seems to be attacking me.

  14. avatar Adam Z says:

    @Joe: 10mm FMJ is not a good idea for two legged threats.

    1. avatar Sean says:

      Would be pretty much the same as FMJ .40, no? Just blows right through him with a .40 caliber hole.

    2. avatar joe says:

      It may not be-I have carried it though-also some Hornady 180 gr hollow point.Depends on the day of the week.
      I always appreciate some advice from another shooter.
      The lead is Double Tap and nasty stuff.

  15. avatar Adam Z says:

    @Gary: Glock makes a single stack 6 round subcompact .45. I think its a model 36.

  16. avatar tdiinva says:

    The lethality and stopping power of 45 ACP is based on the 230 grain bullet. The Army chose the 230 grain load for the 1911 after extenstive live animal testing and re-confirmed those studies is the late 1980s. If you choose to use a lighter load then don’t expect the same performance from the round. I use 230 grain Winchester Supreme JHPs for my self defense round. Unlike 9mm and 40 caliber, you use a 45 JHP to prevent over penetration and not for its increased stopping power. Stick with the standard weight bullet.

    Beesides, all this proves is that any round fired through a hard case and strikes another object has reduced stopping power. It also helps to have an extra layer of fat as a cushion.

    1. avatar aircooledTOM says:

      ^this

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        That’s a new one for me.

        1. avatar aircooledTOM says:

          meaning something like “I wish I had said this”… or “what that guy said”….

          Well said.

  17. avatar Aaron says:

    Success in putting down an assailant lies at the intersection of physics, physiology and luck. We probably have less control over the outcome of a gunfight than we think.

    1. avatar Don says:

      Indeed. A weapon gives you a defensive edge, not a solution, not a guarantee.

      -D

  18. avatar freeport56 says:

    The key to this whole story is the gun case the Father placed the 1911 into. Through personal experience of an accidental discharge, I learned how quickly the ‘hollow point’ round dissipates it’s energy on impact. My round struck and killed an American Tourister suitcase. The round was found inside the suitcase, stopped by 1/4 inch of suitcase.

    KMey factors are the gun case and the materials it is composed. This could have slowed the round enough not to have the claimed/desired effect. Would love to see a foillow up on the ballistics tests.

  19. avatar Dave J says:

    The round had to exit “a hard, carrying case” therefore I will reserve judgment regarding the bullet performance until more is know about the construction of case.

  20. avatar Mr. Lion says:

    All metrics regarding the caliber are entirely irrelevant. May as well say a round nose 9mm has more stopping power while ricocheting off a cement wall than a .44 hollowpoint.

    The real story here is that some toolbag, whatever the actual events were, attempted to stow a live, chambered weapon. With his teenage son in close proximity. This guy needs a smack upside the head with an axe handle.

  21. avatar wtf2345 says:

    If the pistol was not being “held” a lot of the energy would probably be lost moving the pistol and penetrating the case.

    1. avatar Matt G. says:

      This is not true. The bullet has left the barrel before the slide has moved more than a quarter of an inch. The recoil you feel from a handgun is just the energy of the slide continuing to move backwards after the bullet has left, so the support of the gun has little to no effect on muzzle velocity.

      1. avatar AK says:

        I don’t think so…There is an equal amount of force pushing the bullet forward as there is backward.If you were to set off a primer on a cartridge suspended in a vacuum the shell casing would travel just as far as the bullet.Without question, energy is lost by the weapon being discharged without being held.

      2. avatar Gark32 says:

        that could not be more untrue if you’d said the gun was made of Jell-o.

      3. avatar Damion says:

        Completely accurate information.

        That’s why revolvers don’t “kick” – no slide.

        1. avatar Matt G. says:

          Come on guys, if you don’t know how physics works then dont comment.

          The slide has much more mass than the bullet, so obviously it won’t move as far or as fast as the bullet will, even though both are experiencing the same kinetic force upon firing. Because if this, the energy from firing will take longer to overcome the inertia of the slide than the inertia of the bullet, so therefore the bullet moves farther, faster, than the slide/barrel.(at this point they are still locked)

          Do you guys really think that soft brass sidewalks would somehow magically contain the extremely high pressure present with the bullet in the barrel if the slide and barrel were unlocking while it was still in there?

          How would handguns be accurate if the bullet was still being effected by the barrel as it was unlocking and moving rearward?

          Revolvers transmit the recoil directly to the frame of the gun of course and are a completely different animal.

          If you still can’t grasp the concept, look at some of the ultra highspeed videos on YouTube and watch as the bullet sails out of the end of the barrel befor it unlocks from the slide.

          Eta: Here, I’ll just find a video for you. Skip ahead to 1:20 to see a beretta m9 throw a bullet downrange. If you have time, watch the whole video, it has some cool stuff and I like the music.

  22. avatar MS says:

    Lets not get carried away here with calling a Winchester Silvertip a “High Performance” round, in fact it is one of the most inconsistent poor performing rounds on the market.

    Has everyone already forgotten the 1986 Miami Shootout where one of the suspects was shot through the arm and into his chest cavity and was still able to kill a few more FBI agents before expiring at the scene??? I will give you one guess as to which bullet he was shot with…..That is right a 9mm 147 grain Winchester Silvertip. Due to the lack of performance and penetration from this round the FBI created the FBI protocol the current standard to which all law enforcement ammunition is measured up to. As a witness to many of these tests I can say without a doubt that what this teenager experienced after being shot with this round is par for the course for many of the various Winchester hollow point rounds.

    1. avatar Mike says:

      This, holy jesus this. The silvertip is in no way a high performance self-defense round. I don’t know why they even make them anymore.

      1. avatar James says:

        Yeah, a 185gr silvertip? High performance?

        I keep Federal 230gr +P HST in my .45.

    2. avatar jkp says:

      I don’t think the FBI were using 147 grain 9mm rounds in Miami in 1986…. though the only citation I can find on the Internets is this article from Mas Ayoob which implies that the 147 grain round was selected post-1988: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob93.html

      1. avatar Darren says:

        The SWAT-qualified guys were shooting 9mm 115gr Silvertips, I believe. The Ruger Mini-14 shooter took a lethal round through the arm and into a pulmonary artery, but it was not immediately lethal enough to stop him from killing the agent that mortally wounded him in the meantime.

        There is probably a fair amount of difference in wound channel size between an 185gr .45ACP and a 115gr 9mm. I am shocked, shocked that a .45ACP hit someone in the little finger and didn’t knock them down (eyeroll).

        If the story went as the father told it, the secret might have been in the gun case. The gun case may have slowed the bullet down considerably. 6″ of adipose penetration after a pinky hit is far, far below the FBI standards…farther than I would expect any .45ACP “defensive” round to perform.

  23. avatar Ralph says:

    Next time, dad should load up with hardball and aim lower if he intends to improve the gene pool.

  24. avatar Mark says:

    “For a teenager, the kid was big and pudgy, in excess of two-hundred pounds.”
    So it would seem being overweight might actually eliminate one health risk anyway…

  25. avatar Xenokilla says:

    So the gun was in a case? Assuming that’s true then the shell would have slowed down some depending on the construction of the case, and as wtf said, with no one holding the gun a lot less energy would have been transferred. I carry .40 hollow points, I have a feeling after a gut shot with that you wouldn’t be walking around too much.

    1. avatar Matt G. says:

      A gut shot with any standard handgun cartridge would hurt, but would in now way hamper a person from killing you back.

      The only reason a lot of people stop fighting when shot and sometimes fall down is because they’ve been trained to do so by popular culture. A direct shot to the heart still leaves a person enough time to stab/shoot you if close. Don’t get overconfident about your weapon system.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        “The only reason a lot of people stop fighting when shot and sometimes fall down is because they’ve been trained to do so by popular culture. ”

        That exceeds the most stupid remark I have ever made here and I have made a few.

        Abdominal wounds are the most painful wound you can get. Even a 22lr is going to make you hurt if not kill you. Most people fall on the ground when hit in the stomach with large caliber pistol because they are in immense pain and feel like they got kicked in the stomach. Most go immediately into shock.

        Left untreated abdominal wounds are 100% fatal. The time time it takes to die is a function of how fast you bleed. The bigger the wound channel the less time you have to get treated and the larger the dispersion of nasty bacteria that resides in your intestines. The man who is gut shot and fights on after being struck by a 7.62 or large pistol round is rare. In combat they usually end up with a posthumous Medal of Honor.

        1. avatar Matt G. says:

          Yes they are fatal and painful, but people who have the will can still survive long enough to kill you back if not hit in the Central Nervous System. Ask most cops who have shot assailants on drugs and they will tell you this.

          The OP made it sound like he was counting on his all powerful .40cal to decimate a bad guy buy tearing up his guts(interstines). This is not a good idea, or every school ever would be teaching gut shots. The reason we train for center mass is because that is where the important stuff is, heart, CNS, lungs.

          You see people in movies stop attacking after single shots to the upper chest/lungs, they just stand there and look dumbfounded. This is usually not what hardened criminals and drug addicts do. Watch videos of convenience store robberies, portia get shot and run out the door and die down the street or in the parking lot, Or they could just as easily run toward there killer and stabbed him.

          Relying on someone to just drop everything and look stupidly at their chest after one or two rounds is not a good idea.

  26. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I was taught in my last concealed carry class that bullets aren’t magic and that you never know how they will affect the person being shot. This kid got lucky that the bullet most likely got stuck in a fatty deposit, and this probably saved his life.

    1. avatar Darren says:

      Once I learned that people survive stabbings and handgun wounds with equal frequency, I came to realize than a handgun is not much more than a long sharpened screwdriver. You are boring a hole the diameter of your expanded (or unexpanded) projectile somewhere between 10 and 13 millimeters in diameter somewhere between 10 and 14 inches into whatever you hit. If you miss the CNS or don’t shatter a support bone in the pelvis or hip, it’s not going to be immediately incapacitating or lethal.

  27. avatar michael says:

    A crowbar or baseball bat has “Stopping Power.” In handguns, it is a meaningless term, and the idea that “I carry a 45 because it will take anyone and and anything down” is simply moronic.

    With any handgun caliber that the average cat can reasonably carry concealed, or otherwise shoot, the ONLY thing that counts is shot placement: put a hole in the brain, spinal cord, heart, aorta, femoral artery,–in about that order. If you can do it, especially the brain, it really doesn’t matter what you use. Obviously a 45 will put a bigger hole into an artery, and the bad guy may bleed faster, but how much faster is a big question and open to debate.

    1. avatar Matt G. says:

      This.

    2. avatar Tom says:

      I agree. I would say bullet placement is more important than the caliber in many cases. I get laughed at in gun shops over my Walther PP as all the real men have .45 Colt 1911s. I like the 1911 as well as anybody, but it is harder to conceal and carry; and you are still going to have to get the bullet in area that counts to take down the bad guy. The .45 will give you more room for error than the .32 auto will, and a 12 gauge shotgun round will give you even more. But still…at the end of the day, you have to make your shot count in a critical area for quick incapacitation.

  28. avatar michael says:

    Regarding the Miami shootout:

    http://www.cji.edu/papers/HankinsChris.pdf

    The cartridge of choice in all branches of United States law enforcement became the nine-millimeter (9mm) parabellum, a round of German origin designated in that country as the 9 x 19. Weighing an average of 115 grains, a standard 9mm bullet could be fired for a semiautomatic pistol at approximately 1100 feet per second (FPS). Though it was ballistically inferior to the highly regarded .357 Magnum, the 9mm offered the benefits of high-capacity and low recoil.

    Platt, firing the Mini-14 assault rifle from his wrecked Monte Carlo and directly in the face of his partner Matix, killed an FBI agent before he could even exit his vehicle. As Platt dove from his car, he was immediately shot in the side with a 115-grain 9mm Winchester Silvertip hollowpoint fired by Special Agent Ben Grogan in what has been referred to as the “million dollar shot” (Speir, 2000, p. 75). The 9mm Silvertip hollowpoint penetrated his arm, then his chest, and finally came to rest [almost fully expanded] in Platt’s right-lung, failing to reach the heart…

    1. avatar Joe Wolvie says:

      Absolutely true.

      Just remember…after all that firepower using (at the time) “state of the art” cartridges, the fight was finally ended with…

      ..a snub nosed 38 special.

      Bullet placement is important. But I believe equally important is cartridge choice. The Miami-Dade Shootout shows this to be absolutely true. Grogan had perfect placement…yet the bullet failed to do its job.

      Missing something with a 500 magnum gets you nothing. However, hitting perfectly with an inferior cartridge can be (as this case shows) just as ineffective.

      Choose your carry rounds as carefully as your training methods. They both mean the difference between success and failure.

  29. avatar Matt G. says:

    Well, if you guys would quit being sissies and carry a .44 automag like a real man then you wouldn’t have to argue about this all the time.

  30. avatar Matt Gregg says:

    I think the .45 ACP’s performance in WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam carries a lot more weight than one “range incident”.

  31. avatar Gun Smoke16 says:

    .45 is a potent stopping round. Hitting the plastic case, then clothing, then fatty tissue will slow down a round considerably. It is designed to expand and stay inside the body anyway…not to exit. Usually if shooting through a coat, the hollow point will clog up and act like a solid round, thereby going through the body with reduced impact energy. That is why Hornady (who advertises “We make large, open, fatal wound cavities!”) developed the Critical Defense round to promote the same results every time. I’m guessing that hitting the “BONE” of the pinky finger may have “deflected” the round somewhat and reduced energy further, before hitting fabric (was he wearing Carhart or something?) and finally the fat slowing it further. Luckily, he didn’t bleed out, which is usually why people die in these situations (did they have Quick-Clot on hand?). Shot placement is “critical” to stopping a situation. A man armed with a knife has already made commitment to kill you and can cover 21 feet in under a second, so a brain shot would be preferable to a center of mass as if you miss the spinal cord he will probably “get you” even if he is shot center mass, just from sheer inertia of body in motion and dying determination! Personally, I have seen .45 round ball go right through car doors, even saw one travel through a driver’s fender, inner fender, firewall, knocking out the ashtray, through the seat and lodge in the passenger side rear door. If you get shot straight on with a .45 it will probably kill you or come real close if they are using a hollow-point expansion round or something like the Glaser Safety Ammo, Magsafe or Aguilar which uses an aluminum bullet that expands about size of a half dollar piece traveling at 1600+fps. This kid is damn lucky to be alive and just for the record, Winchester ammo is light-loaded, so it probably didn’t have “that” much impact compared to full mil-spec performance. Even their shotgun shells shoot much lighter than others. It’s good for practice though as it is economical. Best stopping round I’ve found is Hornady products (which outperform Federal Hydroshocks) in most all handgun calibers. Sellier & Bellot is the best for practice vs. price. Federal probably makes the best shotgun ammo (00 buck is ok, but a load of 0000 buck will cut a target in half…it’s same as a tube of bb’s). Cor-bon works good in 9mm as well. Good luck, Happy shooting & be safe.

  32. avatar frankgon4 says:

    There is more than one range incident. See You Tube video of Tex who shoots himself point blank in the leg by accident with a .45 acp (1911 platform). He curses “I … shot myself”, sets his gun down and then walks off to get help.
    Shot placement is Key even with a rifle. Example: After a kill shot: A hunter does not go up to the deer, but waits. A deer with blown out lungs will kill you if you run up on it right after shooting it. A kill shot does not mean immediate death, only that the deer will die from the wound. People confuse kill shot with stopping power. Stopping power can only be determined after the shooting. Did the Bad Guy stop doing what he was doing – does not mean he was killed. This is where the 21 foot rule of thumb came from. Shooting a knife wielder 15 feet away from you, the knife wielder may have the ability to reach you before he dies. Shot placement is key whether it is a .45, .308, or .22

  33. avatar DeeAnna says:

    Most likely it misfired before he ‘decocked’ it, meaning it didn’t fire when he pulled the trigger, thinking it wouldn’t go off by itself due to a cracked firing pin. Especially guns folks need to maintenance and know what to look for rather than bs-ing themselves thinking all is hunky dory with too m uch pride to admit ‘huh?’ Cracked firing pin.

  34. avatar wolf says:

    I have shot frozen thick ice, concrete bridges, and other such items with everything from .22, .22 mag, .380, .38, .357. 9mm, .45 lc, .45 acp, 30.06, and 20 and 12 ga.
    45 acp and 12 ga impress me very much with hammer power..of course 30.06 aint bad either.
    I like killing old fridges and freezers the best, most fun things i have ever shot.. T>V> screens are the worse, sometimes they shoot back..
    IMHO

  35. avatar SuperCorpsman says:

    Although the .45 ACP is an impressive round, I participated in an investigation, in 1977, that really changed my opinion.

    In February, the hospital at Camp Pendleton had treated and hospitalized a US Marine, for injuries sustained during an auto accident.

    What we didn’t know, is that the man had been smoking marijuana laced with PCP.

    About 10 p.m., right after lights out, he got up and wandered the halls in the medical ward. He stopped at the nurse’s station and picked up a pair of 12 inch paper scissors.

    He walked into two rooms. In the first room he stabbed an eightythree year old female patient to death with the scissors. Then he stabbed the television in her room.

    He ran to the next room, and stabbed a retired Chief Warrant Officer, US Marine Corps, who was asleep in his hospital bed.

    One of the Navy hospital corpsman on duty, saw him run out of the warrant officer’s room, dripping blood.

    The young corpsman panicked and ran towards the nursing station, screaming.

    The nursing staff scattered, some barricading themselves in patients rooms and the medication room.

    The charge nurse called the office of the day. He immediately sent the master arms up the center stairway to that floor.

    The master arms opened the door to that floor and was stabbed in both lungs by this Marine.

    The perpetrator ran down the hall, and the charge nurse from the intensive care unit dragged the master at arms back inside the ICU and barricade the door.

    But this time, two MP’s came up the back stairs and found the perpetrator standing in the hall, next to the elevator bank.

    They both drew their service automatic M1911A1’s. With rounds chambered they order the perpetrator to get on his knees. The perpetrator ran towards them, screaming. They both shot him in the upper body, five rounds each, at ranges from 25 to 5 feet. Standard military ball, 230 grains.

    Every one of those rounds penetrated his torso. He was literally spinning in a circle while on his feet. He was still standing up.

    He did stop moving. The MPs literally knocked him down and handcuffed him.

    I chased projectiles for 2 days. Through doors. In walls. Through plate glass and outside, ricocheted off of the landscaping.

    The perpetrator died, thirty days later.

    Every master at arms and military policeman on a West Coast knew about Lance Corporal Vasquez. 12 inch paper scissors were known as the Vasquez model, for years, in the Navy, after that.

  36. avatar T. McNamara says:

    Ok, first off, why would anyone place a pistol in a hard case with a live round in the chamber ? That’s just stupid.
    Second, how could a 1911 style pistol discharge itself without the grip safety being depressed and the trigger pulled whilst in a gun case ? It can’t.
    The guy says that he manually [read criminally negligent] decocked a loaded 1911 so, how could the hammer have fallen on the base of the firing pin whilst in the case ?
    This whole “incident” is pretty light on details, yet they all swear that the kid was shot by a Winchester silvertip round in .45 ACP. Yet, nobody remembers the make of the gun.
    Are we sure it was a .45 and not another caliber ?
    How stout was the gun case and what was it constructed of ?
    What was the angle of impact and did the round have to penetrate any other barriers besides fatty’s finger and blubber ? Any hollow point bullet is a very poor penetrator, especially through barriers.
    Apparently the kid was unfazed by the wound and may have been able to perform an Irish gig if required.
    This bit of fantasy hardly qualifies as an indictment of the .45 ACP cartridge and, if any of it is true, serves as a reminder of why there are rules for safe gun handling, especially on a public range.
    I call BS on this story.

  37. avatar David Brattain says:

    I suspect that both the penetration of the foam and hard plastic case (especially with the lighter hollow-point bullet) slowed the bullet down along with the pressure in the case resulting from the discharge.

    Also, where in the abdomen? my guess is this was more of a glancing strike somewhat oblique to the abdominal cavity. As for the finger, this must have been a nick and not a full on strike.

    If shot at point blank range, out of the case and perpendicular to the young man’s tummy, his vitals would have been scrambled and his little finger converted to a key fob…

  38. avatar Hannibal says:

    Nothing is guaranteed. In 1990 an LAPD (off duty) officer was carjacked and shot in the heart with a .357 magnum (it fragmented and hit lots of organs, to be fair). Although she went into cardiac arrest multiple times she was able to survive. More notable is the fact that, after being shot with the ‘manstopper’ of common pistol rounds she was able to chase the bad guy around the other side of the car and shoot him three times, killing him.

    Then you have the case of officers Steve Chaney and Linda Lawrence. They were called to a suspected burglary that turned out to be a domestic. BG was on PCP and managed to grab hold of Chaney’s gun first. The two fought over it and the gun was fired twice before Ofc. Chaney managed to get control of it. Lawrence had, by this point, already shot BG once in the wrist with her revolver (38spl).Then the BG grabbed her gun (yes, he managed to grab both officers’ guns at different times) and fired it once into her chest, killing her immediately. The living officer, Chaney, then fought over both his and Lawrence’s gun with the BG and eventually pulled away with both and began firing with a revolver in each hand. Chaney hit the BG four times, emptying the weapons. One of his shots was a contact shot to the ribs of the BG who then threw proceeded to throw Chaney across the room.

    Chaney tried beating the BG in the head with an empty gun to no effect. He then reloaded with a speedloader while the BG beat and stabbed him in the back (he had turned to protect the gun he was reloading). Now reloaded, Chaney began firing again, first hitting BG center mass and then with a contact shot down through the skull, revealing gray matter. BG collapsed… and then got back up and attacked again. This is a horror movie.

    Chaney emptied his gun again. Two shots to the chest, one to the belly, BG still coming. One more to the pelvis and the BG went down to the ground again. When Chaney tried to carry his partner out of the apartment he found that BG had crawled to block the exit. One person hit with a .38spl dropped immediately and was DRT. The other took 10 of the same rounds in the chest, abdomen, pelvis, wrist and one through the brain and was still trying to fight.

  39. avatar Ray says:

    Wow. I had heard of this. So taking this at face value, before the 9mm fanboys yell “.45 IS a dog next to the wondernine”, let’s consider:
    -.45 JHP are meant not to over penetrate like 9s can, so no collateral hits that can happen with a 9. Kid is likely alive because of this.
    -The Silvertip is and old design that is not as good as other HP, does not expand reliably and is not considered high velocity. I had 185 Sivertips when they were a great round…in the 70s.
    -the silvertip first hit a hard case, so lost some velocity and started to open up. It then hit a finger and lost a bit more velocity. By the time it hit fatty flesh, it was wider, slower (500 Fps perhaps?) and no longer a straight, flat trajectory.
    The kid is lucky to be alive, but this in now way proves the .45 is not deadly.

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