There’s Your Stopping Power. Or Not.


I’m not a big fan of forty caliber. I’m more accurate with 9mm and . . . .45. I find .40 way too snappy for efficient, effective follow-up shots. Plenty of police carry ’em and they beat the hell out of a pointy stick. Still, no matter what caliber you carry, best beware of the myth of stopping power. “The video ends after Allen drives off and [Officer] Zistel is heard reporting into the radio that he has been shot. Allen was found several miles down the road, killed by a single bullet to the chest. Zistel sustained a mild gunshot wound.”

comments

  1. avatar Craig says:

    Clearly, the only correct caliber for pistols is 7.62×25…

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      When you absolutely, positively, need to overpenetrate, you need a Tokarev

    2. avatar Michael says:

      Wish we had a high capacity polymer gun with light rail in 7.62×25

  2. avatar great unknown says:

    Was there a toxicology report released?

    1. avatar Brad says:

      Probably high on pcp that’s the only way anyone would survive a shot from a .40milimeter!! …

      1. avatar Bear says:

        Can’t tell if trolling…or….?

  3. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    cops should go back to carrying .357 magnums . . . .

    1. avatar ST says:

      This isn’t a problem you can solve with a bigger bullet.Even if the hearts vaporized a persons brain has fifteen seconds of conciousness before passing out.That’s plenty of time to kill someone right back.

      1. avatar Pat says:

        I think the 357 worked because the high energy round (500 foot pounds plus) would hit a nerve plexus (temporary stretch cavity), causing temporary (and instant) incapacitation (imagine a boxers body blow that fells his opponent). Many people simply do not understand this phenomena.

  4. avatar Charles5 says:

    I have yet to see video footage of a perp being shot with a handgun and immediately collapsing. They always run out the door and die somewhere else.

    1. avatar WayneMHK says:

      I may be wrong, and there was, of course, no video, but didn’t little Trayvon die on top of GZ?

      1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

        I believe he still had time to say, “You got me, bro”.

        1. avatar Jus Bill says:

          And “Call Eric.”

      2. avatar Ing says:

        I haven’t followed it closely enough to know, but if it was basically a contact shot (as I’ve heard it could have been), that would be a different kettle of fish.

        As I understand it, in a shot in direct contact with the barrel, the bullet *and* the explosively expanding gases that follow it would have gone directly into the torso and the shockwave/compression damage would have caused massive multiple organ failure, pretty much instant death. Not a pretty thing, but there it is.

        1. avatar ropingdown says:

          It wasn’t a direct contact shot. The forensics testimony stated that there was several inches of space, air, between the muzzle and the torso. This was used to indicate that indeed, TM was leaning forward over GZ.

      3. avatar Anonymous says:

        Hi,

        I’m enjoying the information given in this blog, but must say with no disrespect meant to anyone, but Trayvon was not little, and the picture shown by the politically correct only news media was taken when he was about 12 years old, he was 17 years old when the fatal incident happened, and again he was not little, nor a child, he was a “Thug” !

    2. avatar Pat says:

      See 357 explanation above. When passing through a nerve plexus, the stretching of the membranes disrupts their potentials and causes a temporary stunning effect,

  5. avatar Adam says:

    http://www.kgw.com/news/Police-release-video-of-I-84-shootout–226380111.html

    I thought I recognized that stretch of highway. The good ole Columbia River off to the left.

    I can’t seem to find any reasons in the article on why the guy (Allen) started shooting at the cop. Especially since it seems he was on a road trip with his kids not transporting drugs or something like that. Obviously a screw loose.

  6. avatar Daniel Raidt says:

    I find this one incident so bias but for the life of me can’t figure out the motive, So a .40 caliber is ” Snappy” define snappy. .40 S&W or .40ACP ?

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Who shoots .40ACP?

    2. avatar Craig says:

      There’s no such thing as .40ACP. “Snappy” recoil in pistols happens when you have a cartridge that travels fast, usually over 1300fps. The barrel will jump up and the slide will jump back. Its hard to explain, but if you shoot a .45ACP M1911, a .40S&W Glock, and then a Tokarev, you will notice sharp differences in recoil. 7.62×25 is very snappy, but extremely manageable because of the small bullet. The .40 will be harder to manage because of the bigger bullet. Since .45ACP is so slow, the recoil from it is like holding a big “ball” of recoil in your hands.

      Shoot a .40, a .357SIG, or a 7.62×25 and you’ll understand.

      1. avatar Robert Seddon says:

        the good thing about a .45 ACP is that it does move slowly .. does a lot more damage when it hits rather that a smaller bullet moving twice as fast never even mushrooming before it hits the other (outgoing) side of the person being shot.

        1. avatar Pat says:

          Please see 357 statement above. Its a foot pound (energy) thing.

      2. avatar "lee n. field" says:

        Shoot .40 out of a big enough gun. It’s plenty handle-able.

        1. avatar Anonymous says:

          Agreed! Try shooting a 40 out of a all metal gun with a little heft. It is quite manageable. I shoot a 10mm (not the weak 10mm FBI) out of a solid steel tanfoglio and it is quite manageable. Shoot a 40 out of a lightweight compact polymer pistol and you’ll notice the recoil for sure.

      3. avatar tdiinva says:

        45 isn’t snappy out of a 1911 because of the mass of the gun. It’s much snappier out of a Glock or XD.

        1. avatar Anon in CT says:

          It’s perfectly fine in a G21.

          A G36 is, well, jumpy, rather than snappy.

          Personally I think that 357 Sig is the worst, in at least out of a full-sized Glock.

        2. avatar ropingdown says:

          Agree that .45ACP out of a Glock, even the G30S, isn’t snappy. Out of a G21 it is less snappy than from my 1911’s. Or so it seems to me. The muzzle blast from the much higher compression .40Cal is unpleasant to me.

    3. avatar BaconFart says:

      People often say the .40 is snappy because it’s considered a “high pressure” round. I carry a Glock 27 (.40 cal) and also shoot a Glock 23 which is also .40. I love that caliber. It gives me a few extra rounds than a .45 and makes a bigger hole than a 9mm. Compared to a 9mm the .40 can feel snappy to some but I have never had a problem keeping shots on target in rapid fire drills. It’s all about what you can comfortably handle. For me, it’s fine, but I’m a big framed guy. My wife likes the 9mm better but she is not a big framed guy 🙂 I usually suggest people carry the highest caliber they can comfortably shoot and carry. While I used to carry a .45 I switched to the .40 because of a couple of extra rounds over the .45 but in the end, shot placement makes the biggest difference.

      1. avatar Fred says:

        This is a good post.

        Personally I like the additional rounds with .40 over the .45 because as we see in this video things get chaotic real quick. On top of that the P30 is slightly more compact than the HK45 with better side panels. I’m not thinking about and taking the time to get the right shot placement I’m just looking to land a shot. When you get what you can take you need the bullet to do its job too and from my unprofessional research and the advice I’ve been given 9mm isn’t quite there. That’s just my opinion, buy, carry, and use whatever you are most comfortable with and makes you feel most confident in both the gun and yourself.

        Then again there are guns like the FNP-45.

        1. avatar Pat says:

          And don’t forget, there is a HUGE selection of different ammo profiles with the 40 (135-180 grain size and low 300 foot pounds to over 600 energy).

      2. avatar Accur81 says:

        I agree with Fart. The .40 is a great combat caliber – great capacity, versatility, and bullet weight options with muzzle energies from roughly 350 to 700 plus FPE. Those options include legitimate JHP and solids from 135 to 200 grains. If you don’t like it, there’s always .380, .38, .357, 9mm, 10mm, and .45 ACP. Another bonus: ammo is still easy to find.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          You got that right … during the great ammunition drought it seemed like .40 S&W was readily available at fairly decent prices.

        2. avatar Pat says:

          Crap, Accur, I typed in my response before seeing that you just said THE SAME THING. Ammo versatility and effectiveness.

      3. avatar Robb says:

        Because 1mm difference in bullet width will make a whole world of difference.

        /sarcasm

        1. avatar Accur81 says:

          How about you let me know when the 9mm can launch 180 or 200 grain bullets, or when a 9mm can hit .40 Smith energy levels? That is, in fact, one of the major differences between the .40 and the 9. The 9mm also sucks at knocking bowling pins over. When the LAPD does a silhouette shoot, they have to re-calibrate the targets to a lighter setting when using the 9mm so that the targets actually fall.

          The 9mm is a good round, but it ain’t perfect.

    4. avatar Bill says:

      I find my direct blow-back CZ-82 to be the most ‘snappy’ handgun I’ve shot, and I’ve shot .40 and 10mm and .357. That’s not to say its a hard recoiling gun, it’s not, but having your hand directly absorb the ‘equal and opposite’ reaction of the 9×18, unfettered by dropping blocks, tilting barrels, rotating lugs, what-have-you, makes for a sharp ‘snap’ that I have yet to experience elsewhere.

      1. avatar Craig says:

        Funny, I found a CZ82 to be extremely easy to shoot. I was doing some pretty fast followup shots pretty quickly.

      2. avatar smackit says:

        I’m with Bill, CZ82 is darn snappy but when you could get them for <$200 last year they made for a great hide-away backup tool.

      3. avatar John says:

        This is an interesting point. For my part, the “snappiest recoiling gun” that I’ve fired was an Argentinian Ballester-Molina. Something about it just made it feel hard as hell to control, even when set against a GI 1911A1 and a Series 80 1911A1.

        On the other hand, a USP40 shot like a dream.

  7. avatar bontai Joe says:

    I can shoot someone in the hand with a 20MM anti tank round and they aren’t going to be “stopped” imediately, and then I can shoot someone in the head with a .22LR and drop ’em like a stone. Shot placement and proper expansion of a hollow point bullet sure helps “stopping power”.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Being a nurse I have met two people with .22 lr bullets still in the brain box, both were failed attempts at suicide.

      1. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        FMJ or hollow point?

      2. avatar Matt in TX says:

        I can add another at my place of work. 22 cal, Close contact suicide attempt. Ricochet, never even penetrated the skull. Sewed him up and sent him off.

    2. avatar TJ says:

      I dont know about this. I heard a Vietnam vet tell me that if you get hit in the arm with a .45 it will take your arm off. Surely a 20mm can take off a guys arm if it hits him in the hand.

      1. avatar JoshtheViking says:

        I’ve heard similar stories from Vietnam vets also.

        1. avatar Jeremy S says:

          Military shoots hardball (FMJ) so there’s really just no chance of this actually happening from a pistol round. I would, however, bet that many arm shots involved the arm being taken off later by a doctor. In that sense, sure, a bullet in the arm may cause the loss of the arm. But probably from a doctor removing it due to too much damage to recover or due to infection, etc, and not from the darn thing just popping off your body haha. Not with FMJ from a pistol.

      2. avatar Brian Patterson says:

        I’m a medic and have seen quite a few “arm” shootings. A .45 to the arm will not take it off, will be a clean in and out. Contrary to what alot of people here would like to think, bullets are surprisingly ineffective at stopping or killing. Shot placement, and follow ups to the neural center are what are key.

    3. avatar H.C. says:

      True statement. Hit dudes with 30mm high explosive, seen blown off feet and hands, legs, whatever… Some get right back up and continue to move in their original direction of travel, some dont. I mean, they don’t last long, but unless the CNS is terminated, brain function stops, or they just plane give up, humans are crazy resilient…

  8. avatar leebeef says:

    Dude was wearing Military Combat Boots (issue type) leading me to the conclusion he had military training. What did police use to shoot him with a 22? He ran out of there fast.

  9. avatar spacecoaster says:

    It doesn’t really say if the perp died from being shot by the police, or by himself. It sure didn’t look like he took any rounds from the trooper. I am betting on a later, self-inflicted shot myself.

    1. avatar freakshowSMVM says:

      Original report was he was found parked half a mile down the road dead with a single shot to the chest. He likely didn’t realise it until he fled with all the adrenaline. Quick death like that tells me it was a heart shot most likely. They can go up to a minute with the heart stopped

  10. avatar Anonymous says:

    More importantly, one more example to debunk the magazine capacity limit nonsense.

  11. avatar Mike says:

    In my tradition of letting a single odd detail completely DERAIL any train of thought I might have… did he somehow manage to drop the magazine out of his weapon when he was firing at the cop?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      That’s what it looked like to me. I’ve seen guys grip an auto wrong at the range and drop their mag. With the stress of a life and death I imagine it would be a lot easier to do.

      Looks like he picked the fumbled mag out of the dirt and put it back in the gun.

  12. avatar Zachary Hunt says:

    Did the guy die from the cop’s bullet or did he shoot himself? He looks unaffected by the cops shots.

    1. avatar freakshowSMVM says:

      Cop bullet to the chest, likely to the heart. If your pumped up you can go up to a minute with your heart half gone

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        I couldn’t actually tell in the video when he was actually shot. Anyone care to take a guess?

  13. avatar Rick Burkemper says:

    The perp was so spazzed out he dropped his magazine and had to pick it back up.

  14. avatar TJ says:

    Did anyone see the Perp lose his magazine accidentally?

  15. avatar Mark N. says:

    looks to me that he got hit at 0.38–and that is when his mag goes flying. Watch his whole body and head turn.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I couldn’t see it. The video replay was too choppy. Apparently a somewhat modern Pentium processor, 3 GHz clock speed, and 1 GB of RAM is inadequate to play a tiny, low resolution video. Maybe they will post the video on YouTube … I don’t have any trouble watching videos there.

  16. avatar Ralph says:

    That guy was obviously delusional, like that crazy-@ss dental assistant in DC who believed that Obama is a good President.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      Obama isn’t a good president?! What’s next, are you going to tell me the the Affordable Care Act makes health care costs go up?

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      Only the delusions of voters send most politicians to DC.
      It’s like the District’s motto says: “Washington, D.C., where dreams go to die.”

  17. avatar freakshowSMVM says:

    Every other report said he was found parked half a mile down the road dead with a chest gunshot wound.

    Just goes to show that a dedicated foe can take a heart shot and still function for up to a minute.

  18. avatar Paul53 says:

    Former medic and trauma nurse specialist for 30 years. Out of commission past 4 years from muscular dystrophy. As others have noted above, the 3 most important things about stopping an aggressor are wound location, location, location. That’s more than 90% of the job, IMHO.
    I shot a Glock 23 (.40 cal) and each shot felt like a hammer blow to my wrist and forearm. Converted the gun to 9mm and it was a delight to shoot. If you want to call .40 “snappy” I’m with you. Currently shoot .22LR, 9mm, .45 ACP and thoroughly enjoy each.

    1. avatar A-Rod says:

      I agree with you on those calibers. I have a M9, 1911 and a Ruger .22. I have no desire to add another caliber of ammo to the mix.

      1. avatar SD3 says:

        Perhaps, but still need more guns, right?

        1. avatar A-Rod says:

          Oh well hell yeah. Let’s see… A Glock 26 is on my Christmas list, I want another 1911 so my 1943 Remington Rand can become a safe queen, I want one of this straight pull Izhmash .22 biathlon rifles…… I got a list.

  19. avatar Lars says:

    The perp was also moving erratically while shooting, this obviously effected shot placement the most as a .40 or .45 even in a compact is not that difficult to control for most of us.
    Shot placement is the true key but a nice big nasty round doesn’t hurt if you can hit your target. If I could carry my G20 or FNX .45 comfortably concealed I would.

  20. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Haven’t heard a peep yet ‘officially’ about a tox screen or BAC on the bad guy. Confirmed that it was the officers round that did him in.
    Side note, there was an almost identical shooting about 100 miles south the very next day. Another state officer. Waiting for that video.

  21. avatar smackit says:

    So would this cop have been justified to shoot on the first step the guy made toward him? I’m thinking yes. Hell if I was on the jury I’d probably give the cop a pass after the jump out, one arm hiding behind, and the first refusal to comply to orders where the perp clearly heard the order.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      From what I could see of the video (I could not get a clean playback without tons of missed video frames), the motorist’s approach was the worst case scenario … because he exhibited no threatening behavior at all. All he did was slowly (at least initially) approach the police car with a hand somewhat behind his back without saying anything threatening at all. I don’t see how that is sufficient to claim that a reasonable person would be in fear of imminent attack. Until the motorist rushed the police car, presented a firearm, or stated a verbal threat, I don’t believe anyone would be justified to use deadly force.

      The only thing you could do in that situation is to back up as fast as the motorist was approaching … and perhaps yell, “Stop or I will shoot you!” If the motorist proceeded at that point, you might be able to convince a jury that you were reasonably in fear of imminent attack that would lead to death or great bodily harm. I don’t see any good answer here. Any thoughts anyone?

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        That’s what I saw as well. You’ve got to *wait* until the threat of death or serious bodily injury is reasonably apparent. At that point, lethal force is authorized. Most people give subtle (hand sliding behind the back to a concealed handgun in this case) or overt signs of an impeding attack. Some don’t.

  22. avatar Mr. Bob says:

    Argh!! The bigger is better B.S. argument again!

    1. avatar Pat says:

      You must admit, it makes more sense than the smaller and weaker theory (would be nice for me to use my Buckmark 22lr with the same authority).

      1. avatar Mr. Bob says:

        No.
        There is no real world correlation between larger caliber and stopping power against assailants. That’s a myth unfortunately perpetrated by too many ballistic gel tests. If you’re a BG and are shot, you are just as likely to stop your attack if shot with 22LR as .40 or .45ACP.
        I use 9mm ammo knowing that I have a nice balance of power and manageable recoil so that I can get back on target quickly.

        1. avatar Pat says:

          Huh? If there is no difference, then why not just use a Buckmark 22lr? Of course there is a difference. You want the most powerful gun you can handle (maybe its a 9mm for you). Foot pounds equal energy, that will do certain things (both desired, and not so). You want to hit the target. You want 10-14 inches of penetration through heavy clothing. You want the biggest caliber that expands the most while penetrating. Some people desire the ability to TRY to achieve ‘quick incapacitation’ by using a round that hits with 500 plus foot pounds and creates a temporary (stretch) cavity around a major nerve plexi. When the nerve membranes stretch around these areas (the solar plexus), you get a internal punch effect (think boxers body blow, batons, stun bags, etc…). You are certainly not guaranteed to achieve this effect, but the success of the 357 carried by the Highway patrolmen and others was no myth.

  23. avatar mark says:

    Pretty interesting video and discussion.

    Clearly the cop reacted according to his training–which was surely “center of mass.” Hard to fault that, even though we know that center of mass hits aren’t immediately incapacitating–I certainly wouldn’t have been taking head shots in that situation, with the guy dodging around like that.

    I shot .40s the second half of my career, first a Sigma then a Glock 22. I knew the people with 9s could put aimed shots on target faster than I could, so I suppose the need to make the first shot count is greater with the .40.

    Hadda turn my Glock in when I retired 7 years ago, but still have the Sigma. Took it out and shot it for the first time in at least 10 years a couple weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised at how decent it felt. But I just bought an XDM compact 3.8 in 9mm which I’ll be trying out in a few days. It may be compact but it’s a heavy pistol, so I’ll be very interested to see how it compares to a .40 as far as recoil and muzzle flip go.

    1. avatar Pat says:

      Some center mass shots are immediate in incapacitation (see 357), and some are not. You do want shot placement first, followed by adequate penetration and then expansion. The punch effect is a bonus.

  24. avatar Ralph says:

    The “Caliber War” is a form of masturbation. Whack off, my brothers.

    1. avatar Adam says:

      Seriously. I don’t know anyone who wants to volunteer to take a 22LR to the chest. Getting a hole in you is bad no matter how you slice it.

      1. avatar ropingdown says:

        Slicing is on TTAK.

  25. avatar cubby123 says:

    I carry extreme shock ammo 45acp, one round you’re down,explodes when it hits,this guy didn’t know he was dead and was able to fire after being shot—–NOT GOOD!

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      Extreme Shock is overpriced garbage. Do some research on it. You want a round that can penetrate 12-15″ in ballistic gel through a variety of barriers. Remington Golden Sabre, Winchester PDX, Federal HST, Hornady Critical Duty, and Speer Gold Dot are leading LE JHP rounds for that reason. You are welcome to disagree or perform your own independent tests, just know what you are putting in your self defense gun and why.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        In the interests of more information, tnoutdoors9 does great ammo tests: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv2qBjXtz7pjF4WnkMzA3dw

        1. avatar Accur81 says:

          Word.

    2. avatar A-Rod says:

      Anyone remember the DRT (Dead Right There) ammo in Cheaper Than Dirt?

  26. avatar Denny says:

    Question.. After seeing this one the news numerous times I came to the opinion.

    This guy (perp) is wearing Army ACU’s and desert tan boots. Any one see that too? Stuffed Cargo pocket on the leg n all..

    So I’m wondering is this dude AD/Reserve/NG or just a wana be?

    A.D. Drill Seargent!

  27. avatar JoshtheViking says:

    That does it. I’m getting a phaser set for disintegrate for my carry gun.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      What? A phaser? Hah! Disruptors trump phasers every day of the week.

  28. avatar John Boch says:

    I watched that video and it gave me the chills. It had a lot of similarities with my own Armed American incident where a guy approached me about a month ago at the gas station in Montgomery, AL intent, I believe, on robbing me.

    And frankly, this video is the worst-case I was thinking as the guy was approaching me that day.

    The only difference was my assailant didn’t say anything while walking right at me, hands concealed, even after I asked, “Can I help you?” thinking he worked for the station based upon his dress.

    As he came closer, I noticed it wasn’t a Raceway logo on his shirt, but a Budweiser logo embroidered on.

    I told the guy to “STAY BACK”, extending my hand. He kept coming, hands still concealed.

    It wasn’t until I cleared my shirt and put my hand on the gun in preparation to draw that the guy stopped, suddenly showed his hands and stopped advancing at maybe 15 feet away, if that.

    The whole story is here…

    http://www.gunssavelife.com/?p=9028

    I’m *so* thankful the guy I dealt with decided he didn’t want to press the attack as the guy did in this video. It’s sad to see someone get shot, but trying to murder a cop because you don’t want to get a traffic ticket isn’t exactly what sane and decent people do.

    John

  29. avatar Sid says:

    Watching this video makes me happy to know that I can count on better results when I shoot a bad guy with my M41A1 Pulse Rifle. It fires standard 10mm explosive tip light armor piercing rounds. It is hell to conceal, but that is a trade-off I am willing to make.

    1. avatar Jeh says:

      Id much rather my HE .44 magnum with its remote detonated lithium bullets.

  30. avatar Pat says:

    I dunno, would you have wanted to hit this guy with a LESS powerful round? You want it in this order. A: Hit the dude. B: Get 10-14″ of penetration through heavy clothing. C: Get as much bullet expansion, with as big a bullet as possible. D: Use a round with as much energy as you can handle which may get the internal punch effect on a nerve center which MAY temporarily incapacitate (why those 357 loads of yesteryear worked so well). Some 40 rounds can achieve the punch effect (probably over 500 foot pounds energy), many cannot. Depends what you can handle, and if you can hit the dude.

  31. avatar MDC says:

    I use the 10mm 135 gr Nosler in the G20. 15rnds at 775 ft lbs. Look at mug shots, size and youth. That guy had some size to him. I use the 180 xtp cooler season at 1300, 676 ft lbs. 10mm you have many load options. Everyone thinks over penetration. Well that’s not the case. The 10 has been making a nice comeback. A nice 22lb spring and steel guide rod. The perp has his arm tucked behind, gun is out at that point.

  32. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    I’ve heard of (although not personally witnessed) deer heart shot with a .30-06 and bolting like a bat out of hell for 50 feet before crumpling. IMO you can toss a wet kleenex over the three, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45acp., at least if you throw in the +P stuff for 9mm. You need multiple hits or one to that cuts off the central nervous system. I chose 9mm mostly because it’s cheaper so you can afford to practice more, and the extra capacity doesn’t hurt – although 99% of the time we’d all be just as well off with a 5 round revolver. I have nothing against the other 2, although I thought the only .40 I’ve ever fired felt “snappy” myself, but if a nine won’t do it, I won’t be feeling very comfortable with a .45 in my hands either. There’s a big difference between mortally wounded and dead.

  33. avatar Ardent says:

    I thought this was a forgone observation but everything that motorist did was threatening, getting out of his car was 1, hands out of site was 2, and refusing to reenter his car was 3 it was almost as if one should shoot him before he came out with a weapon.

    That said and out of the way (yes I’d have had that guy at gun point before he pulled the gun) this is a mere anecdotal episode that tells us exactly nothing about the .40cal cartridge. I’ll restate that, absolutely nothing about the .40cal cartridge was learned from this.

    I’m a 1911 guy, certainly a .45 fan, and when I want more capacity I turn to a .40 (HK USP). the 40. is like the 9, you have to use appropriate ammo or all is lost. I use Federal Hydra shocks I’m if I do my part I’d be astonished to see someone run off full of them. A single hit tells us nothing at all. I’m ashamed of TTAG for suggesting otherwise.

    As for recoil, I’m going to go ahead and call it: I’M 5’8 and 140lbs, I have skinny wrists and carpal tunnel in the right (main) wrist. I can put 7 for 7 on a torso target at 21 feet in 1.20 seconds from the holster with a 1911.45 unmodified. If .40SW recoil is too much for you to manage you might want to cash in your man card and put on the brassard. You’re surely not up to using a serious defensive pistol defensively. What you could do is go shoot, a lot, all the time, every day, until you’re actually competent with a pistol.

    I’m almost so disillusioned as to leave the blog based on the commentary in this article. If the .40 is to much recoil, you’re not practicing enough. I almost said you’re not enough man. . . but I’m going to go with you have not enough effective training and to little experience to comment on such things. Call us back when you’re able to effectively shoot the light recoiling .40 SW, or else remain silent on the subject.

    1. avatar Pat says:

      You can choose such a variety of loads, in terms of power, that there is certainly something for everybody. Those Fed Hydras can be soft shooters.

    2. avatar Splashman says:

      Thanks for your post. Couldn’t agree more with your take on TTAG’s editorializing. .40SW isn’t my favorite caliber, but it’s frustrating to see superficial BS arguments promoted by Farago & crew.

  34. avatar Ardent says:

    In answer to several submissions here; If the .40 fails to stop the target the answer is the .45, not the 9mm. How a smaller, lighter load is the answer is a mystery to anyone who isn’t willing to put in the time to master the recoil of the ‘serious’ loads. I often carry an XDS-9 WITH (not without) an SW .380 bodyguard. Why? Because I can’t smuggle my 1911 everywhere in every outfit.

    I’ll say something here that I virtually never say, because it’s usually regarded as bull shit, but I’m willing to prove it on the range of your choice, you cover travel if I prove to be right:

    I can dump the 7 rnd mag of my full size 1911 into a torso target at 21 feet in less than 2 seconds. . .with my weak hand only.

    It’s 1.20 seconds from the holster with both hands.
    (Yes, I make the Teuller drill look like it’s not an issue)

    I doubt, however, that I’m unique in any way. If you practice, and don’t buy meal out, fancy cars, fancy homes and ect and all you do is buy ammo and practice, most people could do this.

    When an adult man without disability says that he can’t handle the recoil of the .40S&W I know he’s inexperienced. Just like the author of this article. I know he lacks experience because the only other option is that he’s so pathetic that he can’t manage opening pickle jars for his wife, that he’s so pathetic that many women are more competent than him with the same pistol in the same caliber.

    I know I’ve met a man who’s lifetime round count is just too low to be telling other people what shooting is about.

    I’ll reiterate, anytime and place of your choosing, I’ll go 7 for 7 at 21 feet from the holster with full house ammo .45ACP in under a second and a half and weak hand only deliver 7-7 in under 2 seconds at the same range with the same results. Range of your choosing, you pay travel if I’m able to pull it off.

    In the mean time, lets not act like the .40SW has serious recoil. For god sake go shoot till you can handle it.

  35. avatar Michael says:

    So the rest of the world is happy with the 9mm.

  36. avatar mark says:

    This is in reply to Pat and, especially, Ardent. Both make excellent points, IMO. For the record, I’m same size as Ardent. Well, maybe a few extra pounds, now, but not that many.

    I think Ardent’s thoughts re the cop in the video are spot on–the perp was definitely in menace mode and at some point before the shooting began the cop should have had his gun out–at a minimum. This video makes IMO a very interesting contrast to the DC shooting of the crazy woman. To my mind there were some questionable judgment calls in that situation, even granting that the crazy’s conduct was a potential threat to the public.

    I think the LE training rationale is that, since it’s simply not possible to imagine–much less train for–every possible real life scenario, it’s best to train to simply get some shots on target as quickly as possible, then get more POA specific with follow ups. It’s a defensible training approach, since cops are usually in reaction mode when the shooting starts and things like sight picture are not a factor. That approach may not be guaranteed to incapacitate as quickly as we would like, but when the SHTF, it’s a rational response. In the video, the perp definitely seems to react to a hit–would he have reacted the same or at all to the same hit in larger/smaller calibers? It’d be nice if some video analyst could tell us when the cop started firing, when he stopped, how many shots fired, what caliber the perp had (looks lighter than the cop’s .40)

    When I was training we had an interesting routine, utilizing hinged metal dish targets set on the top of a rail. The goal was to knock down the 5 dish targets while moving laterally to the right and then moving on to a different phase of the course. You only got 2 shots per dish target–hits didn’t count: you had to knock it down. Any ammo saved out of the 10 allowed shots could be used on the next phase. The distance to target (I’m guessing at about 7 yards) and weight of the dishes was such that the best way to guarantee a one-shot knockdown was to hit near the top of the dish. However, .40 had a definite advantage over 9mm–you didn’t have to hit as near the top edge with the .40 to get that first shot knockdown. There was also time pressure involved. I wish I could tell you what the diameter of the plates were, but they weren’t that large–8 or 10 inches? The point was, the target may have been easy enough to hit, but mere hit counting didn’t count. Knockdown was all that counted, and that involved shot placement.

    Overall, it seemed to bring some interesting elements of realism to the training as well as being fun. Obviously metal plates aren’t a very good simulation for human beings, but otoh it did reinforce two notions: 1) that all else being equal a heavier, larger diameter round is likely to have a greater effect on the target, but 2) shot placement can make up for that.

    The results were interesting. People like me with .40s generally did far better on that course than the faster follow-up shooting people with 9s, and we used far less ammo. I think there are some general lessons from all that. And yet I just bought a 9mm. But I’m keeping my .40. Practical considerations and trade offs: the Sigma is much bulkier than the XDM, even though the XDM is a bit heavier. Perhaps I should have considered an XDM in .40.

    Oh, I should have added. Before the .40 I had a 10mm. That sucker was just too much to lug around all day on my belt. Of course, the weight–as with a 1911–made it more controllable.

    1. avatar Pat says:

      Yup, it seems to be a 9/40/45 world in semi for two legged critters (357/38 for wheel guns). I have a few 9mm and 40 semi (and a few 357/38 revolvers). 22lr sure is good for practice and plinking, however, and there is even a place for a micro 380acp. The more, the merrier.

  37. avatar Adub says:

    The point of the article was that stopping power myths need to be overcome. Both parties got shot, but nobody dropped dead instantaneously.

    As far as telling the author to man up and practice more with a certain caliber, why waste the time if you can do better with something else right from the get go?

    1. avatar Pat says:

      You don’t want instant death. You want quick incapacitation. Many on this forum cannot understand that a temporary (stretch) cavity of sufficient energy, hitting near a nerve center can indeed temporarily incapacitate (like a boxers punch to the midsection…body blow) a BG. I hate the term “stopping power”, in that it says nothing. The effect I explained above is very real…..and patently clear. Call it what you want.

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