.45 too much for home defense? - Page 6
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Thread: .45 too much for home defense?

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by mondovino View Post
    A .45 will throw a man to the ground because of its mass and slower speed that avoids a piercing wound that passes though the target, but rather delivers all its energy to the body mass of the target.

    Uhhh . . . No it won't. I agree with everything in your post except this.

    Newton may be dead, but his Laws are still in effect. IF a .45 had enough power to knock a man down when hit, it would also have enough "Equal and Opposite" energy to knock down the Shooter! Obviously, this rarely happens.

    What you may be witnessing is the involuntary muscle reflex of someone who, instantaneously reacting to the act of getting shot, his muscular recoil response - in trying to recoil from/avoid the hit - involuntarily throws himself to the ground, albeit a bit too late.

    IANAS ("Scientist"), but from what I've read on the subject, that's my take. Open to argument to the contrary.
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  3. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Ektarr View Post
    Uhhh . . . No it won't. I agree with everything in your post except this.

    Newton may be dead, but his Laws are still in effect. IF a .45 had enough power to knock a man down when hit, it would also have enough "Equal and Opposite" energy to knock down the Shooter! Obviously, this rarely happens.

    What you may be witnessing is the involuntary muscle reflex of someone who, instantaneously reacting to the act of getting shot, his muscular recoil response - in trying to recoil from/avoid the hit - involuntarily throws himself to the ground, albeit a bit too late.

    IANAS ("Scientist"), but from what I've read on the subject, that's my take. Open to argument to the contrary.
    +1.. The whole term "knock down" is really false. How in the world can anyone believe that a little bit of lead could knock down a 250 lb. man



    P1 Exclusive: The truth about handgun knockdown power
    By Commander Jeffry L. Johnson
    Long Beach Police Dept., Detective Division
    Special contributor to PoliceOne

    There is undoubtedly no other myth more perpetuated and closely held (even now) by many law enforcement professionals than what I have previously referred to as the “Demonstrative Bullet Fallacy,” or in plainer terms, the idea that any handgun of any caliber has “knockdown power,” in that the sheer size and force of the bullet can knock a person down. Closely related is the myth that bullet size — rather than shot placement — can determine or ensure a “one shot stop.” Both are inaccurate, unscientific, and dangerous, and have no place in the training of law enforcement professionals.
    Not that any of this is new information. This fact has been generally known for about six hundred years or so. Notable intellects such as DaVinci, Galileo, Newton, Francis Bacon, and Leonard Euler all studied physics and ballistics, as did many others. It was Newton’s research that led Benjamin Robbins to invent the ballistic pendulum in 1740 (the first device to measure bullet velocity).

    There is no mystery here — the truth has been documented time and again. So how is it that we still don’t get it? One word: Hollywood.

    Ever since Dirty Harry came along with his .44 Magnum hand-cannon, when someone gets shot in the movies or on TV (and don’t forget video games) two things happen: 1) the victim is thrown back convulsively, through windows, off balconies, etc. and 2) there will immediately emerge a geyser of blood spewing forth from the wound, leaving no doubt that this person has been shot, and pinpointing exactly where the bullet has struck.
    Many firearm and shooting magazines picked up on the idea as well, discussing and propagating the pseudo-scientific idea of handgun “knockdown power” and “one shot stopping power.”

    The Truth

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation Firearms Training Unit published a concise yet insightful report that speaks directly to this issue of firearm wounding ballistics and the misconceptions that have surrounded this area.
    These so called [knockdown power] studies are further promoted as being somehow better and more valid than the work being done by trained researchers, surgeons and forensic labs. They disparage laboratory stuff, claiming that the “street” is the real laboratory and their collection of results from the street is the real measure of caliber effectiveness, as interpreted by them, of course. Yet their data from the street is collected haphazardly, lacking scientific method and controls, with no noticeable attempt to verify the less than reliable accounts of the participants with actual investigative or forensic reports. Cases are subjectively selected (how many are not included because they do not fit the assumptions made?). The numbers of cases cited are statistically meaningless, and the underlying assumptions upon which the collection of information and its interpretation are based are themselves based on myths such as knockdown power, energy transfer, hydrostatic shock, or the temporary cavity methodology of flawed work such as RII. (1)

    The truth is, the whole idea of handgun knockdown power is a myth. It simply doesn’t work that way. The FBI report further clarifies:
    A bullet simply cannot knock a man down. If it had the energy to do so, then equal energy would be applied against the shooter and he too would be knocked down. This is simple physics, and has been known for hundreds of years. The amount of energy deposited in the body by a bullet is approximately equivalent to being hit with a baseball. Tissue damage is the only physical link to incapacitation within the desired time frame, i.e., instantaneously. (2)

    The report cites previous studies that have calculated bullet velocities and impact power, concluding that the “stopping power” of a 9mm bullet at muzzle velocity is equal to a one-pound weight being dropped from the height of six feet. A .45 ACP (45 auto) bullet impact would equal that same object dropped from 11.4 feet. That is a far cry from what Hollywood would have us believe, and actually flies in the face of what even many in law enforcement have come to mistakenly believe.

    The FBI report also emphasizes that unless the bullet destroys or damages the central nervous system (i.e., brain or upper spinal cord), incapacitation of the subject can take a long time, seemingly longer if one is engaged in a firefight.

    Failing a hit to the central nervous system, massive bleeding from holes in the heart or major blood vessels of the torso, causing circulatory collapse is the only other way to force incapacitation upon an adversary, and this takes time. For example, there is sufficient oxygen within the brain to support full, voluntary action for 10-15 seconds after the heart has been destroyed. (3)
    More often than not, an officer firing at a suspect will not immediately know if he or she has even struck the target. The physics are such that the body will rarely involuntarily move or jerk, and usually there is no noticeable spewing of blood or surface tearing of tissue. Often there is no blood whatsoever. (4) That is why military surgeons and emergency room physicians take great time and pains to carefully examine gunshot victims for any additional small holes. Often that is the only indication the person has been shot.

    Personal Experience

    But let’s be real here. I can cite numerous additional academic and scientific sources that support this article, but I know how cops think. We’re not always the most trustful of academics, especially when it comes to our street survival. So let me add my own personal experience to the data. Please allow me to go beyond the cold facts and share with you why I know what I’m telling you is the truth.

    In the mid-1980s I was involved in my first shooting as a police officer. But to give the story context, I must go back to 1982 when I graduated from the Long Beach Police Academy. The first thing I was told by experienced training officers I trusted and looked up to, was to “get rid of that pea-shooter 38 they issued you and buy a real gun with some knockdown power!” Although we were issued .38 caliber revolvers, we were authorized to carry a number of different caliber weapons on duty, the largest of which was the 45 Long Colt.
    The .45 Long Colt round next to the diminutive 9 millimeter.
    Imagine my surprise when I was confronted by a suspect armed with a shotgun in a dark alley and my Long Colt didn’t live up to its billing. I fired five rounds at the suspect. It wasn’t until I fired my last shot — intentionally aimed at his head — that he went down. I can’t begin to relate to you the surprise and horror I felt when there was absolutely no outward indication I was hitting my target. It was the kind of situation cops have nightmares about.
    What actually happened? I fired five rounds at a distance of about twelve feet. The first one missed completely. The second struck his upper leg and broke his femur. The third struck him in the shoulder/chest. The fourth round hit him dead center—in the heart. And of course, the fifth was a headshot. Three of the five rounds created fatal wounds, though only one had immediate results.

    Needless to say, I was pretty shaken by the whole thing. Not by the morality of what I’d done; the suspect had already fired at a bystander and taken a hostage earlier. He was also high on PCP. That wasn’t my inner struggle. What shook me was how unprepared I felt; how totally off guard I was taken by what occurred. No one ever told me it would be like that. The reality was contrary to everything I thought I knew about deadly force.
    That experience more than any research or study is the reason is why I am writing this article. Police officers risk getting into shootings every day; we need to know the dynamics of how a shooting incident may unfold. It will affect our equipment, tactics, and most important, our mindset. We need to know that rarely will one shot incapacitate an assailant. We further need to be able to explain this when our fellow officers are involved in shootings where multiple shots are fired. The public honestly believes it’s like the movies. Why would we ever need to fire twenty or thirty rounds to subdue an armed suspect? Problem is we can’t teach it or explain it until we understand it ourselves. (5)

    Footnotes:
    1. Patrick, Urey W., Federal Bureau of Investigation, Firearms Training Unit, “Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness,” p.13. (1989).
    2. Ibid., p.9.
    3. Ibid., p. 8.
    4. Newgard, Ken, MD, “The Physiological Effects of Handgun Bullets: The Mechanisms of Wounding and Incapacitation” (1992).
    5. For you visual learners still unconvinced, I highly recommend viewing the Discovery Channel MythBusters segment, “Blown Away,” (Brown Note Episode, Second Season), where the knockdown power myth is visually and scientifically debunked once and for all.
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

  4. #53
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    Safety

    I just wanted to back up a little, in my very first post I said I spent many years on a SWAT team and we used .45cals for the one shot knock down and almost regardless of were the shot was placed but more importantly 98% of the time the round staid in the person shot not bouncing all over the room or going through to the next room. So you can see it is one of the safest rounds for home defense, so that is the defense you need to be worried about using.

  5. #54
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    When I am in a locked bedroom and someone enters my home and then defeats the lock on my bedroom, he will be subject to a 12g with double 0. No misses with a first shot 45, no misfires with a semi auto, but plenty of stopping power with a tried and true shotgun.The new Taurus Judge is an interesting alternate---410 ahotgun AND (I believe) 45--all in one revolver.

  6. #55
    if you draw your weapon and fire on another person, you had better be justified in killing them. You are using deadly force. Use the best you can to stop the threat IMMEDIATELY.

  7. #56
    [QUOTE=kelcarry;90276]When I am in a locked bedroom and someone enters my home and then defeats the lock on my bedroom, he will be subject to a 12g with double 0. No misses with a first shot 45, no misfires with a semi auto, but plenty of stopping power with a tried and true shotgun.The new Taurus Judge is an interesting alternate---410 ahotgun AND (I believe) 45--all in one revolver.[/QUOTE


    I hope you have no one else in the house with you, or no close neighbors! OO Buck will penetrate walls very nicely. For home defense, smaller shot is better. 7 1/2 will do more than adequately at most room sizes, yet not be such a danger to other rooms or houses. Keep a supply of OO Buck close by if needed for longer range

  8. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by cbcobler View Post
    I just wanted to back up a little, in my very first post I said I spent many years on a SWAT team and we used .45cals for the one shot knock down and almost regardless of were the shot was placed but more importantly 98% of the time the round staid in the person shot not bouncing all over the room or going through to the next room. So you can see it is one of the safest rounds for home defense, so that is the defense you need to be worried about using.
    What SWAT Team ? What load did you carry in the .45 ACP platform ? and what platform was being used ? Did you not use a sub gun or short AR15 as your primary entry weapon ??

    "98% of the time" How many live engagements did you and or your SWAT team encounter ?? Sounds like you had one hell of a LE career.

    In Miamisburg Ohio ??
    "When a government robs Peter to pay Paul it will alway's have the support of Paul" George Bernard Shaw

  9. #58
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    Its all BS. If I am at home and my life is in imminent danger, I can use whatever is at hand. If I grab the 12 Ga loaded with slugs and make a canyon in the BG, it is justified. The key phrase is, "I was in fear for my life and grabbed the nearest weapon to save my life." (it just happened to be my 50 BMG ).

    Really, I was taught when in LE that you don't have to search around the house trying to find the weapon to "match" the threat. If you reasonably feel your life is in danger, dead is dead, no matter what you kill him with.
    "I wasn't there to stand toe-to-toe in a contest match against the intruder. I was there to stop the threat to my life, and stop it as fast as I could."







    .
    "If it is time to bury your guns, then it is time to dig them up!"

  10. #59
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    Hey SteveB: Glad to reply to your post. No one else is in my house except my wife and I; we both understand the rules and are prepared. As I said, the bedroom door is locked every night and even has a door stopper in place that makes it even harder for the door to be opened even if the lock is defeated. Quite frankly if someone is in my house they can take all the "stuff" they want from the other rooms and, outside of being prepared, calling the police, and activating the car alarm in the garage, I do not intend to go out of the bedroom to confront someone over "stuff". I will deal with the insurance company and I will show them the video of all my stuff that I want reimbursement for. IF they find it necessary to confront me by going thru an effort to come into my bedroom, I would just as soon have a howiitzer but the 12g 00 will do fine. I will be nervous and will probably be peeing in my pj's and, even though I feel confident in my use of the shotgun I will only know HOW confident if the situation comes to pass; I am willing to have house damage and 00 spraying around with some hits on the perp than itty bitties, where a few hits are nothing more than pests. If I was not so concerned about my own nerves in such a situation, I would probably use slugs or a combination of slugs and 00---in my book that first shot had better convince the perp to retreat; if he were a turkey, #7 might work.

  11. #60
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    Do you really think ANYONE is going to take the time and rationalize to shoot or not if someone has entered your home illegally and is now threatening you and or your family's life. I really doubt it. In addition, the perp already knows the "RISK" they are taking, and apparently has no regard for themselves (or you). Obviously, you must ascertain your "target" as to whom they are, and in the time it takes it could be the last thing you do. Talk about it all you want, but hope that opportunity never presents itself. Do what you have to do, you won't be thinking of anything else. I know.

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