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Thursday, 18 May 2017

Stopping Power Again:

I'm Posting some correspondence from the 'Comments' section that can be viewed at the end of each post.. in case you haven't been reading these: Here we go..

"Your statement “The mythical .45" seems not to have proven any more decisive against fanatical fighters than .38"s” does appear to be at odds with your later statement “Nobody can deny that a heavier more 'powerful' round will be more certain in it's effect than a weaker one”.

Nothing personal, but in a close encounter situation as American forces in the Philippines frequently found themselves to be, against drugged up fanatics; we just wouldn’t feel comfortable wielding your avowed choice of a .32. as a defensive calibre." ..

- Yeah Col, there seems to be a conflicted argument there.. so I'll try to clarify my argument.

It is apparent that a larger explosive shell or projectile will impose more destruction on a target than a smaller one.. Fact.

However, if the smaller device achieves the destruction of the object .. there is no value in the extra effect from the larger. - Now if individuals are packing devices to stop attacks on themselves and they being weak humans have a limit to what weight and recoil impulse that they are comfortable to withstand while managing a reasonable level of accuracy - they will logically select the most comfortable and usable size to carry THAT WILL ACHIEVE THEIR INDIVIDUAL NEED.

- Otherwise they would be well advised to carry a 40mm grenade launcher attached to a high capacity 12 gauge shot-gun

One indication of what will work might be to go around and personally conduct a 'MAXIMUM KILL RATIO' test as do the military when testing say cluster bombs.. they select their WMDs by determining their MKRs on bombing ranges against tethered agricultural animals. Civilian users of 'carry guns' may not tether live targets to posts and shoot them experimentally in a military manner.

Civilians cannot of course do that - but they CAN read published studies of police records of shootings that have occurred over a statistically reliable period and sample size - For example one such U.S. Study as published by Greg Ellifritz - in which he concludes that the caliber of handgun used in recorded shooting is not a major factor in determining the outcome.

- Indeed that statistical record shows that the 'thirty-two' (both revolver & .32 ACP) has a marginally superior performance record when compared to some larger calibers that are traditionally reputed to be superior 'stoppers'.

My stance is that a defensive shooter should carry and hopefully never need to use - a caliber of weapon as large as she or he can handle and shoot well - as SHOT PLACEMENT seems to be agreed by all experts as the main CRITICAL FACTOR rather than calber.

Military personnel in battle situations are naturally medically A1 physical condition and fully trained competent performers with their issued weapons. Civilians in normal life may not be such .. they may include the physically weak, injured, and handicapped.

I do fully understand that the New Zealand Police do not currently (since 1975) allow the issue of Firearms Licences for defensive purposes.


Any debate on "Stopping Power" must always be subject to many variables that cannot be quantified scientifically - and these must always be considered as 'grey areas' that may always remain.

Marty K.