Tactical / Practical Penetration
Tactical / Practical Penetration

Tactical / Practical Penetration

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HERE is an interesting essay on defensive handgun ammo penetration over at Common Sense Tactical and Practical. I don’t want to start a debate but I would like to add a comment from a man, Finn Aagaard, who probably knew more about terminal bullet performance than any one currently writing on the subject. Finn believed that, absent adequate penetration nothing else mattered. With only a modicum of common sense you can see how this would apply equally to hunting or personal protection.

FINNThe thing is, shooting into gelatin only tells you how deep a bullet will penetrate in gelatin. When you start putting clothes on a block of gel – or even adding pork ribs between the clothes and the gel – what was once adequate penetration can sometimes become deficient. You’ve all probably heard about the man who was saved when a bullet hit the pocket bible he carried in his chest pocket and of course Teddy Roosevelt was probably saved by the long speech he wrote and carried in his pocket when he was shot.

All that being said, when it comes to stopping – not killing or mortally wounding – a bad guy with a handgun, the pain you are able to inflict might have more to do with making him stop doing bad things than anything else. Course, we cannot depend on hurt so it seems best to follow the wisdom of Finn, no matter what you are shooting at.

RIB

5 Comments

  1. I will stay with ammo that has the penetrating power to reach the spine through 12 – 18 inches of clothing, flesh, and bone. Only a spine shot has the ability to GUARANTEE instant incapacitation. I will shoot to stop the fight. Even multiple lethal hits to the heart, lungs, liver, and major arteries will not prevent an attacker from plunging his knife into you another ten times or reloading a fresh mag and emptying his gun into you. You haven’t won the fight if you end up laying next to him in the morgue.

    And, in all the gel testing I’ve seen, I’ve never seen anyone wrap the front AND BACK of the gel with ribs and denim. Many hunters and EMTs will tell you of finding bullets in a lump just under the skin on the opposite side or under the clothes.. I don’t believe over-penetration is a problem.

    1. Stephen, Ahh yes! I’ve done that (wrap the gel block) multiple times and it is enlightening.Just finished an article on Remington’s new Black Belt bullet for Guns & Ammo and we conducted multiple tests with a winter coat, t-shit and ribs on both sides of the gel block. It changes things!

  2. JAMES ALLEN WYATT, JR.

    FINN AGGAARD, NOW GONE FROM THIS LIFE BUT WELL REGARDED AND WELL REMEMBERED BY THOSE OF US WHO HAVE LIFETIME OF EXPERIENCE WITH FIREARMS; HE A GREAT FELLOW WHO WRITINGS I SO MUCH ENJOYED.

  3. JAMES ALLEN WYATT, JR.

    HE DESIGNED A RIFLE SLING THAT I WAS NEVER ABLE TO LOCATED AND ACQUIRE; ANOTHER REGRET, THAT INCLUDING HIS NO LONGER IN THIS LIFE.

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