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From: "Julius Chang" <>
Subject: Re: Fackler - Ideal Police Bullet

#DATE:   9 Sep 93 07:01:33 GMT
#FROM:   Emmanuel Baechler <>
## There are several problems with what you write above. First, Fackler's
## position that gelatin = flesh is misstated. It is not an assumption,
## rather the result of several years of diligent research to find a
## viable tissue simulant. A specific formulation of ordnance gelatin
## prepared to precise specifications at a precise temperature, properly
## calibrated, will produce consistent results that correlate well with
## bullets fired into human flesh.
#Except that, in real situations, you do not shoot a human flesh but at
#LIVING human beings. It has been kown since many decades that the reactions
#of dead meat are not the same than the one of living muscles. It has been

	I'll grant this is possible.  Can you provide references?

#known for many centuries that human beings are not homogeneous blocks. It
#is also known since many years that the mental state of an adversary has
#an influence on the efficiency of a stop. This is not new. The relevance
#of the use of ballistic gelatin must still be shown!

	I don't think that Fackler discounts the mental state of the
	adversary as a variable in so-called stopping power.  It's
	just that one cannot count on it.  His ammo performance
	criterion is based on medically proven, 100% reliable ways
	to stop an attacker.  And those are either a CNS hit or a
	bleed-out.  To inflict the required damage using a handgun
	round, Fackler believes that the only relevant factor is
	the permanent (crush) cavity.  This belief is based on his
	research, combat experience, and medical knowledge.  You need
	a round that will inflict the required damage to produce the
	CNS hit or bleed-out (by hitting the heart or major blood
	vessels).  Anything else is just chance.

	Also, Fackler has gone to great lengths to show that 10%
	ordnance gelatin at 4 C exactly corresponds to live swine
	flesh from animals approx. 90 kg in weight.  However, I
	am not sure what work he has done to correlate live swine
	flesh to humans.

	I also don't know what data Fackler has on target
	inhomogeneity effects on ammo performance.  I suppose
	that the assumption may be that if a bone gets in the
	way, then a heavier and slower round will still have a
	better chance of deeper penetration.  Thus, it will still
	have a larger crush cavity and give better performance
	(because of higher probability of a CNS hit or bleed-out).

#Up to here, Fackler in an expert about the shooting of ballistic gelatin
#and nothing else until he proves the relevance of his tests.

	That doesn't seem to be true to me, based on my reading of
	Fackler's papers.  I think that his data is relevant to more
	than just gelatin.

## Non-CNS shots into humans produce incapacitation by causing great
## blood loss. There is no other way.
#Yes, there is another way: temporary cavity. Even if it depends on the
#velocity of the bullet, on its shape and on the target, it cannot be simply

	Fackler has conducted a lot of research into this and shows
	that the temporary cavity is an insignificant effect at
	handgun ammo velocities.  There may be some unmeasurable
	psychological factor, but there is no significant physical
	impact which is measurable.

## Rapid blood loss is caused by rupturing organs and vessels. There is
## no other way.
#Again, there is the temporary wound cavity.

	Not according to Fackler's work.  The temporary wound
	cavity just doesn't rupture organs or blood vessels.  Military
	rifle rounds are a different matter.

and fast bullets are clearly not as effective as heavy and
slower ones (e.g., 115 gr. +P+ 9mm vs. 147 gr. subsonic Olin 9mm),
I would expect that the cop on the street would realize that
his ammo sucks.  Is there any data to support this?

Also, I thought that Massad Ayoob's own research agrees pretty
closely with the Marshall/Sanow data.  Since Ayoob sells Cor-Bon
through his Armor of NH company and recommends the Federal 9BP
as an effective cartridge widely available to civilians, he also
must support the light and fast school of thought.

Has anyone seen any of this "street data" so that independent
peer review can be conducted?

Does anyone know what Marshall carries for his own defense?
How about Sanow?

In Fackler's defense (as if he needs any), he has conducted wound
ballistic experiments using live [1] and dead flesh [2] (either live
or dead swine).  As long as they were killed and then shot within
one hour, Fackler found that the results were the same as shooting
into living swine flesh.  He also conducted careful calibration studies
to arrive at his 10% ordnance gelatin at 4 C.  He compared the
gelatin results to shots into live swine muscle to arrive at
his gelatin recipe [3, 4].

He was also a combat surgeon in Vietnam (Da Nang) and has a lot
of experience with treating bullet wounds and identifying the
guilty round from the wound pattern [5].

Fackler has a nice paper that summarizes what wound ballistics
is all about and some of the scientific shortcomings in the
literature [6].

I wrote to him several years ago to get some reprints of his
key papers and he kindly sent lots of additional info on his work.

Lastly, is there any useful data from handgun hunters on the
effectiveness of various rounds?


1.  Fackler et al., "Wounding Potential of the Russian AK-74 Assault
Rifle", The Journal of Trauma, pp. 263-266, Vol. 24, No. 3, 1984.

2. Martin Fackler, "Bullet Performance Misconceptions", International
Defense Review, pp. 369-370, 3/1987.

3.  Martin Fackler, "Handgun Bullet Performance", International
Defense Review, pp. 555-557, 5/1988.

4.  "Wound Ballistics: A Target for Error", International Defense
Review, pp. 895-897, 8/1988.

5.  Martin Fackler, Chapter 2: Physics of Missile Injuries, in
"Evaluation and Management of Trauma", ed. by Norman McSwain Jr.
and Morris Kerstein, Appleton-Century-Crofts, Norwalk, CT, 1987.

6.  Martin Fackler, "What's Wrong With the Wound Ballistics Literature
and Why", Institute Report 239, Letterman Army Institute of Research,
Presidio of San Francisco, CA, July 1987.

#DATE:   9 Sep 93 07:02:11 GMT
#FROM:   FSS <erudnick@Pica.Army.Mil>
#In response particularly to Ken B Kirksey and Peter Alan Kasler:
#I did respond in a rather inappropriate way to Ken's posting of the 1990
#Fackler article. I read it when it came out, and had a very negative
#response to it. I did not re-read it when Ken posted it. My response to
#it caused me to ponder the matter all the way home (1 hour ride) - I know,
#I should have done that before posting. This is what I came up
#Dr, Fackler has excellent credentials in the area of wound ballistics, but
#IMHO not all that much else. I interpret his attempts to extrapolate his
#knowledge into bullet recommendations as leading to the most lethal bullets,
#that is those with the greatest likelihood of resulting in mortality,
#without regard to time. What is desired in police/defense bullets is a
#projectile which results in instantaneous or, more likely, very rapid
#incapacitation, without regard to eventual mortality. While there is of
#course quite a bit of overlap between these two sets, they are by no means
#congruent. Some bullets that are poor "stoppers" may be highly lethal, and
#thus (again, my perception) commendable by Dr. Fackler's standards, while
#others may "stop" well, but result in few fatalities. This is my
#perception based on what I've read of Fackler's work; admittedly
#nowhere near as much as Ken has.

	But Fackler is concerned with time.  He has a low regard
	for Glasers for exactly that reason.  When asked about
	the survival prospects of someone shot in the abdomen with
	a Glaser, he once said that the person would live about
	three days and die of peritonitis.

	At a lecture I attended about four years ago, Massad Ayoob
	felt that the Glaser is a fine round.

	Take your pick of expert opinions.


	[rest deleted]

#DATE:   9 Sep 93 07:02:16 GMT
#FROM:   Peter Alan Kasler <>
#On Tue, 7 Sep 1993, Emmanuel Baechler wrote:
## Except that, in real situations, you do not shoot a human flesh but at
## LIVING human beings.
#	That's exactly what I mean. Standard ordnance gelatin, properly
#formulated and calibrated, correlates consistently with *living* human
#tissue. I know of no legitimate modern wound ballistics researcher that
#shoots into dead flesh, or who uses any tissue simulant meant to
#corrrelate to anything but living human tissue.

	Fackler shoots into freshly killed swine (dead flesh).
	As far as I can tell, Fackler also claims that his 10%
	ordnance gelatin at 4 C is a valid tissue simulant for
	live swine muscle, not living human tissue.


	[rest deleted]

#DATE:   9 Sep 93 07:02:08 GMT
#FROM:   Nosy <>
#<In article <9309061543.AA03082@zippy.cs.UMD.EDU> CVMTDC@VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU (Tom the Elitist) writes:
#<   WRT the ongoing debate over the "ideal" bullet, and the flaming about
#<   various tests, it's as well to keep in mind that (given the ethical
#<   problems of finding enough **human** volunteers as test subjects) the
#<   only bullet type for which really reliable and statistically significant
#<   information can be obtained is the full metal jacket as used in military
#<   ball rounds.
#	I disagree. The body of data with regard to pistol shootings
#	is large and growing. While data on such oddities as the
#	prefragmented bullets (Glaser, Magsafe) is small and may
#	well remain so, the data on the 125 grain SJHP in .357
#	is large, because it was the standard police cartridge
#	for almost a decade.
#	Is data consisting of well over 1,000 data points
#	"significant" or not? If not, why is that, please?

	Supposedly, Fackler is working with the Miami medical
	examiner to collect data on shootings.  Has anyone
	heard anything about any results from this?


	[rest deleted]

From: "Julius Chang" <>
Subject: Re: Fackler - Ideal Police Bullet

#DATE:   10 Sep 93 13:15:43 GMT
#FROM:   Emmanuel Baechler <>
## Temporary cavitation is more directly releated to velocity than any
## other factor and there is a very significant knee in curve.  There is
## a vast difference in the temporary cavitation effects above and below
## 2400 FPS (730 m/sec).  Most tissue is quite elastic and slow moving
## handgun rounds (1000 to 1500 FPS) do not create enough temporary
## cavity to do much permanent damage.  The only real exception to this
## is when the tissue is constrained within a rigid structure like the
## skull.
#Remember that some special handgun rounds like the french THV has
#velocities between 800 and 1000 meters per second. Such rounds can
#clearly achieve temporary cavitations from your definition.

	Martin Fackler has studied the THV round.  First of all,
	the data I have says that handgun rounds from .32ACP on
	up to .45ACP fly at about 2000-2560 ft/sec (610-780 m/s) [1].

	The US Army's Wound Ballistics Laboratory at the Letterman
	Institute found that the .38 Spl. 45 grain THV lost 277 ft/s
	(84 m/s) in the first 10 meters of flight [2]!

	So it is not guaranteed that the THV can achieve the necessary
	velocity required for a significant temporary cavity effect.

#Second, there are also clearly documented cases where the stop was
#either slower of quicker than could be explained by permanent
#cavities.  This is a clearly documented phenomenon. Temporary cavities
#for the quicker than expected stops is the best explanation that I
#have ever read. If you have a better one, I am willing to listen to you.

	Could very well be.  Could also be a psychological stop.
	Who knows.  Since there appears to be little or no
	scientific data to establish the wound ballistics of these
	anecdotal cases, they don't help clarify the situation.
	Everyone on rec.guns can probably offer a plausible-sounding
	explanation for the faster-than-expected stops.

	[rest of the stuff on over- vs. under-penetration deleted]


1.  David Newman and Michael Yardley, "New-generation small arms
ammunition", International Defense Review, pp. 921-925, 7/1986.

2.  Martin Fackler, "Bullet performance misconceptions", International
Defense Review, pp. 369-370, 3/1987.

From: "Julius Chang" <>
Subject: Re: Stopping power of non-handgun loads

The differences between various handgun rounds vs. rifle rounds
depends on many variables such as the thickness of the target
(i.e., a torso hit or an extremity hit), type of bullet (e.g.,
FMJ, JHP, JSP), and compatibility of the ammo and weapon (e.g.,
M-16A2 and either the M855 or SS109 5.56 NATO round).

Check the references below for Fackler's tests of handgun, rifle,
and 12 gauge shotgun ammo performance.


1.  "Wounding patterns of military rifle bullets", International
Defense Review, pp. 59-64, 1/1989.

2.  "The ideal police bullet", Internal Security & Co-in (Supplement
to International Defense Review, 11/1990), pp. 45-46.

3.  "9mm vs. .45 Auto", Wound Ballistics Workshop, September 15-17, 1987,
FBI Academy, Firearms Training Unit.

4.  "Ballistic Injury", Annals of Emergency Medicine, pp. 110/1451-
114/1455, 15:12 Dec 1986.

5.  "The Wound Profile:  Illustration of the Missile-tissue Interaction",
The Journal of Trauma, pp. S21-S29, Vol. 28, No. 1 Supplement, 1988.

6.  "Handgun bullet performance", International Defense Review,
pp. 555-557, 5/1988.

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