As I said before... Energy transfer from handguns does not cause enough cavitation to create permanent damage in tissue. This cavitation is expressed as the "temprorary" wound cavity. HP rounds do increase energy transfer, and cause a little more cavitation, but not significant amounts. The permanent wound channel is the same size or a little larger than the bullet as it passes through. Expanded HP do increase the size of this permanent wound channel.
This lack of cavitation damage excludes the more dense and inelastic tissues... but those tend to be vital organ tissue like the heart, liver and kidneys... All of which would cause massive bleeding and death when hit directly anyway, the extra damage created is a little less important in this situation. (the heart is of course quickest to death, followed by the liver then kidneys)
What the energy transfer and temporary cavity do... is cause bruising and pain. So higher energy rounds will hurt more, but pain is not a guarantee of stopping the threat.
Now rifle rounds... their higher energy and momentum create much more cavitation... This cavitation is actually more than the elasticity of the tissues can take, and it causes permanent damage. So you get a much larger permanent wound channel... HP increase this effect further... So this is why energy is more effective in rifles.
Handguns can only rely on shot placement and adequate penetration to reach important structures. Momentum and weight aid in penetration.
Handgun rounds all have the momentum to penetrate deep enough, but HP rounds cause energy and momentum loss, which means the rounds may not penetrate deep enough if the HP design causes expansion to quickly.
This is why heavy for caliber rounds penetrate deeper and more consistently... the inherent inertia of the added bullet mass, plus the momentum of the bullet work together to create better penetration depth and consistency.
Higher energy rounds do penetrate more, but without the added mass inertia, the performance of penetration depth is less consistent.
Last edited by marine6680; September 26, 2012 at 07:26 PM.