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Old February 16, 2008, 08:54 AM   #1
Aqeous
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Could the Desert Eagle in 50 AE Hollowpoint constitute true stopping power?

I have been researching everything under the sun regarding handgun calibers and wound ballistics for some time now. However I have found it somewhat difficult to find ballistics data on the really big handgun calibers.

I ask this question: could not a 50 caliber hollow point (or even a 44 magnum equivalent) fired from the likes of a Desert Eagle (or revolver)---not constitute real and true stopping power on the VERY FIRST SHOT? You know that mythological beast discussed, disputed and quickly disproved in most every caliber wars since the beginning of time?

I could go into such caliber wars, ballistics myths ex.) but that is not what I want to talk about. (yes inevitably someone will say “just get a shotgun”. I know shotguns are pretty much optimal for stopping power . . . but I am speaking about handguns and handgun calibers at the moment)

It seems like a hollow point of this caliber would be pretty devastating. (though like I said It is hard to find any real data on it) The bullet travels at rifle like velocities and when it expands on impact that should create devastating hydrostatic pressures and a huge permanent cavity. Even though they are hard to handle, could not a single shot from a caliber like this truly constitute real “stopping power” in the truest sense of the word???

Last edited by Aqeous; February 16, 2008 at 09:29 AM.
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Old February 16, 2008, 09:36 AM   #2
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It's sure a lot more than a 9mm.
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Old February 16, 2008, 09:49 AM   #3
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Very informative . . .
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Old February 16, 2008, 12:03 PM   #4
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I suppose if you need a bullet to be the '100%' of whatever on the scale, a .44/.454/.480/.50 would be a good candidate.



But I'm not sure if any of those are realistic for daily carry (although I have carried .44 mag a few times, just wouldn't make a habit out of it).
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Old February 16, 2008, 12:12 PM   #5
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It still depends where you place such a bullet. But I'd be pretty confident that a shot to the chest with a heavy .50 JHP will be likely to stop somebody.
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Old February 16, 2008, 12:30 PM   #6
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I don't think it depends on where the bullet is placed at all and if anyone would like to experiment I'll be the shooter. I'm impressed enough with the desert eagle. Even if it doesn't expand, whatever you shoot with it has two 1/2 inch holes minimum.
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Old February 16, 2008, 01:20 PM   #7
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I don't think it depends on where the bullet is placed at all
I hope that was a joke
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Old February 16, 2008, 01:32 PM   #8
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I don't know . . . I know someone who was killed by accidentally shooting himself in toe with a 50 AE. (kidding in case you hadn't guessed.)

Seriously though. A .44 magnum is much more like a rifle round then a service round. It just might be capable of doing things that our service can't.
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Old February 16, 2008, 02:02 PM   #9
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I've got sort of the same opinion, also with very little fact.

Friend ham shot a deer with a 400 grain, XTP .475 Linebaugh, at 1350 fps. The bullet hit nothing vital, but cut about a 5 foot long, near 2" hole, ham to bow, and exited. Deer went about 5 yards, and piled up dead. No heart, no CNS, nothing vital hit, yet dead deer.

Here's a shot of asian buffalo, around 1500 pounds, meat damage by the .500JRH, a 440 grain lfn, at 950 fps:



It was not a one shot stop, but, buffalo went a bit before piling up. I'd sure like to see what a Hollowpoint that weighs 400 grains looks like shot into similar animals.

Guys on another forum asked the same question. 400 grain 475 XTP has gone through both shoulders on an elk, and exited, dead elk. While I think 325 grain .50 caliber bullets are adequate for deer size criters, some perfer heavier, 350 grain to 450 grain HP's in .50 caliber. The AE is a bit bullet weight limited, IIRC.

I forgot Dustin Linebaugh shot a cub, ok, maybe it was about 800 pounds, at 160 yards with a short barreled .475 LFN, and did it in as well.

While I realize deer, elk, asian buffalo, and my friends have shot a lot of bison, beefalo, etc. with the .500JRH, and with excellent results, that still doesn't mean that that particular bullet is going to do that bad guy in with one shot. Still, there appears to be a rather LARGE difference when you take a bullet that's supposed to be THE manstopper, the 125 grain HP in .357, and increase the bullet weight and size to .500 and 350-450 grains, at the same or higher velocity.

Actually the only in print shooting I've ever found about the 44 magnum on a human was an Arizona DA that came back from handgun hunting rabbits, to find a BG trying to shoulder, and chamber a round in his rifle, and, was starting to point the gun at him. The DA shot the guy in the head with a 180 grain bullet at about 1800 fps. Result was similar to hitting a ground hog with a .223 rifle. The BG lacked about a 7" circle where his brain departed the back of his head. But, since it was based on a CNS, we don't count that as a 'one shot stop', do we?

I've always felt that a 230 grain 45 Caliber HP, at about 1800 fps might be just as effective, and, used to have my home gun loaded with such. If I missed, the flash and bang from the 45 Colt/454 case was both blinding, and deafening.

However, I'm sure others will now chime in how 9mm has done similar such stunts, and, they will probably be right, since far fewer people shoot game with heavy caliber handguns then carry 9mm.
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Old February 16, 2008, 06:12 PM   #10
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Response to Socrates.

Hey Socrates. Good to hear from you again. You may or may not recall our exchanges on a thread a while back regarding the comparisons of modern JHP calibers. It was those discussions that set me off on a totally new direction of thinking and research.

I have since literally lost all and I mean ALL faith in my service calibers. Stopping power is in fact ONLY a constituent of the individuals disposition and accurately placed shots impacting upon the nervousystem. Even a perfect shot through the heart from time to time will not result in an instantaneous "stop", and often enough a lung shot will give a determined human being not much more than a bad case of walking pneumoina. A mountain of research has revealed that everyone and anyone who knows anything about ballistics ALL agree that the guarantee of stopping power with service calibers is a complete and utter myth. People just don't know . . . I didn't know . . . I think deep down inside people really don't want to know.

Perfect shots center mass is the key: in the middle of the night, at a moving target, who is possibly firing back, while your half asleep, while ignoring the muzzle blasts. . . you get the point. This is why people strongly advocate shotguns for home defense, even a real pro would have trouble accomplishing "perfect center mass" shots under these conditions. And then people say double tap----well its amazing how much you can learn from the Internet if you are really paying attention. Videos are abound with man and beast soaking up service rounds like a sponge with ZERO "knockdown" power. I've heard a recent story (on another forum) from a solder who fired several rounds center mass into a charging enemy combatant before being forced to take cover, a few seconds later he peaked out his head only to see that the man he had shot MULTIPLE TIMES quite literally had gotten up and walked away. Whether he died a short time afterward is not really the point is it??

I am now exploring (as I recall you suggesting) bullets that behave more like rifle rounds. I am still in the process of doing so, but I am now pretty content that I have absorbed much of the best info regarding service rounds that is available at this time. I now feel that the old saying, "your hand gun is what you use to fight your way back to your rifle . . . that you should not have dropped in the first place" is actually very true. I may get blasted for this on this thread but I now know with a measure of certainty that if I am defending my life or the life of my family I do not want to count on the marginal effectiveness of a service caliber unless their is no other choice.
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Old February 16, 2008, 08:59 PM   #11
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Hi Aqueous

I'm going to make this real simple: Here is the perfect size carry gun, and, home defense guns, in the perfect calibers:


The top is my Freedom Arms, built by Jack Huntington, his second conversion fitting the .475 Linebaugh into a Freedom arms, and, in the process, he changed the dimensions on the case for everyone, by reducing the rim size.

The bottom gun is Jack's own gun. He could build, or own anything, and, that's what he's settled on, a .500JRH with a 5.5 inch barrel. Great combination for shooting and packing. Now, both take pretty much the same loading information, and, depending on what your situation is, depends on what you load it with. Jack has a ranch, and when the dog starts barking, the horses and cows making noise, it's likely got 4 paws, claws, and big teeth. For that, Jack likes a 440 grain bullet at 950 fps. Recoils about 25 ft lbs out of that BFR, and feels like a moderate 44 magnum round, if that.

I'd take the recoil level down even more, to between 275 grain to 400 grain hollow points.
The only real info I have on the .475 Linebaugh is that the 400 grain XTP will go through an elk, or moose, near end to end, and break both shoulders and exit sideways. So, I can fairly safely say that's too much bullet for my people problems, but, it's what's cheapest to buy right now, and, I've got near 250 rounds of it, and, I shoot it well.

There is a LOT of research that needs to be done on what kind of effect you get using a lighter for caliber HP in over 45 caliber guns, and, at what point you start exceeding your penetration needs. I've talked to Tim Sundles at buffalobore.com, and his 260 grain Sierra bullet at 1450 fps load has proven very good at culling black bear. Doesn't mean that might not be a good people bullet, and, when I had my seville that's what I had in it usually, but, a softer bullet might be better for smaller targets, if not a lighter bullet, something like a Speer Gold Dot or Hawk.

In other words, somewhere inbetween the extra heavy LFN folks, and the super light Lee Jurras' 44 magnum 180 grain loads is a good mix. Lee by the way, loved the 180's, and adjusted the jacket thickness to the target, not the bullet weight or velocity. Hawk bullets seems to take that approach as well.
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Old February 16, 2008, 09:15 PM   #12
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what about a pistol chambered for 7.62 nato rounds?

I think a .50BMG is still the only (mainstream) bullet that could stop a person with one shot to center mass.
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Old February 16, 2008, 10:16 PM   #13
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Aqueous:
I've been kicking around with the boys that actually shoot stuff with their guns. Seems one guy loves his 454, with a 260 grain Speer Gold Dot, at under 1600 fps. Seems to create a very large wound track, with a nice big exit hole.

If you're intrested, I'll be happy to point you in a direction where people actually shoot animals with their guns, rather then talking about them, and, they can be REAL helpful.

S esq.
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Old February 16, 2008, 10:29 PM   #14
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If a 300grn .50AE bullet at 1550fps is the ultimate in stopping power then does that mean that this would blow the BG into itty-bitty badguybits?

http://www.winchester.com/products/c...use=3&gauge=12

A 437grn soft lead hollowpoint bullet going 1760fps.
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Old February 16, 2008, 10:45 PM   #15
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Response to Socrates

Thanks, that would be great. Anyone who has tried and true real world experience is a rare commodity in this world.
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Old February 16, 2008, 10:48 PM   #16
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Resposne to Webleymkv

Yes shotgun slugs are very powerful but this thread is dedicated to handgun calibers. Now if you find a handgun that shoots shotgun slugs that would really be something . . . feel free to post it anytime
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Old February 16, 2008, 10:52 PM   #17
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Aqeos, I guess you don't share my humor?
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Old February 16, 2008, 11:10 PM   #18
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I ask this question: could not a 50 caliber hollow point (or even a 44 magnum equivalent) fired from the likes of a Desert Eagle (or revolver)---not constitute real and true stopping power on the VERY FIRST SHOT?
Nope. Read through this to find examples of people surviving rifle bullets through the chest. People can survive amazing wounds.
Quote:
I don't think it depends on where the bullet is placed at all and if anyone would like to experiment I'll be the shooter.
See my comment above.
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Old February 16, 2008, 11:14 PM   #19
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Now if you find a handgun that shoots shotgun slugs that would really be something . . . feel free to post it anytime
How's this?

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle1997/le970315-03.html

Actually my point is that many people can and have survived being shot with Shotgun slugs which are much more powerful than a .50AE. There are very few, if any, man portable firearms which can deliver a guaranteed one-shot-stop.
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Old February 16, 2008, 11:28 PM   #20
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I know the big .475 Linebaugh is one monster handgun! I cannot say I have any experience with it other than once knew a man who had one and let me shoot it. I was used to shooting my Freedom Arms 454 Casull at that time and both are a handful. As I see it, they are big game hunting revolvers, not something for defense against humans. As to the 50 AE, all I can say is again I have known men with this and the 44-magnum version. I think one can change barrels and shoot both cartridges. I do not imagine the 50 AE as good a hunting handgun as the big revolvers I mentioned. I thought about buying a 480 Ruger, assuming that Ruger would come out with a Super Blackhawk model, but I never saw one and now the time for me is past buying a bigger handgun than a 44 magnum.

As far as defense goes, a 357 with a 125-grain bullet will kill a person very quick at in home range. The 45 ACP will do about the same perhaps knocking the person down faster, but as to killing power, I think it is a moot point
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Old February 17, 2008, 12:33 AM   #21
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The bullet travels at rifle like velocities and when it expands on impact that should create devastating hydrostatic pressures and a huge permanent cavity.
Since when is 1300 fps considered a "rifle like velocity"? I guess if you are considering 12 ga shotguns, antique .45-70 loads, and .22 lr as being your determiners for what is considered rifle-like velocity. However, those velocities would be at the extreme low end for rifles. It would be just as accurate to refer to such velocities as "pistol like velocities" since 1300 fps in within the high end of pistol caliber pistols.

Since you mentioned "devastating hydrostatic pressures produced by these rounds, just how much energy is required to produce hydrostatic shock and at what pressure does it become devastating?

Given that folks survive and continue to function after being struck by larger high velocity calibers that should produce more hydrostatic shock than your handgun rounds, in other words, at levels well above what you called "devastating," can you really say the handgun rounds actually produce devastating hydrostatic pressure?
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Old February 17, 2008, 01:30 AM   #22
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Aqueos,

I think it all comes down to compromises. Can you actually carry such a powerful gun on a regular basis or would it be too large or heavy? What if you missed? How quickly could you get off a second shot? Are you going to suffer permenant hearing damage if you fire the gun an enclosed environment? What about over penetration or the huge muzzle flash that gives away your location?

While the common handgun cartridges have failed to "immediately stop" an attacker, many well placed gun shot wounds will stop the fight pretty darn quick. People do some pretty amazing things in life or death situations. Choose good ammo in a good gun and you probably won't go wrong.
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Old February 17, 2008, 01:42 AM   #23
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I'm inclined to believe that if BG can't be stopped by a 'hammer' of 200 grain +P JHP .45ACP to the chest, he's the Terminator. My theory on it is this: "The first shot kills the BG... the second speeds his journey to hell." In the land of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children we're always taught that "two is one, and one is none," so I believe in a second shot. Just my TWO slugs o' copper.
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Old February 17, 2008, 02:05 AM   #24
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I'm inclined to believe that if BG can't be stopped by a 'hammer' of 200 grain +P JHP .45ACP to the chest, he's the Terminator.
Believe's got nothing to do with it. (To paraphrase Will Munny).

People have taken rifle bullets to the chest and survived. Not only survived but remained effective fighters. The link I provided in my previous post on this thread gives some good examples.
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Old February 17, 2008, 02:36 AM   #25
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Anyone who can still fight after two 200 grain JHPs @ 1100+ fps hitting center mass... well... that's one TOUGH SOB. There must be something to it though. Before my last tour "in the sandbox" we had changed tactics to "two in the chest, one in the head." I was told it was b/c the insurgents may have acquired body armor- maybe it was due to inability to drop the BG. On coming home, I now practice the 'three-shot drill' rather than a traditional 'hammer.'
As far as surviving those rifle shots... I'd say their guardian angel was putting in overtime.
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