The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Dave McCracken Memorial Shotgun Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 13, 2000, 04:09 PM   #1
Oleg Volk
Staff Alumnus
Join Date: December 6, 1999
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 7,022
Does anyone have documented or anecdotal evidence on the cases where shotguns of any guage/load had failed to stop a threat? I would expect that .410 shot at long range would be likely to end up in that category but what about 20/12/10ga buck/slug?
Any guesses as to why (other than peripheral shot placement)?
Oleg Volk is offline  
Old March 13, 2000, 06:27 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: November 27, 1999
Location: Texas
Posts: 597
I recall some article of Ayoob's talking about someone "running" some distance with a "shredded heart" from a shotgun. I'm not saying what I believe, or what is true, just saying what I recall someone else saying.

When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; IT IS that they shall be destroyed forever...Psalms 92.7
Jhp147 is offline  
Old March 13, 2000, 06:39 PM   #3
Dave McC
Staff In Memoriam
Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
Posts: 8,812
During my career with the Md Prison system, I met two convicts that survived shotgun wounds, both in the abdomen. Neither felon was able to do much. The one I knew best was a dope dealer who was shot with his own shotgun w/ 00, at contact distance.
He,despite the best efforts of the dietary dept and a 3500 cal/day diet, was slowly starving to death. Most of his small intestine was gone.

He stated he was immobilized by the blast, despite a snootful of coke at the time. May his rotten, miserable soul rest in peace.

The NY stakeout squad had one holdup artist take 6-8 handgun bullets and 2 rounds of 00 in the body that was still firing, but that's the only one I know of.

Oleg, 100% stops are not possible with anything short of high explosives. A shotgun comes closest,so far.

Dave McC is offline  
Old March 13, 2000, 06:45 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: January 27, 2000
Posts: 265
A boy I went to school with was shot for a turkey! He took a 3" #6 load in the back at about 40-45 yards. He survived, and was VERY lucky! He still has at least 20 visible pellet scars. He said it felt like getting hit by a truck! He also said the hunter who shot him was lucky that he was too hurt to shoot back!! He was a little upset......
cjb is offline  
Old March 13, 2000, 11:47 PM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: January 17, 2000
Posts: 5
I've seen the results of 3 persons being shot in the face at modest ranges with 12ga trap loads, real underpowered bird shot.
Faces were mangles so bad it made you puke, but all were alive.
One a cop has to were glasses and use a seeing eye dog.
The other a drug dealer shot with a chopped off S/S
And a woman shot by a mugger while on her knees.
real ugly deal.

Glockmeister40 is offline  
Old March 14, 2000, 02:18 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: October 21, 1998
Location: Minneapolis,MN, U.S.A.
Posts: 243
I recall the 'heart-shredding incident' from a Peter Kokalis article on shotguns or wound ballistics. He was quoting the Vincent J.M. DiMaio book 'Gunshot Wounds', where "a man whose heart was literally shredded by No. 7-1/2 pellets fired from a 12-gauge shotgun at a distance of 3 to 4 feet, was able to run 65 feet before collapsing."
I also recall seeing a re-enactment/dramatization where a shotgun fired at a distance of about 150 yards dropped but did not incapacitate a rifleman shooting at a couple of sheriff's deputies. The deputy (with the shotgun) was wounded, and the rifleman was not incapacitated/killed until the other deputy shot him with one or two .308 rounds from an M1A with iron sights.
I also recall a story of a Milwaukee PD stakeout team member that shot a pizza van robber at 4-6 feet with 1 or 2 12-gauge slugs. The robber fell down, got up and ran for a block or two until collapsing from blood loss. He lived to serve his jail or prison term.
ModIMark0 is offline  
Old March 14, 2000, 05:00 AM   #7
Vern Brink
Join Date: March 13, 2000
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 85
I only know of two failures to stop and luckily they were both officers. One took birdshot (not sure what) to the vest, sholder and face at about 30-40 ft. Another took birdshot to the face at long range. The first officer is still undergoing surgery almost a year later for nerve damage though.

The bright side is the large number of success's we've had w/the shotgun to stop.

Vern Brink is offline  
Old March 14, 2000, 02:36 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: February 12, 1999
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 467
A friend and co-worker was shot in the calf with a 12 gauge magnum #6 load at about 5-7 yards. It happened 32 years ago while he and the shooter were hunting together. The kid got excited and fired while swinging the gun up. My friend went down like a ton of bricks. He was 6'7" and about 270# at the time.
There was a lot of soft tissue and muscle damage and the bones were shattered.
He was off work for about six months in 1967 and it has bothered him ever since. About two years ago he had a bone infection in that area that almost killed him. He is still working where I do and it still bothers him.
Neil Casper
Cat is offline  
Old March 14, 2000, 08:43 PM   #9
Big Bunny
Senior Member
Join Date: August 9, 1999
Location: New South Wales - Australia
Posts: 605
Um...this may sound a bit like a non-sequitur, but I find often even animals far smaller than man are NOT stopped by a shotgun, due to vitals/bones being missed by the pattern, so why man ?

My modus operandus is "One shot rolls 'em - the next finishes 'em ",(adrenalin boost can make an exit possible or even probable, after the first shock/knock-down, as long as all limbs are OK). But often you have to be very quick in/near cover.

I have had a big feral cat hit fair in the midships at 15m range with a CYL choke with 1- 1\4OZ of #5 (BR sizes not US)shot.. make two circles and make it over to a thick lantana bush on the creekline, to only then finally expire.

So now I always give foxes, feral cats and dingoes two shots even at relatively close ranges as "insurance" after some Lazarus-like re-incarnations and escapes in the past!
[With a DB(U/O or SxS)you could alway say it was an accident or the gun malfunctioned .. IE under cross-examination afterwards! But with a pump I am not so sure.]

This may be non-applicable to your US scenario, Oleg and might have legal implications, but I give you my 5c worth anyway....hit 'em quick and fast -twice !

***Big Bunny***
Big Bunny is offline  
Old March 14, 2000, 10:17 PM   #10
Edmund Rowe
Senior Member
Join Date: November 18, 1998
Location: Warner Robins, GA USA
Posts: 351
In Jim Cirillo's book "Guns, Bullets, and Gunfights" he describes a shootout with the NY City Stakeout squad where 2 baddies came to rob someplace that was staked out.

Good guy cop has shotgun. Both bad guys have sawed-off shotguns. VERY bad situation shaping up. Good guy knows he has to put them both down fast. He pops #1 with a slug, then swings to shoot #2, sees in his peripheral vision that #1 is still standing, but decides to still engage #2 before going back to hit #1. So he shoots #2, who goes down, then swings back and shoots #1, who now cooperates and falls immediately from the impact.

Good guy checks out the falled baddies. #1 has TWO perfect slug wounds in his chest. Good guy did NOT miss with his first shot!

Right after describing this, Cirillo says I know you find this tough to believe but he's seen men shot with
-12 gauge buck
-12 gauge slug
-#4 buck magnum
-158 gr .38 Special roundnose
-158 gr .38 special semiwadcutter
-200- and 230-gr .45 ACP hollowpoint
-110 gr .30 Carbine hollowpoint
"...and still function."

He then says, "In my opinion, man is the toughest animal to stop. I had one gunman cock his revolver as I approached after a junior stakeout man had hit him with No. 4 buck magnum. The autopsy showed that his spine was severed, two pellets had pierced his heart, and five pellets had gone through his lungs. The only one-shot stops I ever saw were a 110-gr .38 Special Super Vel and a 12 gauge slug. Both were shots to the brain."

Oleg: is that enough anecdotal info for you?

Let me add that Jim Cirillo's book is very good reading. Although I do not agree with everything he says, I sure do pay close attention to the lessons he talks about. How many multiple gunfight survivors actually write about their experience??

One thing I got out of the book was that a man in "fight mode" is very tough to stop. Virtually all the gunfights he describes were when both sides were at max alert which makes for a very interesting study in worst case gunfights!! I imagine someone in relaxed mode is much easier to put down, but we can't rely on Mr. Baddie being relaxed.

As to WHY someone doesn't go down? Unless you can turn off the electricity, everything else can still run for a while, IMHO. If you miss the good stuff then it will take even longer for Mr Baddie to "cooperate."

Cirillo's book is published by Paladin Press at

Edmund Rowe is offline  
Old March 15, 2000, 12:09 PM   #11
Oleg Volk
Staff Alumnus
Join Date: December 6, 1999
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 7,022
Then the next question is "does being shot give a pause"? Meaning, if someone gets shot in the chest with a .22 bullet or a .410 birdshot or a .30 carbine FMJ, would they pause in the effort to get you long enough for you to fire again or not?

We have plenty of cases where people shot with mouseguns lived to do serious damage but my question is more about temporary incapacitation...would shooting someone with even an inadequate load give time to repeat the dosage or not?

Oleg "cornered rat" Volk (JPFO,NRA)
Oleg Volk is offline  
Old March 16, 2000, 01:37 PM   #12
Gopher a 45
Senior Member
Join Date: January 24, 2000
Posts: 329
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Oleg, 100% stops are not possible with anything short of high explosives. A shotgun comes closest,so far.[/quote]

Well, I guess the poor creature was already "stopped" but if you DO use high explosives, make sure you use enough to do the job.

[This message has been edited by Gopher a 45 (edited March 16, 2000).]
Gopher a 45 is offline  
Old March 16, 2000, 10:19 PM   #13
Edmund Rowe
Senior Member
Join Date: November 18, 1998
Location: Warner Robins, GA USA
Posts: 351
To answer your question about will a hit from a shotgun give the baddie pause,
from everything I've read/heard, the answer is "sometimes".

There aren't many guarantees in personal defense. The best we can do is make up for chance/fate/luck/fortunes of war whatever you want to call it with training, attitude, heart, practice, mind-set, cunning, and maybe even a good war face. Some faithful prayer in our personal time wouldn't hurt, either.

A good saying I heard once is "The harder you work the luckier you get".

Edmund Rowe is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:14 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09096 seconds with 9 queries