The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 26, 2020, 12:53 PM   #1
TheyChooseYou
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2020
Posts: 3
Hollow Point Penetration Ability Question

I know that the FBI Standard for adequate self defense ammo 12-18" of penetration in properly prepared 10% ballistics gel. And from my research, the vast majority of JHP's fall into the 12-14.5" range. I also know that penetration in gel is not the same as in a body, being that I've read that just penetrating skin is equivalent to 2" in gel. So my question is, while I know that a JHP will adequately penetrate your average sized Joe, and hit vitals such as the lungs or heart, will they be able to sufficiently penetrate larger/the largest sized people as well? Such as obese people, powerlifters/bodybuilders, or just super large statured people (and yes, I realize the odds of being attacked by people of this type are slim to none, but that's not the point, I'm curious as to what the limits of JHP are)? What about when an arm is in the way, and the JHP might have to go through bone? Will a bullet that goes 12" in gel, and possibly only 10" in a body still suffice? Thank you. I will post links to pics of the types of people that I am curious about.

https://i0.wp.com/media.globalnews.c...y=70&strip=all

And sorry about this second one, only link I could find, and for whatever reason it's EXTREMELY long.

Edit: Second link had to be removed, but just Google "Thor Bjornsson Man y Pacquiao" on Google Images, and you'll see Thor in a green shirt. It's very important to do this as you'll see the type of people I'm talking about, instead of just imagining "A big person", then commenting. So please look at the pic. Thanks.

The guy in green is Thor Bjornsson, Worlds Strongest Man winner @ 6'9 and 415 pounds. Basically all muscle. The other guy is, well....

Last edited by TheyChooseYou; January 26, 2020 at 02:06 PM.
TheyChooseYou is offline  
Old January 26, 2020, 01:14 PM   #2
TBM900
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2015
Posts: 569
After 4+ decades in law enforcement...
And 5+ decades hunting...

Practice
Placement
Penetration
All trump expansion

Specific to common service revolver/pistol calibers.
__________________
Queen of England
Retired Colonial Marine
14th Earl to walk on the moon
TBM900 is offline  
Old January 26, 2020, 01:34 PM   #3
TheyChooseYou
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2020
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBM900 View Post
After 4+ decades in law enforcement...
And 5+ decades hunting...

Practice
Placement
Penetration
All trump expansion

Specific to common service revolver/pistol calibers.
So for my next question, do you think "over penetration" is overblown out the wazoo?
TheyChooseYou is offline  
Old January 26, 2020, 01:57 PM   #4
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 20,988
Welcome to tfl!

I removed that extremely long "link" to make your post readable. The site did not recognize it as a link, and so it was useless gibberish. As a general rule here, if you have to scroll the screen sideways to see then entire post or pic, it is too wide and should be done differently.

As to penetration "specs" I suggest you look at the 1986 Miami FBI shootout as an example. Not about the actual inches of penetration, but as an example of how a round (a 9mm in that case) MET or exceeded every penetration spec the FBI had at the time, and still was found to "fail" in that shooting.

The bullet that "failed" was a fatal shot, but not an instantly incapacitating one. The bad guy lived about another minute, was mobile, and during that time killed a couple FBI agents and wounded several more. There are, of course a lot more things involved, it was an exceptional case.

The FBI's answer was to declare the 9mm unsuitable, adopt the 10mm, (later going to the .40S&W) and CHANGE THEIR SPECS about what was "adequate" penetration. Also note that a few years ago the FBI "readopted" the 9mm. I guess it's suitable, now.

Point here is, no matter who sets the specs the real world can sometimes toss in a situation outside what is planned for. As I see it, you are asking if JHP penetration (the amount common today) would be enough if you are attacked by "giant" size people. The only honest answer is "no one knows".

Every shooting situation is different, even the ones that appear identical are different in numerous details. Every person shot is different. What works in testing and what works 99% of the time on the street doesn't help you if the stars line up and you are in that 1% minority.

In the Bible, David killed Goliath with a sling stone. Some people say David won because he was God's chosen champion. I won't say they are wrong about that. But, I think Goliath was killed because he was shot in the head.

Draw your own conclusions...
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is online now  
Old January 26, 2020, 02:04 PM   #5
Sharkbite
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 4, 2013
Location: Western slope of Colorado
Posts: 3,326
Quote:
But, I think Goliath was killed because he was shot in the head.
That is a mic drop statement.

When plan A fails to get the desired result have a plan B to fall back on.
Sharkbite is offline  
Old January 26, 2020, 02:39 PM   #6
T. O'Heir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 11,931
"...the FBI Standard..." Is not a "standard" of any kind. The FBI does not arbitrate anything to do with firearms.
"...ballistics gel..." Doesn't really tell you much.
"...18" of penetration..." That would mean the target is very thick. Or it'd be a through and through that does not expend its energy in the target. How big the target is doesn't matter. Thor Bjornsson isn't bullet proof.
What a JHP does is expand rapidly, but controlled, upon impact causing more tissue damage than an FMJ of the same weight. A cast bullet of the same weight does more than an FMJ too as it'll break up causing even more tissue damage.
"...Goliath was killed because he was shot in the head..." Nope. Traumatic skull fracture caused by a severe blow to the head. That has never been proven to actually have occurred.
__________________
Spelling and grammar count!
T. O'Heir is offline  
Old January 26, 2020, 02:57 PM   #7
TheyChooseYou
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2020
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O'Heir View Post
"...the FBI Standard..." Is not a "standard" of any kind. The FBI does not arbitrate anything to do with firearms.
"...ballistics gel..." Doesn't really tell you much.
"...18" of penetration..." That would mean the target is very thick. Or it'd be a through and through that does not expend its energy in the target. How big the target is doesn't matter. Thor Bjornsson isn't bullet proof.
What a JHP does is expand rapidly, but controlled, upon impact causing more tissue damage than an FMJ of the same weight. A cast bullet of the same weight does more than an FMJ too as it'll break up causing even more tissue damage.
"...Goliath was killed because he was shot in the head..." Nope. Traumatic skull fracture caused by a severe blow to the head. That has never been proven to actually have occurred.
Yes, but the main stipulation of JHP is that it MUST sufficiently penetrate through whatever it needs to first (arm bone, chest bone, etc.) in order to reach vitals. Do you think a bullet that goes 12" in gel (12" in gel is not gonna do 12" in a body), so probably 10" in a body, will penetrate through Thor's arm and them make it to vitals? I mean, in the pic, it looks like Manny Pacquiao could literally fit inside Thor, and still be less than half his torso thickness. Expansion does not come before adequate penetration.
TheyChooseYou is offline  
Old January 26, 2020, 03:14 PM   #8
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 20,988
"...Goliath was killed because he was shot in the head..."

Quote:
Nope. Traumatic skull fracture caused by a severe blow to the head.
Just what do you think a sling "bullet" does when it hits the skull??

Quote:
That has never been proven to actually have occurred.
Specific to Goliath, no, not "proven" because we don't have his skull to examine. We do, however have many thousands of examples of people's skulls being broken and death resulting from the impact of a projectile, including stones launched from slings.

That is proven, verifiable history.

Got any idea why the opponents of slingers in Roman arenas wore full face helmets? So the slinger wouldn't crack their opponents head open from 30 feet away in the first 10 seconds of the fight. The Romans weren't about "fair" fights, really, but they did want fights to last long enough to be ...entertaining.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is online now  
Old January 26, 2020, 06:29 PM   #9
TBM900
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2015
Posts: 569
Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
As to penetration "specs" I suggest you look at the 1986 Miami FBI shootout as an example. Not about the actual inches of penetration, but as an example of how a round (a 9mm in that case) MET or exceeded every penetration spec the FBI had at the time, and still was found to "fail" in that shooting.

The bullet that "failed" was a fatal shot, but not an instantly incapacitating one. The bad guy lived about another minute, was mobile, and during that time killed a couple FBI agents and wounded several more. There are, of course a lot more things involved, it was an exceptional case.
Which specific shot/impact are you referring to?
Side or head?
__________________
Queen of England
Retired Colonial Marine
14th Earl to walk on the moon

Last edited by TBM900; January 26, 2020 at 07:34 PM.
TBM900 is offline  
Old January 26, 2020, 09:48 PM   #10
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 20,988
Quote:
Which specific shot/impact are you referring to?
I am referring to the 9mm shot that according to some stopped "1/2" short" in the chest. The later shots to his head (.38 or .357 I'd have to look up which) were not blamed as "failures" by the FBI review.

My point is that a "rated" JHP approved, and with a good track record, "failed" due to circumstances unique to the situation. The shooter was an average size guy just VERY determined, and was not stopped by a bullet that "should have".

The official blame was placed on the round, not the exact circumstances of the shot. Which, is something common to bureaucratic systems, choosing a scapegoat unable to dispute their conclusions.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is online now  
Old January 26, 2020, 10:10 PM   #11
kenny53
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 30, 2015
Location: My back yard
Posts: 715
OP: You may be looking for a problem that really isn't there. If it were me and my bullet didn't stop a really big guy I would shoot him again.
kenny53 is offline  
Old January 30, 2020, 02:40 PM   #12
tipoc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2004
Location: Redwood City, Ca.
Posts: 3,971
As mentioned, in the wake of the 1986 Miami shootout the FBI was in a bit of a panic to come up with better ammo for their agents than the 9mm and the particular brand of 9mm jhp that ammo that they were using. They figured that the bullet had not penetrated deeply enough so they experimented with that and settled on the 10mm as it met their goals for penetration. They had issues with this and switched to 40 S&W soon after it became available as it performed as they wanted. No 9mm jhp ammo at that time performed as they wanted.

Three major things of benefit to handgunners came out of this:

1. The widespread adoption of 10% (and 20%) calibrated ballistic gel as a universal testing media for bullets.

2. The adoption by the FBI of a set of standard Protocol for bullet performance in 10% ballistic gel for penetration and expansion both before and after penetrating various barriers. Any ammo up for duty use by the FBI must meet those standards. These standards became widely used in law enforcement in the U.S. and internationally. They are known as the FBI Protocol.

3. The FBI's search for new bullets set off a race among ammo manufacturers to improve bullet design. That competition improved bullet design and the reliability of jhp ammo and influenced other designs as well. Across calibers bullet design and performance has improved. That competition has not stopped.

You can see the FBI Protocol (or standards) here:

http://www.brassfetcher.com/FBI%20Am...0Protocol.html

The standard set for 12 to 16" inches of penetration with expansion was set with the experience that many persons are shot while running, bent over, crouching or laying down. In these cases a bullet may strike a person in the shoulder and travel into the stomach or chest cavity before hitting a vital organ. A bullet may pass through the right bicep into the right side of the chest, across the chest and exit at the left shoulder, or stop in the heart. That was a consideration based on experience that they looked at. They wanted a bullet design that could do this penetration with expansion.

The FBI Protocols did set a new standard for defensive bullet design and performance. One that ammo manufacturers competed to meet and by so doing have improved the performance and reliability of jhp ammo.

tipoc
__________________
1. All guns are always loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger till you are ready to shoot.
4. Identify your target and know what is beyond it.
tipoc is offline  
Old January 30, 2020, 02:55 PM   #13
tipoc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2004
Location: Redwood City, Ca.
Posts: 3,971
Quote:
OP: You may be looking for a problem that really isn't there. If it were me and my bullet didn't stop a really big guy I would shoot him again.
The above is right.

It also doesn't matter big or small.

Never count on a one shot stop. Instead assume that you'll shoot a fella 2, 3 or more times and won't see any effect. Assume that and act accordingly. That way you won't be surprised when it does happen. Be surprised when you shoot a guy in the head and they do go down.

tipoc
__________________
1. All guns are always loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger till you are ready to shoot.
4. Identify your target and know what is beyond it.
tipoc is offline  
Old January 30, 2020, 03:02 PM   #14
Nanuk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2005
Location: Where the deer and the antelope roam.
Posts: 2,844
Before worrying about magic bullets, master your gun.
__________________
Retired Law Enforcement
U. S. Army Veteran
Armorer
My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.
Nanuk is offline  
Old January 31, 2020, 03:51 PM   #15
ratshooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 22, 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,581
Quote:
Before worrying about magic bullets, master your gun.
Short, sweet and to the point. And absolutely correct.
__________________
"Those who cannot cleanly dispatch their game using a .30-30 are either shooting too far, hunting inappropriate (too large) game, or are simply incompetent." Mic McPherson

I can understand your anger at me, but what could you possibly have against the horse I rode in on?
ratshooter is offline  
Old February 1, 2020, 05:30 PM   #16
TBM900
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2015
Posts: 569
Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
I am referring to the 9mm shot that according to some stopped "1/2" short" in the chest. The later shots to his head (.38 or .357 I'd have to look up which) were not blamed as "failures" by the FBI review.
Ive seen both shots used as examples to be "critical" of x or y which is I was asking for clarification.

Quote:
My point is that a "rated" JHP approved, and with a good track record, "failed" due to circumstances unique to the situation. The shooter was an average size guy just VERY determined, and was not stopped by a bullet that "should have".
Except for the fact that the bullet didn't fail, not in any way shape or form.
It struck the guy in the bicep, traveled through 8" of flesh, fat, muscle, etc, and expanding along the way.
It exited, then entered his chest expanded and sideways, continuing another 8".
I would say it performed perfectly.

Quote:
The official blame was placed on the round, not the exact circumstances of the shot. Which, is something common to bureaucratic systems, choosing a scapegoat unable to dispute their conclusions.
Correct
The only real "failure" that day was that of the agents to be prepared and to not underestimate their quarry.
The reality is they had their rear ends handed to them in spectacular fashion.
Thats not me ripping on them, just a simple reality.

If one looks at the shots taken, one will quickly see that the majority of hits were poorly/ineffectively placed, and the majority simply missed.
Which goes back to my mantra of...
Practice
Placement
Penetration
Each trumping things like the much overrated expansion.

All the gimmicky boutique bullets in the world will not supersede simply mastering ones weapon, ones self, ones situation.
__________________
Queen of England
Retired Colonial Marine
14th Earl to walk on the moon

Last edited by TBM900; February 1, 2020 at 06:43 PM.
TBM900 is offline  
Reply

Tags
fbi , hollow point , jhp , penetration

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 12:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08431 seconds with 8 queries