Author Topic: Mythbusters segment on bullet effectiveness  (Read 1454 times)

Offline sslater

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Mythbusters segment on bullet effectiveness
« on: October 27, 2005, 10:13:27 PM »
Did anyone see the Mythbusters show on the Discovery Channel today?
They did a segment trying to answer the question of how hard a bullet hits.  Would the "hittee" really get blown backward off his feet?  The short answer is "No".
Once I got past the showmanship, I found they really did a pretty good series of experiments.  They suspended a man-sized hog carcass from a hook with just enough curvature to hold Mr. Piggy, but let "him" move backward off the hook if the bullet impact provided enough push.  
Then they had a police SWAT trainer bring the ordinance.  9mm carbine, .45 ACP carbine, .44 Magnum S&W revolver, .308 carbine, and a 12 gage slug gun.  All weapons were fired from a distance of 22 feet.
The 9mm didn't visibly move the pig. The .44 Mag moved it a tiny bit.  The .308 went right thru and the pig barely twitched.  Even the whole crew unloading on the pig with the entire arsenal (except 12 gage) didn't dislodge Mr. Piggy.  
Finally, the SWAT guy dislodged the pig with the 12 gage slug gun.  Even then, the pig fell almost straight down.  It sure didn't look like the movie scenes where the guy is hit with a .45 Colt, and is blown off his feet & thru a window.  

I took two things away from the demo:
1. Clint Smith is right.  Handgun cartridges aren't very good stoppers.
2. If a shooting victim does fly backwards, it's probably from a hit to the nervous system, and certainly not from the momentum of the slug. (See the discussion on free recoil of a gun in the NRA Firearms Fact Book.)  What the kinetic energy of the projectile does to the insides the target is a whole different discussion.

Offline Richard S

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Re: Mythbusters segment on bullet effectiveness
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2005, 11:16:11 PM »

I saw it.  

My old tactics instructor once told me that a handgun is primarily useful for fighting your way to a more effective weapon.  Still and all, the 9mm Luger and .45 ACP have been proven over time.  (H..., I wouldn't want to be shot by even a lowly .25.)

As for "knock down" power, the Hollywood types have rarely gotten it right.  And they shouldn't.  That kind of stuff belongs in training films -- and then left to the actual arena.

The most important thing to remember is placement, placement, placement . . .  regardless of caliber.

Further, deponent sayeth not.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2005, 11:16:56 PM by Richard_S »
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