Sunday, September 19, 2010

An End to the Caliber Debate?

Officer Down: A Warrior's Sacrifice

Resistance to Gunfire
Mettinger absorbed nine rounds from Borders' .45—six of which hit him in the torso and two more of which literally severed his right foot—without any significant effect on his fighting ability. This would have been remarkable even if Officer Borders had been firing marginally effective rounds, but he was using .45 caliber Gold Dot ammunition, which is considered by many to be the best man-stopper on the market.

Officer Down: The Peter Soulis Incident

The Aftermath
Remarkably, Palmer had taken 22 hits from Soulis' .40-caliber Glock, 17 of which had hit center mass. Despite the fact that the weapon had been loaded with Ranger SXTs considered by many to be one of the best man-stoppers available Palmer lived for more than four minutes after the last shot was fired. His autopsy revealed nothing more than a small amount of alcohol in his bloodstream. Although Soulis could not have known it, Palmer was wanted for murder in a neighboring state.

Harlem man survives being shot 21 times by NYPD

More than 50 bullets were fired, almost all of them by the police. At least 21 of those bullets pierced Alvarez's body.

Luckily for Alvarez — whose criminal record includes at least eight prior arrests — none of the bullets hit his brain, heart or major arteries. His family members say that even though his arms, legs and torso were riddled with ammunition, Alvarez is "doing all right" and talking. It's believed he'll survive. A forensics expert told the New York Daily News' Simone Weichselbaum and Virginia Breen that Alvarez is probably the new holder of a somewhat dubious record.

"I would say more than 20 gunshot wounds is a record," Dr. Vincent DiMaio, a forensic pathologist who specializes in gunshot wounds, told the paper. "Of course, the real issue is where you get shot. One bullet can kill you, but believe it or not, a body can survive a lot of bullet wounds."

NYPD carries 9s right?

That's .45, .40 and 9mm all failing miserably.

Lesson learned: Accuracy speaks louder than bore size.


  1. Thanks for posting these all together. It goes to show how important shot placement is. As the doctor said in the last article, "...the real issue is where you get shot."

    It also says a lot about the how much the mental state and level of determination of the individual means. There aren't many people who would keep fighting with a *severed foot* — no matter whether that foot had been severed by a 9mm, .40, .45, .50 BMG or a .22.

    All seriousness aside, the Mettinger story reads like a zombie horror movie. Normally law-abiding citizen exhibits sudden, aggressive, non-characteristic behavior, turning violent. Officer Borders shoots Mettinger repeatedly, going so far as to shoot off body parts, but the guy keeps coming until he's shot through the head.

  2. Shot placement is definitely king.

    There's another story floating around regarding a shooting in Hazelton Pa where an attacker armed with a .45 ambushed several officers armed with Glock .40s. The attacker took many hits including that various 5.56 loads before going down. Trying to find a reliable source for that one. There was a supposed FBI Study/Report it but it appeared to be a spoof document.

    The gist of that one was:

    "1. Range was 20 feet.
    2. Three officers involved.
    3. One adversary, 18 years old.
    4. Officers used M4s with 55 grain and 75 grain .223 ammunition and Glock 22’s with Speer 180 grain Gold Dot
    5. Adversary used .45 ACP handgun.
    6. Trace amounts of marijuana in adversary’s system.
    7. 107 rounds fired by two officers with 17 rounds striking adversary (16% hit ratio).
    8. Of the 17 hits, 11 created exit wounds.
    9. NO HEAD SHOT DELIVERED by officers at range of 20 feet from either their rifles or handguns.
    10. Adversary fired 26 rounds and reloaded magazine from a box of loose ammunition.
    11. Incident lasted approximately 3.5 minutes.
    12. When adversary was no longer able to return fire, officers still had to “fight” to get him handcuffed.
    13. Interesting tattoos on very dedicated adversary.
    14. I would add under the FBI’s Lessons Learned Section that when you do not inflict immediate, incapacitating damage to your adversary, you often create a “Superman Effect” in your adversary from the normal physiologic response to significant, but non-life threatening injury."