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Thread: Better than M4, but you canít have it

  1. #41
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Here is a link to article the makes reference to the Hatcher relative stopping power index read how the .45 http://www.frfrogspad.com/colt1889.htm#Ballistics
    Last edited by slapout9; 02-26-2007 at 08:04 PM. Reason: fix stuff

  2. #42
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default "Relative Stopping Power"

    While this is not an exact comparison it does help to put things in perspective.

    Thanks Slapout !

    Why the need to 'double tap' when one will do, center of mass

    Here's what Jim Higginbotham, 30 years as a LEO had to say:

    http://www.sightm1911.com/Care/45acp.htm

    While I have come across some lethal encounters that took a lot of rounds to settle they mostly were the result of either poor hits (or complete misses) or lack of penetration. Nearly all of the high round count cases I have reviewed involved 9mms, .38s, .357’s or smaller calibers. This is not to say they do not occur with major caliber rounds. It is to say I have been collecting data for 30 years and have not encountered many cases in which multiple hits (more than three as two or three shots are a fairly normal reflex action) from major caliber cartridges to the center of the chest have not been sufficient, - the single exception being a case involving the .41 Magnum loaded with JSP bullets which did not expand - they did penetrate - it took five hits center mass to stop the attacker - and I have not encountered any with the .45, even with Ball. I have encountered several with 5, 6 or even more hits to the center of the chest with .38, .357, 9mm and .223 rifle rounds failing to stop. Almost every one could be traced to lack of penetration with a couple of exceptions that hit the heart but just did not cause enough damage to be effective quickly. Note I am not talking about "torso" hits. There is a lot of area in the torso in which a hit will seldom produce rapid incapacitation even if hit by a 12 ga. slug or a 30-06 - we simply cannot count such data if we are going to learn anything.

    My purpose here is not to argue Fackler versus Marshall and Sanow because that's a book in itself. What is important in all of this is that regardless of which philosophy you choose to accept as true, the .45 ACP comes out well--at or near the top of the effectiveness ratings for both schools of thought.
    Last edited by Stan; 02-26-2007 at 08:23 PM.

  3. #43
    Council Member SGTMILLS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    Reasons why Army didn't pass DragonSkin:...

    The new SAPI with the increased protection is probably the best armor for US troops. Once they can figure out how to get it out there.
    I actually had the E-SAPI plate. It was about 3 lbs heavier, and claimed to stop AP rounds. It sounded good, but I am still skeptical. Thanks for the explanation.
    SGTMILLS

  4. #44
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Stan, good article and where you hit is most important. I was shot in the left leg, just above the knee cap, was knocked to the ground and slid about 6 feet not knowing I had been shot till a couple of hours later (being scared ####less had a lot to do with it) even after a para-medic looked at my leg. It was only a flesh wound and when it hit the heat cauterized the wound so I had almost no blood loss, big hole in my pants and when it did start to hurt man did it ever. I also found 3 of my .40 caliber hollow points later and they all failed to expand. They did just the opposite - collapsed in on to all most a sharp point??

    I was also at a calibre press street survival and met a Palm Beach County Florida deputy sheriff who shot a guy dead center mass with a .45. Of course he died but he was able to get back into his vehicle and put it into drive before he bled out and went unconscious. The deputy was so shocked he never thought to shoot him again. People act funny with handgun wounds, often because of drugs, booze or just crazy or in a rage adrenalin is something else.

  5. #45
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Well guys I found the hatcher piece I was thinking of. It is not a study or a book - it is a textbook and long out of print. You can find it at rare book stores but it is not cheap. The link shows the complete title and the chapter on ammunition and ballistics. I think the guy that got 120mm's copy of the his notebook must have gotten mine as well because I cannot find it anywhere. Oh well, if you ever get the chance it is a good read and the man was a genius. He was a major when he wrote this book.


    http://www.19thcenturyweapons.com/20...trevtexttp.jpg

  6. #46
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Julian S. Hatcher is an example of what was right about the military personnel system, pre-central "Soviet-Style" Drunken Monkey control.

    The guy was a ballistics/military firearms expert who stayed in basically the same job, from MAJ to MG. The idiots at HRC would've rotated him out of the job after 2 years as a MAJ, we would've had a long succession of politically-motivated hacks occupy the job in order to "check the box" (None of which would give a crap about ballistics or firearms) and we would be deprived of most of the knowledge/weapons systems that were actually worthwhile.

    I knew there was a reason to bring "Hatcher's Notebook" up.

  7. #47
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Hatcher's Notebook on Falling Bullets

    Welcome to Africa Folks !

    This supports the observations of those who wrote during WW2, that after a heavy battle, a number of bullets were found slight- ly embedded in tar rooftops, all pointed towards the sky.

  8. #48
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Just an update on the M4 issue. One of the criticisms of the direct gas impingement system in the M4 is that the smaller dwell time and excessive heat of the shortened gas tube causes premature wear and an increase in stoppages.

    The civilian AR guys have "broken the code" on this, and it doesn't involve a piston system. Extending the gas tube into a "mid-length" configuration appears to successfully address this issue. I cannot see why current M4s couldn't be retrofitted with a mid-length gas system. The conversion could be done with a total parts count of 2, and a cost per unit of around $30. You'd need a longer gas-block/front sight and/or a longer gas tube and something to protect it. The barrels need to be drilled; otherwise the conversion could be done at the unit level.

    I'm having a friend build me one, just to see for myself.

  9. #49
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    Question anybody see the New HK in action?

    I saw a show with that new rifle , it looks like the G3/hk and from what i could tell it was completely uncontrollable in bursts and the Picatinny rail was flopping around really bad ! I seriously was discouraged by the way it looked when shooting . I don't care for the AR that much , but that new hk looks like junk! just relaying my opinion of it,based on the footage i saw. if thew AR or the HK was in the price range of the AK ,I'd like to get a few of each! too bad. G

  10. #50
    Council Member FL-CRACKER's Avatar
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    Gents, I ran across this diagram that pertains to part of this conversation. Just thought I'd share it as it's kind of cool:

    "Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong."

    "Training should be like a bloodless battle so that battle is just like bloody training." - Roman Legion Maxim

  11. #51
    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sullygoarmy View Post
    Reading the incident with CPT Self reminds me of similar stories from the Vietnam war of soldiers found dead with cleaning rods in their hands as they tried to clear jammed M16s. It sounds like the HK 416 is close in price and far superior to the M16/M4 family. Anyone know if disadvantages to the HK 416 other than the fact we would need to start replacing the M4 family of weapons?

    Seems like an interesting rifle.
    Very tragic and horrifying. But didn't they narrow that down to the powder used in the ammo? Not to take away from the underlying weakness to begin with. I don't know the difference between an M4 and the GAU-5 I was issued in the Air Force. But I did like it better than the M-16 rifle for obvious reasons. It was smaller and better suited for airborne jumps. Ironically, I scored better with the GAU-5 than the standard M16 rifle. The HK416 is an improvement of design and if it is good enough for Delta than it is good enough for my ladies. I find it a little strange that Delta is even being advertised as promoting this weapon. We normally don't have a need to know about such things.
    "But suppose everybody on our side felt that way?"
    "Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn't I?"


  12. #52
    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uboat509 View Post
    Somebody correct me if I am wrong but I thought that the main reason that we switched to 9MM was because of commonality of ammunition with NATO. If that is the case then I think we can safely dispense with the 9MM, thank you.

    SFC W
    SEALs have learned to use the caliber with great effect. Instead of one round they quickly use three.
    "But suppose everybody on our side felt that way?"
    "Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn't I?"


  13. #53
    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    JC, it's not just a book (you should get it anyway) he wrote several studies on wound ballistics. the one I am thinking about was probably done when he was a major during the process of adopting the .45 automatic. Chuck Taylor and Jeff Cooper used to talk about this study alot. Cooper is dead and I don't know what Chuck is doing now a days, but I am still looking. You might try Chuck Melson he knows alot about that stuff and time period, he found out that the famous Fairbarn Commando knife may have come from the Marines during the Boxer rebellion in China. Three as matter of fact all named Sam and they became known as the 3 Sams of combat knife deisgn or something like that. If I can find it I will post it pass on what I find out.
    I recently received a nice Springfield Armory .40 XD40. I've never fired it and seems to be suited for police work. Anyone have any experience with this weapon. It is imported from Croatia.
    "But suppose everybody on our side felt that way?"
    "Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn't I?"


  14. #54
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Heh. Yeah that was the stated reason, Uboat 509.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uboat509 View Post
    Somebody correct me if I am wrong but I thought that the main reason that we switched to 9MM was because of commonality of ammunition with NATO. If that is the case then I think we can safely dispense with the 9MM, thank you.

    SFC W
    Boring and worthless Background:

    Unit I was in ran the troop test on the then AR-15 for the Army. We shot a lot of Dogs for the then Dog Lab and a lot of Pigs for the Oscar Meyer Packing plant in Fayetteville. Recm to DA was buy a few for Special Purposes and stick with the M14 for worldwide service. I do not know but was told that was the DA recm to DoD. In the event, shortly, the existing M14 contract with TRW was canceled and Colt got a contract for the now M16. I'm sure that the fact that TRW contibuted to Nixon's campaign and Colt had contributed to Kennedy's had no bearing on that decision.

    Issue at hand:

    In 1979 and 80, Congress in the Defense Appropriation bill forbade any purchase of .45 Ammo or M1911A1 parts in an effort to force the Joint Services Small Arms Program off the dime and the services to buy a 9mm. JSSAP accordingly tested several and recommended the now M9 (over the Sig 229 which I find nothing short of amazing...). I have no indication that Congressional malfeasance was involved. I had, before I retired retired in '95, many indications that a number of Congressional Armed Services staffers carry pet rocks in their pockets and I do know the Beretta USA plant went in a surprising location...

    Real problem:

    The Beretta cannot take +P loads and the lawyers will not allow the purchase of several non-hollow point and thus non proscribed bullets to produce better knock down power. Having carried a .45 in north Asia and a High Power in SEA and used both, I have no question that my two .45s in the house are the right choice. A lot of valid requests from the field for a better pistol are falling on deaf ears at DA. I wonder why. I understand inventories, switching weapons and all that but I also know the window is open if it were pushed; I have no idea why it is not. The Coasties (being non-DoD) are buying .40 Sigs.

    Culpepper is correct in that the SEALS an others achieve acceptable results with a 9mm (a Sig in the case of the former). Everyone could if they practiced with live Ammo 20 hours a week more weeks than not as some organizations do. Unfortunately, the rest of the Armed Forces can't affod that much Ammo or time. Still, the Beretta is a sort of okay weapon. Is sort of okay good enough?

    Same thing with the M16/M4, it's an okay weapon and, if maintained, it does an acceptable job. Problem is that the maintenance requirement typically means that Joe over-maintains and it wears out from his tender ministrations before it gets fired to death. Aside from the excessive maintenance burden, the gas tube system is too sensitive to Ammo and barrel length. Big wars can produce shoddy ammo...

    We can do better.

  15. #55
    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
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    There are two schools of thought about the 9MM in my community. One says that 9MM is better because you can carry a lot more of it (15 + 1 or 21 +1 depending on your magazine) and nobody wants to go dry one their secondary in the middle of a firefight no matter how fast your mag change is. The other school says that you will rarely have your secondary out for more than a few shots anyway and it is better to have that one round stopping power. I am a believer in the latter but it is not up to me and I am still carrying the M9 which I personally think is a peice of crap. I agree with Ken. If we absolutely have to go with 9MM then we can definitely do better.

    SFC W

  16. #56
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    Default 9mm is terrible; M4 is ok, and ok is NOT good enough

    The 9mm ball is so unsatisfactory that the CJSOTF (Spec Ops Task Force) for Iraq decided to go with old M1911s rescued from the melting plant. As far as 5.56 ball ammo? Nope -- most of SOF highly desires either the 6.8mm mod for the M4 or -- much easier -- the 7.62 mod. The only trouble I see is that the M4 was not overall deisgned for the physics behind the larger, heavier rounds. For a permanent solution (until we get laser blasters), I think most of us are looking forward to the 7.62mm SCAR and the various mods from FN.

  17. #57
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Not just SF and SOF, most thinking Grunts

    Quote Originally Posted by mde View Post
    The 9mm ball is so unsatisfactory that the CJSOTF (Spec Ops Task Force) for Iraq decided to go with old M1911s rescued from the melting plant. As far as 5.56 ball ammo? Nope -- most of SOF highly desires either the 6.8mm mod for the M4 or -- much easier -- the 7.62 mod. The only trouble I see is that the M4 was not overall deisgned for the physics behind the larger, heavier rounds. For a permanent solution (until we get laser blasters), I think most of us are looking forward to the 7.62mm SCAR and the various mods from FN.
    also want something better. The Marines got smarter than the Army and went for the heavier bullet in the Mk262 which helps but is not the answer. the swiss also went for a heavier 5.56 with good range characteristics -- but you're still confronted with the fact that you're shooting a varmint round. People ain't woodchucks. Robert Strange McNamara and Pierre Sprey have a lot to answer for (Moral of that story is people should stick to what they know and not intrude in other domains...)

    The 7.62x39 has a range problem.

    I hope FN gets the SCAR going, folks I've talked to who banged the prototype are happy with it. Ideally the entire defense establishment would hop on it and support it totally but I don't think we're that smart...

  18. #58
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Culpeper View Post
    I recently received a nice Springfield Armory .40 XD40. I've never fired it and seems to be suited for police work. Anyone have any experience with this weapon. It is imported from Croatia.
    I have been trying to wear mine out since 2003. Of course, I had to leave it back in the US when I moved to Germany, but I like it. Not a bad gun at all, though I'm still partial to the M1911, as I have thick palms and short fingers.

    The folks who really, really like the XD pistols tend to have conventionally configured hands, and the XD series is advertised as being engineered to fit the human hand. I just know that I cannot get a grip on mine that automatically gives me a sight picture, which means that about the time I get back to the US, it gets to go 'bye' for yet another straight mainspring M1911ish pistol.

  19. #59
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Culpeper View Post
    Very tragic and horrifying. But didn't they narrow that down to the powder used in the ammo? Not to take away from the underlying weakness to begin with. I don't know the difference between an M4 and the GAU-5 I was issued in the Air Force. But I did like it better than the M-16 rifle for obvious reasons. It was smaller and better suited for airborne jumps. Ironically, I scored better with the GAU-5 than the standard M16 rifle. The HK416 is an improvement of design and if it is good enough for Delta than it is good enough for my ladies. I find it a little strange that Delta is even being advertised as promoting this weapon. We normally don't have a need to know about such things.
    The army changed powder without informing/asking the manufacturer. Add to this mix no training, lack of chrome bores and chambers and no forward assist, and you have a recipe for disaster.

    HK has a history of failing to meet Army approval for their products, and then trying to force the Army to buy them anyway by running media circuses (is that circii?). HK also has a history of poor product support.

    The XM8 was just a repackage of the HK36, which exhibited poor plastic strength over 120 degrees F and whose primary sight had the quality of something found in a gumball machine. The USP continues to be a horrendously overpriced, problemmatic, finicky piece of junk, and the HK416 looks "crude" and offers nothing over the other piston uppers being offered as an improvement to Mr. Stoner's desing. Colt has offered more than one piston-operated version of the M16. But the Army continues to say "no thanks", and frankly, I agree with the Army. Each and every criticism of the direct-impingement, 5.56 system has really good counter-points.
    Last edited by 120mm; 06-26-2007 at 04:02 AM. Reason: Head removed from rectal region

  20. #60
    Council Member Dominique R. Poirier's Avatar
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    Default On .45 vs 9mm and more.

    Gentlemen,
    I tried a lot of guns when I was gunsmith and for some times I used to try each and every gun that fell in my hands on a car’s wreckage. The car was a strongly built old German Opel of the 60’s. It was an interesting experiment, indeed. Since you are preoccupied with calibers I deliver to you my observations from recollection.

    .45 ACP ranks well behind the 9mm Parabellum in performance when it comes to penetrating power.
    Shoot with a 45 ACP pistol in the trunk of a good car from a distance of 20 yards only and its occupants will just have to hide behind their rear seat to be sure they will get unarmed.

    A solution consisting in raising the velocity of a .45 ACP bullet would produce stronger recoil which, in turn, would be detrimental to the capability accurately aim and shoot again. A 9mm can do better in the same circumstances.

    My experiments demonstrated that nearly all 9mm bullets shot from the same distance got through everything in the car until being struck in some part’s component behind the dashboard. These tests I did with 1911 and 1911 A1 ordnance pistols were performed with .45 standard military ammunitions of U.S. origin and modern ammunitions of civilian origin (Norma and Federal). Overall the perforating power of a .45 is similar to this of a .32 ACP pistol and superior to this of a 25 ACP which ranks the poorest among all modern pistol calibers.
    The cause stems from a bullet-diameter/velocity ratio. Increase significantly the speed and the perforating power will know some improvements; or, reducing the diameter of the bullet is another way to obtain similar improvements.

    Strikingly enough, shots done at the same distance with a .22LR carbine and Remington Hi-Velocity cartridges performed the same as with 9mm pistol. That is, nearly all 9mm bullets shot from the same distance got through everything in the car until being struck in some part’s behind the dashboard. It doesn’t mean that 9mm has poor performances. It means that .22 Long Rifle has a very high perforating power because it travels at fast speed and its bullet’s diameter is small.

    As a matter of complementary information, .30 NATO, 30-06 and 8mm Mauser shot from the same distance continued their course after they got their way out of the radiator or a headlight when they didn’t get stuck by a steel component in the engine. Their performances are similar.

    High velocity .30 calibers rifle cartridges (i.e. up to 2200 fps) do not easily “atomize” or separate into multiple tiny pieces of lead and copper when they hit metal objects; whereas smaller diameters do in most instances.
    For example, shoot a 223 bullet through two thin metal sheets 1 or 2 feet apart and you’ll have a clean small hole on the first and a quarter-coin diameter on the second. The cause is that the bullet fragments into tiny metal particles while going through the first sheet. Such phenomenon hardly, if ever, happens with pistol and revolver bullets, of course. 308 (7.62mm) and up to rifle calibers are not much concerned with this problem (when it is considered as a problem).

    About stopping power and the competition .45 ACP vs 9mm I recommend this interesting reading available at the following link:
    http://neveryetmelted.com/?p=69

    There is a possibility to significantly improve the stopping power of a 9mm in using hollow point or semi-jacketed bullets--I’m not sure it’s legal, according to international laws on war, however. The same trick applies to .45 ACP, of course. Technically, stopping power relies on several different parameters.

    The bigger the diameter is the greater the stopping power. That’s the basics.

    But a small bullet such as a .223 traveling at fast speed and shot from short distance (a hundred of yards or so) may cause a huge cavity in a human body and vital organs during a handful of milliseconds, thus creating a nervous shock whose effects are similar to this of a great stopping power. Also, it matter whether a given bullet get out of a human body or get stuck in it. For, the remaining kinetic energy will be absorbed by the body in the latter case as a punch would do.

    If a given bullet is semi-jacketed it will be prone to mushroom and so its diameter will get larger. Therefore, its stopping power will know a significant increase.
    But, the mushroom effect depends on the bullet velocity. A slow velocity such as this of a .45 (about 675 to 840 fps) is not sufficient enough for a mushroom effect to occur in gelatin (of flesh, if you prefer and since we have to call a spade a spade at some point). It is more likely to occur with a 9mm, in revenge, because the velocity of this caliber is much higher (1,020 to 1,140 fps).
    Improving significantly the mushroom effect of a .45, and so its stopping power, would consist in using semi-jacketed hollow point bullets.

    The most “devastating” and incapacitating effects on a human body are likely to be obtained with a special kind of ammunition conceived for target competition: I name the full lead “wadcutter” bullet.

    See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wadcutter

    But the problem is that this kind of bullet is fit for revolvers, though .45 sport guns are adapted to it. When fired with an automatic pistol it is a cause of frequent jamming. Also, lead bullets dirt quickly barrel and other components.

    Further questions on ballistics will be welcome.
    Last edited by Dominique R. Poirier; 07-01-2007 at 11:18 AM.

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