Caliber size Vs. Shot placement


Wow! I never would have thought that the .40 would have such a lousy amount of penetration from the subject just wearing a down jacket. I too carry a .45 and am now wondering do I need to switch to FMJ rounds for winter carry.:confused:
 
Thanks for posting that; it was very interesting.

While my primary CC gun is .40 S&W, I too was surprised by the seemingly woeful performance of this round/caliber - but agree completely with the final summary: shot placement is crucial. Hits are not enough.

This 18 yr. old suicidal/homicidal assailant is a great example of what sheer will & determination can do in a 3.5 minute shoot out. No meth or crack or other artificial stimulants to fight on past the pain. Trace amounts of weed is all.

Train for an encounter with THAT guy.
 
Thanks for posting that; it was very interesting.

While my primary CC gun is .40 S&W, I too was surprised by the seemingly woeful performance of this round/caliber - but agree completely with the final summary: shot placement is crucial. Hits are not enough.

This 18 yr. old suicidal/homicidal assailant is a great example of what sheer will & determination can do in a 3.5 minute shoot out. No meth or crack or other artificial stimulants to fight on past the pain. Trace amounts of weed is all.

Train for an encounter with THAT guy.

Good advice. I think this is also a perfect example that L.E and Civilians cannot rely soley on pepper spray or other less-lethal alternatives to disable/stop a violent, determined attacker. Imagine what this guy would've done had the officers attempted use of OC...
 
What am I missing here?? On page 20 of the report is states specifically that the .40 performed satisfactorily and it was the .223 that was disappointing in it's terminal performance. Further, 5 of the 6 .40 rounds expanded as expected. What's the problem?

Page 4:
• Stemmed from apparently inaccurate initial
information
from Coroner and/or Medical
Examiner.

• Resulted in a belief by Police officials that
.40 S&W ammunition failed and .223 ammunition
“saved the day”.

And, later...

Page 20:
Lessons Learned

• There is plenty of inaccurate information
regarding ballistics/terminal performance
disseminated on web forums, even those which are
dedicated as LE only.

The .40 S&W ammunition did not fail in this
incident.


• The performance of the .223 TAP ammunition,
although consistent with manufacturer’s claims,
did not perform terminally as this Police
Department expected.

My take on it...

Facts:

• Six .40 S&W rounds, five which expanded, were
recovered on autopsy.

• It is impossible for .40 S&W 180 gr. JHP
ammunition to expand with only 1 in. or less
penetration in a human body.

These two facts contradict the conclusion that these rounds didn't penetrate more than 1"...in order to achieve expansion, at least 5 of them HAD to have penetrated further.

Don't pack in your .40's just yet...
 
Saturday, October 8, 2005

By DEREK J. MOORE
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT


Courtesy photo
James Decosta Suspect ignored police orders, raised gun a second time.
Zoom Photo | Buy Photo ?

A suspected child molester killed by Petaluma police last weekend was shot 27 times after he pointed a loaded handgun at officers, authorities said Friday.

Five officers fired 42 rounds, striking 72-year-old James Anthony Decosta over much of his body, including his head, neck and chest.

Petaluma Police Chief Steve Hood said the officers risked their own lives while standing down an armed fugitive.

He said the 42 shots were necessary to stop Decosta, who had led officers on a brief car chase last Saturday before pulling over in an industrial park.

Hood said officers began firing on Decosta when the ex-Marine got out of a car and pointed a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun at them.

When Decosta lowered the gun, Hood said, the officers stopped firing and shouted for him not to raise it again. Decosta ignored the order, raising the weapon a second time, prompting more gunfire from the officers, Hood said.

Hood said he doesn't know if Decosta was struck by the initial volley. Decosta's gun, which contained three rounds, apparently jammed, but police said it's not known if he tried to fire or if it was misloaded or damaged when he fell.

"Clearly, it took that many shots to end the threat," Hood said. "The restraint officers showed after the first series of shots put them at risk. Had it not been for the malfunction, we could have easily had an officer shot, which I believe was his (Decosta's) intent."

The shooting is being investigated by Santa Rosa police and the Sonoma County district attorney per a protocol governing officer-involved shootings.

"From all the information I've received from investigating agencies . .. it appears that our officers acted in an appropriate manner and consistent with their training," Hood said.

Petaluma police went into greater detail about the shooting Friday in response to information released by the Sonoma County coroner revealing that Decosta was shot 27 times.

An autopsy Monday showed Decosta was shot in the head, neck, chest, abdomen, groin, left arm, left leg and right foot. Five of the shots could have proved fatal on their own, authorities said.

Six shots grazed Decosta, Sheriff's Lt. Dave Edmonds said.

Most of the entry wounds were on the left side of Decosta's body, suggesting he was hit as he was turning on officers who had pulled up behind his car. Hood called that "speculation."

He said officers were attempting a high-risk traffic stop, which involves an overwhelming show of force so that the suspect gives up.

The five officers, riding in four cars, fanned out behind Decosta's car in such a way as to prevent them from accidentally firing at one another and minimizing risk to civilians, Hood said.

"The ultimate success depends on compliance from the suspect, which in this case, the suspect immediately exited his car and was confrontational," he said.

Petaluma police, along with a Sacramento police detective and a special agent with the state Department of Justice, had been searching for Decosta since the day before the shooting.

Sacramento authorities had recently learned that Decosta might be cashing Social Security checks in Petaluma. He had been sought since 1998 on a $100,000 arrest warrant accusing him of child molestation.

Sacramento Police Sgt. Justin Risley said Friday that the case involved allegations Decosta had raped and sodomized his 10- and 11-year-old stepdaughters.

"He packed everything and left before she (Decosta's wife) realized it," Risley said. "We investigated it and were never able to locate him."

After spotting Decosta at a gym on Old Corona Road, two Petaluma detectives radioed for two uniformed officers to stop Decosta's car. They were joined in the pursuit by another officer when Decosta didn't stop.

During the two-minute, seven-second chase, officers noted Decosta seemed to be reaching for something in his car, Hood said. They also learned from a dispatcher moments before Decosta pulled over that he had a weapon registered in his name.

Bob McMenomey, the use-of-force commander for the Sheriff's Department, said deputies are trained to use deadly force to protect themselves or others from an immediate threat of death or serious injury.

In situations where deputies resort to firing their gun, McMenomey said, "you shoot until you perceive the threat has been stopped, until it is no longer a threat."

All the officers involved in Saturday's shooting were carrying semiautomatic .40-caliber Glock handguns, which usually have 10 to 15 rounds.

Most U.S. law enforcement agencies switched to semiautomatics from revolvers after shootouts in the 1970s and 1980s in which officers were outgunned.

Lt. Danny Fish, who oversees special operations for Petaluma police, said officers don't carry semiautomatics because they are easier to fire but because they are more technologically advanced.

"We try to provide our people with the best item out there," he said. "Right now, that's semiautomatic weapons."


kind of kills the false theory of "knock down" power.
 
Multiple Rounds to Bad Guy

Interesting post and photos. Something is wrong here. On the other hand, it goes to prove that a really BAD guy (or gal) on adrenalin rush CAN keep coming after being shot.

I seriously question the "lack of effect" of the .40 rounds. In my target practice, I have shot my .40 with 165 gr shells at a coffee can filled with sand. Penetrated container and expanded (recovered on backstop). Have also shot at a tin pie plate in front of a piece of 1/2" plywood set in front of a filled kitchen trash bag and the bullet exited everything.

Shot placement also critical, obviously. This is also why a rapid series of SA shells in torso is important to stop a BG since under stress there would be a large pattern to connect to several vital parts.

I also doubt seriously that an "off the shelf" down jacket and T-shirt would prevent a penetration deeper than 1" into flesh. Maybe I need to test this hypothesis with an OLD down jacket against a backstop...LOL!
 

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