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Stopping Power Is a Myth…Mostly


Double Desert Eagle Green Hornet
Courtesy Columbia Pictures

Most of us have heard that stopping power doesn’t really exist. And for all intents and functions, it doesn’t. The power with which a bullet hits the goal is the same as the power that’s directed again into the shooter. A far smarter person of the male persuasion than any of us (Isaac Newton) figured that one out. He went on to develop calculus just about on a dare after which, later nonetheless, in line with hearsay, invented the pet door.

So, if a spherical doesn’t just about knock you over if you fireplace the gun, it’s not going to do this to a dwell goal that weighs about about the identical as you do, and definitely not one which’s rather a lot larger. There is a type of higher echelon of firearms that do have that sort energy…however chances are high fairly good you don’t have one.

Let’s flesh that out a little bit extra.

The solely ballistic attribute that has something to do with “stopping power” is muzzle energy, because the quantity of it has to do with the relative means a bullet has to pulverize flesh and bone offered an environment friendly switch of stated power. The extra power it hits with, the extra issues go “squish” and “crunch.” Therefore, rounds with nice muzzle power have higher potential to trigger traumatic damage.

It goes with out saying, in fact, {that a} shot with such a weapon should be well-placed or else it does naught however wound or miss the goal fully. That’s how a goal as massive as a grizzly bear or an elephant might be downed at shut vary. When put into the cranium, a big, very strong bullet causes enough trauma to down the massive beast.

Placement, in fact, is just about every thing and that can by no means change.

However, the best potential for inflicting stated trauma with a bullet belongs to the most powerful of rifles and rifle cartridges and there simply aren’t too many individuals who’ve them.

The trendy shooter does most of his or her shooting at a spread. Some, in fact, are into long-range rifle shooting and a few extreme rounds exist for that goal, comparable to .408 Chey-Tac, .338 Edge, .338 Lapua, .416 Barrett and, in fact, .50 BMG. However, you’ll must do some critical spending to accumulate a kind of rifles, not to mention the ammunition. The typical long-range shooter lately, nonetheless, shoots a rifle chambered in .308, 6.5mm Creedmoor or one thing alongside these traces.

After all, why blow your shoulder up in the event you’re simply punching paper?

Additionally, these rounds with unimaginable power are often harmful game cartridges comparable to .416 Rigby, .416 Remington Magnum, .458 Winchester Magnum, .460 Weatherby Magnum and so forth. Muzzle power for these range, however is commonly between 4,000 ft-lbs to eight,000 ft-lbs. There is just about no utility exterior of harmful game attempting to find these rounds. Get difficult with handloads all you want; you gained through a win’t flip any of them into a quick, flat-flying lengthy vary magnum.

You can get a wonderful rifle for long-range goal shooting for reasonable prices lately. Some harmful game rifles might be had for “affordable” quantities (which means multiple thousand money) and others require each a becoming and a price ticket equal to the worth of a mean home.

That cuts into the quantity of “pew” that you are able to do.

Krieghoff double rifle big five large game dangerous
courtesy krieghoff.com

Now, some weapons with what might precisely be known as stopping energy — which means sufficient to knock you over — have been devised within the 18th century, comparable to the 2 bores and 4 bores. They have been identified to be particularly unforgiving. Today, “bore” is known as “gauge” which ought to offer you an thought of the projectiles getting used. At the time, they have been muzzleloaders however just a few cartridge fashions have been made over time.

A two bore cartridge, for these curious, is 1.326 caliber. Velocity is reasonable, at lower than 2,000 toes per second…however with someplace between 10,000 ft-lbs and 17,000 ft-lbs of power. The .50 BMG comes fairly shut; typical muzzle power is between 13,000 and 14,000 ft-pounds of power…however like a 2 bore, you’re gonna need a bipod.

As you’ll be able to think about, shooting one could be…disagreeable. Sir Samuel White Baker, an expert hunter and explorer, used a two bore rifle nicknamed “Baby” for elephant hunts in Africa and India. He all the time fired it from a relaxation, however solely managed to take action about 20 occasions in his complete life as a result of it was that disagreeable.

It spun him round each time he shot it. When he let his gun-bearers (he was positively a Great White Hunter) have a go, it often put the person firing and the person standing behind the shooter for help on the flat of their backs.

So, whereas there theoretically is one thing like stopping energy, it’s actually solely a characteristic of the rarest and strongest of rifles. Any type of gun owned for defensive functions…doesn’t even come shut. Yes, this implies you 10mm guys, too.



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