A Look At The Best Handgun Ammo
After the 1986 Miami shootout, the FBI established testing to determine the best handgun cartridge and ammunition for their agents. Their testing protocol uses 10-percent ordnance gelatin and various intermediate barriers. They concluded for law enforcement, the minimum acceptable depth of penetration was 12″. The FBI rated the .45 Auto twice as effective as the 9mm and considered 147-gr. 9mm bullets superior to 115-gr. bullets. But, the FBI was not the first — or last — to conduct a study like this.
A hundred years earlier, US Army Captain John Thompson and Major Louis LaGarde shot live steers and human cadavers for the same purpose. Julian Hatcher, a former technical editor at American Rifleman, based his theory of Relative Stopping Power on this study and concluded the .45 Auto FMJ bullet was twice as effective as a 9mm FMJ bullet. About 75 years later, the National Institute of Justice finalized what they called the Relative Incapacitation Index. It was based on hypothetical on a computer-generated man. The study rated the 115-gr. 9mm FMJ round twice as effective as a 230-gr. .45 Auto FMJ round. What now?
By Richard Mann
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