T Nation

Gunshot Wounding Lecture

Found a decent video/lecture on the effects of various firearms/gunshot wounds.

The lecture appears to be being given to a group of paramedics/EMTS.

Nothing earth shattering for people that read on the subject or work in the field, but most of us do not get to sit in on these.

NOTE: The lecture is absolutely professional. It does however contain images of gunshot wounds. That may or may not make it “safe” for YOUR “work”.

Regards,

Robert A

This is awesome, Robert, thanks. There is something about real photos & videos of wounds, presented clinically, that affects my way of thinking about these matters more than anything else.

I remember when we used to do multiple attacker drills in class I would sometimes run through a hole in the group to escape & my instructor would yell at me because I exposed my back to the opponents nearest my escape route. I never listened, because I always got through. Then I saw autopsy pictures of a woman who experienced something similar for real. Her attacker had a knife & the slash wounds on her arms were horrible but not lethal. She turned & ran & he chased & stabbed her multiple times in the back of the neck. Those were the fatal wounds. I don’t run through any more. The creepiest part of the video was seeing how the officer was carrying his gun & the resulting wound when the trigger was pulled. I think about that stuff a lot when practicing drawing from a holster.

I am glad you got something from the video.

STATEMENT OF DISCLOSURE:
I am not a firearms trainer. The following is only intended to be helpful. I am not a subject matter expert with regards to firearms.

[quote]Miss Parker wrote:
The creepiest part of the video was seeing how the officer was carrying his gun & the resulting wound when the trigger was pulled. I think about that stuff a lot when practicing drawing from a holster. [/quote]

I think the greater risk is usually when re-holstering as opposed to drawing. It is at that time that attention seems to wane and the negligent discharges I hear about occur. The following may help decrease the inherent risk of training/using guns.

1.) “Hard” Index of your Trigger Finger when not actively firing: The general advice to “keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire” is good, but actively seeking a repeatable and palpable point of reference for the finger is probably better. Find a place along the slide/frame for your trigger finger to touch when it is not prepping or working the trigger.

My stand by is to index on the gap between the slide and frame on an automatic. This means I am either “feeling” something that I know is not the trigger(value added that it also means my finger is “pointing” along the barrel) or I am “feeling” the trigger as I attempt to roll it straight to the rear. This prevents casually laying the trigger finger alongside the trigger guard and having an unfortunate “flinch” response(my hands are embarrassingly small so I cannot use the front of the trigger guard on many weapons, YMMV) and seems to help stream line the “off the trigger” to “on the trigger” process because my finger gets to move the same EVERY TIME.

2.) HARD BREAK before re-holstering. There are many possible reasons/situations where whe will desire to shave .25 seconds off our draw times. In fact, if you truly need a lethal weapon in your hand, I submit that you will likely need it “RIGHT THE FUCK NOW!”. There are far fewer situations where that same .25 seconds, our even a full 2 seconds, will save us going back into the holster.

Regardless of if you fired or didn’t take the time to run through the following questions:

Do I still need to shoot THAT ASSHOLE? (Lower weapon enough to visually confirm)

Might I need to shoot any of his friends?(Look around and make sure)

Do I need to be somewhere else RIGHT NOW?(If so, see to it.)

Am I injured?

Do I need to tell any body something, or follow someone else’s directions?(I am not an LEO, so
if I break kydex after making sure I don’t get killed by the “threat”, my next point of order is to make sure I don’t get killed by any responding officers. Even if you ARE a sworn officer, the uniforms cannot see your halo. So you may need to start doing everything in your power to comply with the good guys until they realize you are one of them. Switching gears from fighting/killing to submissive/compliant is going to be rough and the “hard break” may help you get there.

Do I need to reload my gun?

Should I de-cock/safe my weapon?

THEN we can re-holster.

I understand situations may arise where you draw down, and decide you do not need deadly force. I submit that you should either have enough distance/time to reholster purposely and reluctantly, or you went to the gun too soon/at the wrong time and have just manufactured your own exigency. If that is the case drive on as best you can.

3.) Make sure the holster mouth is free from obstructions. Even with a factory 6 pound trigger on my glock I have been unable to get the striker to release(unloaded gun) by trying to re-holster with a t-shirt or cover garment jammed through the trigger guard. Still it could happen. The plastic friction do-hickeys on the drawstings of popular wind breakers and fleeces WILL absolutely give enough resistance to work the trigger during re-holstering. If your cover garment has them, CUT THEM OFF. You don’t want to draw the bottom of your jacket tight around your gun anyway. I cannot speak to tactical/uniform gear or straps. I am way too Low Speed High Drag, hell I am more No Speed, All Drag than HSLD.

While on holsters, make sure the holster is in good repair. Cheap and/or worn holsters can have linings or materials work there way into the trigger guard. The result is THE BIG NOISE when you shove the gun back into the holster.

4.) Lean AWAY from the holster when you are reholstering-It does not have to be a big movement, but even a subtle shift of your upper body away form the holster mouth can let you angle the muzzle of the gun AWAY from you. It also helps releive tension on the mouth of the holster if you are using an all leather or a “hybrid” hoslter(Comp-Tac, located in your home state is a fantastic company to do business with. I recommend the M-tac and C-tac holsters as well as their gun belts. They also give you a roll of SMARTEES with your order. Who doesn’t want SMARTEES?)

Under no circumstances angle the muzzle INTO your body in an attempt to wedge/force it into the holster mouth or to find the holster mouth. Do not be afraid to LOOK at the holster. If something is so demanding of your attention that you cannot spare a glance to confirm holster location and that it is clear, than you should likely keep your gun in your hand and problem solve.

5.) PLATFORM/WEAPON SPECIFIC: If possible use manual/positive pressure to prevent the trigger from working. On guns with an exposed hammer(save single actions carried cocked and locked) you can break your master grip and use your thumb to hold pressure down on the hammer. This will prevent the weapon from firing, even if the trigger is pulled. You may break the trigger mechanism, but you will not hear The Big Noise. If you lack an exposed hammer/double action hammer, but have a manual safety than hold it in the on position. It is less sure, but it is something. Finally, some striker fired autos have a “striker indicator” that moves at the back of the gun(example:Walther PPS). You may not be able to get enough force on it to prevent a discharge, but holding pressure on it can give you a tactile signal that something is wrong.

Some of the above may seem to take too much time or even bring certain drawbacks/training scars in some situations. It is however my opinion that while the above MIGHT cost me dearly in some situations that MAY happen, I WILL be reholstering a loaded handgun dozens if not 100’s of times each month during training. I will be doing it when tired, possibly sun-burned, maybe de-hydrated, and almost certainly while pissed off/frustrated at my own lack of ability to put the rounds where I want them at a useful speed. Anything I can do to keep my insides inside of me during training seems worth it to me. Your milage may vary.

I hope the above was helpful. If not, please dis-regard. As I previously stated I am not trying to represent myself as a subject matter expert.

Regards,

Robert A

A few video of LEO’s hearing THE BIG NOISE:

Not restricted to LEO’s(and happened on the draw)

And one for fun

Regards,

Robert A

Man. that makes me rethink my carry ammo–I use a .357 with a jacketed hollow point. Heck, it makes me think about trying to carry a blunt or edged instrument.

[quote]paulwhite959 wrote:
Man. that makes me rethink my carry ammo–I use a .357 with a jacketed hollow point. Heck, it makes me think about trying to carry a blunt or edged instrument. [/quote]

There is a terminal ballistics thread with some useful links to ammunition selection.

If it is the holster/reholster deal, riding the hammer(positive thumb pressure) makes most revolvers very safe for administrative handling. The three biggest issues with revolvers, especially small revolvers, as I see them are limited capacity compared to some autos, slower reloads(moon clips are faster than speed loaders which are faster than speed strips which are faster than loose rounds, but magazines are faster than all), often small and fixed sights, and a heavy trigger pull.

I know that I found .38 plus P to be about my limit out of a lightweight revolver(I have since switched to a kahr CM9 as my “not quite a real” gun). Shooting .357 out of a j-frame size package was just too much. Even so, my split times (times between aimed shots) were poor compared to an auto. The capacity was a factor. My Kahr CM9 holds 40% more rounds and has better sights. Still the biggest issue for me was that I suck at managing the long, heavy double action trigger out of such a light pistol. I have done some decent shooting with large, heavy revolvers but the 12-14pound pull on an aluminum framed .38 coupled with the bad sights meant I missed more often, with a lower capacity weapon, that I took longer to reload. Just my level of shitty performance.

Depending on barrel length you may want to look at using a .38 load. Out of a 2inch or shorter barrel much of the extra powder that makes a magnum a magnum just gets dumped out the front of the barrel where it buys you flash and sound, but no huge bump in terminal effect. .357 is still hotter, but if you are carrying it in a short barrel the bullets may have been designed for much, much higher velocities and could fail to expand, especially through clothing.


The above links you to a brief by Dr. Gary Roberts, one of the true experts in the field of wounding, and deals with .38 vs .357 vs. .380 out of small framed handguns. Not that my opinions/experience should be given weight compared to his, but I can vouch for his findings about .357 in light weight hand guns and laser grips being a seriously valuable addition to a small revolver(The laser adds a night time/low light reference and gives much better feed back as you manage the trigger compared to the tiny sights. Honestly, if you carry a small framed revolver you would be foolish not to buy a pair. They will seriously aid you in making the most of your 5 shots.).

From the link:

[quote]Dr. Robert’s wrote:
Currently, the Speer Gold Dot 135 gr +P JHP, Winchester 130 gr bonded +P JHP (RA38B), and Barnes 110 gr XPB all copper JHP (for ex. in the Corbon DPX loading) offer the most reliable expansion we have seen from a .38 sp 2" BUG; Hornady 110 gr standard pressure and +P Critical Defense loads also offer good performance out of 2" barrel revolvers.

Any of the Airweight J-frames are fine for BUG use. The steel J-frames are a bit too heavy for comfortable all day wear on the ankle, body armor, or in a pocket. My current J-frames are 342’s and previously in my career I have used the 37, 38, 649, and 642. I like the 342 w/Lasergrips very much. Shooting is not too bad with standard pressure wadcutters and the 110 gr DPX, but not so comfortable with the Speer 135 gr JHP +P Gold Dots. Before the advent of the 110 gr Corbon DPX load, I used to carry standard pressure wadcutters in my J-frames with Gold Dot 135 gr +P JHP’s in speed strips for re-loads, as the flat front wadcutters were hard to reload with under stress. There is no reason to go with .357 mag in a J-frame, as the significantly larger muzzle blast and flash, and harsher recoil of the .357 Magnum does not result in substantially improved terminal performance compared to the more controllable .38 Special bullets when fired from 2" barrels.

For years, J-frames were considered “arm’s reach” weapons, that is until CTC Lasergrips were added. With the mild recoil of target wadcutters, officers are actually practicing with their BUG’s; when combined with Lasergrips, qualification scores with J-frames have dramatically increased. Now 5 shots rapid-fire in a 6" circle at 25 yds is not uncommon–kind of mind blowing watching officers who could not hit the target at 25 yds with a J-frame suddenly qualify with all shots in the black…

2" J-frames are great BUG’s and marginally acceptable low threat carry guns because they are lightweight, reliable, and offer acceptable terminal performance at close range–downsides are difficulty in shooting well at longer ranges because of sight design and sight radius limitations, along with reduced capacity coupled with slower reloading. Nonetheless, with the addition of CTC Laser Grips and an enclosed or shrouded hammer, the 2" J-frame models without key locks (I personally will NEVER own firearm with an integral lock) may be the best BUG’s and most reliable pocket handguns available.
[/quote]

Just something to think about. At the end of it all, YOU will be the deciding factor. The gun is just a tool, though we should try to make sure we have the best tools available.

Regards,

Robert A

It is a snubby, 2" barrel. I practice with both .38 and .357, and I’ve wondered before about if I’m actually getting anything out of the .357 rounds. I basically got a really good deal on a decent-ish Rossi at a gun show years ago and wound up getting it. I like it well enough but it’s got limitations. I can do an OK double tap at 10-15 yards with it but I’ve never really trained myself for doing back to back double taps or anything. I’ve wanted to stick those laser grips on since I bought it and never have; this may be justification :smiley:

Well, I am a CQB and firearms instructor, and in my professional opinion, Robert’s insights are excellent and should be read by anyone carrying a firearm on this forum. Reliable as the revolver is, you limiting yourself in a lethal force situation, if you can afford the cost, by all means, update that snub with laser sights. Once Aimpoints became the standard fixtures on M-4’s, badguy kills greatly increased. When I was last working SWAT, I carried a Glock .45 with a small laser (on and off duty) excellent in low light conditions and a huge psychological deterrent.

Note: However, never rely on the laser sight for your shooting skills. Handgun training is a perishable skill, you dont practice and it fades away. Its not like riding a bike. Train with your iron sights always. Beleive me, in a lethal force situation, what will go wrong, will most likely happen. That laser sight is just dead weight if it suddenly goes dark…

Does the amount of incidences with negligent/accidental discharges with supposedly experienced firearm handlers make any of you rethink carrying in condition zero?

[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:
Does the amount of incidences with negligent/accidental discharges with supposedly experienced firearm handlers make any of you rethink carrying in condition zero?[/quote]

By condition zero,I assume you mean no round in the chamber? No, quite frankly, no one but a fool would carry a gun that is not combat ready. Other than armed entries, where you have intelligence on the badguys,almost all lethal force situations are REACTIONS, either to a armed threat or threat of physical violence, which means you have about 3 to 5 seconds to evaluate you survival chances. way to short a time period to draw a handgun and chamber a round. By the time you did, you would be dead…

I think the term “supposely experienced firearms handlers” is the key here. Having spent several years as a range instructor, I have seen all types of accidential discharges, the vast majority could have been prevented by simply keeping you finger off the trigger. A gun is a mechanical device, it does not think for itself. The greatest fault of all “experienced” shooters is they sometimes forget this simple rule: FAMILIARITY BREEDS DISRESPECT.When you carry a gun every day,its losses its mystic power and you wind up shooting yourself in the ass. Its a weapon, used to kill. A lot of “experienced” shooters sometime forget this simple fact and end up paying a huge price.

by condition zero i mean round in the chamber, hammer cocked, safety off.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the Israeli method of chambering a round while bringing to bear on the target just as fast? It’s still one movement, although I Imagine in the circumstance where you don’t have time to acquire a sight picture or a proper firing stance then yeah it’s compromising considerably.

good stuff…thanks for sharing

[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:
by condition zero i mean round in the chamber, hammer cocked, safety off.[/quote]
I do not think any reputable trainers or professionals recommend carrying “cocked and unlocked”. Condition 1 carry, hammer cocked, safety ON, is the preferred way of carrying a single action auto. If you see a holstered gun with the hammer back it is probably, hopefully, being carried this way. I carry my Glock with a round in the chamber, and it has no manual safety. Other firearms, most double action autos, are designed to be carried hammer down on a loaded chamber, fired double action for the first shot, and de-cocked before holstering.

[quote]
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the Israeli method of chambering a round while bringing to bear on the target just as fast? It’s still one movement,[/quote]

The Israeli “method” of carrying condition 3, empty chamber, and racking the slide on the draw is simply not “just as fast”. It cannot be. It necessarily adds the manipulation of the slide before acquiring a two handed firing grip. That takes time. That time, may or may not matter, but it is still time. I think there were some valid reasons for how the technique developed, but I would be shocked if the Israeli professionals were still using it.

Posted before but this:

Is not as fast as:

[quote]
although I Imagine in the circumstance where you don’t have time to acquire a sight picture or a proper firing stance then yeah it’s compromising considerably.[/quote]
You have already hit upon the major issue: it takes two hands. One of which may be occupied by fighting off an attacker(even if you did not start your draw nipple to nipple the other guy might have closed with you in order to fuck up your draw/take your gun, the bastard), holding a flashlight, moving a third party out of your way, etc. Or you could have been injured in the the prologue leading up to having to break kydex/leather.

Read Idaho’s post about reaction. It contains the answer, and an important insight for anyone considering matters of self defense. If you are actively defending against criminal assault, then you are re-acting. You need to get into the fight, and you need to do it quickly. It is quite possible the other party has initiated things by confusing, hurting, or injuring you. A situation that has gone so sideways that your best solution is to send small pieces of metal through someone’s body at high speeds means you will be trying to “GET BAD THINGS TO STOP HAPPENING RIGHT NOW”. To my mind the idea that I will have “enough time” is presumptuous at best.

If I, as someone not paid to go into harms way, need to problem solve with lethal force than I have already pissed all over the probability tables. Reasonable assumptions have gone out the window. Simply needing two hands and the freedom to rack the slide may be the difference between “Shoot this mother fucker off of me.” and realizing that my gun “Might as well be on the moon.”

These are just my thoughts on the matter. Idaho is involved with, and tasked with teaching others to, make sure bad people die bloody. I suggest that you should value his words on the subject far more than my own.

Regards,

Robert A

[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:
by condition zero i mean round in the chamber, hammer cocked, safety off.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the Israeli method of chambering a round while bringing to bear on the target just as fast? It’s still one movement, although I Imagine in the circumstance where you don’t have time to acquire a sight picture or a proper firing stance then yeah it’s compromising considerably.[/quote]

Aussie,
I don’t have much experience working with the IDF, except, for a former recon group working anti-pirate security, for a shipping company in the South China Sea. They were carrying SIG’s with a round in the chamber, hammer down. I have never observed this Israeli method of carry in any Special Operations Group or LEO divisions, both U.S. and European. I have never trained anyone, or would train anyone on that method, based on my previous post. The time factor involved, the break in concentration, the physical manipulation of the slide, all prevent you doing the most important task of all: FOCUSING THE FRONT SIGHT ON THE THREAT. I would think it would be an exceptional individual: who could recongize a lethal force situation, draw a handgun, rack a round, focus on the front sight, and fire an accurate round, all in 3 to 5 seconds. During a lethal force encounter, no matter how trained you are, you will experience a form of “tunnel vision”, the minds ability to identify a threat to your life and FOCUS ALL YOUR ATTENTION on that threat, be it a firearm, edged weapon, or blunt instrument. This chemical, physical, and mental reaction has to be controlled if you are going to survive. Having been through this, I can tell you it is one of the most powerful reactions you will ever feel, and no time to be thinking about chambering a round.

Going over this video today with some foreign officers. It is excellent and many thanks to Robert for posting. Good viewing for those who missed it the first time around.

Dr. Roberts changed the way I looked at handguns. Prior to reading his work I bought into the “stopping power” bs, however, if one reads his work and applies a little brain power, it all makes plenty of sense. As both an EMT and a person who carries a pistol daily I consider his work revolutionary and insightful; everybody who carries a gun should read his work.

[quote]idaho wrote:
Going over this video today with some foreign officers. It is excellent and many thanks to Robert for posting. Good viewing for those who missed it the first time around. [/quote]

No need for thanks. I just posted someone else’s work.

Thank you for taking the time to get it to people who need it. The fact you make those efforts is evidence that your competency has yet to breed complacency (ref to Blaze’s thread).

Regards,

Robert A

[quote]Mr. Goodtimes wrote:
Dr. Roberts changed the way I looked at handguns. Prior to reading his work I bought into the “stopping power” bs, however, if one reads his work and applies a little brain power,
[/quote]
Whoa, slow down there. Lets not go crazy. I thought weapons were so we don’t have to think.

Next your going to tell me to train instead of just fondling guns at random and making pew-pew-pew noises.

[quote]
it all makes plenty of sense. As both an EMT and a person who carries a pistol daily I consider his work revolutionary and insightful; everybody who carries a gun should read his work. [/quote]

I don’t know if his work is revolutionary, and I mean that in an incredibly respectful way. I think it is more of him more than abely picking up the torch(es) left by those before him. He is certainly a worthy successor to Fackler.

What I think he doesn’t gets enough credit for is making his work, methodology, and the thought process of examining such things available to the unwashed masses. Without him most of the ballistics knowledge would be the purview of .mil and three letter federal agencies. Thanks to Dr. Gary Roberts smaller LEO organizations, individual officers, and private individuals can also access the information and make informed decisions. To me that is huge.

Regards,

Robert A