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Old 04-07-2007, 03:28 PM   #1
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Heavy&Slow vs Light&Fast

Hi All:

Thanks for a great board, I can't believe it took me so long to find it!

My prior post about .38 SPCL ammo and the subsequent responses prompted me to look further into the .38/200 for Snubnose Defense.

I stumbled onto the following sight that you may find interesting. I'm probably the last to find it, so be kind to me when you tell me that you already know all of the info and that the author contributes to this board.


Also check out this page as well:


Have a good read, then we can discuss.


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Old 04-07-2007, 05:28 PM   #2
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Heavy&Slow vs Light&Fast


My view of slow and heavy vs. light and fast can be summed up thus: hard "thump" vs. a hard "strike."

If you wanna get downright scientific,

f(v) = Mv^2. All this says is that though mass plays a role in energy, the main factor is, again, velocity. For example (whipping out the calculator),

f(v) = 115 * 1250^2 = 179,687,500 (a big number to me!)


f(m) = 115^2 * 1250 = 16,531,250

115gr squared, is right around 1.89 pounds.

So what all this is saying is that if you take 115 grains at 1250fps and square the velocity, you have more energy than if you square 115 grains and multiply it by 1250fps.

So, if you really wanna increase the power of a bullet, you wanna mess with the velocity - this is putting it very basically because both mass and velocity can be variables. In the formula's daddy,

E = Mc^2, the only variable is mass. Unfortunately we can't propel a bullet faster than the speed of light, so this is all theory.

Momentum is a function of velocity applied to mass.

Keep that in mind.

Now that all the numbers are out there, forget about them. I discussed this issue with my dad, typically a non-shooter except for hunting small game, though a wonderful shot. We discussed all the theory that I'm so poorly expressing here. The thing about my dad is he also happens to be an engineer. When I told him that it has to do with stopping power and such, and explained what all that meant, he felt to try to predict anything with theory and numbers was ludicrous, and that I'd have to consult with a trauma doctor for any real answers. Well, we've been doing tha for years and still haven't come to a consensus.

Here is my own personal theory which I tend to think holds true, or as close to true as we can get when applying mathmatics to a machine as complex as the human body:

MV^2 * D * A = incapacitation time, where D is dwell time in the body and A is the area of the front of the bullet.

MV^2 is there because it defines how much energy the bullet has. D is there because the longer the time in the body, the more a person is likely to feel it, though this is debatable. I do believe it's true because life has taught us that the best bullet expands to its optimum diameter and stop very short of exiting. This last part, do me, indicates an energy dump which likely has some sort of bearing on stopping the person as all the energy is deposited into the body. This likely makes the person feel it more, and that's it. It's likely psychological in other words. Area is likely obvious: The more area, the greater the damage done.

So... using this formula, I've concluded that the best manstopper that can be carried is a thumper loaded with an HE round.

But since that's kinda' illegal, I would recommend the following:

Take a .50 AE round, neck it down to .45", stuff it with a 200gr bonded bullet, and try to drive it up to at least 1250fps, but shoot for 1400fps. This should be controllable in a 1911 for most folks my size (6'2").

This will give, using the TKO formula: .45 * 1250 * 200 / 7000 = 16.07

For comparison, a .30 caliber rifle bullet moving at 2000fps and weighing 180grs: .30 * 2000 * 180 / 7000 = 15.43 (rounded)

The .45acp and 9mm in all their weights come in at less than 10, and the one to beat, the .357mag, only comes in at 8.925.

So, could a practical defensive handgun round be constructed that would provide rifle performance? Probably. Who would shoot it enough to be proficient though? I said it could probably be controlled, but never said it'd be pleasant!

My take on things hasn't changed: Though there are intriguing theories out there (mine being one, if only to myself), the basic mantra hasn't changed: Find something that penetrates and does damage, carry it, and be happy.

Josh <><


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Old 04-08-2007, 08:31 AM   #3
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Heavy&Slow vs Light&Fast


On the slow-moving-but-large-from-a-.38Special theme, check out this flat-fronted 230 grain marvel:


From a j-frame, it would have to maximize the heavy&slow factor!


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Old 01-14-2008, 01:22 PM   #4
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Heavy&Slow vs Light&Fast

Having never had the misfortune to fire on a human, my theories may not hold water. I have, however, taken advantage of Arkansas liberal laws concerning handgun usage during deer season. Provided enough mass to allow sufficient penetration I have been unable to observe any real difference between a 9mm bullet well placed vs a .40 vs a .45. In my usual long winded way, I'm trying to say that for me, I'd as soon use a 9mm with a 124gr. plus "P" as any 155 or 180 .40 S&W or 185 or 230 .45. Deer drop just as fast with the 9mm.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:11 PM   #5
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Heavy&Slow vs Light&Fast


Your dad is a wise man

The only numbers I am intersted in is how big is the hole and deep does it go (it helps if there is an exit but some might view that as a liability, as regards the safety of bystander).

Even more impoartant is what is the hole in - a hole in the spine is better than a hole in the heart which is better than a hole in the lungs which is better than.....you catch my drift.

If energy meant anything, then a .357 magnum would move a 4lb bowling pin nearly 100 to 125 feet, give or take a few feet for friction loss. And a .243 would be a better bear gun than a 45/70.

Jim H.
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