The next time they say 9 mm is an inefficient round…

Following Andrew Branca (@LawSelfDefense ) and his live twetting of the Dunn Trial.  Prosecution presenting ballistic and X-Ray evidence of the damage the bullets inflicted on Jordan Davis. The following is a quick look at the performance of the ammunition used and not what I think about the case (Other than from what I read, Dunn deserves a long vacation wearing orange rompers and enjoying the alternative lifestyles in the Grey Bar Resort. I might be mistaken.)

jordan davis 1


jordan davis 2


Not sure but the ammo appears to be Winchester Ranger SXT according to another Twitter follower. No idea on bullet weight.

jordan davis 3

Arrow at lower left corner indicates point of entry. I guess the bullet is the one in the circles.


Dunn trial bullet trajectory
Later update. Yellow line indicates trajectory of the bullet.
Thanks to Andrew Branca.

That is like what? Over 15 inches of soft tissue?  That is not a shabby performance for an allegedly “poodle shooter” round.

Update: Andrew Branca points out in the comments: “that 15″ of penetration diagonally through Jordan Davis thoracic cavity? That was AFTER first punching through both sides of an SUV door.”

.Ladies and gents, that is some impressive performance.

20 Replies to “The next time they say 9 mm is an inefficient round…”

  1. “That is like what? Over 15 inches of soft tissue?”
    … and that’s after penetrating the rear door.

    Note, I carry Beretta 92FS, 9mm hollow point as a balance of stopping power / not over penetrating, and low recoil kick (compared to .45).

    I too think this is a bad shoot, but as evidence is presented that could change.

    I’m still trying to find diagrams of the car positions and where Dunn was when shooting. Was Dunn in his vehicle for the verbal argument & shooting or outside near the gas pumps? They say his pistol was found with 5 rounds in it, but there are 9 holes in the car, so does his pistol hold 14+ or did he reload?

    If someone in the car brandished a firearm during the verbal argument, then Dunn could have a good fear for his life self-defense, but from what evidence / reports so far it doesn’t sound like he can prove the threat.

    Initial media info on Z-man had me thinking bad shoot… until the actual police report and other evidence made me re-think, and by the end I agreed with the jury findings.

    Remember, could Z-man done things differently prior to the altercation? Yes, but legally, once on the ground being pounded against concrete, the shoot was justified.

    For Dunn, looks like he’s in it deep and will probably be convicted.

  2. 9x19mm IS an underperforming round. In military ball format, that is.

    With a modern hollowpoint, loaded to at least standard pressures? You could close your eyes and pick a box of 9mm JHPs at random, and it would probably be A-OK if you ever needed to rely on it.

  3. “The hole was really tiny. But even a tiny hole that went all the way through your head could cause a lot of problems. Like death.”
    -Rod Allbright, Aliens Ate my Homework(by Bruce Coville)

    *technically* .357 Magnum is a 9mm round, as well. Technically.

    1. Ish. The nominal diameters are different, but only by a couple thousandths. Which is why the Ruger convertible revolvers don’t tend to shoot 9mm very well.

  4. I’m old, so I remember 9mm defensive ammo from the 80s. It sucked.

    Today’s 9mm defensive ammo is a completely different creature, especially the heavier weight rounds that get you solid penetration to blood-bearing organs.

    I don’t know EXACTLY what round Dunn used, except it’s a Winchester 9mm. Based on length of base of recovered rounds, I’d guess it’s a heavier weight, maybe 147 grain.

    BTW, that 15″ of penetration diagonally through Jordan Davis thoracic cavity? That was AFTER first punching through both sides of an SUV door.

    For what it’s worth from a legal perspective this case looks like crap in terms of SD, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Dunn is convicted of Murder 1.

    But in terms of terminal ballistics, that round performed superbly.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

  5. I have seen deer and antelope hit with .300 Win and Weatherby mags that run a few hundred yards before collapsing – after a perfect heart/lung hit. There have been recorded statements by police of people being shot multiple times with .357 and still fighting back. Marines have been awarded Medals of Honor for taking multiple hits of 8mm Mauser before chucking a grenade into a pillbox.

    The one shot stop is Hollywood fiction. Yes, some rounds are more effective than others. JHP is better than ball ammo. Some JHP loads are better than others (less prone to clogging, etc.). But to suggest that had perp X, been shot in exactly the same spot, under the same conditions, with a 40 S&W, or 45 ACP, he would have been DRT is BS.

  6. The various characteristics used to sell bullets to shooters are well intentioned attempts to achieve acceptable performance under the most likely circumstances. However, a bullet strike is inherently a chaotic event. In this particular case the 9mm performed very well but that does not translate into effectiveness in other situations. Greg Ellifritz’s “Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power” indicates that, statistically over hundreds of shootings, the 9mm is about as effective as the 38 spl.

    I haven’t followed the Dunn case so I have no opinion about guilt. When I first read about it, I did compare the situation to California where playing “music” very loudly while driving is a part of the thug culture. If Florida suffers from a similar infestation that could affect the defendant’s mind set and perception at the time of the incident. Hence I am, perhaps, a little more likely to listen to the case for the defense before making up my mind.

    1. You do realize that Greg Ellifritz’s work is not what you would call believable? He actually states that a .22LR is a more efficient one-shot incapacitator than a .44 magnum.

  7. From a service pistol a 124 grain 9mm+P ammo yields about 85% of the velocity and 75% of the kinetic energy as a 125 grain .357 magnum with a bullet of effectively identical weight and diameter. (1250 fps vs 1450 fps, respectively). Yet, for some reason, according to internet gun “experts” the 9mm is just a “weak europill” where as the .357 magnum is the single best manstopper available in handgun form.

    Not incidentally, the 9mm also offers roughly 3x the capacity as a typical 357 revolver, with less perceived recoil. I think there is plenty of room to argue about what’s better or best, but 9mm luger wouldn’t be the defacto standard handgun round used by something like 90% of the world’s military and police forces if it “sucked”.

    Obviously selection bias is a major factor here, but in my experience at the autopsy table, 9mm is no slouch round. I distinctly remember seeing a case where a young man was shot in the side of the chest. The bullet entered his left chest wall under his armpit, and proceeded to zip right through his left lung, heart, right lung, and right chest wall, making distinct entry and exit wounds through each organ. The bullet wasn’t recovered at the scene, though I learned later it was a 9mm (when the shooter, whose identity was known to the police, was apprehended).

  8. The debate continues & people will hang on to their opinions, regardless of scientific fact.

    My simple “opinion” is: SHOT PLACEMENT trumps so-called “stopping power” each and every time.

    Based on facts from past shooting investigations.

Feel free to express your opinions. Trolling, overly cussing and Internet Commandos will not be tolerated .

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