The Myth of Stopping Power (Shotgun Version – graphic content)

According to Internet Gun Lore and “Experts” the only other gun that its lethality is somewhat close to the .45 ACP is the venerable 12 gauge shotgun. Both are known not only to freeze all movement at a molecular level on  impact but turn time back at least 3 seconds.

Unfortunately life keeps proving otherwise and with the exception of placing  lead in a very specific region of the human anatomy, most humans will not dies instantly when shot.

The event above happened in the Dominican Republican. The shotgun wielder one Victor Hernandez,  was drunk and had been sent home for being drunk on the job. Apparently he returned to the business, shot his boss/supervisor and then himself.

Both died.

Notice that even shooting himself in the chest point-blank range, did not stop Hernandez from staying upright and walking away. I am sure he collapsed soon after, but that was several seconds after Gun Lore has taught us that he should not only was supposed to die on the spot, but be sent at least two houses down by the power of the pellets.

5.3 seconds.

That was the time between shooting himself and stepping out of camera. Now imagine you are facing an armed & dedicated killer armed with a side arm; you manage to unload the prefect shot of buck from your UFO Killin’ shotgun in his chest and lower your weapon because nobody can survive that and he has to go down right then and there, right? The question is, how many shots do you think he can unload on you in five seconds?

Oh yes, he will be dead, but so are you. Five seconds are forever when you are shooting, ask any IDPA, USPSA, SASS or any shooting discipline where the shoot with a timer. If you are even half way serious about shooting, you must have heard of El Presidente drill and that is done in 10 to 12 seconds time (or supposed to.) That is 12 accurate shots on three targets with a reload in there so even if you are drunk and shot in the chest by a shotgun at point-blank range, five seconds provides the shooter with plenty time to dump rounds your way.

Lesson to be learned: don’t break cover, don’t stop fighting and don’t do stupid stuff just because you shot your opponent with something people say kills instantly. Make sure he is down, you have time on your side, he does not.


8 Replies to “The Myth of Stopping Power (Shotgun Version – graphic content)”

  1. A well placed .22 will kill. A poorly placed one still might. Neither is likely to do it quickly. Only solid central nervous system hits “stop” quickly. That is a mighty small target area. Shotguns remove precision but increase chances. Not likely buckshot in that video. Larger pellets, deeper penetration, increases chances too. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting again and again if necessary. The antis never understand the mag dumps common in police involved shootings.

  2. Truth be told, cholera and dysentery have killed more people than all the firearms ever made. Not in any time frame I think would be useful in a lethal force confrontation, but, there is that to consider. .

  3. Adrenaline is a heck of a thing. People have been hit by major caliber rifle fire, and kept on fighting during wartime.

    It would also be interesting to know if the baddie was using buckshot, or just birdshot. Birdshot can turn an impressive close range weapon into something that just barely a step above “less than lethal”.

    1. On runs I personally have been on, children of God have served as the (close range) backstop for a 12 ga worth of birdshot. The resulting hole was unitary, and nigh onto the size of 1/2 of my adult man fist. How deep it went, may be another matter, but, this soul’s kidney had “gone to a better place”.

  4. This is why Law enforcement and the Military, as well as other professionals I suppose are taught to perform a double tap, and to engage subsequently until the threat is neutralized.

  5. I have treated patients who have been shot with everything from an air rifle pellet to one particularly unlucky weapons tech who was shot with a 20mm round from an M61 gatling gun. That includes most all common handgun rounds, rifle rounds up through .50BMG, and even shotgun rounds through 12ga slugs.

    I have also seen patients DOA with .22 rimfire injuries.

    All survived. There are no magic rounds. The sound of a 12 gauge pump being racked does not cause one to lose control of their bowels. A .45ACP is not the be all and end all, nor is a .25ACP a toy that you should give to children.

    As someone noted, it’s all about shot placement. FWIW, I carry a Glock G30, in .45ACP. Cause I can usually affect good shot placement with it.

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