FBI Change to 9mm as best round?
October 14, 2015 at 11:27 pm #108399PalmettoParticipant
October 15, 2015 at 1:06 am #108400Joe (G.W.N.S.)Moderator
Back in 1986 the FBI was involved in a shootout in Miami, this shootout ended with two dead and five wounded out of eight FBI Agents.
The two bank robbery suspects were killed after a prolonged gunfight.
Here is the best available report IMHO:
Ultimately the FBI blamed their firearms as underpowered and that they were outgunned (out trained maybe more accurate). The suspects were shooting something like 1000 to 2000 rounds a week training if I remember right.
So they decided on the 10 mm as the new FBI standard, but of couse it was too hot a round for most Agents so they eventually went .40 S&W.
Of course even this is more than many can handle so we are back to the 9 mm.
The article Palmetto linked even mentions “Shot placement is paramount and law enforcement officers on average strike an adversary with only 20 – 30 percent of the shots fired during a shooting incident.”
Of course the 9 mm, particularly with modern JHP’s is more than adequate, assuming of course they can actually hit the target.
What I find amusing is as the FBI goes back to 9 mm’s the Army in it’s “infinite wisdom” (heavy sarcasm) wants a larger more effective caliber, with less recoil, more accuracy, and adjustable for small hands!
Barring a major technology break through, they may as well be asking for “Phased Plasma Rifle in a 40 Watt Range” (with Arnold’s Terminator accent). If I am being generous it may happen someday, but I doubt in this decade.
Thoughts on this?
It’s probably a good decision when you consider the relative lack of continuing training for most Agents.
October 15, 2015 at 7:02 am #108401Brian from GeorgiaParticipant
One thing is for certain. The Miami and North Hollywood shootouts proved the old adage:
Your pistol is what you use to fight your way to your rifle which you should have had with you to begin with.
October 15, 2015 at 7:22 am #108402DiznNCParticipant
Brian has been on fire lately. That’s as close to it as you’re gonna get.
October 15, 2015 at 8:33 am #108403MaxKeymaster
edit: another surprise reading one of my comments, which of course isn’ by me….
Back in 1985 going through infantry school I remember a talk with an old time vietnam vet who was absolutely honest with soldiers who asked intelligent questions
We were discussing terminal effectiveness and wounds. He stated as has been repeatedly proven, hit a large bone with a bullet and you will dramatically effect their performance
Miss bone or heavy muscle and you will have to hit your target 3-7 times in some cases in order to stop them.
Fast forward 25 years and Im in a pathology class at the UofA
I asked the forensic pathologist about identifying wound channels and calibers
He stated in absolutes. There is no detectable difference in handgun wound channels. Common handgun calibers are uniformly poor wound producers and modern HP ammunition makes recovering the bullet the only way to determine what caliber killed the person.
He further went on to say the data is skewed because he only saw dead people, the ones who live screw up the stats terribly because humans tend to live through things like trauma
What I took away from his semester
Shoot a good bullet, in a caliber you can deliver accurate multiple shots out of a firearm, which will continue to work when your fine motor skills have crapped out and shoot them until they stop.
9, 40, 10mm, 45 is all masturbation done by people who have zero forensic background and are just repeating the gunshop stories
October 15, 2015 at 5:25 pm #108404CorvetteParticipant
I always been of the 9mm mindset myself.
There are two ways of approaching the ballistic problem:
a) What is the most effective caliber I can still carry and still afford to train with?
b) What is most affordable in training burden and carry burden that will still be effective on target?
These different approaches go into all sorts of things.
In WW2 approach a) produced the King Tiger, while approach b) produced the Panther which is generally accepted to be the most modern tank of the war.
Approach b) in handgunning produces 9mm as carry ammo for handgun.
Not only is it cheaper to stack and train with but its lighter recoil makes it easier to train with reduces flinching and will possibly even lead to better shot placement as a result
I agree with approach b) for this and most other (rifle) problem sets.
So most my handguns now are 9mm.
October 16, 2015 at 12:11 am #108405PalmettoParticipant
All this tends to prove the practical, common sense:
Proficiency (training) trumps caliber.
Added to which, capacity (rounds before reload and rounds able to be carried) is more meaningful than round size.
Added to which, round availability, commonality of rounds, is a larger consideration for self-supplying personnel than for personnel who have a fully funded supply train.
November 25, 2016 at 10:03 pm #108406wheelseeParticipant
Interesting data on GSW in the US. The link lists several studies and gives synopsis of same.
Placement AND multiple hits count. Single GSW in an urban environment has survival rate > 80% (predominantly due to trauma system). Even GSW to head has ~ 50% survival rate (these I’ve witnessed, including .357)
November 26, 2016 at 1:14 am #108407AndrewParticipant
and adjustable for small hands
That’s the key fact when you slice away all the bovine scat. I saw this a long time ago when we carried .357 mag revolvers in the BP. They were just bringing women into the Patrol and they couldn’t handle the full power 125 grain loads.
November 27, 2016 at 2:23 pm #108408HiDesertRatParticipant
Regarding the Infamous Miami shootout:
Unfortunately for the FBI, they were ill prepared (poor use of intel) despite knowing that the two men they pursued had a history of using rifles and shotguns during the course of their crime spree. They also knew of their propensity to unleash violence without any hesitation whether it was deemed necessary/appropriate or not. This knowledge alone should have motivated them to be better armed 24/7. There was a 14 man team working and attempting to close in upon them rapidly if contact was made. Add to the mix their backgrounds, both trained in the US Army, one was an MP, the other a former Ranger, served with the 101st Airborne and a combat vet. Plus they practiced as noted above. It would seem from the description of that fateful day, the two killers, especially Platt, assumed an offensive rather than defensive nature in the encounter which I am sure caused great consternation to the team members.
November 27, 2016 at 5:37 pm #108409Joe (G.W.N.S.)Moderator
Plus they practiced as noted above.
Depending on which reports you put more faith in they each fired between 1,000 to 2,000 rounds (conservative low estimate) a week!
November 27, 2016 at 7:48 pm #108410HiDesertRatParticipant
Practice makes perfect as they say, assuming of course you are practicing relevant drills, scenarios, etc. However, mindset and prior background experience and training is what was the major force of this particular duo. And, again, the agents and whoever was in charge of this unit never thought about the firearms, behavioral pattern these guys were exhibiting/using. Only one of the good guys had a shotgun. The rest sidearms. You said:
“outgunned (out trained maybe more accurate)”
Maybe so. Probably too much complacency on the part of the agent in charge and complacency by his subordinates trusting his faulty judgement. Lots of mistakes. All this speaks to internal communication, and policy that would never be aired in public. Hopefully they have corrected these issues. Still, one must be able to hit their intended target quickly and lethally, the presumed topic of this thread. The entire action speaks to the final determination of events, human will and perseverance, exhibited on both sides.
November 27, 2016 at 11:49 pm #108411First SergeantModerator
I cover some of the lessons learned from Miami during the DHC.
hellokitty, sam brady and myself have had several conversations about this.
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December 19, 2016 at 8:42 pm #108412RTOhioParticipant
The S&W 459 that was used to shoot I believe Platt was stocked with Winchester Silvertips. Just FYI.
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