U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Wound Ballistic Workshop, September 15-17, 1987 9mm vs. .45 Auto

NCJ Number
231617
Author(s)
Robert L. Adkins; Dr. Vincent Dimaio; Dr. Martin L. Fackler, COL.; Stan Goddard; Douglas Lindsey, M.D., Dr.P.H.; SGT. Evan Marshall; Dr. Carroll Peters; Dr. O'Brien C. Smith
Date Published
1987
Length
51 pages
Annotation
This document presents the expert findings of the 3-day Wound Ballistic Workshop, held at the FBI Academy on September 15-17, 1987.
Abstract
The 3-day Wound Ballistic Workshop was held at the FBI Academy on September 15-17, 1987, to present expert opinions on the factors involved in handgun wounding and the relative effectiveness of 9mm and .45 automatic caliber handguns. Key findings of the participants included: except for hits to the central nervous system, instant incapacitation is not possible with any handgun bullet; temporary cavitation caused by a handgun round has no wounding effect; penetration of the bullet is a function of bullet mass and design, not velocity, thus given equal penetration, a bigger bullet will disrupt more tissue and potentially cause greater bleeding; none of the eight experts were able to say definitively that the larger .45 automatic round caused more damage than the 9mm round; and four of the eight experts found that there was no difference in the wounding effects of either caliber given equal penetration. It was noted that these findings may change due to future military research and development that may affect the ballistic efficiency of the two calibers.