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NAYTH

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Handgun Induced Trauma

I wrote the following report as supportive Training material for the Tactical School I owned and ran for years. It is quite lengthy, but contains a lot of relevant information. Feel free to PM me with ?'s or comments. STEALTh Institute Ltd: Bruce Nathan; President Specialized Training and Education Against Lethal THreat MECAHNICS of HANDGUN INDUCED TRAUMA The critical factor in any Lethal Threat Encounter, especially one involving a trained and lawful citizen, is the ability of the projectile to stop the fight. We do not fire on an assailant to kill or wound, selectively. We shoot to “neutralize” the threat to our lives. Utilizing minor calibers that require multiple strikes and eventually cause our assailant(s) to exsanguinate (bleed to death) are of no use. It is not our intention to sustain serious and/or fatal injury to ourselves or our loved ones, while secure in the knowledge that our attacker will die “eventually”. Our equipment’s ability to deliver immediate fight-stopping trauma is the ONLY concern in a gunfight. The following report will outline major points concerning “in-vivo” or in the body ballistics and reaction to handgun-fired projectiles. Equipment Selection: Shot placement is critical. Given that fact, ammunition selection is as, if not more important than caliber. We will assume a well maintained and quality weapon is employed. Bullets work by transferring energy to the target. This is the science of Terminal Ballistics. Bullets which pass cleanly through tissue create little stopping energy and can endanger unintentional secondary targets. Projectiles can deflect up to 45 degrees in-vivo, exiting at different angles than the entry vector. Conversely, a projectile that stops quickly in target and rapidly transfers its energy, will cause gross hyper-extravasation (stretching; as when you slap your hand into water) of tissue due to hydrostatic shock. This shock wave will cause internal organ shock and render an attacker incapable of continuing the fight. To this end, defensive ammunition should be high-velocity hollow points or pre-fragmented projectiles such as Glaser or MagSafe rounds. As an added benefit, correct ammunition will stop in the primary target. Always remember that your only backstop in a gunfight is the target! Two specific wound classifications are involved in GSWs (gunshot wounds). The area of tissue that is macerated and destroyed by the projectile is the permanent wound channel. This classification is a measure of lethality. The temporary stretch cavity is the area of surrounding tissue violently displaced by the above mentioned stretching of tissue; this is the measure of incapacitation. Remember that organic tissue is elastic; if it was not any punch to the stomach would be fatal. It is interesting to note that amidst all the media cow-flop surrounding “killer” hollow-point ammunition, hard statistical data proves that this type of round is more humane than conventional “hardball”. Justice Bureau statistics show that Law Enforcement agencies carrying high-velocity HP ammunition are logging a 25% hit-kill ratio. Skilled trauma Surgeons can repair the permanent channel as it is localized, allowing


our felon to return to his profession as soon as his incarceration is over. Approximately 1 out of 4 felons shot by these agencies succumb to their wounds. Conversely, agencies restricted to full jacketed handgun rounds have logged a 70% hit-kill ratio. Numerous strikes are required to “shut-down” a dangerous felon, resulting in multiple organ damage and rapid bleeding out. Physiological Aspects of In-Vivo Ballistics: We must accept the fact that a large percentage of street felons we will engage have high narcotic levels in their system. Cocaine, crack, “meth” and the like increase blood pressure and virtually anesthetize the system. Normal reactions to gunshot wounds often do not apply. Increased cardiac tamponade (the tendency of wounds to control bleeding by increased blood pressure sealing the vessels) is the operative factor here. The final scene in the movie “Scarface” (Al Pacino) is actually quite accurate. Medical Examiners have often been amazed at the ability of drug addled felons to continue fighting after sustaining what should have been incapacitating wounds. We can also divide wounds into two additional categories: dynamic or stopping wounds and adynamic or non-stopping wounds. For the bullet to do its job, transfer its energy, it must encounter dense and viscous tissue. Soft and spongy tissue, such as lungs, will not cause the bullet to “spallate” (stop) and transfer energy. Our primary target area should be the central mass of the torso or thorax. Imagine a 6” wide area, center chest, extending from the lower neck down below the solar-plexus. Hydrostatic shock in this area will cause gross impact-trauma while actually destroying less tissue in the permanent wound channel. Once again, our goal is NOT lethality but rather immediate incapacitation. From a legal standpoint, head shots are a gross liability. Not a single Law Enforcement agency I have ever Trained teaches its officers to engage the cranial area of the target. This type of work is reserved for highly skilled snipers and Situational Response Teams or SRTs. Also, it is a small target, easily missed. Court interpretations of this issue have proven disastrous to civilians in what would have been justified shootings. Shot placement required to effect a CNS or Central Nervous System “disconnect” is critically small and must impact the medulla at the base of the brain stem. Ammunition Selection: Much misinformation exists on ammunition selection. The firearms press is full of detailed reports on bullets’ effectiveness in ballistic jelly and wet phone books. This is important data if you are ever attacked by the “blob”, or a gang of soaked yellow pages. Seriously, the only data that is relevant is the Justice Bureau’s actual shooting report database; a compilation of detailed shooting de-briefings from Law Enforcement agencies across the country. Their criterion for acceptable incapacitation is as follows; all hostile activity by the felon ceases within 2 seconds and two shots impacting target. This performance is quantified by a percentage of recorded shootings with correct bullet placement that affected the desired immediate incapacitation. The lawfully armed community is always seeking that “Magic Sword Excalibur” round that can be carried in a wallet holster and stops like a .357 Magnum. Unfortunately, until we can carry Phasers, the laws of physics apply and restrict us to real-world loads and equipment. Sub-calibers: (.22, .32 etc.): Forget about them! Refer to the opening of this report. Reserve these calibers for beer cans and squirrels. A loaded .22 in your pocket may make you feel all warm and fuzzy, but in actual street encounters they are not capable of stopping the fight “right now”!Modern loadings of the .32 ACP and its popularity in little guns have popularized what has been shown to exhibit a less than 40% stopping level. .22 Long Rifle HPs have logged less than a 20% rating! Minimum; (.380 ACP): Although on the low end of the acceptable stopping spectrum, a very popular round that I have carried for years as a back-up or casual carry weapon in my Beretta 84B. HPs are a must, preferably quality engineered defensive rounds like CCI, Hornady, Remington, Silvertips etc. This round has an extensive data base and exhibits a 68% stopping percentage. With MagSafe and Glaser pre-fragmented rounds, the percentage increases to 80+% (guess what I carry). Make sure the light round is feed-reliable in your weapon. Classically, Walther “P” guns do not like this round. This round


makes for a very viable “bed table” load as the muzzle report and flash will not render you deaf and blind in the middle of a dark night when you are half asleep! Additionally, through-wall penetration of the prefrags is a non-issue as they break up as soon as they strike a hard surface. Secondly, major hunting calibers like .44 and .50 caliber magnums have no place on the street. Excessive carry-through will endanger secondary targets. Recoil and muzzle blast slow down multiple shot recovery times. Finally, the last thing you want is to face a criminal or civil jury, having justifiably stopped your attacker with a weapon that “paints” you to look like Dirty Harry! From a legal standpoint, civilians should always carry calibers and loadings used by local Police Departments. Trust me on this! .38 Special: The grand-daddy of all handgun rounds has been and remains quite effective if the correct loads are carried. Forget the ultra light 95 grain loads supposedly for 2” wheel guns; they do not exhibit acceptable penetration. Most effective is the 158 grain soft lead “Keith” (semi wadcutter) bullet hollow point. It opens nicely, and has logged a stopping ration of 78% in +P loadings. Once again, for the “little” guns, carry pre-fragmented rounds. These push the stopping percentages of .38 Spl. To over 85%. 9MM: “Nothing could be finer than a gunfight with my niner”. Definitely one of the most popular calibers today, it should be loaded with 124 grain defensive hollow points, preferably +P. NEVER carry 9MM hardball. The pointed ogive bullet just does not work! Avoid the light (95 & 110 grain loads) and forget about the “sub-sonic” rounds. These were developed for suppressed submachine guns to eliminate the sonic crack and just plain do not work on the street unless you are carrying an Uzi or HK class-III. Correct 9MM has logged an impressive 82% stopping ratio in literally thousands of recorded incidents. .40: Quite literally the “hula-hoop” of the handgun world in the mid 80’s, this round is the result of compromising the 10MM which had been adopted by the FBI and was found to be too powerful for many agents to master. S&W had literally thousands of service automatics chambered for this round and engineered a shorter case and less powder to utilize the existing components by trimming the barrel throat. Thus was born the .40. It has proven an effective round in HP configuration, and is showing a stopping percentage equivalent to the 9MM +P HP in 124 grain loadings. What the .40 gains in mass and diameter, it loses in velocity to the 9MM. .45 ACP: In a word, one of the most effective fight-stoppers on the street! Forget the lightweight HPs. The .45 ACP works due to mass (230 grains) and diameter of the bullet. It is really interesting to note that in the 230 grain loading, the rounds 87% stopping ratio is identical in either HP or hardball. .357 Magnum: In 125 grain hollow point, this round has been and remains the best fight-stopper in the field. The 110 grain loads are too light and break up shallow in-vivo, failing to provide the required penetration. The 158 grain loads are basically medium-game hunting loads and over penetrate. The 125 grain jacketed hollow point in .357 has recorded an impressive 97% stopping ration; a fact I can personally attest to! For the record, there is not enough data on the .357 Sig auto-round as of yet. I am sure it is quite effective, especially in 125 grain HP. I also remember seeing quite a few Sigs with cracked frames in the 90’s when I was in the gun business; it may just be too hot a load for carry-sized semis. Lastly, carrying handloads on the street is a one-way ticket to HUGE civil litigation, even if there is no criminal liability. Those of us who lawfully go armed MUST accept the fact that anytime we shoot another human being, we will end up in court. Lack of criminal liability does not preclude civil liability. I have done numerous Expert Witness and Material Witness cases involving armed citizens and could fill another 5 pages with facts and data on this issue. __________________

Last edited by NAYTH; 01-25-2010 at 11:20 AM.


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NAYTH View Public Profile Send a private message to NAYTH Find all posts by NAYTH Add NAYTH to Your Contacts #2 11-13-2009, 06:01 PM Join Date: Jun 2008 Location: East Hampton, long Island Posts: 2,178 Real Name: Joe

JoeCB

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Nayth, Thanks this was a very good read.... One thing that I will state is my agency and all the New York State police agencies, (NYSP, NYSPP, NYS DEC Police, etc._) train for head shots.. I will elaborate; With the availability of criminals to obtain ballistc body armor, we have one particular course we call, you guessed it;;; The Body armor drill... We train this from a distance of 7 yards in to 3yards ....It consists of firing two shots to center mass and one shot to the head. With your permission, I would like to copy your thread to use as a hand out during our spring qualifications, if it is alright with you. Please let me know. nice work, Joe __________________ " Next hour I will whip something out your all gonna want to get your hands on" ; (quote from Jim Skelton, 05/14/09, 0144hrs.) JoeCB View Public Profile


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NAYTH

WatchGeeks Owner Master WatchGeek

Joe, be my guest. Some of the data may be a little out of date, but it is still quite relevant. The article was primarily used in qualified civilian Training with the goal of countering so much incorrect information that is out there. Stupid advise like "always make sure your assailant can't testify" and "drag the body into your house", as you well know as a LE Professional, has turned too many justifiable shootings into criminal and civil disasters for the defenders. The head shot issue interests me. With serious crowd issues in the NY metro area, I am surprised the department has introduced this drill, often referred to as the "Mozambique" or "El Presidente" technique. I have been tempted to reproduce other articles I have written in this Forum; depends on the feedback I receive. The two other critical papers I wrote are on Justification in the Use of Deadly Force and APAR (Acute Physical Alarm Reaction). PM me if you are interested and we can swap E-Mails and phone numbers. Nayth __________________

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ricard75

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Nayth it was a great read and I would very much like to read more on the Justification in the Use of Deadly Force. thak you for this great thread!! ricard75 View Public Profile Send a private message to ricard75 Find all posts by ricard75 Add ricard75 to Your Contacts #5 11-14-2009, 08:35 AM Join Date: Mar 2008 Location: Long Island New York Posts: 23,128

BigJoe Original Past Ambassador True WatchGeek

Bruce That was a very good read and full of information Thanks for taking the time to share it with all of us. __________________

Big Joe like's watches and good friends. Take care and be safe. [ Big Joe ]

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Add BigJoe to Your Contacts #6 11-19-2009, 10:40 AM Join Date: Jan 2009 Location: Georgia Posts: 468

Albert

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Very interesting information. Thanks for providing it. I would like to read your papers on Justification in the Use of Deadly Force and APAR. Albert View Public Profile Send a private message to Albert Find all posts by Albert Add Albert to Your Contacts #7 01-22-2010, 02:14 PM

dpatterson Banned Senior Geek

Join Date: Apr 2009 Location: San Antonio, Texas Posts: 235 Real Name: Dale Patterson

Yep, several years back one of my officer friends, and his partner, had to stop a cocaineaddled felon, while taking on fire from said felon. The felon was carrying and shooting a .44 Magnum handgun, and heading toward them. He actually stopped and reloaded as he was advancing toward their cruisers. The result was that the officer and his partner had to empty their .357's into this guy before he went down. There were a total of some 18 to 20 rounds fired into the suspect before he expired. I like big calibers for that reason. dpatterson View Public Profile Find all posts by dpatterson Add dpatterson to Your Contacts #8 01-22-2010, 02:36 PM


Beau Hudspeth Photography

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Wow. Great info! Thank you, sir! __________________

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fwendell Senior Member Senior Geek

Join Date: Nov 2009 Location: Denver, Colorado Posts: 147 Real Name: N/A

tanks for the good info. anybody want to buy a Seecamp in 32. just kidding, it may not stop anyone but it is a little jewel. fwendell View Public Profile Send a private message to fwendell Find all posts by fwendell Add fwendell to Your Contacts #10 02-03-2010, 07:56 PM

steves02 Senior Member Senior Geek

Join Date: May 2009 Location: York, PA Posts: 328


Hmmmm

You are obviously referencing Marshall (and Sanow, perhaps) with your stop ratios. They are, excuse my french, crap. A quick look at their methodology will tell you the whole story. We both know that .380 doesn't stop 80% of the time. No handgun round does. Period. I suggest that anyone interested in this subject should take a field trip to their local ER, especially one in more urban areas. Grab an ER doc and ask him/her how many gun shot wound patients were seen in the ER last month. Ask them how many died. Ask them how many WALKED into said ER. You'll be amazed. Likewise, if your local newspaper or PD offers a police blotter type of report scan it - again, you'll be amazed. Without getting into specific numbers, I'll generalize the figures. When shot with a handgun, a person will do one of three things, almost in equal proportions. 1/3 will keep doing what they were doing. 1/3 will fall down. They might get right back up and keep fighting or they may get up and turn and run or they might stay down - whether it is physiologically or mentally induced. 1/3 will turn their upper body away from the direction of the shooter, a defense mechanism. At that point, they might run away or they might re-engage the fight. I'll will add here that my doctorate (dissertation on a similar topic) should be completed in May of this year. Likewise, I've been a professional trainer in these topics for 25 years. steves02 View Public Profile Send a private message to steves02 Send email to steves02 Find all posts by steves02 Add steves02 to Your Contacts #11 02-18-2010, 11:14 AM Join Date: Feb 2008 Posts: 2,885

NAYTH WatchGeeks Owner Master WatchGeek

And this is based on what? Interviewing ER Physicians. How many documented shootings populate your statistical data-base? After all is said and done, it is subjective at best and can only be quantified by the more credentialed studies that exist. I know of reports involving dangerous felons being immediately stopped by one round from a .25 ACP, without more than superficial physiological damage and lack of penetration into the


body cavity. I also have seen shooting reports of close-to-contact distance 12 gauge buckshot strikes to the central torso resulting in virtually no incapacitation. It is definitively NOT a quantifiable science. Nayth __________________

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Sidewinder

Join Date: Jan 2009 Location: Valley of Our Hearts Delight Posts: 272

Senior Member Senior Geek

Stopping Power.

I'm by no means an expert in this area,but have read a lot about it for the last 20 yrs. Your analysis pretty much jibes with most of the other's I've read. The thing that sets yours apart is its readability and succinct coverage of the topic. Its the easiest to read and understand I've encountered. The general public needs more of this easily digested information.. Many

thanks and more of this would be greatly appreciated. __________________ "Time wounds all heels".....Wacky Plax..circa,1959. Sidewinder View Public Profile Send a private message to Sidewinder Find all posts by Sidewinder Add Sidewinder to Your Contacts #13 02-18-2010, 03:01 PM

steves02 Senior Member Senior Geek

Quote:

Join Date: May 2009 Location: York, PA Posts: 328


Originally Posted by NAYTH It is definitively NOT a quantifiable science. Nayth Correct - so how can one try to quantify one shot stop numbers and give exact percentages? I'll answer that - you can't. And, as I said, Marshall and Sanow's methodology was poor, at best. steves02 View Public Profile Send a private message to steves02 Send email to steves02 Find all posts by steves02 Add steves02 to Your Contacts #14 02-18-2010, 03:13 PM

pauld6 Senior Member Veteran Geek

Great article. Thanks much for the information. __________________

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#15 02-18-2010, 03:28 PM Join Date: Feb 2008 Posts: 15,182 Real Name: "Diamond Jim" Skelton

jskelton

WatchGeeks Owner True WatchGeek

Steve, I'm sure you're trying to be helpful on the two topics you're replying to, and it is appreciated, but please try to offer your commentary as helpful additions to Bruce's information rather than an argument against him. Bruce has far in excess of your 20 years of experience in this field including owning his own training schools, training under experts such as Massad Ayoob (as only one example), held positions in law enforcement as well as being called upon in his career as an expert witness in countless court trials. And as such, his reference and commentary is admissable in court as an expert, and should be respected in this manner. I have known Bruce personally for more than 12 years (we met when I worked in a gun range and at that range he owned the training center) and have witnessed his training sessions, trained with him, and been present at his lectures as well as witness him training with several police agencies including (but not limited to) Ft Lauderdale SWAT. Again, your commentary is appreciated, but Bruce is a proven expert in this field, and it can cause great confusion for others to read this constant back and forth with you, especially when no one here knows you personally to vouch for your credentials. As I'm sure you know from various gun forums on the 'net... everyone on a forum is an expert __________________

Quote:


Originally Posted by charleswatts Your candor in the explanation reveals the nature of the relationship you have formed with your viewers.

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Gary J

Senior Member Super Geek

Great article I agree with it. My experience has been: I have noticed over the years that regardless of the caliber, shot placement was critical. The problem is it is most difficult under high stress situations with an adrenalin surge to shoot precision. A 22 bullet that penetrates the skull will generally not have the energy to penetrate the other side of the skull and will bounce around in the skull ripping up the brain. A bullet to the brain, brain stem, heart, spinal cord will generally drop the person like a sack of potatoes. A bullet to the aorta, vena cava, and carotid artery will generally cause one to bleed out in 3-5 min. A bullet to the axillary artery in the shoulder by the arm pit, or femoral artery at the groin area is generally fatal; Because you can stop, or tamponade the bleeding. Most of the people that I have seen killed this way, just happen to have been hit in those areas. It appears bullet trajectory is never on a straight plane. I have seen people that have been shot in the pelvic area only to have the bullet ricoshet and hit the heart. or bounce off a rib bone and hit the heart or spine. Most of the people I have seen that were killed, were not shot by traumatic designed bullets, but my cheap ammo. __________________


Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. Gary J View Public Profile Send a private message to Gary J Send email to Gary J Find all posts by Gary J Add Gary J to Your Contacts #17 03-19-2010, 08:56 AM Join Date: Jun 2008 Location: East Hampton, long Island Posts: 2,178 Real Name: Joe

JoeCB

Senior Member Super Geek

Some very good points Gary, still, there are the "WTF" factors in play..what I mean by this is, I have seen shootings that by all rights the subject should have dropped in place or close to it, but still was able to move a relatively far distance. Last year we had a cop attacked by a subject, and at point blank range the subject was shot with a .45 cal. speer gold dot , directly into his heart, and he was able to run almost 40 yds. before falling down, and eventually dying several minutes later. A couple years before, I investigated a subject who was shot with a 20ga. sabot round in the URQ, of his abdomen, the slug actually penetrated his spinal column, and the neuro surgeon could not understand how this guy was still able to walk. The slug did not cut his spinal cord, but was compressing it severely. __________________ " Next hour I will whip something out your all gonna want to get your hands on" ; (quote from Jim Skelton, 05/14/09, 0144hrs.)


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volscout2 Senior Member Senior Geek

Join Date: Oct 2009 Location: East Texas Piney Woods Posts: 263 Real Name: Jerry

Being a gun user for all my life and extremely challenged by the last 15 years shooting up paper I would say this post is just great. In my state we do not get advice on one shot stops or killing adverseraries during Concealed Handgun License class. We are advised to shoot until the threat stops then STOP unless you want a BIG lawsuit. __________________

Where`s my package?? volscout2 View Public Profile Send a private message to volscout2 Find all posts by volscout2 Add volscout2 to Your Contacts #19 03-19-2010, 09:13 AM


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BIGNOIZE Senior Member Master WatchGeek

thanks excellent info __________________ L.T.R LEARN, TEACH, REPEAT BIGNOIZE View Public Profile Send a private message to BIGNOIZE Find all posts by BIGNOIZE Add BIGNOIZE to Your Contacts #20 03-19-2010, 03:59 PM Join Date: Feb 2010 Location: Ga. Posts: 1,116 Real Name: Gary

Gary J

Senior Member Super Geek

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeCB . Last year we had a cop attacked by a subject, and at point blank range the subject was shot with a .45 cal. speer gold dot , directly into his heart, and he was able to run almost 40 yds. before falling down, and eventually dying several minutes later. I have seen people that were shot or stabbed in the heart, but did not die instantly. The reason for this was that the wound was outside the 4 ventricles of the heart (kind on the edge of the heart). A shot through the center of the heart would take out the electrical system of the heart. With this gone there could be no pumping of the heart. It is interesting to note that the heart is an organ that does not need the brain to function. The heart works by the process of automaticity. You could cut off a person's head and it would not affect the heart until the blood pressure and oxygen level is lost. The human body is wonderfully made and designed. __________________


Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. Last edited by Gary J; 04-25-2010 at 07:28 PM.

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NAYTH

WatchGeeks Owner Master WatchGeek

Jerry: A point very well stated. You should also read my other sticky in this Forum covering Justification: "All justification ends at the point the threat is no longer active". Nayth __________________

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#22 03-19-2010, 06:46 PM Join Date: May 2009 Location: York, PA Posts: 328

steves02 Senior Member Senior Geek

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary J I have seen people that were shot or stabbed in the heart, but did not die instantly. The reason for this was that the wound was outside the 4 ventricles of the heart (kind on the edge of the heart). A shot through the center of the heart would take out the electrical system of the heart. With this gone there could be no pumping of the heart. It is interesting to note that the heart as an organ that does not need the brain to function. The heart works by the process of automaticity. You could cut off a person's head and it would not affect the heart until the blood pressure and oxygen level is lost. The human body is wonderfully made and designed. I agree that the body is amazing - as to the central heart shot, talk to Stacy Lim. steves02 View Public Profile Send a private message to steves02 Send email to steves02 Find all posts by steves02 Add steves02 to Your Contacts #23 03-24-2010, 05:41 PM

aquagaljenn Senior Member Senior Geek

Thank you, Bruce. This is a great piece!! __________________

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andyboy Senior Member Veteran Geek

Thanks Bruce, I stake my life on the 357sig!!!!!!!! __________________

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Handgun Induced Trauma by Nyath an owner of watchgeeks