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I can tell you that the most important aspect of a bullet is momentum. Because momentum causes cavitation which transmits into "stopping power" and overall tissue damage done by the round.

Now how do I figure this??? Well by the 5 plus years working as a paramedic and the 10+ years in Law Enforcement. I have had more training on firearms and ballistics and the damage done by them than I care to think about.
 

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Rich,

In my personal experience a correctly placed round bigger than a .22 can kill you no matter what. And I am not talking about "head shots". A .38 in the upper left chest can cut you Aotric Artery in half and you bleed to death in about a minute or so. I have been in 2 Officer involved shooting in my career and I can say 6 rounds of 45ACP put that scum sucker on the ground and he never got back up under his own power. The last I saw him he was being zipped up in a bag. The other instance was a 12ga so it has no real bearing on this subject.

I personally use hollowpoints or flat tip rounds. But like I said a a well placed round no matter what is what really counts. Like I said this is my personal opininon and experience.
 

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Rich,

You have just posted one of the big "Truths" about guns. As long as you hit your intended target that is what matter. Their are so many varibles to consider in a life or death shooting situation that whether my .38 Special +P+, or the 9mm, 45ACP, .40 S&W or what ever you are carring is the last thought. All you really worry about is, when I hit my target ...will he go down and stay down??

You can train your entire life for that few seconds that you need to draw down on someone and make the decision. Do I Shoot or Not? Because shooting at a paper target and shooting at a person are to drastically different things and that is a thing your mind must deal with.

Take Care All
 
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