Strasbourg goat tests

topic posted Wed, June 9, 2004 - 11:03 PM by  John
Someone brought these tests up in a thread, and many regard these tests as the definitive guide to bullet stopping power.

There's just one small problem:

I think the study is a complete fabrication / hoax.

From the Journal of the International Wound
Ballistics Association:

I for one don't think there's any such thing as a magic bullet that stops your target instantly.

The best you can hope for is a bullet that (in a non-head/heart shot) causes the target to go into shock or unconsciousness as fast as possible. This probably means whatever bullet causes the largest wound channel is probably the best.

As far as so-called knock-down power, well... I think that's a myth too. After all, I don't get knocked down when I fire a handgun (even if I am off balance.) So why should my target get knocked down?

Newton's Law is pretty clear on this. i.e. The kinetic energy imparted to my hand by firing the gun will be equal (or more than!) the energy imparted to my target.

Anyone know if there are any actual facts out there on how effective different calibers are?

Has anyone proved or disproved my opinions about stopping power?

Interested in everyone's thoughts, or good links to studies


posted by:
SF Bay Area
  • Re: Strasbourg goat tests

    Sat, June 12, 2004 - 7:25 PM
    I think it's a hoax, too.

    Bt there's one thing you have to remember about 'one shot stop' statistics - they really are one shot stops, ergo, a scumbag gets a .22 cap popped in his ass, and makes a conscious decision to stop - that counts as a one stop shot.

    That's why one shot stop statistics are rather dubious.

    As always, the three largest factors in putting down your adversary quickly are (1) shot placement, (2) shot placement, and (3) shot placement.

    Train like you fight - second place is not an option.
  • Re: Strasbourg goat tests

    Mon, June 14, 2004 - 11:46 AM
    You have evidently not read the Strausberg goat tests. They have no "magic bullet that stops your target instantly." Even the Glaser & magsafe safety slugs only dropped the test target in 3-4 seconds.

    Additional proof of the tests validity is the fact that their results coincide closely with Sanow & Marshall's studies based on real street shootings (that you probably have not read either.)

    Another clue that you have not read anything stronger than Soldier of fortune is when you say:
    "The best you can hope for is a bullet that (in a non-head/heart shot) "
    If you had a clue you'd know that instant stops are achieved by head & CNS (central nervous system) shots. People shot in the heart often survive for as much as 45 seconds. One gunfight chronicled years ago, the sheriff (shot through the heart with a 22) lived long enough to finish the gun fight before collapsing.

    PS: MagSafe & Glaser safety slugs really do have outstanding performance in actual street shootings.
    • Re: Strasbourg goat tests

      Thu, June 17, 2004 - 1:08 PM
      a) I have read the goat tests. My comment about 'magic bullets' was more about the mindset of the folks who slavishly pick over it's every detail saying "Well, if it's not a .45, it's crap." These also seem to be the folks who most often believe in a magic bullet.

      b) I have not read Sanow & Marshall's studies, but I've read more than a few precises of their work. Hence my comment about 'magic bullets' being a myth. Which S&M seems to back up.

      c) While folks shot in the heart often live for 45 seconds, so do folks shot in the head. Again, this is where the size of wound channel is important.

      Why don't you come back and engage in a meaningful debate when you've read the IWBA reports about the goat tests. And you've posted a definition of "ad hominem" from the dictionary for the rest of the group to read.


      • Re: Strasbourg goat tests

        Thu, June 17, 2004 - 2:10 PM
        Mmmmkay? Define Ad hominem?
        Are you gay? What kind of response is that. You think you have a clue because you have read someone else's opinion on a study? Try thinking for yourself. Read Sanow & Marshall. If you had you would also have noticed that they chronicle a number of other balistic studies including the FBI study, the Secret Service study, and several military wound balistics studies. These "precices" you speak of are some other gun writer feeding you their second hand opinion. Marshall started these studies while a homicide detective in Detroit which at the time was the murder capital of America. Are you trying to tell me that your feeble knowledge exceeds his? How many murder investigations have you handled?
        Also, if you'd read Sanow & Marshall you'd know that the 45 is not the king of stopping power---357 & 40S&W are. The best 45 cartridge only rates a 92% one shot stop in actual street shootings.

        Until you learn to read the studies yourself and gather your own opinions we cannot have a meaningful discussion. Hell, I bet you haven't even read any of Fackler's studies.

        Before you waste anymore of my time, go down to your local public library and check out either of the Sanow & Marshall studies, read them, study them, even research the other tests chronicled there, then come back to tribe and post a reply.
        • Re: Strasbourg goat tests

          Fri, June 18, 2004 - 9:22 AM
          "Ad hominem" Attacking the person and not their arguments.

          The fact that Sanow & Marshal stats contradict the Goat tests (the goat tests show no stastitically significant difference between these rounds) is a just more ammunition (hah) for the fraud case.

          And even if it was 'real' (which I don't believe it is) The simple physical differences between the chest cavity of a goat and human make these tests dubious at best.

          And you seem to be completely missing my point that Sannow & Marshal is exactly the kind of study that has merit. It's real world, it isn't surrounded by controversy, etc. etc.

          For some reason you seem to think these two studies are inextricatble connected. I never brought up Sannow, in fact I was asking for *more* studies like that.

          So do us a favor: Get off your high horse and try contributing to this conversation and not engaging in more insults. Since you're so knowledgeable, why not share that knowledge with some links to those FBI balistics studies?

          I've read some Fackler and he seems to contradict a fair amount of what S&M expouse (Trying to tie performance in Gellatin to performance in the real world)

          I've yet to see him reference the Goat Tests. I wonder why.

          So for future reference, this is what a discussion looks like.
          No ad hominem attacks, just a point by point analysis.

          And just to be clear: If you can't be polite, you aren't welcome in this tribe.
          • Re: Strasbourg goat tests

            Fri, June 18, 2004 - 11:50 PM
            Okay, here's a brief outline on some of the major tests in ballistic science and stopping power.

            The Goat tests: Although the goats used were not a perfect match, they were close. (There was actually a study years ago that used cadavers but rigor mortis changes density & muscle tone too.) What the goat tests showed us was that almost all defensive class rounds (9mm or larger) dropped the goat. What was different was that some rounds did it quicker than others. Safety slugs (Glaser & Magsafe) did it remarkably fast---about half the time of conventional rounds.

            Sanow & Marshall: For purity of analysis, this test used shootings involving single torso hits in varying calibers and bullets. Once again we saw that safety slugs worked so well that S&M gave them a special class (exitotics). Their intent was to use real shootings to create a database that would us to better correlate the results we get from geletin testing. Their tests also drew another parralel to the next test I'll mention: which is the best 45acp cartridge.

            The FBI studies: The feds shot their bullets at everything from car glass to doors to car doors and even balistic gelatin. After this punishing test they found that in 45cal, the 230 grain hydrashok was the king. Apparently the forcing cone in a hydrashok allows it to expand reliably against a wide variety of media and at almost any speed above 850 fps.

            Fackler's tests: Doctor Fackler ran his studies backwards from S&M. He wanted to use water & geletin testing to determine stopping power. His tests were solid enough until he started attacking S&Ms tests.

            As for the previous personal attacks, I apologize. As it says on my tribe profile, I am an asshole. As for links to some of these tests, I can recommend checking out both of the Sanow & Marshall books. They give unbiased coverage all of the major tests up until their own and have a wealth of data on real street shootings. Absolutely fascinating material.

            PS: Not only do I believe that the goat tests are real, I believe they were funded by a major ammo manufacturer. Hence their secrecy. They closely coincide with aspects of later tests by reputable sources, but do not identically match because each study was pursuing different data.
  • Ken
    offline 5

    Re: Strasbourg goat tests

    Fri, June 18, 2004 - 8:24 AM
    "As far as so-called knock-down power, well... I think that's a myth too. After all, I don't get knocked down when I fire a handgun (even if I am off balance.) So why should my target get knocked down?" Well John, you aren't giving your idea a proper chance. Try pointing your handgun at yourself and see if that knocks you down.

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