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BrianY
08-02-2016, 10:00 AM
I was struck by a comment in the "AR15 A Symbol of Power" thread that the choice of weapon used in the shooting didn't make any difference, that a handgun would have been just as lethal. That got me wondering about the effects of gunshots on the human body. It turns out that getting shot by an AR15 or other "assault weapon" is significantly worse (i.e., causes more damage and is more likely to kill you) than getting shot by a handgun.

http://www.wired.com/2016/06/ar-15-can-human-body/




All guns can kill, but they do not kill equally.

Compare the damage an AR-15 and a 9mm handgun can do to the human body: “One looks like a grenade went off in there,” says Peter Rhee (http://surgery.arizona.edu/faculty-profile/peter-m-rhee-md-mph), a trauma surgeon at the University of Arizona. “The other looks like a bad knife cut.”

The AR-15 is America’s most popular rifle. It has also been the weapon of choice in mass shootings from Sandy Hook to Aurora to San Bernardino. In Orlando this past week, the shooter used a Sig Sauer MCX, an AR-15 style rifle originally developed for special ops (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/06/assault-rifle-used-by-orlando-mass-shooter), to kill 49 people in the Pulse nightclub. The carnage sparked new calls to reinstate a ban on assault rifles like the AR-15, which were designed as weapons of war.

It’s possible to argue about everything when it comes to the politics of guns—including about the definition of “assault rifle” itself—but it’s harder to argue about physics. So let’s consider the physics of an AR-15.

A bullet with more energy can do more damage. Its total kinetic energy is equal to one-half the mass of the bullet times its velocity squared. The bullet from a handgun is—as absurd as it may sound—slow compared to that from an AR-15. It can be stopped by the thick bone of the upper leg. It might pass through the body, only to become lodged in skin, which is surprisingly elastic.

The bullet from an AR-15 does an entirely different kind of violence to the human body. It’s relatively small, but it leaves the muzzle at three times the speed of a handgun bullet. It has so much energy that it can disintegrate three inches of leg bone. “It would just turn it to dust,” says Donald Jenkins (http://nationaltraumainstitute.org/home/board_of_directors/bios/donald_h_jenkins.html), a trauma surgeon at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. If it hits the liver, “the liver looks like a jello mold that’s been dropped on the floor.” And the exit wound can be a nasty, jagged hole the size of an orange.

These high-velocity bullets can damage flesh inches away from their path, either because they fragment or because they cause something called cavitation. When you trail your fingers through water, the water ripples and curls. When a high-velocity bullet pierces the body, human tissues ripples as well—but much more violently. The bullet from an AR-15 might miss the femoral artery in the leg, but cavitation may burst the artery anyway, causing death by blood loss. A swath of stretched and torn tissue around the wound may die. That’s why, says Rhee, a handgun wound might require only one surgery but an AR-15 bullet wound might require three to ten.

Then, multiply the damage from a single bullet by the ease of shooting an AR-15, which doesn’t kick. “The gun barely moves. You can sit there boom boom boom and reel off shots as fast as you can move your finger,” says Ernest Moore (http://physicians.denverhealth.org/details/1173), a trauma surgeon at Denver Health and editor of the Journal of Trauma and Acute Surgery, which just published an issue dedicated to gun violence (http://journals.lww.com/jtrauma/Pages/default.aspx).

Handguns kill plenty of people too, of course, and they’re responsible for the vast majority of America’s gun deaths. But a single bullet from a handgun is not likely to be as deadly as one from an AR-15.

BrianW
08-02-2016, 01:04 PM
The AR-15 is a rifle. What you're talking about is a bullet.

The bullets from all rifles travel at much greater speeds than handgun bullets. That's the whole point of the longer barrel of a rifle... to impart speed.

It's not limited to, or a special feature of, the AR-15 series of rifles.

BrianY
08-02-2016, 03:06 PM
The AR-15 is a rifle. What you're talking about is a bullet.

The bullets from all rifles travel at much greater speeds than handgun bullets. That's the whole point of the longer barrel of a rifle... to impart speed.

It's not limited to, or a special feature of, the AR-15 series of rifles.

And what's your point? I suppose I could throw the bullet at someone as hard as I can, but I highly doubt that it will do anywhere near the damage that the same bullet fired from an AR15 or any similar weapon will do.

The bullet isn't the problem.

BrianW
08-02-2016, 04:37 PM
And what's your point? I suppose I could throw the bullet at someone as hard as I can, but I highly doubt that it will do anywhere near the damage that the same bullet fired from an AR15 or any similar weapon will do.

The bullet isn't the problem.

My point is that any rifle will propel a bullet to higher speeds than a handgun. That's the purpose of a rifle.

It's not a special feature of the AR-15 platform.

As per your thread title, an AR-15 is a bad choice to inflict damage on a human body. A bat would do more damage. Better grip, more mass at the thumping end.

Unless of course, you decide to use a bullet. Bullets do a lot of damage to human bodies.

delecta
08-02-2016, 04:59 PM
Nit picking and deflection, again.

Actually an honest description of the effects of a projectile based on the platform in which they are discharged. But since all you simple kittens here want to talk about is gun control it's pointless.

Sorry If I'm "nit picking"

BrianY
08-02-2016, 06:28 PM
Brian -
It seems to me if I understand you correctly that you're saying that the destruction and damage described in my OP is not unique to the AR15 and that other high power rifles do similar things.

OK, can't argue with that. But so what?

A few points:

1) the example of the AR15 is useful because most people are somewhat familiar with it because of its use in recent high profile shootings and also because of its ubiquity. Like it or not, it is, for most non-gun people, a symbol for all similar weapons.

2) if people are going to make informed decisions about guns and gun policy, they should understand what these weapons do to the human body.

3) it may be that if people understand the degree of destruction that high powered weapons, of which the AR15 is but one example, inflict and they understand that they are significantly more destructive than hand guns, they might want to regulate them differently. After all, we regulate rocket launchers, hand grenades, etc. differently than hand guns because of their destructive capabilities.

4) At the very least, having a true understanding of what these weapons actually do helps to distinguish them from handguns. It also shows that the assertion that it makes little difference what weapon is used -AR15 or hand gun - is factually untrue and the implication that they should all be regulated the same is therefore absurd.

eta - and please stop with the inanity of pretending that the tile of the thread refers to the use of the gun without ammunition. If you want to descend to the level of childishness, I gues we should all henceforth be absolutely certain to be sure to specifically list all components of every weapon system when we mention them...for example "a hand grenade with its explosive charge", a "nuclear missile with its rocket motor, propellant, guidance system, conventional and nuclear explosive components" etc. etc. Doing so may satisfy your need for specificity and accuracy but it will make posting and reading posts a long and unnecessarily tedious process.

Stiletto
08-02-2016, 08:41 PM
I remember Paladin's story of being shot by an M16 (if I recall correctly)while wearing a bullet proof vest, and his observation that his survival would have been much less assured had an AK47 with its larger projectile, been used.

I really think shooting anybody with any firearm is best avoided.

BrianW
08-03-2016, 01:33 AM
the cartridge involved is a .223 Winchester (metrically called 5.56). it is a poor hunting cartridge and inadequate for most big game

.223 Remington. :D

When loaded with Hornady 75gr Amax's (Kimber Montana) or 75gr Hornady HPBT (C.O.L. better in an AR magazine) they are great for our small Blacktails.

BrianW
08-03-2016, 01:53 AM
4) At the very least, having a true understanding of what these weapons actually do helps to distinguish them from handguns. It also shows that the assertion that it makes little difference what weapon is used -AR15 or hand gun - is factually untrue and the implication that they should all be regulated the same is therefore absurd.

If your goal is to reduce the number of murders by firearm, you really should be concentrating on handguns, despite their "lack of power", they seem to do just fine at killing people...

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/20/Ushomicidesbyweapon.svg/2000px-Ushomicidesbyweapon.svg.png

...although it should be noted, handguns generally are already regulated to a higher degree than rifles.

Paul Pless
08-03-2016, 09:50 AM
And the AKA or AK47 round is nowhere near as powerful as the M16 round.???

BrianY
08-03-2016, 03:12 PM
If your goal is to reduce the number of murders by firearm, you really should be concentrating on handguns, despite their "lack of power", they seem to do just fine at killing people...



...although it should be noted, handguns generally are already regulated to a higher degree than rifles.

The goal is to reduce the potential for harm from the use of firearms of all types. Given the potential lethality of the AR15 versus a handgun, it seems to me that they (and weapons like them) should have tighter regulations.

BrianW
08-03-2016, 04:24 PM
The goal is to reduce the potential for harm from the use of firearms of all types. Given the potential lethality of the AR15 versus a handgun, it seems to me that they (and weapons like them) should have tighter regulations.

Okay.

Someone has to be there, to decry the 2-4% of homicides in which a rifle (not always 'assault') was used. No foul there.

There's never been a doubt that a bullet fired from a rifle, almost always faster than the same bullet from a handgun, is going to travel faster and probably impart more damage and be more lethal.

(I say probably because when a the 55gr and 62gr bullets used by the Army in the M16/M4 drop below 2800fps, they are known to 'pencil' through the enemy and cause minimal damage.)

However when we consider the "lethality" of firearms on the population of the USA, handguns are the major problem.

BrianY
08-03-2016, 06:28 PM
No doubt that handguns are the major problem and I'm not claiming otherwise. However, recent events have amply demonstrated that a single individual armed with an assault weapon like an AR15 can inflict a huge amount of damage and death in a very short period of time - more than they would have been able to do with a handgun and more than they would have been able to do with a more traditional "hunting rifle". It's also true that such weapons inflict far more grievous wounds than handguns and the likelihood of a victim dying after being shots it's one of them is greater than if they were shot with a handgun. In other words, these weapons are doing exactly what they were designed to do - enable a single shooter to cause massive and devestating casualties in a very brief amount of time.

Most sane people agree that citizens should not have access to other weapons that are capable of causing s much death and destruction - hand grenades, RPG's, flame throwers, etc. Why should assault weapons - not all rifles but specifically those like the AR15 whose design and purpose is clearly a military one - be treated differently?

BrianW
08-03-2016, 06:43 PM
Most sane people agree that citizens should not have access to other weapons that are capable of causing s much death and destruction - hand grenades, RPG's, flame throwers, etc. Why should assault weapons - not all rifles but specifically those like the AR15 whose design and purpose is clearly a military one - be treated differently?

The very sane, passed by sane people (admittedly politicians, so that point is debatable) GCA of 1968 covers your issue just fine. Did I mention it's sane? :)

I wonder how many firearms we'd eliminate, if the criteria for eliminating them is that they were designed first for the military?

Canoez
08-04-2016, 08:55 AM
The very sane, passed by sane people (admittedly politicians, so that point is debatable) GCA of 1968 covers your issue just fine. Did I mention it's sane? :)

I wonder how many firearms we'd eliminate, if the criteria for eliminating them is that they were designed first for the military?

So, what issue exactly, do you think it covers, and what positive results do you see in the Firearm Homicide Rates since 1968?

Perhaps kinetic energy of the firearm/cartridge combination and rate-of-fire should be some common-sense restrictions?

BrianY
08-04-2016, 09:26 AM
Perhaps kinetic energy of the firearm/cartridge combination and rate-of-fire should be some common-sense restrictions?

Yes, that's what I was thinking too. Also the design of the bullet and how that affects the resulting wound should be a factor. For example, bullets like the 5.56 NATO rounds that are designed to tumble after penetration and thereby cause massive damage should be banned. Magazine capacity should also be a factor.

And to answer BrianW's question - the original designed purpose - military or civilian - should not be a factor. Weapon systems of any origin that are capable of causing damage beyond a certain level (determined by the criteria mentioned above) should not be available

LeeG
08-04-2016, 10:03 AM
Yes, that's what I was thinking too. Also the design of the bullet and how that affects the resulting wound should be a factor. For example, bullets like the 5.56 NATO rounds that are designed to tumble after penetration and thereby cause massive damage should be banned. Magazine capacity should also be a factor.

And to answer BrianW's question - the original designed purpose - military or civilian - should not be a factor. Weapon systems of any origin that are capable of causing damage beyond a certain level (determined by the criteria mentioned above) should not be available

I don't think limiting the energy in a rifle or hand gun round is practical but hand guns should involve a few more hoops to get access to.

BrianY
08-04-2016, 01:48 PM
bullets are not designed to tumble... myth for the easily fooled

You really should have read my previous post "Public Information Post: About the AR15" in which different bullet sizes and the reasons for the military choosing the small 5.56 NATO round over larger rounds were given.

Short version: It was designed to tumble after penetrating the target. That what makes the 5.56mm NATO round - the round the AR15 was designed to fire - such an effective weapon.


...While a little bullet, being it has a low mass, it senses an instability situation faster and reacts much faster… this is what makes a little bullet pay off so much in wound ballistics.Eugene Stoner, designer of the AR-15, quoted in American Rifle: A Biography

That "instability situation" results in the bullet tumbling. The center of gravity of the bullet was moved towards the back which makes the back end want to keep moving after the front has slowed down - after it has penetrated a target. Momentum causes the back end to try to cartwheel around the front end.


Unfortunately for the victim, the front of the bullet doesn’t slow down quickly enough to cause tumbling until it’s already inside, so the bullet will try to cartwheel over itself inside their body. If the bullet is travelling fast enough when it hits, then the shearing force on the bullet trying to cartwheel through a person is stronger than the strength of the metal in the bullet, and the bullet will tear itself apart inside a person’s body. The AR15 and weapons like it are designed to shoot ammunition designed to propel the bullet fast enough to tumble after penetrating the target. Does it always tumble inside the victim? No, nothing ever works perfectly 100% of the time. But that's what it was designed to do and it does it frequently enough that the military chose it over other larger but less damaging rounds as the preferred cartridge and weapon combination.

BrianW
08-04-2016, 10:35 PM
back to hunting bullets... why not hunting bullets?

Just wait Phillip, it'll come. :D


(and they wonder why the NRA doesn't like to give an inch ;) )

The Bigfella
08-04-2016, 11:30 PM
Damn bullets. They should be shot on sight.... like this

https://photos.smugmug.com/Random-Gallery-Two/i-b9xQkWJ/0/1904x1142/Gallipolibullets-1904x1142.jpg