But Don’t Take My Word For It…

As any fule (and Longtime Readers. no overlap) will attest, I am not a fan of either of the NATO cartridges, be it the 9mm Europellet or the 5.56mm poodleshooter.  I have been assailed for such beliefs, e.g. “The military  uses them, dude!” (as if the armed forces of any nation always make the best decisions when it comes to arming their soldiers).  The only good thing about that situation is that it makes the ammo cheaper.

But hey, what do I know?  So as the title suggests, try this guy’s opinion (he’s a former combat medic) instead of mine.  It contains such gems as:

In just about every country I have been in, our host nation counterparts — army and police — used the 9X19 NATO round. Because so much of what I did was house-to-house police searches, I’ve seen a lot of pistol shootings, much more than US police would ever see, and much more than experienced by most medics deploying solely with US personnel. And yet, I have zero, not one single experience, where a single gunshot wound from a 9X19 NATO round killed someone prior to them being able to return fire or flee. This includes people shot in the chest, back, back of the head (one hit behind the left ear) the neck and the face. None.

That’s the Europellet. Now for the poodleshooter:

Unfortunately, the same goes for the 5.56 NATO round. I have yet to witness a single shot quick kill with this round. I even recorded a patient shot from less than three feet away, square in the back of the head, who lived. The round did not exit his body. Yes, he was immediately rendered unconscious and required (might I say exceptional) medical treatment. He was comatose for at least six months after that, but he lived.
But more importantly, in every experience, at ranges from zero (negligent discharges) to 35 yards (my closest, and worst-placed, shot on a person) to 400 yards (our average initial engagement distance in Afghanistan) individuals shot with a single 5.56 NATO round had time to fire, maneuver, or both. Did I see single shots that killed eventually? Yes. Does that matter in combat? Not one damn bit if you are the one they are still shooting at.

I’ve said many times before that I’m not in the market for an AR-15 because poodleshooter.  (I know, “Get an AR-10 in 7.62 NATO, Kim!” — I already have an AK-47, thankee.)

As the man says:

“Shoot the heaviest rifle round…shoot at what (you) can hit, and then shoot it again”

Ditto for my handgun loads.

I acknowledge that of late I’ve been flirting with the idea of carrying my 9mm High Power instead of the .45 ACP 1911 as my primary self-defense handgun.  After reading the above… let’s just say that I’m just going to get more of those .45 ACP 185-grain zingers. And shoot a lot more than I’m currently doing (which means I’m going to have to get that “backup” 1911 soon).

And now, if you’ll excuse me… it’s Range Time.


  1. Saw that a couple weeks ago, he’s a dick head.
    Not only for his retarded stance, but because of his arrogance.
    Dickhead: “Do what I do or I will insult you like any little gurl would do.”
    Me: “Grow the fuk up asshole. I don’t give a shit what you think.”
    Yes, lets go to the range and bring whatever gun(s) you want I will too.

  2. It’s amazing the amount of vitriol poured on this article. The usually level-headed Herschel Smith was particularly outraged, offering counter-examples and a really interesting post about pressure wave incapacitation.
    The fact that, like Kim, the article reinforced all my personal prejudices means that it’s brilliant, of course. I read it and then bought even more 230gr HST and 175gr 7.62, just because.

  3. Interesting observation about 9x19mm, about ten years ago I asked a friend who was a detective with the Dallas Sheriffs office who was close to having 30 years in and getting ready to retire what he carried and why. He carried a Sig in .45acp with some hot defense rounds and he told me that he had interviewed a number of wounded gunshot victims and for some reason they did not register much pain at first when shot with a 9mm and then he added that getting shot with a .22lr for some reason caused a great deal of burning pain sensation. He had no idea or reason to account for that anomaly but he told me that if you have a Sig it will shoot every time you pull the trigger and with a .45 a person would probably know they had been shot. Not long after I traded a couple of pistols for a Sig in .45.

  4. Were those aforementioned 5.56 and 9mm wounds made with milsurp/milstolen FMJ? Probably. I say this because the last paragraph of the screed quoted above reads:

    “As an aside, Chris Kyle (FWFS, brother) was a friend of mine, and while not so patiently listening to one of my Crown-induced rants on the 5.56 NATO, he suggested that it was not caliber I hated, but the bullet. He told me to load up the case as fast as I could, push a 64 grain or heavier soft point round and see what happens. So I had Underground Tactical built me an AR in 5.56 which I swore I would never own, and built rounds ranging from 64 to 75 grains with it. I’ve taken 11 deer with them, and the wound tracks are nothing like I saw with the NATO round. I’ve never had to look for an animal, and a little Underground 5.5lb AR in 5.56 is my go-to hill country deer gun now, which is just crazy.”
    Emphasis added.

    True, hill country deer are thin skinned, expansion is less consistent with hollow point handgun bullets due to layers of clothing and so on.

    1. True…but that story of loading the heaviest bullet for the caliber is consistent with what I’ve heard. Mk 262 rounds, with 73 grain bullets, are known to be effective.

  5. I’ve enjoyed carrying the Colt Government Model MKIV Series 80 in 9×23 Winchester in the front pocket of my dungarees for several years now.
    It draws nicely, it’s nigh invisible, and doesn’t tear up the pocket – too much.
    Winchester factory loadings provide about 585 ft.-lbs of energy at the muzzle, about 100 ft.-lbs more than the 230 gr .45 ACP, i.e.: it’s not the Euro-pellet: it’s the equivalent of the .357 Magnum in a semi-auto working out of a 1911 platform.

  6. Which reminds me of….

    When my relative got home from VietNam after spending 14 months on an Artillery firebase he told this story. He served with a good ole boy from down South who commented that during his time in country he “never saw no Viet Cong”. To which my relative responded, “yes, but you probably are responsible for the death of 5000 of them !”.

  7. Got a good laugh here. The AR rifle I built for High power across the course competition is chambered in .223 / 5.56 Rem. On the side of lower receiver along with the serial # is the USMC EGA, (for my son) and the chambering designation of “5.56 Wylde Poodle”. With it’s Shilen barrel and Geissele trigger it is very accurate.

  8. 1. Hollowpoints are essential for 9mm. Ball is for practice, not for social purposes.
    2. Location, location, location. Most people can’t shoot well enough to place the shot where it does the most good.
    3. They ALL fall to the Minie Ball.

  9. My buddy was chatting-up his special-load .380acp, exclaiming to all far-and-wide “It shot clean through a cast-iron skillet!”

    I told him I’ll give him a call next time I’m attacked by a herd of frenzied kitchen appliances… or need to adjust the stopping distance of my drum-brakes using applied ventilation.

  10. I was in ROTC in the 1960’s with the M-1 30-06 good old battle rifle, then when I went into the Army we had M-14’s with the shorter still deadly .308. We heard all about the wonder gun with the super fast bullet that would knock your arm off if you were hit in the hand. Shoot someone in the toe and their leg would bleed out or something. The whole M-16 instead of the AR-10 was a genius move by.

    “Enter General LeMay. As the famous story goes, the general was attending a Fourth of July celebration in 1960, and was approached by a salesman from Colt, looking to reintroduce the AR-15 as a viable service rifle. The salesman placed two watermelons on a shooting range – one at 50 and one 150 yards (LeMay colorfully opted to eat a third watermelon) – and handed an AR-15 and loaded magazines to LeMay. The general shot the rifle, and was instantly sold – he placed an order for 80,000 AR-15 rifles on the spot for the U.S. Air Force.”

    A lot more story after that but we ended up with the not fully developed, thanks to ‘Mac the Knife’ McNamara JFK’s contribution to the military whose wonder kids fucked it up with the wrong barrel and ammo and now 50 years later our guys are still shooting bad guys with guns that are marginal on deer. Hell I have had .243 rounds splatter on a shoulder bone and a heart shot deer with a .243 run 75 yards before he fell over. Back when I shot deer I started using a 30-06 and the deer did not run any more. Now I just shoot birds and that’s enough for me.

  11. That reminds me … just for fun I have rifled barrels for my 12ga shotguns, on the Minie Ball theory. Putting a couple ounces of slug accurately downrange to 150 meters from a Mossberg 930 with holographic sights seemed like a fine idea for defense of the old homestead with the prospect of civil war-style wounds. Sadly, the last time I was at the range with those tools, the only thing wounded was my shoulder. The bruise lasted two weeks.

  12. As someone else has already pointed out, 9mm is meant for hollowpoints. Ball ammo is for range time only. Unfortunately, the US Military is forced to use ball ammo, and that means that you can hit your bad guy multiple times with a 9mm and they won’t go down. Given the stupid restrictions we have, we need to abandon the 9mm for military purposes and go back to the .45 ACP.

    That being said, I carry a 9mm for my daily carry gun, and it’s loaded with Hornady Critical Defense 115 grain hollowpoints. I have no doubt that any goblin I shoot is going to feel it. But the military can only dream about using that ammo. It’s not the caliber, it’s the bullet.

    1. The United States wasn’t signatory to the part of the Hague Convention of 1899 that banned expanding bullets. We should make use of that fact.

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