Hydrostatic Shock

Hydrostatic shock or hydraulic shock describes the observation that a penetrating projectile can produce remote wounding and incapacitating effects in living targets through a hydraulic effect in their liquid-filled tissues, in addition to local effects in tissue caused by direct impact. There is scientific evidence that hydrostatic shock can produce remote neural damage and produce incapacitation more quickly than blood loss effects. Proponents of cartridges that are "light and fast" such as the 9x19mm Parabellum versus cartridges that are "slow and heavy" such as the .45 ACP round often refer to this phenomenon.

Human autopsy results have demonstrated brain hemorrhaging from fatal hits to the chest, including cases with handgun bullets. Thirty-three cases of fatal penetrating chest wounds by a single bullet were selected from a much larger set by excluding all other traumatic factors, including past history.

In such meticulously selected cases brain tissue was examined histologically; samples were taken from brain hemispheres, basal ganglia, the pons, the oblongate and from the cerebellum. Cufflike pattern haemorrhages around small brain vessels were found in all specimens. These haemorrhages are caused by sudden changes of the intravascular blood pressure as a result of a compression of intrathoracic great vessels by a shock wave caused by a penetrating bullet.

J. Krajsa

It has often been asserted that hydrostatic shock and other descriptions of remote wounding effects are nothing but myths. A recent article in the journal, Neurosurgery, reviews the published evidence and concludes that the phenomenon is well-established.

A myth is an assertion which has either been disproven by careful experiment or for which there is no historical or scientific evidence in cases where it is reasonably expected. Belief in remote effects of penetrating projectiles may have originated with hunters and soldiers, but their reality is now well established in a broad body of scientific literature...


Read more about Hydrostatic ShockOrigin of The Theory, Fackler's Contra-claim, Distant Injuries in The WDMET Data, Autopsy Findings in Iraq, Inferences From Blast Pressure Wave Observations, Physics of Ballistic Pressure Waves, Remote Cerebral Effects of Ballistic Pressure Waves, Remote Pressure Wave Effects in The Spine and Internal Organs, Energy Transfer Required For Remote Neural Effects, Other Scientific Findings, Recommendations, Hydrostatic Shock As A Factor in Selection of Ammunition

Other articles related to "hydrostatic shock":

Stopping Power - Other Hypotheses - Hydrostatic Shock - Knockback
... Though popularized in television and movies, and commonly referred to as "true stopping power" by novice or uneducated proponents of large powerful calibers such as.44 Magnum, the effect of knockback from a handgun and indeed most personal weapons is largely a myth ... The momentum of the so-called "manstopper".45 ACP bullet is approximately that of a 1 pound (0.45 kg) mass dropped from a height of 11.4 feet (3.5 m) ...
Hydrostatic Shock As A Factor in Selection of Ammunition - Ammunition Selection For Hunting
... Hydrostatic shock is commonly considered as a factor in the selection of hunting ammunition ... Peter Capstick explains that hydrostatic shock may have value for animals up to the size of white-tailed deer, but the ratio of energy transfer to animal weight is an ... to a vital organ is a much more important consideration than energy transfer and hydrostatic shock ...

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