Friday, March 21, 2008

Pressure Wave Theorems AKA "Hydrostatic Shock"

"The debate between bullets that are “light and fast” vs. bullets that are “slow and heavy” often refers to a phenomenon called "hydrostatic shock." This term describes the ability of a penetrating projectile to produce remote wounding and incapacitating effects in living targets in addition to local effects in tissue caused by direct impact. There is significant scientific evidence that “Hydrostatic shock" can produce remote neural damage and produce incapacitation more quickly than blood loss effects."

...“Hydrostatic shock” expresses the idea that organs can be damaged by the pressure wave in addition to damage from direct contact with the penetrating projectile. If one interprets the "shock" in the term "hydrostatic shock" to refer to the physiological effects rather than the physical wave characteristics, the question of whether the pressure waves satisfy the definition of “shock wave” is unimportant, and one can consider the weight of scientific evidence and various claims regarding the possibility of a ballistic pressure wave to create tissue damage and incapacitation in living targets."

On and on it goes, where it'll stop nobody knows.

Pressure Wave/Hydrostatic Shock theories have been around for decades yet we are no closer to determining the efficacy of pressure waves as they equate to incapacitation. It has been my experience to see the PW/HS topic rekindled anew once every few years or thereabouts, but the advent of backyard ballistic testing has given it new life as day after day more and more water-laden milk jugs are terminated with extreme prejudice. Reasonably heavy projectiles traveling at speeds in excess of 1500 fps DO seem to exert a type of disruptive pressure wave upon the surrounding area, and while I am not sold one way or another, some of the new work is at least being done by accredited scientists and that is always a good thing.

Leaving the testing to those unfamiliar with even the basic concepts of bullet technology and design is what gave us Box O' Truth and other poorly done offerings that don't just have some fun shooting, but make recommendations for self-defense scenarios based upon ridiculous parameters.

No comments: