Shot Placement, One Historical Vignette


SOF Support
Sep 8, 2006
I know there are some who advocate that bigger is better when it comes to bullets and I understand the ballistics/ wound cavity/ transference of energy differences between rounds like a 9mm vs. a .45. History is filled with guys who should die that lived and guys who should live but died and a whole slew of reasons and explanations why X happened to someone.

As a bit of a personal story in this argument, while researching my family tree I came across the pension records for a family member shot in VA in 1864 during the Petersburg campaign. A minie ball (typically .58 caliber or .69 caliber, his as unrecorded) entered his left chest through his left nipple, travelled through his left lung, and came to rest under his left shoulder blade. I don't know if anything happened to the round to reduce its velocity, but the fact remains that a man was shot in the chest with a soft lead bullet larger than a half of an inch and lived. As of 1909 he was 69 YO and drawing a pension for his wounds.

Just one more story, albeit personal, to add to the fire.