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Thread: STOPPING POWER: the Zanesville, Ohio Menagerie Massacree and the 9MM

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    STOPPING POWER: the Zanesville, Ohio Menagerie Massacree and the 9MM

    I suppose everyone has heard about the lions and tigers and bears oh my that were loosed on the East Central Ohio town of Zanesville and how the local cops had to hunt them down before they ate some future juvenile delinquent.

    One Zanesville officer told of being confronted with a Bengal tiger and killing it with one shot from his service pistol, (presumably) a 9mm loaded with hollow points.

    The nine has been disparaged both here and elsewhere as an insufficient defense round. I think that if a 9mm hollowpoint round will take down a Bengal tiger with one shot, then it ought to be sufficient for general-purpose self defense against (semi) human critters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexcabbie View Post
    I suppose everyone has heard about the lions and tigers and bears oh my that were loosed on the East Central Ohio town of Zanesville and how the local cops had to hunt them down before they ate some future juvenile delinquent.

    One Zanesville officer told of being confronted with a Bengal tiger and killing it with one shot from his service pistol, (presumably) a 9mm loaded with hollow points.

    The nine has been disparaged both here and elsewhere as an insufficient defense round. I think that if a 9mm hollowpoint round will take down a Bengal tiger with one shot, then it ought to be sufficient for general-purpose self defense against (semi) human critters.
    ...and the answer isssss:


































    Shot placement.

    Good luck having a conversation with the other fellas here. Napoleonic complexes abound in regards to theories of round lethality.
    Last edited by slowfiveoh; 10-24-2011 at 05:46 PM.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    9mm is wayyyyyy overkill. A .22 has brought down at least five (5) elephants - each with one shot.

    And yes, shot placement beats caliber. But that does not mean that lifting off and nuking it from orbit does not have it's good points.

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    I'm just curious, but how do you know it was a 9mm? I know that multiple cops I've talked to in OK use the .40 caliber. Other things would be if their round can be bought by civilians or not. And finally, I think you will find plenty of people on here who state that a 9 can work just fine and that it's about placement, but that the larger caliber (so long as you can properly handle it) gives you a larger margin for error, and that the larger margin for error can be very important when operating in a high stress situation as the stress can greatly affect your shot placement.

    EDIT: I see people have already brought up shot placement. I started typing my response before anyone commented, but got called away to help the wife around the house.
    Last edited by Aknazer; 10-24-2011 at 06:51 PM.

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    I live 150 or so miles from Zanesville. Close enough to get some second (rather than third) hand info on the events. I would speculate that at least some of the deputies' vehicles carried a long gun such as a .223 rifle/carbine or 12 gauge shotgun. Not much of a stretch for the media to mix up those and the issue handguns the police also had. (We've all seen that 'This is an AK-47' poster which shows pictures of everything from a pistol to to an automobile, right? )

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    The news article I read contained a statement from a Zanesville cop that he fired one shot from his service pistol to put the tiger down. I've been trying like mad to get what caliber the Znesville cops carry online but so far no soap. I'd call them but I imagine they are pretty tired of people asking off-the-wall questions about this matter.

    Even if the sidearm was a .40 or even a .45, considering that Brit hunters on elephant back carried "Howdah pistols" with the wallop of a .500 mag or better to ward off a tiger climbing the elephant to get at the hunter I would say that is some impressive shooting.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexcabbie View Post
    The news article I read contained a statement from a Zanesville cop that he fired one shot from his service pistol to put the tiger down. I've been trying like mad to get what caliber the Znesville cops carry online but so far no soap. I'd call them but I imagine they are pretty tired of people asking off-the-wall questions about this matter.

    Even if the sidearm was a .40 or even a .45, considering that Brit hunters on elephant back carried "Howdah pistols" with the wallop of a .500 mag or better to ward off a tiger climbing the elephant to get at the hunter I would say that is some impressive shooting.
    While even elephants have been taken with the venerable .44 Magnum, you can bet there was a guy with a solid large game rifle backing the handgun shooter up (think .416 Rigby, .577 Nitro, .458 Winchester Mag, and .460 Weatherby as possibles, not to mention some of the other double rifle configuations). Trying to take a tiger with a handgun is definitely a last ditch attempt at seeing the sun rise the next morning. I do have a photo of a guide who killed a lioness in Africa which had turned to humans for food. His .44 Magnum round entered her soft pallet or nostril, traveling into her brain for the kill shot. Her last human victim is next to her with most of his lower thorax gone.

    A man has to have one hell of a lot of calm to use a handgun, or even a good rifle, against such dangerous game when the quarters are closer than one might like.
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    Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

    These animals were not wild, as in hunting from the back of an elephant in the Indian wilderness with Earnest Hemingway. They were zoo tigers. Much less of a chance of them attacking the officers in question either before or after they are shot. A well placed .40, or 9mm for that matter, would be fatal for a tiger. It's just a matter of what the tiger chooses to do after you shoot it and before it dies. A brain shot will kill it instantly. A heart shot gives it 8 or 10 seconds to rip you apart or run away, whichever direction it decides to go. A poorly placed shot necessitates a BIG back up gun as the tiger is not going to be happy.

    Fast Ed

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    An article in the American Rifleman from a couple years back tells the tale of a couple of Brit officers who decided to go hunting pigs with makeshift lances made from bayonets lashed to poles (it was considered unsporting and unmanly to take a pig with anything but cold steel).

    The Brits unfortunately ran into a lion, which attacked one of the officers and dragged him off his horse. He managed to ward off the big cat by sticking it with his lance and thumbing it in the eyes until his partner fired a Webley into the cat's head. The attacked man later said:

    "It took the big fellow some few seconds to die, and during those few seconds he was NOT idle!" Down to its last breath, the cat kept trying its damndest to kill the man.

    It's astounding what can be done in ten seconds with a mouth full of daggers and four paws full of razors.

    Semi-tame "zoo tigers" or not, if any Muskingum County deputy or Zanesville cop is reading this, then hats off to you.

    And when you give your uniform pants to the dry cleaners, if he makes a smart remark then tell me. I'll drive out there and give him the punch in the teeth he deserves.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    But that does not mean that lifting off and nuking it from orbit does not have it's good points.
    No need to go ballistic! These work well.
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    Shot placement in theory is much much more important than the round used. I highly agree on this. However on the other hand, in a SD situation.....your aim, my aim and everyone elses aim is going to suck. Due to massive ammounts of adrenaline.

    So even if the 9mm is a good round *which it is* , I'm sticking with my 230g .45 HPJ's. That way when my aim sucks I have a massive round to make up the difference
    i would rather run out of blood, breath and life. and die fighting. than run out of ammo , and die with my pants down -Tom Scantas

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    Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement!

    If I was hunting tigers, lions, bears, or any other carnivorous, fast moving animal like that my side arm of choice wouldn't be a 9mm. I would personally take a 12 gauge with slug or a .50 cal hand cannon/nut cracker. Shooting at any animal like that with a side arm, you want to pack a wallop and drop it quickly.

    Now, humans, different story and mainly due to the difference in how fast we move compared to a wounded and pissed off tiger. I guarantee you a 9mm round or two to the torso isn't doing any home intruder any good in life. Take a well placed third shot to the head and they're definitely not doing to hot. Again, shot placement.
    Last edited by Automatica; 10-30-2011 at 01:06 AM.

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