FBI cover



Note: When you download a .PDF file, it most likely will automatically download to your "temporary internet files" directory, and then be opened for you. Use the "file - save as ..." feature to save it to a directory of your choice.

This publication contains:

The FBI paper: Handgun Wounding Factors And Effectiveness, and

The FBI paper: The FBI's 10MM Pistol.


The following is from the Forward of the FBI paper: Handgun Wounding Factors And Effectiveness (1989).

The selection of effective handgun ammunition for law enforcement is a critical and complex issue. It is critical because of that which is at stake when an Officer is required to use his handgun to protect his own life or that of another. It is complex because of the target, a human being, is amazingly endurable and capable of sustaining phenomenal punishment while persisting in a determined course of action. The issue is made even more complex by the dearth of credible research and the wealth of uninformed opinion regarding what is commonly referred to as "stopping power."

In reality, few people have conducted relevant research in this area, and fewer still have produced credible information that is useful for law enforcement agencies in making informed decisions.

This article brings together what is believed to be the most credible information regarding wound ballistics. It cuts through the haze and confusion, and provides common-sense, scientifically supportable, principles by which the effectiveness of law enforcement ammunition may be measured. It is written clearly and concisely. The content is credible and practical.

The information contained in this article is not offered as the final word on wound ballistics. It is, however, an important contribution to what should be an ongoing discussion of this most important of issues.


This FBI paper was published in the FBI's Law Enforcement Bulletin; but as of 2004, it was no longer available to the general public. I requested a copy from the FBI Library in Quantico, VA, and received a copy of the report which was available on the web. It was not an "official" copy, so in August 2004, I filed a Freedom Of Information Act request for the report. I received an "official" copy of the FBI report in May 2005 after an initial denial, and appeal of that denial.

It was and still is an excellent resource. I believe that the info in it is of value to the millions of law abiding folks who have a handgun for self defense. And it may help some realize that a gun is not a magical self defense wand that will ward off evil and assure their safety and security.


The FBI paper: The FBI's 10MM Pistol details the process that led to the FBI's decision to move to a 10 mm (.40 caliber) pistol. As such, it is an excellent historical document and also provides one with an insight to the thinking used to support the decision. Also included are my comments.


The Arial font was used to make the text easier to read. Some e-readers may use a different font as a default.

The cover includes the FBI name and Seal as provided in the FOIA release, and identifies the publication as a FOIA release. The FBI has been advised of that.

Use your go back button to return to the prior page, or click here for the index.