The tissue disruption caused by a handgun bullet is limited to two mechanisms. The first, or crush mechanism is the hole that the bullet makes passing through the tissue. The second, or stretch mechanism is the temporary wound cavity formed by the tissue being driven outward in a radial direction away from the path of the bullet. Of the two, the crush mechanism is the only handgun wounding mechanism that damages tissue. To cause significant injuries to a structure within the body using a handgun, the bullet must penetrate the structure. Temporary cavity has no reliable wounding effect in elastic body tissues (emphasis added). Temporary cavitation is nothing more than a stretch of the tissues, generally no larger than 10 times the bullet diameter (in handgun calibers), and elastic tissues sustain little, if any, residual damage.
That’s from the FBI’s study of wound ballistics; and is something that everyone should bear in mind. Temporary stretch cavity is only a significant wounding mechanism in projectiles over 2000 FPS, which no handgun round is going to be able to reach. Why does this matter? Because the discussion of terminal ballistics is fraught with so much myth and nonsense that it’s very easy to lose sight of what a pistol bullet is actually doing. Remember: kinetic energy doesn’t kill, energy dump doesn’t kill, and temporary stretch cavity doesn’t kill. The only wound mechanic of a pistol bullet is the permanent crush cavity, which is the actual path of tissue destroyed by the bullet. For the crush cavity to be significant, it must damage the central nervous system, or cause sufficient blood loss to shut down the body.
Don’t believe the nonsense.