Volume 20, Issue 1 (January 1975)
Change in Muzzle Velocity Due to Freezing and Water Immersion of .22, Long Rifle, K.F. Cartridges
Velocity is probably the single most important factor that determines the wounding power of a bullet. It attains this importance because it is responsible for imparting to a bullet the kinetic energy necessary to produce a casualty. During World War II, a criterion of 58 ft.lb of energy as the minimum to cause a disabling wound was used. Although this criterion was arbitrary, it was found to provide a fairly good yardstick against which to measure the theoretical efficiency of a bullet. Attempts have also been made to correlate the various levels of energy with the probability of causing a disabling wound. At the same time, experimental studies indicate the existence of certain velocity thresholds for the penetration of human skin and bone . It appears that only a few missiles with striking velocity less than 200 ft/s are capable of causing more than a trivial injury on a clothed human being.