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“Shooting Holes in Wounding Theories”

10 Mar 2023
@ 10:26 am (GMT)

Aaron Peterson

So at the risk of possibly bringing up something already discussed (the search function isn’t working for me), I’m really curious what people here think of the “Shooting Holes in Wounding Theories” write-up found on this website:

I will say that my own thoughts are that it doesn’t align with my own experiences and thoughts and the fact that the person that wrote it will not provide his identity is also a red flag to me.

The consensus here may very well be that it’s all a load of BS, and to just ignore it, and that’s fine, but I’m curious as to why if it is.

There’s at least one bullet company out there that I know of that had cited it as a huge source of what they modeled their bullet’s terminal behavior on. They seem quick to dismiss anything else too they doesn’t align with it. It’s frustrating to me.

I’m really interested specifically at what your thoughts are, Nathan, and if you’d rather email me I’d welcome that too.


13 Mar 2023
@ 08:20 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: “Shooting Holes in Wounding Theories”
Hi Aaron, yes, there do seem to be some problems with the article and also I do not like how some terminology has come into play in recent years and then as you say, been recycled to promote new bullet designs.

I don't really want to pull it apart piece by piece as it would simply take up too much of my time when I can instead focus on my own research. The best of my evidence is presented in the book Small Arms. While Cartridges is presented in layman's terms (along with much detail on hunting cartridge performance), I have been more careful with my wording and explanations in SAWB for the sake of those of a more scholarly bent. This combined with photo evidence leaves the reader in no doubt as to cause and effect.

SAWB has been embraced by a number of police, military and medical organizations in several countries. It has been used within classroom settings and on lecture circuits. It has been a great success within this environment as both an advisory and cautionary text book.

Hornady also had a copy, but one of the staff "loaned it to a buddy" before anyone got to read it and it hasn't been since. That is about all I will say on this new cream of the crop.

I have tried to approach terminal ballistics from several angles - this website with its free info, the LR book series with much more detail for the enthusiast, SAWB for the scholar.

To be honest Aaron, I think one possible issue is seasonal hunting. Most hunters would prefer to hunt all year around but simply cannot due to local regulations and for the sake of game management. In order to remain involved, many turn to theory (a good practice regarding humane game killing). But of these, a few extremely enthusiastic people may try to develop their own theories, perhaps some from of scientific formula or modelling. Some may even want to start designing their own bullets etc. Although well intentioned, it is of course possible to take such theory too far. As the saying goes, idle hands are the devil's workshop. A reminder to myself to be grateful for the opportunities I have had.
13 Mar 2023
@ 11:08 am (GMT)

Aaron Peterson

Re: “Shooting Holes in Wounding Theories”
Hey Nathan. Thanks for the reply!

First off, I agree all the info anyone really needs is either here on this website, or in your books. Plus, it has your name and background laid right out there which gives it WAY more credibility right off the bat.

I would love to get a copy of SAWB. I have found myself putting some of my own thoughts and experiences into a “works” that may or may not end up as a book of my own. I go back and forth with myself on if I should actually publish something or not.

I definitely agree with your last paragraph there. I think you probably hit the nail on the head. I can admit I’m guilty of this myself. I find the subject fascinating and I love hunting, making ammo, and learning about bullet construction and terminal ballistics. So because I live in an area where my hunting opportunities are severely limited, I’m forced to research, investigate, test, cut apart bullets, etc during the off seasons and find myself getting involved in conversations I maybe should have ran away from at times. I still manage to get something out of many of those conversations though.

And yes, as I’ve read your works and watched your YouTube videos, I almost constantly think of how I wish I had the same opportunities as you lol. Maybe someday.

Thanks again for all you’ve done, and if I do ever publish anything, you will definitely be getting the credit you deserve on mentoring me through your own published works. Who knows if anyone would ever read it anyways, because who the hell am I? Lol.


We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.