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Small Arms Wound Ballistics

Small Arms Wound Ballistics
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A Graphic Guide For Military, Police & Medical Personnel

Please note - This is a semi-restricted item. To purchase this book, buyers must supply a covering letter (email) stating their intention. This book is designed for government organizations but may also be purchased by individual soldiers, officers, medical staff or ex-service members. However as stated, buyers must apply by email before making a purchase.  Once we have replied to you and confirmed your request, you can come back to this page and make your purchase.

No email - no purchase!

To apply to purchase this book (contact page), please click here.

Small Arms Wound Ballistics is a large (8.5 x 11 US Letter) hardback, case wrapped full color print book, 191 pages.

During 2017, Nathan Foster was asked to supply small arms wound information (photos and data) to a U.K organization as a part of a threat assessment program for the E.U. This project utilized Nathan's game necropsy photos and information as a palatable middle ground for the education of military, police and medical personnel. At the completion of this work, Nathan felt compelled to write an in depth book on this subject, utilizing the same approach he applied to the Practical Guide book series.

SAWB utilizes game necropsy (wounding) photos

As the book cover suggests, SAWB contains graphic content (reader discretion is advised). SAWB is in essence a photo book. This allows the reader to fully understand each concept. For example, in the cartridge design (history) section of the book, Nathan felt that simply talking about tumbling .303 Brit bullets was pointless, one can find the same (unqualified) information on Wikipedia. The reader is therefore shown photos of wounds produced by this ammunition. SAWB then delves into modern military and police cartridges along with those commonly used to commit crimes.

There are no graphs in SAWB

SAWB deals directly with what the reader needs to know. In Nathans experience, a good portion of current ballistics information can be categorized as information overloading in an attempt to cover an author's lack of experience. This type of information is of no help to the medic who simply wants to gain an immediate understanding of matters at hand. Nor may it be of any use to those in the field who have to use these cartridges. SAWB (as with all of Nathan's books), cuts to the chase. Information is presented in a succinct manner to give the reader a sound understanding of small arms wound ballistics. 
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There are no ballistics gelatin tests in SAWB

Nathan and his wife Stephanie have taken several thousand head of game spanning many years. As suggested, all information from this book is derived from game necropsies including live game hunting along with fresh (minutes dead) cadavers utilized for handgun and rifle ammunition barrier tests. And yes, there are differences between game animals and humans however the information and photos within this book give an excellent representation of wounding, exceeding information found elsewhere. 
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Useful data

SAWB shows wounding effects with common eastern and western military cartridges, police issue cartridges and those commonly used to commit crimes. The book covers such subjects as wounds produced by the .22 Long rifle, effects of the 12 gauge loaded with buck or slugs, handgun wounding, all the way up to the effects of the .50 BMG. This book shows in graphic detail real world comparisons between such cartridges as the 9mm compared to the .45 ACP including barrier test results.

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Other information:

After placing an order, your book will be printed at one of the following locations (nearest to you): U.S.A, U.K, France, Australia. Please ensure that you supply a physical address, not a PO BOX address.

FBI employees and students:
SAWB is available for reading at the FBI Academy Library, Quantico, Virginia.  

A word from Nathan Foster

I have been researching terminal ballistics for most of my adult life. I have worked on many rifles and taught vast numbers of people how to operate, shoot and accurize rifles. I can state that there is a big difference between looking the part and actually gaining mastery within these subjects. There are many shooters who advertise their expertise openly, few actually have it.

In recent years, I have become convinced that Hollywood and popular culture have had as much and sometimes more influence on military and police training doctrine than any practical fact-based training methods. I have written about this extensively within my book, the Practical Guide To Long Range Shooting. Many myths have also cropped up within the field of terminal ballistics and it is my hope that this book helps to set the record straight on at least some of these matters.

We live in strange times. A person can copy the research of another person without once gaining practical experience in that field. By simply citing the information presented by a former researcher, this somehow makes plagiarism acceptable. Furthermore, such dissertations may lead to a qualification and position of status. Pioneers willing to forgo recognition seem to be few and far between in an age where one is considered accomplished only when one gains recognition from peers or in its most vulgar form, from followers on social media.

I can state from experience that the most basic level of mastery in this field is no easy feat. To obtain any mastery within the subject of terminal ballistics, the working week must be divided between hunting (killing) and writing. Too much of one or the other spoils the brew. Kill data is not easy to obtain but come rain or shine, the shots have to be taken. Once the shot is taken, photos and data need to be collected along with field notes. Following this, more shots need to be taken to confirm results. The data must then be relayed in a readable format so that all can utilize the information. But time spent on prose is time that could be spent in the field therefore one must not spend too much time seated. Those without such experience generally write vast intellectual papers while supplying graphs to hide their lack of expertise. Personally, I find it more difficult to compile field research into short and succinct written statements. I have no need to bamboozle the reader with intellectual banter as a means to pomp myself up. The harder task is to present information in such a way that all readers fully understand results.

Gaining practical experience in any field can be challenging, it can be frustrating, it can take a great deal of time, money and energy to gain the most basic level of proficiency. It can also cause you to feel like a beginner when others finally see you as accomplished. Yet along the way, the research brings about its own rewards. In plain terms, this book involved many hard months hunting, hauling around carcasses, car doors, plate steel and drywall.

SAWB was written as reference material for both the trainee and academic. It is a no BS book for cops, infantry soldiers, snipers, security contractors and medics. It casts away myths and gets to the point. And yes, its quite graphic, starting off with some fairly dramatic head shots and getting heavier from there. Above all, it's about getting to know your tools and learning what you are up against.

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