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Firearms Facts Episode 4: Taylor Knockout Formula

by Iraqveteran8888 • 67,711 views

This is a really great subject, and I hope you guys learn something from it. Basically, the higher number you get from using the formula, the more whoop ass a given cartridge has.

I remember coming across a formula that was developed by a hunter for hunters to consider, and took in diameter.  I read it too long ago to remember who came up with it.  Thanks for identifying John Taylor.  
That equation is just wow. Fails to square velocity, which is absolutely not optional to neglect. Also the product is measured in what, seconds? If it's seconds, whats the standard its set up to? A 8 ton elephant? A 4 ton elephant? Rosie O'Donnell? I also have a hard time believing any standard handgun that could stun a elephant for any length of time. Bad science.
That JDJ has to be horrific to fire, even weighing that much. I'm curious what the rounds cost. I assume they are individually made solid brass.
+Aleksander Pstrucha I'm curious where they even get that figure. Each round is hand turned on a lathe by the owner.
Did the math to see if any gun was as dangerous as a car. So I used the aptly named Dodge Caliber. It scored 102543812 ft/lbs.  In the TKO it got a whopping 5498.4, this was calculated using the highest top speed evidence I could find for this car online @125mph or 183.3333 fps. These things are dangerous! And they're whizzing around us all the time. Be safe people.
Also, the 30mm projectiles from the GAU-8 come out at 143,010 lb ft. 
haha John Taylor got kicked out of Africa for being gay. probably got kicked out of Africa for killing to many elephants.
What a horrible human being.
To whom are you referring?
+MrAKJonny The elephant poacher, I would guess.
I would not have anything good to say about a man who poached thousands of elephants
Hey thanks for sharing this one guys.  I remember studying this when I was a kid.  It's pretty "backyard" science but it works very,very well.  If memory serves I think you need a 12 to knock a grown man on his ass.  
Nope, it doesn't work well at all.  In fact its total junk.  It predicts ridiculous things, calculate it yourself for a track and field shot put and compare it to an elephant rifle round.  As for 12 being magic, notice that .357 magnum and .40 S&W score below 12 and .45 ACP ball score above, when in fact the two former cartridges have better one shot results according to Sanow and Marshall. take a read of the Chuck Hawks article about it at:
1/2 pound bullet fired from 110 pound rifle o.0 so that why there no dinosaurs
Get a JDJ for the zombies. Got to be prepared for the zombie apocalypse :)
The formula for kinetic energy is simple enough. E=½m*v^2 But once a measurement of penetration or energy transfer in flesh is wanted, math must defer to engineering because the variables shoot through the roof. You can calculate energy over cross section, but overall shape, tendency to tumble and deformation on impact is impossible quantify mathematically. It can only be measure empirically by engineering test. Something like TKO is but the roughest of approximations. It takes diameter into account, but fails to square velocity.
Awesome video guys...  I kinda wish you would have also thrown in the IPSC power factor formula up there too, just for grins.
YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST THING ON U TBE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do you think you guys can get ahold of a JDJ? :)
Hey guys, thanks for another great video. FYI, you might want to check the math on the .45ACP. i keep coming up with 378 ft/lbs. Maybe im doing something wrong.
The best way to look at it seems to be to say: The TKO was born in the context of softnosed or hollowpoint (occasionally fully jacketed) bullets with copper or gilding metal jackets with a round nose profile, measuring in the neighbourhood of .375" and up, doing in the neighbourhood of 2000fps and weighing somewhere upwards of 300 grains. The further away from that you get, the more likely the whole premise is to fail. Push a pure copper or pure gilding metal .338 hollowpoint with a polymer spitzer ballistic tip at 3000fps and all the assumptions come apart at the same time.
Yeah, but the video isn't presenting it that way at all.  It presents it as true in the general case.  That is it might not be too inaccurate for a small number of now obsolete dangerous rifle calibers doesn't improve its validity.  Its junk and any other presentation requires those who know better to yell BS.
+Thom Moore I should say 'dangerous game' rifle calibers.  left out a word, oops. 
LOL Iono wer it came frum but it dont matter
In my opinion the TKO formula is generally useless for what people us it for. It does not and was not designed as a gauge of lethality. You can not apply TKO numbers to deer hunting. You can use it to compare different cartridges but I don't see it giving you any useful information. What Taylor designed his formula to do was measure the amount of time (in seconds I believe) an elephant would be dazed/knocked out after being hit in the head by a projectile. Hence the reason it is called the knock out formula. 
You're too nice about it.  A shot put has a TKO of 3500 and a 458 Lott has 75.  Throwing a shot put at its head would daze the elephant longer (>40 times...) than hitting it with a elephant rifle?  Not!  BS!  This formula is junk and its defenders have to give up. 
Lastly and this is lastly... Maybe you would be better off signing up for an online university level physics course. And really understand where these equations come from and what they apply too. For example they are very poor at best at describing car accidents as well because of the number of variables involved. We spend several weeks in one of my upper level applied math courses just looking at car accidents.
What Is The 50 BMG on those scales ?
Newtonian mechanics govern the whole universe, short of relativistic events which bullets arent. Bodies in motion obey the laws of physics. KE and P are necessary but not sufficient to describe stopping power. Without enough of either you'll fail to stop, so they are relevant. And correctly understood always useful. TKO can't say the same.
I won't argue with you on the point of transferring energy. But, the transfer of energy doesn't necessarily equal lethality. We need to transfer energy at the right point within the body to disrupt its systems as fast as possible. Sheer transfer of energy won't really get us there without adequate penetration. For instance: A 12 gauge firing no3 birdshot will transfer the energy from 300-400 grains of payload really quickly, but only shallowly. A person is more likely to survive such a wound.
On a more serious note: How would one consider that the TKO formula is the right idea incorrectly applied.
Yup he went and shot elephants and just left them on the ground dead, or not. I may not like the killing of elephants but they go to good use in African villages so there is a little give and take and that was back in the day. Modern times I don't see the need with all the other animals in Africa today.
You trip over your own argument. If bullet type is critical (it is) then where is the term for it in the TKO equation? Changing type greatly alters stopping power but the equation result stays the same. Doesn't that tell you its BS? It predicts tennis balls being deadly at match speeds and shot putters stopping elephants. This is nobody's standard. Its unscientific garbage and with your claimed background you should realize it. Stop propagating on the unknowing.
The scientific approach as taught in applied math for creating formulas is as follows. Take the know factors; mass, velocity, diameter. Now we create an arbitrary equation of the form. Stopping Power = K(m^a)(v^b)(d^c) where K is an unknown constant and a,b,c are the respective powers of the terms. Then a serious of tests are run to determine K,a,b,c. The problem lies in doing these tests. Fortunately for John Taylor he was a poacher so data was easier to come by.
Another thing that none of these formulas take into account is bullet type. A 125gr 357 fmj probably isnt a better man stopper than a 230 gr 45acp fmj. A 125gr 357jhp is probably a better man stopper than a 230gr 45fmj but when you make them both JHP your probably back to not knowing for sure again. One this is certain that there TKO factor is probably close enough not to really matter. Until a scientist attempts to do a better job it's the excepted standard for now.
D'awww, did I make you cry? There's no need to resort to nothing but insults, silly goose.
And that's a fair point, but let's not glorify him any more than say a Hitler of hunting. The Bison were over-hunted and look only recently can you get a Bison burger again. It literally took over a hundred years to bring them back to where it's ok to eat a few. But at least we eat 'em. I never heard of no elephant burgers.
The biology of wounding methods is a very hard topic and there isn't consensus amongst the experts so I'll stay away from it. My only assertion is that TKO is too inaccurate for use and not scientifically based. I insist on that much.
TKO is accurate only in the aspect of Raw Knockdown Power, not penetration. There is quite a bit of raw power behind a baseball, I know, I've been hit by a ~100mph fastball square to the chest and I think I almost died. That's called Kinetic Energy Transfer, the same thing comes into play when a bullet hits bodyarmor and has to rely on pure blunt force to put down the wearer, seriously, I've seen a 44mag put down someone wearing body L3A armor. TKO is a semi-accurate way of gauging that force.
It should be added on, for anyone who cares, that 'put down' in this context merely means incapitate or render incapable of physical violence. The shooter was a Policeman stopping a Armed Perp. who had already opened fire and was obviously (from my other post) wearing body armor. Luckily no one aside from the criminal was injured. The criminal also survived the incident, although he had major injuries to his internals, broken ribs, etc.
450,450 what? teddybears? what are you talking about?
it may penetrate better but a thick round would transfer more energy it has a greater surface area of contact
??? HP is WATTS! Power= N/s Energy= N.m Momentum=N.s ... I am (was) a physicist and your "KE says your 20% efficient engine has the 500 HP its gasoline provides, instead of the 100 HP" just bamboozled me. Present your theory for peer review under the heading of "Non-Newtonian Physics: How d(s) Indicates Work Efficiency" and your by dear sir should win the The Nobel Prize in Physics. Just make sure you get your units correct. :) Glad to see you have a following. Birds of a feather...
so you were wrong about him poaching you were wrong about elephants being endangered you were wrong about the ivory trade.. so what do you do, call everyone else stupid to try to cover your own ass, make mom jokes. wait to prove youself a useless retard who cant do math, research or even use google, do the world a favor and kill yourself.
Go take that up with the US Military and NATO then. Fact of the matter is, you're wrong. Whether it makes common sense or not. There is nothing for you to go on with, the conversation is at the end without us repeating ourselves now, stop tiring yourself.
450450=(7000x32.175)(2) 7000 grains per pound 32.175 is acceleration due to gravity you multiply by 2 to simplify the formula from: energy=.5(mass)(velocity)^2/7000/32.175
Weight and diameter TIMES diameter? I don't know how this holds up in terms of physical science. The force of the projectile does not increase according to it's cross section. In fact, the reverse may even be true in terms of lethality as measured by penetration depth. Imagine that two projectiles have the same force: same weight and velocity; except that one has a larger, flatter cross-section than the other. We would rightly suspect that the more steam-lined projectile would penetrate better.
Indeed! All formulae are models that can never fully simulate real life. Even hitting as 1 lump, however, the shot tends to act like a gigantic safety slug and dump almost all it's energy inside of about 4 inches in cow or pork meat. Alot of pain, would break bones for sure, definitely has the potential to be lethal, but perhaps not reliably.
It doesn't matter about the weight, the M82 platform weapon system is still a sniper rifle, just a very fucking big one. Sniper rifles are classed as small arms, thus, the M82, M95, AS50 and AW50 etc are small arms. End of discussion.
Also so many of the below commenters don't understand physics...makes me sad :'(
that sucks. i wouldnt mind having one made for me.
found my new ccw gun. 950jdj ;)
what does the taylor knockout numbers mean?
It isnt just physics. Its also biology which you are failing to take into account. As I previously stated the formula is not accurate. There should most definitely be powers involved. like m v^2 d^1/2 or something like that. The TKO gives equal weight to all variables and Im sure this isnt the case. Energy says that a 22-250 is a better stopper than 45-70 but I digress. As for your 357 vs 45 comment you have nothing to back that up. they have been regarded as equal for years.
I was sitting here watching your video so seriously and taking notes and doing the math but when he said "that is a smoking load" I had to giggle
He didn't know what he was talking about. His formula predicts ridiculous things like deadly tennis balls and shot puts. People who favor it simply want to believe bigger is better and it is not. If it were hunters would still use 4-bore rifles. This bad formula has gone on for decades and we need to drop it.
I dont see why not. The producer has licensing which makes it a non destructive weapon. Look up the videos posted by the company and see if you can contact them.
It's a firearms facts episode. It's an interesting bit of information. So, why not?
Hornady HITS will not allow bullet weights in grains beyond 3 digits, so a baseball cannot be entered. The HITS formula is simply "momentum X sectional density". Using that formula, a 2.9" diameter baseball (2240 grs) thrown at 70 mph (103 fps) will have a HITS score of 87, above a 22LR (50) but less than a 22 Mag (91). For comparison, a 30-30 160gr FTX has a HITS of 906, and a 230gr 45 ACP has a HITS of 317.
This is an old formula well known to be very flawed. Calculate it for a shot put @ 16 lbs, 4.8 inches and about 45 fps from an Olympic class throw. Comes to about 3450, 46 times better than a 458 Lott rifle at 75. Professionals use momentum and kinetic energy. Stay away from this stuff.
The taylor formula is a very rough idea of potential knockdown effect IMO. For example, according to the formula a 230gr .45 acp travelling at 850 fps offers more knockdown power than the .223 our of an AR or even a 125gr .357 mag which is obviously not the case in real life. The taylor formula also places the 5.56 almost identical to the 9mm, sounds like a bunch of BS to me in fact I know it is.
Its NOT particle physics. Particle physics is the study of sub-atomic particles and radiation, quantum. Ballistics use simple undergrad mechanics, free body force diagrams, KE, p, mass, energy. And that describes all non-relativistic (v < 0.1c) events in the known universe. I said stopping is not just energy, its also momentum, sectional density, and expansion. Try calculating p for your examples, not just KE.
Love your work guys from New Zealand
..glutton? I'm not that good at english and that word is interesting to me. Can you please tell me what "glutton" means? Thanks.
I agree to a point. If you like A then you would use the kinetic energy formula (1/2*m*v^2). If B, you would use momentum (m*v). These formulas give accurate results for all cases (even tennis balls) and are backed up by physics. TKO has no scientific basis and isn't found in physics. There is a right and wrong to ballistics and TKO isn't on the right side.
A .44 magnum has more "knockout power" than a .308 winchester? Can someone clarify this? I mean, a .44 magnum will destroy someone but is it really so much more deadly than a .308 winchester rifle round?
Look at you tripping over your argument now. Energy Equation doesnt take into effect bullet type either. Whats worse is that the energy equation doesnt even take into effect bullet diameter. Certainly bullet diameter has to have some effect on stopping power. TKO probably could be at least some what applied to the situation for expanding bullets if you take into account the diameter after expansion and before and maybe average the two. KE has no room for suck period.
How is TKO accurate in any way shape or form? Sectional density is meaningless in this instance. The creator was attempting to use debunked variables like "energy transfer" to explain what is a good round for taking down game. Not penetration and not the size of the wound channel. It has no scientific basis. Heavy rounds game the system despite having less actual penetration than some lighter rounds. 454 cascull beats out a .308, makes no sense.
Millions of examples do not prove an assertion, but one counter-example disproves it. I've showed you several and combined with strange dimensional result (kg*m^2/s ?) is enough for any objective person to realize it's bunk. As for 'millions of hunters' I call BS. The hunting world gave up on 44/45s for higher velocity 30 cals. TKO says otherwise but the 30-30 has taken more deer than any 44/45 and is the most popular deer rifle. If TKO worked we'd have kept the big slow rifles.
Yup, 22-250 has more ME than 45-70 but it doesn't have more momentum so it can't penetrate to do the work of tissue destruction. Using only energy is as wrong as tko. Worse for the pure energy argument past about 100 yards the v has fallen off badly on the 22 so the 45 has more energy at impact as well!
yeah the results might be different with kevlar, which is designed to stop bullets hence has different structure than regular materials. Tests on basaltic gel and dead animals indicate that generally .45 has more penetration on those items.
Awww, Barry gettin' sentimental at the end!!! You guys rule, please keep up all the awesome work!
When it comes to creating formulas to describe things with a lot of unknown variables one technique involves running tests and then attempting to create a formula that models these results. This is where the majority of formulas in engineering come from. This is a the same technique that John Taylor used after experimenting with different hunting loads on big game. Diameter has to play a role when you are talking about stopping power. Its not the only factor but it must be a factor.
Looks like you boys been doing a lot of homework lately. Like all your videos. Great job. Keep it up. Really appreciate all the time you spend preparing the professional presentations that you give. It shows.
You don't get it. The energy equation defines kinetic energy, not stopping power and it does it for all cases. Just as p=mv defines momentum. As I have said now several times, To be an effective stopper, a projectile needs enough p to penetrate to the critical area (cardio or CNS) and enough KE to do the work of destroying the tissue. Stopping power is not one equation. Further the one equation you posit has demonstrable counter examples some of which are truly ridiculous results.
Very good video, great subject material thanks for sharing. Eric, when you get more videos in each subject arena, such as gun grips, or firearm facts, etc. Are you going to make new channels to make searching and viewing easier? Keep up the good work, when are we going to see the video on Waco as yourself and Barry spoke a bit on last month or so on, saying you'd have something more in depth.
Thanks for the clarification. I stand corrected.
idc what the original question was you said closer in weight and size and it isn't
Yep, because everyone knows not being a vegan means you're a fat fuck, huh.
thus a 230 gr .45 ACP at 860 fps measuring .452 inches in diameter is rated at 12.77 on the TKO scale, a much more reasonable figure 1271 you came up with. no disrespect intended, jus wishing to correct a mistake.
I am an engineer and I love all this tech stuff!! keep it coming!!
Its called particle physics and it works just fine for what it is intended. Describing the amount of work necessary to move an object with a given mass to a given speed. It however doesn't tell you a whole lot about how dead you are going to be after being hit by said object. Particle physics was never in tended to be used as the end all when it comes to flying projectiles stopping living breathing beings dead in their tracks.
950 JDJ would vaporize you... ffs
how??? None of this is math with any dimensional analysis,
You can take an infinitesimally small diameter rod that is extremely long to where it achieves extremely high mass say like 1000gr .001caliber rodd that is 100ft long. just to make it make logical sense although the length doesnt matter. than we launch it at you at say 10000fps. Its kinetic energy is going to be huge(scientific term) however its only going to create a wound chanel that is big enough for you to possibly realize you are bleeding.
it's because the foot pound formula can be misleading. Just because a projectile is supposed to hit with a certain force, doesn't mean that much energy will be transferred. The Taylor Knockout formula attempts to measure how much damage one round will do to a target compared to another by also adding in the dimension factor of the round.
You can't fix stupid. If you can't read, I can't help you. You have nothing useful to say, no valid arguments, no counterpoints. You're a waste of skin. So sure I have a little time to verbally abuse you. Go ahead, argue my points, and you'll lose. You choose any topic of debate and I will crush you. Wander off, simpleton. There's nothing here for you but more humiliation.
Great videos guys!! I really enjoy watching your videos and do please keep it up. Thank you for your service to this fine nation as well!
No, it's not. The TKO formula has no basis in physics. It's really just a matter of confirmation bias on Taylor's part. He had concluded that higher calibers are inherently better and created a formula that says so.
Within its max effective range a .44 mag round can perform better than a .308 cartridge. The .308 is designed for distance, the .44 punches a larger hole. A larger hole equals faster bleed out. At 150 yards or less ive read some folks had problems with zero expansion of the .308 bullet. If the bullet is travelling too fast and doesnt have time to expand then you are only punching a .308 caliber hole. The .44 doesnt need to expand too much....
50BMG is about 1600 grains lighter and 7mm smaller than the 20mm it's about 650 grains heavier and 5.4mm larger than the .30-06(used this for comparison bc 50BMG is basically a scaled up version of it) so 50BMG is closer to the rifle round
coltperc is essentially correct in his statement concerning KE and TKO, at least in the broad points. One could debate some finer points, but that would be pointless nitpicking that would detract from the basic accuracy of his statement. I would say that while HITS is far from perfect, it is reasonably close to reality, while both KE and TKO are both too far away from reality to be useful at all.
what ya gotta realize is the scale is not taking into account penetration, hydroshock, ect ect. the raw energy number may be correct, but because that baseballis larger and made of softer materials, the impact is dampened and spread over a much larger area.
It's an interesting approach, but Taylor's methods are flawed. Doesn't consider the projectile shape or point type. Also the equation is skewed to heavier projectiles. Fine for comparison but has limitations.
This is the problem with particle physics. They do not take into account diameter of the projectile (momentum=mv, KE=1/2mv^2). You take a 20 gr .17hornet round and 3700fps and 230 gr 45acp round at 850fps. Which is a better stopper? Well if we went of the KE formula the 17hornet is almost 2x better than the 45acp. There in lies the problem with particle physics. Not saying the the Taylor KO factor is the best overall formula but it is better definition of stopping power than KE or M.
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