9x19mm: It’ll Blow Your Lungs Out!

It’ll blow your lungs out! President Biden’s recent statement about a 9mm “Blowing your lungs out” caught the attention of pretty much everybody who knows anything about firearms – including Garand Thumb. So ole GT decided this statement has to be put to the test.

Let’s follow along and see if the President’s statement holds any water (or if his lungs are full of hot air).

It’ll Blow Your Lungs Out!

“A .22 caliber bullet will lodge in the lung. And we can probably get it out, maybe, and save a life. A 9mm bullet will blow the lung out of the body.”

Testing the Claim!

Garand Thumb and Charlie will be using a ballistic dummy to test Biden’s wild-eyed claim of the horrific lethality of the 9mm. They’re using different organs in said dummy to approximate the materials that the bullet would travel through in the human body.

It will blow your lungs out! Wait...what?
The “WTF Moment” when Garand Thumb and Charlie hear Biden’s claim that a 9mm will “blow the lung out of the body.”

Too Many Dummies!

More than one dummy was involved in the inspiration and making of this video. 

ballistic dummies were used to test whether it would blow your lungs out
Meet the dummy. The ballistic one. Not any other one.

The ballistics gelatin will be simulating skin, fat, and muscle tissue. They’re up front, in that the gelatin won’t be exact, but that it will approximate the human body. There are lungs, and there are ribs over those lungs. The dummy really does look impressively like a human body.


To document the proceedings, the team is using a high-speed camera. The camera will be pointing at the back of the dummy to see if the lung truly is blown out of the body.

The high-speed camera used to document the proceedings.

The Lowly .22

The first test will be with the .22 Long Rifle fired from a Ruger Mark IV (suppressed), firing Norma ammunition. The .22 caliber round entered, went through the lung, and exited the body.

Aiming in with the .22 caliber Ruger MK IV (suppressed).
Aiming in with the .22 caliber Ruger MK IV (suppressed).
.22 Long Rifle lung shot.
.22 Long Rifle lung shot.


Exit wound for the .22 Long Rifle. No, it did not lodge in the lung.
Exit wound for the .22 Long Rifle. No, it did not lodge in the lung.

Considering that the .22 Long Rifle round came nowhere near “lodging in the lung,” the president’s first claim has been debunked. Strike One, Mr. President.


The second part of the test utilizes a Glock 17 with 124 grain Norma +P NATO FMJ ammunition. Garand Thumb opines that the 9mm is one of the smaller calibers that people rely on for self-defense.

Two shots were made with the 9mm. Both rounds exited the dummy. One round nicked the lung and exited the scapula. The other round went straight through the lung. We will note that the lung was nowhere near being blown “out of the body.”

It will blow your lungs out your back! Aiming in with the Glock 17 to check that 9mm.
Aiming in with the Glock 17.


9mm entry wound. It'll blow your lungs out! (We'll see.)
9mm entry wound. It’ll blow your lungs out! (We’ll see.)

The 9mm is not one of the most powerful rounds out there. Far from it. This test and video proves that the 9mm will absolutely not “blow the lung out of the body”, nor even come close to it. Strike two, Mr. President, sir!


9mm exit wound. Guess what? The lung is still inside the body!
9mm exit wound. Guess what? The lung is still inside the body!

Undaunted, the team decides to go ahead with more testing. This time, a Norma Hollow Point 9mm is being used. Like the two rounds before it, this 9mm bullet also exited the torso. We note that it did not blow the lung out of the body. It did not even come close. Not unexpectedly. 

Still undaunted, Garand Thumb queries which caliber could blow the lung out?


Next up is the AR-15! They used standard 55 grain Norma FMJ ammo. It entered and hit a rib, went through the body, and exited rather dynamically. However, the 5.56mm round did not blow the lung out of the body either! Strike three, Mr. President.

The AR-15 was the launcher of choice for the 5.56mm test.
The AR-15 was the launcher of choice for the 5.56mm test.


5.56mm entrance wound.


5.56mm exiting the torso.


5.56mm exit wound. It took quite a chunk out of the dummy. The lung was still intact.


Next up at bat is the MK-14 Mod 0 (an M-1A) in 7.62 NATO (.308) firing a 150 grain FMJ round. This round exited in a profound manner. Despite the explosive performance of the 7.62 NATO round, the pesky lung still remained inside the body, having not been blown out. Strike four, Mr. Biden!

The M-1A used in the testing for 7.62 NATO.


150 grain ammo. 7.62mm Full Metal Jacket.


7.62 NATO exit wound. Lung still intact!


Moving right along, Garand Thumb pulled out a lever action rifle in .30-30 Winchester to see if we can’t blow that lung out. The lever gun actually caused the dummy to fall over on the table. Was the lung blown out? Not even a little bit! Strike five!

The lever action .30-30 made an appearance and delivered dynamic performance.


The dummy went down when hit by the .30-30. The lung, however, stayed put!


Next up is a 12-gauge shotgun firing buckshot. The scattergun made a hell of a mess, and some pellets did exit the torso. As with the lever action, the dummy was knocked over on the table. Despite the wickedly horrific entrance wound, the lung was not blown out of the body.

Under fire from the 12-gauge, the dummy goes down hard. No, the 12-gauge won’t “knock a person down,”, however, the force of the blast can cause a dummy to tip over.


12-gauge pellets exiting the dummy.


A 12-gauge slug exiting the torso.


Impact from one of the 12-gauge blasts.


Another blast from the mighty 12-gauge. Carnage obviously has ensued at this point. Chunks of the “body” were splattering on Garand Thumb’s face as these shots were taken.


More 12-gauge obliteration.


Here’s how the ballistic dummy ended up. The lungs never did become “blown out of the body”, however, they were fairly destroyed in the end.

Since the 12-gauge with buckshot didn’t remove the lung (but to be fair, the lungs were pretty shredded by this point), they decided to move on to 12-gauge slugs. It will come as no surprise that the slug knocked the dummy over. The damage inflicted by the slug was catastrophic, and that’s putting it very mildly. The lungs weren’t blown out, they were just pretty much annihilated. This comes as no surprise, considering the size of a 12-gauge slug; it’s a massive piece of lead.

Strike…what are we up to now, six?

It will blow your lungs out. The Irony!

Has the irony hit you yet? A number of years ago, Biden advocated for using a shotgun for self-defense. He even insanely suggested that shooting through a closed door should scare off any burglars that might be trying to get into our homes. Note: Do NOT fire through a closed door.

Remember? He said, “Get that double barrel shotgun and fire two blasts…”

So, the weapon that he originally told us to use to defend ourselves is the one that will actually shred a person’s lungs, while the 9mm (which he alleges will blow a lung out) doesn’t come close to his claim.

Again – this is probably not a surprise to anyone actually reading this. 

This is what the weapon (12 gauge with buckshot) that Biden once suggested we use does to the body. Yet he demonizes the 9mm. Makes sense, right?
This is what the weapon (12 gauge with buckshot) that Biden once suggested we use does to the body. Yet he demonizes the 9mm. Makes sense, right?

As a coup de gras, Garand Thumb followed the president’s advice and gave the dummy a final two blasts with the 12-gauge. The results were devastating, creating massive holes.

In The End

Legislation is being passed by people who do not have the first clue about firearms or ballistics. They run completely on emotion and in many cases what they see in the movies. It’s almost as if it’s not really about the “safety” that they keep raving about.

It’s about misinformation, whether from ignorance or planned intention. 

Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities. He is a dedicated Christian and attributes any skills that he has to the glory of God.

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