Martin L. Fackler was a battlefield surgeon, but is better known in the field of terminal ballistics, an area requiring expertise in non medical topics such as mechanics, materials science, and structural/failure analysis. He is a retired colonel in the US Army's Medical Corps.
Important contributions include:
- Developing and testing medium in which the effects of bullet wounds could be simulated. This led to the widespread acceptance of 10C ballistic gelatin for evaluating penetration and expansion of projectiles.
- Establishing effects of projectile design and shape on wounding
- Being the first researcher to demonstrate that yawing and cavitation do not typically cause severe tissue trauma. He asserted that fragmentation was the most effective means of inflicting wounds in a military round.
- He claimed to debunk the "kinetic energy dump" theories of terminal ballistics that posited wound trauma being caused by a high velocity projectile that could be made to yaw in tissue and transfer its kinetic energy very quickly. He showed that this manifested itself as the "temporary stretch cavity" in which tissue is pushed by the shock wave following the projectile.