Skip to comments.Self Defense Inside the Home: Avoiding over-penetration -
Posted on 02/27/2013 8:30:21 AM PST by EXCH54FE
decisions it seems like when it comes to defending your family there is a lot of them. Caliber, type, make, model, ammunition, stopping power, capacity, training, and the omnipresent legal repercussionsself-defense is a hailstorm of life or death choices and another one of these (and one often neglected) is over-penetration.
Shooting Through Walls
Situation and terrain determine tactics and nowhere is this more evident than when firing a gun inside a closed environment like your home. Accordingly, a self-defense minded gun owner needs to first take into account where he lives (a suburban house, a farm, a studio apartment etc.) and then assess the location and materials used in its construction. These factors will determine your choice of gun and round.
Factoring in location and terrain means knowing where targets will appear, potential backstops and beyond. Since most inner walls in homes in western societies are made of sheet rock and many outer walls made of brick or siding, its important to realize rounds could leave your home and keep traveling. That said, thinner than usual walls, glass windows or close neighbors should all play a part in your assessment of your home as should the sometimes strange angles and backstops inherent to ranch style or multi-level homes.
Remember, firefights are dynamic with people moving about helter skelter and this may include your children, so it is important to be aware of the location of spots where over-penetration can: a) occur and b) injure a friendly target. Practice identifying these places with your family with both the lights on and off; most home invasions occur during the daytime, but they also happen in the early morning and evening too. This underlines the importance of knowing and remembering your backstops and beyond.
(Excerpt) Read more at guns.com ...
I didn’t read the article, but I understand that the conventional wisdom is wrong, and a 223 round is actually less likely to lethally penetrate walls than is buckshot.
Il never be over penetration
Simply put, when defending against Bad Guys, you’re not allowed to kill the neighbors.
It’s considered Bad Form.
Indoors combat preference ...
Saiga 12k with two mags taped together - one with #7 bird shot, the other with 00 buck shot.
The situation determines which one to use, or you can flip them as needed.
I’d rather be assaulted than have my travertine and en suite damaged.
Get a .45 and worry anout that later.
So I guess that new 10mm I bought with the full power hardball ammo in it might be an overkill for a trailer park?
According to some tests I’ve seen on youtube the .223 /5.56 has less penetration then the .45 FMJ or HP.
In the testing I saw, the .223 round will fragment after the second wall and will penetrate the third but not go through.
The buckshot, birdshot, 9mm, .45, and other rounds all went into or through the fourth wall.
They were using standard sheetrock with 2x4 frame to simulate walls.
Shotgun slugs are REALLY dangerous in the sense of if you miss your target it can go through a few walls in your house, go over to the neighbor’s house, go through their wall and still kill them.
Yes 9mm has some reasonable potential for the same, just much less so. That is especially true if you don’t buy the more expensive rounds designed for defense.
I read a study a while back that showed the best overall in home defensive gun/ammo was a 12 guage with #1 buck. Maximum lethality with minimum potential for peripheral damage.
22LR in a handgun is an underated round as well.
Have you conducted tests? Please post before and after photos of your house when you fired a 12 guage with buckshot and a .223 inside and out so we can make a determination.
i use a 44 mag with 8.5 barrel.
I’ve thought of this problem too. I have a .357 loaded with .38s by my bed and there are 5 walls between my bed room and those of my children, I believe even a .38 could penetrate through all 5 of them, if it only went through the dry wall without hitting any wood. Am I wrong?
I learned to pay attention to shadows.
To differentiate between clouds moving overhead, Trees blowing in the wind and such.
I learned to differentiate between reflections passing my window by listening to hear if at the same time a car passed by or if the reflection was my dog by listening for his nails on the sidewalk.
That is something you pick up in battle.
That is something you pick up when you want to survive another day.
Yes, it is a bit paranoid but you have to be so if you want to survive in the VERY near future.
PAY ATTENTION to ANYTHING and EVERYTHING going on around you if you plan on surviving.
KNOW WHERE your weapons are at all times.
Anticipate which doors and enemy is most likely to barge through and if you can shoot through that door or wall and not hit a stud and deflect your bullet.
Think about it. Anticipate. Be creative in your mind.
Know whether you are going to stand behind a brick wall and shoot around the corner or if you are going to lay as flat as you can on the floor and let the bullets fly over your head.
Live to fight and protect yourself and your loved ones.
Get them thinking in this method also.
Hiding in the closet does nothing. Bullets can pass through many walls and if trapped in a small room with no exit your have no alternatives - and you will die.
Actually, in a self-defense shooting, overpenetration should be considered very strongly inside a dwelling. Many who purport to be prepared for such an encounter suggests that #00 buckshot in a short barrel 12 ga. shotgun is the best weapon for such an encounter. To the home invader with evil intent, this is certainly an efficient solution but to the other occupants of any dwelling (house, apartment, etc) it may be a deadly choice to the innocent. Dry wall will not stop #00 buckshot at 100 yards!
I will start an argument here: My personal choice is a Taurus Judge loaded with 3 PDX1 shells and 2 slugs. Deadly inside a room without fear of overpenetration into adjacent rooms for the first 3 shots. Is this a best choice? Let the argument begin.
No, would they be better?
Hollowpoints won’t expand much with just sheetrock. The gypsum fills the hollow part. So unless you happen to hit a 2x4, pipe, or wiring the hollow point will act like a FMJ.
I use Glaser safety slugs in my 44 Special and a combination 2- #4 shot Turkey Loads then 3- 00 buck in the 12 gauge.
The main thing that we teach in my class is that you can practice practice practce but you will never know what the scenario will be when faced with a life or death choice.
You won’t know where you’ll be’ you won’t know what you will be doing when it happens and it will happen when you are least prepared.
Of all the big caliber pistols I have and all the expensive rifle calibers from 5.56 up to 338 I have... if faced with an intruder in my hallway, I would skip all the $2000plus guns and grab my $450 mossberg 500 tactical 12ga.
Of course, I will never know what or when or where it will happen. But given a choice, in close quarters, the 12ga will always be the choice.
9 times out of 10 I am not even going to have a choice, but given a choice....
If this is a concern I highly recommend this manufacturer, I bought the 10mm 46 grain at 2400 fps. I tried it out and it works just fine on a gallon jug of water, feeds good too.
It’s worse form to injure your child in the next room
True, but a light hollow point would still be better than a FMJ though.
I use polymer filled jackets, they really seem to do a good job from what I’ve tried so far.
Thanks, I’ll look into it.
Anyone have experience with Glaser ammo?
Yep - that’s a definite no-no.
I live alone. A sawed off shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot should pretty much cover the hallway.
Yes I also oppose laws dictating barrel length in the home.
I just noted that you posted a related subject on the same subject as I did. Please note them and we can compare notes.
ALSO - If we can bring others into the coversation (not just to talk) but TO PREPARE (SERIOUSLY PREPARE)>
Based on your ego, I expect you have more effect on the walls than the floor. ;o)
That isn’t what she said.
Defenders tend to stand behind door openings..... Shoot waist high about 4 plus inches beyond the door frame. Shooters may be either standing or crouched behind the door opening. This way (4 plus inches) will get the best chance of hitting them.
If you aim higher and they are crouched over you will miss.
If they are either crouched over OR standing you have a MUCH greater chance of hitting them. A shot to the head or a shot to the gut is going to stop them.
Have your children and wife (yes, and even you) laying flat on the floor so that bullets fly over your head.
Also have an escape route planned The second you enter the room. Including jumping through a widow.
To jump through a window you will probably get cut but you can survive. Better yet - insure that your body impacts the glass FLAT that will push most of the glass out of the frame and minimize the cuts your will receive.
A glass cut is better than a bullet in the back or in the head.
Yes I also oppose laws dictating barrel length in the home.
You last point is important. Because most people, FReepers included, watch movies (and play games) and tend to think a short barrelled shotty is "can't miss" in close quarters. Truth is, the shortest commercially and legal barrelled shotgun has about a 4" to 5" AT BEST pattern at 20' loaded with 00 buckshot.
Don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of the tactical (if not modified) 12 guage home defense shotty with 00 buckshot. But I don't rely on a "pray and spray" tactic to employ its potential.
I'd recommend 8" from door opening. You have a double stud (sometimes more for outdoor lights, outlets, switches, etc. Your studs are typically 16" apart. If you aim between 8" and 12" you are more likely to find a hollow wall spot.
Of course this assumes worst case scenario in a load bearing wall. I know I'm splitting hairs, but trying to just barely miss the studs is not advisable. Fire 3 between them. Stop, listen, repeat, reload.
I agree. I am a terrible aim no matter how much I practise, although I’ve had no formal training. Having said that, I rely on a 12guage with 20” bl to defend my home.
That is the VERY type of feedback I am looking for and your should provide.
Keep me apprised of any other such insights.\
Got a decent hacksaw? Lol. You should be able to get more out of that weapon depending on how long the feeder tube is. ;o)
TheBoxOTruth.com did tests on this, nicely documented. 55gr .223 had least penetration.
Use Glasers or Magsafes,
“sawed off shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot should pretty much cover the hallway.”
I’ve tested this. 14” barrel with birdshot. Spread was about 1” for every yard to target. How long is your hallway?
Magsafe what I have in my gun now, I was worried that the light grain bullet wouldn’t feed the powerful spring on my Colt 10mm, but it did just fine.
Good stuff, I sleep better knowing my kids are 4 sheets of drywall away and that stuff won’t get that far.
My kids know that if the dog goes off in the middle of the night, they go to certain corners of their bed room and huddle close to the floor. It's happened twice, both just loud neighbors on weekend nights. But it was good training. We do fire alarm training as well (GET TO THE MAILBOX YELLING FIRE!)
Why the corners of their room? Structural considerations. My house is built with 2x4 floor trusses as a apposed to joists or wood beams. They are spaced 24” on center. Given the layout of the downstairs and where shooting might likely occur, both at me and at them from somewhere between the top of the stairs and my front door, I have thought about the potential angles and trajectory potentials. My goal is two fold. 1) Put as much structure between potential trajectories and my family as possible and 2) I will have a better idea of where my family is in the house if a drawn out firefight (10 seconds or more) erupts.
As far as the structure goes, think in angles. Angles are our friends when considering penetration. Rounds hitting walls at 90 degrees touch less material and are less impeded. We want rounds to go into walls at as large of angles as we can get. It improves the chances of finding wood (a stud or floor joist or two or both) and slowing it down if not stopping it completely depending on the caliber.
BTW - When my wife hears my fingers playing a tune on my bedside gun safe in the middle of the night, she is trained to grab the phone, roll to the floor, cue up 911 on the receiver, open the shotgun case under the bed and start pushing shells. If she hears "danger" after I exit the bedroom, she pushes send on the receiver, chambers a round and clicks the safety off.
I'll tell you about helium balloons and ceiling fans in the middle of the night sometime. That was good training if not a bit too exciting.
Sounds about right.
Do us all a favor (a great favor) and post that response.
We need insights like that for every one to learn from. We all think differently and EVERY insight is important.
Some of my ideas will stick with people and possibly save their lives.
Your ideas will stick with other people and possibly save lives.
Both together will possibly save even more lives and THAT is what is important.
PLEASE “Post” your ideas as a separate POST so that it will have maximum benefit to all.
Even expand on it from time to time to reinforce the point.
Please post it for me. I don’t need credit for the thoughts. But I’m happy to share. I’m not very good at posting stuff. I’ll comment on it if you’ll ping me.
If I were to get a dog. I'd disable the motion detector. The dog could replace that. However, I'd retain the alarms on doors and windows. I want to know immediately if the perimeter is breached.
“So I guess that new 10mm I bought with the full power hardball ammo in it might be an overkill for a trailer park?”
That round should go through about 3 trailers.