SD Ammo in .357 Mag that won't pass through exterior walls


May 25, 2006, 08:45 PM
My primary home defense piece is a Taurus 66 with a 6" barrel. Right now it share's .38 +p 135 Gr Speer Gold Dots with my soon to be CCW, a S&W 642. Once I begin carrying the 642, I'd like to get some .357 Mag for my taurus. Besides, the Gold Dots are optimized for firing out of a snubby anyway. My concern is this: Can standard .357 Mag JHPs pass through the exterior walls of a modern house using std stick built construction practices (note my ext walls are vinyl, not brick)? I know they will pass through interior walls no problem. If so, what is a good alternative? Magsafes, Hydrashoks, or stick with something in .38 +P?

Your advice is much appreciated!

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May 25, 2006, 09:31 PM
Home walls that are not concrete, log , stone, and brick are actually not very hard for any firearm to penetrate ( even if the bullet hits a stud/support beam in many cases). If you live in an apartment complex or other situation which might require serious consideration for over-penetration, I would use Magsafes or a lead hollow-point. A 158 grain .38 special +P ( or non +P for that matter) semi-wadcutter might be a good choice.

May 25, 2006, 09:57 PM
I would suggest that you stick with the 135 grain Speer load you use now. It is a great load and even though it was made for snubbies does not mean that it is no good in a 4" or 6" barrel. I checked with Speer and according their tests, the 135 grain load is the best for any barrel length. Also, the same load is being used by NYPD for both their snubbies and their 4" duty weapons. As a former law enforcement firearms instructor myself, I have always been under the impression that the NYPD does a fair amount of good firearms research. I use this load in both my carry gun (S&W 640) and my house gun (S&W 15-3 4"). Personally I would never load a house gun with .357 Magnum rounds.

Hope this helps.

May 26, 2006, 12:15 AM
Bullets penetrate things. If they don't, they're not much good.

Based on examining the results of a drive-by where the gun used was apparently a .357Mag (possibly .38 Special) with SWC lead bullets, I can say that it will shoot through the following things.

In the front of a house and out the back. (You could look in through the entrance hole and see light through the exit hole.)

Through the cab of a pickup truck (entrance and exit through metal) while retaining the oomph to bury itself in an exterior wall so that the base was flush with the wall.

In one side of a van, and then out the other on an upward angle that took it through part of the sliding door mechanism.

For self-defense alternatives that won't pass through wood, you might consider pepper spray, or pointed sticks. ;)

Seriously, pick a good self-defense round based on its performance as a self-defense round. Then practice with it so that you hit what you're aiming at rather than punching holes through exterior walls. A human will take a lot of oomph out of a premium self-defense bullet that passes all the way through him. That's your best defense against penetrating walls.

May 26, 2006, 12:40 AM
Two words: shot gun. Erm... buck shot? Damn, how about: Shotgun, buckshot!

May 26, 2006, 12:49 AM
I've seen birdshot penetrate an interior door, the contents of a closet, the back wall of the closet and go through the sheetrock on the exterior wall before stopping at the brick siding.

Had the house been sided with wood, that might have stopped it too--but I don't know if it would have stopped it had it not already gone through an interior wall, interior door, and the closet contents.

If you've got something that's got a really good chance of messing up a person, it's gonna have the oomph to go through a wall or two.

May 26, 2006, 01:00 AM
Well obviously it depends on how close you are to the exterior wall, but even buckshot won't have enough "umpf" left to go through the next house's exterior walls, unless it's really close.

May 26, 2006, 01:16 AM
I've built a few houses . . . They're not built like they used to be for sure. In a modern vinyl sided home, you're talking about 5/8" of drywall, some fiberglass, either 3/8" of plywood or wafer board (in some cases just 5/8" of polystyrene foam, then 1/16" of vinyl. Try stacking all that up and shooting it. A high velocity pellet gun would probably shoot through . .. wouldn't phase a .22 short, etc.

There's a reason for Glaser safety bullets. Personally I think it is a compelling one in a home with family scattered throughout, an apartment, condo or other enviornment when there could be folks in the line of fire behind a wall or two from a potential SD situation.

Steve C
May 26, 2006, 01:35 AM
Bullets of mosest caliber and power will penetrate a lot more things than most people will give them credit. You're .38's will go through the walls of stick build construction quite easily. JHP's fill the hollow with gypsum or wood when they penetrate sheet rock or wood construction and then perform as a sold bullet would.

For fun and some anecdotal information from informal pepetration testing check out

May 26, 2006, 02:20 AM
Well there's no fun in a sharp stick to the eye , but if you're looking for a lack of penatration go with a sling shot. I'll trust this 40441
Whoops, wrong pic let's try this 40442 that would be the trusty Colt mod. 70 .45 acp for the really tuff jobs, I call the "Janitor" a Winchester 1300 defender.

May 26, 2006, 09:36 AM
Glaser or magsafe is what you want and need. Shooting your neighbors is not an option, unless you wanna wind up as Bubba's cell mate.

May 27, 2006, 06:57 PM
I was going to post a reply but now I think I'll just say "ditto" to JohnKSa's responses. I don't think that I could put it any better than that.

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