"Overpenetration" and rifle rounds--the myth that won't die


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Cosmoline
July 16, 2006, 06:52 PM
I once again ran into the myth that an intermediate cartridge out of a carbine cannot be used for home defense because it will penetrate houses and fly three miles. Who keeps spreading this nonsense? A properly loaded .223, 7.62x39, .30-30, .32-20, .357 etc. out of a short rifle or carbine actually poses LESS of an overpenetration concern than a handgun. The reason is simple--velocity. A carbine can get the bullet moving much faster than a standard handgun, and it's far easier to govern its performance on impact. A smaller HP round can be made to both do devestating damage to a human target but fall apart quickly on impact with soft framing materials and sheetrock. At lower handgun velocities it's much tougher to do this. HP rounds don't always open up and can get clogged. They can end up penetrating very far, certainly through many rooms of a house.

As has been pointed out here and elsewhere over and over and over again, the hard data on penetration explodes the myth of overpenetration for intermediate rounds.

Here's a thread re. the .223 with good data showing a max of 14" gel penetration for suitable rounds.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=146306

And it's well known that the lighter .30-30 SP's penetrate about 13 inches and the heavier ones get to about 17" or 18"

http://pages.zdnet.com/remingtonsniper/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/3030.jpg

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whm1974
July 16, 2006, 08:41 PM
If you have the right bullets for those caliber then you may be right. 223 and 30-30 wouldn't be that hard to find proper ammo, but a lot of 7.62x39 HP doesn't expend at all or very poorly.

I notice there is some decent SD ammo for the M1 Carbine.

-Bill

226
July 16, 2006, 09:33 PM
Detailed Information Regarding Penetration Of .223 Ammunition (http://www.olyarms.com/?rootView=page&page=223articles)

MTMilitiaman
July 16, 2006, 09:43 PM
Acknowledging that water jugs aren't human tissue (neither is geletin), my experience with the Wolf 122 gr HPs for the 7.62x39 is that they fragment violently. I recently went through a collection of 5 gallon buckets by filling them up with water and lining two of them immediately infront of each other, and in front of a bucket filled with sand. The FMJ flattened and yawed, as previous experience indicated it would, and was recovered in the sand bucket. The HPs, however, were a real surprise. It totally came apart on impact, basically turning inside out. A few peices of jacket was all we could find. It never even made it to the sand bucket. Both JHPs tested in the 10mm Auto made it to the sand bucket, so at least in a liquid medium, it would appear to be safe to suggest that the 7.62x39 so loaded is safer for home defense than the pistol round.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=207700

And then there is always the Box O Truth...

USSR
July 16, 2006, 09:55 PM
It doesn't matter what cartridge or even what gun it is. It's simply a factor of velocity and bullet construction.

Don

OldSchooler
July 16, 2006, 09:55 PM
How about a 12ga with an ounce of #7 shot? By all accounts leaves a nasty wound (gasp) and breaks up on walls/sheetrock. Or is that 'Mythbuster' stuff too?

BTW, I read somehwere a while back that two sounds frighten home invading perps more than any others:

1. A LARGE barking dog
2. The sound of a pump shotgun being cycled into action.

telomerase
July 16, 2006, 10:06 PM
BTW, I read somehwere a while back that two sounds frighten home invading perps more than any others:

I don't have any statistics, but it seems that the sound of .223 rounds going off would have to beat either puppies or a sleepy homeowner short-stroking a pump.

Cosmoline's point is valid. Lots of people out there with .45s that are a lot more likely to exit their house than 55-grain .223s.

MachIVshooter
July 16, 2006, 10:06 PM
True that .223 and similar rounds have proven less likely to fully penetrate residential structures than many popular handgun rounds, but move up into larger calibers with more heavily constructed and just plain heavier bullets, and all bets are off.

MTMilitiaman
July 16, 2006, 10:59 PM
How about a 12ga with an ounce of #7 shot? By all accounts leaves a nasty wound (gasp) and breaks up on walls/sheetrock. Or is that 'Mythbuster' stuff too?

BTW, I read somehwere a while back that two sounds frighten home invading perps more than any others:

1. A LARGE barking dog
2. The sound of a pump shotgun being cycled into action.

I don't like the idea of using birdshot for defense. I've had it fail to stop ground squirrels at ranges I have in my house enough times that I am skeptical of its ability to stop a meth'd up body builder with a machete. And that is with a 26 inch barreled turkey choke.

A large barking dog is fine. Pumping a shotgun for dramatic effect is just as stupid when you do it as it is when Steven Segal does it. It gives away your position and lets the bad guy know you're armed. This might seem like the whole point, but it doesn't seem like a good idea to me considering you know neither about him. I'd rather keep the element of surprise until I know more of what I am dealing with. And I always felt that an unloaded firearm, esp an unloaded firearm designated for defense, was like a hammer without a head. It makes no sense to me, but then, it is entirely possible that my family does things differently.

_N4Z_
July 16, 2006, 11:29 PM
Many years ago, circa 1988, while stationed at Ft. Sill (living in Lawton OK), I had the occasion to "stroke" a pump to scare a bad guy.

I was home late from the field (2am) and was up playing Nintendo when I saw a head go past my window between the houses. Peeking out I saw a car in my neighbors driveway that should have not been there. She was out of town and I was feeding her cat. So.... grabbed my shoes, grabbed Mr. Rem870, and went out the back door. Snuck around the front where I found the dirtbag digging at her doorjam with a screwdriver. He was so intent on the task at hand that he didn't know I was there until I chambered a round. He went stiff and spent the next 15 minutes face down on the ground till the PD came to get him. Had he thought or moved poorly he would have recieved a face full of #4 and then a couple slugs if needed (was all I had). I would have been in deep poo too, but I was younger and that's what happened.

So that little trick can work, and did for me, but I wouldn't recommend it now.

MAKOwner
July 17, 2006, 01:38 AM
I take it the box of truth tests didn't make it to this board from AR15.com?

www.theboxotruth.com

The theory of the handgun rounds penetrating more sounds good, but most of the tests performed left the issue a little clouded at best. (I would argue it indicates that rifle rounds may indeed penetrate interior walls better especially if they hit some 2x4s and such along the way). Pretty much everything blew through the walls in the first tests (as many as twelve wallboards), although 5.56 yawed heavily making it a little inconsistent in flight path, and in some the tests where they spaced the walls out it had pretty heavy trajectory fluctuations... The sheetrock didn't cause the standard 5.56 rounds to fragment however. The rifle rounds blew through the pine boards significantly farther than the handgun rounds (5.56 again not fragmenting while going through 12 freakin boards), and the water jug tests seemed to break about even although some of the heavier rifle rounds did penetrate several more water jugs. The water and sand tests were about the only materials some of the rounds fragmented in, I don't think the ball 5.56 even fragmented in the water test though the JHP did.

He made a pretty good general conclusion in one of the tests I believe, something to the effect that anything that will reliably stop an attacker will penetrate the heck out of interior walls...

Cosmoline
July 17, 2006, 01:48 AM
We all know about the box o' truth. What tests are you referring to specifically and what point do you think they make?

Outlaws
July 17, 2006, 02:03 AM
The best physics data to date on this subject. (http://www.personal-development.com/chuck/gullibility.htm)

U.S.SFC_RET
July 17, 2006, 02:24 AM
Cosmoline
Why in the world would someone prefer a pistol if they had a carbine like you mentioned instead. In the Army a pistol is about useless unless the enemy is up close. The knockdown power (energy transfer) between the two can't even be compared.

Cosmoline
July 17, 2006, 03:04 AM
Beats me, but a lot of people will choose a short gun over a long for home defense. I've never been in the military, but I've tried hitting enough moving things with handguns to know how hard it is. I like *LONG GUNS*. Long guns hit what you aim at. Long guns fill the pot. Long guns should protect the home.

I blame Hollywood most of all for this. Too many people have seen too many action movies and taken them to heart.

1911user
July 17, 2006, 03:09 AM
A pistol can be easily used with one hand while the other carries a child, holds a flashlight, etc. Inside a house IS close range. Unless one has training on moving inside a confined structure with a longarm then moving about with a pistol makes it harder to be disarmed. The noise/blast is less with a pistol although both are loud especially indoors. A pistol is certainly a good choice for home defense use. There are other good choices each with their own downsides.

Cosmoline
July 17, 2006, 03:25 AM
Unless I lived in a tunnel, I would never choose a short gun over a long. The short gun is what you use until you get the long gun. I've shot too many living things with rifles and missed too many with handguns to have any doubts on the matter.

mljdeckard
July 17, 2006, 04:43 AM
Long guns are primary. Sidearms are BY DEFINITION, backup. The only reason we carry handguns everywhere is it's not practical to carry long guns, and it frightens the horses. ANY time you have the time, grab a long gun instead of a pistol.

However,

In the military, I used only 62 grain, steel core FMJ. This round is designed ONLY for penetration. And it does. Will 55 gr ball penetrate less? Sure. But this is STILL a hyper velocity round, which is highly unpredictable. I have personally seen this round follow bones, follow skin, etc. I went hunting mule deer once with some 'friends of friends', and one of them had been intimidated by larger rifles, so his friends encouraged him to get a .223, (Utah law only requires a center-fire rifle, no energy or caliber minimums. I would never advise someone to hunt large game with that round.) He did hit a deer, with a 55 grain soft-tip, and it pinholed, didn't expand. Fortunately, he put it right through the lungs, broadside, there was a .22 caliber hole entry and exit. ALL bullets are unpredictable in one way or another. And in real life application, Murphy's law applies. You're not going to stand mom behind ANY target and shoot it with ammo "guaranteed not to over-penetrate." Any 223 is going to be more likely to over-penetrate than a .45 230 grain hydra-shok moving 875 feet per second. And if the .45 DOES overpenetrate, it will be going a lot slower than a .223 that over-penetrates. There are exceptions to every 'likihood', but these are the extreme ends of the range pool.

My primary is a shotgun loaded with 00. My backup is an M-1 carbine, loaded with soft-points. (This round is less powerful than a .357 magnum, and the rifle size is something my wife is comfortable handling.) My walls are sheetrock, and I have 4 kids. Over-penetration is something I think about a LOT. Look at it this way, if you are looking for a hyper-velocity round, for MAXIMUM penetration, you will be using NATO steel core. Changing to a hollow-point and hoping for the best isn't my idea of minimizing over-penetration.

For anyone who wants to use a 5.56 for HD, I will STRONGLY recommend, use dedicated ammo. (Sub-sonic hollow-points.) And MAKE SURE the gas setup on your rifle will cycle them reliably first. For AK ammo, use American, commercial personal defense loads, nothing Russian.

OldSchooler
July 17, 2006, 09:43 AM
So what have we learned?
Something is better than nothing, surely is one lesson we can take away. I much prefer a long arm as opposed to a short one.
A handgun bullet and a rifle caliber bullet MAY penetrate into the next room, house, neighborhood seems to rise to the surface, too. Okay, compromise: I'll use BB shot or buckshot.
If no one minds, Ill keep the shorty shotgun and avoid the "stroking" of it for dramatic effect (never my intent - however one must do so to get it into action). The dogs stay, as well. Heck I'm feeding them they may as well be useful.

Thanks for the info.

MTMilitiaman
July 17, 2006, 12:36 PM
For anyone who wants to use a 5.56 for HD, I will STRONGLY recommend, use dedicated ammo. (Sub-sonic hollow-points.) And MAKE SURE the gas setup on your rifle will cycle them reliably first. For AK ammo, use American, commercial personal defense loads, nothing Russian.

My first deer was killed with a Ruger Mini-14 and the 55 gr SP behaved much in the same way as you described. I never once allowed that to confuse me into believing I would have had better results if the bullet had been going slower. Someone history regardless as pretty intelligent, a man by the name of Newton, told us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This means that all bullets, even the steel cored ones, are more likely to break up or deform at higher velocitues, because the target hits the bullet in effect just as hard as the bullet hits the target. Bullets don't go so fast they "zip right through" without expanding. A bullet that doesn't expand or deform at high velocity, say, 3100 fps, is even less likely to expand or deform at lower velocity, say 1300 fps. So claiming that a sub-sonic JHP is more likely to fragment than the same bullet driven at higher velocity shows an incredible lack of understanding in basic physics.
Now the slower bullet will have less momentum, which indicates less potential to penetrate. But even if this is so, it is unlikely that the bullet will penetrate much less, if at all, than the full velocity round if the full velocity round fragments, tumbles, or otherwise loses mass and/or increases frontal diameter.
If a bullet has shown itself to be unreliable in performance, then it is up to the user to change bullet designs. Bullet construction is very important for these purposes. But for all cases, with no exceptions, a bullet is always more likely to deform or fragment, or otherwise lose shape or mass, at a higher velocity. That is what being a physical law means. If your desire is to limit penetration through these methods, then your best bet is to increase velocity, not decrease it.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 17, 2006, 12:37 PM
Buckshot penetrates as well as any handgun bullet in most of the examples I've seen. Birdshot doesn't penetrate very far at all if you feel comfortable shooting at a lethal threat with something that won't penetrate several sheets of drywall (which even the lowly .22LR will do).

mjdeckard, I don't think your advice makes any sense. MTmilitiaman has made excellent points with the problems regarding your suggestion of subsonic hollow points for .223.

Any 223 is going to be more likely to over-penetrate than a .45 230 grain hydra-shok moving 875 feet per second.

According to this chart (http://web.demigod.org/~zak/firearms/fbi-pistol.php?sort=pen1) the .45 Hydrashok penetrates 16.6" in bare ballistic gelatin. Here is a chart of 8 different .223 loads from Federal (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=26244&d=1120919526). Not one of them (including both bonded-core bullets designed to penetrate and FMJ) exceeds 16.6" in bare gel. Some of them penetrate no deeper than 5.75" and probably do not penetrate enough to be used as self-defense loads.

It is important to remember that some bullets do behave more unpredictably and that rounds like M855 or M193 can fail to yaw or tumble as often as 25% of the time. In those circumstances, you will see more penetration than you want and the bullet may exit the 18" gel block. On the other hand, the ballistic tips, match bullets and some soft points can be very consistent in performance.

MTMilitiaman
July 17, 2006, 12:40 PM
If no one minds, Ill keep the shorty shotgun and avoid the "stroking" of it for dramatic effect (never my intent - however one must do so to get it into action).

Unless it was loaded to begin with. Then all you have to do is click off the safety :uhoh:

But hey it is your bacon. Protect it however you see fit.

SaxonPig
July 17, 2006, 01:02 PM
I'm not a ballistician or a physicist but even I know that a center-fire rifle bullet will penetrate further and deeper than handgun bullets (maybe comparing a .223 to a .454 Casull is an extreme). Note that the vests sold to cops are usually guaranteed to stop nearly all handgun ammo but as soon as a rifle is involved the warranty is voided.

I recall one tragic case a few years ago of a cop being killed by a 170 grain SP from a Model 94 Winchester. Not the most powerful rifle in the world yet it had no trouble defeating a vest that routinely stops .357 Magnum and .45 ACP pistol ammo.

Maybe I'm wrong but I believe that the average CF rifle bullet does indeed pose a much greater risk of penetrating interior walls than does the average handgun round.

karaya
July 17, 2006, 01:08 PM
How about frangibles? The producers promise that their miracle bullets will disintegrate on any hard surface.

Ron Brooks
July 17, 2006, 01:38 PM
How many of the fragible ammo producers will stand behind a sheet of sheet rock, or even plywood and let you shoot their ammo at them. :evil:

Ron

Bartholomew Roberts
July 17, 2006, 02:03 PM
Frangibles have unique issues of their own. From a self-defense standpoint, they are often less reliable than normal ammo. They also suffer from the same issue as anything else that won't penetrate several layers of sheetrock - they may not penetrate deeply enough in a person to stop the threat.

Maybe I'm wrong but I believe that the average CF rifle bullet does indeed pose a much greater risk of penetrating interior walls than does the average handgun round.

What ballisticians have determined is that with proper selection of .223 loads, a .223 round is less likely to present a lethal threat to a human being behind an intermediate barrier like an interior wall than a handgun round.

This is primarily because the .223 round is more likely to shed velocity and break up after passing through an intermediate barrier and the smaller fragments penetrate less. .223 is absolutely capable of killing a person through several layers of sheetrock - it is just less likely to do so than a 9mm or similar round according to FBI studies.

This is why many police departments have gone to .223 rifles instead of 9mm subguns - better terminal performance, penetrates body armor, and less likely to present a threat to bystanders.

mljdeckard
July 17, 2006, 06:45 PM
I'm not backing down on this one. 62 grain steel-core ammo is ARMOR PIERCING ammo. I cannot think of a WORSE choice to minimize over-penetration. If one were trying to deliberately over-penetrate, and hit BEHIND the target, what should they use other than this round?

Action-reaction is only one law of physics.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 17, 2006, 07:10 PM
I'm not backing down on this one.

Well, if you want to "not back down" on a factual matter that is your choice. The world will not get any flatter whether you back down or don't.

62 grain steel-core ammo is ARMOR PIERCING ammo.

First, the military issue M855 is not armor-piercing ammunition either by legal definition or practical definition. This ammunition actually penetrates LESS armor than M193 at ranges of less than 300yds (higher muzzle velocity of M193 gives it better penetration). Only at ranges of greater than 300yds does it penetrate better than M193 (better ballistic coefficient plus a tiny steel penetrator insert - not a "steel core").

I cannot think of a WORSE choice to minimize over-penetration.

The typical M855/SS109 bullet that yaws penetrates 13.4" in bare ballistics gel (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=1792287&postcount=19). Your 230gr Hydrashok penetrates 16.6".

Perhaps you would like to offer some kind of factual support for your assertions?

Cosmoline
July 17, 2006, 07:44 PM
I recall one tragic case a few years ago of a cop being killed by a 170 grain SP from a Model 94 Winchester. Not the most powerful rifle in the world yet it had no trouble defeating a vest that routinely stops .357 Magnum and .45 ACP pistol ammo.

I wouldn't suggest a 170 SP for home defense. Those are too heavy. I use lighter HP's. But I'm not sure what penetration of kevlar vests has to do with anything. The vests are designed to stop the fatter and slower handgun rounds not the thinner and faster rifle rounds. That's just the way they are. That doesn't mean the .30-30 will go through dramatically more wood after penetrating a human torso than a hard ball .45 You could build a .30-30 that would penetrate through a ton of wood. Just load it with a hardcast lead slug and it will blast through pine boards through Sunday. But the point is you have more control with the rifle round. You can make it do whatever you want it to do, within the parameters of the cartridge. Properly loaded the intermediate rifle round is ideal for defensive purposes--better at what it does than any standard handgun round and posing no greater risk of overpenetration.

mljdeckard
July 17, 2006, 07:52 PM
I don't use .45 acp for HD either.

MTMilitiaman
July 17, 2006, 08:47 PM
The 62 gr M855 is not immune to the law's of physics. It is still more likely to fragment at higher velocities. In callibrated ballistic geletin, this is typically held at around 2700 fps, below which it can not be counted on to reliably break up in tissue.

When penetrating steel, a bullet's kenetic energy turns to heat and in essence melts through armor. Velocity is squared when calculating energy, which is why higher velocity rounds like the 5.56mm in general, and the lighter 55 gr M193 in particular, are very good at penetrating steel. They concentrate a lot of energy (heat) into a relatively small point.

When penetrating barriers like wood, we often see moderate velocity rounds like the 7.62x39 do better than the 5.56, with similar bullet designs. Bullets that break up don't penetrate very well because each individual peice lacks mass, and therefore momentum, and thus sheds its velocity faster than a round that stays in one peice. And all bullets are more likely to deform or fragment at higher velocities. Rifles have the potential for higher penetration than pistols because a) most are designed for a desired effect at a given velocity. For example, a 147 gr 7.62mm M80 ball round is designed not to fragment at the standard muzzle velocity of current service rifles chambered for the cartridge. Thin the jacket out, make it more brittle, or increase the velocity, and the bullet will fragment. And b) compared to handguns, a rifle focuses a lot more energy on a lot smaller point. Thus if ammunition is choosen poorly, and not designed to break up or fragment at velocities common to your weapon and barrel length, it will penetrate farther than a handgun. But the deciding factor is bullet selection. And increasing the velocity for a given round will always, with no exceptions ever, give the bullet more of a likelihood to fragment, deform, and/or lose mass.

Take the .38 Special and the .357 Magnum, for example. With certain bullet styles, the .357 Magnum, with its relatively small frontal diameter, high velocity, and potential for long, heavy, high Sectional Density bullets, can be an excellent penetrator, at least for a handgun. But it developed its reputation on the street primarily because its velocity helped ensure that earlier JHPs expanded. These bullets often wouldn't at .38 Special velocities. JHPs expanding enlarges the frontal diameter, creating a parachute effect that slows the bullet down and reduces penetration. If you look in a loading manual, you will see many bullet companies, such as Hornady, list minimum and maximum velocity thresholds for their bullets--a minimum velocity at which the bullet can be relied on to expand in a given medium, usually ordnance geletin, and a maximum velocity it can be relied on to stick together and retain enough mass and structual integrity to penetrate.

NineseveN
July 17, 2006, 10:49 PM
I'm with ya Cosmoline, people look at me funny when I tell them what I use for HD, and it ain't a handgun. The handguns around the house are simply to allow me to get to a rifle (or even a shotgun) if need be. Handguns are a compromise that starts and ends with legality (CCW laws) and concealability. All things considered, give me a rifle with the right ammunition any time.

MachIVshooter
July 18, 2006, 12:12 AM
I'm not a ballistician or a physicist but even I know that a center-fire rifle bullet will penetrate further and deeper than handgun bullets (maybe comparing a .223 to a .454 Casull is an extreme). Note that the vests sold to cops are usually guaranteed to stop nearly all handgun ammo but as soon as a rifle is involved the warranty is voided

I used to think that too, but then I started digging deeper (and adding personal experience). Rifle rounds behave very differently from handgun rounds, period. Yes, they will invariably penetrate a hard target better (a .223 in a 24" barrel develops less energy than a .50 AE in a 6" tube, but will penetrate more than twice as much steel with standard FMJ rounds). But liquid and soft targets (organic tissues) present a very different type of barrier. Think of it this way-you jump from a 10 foot diving board and hit the water at a relatively low velocity, and you will go several feet into the water. Jump from a 200 foot off shore oil rig and you wil splatter when you hit the water at near-terminal velocity as if you had hit concrete. Perhaps not the best apples to oranges comparison, but most of us are aware of this phenomenon (that hollyweird routinely suggests won't happen).

Likewise, handgun bullets typically go 3-4 times as far in water as rifle bullets and suffer minimal deformation, while the rifle bullets tend to fragment (regardless of construction; even FMJ's do this).

When a rifle bullet enters a hard target, resistance from all sides of a material that really wants to stay together help keep the bullet in tact as it peirces, while handgun bullets lack the shape and velocity to even initiate penetration. But when fired into soft targets, the high velocity of rifle rounds can make them take very erratic paths or just plain come apart from the shock. Handgun bullets "push" through.

Bullet construction still has a lot to do with how deep x round will penetrate, but
you cannot hypothesise a rounds penetration on a living organism based on experiments with steel plate, etc.

Not being a physics major, this is about the best I can explain it. Perhaps some of our members who jumble these numbers for a living can say it better.

Dr.Rob
July 18, 2006, 12:40 AM
The BOT shows what happens with a MISS. The Federal Test shows (relatively) how much penetration AFTER miss, hitting something in between.

The old 55 grain bullet is pretty darn good all things considered for what you might want in a 'war' bullet... the abilty to shoot through stuff the bad guys are using as cover.

I understand that a lightweight 55 grain bullet at 3000 fps will shed a lot of energy if it hits something solid... but a 170gr .30 bullet designed for controlled expansion is supposed to shoot through a deer, even quartering within a 100 yards. A deer rifle is supposed to have good penetration.

If it's ALL you have, ok... but it's not the best choice.

JohnKSa
July 18, 2006, 01:47 AM
...even I know that a center-fire rifle bullet will penetrate further and deeper than handgun bullets...You should have seen how confused the Mythbusters were when they couldn't get ANY of their rifle rounds (including a 50BMG) to out-penetrate the autopistol round they tested. (Can't remember if it was a 9mm or a .40S&W).

They were shooting into water and the rifle rounds all fragmented on impact.

Rifle rounds CAN penetrate more than pistol rounds but it's certainly not a given. As the Mythbusters test and the gel numbers prove, physics can surprise you now and then. ;)

MechAg94
July 18, 2006, 12:52 PM
The Box of Truth found the same thing on a sand box. Rifle rounds disintegrated, but pistol rounds stayed in tact.

In water and sand, low velocity helps penetration. I am not sure that carries over to flesh.

The Box of Truth tests on dry wall only showed that .223 actually was a good performer, but the wide deflection could be a concern. Either way, you have to assume .223 will go through at least 2 or 3 full walls. I wouldn't assume any less. If so, you are not a great deal more improved over other ammunition. If you have brick exterior, you may at least feel better than most ammunition will not pass through bricks without stopping. .223 may fragment, but the fragments can still cause serious injury though they may not penetrate the next wall.

SaxonPig
July 18, 2006, 05:51 PM
Well, that's just great. Now in addition to the extensive +P testing I'm doing now I'll have line up plywood and sheets of drywall to see what will blast through them best.

Like I don't have enough to do, already...

g56
July 18, 2006, 05:58 PM
The over penetration thing is interesting, since I recently saw a video of a test paid for by DOD, and the testing pretty much confirmed the over penetration of 5.56mm ammo, penetrating a wall, then penetrating both sides of a protective vest, entering a second room and lodging in the back wall, all shown on a video for everyone to see.

When I went through firearms training at the academy we were told that birdshot in a shotgun is just about the ideal home defense round, at extremely short ranges, like inside a house, birdshot is devastating, and I've done some non scientific testing that convinced me about using birdshot, but only for extremely close range. In the last couple of weeks some of the instructors at Gunsite were being interviewed on a TV shooting show, and they said they recommend birdshot for indoor self defense, and buckshot for short range outdoor defense. This was particularly interesting to me because it confirmed the training I had received at the academy.

Cosmoline
July 18, 2006, 06:02 PM
WHAT 5.56?? It sounds like AP. Did they also have a human size chunk of bal. gel. for it to go through? Where did you see the test?

Medusa
July 18, 2006, 06:32 PM
it depends on the ammo used, and rifle. If it would be me in my crazy days I'd keep a PGM Hecate, cal .338 Lapua Magnum, 27' barrel, at hand. this one would surely shoot through a lot walls.

Otherwise 5.56 FMJ keeps the house safe, 40mm as a backup.

Gewehr98
July 18, 2006, 06:34 PM
I've shot too many living things with rifles and missed too many with handguns to have any doubts on the matter.

What have we learned? Since Cosmo can't shoot a handgun worth sour owl poop, it makes perfect sense that nobody else should use one for home defense too. I'll get right on that, I knew those nasty handguns in my nightstand were absolutely no good, even if I do well in accuracy during stuff like IPSC/IDPA/USPSA, etc. ;)

Cpl Punishment
July 18, 2006, 06:36 PM
IF the rifle round is a non-expanding type (i.e. solid or FMJ)

AND

IF those rifle rounds hit targets that do NOT cause it to yaw and fragment, it will penetrate quite well (thus why they penetrate boards and body armor well, but fragment all to hell in fluid/semifluid mediums (like gel, bodies, etc).

IMO, this means fragmenting rifle rounds are superior in SD situation where overpenetration is a problem, so long as you hit your target. If you miss your target, no projectile (handgun, shotgun, rifle) is "safe". If you have a round that will not defeat two layers of drywall (i.e. an interior wall), I think you're crazy to trust it to stop a bad guy.

Dr.Rob
July 18, 2006, 07:04 PM
If by "birdshot" you had better mean a 3 inch #2... something like a turkey or goose load and not one meant for quail.

BOT has a lot of info on shot gun penetration, including birdshot.

Cosmoline
July 18, 2006, 07:23 PM
What have we learned? Since Cosmo can't shoot a handgun worth sour owl poop, it makes perfect sense that nobody else should use one for home defense too. I'll get right on that, I knew those nasty handguns in my nightstand were absolutely no good, even if I do well in accuracy during stuff like IPSC/IDPA/USPSA, etc.

I've put tens of thousands of handgun rounds down range through a very wide array of handguns from .22's to .454's. I wouldn't call myself a crack shot by any means but I'm a solid shot by Alaska standards. Your post highlights the limits of competition shooting. No matter how realistic it's supposed to be, it will always be artificial and it will always be set up so you can actually make the shots. After all nobody wants a competition where everybody walks away with a zero. The objective is to score points. Fun, but of limited utility. And dangerous to some extent, since it can give you a very inflated notion of your own ability and the ease with which you'll be able to nail real bad guys shooting real bullets back at you.

Real life doesn't always cooperate like that. Spending some time in the woods with your short gun trying to hit running furry things is a real eye opener. Not with a long barrel, scoped hunting handgun, mind, but the one you actually plan on using for self defense. Just go do it some time. Try to go shoot some squirrel and hare with your 1911 or whatever. See how well you do compared with a .22 rifle. If you can bullseye squirrels at 25 yards with your hand iron over and over again, you are the man now, dog ;-)

I never said handguns were "no good," I said they are purely defensive firearms of limited utility and that you should almost always choose the long gun once that option is available. For example, you might use the handgun on your night stand to guard your room's door until you can get over and get the carbine in your dresser.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 18, 2006, 07:26 PM
The over penetration thing is interesting, since I recently saw a video of a test paid for by DOD, and the testing pretty much confirmed the over penetration of 5.56mm ammo, penetrating a wall, then penetrating both sides of a protective vest, entering a second room and lodging in the back wall, all shown on a video for everyone to see.

Well, that tells us that if you shoot through drywall with 5.56 ammo of the type used in the test, you will penetrate any empty protective vests (of that particular type and construction) and still have enough energy to lodge in an interior wall. It doesn't say much about which round is less likely to present a lethal threat to an unarmored human being though. It also doesn't tell us about other alternative types of ammo that may not present the same danger.

When I went through firearms training at the academy we were told that birdshot in a shotgun is just about the ideal home defense round, at extremely short ranges, like inside a house

I had the opportunity to talk to someone who was shot in the upper right torso from 15 feet away with a load of birdshot. He made his own 911 call. He showed me the wound and it was good shot placement (or would have been had the birdshot penetrated deeply enough to reach vital organs). I would guess #7 or #8 shot; but he didn't know for sure.

Richard.Howe
July 18, 2006, 07:33 PM
Otherwise 5.56 FMJ keeps the house safe, 40mm as a backup.

Wow, that dude isn't messing around. I'd like to see what a 40mm pistol looks like. :D

_N4Z_
July 18, 2006, 07:40 PM
What academy said that? OHP? Kooky talk.

That is not such a safe thing to be preaching. Birdshot is not something to be depending on when you or yours life is on the line. Ya it'll make a big noise, it'll hurt, and make a nasty, disgusting wound, but what else? I suppose a blinding shot to the face would be good to stop a bad guy.

I'll take the 00, ahhh thank you.

U.S.SFC_RET
July 18, 2006, 07:48 PM
I hear you loud and clear Cosmoline. I understand what a pistol is and I understand what a rifle is. There is no comparison between the two. IMHO you should practically feel naked without a rifle but you have others who will always want to tell you otherwise.

MTMilitiaman
July 18, 2006, 08:29 PM
The over penetration thing is interesting, since I recently saw a video of a test paid for by DOD, and the testing pretty much confirmed the over penetration of 5.56mm ammo, penetrating a wall, then penetrating both sides of a protective vest, entering a second room and lodging in the back wall, all shown on a video for everyone to see.

I'd like to see this test, if you have the link. In order for a body armor test to mean anything, it has to have a proper backing material--usually ballistic clay--or the results really don't mean anything. The vest is only rated to withstand impact if there is something in it. And anything powerful enough to consistantly inflict lethal or dehibilitating wounds on an adult will go through several layers of drywall--including handguns.

When I went through firearms training at the academy we were told that birdshot in a shotgun is just about the ideal home defense round, at extremely short ranges, like inside a house, birdshot is devastating, and I've done some non scientific testing that convinced me about using birdshot, but only for extremely close range. In the last couple of weeks some of the instructors at Gunsite were being interviewed on a TV shooting show, and they said they recommend birdshot for indoor self defense, and buckshot for short range outdoor defense. This was particularly interesting to me because it confirmed the training I had received at the academy.

Suit yourself. I still think it is foolish. Again, I have a M870 Wingmaster with a 26 inch barrel and a turkey choke on it. My dad loads 7 1/2 shot by the hundreds since he got his Mec, so I've had a lot of experience with it on small game. I've shot literally hundreds, if not thousands of small critters. Even with the tight patterns offered by an extra full choke, it isn't uncommon to see most or all of this shot fail to penetrate a 1.5 pound ground squirrel at about 30 feet--that is about the range from my bed to the basement door. And I am supposed to rely on it to get to the vitals on a 150+ pound critter? No thanks. Just goes to show even the "experts" have to be taken with a grain of salt.

I am with Cosmoline 100%. You don't have to shoot either very much to realize that rifles are rifles and handguns are handguns. Only a fool confuses to utility and convenience of a handgun with the power, range, and accuracy of a rifle. Anyone who knows anything about what either does will choose a rifle over a handgun at the first opprotunity in all but the most extreme situations--such as a tunnel that absolutely won't allow you to use a rifle.

.45Guy
July 18, 2006, 09:15 PM
Reminds me of a quote from the novel Feast of Bones I believe. Upon arriving in Afghanistan a young Soviet VDV officer is checking in with his first unit, and is about to check a Makarov out of the armory. Luckily his crusty company CO is there with the sage advice of, "Best to get yourself a carbine, the only thing a pistol's good for here is suicide." :P

ArmandTanzarian
July 18, 2006, 09:39 PM
I'm not necessarily advocating a handgun over a longgun for home defense, but the box o' truth guy proved once and for all that it's the idea that a .223 does NOT penetrate significantly that is the myth, not the other way around. IOW, it does penetrate a LOT. Went through several "walls" worth of sheetrock like it wasn't even there. That's ball ammo. Now with something more frangible, different story; true that - you have a point there.


http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot1.htm

It was time to get out the rifle. I shot my 16" AR with XM-193. Here I am busting the Box.

[...]

Lessons learned:
1. Sheetrock (drywall) doesn't slow any round down much. If you shoot in the house, walls will not stop any serious round.

2. Twelve pine boards will not stop a .223 round

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot14.htm

In any event, it doesn't matter a great deal, because IF you have a brick exterior, it will stop most anything, coupled with other barriers (sheetrock), and if it doesn't, the bricks will at the least sap the vast majority of dangerous energy from it. OTOH, IF you DON'T have bricks/stones, then again, it matters not what round you're using - 9mm, .45, .223, they will ALL easily penetrate and keep on a-flyin'.

So probably, the lessons are...live in a brick structure if possible, both to keep bullets in AND keep bullets out. Given the above, may as well use the longarm, for max effectiveness, since penetration concerns are a wash. (well, ok, don't use a .45-70 hardcast 500 grainers though).

mljdeckard
July 18, 2006, 10:58 PM
Sand and ballistic gel aren't flesh.

Still haven't heard any objections to my M-1 carbine and remington 870 with #4 or 00.

Really, are there any objections?

Gewehr98
July 19, 2006, 01:41 AM
Real life doesn't always cooperate like that. Spending some time in the woods with your short gun trying to hit running furry things is a real eye opener. Not with a long barrel, scoped hunting handgun, mind, but the one you actually plan on using for self defense. Just go do it some time. Try to go shoot some squirrel and hare with your 1911 or whatever. See how well you do compared with a .22 rifle. If you can bullseye squirrels at 25 yards with your hand iron over and over again, you are the man now, dog ;-)


I've been the man, literally, since about 1977. Maybe there's some hillbilly in my family history, but we didn't have a lot of money at the time, so my parents had myself and my sister potting cottontail and snowshoe rabbits on our farm for the crock pot with a Model 27 S&W revolver and .38 Special 148gr HBWC ammo. Of course, we were shooting competitively in NRA small-bore matches beginning in 4th grade, I understand in this day and age that would be unheard of. Fast-forward another 20 years and you'd find me using my Wichita silhouette pistol during centerfire deer season to stuff the freezers with venison. That same handgun has put wild pork in my freezer when I was stationed in Florida. I've duplicated the bunny-thumping technique since I've moved back here with my IPSC/carry Norinco 1911 shooting 200gr SWC loads, it's a hoot. So I'm neither intimidated nor under any misconceptions as to what can and cannot be accomplished with a handgun in my own situation. Obviously, your mileage may vary, as you've pointed out, and that's fine.

That doesn't mean I don't have a defensive rifle and/or shotgun in my bag of home defense tricks, right along with a couple big anti-social dogs and 911 speed-dial, closed circuit TV w/IR illumination, all-lights-on panic button, etc. I'm a wonderful host, but I've also been the recipient of a couple attempted home-invasion robberies in Citrus Heights, CA, so these days I'm not exactly running the home wide open to all comers. My own gut feeling is a layered defense is best, so our game plan utilizes all of the above. Whatever works and you're both comfortable and proficient, that's what will save your bacon.

Don't ge me wrong, I'm not going to advocate stopping any and all attacks on your person with that little J-frame .38 that you've become a deadeye with (Unless it's all you have). What I'm saying is that if a handgun doesn't work for your particular defensive situation, by all means explore other options to include shotguns, rifles, claymores, Burmese Tiger Traps, VHF Secure Satcom precision B-2 JDAM strikes, whatever. But don't do the blanket assumption thing and rule out handguns as defensive weapons for others based on your own experiences. That's not really fair to others, and truthfully, some of us are quite capable of taking care of ourselves. There was a time my only defensive firearm was a DCM M1 Garand, loaded with 150gr Winchester Silvertips. Plug that into the Box-O'-Truth. ;)

Mike_in_OC
July 19, 2006, 02:09 AM
mljdeckard, I use a similiar set up. .357 1894c lever action loaded with .357 corbon 110 gr. And a 870 loaded with #4 buck. 870 will soon be replaced by Benelli M1S90. Both rest in Tufloc

http://www.esmet.com/singlegun.html

Kurush
July 19, 2006, 02:41 AM
In any event, it doesn't matter a great deal, because IF you have a brick exterior, it will stop most anything, coupled with other barriers (sheetrock), and if it doesn't, the bricks will at the least sap the vast majority of dangerous energy from it.Nope! Brick is not cover, even from 5.56.
Watch and be enlightened: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6760530260633420235

Cosmoline
July 19, 2006, 03:11 AM
But don't do the blanket assumption thing and rule out handguns as defensive weapons for others based on your own experiences. That's not really fair to others, and truthfully, some of us are quite capable of taking care of ourselves. There was a time my only defensive firearm was a DCM M1 Garand, loaded with 150gr Winchester Silvertips.

How many times do I have to say that handguns are useful short range defensive firearms? I've never made the blanket assumptions you claim I've made. But there is almost no situation this side of digging VC out of 3' tunnels where a short gun is preferable to a long gun. We only use them where we have to use them, either because of legal or convenience issues. For example we use them for CCW not because they're better than a rifle but because a rifle would be difficult to conceal and might get us in trouble with the law.

I'm happy to hear you're the man with handguns. Why you didn't use a .22 I don't really know, but it sounds like you had fun so great. But a good as you are (and I don't doubt you're better than me) no human can shoot better with a short gun than an average rifleman can shoot with an average long gun.

Beyond all accuracy considerations, beyond all BS about overpenetration, there remains this fact. That Garand shooting 150 SP's will do things to a human man no 1911 ever could. And when you need to stop a killer, it's a mighty fine thing to have overwhelming firepower in your hands that you *KNOW* you can hit him with and you *KNOW* will liquify his lungs, tear out his heart, and send him spinning down to hell.

"Know that the pistol has no value, we practically don't use it." Mordechai Anielewicz, Warsaw Ghetto

LAK
July 19, 2006, 07:28 AM
I think "over-penetration" is a subjective term. Unless I am going to spend an inordinate amount of time on a crowded bus, I am more concerned about under-penetration.

The 17"-18" mentioned for the heavier 30-30 bullets is very close to ideal IMO. It means that the bullet might still go where I want it to even if it strikes the fat forearm first of a very big badguy haunched over a gun pointed at me.

-----------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

Bartholomew Roberts
July 19, 2006, 09:21 AM
Sand and ballistic gel aren't flesh.

No, ballistic gel is just what scientists use to predict how bullets will behave in flesh.

Brick is not cover, even from 5.56.
Watch and be enlightened: http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...30260633420235

Great link! Thanks for sharing it. For the purposes of this discussion though, it is important to note that brick was only penetrated by using three-round burst at 0 degrees from 19m and that even then the round was broken up so that all it did was spray fragments on the other side of the wall.

So you could reasonably expect a brick exterior facing on a house to contain any danger that might be posed by using 5.56mm in self-defense. Though you certainly have a good point that even with 5.56mm, you can eventually reduce most cover to concealment with a 30rd magazine.

Master Blaster
July 19, 2006, 09:54 AM
I dont think there are any hard fast rules about the over-penetration issue.

In my own house, if I were firing at an intruder and I missed, the round might encounter multiple walls and hit a couple of studs effectively stopping it from exiting. OR The round might only have to go through one layer of sheetrock, insulation and plywood sheathing before it encounters the same at my neighbors house 20 yards away. In that case a 9mm, 223, .308,or even shotgun pellets will be still going fast enough to injure or kill somone in the next house.

Heck it might only have to go through two layers of glass, or even just a layer of glass or a couple of window screens if its a nice night and the windows are open.

The rule be aware of your target and what is beyond applies here for any HD round. IMHO the most effective least risky round would be a shotgun shell with buck or large shot.

mljdeckard
July 19, 2006, 05:11 PM
I ultimately agree with master blaster. YOU DON'T KNOW. You can't conclusively eliminate the possibility, you can only minimize it.

In my HOME, shooting around my KIDS, 110 HSP .30 carbine and #4 are the best compromises I can think of.

jerkface11
July 19, 2006, 07:25 PM
Hope i don't live near any of you fellows who use a .223 for home defense. I mean i'm sure it's easy to be aware of your backstop after you miss and the bullet goes out a window and keeps going for a mile or two.

308win
July 19, 2006, 07:32 PM
I don't like the idea of using birdshot for defense. I've had it fail to stop ground squirrels at ranges I have in my house enough times that I am skeptical of its ability to stop a meth'd up body builder with a machete. And that is with a 26 inch barreled turkey choke.

Up to about 7yds the 'slug' effect will be in play. Beyond that the birdshot pattern will begin to open up quickly. If your target is inside 7yds birdshot will make a pretty impressive hole in most soft targets.

Cpl Punishment
July 19, 2006, 10:11 PM
Hope i don't live near any of you fellows who use a .223 for home defense. I mean i'm sure it's easy to be aware of your backstop after you miss and the bullet goes out a window and keeps going for a mile or two.

In reality, you'd be in more danger if I missed while using my .45 for HD than my .223.

SpookyPistolero
July 19, 2006, 11:06 PM
Does anyone happen to have a link to a knowledgeable source for the pentration of 7.62x39 as compared to 5.56 on the types of common barriers as have been listed?

g56
July 20, 2006, 01:50 AM
I had the opportunity to talk to someone who was shot in the upper right torso from 15 feet away with a load of birdshot. He made his own 911 call. He showed me the wound and it was good shot placement (or would have been had the birdshot penetrated deeply enough to reach vital organs). I would guess #7 or #8 shot; but he didn't know for sure.

We carried #4 Duck & Pheasant, normally the #4 Duck was in the chamber, next round was 00 Buck, then alternate in the magazine.

Personally I've only seen one person shot with that load, distance about 10 feet, he was dead before he hit the ground, you don't live to long when you heart has basically been shredded to mush. Armed and barricaded subject in a trailer house, the Under Sheriff was approaching the back door of a trailer, going up the back stairs, subject stepped out the back door of the trailer, stuck his pistol in the Under Sheriff's face and pulled the trigger, it went click, misfire....the Under Sheriff ducked and the officer right behind him shot the subject one time in the chest with #4 Duck, as I mentioned, distance of about 10 feet, subject was probably dead before he fell to the ground. I didn't witness the shooting, but I did see the deceased and the terrible wound in his chest, he never had a chance.

Cosmoline
July 20, 2006, 03:04 AM
Does anyone happen to have a link to a knowledgeable source for the pentration of 7.62x39 as compared to 5.56 on the types of common barriers as have been listed?

It depends on the bullet and the speed. The problem with x39 is it's harder to get good HP and SP loads for it. The Russian production SP tends to be little more than standard ball with the jacket peeled back. It may or may not expand, and does pose a danger of just going and going. The Cor-Bon hot & heavy stuff is good, though.

SpookyPistolero
July 20, 2006, 03:41 AM
I didn't think the bulk type russian stuff would perform well in this role, but hoped something like the Lapua or Winchester JSP loadings might have some data available.

Cosmoline
July 20, 2006, 04:17 AM
There's a real lack of good terminal performance data with the x39 custom and handloaded rounds.

goon
July 20, 2006, 05:29 AM
All I have to go by are the ballistic gel tests that I have seen online but judging from some of them, something like a 5.56mm ballistic tip bullet seems like it might be a pretty decent choice. The ballistic tip should still cause the bullet to begin opening and fragmenting as soon as it hits anything. Since walls are harder than people, they should break up even faster.
Does anyone know of any tests on this type of ammo against walls?

As for the birdshot in the 12 gauge, I will admit to that.
I look at it like this.
If I am attacked and I fight back and I still die, at least I die on my feet.
If I accidentally kill an innocent person I don't think I could live with that on my conscience.
For me, the best choice in a shotgun is most likely going to be a heavy birdshot load, probably two in a row, backed up by buck.

I will gamble with my own life rather gamble with someone else's.

SpookyPistolero
July 20, 2006, 08:52 AM
Thanks, though, for the info Cosmoline!

grendelbane
July 20, 2006, 08:45 PM
People seem to forget that there are long guns chambered for pistol calibers.

There is a grey area regarding what a pistol and a rifle caliber is.

Penetration is indeed determined by bullet construction and velocity, not the firearm from which it is fired. (Though rifling twist can have an effect.)

Winchester model 92's in .44-40, (a rifle caliber, though one also used in pistols), were once considered good lion medicine. Most large frame, long barrel magnum revolvers make the old muskets look lame in everything except terminal ballistics, and they are not really too shy there.

My favorite household arm is an AR15 in .45 ACP. My neighbors are far enough away that I don't worry about excessive penetration. The slightly higher velocity from the 16" carbine barrel ensures that penetration in gelatin and similar circumstances will be less than that of the same ammuntion fired from a conventional 5" handgun barrel.

But not that much less!:)

KINGMAX
July 20, 2006, 09:27 PM
1. A LARGE barking dog
2. The sound of a pump shotgun being cycled into action.
__________________
David
Aiken, SC


That should do it.

Medusa
July 21, 2006, 09:21 AM
Wow, that dude isn't messing around. I'd like to see what a 40mm pistol looks like.
Hmm, I've never considered the AG36 (40x46 mm cal) to be a pistol, although it could be used as one. If you haven't heard, the 40mm is a standard calibre GL, attached to rifle.
Looks like this:
http://www.heckler-koch.de/media/Produkte_Slideshow/G36_mitGranatwerfer.jpg
http://www.heckler-koch.de/core.php?dat=Y29tcG9uZW50PWFydGljbGVzJmFjdGlvbj1zaG93JnhJRD1wcm9kdWN0QXJ0aWNsZURldGFpbHMmYXJ0aWNsZUlEPTMwMyZjYXRJRD0xMzA1JmxhbmdJRD01JnBhcmVudElEPTcyNCZuYXZpZ2F0aW9uSUQ9NzI5JnVzZUZsYXNoPTE=

SamTuckerMTNMAN
October 6, 2006, 04:39 PM
Just as a warning,

I was shooting behind my house into an uphill bank, what I believed to be hollow point (labeled "Hunting Spec") ammo in 7.62x39. It had a little soft lead over what was supposed to be a gaping hole that was supposed to expand. After firing a few rounds and putting up the rifle the police drove by, and then by again, and finally into my driveway where we were having a good ole mountain party. :what: It turns out the ammo was steel core FMJ rigged to 'look' like hunting ammo and it went through the target, bounced in clay, and went a mile over a huge hardwood forest landing somewhere on a neighbors property intact. The deputy pulled it out of his pocket. I about crapped.
As a serious shooter who considers safety and public relations equal with skill, this was not a fun day. So just be aware if you buy cheap import stuff you may not be getting what you think you are. If in doubt test fire rounds, dissect them, or pull them apart. We have since upgraded the range to make such an accident less likely.

Spencer
October 6, 2006, 05:58 PM
It has alot to do with bullet type.

The difference in the effects of a .223 caliber MC bullet and a .223 caliber JHP bullet on a water jug is quite noticable.

Don't Tread On Me
October 6, 2006, 06:08 PM
7.62x39mm FMJ, out of an AK, will penetrate more than a handgun cartridge. If the opposite were true, the Soviets would have just used .357's.


The premise of this entire thread is to value LESS penetration because of the prevailing idea that overpenetration is a negative.


I find that to be pure and utter bullsh....


Having a decent amount of penetration is benefit, not a liability. People have been drinking way too much cop kool-aid about wall penetration concerns.


It's all lies folks. They wanted to justify a better terminal performer over the 9mm, they weren't thinking about "the children". The fact that police often spray away in confrontations negates ANY mythological benefit of lower-penetration.


Anyway, not trying inject those topics into the thread. I just feel the whole idea is bogus. But, since people want to debate what is and isn't a better penetrator - test it for yourself. Or, check out tests against walls etc... The google video posted earlier in this thread shows that any rifle round is a serious penetration threat. How anyone can say that pistol cartridges are a greater penetration threat is beyond me.

The Deer Hunter
October 6, 2006, 06:10 PM
Has anyone mentioned those new bullets that will kill but will decintegrate if they hit something hard like a wall?

Monkeybear
October 7, 2006, 12:30 AM
Don't Tread On Me - It seems simple enough, really. The 5.56 was designed to fragment upon contact with soft tissue. Using the right bullet, designed to fragment, with a rifle that gets it moving fast enough, 2700+fps, and its much more likely to fragment and yaw when hitting something soft like sheetrock than a slower bullet with more mass. Its just moving too fast; like someone else said think about a 20ft fall into water and a 200ft fall....at 200ft you go splat.

Don't Tread On Me
October 7, 2006, 08:53 AM
I understand all that.


If the primary concern is over penetration, what good is a .223 then? .223 doesn't fragment or turn into lead dust and particles after hitting dry wall. It goes through multiple interior walls.


The whole advocacy of the .223 as a lesser-penetrating round rests on the condition that all the shots fired WILL hit the target - a human. Also, it is a condition that the bullet(s) hit center of mass, as .223 winging flesh or hitting an arm will most likely not fragment. It is also an assumption that the bullets will fragment for certain, and not pass through. This isn't a guarantee at all - even with match grade ammo. There is always a level of unpredictability.

In my opinion, it is impossible to have a discussion or formulate a strategy about firearms and cartridges based on the fear of overpenetration without considering what happens when you miss. Sure, if the 75gr TAP that I keep in my AR hits a chest, most likely it will yaw fast, fragment and leave little to nothing for an exit. That's nice - if I don't miss.


If you really want a penetration safe firearm, consider a shotgun with birdshot or something along those lines, because everything else penetrates. Rifles, especially those of military-pattern and their cartridges penetrate way too much to even be considered in a discussion about over-penetration issues.


I'll stick to my statement - cops like the .223 because of the terminal performance increase over the 9mm, and also because the platform is cheaper (MP5 vs. AR). The idea that the people in the next room will be X amount safer due to the use of .223 is BS. Virtually every upgrade to more powerful and more lethal weaponry by law enforcement needs to be made with justifications that assure the public that the upgrade is actually creating more safety. How you define or quantify that is another story.


Internet forums have a terrible habit of creating false impressions. All I know is that the .223, despite being a varmint round, is still a serious and powerful cartridge.


That's all if you're concerned about over-penetration. Personally, I'm not - which is why my home defense rifle is a 7.62x39mm FMJ. The more penetration - the better. That's just my (minority) opinion.

dfaugh
October 7, 2006, 10:11 AM
As IBM used to put in many of its computer/programming manuals:

"Results may be unpredictable"

I've done some informal tested, using scrap wood, drywall and old appliances.

The only rifle calibers I've tested are 7.62x39, 8mm and 7.62x54R

Variety of handgun calibers, up to and including .357 AutoMag

Various shotgun loads.

Now, I don't have to worry much about overpenetration in my house, other than POSSIBLY shooting into an occupied bedroom.

BUT, using a mixture of rifle rounds (most importantly 7.62x39) and various handgun rounds (including .357 AutoMag and .44 magnum), I KNOW that there is a DEFINITE POSSIBILITY of these rounds penetrating multiple walls, and going who knows where (ballistics gel and water jugs are NOT the same as wood/plaster.)

00 buck is a good compromise for me, and are 9mm hollowpoints(although these can penerate pretty far, depending on design)...These would penetrate more than one wall, and will have almost NOT energy left after they do.

I don't think heavy birdshot (#2 or #$) is an altogether bad idea, if you really have to worry about overpenetration

NineseveN
October 7, 2006, 01:03 PM
Anything that is sufficiently lethal will have the ability to penetrate. 00 Buck, Slugs, .223, .308, handgun calibers...there is no magic bullet of death that can be stopped by drywall.

Monkeybear
October 7, 2006, 04:58 PM
I guess for some its all about minimizing risk. If it penetrates enough to stop a man then its gonna go though sheetrock. If there is a method that can minimize the going though sheetrock, even if its only a probability, and still do the man stopping part those of us with kids and living in apartments are gonna take a long hard look at it. We want the perfect magic bullet for HD, manstopper that dosnt go though walls. It dosnt exist but the .223 under the right circumstances may do just that and right now may is the best we can do.
Im not sure I would call the .223 a varmint round but all kidding aside you probably know alot more about it than I do.

Cosmoline
October 7, 2006, 05:29 PM
Yeah, there's no perfect solution. What I object to is the conventional wisdom that a 9x19 or .45 ACP is going to pose a decreased risk and one should never use a rifle for home defense because it will shoot through fifty houses and kill someone in the next city. Projectiles from any firearm powerful enough to kill a man will bust through many interior walls. From .32 caliber roundballs to a .30'06 180 grainer. So you're better off using the most powerful and accurate firearm you have, both because it will give you the best chance of winning the fight and because it stands a better chance of hitting what you're aiming it at and getting the job done with fewer rounds. ANY TIME you pull the trigger outside range conditions, you're running the risk of hitting a third party. That's why you only do it if you're faced with imminent and unlawful deadly force.

telomerase
October 7, 2006, 08:56 PM
What I object to is the conventional wisdom that a 9x19 or .45 ACP is going to pose a decreased risk

Well said Cosmoline. Of course you realize that your neighbors are running mental software designed for roaming the African savannah, and their firearm and ammunition choices are based on:
1. How much it looks like a properly shaped hand axe
2. Their "personal experiences" from tens of thousands of TV gunfights

And as Scott Adams would say, "and then they voted".

So the bottom line is, make sure your styrofoam and particleboard "house" has a stone facade. And remember Bill Gates' original house, before he was enslaved by a marketing employee? The "windows" were computer displays. (You didn't think Gates was dumb enough to live in a house with Windows?)

greg700
October 7, 2006, 09:43 PM
www.theboxotruth.com

I think it has been demonstrated that pretty much every cartridge penetrates more than expected.

Geronimo45
October 7, 2006, 10:07 PM
From Box o' truth results, I'm guessing that the 'decreased penetration' of .223 is because it can yaw, changing direction. If you're using a non-spitzer bullet, you'll probably have a straight penetration path.

ndh87
October 8, 2006, 03:35 PM
wolf .223 out my my mini 14 will go through a 1/4 inch thick steel plate at 50 yards, but it will break up when it hits cinderblock without penetrating

benEzra
October 8, 2006, 06:49 PM
from the original post:

A properly loaded .223, 7.62x39, .30-30, .32-20, .357 etc. out of a short rifle or carbine actually poses LESS of an overpenetration concern than a handgun. The reason is simple--velocity. A carbine can get the bullet moving much faster than a standard handgun, and it's far easier to govern its performance on impact. A smaller HP round can be made to both do devestating damage to a human target but fall apart quickly on impact with soft framing materials and sheetrock. At lower handgun velocities it's much tougher to do this. HP rounds don't always open up and can get clogged. They can end up penetrating very far, certainly through many rooms of a house.

From various other posters:

I'm not a ballistician or a physicist but even I know that a center-fire rifle bullet will penetrate further and deeper than handgun bullets (maybe comparing a .223 to a .454 Casull is an extreme). Note that the vests sold to cops are usually guaranteed to stop nearly all handgun ammo but as soon as a rifle is involved the warranty is voided.
Depends on the load you are using. We're not talking about FMJ here. The fact is, lightweight JHP's in .223 Remington (Federal 40-grain Blitz, for example) penetrate less in both building materials and gelatin than ANY centerfire handgun JHP.

If you compare .223 FMJ to 9mm JHP, yes, the 9mm will penetrate less. But if you compare fragile .223 40-gr or 55-gr JHP to 9mm 115gr JHP, the .223 will often penetrate less.

Penetration in Kevlar is meaningless to penetration in building materials. A tiny JHP out of a .17 Remington will penetrate a Level III Kevlar vest like it's not there, but will penetrate WAY less in building materials than any 9mm or .45 JHP. That's because penetration of Kevlar is almost purely velocity dependent, whereas penetration of building materials is heavily influenced by momentum and by bullet construction.

The over penetration thing is interesting, since I recently saw a video of a test paid for by DOD, and the testing pretty much confirmed the over penetration of 5.56mm ammo, penetrating a wall, then penetrating both sides of a protective vest, entering a second room and lodging in the back wall, all shown on a video for everyone to see.
And that video showed what multiple >>FMJ<< rounds impacting in the same spot will do to a wall. Also remember that with a machinegun, it is much easier to get multiple bullets hitting the same spot in sequence, and bore through a wall that a single round would not penetrate.

In the context of home defense, we're not talking about military FMJ rounds, which are optimized for penetrating building materials. We're talking about civilian varmint and self-defense loads, that are designed to be very fragile.

I'm not necessarily advocating a handgun over a longgun for home defense, but the box o' truth guy proved once and for all that it's the idea that a .223 does NOT penetrate significantly that is the myth, not the other way around. IOW, it does penetrate a LOT. Went through several "walls" worth of sheetrock like it wasn't even there. That's ball ammo. Now with something more frangible, different story; true that - you have a point there.
The box o'truth demo was with FMJ, as you point out. In the context of HD, FMJ would be a very, very bad choice. The original post specified lightweight hollowpoints, not FMJ.

Anyway, not trying inject those topics into the thread. I just feel the whole idea is bogus. But, since people want to debate what is and isn't a better penetrator - test it for yourself. Or, check out tests against walls etc... The google video posted earlier in this thread shows that any rifle round is a serious penetration threat. How anyone can say that pistol cartridges are a greater penetration threat is beyond me.
Again, we're not talking about FMJ rifle rounds as shown in that video. We're talking about lightweight JHP's, which do tend to penetrate less than pistol rounds, in both gelatin and building materials.

If the primary concern is over penetration, what good is a .223 then? .223 doesn't fragment or turn into lead dust and particles after hitting dry wall. It goes through multiple interior walls.


The whole advocacy of the .223 as a lesser-penetrating round rests on the condition that all the shots fired WILL hit the target - a human. Also, it is a condition that the bullet(s) hit center of mass, as .223 winging flesh or hitting an arm will most likely not fragment. It is also an assumption that the bullets will fragment for certain, and not pass through. This isn't a guarantee at all - even with match grade ammo. There is always a level of unpredictability.
Actually, lightweight .223 JHP's are also tend to be less-penetrating in building materials, and pose less injury risk after penetrating a wall than non-frangible handgun rounds. Police Marksman ran a comparison test a few years ago using wallboard and gelatin, and IIRC noted that.

Again, .223 using lightweight jacketed hollowpoints tends to penetrate less in building materials than non-frangible handgun rounds. That is what we carbine advocates are generally talking about, not FMJ.

ChCx91
October 8, 2006, 09:32 PM
The short gun is what you use until you get the long gun

hahaha sorry, that just sounded a little clever and funny to me :rolleyes:

IMHO, i think the carbine may be a better home defense weapon none the less. even if the bullet were to keep going, we have to look at these factors:

1) it hit the BG and a .223 going through a human body's flesh may reduce the velocity and range altogether by a dramatic amount

2) it goes through a layer of drywall, and perhaps even some brick, which also even lowers the ALREADY LOWERED velocity and range

3) even if it were to still exit the walls of your home, and kept going for "three miles" (which i find completely insane) what are the chances that this bullet is going to penetrate someone ELSE'S house, hit them square on THIER flesh, and still have enough lethality to scathe them?

if all these were taken into chance, and were to actually happen, im pretty sure the amount of damage would be less than fatal, even to an infant.

soul_rapier
October 9, 2006, 01:13 AM
:D 7.62x25 handgun is over penetration seen it go thru body armor thats one killer round . i'd go with a shotgun it will go thru inter-walls without a problem too i done it using bird shot #7 i think what i was using that day.

Don't Tread On Me
October 9, 2006, 04:32 AM
Actually, lightweight .223 JHP's are also tend to be less-penetrating in building materials, and pose less injury risk after penetrating a wall than non-frangible handgun rounds. Police Marksman ran a comparison test a few years ago using wallboard and gelatin, and IIRC noted that.

Again, .223 using lightweight jacketed hollowpoints tends to penetrate less in building materials than non-frangible handgun rounds. That is what we carbine advocates are generally talking about, not FMJ.


This is bogus, because the HP or ballistic tip lightweight varmint bullets are clearly unsuitable for personal protection. They create VERY shallow wounds in people. They often don't get past 4" in gel! How can anyone trust that for personal protection?


So, by that standard, it is no different than using light birdshot. Useless.


Like this THR poster said:

Anything that is sufficiently lethal will have the ability to penetrate.

So far, we can't have both. You can't get lesser penetration through inferior walls AND sufficient terminal performance at the same time. It is either one or the other.


This is until someone makes a bullet (believe this is being researched) that penetrates soft targets like tissue, but fragments on harder barriers like drywall. That's high tech stuff, and something I don't see LE or the market using anytime soon.


I think that weighing the fear of overpenetration so heavily to the point that you sacrifice a critical and crucial aspect of your personal protection is dangerous. What is most likely to be a bigger factor? Accidentally hurting others, or needing the penetration power to incapacitate a deadly threat? This assumes you're already in a life-or-death situation faced against the threat. The threat is there, it is real and it is in your face. The danger of a stray bullet hurting or killing someone else is absolutely secondary to the primary threat before you. It is more important to stop the threat that is about to end your life than it is to compromise your efforts based on low-percentage what-ifs when it comes to stray bullets.

Monkeybear
October 9, 2006, 05:41 AM
Don't Tread On Me - I completely agree with you, HP and BT varmint rounds are designed to make a shallow wound and are completely unsuitable for SD/HD.

However, a suitable SD round, as in one designed to tumble, fragment and cause a large wound, at 2700+fps will have a probability of yawing and fragmenting when coming into contact with sheetrock and because of their mass, even if they dont magically dissapear after passing through a wall they can still hopefully lose enough velocity that they will not fragment and tumble afterwards should they enter the body of someone behind those walls. My belief is that a reliable stopping round that dose not reliably stop people behind walls is better than one that dose.

nemoaz
December 22, 2006, 01:36 AM
Box-o-truth - box-o-useless-shiite since he only tested 5.56 ball ammo. Why isn't he testing 5.56 hollowpoints???

Car Knocker
December 22, 2006, 01:59 AM
Box-o-truth - box-o-useless-shiite since he only tested 5.56 ball ammo. Why isn't he testing 5.56 hollowpoints???
Because no matter what he tested, someone would whine and snivel that he should have tested something else instead.

c_yeager
December 22, 2006, 04:15 AM
The issue of overpenetration isnt really about how much human tissue the bullet will pass through, but how much building material a missed shot will penetrating before losing lethal velocity. Show me tests of the relevant rounds through dry wall and lumber, then we will have something.

Box-o-truth - box-o-useless-shiite since he only tested 5.56 ball ammo. Why isn't he testing 5.56 hollowpoints???

A rather inflamatory statement considering that it is coming from a person who didnt bother to do much homework before making it. http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot4.htm Several frangible rounds are tested here.

nemoaz
December 22, 2006, 01:02 PM
I saw that. I'm asking why no hollow points, not frangibles. (Who the heck buys a magazine full of frangibles at $20 or more a box for 6.) Why does he use ball ammo for 5.56? He's obviously not just one of the ball ammo dinosaurs because he used hollowpoints for all the pistol rounds, even the .45. If you are trying to prove or disprove the fact that 5.56 hollowpoints penetrate less than 9/.40/.45, you should use the load most commonly used in both, hollowpoints.

Bartholomew Roberts
December 22, 2006, 01:21 PM
OK, this thread is not the place to express your dissatisfaction with someone who takes his own time and money to test and then kindly shares that information with the rest of us. If you would like to do testing that you think is better, then I invite you to share the results of your tests with us in a new thread when you are finished.

Eleven Mike
December 22, 2006, 01:34 PM
A few years ago, I built a 4 x 8 wall out of some 1/2" sheet-rock and two-by-fours. Shooting it from inside ranges, everything I tried went right through. Bird-shot, .22s and everything else. I don't recall if I tried any hollowpoints or any rifle rounds. Having tried that experiment, I find it hard to expect frame construction to stop anything that comes out of a firearm.

Zero_DgZ
December 22, 2006, 01:40 PM
Heck, it looks like I came late to this party. And here I was all smug figuring I could pretty much settle the debate so simply.

News flash: Any lump of metal (be it lead or steel) with enough mass and velocity to provide the desired result on a bad guy/game critter will have more than enough mass and momentum to penetrate, quite handily, the cheesy building materials used in this day and age. Doesn't matter if its hollow point, frangible, made of compressed lead dust, or glued together bird shot. If you need to penetrate the BG/deer, it will penetrate sheetrock (and wood, certainly insualtion, and put a heckuva dent in brick).

See also: Cosby's Law (you can't have your Jell-o and eat it too), Newton's Law (objects in motion like to stay that way), and Reddman's Law (the faster something moves, the sharper it gets from the point of view of its target).

zinj
December 22, 2006, 02:06 PM
It seems like alot of people are drawing their conclusions from the BoT test. The BoT showed that in current house construction pistol rounds will penetrate no less than a rifle round. What is being falsely inferred is that means the rifle rounds are penetrating less.

The test doesn't show that, it shows that the rounds tested could all penetrate four interior walls. To put it into logical language there was only a true or false result. There was no quantification of the amount of penetration.

I think the other BoT test show that rifle rounds do in fact out penetrate pistol rounds. The rifles exceeded the pistols in going through a car, water, books, and armor. The .223 sometimes is closer to the pistol rounds, but it still is penetrating just as much as them, and somethimes it is penetrating more.

I think the point has been hit on quite well here that any round capable of stopping an organism weighing over 25 pounds consistantly is going to have no problems penetrating walls in your average house.

mdao
December 22, 2006, 02:31 PM
After reading the thread, there seems to be two groups talking past each other due to the imprecise definition of overpenetration.

After the bullet has already hit the (human) target, rifle rounds are less likely to overpenetrate.

When the bullet completely misses the target, rifle rounds are no better (and possibly quite a bit worse) than pistol rounds when it comes to penetrating walls/etc.

/Assuming you want ~ 12" of penetration in bare gelatin.

bub8889
December 23, 2006, 05:24 AM
I gotta agree with MDAO, There are 2 opposed sides here.

I'll admit I'm a supporter of varmint bullets for SD/HD, specifically Nosler 55gr ballistic tips. I'll agree with the fact that they lack penetration, I believe someone posted penetration of 4" for varmint bullets. That doesn't seem like much in the grand sceem of things but 4" is more than half way through the average humans chest.

One things that hasn't really been mention is bullet expansion, I've seen penetration, over penetration, under penetration, yawing, twisting, tumbling and drunking stumbling but no real mention of bullet expansion. Varmint bullets EXPAND QUICKLY AND VIOLENTLY, that's what they're designed to do. They have leave a wound channel that looks like your average lightbulb. \

They enter and start exploding tearing up meat and making a big wound cavity and deposit all the bullets energy into the target. Hit a BG in the chest with one and it will put him on his ass, dead or not you have time to decide if a follow up is needed or not. They will practially cut an arm or leg off. Unless the BG is wearing body armour rapid expansion is a greater benefit than penetration. An exit wounds ust means he will leave a better blood trail.

With a limb hit or miss penetration is minimal, yes the bullet will still travel through 1 full wall but a second would be pushing it, the bullet would most likely be shredded by the time it enters the second wall, if it hits a stud in the first wall it will be done there.

Nematocyst
August 5, 2007, 04:21 AM
OK, I read this entire thread, front to back.

Got to the last post,
which was posted over 1.5 yrs ago,
and found that the issue wasn't settled.

I mean, it was like a novel with no ending. :(

I was just left hanging,
like I was on a 2-pitch,
5.9 granite wall in NM
a few years ago.
(150' above the next piece of solid ground,
trying to get an anchor out of a granite crack
that wouldn't let it go.)

So, what brought me to this thread?

Well, I'm wearing a SW 642 loaded with
Speer Gold Dot .38 spl 135 gr +P.

My Marlin 1894C in .357 mag
(that is replacing the 12 ga)
will be here early next week.

So, given that the '94C is going to
play a major role in SD (that's studio defense),
what's the OP (over-penetration potential)?

By the way, please let me reset the tape with a post
from the OP, Cosmoline, who lives in the region
I'm leaning towards (which, incidently, is not NJ):

Yeah, there's no perfect solution. What I object to is the conventional wisdom that a 9x19 or .45 ACP is going to pose a decreased risk and one should never use a rifle for home defense because it will shoot through fifty houses and kill someone in the next city. Projectiles from any firearm powerful enough to kill a man will bust through many interior walls. From .32 caliber roundballs to a .30'06 180 grainer. So you're better off using the most powerful and accurate firearm you have, both because it will give you the best chance of winning the fight and because it stands a better chance of hitting what you're aiming it at and getting the job done with fewer rounds. ANY TIME you pull the trigger outside range conditions, you're running the risk of hitting a third party. That's why you only do it if you're faced with imminent and unlawful deadly force.I agree.

If I'm pressed, and have less than 10 sec to deal with a SD situation,
I'll take the 642 and be aware of the 4th gun safety rule:
Be aware of what's behind your target.

(Yes, I know where my neighbors are.)

If I have > 10 sec,
or if the '94C is on the sling on my shoulder,
I'll grab it because a carbine with an 18" brl,
loaded with .357 mag for SD ...
well, it don't get much better.

;)

I'll still be aware of where my neighbors are,
but will be more confident that I'll hit my target
with that little carbine ...

But then again,
maybe things are different
in the 'burbs of Fairbanks
than in the 'burbs of Dallas.

Nem

havanatrader
August 5, 2007, 03:28 PM
"Overpenetration" and rifle rounds--the myth that won't die"

Just don't stand behind the myth - if someone shoots at it, and overpenetration is real - you could be hurt too!

Cosmoline
August 5, 2007, 03:41 PM
I plan to be hiding UNDER the myth when the shooting starts!

lukefenech
August 6, 2007, 07:37 AM
I've been a shooter and hunter my whole life and I'm also a Paramedic

I have seen humans and structures hit by various projectiles from various firearms.USSRhit the nail on the head WAAAAAAY back in post #5. Bullet construction and velocity are the only factors in the equation. Hence, the complication...

You can have a short barrelled weapon producing high velocities with projectiles that are designed to stay together; You can have long-arms sending "soft" projectiles at very low velocities and everything in-between. It is a waste of effort and time arguing over which style of firearm is safer, better, etc etc etc.. for home defense with regards to secondary damage because it really comes down to the make-up of the ammunition. I personally prefer a hand-gun because manouverability and swing speed are right up there on my priority list.

I must add that I am not a subscriber to the concept that handguns are useless with regards to accuracy. I shoot Service Match every Sunday and I can consistently put six rounds into the nine ring at 50 metres, (and I'm by NO MEANS amongst the best there are out there with a pistol). Like anything, if you take the time to learn how, you'd be surprised what can be achieved with a short barrel.

It's not a simple debate

There is no simple answer

Whatever you choose as a home defense weapon, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.. if for no other reason than the sanity of the emergency services personnel that have to clean up.... LOAD SPECIFICALLY FOR THE JOB AT HAND!!!! DON'T USE HUNTING LOADS for self defense in confined/built-up areas... You'll successfully protect yourself, your family and your property.... and maybe kill the kid next door.

I pray that none of you are ever in the position where you have to use 'em.

Z_Infidel
August 6, 2007, 10:41 AM
Hey Nem, take this for what it's worth but I think the 1894C loaded with 158 gr HP ammo is a fine choice for "studio defense". Lighter HP bullets will probably fragment wildly upon impact at the increased velocity from the carbine barrel, leading to UNDER penetration.

Another good choice might be the .30-30 loaded with 125 gr JHP rounds. Although right now I have it sighted in with 170 gr bullets, my 336C with the 18" barrel would be a hell-on-wheels defensive weapon with the light hollow points.

rino451
August 6, 2007, 01:01 PM
Interesting penetration tests done with 7.62x39 and 5.56.

Concealment does NOT equal Cover, Pt. 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKhMOfaYwvE)

Concealment does NOT equal Cover Pt 2. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w22M1DAQ59I)

Old Poet
August 6, 2007, 03:10 PM
Yep, same things we learned about concealment vs cover during the Tet Offensive in 1968.

Cosmoline
August 6, 2007, 05:49 PM
lukefenech, the first part of your post makes a lot of sense. But this part leaves me scratching my head:

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.. if for no other reason than the sanity of the emergency services personnel that have to clean up.... LOAD SPECIFICALLY FOR THE JOB AT HAND!!!! DON'T USE HUNTING LOADS for self defense in confined/built-up areas... You'll successfully protect yourself, your family and your property.... and maybe kill the kid next door.


If as you note the bullet construction is the key, then a blanket prohibition on "hunting ammo" makes no sense. You must be aware that "hunting ammo" includes everything from high velocity varmint bullets that practically explode on impact to monolithic solids no sane person would fire at anything but a charging buff. I think you were right to begin with--the key is to look to the bullet design and expected velocity rather than making blanket generalizations.

Ignition Override
November 28, 2007, 01:15 AM
MTMilitiaman stated that a large barking dog and the sound of a pump shotgun can scare away many would-be burglars. There is no doubt about it. It is best for nearby neighbors when the dog is kept inside at night (recently an acquaintance and his wife told me about his lawsuit because of the neighbor's outside dog, here on Highway 64: the judge went to witness the loud noise).

Back in the 50s or 60s, my grandfather (in Jackson, MS, in an "interesting" old part of town, less than a block from the "dividing line"...) heard a scratching sound very late at night on the screen porch, on the front of the house.

He quietly carried his 12-gauge shotgun up to the screen and pumped it once :eek:.

He never had that problem again.

Mr. Completely
May 26, 2009, 04:51 PM
The faster you drive an expanding bullet, the faster it stops from expansion

SHvar
May 26, 2009, 09:35 PM
I can tell you from personal experience that a .223 UMC, or comparable cheap target/plinking round commonly avalable in FMJ will shatter a cinderblock and keep penetrating. They will cut through 12 layers of spaced apart 3/4 inch plywood, they can cut through several layers of 2X4 and keep penetrating. They can cut through a 70 Impala and kill someone on the otherside.
So I dont care if your house is made of cinderblock, bricks, plywood, or what, if your neighbor is within a 1/4 mile you have to be careful about whats behind the object you are shooting in defense of your home.
No uninformed opinion will change the reality of how much overpenetration a 223 or 5.56mm or any rifle round is capable of.
I dont experience with frangible rounds avalable and what they can penetrate, but Im sure they are alot safer than either FMJ,SP,HP, etc.

benEzra
May 26, 2009, 10:30 PM
Would people please stop citing penetration tests of 5.56x45mm military ball and .223 FMJ when discussing the suitability of lightweight .223 HOLLOWPOINTS for home defense purposes?

Yes, the DoD tests showed that multiple 5.56x45mm FMJ out of a machinegun impacting on the same spot will penetrate a brick wall. That doesn't mean individual civilian .223 JHP's will exit an exterior wall. Ditto for those citing the Box o'Truth FMJ tests.

Yes, 5.56mm FMJ penetrates more than 9mm JHP. So does 9mm FMJ, .45 ACP FMJ, and hard cast .357 solids. All of which have absolutely nothing to do with the penetrative abilities of properly selected JHP's in the various calibers.

Multiple tests have shown that .223 HOLLOWPOINTS penetrate LESS in gelatin, penetrate less in building materials, and have less wounding potential after penetrating building materials than most handgun JHP's. The penetrative abilities of 5.56mm FMJ are as irrelevant to this discussion as the penetrative abilities of 9mm FMJ are.



Added on edit: Holy Thread Resurrection, Batman! I didn't notice that this thread is several years old.

schlockinz
May 27, 2009, 02:24 AM
Hrmm, I've got a 45-70 and a 30.06 at home, considering what I've seen the 30.06 do to a pig at 30 yards (through both shoulders and into the tree behind it) I'll stick with my .45 acp.

Its also got the appropriate sites on it.

If I had my shotgun with me, I'd use it with my 2/4 3.5" turkey mag loads. If it'll kill turkeys at 55 yds, I'm sure that it will take down a human within 10yds

Todd1700
May 27, 2009, 08:58 AM
Well here's my two cents. I'm no ballistics expert and don't have any military or police experience. BUT, I have been an avid sportsman, hunter, and gun enthusiast all my life and I'm 43 now. I have also been an RN at one hospital or another most of my 43 years. There are a lot of internet blogs out there by self ordained gun/ballistics experts who will dispute what I'm about to tell you. But I have seen more gunshot wounds than I care to remember come in to the ERs of the hospitals in which I've worked. (Most likely far more than the self ordained internet gurus have ever seen) And I'm here to tell you that the worst and most consistently lethal wounds I have seen inflicted on people were made by shotguns with shells like a high powered number 6 at interior house ranges. There is no comparison to the mess made by this combination. By far the most gunshot D.O.A's and gunshot patients who did not make it out of the ER alive where shot at close range by smaller shot like this. Anyone who thinks that a high powered 6 from a 12 gauge won't consistently kill you at inside house distances is just sadly misinformed and has not seen what I have with my own eyes. No guestimations based on shooting at jello molds of varying consistency here. I'm talking experience with wounds inflicted on actual human beings. Any torso hit with this stuff at short range is virtually a death sentence. Why? Because unlike almost anything else there is little chance of it luckily missing vital organs and arteries. Pistol and rifle bullets can pass within 1 inch of a vital organ or artery and do it no harm. A high powered 12 gauge 3" magnum 6 has about 400 pellets in it. Shoot someone at 10 to 15 feet in the upper chest with a short barreled shotgun and it will hit both lungs, their heart, and most of the large arteries associated with the heart and lungs. Shoot them in the mid to lower torso at that range and you will hit some combination of liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, intestine, stomach and most likely the abdominal aorta. Both hits would be instantly incapacitating and cause either instant death or a rapidly impending one.

Now at longer ranges, sure, number 6's would quickly become ineffective. But most of us don't live in the Taj Mahal where a long range interior shot is possible. And if you kill someone outside your house at a range that high powered number 6's wouldn't do the job? Well, I'll tell you like I heard another guy put it once. "If you kill him outside that far away, then you better be worried about more than just how good your bullet is. You better be worried how good your lawyer is as well."

Zach S
May 27, 2009, 09:33 AM
By far the most gunshot D.O.A's and gunshot patients who did not make it out of the ER alive where shot at close range by smaller shot like this. That's because the shotgun and small shot are popular for HD, due to "racking a shotgun will scare people off" and "birdshot wont shoot through walls." Have you compared the number of people who were hit with small shot to the folks shot with 00 buck?

Another thing to consider is collateral damage. With H132 00 buck (federal reduced recoil 9 pellet) in my 590, I've seen patterns as tight as 8" at 25yards. The largest I remember is about 12," maybe 14. IIRC, around 10" is the norm. With buckshot at ten yards (the longest shot in my home), my wife can cover the pattern with her hand.

Now, 8 shot patterns like basketball at 5 yards. 6 isn't much better. By the time I get to ten yards, I have more shot off the paper than on it. I dont get decent patterns until I get to 4 buck, and I cant recall how big they were, as I only bought a few boxes for testing (I only by buck and rifled slugs now).

If those pellets dont hit the BG, they have to go somewhere else. If they would magically miss my wife and daughter, I may consider using a smaller shot with a larger pattern. Since they wont, I'll stick with the tighter patterns.

Ironically, I avoided replying to this thread when I saw it almost three years ago.

Uncle Mike
May 27, 2009, 10:43 AM
Popcorn anyone? :D This is like a bad dream... :banghead:

Todd1700
May 27, 2009, 10:49 AM
Now, 8 shot patterns like basketball at 5 yards. 6 isn't much better. By the time I get to ten yards, I have more shot off the paper than on it. I dont get decent patterns until I get to 4 buck,

I keep my little 21 inch barreled Mossberg 500 tactical turkey gun by my bed loaded with 3" magnum number 6's. I have an extended X-factor choke in it. It will keep 140 pellets in a 10 inch circle at 40 yards. A fact that has proven deadly to more than a few turkeys at that range. I doubt there is a distance in my house long enough for the pattern to spread wider than a cantelope. At any range inside my house it would be devistating to human flesh but IMHO would be knocked down by the hardwood paneled interior walls a bit better than 00 buckshot would be. Thus making it a little less likely to kill someone in another room.

Grey Morel
May 27, 2009, 11:17 AM
"can be lout indoors"

First hand experience tells me that a SUB SONIC .22LR from a handgun will deafen you and make your ears ring.

Any center fire handgun, and especially center fire rifle, could very well get you "punch drunk" if you don't know what to expect.

Uncle Mike
May 27, 2009, 12:17 PM
Yea... I want to live next to the guys that use high power rifle rounds for
in-house defense... right... maybe in the next zip code! :what:

Watch the vids Rino451 posted... no speculation there!

If you must use the big stuff...Keep the rest of us safe...
please, use frangible projectiles! :uhoh:

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 27, 2009, 12:19 PM
Just whatever else you may do, do NOT use a .50 GI with a 300 TMJ:

http://www.brassfetcher.com/index_files/Page2410.htm

39.8" of penetration in ballistic gelatin! :eek:

Uncle Mike
May 27, 2009, 12:46 PM
...and that 50GI is a heavy, slow, blunt nosed projectile, and it went through a yard of jelly!!! :what:
Hey Doc.. I can tell you a good 50BMG story!

Now... just think of the trusty ol' .308 blastin' bad guys in the house...
gives me the shivers.lol :eek: hehehe

benEzra
May 27, 2009, 12:50 PM
Uncle Mike, please see post #114 (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5635108&postcount=114).

Those penetration videos you cite involved military FMJ (out of automatic weapons, at that), and have nothing, zilch, nada to do with the penetrative abilities of light civilian jacketed hollowpoints in building materials or gelatin.

9mm FMJ, .45 ACP hardball, .357 hard cast solids, and 12-gauge slugs penetrate like the dickens in building materials. That does not mean that 9mm, .45, .357, and 12-gauge cannot be used for HD purposes with appropriate loads, which is precisely the same situation with .223/5.56x45mm.

Uncle Mike
May 27, 2009, 12:58 PM
yea...OK!

benEzra
May 27, 2009, 02:04 PM
Sorry, didn't mean to come across as overly harsh. It's just that those videos and the Box o'Truth FMJ tests have been cited about 500 times on THR as "proof" that using a carbine with light JHP for HD is irresponsible, when in fact light .223 JHP's penetrate less, not more, than handgun JHP's. I was more frustrated at the previous pages of this thread than at your post.

MTMilitiaman
May 27, 2009, 06:28 PM
Apparently, this overpenetration myth isn't the only thing that just won't die. This thread has more lives than a cat.

MTMilitiaman stated that a large barking dog and the sound of a pump shotgun can scare away many would-be burglars. There is no doubt about it. It is best for nearby neighbors when the dog is kept inside at night (recently an acquaintance and his wife told me about his lawsuit because of the neighbor's outside dog, here on Highway 64: the judge went to witness the loud noise).


Bullpucky. I've never advocated racking the slide of a shotgun for dramatic effect. Never. Not once in my entire life. Even when I was eight years old at my grandma and grandpa's house and managed to talk them into letting me watch action movies my mom would have never tolerated, I still realized all the slide racking was ridiculous. Far from advocating it, I've opposed it literally my entire life. It looks just as absurd to me when you rack the slide for dramatic effect as it does when some moron on a B-rate action movie does it. You mine as well insert some cheesy one-liner with a cigar hanging from your mouth. And while you're at it, put a big florescent flashing arrow next to you because you've already given away your position and told everyone you're armed. Giving away intel to your enemy that you don't possess about them isn't tactically sound. It's Hollywood BS.

In the past, JHP for the 7.62x39 have been sketchy at best. Today, there is at least one popular load that provides excellent terminal performance for home defense. Wolf's Military Classic 124 gr JHP are loaded with the Uly 8m3 Sapsan projectile. This load typically penetrates 15 inches in ballistic gelatin while retaining about 100 gr of its original mass and expanding to over twice its original diameter. The diameter of its temporary cavity exceeds 5 inches at its widest point. With a good red dot or reflex sight and a purpose built weapon light, this turns the AK into a very formidable defensive carbine capable of providing terminal performance exceeding that of any poodle shooter with absolute rugged reliability.

Likewise, defensive ammo for the 7.62x51 NATO has come a long ways as well. Hornady's 155 gr TAP stands out among all others providing 16 inches of penetration in gel. It typically displays massive fragmentation in gelatin, losing half of its mass--more than the entire weight of most defensive 5.56 loads. The tissue displacement and cavitation displayed by this load provides 70% of the effect of a typical 12 gauge buckshot round, yet in a carbine length rifle such as an M1A Scout or Para FAL, does it with less recoil and over twice the standard capacity. Such a set up also proves much greater accuracy and effective range, should it be needed, and would allow the user the ability to quickly switch ammunition to deal with cover and body armor, a capability the shotgun lacks. With the current run of ammunition, a properly loaded rifle provides awesome potential as a defensive carbine. Rifles really are king. No other system, be it shotgun or handgun, can match their balance of accuracy and control ability, capacity and firepower, terminal effect, range, and versatility.

This over penetration business needs to die. Birdshot is for birds. Frangibles have failed to win over professional users because they are at best niche items with disadvantages of their own. Even the US Air Marshalls have abandoned them. The concern among those who go into harms way and have done their homework is under penetration. A bullet must be able to reach the vitals of an assailant regardless of shot angle, clothing, or any muscular or skeletal obstacles it encounters. This is why the FBI requires a minimum of 12 inches of penetration, even after penetrating windshield glass and clothing, with 14 to 16 inches being preferrable. Anything less isn't going to reliably reach the vitals, esp when it has to penetrate a forearm and clothing before even reaching the chest cavity. Remember, 30% of Americans are obese and nearly half are overweight, last time I checked. Your primary concern should be having enough penetration, not too much. And anything that provides enough penetration is going to penetrate several interior walls. That is unavoidable with current technology. Which is why the focus should be on finding a load that provides adequate penetration then training to proficiency with a platform you are confident in. Only hits counts. Which is a final advantage of a rifle--most people of all skill levels find controlling and hitting with a rifle to be far easier than with a handgun.

mattlove444
May 27, 2009, 06:33 PM
Ditto on the pump acton cycling. It scares the crap out of someone.

JShirley
May 27, 2009, 07:04 PM
But it's run slap out.

Still an issue- still many people don't/refuse to understand- but this thread is being put down. Start another if you like.

John

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