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Book Versus Handgun (pic's!)

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Apple a Day, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Well-Known Member

    Hello all,
    Just for a lark I gathered some books together and took them to the range to test if you can really use them as cover against a shooter. I've seen some tests done including an especially good one over at The Box O' Truth but decided to try for myself. One shortcoming I noticed at the Box O' Truth test was that the books used didn't have the typical cardboard-like covers of normal textbooks.
    My own testing conditions weren't idea. All shots were taken at a distance of 25 yards. I've seen very few classrooms which were 25 yards across but sometimes you have to deal with the range rules. I used duct tape to fix three identical 445-page books together unless where otherwise noted and hung them from a wooden frame with cardboard backing using string. There was no space between books.
    Test Ammo Guns Used:
    • .22 LR Federal 36 grain high-velocity hollow point from a Ruger MkII (standard 6 and a fraction inch barrel)
    • .22 LR Federal 36 grain high-velocity hollow point from a Crickett bolt-action rifle with a 16" barrel
    • 9x19mm Sellier and Bellot 115 grain jacketed ball from a CZ-75.
    • .38 Special Winchester 125 grain +P jacketed hollow point from a Taurus 66 4" barrel
    • 9x18mm Makarov Wolf 100 grain jacketed ball from a Makarov.

    • Using just one book against the Ruger MkII with .22LR ammo all of the rounds passed through the 455 page book and exited the back. See picture #1
    • Using two books taped together against the Ruger MKII with .22LR ammo rounds 1&2 passed through 441 pages and stopped. Rounds #3,4,&5 passed through front cover/445 pages/stuck in the back book cover but DID NOT EXIT THE FIRST BOOK. See picture #3
    What was left of the bullets was little more than random fragments.
    • Against three books taped together the 9x19mm rounds:
    round 1 passed through cover/445pages/cover/cover/165 pages
    round 2 passed through cover/445pages/cover/cover/161 pages
    round 3 passed through cover/445pages/cover/cover/445pages/stuck firmly in back cover
    I was surprised at how smashed the noses of the 9x19mm ammo was. They flattened a good bit for jacketed rounds.

    Attached Files:

  2. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Well-Known Member

    Against the triple stack the .38 Special rounds all flattened and came to rest against the back cover of the FIRST BOOK after penetrating cover/445pages.

    Against the triple stack the 9x18mm Makarov
    round #1 passed through cover/445pages/cover/cover/110pages.
    round #2 passed through cover/445pages/cover/cover/130pages.
    round #3 passed through cover/445pages/cover/cover/147pages.
    round #4 passed through cover/445pages/cover/cover/265pages.
    round #5 passed through cover/445pages/cover/cover/400pages.
    round #2 passed through cover/445pages/cover/cover/445pages and stuck firmly in the back cover of the second book.
    Note, these are listed in order of penetration. They were separate and I have no idea in what order they were fired. All rounds were intact and remarkably free from deforming. Besides the marks from rifling they were in perfect shape.

    For giggles I fired a few rounds from the Davy Crickett I was sighting in for my daughter. The results were as follows:
    round #1 passed through cover/500pages/cover/cover/490 pages.
    round #1 passed through cover/500pages/cover/cover/443 pages.
    round #1 passed through cover/500pages/cover/cover/460 pages.
    Unlike the pistol .22 rounds which tended to shatter the rifle rounds tended to flatten and slide slightly sideways blade-like.

    The pictures below show what's left of the bullets. The bottom right hand bullet in the "9x19mm" picture is actually a .38 special round.

    Attached Files:

  3. Black Adder LXX

    Black Adder LXX Well-Known Member

    Very interesting post. Thanks from a guy who likes to ask questions like "I wonder what would happen if you..."
  4. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Well-Known Member

    Conclusions: In the tradition of Box O' Truth "Shooting things is fun!"
    1) I was surprised that the cushion of having more books behind the first tended to reduce total penetration. I will have to see if I can gather more books and try different numbers stacked up with different calibers. It is my theory that the book covers act as cushions and absorb some of the impact.
    2)I was intrigued by the fact that the 9x19mm jacketed rounds deformed significantly while the 9x18mm rounds remained intact. I will have to try more makes and styles of ammo with each and see what happens.
  5. sm

    sm member


    Excellent Job of testing and reporting!

    I appreciate this, as I have done similar testing and still do.

    .22 long rifle still continues to surprise folks, be it being fired from a handgun, or Kid sized rifle.
  6. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Well-Known Member

    I also need to try out some more cartridges. I don't own a .45 but I will try some .357 magnum next go 'round. .22 magnum might be worth a try as well.
    I almost brought a .32ACP but it seems nobody shoots it anymore. I almost miss having that CZ-52 around. :banghead:
    When the fall yard sales come around I'll look into picking up more cheap targets.:evil:
  7. gbran

    gbran Well-Known Member

    One of the gun rags a few years ago tested several big bore rifles/handguns against stacked wet newsprint. Shots were fired from a pretty short distance. I remember a hardcast .454 Casull penetrating 50+", 44 mag 30+, etc. It was pretty interesting.
  8. sm

    sm member

    Suggestion if I may.

    This goes way back to when I was a brat, and the paper boy/ paper girl carried newspapers in a canvas pouch, front and back pouches.
    Get the papers dropped off, prepare, and toss as you walked the route.

    Also GRIT [tm] paper had a canvas pouch, for the paper being delivered.

    Now growing up, we did not have Backpacks, we just carried books in hand, and sometime had a "book strap".

    Times were interesting growing up, civil unrests and what not, and a paperboy was shot at by a 12 ga shotgun loaded with 00 buck, and his Newspapers prevented him getting hit.

    Flip side is:

    The S&W J frame .22 rim-fire and 32 cal revolvers were real popular, men and women liked these and many folks dealing with the public, kept on on person.
    Fella pretending to be Clergy, came in to arm rob a business and had a Gideons Bible, covering COM.
    He stated " this is a holdup" and produced a gun and was pointing it, when a 40 gr, standard pressure .22 rd went through the Bible and hit his heart.
    The other gun pointed and almost fired was the 32 cal.

    One never knows...and shot placement always seems to play a huge part in what works, and what does not.

    Try shooting a Backpack with a couple of old textbooks.
    I already have, for the benefit of some kids, and some lessons shared.
  9. DiN_BLiX

    DiN_BLiX Well-Known Member

    the 9x18 rounds didnt deform at all? crazy
  10. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Well-Known Member

    I saved all of the 9x18 bullets and have them line up on the top shelf of the desk in front of my computer. I should have kept some of the 9x19 to cut in half and compare the two since the Parabellum rounds deformed so much. Next trip to the range to shoot books I'll do so.
    I don't know if you can tell from the picture but the jackets of the two rounds are noticable different. The S&B 9x19 jackets are golden in color just like the brass cases. The Wolf 9x18 jackets have a noticable red/orangish tinge to them and I'm wondering if that or the lead content made the difference.
    Also, the 9x19 bullets are very round. The 9x18 noses are more pointed, almost conical. Another experiment I might try is to get some older, rounder-nosed Wolf ammo and compare it to the newer, conical-nosed ammo.
    So many experiments, so little time (and ammo money!).
  11. Jenrick

    Jenrick Well-Known Member

    If anyone has some space to host photos, I've got a set from when I graduated. Put several different types of .40 S&W rounds and a few .223 rounds into my text books to see what would happen. .40 rounds usually only pentrated the first text book, maybe a bit into the second. .223 even in HP went through 3 or 4 if I remember correctly.


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