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Old 05-23-2020, 07:25 PM
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Default Sheet rock interior walls and overpenetration...

I just watched a few vids of different types of walls and one with Paul Harrell doing mostly sheet rock.

My interior walls are all sheet rock. 9mm JHP has been my mainstay for defense of any kind. But I just found out that 9mm (and a LOT of other calibers) go through sheet rock almost like it's not there and have almost as much energy on the other side. Buckshot was extremely destructive on over penetration. Somebody said that 5.56 bullets go through the wall and are found sitting on the floor on the other side. THAT is obviously a real load of ****.

Anyway, I'm beginning to change my thinking. Birdshot/small game shot is said not to penetrate enough, but at a range of 5 yards max wouldn't it hit almost like a slug and be stopped by walls?

I think i'll take a couple pieces of sheet rock to the range and test out some shot loads. What's your opinion on this? I haven't exactly changed my mind yet. I love my Golden Sabers and HSTs. But if my thinking turns out to be flat wrong, I could change my strategy. At least have a shotgun backup IF I were to have time to make a choice.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:37 PM
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Ballistic personal defense weapons work by penetration. Attempts to limit penetration suggest you should be using something else.

Keep your 9. Go to 147 gr bullets.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:38 PM
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Read this first.
The Box O' Truth #12 - Insulated Walls - The Box O' Truth
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:40 PM
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Light-bullet 5.56 loads have been tested many times against all common pistol rounds and buckshot and, believe it or not, the 5.56 is by far the safest to use if wall penetration is a concern. I use 45 gr. hollowpoints in my house AR. Yes, that is strictly counterintuitive -- but intuition can lead you astray in this case.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:41 PM
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My opinion, worth what you paid for it (), is that any self defense round that will penetrate enough in a human attacker to stop them will likely penetrate through building materials.

If you're concerned about overpenetration through building materials, as we all should be, your best bet is to try and minimize the risk by establishing potential lines of fire and placing backstops where possible. For example, a bookcase filled with books can be placed strategically to act as a backstop.

Additionally, layering security around your home can help slow an attacker's progress and give you time to get into a better position with better lines of fire, as well as call 911. And you don't have to spend a lot of money to improve your home security.

Finally, work out a response plan and practice it periodically.

Just my opinion.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:43 PM
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At five yards, any effective round is going to penetrate sheetrock, including birdshot. For that matter, even a .22 rimfire is going to penetrate sheetrock and be dangerous on the other side. Guns are dangerous! Treat with respect. Your range experiment will be interesting, so please report.
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:09 PM
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Mr. Smith,

I'm sure you've heard of angry men putting their entire fist through sheetrock/drywall -a fairly common occurrence. When one compares such a large, blunt object having a relatively modest amount of energy behind it with a very small object driven by a considerably greater amount of energy, it's difficult for me to imagine finding any kind of modern, effective ammunition that wouldn't easily penetrate walls. I'm afraid we have to live with the risk and seek to mitigate it by other means, as suggested by other members here.

I've just realized that what I've written isn't much help -but it might well be something to consider when making decisions like the one with which you're faced.

Regards,
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:13 PM
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Bullets go through drywall like a hot knife through butter I've seen them go through the entire interior of a house without a stud or two to cut some velocity.

You know, not enough people talk about the self defense chainsaw. Imagine breaking into a house and hearing a chainsaw revving up...
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by THEmodelof1989 View Post
Bullets go through drywall like a hot knife through butter I've seen them go through the entire interior of a house without a stud or two to cut some velocity.

You know, not enough people talk about the self defense chainsaw. Imagine breaking into a house and hearing a chainsaw revving up...
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:37 PM
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The problem here is missing what you shoot at.

Most discussions about over penetration are really about missing the target.

A load of birdshot (#7 1/2 or 8) will certainly penetrate a sheet or two of drywall at in house distances.

It will also inflict a truly grievous wound without penetrating a man’s torso, certainly not with enough remaining energy to do much damage to a sheet of drywall let alone anything beyond the drywall.

As in most sd situations, hitting what you’re shooting at is important.
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:38 PM
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My perspective is that I find the best self defense ammo that I can, because that's the first priority. After that, figure out how you're going to approach self defense in your dwelling so you know what's on the other side should you have to shoot.

I live in a two-story house in a Chicago subdivision, which means the houses next to me are within 50-75 feet of my house, and the house across the street is about 75 yards away from my front door. My self defense plan for nighttime intruders while we're in bed has always been to let the bad guys have the first floor. They can take what they want while the cops are on the way.

However, the staircase is the red line. If they take one step on the stairs, their *** is mine. Whether it's a load of #1 Buck or a few .223 Gold Dots, they're getting ventilated without a call, without a warning. If I miss, the round is either going into the floor, or will exit the house and explode on the cement front porch. No neighbor is in danger.

If they get upstairs before I know they're their, then the houses next door may be in play if I miss. I can't really think about that I'm afraid. Priority #1 is to survive.
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
Anyway, I'm beginning to change my thinking. Birdshot/small game shot is said not to penetrate enough, but at a range of 5 yards max wouldn't it hit almost like a slug and be stopped by walls?
The first shooting I went to was a guy who caught a 20 ga #6 low brass round center chest just below the xypoid at 15 ft. It cut a hole about the size of a golf ball with some jagged edges. We found the shot cup next to his spine. Yes, he was dead.
If you want to see what a birdshot pattern looks like at close range use some sheet rock as a target and measure the rooms at your house. The shoot the sheet rock with birdshot at the same distance as your house rooms. For the distances in most houses and bedrooms that birdshot is going to look like a bit slug hole. The distance is too close for the shot column to start opening.
I use sheet rock as target backers. Even shooting .22 pistol at 100 yds and every other caliber I haven't seen sheet rock stop any rounds yet, even at 100 yards.
A lot of people don't have any idea just how much penetration almost every round has. On Oct 2, 1996 we attempted to arrested an armed fugitive holed up in a hotel room. When we hit the door he opened up on us with a TEC-9 in one hand and a Colt Mustang .380 in the other. The door swung open and closed in just a second but in that time he fired 11 rds at us. Obviously we couldn't make entry. As soon as the door closed he shot himself with the Colt .380 FMJ. The bullet entered his head just in front of and above his right ear. It exited just behind and about center of his left ear. The bullet then traveled thru the arm of an overstuffed chair. Then it went thru at an angle of about 2" of sheet rock where it then struck a wooden 2X4 stud. It logged about 1" into the wood.
Do not under estimate the penetration of any round.
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:40 PM
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I recently posted about a murder that took place in an apartment in my granddaughters apartment building. She got the opportunity to visit the apartment next to the one where the shooting took place. A large number of rounds were expended, and many traveled through several walls after entering the adjoining apartment.
Frangible ammo by companys like Blazer, is marketed to lessen penetration.

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Old 05-23-2020, 09:19 PM
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from first hand experience and a sorry to say ND I had a 124gr speer GD Underwood +p go threw 7 sheets of sheet rock, before coming to rest agents a block wall, it would have goon further if not for concrete....
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:18 PM
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Here's a copy/paste of a post I recently made in another thread in regards to a similar subject...

All this talk about #4 Birdshot brings me back to the day that I picked up my Shockwave from the gunshop...

When I asked the man behind the counter for some 00 Buckshot to go with it, he advised me not to use it for Home Defense because it could pierce right through walls and handed me a box of Federal #4 Turkey Shot instead. I insisted that I still wanted a box of 00 Buckshot all the same and he said; "Okay, but save it for the range."

I appreciated the gesture, but I live in a valley surrounded by wooded hills and all entraces into my house as well as my bedroom aren't facing any neighboring houses, nor are the doorways into my room facing adjacent rooms, so there's no real risk of collateral damage, and I'd rather patch up some holes in my house than risk using less than adequate ammunition for Self-Defense. Besides, I've seen enough tests online to know that pretty much everything will penetrate interior walls, so there's really no avoiding it without selecting less than lethal ammo like rubber buckshot.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that at the very least #4 Turkey Shot would leave behind one heck of a nasty wound that would most likely result in death without immediate medical attention, but I'd rather just stick with 00 Buckshot. The way I see it is, anybody who continues their advance after hearing the sound of shotgun chambering a round, much less peering into the gaping maw that is a 12 Gauge muzzle probably won't stop for anything short of total incapacitation.


/End Quote

If you gotta do something to mitigate the risk of overpenetration, then I suggest strengthening your interior walls with something like tile. It may sound like a costly or even impractical endevor, but it's better than shooting an attacker with something that will quite literally just make him angry because anything more would penetrate drywall.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
Anyway, I'm beginning to change my thinking. Birdshot/small game shot is said not to penetrate enough, but at a range of 5 yards max wouldn't it hit almost like a slug and be stopped by walls?
You've answered your own question. You don't get it both ways. If it won't penetrate the dry wall, it won't penetrate the bad guy either. So, your idea of "hitting like a slug" is a non starter. If you want it to hit like a slug, it will go through sheet rock.


Here's my $.02 on over-penetration in relation to self-defense:
Which is more important, stopping the bad guy or not over penetrating? If it's the latter, don't use a gun for self-defense. You're not ready to do what's necessary i.e. put the bad guy down with the first shot. If it's the former, practice hard to hit the right spot. If you hit the right spot, the bad guy will slow down the rounds enough that going through multiple layers of dry wall will slow it down enough to be non lethal to anyone in its path at that point.

9mm penetrates more than .223Rem. This has been demonstrated many times.

9mm hollow points expand to about the size of a .45ACP, maybe a touch larger with modern rounds. JHP rounds don't reliably expand in dry wall so, using a JHP because you think it will expand and not penetrate dry wall is not a reliable solution.

I don't live in BFE, but my neighbors are far enough that any round from any gun (except a .50BMG or other monster round) will not have enough energy after going through at least two layers of dry wall and a layer of insulation and a layer of wood siding, to reach another house let alone damage anyone.

If I'm using a pistol, it will be 9mm or .45ACP. Most likely .45ACP.
If I'm using a shotgun, it will be 00Buck.
If I'm using a rifle it will be .223Rem/5.56x45NATO.

If they got through the other layers of defense (fences, locked doors, dog, wife), then their being in the house was not a mistake. They have serious nefarious intent and they will deserve being shot because my life or the life of my family is in serious danger.
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:13 AM
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Unfortunately statistically you are more likely to miss than hit with any defense round fired inside your house. You might try Glaser or similar ammo if your weapon will work reliably with it. Also, as noted elsewhere above, laying out some lines of fire in advance with appreciation for bullet stoppers positioned in your house can be helpful. Bookcases are really great for this, at least if they are full of books.
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Old 05-24-2020, 03:16 AM
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One of our carry permit instructors built two small walls with sheet rock insulation and sheet rock. He placed the walls 21 feet apart and fired all the common pistol caliber rounds through them. All calibers passed through both walls.
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Old 05-24-2020, 03:49 AM
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Use a 10-22 with a 25 round magazine or two, red dot optic and laser plus weapon mounted light. Take head shots. Shouldn't take more than one or two. I like the bookshelf for room armour. That might work for drive bys coming from outside the house. Home appliances can be good armour also.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanewpadle View Post
Then, read this.

The Box O' Truth #7 - The Sands O' Truth - The Box O' Truth

To summarize, dry wall does a great job of stopping bullets if the wall space is filled sand instead of insulation.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:33 AM
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Sheet rock doesn't stop much of anything .
Have a talk with your kids , instruct them to go under their beds when they hear bad noises at night .
Know where your children's beds are , don't shoot in that direction , don't shoot at the floor ...keep shots up .

Your round of choice has to penetrate the bad guy... if it does it will go through sheet rock . Can't have it both ways .
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:27 AM
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I'll stick with bird shot for inside the house, at least for the first rounds, with #4 bird shot probably the best. The only actual halfway realistic tests I've seen on it so far are Paul Harrell's. Isolated anecdotes, by themselves, don't mean much and it seems there are some of those on both sides of the argument.
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:55 PM
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I just "fired" a 3/8" steel ball at a piece of 1/2" sheet rock at 3 feet distance with a slingshot. The first went about half way through and bounced back. The second went half way through, and was embedded. Velocity would be about 200 plus FPS. Maybe my old wrist rocket would have penetrated, not sure, but now I have a wimpy old mans slingshot. I am as sure as I can be that the same projectile would not penetrate human skin, but my wife was not game to try! I know from prior experience that a target arrow shot out of a 25 lb bow will easily penetrate sheetrock. I don't think it would do much on a human target, other than hurt.

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Old 05-24-2020, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
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My perspective is that I find the best self defense ammo that I can, because that's the first priority. After that, figure out how you're going to approach self defense in your dwelling so you know what's on the other side should you have to shoot.

I live in a two-story house in a Chicago subdivision, which means the houses next to me are within 50-75 feet of my house, and the house across the street is about 75 yards away from my front door. My self defense plan for nighttime intruders while we're in bed has always been to let the bad guys have the first floor. They can take what they want while the cops are on the way.

However, the staircase is the red line. If they take one step on the stairs, their *** is mine. Whether it's a load of #1 Buck or a few .223 Gold Dots, they're getting ventilated without a call, without a warning. If I miss, the round is either going into the floor, or will exit the house and explode on the cement front porch. No neighbor is in danger.

If they get upstairs before I know they're their, then the houses next door may be in play if I miss. I can't really think about that I'm afraid. Priority #1 is to survive.
This is my plan, with the exception that I have always thought that I would give a shouted warning to the effect that they can have the first floor until the cops get there, they are on their way, but that the only thing for them on the second floor is lead.
This is quite true, as the only valuables on our second floor are my guns, cell phones and a couple of good flashlights. I would like a very bright spotlight near the top of the stairs aimed down the stairwell. Blinding bright!

Best,
Rick
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:16 PM
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This is my plan, with the exception that I have always thought that I would give a shouted warning to the effect that they can have the first floor until the cops get there, they are on their way, but that the only thing for them on the second floor is lead.
This is quite true, as the only valuables on our second floor are my guns, cell phones and a couple of good flashlights. I would like a very bright spotlight near the top of the stairs aimed down the stairwell. Blinding bright!

Best,
Rick
All my primary home defense guns have SureFire lights mounted to them so I can light them without showing myself.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:34 PM
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It all depends on what is on the other side of the drywall. Unless you have other people in those rooms who cares? My whole house interior is drywall with insulation in the walls, The outside is concrete block. Just me and the Wife now.



Use frangible bullets if there is a concern.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:37 PM
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Unfortunately statistically you are more likely to miss than hit with any defense round fired inside your house.
I would agree with this if you add, "...for those who don't practice."

The vast majority of those to use guns for self-defense sadly never practice with them. I regularly ask in my CCW class and about 80% have not fired their gun even once in the previous two years.
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:05 PM
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Unfortunately statistically you are more likely to miss than hit with any defense round fired inside your house. You might try Glaser or similar ammo if your weapon will work reliably with it. Also, as noted elsewhere above, laying out some lines of fire in advance with appreciation for bullet stoppers positioned in your house can be helpful. Bookcases are really great for this, at least if they are full of books.
Anytime somebody says the word "statistically", I'm immediately curious about the source.

Also, If I put a bullet through my book case I'd be very upset with myself. Most of my texts cost as much as the firearms I'd be using to put bullets in them and some are even tougher to find than a (insert grail gun here). Training to hit your target is a far better practice then filling up one's house with books.

*********

Not to say this thread isn't important, because there are people from all walks of life that are at different stages of understanding firearms, their capabilities, and their limitations, but it is basic. Ultimately this thread can be deducted to almost EVERY other rule you know about firearms.

3. Make positive identification.
4. Shot placement is key, don't forget to aim.
5. Be aware of your backdrop. Be aware of your backdrop. Be aware of you backdrop.

Did I say be aware of your backdrop? This is one of the first lessons that all young hunters learn. It's even more important in an urban environment. If you shoot a family member, it is 100% your fault. Not ready to deal with that responsibility? Don't even bother owning a firearm.
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:55 PM
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I think i'll take a couple pieces of sheet rock to the range and test out some shot loads. What's your opinion on this?
That is the best idea. When you do your own testing you will know for sure what does and don't happen. Larry
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Old 05-24-2020, 03:10 PM
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Sheetrock won't stop a bullet that can penetrate a human.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:03 PM
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I'll stick with bird shot for inside the house, at least for the first rounds, with #4 bird shot probably the best. The only actual halfway realistic tests I've seen on it so far are Paul Harrell's. Isolated anecdotes, by themselves, don't mean much and it seems there are some of those on both sides of the argument.
Penetration and deadly effects arguments aside, a blast of birdshot at room distance is gonna cause a BG to quickly change his thoughts from you to the nearest exit. After all, the intent should be to stop him, not to decorate the wall with his remains.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:26 PM
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My solution, to the issues you raised has been subsonic 5.7 X 28mm ammunition out of a PS90. My tests indicate enough penetration through ballistic gelatin.

Fortunately for me, I don't have too much to worry about nowadays. I don't have anyone living with me and my neighbors are a fair distance away.
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Old 05-24-2020, 08:57 PM
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Penetration and deadly effects arguments aside, a blast of birdshot at room distance is gonna cause a BG to quickly change his thoughts from you to the nearest exit. After all, the intent should be to stop him, not to decorate the wall with his remains.
If you arrive at that tiniest of probabilities, that you actually have to shoot them, hoping he will change his thoughts is suicidal. You better put him down as fast as possible. I recommend double ought, if you are going to use a shotgun.

Ballistic personal defense weapons work by penetration. You will NOT get penetration from bird shot.

Y'all trying to figure out how to keep a weapon that works by penetration from penetrating is a strange errand.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:20 PM
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If you arrive at that tiniest of probabilities, that you actually have to shoot them, hoping he will change his thoughts is suicidal. You better put him down as fast as possible. I recommend double ought, if you are going to use a shotgun.

Ballistic personal defense weapons work by penetration. You will NOT get penetration from bird shot.

Y'all trying to figure out how to keep a weapon that works by penetration from penetrating is a strange errand.
At normal room distance found in most homes you will get penetration with birdshot. Read my post # 12. That's first hand experience seeing #6 low brass 20 ga in action. That load penetrated the thickness of his body and we found the wad against his spine. The hole was the size of a golf ball. The shot pattern did not expand. At that distance that 7/8 oz of shot acted just like a slug. Why? Because at close range like in most bedrooms that shot is still in the shot cup. It's all together. It's traveling the same speed as a slug and it's still together. He couldn't have gotten any deader had he been shot with a 10ga slug.
At short range which is normally found in most homes the shot column does not have enough distance to open. It acts just like a slug. A 1 oz load of birdshot in a shot cup that doesn't yet start opening the pattern is still a 1 oz load. That pattern is not open as soon as it leaves the muzzle. The shot column travels a bit and starts opening. It is going to penetrate because the load is still together. It's not 1 oz of 200+ shot making penetration. It's a 1 oz still together in a shot cup making penetration.
We've shot quite a bit of pork shoulders and beef halves demonstrating the effect. People are surprised at what they see because they've listened to internet experts who have never seen actual results.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:23 PM
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I think i'll take a couple pieces of sheet rock to the range and test out some shot loads. What's your opinion on this? I haven't exactly changed my mind yet. I love my Golden Sabers and HSTs. But if my thinking turns out to be flat wrong, I could change my strategy. At least have a shotgun backup IF I were to have time to make a choice.
Take an AR15 loaded with 5.56 ammo with 55 grain FMJ's with you to test as well inside of 20 yards. Curious as to what your results will be on that ...
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:36 PM
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My safe room and bedroom are at one end of the house. To get there the bad guy has to come down a hallway I would call the fatal funnel. So I probably should just stay put if I hear a noise in the night. I almost couldn’t miss someone coming down the hall.

But of course that won’t happen. I have great flashlights which are a must. I no longer have kids in the house. And I know my floor plan. I’m pretty confident I don’t need to worry about drywall. I understand why someone with sleeping kids and a family would have different issues.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:48 PM
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Mr. Smith,

I'm sure you've heard of angry men putting their entire fist through sheetrock/drywall -a fairly common occurrence. When one compares such a large, blunt object having a relatively modest amount of energy behind it with a very small object driven by a considerably greater amount of energy,

Regards,
Andy
Small argument to your case: Comparing a fist through a sheetrock WALL to a bullet through the same wall is not accurate. If you calculate the energy expended based on the end result, a properly utilized fist has more energy by orders of magnitude than the bullet.

To expand on your comparison, a 9mm 124 grain bullet at 1250 fps or 850 mph compared to a bus travelling 20 mph. Which one goes through the brick wall? Which one stops and lays on the ground in front of it?

The energy behind a fist moving fast enough to go through a wall is not modest by any means.
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Old 05-24-2020, 10:00 PM
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The first shooting I went to was a guy who caught a 20 ga #6 low brass round center chest just below the xypoid at 15 ft. It cut a hole about the size of a golf ball with some jagged edges. We found the shot cup next to his spine.
You just answered a question I have long had—what happens to the shot cup? I have always wondered what it would do in a close range shooting. Now I know!

And I agree with you 100% on birdshot rounds at close range—they are absolutely devastating. One ounce of shot is 437.5 grains. I think most shotgun rounds have a muzzle velocity of 1200-1600 FPS. I can’t imagine any gun person discounting a 437.5 grain bullet traveling at 1200 FPS! That’s almost 1400 foot pounds of energy.
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Old 05-24-2020, 10:54 PM
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Everything goes thru drywall. Birdshot is horrible unless at contact distance. Leather jacket on your attacker, makes birdshot not very lethal on body shots from a riot choke, even at 5-7y. If you must use a shotgun, I like #4 buck indoors. Still goes thru drywall, but not much energy left after two layers. Unless you have kids in another room, not a huge concern.
Take sight lines in your home, see where your stray shots may go & see if you can negate that with heavy furniture or such.
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Old 05-24-2020, 10:59 PM
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I think i'll take a couple pieces of sheet rock to the range and test out some shot loads. What's your opinion on this?
I made an earlier reply to do your own test on the sheet rock. If I were you I would also buy a pork tenderloin and some ribs and shoot with some small shot and see how much damage they will do at the distance you will shoot in your house. The cost of the meat will not be much compared to the cost of guns, ammo and whatever you feel your life is worth. Larry
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Old 05-25-2020, 12:25 AM
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I use Hornady TAP 223

I also like the Barnes 223 Varmint Grenade loaded by Black Hills

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Old 05-25-2020, 02:15 AM
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Default Thank you everybody for your valuable input.....

I need to digest all this but you all understand where I'm coming from.

Facts about me.

Kids gone, me and wife along. Son knows better than to creep around without letting us know he is here.

Brick exterior house. It's a simple house and I'm familiar with weak spots. But I need to study it from a 'what if' it happens in a dark house.

If I decide to use a shotgun for main or backup, I'll need to practice with it a lot. I've shot shotguns, but not enough to be sure of handling them automatically.

I practice plenty with pistols and carbines which are now my go to weapons at this time.
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:20 AM
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Here is another thing. Forget about the insulation. Most interior walls have none. Mainbuse of insulation is to keep heat inside. It does cut down on noise a bit, But is seldom used in interior walls. Plus, most interior walls are 1/2" sheetrock and exterior 5/8". The light little plastic bullets fired using just primed plastic cases will stick in a sheetrock wall. How do I know?
Cinder block walls. I wouldn't depend on them much either. If most bullets strikes the void section which are by far the largest sections, it will go on through. While better than sheet rock, just the spalled out material could be deadly.

I think any deadly projectile will remain deadly for at leas a couple walls unless it happens to hit a stud. Good luck with that. Most interior ones are on 16" centers.

Try to keep target with exterior wall behind them is going to be difficult. Knowing where everyone is in house is important. Being low and firing at an upwards angle would decrease the odds of a secondary person being struck. Consider having wife, children, etc. hit the floor if they know something is going wrong.

Depending on the bullet not over penetrating is a poor plan even a light 223
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:38 AM
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If you hit someone center-of-mass with a load of number 6 shot from a 12 ga., and were close enough that the pattern was under, say, 4 inches, I doubt that guy is going anywhere. But if the walls you're worried about are far enough away that the pattern would open up to say 8 inches or more before the shot hit it, I suspect it would't be deadly on the other side. Might still be a problem, but I'd take that over say a 9mm or a .223 going through the wall.
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:56 AM
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My solution, to the issues you raised has been subsonic 5.7 X 28mm ammunition out of a PS90. My tests indicate enough penetration through ballistic gelatin.

Fortunately for me, I don't have too much to worry about nowadays. I don't have anyone living with me and my neighbors are a fair distance away.
Subsonic 5.7x28? Sounds like an oxymoron to me.

Why not just use .22lr or .22magnum? Ammo will be MUCH cheaper and should have better terminal ballistics.

5.7x28 makes its money by being a ridiculously high velocity round (think 2,500fps average). Once it's been neutered it's pretty garbage in relation to anything else you could be using.
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:00 AM
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Penetration and deadly effects arguments aside, a blast of birdshot at room distance is gonna cause a BG to quickly change his thoughts from you to the nearest exit. After all, the intent should be to stop him, not to decorate the wall with his remains.
If he can change his thoughts from you to the nearest exit, he really isn't stopped. What if he decided to engage instead of head for the exit? I want him incapacitated... not saying DRT, but not able to carry out whatever he intended to do.
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:49 AM
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You just answered a question I have long had—what happens to the shot cup? I have always wondered what it would do in a close range shooting. Now I know!

And I agree with you 100% on birdshot rounds at close range—they are absolutely devastating. One ounce of shot is 437.5 grains. I think most shotgun rounds have a muzzle velocity of 1200-1600 FPS. I can’t imagine any gun person discounting a 437.5 grain bullet traveling at 1200 FPS! That’s almost 1400 foot pounds of energy.
The thing is that they are not "all together"... they are all in close proximity, but it is not one single mass. Take a load of birdshot and shoot it into ballistic gel at 20 feet. Then take a slug and shoot it into the ballistic gel at 20 feet. I guarantee that the slug will penetrate further as it is truly one mass. At 20', a plausible distance inside a home, that is almost 7 yards. Bird shot out of my 18.5" cylinder bore has left the shot cup by the time it gets to the target. Cheap, unbuffered buck shot has also and makes a pattern about the size of my fist. It isn't one hole at that distance.


I know that there have been cases where birdshot stopped, or even killed a person. However, there have been cases where it has not. The gel tests require 12"+ penetration before a round is deemed to penetrate RELIABLY to reach internal organs. Bird shot simply doesn't do this.
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Old 05-25-2020, 01:02 PM
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The thing is that they are not "all together"... they are all in close proximity, but it is not one single mass. Take a load of birdshot and shoot it into ballistic gel at 20 feet. Then take a slug and shoot it into the ballistic gel at 20 feet. I guarantee that the slug will penetrate further as it is truly one mass. At 20', a plausible distance inside a home, that is almost 7 yards. Bird shot out of my 18.5" cylinder bore has left the shot cup by the time it gets to the target. Cheap, unbuffered buck shot has also and makes a pattern about the size of my fist. It isn't one hole at that distance.

YouTube

I know that there have been cases where birdshot stopped, or even killed a person. However, there have been cases where it has not. The gel tests require 12"+ penetration before a round is deemed to penetrate RELIABLY to reach internal organs. Bird shot simply doesn't do this.
At 1:29 of the video is a shot of the pattern hitting the gel block at 20 feet. It has opened to roughly 7 inches and it is followed into the block by the wad.
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Old 05-25-2020, 02:52 PM
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Sheetrock won't stop a bullet that can penetrate a human.
Yes, but the question is, what will it do to the sheet rock AFTER it penetrates a human?

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I can’t imagine any gun person discounting a 437.5 grain bullet traveling at 1200 FPS! That’s almost 1400 foot pounds of energy.
Well, these numbers are misleading. As has been said, it's not one 437.5 grain bullet, but 400 individual <1 grain bullets.

Also, that 1,400ftlbs of energy isn't really telling you the real truth. I don't pretend to know all the details, but something is missing from that equation. One thing I know is that Newton's third law works. Therefore, the actual energy being delivered is not 1,400lbs. If it were, imagine what would happen to the shooter.

No, the number means something different altogether. Ft lbs of energy is the energy transferred upon applying a force of one pound-force (lbf) through a linear displacement of one foot. How is that related to a mass striking an object (person)? Well, we can use that, but I think a better unit of measure is recoil.

The physics starts to get really involved when trying to account for all the variables. Suffice it to say that it is a very difficult calculation, but we can get a close estimate. Using your example, a 1oz load traveling at 1,200fps, fired from a 7lb gun, will impart about 16lbs of force to the shooter. It will be a tad more to the poor recipient of the shot because that's not overcoming the mass of the gun. Still, it won't be dramatically more.

But wait, there's more....

If we're talking about a slug, then it's simply 16-17lbs of force hitting the bad guy. When talking about anything else, that force must be divided by the number of pellets. Since we're looking at about 400 pellets in a typical 1oz load of #8 shot, that means each pellet carries about 1/400th of that force or .04lbs of force. Contrast that with 00Buck which would have 1.9lbs of force per pellet.

This is an oversimplification. I'm only reporting these numbers to show the difference and how dramatic it is.


As I've always said, the goal is not to tickle, hurt or even injure the bad guy; it's to stop the bad guy. Moreover, it's to stop the bad guy the first time. I have no desire to kill anyone, even the bad guy. However, if my life, or the life of my family, is on the line, I can't afford to take a chance.

Use bird shot if you like.
Use a .380Auto if you like.

It's your life on the line.

Just remember this:
Bird shot might stop the bad guy and a .380Auto JHP might expand, but 00Buck will stop the bad guy and a .45ACP won't get smaller.
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:24 PM
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Jim Cirillo wrote that he had failures to stop with everything including buck and slugs.
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