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Old 07-11-2020, 02:41 PM
Forte Smitten Wesson Forte Smitten Wesson is offline
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Question Barrier Penetration -- Asset or Liability?

Something has been on my mind lately and that's the subject of Barrier Penetration. At one point in time, Barrier Penetration seemed to be extremely important to both Law Enforcement and Civilians alike, with folks putting a whole lot of thought and effort into choosing the best gun, the best cartridge, and the best ammunition available to achieve straight-line penetration through all manner of solid objects with enough energy leftover to still stop the threat who is using said objects for cover. (Car Doors, Windshields, Mailboxes, Wooden Doors, Book Shelves, Kitchen Appliances, etc.)

However, concerns regarding Barrier Penetration seem to have shifted over the years, with what once was considered a desirable trait of the utmost importance to a liability which holds too great a risk of collateral damage.
I'm not really sure exactly what sparked such a dramatic polar shift in priorities, perhaps it was the mass media, perhaps it was after a string of lawsuits over collateral damage caused by bullets penetrating barriers a little too well, or perhaps it's just folks in general feeling that the risk outweighs the reward? Regardless, it's a subject that I've seen raised every here and there lately for a variety of reasons, so I figured it could perhaps make for an interesting topic of discussion.

Now here is where I would usually put some kind of Disclamer in ALL-CAPS, with Bold, Underlined, and Colorful Text in a desperate futile effort to prevent people from fighting, putting words into each others mouths, or bringing their personal vendettas into the thread, but it never works, so I'm not going to bother.

Personally, I like the idea of a cartridge which can reliably, consistently penetrate barriers and I'm not too concerned about the risk of collateral damage because frankly I'm already well aware that I'm responsible for each and every shot that I may have to take in a Self-Defense situation, so obviously barrier penetration factors into that equation. In other words, I'd rather have the ability to penetrate barriers at my disposal since I will have obviously most likely already considered the potential risk of collateral damage prior to taking the shot either way. So to me, it's an asset.
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Old 07-11-2020, 03:06 PM
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My opinion, which is worth what you paid for it, is that one extreme or the other isn't necessarily good. Somewhere down the middle is probably the place to be.

I think overpenetration is a legitimate concern. As you said, we are all responsible for every round we fire in self defense, including rounds that can exit an attacker's body with enough energy to injure or kill a bystander we might not have been able to see. At the same time, a round that can penetrate deeply enough to damage organs, nerves, vessels, etc., is also important (presuming accurate shot placement, which is the most important aspect). Fortunately, there are several rounds available that can achieve this balance.

I think barrier penetration is less important for non-LE than LE, for things like car windshields and doors. While it can be a possibility for a non-LE to need that kind of performance, I think it's down on the list of probable scenarios, at least compared to LE.

At the same time, some barrier penetration performance is important for a reason that I don't see mentioned very often. If you are engaged in a gunfight wth someone, more than likely you're going to fix on the specific threat, i.e., the gun in your attacker's hands. More than likely, that's where your rounds are going to go, towards your attacker's gun/hands. From what I've researched, this is confirmed from actual gunfights as well as force-on-force training scenarios. What this means is that your defensive rounds may need to be able to penetrate your attacker's arm and hand bones before they reach the torso, and still be able to perform as needed.

So, to sum up, I think some barrier penetration capability is good, so long as it doesn't result in a round that ends up overpenetrating soft targets. I think most of the self defense rounds available, that are currently in use by LE, are capable of delivering this kind of performance.

As always, just my opinion.
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Old 07-11-2020, 03:28 PM
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"Circumstances dictate tactics". Most if not all of the validated ammo testing is based on the FBI protocols. (The very top of the knowledge heap is Dr. Gary Roberts, and his results can be found in a few different places. I think even arfcom if you are willing to go slumming.) If one studies the use of firearms in defense of self and others (and most LE use is also such), overpenetration is not much of a risk. MISSING is. Solid placement in the target areas of the torso will reduce the risk of overpenetration by a huge amount.

I use mostly the same ammo I was issued/authorized in LE, because I know it has been validated. For rounds not part of the issue/authorized loadout, I use stuff that has passed Gary's testing and works reliably in my firearms.
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Old 07-11-2020, 03:52 PM
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What kind of barriers do you anticipate you'll need to defeat? Why?

As a younger generation of cops & firearms instructors have been rediscovering in training classes in recent years, the comparative ease with which common veh "barrier materials" may be defeated by "common" bullets can be surprising.

Granted, I did look at the veh glass barrier performance when I was looking to add another .38SPL JHP to my usual collection, but I didn't look at it as having to meet the FBI criteria for "duty ammunition". I was just interested in learning the average "performance" as observed in the scientific testing done by the manufacturer, under ideal conditions (which can often mean conditions that may only occur in a lab).

FWIW, I also consider the risks of threat perforation (called "over-penetration" of the intended target by many folks), and keep positioning and muzzle presentation in the back of my mind, which is part of trying to remain aware of what's "down range" behind your intended target.

MISSES are always going to be a concern, because unless you're firing them against an unoccupied mountain backstop, or some other bullet proof backstop, or out over an unoccupied ocean, they're going to hit something that probably ought not have a hole put in it, or someone.

During all the years I worked in LE, and served as a firearms instructor, I never overly concerned myself with the use of "bonded" handgun ammunition, obsessively worrying about veh glass or door penetration (unless I was taking cover behind a veh door at the time).

I never met all that many other LE firearms instructors who were overly worried about the use of bonded duty ammo, either. It mostly seemed to be something in which the FBI and many Public gun owners seemed to invest a lot of time and concern. Most firearms instructors seemed more concerned in getting LE shooters to learn to make accurate & aimed hits on the intended threat ... and to properly identify the intended threats before they started sending rounds "downrange"!!
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug M. View Post
Solid placement in the target areas of the torso will reduce the risk of overpenetration by a huge amount.
I would agree with this, if we're talking about rounds that will penetrate adequately while reducing the risk for overpenetration, such as the rounds that Dr. Roberts recommends, or meet the FBI standards. The problem with stating that misses are more of a problem than overpenetration is that it comes across as saying, "Yeah, just hit what you're aiming at and you can use whatever round you want," or, even worse, "Why bother with JHP if you're gonna end up missing anyway?"

This is usually said by people who insist on using FMJ for self defense. There are a number of examples of FMJ rounds, which penetrate deeply and may outperform JHP in barrier penetration tests, exiting from the body of the intended target and injuring either bystanders or other officers. This was the reason NYPD switched from FMJ to JHP shortly after adopting the 9mm. I can think of a couple of incidents involving .45ACP FMJ. In one instance, a police officer fired on an attacker, hitting CoM. That round exited and struck another police officer behind the attacker just below his vest, causing a life-threatening wound. Another involved a LAPD SWAT officer who fired on a hostage-taker inside a car, with a hostage in the back seat. The round went through the windshield, hit the hostage-taker, exited, and ended up in the shoulder of the hostage.

Will a good JHP totally eliminate this risk? Of course not, but combined with adequate marksmanship as Doug M. suggested, it'll reduce the risk about as far as can be done. Fortunately, with the rounds available now, one doesn't have to overthink it. Pick a good HP, like the ones Dr. Roberts recommends, make sure it's reliable in your gun, and practice so you can consistently hit what you're aiming at.

Just my opinion.
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:59 PM
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The local SWAT snipers have an ammo load out that includes a box of armor piercing ammo. The scope is zeroed with a High fragmentation HP. Long range ammo and AP corrections are made from the consistent zero.

I used to practice on an old block foundation on the farm. From a scoped HK 91 I could put 2 ball rounds through the same hole at 150 yards with Ball Ammo. Same gun no scope, it usually took 3 shots at 75 yards.

My personal experience leads me to believe the police are mistaken in having 3 ammos! I was told to mind my own business!! But on the 800 and 1000 yard targets, the sniper team had no idea where their ammo was going! They would score a ZERO because their bullet was nowhere in sight. I would score a zero when I missed a six inch target by an inch! I guess they were right, and all those dead ground hogs at extreme range were just faking it!

Hand gun are a different story! Still the need to train with THE ONE ammo, is of utmost importance!

Ivan

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Old 07-11-2020, 05:05 PM
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Barrier penetration is mostly a law enforcement problem. If you're not in that business then it's simply not your world.

The chances of your getting into a situation where you have to start shooting through car doors, windshields, etc., is pretty much zero. Not absolute zero, you know the never say never thing, but mostly your self defense scenario will be at home or on the street, face to face, mano a mano so to speak.

Missing your target in the street is a serious issue in that kind of a situation. Missing your target in your house is totally different. And that's where I think over penetration is your biggest concern.

Another free opinion..........

YMMV
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Old 07-11-2020, 06:32 PM
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Okay, so I probably should have explained this in the OP, but I figured that this went without saying and in my experience, the more words you type the less likely folks are to read them.

I'm mainly referring to cartridges/ammunition with a reputation for good barrier penetration without substantial risk of overpenetration like .40 S&W and .357 SIG. Once again, I neglected to mention this intentionally because I wanted to mitigate the risk of provoking Caliber Wars (Episode 0: The Phantom Menace) or getting bombarded with endless disruptive posts about how modern 9mm is just as good, despite the fact that I never said that it wasn't.

In short, I'm not talking about Armor-Piercing Rounds, just ordinary duty ammo with a reputation/track-record for barrier penetration of any given caliber/cartridge.
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:07 PM
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The big deal about barrier penetration was driven by the FBI. Back in the early 90's I found myself at shooting matches with a gent from the firearms training unit of the FBI and we discussed their testing protocol.

At the time that they developed their post Miami incident ammunition needs and testing protocol, something just upward of 50% of their shooting incidents involved felons in vehicles. We both agreed that was a clue that trying to make apprehensions primarily with handguns was not a winning strategy. However, trying to change cultures/entrenched attitudes is easier said than done. Thus their various barrier penetration tests.

Now, if you carefully read the introduction to the ammunition test results, the reports caution that one should consider your specific needs when looking at the results to guide your ammunition selection. In other words, if you don't anticipate a need to shoot through doors/walls/auto glass you shouldn't worry about how a particular bullet performs in those tests. BTW, the tests weren't purely an ability to penetrate those barriers, it was for the bullet to remain intact and expand properly after passing through those barriers.

Given the usual variety of chance barricades, I don't think there's much need to emphasize barrier penetration. If you think there might be, a spare mag of FMJ-above and beyond your usual load out-takes care of it.
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:08 PM
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Those are fine calibers to use. They'll likely get the job done with good shot placement. If you're concerned about hard barrier penetration (I'm not), then it makes sense. While I don't think they offer anything a 9mm won't do in most situations, the .357Sig does seem to have an advantage in terms of barrier penetration. I think I read somewhere about a shooting involving Texas DPS Troopers who stopped a semi. One Trooper was armed with a .45ACP, the other wtih a .357Sig. At some point they tried shooting the suspect through the door. The .45 didn't make it through, but the .357 was able to penetrate the door and stop the attacker. If I'm not mistaken, this was also the reason for this caliber being selected by the US Secret Service and the US Air Marshal Service.

But as Fastbolt said, what kind of barriers do you expect to have to penetrate? For the vast majority of people, in the majority of probable scenarios, a good JHP in one of the service calibers, placed well, will get the job done. But if you feel the need for extra "oomph," then go with what you want.

My general advice remains the same: Pick a gun you'll carry, in a caliber you like, with a HP round that's reliable in your gun and that you can shoot well, and practice not only shooting and drawing, but also awareness and avoidance skills. And, of course, be familiar with the laws of self defense where you are or will be. It'd probably be a good idea to get some first aid skills, too, if you don't already have them.

And here's another thought. If you're shooting at an attacker hiding behind cover, are you sure it's the attacker? Are you sure there aren't bystanders also hidden from your view by the cover? What if the attacker has moved and now your round penetrates the barrier and hits an innocent bystander? What I'm saying is that one of the first rules of shooting, defensive or otherwise, is to be sure of your target. It may be difficult, though certainly not impossible if it's obvious your attacker is returning fire from behind cover, to be sure of your target. Additionally, an attacker hiding behind cover may be an opportunity for you to escape. It depends on the situation, but it's something to think about.

Just my opinion.
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:06 PM
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Many years ago when the "Air Marshalls" program was starting a major concern was the best caliber handgun round for firing inside a aircraft without over penetration. Elmer Keith recommended the .455 Webley round
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:17 PM
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Many years ago when the "Air Marshalls" program was starting a major concern was the best caliber handgun round for firing inside a aircraft without over penetration. Elmer Keith recommended the .455 Webley round
Several years ago I read an article by Leroy Thompson. IIRC, he wrote about helping to train Saudi Arabia's "Air Marshals" several years ago, maybe back in the 70s or 80s, and he recommended DA revolvers in .44 Special (maybe .45 Long Colt...it's been a long time since I read that article).

IIRC, the reason the US Air Marshal Service went with the .357Sig was for penetration through seats and possibly doors. They were trained to a high level of marksmanship skill and taught to direct their lines of fire to avoid critical electrical and hydraulic systems. Rounds penetrating the windows or the body of the aircraft and causing a catastrophic depressurization are pretty much a myth.
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:36 PM
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On my carry and home defense 9mm pistols, I use Federal 147 grain HST JHP. I've been thinking about going to something like an Inceptor or Sinterfire frangible for my home pistol.

Anybody have any experience using frangibles for SD ammo?
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:24 PM
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On my carry and home defense 9mm pistols, I use Federal 147 grain HST JHP. I've been thinking about going to something like an Inceptor or Sinterfire frangible for my home pistol.

Anybody have any experience using frangibles for SD ammo?
Just my opinion, but I wouldn't use frangibles for self defense. They generally lack adequate penetration to effectively stop an attacker. Last time I looked into it, they penetrated maybe 6-7" into bare gelatin, not counting any clothing (I think this was Glaser Safety Slugs). It may work and stop the attacker, it may make them flee, or it may be ineffective and make the attacker more aggressive. I'd rather use a round with a good track record for effectiveness that will penetrate adequately but not excessively in soft targets, like the 147gr HST (which is also my choice), and, for home defense, do my best to work out possible lines of fire to mitigate the risk of overpenetration through building materials. Basically, any round that will penetrate deeply enough to stop an attacker will likely go through building materials, so plan accordingly. And, of course, as Doug M. mentioned, accurately hitting your attacker(s) CofM will minimize that risk further.
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:28 PM
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Look at it another way......how about shooting inside of your vehicle and expecting decent performance on the other side of the glass or door?

I would think that a civilian in SD scenario is more likely to be shooting out of their vehicle more so than into or through some other object.
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Old 07-12-2020, 07:47 AM
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Nice thing about barriers is they work both ways. If somebody is behind a barrier it is difficult for them to harm me. If they can stick a gun through a port I can stick a bullet through it etc.

First time I went into a police station and sa they had installed some nice new heavy duty bulletproof glass I wondered what they would do if someone walked in and started forming plastic or taping a bunch of explosives to the glass. Couldn't hardly shoot at them. Just set there and watch them light the fuse? They could even watch the reactions.

Everyone always worries about guns. I have always thought high explosives were superior method of assault or defense.

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Old 07-12-2020, 09:02 AM
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For non-LEO, it's probably mostly a home defense matter. And you have some control over the penetrability of barriers in your home.

Now "bear-iers", that's another thing... you want that penetration fer sure! =:O
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:23 AM
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Due respect, you're overthinking this. As mentioned elsewhere, unless you're an on-duty LEO, dealing with barriers is highly unlikely. Like other issues along these lines, you can "what if" yourself into never leaving the house. The boutique ammo that meets or exceeds FBI protocol is available, (at least it was till lately), to anyone. If you can afford it, and it helps you sleep better, rock on.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:34 AM
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I know that folks are most likely speaking in general here when speaking of potential carry choices, but just in case there's any confusion, this isn't a stealth SD suggestion thread. I'm already satisfied with what I'm currently carrying and feel that it suits my needs adequately.

This thread really just was posted because it was a subject that I've seen raised every here and there but never really given much thought to, so I figured that it might make for an interesting topic of discussion.

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Originally Posted by SAFireman View Post
Look at it another way......how about shooting inside of your vehicle and expecting decent performance on the other side of the glass or door?

I would think that a civilian in SD scenario is more likely to be shooting out of their vehicle more so than into or through some other object.
This was one of the sort of scenarios I was thinking of.
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Old 07-12-2020, 05:53 PM
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The problem with stating that misses are more of a problem than overpenetration is that it comes across as saying, "Yeah, just hit what you're aiming at and you can use whatever round you want," or, even worse, "Why bother with JHP if you're gonna end up missing anyway?"
*
I cut the rest of the response, because I wanted to address this portion. I was not thinking of persons using poor/imprecise logic to make the decision, but your concern is valid. In .380 or smaller, ball is probably the least bad choice, and that has to be a consideration. In a service caliber, no. I own a bunch of ball in 9mm and 45ACP, mostly for practice. I will use it in a pinch, but it is far from a first choice. The most likely use for 9mm ball is my 9mm AR, which is to some extent a range toy, but set up like my work AR. (My Marlin .357 project is a far more useful rifle for most purposes, especially to take when traveling.)

PERSONALLY, I would not bother with a JHP in .38, as it is way more expensive than a good SWC, which most of the time is going to work as well. I can shoot my standard velocity .38 SWC better than any other load in my M66, so that is my preference. I can (and have) qualified with hotter loads, but the performance difference is clear. That is likely true for most people. With this, or the 9mm/45 ball, I can hand a gun to someone else and they have a better chance of contributing positively to solving the problem.

FBI and handguns: in the 80s, when the "Miami" shootout occurred, there were very few people who grasped and trained that pistols are secondary weapons, carried for convenience, not performance. The training was JUST starting to change in my academy days (1989) and did not come to full momentum until after the LA bank robbery shootout along with the lessons of GWOT.

The barrier tests I would consider as most valid for private citizen use most of the time are car glass (for reasons already suggested), and far more important - the 4 layer denim test. If you pay no attention to any other component of the testing, that one should get your attention as it is designed to replicate the possible impact of clothing plugging a HP bullet. In the deep South in August, not likely an issue. Along or north of most of I90 from Seattle to Boston, a consideration for at least 6 months a year, maybe more, especially when it cools off at night.
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:40 PM
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K Frame Keith K Frame Keith is offline
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I liked the FBI protocol. When my agency switched to .40, we looked at that and ended up adopting ammunition ammo issued by CHP; again based on their research. Their research was comprehensive and they generously shared their work with our smaller department.
My point is that I choose ammunition with a history use by a large agency that has the money and experience to back their choice with research. One less thing to worry about. Great thread!
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Old 07-12-2020, 07:07 PM
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I liked the FBI protocol. When my agency switched to .40, we looked at that and ended up adopting ammunition ammo issued by CHP; again based on their research. Their research was comprehensive and they generously shared their work with our smaller department.
...
If by "CHP" you mean the CA Highway Patrol, then yes, they've given a lot of consideration to ammunition testing and the reasons for it. That makes sense, considering they contribute quite a bit to how the state of CA conducts its ammunition testing for its state ammunition contract.

If you weren't already aware, the 4LD test protocol was developed as a result of the efforts of a CHP Lt (working at the academy, I believe) and the IWBA, back around the mid 90's.
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Old 07-12-2020, 07:26 PM
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The over penetration schtick started with the NYPD decades ago. At the time, 87% of their shots missed the perp, anyway. Yet they worried seriously about the ones that actually hit the perp.

Ballistic personal defense weapons work by penetration. Pistols are lousy personal defense weapons. But they are handy. Trying to limit their feeble penetration even more is not a good program.
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:26 PM
Forte Smitten Wesson Forte Smitten Wesson is offline
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Okay, I acknowledge that handguns have their share of shortcomings and are not ideal combat weaponry, but of all of said shortcomings, limited penetration really isn't one of them, not within reason anyway.

I mean, literally every duty cartridge currently in use will punch strae through the human body and keep on going like it hit nothing at all with an FMJ, and even JHPs tend to come right to the edge of piercing through the human body, so that's not what I would consider "feeble penetration" by any stretch of the imagination.

Heck, the whole point of this thread is to discuss whether certain handgun ammunition's ability to punch through improvized cover with enough energy to still penetrate deep enough to land a critical hit is an asset or a liability because so many modern bullet designs are readily capable of doing so. Jacketed Hallowpoint Handgun Bullets in general penetrate just about as deeply as they need to without becoming a liability, at least as far as duty cartridges go, so the question is if the little extra oomph that certain cartridges or ammo designed to penetrate barriers more readily is a good thing or a bad thing.
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Old 07-14-2020, 02:30 AM
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I use a moderate penetration round in my carry and home defense pistols. I use both HP and FMJ in my 44mag carbine.
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Old 07-14-2020, 03:30 AM
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So as with most gear and firearms, two phrases come to mind; "time and place" and "mission dictates the gear".

For me, at home, my 5.56 load of choice is the 77gr SMK. I know it'll penetrate deep enough in soft tissue, and I am confident of its reduced, though not eliminated, risks in the event of a miss. In that scenario, barrier performance isn't my primary, secondary, or tertiary concern.

On the road, where I end up in the middle of nowhere, barrier performance and portability do become a concern. I have seen drivers go nuts, and more than once I have ended up on the Texas border, watching cartel with AKs 500 meters from my position across the border watching me. I have also seen folks not sure about me, eyeballing me with a BA rifle as old as prohibition. My choice on the road is a Lone Star Armory TX15 Pistol chambered in .300BLK, with an 8.3" barrel and a LAW folder. This combination is small enough to fit in a laptop bag, and can make eye socket shots at 100 meters. My load of choice is the 110gr Hornady GMX, a monolithic bullets with reasonable terminal performance and barrier penetration.


For pistol rounds, nothing changes. 99% of the time I carry 9mm, and my choice is the 147gr Federal HST all day, everyday. If I am at home, I am not concerned about barriers, as I previously mentioned. But when I am out about, I am, again as previously mentioned. I understand that pistol rounds, by their very mechanism of wounding potential, will have a higher risk of overpenetration than that of an intermediate rifle round (IE 5.56). The pistol round pokes holes, so it behooves me to have a hole that goes deep enough to disrupt or destroy vital structures. I want that sucker to stay intact, versus fragmentation from a rifle round. The HST bullet isn't a bonded bullet, so it isn't going to take care of barriers the way a Gold Dot, Ranger Bonded, Barnes X, Federal Tactical Bonded, and the like will, but due to a reverse tapered bullet, they still hold their own. I also like the recoil impulse and return to target capability of 147gr bullets.

There are times when I have to go out on the road and I have to carry discretely. For those times I carry an M&P Shield in 9mm with an Apex kit, and stippling by Lone Star Armory. In those instances, my carry load is still the 147gr Federal HST, but the +P variant. Not because I want or need extra velocity, no, 147gr JHPs of quality design work quite well at sub-compact velocities. Its just that I believe that sub-compact handguns run/function better with slightly higher pressure cartridges. There have been some anecdotal studies to support this theory, but nothing concrete.

There are other rare times I carry a J-frame, like a 640-1 or a 49. In those cases, I have decided that barrier performance, while important is so far down the list as to not exist. I load them with either Remington or Federal 148gr TWCs, with reloads being Speer's 135gr+P Gold Dot. Yes, I carry reloads, and I carry them in Safariland speed loaders. I dont care if my reloads are bulbous. Spare magazines are bulbous. The cylinder of a revolver is bulbous. Cry me a river about how bulky speed loaders are, Hank Williams told me "the Mississippi River is a runnin' dry". Its not that I carry the Gold Dot short barrel offerings for terminal performance sake. Would I prefer they have superior terminal performance? Sure! But a JHP is easier to reload than a. wadcutter... for me.


I'm sorry if I rambled on. I cant sleep. Dont get me started on shotguns, time, place, and gun for buck, slugs, and carrying both buck and slugs.
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Old 07-14-2020, 03:41 AM
ElectroMotive ElectroMotive is offline
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On my carry and home defense 9mm pistols, I use Federal 147 grain HST JHP. I've been thinking about going to something like an Inceptor or Sinterfire frangible for my home pistol.

Anybody have any experience using frangibles for SD ammo?
Dont change!

First of all you have to understand the terminology. Frangibles dont fragment in people. They fragment on steel as a reduced hazard round for training. In people, they act like FMJs until the hit something hard, harder than bones. Miami PD tried issuing frangible ammunition many moons ago, it didn't work out well.

You're confusing frangible with fragmenting. Fragmenting bullets are designed to come apart in people. But there's a problem. Fragmenting pistol rounds generally offer substantially reduced penetration. And provide shallow, grievous looking wounds. Sounds like a good thing! But the problem is "the good stuff' in humans is deep in the body. Often times you dont get a head on, unobstructed shot. The shot you may have may be at an oblique angle. An arm holding a weapon may be in the way. So you have to rely on blood loss, and that can take a while. Long enough for you or someone you love to end up hurt or dead. Sure, you can shoot more, but then you have to remember that every shot you take in such a stressful situation is another shot you can miss. And every miss has a lawyer attached to it. This is the same reason I advocate for a tight patterning buckshot load for HD versus a birdshot load.
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Old 07-14-2020, 06:41 PM
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Every ccw/hd has to determine what they think is important. For me, terminal performance is more important than barrier penetration. Most bonded bullets expand less, increasing the ability to penetrate barriers.
Consider my possible attack, a close range event without a barrier. A carjack or riot situation in my car is the exception. Even then, I am likely shooting thru side or front/rear windshield. After the first bullet goes thru, the rest get thru easier, at least my test exp. So I dont worry about the whole barrier pen thing. Just pick a good bullet in the caliber you prefer & practice to raise your skill level, a lot. That is where I spend my mental energy.
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Old 07-15-2020, 12:26 PM
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However, concerns regarding Barrier Penetration seem to have shifted over the years, with what once was considered a desirable trait of the utmost importance to a liability which holds too great a risk of collateral damage.
I'm not really sure exactly what sparked such a dramatic polar shift in priorities, perhaps it was the mass media, perhaps it was after a string of lawsuits over collateral damage caused by bullets penetrating barriers a little too well, or perhaps it's just folks in general feeling that the risk outweighs the reward? Regardless, it's a subject that I've seen raised every here and there lately for a variety of reasons, so I figured it could perhaps make for an interesting topic of discussion.
In the early days of automobiles there was a lot of concern over being thrown through the windshield. Then the seat belt was invented and thus you don't hear it mentioned anymore.

Similarly, over the years so much attention was given to the issue of adequate barrier penetration that most defensive rounds now meet minimum penetration standards and thus shooters aren't concerned about it anymore.
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Old 07-15-2020, 06:19 PM
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Your liability is in question the second you pull the trigger, regardless of what load you're carrying. Your money or your life--make a decision and live with it.
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