View Full Version : Penetration of Home Defense Rounds

January 8, 2006, 05:34 PM
I would just like to share a "self test" involving Speer GoldDot 165 Gr GDHP in 40 S&W. It was a demonstration of the ability of this round to penetrate interior partition walls/common things found in a home. One round was fired from a Glock 22 and it traveled through the following commonly found household materials before embedding itself in the exterior block wall:

1/2" of glass (mirror)
3-3/4" of MDF
6 Sheets of 1/2" sheetrock
1 36" Television (Toshiba)

It shows even a round designed to expand rapidly can have an awful lot of penetration power. This wasn't a made up test by any means, this was a real world test done in an actual home, filled with common household appliances.

The results of this test have made me think twice about the round I use as a home defense round. I was hoping to hear any feedback, recommendations, or similar information you guys would be willing to share. Thanks in advance.


Capt. Charlie
January 8, 2006, 05:42 PM
Um... Just curious, but who's house got volunteered to get shot up ;) ?

January 8, 2006, 05:44 PM
...only when it happened at our house I at least called it what it was: a negligent discharge.

What did NOT happen, thank God, was somebody in the way of this "test". You're not supposed to be shooting at the walls, you're supposed to be shooting at the BG. If a bullet goes through HIM, then the "wall penetration" issue will be less.

Sounds like an expensive "test". Did you learn anything from YOUR perspective?


January 8, 2006, 05:45 PM
So hit what you are shooting at is what you are saying?

Blackwater OPS
January 8, 2006, 05:48 PM
36" Toshiba, thats got to suck.;)

January 8, 2006, 08:06 PM
It was my house and yeah it sucked (TV), I did report it to the local PD and the responding officer told me it was officially called an "accidental discharge". The incident definitely reinforced a lot of things I've already learned and when all was said and done was a hell of a humbling experience. I'm just thankful that nobody got hurt.

I'll take all of the criticism with a grain of salt, but I'm still looking for some useful information.

January 8, 2006, 09:26 PM
Well, NDs can happen to anyone. I just try to stay safe.

Anyway, all handgun rounds will penetrate walls. Every shot must count. Read the Four Rules of gun safety and you'll get the picture.

If you want some low penetration defensive ammo, check out the glaser safety slug. I would suggest the glaser blue, as it supposedly has more "real world experience."

You can find them here www.corbon.com

I'll stick with my JHPs and hope to aim well.

January 9, 2006, 12:27 AM
I’ve come to the conclusion for this reason and a few others, that for home defense a short barrel shotgun is the best way to go. It’s got more knockdown power, more versatility in rounds. Short barrel = more spread = higher probability to hit your target, and if you miss the dispersion of the pattern = less likely hood of serious damage or over penetration by individual balls of shot downrange. No matter how good you are and how much you train you can’t guarantee that when the SHTF you won’t have a stray round. Best to cover all your bases if you ask me. I know this is a handgun thread but for home defense I think a short barrel shotgun is a superior weapon.

Double Naught Spy
January 9, 2006, 01:54 AM
I take it that the TV isn't one of the old technology versions with the heavy picture tube. In a pinch in the good days, TVs could provide some cover because of the massive picture tubes.

January 9, 2006, 10:39 AM
When I first got my pistol two years ago, I had an AD. It went through the arm of my couch, through a pillow, through the seat cushion through the bottom of the couch ricocheted off the concrete floor and back into the couch where it still rests to this day. Besides nearly crapping myself I learned furniture offers little or no protection.

Now I triple check to make sure my firearms are empty.....

January 9, 2006, 12:03 PM
In my house guns my first 2 round are glaser in my 9mm with 115g jhp there after (my thinking is 115 has less penetration than a 124 or a 147, but it will still go thru multiple walls and stuff) and my .38 snubby has all Glaser. My question is Glaser Silver better than Glaser Blue tip. Silver tips are supposed to have bigger shot (#12 vs #6), but will silver tip penetrate more than a blue tip or will they have the same fragmenting properties? I usually bounce from silver to blue tip, because I always have problems finding Glaser at the local gun stores, so I use whatever I can get my hands on.

Good (and scary) example of bullet penetration, sorry we had to learn this thru your misfortune devlin.

January 10, 2006, 10:31 PM
I read an article a while back in one of the major glossies and they tested a lot of different handgun self defense rounds on sheet rock. Not a one of them expaned they plugged up with the sheet rock and were basically full metal jacketed rounds.

I have done water expansion tests on several different rounds and from my test results I decided what I would carry in both my 38 and 44 special revelovers. (Not real hot about autos!) I have a several just don't like to carry them for self defense.

It is easy to say hit the bad guy first. In truth most people will not fire the rounds in practice to be really good enough when that day comes. I put a lot of rounds down range when I was in Law Enforcement and do some practice now but not like I should. I just hope I never have to use it but if I do, I know this I am better than the average shooter.

January 12, 2006, 01:27 PM
Anything that goes "deep enough" in people is going to be hazardous if you miss w it...

Penetration in gel after going through standard interior wall:

147/9 JHP 22.8 inches
180/40 JHP 25.2
230/45 29.7
12g slug 22.8
12g 00 buck 23.2
5.56 55g FMJ 16.1
5.56 62g FMJ 11.5
5.56 75g HP 13

Even #1 buck can exit one house trailer and enter another house trailer 10ft away... a good reason not to live in trailer parks? Or miss? ;)