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Old July 3, 2019, 04:57 PM   #1
FenrisInside
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Thin wall Apartment Defensive Ammo

Hello all! New to posting on the Forum but I’ve been reading threads for years. I live in a thin walled apartment complex and was wondering if you folks had suggestions for ammo for a bedside gun that won’t over penetrate the walls. Two that I heard about were G2s RIP (which I heard many good things about but I’m worried about it not penetrating to vital organs with the fragments hitting ribs and such) and Federals Guard Dog hollow points. Any one have a recommendation and or articles about them?
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Old July 3, 2019, 05:13 PM   #2
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#5 or #4 Bird Shot. 20 or 12 gauge.
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Old July 3, 2019, 05:35 PM   #3
Bartholomew Roberts
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Any round that will meet the FBI minimum criteria of penetrating 12” of ballistic gel will sail right through your standard uninsulated sheetrock wall.

Sheetrock is a 1/2” or 5/8” of gypsum dust backed by paper. If a bullet won’t penetrate four sheets of paper and 1.25” of powdered gypsum, you probably don’t want to go around shooting people with it.

The most effective means to reduce overpenetration without reducing effectiveness is hitting your target.

Good link to consider:
https://www.ar15.com/ammo/project/Se...ense_Ammo_FAQ/

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Old July 3, 2019, 06:03 PM   #4
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FenrisInside - What caliber are you planning to use? Or are you asking for suggestions on that, too?

Here's a site that illustrates bullet penetration:

https://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box...l-box-o-truth/

Don't start looking at that site until you're sure you have a few hours to spend. You'll find yourself binging it.
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Old July 3, 2019, 06:33 PM   #5
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Reteach- I’ll be using either .357 or (far more likely) 9mm. I’ll definitely read all articles recommended when I get some time
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Old July 3, 2019, 08:15 PM   #6
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suggestions for ammo for a bedside gun that won’t over penetrate the walls.
There is none.

Despite endless debate, marketing hype and gelatin tests one truth seems constant, if it won't reliably penetrate a regular wall, it won't reliably penetrate a person, and if it won't reliably penetrate a person, it won't reliably reach vital organs inside the body.

Even birdshot is nothing to sneer at, because while the individual pellets lose energy rapidly, and don't penetrate well as individual pellets, at inside the apartment ranges it is still essentially one large mass of lead moving at over 1000fps (plus the wad) and will absolutely blow a large hole in certain materials. It won't be very penetrative after that, but if you're on the other side of that first wall, birdshot can seriously mess up your day.

Accept the fact that anything you shoot that has the power to go halfway through a person will go through an ordinary wall if you miss, and might not reach the vital spot if you don't miss.

There is no magic bullet. There is no bullet that will go just deep enough and then stop, reliably. Police agencies are hugely concerned with "overpenetration", but compared to individual defensive shootings, police shoot huge numbers of people.

Most of us go our entire lives without shooting anyone. Compared to that, even a quiet area where there have only been 3 officer involved shootings in 20 years is a huge number.

Look at the 1986 Miami shootout. The 9mm round that "failed" to stop the bad guy met every penetration requirement at the time, and absolutely would go through an ordinary wall if you didn't hit your attacker.

And yet, in a real world situation, it didn't penetrate quite far enough to shut down the attacker instantly. The bad guy was mobile for about a minute and killed 4 agents and wounded 2 others before being shot again (a few times) and finally being stopped.

Hope for the best, plan for the worst, and you're seldom disappointed.
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Old July 3, 2019, 08:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
There is none.
This.

In general, the best round for self defense that also limits penetration through interior walls is a lightweight .223 hollow point fired out of a rifle. That said, it will still penetrate through multiple walls. And sometimes more than that. Just because a .223 HP tends to penetrate less through walls than most other common defensive loads (buckshot or centerfire pistol HPs), that doesn’t mean it’s at all safe for people on the other side of the wall.

If you’re using a centerfire pistol for self-defense, avoid that novelty garbage like the G2 RIP rounds and simply use good JHPs like Speer Gold Dot or Federal HST. If you want to minimize penetration through the human body, use bullets that are on the lighter end of the spectrum. Then do your best to make sure you don’t miss.
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Old July 3, 2019, 08:37 PM   #8
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You do want something that won't over-penetrate the target. As already stated, don't expect something that will be stopped by a thin wall to be effective, so choose something that will penetrate a person or a wall, but not both a person and a wall. You want a hollowpoint that will reliably expand in a soft target and transfer all or most of its energy before exiting. If it's penetrating 20" or more in the denim/gel test, it's probably not what you're looking for.
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Old July 3, 2019, 10:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Hello all! New to posting on the Forum but I’ve been reading threads for years. I live in a thin walled apartment complex
Bird shot at close range to the face will ruin anyone's day.
I was always taught to point a firearm in a safe direction, what is a safe direction in a apartment complex?
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Old July 3, 2019, 11:27 PM   #10
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John Farnam documented an unusual shotgun battle. Both combatants had 12ga shotguns and the fight took place at room distances. The first guy to get a hit shot his opponent in the face from across the room with #6 high brass birdshot. The other guy, using a refrigerator for cover, lost an eye. He then returned fire with buckshot and killed the person who shot him.

Then he drove 2.5 hours to his family, who then took him to a hospital to get help. I’m pretty sure that ol’ boy’s day was well and truly ruined; but he was alive to talk about it and the other guy wasn’t.
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Old July 4, 2019, 03:28 AM   #11
Hal
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I live in a thin walled apartment complex
Move.....seriously.
If your answer to this is "I can't afford it" - then wait until you have to start dishing out money for legal help if the day comes you "need" Thin Wall Defensive Ammo.
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Old July 4, 2019, 07:35 AM   #12
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That is always just a ridiculous answer. Moving, getting a dog, etc, there are a lot of answers that are simply impossible for some people, but some of you guys still throw them out anyway.
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Old July 4, 2019, 07:36 AM   #13
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Look at the glaser safety slug. It supposedly breaks up on drywall.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glaser_Safety_Slug
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Old July 4, 2019, 09:12 AM   #14
Bartholomew Roberts
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Supposedly being the key word.
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Old July 4, 2019, 09:16 AM   #15
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Physics

It is simply impossible for a projectile to not penetrate a wall, and have the ability to penetrate a person adequately.

There are no magic bullets.
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Old July 4, 2019, 10:13 AM   #16
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Bookshelves full of books do a pretty good job of stopping bullets.
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Old July 4, 2019, 10:20 AM   #17
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Missing the enemy is worse with ANY gun/ammo then hitting him. Even if you shot an enemy with a 375H&H, and you KNOW the bullet will not stop in him, it's a safe assumption to say the man will slow down the bullet more open air, which is what you are dealing with if you miss. Neither is a good thing, but obviously missing is worse, for liability sake, and also because missing gives the enemy a better chance to kill you.

Make sense?

You are 100% responsible for EVERY round your fire, and probably will have to give account of every one---- in court.
So that is why I recommend a long arm over ANY handgun for such home protections


Many many many school kids armed with a shotgun can hit over 1/2 of the flying birds they shoot at with a shotgun. Some hit over 80%. How many master class PPC IPSC or IDPA shooters could hit 50% of their shots on flying quail using a handgun? I have knows about 6 in my life. I could not count how man school kids I know that can do it with a shotgun.
So if a kid starts to hunt at about 12 years old and can shoot very well in 2-3 years, and make better hits on faster targets that are much smaller then a man, how would you think a handgun is in any way "better" for protecting yourself in a house or apartment, where you know the battle ground and the enemy doesn't?

I am a Combative Tactics Instructor with over 1/2 century of experience and I have taught to Marines, Navy Personal, a few US army Personal, many police officers, hundreds of civilian and several allied military unites in the last 50 years of so. I and my colleagues have done tests on reactions times and marksmanship with many students from rank armatures (with only 3 hours of instruction in their whole life,) all the way to national and international shooting competitive masters, and NO ONE have ever shown a superiority in combative shooting with a handgun over a long arm at any distance under 7 feet. Not 7 yards. 7 feet.
At 7 feet and closer the handgun can have an advantage. That is why carrying a handgun is very practical, because you do not schedule an attack. If you know it's coming, you #1 leave. Or #2 grab a rifle or shotgun.

Please note that ALL of our soldiers, marines and SEALS who kick doors in urban fighting are armed with rifles or shotguns for their primary arm with handguns as back-up arms. Why do you think that is?

You are actually better off with a Ruger 10/22 and a low power scope or dot sight inside your dwelling then many other weapons because it's very accurate, super easy to shoot well, reliable and deadly enough to kill those that want to kill you. Sure, a 22 will shoot through walls. Yes it will. Are there deadlier rounds to fire. YES!.
But that doesn't matter as much as you think if you hit the enemy instead of missing him. in most civilian shootings the bad guy knows he can't win once he's been hit, and the thing they want to do is get away because gettign shot again is very bad, means they are more likely to die or need to turn themselves into the cops and so on. Their "position is not being overrun" and so they know surrender or retreat is a FAR better option if they get hit. In that way, civilian shooting is often WAY different in the mind of the man who is shot then it would be in warfare.
That is the same with ANY gun. Heck, an AK47 loaded with 122 grain HP ammo is an awesome close quarters weapon too, but if you miss the enemy with it the damage the miss is going to do is worse then the 22 LR.
Same with any gun. Making hits is 99% of the equation, not hardware. That is one reason I recommend a shotgun with larger bird-shot. One advantage of a 22 is the lack of penetration you'll get with HP ammo if (God forbid) you do miss. It is a disadvantage for both penetration and cavitation, but with a semi-auto 22 the likleyhood of making 2 or more hits is higher too.

But remember ALL round you fire hit..................something!
Or someone.

Tactics is a FAR more important subject for you to address then guns or ammo. As a home defender you pick the place and the enemy picks the time.
If you have to deal with an attack outside the home the battle ground is not going to be picked by you and neither is the time. Because we can't always walk around carrying a rifle, carrying a handgun and/or a knife is a very good idea.
But once you are in "your castle" you should always grab a long arm if you have even 3 seconds of warning time. A handgun is far better then no gun, but not near as good as a shotgun or rifle.

Ask yourself if ANY cop, or ANY military man would engage in open combat and take a pistol instead of a long arm. Look at SWAT teams, Marines, SEALS, Rangers, FBI security teams and so on---- and see if ANY of them leave the long gun at home knowing they are going to have to fight.

See if you can find one who will choose a handgun over a rifle.

Not someone ambushing a hostage-taker, acting as if they are there to negotiate,------ but someone going into OPEN combat.

See if you can find one.

If you are defending your home you ARE in open combat.
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Old July 4, 2019, 10:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FenrisInside View Post
Hello all! New to posting on the Forum but I’ve been reading threads for years. I live in a thin walled apartment complex and was wondering if you folks had suggestions for ammo for a bedside gun that won’t over penetrate the walls. Two that I heard about were G2s RIP (which I heard many good things about but I’m worried about it not penetrating to vital organs with the fragments hitting ribs and such) and Federals Guard Dog hollow points. Any one have a recommendation and or articles about them?
In re-reading the OP, short of a BB gun, I don't think there's any powder based weapon that won't penetrate, much less "over-penetrate" 2 sheets of sheetrock but still penetrate vital organs. That's the dichotomy.

Maybe a 3 - 5 Watt handheld laser, which will instantly burn and blind?
You could go to #12 "Snake Shot" if you can find it.
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Old July 4, 2019, 11:43 AM   #19
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I think you have your answer FenrisInside! Anything capable of immediate incapacitation of an attacker is also capable of passing through a soft barrier.

Some recommend light birdshot in a shotgun, but I do not. While it might make a nasty surface wound, I would not count on it to stop an attack. An AR15 carbine
with Hornady V-Max rounds is my choice.
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Old July 4, 2019, 12:46 PM   #20
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That is always just a ridiculous answer. Moving, getting a dog, etc, there are a lot of answers that are simply impossible for some people, but some of you guys still throw them out anyway.
There is very little that is impossible if you are serious enough about doing it.

Most of the time, when people say they "can't" move, get a different job, etc., what they really mean is that they won't, because they aren't willing to put up with the sometimes serious inconvenience, and/or lifestyle changes doing it would require.

Not doing something because its not practical, is one thing, and quite different from not doing that thing because you physically cannot. Not doing a thing because it costs too much, or requires a degree of suffering you're not willing to accept are valid reasons. But when those are the reasons. its not "can't" its "won't".

I do agree that giving an answer like "move to another state" isn't really helpful, most of the time.

Maybe you tell 1,000 people this, and 999 reply "I can't(won't) because of x,y, & z, but maybe you reach the one guy who says "hey, I never thought of that!". Him, you've helped.
Meanwhile, the rest of us read it, and move on...
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Old July 4, 2019, 01:15 PM   #21
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How thin and made of what material? It in a 'normal' apartment building? In any case, a door knob will penetrate 2 layers of dry wall. So will your fist/foot.
Not many apartment buildings built in the last 40 or 50 years with walls that are not reinforced concrete between units. Primarily to keep fires from spreading as mandated by building codes. Internal walls are just dry wall with nothing substantial inside.
"...simply impossible for a projectile to not penetrate a wall..." Nope. No regular bullet will penetrate those reinforced concrete walls between units. And concrete gets harder as it ages.
"...Bookshelves full of books do..." No they don't. A .22 LR will penetrate a solidly stuffed with newspapers box about 2 feet long(been a while) more than half way.
"...Sheetrock(a brand name) is a 1/2” or 5/8” of gypsum dust backed by paper..." Gypsum dust it ain't. It's a paste made of water, gypsum, starch and emulsifiers spread on manila paper.
"...the FBI minimum criteria..." Anything the FBI says is totally irrelevant. The FBI is not, never has been and never will be the arbiters of anything firearm related. They're cops. Cops use what they're issued according to their budgets.
"...V-Max rounds..." Might fragment, but said fragments will be lethal.
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Old July 4, 2019, 02:36 PM   #22
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Crossbow.
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Old July 5, 2019, 02:26 AM   #23
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You guys talking about birdshot creating a "nasty surface wound" at in home distances are quite simply wrong. I know a man that was shot in the chest at 8-10 feet with 12 ga. load of #8 shot. I happened to run into a nurse that assisted in his surgery. They pulled the plastic wad off of his spine. Blew out a substantial chunk of his right lung. He lived, but not because the birdshot didn't do it's job. That's not a "nasty surface wound," and buckshot would have done little more, if any, damage. I also know the man who shot him. Had the shot been 4 inches to the right, it would have destroyed his heart.
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Old July 5, 2019, 09:12 AM   #24
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Don't miss.
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Old July 5, 2019, 11:01 AM   #25
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Bill there has been a huge number of people killed by .22lr, but I would never recommend it as a primary choice for home defense either. Birdshot might work but it is not an acceptable primary choice in my view. Your example does not make the case for birdshot, and certainly doesn't make the case that those of us who discourage its use for self defense are wrong.
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