Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 2/3/2007 3:26:02 PM EDT
I am thinking of strictly self or home defense use.

Inside the house, I am thinking that an HP round will penetrate like crazy through my and my neighbour's walls as well as any badguy I hit with it. What if I use an softpoint round? Or maybe keep a 20rnd magazine full of safety rounds PD .223?

Any insight guys (and gals).
Link Posted: 2/3/2007 3:35:07 PM EDT
If you are concerned about over penetration, look at the Hornady TAP rounds...
Link Posted: 2/3/2007 4:00:53 PM EDT
light hollow points are disigned for varmint hunting. that means that they have explosive expansion on small thin skinned objects. that means they have less over penetration though walls. the heavier match HPs will penetrate because they aren't designed to expand. i got this info from reading various tests over the years in various periodicals.....ie.. no first hand experience.

Link Posted: 2/3/2007 4:40:58 PM EDT
None of the SP's or HP's from 55 gr on down (minus the Federal Trophy Bonded) will pose an overpenetration risk. Some of the SP loads in this class won't penetrate deeper than 8" in tissue. None of them will penetrate deeper than 12" even when fired from 14.5" barrels. With longer barrels, the penetration is usually a bit less. These type of bullets penetrate building materials about as little as anything you can get.

The only problem is, if you trade off penetration, you also risk having a less effective load in regards to terminal ballistics. The FBI set a criteria that called for their serious purpose ammo to penetrate a minimum of 12" in ballistic gel. Anything that penetrates short of 12" in gel MAY not penetrate deep enough to reach vital structures deep within the body on shots from odd angles (say your round has to penetrate the upper arm and traverse the upper torso to reach the heart or damage both lungs). Another problem is when your bullet has to pass through an arm prior to striking the body. This can happen more often than you might think, as anyone you are going to shoot will likely be deemed a threat to you (a badguy poiting a weapon at you). If he's aiming a gun at you, guess what will be placed directly in front of him, potentially serving as a thin barrier to your bullets? Yup, his arms. An arm isn't much, but it's more than enough to have a lightweight 55 gr SP/HP/BallisticTip already fragmenting before it reaches the body. That's bad, as such a situation will leave a very shallow penetrating wound to the body and wouldn't ensure adequate penetration even in a direct frontal shot. Inadequate penetration reduces the chances for incapacitating your adversary. That places you at greater risk. You want to stop the badguy as quickly as possible. Outside a direct hit to the central nervous system (brain and spine), the only other way to ensure this is by causing the person to bleed out. So you want to make sure your bullets can go deep to rupture things like the Aorta and the big blood carrying vessels deep inside the body.

My primary home defense weapon is currently a Bushmaster 16" chrome-lined 1:9 twist carbine. The ammo I use for it is the Black Hills 68 gr OTM. Despite not being designed to expand, it still works extremely well. The bullet yaws sideways fairly quickly after entering tissue. The jacket material on the match bullets is extremely thin and as such, it can't move sideways through tissue and remain intact. So it breaks in half along the cannelure and fragments into many tiny pieces. Here is a photo from the Ammo Oracle that shows how this happens:

That is 75 gr OTM TAP, but the 68 gr performs similarly, just not quite as good (but still plenty good enough). Meanwhile, these heavier match rounds (68, 69, 75, 77 gr etc) bullets will penetrate deep enough to reach the vitals from pretty much any angle. And though they will penetrate a bit more than 55 gr and under SP's and HP's, the penetration is still much less than your typical 9mm bullet.

I'd recommend going with the heavier match loads, particularly the 68 gr Black Hills or the 75 gr Hornady Tap or Black Hills. And if you do decide to pick a lighter load, then at least opt for the Federal Premium 55 gr BTHP. It still won't reliably penetrate to 12", but it will usually penetrate to 9.5" to 11" in gel with dramatic fragmentation. Just be aware of it's limitations (it can underpenetrate in certain circumstances) and act accordingly.

Oh, and read this before settling on any particular load. It's essential reading around here:

Ammo Oracle
Link Posted: 2/3/2007 5:24:59 PM EDT
Thanks for the great info. I read through the vital parts of that link. and looks like some hot v-max rounds or heavy TAP ammo should do the trick.

Link Posted: 2/3/2007 7:21:37 PM EDT
Below is some stats from our PD's Patrol Rifle Course on Ammunition information is directly from ATK/Federal, I have the data for bare gel, heavy clothing, wallboard, plywood, steel, and glass. I don't have a scanner or I would put it all up, so because I type so slow I'll just do it for the wall board, as you were talking about home defense.
Firearm: Colt M4
Barrel: 14.5"
Twist: 1x7
Range: 10 yds.

T223A- 55gr. SP Penetration: 7.25"
T223D- 40gr. HP Penetration: 7.25"
T223F- 55gr. Ballistic Tip Penetration: 8.5"
AE223- 55gr. FMJ Penetration: 11.25"
T223L- 64gr. SP Penetration: 12.25"
T223E- 55gr. BTHP Penetration: 12.5"
LE223T1- 55gr. BSP Penetration: 14"
LE223T3- 62 gr. BSP Penetration: 17.75"

The data for Plywood is much the same, variation is only by an inch or so, and the others vary by 2-3" more or less. A much more significant variation is only seen where glass was used in front of the Gel. For example the 40 gr. load T223D (lighest bullet loaded) only penetrated 1.5" after passing through glass (auto glass).
Hope you find this somewhat helpful.
Link Posted: 2/4/2007 7:25:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/4/2007 7:27:28 AM EDT by mrnuke7571]
heheh now i'm confused again. LOL

Seems like anything that penetrates 14"+ will go through too many walls if a missed shot occurs. I understand it'll do more damage in the BG if hit, but I am more concerned with collateral damage resulting from my bullet flying outside my home, so maybe sticking to a VMAX low weight bullet might be smarter.

It is really a hard decision. Do I want to KILL the BG with one or two shots, or damage him enough to give up.

We don't have the castle doctrine laws here in CT, so I can't shoot anyone unless they clearly endanger my or my family's life, even in my own damn house (which is friggin' rediculous, crooks have more rights than the damn victims). So i am not sure if killing a BG (with a larger weight more penetrating bullet, but risking hitting my neighbours) or hurting him bad enough to give up after getting shot (with a lighter SP/HP/frangible bullet with less worry about it going in my neighbourps house) would be the wises thing to do.

Right now my main home defense item is a Sig226 357sig caliber and a PS90 5.7x28 bullpup if I need more firepower in a pinch.

I am planning to sell my PS90 and either using my custom bullpup .223 or getting a steyr AUG clone/USR for the main HoemDefense role with a mag of HD rounds..

Decisions decisions..

Link Posted: 2/4/2007 7:41:37 AM EDT
that's why they teach the "double tap". if one is good two is better.

Link Posted: 2/4/2007 6:32:59 PM EDT
mrnuke7571, the last two rounds listed is Federals Tactical line, they are designed to achieve good penetration after barrier. As a general rule any expanding type bullet will exhibit less penetration after going through a barrier, of course excluding bonded type bullets that are designed for after barrier performance. As was pointed out, if it's worth shooting once, its worth shooting twice.
Link Posted: 2/4/2007 6:56:25 PM EDT
Cool, I'll be picking up some defensive rounds this week and load a mag with them to have around the house.

Can't wait for the weather to get warmed so I can do some ballistc testing of these rounds of my own.. (On computers, parts and the Bullet test Tube.)
Link Posted: 2/4/2007 10:31:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/4/2007 10:37:25 PM EDT by DevL]
Any round which will reach the minimum penetration depth to be acceptable will penetrate all the walls of your home or even exit your home if it is not brick.

Choose rounds that will incapacitate the BG most effectively and quickly.

Selecting rounds that will perform poorly on the BG and break up quickly because you MIGHT miss and MIGHT hit someone is a fools folly.

Lets look at the logic behind this ammo selction criteria... If you are shooting at someone in your home its because you have deemed the threat to "cross the threshhold" so to speak.

This situation might be a crazy lunatic that has raised a machette and is about to kill you or your wife or something equally nuts. Its gone above the 50% mark or life and death. You have decided to terminate this persons ability to do harm by killing this person RIGHT NOW!

You dont blast a guy in the chest who is standing in your living room, looking confused because there is a 5% chance he might be a rapist/serial killer/whatever and a 95% chance he is a worker that was supposed to show up at your neighbrs house and got lost and you had left you front door unlocked... (this happened to me)

Now in that very dire life and death situation you are going to fire ammo NOT that will stop the aggressor the fastest, but rather pick the most ineffectual ammo because of the 1% or less chance you might miss and hit an innocent person. You pick the less than 1% threat over the greater than 50% threat? How on earth could anyone call themselves a logical person who makes such a decision and say they actually put thought behind such a choice?

If you are not willing to make the shot on the bad guy and know you will make the hit and know what is beyond your target just do not use the weapon in the first place. Get a big knife. That solves your overpenetration problem.

PS: You cant just say SP or HP is better or even weight of projectile. Each ammo choice must be looked at individually to see what its effects and limitations are.

Your best bet that is easy to aquire is probably Hornady 75 grain FPD. If you must go light look at 55 grain Winchester Ballistic Silvertip. Both are easy to find and reach 12" penetration in gel. Of course the 55 grain ammo will penetrate less both in terms of the major permanant cavity and barriers.
Link Posted: 2/6/2007 6:15:45 PM EDT
I apreciate the detailed information, but a responsible person has to make the choice of a 'smarter' less penetrating bullet vs a balls to the wall "I will kill you" bullet that goes through walls and badguys and kids while flying towards the next town.

In most states collateral damage will get you in jail, lose your property, etc etc, and you can't tell me that in an actual firefight in a CQB situation you expect 100% hit ratio on your target. I am sure we all know the "KNOW WHATS BEHIND YOUR TARGET" Motto.

I am not thinking about a strung out person breaking into my home with a knife, if that happens there are better ways I can take care of the situation. Besides anything that is not a firearm in most states will make you end up going to many hours of court and cost you if you decide to take a person out with your gun/rifle.

I mean the scenario of a home invasion by multiple badguys with guns (most of the time), who don't really give a phuck about what happens as long as they rape your dog and eat your children (you get my jest). this would constitute me grabbing a rifle instead of my handgun. Right now my PS90 has that role still as the SHTF firearm with 100rnds sitting on it, but I was thinking of using a 5.56/223 with some less penetrating ammo in it.

Lot of people care only about target penetration and depth and blablabla, but people tend to forget the fact that, most people after getting hit by even a damn BB wouls stop and rething what happened. I've been in firefights and even though never shot directly, got hit by a ricochet of an AK on my right side and it knocked me on my azz and I thought I was hit bigtime.. Thank god it only went little more than skin deep, but still I was bleedin and yadda yadda yadda.. Sure as hell wanted to get the HELL out of that position FAST.
Link Posted: 2/7/2007 7:51:26 AM EDT
If you decide to go with any of the Federal loadings drop me an IM on which one you get, and I'll send you the data for it.
In general for LE, the fragmenting rounds are designed for tactical entry, while the deeper penetrating rounds are designed for patrol.
Link Posted: 2/7/2007 11:35:58 PM EDT
go here it will answer all of your questions

Link Posted: 2/8/2007 11:15:46 AM EDT
If that is how you feel use a 12ga loaded with bird shot. It is the only thing that wont overpentrate walls. Will not stop an atacker other than the psychological incapacitation effect but that is all you are looking for anyway. You also CANNOT kill anyone outside your home with that combo. ANY load for your AR will carry that risk.
Top Top