MAC: 5.56mm Penetration Test

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Good video.  This is why generally speaking, I don’t like the idea of shooting rifles inside homes or in neighborhoods.

A pistol or pistol caliber pistol carbine (PDW) seems preferred to me based on the risk of shooting high velocity rounds.  And in the pistol or carbine, use personal defense rounds (hollow point), with proven ballistic tests for expansion.  Lucky Gunner has good tests online.

And there is a corollary point.  +P rounds aren’t necessarily the best home defense rounds for this reason.  I shoot 45 ACP, and there are some very hot +P loads for that caliber, including 450 SMC (which is way too hot for something like home defense – I carry for that bear defense in the bush with a 22# recoil spring).

Buffalo Bore and Double Tap make some of the hottest loads, including in PD ammunition.  It isn’t at all apparent to me that these loads would be a better choice.  The homeowner must be the judge given circumstances.

This video and those like it make the pistol caliber carbine a worthy investment for home defense.


Comments

  1. On August 7, 2020 at 7:02 am, MN Steel said:

    I guess I’ll say it, hopefully without coming across gloating…

    Sometimes it’s good to be 3/4 mile from the neighbor.

  2. On August 7, 2020 at 7:43 am, Ned2 said:

    My go to for in the house problem solving would be a shotgun.

  3. On August 7, 2020 at 10:17 am, Name (required) said:

    It’s not overpenetration if you want to shoot through.

  4. On August 7, 2020 at 10:27 am, Chris Mallory said:

    Box O Truth did some experiments on wall penetration. The only thing that would not penetrate multiple sheetrock interior walls was birdshot. If you have bedrooms at either end of the house, this can be an issue. You don’t want to hit your kids or grandkids with a missed shot.

    https://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box-o-truth-14-rifles-shotguns-and-walls/

    They do pistol caliber rounds in an earlier article.

    After the second wall, 5.56 would be wildly divergent from a straight line. They had to expand their wall setup from 2′ x2′ to 4’x4′ to chart the path of the deflected 5.56 rounds.

  5. On August 7, 2020 at 10:44 am, Herschel Smith said:

    @Chris,

    See my additional linked videos. Pistol calibers are indeed stopped by multiple layers of dry wall and siding that would be present in two homes (so that the probability of shooting into a neighbor’s house is substantially reduced).

    Any round will go through a couple of layers of dry wall inside a home. Make your shots true. Deflection of a 5.56 round doesn’t mean a reduction in risk to neighbors. It means it could go anywhere.

  6. On August 7, 2020 at 4:50 pm, John Moseley said:

    Good video, although, if he is going to be stickler on brace vs stock. I am going to point out that is not particle board, its OSB, or wafer board.

  7. On August 7, 2020 at 6:55 pm, Greg W said:

    To make one additional point: If .223/5.56 rounds pose a much greater danger of over penetration, then why do law enforcement SWAT teams use AR-15s in urban indoor operations?

  8. On August 7, 2020 at 6:57 pm, LJ said:

    @Chris,
    I found that out the hard way with a negligent discharge years ago. .380 JHP went through two layers of sheetrock, part of a 2×4, then most all the way through a 5 gallon water bottle but didn’t exit. It just left a mark. There was no expansion to speak of. I was rather impressed. I wouldn’t have expected that.

  9. On August 7, 2020 at 7:16 pm, Bruce said:

    Also bear in mind that in a real house, your basic, pine-framed, drywall-skinned walls are spaced further apart.

    Tumbling / deflected bullets will deflect at each physical contact and that deflection can be in pretty much any direction, thus “spreading” the hazard.

    So, short of building walls using insulation double-bagged in Kevlar, (or reinforced concrete instead of pine frames and drywall), houses are NOT “bulletproof”.

    3 feet of sun-dried mud / clay is pretty good as insulation and as a “bullet sponge”, but as noted in paces like Afghanistan, .50 BMGl Raufoss offers a challenge.

  10. On August 7, 2020 at 7:39 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @Greg W,

    They shouldn’t be doing that. But then, I disagree with militarized police, and disagree with the “war on drugs,” a war I never voted to engage.

  11. On August 7, 2020 at 8:52 pm, Fred said:

    It’s OT but since you mentioned it, Sir, American lost a 35 year war against a leaf from Columbia. The empire should just go ahead declare itself over with, done, kaput, goodnight.

  12. On August 7, 2020 at 10:34 pm, Tennessee Budd said:

    Yeah, since I don’t care to live in an ant farm–oops, I mean crime-ridden, overcrowded cesspool–damn, I did it again, I think ‘city’ is the term–I don’t worry much about it.

  13. On August 8, 2020 at 12:36 am, Georgiaboy61 said:

    @ Greg W.

    Re: “To make one additional point: If .223/5.56 rounds pose a much greater danger of over penetration, then why do law enforcement SWAT teams use AR-15s in urban indoor operations?”

    Sovereign immunity protects professional LE personnel from suffering the repercussions of erroneous shootings during raids and the like. Meaning that they are, for all intents and purposes, above the law. There are exceptions, such as the Justine Damond case up in Minnesota, but they are relatively rare. Some legal experts, such as conservative law professor Glenn Reynolds, have suggested that sovereign immunity ought to be abolished as a means of forcing departments to shape up.

    How many such SWAT operators are actually using carbines/SBRs in 5.56/.223, as opposed to pistol-caliber carbines, H&K MP5s, or weapons in 300 AAC/Blackout?

    A friend of mine is a retired Green Beret and according to his accounts, operators – even highly experienced tier-one operators – greatly fear inadvertent cross-fire and “friendly fire” incidents when clearing structures. Its one of the reasons they train so hard and so often, because of the hazardous nature of such operations.
    (to themselves, I mean, and not just civilians)

    Many operators doing room-clearing or structure-clearing ops use subs, meaning suppressed sub-sonic ammunition, which has greatly reduced MV compared to standard supersonic loads, therefore reduced penetration risk.

  14. On August 8, 2020 at 12:49 pm, NMboy71 said:

    I believe Georgiaboy61 meant qualified immunity. And I agree.

  15. On August 9, 2020 at 2:19 pm, Ned2 said:

    Wouldn’t most self defense situations have you INSIDE the house?
    This renders the OSB layer(s) obsolete.

    Also, wouldn’t it be less likely you would shooting straight at a wall?
    What would be the yaw factor at 45 degrees, for instance?
    Also, shooting at a wall from a 45 degree angle increases the likelihood you’ll hit a 2×4 stud by more than 50%. That 14 1/2″ space becomes 7″.

  16. On August 9, 2020 at 2:32 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @Ned2,

    I’m not sure what you mean by rendering the OSB layer “obsolete.” That remark makes no sense to me. It’s in millions of homes throughout the U.S.

    So turn the test around – the 5.56 round still goes through all of it with ease. Shoot inside your home, the bullet goes through your walls, the outside board and siding, and into your neighbor’s home, depending upon where you live and if you have neighbors.

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You are currently reading "MAC: 5.56mm Penetration Test", entry #25089 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) AR-15s,Firearms,Guns and was published August 6th, 2020 by Herschel Smith.

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