Anyone know how much drywall a typical handgun round will penetrate?

Anyone know how much drywall a typical handgun round will penetrate?

This is a discussion on Anyone know how much drywall a typical handgun round will penetrate? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; And no, I don't mean how many typical walls (drywall on each side, standard 2x4 stud). If you had a stack of 3/4" rock and ...

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Thread: Anyone know how much drywall a typical handgun round will penetrate?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
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    Anyone know how much drywall a typical handgun round will penetrate?

    And no, I don't mean how many typical walls (drywall on each side, standard 2x4 stud). If you had a stack of 3/4" rock and fired into it, how many panels do you think it would go thru? Let's say for the sake of argument that we're talking 115 gr non-bonded 9mm ammo like cheap Remington or Federal.

    To state the question another way, if you were setting up a barrier of drywall, how much would it take before it would be cover as opposed to concealment? I've not been able to find anyone that's tested this to see, and I probably won't be able to test it myself anytime real soon.
    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

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    Assume ALL OF IT, and then work backward from there.
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    VIP Member Array Crowman's Avatar
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    Of hand I believe it would take many layers of drywall to make a wall suitable for cover.......

    Might be better of installing steel panels and then a sheet of drywall.......

    Does Drywall Stop Bullets?
    http://www.gunssavelife.com/?p=3162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    And no, I don't mean how many typical walls (drywall on each side, standard 2x4 stud). If you had a stack of 3/4" rock and fired into it, how many panels do you think it would go thru? Let's say for the sake of argument that we're talking 115 gr non-bonded 9mm ammo like cheap Remington or Federal.

    To state the question another way, if you were setting up a barrier of drywall, how much would it take before it would be cover as opposed to concealment? I've not been able to find anyone that's tested this to see, and I probably won't be able to test it myself anytime real soon.
    Dry Wall is just Hardened Chalk............................. If you want to get Fancy Pants......... add a bit of Kevlar fabric between the layers......... but you still going to get fragged by any high caliber weapons systems. Just sayin.


    To OP.......... What are your 'really askin?'
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    VIP Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
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    My dad was a contractor/carpenter all his life. I worked with him a lot when I was young so I know a bit about sheetrock. It's not very strong but it's heavy and dense. It's also cheap. Obviously I think we all know that AR500 plate and kevlar panels do a great job of stopping projectiles. I'm just curious what it would take with typical building materials to create a barrier you'd feel reasonably safe standing behind if an armed assailant was shooting at you. I'm not talking EOTWAWKI or stopping multiple rounds of 7.62 NATO ammo, just protection from typical handgun rounds.

    I'm just mulling over incremental security options. My "safe room" right now is just a bedroom with a sturdy door with a good lock. The walls are lathe and plaster and wouldn't stop someone trying to shoot through them. Generally I wouldn't expect that during a home invasion but I'm looking at the options to beef things up.
    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

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    Member Array diver1102's Avatar
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    If you have an outdoor place to do the experiment it wouldn't be overly costly. Buy a few sheets of drywall. Cut them into 2 foot by 2 foot squares (that gives you several squares a piece) and shoot away.

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    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Typical handgun? Typical round? My typical handgun is an FN5.7X28 loaded with Elite ammunition with exit velocities at around 2000 FPS. As some have said, you have to do your own due diligence or hop on an internet site where such "experiments" have been performed. I'll bet that the info is available on the internet to your satisfaction.

    Well I am now adding to my above comment after asking the question on google and there are answers up the kazoo on the subject. Use your fingers, your computer and your internet and get the answer you want.

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    If no one comes up with a suitable answer, I'd be happy to try out the "stack method" on a few different rounds. I'm sort of a curious person and I have plenty of scrap sheetrock.......however I'm so overwhelmed with other projects right now I don't have much spare time.

    IIRC the "box o truth" guy did some testing, though I don't believe it was stacked. He had it set up with air gaps between each piece?
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

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    This isn't exactly the test you suggested, but it's in the ballpark

    The Box O' Truth #1 - The Original Box O' Truth - Page 1

    .45 ball and hp penetrated 12 sheets of 5/8 sheetrock, .22 hp went through 6 sheets. These sheets had "air gaps" and not stacked as in your OP. I don't know if stacking would be better, or the same? If forced to guess I'd say stacking would be a bit better in slowing down a round.

    Maybe I'll get a chance to try it out.
    Snub44 and the6shooter like this.
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

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    Senior Member Array CanuckQue's Avatar
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    Along a similar vein, I wonder where a single sheet of 'harder' material should go if it's being placed amongst softer material. Let's pretend that plywood is harder than drywall. If I had 6 sheets of drywall and one sheet of plywood, would I want a hostile bullet to hit the drywall first and then the plywood? Or hit the plywood first and then the drywall? The question might make sense with harder and harder materials. Plywood then water jugs, or whatever.
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  11. #11
    Member Array Riverpirate's Avatar
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    This may be what you are looking for:

    Huts's Ballistic tests

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    VIP Member Array Snub44's Avatar
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    ...if you harden a room, I'd use 3/4" plywood...doubled....but then the weak points would be door and window...rather than doing all that, I'd harden a closet...just the walls towards the rest of the house...for the wife/kids to stay in...and the back side of a dresser, which you could swing out and get behind...and fight from behind...much less money and work...your dresser could even have better-stopping material if you set it on glides so you could move it...nothing need be seen from the front....


    ...edited to say my doubled 3/4" plywood guess, according to some here and tests I've read about online this morning...would be woefully inadequate...let me stand corrected and amazed...1/2" steel plate's looking more reasonable!!!
    Last edited by Snub44; April 7th, 2013 at 12:27 PM.

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    According to a fellow who designs safe rooms, the best way to harden a wall is to fill it with gravel. Bullets slip through sand, but are stopped by rock. If you had a solid rock core (=concrete), the bad guy could keep firing into the same hole and get through eventually. But gravel shift to fill any voids.

    For the weight you would presumably want plywood on either side, then do your wall treatment on it or cover with drywall and proceed. You might only want to/need to harden the bottom half of the wall, too, if the thought is that you would have the time to get low.

    His website is http://www.joelskousen.com/index.html (home page) and his info on safe rooms can be found at http://www.joelskousen.com/Secure/shelter.html. Warning, he's on the extreme side of the bell curve and a bit much for me (though I respect him: he's a very nice fellow, very smart, and has done a great deal of thinking on these subjects).

    Or move to the hills.
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    I've seen "wall board" variations used for wet areas, things like Hardiboard (Hardieboard) and
    certain cement-like boards (thin, for backing on shower walls to be tiled) which I think combined
    with plywood might be considerably better than plain ol' wallboard. Intuitively, I'd be inclined
    to use plywood, some sort of foam spacer, hardiboard or similar, another foam spacer and
    plywood again. That might not stop penetration but it sure would take the energy out of whatever
    got through.
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    Senior Member Array Sap03's Avatar
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    I have personally seen .45acp JHP fired from a Glock 21 only penetrate one sheet of drywall with no penetration whatsoever on the other side of the wall. This round was fired from approx. 3yards. Very unfortunate situation and circumstances.

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