Here is a question submitted by one of our readers on the penetrating power of small arms as a result of the post Ammo Penetration Can be a Problem in Home Defense. I am posting this for you to make comments and suggestions to help answer his questions. Some of you know more than me on this subject.
Submitted on 2014/.5/14 at 3:30
Will water in a 55 gallon drum be better than dry sand in stopping a 7.62mm bullet? I know ballistics testers use water tanks to test fire guns. I’m building my first home in a bad neighborhood and want exterior protection against random drive-by shootings. Might just go with brick masonry which would at least “slow down” any bullets making a hit possibly survivable.
Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
Water works, but the main reason they use it in ballistic testing is to keep bullet deformation to a minimum. If I had the choice to fill the barrels with water or sand for home defense, I would go with sand. Just remember if a 22 cal round penetrates a barrel of water at the bottom the water will run out. A sand filled barrel would be easier to repair if damaged.
The information in the following link while a bit outdated from a military standpoint would probably work well for you dealing with home defense from random drive-bys, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/3-06-11/ch7.htm.
You can also go to http://modernsurvivalonline.com/Files/books/fm/mcwp3353.pdf and down load the US Marine Corps “Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain” (Mout) Manual and look at Appendix B.
I am aware that the 5.56 rounds have been improved since this manual was written,, but I am not exactly how much. Does anybody have a good answer?