Bullet Penetration on Wood

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by jasonl6, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. jasonl6

    jasonl6 Monkey+++

    I have been working up a plan to harden my home without making it look like a fortress. One on my plans is to move my door and replace it with a hardened door i plan to build. I did some research on bullet penetration on wood and couldn't find much. This evening me and my son did our own experiment.

    We first conducted a test with a 9mm (Rugar LC9) at 15'

    Species Penetrations
    Hard Maple 1 1/4"
    Ash 1 1/8"
    Hickory 1 5/8"
    Beech 2 1/2"
    Mahogany 2 3/4"

    I plan on making my door 3" thick so any of these would take a shot from 9mm.

    Next I chose a .243 rifle at 50 yards

    All the wood failed, Which i expected. I figure no one would assault a house with a scoped rifle but wanted to see anyways. I think even a .223 would make it though.

    The door i plan on building will be out of hard maple. The center of the door will have raised panels. Between the inside and outside raised panel (true exterior doors use separate inside/outside raised panels to account for the expansion of heat indoors/cold outdoors) I will put 1/2" plate steel.

    I came up with 1/2" based on a recent show i watched on discovery. The we filming a company that builds bullet proof doors and wanted to see what it would take to stop differnet round. The worked there way up from .223 (1/4) 7.62x39,308 (3/8") and 50BMG 1/2". Based on there findings i plan on 1/2". The weakest point will be the sides of the door as they will only be wood. However I have a plan where i will be able to bolt additional 1/2" plate to the inside of the door if SHTF. I basically want a door that will take a kicking a shot and keep going. If i have 15-30 seconds to react i can naturalize the target.

    OBTW in case anyone is worried about the weight of said door the door will be swinging on 2 1/2" full length piano hinges. I will also have a deadbolt top and bottom.

    Just thought i would share my findings with others that might be interested in this information.

    Gator 45/70 and tulianr like this.
  2. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    Interesting post. Thanks for posting your results!
  3. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2015
  4. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    A friend has steel plates decorated to look like ornamental panels beside his doors. You would never think that they are there. His doors are deceptively benign looking. Solid glass "storm" door that will stop a 45 then a heavy wooden door on locking pin hinges secured with 3/8 six inch lag bolts into 4X4 side posts. Every thing looks just like an ordinary door and nice looking--just don't try to kick it in or blast the hinges. You would be wasting your time.
  5. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    My doors are the last thing Im worried about when it comes to my house. Vinyl siding over 1/2 osb board with dry wall wont even stop a .22 much less any of the rounds you mentioned. Most homes with 2by4 or 2by6 walls dont have any bullet stopping qualities. Our plan does not include defending from our home. Unless your house is brick armoring your door wont do much to protect you. KF
  6. jasonl6

    jasonl6 Monkey+++

    My house was built along time ago the walls are solid double plank walls 2" thick. I am adding cement board siding. That will help some. My purpose for hardening my door is thatmost people when they want into a house go through the door. If that doesn't work then trough a window. Last month we has some kids kick in a couple doors a few towns over. I too too not plan to stay in my house if stuff gets real bad.

  7. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    I am bringing this back up because it is a very relevant topic which I see did not go very far. I am watching the concrete thread as well. There is no hardening most homes and this does not sit well with most people. #1 most have to comply with zoning regulations and building codes. #2 cost is very high . To build a solid poured walled bunker type home would be about the only way to ensure you had enough protection from most rounds. The concrete thread is shedding some light on how to add things to concrete to make it stronger. After watching several videos of even the lowly 5.56 55 grain fmj taking a block wall apart I have come to the realization that most cover is nothing more than concealment. For those of us who do NOT have the luxury of unlimited funds SAND (DRY SAND) is your best cover. It is cheap abundant and easy to use. Doors and windows are always going to be the weakest link in even a bunker complex. Steel plates, concrete , etc. great for the guy with big bucks and the tools to build such fortresses. Even then , once you are locked in? you are trapped. The families in my group decided that if we ever have to fight we want that fight to be away from our homes. This means setting up the terrain , planning on the use of sand bags, force multipliers , snipers and attacking with small fire teams. drawing the enemy into killing zones and traps. The entire time keeping this fight away from the kids and women. It is much easier and far less expensive to defend an area than a block house. Of course water is a great barrier . Things like mud, silt, thorns, bald faced hornets, can all be barriers as well. Sand bag emplacements overlooking choke points where your enemy is forced to funnel Are another key way to be on the best ground in a fight. But one of the best barriers available to the common guy is the use of force multipliers. Nail boards are cheap and very effective for stopping vehicles and people. Directional mines, Shotgun shells, pit traps, Black powder is your friend. I bought a bucket full of half rusted 16 penny nails for 5 dollars at an estate sale. Enough nails to make well over 300 nail boards. Learn to create what looks like cover for the enemy. Leave trees for them to hide behind but rig those areas with these traps. This leaves them disoriented ,wounded and much easier to dispatch. Draw them into places where YOU have the best ground.
    Gator 45/70, oil pan 4 and 3M-TA3 like this.
  8. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    The problem with hardening, is loosing the R factor in the structure.
    Sand would probably be best ,installed in small bags, that way one broken bag does not bleed out and jeopardize the wall.
    If the bags are small enough they would trickle down naturally replacing any vacancies . too large and there is little to no trickle down effect .
    Thinking about this I wonder what the bullet stopping effect would be against 3/4" rock gravel a 6" thick wall ?
    Gravel being brittle as ceramic, would have similar ballistic effects and would trickle down every time it is shot into. yes?
  9. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    The fortified house doesn't just protect against 2 legged critter
    In this part of the country we get tornadoes and crazy thunderstorm winds, straight line winds, micro burst and the more dangerous rear flank down draft.
    So far in the recent history of the United States you are far more likely to be attacked by the weather than raiders.

    My thinking is you build a nice house, make all these cool preps, have an awesome bug out vehicle, everything is paid off, have guns, ammo, fuel, dirt bikes, perimeter security, tons of food, a still, then your stick built house gets flattened by a weak EF3 tornado.
    Or your roof gets ripped off by a good EF2 and all your stuff gets rained on, now you need a new roof and everything not in an ammo can needs to be replaced.
    That sucks, unless you buy into the whole chaos theory thing and are always optimistic.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  10. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    I would love to have an earth sheltered home. Earth on three sides , Basically a cave built into a hill side or mountainside for all the right reasons like weather, heat etc. But would still want to defend it from a distance. If you block yourself in you are trapped. Your animals killed and taken, your garden plundered, etc. etc. etc. Too me ? it is wiser to harden an area . Build the battle field SO TO SPEAK.
    oil pan 4 likes this.
  11. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    What was it Julius Caesar said that more battles were won by the entrenching tool than any other battle implement
    The duke of Wellington said that he had been keeping that piece of land in his back pocket for a long time, talking about waterloo.
    Ultimately the weather doesn't care how many motes, walls, ramparts, barb wire you have.
    If you don't have severe thunder storms or hurricanes don't worry too much about a hardened house.
  12. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    I believe it was Buford during the start of the Battle of Gettysburg who won the battle for the union by holding the best ground until; his reinforcements came up and occupied the heights. But lets look at this for a moment. Why did Lee attack anyway? There are many accounts of the battle , movies, history and all of them say Lee had no eyes. His cavalry was off raiding and not doing its job. Lee had no Idea how many Union troops he was facing. Pickets charge was one the best examples in history of how dug in troops can repel huge forces who are forced to come at you through a given funnel. They had to climb a fence before assembling in front of the union positions. That fence was a force multiplier. Like a nail board or a swamp, silt, quicksand, mud, water, thorns etc. They had to advance over a mile of open ground. In Short , Lee was a fool for attacking.
    Modern war brings air power and armor into play. Tanks , Bradly TYPE AND more armored transport can get infantry much closer to the dug in defenders while planes paste their ramparts with rocket and large machine gun and cannon fire. No survivalist can withstand a modern military. Even a third world one. Hardening a home is pretty much a waste of time.

    The best scenario I could come up with and all of the guys in our group agreed on was eyes on the roads and chokes into our area. If we see them before they know where we are? Then we have the advantage and we can decide if we fight them or fade into woodwork and let them pass taking a few sacrificial things. I DO NOT believe that raiding groups are going to be High tech military groups with air and armor. Maybe drones for a couple years and maybe some diesels running on Bio fuels.

    I see starving people moving south away from the cold. Away from us. I see small groups , mostly families moving south foraging as they go armed with mostly hunting rifles, shotguns and some military type rifles. I dont expect to see armored trucks except for occasional mad max nut who welds a v plow to front of his blazer or Suburban. Big trucks will eat up gas fast. Gas will be gone in short order. Snow will be a travel stopper and I am praying that if shtf it does so in the dead of winter.

    W e found a small area with good ground. I feel pretty good about this little hideaway . Everything we need is right here. No need to leave. No need to look for trouble. enough trouble will find us.
    arleigh and 3M-TA3 like this.
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