I took the time to so a little un scientific testing today of some of the more popular 5.56 rounds used today. It is not a new idea or original to me , but it is worth doing as often as can be pulled off. It seems to be the one topic about using carbines for home defense that is not as easy to find info on for the new shooters looking to use a AR15 carbine or other of that type.
I have use of a run down abandoned home on my own property with some furnishing and appliances still in it. So, I decided to shoot them up for fun, facts and quasi-science.
I used M855, M193, Hornady TAP 75grain and the steel cased Hornady 75 grain steel case training round. Rifle was 16 inch barrel carbine with 1/7 twist. I used cardboard IDPA targets to have an idea of what would happen to a person using cover found in a typical house.
The first test was a refrigerator. I placed the target ( home owner) on the other side as if the person was taking fire. I set the target a foot or so away to show any fragmentation without ripping it up too bad and making it harder to see what happened.
I fired from about 5 feet from the “threat” side of the fridge
Inside it had some typical, if spoiled, food items for authenticity. The fridge is about the normal size for most homes in my opinion.
The first round I fired was M855. It went into the fridge , started to frag, came apart, the core and jacket then went through the other side and both pieces key holed through the target. The core also went through the wood I used to prop up the target.
The next was the m193. The 55 grain FMJ did make it through in some pieces, but it did make it on into the target. The M193 is the hole in the upper head area. The M855 is the lower keyholed hit. Frags from both can be seen peppering the target. It is interesting since you will commonly hear how M193 will not penetrate far.
The next round was the Hornady steel case. I fired the 75 grain round and it went into one side and bulged the opposite side with no shoot through.
Next was the Hornady TAp FPD 75 grain round. This round did better than the steel case. It made it through both side and into the target. It did however leave most of its jacket in the opposite side skin f the fridge.
Whatever was left did not hit the target and I could not find its impact area. Several more rounds had the same effect.
Next I wanted to show what happens if you hide behind a couch while some one is shooting at you like often happens in Hollywood. I even shot through two walls and a closest door to hit the victim. I used M193 and M855 only since it was clear this is a bad idea after a few rounds.
The rounds went pretty much straight through the thin wooden panel walls and two by four boards. Also the couch did not stop anything. It seemed in fact the barrier seemed to make the hits more destructive on the target. Don’t hide behind your couch if you are being shot at. Life is not a movie of video game.
Next I fired all four rounds through two walls and a dryer at the victim.
The picture on the right shows 4 rounds from m193. Interestingly, this time the m193 turned sideways even through the 1st wall.
Every round tumbled and fragged by the time it was well into the appliance . Most of the projectiles still made it into the target. It did seem the round inside of the dry did cause the hits to impact lower than they would have if they continued on straight n line of sight.
I was able to get hits after aiming higher. No surprise, the m855 made it to the target the best. Both ball rounds, or what was left of them, went on through another two walls behind the target.
Th TAP did not make it through the dryer.
Next up was a book case with a few books in it. I used soft and hard cover. I did not fill the shelf with books because I know none of the rounds would have went through.
The only round to make it to the target is the tear from a tumbled m855 round that you can see in the bottom left of the target in the picture. One m855 went off to the side wall. No other round made it through to the target. They either stopped in the book or zipped of in a different direction or into the unknown. I fired 20 rounds trying to get another hit.
A lot of people do not know the difference between cover and concealment. Probably because of movies, people seem to think most anything in a house will stop a bullet, even the walls. This is showing things are not always as secure as you may think. I would not use any of this as cover if I thought I was going to be shot at. maybe to hide behind, but not to take cover behind. Unless its a metal or steel wall, you need to think about it. This also may be a wake up call for those who day dream of zipping off a round during some home invasion fantasy cooked up in their heads. If you have loved ones in the next room or two over you better think very hard about what you would do when shooting in your house. Even if you thought you had it all worked out. All of the rounds fired that made it to the target. still went on through at least another wall or two at the least. SO, be careful what you hide behind and be more careful about who or what may be in the next room or house if you ever have to shoot in your own home. Or, if you shoot by accident. a ND can go a lot further then you think even if you had the gun pointed in what you though would be a safe direction if you did have a ND. This is of course 556 rounds only and not all of them by any means so keep looking for a round that might be a little better than the military ammo everyone seems to want to buy for defense. Same goes with handgun ammo or shotguns. This is not the end all be all test or even slightly scientific, but I show it to you to draw your own conclusions and to keep thinking.