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“What is “Cover” in the Home? Part 2

 

Last time I fired a variety of the more popular 556 rounds commonly stockpiled by shooter and one of the most popular defense loads through a variety of things inside of a house to see what happens. The idea was to maybe get and idea what could go wrong if you had to fight inside a house or take cover behind things or you are just worried about over penetration. Just like I said last time ( though some of the more illiterate seemed to not have read)  this is not a scientific test and I make no claims it is.  But it is something to help you think. I hope.

This is the next part to what may be a series of at least 5 “test.”  I am going to show the results of what happened when I fired  5.45 from a AK74 type rifle, 7.62×39 from AK47 type.some ballistic tip rounds from a  5.56 AR15 carbine and  ball and Ranger T  HPs from a  45 ACP.

The first rounds I fired are the 5.45. The ammo is the standard round  as used by the Russian Mil. A lot of people like it because it is cheap and they feel it more deadly then a 5.56 in ball ammo form. Or at least the same if just cheaper.

The rounds punched a nice entry hole going in. But, one the got to the opposite side,they keyholed. You can see they stayed pretty much intact. Look how lean the holes are in the picture below.

They went on through the target, and the wood board behind holding it up and struck a cooking pot behind and stopping.

  The light makes it look like  a hole but it is not.   It did seem in one out of 20 rounds to  have fragged.  With the core some how bouncing off the pot and coming back to stick in the back side of the cardboard target.

You can see the core on the far left. This is the only evidence of fragmentation from the 5.45 I could find all day.

Next I fired some of the ballistic tip 5.56  to see how it would compare to the m193 , m855 and TAP used the last time.

A lot of people will say that ballistic tip will not over penetrate and like to keep it as a home defense round.

Hole by the paster is a perfectly cut hole left by a 55 grain ballistic tip fired through a fridge. This was pretty normal I found. Other damage was parts of metal from the fridge skin.   This surprised me enough to  fire the BT  through an outside window that was double pane into another target 10 yards behind the glass.

  The large hole in the target in the upper left  and bottom are from the ballistic tip 5.56 fired through a double window.  The glass deflected it a few inches from center line where I aimed. Rounds continued on through the  double 2 x 4 door frame it rested against before splattering on the wall behind.  Middle hole in target is from 45 ACP ranger T hollow point fired through same glass.  45 stopped inside the double 2x4s behind target with almost not real deflection.

I also fired the 45 ACp  through the fridge. HPs and ball.

  HPs and ball went through fridge and target. Punches through wood prop, then went deep into stove behind the target.  HPs no doubt caved in on itself and turned effectively into ball.

   I also fired from and outside wall, through a TV entertainment center stand at a target “hiding” behind and through  3 walls to see what would happen.  I used the HPs in every case since I had a pretty good idea what ball would do. I thought anyway.

TV center.

and exit hole after going through wall and 3 layers of the stand.

Below is target after 45 ACP was fired through  3 inside walls and one closet wooden door.

  Exit holes are seen in wall and one of the hits on the target paper. All shots continued on  through cabinet and another wall. This was all done with HP ammo.

Next is from the  much vaunted 7.62×39  ball ammo.  I expected the rounds to go through the fridge destroying it and deep penetration into the stove behind.

  This is what was left of the only round of 30 fired of the M43 round that made it through the fridge.  I fired from 5 feet from the fridge. One made it through and was badly fragged. It did not go through the wooden backer. No other round got through or even bulged the back side of the fridge much to my surprise.   The ‘x39  would go through walls but keyholed and had limited penetration once  it did.   None made it through the book case or dryer either.  GLass deflected the M43 so much I could not get one on the IDPA target so I am not sure what it would have looked like. I ran out of the ammo I brought before I could land a hit. Did not matter since I ran out of glass anyway.

The book case defeated all other rounds just as I expected.

  More holes on one side, but not more exits. Books remain undefeated.  Though all rounds tried would penetrate sometimes up to 10 inches of books alone. When shot through case and books stacked tight, few things seem to have the power. Am going to try a  308 round next on the bookcase.

I am not going to bother showing all the pictures of the dryer since nothing made it clean though.  The 5.45  made it into the dryer but not out the other side. The balistic tipped 556 came closest to a through and through. The 45 ACP did not punch clean through but made some impressive damage before coming to rest on the far side guts on the dryer.  Internal exit holes from the 45 ACP can be seen below. The ranger T tore large gouges through the dryers insides. Does not mean anything, but it is something to ponder.

  All shots fired into dryer first passed through two walls and a bathroom door before hitting the metal of the dryer.

You can see the shredded remains of the rifle rounds laying in bottom of the dryer in the picture.

Once again I was surprised by the results of this very unscientific test. Things I thought that would be stopped were not, and things I thought would penetrate deep did not do much.  Maybe if I did it all again it would be the opposite of this. Who knows?  One thing is becoming pretty clear to anyone who wants to pay attention. Nothing can be depended upon to be “safe” or “safer” from over penetration when talking about being used inside a home.  DO NOT assume your pet HD load or round is going to work like we are told it will be ammo companies.  The only thing you can depend upon is that the worst possible thing that can happen, is likely to happen if you take it for granted and maybe even if you do your best. You just can not know.  the best policy is to do your best not to have to zip off a round in your house if anyone else is inside you do not want hurt.  The best choice in a perfect world is to call the cops and  barricade your self in  a safe room or get out of the house.  We do not live in a perfect world though. So , spend as much time thinking about this as you can if you seriously think you may one dark night need to shoot inside your home. Or re think where you may point your muzzle when loading/unloading your weapon.  Draw your own conclusions because I am not going to make any claims about firearms ammo  doing anything for a fact when it hits anything other then air.

What is “Cover” in your home. And will it Stop a rifle round? Lets find out.

 

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 ( scared 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 then 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 dryer. 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 then 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 uknown. 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 ot 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 more safe then 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.

 

My survival and Get Home Gear Part 2

In part 2 of my posting about my survival gear and get home bag I will show and explain the extra items added during winter and cold weather months.

Obviously the winter requires different clothing gear and other things to stave off dying from exposure. So, with the change of the year I add more to the  gear and I also swap to another pack to carry the extra clothing and survival items.  The pack I use is the large ILBE pack for winter. Everything in the 3 day assault pack seen in my last article on the subject is moved over into this pack. It is heavier then the small pack, but I feel when the weather is more extreme, it is worth the trade off.

The large pack will hold another human inside it if used to its fullest potential. It also will allow you to attach the 3 day pack to the outside. MOLLE covers the back of it and sides for any additional things you want to add with buckles to secure it. The pack has two side zippers so you can get into it without going through the top. You can see in the picture that I added a GP pouch in front and an extra nalgene bottle holder on the side.  The other side secures the therma rest air mattress nice and tight.

The winter gear  in the picture above goes into the large winter pack with all my other normal stuff.  In it is a gortex parka and pants that are water proof and wind proof, a set of silk weight pants and shirt to wear under normal clothes if its not too cold or just cooler and wet. I also keep another two pair of smart wool socks and some wool gloves, a neck gaitor and a fleece hat. One the right side is a  ECWS wild things extreme cold weather parka. It is not water proof but will repel water. It is for extreme cold but dry weather. As inside layer I have a grid fleece pull over shirt with grid fleece bottoms. I also have two pelican water and shock proof cases to carry various things to keep them safe and dry, like cell phones or any sensitive things.

A close up of the gortex. Also is the picture is an extra WXP source water carrier I add to the outside of the pack.

A close up of the fleece and other layers. All of it goes into a water proof ruck sack liner to keep it dry in a heavy rain or a spill into a river or falling over a water fall.

The gas mask is something that I sometimes add to my kit. It does not stay in it full time, but depending on where I am going or other factors I can add it.  I think that a gas mask and plenty of extra filters are a very smart thing to have in your preparedness kit. Some may think it is crazy but it could very well come in handy and  be the most important thing of your entire life in the right situations.  Not all masks will protect against chemicals or biological and nuclear so make sure you get what you think you need. I am more worried about major civil unrest and maybe areas CS gas is being used.  If some one drops mustard gas in my area, just a mask won’t be helping me by itself so its a moot point. If you live in an area with chemical spills, you need  a different set of chemical protection gear so read up and learn about it before spending a ton of money on something that would melt to your face.

Now, my gear is not just for fighting my way home or evading and escaping some unknown evil force. It is also for helping my through a catastrophe.  It is more likely I would get stranded some where then to fight off aliens from the future.  So I always make sure to have plenty of things to signal with.

Here are three examples of what I consider some of my most important items. These are used to signal  if I roll over a hill.  Are lost in the woods or  need to  flag down a medical chopper or the police depending on what is going on. A cell phone is great. But some times even if you have a GPS, maybe they do not. Or if could be so heavy brush, they can not find you. If a medical chopper is coming and seconds count. It is best to have something to signal with RIGHT NOW.   For this I have these three things. A military VZ17 signal panel with orange and pink sides that folds out to become fairly large and very easy to see, A yellow smoke grenade and a MK 7 hand parachute signal flare.  All can be seen from ther air easy and the panel can be laid on the ground, in a tree, on top of a broken down car or waved in the air on a large pole or stick by the person needing help.  I also carry a smaller US airforce pilots signal panel  small enough for a pants pocket on my person when on a long hike and keep two or three in the  vehicle just in case along with road flares and signal mirrors and chemical lights.   You are more likely to be trying to stay alive and need to signal help before you ever need to get away from some invading force like in Red Dawn, so always have several forms of signaling for help.   For the rest of my gear and summer month items read the Part 1 of this series.

Catherine & Carlos On Water filter/Purification for Hiking and Survival

One of our readers asked this question on the looserounds.com facebook page ,http://www.facebook.com/pages/Loose-Rounds/108959942566051 . I thought it was a detailed enough answer to be posted as a stand alone entry.

You can ask any question you want ( within reason) and Looserounds will do its best to answer it for you. Ask using the site email or through the facebook page.

Q&A question??? What’s the best portable water filter/purifier system out there. Which one is the best value? I noticed you guys started doing the shtf topics.

Cat. You can find me at www.facebook.com/kittycatkimchi. Anyhow, I’ll cover the 3 popular ones for backpacking.

1. The Sawyer Squeeze Filter is very portable, versatile, and affordable. Watch this video to understand how it works- http://youtu.be/lKWQjlq-uYA. The only downfall in my opinion is trying to collect water from shallow areas. I think the price is around $50. Great system though for the price.

2. The Steripen Adventurer Opti won backpacker awards. Just as the name suggests it looks like a thick pen. One end holds the battery and the other end has a optical UV light (and also a flashlight). You simply fill a Nalgene bottle with water, turn on the Steri-pen, dip into the water and stir until the light turns off. It removes the bacteria. Here’s their video- http://www.steripen.com/adventurer-opti. It takes 90 seconds to purify 1 liter of water. The downfall is it requires a battery. The cost is about $90.

3. The MSR Sweetwater is probably the most liked for true backpacking and back country hunting. Since it is a pump system it can filter water from puddles. The pumping action does take some time and the unit is slightly larger/heavier than the two mentioned above. However, a great product and one I will add to my hunting pack. Here is a video – http://www.backcountryedge.com/video-msr-sweetwater-microfilter.aspx. The cost is about $90.

I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me anytime.

Cat

You can also search REI’s website for this products and read others reviews.

I’d also like to add that the Katadyn Exstream works pretty well. It’s similar to the Sawyer filter in operation, but comes with it’s own bottle. You can probably get one for around $40. As Cat pointed out, neither works very well in shallow muddy water. Also, with both of these you do have to periodically replace the filters.
http://www.katadyn.com/usen/technical-support/filter-support/product-videos/katadyn-exstream-bottle-purifier/

Carlos

www.katadyn.com

The Swiss Katadyn Group is the world’s Number One for individual water purification systems and products, with a global market share exceeding 50 percent. Katadyn has been…

Cleaning and Skinning Squirrel

Recently a lot of people that know I hunt, have been asking me more and more about how to hunt and how to skin, clean and gut animals. I do not know if it is  the rise in the idea of self reliance or more interest in hunting, but I have been doing my best to teach people the skills to get food by their own skill.

Now I am going to show a step by step guide on how I, skin and clean a squirrel. This not the only method, but it is my method, taught to me years ago. It has worked very well for me. If you have a different way that is great. This is the way I do it and it usually results in less damage to the animal.  It is not pretty to look at so if you have a weak tum tum, stop reading now.

Like any chore this calls for a knife, so make sure your knife is sharp. A sharp knife is actually safer then a dull knife. It sounds backwards but it’s not. A dull knife results in you forcing it or getting tired. So make sure you start with a sharp knife. Any kind will probably do, but a small one is better than a rambo knife in this case.

Start by pulling up the hide in the center-ish of the back. Pull it tight  and cut a small slice. Now do not cut down into the meat. Just the hide.  The hide will stretch away from the meat.  If you do not understand, pull up the hide on your dog’s back. See how it does not hurt the dog?  Thats because it’s not really connected like human skin.

Once you got it started, go ahead and make it a little bigger.  Grab each side of the cut and pull. Pull toward the head and the tail.

Once you get enough to get a good grip on, pull away. Don’t be shy, it will not hurt.  I promise he won’t feel a thing.  You may need to take your knife and do a little trimming if some fat or skin wants to stick. It’s not difficult and you will know if you need to do it or not by how the hide does not slide off like a sock.

If you used a shotgun on the animal, you will notice the pellets falling out of the body during this time.

Next you will have the skin up around the neck and the feet. And, the tail and the bottom feet.  At this time you can cut its wee wee off if you need to. Some times the skin will pull off of the feet with out needing to cut. I usually will cut the feet off at the ankle anyway to help it since they need to come off anyway.

Once you cut the feet. Cut off the tail and the head. It is not very hard, but it does call for a sharp knife and a little effort. If you need help, smack the flat back of the knife blade with a rock to get it a little help. It may scar the knife, but it may help you from cutting your finger if you are not used to this sort of work.

After this, you will have the body ready for gutting, Try to keep a bucket of water to wash it in if you can. Hair can get all over the bare skin and it sticks like snot on a pumphouse door handle. It doesn’t really hurt anything, but most people don’t like to get hair in their mouth.

Next, you are going to put the animal, ( food?) on its back and slice up its belly from the groin to the bottom of the chest cavity. Try not to stab it like Patrick Bateman. You do not want to puncture the intestines and get crap all over the place. No big deal if you do, since you are going to wash it off anyway. But like the hide, just cut through the cavity. you are not sawing through a steak.

One you get the cavity open, reach in and yank out the goop.  Don’t be shy or worry about getting your nails dirty.  It is messy.

You can pull out and save whatever organs you may like to eat (liver, kidney etc) at this point.  Also remember that the heart and lungs are way up higher in the rib cage cavity and you have to puncture a thin membrane to get your finger up in there to pull it out. You could just split the rib cage with a knife, but I like to leave it be. Left intact, the rib cage makes for a nice holder for butter, carrots, garlic etc, during cooking.

After this you can wash it off and this is what it should look like. Depending on where you shot it and with what you shot it with, you may see dark spots in the meat or it may tear. Thats OK, it is just blood so do not worry. And if it tears, just do the best you can. It is not always going to be perfect or pretty.

If you skin it like I showed you , and you did not shoot it from 5 foot with a 12 gauge, you should just about be able to put it back together again with the yummy parts missing.

Cleaning small game is not hard. But it can be messy.  Nothing hones your outdoor skills like stalking small game. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Often times deer are baited in or shot from a stand. Small game requires skill and marksmanship on a higher level then most “hunters” ever use. A lot of famous snipers started off shooting small game as kids so don’t let the so-called trophy hunter’s BS make you pass it by.

An if you follow these steps, it’s no trouble to make these..

Look ready for the fire like this.