Home Defense and Bullet Protection

JermanatorJermanator Senior MemberPosts: 15,053 Senior Member
Here is the deal...
I am a builder. My client's house is laid out where if an intruder were to enter and if he had to shoot, his kid's bedrooms would be directly behind where the bad guy would be. I think that I am going to propose putting up sheets of 1/4" steel plate over the existing drywall, and then glue on, finish, and paint 1/4" drywall over that.

I am betting that it will stop slugs, buckshot, and most pistol rounds. I doubt it will stop .223. This will obviously have to be tested before we do it for real, but does anyone else have ideas or have any experience with what we are trying to accomplish?

I can get 4'x8' sheets of A36 1/4" steel plate for about $275 a sheet.

Thanks!
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Replies

  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,459 Senior Member
    Buy a small piece and test it (box-o-truth). One on each side of the wall with a space between might work best

    Sent from my R800x using Tapatalk
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,459 Senior Member
    Actually, 223 with vmax would probably penetrate less than pistol rounds

    Sent from my R800x using Tapatalk
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,053 Senior Member
    jbp-ohio wrote: »
    Buy a small piece and test it (box-o-truth).
    If he is totally serious about getting this done, I will definitely see one in my future.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,552 Senior Member
    You could fairly easily test multiple thicknesses of plain old dry wall, clamped and glued together to make a solid wall about 6" thick. I think it would effectively deplete a .38 Special or 9mm with SD ammo. You could even sandwich some hardwood plywood in with it.

    My only experience is seeing the result of a negligent discharge with a .30 carbine FMJ round from a 7-1/2" Ruger Blackhawk. It penetrated 1" of an unknown hardwood in the frame of an old sofa, the foam cushion, 1/2" of drywall, grazed a 2x4 pine stud, and lodged in the wooden ship-lap siding, cracking it for about 4 feet in both directions. That ammo, from a revolver, was in the neighborhood of .357 magnum power.
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    What about kevlar fabric behind the sheet rock. 50" wide and sold buy the linear yard for like $30 to $40 per yard at boat stores as a fiberglass alternative. If you place a couple of layers with the fibers running at maybe 90 degrees to each other wouldn't that with 2 drywall layers be enough for say TAP or such type HD rounds?
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • glockman0422glockman0422 Member Posts: 216 Member
    The sheet of metal sounds like a good idea as well as the Kevlar material. I guess it comes down to how much he is willing to spend. Another thing that might help would be the use of frangible ammunition. Its good enough to defeat living targets but once they hit something hard they turn into copper dust. So, maybe a combination of the steel plates and this type of ammunition may be what you are looking for.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,051 Senior Member
    Bookcases, packed full of books can make a good bullet stop. I've also read of folks stuffing the walls with sandbags.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,459 Senior Member
    Bookcases, packed full of books can make a good bullet stop. I've also read of folks stuffing the walls with sandbags.

    Books would have gaps between shelves. Need solid back stop.

    I don't know about 2x4 wall would be enough sand. You could make that wall with 2x8's and fill with sand. Would need extra support for the weight.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,053 Senior Member
    NCFUBAR wrote: »
    What about kevlar fabric behind the sheet rock. 50" wide and sold buy the linear yard for like $30 to $40 per yard at boat stores as a fiberglass alternative. If you place a couple of layers with the fibers running at maybe 90 degrees to each other wouldn't that with 2 drywall layers be enough for say TAP or such type HD rounds?

    I never thought of the Kevlar-- That might work by itself or in addition to the steel and might enable us to use thinner steel. I am finding it for $32syd, so it looks fairly affordable.
  • rallykidrallykid Senior Member Posts: 657 Senior Member
    I have been looking at options for this too but unfortunately mine is a retrofit. Someone on another forum also suggested rubber mulch. In testing in a 3 1/2" wall cavity between 2 sheets of drywall hey said it stopped buckshot and 30-30 so it should work for handgun rounds. Might make a nice filler material as extra protection.
    No, I do not have a pink fuzzy bunny fetish but apparently my Facebook hacking wife does.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,053 Senior Member
    Bookcases, packed full of books can make a good bullet stop. I've also read of folks stuffing the walls with sandbags.

    There is a guy on Youtube that shoots through book cases with various SD rounds and it does work (for the most part) if you turn the books face forward. It is better than nothing, but I wouldn't bet my kids' lives on it.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,053 Senior Member
    The steel/kevlar thing is really easy to retrofit. Not much mess and it doesn't take up much space (It just makes the wall 1/2"-5/8" thicker).
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,702 Senior Member
    If there is a hallway between the master bedroom and the kids room, is there enough space to put a bookcase in the hallway against the kids room wall? If there is, you could look at putting the steel as backing on the book case. It would probably be less work and if they ever move, they could take it with them.........
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,053 Senior Member
    That is an excellent idea (for a Kiwi). It might not work for my situation, but might be ideal for someone that lives in an apartment. We get threads from apartment dwellers from time to time asking for a solution to that problem. That could go a long way in helping.
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,459 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    I never thought of the Kevlar-- That might work by itself or in addition to the steel and might enable us to use thinner steel. I am finding it for $32syd, so it looks fairly affordable.

    A kevlar vest has many layers of kevlar. You would need to test it and see how many layers you would need to stop variuos rounds....
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,836 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    The steel/kevlar thing is really easy to retrofit. Not much mess and it doesn't take up much space (It just makes the wall 1/2"-5/8" thicker).

    They also make Kevlar-impregnated dry wall...it's used in high-security installations and will do the job you're looking for...
    We shot up a bunch of the stuff....pretty impressive...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,702 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    That is an excellent idea (for a Kiwi). It might not work for my situation, but might be ideal for someone that lives in an apartment. We get threads from apartment dwellers from time to time asking for a solution to that problem. That could go a long way in helping.

    You're welcome.

    By putting it on a bookcase the books might also lessen the possibility of ricochets............(if the shots are fired on an angle I guess thats a possibility.)
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,053 Senior Member
    These people sell ballistic panels that will stop a .357 Magnum for about $15 a square foot...
    http://www.armorco.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=234
  • rallykidrallykid Senior Member Posts: 657 Senior Member
    I was just going to post that link as I just got off the phone with them about my home project. He said $17/sq ft for their UL3 fiberglass that will stop .44 mag and the Kevlar is $47 sq ft. 2 week delivery time and they press the panels for custom sizes when your order. The Kevlar stuff ships out of Ohio but the fiberglass ships out of Texas.
    No, I do not have a pink fuzzy bunny fetish but apparently my Facebook hacking wife does.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,053 Senior Member
    That might do the trick. I am just wondering what they look like up close. Would they look alright if you just put them up there, or do we need to go over it with 1/4" drywall to make it look like it was never there?

    Then also keep in mind that 1/4" steel is about $9 a square foot and might do the same thing-- we just haven't tested it-- and the kids can hang stuff off the walls with magnets! Big bonus.
  • rallykidrallykid Senior Member Posts: 657 Senior Member
    I say we grab the toys and plan a range day to find out. My only concern with steel would be weight not only for structural reasons but in the event of a natural disaster like a tornado an 8x10 wall of steel is going to make one hell of an anvil or guillotine if it breaks loose.
    No, I do not have a pink fuzzy bunny fetish but apparently my Facebook hacking wife does.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,053 Senior Member
    Structurally, it is pretty much a non issue. Waterbeds weigh more. Hardwood flooring would weigh more. If it is still a concern, guess where one of the basement walls is going to go? Directly under that wall.

    A tornado-- If it gets to the point where it is ripping out interior walls, it will be the least of your worries.
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,459 Senior Member
    Leave the steel exposed..... and case color the whole thing!

    Actually, on one of the HGTV shows, they used steel panels. They put something on to make it rust in a pattern like case coloring, then they sealed it....
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 25,786 Senior Member
    If you go with the 4x8 sheet steel, you could put it on both sides of the wall, and fill in the wall space between the wall studs with dimensioned lumber. I doubt that any .223 round has the horsepower to penetrate that. It would be an easy test to do. Just need a couple small sheets of the metal, and I'd bet you have some scrap wood to fill in between for testing.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,053 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    A tornado-- If it gets to the point where it is ripping out interior walls, it will be the least of your worries.
    Oh, and we can fortify the basement room pretty well so it would become a moot point.
  • rallykidrallykid Senior Member Posts: 657 Senior Member
    We need to overestimate this budget to cover all of this stuff from the original plan or my wife is going to kill us both.
    No, I do not have a pink fuzzy bunny fetish but apparently my Facebook hacking wife does.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,053 Senior Member
    Now that the cat is out of the bag regarding whom the "client" is, I prefer to not discuss the specific details of your basement room on a public forum. Most of the stuff isn't very expensive and there are a bunch of cool tricks that be done while building it. We can keep the budget modest, keep security pretty tight and be discreet all at the same time. If we keep the upstairs walls simple, quick, cheap and relatively painless, I think she will go for it. The basement-- she will just think that we are building the room that she wants.
  • rallykidrallykid Senior Member Posts: 657 Senior Member
    Yup, not too worried about the reinforced walls upstairs being discussed but the rest falls under opsec rules.
    No, I do not have a pink fuzzy bunny fetish but apparently my Facebook hacking wife does.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,945 Senior Member
    500 on the Brinnell hardness scale is "rifle rated" for making a steel target out of.

    YOU, however, are not making steel targets that have to survive impact after impact - they just have to stop a small quantity of rounds, and if they get cratered doing their job, who cares?

    A quarter inch of steel - of proper alloy and hardness - will stop what you're describing. Slugs and pistol rounds may dent into softer stuff, buckshot will probably be a non-issue, and while a .223 can burn a pretty nasty crater, it will typically liquefy itself in the process of liquefying steel.

    Figure on the worst penetrator he's likely to deploy, and spec your metal to that.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,248 Senior Member
    I wonder how well concrete backer board layered would hold up to gun fire. Anyone ever given this a try?

    Sako
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