Home Defense Ammo: Overpenetration

A recent exchange with fellow blogger MysticalRaven on wall penetration risks- more specifically Overpenetration– led me to research the topic a bit. Safety is very important to me and I want to be certain that I have ammo that is safe to use if a home defense situation occurs. The term ‘safe’ implies not only safety of my loved ones but also the safety of people in the homes near me and even people walking or driving by. 

It turns out that, contrary to what retailers in my area say, Frangible Ammo has a bad track record for overpenetration- especially when encountering surfaces like drywall. And then there was a new product announcement….CorBon recently released a new .223 ammo (which also works in 5.56 rifles dude) called Urban Response. They claim that it is the ideal rifle self-defense load for close quarter urban environments such as subdivisions, apartment complexes, and mobile home parks. One would think there is a reasonable market niche for such a product since Armalite-15 style rifles have been flying off the shelves at record rates. Not only that but many people like modern sporting rifles for their utility- including using them for self-defense. Even kids have successfully defended their families using modern sporting rifles. It’s not that uncommon for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves with this sort of rifle btw- no matter what the mainstream media fails to report in the “news”.

Back to the point- how could this CorBon ammo work? I mentioned the bad track record of frangible ammo (frangies) in the event a target is missed and it’s tendency to pass through walls. I’m a little skeptical about the safety of this sort of product- look at the results of the Mesa, AZ PD tests. There is also lots of useful pistol and ammo performance results here . 

CorBon Gel block testing shows 10″ penetration- take another look at the photo at the top of this post. Newer exterior mobile home walls are about 4-6″ thick. Typical interior walls separating apartment units could be up to 8″ thick, but interior walls of an average home are about 6″ thick and exterior walls of the average home run about 8″. Does 10″ penetration make anyone else nervous looking at these figures? The main wound channel stops at about 8″ but not entirely. Even so, 8″ penetration grouch a 6″ wall doesn’t sound safe to me.

A quick call to Cor-Bon revealed some answers- according to technicians at CorBon:

This ammo features a very thin jacket, pre-serrated, internally scored internal projectile. It’s designed to reliably fragment upon impact. As the bullet penetrates barriers it fragments – to a degree that while a fragment will likely pass through a wall, it is unlikely to have the mass or velocity to injure someone.

The 10″ penetration test results also demonstrate that the ammo is designed to not exit a human body with enough velocity and mass to cause serious injury. 

Keep an eye out for press coverage on CorBon Urban Response- they said that detailed performance and test results are committed to a few articles we should see in the next month or so. If this ammo looks like something you want I humbly suggest that you buy it soon before the word gets out.

3 thoughts on “Home Defense Ammo: Overpenetration

  1. Pingback: Home Defense Tip: Aiming your AR in Close Quarters | kR-15: info and resources for firearms enthusiasts

  2. Pingback: Home defense tip: Low Ready vs High Ready for you AR | kR-15: info and resources for firearms enthusiasts

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