Ballistics Testing Through An Actual House with Valor Ridge

Reid Henrichs, formerly of Tactical Response and known for his down-to-earth style has posted a video doing the testing that we all wish we could do through our own home. Using common calibers and ammunition, Reid and his training cohort from Valor Ridge put rounds through an actual house. Color me absolutely and insanely jealous.

The rounds themselves are fired through a window frame into a target and through at least two interior walls before encountering a final wall. Calibers shot include 5.56 NATO, .223 Remington, 7.62×39, and 9mm of various loadings including some of the most popular in use today such as M193 and various hollow-point and softpoint¬†loadings.

As expected, few of the rounds penetrate through the complete home, but its important to note how many actually do and the behavior fo those that do not. Interestingly, many keyhole quickly and the deflection is incredible from groups that would be only a few inches at 50 yards. Further testing is conducted shooting directly into drywall, interior glass, and other interior materials.

The video itself is an excellent data point, but perhaps my favorite piece comes from a customer feigning a real estate listing:

“Minor water damage, Good insulation, Predrilled holes for holding pictures This amazing home could be yours! Give us a call.”





Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • USMC03Vet

    I find it hard to believe that none were stopped from penetration by the friendzone.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    He can use toothpaste to fill in those pesky holes to get the deposit back.

  • marine6680

    Did they shoot any 55gr varmint type bullets like the Hornady 55gr TAP?

    Those show promise as breaking up quickly in drywall, fragmenting in the first wall.

    • Hornady TAP is definitely what you want for AR home defense if you live inside city limits; it comes with the bonus of being able to testify that you specifically chose a high fragmentation round to greatly reduce the risk to neighbors and bystanders if you should ever be attacked in your own home. Prosecutors are less likely to bring charges if they hear you were being careful ahead of time.

  • iksnilol

    Uhm… no G3 or FAL ?

    • Dougscamo

      Walmart was out of them that day….

      • BattleshipGrey

        *Everyday.

        • clampdown

          G3 would go straight through my drywall shack into the neighbor’s identical drywall shack, I do believe.

      • iksnilol

        I’m just saying, here in Norway your options are either an MP5 or a G3 and I ain’t bi### made if somebody is gunning for me.

        • Wow!

          You can handload a 308 round with a long but light weight bullet to get very good expansion but fairly low over-penetration. Several companies make hunting factory loads in that configuration.

          You do lose energy in that you aren’t delivering 308 power, but above x39 power. Still, if your option is a subcaliber or a rifle and you don’t want a subcaliber, it isn’t a bad option.

  • Gun Fu Guru

    Is it me or has James Yeager’s douchebaggery subsided when Reid left?

    • DrewN

      Remember Fat Yeager? He didn’t seem like much of a douche at all. Then he got ripped and added a few ugly tattoos and was super douche. Dude needs to step away from the fitness supplements and go back to the 12 pack.

      • Wow!

        It might be the influence of the weight lifting culture. A lot of those guys (not all, but quite a few) are a-holes. I get wanting to be proud of your hard work (and those guys do work hard to maintain their body) but thinking you are above someone else in all respects just because of that is being a jerk, and it only gets worse when they want to get in a sizing contest with another person who trains regularly.

  • gunsandrockets

    • gunsandrockets

      more complete video here

    • Zebra Dun

      The thinking here is, the M-16/5.56x45mm is for shooting people. If you want to shoot through a structure use a medium Machine gun, a Rocket or a Recoilless rifle. Time has long since passed where the Infantry Rifle was needed to reduce a fortification. Such as the M-1 Garand with AP rounds.
      Good video.

      • gunsandrockets

        Arguably the 7.62x39mm M43 is better for the SAW role than the 5.56mm, or 7.62x51mm. Lighter weight, less heat, and less recoil than 7.62x51mm, but superior penetration of urban barriers than 5.56mm.

        I have heard rumors that the Russian experience during the two invasions of Grozny led to a resurgence of the 7.62x39mm because of disappointing penetration by the 5.45mm.

        • Reality

          Ever heard of M855A1 EPR…… in use since 6 years! Similar penetration to 7.62×51 M80 at walls (at half the weight, more capacity, less than half the recoil, lighter and shorter gun for the same barrel lenght!). And Penetrates even Lvl3+ where dozends of 7.62x54R Steelcore doesnt go trough.

        • Zebra Dun

          The ability for the .30 caliber bullets to be heavier makes that difference.
          It’s not just structure, even aircraft are not very susceptible to 5.56 fire. unlike the .30 calibers.
          The design of the 5.56 was to be a high speed anti personnel projectile which it does well.
          The thinking of the rifle/round is if you wish to destroy a structure you have organic weapons sections, Plt with better weapons to do the job on call.

  • ozzallos .

    There are no exit holes! …after shooting through a minimum of three walls from the outside of a house? Is anybody surprised at this? And I just saved you 15 minutes of video.

    • .45

      No exit holes from .223 or 9mm. Plenty of exit holes from 7.62×39 and 7.62×51.

    • Wow!

      223 is well known to have very low over-penetration which is why I always suggest it for self defense. 9mm surprised me because I have not seen that in my own testing. I suspect the distance between walls has a big effect on how quick it can be stopped. Personally I would not trust any sub caliber for home defense if I didn’t have to since there is no gaurentee that where I have to shoot an intruder will allow the bullet to pass several of my walls, often it may only be able to pass through one and the fence. Anything beyond that is still a risk. 5.56 in a 55 grain or lighter with ballistic tips reliably break up within 2 walls. Of course everyone has to do their own testing with their own load and barrel length.

  • Gary Kirk
    • Zebra Dun

      M-40 RCRL works best.

  • toast

    Did they try .22 ratshot? That would’ve destroyed the walls.

  • Dougscamo

    Say what you will but Grandma is going to be PISSED when she gets back home from rehab and sees the mess!

  • franco

    … nice video… we find a good solution using steel wire mesh inside an FRP wall… or just using the mesh as an external fence.
    Different way, same goal…
    have fun…

  • Charles Valenzuela

    So. A lot of penetration of walls, after passing through a paper badguy, eh? Why bother to hang targets? Just shoot through the walls randomly and see the results. Shooting up abandoned houses . . . great fun . . . for kids. Not so much for adults, and pretty low on my interest meter

    • kcshooter

      I think you’ve missed the point.
      It wasn’t an exercise for entertainment, it was for information.

      • Zebra Dun

        Such as Cover, versus Concealment.

    • Zebra Dun

      To know without prior teaching is to die.
      It’s live fire combat training which many people do not know.

  • Hilltop

    I saw a home that was shot up by 7.62 x 39. Two people had been killed in a gang hit. As an avid shooter and collector of guns including ones that shoot this caliber, it was a sobering experience to say the least.

    • Zebra Dun

      It must be at minimum thirty caliber to penetrate a wall of substantial material.

      • Reality

        Lol… 7.62×63 did not go trough a cinderblock and was deadly, (without any filling or plaster..)

        While 1,59×41,25mm SCF goes tough cinderblocks like a laserbeam and goes trough 35mm Steel at 800meter, while 7.62×51 AP tungstencarbide goes barely tough 10mm at 100m to 200m. You can stick your “.30cal” into.. .

        Also CT6.5 (.264) 123grain at 3000fps 3333Joule. Has FAR better KE/mm¬≤ than any of these stupid thick and slow “.30cal’s”.

        • Reality

          *And the CT6.5 is in EPR construction (hard large steel head)

  • Zebra Dun

    I’ve done this in an old abandoned and condemned house. With permission. The results were illuminating!

  • Jason Lewis

    I read horse at first and got real excited.

  • Mike Smith

    Interesting video with good information. I would liked to have seen a 7.62x51mm rifle used also due to if I ever had to use a rifle to defend myself I am reaching for my AR-10. You’ll never hear anyone say they felt like they had to much fire-power in a situation when they are defending themselves.

  • Richard Lutz

    If you want penetration through cover use an AK with steel core ammo. If you want low penetration and very good stopping power use an AK with Glaser or MagSafe ammo.