Previously, I have penned numerous articles focusing on testing various firearms in use throughout a home. Most testing has been completed using drywall, but that is about as realistic as using ballistics gelatin – that testing simply fails to capture the complexity of most structures including pipes, wires, studs, furniture, etc. Other testing has been a bit more valid – but proves a later point here in a moment.
But, they all have one thing in common – we, as gun people, are principally arguing over the penetration difference between rounds of a single wall, at most two. The truth is (at least in my ever so humble opinion) is that this really does not matter as the practical effect of a round in a home is devastating if it misses. People are highly likely to be well within a wall or two of the engagement if on the same floor.
The Box o’ Truth has completed a similar drywall test, one that I find a good illustration of this point, as it uses only four pieces of drywall, therefore, removing the argument of how many drywall pieces a round will penetrate. Simply put, all rounds tested including mil-spec XM-193, soft point, buckshot,.30 carbine, etc all penetrated all the walls presented. Only a frangible round and birdshot, both of which are not considered “fight stoppers” had any reduced penetration.
The truth hurts – any round is dangerous inside a house. I say plan to hit the round you consider most effective and stop worrying about drywall penetration. Inside your house, it really won’t matter and the changes of anything hitting anything outside the home are astronomically low.