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BSOSCBlog.com • View topic - Bullet Resistant Walls

Bullet Resistant Walls

Bullet Resistant Walls

Postby dmh » Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:14 am

To me the thought of home invasions are akin to shark bites and lightning strikes. I know they happen but what are the odds it will happen to me? Ask someone who has experienced that, they would tell you to take precautions.

Let’s say you decide to “harden” your home, where do you start and where do you stop? Construction is costly did you just hit the lottery? You put the best locks on solid doors but now the weak spot is windows. Bar the windows, now the intruder chain saws or sledge hammers an access through the wall. Where do you start and where do you stop with your family’s safety?

Thank your local police for being a deterrent against this type of crime, but police alone are not always enough. How well do you know your neighbors? Have you shared neighborhood security ideas with them over a cup of coffee? If nothing else, do you keep track of suspicious vehicles and individuals in the area? Keep a cheap disposable camera handy to document evidence. When you protect your neighbor, you protect yourself.

These questions may become more common if the countries economy continues to spiral down. Current reports claim the national debt amounts to nearly $350,000.00 for every man woman and child in the country. This will impact us. Good people can become desperate under severe stress of any kind. What would you do to feed your children? When you fail to plan you plan to fail.

Here is one idea that is fairly cheap and may buy you some time to summon help if home invaders target you. This is not an end all security measure. It may not work for your situation.

Choose a room or a walk-in closet for your safe room. If there is a basement available, perhaps a concrete foundation corner could make two of the walls. Install a phone line to call 911 and or the neighbors. Consider a CB or Ham radio as well. It goes without saying you will have a defensive weapon, food, water, bedding and empty buckets for waste. Consider your air supply and ventilation.

Now comes the main point for this article. Our hypothetical safe room mentioned earlier had two concrete walls. Sheet the interior of the other two wall surfaces with ¾” plywood. Fix at least 2x6 studs to that wall surface. Use long screws or lag bolts not nails. Then sheet the wall again with ¾” plywood leaving approx 10” gap between the top of the plywood and the ceiling. Fill the new wall cavities with bone dry ¾” fractured gravel. Finish sheeting the wall, then paint as is or cover with drywall, paneling or whatever you prefer. The gravel acts like a bullet proof vest able to withstand all of the bullets we fired at it. It would also withstand a chainsaw.

The idea for the gravel wall came from Joel Skousen’s book, How To Implement A High Security Shelter In The Home. This book is a treasure trove for shelter ideas. He also has a web site with tons of other information. http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com/

I decided to build a sample section of wall to test his idea. My test wall included 2x4, 2x6, 2x8 and Douglas fir logs from 6” to 13”. The calibers used were .22 rimfire .223, .308, 9mm, .45 auto and a 12ga shotgun with slugs. Only the .308 penetrated through the 2x4 wall. None of the other calibers we used penetrated any gravel test section, very impressive. On the other hand the logs did not perform that well. The .308 went through a 13”red fir log! I guess those Hollywood movies where a 1” board stops a bullet can’t be trusted.

We have not talked about the door yet. Consider a robust steel door and also turn it around so it opens out. It’s much more difficult to pull a door open than to bash it in. Modify or replace the hinge pins so they cannot be knocked out. Install heavy bars on the inside to further insure the door cannot be pulled open. Don’t forget to consider the air supply and ventilation. Always have an emergency exit
dmh
 
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Re: Bullet Resistant Walls

Postby Renaissance Ronin » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:57 am

I enjoyed the spirit of this post very much.

But might I play devil's advocate for a moment? Please know from the beginning that I mean no offense.

What happens when a charge is attached to the exterior of that gravel filled wall. Say, something like a grenade or a shape charge? Boom! Everyone in that little room is gravel blasted to death just as sure as if they were shotgunned.

How do I know this? In Afghanistan (and "other" places) , rubble-filled walls are frequently used for "deterrent" value. How did we breach them? We "blasted" them with explosives. Byproduct? The blast turned all the sediment into projectiles.

So, if you're going to head down this path, think about a way of coating that interior wall with something that will knock down that "debris" that may be propelled at you. A lightweight concrete panel with steel mesh reinforcing it might do the trick. It'd probably buckle depending on the explosive device used, but it'd probably knock down a high percentage of that "boulder buckshot."

And I'll also point out that reworking a door to open OUT in a safe room environment is courting peril. If a ceiling falls and blocks that door (think hurricane or tornado), you can't open it from inside. Or, the "bad guys" may just simply barricade you in there, and then take their leisurely time doing whatever it was that set them on you. And then, they'll open that door and kill you.

Consider building a steel door, that has "pins" that extend from it, into cavities set into the jamb. That way, they (the bad guys) still can't open it, but you don't get trapped inside either. Although it sounds complicated, it's really quite simple when you put your mind to it. And, if you've focused your mind on building a "safe room" a solid "sturdy" door isn't that much more a push to your cranium.

Just my opinion.
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Re: Bullet Resistant Walls

Postby jpf1030 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:52 am

Hey Alex,
I would almost think you have seen the model safe room at our place as you nearly described it to a T. We have 3D steel mesh concreted walls, NBC air filtration system, steel vault door that we modified to be opened from the inside. The idiot company that built it as an inside opening door made no provision for opening it from the inside...go figure! We used some country-bumpkin engineering to rig up an opening mechanism from the inside.

All that aside, the posting Dave Harper did was an excellent report on the equally excellent class he gave on this at one of our BSOSC meetings. Your additional comments are well taken. All of us always have room for continued improvement, after all, that is what evolution is all about!...jpf
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Re: Bullet Resistant Walls

Postby wesurvive » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:02 am

Well I think that if someone has been thinking of how to retreat into a corner, they should also think of making the enemy their prey and have a way to retaliate as well. Remember the castles that had those trap doors to slide open and shoot out of? Well, if you really want to turn the tables you can have several trap doors just big enough to fit your arm through to throw something nice back at them. A home made paint ball bomb filled with acid (that won't melt the plastic), or your own home made shrapnel device will sure make them think twice before tying to get close again. The idea is, once you throw out your device and it goes off, then run out and start to take out your enemy using the door of course as the barrier between you and them as the door swings open, only your upper half of your body is exposed for a few seconds while you blast them apart with a pump shotgun (works nice and has a good spread). So home defense in those cases where the police are not available, the neighbors are away, you are on your own and then its time to make who ever enters your home your prey. Have all sorts of nice things waiting for those who enter who are not welcome.

Those trap doors can be hinged and barred with steel bars, then slide the bars out and its a simple door to throw something out. Or stick the shotgun through the hole and start shooting. Or if you are not into blood and carnage then spray some wasp spray into the room at them, pepper spray, a nice stink bomb, tear gas or whatever you prepared to have on hand. Remember to have your own gas masks in case anything gets back into the room.

Think castle defense. Then remember, you are the hunter and if you get into a corner, all that is for is to distract them till you make your next move against them.

Trying to hold out in a room till help arrives or if it never arrives and expect to make it without doing something to change the situation is just becoming a sitting duck for the worst to happen.
You Must Survive. So prepare for it.
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