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Thread: RFI: Shooting Walls for Science

  1. #1
    Site Supporter Condition Write's Avatar
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    RFI: Shooting Walls for Science

    Obligatory "asking for a friend" - literal truth, in this case.

    The friend in question is a former co-worker who's LE at an unnamed university. He's on his department's community services unit, whose duties include CPTED and related security analysis of both current structures and proposed construction. He has a perpetual headache because this institution's current trend is toward LEED-certified buildings with lots of glass and low projected lifespans.

    Recently, he relayed to me a question regarding ballistic penetration through both interior and exterior walls and other construction. He's wanting to do some testing with the department's handgun and patrol rifle duty ammo, as well as calibers likely to be used by aggressors. The intent is to assess the relative lethality of rounds after striking the various construction materials/styles currently in use on campus. He does intend to do this in conjunction with some open-minded engineering staff members to publish the results academically. My own feeling is that there's also some subtext about influencing future architectural design on the campus to be more resistant to projectiles (whether bullets or, say, tornado debris).

    As we have several folks on here who shoot things for science, what's the collective wisdom regarding practicality, design, and execution of this project? Also, are there any existing peer-reviewed studies of this nature to which I can point him?
    Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
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  2. #2
    Have you looked at "Box O Truth"?

    This will get you started, some of the data is likely to be a bit dated, but It's still worth watching: https://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box...l-box-o-truth/

  3. #3
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    Several years ago we were touring a condemned apartment complex that had been approved for us to conduct SWAT training. One of us had an "aha" moment..."Why don't we do some ballistics testing inside one of these?". We fired the calibers we had with us (9mm, .45 and 5.56) from a living room through an adjoining bathroom and bedroom, and fired at several different spots in the wall where there might be various obstructions...(stud, no stud, electrical, plumbing, etc. ). It wasn't exactly scientific...we didn't take any measurements or photos (before smartphones, when no one carried a camera around everywhere), more of "Well, would ya look at that..."

    He might want to check with the local police and fire departments to see if they know of any suitable structures...we used numerous houses and buildings that were set for remodel or demolition for breaching, Sims, etc. training. (We also got to watch some ATF and local EOD guys blow the $hit out of the same apartment complex above for some Post Blast Investigation training).
    Last edited by kwb377; 10-08-2019 at 10:59 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 358156hp View Post
    Have you looked at "Box O Truth"?
    I have pointed him in that direction, as well as http://how-i-did-it.org/drywall/ and some other Google hits.

    Quote Originally Posted by kwb377 View Post
    Several years ago we were touring a condemned apartment complex that had been approved for us to conduct SWAT training. One of us had an "aha" moment..."Why don't we do some ballistics testing inside one of these?". We fired the calibers we had with us (9mm, .45 and 5.56) from a living room through an adjoining bathroom and bedroom, and fired at several different spots in the wall where there might be various obstructions...(stud, no stud, electrical, plumbing, etc. ). It wasn't exactly scientific...we didn't take any measurements or photos (before smartphones, when no one carried a camera around everywhere), more of "Well, would ya look at that..."

    He might want to check with the local police and fire departments to see if they know of any suitable structures...we used numerous houses and buildings that were set for remodel or demolition for breaching, Sims, etc. training. (We also got to watch some ATF and local EOD guys blow the $hit out of the same apartment complex above for some Post Blast Investigation training).
    I'll pass that on. I know his department and the local FD have access to a few places that aren't about to be knocked down, and they've used those for FoF, USAR, and TECC/Rescue Task Force training in the past.
    Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
    - Carl Sandberg

  5. #5
    Did this in an f2s class many years ago... nothing scientific.

    Cliffs: everything goes through everything if you shoot it enough.
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  6. #6
    Site Supporter DocGKR's Avatar
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    If you shoot through building structure replicas, you MUST capture the projectile on the other side in properly fabricated tissue simulant if you want the test to have any validity regarding terminal performance and incapacitation potential. Fun outings like "Box O Truth" don't really offer such information.
    Facts matter...Feelings Can Lie

  7. #7
    Site Supporter Condition Write's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocGKR View Post
    If you shoot through building structure replicas, you MUST capture the projectile on the other side in properly fabricated tissue simulant if you want the test to have any validity regarding terminal performance and incapacitation potential. Fun outings like "Box O Truth" don't really offer such information.
    I had gathered as much from reading your past postings, among other sources, and I have so advised him.
    Last edited by Condition Write; 10-10-2019 at 08:02 AM.
    Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
    - Carl Sandberg

  8. #8
    Site Supporter DocGKR's Avatar
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    Your friend is more than welcome to contact me for advice. The FBI BRF is another extremely competent source of information--I strongly suggest they get the FBI data, as it may save them the trouble of doing this costly and time intensive testing.
    Facts matter...Feelings Can Lie

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwb377 View Post
    Several years ago we were touring a condemned apartment complex that had been approved for us to conduct SWAT training. One of us had an "aha" moment..."Why don't we do some ballistics testing inside one of these?". We fired the calibers we had with us (9mm, .45 and 5.56) from a living room through an adjoining bathroom and bedroom, and fired at several different spots in the wall where there might be various obstructions...(stud, no stud, electrical, plumbing, etc. ). It wasn't exactly scientific...we didn't take any measurements or photos (before smartphones, when no one carried a camera around everywhere), more of "Well, would ya look at that..."

    He might want to check with the local police and fire departments to see if they know of any suitable structures...we used numerous houses and buildings that were set for remodel or demolition for breaching, Sims, etc. training. (We also got to watch some ATF and local EOD guys blow the $hit out of the same apartment complex above for some Post Blast Investigation training).
    Following up on that, I'd also recommend to him reaching out to a building code official/code enforcement officer in his or neighboring jurisdictions to locate suitable test structures. The same can be said for locating suitable test vehicles as well.

    Keith

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