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In the unfortunate event of an armed burglar or active shooter situation, it is important to know which objects and materials can protect you from harm. Wrongfully hiding behind something could be fatal. Even so, fleeing to a safer location isn't always possible; sometimes you have no option but to utilize what cover is available at that moment.
This article explores a vital question — can brick stop a bullet? What else should be used to shield you and your family from gunfire? We'll talk about the properties of different materials and how they stack up against one another in this context.
Just know that you could continue to fire at a brick wall and eventually the bullet will penetrate. If you want more insight into how effective bricks are as a ballistic barrier, simply read on.
It depends on the type of bullet and the material used to build the brick wall. Most bullets cannot penetrate a brick wall unless it is fired from a high-powered weapon such as an assault rifle or sniper rifle. However, depending on the thickness, density, and composition of the bricks in the wall, some bullets may be able to penetrate a brick wall if fired with enough force and accuracy.
Brick walls are highly effective when it comes to keeping bullets from passing through. This holds true for all calibers ranging from .22 to a 12 gauge slug. However, if you want your bullet to go the distance, using a 50-caliber round is your best bet for penetrating a brick wall.
The answer is pretty much the same for a bullet vs a brick wall. A brick house will stop most bullets from passing through, but this depends on the thickness of the wall and the caliber of the bullet.
The same can be said when asking the question of will a brick wall stop a bullet. Generally speaking, a standard brick wall is sufficient to stop any round under 50 caliber from something like a Barrett 50 Cal. Heavier rounds such as a 7.62x39mm or .308 rifle may penetrate the walls of a brick-veneered house, but it is not likely.
It should also be noted that the type of brick used in construction can affect its resistance to bullets. For example, soft-fired clay bricks are more prone to damage than harder varieties like granite or marble. Additionally, a single-brick wall will be less effective at stopping bullets than a double-brick wall. Ultimately, if maximum protection from bullets is desired, it’s best to hide behind a concrete wall.
In short, as long as the bullets are impacting real bricks on the front of a house, they will more than likely be stopped. If the same place is shot multiple times, that is when the brick will start to crumble and bullets would go through and into the house.
The penetration varies drastically on red brick vs bullet calibers. From small birdshot pellets to immense 50-caliber BMG AP rounds designed to break through up to an inch-thick steel plate that is 600 feet away. Materials such as brick or concrete will slowly crumble and be chipped away by multiple bullets. Brick can stop sustained rifle and pistol fire for several minutes, but will eventually fall apart.
With the majority of modern homes and office construction, brick walls are durable enough to bear the brunt of most handgun calibers like 9mm, .380, .40, and .22. Rifle calibers like 5.56x45 and 30-06 will do more damage to the brick, but will not pass through.
A simple two-inch brick was found to be an incredibly effective tool for blocking during "Bullet vs Brick" testing. A range of calibers was used in the testing including handguns, armor-piercing 5.56 NATO rounds, 9mm hollow-points, and 12 gauge shotgun slugs. All of which could not penetrate the brick.
However, experiments with drywall and wood walls showed that they offered no protection whatsoever. Every round went straight through these materials. This is an important reminder for anyone in a house built from any materials: Be sure you take proper precautions to safeguard your home against potential intruders, drivebys, and other threats.
Ultimately, all brick is not identical. If you have ever explored beyond U.S. borders, then you are well aware that other nations use various materials with varying brick construction methods. Consequently, if an emergency situation occurs overseas and the nearest brick wall presents itself as a shield from danger – it may not always be your safest bet for protection. Try to get behind a concrete structure if possible.
Matt Risinger of the Build Show enlisted MythBusters alum Tori Belleci to put several common building materials to the test using .22, 9mm, .223, and buckshot rounds.
The only material that could stand up against these bullets was 2×4 lumber used in framing - it could stop a .22 caliber round but nothing else. Drywall, OSB lumber, and cement board were unsuccessful at withstanding any kind of projectile damage.
To put it to the test, they filled one area of their barrier with sand and set concrete bags behind another section before firing a round from each caliber. Both had successful results in stopping at least one shot. However, unless you have plenty of sand or fast-setting cement nearby, these methods may not be an instant fix for your own situation.
Brick walls are highly effective at keeping bullets from passing through. But, the type of bullet and the material used to build the wall can play a major role in how much penetration is possible. Depending on the thickness and density of the bricks some bullets may still not be able to pass through.
If you want your bullet to have more distance and power behind it, using a 50-caliber BMG round is recommended as this has been proven to do better when facing off against a brick wall than any other caliber rounds tested thus far.