Read the dangers of an over-penetrating round and the steps you can take to minimize or prevent further damage.
RELATED: Owning A Gun Safely At Home
In this Article:
- Over Penetrate Definition
- The Issues Surrounding 9mm Overpenetration
- Should You Give Up On Your 9mm and the Over-Penetrating Round?
- You Can Do Better
Over-Penetrating Round | How Dangerous Is a 9mm Overpenetration?
Over Penetrate Definition
The 9mm over-penetrating round had come a long way since its introduction back in 1902. The vast array of ammo makers, grain-size bullets, and designs make this the go-to round for many.
There is one problem, however. The 9X19 cartridge or 9mm over-penetrates much farther than one hopes.
The home defense ammo may maim an attacker, but it can also put innocent bystanders in danger.
To help you understand the possible danger of over-penetration, let's define it.
Over-penetration occurs when the bullets go through walls and flesh farther than other self-defense projectiles.
In general, bullets are either hollow point or full metal jacket. The latter refers to a round tip, ball, target ammunition.
What Is a Hollow Point? It is ammunition with a hole at the tip. Its purpose is to slow down the journey of the bullet and expand itself once it hits a barrier such as a wall or flesh. In principle, it is less deadly, so some experts recommend it for home defense use.
It's the one that tends to travel farther. This fast-moving bullet is narrow enough that it takes a while to slow down in a body, wall, or car.
Jacketed hollow points are also famous for traveling through walls. They do not expand when they hit something hard.
The Issues Surrounding 9mm Overpenetration
A lot of people don't have enough information on what a home defense gun should look like. Some new gun owners feel a 9mm ammo is sufficient for home protection because of what they hear or read.
Of course, the 9mm is great for recoil management. It then allows the shooter to get back onto target quickly.
It does have its issues, though, especially when it is an over-penetrating round. Here's a scenario.
Let's say a criminal is stupid enough to attack you with your 9mm handgun in your home. When you are under attack, your body will exhibit a “fight or flight” response.
When this happens, a gun that weighs a few pounds begins to shake in your hands as your vision starts to blur. The result can be several missed shots.
You are more likely then to fire in the direction of your kids before you can connect a bullet to your attacker.
That's not all. If it's an over-penetrating round, there's a chance you can injure the attacker, but the bullet exits. It may then hit another person such as your child.
Should You Give Up On Your 9mm and the Over-Penetrating Round?
The 99mm handgun remains an excellent concealed-carry firearm or a home defense weapon. It doesn't mean you can shrug off the possibility of having an over-penetrating round.
Remember, it has the potential to go through several layers of sheetrock before stopping. It may also tear the flesh of your attacker and your loved ones.
Instead of using a 9mm as a home defense gun, consider other options such as these. Manufacturers had you and your home in their minds when they designed them.
Another choice is a 9mm frangible ammo, which can disintegrate once it hits an object. It, therefore, reduces its over-penetration ability.
You Can Do Better
This isn't saying you have to run out and sell your 9mm guns or you shouldn't buy one.
One of the basic rules when it comes to gun use is to never assume anything. Just because the manufacturer says it is not an over-penetrating round doesn't mean it's not.
Given the ideal situation, a bullet can go through almost anything and travel farther. If you do decide to keep your 9mm, bullets that don't go through walls are not the only answer.
Establish a home invasion defense plan. Make sure everyone in the household knows it to avoid accidental shootings.
Educate yourself on handling home defense handguns to ensure no over-penetrating round will hit the wrong target. Train as often as you can to develop muscle memory.
Most of all, never place your finger on the trigger until you are sure your attacker needs to die.
Learn more about an over-penetrating round in this YouTube educational video by Warrior Poet Society:
Can a 9mm go through a person? Yes, it can happen.
Anything that has enough power to do damage to the human body can over-penetrate farther than you want it to.
If you own a 9mm handgun (or any gun, for that matter) as personal protection or home defense, it is essential you understand the definition of an over-penetrating round. Most of all, you should know its impact, so you can reduce the danger that comes with its use.
Do you have any other thoughts about an over-penetrating round? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Editor's Note: This article was first published in April 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.