Home Defense Weapons and Safe Backstops

Sign in
Duration:   4  mins

During a lethal-force encounter inside your home with home defense weapons, you don’t want to hit a family member or other innocent people. It’s important to learn which objects in your home make safe backstops and which will not stop a round that’s been fired. Rob Pincus fires a pistol, carbine and shotgun at a stack of books to help evaluate their effectiveness as backstops.

To learn more about the different types of guns for home defense read our article on the best home defense weapons.

Make a comment
  • (will not be published)

2 Responses to “Home Defense Weapons and Safe Backstops”

  1. TomC

    Great advice — yes, books are excellent at stopping bullets — but they form a reliable backstop only when the round hits the book. Anyone relying on books as a backstop (as in the video) needs to ensure that the books fill the shelves SNUGLY and as close to COMPLETELY as possible. The books in the live fire demonstration were taped tightly together, much more tightly than most people place books on a bookshelf, leaving no possibility for a round to push through the gap between adjacent books.

    Loosely positioned books (as are common in many homes) will usually stop a bullet because the bullet will probably hit the spine of the book, but loose books are less reliable than tightly placed books. And, of course, there is a completely unprotected gap between the top of the books and the bottom of the next shelf, so it is important to position the books and the shelves so the books fill as much of the space as possible.

    In addition to books, a bookshelf like the one in the video is also a great place to store several reams of printer paper for your home computer printer.

  2. Art

    I use #8-½ shot in a 12 ga. While it may not seem like it, penetration & destruction in the target is major.
    Since we live on acreage we have a .300 Blackout with 200gr rounds for our other long arm.
    I’d like to see those added to the repertoire of home defense guns.
    I’m not great on handguns because you can’t really find a place to practice shooting after being awakened from a sleep and the long gun gives a better platform, in my estimation, from that condition.

Get exclusive premium content! Sign up for a membership now!