Home Defense Weapons and Safe Backstops

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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.

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16 Responses to “Home Defense Weapons and Safe Backstops”

  1. Kenny

    I really appreciate the foresight and expertise of the PDN network team and your thorough examples and demonstrations. Excellent video and additional ideas for my home.

  2. Mark

    I just wanted to say that yes this works and having the books stacked tighly on a book shelf only improves the stopping power
    This is how we practiced in the basement
    When Dad was training us as children and we tested it with all kinds of guns it’s cool

  3. Bret P Hooyman

    Interesting idea, and one I hadn’t thought about. With a child at home, keeping her safe should there ever be a need for me to fire within the home has been on my mind. With this video, I now have an idea of something I can do to mitigate any chance of her being injured while I try to protect her. Thanks to the PDN crew for putting this out there.

  4. Heidi

    Very well put together video. I do think that this will help non gun people put their minds at ease when it shows that there is a preventative measure that they can do to possibly help protect their family and their own lives.

  5. Art

    as someone said earlier you need to stop the books from moving back. one more thing. how much bullet proofing would there be if you filled the walls with paper say phone books. it would seem to me that the safe room should have some sort of bullet resistance walls. that would certainly make the safe room safer. living alone in an old house with solid brick walls my safe room is my house, my front porch has fire wood stack up 3 feet, but i always wonder about bullets traveling the spaces between pieces. also have the piece of wood become a projectile. of course the further down the stack the more pressure to hold the wood in place.

  6. Kerryd

    Thank you for a much needed answer to a nagging question.
    Now if I could just magically make the 1200 plus books I have on my Kindle appear on my walls when needed :0)

  7. Jim

    Very interesting video! Provides direction for positioning books where needed for protection from penetration.

    Thanks Rob…

  8. Joe Blackthorn

    Nicely done video. I like the fact that you covered handgun, long gun and shotguns. I especially appreciate the fact that you used a 20ga instead of a 12ga. as the 20 is what I use.

  9. A. Mujsce

    All well and good when rounds hit books directly, but what happens if they go between books?

  10. Robert

    My only concern with this, is that the books in the video are able to move, thus absorbing more of the impact. A better test would be to have them up against a back drop, just as they would be in the bookcase. Then the full energy of the round would be transferred and the round may go through.

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