The Box O’ Truth is a website dedicated to solving gun and ammunition questions in the most straightforward way possible: by firing off rounds. This is the very first entry in the BOT series, in which the original box is introduced:

Having some time for study of this fascinating sport, I built the “Box O’ Truth”.

The purpose of the Box is to test the penetration of various rounds.

People often say, “I think…”. “I suppose…”, “I bet…”, when discussing facts like penetration of ammunition.

There is only one way to know how much a certain round penetrates.

You must shoot it into a medium and see for a fact.

This is the Box.

My shooting buddy, Tman and I took it to the range with a variety of guns and ammo. Here’s what we did.

First, we loaded the box with 12 sheets of 5/8 sheetrock, which is also called wallboard in some areas.

Since it takes 2 sheets per wall, this is the thickness of 6 interior walls.

Why twelve? It seemed like a good number and I thought it might stop most rounds.

I was about to learn something.


First, I shot it with my M-17 S&W, .22 LR HP. It penetrated 6 sheets and bounced off the seventh sheet.

That would be the equivalent of 3 interior walls.

And that’s only a .22 pistol.

Long story short, we proceeded to shoot several rounds and they all penetrated all 12 sheets and exited.

We then replaced the sheetrock with something tougher, 3/4 inch Ponderosa Pine boards.

Here I am shooting a .45ACP at the box.

We fired several rounds and saw the following Penetration:

.22 Long Rifle (Wildcats) – 4 boards and bounced off 5th board.

9MM JHP (Federal) – 8 boards, bounced off 9th.

.45ACP (Federal Hydrashocks) – 7 boards, bounced off 8th.

Amazingly, none expanded at all. The nose just filled up with pine.



It was time to get out the rifle.I shot my 16″ AR with XM-193.

Here I am busting the Box.








We don’t know how many boards it would have penetrated, as it was still moving after exiting the twelfth board.

Lessons learned:

1. Sheetrock (drywall) doesn’t slow any round down much. If you shoot in the house, walls will not stop any serious round.

2. Twelve pine boards will not stop a .223 round.

3. Shooting stuff is fun.


Be sure to come back for more BOT content, which you can always visit at


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