Understanding Penetration Levels by Bullet Caliber

7 August 2020
Category Security
7 August 2020, Comments Comments Off on Understanding Penetration Levels by Bullet Caliber

There are a variety of levels of bulletproofing protection that can protect against shooting incidents. What level of protection you desire is a choice you have to make when selecting bulletproofing products and materials. Guns come in a wide range of sizes, as do the caliber of bullets they fire. From simple handguns to advanced assault-style weapons, knowing the different penetration levels of various bullets can help you understand your options.

Bulletproofing Solutions for Any Business or Organization

bullets in descending order of size

Creative Industries has been helping all kinds of businesses, corporations, and organizations achieve greater protection through effective bulletproofing solutions for every conceivable setting and application for more than 30 years. When you want protection against violence, you need armor. While wearing body armor for protection against gun violence simply isn’t realistic or practical for most people, adding bulletproof barriers as a defensive measure is. Think of bulletproofing as adding armor to the physical environment around you. If you’d like to learn more about what Creative Industries can do for you, feel free to call us toll-free at 800-776-2068 and we’ll be happy to help you!

Bullet Calibers 101: Common Calibers in Use Today

By far the most popular caliber of bullet bought and used today is the .22LR (long rifle) that can be used in a wide range of firearm types, including both handguns and rifles. Mostly used for target practice and small game hunting, these bullets can still be lethal when fired at people, though they are the least lethal of the various calibers. As you might be able to guess, as the caliber of the gun and bullet increase, so does the lethality as the penetration levels increase. 

Why Bullet Caliber Matters in Bulletproofing Protection

A scientific study was conducted and published in 2018 called The Association of Firearm Caliber With Likelihood of Death From Gunshot Injury in Criminal Assaults. The study focused on five years of data from police investigations in Boston, Massachusetts. Put simply: “…the case-fatality rates of assaults inflicting gunshot injury increased significantly with the caliber of the firearm.” While this finding may seem totally obvious, it was important to have it be verified by scientific research. 

The study looked at all 221 gun homicides over the five-year period, and a random sample of 300 out of 1,012 nonfatal firearm assaults in the same period. Bullet calibers were divided into three groups: small (.22, .25, .32), medium (.38, .380, 9mm), and large (.357 magnum, .40, .44 magnum, .45, 10 mm, and 7.62 × 39 mm). The most common caliber of bullet used in both the fatal and nonfatal gun assaults was the 9mm. Compared to small-caliber gun violence, victims dying from medium-caliber assaults are 2.3 times higher. Fatalities from large-caliber guns are 4.5 times higher than small-caliber shootings. If all the shooting incidents in the five-year period studied had been small-caliber weapons, the gun homicide rate would have been 40% lower. If all those assaults had been large-caliber bullets, the gun homicide rate would have been 43% higher. And if all had been medium-caliber firearms, the gun homicide rate would have been 9% higher. 

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, the crime weapon of choice was a pistol or revolver typically using a .22 caliber bullet. They were cheap and easy to obtain. But the size of bullets has been on the increase since then, and it was in the 1990s when 9mm NATO guns and ammo came into fashion, including semi-automatic versions. 

What Caliber of Weapon Should Your Bulletproofing Protect Against?

The above scientific study is important because when it comes to mass shootings, everyone thinks of the assault-style rifles such as the AR-15 or AK-47. But what the data tells us is that pistols are the more common firearm used in active shooter rampages, not rifles as many might assume. The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center looked at data from 200 active shooter attacks that occurred from 2000 through 2015. As one writer put it on The Trace

“Handguns were the most common weapon regardless of whether active shooters struck schools, businesses, or churches. The perpetrator of one of the deadliest mass shootings in history, the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, was equipped solely with pistols. And in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, the gunman was armed with a FN Five-seven pistol equipped with laser sights.”

The breakdown in the active shooter data was this: 56% used a pistol or multiple pistols, 27% used rifles, and the rest were either shotguns or unknown.

As you ratchet up the level of bulletproofing, the cost of the materials and final product does increase. But as you can see from the data presented above, you’ll be well-protected against the majority of active shooter events if you adopt bulletproof solutions that protect against the penetrating capacity of medium-caliber weapons and bullets. While the products we customize at Creative Solutions can be formulated for a range of weapon types, we specialize in dealing with the speed and velocity of bullets fired from medium-caliber guns, which also provides more than enough protection against small-caliber handgun and rifle firearms.

Protection Against the Threat of Gun Violence in Any Setting

At Creative Solutions, we produce dozens of standard products in five different categories that can be fitted for a variety of settings. Visit our Products page and browse through the options. We have also created all kinds of customized solutions for a broad range of settings, including the following:

We love the diversity of companies and organizations we’ve worked with, so don’t worry if your particular industry or setting isn’t mentioned above—Creative Industries has you covered! Ready to tackle your safety and security challenges head on? Call us at Call us toll-free at 800-776-2068 to start the conversation or fill out the form on the contact page of our website. We look forward to helping you!