hickok45 took his Arsenal AKM and put several magazines of 7.62×39 tracers against a concrete block wall at about 230 yards. The results were instructive… and a little frightening.

I learned several things from this, the foremost being that a block wall is concealment, not cover.

In the picture below, the tracer burning on the ground on the right side of the frame got there after penetrating through the wall from the left side of the wall.

tracer through wall

At 230 yards using iron sights, hickok45 was firing shots that penetrated the wall completely, and was also ricocheting rounds off the ground that seems to penetrate just as easily. Here’s the front side of the wall…


… and here’s the back side of the wall.


He had similar results in a previous test with a 5.56 AR-15. It seems rather conclusive that unless a block wall is filled with concrete, it poses little more than a false sense of security.

That’s a very sobering thought, once you consider most stick-built, vinyl-clad homes don’t have walls that stop bullets even as well as block.