Can a Brick Stop a Bullet?

  • Jack Collins

I recently moved into a brick house and obviously, one question immediately popped into my head. “If Red Dawn happens, can a brick wall stop bullets?” I’d read conflicting reports on the internet about this, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and do some science.

I’m fortunate enough to have a friend who owns some land out in the remote stretches of the central Colorado mountains, so I packed up the car and headed out for a night of camping and a day of shooting. Here’s the results of my two experiments: first, 9mm verses a brick wall, and second, an AK 47 verses a brick wall.

First Experiment: 9mm Parabellum vs Brick Wall

The day started off clear and sunny, perfect for blasting some bricks. I set up two bricks wedged between cinder blocks to hold them in place, like this.

I figured that this way, I could not only see what kind of damage a bullet would do to a brick, but I could also see if the bullet did any damage to the second brick. Hopefully, I reasoned, the first brick would take all the damage and leave the second brick unscathed.

First up was a Federal 9mm FMJ fired from my Glock 19. Here’s the damage.

This was about what I expected. First, I hit low left, which for some reason, I always do with my stock Glock trigger (I’m partial to the Sig P320 myself). The 9mm put a pretty big dent in the brick, and even cracked it in half. However, the brick was still in pretty good shape. What’s more, the brick behind it was entirely intact.

Can a Brick Wall Stop Bullets: AK 47 vs Brick Wall

Now, it was time to bring out the big guns. In the “Red Dawn” scenario I envisioned, some kind of foe would be invading Colorado wielding the ubiquitous AK 47. So, I set up another brick (since the second brick was still unscathed) and got to work with my trusty Romanian AK pistol with a 12.5-inch barrel. Here were the results.

The AK completely pulverized the first brick. There were a few pieces left, but the majority of the brick was essentially vaporized. But when I got closer to survey what happened to the second brick, I was in for a shock.

Although the physical force of the bullet had jostled the second brick around, it was still completely unscathed. I was definitely not expecting this after watching the AK smash the first brick to pieces. There weren’t even any hairline cracks in the second brick – it was totally fine. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, since this is essentially how ceramic ballistic armor works.

The science is settled! A brick house can definitely stand up to invaders – at least for a few rounds.

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