Bourjaily: Bird and Buckshot vs. Walls

I've been shooting home defense ammunition at paper and water jugs lately as I work on an upcoming column. One of the concerns about home defense ammunition is wall penetration, as a stray round may pass through several walls and strike a family member or neighbor. My wife won't let me pattern guns in the house even if I promise to spackle the holes, so to get an idea of what it looks like when shot meets a wall, I watched this video. Although I'm not surprised by the results, this is still a vivid demonstration of the power of a shotgun.

An older house with lath and plaster walls might be slightly more shot resistant, but as you can see here, the modern home isn't much of a castle. Even light hunting loads can blow right through sheetrock and into the next room. This video is definitely something to keep in mind if you plan to protect your family with a shotgun or any other firearm.