What have you shot before and what were the results?

I was reading The Prepared’s latest article titled What common or household objects will stop bullets? and it got me thinking about all the things I have shot before.

I’ve enjoyed shooting soup cans and old milk jugs full of water. Much more satisfying than your traditional paper target. There are a few memorable objects I have remembered shooting however.

While in college, my friends and I drove out to a local outdoor trash gun range to test and destroy some things. The first was a DIY silencer using a pillow. This is something I’ve seen in a few movies before where the person places a pillow in front of their gun and can take people down without any noise. 

I took an old pillow and taped it around my .22lr rifle and set up an audio recorder so we could compare the volume levels on the computer to see exactly how quiet it actually made it. From what I remember, it didn’t help at all. 

While out on that same trip, my roommate had an ancient laptop that he didn’t want to throw away and have someone take his data. So we helped him destroy the laptop with a few rounds of our guns. Probably not the smartest thing to be shooting at a laptop battery… Can’t remember if we removed it before or not. 

The last memorable thing that I’ve shot before is a cheap plastic disposable water bottle. Normally these would be absolutely destroyed by every round possible, but I had a few rounds of rat/snake shot that I wanted to try. It’s a pretty neat round and is filled with little pellets like a shot gun shell, but in a .22lr form factor. (here’s a random internet picture of one)


When I shot this at a plastic bottle, it went through the outside and many pellets didn’t make it out the back side, resulting in the bottle capturing the little pellets inside the bottle. Has anyone actually used one of these rounds on a rat or snake? I don’t feel like it has much power to actually kill it and that sounds kind of mean to have a wounded critter running around.

Anyways… What all have you guys shot before besides paper or steel targets? I think this will help us gain a sense of what will happen if we get in a fire fight with a bad guy inside our homes. From The Prepared’s article, it sounds like pretty much everything in our home will react like a paper target during a shoot out.


  • Comments (18)

    • 7

      First things first, a DIY silencer (better name is suppressor) is a no no.  Doing such is a violation of federal law.  I have numerous suppressors, for multiple calibers, and all have their proper federal stamp.  Same with my two short barrel rifles (SBR).  Any rifle with a barrel less than 16″ requires a federal stamp.  I don’t mess with the federal government.

      In my long life I’ve shot most any animal that moved, I’m ashamed to say.  No pets.  I was brought up by my dad, a Marine, who was an avid hunter along with most all his friends.  I started with bb guns and transitioned to the real deals with time & training.  Nowadays, it hurts my soul to take a life needlessly.  Guess I’m a wuss.

      Now I just shoot paper & metal targets.  But I did learn about the power of a .223 AR when shooting steel targets.  At this point, I didn’t have my home range with proper steel targets, so we took some sheets of steel out to a pasture to practice shoot.  This was regular steel & not the specialized hardened steel used in targets.  We found out real quick that .223 punched right thru that 1/2″ thick steel at 50′.  Made a believer out of me.

      Yes, I have shot & keep on hand that pistol shot shell.  It is designed for in close shooting.  You can get it in 22lr but that shell is just too small to be effective.  I’ve found the 9mm version will kill a snake just fine.  I only kill poisonous snakes nowadays.  However keep in mind, these rounds normally don’t cycle the action of an automatic very well.  I will get a jam after one or two shots.  If you want to have a gun outfitted with shot shell, I suggest getting a revolver.

      • 2

        Thanks for teaching me about the DIY silencer. I am not messing with that anymore. I just was interesting at the time to shoot through a pillow and see if it did what the movies said it would.

        Also good tip on using snake shot in a revolver.

      • 6

        My pleasure.  I will state again, the preferred name is suppressor… not silencer.  Silencer makes people think the gun is now silent and that simply is not the case.  That is why lawmakers make us get federal approval before purchasing or transferring one.  People think they are dangerous because they are now silent… which simply isn’t true.  What you see on TV is just that… TV props.  A suppressor lessens the sound so that one can shoot without hearing protection but they are far from silent.  Now when I shoot my bold action 22lr with subsonic ammo & suppressor, that is as quiet as you can get.  In that case, it sounds like a bb gun.  However on TV, they are shooting large caliber guns in semi auto and they make them seem silent.  

      • 6

        The reason the term silencer is still used and accepted in the industry is because that’s how it was listed on the original patent, and is the term the ATF still uses. You are totally correct about public perception though, most people have no idea how a silencer/suppressor actually sounds, let alone works. Even movies like John Wick, that get so much correct in the way of firearms totally screw up the portrayal of suppressors.

        Here’s a great video about the history of suppressors and why they’re even a NFA restricted item in the US unlike in most of Europe.

        History of Suppressors

      • 5

        This is the Way – Thanks for the video on the History of Suppressors. It looks very interesting and I’ve enjoyed the first two minutes so far. I’ll keep watching. 

        I am going to try and start calling them suppressors. Thank you guys for correcting me. 

      • 3

        Glad to help, the more knowledgeable gun owning populace we have, the better. If you have any other questions feel free to ask away.

      • 5

        Thanks.  I hope I don’t come across as arrogant, but I always try to let people know they aren’t silent.  It is that misconception that keeps lawmakers from removing the restrictions.

      • 2

        Redneck – Not arrogant at all! There is still so much I have to learn about guns and other areas and I appreciate the friendly feedback putting me on the right track.

      • 2

        Thanks Robert!

    • 5

      I mostly stick to paper targets but went out to a city dump in a small town with some friends before and shot an old car door that was there. Sliced through like butter. 

    • 5

      I didn’t mention this in the article, but back in high school I stole a thick hardcover English textbook and used it for target practice again 9mm and 12 gauge shells. Amazingly, I don’t think a single round made it through. I shot an old LCD TV a couple of years ago with a 9mm and 5.56 and those both punched straight through.

      • 3

        This is the kind of stuff I was looking for! 

        I should have kept my old college text books for body armor… 😉

      • 6

        Robert, long story short… any firearm you shoot in your house will likely pass thru any wall, person, furnishings and most appliances.  For me, I assume nothing will stop my bullet.  That means, if you are going to shoot indoors, you best know EXACTLY who you are shooting at, who could be behind them & where any family members are located.  Bullets have gone thru the shooters house and entered neighboring homes.  This is especially true with high powered rifles, such as an AR.

        That is why I preach practice, practice, practice.  If you plan on defending your home & possibly shooting indoors, you MUST know where each bullet is going.  You must be intimately familiar with your gun & its controls.  Shooting accurately must become 2nd nature.  If you want to worry about something, worry about how accurate you are & worry if you can place that shot where aimed?  I wouldn’t worry about what target you are using.

      • 4

        Great words of advice!

      • 3

        All great points Redneck I would only offer up one counter argument. Certain 5.56 rounds are actually going to break up and disperse in dry wall and other materials much faster than pistol rounds. You want lightweight, high velocity rounds with a polymer tip, such as Hornady varmint max. It sounds counter intuitive, but the lightweight round moving at such a high is designed to disperse all of its energy when it hits something, unlike a pistol round which is heavier and the bullet itself will stay intact better. Obviously don’t use something like green tips unless you wanna shoot something 3 houses down.

      • 4

        This reminds me of that lady who accidentally killed her boyfriend by shooting him through a thick book they thought would stop the bullet. They were trying to go viral and she got 6 months in prison. Monalisa Perez was her name. 

      • 3

        Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend that.

      • 2

        I remember that story. Don’t do stupid things for fake internet points children