27 Nov 20 

Shooting Toilets! 

When searching for a (relatively) “safe” direction in which to point your carry pistol(s) when you’re not on a shooting range that features a designated backstop, one needs to be careful! 

Often, we must handle our guns (that are with us constantly) when we’re not on a range. 

For one, I need to handle guns when at home, but also when in hotel rooms, even airport restrooms, far from home and far from a shooting range. 

I have no choice! My gun(s) need to be handled by me, then and there, in order to get them into a required place and condition. 

While a UD is unlikely when modern guns are handled correctly, muzzles must be nevertheless continuously directed in a relatively safe direction, so that when there is a UD, it will result in property damage only (not to mention embarrassment), but unlikely to result in personal injury. 

I use and recommend a product called “Safe Direction,” a kevlar pad that can be discreetly carried and used to literally “manufacture” a safe direction at which to point your pistol anywhere you find yourself. I’ve shot (during tests) dozens of Safe Direction Pads with many different pistols and many different brands of service ammunition, and none has ever been penetrated. They enjoy my complete confidence! 

They’re available at https://ravelingroup.com/product/safe-direction-academy-pad/ 

However, when you otherwise find yourself in a hotel room, and you need to handle your pistol(s), where can you point it with relative safety? 

I’ve always recommended: 

  1. The toilet bowel 
  2. The air conditioner 

Neither are likely to be through-and-through penetrated by most pistol bullets. And, even when a bullet manages to get all the way through, coming out the other side it will probably be deformed, likely broken-up, and mostly exhausted in any event.

Earlier this month, in FL, I got a chance to test that theory! One of my Instructors brought an orthodox porcelain toilet to our outdoor range, so that we could actually shoot it! We filled the bowel with water and put the lid down. I stood in front of it a shot a single round into the lid at a downward angle, toward the rear of the toilet. 

I used my Shadow Systems MR92, which is similar to a G19. The round used for this test was a Supervel +p 9mm 115gr SCHP (Solid Copper Hollow Point). Velocity is listed at 1250f/s, and I’m confident that listed velocity is correct. The bullet went through the lid, through the water, through the first layer of porcelain. It shattered the second layer of porcelain, but did not come out the other side. 

The toilet was completely destroyed! The bullet was ultimately contained, but it penetrated further and did far more damage than I expected! 

So, my advice with regard to using toilets as make-do pistol backstops is valid, but you’ll predictably make a colossal mess when the unexpected happens! 

You’re far better-off with a Safe Direction Pad! 

“There is only one kind of shock worse than the totally unexpected:

The expected, for which you’ve refused to prepare.” 

Mary Renault