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Discussion Starter #1
I have been thinking about fortifications in my BOL. I have a rural location, but it does not have a dedicated area for self-defense that is fortified.

It would be very expensive to retrofit using traditional construction techniques (steel reinforced concrete, etc.) so I came up with an alternative approach.

I am thinking about using AR-500 abrasion resistant "bulletproof" steel plates to construct an area where we could safely hold out under a sustained attack.

AR-500 steel is what metal targets are made from -- they can withstand most commercially available rounds, which is all I am concerned with. My reasoning is I doubt we will face someone who shows up with a .50 cal and if we do, it will withstand the first shot, which gives us time to make a move to evade and escape.
Someone with armor piercing Raufoss Mk211 rounds means the military has shown up, and the chances of facing that are not seriously worth contemplating.

I am thinking a series of emplacements, constructed of cast-in-place concrete reinforced with rebar, and a 4 foot by 4 foot plate of 1/2" AR-500 steel plate, would be a safe place to fall back to and return fire, if faced with a band of marauders, or worse. I checked on availability and pricing, and these plates can be purchased for $650 plus freight, which seems expensive, until you start thinking about what your life and the lives of your loved ones are worth.

I understand a position can be overrun, fire is a risk, but I am concerned primarily with firearms and commercially available civilian-legal ammo. I have land that I can build on.

So I thought I would ask others on this forum what they think, hopefully based on military experience with defensive armor plating, but other thoughts are also welcome.

What do you think - worth it, or would an earthen foxhole or similar revetment structure work just as well? Serious input would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Something I think may be worth looking at would be the Napoleonic era defences that where built around the major port cities here in the UK. Now I do understand that you will not be able to build the same scale or at the same level of complexity BUT the basic elements and theory behind the quite radical change in the way fortifications where being guilt at that time may provide you with some ideas for constructing a practical redoubt to fall back too that will provide you with cover and a degree of concealment in a position that is moderately easy to overlook if your attackers are not expecting it.
 

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The specific type of fortification I am referring to is the Polygonal fort as this was the early and fairly effective response to higher velocity fire and explosive shells.

I say 'fairly effective' because no fortification can be 'totally effective' just because there are always weak points and always a limit to the volume of supplies that can be housed within a fortification.

One of the BIG advantages of the Polygonal fort profile is that on the small scale the main ditch and rampart can with care in placement resemble a low hummock on the ground surface that you dont realise is a fortification until you are WELL within its killing area and even that the ditch is out of sight from the ground until you are almost on to of the outer edge.
 

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Strategy 1 - Keep them away

Look at how much of a burden the hedge rows of Europe were to the armored tanks of the time. Sure tanks have come a long way and you don't have 300 years to grow hedges, but then I'd guess if you were facing a threat on that level they'd just as soon JDAM your butt from above. You can grow hedges that will certainly stop modern wheeled vehicles - especially if there are steel posts hidden with in the hedges like you saw on the beaches of Normandy. Hell - even tree stumps have penetrated Jeep floor boards and I was in a Ford Ranger that had a 4x4 fence post driven through the bed and into the cab. Hedges also provide privacy and camouflage.

Strategy 2 - Keep them Out

Windows that are small enough people can't get into them or are high enough people can't get TO them are a benefit. If you still like natural light and air flow just use more windows that are small rather than one large panoramic window. Strong glass is a must - bullet resistant if you can afford it. Then the doors need to be steel and STEEL DOOR JAMBS! I emphasize that because most of your door jambs are cheeeeeep pine wood that is made of 6" pieces of scrap that get finger jointed. Sure they will last on your home for 50 or even 75 years, but one swift kick and they are TOAST. Multiple deadbolts at the corners and the middle (traditional spot) on the door. Security doors and vestibules add layers of door protection, so do bars on the windows.

Strategy 3 - Stop them in their tracks!

This can be done both inside and out. Any obstacle that causes them to slow down and bunch up gives you a kill zone. Especially if you pre-range that target in. Things like narrow entries create a funnel effect where your aggressors can not fight from but you have a clear sight to the advancing threat. Small windows help here too. Also - look at the trenches the Germans built - they zig zagged. This deflects blast and gives you a fall back. Make your house the same way.

Strategy 4 - GET OUT. This is where basements and escape hatches come in and that is the HARDEST thing to engineer because it largely depends on budget and your environment.
 

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I think that there are far too many people on this and most other sites planning on getting in gunfight after gunfight to "protect" their bol.'s Wouldn't it be better to avoid all those fights just by not being found in the first place ? My idea of a good bol is to have something that is NOT visable in the first place. Let's say you buy a 40' containter, dig a hole in the side of a hill, insert said container, rebar and concrete reenforce it and then plant bushes etc in the front area to conceal the entrance. Don't you think that would be better then just living in your house on the side of the hill ? Avoid confrontation if at all possible. You will in the end lose.
 

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You have cover and concealment. Cover provide protection concealment hides and avoids detection. It takes about 18 inches of packed dirt to stop most rounds. Know how to move on your land take advantage of the terrain to move around without being a target.
Simple hidden pit that you can stand in provide a great place to defend from . You should have them mapped out and know direction and distance to every one both so you can find them and if a BG gets in one you can target them easier.
Range cards made out 360 degrees from your location to as far as you can see. The hardest part of a long shot is range estimation Range cards fix that . Also have know points marked on the range card give a reference if you need to point others in that direction.
Two basic types of coverage sector of fire and in-depth. In sector of fire each weapon has a sector to cover over lapping the ones on each side. The position covers as far as they can shoot.
Works well when area to cover is well with in both weapon and shooters ability. In depth weapons are assigned ranges to cover. Example those with AK cover 0 to 200 meters, Ar 200-450 meters.
Those with the 308's and bolt action rifles 450 to limits. This method makes the best use of different weapon and shooters abilities.
Best case you have an aggressor carrying a shorter range weapon and you use your long range shooters to stop them before they can even hit you. Called stand off range.
Next you need a final line of defense, that is the line that all weapons and put into play the point they must not be allowed to cross.
Natural barriers and early warning throned bushes are hard to work your way though it will slow BG's down. Simple item such as soda cans with rocks in them on string will alert you to approaches.
Have cans that make different sounds in each general direction.
Dogs....they may not be super man but they can let you know something is not right, they can provide a diversion.
Yes avoid a conflict if possible, but the fight will come to you at one time of another be ready.
With out security there is no survival
 

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Hell my plans for a BOL are for it to be remote and not easy to get to if you dont know the route BUT on that site there will be both the main 'camp' AND a concealed yet fortified position just in case.

Yes concealment is the FIRST line of defence but I still want a fall back thats set up as a killing machine in the event of intruders being of sufficient numbers that I cant kill them all from the comfort of the main camp.
 

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If your BOL is remote (mine is very remote incl a minimum 2 hr drive from nearest real town) the idea of trucking in tons of steel just isn't practical. I can, however, take in some 2x4 and 4x4s along with about 288 empty sand bags each trip. The sand bads are filled with my own labor and cover 9 inches in height, 7-8 inches of thickness, and 22-23 inches in length. If I lay 10 down in a row it's 7.5 feet of length. So building walls is pretty easy and if I double them up for wall thickness my 7.62 x 39 is stopped at a very short range.. This isn't just good ballistic defense it's good insulation, about the most affordable option there is, and since I also dig to fill the bags a gain a few safe inches inside below the bag line. You can, if you want, stucco the exterior for looks, and you wouldn't even know its a sand bag wall.

This makes building easy, but a good BOL must include evasion tactics to move on and absndon the shelter. I have at least two ways to leave the main residence to secondary locations and easy to set up booby traps and ambushes in case I'm followed. My wife does not care if the secondary locations are stuccoed for appearance , but using sand bags I am creating reasonable shelter there as well. Bags in bulk run about .50 each.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This thread has generated some great responses, so many thanks to all of you who have responded so far. Excellent thinking on the subject by all.

Ballistic steel plate is expensive and heavy (a 4' x 4' sheet 1/2" thick weighs over 850 pounds). I was able to talk with a couple of engineers with military experience about my ideas, and they thought the concept of forward-placed defensive outposts (mini-pillbox was what one coined the idea as) was very sound - hold the forward position for as long as you can, fall back to the next (where resupply is available), defend, fall back, repeat, etc. They felt this would be very workable against "foreseeable civilian threats using commercially available small arms." They suggested using steel plate at the last fortified position, as a "final stand" reinforcement inside the fortified structure, shielding the last escape opening, so it could be held while everyone else retreats to safety while a two-man team holds the final stand position. This was based on cost and weight of material.

They showed me some field bunker designs they had learned or had faced that are earthen designs, and said Smitty's idea of a simple hidden pit, coupled with Ripon's double walled sand bags (four layers were preferred) would be very workable and combat-proven sound designs. They helped me develop a very safe system for defensive structures that can be abandoned if we face being overrun, and would be hidden from view until the last minute. Cost me a steak dinner for their advice, but it was well worth it to learn what they had to offer.
 

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If your structure walls are sound and sturdy, I would seriously look at earth berming around areas you will be hunkering down in and taking up defensive positions.

Its an exceptionally cheap material, easy to work with and will stop all small arms ammunition and lower tiered shoulder fired munitions. Additionally it has insulating properties keeping things warmer when its cold out and cooler when its hot out. Vegitation can be grown on the berm to provide shelter from the wind and sun in addition to making the berm more durable and less suseptable to erosion as well as concealment from prying eyes.

This is what I did when I finished building my cinder block structure that I intend to use for accommodations if I bug out. After water proofing the exterior, I used a bob cat to scoop up the sand/silt from the lake bottom as water receeded. This did a couple of things for me. First it gave me some soil to do the earth berming with that is fairly well draining and wont hold too much moisture. This makes for a dry exterior wall and minimal sweating and condensation inside. It still holds enough moisture to grow black berry brambles though. It also gave me access along the lake to deeper water when the spring rains returned and filled the lake back up to capacity. All it cost me was time and a bob cat rental and delivery. It was still cheaper than having dirt brought in.

I agree that having forward looking observation post (pill boxes) would be the path of least resistance. It would allow you to extend your perimeter of control and put a buffer zone between your main structures and any "fighting" that may take place. It also allows you to layer your defenses too!
 

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What type of assault are you planning to get ? If its the government you will lose. eventually you will starve out, or they will just flatten the whole place with you in it. Modern warfare made fortifications useless. The secret to protecting you're self and family is to hide,evade, flee. You would be better off spending that money on weapons/food/supply caches strategically located where you can move out as the threat comes. No matter how nice you're weapons, how much munitions, or how badass you think you are, you will lose if you sit it out where they know you are.
 

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You might also consider a conceled under ground bunker for a reasonable period of time, and in particular one that is some distance from your main home
and where no one would look. I'm thinking about it if our compressed earth bricks are sturdy enough but don't know yet how they will hold up.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The question I posed was about temporary abandonable (if that is a word) above-ground shelters that would withstand gunfire while a retreat/rear guard action from an area could be undertaken and completed.

Not worried about taking on government or military forces - this is for stopping people aiming to raid BOLs until law and order can be restored.

I have completely ruled out bunkers - as a result of watching a segment on flamethrowers used against Japanese and Vietnamese bunkers - bad way to die....

I actually came up with a design that will work pretty well, I think. I would describe it, but I may open a business selling these, using the design, I like it so well.
 

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OK, To stop a 223 is relatively easy, a 7.62x39 is about the same but for 308 or 3006 you will need almost double this:

3/4" plywood screwed to 2x6s on end on 24" centers and another 3/4" plywood on the opposite side and fill the 5 1/2" voids with sand.
For the heavier rounds use a 3/4" plywood with 2x6s screwed on both sides on 24" centers with an offset from side to side of 12". Then put another 3/4" plywood on each side so you end up with 3 pieces of 3/4" plywood separated by two rows of 2x6s each offset the 12". Fill the voids between the 2x6s with sand. That will stop any hunting round even from the 3006. Solid wooden walls 24" thick would not provide the protection that these 12" walls will.
The one layer walls are only 7 inches thick but will stop most handun and 223 rounds.
You can build them with slots for shooting from but keep them as narrow as you can and still get your muzzle at the angles you need.
If you build walls that baffle the area it might help predict where the enemy will come from and as long as the baffle walls look the same but are hollow you can shoot through them. They will expect to be able to shoot through your walls too. Its a bit like playing chess and setting up what looks like good moves that are not at all good for your opponent.
 

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It sort of defeats the purpose for me to reveal my shelter info none the less I'll share my pipe dream with you

I can't exactly act on it due to potential legal issues however it could be done if I kept my mouth shut. The municipality in this small town replaced the sewer systems in these parts... so the old sewage and drainage system is still in place, and connected to my basement, basically storm sewers.. so I think I would need to do is sump pump the thing out and I already have an excavation tunnel, through the old storm drain system only problem is the hole is a little tight only about 2 feet in diameter... it goes underneath my basement.. so it seems the ideal point to tunnel things out, just need to block it off from the city side which goes out 20 or so feet to the road. Since it stopped being used due to flood risk, all that needs to be done is to widen and reinforce, it line it with a water tight material of some sort and reinforce it, and I think it would make a fairly simple shelter to get going since it is already tunneled out. also an airlock of some sort, with a water filter attached would provide a water resevoir via the old storm drain system.

What I need for this project is something to break the concrete around the hole to the old storm drain so I can make it wider to give me "easier" access, it is concrete foundation, that is old and has already cracked in places. A hand operate sump pump to drain the storm sewer.... then it is a matter of reinforcing the already existing storm sewer and water proofing it. Although my location is almost negligible for any type of attack other than conventional bomb, as far as the project it is something to do, as it can probably be used as a well if it is extended further underground.

Plus the thing is constantly full of water that is getting stagnant and feeds mold production in the basement and needs to be drained anyway. This is a good easy conversion. Note the sewer system was upgraded a little less than 10 years ago so the old system was abandoned as it was prone to flooding.

This is definatley one of those, probably not legal to do catagory.

The municipality actually wants the old system disconnected from the new system so it would actually help the municipality in that regard.

It would actually connect to quite a large tunnel system that already exists too..

Old storm drain and sewer system make a pretty easy shelter if you can cut off a section of it and seal it off for water. You can even have the storm water system go underneath any shelter made... just like Ghaddafi :)


this is in the not going to happen any time soon catagory... put cleaning the hole will be on my list of to do, as it is quite old standing water.
 

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I purchased 1000 OD sandbags on eBay for about $250 and put them in storage. When needed I can fill them and stack 4 deep around windows that give me the best fields of fire.
My home sits in the middle of a 40 acre plot and is very open, mostly pasture land with a moderate slope. The farthest I can see and shoot is about 250-300 yards so my defense is the take them as they try and cover the open land to my home.
I think the sand bags not only give adequate protection but are much cheaper than the metal plates. If you go with the metal try and set up "V"'s rather than flat on shots, you could probably deflect a .50 if the angle was 45 degrees.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I watched a .50 cal blow through sand bags like they weren't even there, just shredded the bags and sent sand flying in every direction.

I agree the metal would potentially deflect rounds, but controlling the shooters' angles would be very challenging.

My design solves this by being below grade. After conferring with a bunch of military guys over numerous beers, it seems like the only way....
 

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The fastest way to stop a 50 BMG round is with 6 to 8 feet of water, over six inches of armor, or 8 feet of earth.
 
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I wonder how strong an inducted magnetic field would need to be to deflect steel, copper and lead?

I know for steel that a super powerful magnet would likely be able to deflect it but how to magnetize copper .. I would think this would be possible through some sort of electric feild to magnetize the rounds and then use the magnet to deflect them. It could also jam weapons made of steel, push them away or with a reverse feild act as a junk yard magnet to have the guns come to you. Imagine a perimter where any thing ferro metal got stuck to it or didn't work properly, jammed etc...

I would geuss that steel guns would be inoperable but aluminum titanium etc.. would be ok.

apparently a lot of US army guns use steel...

imagine someone in steel carbon plate geting thrown back with massive force or have their armored have them fly into a wall.

mini version


new take on a metal detector.. :)

or how about inducing a current in anything metal through creating a copper loops around someone :)

or a very large inductive coil.

or a battery of magnetron cannons salvaged from old microwaves :)


I'm currious how adding a reflective satalite dish to a magnetron could create an even more precise beam.

Or how about a "decontamination room "with a foot of water able to have DC run through it, or through the shower system :) water electric fence :)

1200 volts DC of amusement park fun :)

how many of you got waiters and umbrella in your prepping list or BOB?

There is also the 200db sound defence and the high power infared point defence, can shoot you if they can't see.


:)

just imagine a super magnet in the decontamination shower room floor :)

active denial DIYs

 
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