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How well does the bulletproof windshield of an armored car hold up?

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Two of my buddies & I aquired an old, full size windshield pane from the armored truck company we worked for. It was approximately 6' wide, 2 1/2' to 3' tall and a good 2" thick. Since I had a hell of a time trying to rescue it from the dumpster on my own (thanx for the help guys) I believe it weighed in aroud 150 - 200 lbs. We fired at it from about 20' away at an angle of approximately 10-15 degrees back and approximately 5-10 degrees to the side. In real life we would probabaly not have an attacker fire point-blank from dead ahead as that would mean they were on the hood of the truck. We didn't want to worry about ricochet (or back-blast) either. We had it leaned back against a solid rebar post so I figure with the solid backstop and the sheer weight of the pane itself, it would closely simulate properties as if it were actually installed in the truck.

The arsenal -- To see what all types of calibers would do, we brought a bunch of stuff with us... My .22 Walther P-22, a S&W .38 revolver, a Glock 9mm, a Sig .40 and my Taurus .45 comprised the hand-cannons. The long guns were a 12 gauge shotgun (chambered with a 3"magnum slug), .50cal black-powder rifle, a 7.62X39 AK-47, a Mini-14 in .223 and my Ruger R1 in my alltime favorite varmint round .220 Swift.

We started from low to high to see what would be first to penetrate. When we fired each shot, we made sure we hit far enough away from the previous shots to ensure a fair and untainted result. Before I send you more pics - any guesses as to which went through? Remember - only slight angle and shot from only 20' away...

This shows a good .22 vs. .45 comparison. hmmm...what do I want to use on a bad guy?

This is the .40cal shot with the .38 partially visible to the left in the same photo.

The .22 left an annoying 'star' mark on the glass but nothing to worry about - as expected. The .38, 9mm, .40 & .45 all penetrated approximately 1/4" (2 layers as best we could make out) but the .45 (& .45+P) made a noticeable larger overall impact - as expected. We thought the following shot was a shoe-in; a .223 AP ball round. Anyone eagle-eyed enough might have seen the 2 green-tipped rounds on the table in the handgun spread pic. (that's "AP" as in armored-piercing - don't ask, I plead the 5th) This penetrated only about 1/2" to 5/8", barely better than EVERY other round except one...

My .220 Swift did the most damage! It penetrated about the same or slightly better than the .223AP but if you look closely and compare...you can see every other round chipped out multiple layers of glass and left a small 1" to 2" 'crater' while leaving a cracked surrounding area. The .220 did about the same except that the central 'crater' area was completely pulverized...all the way through to the back side where it was the ONLY round to force a bulge out the back. Sorry AK fans, the best she did was tie the regular .223 round.

So to the surprise of all involved, nothing we brought with us was capable of single-shot penetration. We never thought we would have needed the .308! This was great news for us as armored-truck personnel but frustrating as we had no 'breaking point' data as mad scientists for the day. This is when I took a walk over to the other side of the range where we could hear other people shooting but never saw them because the berm was in the way. I told the guys I was going to see if someone else might have something that would punch through. As soon as I came around the berm & saw who it was, I immediately spun around & walked back. "What's wrong?" they asked. When I told them that on the other side stood most of the Wareham, Mass police dept. They understood why I didn't want to bother them! On a side note, as we cleaned up our mess and started to leave we then saw the sign that we weren't supposed to shoot at any glass or metal targets - oops.

Lessons learned...
1. The armored windshield glass will stop almost any bullet from hitting you but if it's anything bigger than a .45 you're going to wish you were dead anyway. The amount of shattered glass particles that flies off the backside is scary. Just imagine all that shite cutting into your face & eyes, not to mention breathing it in too.
2. On the plus side, the amount of glass back-blast particles (& bullet ricochet fragments) whipping back at the shooter was also substantial. Any bad guy getting too close while trying to rob the truck is going to end up blind and bleeding himself.
3. Once a 4th shot was put into a 3" grouping, the bullet would finally penetrate - but you'd have to have one calm, cool and slow-progressing robbery to have a bad guy successfully pull off that grouping.
4. Even though the .50cal blackpowder and 3" magnum 12 gauge rounds are huge and make a big heavy hit - it was the tiny .220 Swift moving at 4,200fps that won 'deadliest round' honors for this test.

Let me know what you think. Please feel free to edit & post the pics - my buddies would love to see them up, especially Steve who's on active Coast Guard duty down in Gitmo as we speak. -- Jeff

ERNIE CAM

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