How armored vehicles stop bullets

Originally published at:


I remember a bunch of us doing this ~30 years ago. The range we were using wasn’t one where we could shoot modern rifles, but we put a bunch of 9mm into the glass. Eventually there would have been enough lead in there to obscure vision, but we were never going to go through. You could really see how the bullets got trapped in one of the soft layers of the composite. We also shot one round from a (.55 cal?) black powder rifle. it bowed the back a little bit but that was it.


That was neat but:

  1. They should have tested to failure, like shoot the rifle at the pistol rated glass. Or keep shooting the rifle rated glass until failure. I don’t think where they tested the panels they could do that, though.

  2. Three words: Need Moar Slow-mo.

  3. I wanted to know more about the panels. I assumed it was something like AR500 steel in those cars. This must be some sort of composite. Is it similar to the ceramic plates in body armor?



These all must be for export to libertarian hinterlands; that “awesome” and “hilarious” nail-releasing feature could only be tolerated there. Also, I think its a pretty bad UI design when a switch that can cause all the cars behind you to veer out of control and crash is unprotected and located right next to the fog lights:

Personally, I’d go with something like this:

Yes, but that doesn’t make his sponsor, Armormax®, look very good then, does it? Much better to keep emphasizing how none of the bullets ever penetrated.

1 Like

album name


I suspect that it varies by vendor; but some use approximately the closest thing available to transparent aluminum; in a ceramic flavor. No demonstration of whale containment available; but It’s probably up to the job.

1 Like

Speaking of armored cars and terrible UI design; my vote is for BAE Systems: up-armored an SUV and neglected to disable the ‘unlock doors when in park’ behavior.


Bullets proof glasses may protect.

Billions Above Estimate, and stuff that actually works as intended still costs extra.

Seems legalistic to say the video wasn’t sponsored. Perhaps it wasn’t paid but those materials clearly are not cheap.

I imagine such things are for war torn areas where vehicles getting shot 100 times is a possibility. Not something you would want to use (or probably even legal) on a US highway.

I have to agree toggle switches are cooler.

Fair point, but it is fairly clear that the glass can handle ABOVE it’s rating, and if the guy spread it out some, you would have had an astonishingly large number before failure probably. But I guess there are other places that have done that.

Cool. I wonder if it is light enough to make a more or less armored suit?

Its stated density (3.66g/cm3) is half to a trifle less than half, depending on alloy, of steel, which seems like it’s off to a decent start on that score. The trouble would be whether that’s better-enough than the improvements the opposition has made.

Per our wiki overlords, plate armor for jousting(mobility requirements limited, desire to not die in sport accident considerable) could reach 50kg; with actually-useful armor less than that because you have to stab the other guy at some point. The datasheet says that STANAG 4569 level 1 protection requires 3.1cm of the material at 57kg/m2; which blows our entire weight budget; and apparently the surface area of an ‘average’ adult male is more like 1.9m2; which really blows our weight budget; even if we assume that the armor doesn’t conform fully and/or the user is on the small but brawny side.

I’m guessing that this is why, even if you can afford the ‘price not listed because it’s 1.5x that of happiness’ part, ballistic protection at levels above that provided by fiber is reserved for critical areas only.

All that said, a suit of armor that appears to be made of glass but has vastly greater durability would be a pretty cool effect; though I don’t even want to know how much extra it costs to get the stuff fabricated in specialty shapes; and you can’t just heat it up and hammer it to shape at ye olde smithye.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.