How thick does a piece of metal need to be in order to stop a handgun bullet?


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pax
April 28, 2007, 11:23 AM
How thick does a piece of metal need to be in order to realiably stop a handgun bullet?

(Doesn't matter if the metal surface is damaged beyond repair in the process.)

pax

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never_retreat
April 28, 2007, 11:25 AM
A 1/4 mild steel will stop and handgun round I've seen. But I havet tried th 5.7 yet.:D

shooter503
April 28, 2007, 11:33 AM
Depends greatly on the angle of impact. 3/16 mild steel will deflect 9mm and 40S&W without a significant dent when placed at 45 degrees. With 1/10 thickness an FMJ 9mm will penetrate at 90 degrees so you need about 3/16 of steel to protect against 9mm FMJ. This would permit significant denting.

bogie
April 28, 2007, 11:33 AM
Depends on the round.

It's really a matter of sectional density x velocity.

You're gonna have a hard time welding all that stuff into the front of the bus.

ptmmatssc
April 28, 2007, 11:38 AM
Hmm , not sure , but do know my CZs have gone through 1/4 " thick spinners . So far , they have been the ones with the most penetration . Whatever you use , if it will stop a CZ round , should stop pretty much anything (excluding possibly 5.7) .

Archer1945
April 28, 2007, 12:42 PM
It all depends on the metal and the bullet. Probably take close to an inch of aluminum to stop most handgun rounds. Around half that for anything other than the very mildest forms of steel and titanium about half the thickness of steel and maybe even less. There are some grades of steel that even in 1/4" thickness would be hard for most handguns to punch thru. As shooter503 says it also depends on the angle at which the bullet hits. The closer to a right angle the thicker the material will have to be. Even glass at an acute angle will do a pretty good job of deflecting most handgun rounds, as long as the bullet does not have a relatively sharp edge to it. What made the Black Talons so good was the saw-tooth edge which enabled the bullet to actually have something of a cutting action to it because of the spin. Without this edge most bullets will deflect before they are able to bite into the material. The exceptions are metal-piercing and pointed FMJ and this is because they are either stronger than the material or have a small point which magnifies the force with which they hit the material.

General Geoff
April 28, 2007, 01:20 PM
For "normal" handgun rounds (no 5.7mm, .460S&W, or the like), 1/4" high strength steel should suffice, or 5/8" mild steel.

Other metals could vary that figure wildly.

Rembrandt
April 28, 2007, 02:38 PM
During the first gulf war these shirt pocket Bibles were the hot item....inside cover was reinforced with a piece of stainless steel. Always wondered if it saved anyones life.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Img_5946.jpg

Ben Shepherd
April 28, 2007, 02:41 PM
Pax, that's very subjective. It really depends on the round.

38 special 158gr wadcutter at 800 fps? Doesn't take much.

But say, a tough jacketed 158 out of a 357 max at nearly 2,000 fps? WHOLE different animal.

From my informal testing:

If you want penetration on a hard target, velocity is the key. And even then, the projectiles profile makes a BIG difference.

Cesiumsponge
April 28, 2007, 06:26 PM
You can get a bit more resistance out of it if the steel is hardened to be more resilient to damage, but not to the point of being brittle, assuming its steel. The original post uses the word "metal", so it could be titanium, aluminum, steel, etc. I assume we're going to be talking about steel though.

CNYCacher
April 28, 2007, 06:33 PM
How thick does a piece of metal need to be in order to realiably stop a handgun bullet?

It depends on how much duct tape you use to stick it to your back :evil:
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Sorry, pax :D

doubleg
April 28, 2007, 06:48 PM
Not very.. A small peice of fire wood will stop a .45 acp bullet dead in its tracks. I remember playing around in the woods with a 5" barreled tec-9 shooting hot 9mm at a 4 or 5 mm thick sheet of metal and it didn't make it through.

rugerman
April 28, 2007, 08:56 PM
Depends on a lot of factors, the metal, the caliber (larger bullets at low velocity vs smaller at high velocity) and what the bullet is made of and the angle of the shot. Long ago the french made a bullet called the arcane (sp) that was made of bronze and turned to a very sharp profile, due to its light weight and sharp point even a 38 from a snubbie would penitrate car doors and that was back when car doors were made of real metal. rugerman

cheygriz
April 28, 2007, 10:06 PM
It depends on the type of steel, and the hardness more than just the thickness. Some 1/4 inch steel will not stop .38 special lead, other 1/4 inch steel will stop +P+ 9MM FMJ.

Steel target makers websites will normally tell you the type and hardness of the steel, and what range of calibers and type of bullets it was engineered to stop.

My "Duelling Tree" target will stop any handgun round up to and including .44 Magnum, if the ammo is not "armor piercing." For twice the price, and weight:( I could have had a target that will stop 7.62X51 NATO ball.

If the maker does not provide this info, assume it is .22LR only.

TallPine
April 28, 2007, 10:56 PM
Are you planning on wearing it underneath your poncho ...????

;)

hso
April 28, 2007, 11:22 PM
You'll need to define which metal you're asking about and the angle of incidence .

Aluminum will require more than an Al alloy which will require more than some steels.

Range backstop armor may have the following specs.

.22 S/LR 1/4" @ 45 3/16" 3/16" @ 30

.38 wadcutter 3/8" @ 45 1/4" 1/4" @ 30

.45 1/2" @ 45 3/8" 3/8" @ 30

5.56mm (M193) 5/8" steel plate 3/8" 3/8" @ 30

w/8" reinforced

concrete

5.56mm (M855) 1" hardened steel armor plate 1" armor plate

plate permanently @ 30

affixed to backstop

w/1" armor plate facing

The-Fly
April 28, 2007, 11:55 PM
Probably wont help you, but i've found that in informal testing, computer hard drives will stop anything short of a 357 mag :evil:

tank mechanic
April 29, 2007, 12:17 AM
But say, a tough jacketed 158 out of a 357 max at nearly 2,000 fps?

Hey Ben Shepherd, where does one get some of those rounds?:D

MinnMooney
April 29, 2007, 12:35 AM
It all depends on *** WHICH SIDE of the piece of steel you're on!!!
If I'm on the gun side, who cares.
If I'm on the other side, 27" of stainless steel in front of a 6 ft. dirt berm would suffice...... I think.

Jim Watson
April 29, 2007, 10:22 AM
We have been shooting at a set of 5/16" scrapyard steel Pepper Poppers for some time. They are a bit dinged up and have to be reversed every once in a while to pound them flat, but they have not been penetrated by any pistol caliber used in IPSC or IDPA.

the naked prophet
April 29, 2007, 06:13 PM
I shot some .38 standard pressure 158 grain soft lead semiwadcutters through a 3/16" steel plate. It was fairly mild steel, from I think a 55 gal drum. Oddly thick for a drum though, and as small as it was it was very heavy, impractical for any sort of armor.

gyp_c2
April 29, 2007, 08:10 PM
Quote:
But say, a tough jacketed 158 out of a 357 max at nearly 2,000 fps?

Hey Ben Shepherd, where does one get some of those rounds?



...better question...where do ya' get the handgun that will hold together shooting it!!!

Deer Hunter
April 29, 2007, 08:16 PM
Ruger Blackhawk with 8" barrel (or so) chambered in .357 Max could easily be handloaded to reach that velocity.

inkhead
April 29, 2007, 08:23 PM
A can't even imagine having a steel plate on your chest and having it get shot. The energy spreading across would be enough to crack all your ribs I would think.

i'd be curious to see someone do a test with a dummy.

351 WINCHESTER
April 29, 2007, 09:06 PM
I was in a gunshop some years ago and they had a piece of metal plate (don't remember the thickness or quality, but they had fired .308fmj, 5.56, and other high velocity rounds. The only thing that penetrated was, of all things, a .50 muzzeloader with a t/c lead bullet - go figure.

carnaby
April 29, 2007, 09:45 PM
Also, you just say "metal." If something soft and light, like aluminum, then you'll need significantly more material to stop a bullet.

Lucky
April 29, 2007, 10:32 PM
A can't even imagine having a steel plate on your chest and having it get shot. The energy spreading across would be enough to crack all your ribs I would think.

I kind of disagree. In a pistol the bullet accelerates in a short distance, most of the acceleration in the first couple inches. When hitting a fixed target it would decellerate immediately, but on a human there would be some give, just an inch or so but enough to be roughly equivalent for a thought experiment.

Professional boxers can provide far more energy in a punch than most handguns humans can fire, if you cound momentum. Ergo if a Mike Tyson punch doesn't break your ribs, neither would a .44 hitting a steel plate attached to your ribs.

And it makes sense, because if you can fire a bullet from a handgun that means the muzzle energy must be something you can control, and a steel plate weighs more than a pistol and has more surface area than a pistol grip. So any bullet would break the shooter's hands before it started breaking the target's ribs, through a plate.

Axman
April 29, 2007, 10:59 PM
Hey, if it's a .44 Magnum that plate would have to be as thick as the engine block in a truck!!! :what: :evil: :D

evan price
April 29, 2007, 11:27 PM
I can say for certain that:

6.5x55 Swedish Mauser will go completely THROUGH & THROUGH a standard empty residential water heater.

.22LR will not penetrate through the door of a standard residential dishwasher with a sheetmetal plate behind the two layers of plastic and one thin aluminum sheet on top.

A 27" commercial-grade TV tube will bounce a lead soft nose .22LR if anything but straight on.

A 9mm will punch through a 27" commercial TV tube but not exit the back.
A .45 will also punch through the same TV tube but not exit the TV case.

.357 will go right through a 19" CRT monitor with enough force to also penetrate the outer skin of a residential water heater but not the tank.

12-ga birdshot will not penetrate through-and-through a standard HP printer.

.38-sp will not penetrate through a 60gig hard drive. Neither will 9mm or .45ACP.

.44MAG will go through a 40gig IDE hard drive with enough force to also go through the tower case and the power supply.

7.62x39 will penetrate standard highway guardrail.

8mm Mauser will penetrate nearly 12" into solid wood.

7.62x51 from a FAL will shoot LONGWISE 24" through a standard pine 2x4.

When people who collect junk and guns get bored it's easy to connect the two with a bullet.

Sven
April 29, 2007, 11:57 PM
Me wonders if Pax is part of this project:

http://www.modders-inc.com/ftopic-1227-days0-orderasc-0.html

:)

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