would a manhole cover stop a .50BMG round?


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General Geoff
February 12, 2008, 02:58 AM
I know, strange hypothetical, but I was having a conversation about stolen manhole covers (I know, ***?) with a guy online, and it dawned on me that a manhole cover would probably make a pretty stout shooting target (for long range). Then it got me wondering what, if anything, would penetrate such a thing.


Figure a standard manhole weighs between 100 and 150lbs, and is made of cast iron (if someone in the know, knows differently, by all means please correct me). Would it stop a standard FMJ .50BMG round? How about an AP round?

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Regolith
February 12, 2008, 03:04 AM
Probably not. Definitely wouldn't stop an AP round, and I'm guessing the manhole cover wouldn't fair much better against a FMJ, either.

I've seen BTHP rounds from a .308 Win penetrate a 1/4" of steel. Manhole covers are what? 1/2"? 1"? Not going to stop a .50.

General Geoff
February 12, 2008, 03:04 AM
Man hole covers are several inches thick in places.

mattw
February 12, 2008, 03:05 AM
Generally I would day a .50 BMG would not have a problem making it through a manhole cover. But I am not aware of any man hole cover standardization, so there maybe someone out there using 5" thick hardened steel sewer covers, In which case I'd question it.

Snapping Twig
February 12, 2008, 03:06 AM
AP is armor piercing and armor looks like steel, but it's stronger, so my guess would be...like butter.

MAKOwner
February 12, 2008, 03:09 AM
Nope: http://www.yourdailymedia.com/media/1120561824

General Geoff
February 12, 2008, 03:09 AM
armor is typically a hardened steel. Iron is harder than almost any steel (more brittle, less flexible).


edit; MAKowner, that video was highly informative. They were using Tungsten carbide rounds (highly armor-piercing) for that. So the answer for AP is a resounding yes. How about standard FMJ though? It looks like the manhole cover put up quite a bit of resistance against even the tungsten carbide round, and I'm not sure if a standard round would have gone through..

Dionysusigma
February 12, 2008, 06:12 AM
What about in a role of deflection?

wayne in boca
February 12, 2008, 06:29 AM
The standard manhole covers for roadways are an average of 2" thick,a little more in the center,and weigh a minimum of 185 pounds.But cast-in lettering makes some areas thinner than others.Mostly made from old brake drums,or whatever else falls in the melting pot,so the materials can vary quite a bit.They would probably shatter if hit with a .50 BMG ,because they tend toward brittleness.Wouldn't want to be standing near one when it took the hit,that's for sure.

dmftoy1
February 12, 2008, 06:39 AM
made me think of this thread:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=117053

I'd put my money on the .50 BMG

Jim Watson
February 12, 2008, 08:42 AM
I agree with Wayne. It might act like ceramic armor and stop the first one by breaking up both bullet and cast iron manhole cover.
Or it might not, I would rather go down the manhole a few feet.

Omaha-BeenGlockin
February 12, 2008, 09:19 AM
Wasn't the original intent of the .50 BMG as a tank killer in WWI??

If thats the case---I'd say the manhole cover doesn't stand a chance.

alsaqr
February 12, 2008, 09:24 AM
Manhole covers used to be made of cast iron-not sure about the new ones. About 40 years ago I had to retrieve a garbage truck in DC that backed over a 42" manhole cover and it shattered.

AndyC
February 12, 2008, 09:25 AM
That's got me thinking... how much duct-tape would one need to tape a manhole-cover to their back? :D

sniper5
February 12, 2008, 09:28 AM
Depends

What load? What manhole cover?

All armor can be penetrated. All rounds can be stopped.

That's why R & D people and companies exist.

Probably doesn't help, but something to always keep in mind regarding firearms.

bannockburn
February 12, 2008, 09:31 AM
Or how many manhole covers would it take to convert a golf cart to an APC?

1200 meters
February 12, 2008, 09:35 AM
A 50cal BMG will defeat a man hole cover. It may not punch a clean hole but more likely shatter it. Blitz

Wedge
February 12, 2008, 09:49 AM
That's got me thinking... how much duct-tape would one need to tape a manhole-cover to their back?

The problem isn't the duct-tape, it is maneuvering into position with your wheelbarrow while being covered by your wife with the .338 Win-mag H&R single shot.

perpster
February 12, 2008, 09:55 AM
Not if they aim for the holes in the cover.:what:

the naked prophet
February 12, 2008, 11:02 AM
Cast iron is both relatively soft and relatively brittle. .50 BMG will probably break the manhole cover in several pieces.

Ratshooter
February 12, 2008, 11:10 AM
Yes manhole covers are cast iron and they don't weigh anywhere near 185 pounds. I use to remove one on a regular basis when i was a kid to get my Frisbee out of the storm drain.

Cast iron is not malable and shatters when flexed. A 30-06 wil defeat one. I have seen a section of railroad track that had a hole shot through the thinnest part of the web from a 30-06 round and those are made of steel.

If you braced one on its edges you could most likely break a manhole cover with one blow from a center hit made with a sledge hammer.

jlbraun
February 12, 2008, 11:27 AM
I have shot cast iron radiators with a 7.62x39 and it goes right through. Cast iron is brittle.

mrreynolds
February 12, 2008, 11:28 AM
On April 28, 1999, the United States Marine Corps Scout Sniper Schools invited the Democratic minority staff to its training facility in Quantico, Virginia, to see a demonstration of the fifty caliber weapon. During the demonstration, the Marine instructors discussed the destructive power of several fifty-caliber rounds.

They showed how an armor piercing round penetrated one inch thick rolled homogeneous armor found on armored vehicles throughout the world, a three and a half inch thick steel manhole cover, a two inch thick steel track from a tractor, a piece of three quarter inch bullet-resistant glass, and four cinder blocks with three quarter inch walls laid end to end. Finally, a Marine shooter fired multiple shots in rapid succession completely through a six-hundred pound safe.

ckay
February 12, 2008, 11:31 AM
This is the video of what mrreynolds is describing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9lMViBr6d8

MiddleAgedKen
February 12, 2008, 11:41 AM
The problem isn't the duct-tape, it is maneuvering into position with your wheelbarrow while being covered by your wife with the .338 Win-mag H&R single shot.

Wedge, you're not supposed to cross the streams--the whole Internet could explode at the speed of light. ;)

Newton
February 12, 2008, 11:53 AM
But can it achieve at least 12 inches of penetration in ballistic gelatin?

Eightball
February 12, 2008, 01:19 PM
The problem isn't the duct-tape, it is maneuvering into position with your wheelbarrow while being covered by your wife with the .338 Win-mag H&R single shot.Crossbreeding the Mall Ninja and Gunkid could cause a rift in the time-space continuum. I wonder if the manhole cover would fit in his golf-cart, though?

DML2007
February 12, 2008, 01:30 PM
It can be used to maximize the effectiveness of the M2 machine gun (and BMG) in engagement and defeat of lightly armored targets. The M903 SLAP-T (Tungsten) has demonstrated capability to provide greatly increased penetration (2 to 3 times the armor thickness at any given range) over that of ammunition currently fielded. The M962 SLAPT assures the precision of delivery necessary to take full advantage of this capability.


Velocity: 3985 feet per second
Maximum effective range: 4921.5 feet (1500 meters) against 3/4" High Hard Armor (HHA)

DML

Wedge
February 12, 2008, 01:34 PM
Crossbreeding the Mall Ninja and Gunkid could cause a rift in the time-space continuum. I wonder if the manhole cover would fit in his golf-cart, though?

It was the only logical way to create a new ‹bermensch.

I shall call them Ninja-kids.

Quiet
February 12, 2008, 01:41 PM
Figure a standard manhole weighs between 100 and 150lbs, and is made of cast iron (if someone in the know, knows differently, by all means please correct me). Would it stop a standard FMJ .50BMG round? How about an AP round?
From personal experience:
A manhole cover will not stop a .50BMG FMJ round fired from a Barret Model 82A1 at 100 yards.

Ed Ames
February 12, 2008, 01:42 PM
Umm... let's be realistic for a moment: A manhole cover will stop a .50BMG no problem.

Manhole covers range from 22 inches to over 60 inches in diameter. No way a .50BMG is going to pass through even 22 inches of iron, not to mention five feet!

Of course it's a bit of a challenge to hit the covers edge on like that. ;)

:D

Hoppy590
February 12, 2008, 02:16 PM
haha i could care less about manholes. but god darn it

Wedge, you're not supposed to cross the streams--the whole Internet could explode at the speed of light.

Crossbreeding the Mall Ninja and Gunkid could cause a rift in the time-space continuum. I wonder if the manhole cover would fit in his golf-cart, though?

made it worth the read.

manhole covers come in all sizes. all construction types. from iron, steel, iron with concrete fill, and even plastics. all shapes and sizes... in Nashua NH. they have triangular ones in. after spending 20 some years ordering various stuff like that, my dad thought that was the greatest thing ever

KBintheSLC
February 12, 2008, 02:26 PM
I think a 50bmg would likely shatter the rigid molecular composition of a cast iron manhole cover. With mild steel, the flexability of the material would hold it together, and would likely result in a simple hole. However, cast iron is very brittle. I believe the 12,000 lb/ft generated by the 50bmg would make it shatter like a dinner plate.

Never tried it though, so your guess is as good as mine.

pbearperry
February 12, 2008, 02:29 PM
As long as the Manhole cover keeps me from falling in the sewer I am happy.:)

AndyC
February 12, 2008, 02:46 PM
in Nashua NH. they have triangular ones in
Interesting - I read somewhere that manhole-covers were specifically designed to be round so that they couldn't possibly fall in the hole.

mrreynolds
February 12, 2008, 02:48 PM
On April 28, 1999, the United States Marine Corps Scout Sniper Schools invited the Democratic minority staff to its training facility in Quantico, Virginia, to see a demonstration of the fifty caliber weapon. During the demonstration, the Marine instructors discussed the destructive power of several fifty-caliber rounds.

They showed how an armor piercing round penetrated one inch thick rolled homogeneous armor found on armored vehicles throughout the world, a three and a half inch thick steel manhole cover, a two inch thick steel track from a tractor, a piece of three quarter inch bullet-resistant glass, and four cinder blocks with three quarter inch walls laid end to end. Finally, a Marine shooter fired multiple shots in rapid succession completely through a six-hundred pound safe.


This is the video of what mrreynolds is describing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9lMViBr6d8

Jackal
February 12, 2008, 02:56 PM
would a manhole cover stop a .50BMG round?

No

Hoppy590
February 12, 2008, 05:00 PM
Andy C

http://www.drainspotting.com/mirror/nhtelegraph-2003-11-26/

they are almost gone now from what i hear. everytime they do road construction they put new circular ones in

Cosmoline
February 12, 2008, 05:17 PM
So you're saying if I string two manhole covers together and wear them like a sandwich board I can take a big fifty in the back while my partner gets my wall climbing boots?

Excellent!

Double Naught Spy
February 12, 2008, 05:24 PM
Guys and Gals, I own two manhole covers. .50 BMG blasts right through, no problem. .308 can blast right through. Several hits in the same spot with .223 will go through.

Manhole covers are strong, but brittle. Part of their strength comes from crenulations that act as ribbing. That means the cover is not uniformly thick.

Of course, my manhole covers are only the 20 or 24" diameter variety and so only about 1.5" thick. Bigger covers will be thicker, but .50 BMG will pass through. AP .50 BMG will go through a 3" thick manhole cover like butter.

Given their poor target quality, I now use my two manhole covers to mark shooting positions.

And no, I didn't steel my manhole covers. There actually a foundry about 40 miles from here that makes them. It is in Irving, Texas.

Quickill
February 12, 2008, 06:07 PM
Frankly all this talk about shooting manhole covers makes me nervous. I work as a wastewater treatment plant operator and I have to open those things all the time. I used to just be afraid of squishing my fingers. Now I have to worry about taking rounds from a anti-tank gun!

RP88
February 12, 2008, 06:14 PM
you can take a hand-held hammer to a manhole and leave a very visible dent or a ding in it. I'm pretty sure that a bullet that can rape its way through a car engine will punch through a sewer cap/manhole along with whatever else is in front of it without any problem.

Cannonball888
February 12, 2008, 06:58 PM
50 BMG AP will go through 1.5 inches of steel. Manhole cover would lose.

http://san1.atlanta.gbhinc.com/GB/084851000/84851778/pix925815171.jpg

http://san1.atlanta.gbhinc.com/GB/084851000/84851778/pix925815109.jpg

http://san1.atlanta.gbhinc.com/GB/084851000/84851778/pix925815203.jpg

kgpcr
February 12, 2008, 10:27 PM
i KNOW a .50cal would blow through a man hole cover with Penetrator rounds

Been there done that!

Diggers
February 13, 2008, 01:56 AM
Ohh kaaaay, guess that one is decided. :neener:

It IS designed to take out machinery, so not that big of a surprise that it can punch through a lot of metal.

What you need is a few feet of water between you and the .50. :)

Water seems to shatter fast moving bullets very quickly.

But what about a good old sand bag??

How thick does a sand bag have to be to stop the .50?? :scrutiny

silverlance
February 13, 2008, 02:13 AM
If you want to see neat armor, get a piece of 500 brinell steel plate.

then hang it on two chains and hit it with a 50bmg FMJ ball.

damn thing won't even dent. when hit with 7.62x54R steel core then you get a 1mm crater.

i love my very expensively shipped armor pieces =)

dmftoy1
February 13, 2008, 05:48 AM
I'd be careful what you hit that with! :) I've got a 10 inch gong with better than 500 plate and I recently shot it with some 8mm (bulgarian I think) that I suspect must've been steel core . . . punched a hole clean through it with no problem. The target is one of the high velocity models from below and it holds up to .308, etc no problem . . .I think it's bullet design that kills the plate. FWIW

http://www.metaltargets.com/AboutOurTargets/TargetRatings.htm

delta53
February 13, 2008, 07:44 AM
I say No if the manhole cover is new I just bought a pallot full and do you know were they are made ? India from the crap we throw out in a mud floor factory:cuss: next door to the ammo plant

silverlance
February 13, 2008, 10:47 AM
I've got a 10 inch gong with better than 500 plate and I recently shot it with some 8mm (bulgarian I think) that I suspect must've been steel core . . . punched a hole clean through it with no problem.

Mine were bought from www.metalman.com (something like that). I looked at your website. If your plate truly was 500+, then the only reason I can think of why yours went thorugh and mine didn't could be one or more of the follwoing reasons:

1. i use mine on a spinner stand. the plate automatically angles slightly downward. it may be that my rounds hit but part of the force is deflected down.

2. i hit mine too close. (dont do this, it is dangerous and foolish - i didnt know at that time) I shot mine between 600-900 times with 9mm up to 7.62x54R steel core at 30 yards.

3. mine are simply better than yours :neener:

kev

Sunray
February 13, 2008, 11:05 AM
"...original intent of the .50 BMG as a tank killer in WWI..." Yep, but tank armour was in its infancy then and usually about 1/4" to just under 1/2" thick on a Brit Mk I to Mk V tank. By the eve of W.W. II, the .50ish calibre anti-tank rifle was obsolete and wouldn't penetrate the armour.

Quigley
February 13, 2008, 11:29 AM
Sounds like the Mythbuster guys need to dust off the 50 and put this one to rest!

Bones11b
February 13, 2008, 02:47 PM
Know a guy who claims to use a manhole cover welded to a length of heavy chain hung from a tree branch as a long range reactive target. I say claims only because I have never gone shooting on his land with him, he's an honest person in my experience with him. Will have to ask him how bad a shape that manhole cover is in next time I see him.

Eyesac
February 13, 2008, 03:47 PM
What Manhole cover for .50cal Armor piercing brown bears? :neener:

dmftoy1
February 13, 2008, 03:54 PM
Quote:
I've got a 10 inch gong with better than 500 plate and I recently shot it with some 8mm (bulgarian I think) that I suspect must've been steel core . . . punched a hole clean through it with no problem.

Mine were bought from www.metalman.com (something like that). I looked at your website. If your plate truly was 500+, then the only reason I can think of why yours went thorugh and mine didn't could be one or more of the follwoing reasons:

1. i use mine on a spinner stand. the plate automatically angles slightly downward. it may be that my rounds hit but part of the force is deflected down.

2. i hit mine too close. (dont do this, it is dangerous and foolish - i didnt know at that time) I shot mine between 600-900 times with 9mm up to 7.62x54R steel core at 30 yards.

3. mine are simply better than yours



My dad can beat up your dad. :)

Mine are on a spinner as well so they deflect the bullets to the ground. Do you have an 8mm? I can see if I can find some of that ammo for you to give it a try. My targets have held up to ALOT of rifle ammo, but that nasty surplus stuff did it in!

jkingrph
February 13, 2008, 05:02 PM
I don't know about that combinatiion, but a piece of 5/8" boiler plate did not stop a 44gr Barnes hollow point out of a 458Win Mag at 25 yards.

Cannonball888
February 14, 2008, 10:40 AM
Did I hear 5/8" boiler plate?


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v45/Cannonball888/ClintIronVest.jpg

Prince Yamato
February 14, 2008, 11:40 AM
Q: What'd the Italian who was shot with a 50 bmg round through a manhole cover say?

A: S-P-Q-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARH


EDIT: it helps if you've visited Rome to get this joke...

Hoppy590
February 14, 2008, 01:59 PM
Q: What'd the Italian who was shot with a 50 bmg round through a manhole cover say?

A: S-P-Q-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARH


EDIT: it helps if you've visited Rome to get this joke...

http://www.drainspotting.com/view_photo.php?photoid=2601

i never thought a website about manhole covers would be this usefull!

silverlance
February 14, 2008, 02:35 PM
Do you have an 8mm? I can see if I can find some of that ammo for you to give it a try. My targets have held up to ALOT of rifle ammo, but that nasty surplus stuff did it in!

Oh boy do I. Too many as a matter of fact. K98, M24/47, M48, M48A, VZ24, FN49... sure, send it my way. I've tried Romy 8, yugo 8, and turk 8.

I also tried my foot. Yup, dropped it on my foot by accident. oooooohhhhwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dscottw88
February 14, 2008, 05:22 PM
Makes me wonder what that one guy was shooting that was hard enough to ricochet the round back and hit him in the ear. You guys know what I am talking about? I think he was using a M82.

LeibstandarteAdH
February 14, 2008, 05:26 PM
.50 AP will go through manhole covers easily.


They were using Tungsten carbide rounds (highly armor-piercing)

They are using Mk211 "Raufoss" ammo in that video, it only penetrates 11 mm Armour, it is a multi purpose round.

Regular M2 .50 BMG Black Tip "AP" penetrates 19 mm Armour (same standardized armour)

Double Naught Spy
February 14, 2008, 05:56 PM
.50 ball goes through just fine.

icebones
February 14, 2008, 09:20 PM
my best bet is that whoever is stealing manhole covers is turning them in for scrap metal, what's a manhole cover weigh? 50 lbs? ive never picked one up

I have the same problem in my area with people getting electrucuted stealing copper from electric lines and even stealing catalitic converters from cars (catalitic converters have a small ammount of platnuim in them)

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