Shooting through car glass: danger to eyes?


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Good&Fruity
May 19, 2011, 10:17 PM
What if you were in a situation where you had to shoot through autoglass, whether a sidewindow or your windshield in self defense. What is the risk of glass fragments blinding you? I would imagine fragments would blow back and hit you in the face, including the eyes.

I happen to wear glasses, but I still wonder.

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TH3180
May 19, 2011, 10:28 PM
Why not just drive away?

M-Cameron
May 19, 2011, 10:29 PM
well auto glass is laminated to prevent just that........

is there a chance glass fragments could fly back.....sure........but its small.....as is the chance that you will be shooting through your window in self defense.

EmGeeGeorge
May 19, 2011, 10:30 PM
The ninja is on your hood and swerving hasn't succeeded in shaking him off...

pikid89
May 19, 2011, 10:34 PM
A: id try to drive away

B: Auto Glass (on the sides) does not shatter into shards, but rather into small round bits that are not terribly sharp

C: Windshield glass is laminated with plastic sheets on inside and out. It does not shatter at all...that is why firefighters use a axe with light chops to literally cut out the windshield, I imagine shooting through the front would just leave bullet sized holes in the glass

D: the biggest issue to me (besides being in a lethal force situation) would be the serious effect that firing a gun inside of a car would have on your ears. I 9mm would be really really loud leaivng you with some sort of tinninitus for sure, a 357 would probably leave you deaf for good, not to mention firing a 223 in a car like they did in the movie Heat

leadcounsel
May 19, 2011, 10:41 PM
Yes, but if you are in a situation where you need to shoot, then presumably not shooting would be more dangerous than the potential for some glass dust or fragments in your eye(s).

I have shot through car windshields and windows for training. It does kick up some glass dust, but we had eye protection.

If presented with a lethal self defense situation, I would not hesitate to shoot through a window even without eye protection.

You may NOT be in a situation where you can just "drive away." Imagine sitting in bumper to bumper traffic jam. Someone in the car in front of you with an AK47 decides he's had enough and gets out and starts shooting motorists. You are literally a sitting duck. Yes, if you are trained and follow your training, you have left a space in front of you to maneuver, but that's not always practical, realistic, or useful (say you are in the middle lane, with cars on either side).

Shoot through the windshield, and pick a unshattered point for each consecutive round because it will deflect the same.

Ryanxia
May 19, 2011, 10:45 PM
When I bought my S&W .44 Magnum I kept it in the truck, 3 days later I realized how devastating that would be on my ears if fired in the cab and took it out lol.

Nushif
May 19, 2011, 11:17 PM
What if you were in a situation where you had to shoot through autoglass, whether a sidewindow or your windshield in self defense.

Flying glass would be the last thing on my mind.

Good&Fruity
May 20, 2011, 12:00 AM
Yes, but if you are in a situation where you need to shoot, then presumably not shooting would be more dangerous than the potential for some glass dust or fragments in your eye(s).

I have shot through car windshields and windows for training. It does kick up some glass dust, but we had eye protection.

If presented with a lethal self defense situation, I would not hesitate to shoot through a window even without eye protection.

You may NOT be in a situation where you can just "drive away." Imagine sitting in bumper to bumper traffic jam. Someone in the car in front of you with an AK47 decides he's had enough and gets out and starts shooting motorists. You are literally a sitting duck. Yes, if you are trained and follow your training, you have left a space in front of you to maneuver, but that's not always practical, realistic, or useful (say you are in the middle lane, with cars on either side).

Shoot through the windshield, and pick a unshattered point for each consecutive round because it will deflect the same.



Ahhhh, someone with experience and training. I also leave space between the car in front of me (see tires touching the ground and then some) so I can drive around, AND stick to outside lanes when possible, however; as you well know, it's not always possible. It sounds like the glass dust/particles IS a valid concern, but in your opinion, risking being blind for life is better than being dead. I personnally wouldn't really want to live my life blind. I guess I should consider myself lucky to wear glasses, as it provides eye protection.

MachIVshooter
May 20, 2011, 12:26 AM
well auto glass is laminated to prevent just that........

It wasn't designed with bullets in mind. I've shot many different rounds through many windshields; There are lots of tiny fragments (almost dust). Too small to injure skin, but they'd hurt like hell in your eye. I wouldn't expect any permanent damage, but lots of scratching and days (or weeks) of irritation.

Side and back glass, OTOH, are tempered. Very, very few of the tiny fragments. Just lots of (almost) harmless beads about 1/4".

Armed_Leftist
May 20, 2011, 05:02 AM
Some guys on the SWAT at my local PD investigated this pretty thoroughly, and I happened to talk to them about it the day after. They said:

1. Wear ear protection (if you are doing this for fun... I mean serious government business).
2. Flying glass was not an issue for them, but I imagine they wore eye protection anyway.
3. A hand gun round (not sure of exact ballistics) will deflect slightly upwards when going through the glass. They said to aim for the knees to hit the balls of a BG at 15 yards.

Ole Coot
May 20, 2011, 09:21 AM
I agree about using your vehicle first. I was taught to get no closer to a vehicle than you can see where his rear tires touch the pavement giving enough room to go around and a few other things. As to shooting you should be OK with glasses and laminated tempered glass won't shatter much. I would add a couple of quick shots at the same area should open a path for a hit. Other measures should be used first.

RX-178
May 20, 2011, 09:22 AM
If you are in a situation where you have to shoot through car glass at close range (presumably from the inside!), you've certainly got other things to worry about.

MtnCreek
May 20, 2011, 11:07 AM
A hand gun round (not sure of exact ballistics) will deflect slightly upwards when going through the glass. They said to aim for the knees to hit the balls of a BG at 15 yards.
Depends on the angle of the glass. The projectile will take the shortest route through the glass. If shooting from outside the vehicle, projectile will dive down, so aim should be higher than desired impact.

brickeyee
May 20, 2011, 12:33 PM
Windshield glass is laminated with plastic sheets on inside and out. It does not shatter at all...

Ordinary windshield glass has one layer of plastic between two sheets of glass.

The plastic is to limit penetration of objects through the windshield and ejection of occupants form inside.

It does shatter, just like ordinary glass but the plastic layer holds the larger pieces together.
It DOES release very sharp tiny pieces that are not bound to the plastic layer.

'Scalping' accidents with windshields are not that uncommon.

When you head hits the inside the glass it shatters.
The force stretches the plastic layer and the pieces of glass move apart slightly.
Your hair can then get between the broken pieces of glass.

As you then move away from the glass the plastic pulls the pieces of glass back together trapping the hair.
As you continue to pull away the hair is ripped from the scalp, and if there is enough hair trapped pieces of the scalp can be ripped from the skull.

It leaves a nasty bloody wound.

The tiny glass fragments are not going to have any momentum, but if you touch a dashboard after an accident that damages a windshield you can embed the shards into your skin.

Shawn Dodson
May 20, 2011, 12:52 PM
Why not just drive away?

There are many common everyday situations in which you cannot simply drive away, such as when you're stuck in traffic, trapped in a fast food drive thru line, you're parked and the motor isn't running, you're sitting in your disabled vehicle at the side of the road, etc.

What if you were in a situation where you had to shoot through autoglass, whether a sidewindow or your windshield in self defense. What is the risk of glass fragments blinding you? I would imagine fragments would blow back and hit you in the face, including the eyes. Placing the muzzle against the windshield or as close to the windshield as possible reduces the amount of glass fragments/dust caused by the bullet crushing glass as it passes through. (Windshield glass is laminated.)

Other windows are tempered glass, which shatters into small cubes. It's best to keep the pistol away from these windows so it and your firing hand isn't showered by falling glass.

You could squint your eyes to minimize the risk, that is if you can think to do so.

MachIVshooter
May 20, 2011, 03:35 PM
Depends on the angle of the glass. The projectile will take the shortest route through the glass. If shooting from outside the vehicle, projectile will dive down, so aim should be higher than desired impact.

This is not usually true. It depends largely on how sloped the windshield is, how tough it is and the velocity, energy and shape of the bullet.

Most often, we found that pistol bullets had deflected upwards when they passed through, creating a bit of a gouge before they actually penetrated. Many smaller handgun rounds (including 9mm) do not pass through at all on the more sloped windshields, just created a longer gouge and then richocheted off into the fields beyond.

Rifle bullets, On the other hand, deflected very little, but sometimes tumbled after passing through.

Placing the muzzle against the windshield or as close to the windshield as possible reduces the amount of glass fragments/dust caused by the bullet crushing glass as it passes through. (Windshield glass is laminated.)

Please explain the logic you used to arrive at this conclusion. In reality, placing the muzzle closer wold increase the chances of being showered with debris, as particles that may have stayed in place or simply fallen are now propelled outward from the point of entry by the muzzle blast.

youngda9
May 20, 2011, 03:36 PM
If I'm shooting to protect my life I probably won't be worrying about that at the time.

ForumSurfer
May 20, 2011, 03:42 PM
If driving away isn't an option, sitting there and waiting to be killed in order to avoid eye damage seems sort of silly. I'm not going to place the muzzle against the glass, it would require extra effort and possibly ruin my point shooting or sight picture in that moment of adrenaline release. I'll stick to what I train myself to do...draw and put rounds on target.

Read up on shooting through glass experiments...it does change the bullet's path. I'd love to be able to practice such a thing.

Grey_Mana
May 20, 2011, 05:07 PM
If you can avoid it (training for example), don't breath in the microscopic glass shards that form immediately after a windshield or window is shattered. Not good for your bronchioles or alveoli.

Ignition Override
May 20, 2011, 05:16 PM
A coworker (seldom see the guy) at an affiliated company was in a situation which other people might not ever face.

He was lost on a gravel road in rural Marshall County, just southeast of Memphis.

His truck had just passed several guys standing by the road, and then saw the dead end up ahead.
After he turned around, he slowly sped up and saw the guys standing in a barrier line up ahead, wanting to block him.

He sensed danger and floored the gas pedal, forcing them to scatter, at the risk of hitting one of them.
What would you have done if you had been unarmed in that situation?
Maybe this needs a different "thread".

ForumSurfer
May 20, 2011, 05:40 PM
His truck had just passed several guys standing by the road, and then saw the dead end up ahead.
After he turned around, he slowly sped up and saw the guys standing in a barrier line up ahead, wanting to block him.

He sensed danger and floored the gas pedal, forcing them to scatter, at the risk of hitting one of them.
What would you have done if you had been unarmed in that situation?

I would have done what he did, armed or not.

As a matter of fact, I have.

I was taking a date home once (at 3 am...) and she lived downtown. Between downtown an uptown is a rough area of town. Well, out of a crackhouse (okay, a boarded up house with no power and lots of questionable people hanging around) come a group of 10+ people. Some went across the road in front of me and the others started flanking me as I sat at the light and yet two more started walking towards my car. For a split second I wondered if I should draw just in case as I had no idea of their intentions. Then I thought to myself...you have a 500 horsepower, 3500+lb plus weapon, what the heck are you doing. I gave it three grand, dumped the clutch and drove through the crowd (as I ran the red light). I was convinced their intentions were bad so I left. I figured they would move given the noises my car made and they did. I made a hard right at the next block without slowing down much. There was just enough tire smoke no one could have gotten my plates and when I made a hard right, I could observe them again through the windshield since I was slightly sideways. Yep, they were heading my way still. I dropped her off and reported the incident. The police officer said I did the right thing by leaving, not that I needed his approval of my decision...but I wanted to report it in case THEY reported it and made ME the bad guy. I did admit to running the light by mistake, but he didn't make a big deal out of it and didn't write me a ticket. IMO my only mistake was not putting her name on the report, also. I foolishly sent my witness home.

ChCx2744
May 20, 2011, 07:54 PM
well auto glass is laminated to prevent just that........

is there a chance glass fragments could fly back.....sure........but its small.....as is the chance that you will be shooting through your window in self defense.

I don't know about the windshield, but the front and rear side windows shatter pieces everywhere when shot. I was in the driver seat once when a shooting took place and a shot hit my passenger side. My friend and I were covered with glass and there were many tiny pieces of glass later found in and on MY ear wrinkles, hair, neck and inside my shirt. This was a Honda Civic, I don't know if other auto makes have a more durable glass finish or laminate on side windows, but in a Civic, a single round will shatter a window and sent fragments everywhere. Remember, I was on the OTHER side of the car and I was still pulling glass outta my hair and ear; my buddy was even spitting some out at some point, I guess some got stuck on his lip.

Now I understand that they shot INTO the car, but it is still possible that if you were shooting OUT of a car through glass, you can definitely expect some blowback glass; do NOT discount suspicions, always be prepared to get hit with some glass if you are forced to shoot through autoglass someday, the chance is very real and possible.

The Lone Haranguer
May 20, 2011, 08:14 PM
If I really, really had to shoot through any of my car windows, that would be the least of my worries. :uhoh: To answer your question, though, the laminated windshield will hold together and not fragment, although if there is severe crazing around the bullet hole(s) in your line of sight, it will obscure your vision when driving away. Side and rear windows, however, are tempered glass. These will instantly shatter into thousands of pieces. The edges are dull, without large shards like plate glass, but can still hurt your eyes if a piece gets in them.

Shawn Dodson
May 20, 2011, 08:32 PM
Please explain the logic you used to arrive at this conclusion. In reality, placing the muzzle closer wold increase the chances of being showered with debris, as particles that may have stayed in place or simply fallen are now propelled outward from the point of entry by the muzzle blast.

Practical testing.

It appears glass particles are propelled through the hole in the glass by propellant gases rather than spraying radially away from the hole.

I'm not going to place the muzzle against the glass, it would require extra effort...

It requires no more effort than completing your presentation. The windshield isn't THAT far away when you're sitting in the front seat.

MtnCreek
May 20, 2011, 08:34 PM
Read up on shooting through glass experiments...it does change the bullet's path. I'd love to be able to practice such a thing.
Mr. Surfer, I'll bring the windshelds if you supple the place to shoot them!

gamestalker
May 20, 2011, 08:41 PM
I would be far more concerned with the effect it would have on my ears. I carry a .357 mag. and can't tollerate even one discharge without hearing protection, and that's out in wide open spaces.
It's been about 5 or 6 yrs. ago that I forgot to put my ear plugs in when I fired my H110 hand loads from my snubby. I now have ringing in my ears every single day, 24/7.
Regarding the auto glass concern, considering you said you wear glasses I would think glass shards are the least of your worries, think more about total hearing loss.

guzzi
May 21, 2011, 01:47 PM
This is a video of my wife taking part in a class dealing with this topic.

The lesson learned was to get out of the car ASAP, it's a trap.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmMTkE0rOr0

The class was given by Bill Regina who is the director of The SRT Group. He brought the car and lots of extra windshields.

9MMare
May 21, 2011, 03:15 PM
This is a video of my wife taking part in a class dealing with this topic.

The lesson learned was to get out of the car ASAP, it's a trap.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmMTkE0rOr0

The class was given by Bill Regina who is the director of The SRT Group. He brought the car and lots of extra windshields.

I didnt watch the video yet, however you make a good point.

The assumption should never be that if you are in a situation where you cannot drive away and MUST shoot, that it's likely to be over once you shoot. You'll have to be very lucky to end it with your shots (again....if the other party truly has the advantage and is a true lethal threat.)

You'll have to be prepared to continue your defense and one thing I've learned is MOVE! But it is not something I've practiced related to my car. Thank you.

9MMare
May 21, 2011, 03:20 PM
His truck had just passed several guys standing by the road, and then saw the dead end up ahead.
After he turned around, he slowly sped up and saw the guys standing in a barrier line up ahead, wanting to block him.

He sensed danger and floored the gas pedal, forcing them to scatter, at the risk of hitting one of them.
What would you have done if you had been unarmed in that situation?


Armed or unarmed, this is a situation that I would consider a threat to my life. My gun or my car would be legitimate self-defense weapons. I'm driving forward, period. And calling 911 after.

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