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Honda Civic vs. .50 BMG, 7.62 NATO, etc.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by MachIVshooter, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    Well, today was loads of fun. Unfortunately, my camera battery wasn't up to it, so I don't have any pictures, but I can provide a brief summary that does differ from some of the Box-O-Truth findings with regards to bullets penetrating automobiles.

    The car was a 1997 Honda civic that was headed for the scrap yard with a blown engine, so we decided to have a little fun with it.

    The very first round was a .50 BMG black-tip AP fired head on from 70 yards. It entered the front bumper about 8" right of center, passing through the AC condenser, fan motor, exhaust manifold/catalytic converter and hit the head of an AC compressor bracket bolt. The bolt was gouged about 3/4 of it's length, the bracket was shattered and the boss on the engine where bolt had threaded into was torn off, but the engine itself was still in-tact.

    The next round entered 6" left of the first, passed through the radiator and entered the same hold where the number 3 rod had exited the engine. It must have hit the crankshaft, because it did not exit the block.

    The third .50 AP round entered the grill, destroyed the hood latch assembly and lodged somewhere inside the cylinder head.

    The fourth .50 round was standard ball fired at the passenger door from about a 70-75* angle. It ripped the door skin open in the shape and nearly the size of a football, entered the inside of the door, gouged the rear seat, penetrated the rear seat back and then exited low in the trunk, deflecting into the ground rather than leaving an exit hole in the rear bumper.

    Now, we wanted to see the effectiveness of handgun rounds. We started from the front, shooting through the windshield from 10 yards. The 158 gr. JHP .357 rounds had no trouble piercing the glass and the seats, but did not exit the rear of the vehicle.

    The .45 ACP 230 gr. FMJ rounds reliably penetrated the glass, with only 1 of 21 deflecting. The rounds that got through did penetrate the seat (one lodged in the steering wheel).

    The 115 gr. FMJ 9x19mm loads had about 50% success getting through the glass and the rounds that did penetrate deflected badly.

    I didn't have a 10mm with me today, but we can probably figure similar performance to the .357 rounds.

    Handguns from the side. First up was the .357, and the windows were up. All three rounds fired entered the driver door and exited the passenger door.

    The driver window was lowered and the .45 ACP fired through the door. The round shattered the glass and also exited the passenger side of the vehicle.

    The 9mm rounds lodged in the passenger door.

    Rounds fired later continued to prove that on a modern automobile, doors are not good cover. The only rounds that didn't get through were the very few that hit the safety crossbar or heavy parts of the window regulator/track assemblies. The inner and out sheetmetal and interior panels did little to slow handgun rounds.

    Then we stepped back to 70 yards again, now with a G3 and an M1 garand, both firing 150 gr. FMJ. Both rifles were fired repeatedly into the left-front fender, and all the rounds made it through to the engine, destroying the motor mount, timing belt, cam sprocket, etc.

    Now it was time to see what .204 Ruger with 32 gr. V-max's was capable of. The rounds were fired at the driver door and quarter panel. Not one of them fully penetrated the vehicle; a few left some dimpling on the opposite side of the vehicle.

    .22 Long rifle rounds performed similarly to 9mm bullets, with none exiting the far side of the vehicle.

    After the initial pokes, it was pretty much a free-for-all, turning the car to swiss cheese.

    Though our results differed a bit from BOT, and our testing was less scientific, the conclusion is more or less the same; Cars are not good cover, unless the engine or transmission/transaxle is between you and the incoming rounds. The newer the car, the thinner the sheetmtel and lighter the components, meaning they afford that much less protection.

    On that note, one or a few rounds cannot be counted on to stop a vehicle by crippling it mechanically; even that mighty .50 cal AP round that was fired first would not have stopped the engine-and this is a Honda, not a heavy duty pick-up or large SUV. There's just a lot of stuff at wierd angles for bullets to be stopped/deflected by in an engine bay.

    I have another vehicle that will be perforated before heading to the crusher, so next time we'll be sure to get video and perhaps spend a little more time setting up the shots for more precise measurement.

    BTW, shooting cars is SOOOOOO much fun :D:D:D
  2. Loomis

    Loomis member


    When I shot up a dodge omni a few years ago, 22lr was passing clear through the car unless hitting a bracket of some kind. i didn't have 50 bmg, but did have 8mm mauser. That round punched holes in the engine.
  3. Picard

    Picard Well-Known Member

    Very cool. That had to be a ton of fun. Be sure to take pictures next time.
  4. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Well-Known Member

    No.... pictures.....?!?!?
  5. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Well-Known Member

    The only diff twixt men and boys are the price of their toys.
  6. Aaryq

    Aaryq Well-Known Member

    As they say on other web pages.


  7. Aran

    Aran member

    Wait... someone scrapped a Civic because of a BLOWN ENGINE?!
  8. Dgreno

    Dgreno Well-Known Member

    I once scrapped a civic because it was a civic. Did not get to shoot it though I would have loved to...
  9. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    I'll be out there again this coming weekend. I'll make sure the camera has decent batteries.

    A base model with 4 sp. trans and a cratered passenger door. What was I gonna do with it? I already have 8 vehicles, not counting motorcycles. We'll poke more holes in it over the next few weeks, then haul it in for scrap. Best thing to do with Jap cars, isn't it?:evil:
  10. exar

    exar Well-Known Member

    Yes, I have found rifle rounds near or above .223 to be highly effective at turning a vehicle into swiss. 7.62x39 in full-auto is devastating. I can fully understand how 2 gunman could easily kill every occupant in an average vehicle(ala ambushes in Middle East).
  11. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

    I'm surprised it's not still running, holes and all.
  12. Aran

    Aran member

    You guys just stay away from MY Civic... :p
  13. ColinthePilot

    ColinthePilot Well-Known Member

    fitting end for a civic. I wish I had a range to do this kind of stuff at and the money to have junker target cars to shoot on it.

    I'll give you some slack this time, but if the next one doesn't have pics/video, it didn't happen.
  14. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Well-Known Member

    Depends how the engine was made.

    A Ford cast iron engine will fair better than a cast aluminum, which would fair better than the sintered/compressed-aluminum-and-sleeved (Pardon, I don't know the actual method yet) pieces of junk some things like Saturns are getting.

    Seriously, I helped pull a saturn engine out, and it looked like potmetal styrofoam. I'm amazed I've seen more with the high-mileage death rattle than with cracked blocks.

    Try a compact Saturn, next time. I'll bet the motor would puff into the air like a bag of flour.
  15. evan price

    evan price Well-Known Member

    Wow, a 1997 Civic with a blown motor in halfway decent shape is worth $1200-ish here in central Ohio. Even as scrap it's about $450. Hope you saved the catalytic convertor, that's $120 by itself.

    I've got a ragged out Dodge 600 K-car that has been absorbing lead for some time now. It's surprising what goes through and what doesn't.
  16. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Well-Known Member

    Bet you feel like an ass for it nowadays eh?
  17. jackdanson

    jackdanson Well-Known Member

    Looks like I'm gonna have to trade in the 9mm for a .45 or .357.

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