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

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by pax, Apr 28, 2007.

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  1. pax

    pax Member

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    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
     
  2. never_retreat

    never_retreat Member

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    A 1/4 mild steel will stop and handgun round I've seen. But I havet tried th 5.7 yet.:D
     
  3. shooter503

    shooter503 Member

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    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.
     
  4. bogie

    bogie Member

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    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.
     
  5. ptmmatssc

    ptmmatssc Member

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    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) .
     
  6. Archer1945

    Archer1945 Member

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    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.
     
  7. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    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.
     
  8. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    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.

    Img_5946.gif
     
  9. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    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.
     
  10. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    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.
     
  11. CNYCacher

    CNYCacher Member

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

    doubleg Member

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    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.
     
  13. rugerman

    rugerman Member

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    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
     
  14. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    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.
     
  15. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    Are you planning on wearing it underneath your poncho ...????

    ;)
     
  16. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    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
     
  17. The-Fly

    The-Fly Member

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    Probably wont help you, but i've found that in informal testing, computer hard drives will stop anything short of a 357 mag :evil:
     
  18. tank mechanic

    tank mechanic Member

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

    MinnMooney Member

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    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.
     
  20. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    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.
     
  21. the naked prophet

    the naked prophet Member

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    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.
     
  22. gyp_c2

    gyp_c2 Member

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    hmmm...


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

    Deer Hunter Member

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    Ruger Blackhawk with 8" barrel (or so) chambered in .357 Max could easily be handloaded to reach that velocity.
     
  24. inkhead

    inkhead Member

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    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.
     
  25. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    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.
     
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