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What caliber would penetrate a windshield?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Mastrogiacomo, Oct 23, 2004.

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  1. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

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    What caliber would penatrate a windshield?

    I hear a lot about the ability of different calibers and frankly, I wouldn't want to take a bullet from any gun. However, I heard from a state cop that he uses a Sig 220 because only a .45 will penatrate a windshield of a car. Fact or just ego?
     
  2. shermacman

    shermacman Member

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    Lotta variables here. If I fire my M1 Garand at an angle oblique enough to the windshield the bullet will skip off the glass. On the other hand, when my father-in-law was a kid he fired a Daisy Red Ryder pellet gun through the side window of his neighbor’s car...lots a laughs in that story!
    I would guess that even a small caliber (.32 for instance) with a full metal jacket would go through and a hollow point .45 could go splat like a bug and not penetrate.
    Mastro, let's you and I hit the Fenway after tonight's game and try a bunch of different guns and ammo. Given the riotous behavior of locals, no one will notice!
     
  3. Linux&Gun Guy

    Linux&Gun Guy Member

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    I think ego!

    Im sure a fast moving bullet like a 9mm JHP would go through a windsheild as well.
     
  4. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

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    When this cop was telling me about his .45 -- all I could think is "Jesus, how hard is it to penatrate a car window?" After all, you could do with a small device sold in automotive shops that smash the window so you can escape in an emergency. It doesn't take much effort really with this gadget, so considering the power and speed a bullet has -- how difficult would it be to do it with a .22, 9mm or any other caliber?
     
  5. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    The devices you refer to apply a large force to a very small surface area.
    .45 is large, slow, and blunt.
    9mm FMJ is more pointed and faster than .45.

    The FMJ prob would penetrate more easily than HP of any caliber.

    Angle, as stated, is a critical variable.

    (...and I am not going anywhere near Fenway, thank you. Armed or not, it's just isn't worth it)
     
  6. gezzer

    gezzer Member

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    Windsheilds are not like the side windows, they have a layer of plastic between 2 sheets of glass, this will not shatter into little pieces.

    Larger calibers if stright on penetrate well but any type angle thet will not.

    My idea for windshields would be .308 or 30/06 they work nice!
     
  7. nitesite

    nitesite Member

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    gezzer is correct

    Those punches and hammers sold for escape from a car are only designed for the tempered glass in the side windows, NEVER for the windshield. Windshield are incredibly tough and flexible even when broken. They even provide critical structural integrity so the body won't flex.

    I've used those loaded punches on side windows and the window literally explodes and cascades down, leaving a wide opening in the door. A windshield simply won't do that because of the laminates of plastic and glass.

    The best bullet design to increase the odds of windshield penetration is a sharp edge, like a semi-wadcutter. This is especially important when striking from an oblique angle. The more rounded the nose, the less likely it will penetrate and the more likely it will ricochet off.

    The higher the velocity, the better. Big and slow is no real advantage over a real fast-stepper (like a rifle round). Lacking said rifle, I would think the .357 SIG or .357 Magnum or 10mm would perform better than the .45ACP.
     
  8. artherd

    artherd member

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    Let's put this firmly to rest. Your cop friend is mistaken, pure and simple.

    http://www.winchester.com/lawenforcement/testing/testing_t.aspx

    This ammunition is held to very rigerous testing standards.

    Look at the 'AUTOGLASS' tests.

    The 9mm retained more weight, and penetrated further into the test target *after* being shot through the windshield, than the .45.

    Either round will do the job with success. Perioid.
     
  9. DMK

    DMK Member

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    I'd think the windshield's angle would be the biggest problem. Most cars and even some trucks today have sharply angled and curved windshields to improve fuel economy and reduce wind noise.

    Hitting an angled windshield with any bullet is going to be like shooting at water in a lake.
     
  10. atek3

    atek3 Member

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    didn't 223 fail to disable the target after fired through windshield glass during the miami shoot out?

    atek3
     
  11. GOT

    GOT Member

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    Water will deflect a bullet at some angles and in some circumstances (I've had it happen to me and seen it happen a few times).

    A 10mm round will send a bullet through a windshield with not much trouble at all.

    I've put .22lr though several windshields (goofing off as a youngster with friends at a local junk yard).
     
  12. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    I'll have to revisit the facts of the Miami shootout. I thought only one of the bad guys had a 223 and he was shooting OUT of the car, not into one.

    As far as different handgun calibers, a fast moving solid, small diameter projectile with high sectional density should work the best, in general. A 158 or 180 Gr LSWC 357 Magnum should be at the top of the list, followed by 357s of lesser weight, heavier 9mms and 357 SIGs. A 147 Gr Gold Dot or Ranger T 357 SIG at 1,050 fps would probably excellent.

    Bullet constriction would be very important and I got $50 that says a 115 Gr CorBon doesn't hold up well to modern windshield barriers. :p
     
  13. Ironman

    Ironman Member

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    Guys, me and some friends have a special shooting place we goto and we brought an old car we bought for 100bucks and shot the ???? out of it. (1978 audi, good shape) well every damn bullet we fired went through the windshield out the back window and hit trees. (9mm, .40, .22lr,.223, 12Gslug, 30-06) all of those also went through the whole car and hit trees on the other side(door, panels, panels, door, tree) the .223 went through the steel engine block like butter(55grn FMJ). Fact is the cop doesnt know that much about firearms as some of them really dont.(talking about the ones that only have thier issue gun and no others at home)
     
  14. joab

    joab Member

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    Your friend is probably quoting an article in one of Peterson's gun mags from a few years ago.
    The author stated that the .45 hardbal is the only round that will consistantly penetrate a windshield at any angle I believed it for years too.
    After all it was printed in a gun mag.
     
  15. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

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    You're probably right. I go to class where they're a lot of cops so every so often, I ask about their guns. One guy and I got talking and he came right out and said "I don't know one gun from the next. I'm not a gun person." At the time I was just taking about the Glocks and Sigs...:rolleyes:

    I personally wouldn't want anything aimed at me when inside the car so I thought it was a little ignorant of him to suggest my Beretta 9mm couldn't damage the way his Sig .45 could. If anything, Ironman's experience with the car as a target is proof that there's no such thing as a "weak" caliber really....
     
  16. nitesite

    nitesite Member

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    Ironman-

    WOW!!! those are some amazing results. Especially the 22LR, and the .223 clean thru the block!

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Not all of us can shoot up a car! Sure sounds like fun!
     
  17. artherd

    artherd member

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    I've had the same expierence. .22LR penetrated 3/4" plywood, into an old and thick refrigerator, and exited said refrigerator... Of course 9mm did too.

    Ask your friend next time if he wants to sit in a car while you shoot the windshield with your 9mm if he's so confident? :D)

    There is nothing special about .45ACP, just as there is nothing special about 9mm. They're both just underpowered pistol rounds (see sig :)
     
  18. buttrap

    buttrap Member

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    well I know a person that had 2 mag loads of .45 shot in his face at 20 feet tru a windsheild..he is still alive..damn lucky it was not 9mm or .357. PS only thing I have seen that would transfix a engine block was AP out of a .50 BMG or a .55 Brit AT gun.
     
  19. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog Member

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    I have shot through the side of a cast-iron Nissan 4-cylinder block from about 20 yards with a .454 Casull out of a Puma 20" barrel. It penetrated all the way through, taking out the piston in the process.

    I have no doubt I could disable an automobile with a well placed shot.

    I bet my 45-70 handloads would be even more destructive...
     
  20. Blue Line

    Blue Line Member

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    Aren't most of the engine blocks made of Aluminum these days with cast iron sleaves for the pistons to ride in?
     
  21. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog Member

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    No this was an old cast iron block we found abandoned in the desert. It was most definitely iron...
     
  22. Shaughn Leayme

    Shaughn Leayme Member

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    The problem with modern windshields, is that due to how they are constructed, they share some of the same properties that go into making bullet resistant windshields.

    You must then consider the angle of the glass which makes the material that must be penetrated even thicker, then we add into the equation the polymers and other ingredients in modern windshield glass and we can have an effect that can be similiar to shooting a ceramic insert found in heavy body armour.

    Because safety glass is intended to maintain structural integrity in an accident it is very tough.

    A non bonded bullet will have it's jacket stripped off as it penetrates thru the glass and in the process shed a fair amount of energy and as it enters the angle become perpendicular to the glass, which can result in a miss and the fragment pattern will be a cone shape (much like shot from a shotgun) and can inflict secondary injuries to persons in the immediate vicinity of the impact point.

    As far as shooting thru engine blocks, you may be able to penetrate the outer wall of the cylinders after the bullet has pentrated the skin of the fender, negotiated its way thru any structural cross memebers and accessories. But this depends on the rounds used and would usually require the composition of the bullet to contain elements like tungsten, brass, bronze or special alloys add to it the shape of the projectile and pentrator and velocity/energy quotient and range and then you could have a round capable of penetrating and engine block.

    As far as regular handgun or rifles with standard designed ammunition, you may be able to damage the engine block, but not shoot right thru it,(more likely to take out the electrical or sub systems, injector controls) hence the reason that it is so hard to stop vehicles with small arms fire.
     
  23. nitesite

    nitesite Member

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    What you say is exactly correct. Hence my reply that it is
    amazing that a .223 FMJ could go through even an aluminum block "like butter". I think I would be hard pressed to repeat that feat with my M193s, even if I first removed the crankshaft, connecting rods and pistons first. The only way a bullet has even a hope of exiting thru the far side is if it still maintained a perfect nose-first penetrating angle and had not spalled or drastically decelerated.
     
  24. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

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    The location of the impact has a major effect too. Some portions of engine block are MUCH thinner than others depending on the design. All the way through still seems unlikely even in soft iron with only a 223. Possible, but shouldn't happen the majority of times.

    Something to keep in mind, cars are concealment, not cover. Most of a car won't stop most bullets.
     
  25. Evil_Ed

    Evil_Ed Member

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    Hehehehe, Anybody else watch MythBusters last night? They shot the gas tank, side panels, etc on an older Caddy, pretty much disproved botht he myth of the exploding gas tank and the myth of the car door protecting you from gun fire...that car door looked like swiss cheese after they were done and the bullets continued on through the passenger door as well.
     
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