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would a manhole cover stop a .50BMG round?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by General Geoff, Feb 12, 2008.

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  1. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    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?
     
  2. Regolith

    Regolith Member

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    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.
     
  3. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    Man hole covers are several inches thick in places.
     
  4. mattw

    mattw Member

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    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.
     
  5. Snapping Twig

    Snapping Twig Member

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    AP is armor piercing and armor looks like steel, but it's stronger, so my guess would be...like butter.
     
  6. MAKOwner

    MAKOwner Member

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  7. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    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..
     
  8. Dionysusigma

    Dionysusigma Member

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    What about in a role of deflection?
     
  9. wayne in boca

    wayne in boca Member

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    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.
     
  10. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Member

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  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    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.
     
  12. Omaha-BeenGlockin

    Omaha-BeenGlockin Member

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    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.
     
  13. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    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.
     
  14. AndyC

    AndyC Member

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    That's got me thinking... how much duct-tape would one need to tape a manhole-cover to their back? :D
     
  15. sniper5

    sniper5 Member

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    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.
     
  16. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Or how many manhole covers would it take to convert a golf cart to an APC?
     
  17. 1200 meters

    1200 meters Member

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    A 50cal BMG will defeat a man hole cover. It may not punch a clean hole but more likely shatter it. Blitz
     
  18. Wedge

    Wedge Member

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    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.
     
  19. perpster

    perpster Member

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    Not if they aim for the holes in the cover.:what:
     
  20. the naked prophet

    the naked prophet Member

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    Cast iron is both relatively soft and relatively brittle. .50 BMG will probably break the manhole cover in several pieces.
     
  21. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    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.
     
  22. jlbraun

    jlbraun Member

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    I have shot cast iron radiators with a 7.62x39 and it goes right through. Cast iron is brittle.
     
  23. Cavalier Knight

    Cavalier Knight Member

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    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.
     
  24. ckay

    ckay Member

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  25. MiddleAgedKen

    MiddleAgedKen Member

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