Can you shoot through a polycarbonated car window?

This is a discussion on Can you shoot through a polycarbonated car window? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi everybody, I live in Argentina, in an area in which thiefs throw stones at passing cars in order to stop them and then rob ...

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Thread: Can you shoot through a polycarbonated car window?

  1. #1
    New Member Array kino's Avatar
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    Can you shoot through a polycarbonated car window?

    Hi everybody,
    I live in Argentina, in an area in which thiefs throw stones at passing cars in order to stop them and then rob them (Last week a young guy died from a heavy stone impact in his head, he was driving his Cherokee Jeep at normal velocity).
    I installed protection windows in my car, anti-stone, made of polycarbonate. And I always carry my CZ83 pistol with me.
    My question is: If I am attacked while driving, anybody knows if I can shoot through this polycarbonate windows? What about regular car windows, can you shoot through them? I have heard contradicting opinions regarding this, some people saying shoot, some saying never shoot because you can get hurt from the pieces of glass.
    Thanx in advance for your time in responding this

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  3. #2
    Member Array Cycler's Avatar
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    I've never shot through glass but I've had a window broken right into my face with a baseball bat - it's not fun.

    I've heard that the better option is to shoot through the door rather than the glass.

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    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Not sure, but I hope you would be wearing ear protection. The firing of a gun from inside a closed car would be deafening, and probably cause permanent hearing loss/damage.
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    See this for shots through regular glass.

    Don't know about Polycarb but if it's not rated as bulletproof, I doubt it'll stop one.

    In any case bullets weigh much less than your car. If their stones don't penetrate the glass, floor it and get out of there.

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    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Just an addendum. You may wish to pick up a copy of the book, "In The Gravest Extreme", by Massad Ayoob. He devotes an entire chapter (Chapter 7) to having a gun in your car.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
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    Welcome...

    from Central Florida!

    You're in a tough spot. Shooting inside a car, with the windows up, is going to be a sound you'll never forget...good luck with that one.
    I guess a guy has got to do, what a guy has got to do, to stay alive.

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    As I recall the old Gargoyle sunglasses were made of polycarbonate and would stop buckshot. A windshield being much thicker would probably stop a bullet. Polycarbonate reacts like Kevlar and absorbs alot of energy.
    You can easily shoot through ordinary car windows. Even a pellet gun will penetrate them.
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    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    Transient personnel barracks glass breakage led us to replace broken glass with polycarbonate. Worked good. I definitely would not shoot through poly until I had personally done a test. Also, do not shoot inside a car without ear protection. That is painful and will ruin your hearing.

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    Shooting with the muzzle inside the vehicle is numbing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonInNY View Post
    Not sure, but I hope you would be wearing ear protection. The firing of a gun from inside a closed car would be deafening, and probably cause permanent hearing loss/damage.
    If you're firing a gun inside a car, it's because if you don't, you'll suffer from permanent life lost. Would you rather be deaf or dead?

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    Member Array RA229's Avatar
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    Polycarb is not bulletproof, it will make a clean hole, not shatter. The rock will bounce off at throwing velosities. If your attacker is on a bridge with a bigger rock, dont' expect your polycarb windshield to help you there.
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    My and several friends once did some informal shooting tests with both Plexiglas and Lexan.

    Plexiglas was once popular for windows on cars and aircraft and a lot of other things. It is fairly brittle, it wont stand much in the way of point impact and it decays in the sun light. Certain chemicals attack it.

    Lexan is 40 times more impact resistant than Plexiglas. Lexan is also used to manufacture bullet proof glass because it can stand a much higher point impact load when it is laminated with tempered glass. It is what allows the glass to fracture without shattering and dispersing all over the place.

    I've use quite a bit of both types over the years manufacturing all kinds of things and I can tell you that I prefer Lexan. It drills without breaking out, it bends a lot more with or without heat, and it can be used for anything.

    Shooting various thicknesses of both of them was quite revealing. The Plexiglas would shatter like glass and break into chunks that went flying everywhere. The Lexan would not. Even the 1/4" thick pieces would not break, but just show a hole where the bullet went through.

    At 1/2 thick, pistol bullets would not usually penetrate it,sending it flying downrange. The bullet would sometimes put a pockmark halfway into it, other times it would shatter it without breaking it. Lexan is pretty tough stuff.

    Both of them are Polycarbonate, but they are very different. There are a gazillion different types of it with different properties and you have to know what you are getting and there are many different brand names.

    If you get Plexiglass, it will not be much different than glass, taking a hit will produce large pieces of it flying at a high rate of speed. If you get Lexan, even if you puncture it, at least is should stay fairly intact, which might reduce the chances of injury somewhat.

    Also, the thickness of the sheet and the angle that you shoot it will make a big difference. Shooting at a side window that is mostly vertical will be different than shooting at the windshield which has a pretty good angle.

    The reason that you have heard contradicting opinions is because people have used different brands of polycarbonate with different properties.

    The best thing to do if you wish to replace what you have is to buy some extra and shoot it. That's the only way you'll know for sure. And be advised...none of the Polycarbonate sheets are cheap. I just ordered a few dozen 4' by 8' sheets of Lexan and they were 540 bucks a piece and that was a special deal.
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    Ape
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    I work with a lot of variations of polycarbonate sheeting and roll stock all day long. And I can tell you that unless you buy something specifically formulated to be bullet resistant (IE: lamination techniques) that's at least .080 or thicker.....it's not going to even come close to stopping a round.
    However, it will be much more effective at stopping stones and such from coming through your window.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    My and several friends once did some informal shooting tests with both Plexiglas and Lexan.

    I just ordered a few dozen 4' by 8' sheets of Lexan and they were 540 bucks a piece and that was a special deal.
    I agree about the toughness of Lexan.

    $540/sheet......what thickness was it?

    I'd like to ask what you do with so much Lexan, but I won't ask?
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    Ape
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    I was also going to ask about the 540.00 sheet of Lexan!
    I'm the purchasing agent and material handler at my company, so I buy Lexan all the time. And I've never come accross anything that expensive? I assume it's a very thick piece, but is it a laminated piece too???

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