Shooting through windows/car doors

This is a discussion on Shooting through windows/car doors within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Lest this become a caliber war let me start off by saying I believe different calibers have different uses, from .22 LR to .50 cal. ...

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Thread: Shooting through windows/car doors

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    Member Array 9mm Lassiter's Avatar
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    Post Shooting through windows/car doors

    Lest this become a caliber war let me start off by saying I believe different calibers have different uses, from .22 LR to .50 cal. That being said. . .

    Obviously people don't like their rounds to penetrate clean through, losing kinetic energy, yada yada. However, some agencies (mine included) have a high probability of shootings involving vehicles. I have heard multiple voices across the internet claiming that 9mm and .40 S&W don't do so well going through car doors and windows and then continuing into threats with sufficient penetrating power. I've also heard for these reasons, .45, 10mm and .357 SIG are popular with agencies seeing this as a primary concern.

    That being said, I've had a hard time finding data or tests demonstrating this contextual superiority of said rounds. Does anyone know of large or small-scale tests done on this?

    My agency uses the .45 auto in hollow point, and vehicles are a common factor. I'll try to get exact details from our range master about our recent switch as we moved from another type of hollow point after some issues we had. Rounds lost power after going through some materials I believe.
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    Has your agency done any testing of rounds into vehicles? It migjt not be scientific, but they'd see some real life examples.

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    Member Array 9mm Lassiter's Avatar
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    Well, I don't have access to the numbers. We've used the .45 since we switched from the S&W revolvers to the SIG and then kept the .45 with the switch to Glock. I've emailed one of our guys who will likely know. The one car I had access to at a range, well, let's just say it would be hard to judge one round from another at that point in the car's life, or death.
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    Member Array deadsexy's Avatar
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    Try contacting a local glass shop and see if they will give you used glass to try different rounds.
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    KSP went from .357 mag to 40 S & W. They seem to be able to shoot up a vehicle pretty will with em. Car doors and side windows simply arent that much of a barrier even for a 9mm. Windshields are a different story.

    Owned alot of pistols and shot a lot stuff just to see what happened. I dont see 45 going thru anything a 40 S&W wont. Or having anymore punch to it after it does.

    Far from a scientific but I personally wouldnt turn my hand for the difference concerning barriers between 40 and 45.
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    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    take a old vehicle and place some targets inside. backup a shoot the vehicle. see how many rounds make it on target. you will be surprise on what you will find. we did this years ago with several different pistol and rifle cals. glass and steel can make the bullet do funny stuff. some pistol round did nothing. i don't have the data anymore to back this up. but get a impound vehicle and test it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankmako View Post
    take a old vehicle and place some targets inside. backup a shoot the vehicle. see how many rounds make it on target. you will be surprise on what you will find. we did this years ago with several different pistol and rifle cals. glass and steel can make the bullet do funny stuff. some pistol round did nothing. i don't have the data anymore to back this up but get a impound vehicle and test it.
    Geez, I hope I never get my car towed in your neck of the woods!

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    I am so glad you asked... it just so happens that someone has already adressed thi very question with the very same calibers. While not the most scientific, they shoot real bullets through real cars... thats more than reasonable for determining performance.... they also do the windows, windshield etc. A very interesting read. I am sure many have seen it, some may disagree, others may not care, either way it has been done and take from it what you will. I give you.... ( drum roooooooollllllllllll)

    THE BUICK O' TRUTH......
    The Box O' Truth - The Buick O' Truth #3 - Pistols and Car Doors
    The Box O' Truth - The Buick O' Truth #2 - Windshields Outside/In - Page 1 ( windshield testing.)
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    Here is another one
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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickyD View Post
    Geez, I hope I never get my car towed in your neck of the woods!
    "Well, it's been here two hours, guess the guy's not gonna show. Let's shoot it up!".

    I don't know of documented tests, but I read an article a while back at gunblast.com that referred to some tests done by the author. I don't know how scientific it was, but maybe you could email them and ask.

    "... the long suit of the .357 SIG is penetration. As an example, a few years ago I conducted a major test of the popular handgun service cartridges against vehicles. I used actual vehicles and some sheet metal, and included windshields and door glass. The single most effective loading proved to be the Hornady 124 grain XTP in .357 SIG caliber. It was not the fastest but it was among the most accurate and clearly the single cartridge with the greatest penetration. On the basic premise of the cartridge, penetration, the .357 SIG meets its design specifications."

    Comments on the .357 SIG
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    I will try and see if I can find my photos, but a 115gr 9mm FMJ round nose WILL go completely through (side to side) a GM mid-size sedan. Before sending my car to the scrap yard, we decided to do some informal ballistics testing...

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    Im a little confused why the OP's agency wouldnt spend 600 bucks on a few wrecks from the junkyard that have intact drivers and passengers sides, take them to the range, and test it?

    I dont get it. If I were in the agency, Id do it myself to find out with my life potentially on the line.

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    I saw an article in a magazine a few years ago that concluded the .357 Sig and the 10mm were the only reliable rounds for shooting bad guys through windshields.
    I carry a gun, because a Cop is too heavy.

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    El 0.38 Super will penetrate a car door very nicely . 124 - 147 gr JHP will do it, the 130-147 FMJ will really do it .
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    EN MI VIDA AL MAL NO TEMERÉ, POR QUE EN MI CORAZÓN Y MIS DOS .38 SUPER COLT.

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    The car door is mostly sheet metal, very thin sheet metal, with some stronger structure inside. If the bullet doesn't hit something inside the door strong enough to stop it, it's going through the door. That sheet metal isn't going to stop any defensive caliber round. The stronger components inside the door strong enough to stop a 9mm, will stop most anything this side of a rifle. As for the glass, the first shot is going to make it a non issue, assuming your not going to stop with one shot. Keep in mind that a bullet exiting a windshield will do so at more of a right angle, for example if your inside the car shooting out, your shot will go higher than your point of aim. The opposite is true shooting into the car from the outside. Side windows have a tendency to disappear with the first round, and follow up shots should solve your problem. The best defensive position for a car door if that's all you have, is just a little better than air. With the door open, in the vee where the strongest structure is located near the hinges and the reinforced part of the car like the door jamb. Outside the vehicle, try to position yourself behind the strongest parts like the engine, the steel wheels, the rear axle housing. The rest is just sheet metal, it is concealement but makes lousy cover.
    Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunder bolt...... Sun Tzu.

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