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Penetration Testing And Using A Car As Cover Part 2

by on 2013/10/30

After the results of shooting through a car on the range with a 5.56 a few weeks ago, I decided to test some more with a variety of rounds.

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We used the same car as the 5.56 test and shot the target from the same angles and through the same amounts of barrier.  Those being one door, two doors and through both sides of the rear trunk area.  I did not bother trying to shot through the engine block because it will stop just about anything you can carry and fire not crew served.

The first up was the 9mm round.  The round was a NATO  ball round. The caveat is , it was from a Colt 9mm carbine. This adds significant performance to the 9mm FMJ round.  I do not advise anyone to base the performance of their 9mm handgun on what can be done with a rifle firing the same round.

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First up  we fired the 9mm through  both rear doors.

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Five rounds where fired from 25 yards. Only two made it through and into the target. Two more holes that seemed to be hits turned out to be fragment from the bullet jacket or car door.

Next we fired form the trunk side to side with the 9mm.

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Out of five rounds, two made it through both sides of the trunk.

Last we shot  through one door with the target hidden behind it in the classic “movie cop” positioning.

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We thought more would make it through in better shape then before when using the same 9mm  round.

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Only two rounds out of five made it through. They did stay on path and hit where aimed.  The other three shredded as frag for one reason or another I have no idea why.

 

Next we fired the  5.45 round form the AK-74  in all three of the same positions as the 5.56 and 9mm.

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Almost all made it through both doors. But as you can see they keyholed. There was not much energy left after they hit the target and did not penetrate the plastic barrel  the target was leaning against. But they did go through both doors and hit where we intended them to hit.  Rounds  were fired through a AK74 “krinkov” with shorter barrel so it would be interesting to see the different from the full length AK barrel.  Range was again, only 25 yards.

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The 5.45 was nothing but frag when shot through the trunk/rear of the car with five rounds.

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The 5.45 went through the single passenger side door very easy with lots of fragmentation. Most rounds hit were aimed but at odd angles showing  the start of the tumbling seen when fired through two doors resulting in obvious key holes in the target.

 

Last we fired the 7.62×39.

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Two rounds out of five, fired from 25 yards from a AK47 , made it through both doors. The M43 round held together twice but the rest became a fine enough powder to just pepper the target with dents.

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When fired through the rear trunk of the car, one round of five made a solid hit, the rest became frag that just made it through the cardboard of the target and made no mark on the plastic barrel behind it that we could spot.

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The last 5 rounds were fired through the “movie cop ” one door position.  This had us scratching out heads a bit. Most of the rounds fragmented bad enough to not leave any hole that looked like a clean hit.  Large chunks of the round did puncture the target but only maybe two at most.   Lots of bullet jacket did cut through the target though and would obviously make a bad day.  My guess is that 2-3 rounds tumbled or where deflected off target.  Though, I don’t see how sense that target was only about 5 inches behind the rear of the door we shot through.    Gun was the shorter barreled version so make of that what you will.

 

Once again this shows that most popular common rounds fired at a car being used as cover will give you a large medical bill or a trip to the grave.  Very little of the vehicle offers up real cover and protection.  All rounds fired  were ball ( FMJ )  and would theoretically give better penetration, but that obviously not a given. The reason we used ball this time, is because it is the most common round to find in all of these rounds and  soviet type arms with ball ammo is the main weapon many people will face in certain parts of the world doing certain jobs.  Do to its cheap price, it is also likely to be the choice of some bad guy wanting more firepower.  Most LE and civilians with ammo for self protection would be more likely to have hollow points or soft points or some such so this time we were more interested in seeing what a person could expect to face in such an encounter.   We will be doing this test with more rounds to come to give an idea  just what you might expect if your day suddenly goes very badly.

 

 

One Comment
  1. Chuck Haggard permalink

    When using 9mm, I have found that launching from a handgun and using bonded bullets gives much better performance. I recall our testing of the 124gr +P Gold Dot through the “door as cover” type test, 10 for 10 through the door and through a 1/2″ plywood witness panel.

    FMJ isn’t bonded, and often frags rather badly.

    I note that while it gives good penetration in many materials, the “awesome 7.62X39 turns cover into concealment” folks are wrong again. Performance no better than a 9mm in this case.

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