The Box O’ Truth #47 – Laminated Bullet Proof Glass – Pistols

I recently had a friend of The Box O’ Truth named David, who sent me an e-mail and told me about some glass he manufactures.

He said, “I can provide you with some layered, laminated, bullet proof glass, that is much more bullet resistant than the cast poly sheet glass you shot before. This is rated as NIJ IIIA, for a .44 Magnum. If you want, I will also send you a sheet of NIJ III Rifle Rated glass.”

How could I pass up a chance like this?

He shipped me two sheets of Pistol glass, and one Rifle sample.

Today, we will test the pistol rated glass.

The sheets are 20 inches by 20 inches, and are thick and heavy.

The first sample is 20 X 20 and 1.24 inches thick.

It has 3 layers of glass and weighs 42 pounds.

Yep, you read that right… 42 pounds. This is heavy stuff.

It is rated NIJ IIIA for Pistols.

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I built a rack to rest it on so that we could shoot it. I also placed a plastic drip cloth on the ground, as this type of glass puts off shards of glass when it is shot and I wanted to be able to easily clean up the range after we are through.

To pass the NIJ tests, a sheet of this glass must be able to be shot 5 times, in a pattern like on a piece of dice, and not fail. So, it is okay to shoot one piece more than once. David also suggested that I shoot it with a rifle, even though it is not rated for rifles, just to see what would happen.

First, let’s be clear about what we are doing. We know this glass will pass the NIJ IIIA Pistol standards, and that means 5 rounds of .44 Magnum without allowing any penetration. We are going to go “above and beyond” and see what it will take to break this glass today.

We will first shoot it with a 9mm Ball.

Here I am with my Shadow and some 9mm Ball, shooting at about 15 yards.

Here I am with my Shadow and some 9mm Ball, shooting at about 15 yards.

The glass stopped the 9mm, just as expected.

You will notice the large damaged area, but that is how this glass is designed to work.

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Next, I figured we would try a round of 7.62 X 25 Tokarev, a very good penetrator.

Here I am with my T-33.

Here I am with my T-33.

Just as I got ready to shoot, I swallowed a mosquito and got choked.

Vern thought that was funny, so took a picture of me choking.

Okay, let’s try again.

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It made a deep hole, but did not penetrate.

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Lastly, let’s try the .44 Magnum, with full-power loads.

I have my Ruger Super Blackhawk, with some hot 240 grain JSP loads.

47-7It stopped the .44 Magnum, just as designed.

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It bludged the back of the glass, but did not have any shards come off.

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Now we will try to “mistreat” the sample, by going above and beyond what it expected for this glass.

I will shoot into the same spot and see how many shots it takes to finally penetrate the sample.

As I loaded up my Shadow, I asked Vern, “How many will it take?”

His guess: 5 rounds.

I said, “I’m loading 10, because I believe it might take more.”

Here I am shooting it in the same general area.

Here I am shooting it in the same general area.

At the fifth round, we could see the witness cardboard fall, and knew it was defeated.

Here's the back of the glass.

Here’s the back of the glass.

And here's the witness cardboard with a small hole in it.

And here’s the witness cardboard with a small hole in it.

Let’s try the other sample. This one is also 20 X 20 inches, but is 1.5 inches thick and has 4 layers.

It is also rated NIJ IIIA, for Pistols.

This piece weighs 52 pounds.

I will “mistreat” this one from the beginning, by shooting it with a rifle.

It is not rated for a rifle, but let’s see what happens.

First, a round of 5.56 M-193 Ball, out of my Coyote Brown AR-15.

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The glass stopped the round, even though not designed for it.

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We had considered trying a round of 7.62 X 51 Ball, but agreed that it would defeat the glass, and wanted to have some area to try a slug.

So, I used my Remington 870 and a Quik-Shox Slug, which has proven to be very tough in past tests.

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It was evident that it had penetrated the glass, as the witness cardboard flew several yards behind the target.

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Here's the piece of the back of the glass that was blown off.

Here’s the piece of the back of the glass that was blown off.

And here's the hole in the front of the glass.

And here’s the hole in the front of the glass.

I turned it around to show you the back.

I turned it around to show you the back.

We noticed something laying in the hole.

We noticed something laying in the hole.

It was a part of the slug, and we recovered the rest off of the plastic sheet.

It was a part of the slug, and we recovered the rest off of the plastic sheet.

Lessons learned:
  1. This glass is tough stuff, and will stand up to a .44 Magnum, just as advertised.
  2. You can “chew” through the glass by shooting in the same area several times.
  3. Even though not designed to stop rifle rounds, it stopped one round of 5.56.
  4. A shotgun slug that weighs 1 1/8 ounce seems to say, “I’m not stopping.”
  5. It’s fun to shoot stuff.

Next time: Rifle rated glass.