View Full Version : Rifle Rounds Penetration of Car Doors & Glass

M&A Parts
04-26-07, 16:14
From: John S Farnam
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2007 7:36 PM
Subject: Rifle Penetration of Car Doors and Glass

Performance, from a friend in Dallas, TX:

"One of our patrol officers was murdered here Friday. The suspect
fired at
him from within a stopped vehicle. Other nearby officers responded by
at the suspect, who remained inside the vehicle (Chevy Caprice) the entire
time. Suspect eventually surrendered after being wounded. He is currently

The point of this is that at least one responding officer was armed with an

EOTech-equipped AR-15. Both rifle and optic ran just fine. The ammunition
did not! The police rifle was loaded with WW 55gr ballistic silvertip.
was less than fifty feet. With over fifteen rounds fired at the suspect,
penetration of the vehicle door and glass was poor, with every bullet fired
breaking up upon impact and failing to penetrate intact. Only fragments
through and did merely superficial damage to the suspect. In fact, it was
police handgun rounds fired at the suspect, particularly 357SIG, that did
penetrate and subsequently wounded him severely enough to persuade him to stop fighting.

I am convinced that even 55gr hardball would have performed better."

Comment: For over forty years, the unsatisfactory penetration ability of
223 round, at all ranges, has been well known within both the military and
the law-enforcement communities. In fact, it is "poor penetration" that we
have actually used as a selling point while persuading politicians to allow
us to equip beat cars with rifles, rather than shotguns.

Unfortunately, in American law enforcement, we get into a lots of our
gunfights in and around cars. Most pistol rounds do a poor job of
penetrating car
doors. Buckshot from a shotgun does not penetrate car doors either. Slugs
from a shotgun do penetrate, but most police shotguns are not routinely
equipped with them. Rifles were supposed to address this issue, but, as we
see, light, frail, crumbly bullets, at any speed, fail to penetrate car doors,
even car glass.

Departments that equip their officers with 223 rifles need to look at
Cor-Bon 62gr DPX and Federal 223 Tactical. Both these rounds will reliably

penetrate car doors without breaking up. In fact, DPX not only penetrates
but it
expands fully after penetrating the car door and subsequently striking soft
tissue. I routinely carry DPX in my RA/XCR, which is one of my car-guns.

It is high time we stop playing games with friable bullets and start
equipping our officers with up-to-date, fight-stopping technology!


05-06-07, 08:46
Thanks for posting the article.

Our local PD dropped the Silvertip after multiple shootings where the round failed to expand or stop. I think the last straw was when one of the department FI had a negligent discharge into his own leg a few years ago. The round entered into the right side of his leg just below the knee, and exited oiut the left side of his leg into his boots.

While the round broke his tibia (lower leg bone ?), it was captured by the boot. When they removed the boot, the round fell right out and showed no deformation whatsoever. It was fired from a 4.0 S&W H&K USP with the muzzle about 6-inches from the entry wound. Last I heard, they have since gone to the Federal HST.

As far as fodder for the AR, I load my magazines either with Hornady TAP or with Federal Trophy Bonded Bearclaw. Both of which are supposed to perform well against barriers. JM2CW.