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Shooting Rifles at Car Doors – The Buick O’ Truth

The Box O’ Truth is a website famous for its down n’ dirty style of testing firearms and ballistics. In this installment of their “Buick O’ Truth” series, the effects of various cartridges on car doors are tested.

We have all either seen or heard about the North Hollywood shootout, leaving us to wonder what kind of cover a car offers against those types of guns. Well, let’s find out, shall we?

First up, the AR15. Notice that I managed to snap a picture while the weapon was cycling… Pretty darn cool if you ask me!

Next up, the .308 fired from a Bushmaster AR-10 clone.

Three rounds were fired from each weapon into the rear driver’s side door. The three 5.56 rounds are on the left, and the three 7.62×51 rounds are on the right.

A single door didn’t offer much protection against the handgun rounds we tested before, so it should be little of surprise that it didn’t offer much protection against the rifle either. Here’s the results.

And on the other side of the car. As I said earlier, this old Buick is one tough bugger, but we have a complete passthrough with one 7.62×51 round, one that dimpled the door, and a couple of 5.56 rounds that dimpled the passenger door.

Next up, the AK firing the 7.62x39mm round.

And the Dragunov rifle firing the 7.62x54mmR round.

The 7.62x54mmR is actually a more powerful round than the 7.62x51mm round, which we know more commonly as the .308. The big Russian round is in the power range of the .30-06 round, and its 3 clean passthrough shots demonstrate this pretty conclusively.

The AK’s 7.62x39mm also did quite well, penetrating the passenger door once. Again, these are only 3 round strings being fired, but with the Russian rifle rounds, those 3 are enough to make for a bad day for anyone on the other side of that door. Notice also that the rounds are keyholing, meaning they are already tumbling BEFORE hitting a soft gooey target on the far side of the car, ensuring that you will be severely monkeyed up if one hits you.

In fact, with any of the rifle rounds life inside the passenger compartment would be very short and very unpleasant, which you can see by looking at this seat.

There were bullet fragments and bits of metal EVERYWHERE in the passenger compartments after the rifle/door shots, and there was still enough oomph to penetrate the door completely and make life short and bloody for anyone hiding on the other side of that car.

Lessons learned:

Car doors offer absolutely NO reliable cover from rifle rounds.

Remember that these are 3 round strings being fired at a leisurely pace into the car doors. Someone who meant business could make swiss cheese out of those doors and anyone in front of OR behind them in no time flat.

If you ever find yourself in a hostile situation that involves using cars as cover, know just what your cover can and can’t do!

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