Shooting through glass - Guest thoughts


Below are some thoughts on a short project we worked on and consulted with via a good friend and former Delta Operator.

Glass cutters – I have never used glass cutters in over 30 years of service with emphasis on breaching (mechanical, explosive, ballistic, and manual) whether it was dynamic or surreptitious. I can’t think of more than one scenario where that capability would have value and that would be surreptitious entry on a top floor window.

Maybe your elements have discovered a shortcoming or mission enhancement skill-set that I am not thinking of; but, I don’t have any experience to discuss glass cutters. I have a tremendous amount of breaching and building and placing IEDs in real operations to include the **************** where I breached the prison that incarcerated *************. I have substantial experience in building and detonating IEDs for select targeting and quite a bit of experience surreptitiously entering structures and vehicles to silently negotiate targets.

As it concerns shooting through glass – I have a lot of experience:

I have had bullets ricochet of a car side-window at a 45-degree angle and not crack the glass. I can tell you the experience is ear-ringing because the glass almost acts like a tuning fork.

I have shot in and out of tempered flat pane glass and I have conducted actual testing for nuclear power plants that wanted to know what would happen to a security officer inside and behind a window if .223 caliber bullets when through. Regardless if the bullet hits him, this is what you can expect: You can count on two missiles – the bullet and a glass plug. You can also expect the copper jacket to be shaved off and become secondary missiles about the size of sand granules that if they strike the eyes could pierce and burn them. The glass plugs had enough energy to sever arteries in the neck, take out eyes, and anything else you can imagine within about 3 feet from the glass.

As far as cockpit glass are concerned, you can accurately shoot through the glass with 300 Winmag – 308 calibers and not have any issues with trajectory even shooting upward at slight angles from afar.

Shooting .223 at cockpit glass may have dubious effects as the bullet is travelling so fast and is so light that it could be deformed and lose energy. Shooting .223 through standard flat pane tempered glass is not a problem and you will not see any significant deviations in trajectory.

Shooting out of vehicles through windows is problematic – overpressure can be distracting; glass dust plumes are dangerous to inhale; flying brass from multiple shooters can impair focus; bullets shaving copper and spalling coming back in the eyes and generally handling weapons in tight quarters and traversing is difficult. Shooting guys in cars through glass is good because the noise is deafening; automotive glass tends to crack but not break apart impairing view; you get secondary missiles, and glass dust as the bullets exit the glass on the other side.

- D