Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Welcome to Glock Forum at

Why should YOU join our forums?

  • Reason #1
  • Reason #2
  • Reason #3

Site Description

Shooting through a car windshield

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by packsaddle, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. packsaddle


    Jan 15, 2009
    Anyone have data on how trajectory is affected by shooting through a car windshield?

    Was wondering how the angle and thickness of the windshield affects trajectory, speed, expansion, etc.

    Don't want to debate tactics, just curious about it.

    Thanks, in advance.
  2. Angry Fist

    Angry Fist Dehumanizer® Lifetime Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    Hellbilly Hill

  3. smokeross

    smokeross GTDS Member #49

    May 15, 2011
    Not sure, but the gang bangers that looked down the barrel of my .45 through the windshield of my car in Anchorage didn't want ti find out.:wow::wow::wow:
  4. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Back when we carried 158 grain RN .38's had an occasion to fire a round head on at a subject sitting in the front seat. Round plowed a trough up the windshield and gouged the aluminum trim at the top. Never came close to penetrating.

    After we changed to 158 grain LSWCHP's fired through the passenger side corner of my unit's windshield from the driver's seat. Round passed through without a problem and left a relatively small hole. I imagine the angle had a lot to do with it.

    There were some higher-ups in the department who were not particularly amused.

  5. You talking inside/out or outside/in?
  6. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.
    I don't think you're going to see any hard data. There are just too many variables. Bonded ammunition is almost a must for bullet integrity and weight retention through windshield glass. They had a rep from ATK come to my firearms instructor school and demo some of that stuff. Seemed like your best bet any time you're shooting through a windshield was either a) shooting a big enough hole in it that you can shoot through said hole or b) going with something heavy, like a slug.
  7. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    The round angles towards the perpendicular. Shooting out goes up, shooting in goes down. How much it deviates depends on the angle and such. I have had .40 FMJ go a foot and a half high fron driver's seat to front bumper (aimed belt, hit neck on a TQ21).

    The bonded bullets still deflect. Their advantage is in not separating out the jacket and retaining more weight for the impact.
  8. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    This is what my very unscientific results have been like. Sitting in the car and firing through the windshield at a B27.

    First round is no gaurantee, but any rounds fired where the glass is spiderwebbed from the first would hit POA.

    Unfortunately we only had two junkers to work with so you only got about 3 "first shot" simulations from each windshield before it was spent.

    I guess the best rule is keep putting rounds on target.
  9. packsaddle


    Jan 15, 2009
    Thanks, guys.

    So, sitting in your unit shooting out, it sounds like first shot should be held lower than intended target with subsequent shots held directly on intended target.

    Hope to never find myself in such a predicament but always good to know the physics involved.
  10. The-Fly

    The-Fly The Bofh

    Apr 27, 2005
  11. Just got done with a Vehicle Tactics class including shooting through the windshield. I'll post my thoughts later.

    Yes, put quite a few rifle and handgun rounds through the windshields of some donated cars.
  12. smokeross

    smokeross GTDS Member #49

    May 15, 2011
    Loved shooting up abandoned cars when I was young. .22's, shotguns,
    large revolvers, mini 14's. Pretty amazing what a .22 can do. Another fun thing was to tape a flashlight to the barrel and go to the local dump at night shooting rats.
  13. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA

    Mar 1, 2000
  14. Milltown


    Jul 22, 2008
    Buy yourself one of these and you won't have an issue.
  15. fatfred


    Oct 20, 2009
    The FBI did an exhaustive study on this shortly after the Miami shoot out. The guy that did it was an agent who was a total ballistics nerd and really intelligent. The study was
    posted on the FBI web site at one time. Shortly after the FBI adopted the 10mm.
  16. walkin' trails

    walkin' trails

    Apr 24, 2005
    General rule of thumb is that for a handgun, bullet fired out of a handgun, the bullet will be dragged down approximately two inches when fired from the outside aiming at a target inside. When fired from the inside, the bullet will drag up approximately two inches, unless the muzzle is placed directly against the glass; which incidently will likely also cause the pistol to malfunction. High velocity rounds, such as rifles will generally stay relatively true to point of aim, at least as far as I've seen. Just remember the mechanical offset of the sights when firing an AR at close range. I fired into a windshield with an AR loaded with 62 grain Federal bonded soft points. I forgot the mechanical offset and the round hit two inchese low - right in line with the steering wheel. Steering wheels apparently have a pretty stout piece of spring steel inside and the bullet basically hit the steel and vaporized. The target inside got a lot of small fragments in the "face," but that was about it. The next rounds were on target after taking the sighting into consideration. Its best to take an old car to a range and spend some quality time seeing where your bullets go when fired into a car. Remember also that for the past several years, most cars have steel beams in the doors which may stop the penetration of some rounds. I noted that the same Fed 223 SP that vaporized on the steering wheel also would penetrate clear through a 1980s GM midsized car about half the time.
  17. glockurai


    Sep 2, 2010
    I've shot from within a vehicle (training), through the windshield, and had no problems hitting where I was aiming at, center mass. Ammo used was 45ACP GD 200gr +p.
  18. MSP Sarge

    MSP Sarge

    Sep 27, 2009
    This is what happened to me. I was in a gun battle with a suspect that was on the hood of my cruiser and me standing behind the cruiser. I fired two rounds of 9mm through the back window. One penetrated the back window, through the front window and struck suspect in the chect. The other round went into the dash. The round that hit the suspect hit hard enough to stop the gun fight for a few moments, though this was the second round that had him out of three.

    I have some photographs if you need them.

    Keep in mind this was in 1985 and I was using Winchester Silver Tips. Thats all we had and was approved at the time.



    Jan 10, 2000
    Middle TN
    I can attest to the method and it working. Myself and another of my officers were involved in a pursuit and FOIS on Jan 26th 2009. I shot out through the passenger window with no deflection and my other officer was shooting through the windshield from behind with no noticable alteration of bullet path for either of us.

    The subject was struck center mass by myself and four times in the extremities by the other officer. The officer the subject was pointing his weapon at was me. It was believed he was waiting for me to get out and pass the A pillar to fire.

    When shooting out of a vehicle the glass creates little deviation, however our training showed that the bullet entering a windshield can deflect downward slightly unless there is a great enough degree of tilt to the glass to cause a possible deflection upward.

    January 26, 2009
    A Murfreesboro man is dead following a shooting on Interstate 24 in Manchester early Monday morning (1/26/09). It began with a 911 call from a woman who said that her ex-husband was chasing her in his truck and was possibly armed. Coffee County deputies chased the pickup truck through Manchester’s industrial park and out onto I-24. Deputies put down spike strips on the interstate, but the suspect swerved and aimed the truck toward a Manchester policeman. The officer jumped back and shot the suspect’s rear tire. It blew and he pulled to the side of the road near mile marker 114.
    The video camera in the deputies’ cars, shows Terry Cohen Meadors getting out of his truck and aim a 9-mm handgun at the three deputies. Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves said, “They did exactly as taught in the Law Enforcement Academy.” He was referring to the fact that the deputies stayed in their cruisers and fired through the window. The sheriff commented, “Meadors was probably waiting for them to get out before he fired. They however did exactly what they were trained to do.” The 50-year old male was pronounced deceased at the scene. This took place around 6:30 Monday morning.
    According to Sheriff Graves, Deputies James O’Neal and Daryn Gadeken have been placed on routine administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation. Meadors ex-wife had an order of protection against him. In addition, she earlier obtained an arrest warrants that charged her ex-husband with vandalism and harassment. A check of Meadors’ criminal background shows that he was arrested several times on aggravated assault and assault charges. Back in 1992 he was convicted to two-years in the state penitentiary on a criminal attempt of kidnapping conviction.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  20. use2b6L32


    Apr 26, 2006
    Any links to the video, Prosouth?

    Great job, BTW!