How Well Can a Typical Vehicle Stop a Bullet?

Will a Car Door Stop a Bullet

Pictured: Still a better look than those stupid bullet hole stickers. (Shutterstock photo)

TLDR: There are too many variables to call a definite yes or no, but any rifle from a .223 on up at a distance of 100 yards or less stands the best chance of penetrating a typical vehicle. This is a good time to mention my disclaimer.

It makes sense that characters hiding from gunfire would choose to skirt death by taking shelter in or against a car or truck. But how well do everyday vehicles, such as the kind you whittle away your life inside stuck in traffic, stop bullets? Much depends on the firearm, the ammunition and the make of the vehicle, so the answer isn’t going to be concrete. Here’s my shot at filling in the Swiss cheese.

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On Writing Guns: Will a Conveniently Placed Item Stop a Bullet?

In a classic episode of The Simpsons, Ned Flanders takes two bullets to the chest. The pious neighbor walks away unscathed, all thanks to a Bible and a piece of wood from the ol’ rugged cross under his shirt.

Although the show is meant to be satirical, it’s a scene played out with a straight face in the rest of fiction, most notably the crime genre. A character is seemingly shot to death, only to stand back up thanks to a convenient object beneath the clothing that “stopped the bullet.”

So how close is this to reality? Is it possible for this to happen? Continue reading