Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Guns: The Myth of the Bullet-Resistant Car

After watching the newest Terminator series on FOX, I noticed there was a scene where our heroes speed off in a car while the evil Terminator fills it with bullets from an M16 rifle. Naturally, the back window shatters, our heroes perform a perfunctory duck-and-cover routine, but nobody seems harmed by the fusillade. But is this what happens in real life?

The Buick O' Truth site does have some answers to this quandary. In their tests, the only thing that can reliably deflect a bullet is the engine block, and almost every part of a car (the doors, the trunk, the windows) can be easily penetrated with an ordinary handgun bullet. This is backed up by U.S. military doctrine which has soldiers hiding behind either the engine or at least the rear axle. Moral of the story? A car quickly turns into a deathtrap against a rifle, and in real life, Sarah and John would have been shot many times.

Of course, it's not as crazily unrealistic as this Top Gear video (if Jeremy Clarkson can hit a car in mid-air with a Carl Gustav, I'm the Tooth Fairy).

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