Bulletproof Glass 101: Everything You Need to Know About Bullet Resistant Glass (2023)

At first glance, the bulletproof glass looks like an ordinary pane of glass. But, the appearance is only common between them. The bulletproof glass is a multi-purpose protective glass for vehicles and structures that need an additional level of security. It is designed to withstand one or many rounds of bullets depending on the firing weapon and the thickness of the glass.

Bulletproof glass reduces the velocity by absorbing the energy from the bullets. However, it is not fully impenetrable. It means that “bulletproof glass” is more commonly used to describe the product but a more accurate term is “armored ballistic glass or bullet-resistant glass” similar to a “water-proof” watch or “water-resistant watch”.

This article covers what is bulletproof glass made of and how thick is bulletproof glass. Further, you will learn how bulletproof glass can save lives and much more. See videos of how bulletproof glassworks here and here.

Let’s get started…

Can a glass actually be bulletproof?

The simple answer is yes, glass can be bulletproof. Its protection ability totally depends on its quality and manufacturers. Because if manufacturers don’t choose high-quality or inadequate substances for glass manufacturing, such glass might not work.

Similarly, the thickness of the bulletproof glass is another important factor to check how protective the glass is. Glass with less thickness may give adequate protection against only certain types of bullets. However, others may still penetrate through.

On the other hand, a thicker glass offers the utmost protection against most types of bullets. Bullets from a rifle or other heavy weapons require a super thick glass. Whereas, a bullet released from a handgun may not require thicker glass.

It is important to keep in mind that no glass is 100% bulletproof. Therefore, deadly weapons with high-speed bullets may penetrate a super thick bulletproof glass too.

What is a bulletproof glass made of?

Before we talk about how bulletproof glass is made, let’s talk about bulletproof glass material.

Various types of material are used to manufacture bulletproof glass that offers a different level of protection. These levels range from level 1 that can protect against 9mm bullets to level 10 that can sustain some 50 BMG bullets.

There are two most common types of resins used for bullet-resistant glass, acrylic and polycarbonate plastic. However, polycarbonate has become the most popular bulletproof glass material that gives the utmost level of protection.

(Video) Truth About Bullet Proof Window Film | Brad Campbell

Bulletproof Glass 101: Everything You Need to Know About Bullet Resistant Glass (1)

1. Solid Acrylic Bullet Resistant Glass

Glass made of acrylic is commonly designed for conventional use. It is usually a 1.25-inch thick sheet acrylic sheet that offers basic level 1 protection. However, the thickness can be increased or decreased depending upon the security level. This type of glass is suitable for a situation where projectiles are breaking glass windows. It also sustains a few 9mm bullets as well.

2. Laminated Polycarbonate Glass

You can obtain bulletproof glass by placing polycarbonate between two spreads of glass. In this case, you need to laminate all three layers. Polycarbonate glasses are more secure than acrylic glasses. Again, the thickness of the glass depends upon the intensity of the security necessary.

3. Glass-Clad Polycarbonate

You can get a strong and durable armored ballistic resistant glass by Sandwiching layered polycarbonate between the two sheets of glass. It doesn’t only improve the protection level but also gives high visibility.

The glass that uses glass-clad polycarbonate can stop AK-47 or M 16 ammunition. Therefore, it is used in dangerous zones such as areas prone to explosions, dangerous weather, and other impact intrusions.

Manufacturers use different polycarbonate plastics to form the middle layer of the glass. Makroclear and cryolon are two common types of polycarbonate plastics. These layers of plastic truly decrease the momentum of the bullets.

Polycarbonate bullet-resistant glass can protect against a variety of weapons ranging from handguns to extremely powerful rifles. For example, B5 level glass with 1-inch thickness can sustain .357 Magnum rifles bullets.

Increasing the thickness and durability of the glass might decrease the ability to transmit light. Light transmission and the weight of the glass are essential for practical reasons. For example, if a glass offers a greater level of protection but doesn’t have optical clarity, such glass is not worth using.

Therefore, manufacturers not only consider the strength of the material but also the optical clarity of the glass. Acrylic and polycarbonate offer both these characteristics.

How is a bulletproof glass made?

Bulletproof Glass 101: Everything You Need to Know About Bullet Resistant Glass (2)

Now you are familiar with the bulletproof glass material, let’s talk about how to make bulletproof glass. Glass and plastic are the two primary components of bullet-resistant glass.

A simple bulletproof glass contains 3 layers i.e. two sheets of standard glass and one layer of plastic. Thin layers of optical-clear and tough plastic, known as PVB, are sandwiched between sheets of standard glass. Polyurethane and ethylene-vinyl acetate are other laminated materials. These layers are bonded together with heat.

(Video) How To Effectively Clean Bullet Resistant Glass

For strengthening the bond, the temperature should be up to 150o C. And, apply pressure nearly 13 to 14 times more than atmospheric pressure in an autoclave. At this temperature and pressure, the melted plastic makes a strong bond with the glass.

How does bulletproof glass work?

First of all, let’s talk about the difference between ordinary glass and bullet-resistant glass. Why does a bullet shatter an ordinary glass? Well, there is a huge difference between both types of glass.

Normal Glass VS Bullet Proof Glass

Bulletproof Glass 101: Everything You Need to Know About Bullet Resistant Glass (3)

Why does an ordinary glass shatter? The normal glass comes with a car from the factory, is only 3mm thick and fragile. When a bullet with great momentum hits the pane of the glass, it can’t tolerate the energy of the bullet. The bullet fractures it along the line of weakness so the glass is shattered as a result.

Glass fragments and shards can be more dangerous than bullets. Because you might be safe from bullets but these broken pieces of glasses can kill you. In such situations, bulletproof glass can be safer for you.

Contrary to ordinary glass, bullet-resistant glass reduces the speed of the bullet gradually. Because it is made of multiple layers of glass and interlayers of plastics. It also contains a plastic final layer to prevent the spalling of glass upon breakage.


How does Bullet Proof & Ballistic Glass

Let’s talk about how does bulletproof glasswork. Inner plastic layers of this security glass keep absorbing the energy of the bullet. As a result, the inner layer of polycarbonate extensively breaks down the speed of the projectile and minimizes the damage. Then, the bullet will pass through the next layers of polycarbonate. This process continues until either bullet stops or pierces all layers.

If a glass fails to stop the bullet, it will still reduce the momentum of the bullet. The pane of armored ballistic resistant glass can weigh up to 10 times more than the ordinary pane of glass. The heaviness is an indicator of high strength.

How thick is bulletproof glass?

A bullet-resistant glass is made of multiple layers. The simplest glass contains at least 3 layers i.e. one layer of plastic and two glass standard glass sheets. The plastic layer is sandwiched between two panes of standard glass. The thickness depends upon the total number of layers in the glass.

(Video) How Bulletproof are Bulletproof Glasses??

The thickness of the security glass is increased depending upon the hunting rifle ammunition and the speed of the bullet. More layers give high protection level. So the thickness can range from 0.25 to 3.5 inches to prevent different categories of firepower. For example:

  • Small Handguns: You need to use level 1 or B$ level bullet-resistant glass to prevent small handguns attack. Such types of glass are used to protect gas stations, pharmacies, and retail outlets.
  • Large Caliber Handguns: Level 2 bullet-resistant glass can be used to sustain large caliber handguns. These glasses are ideal to protect financial institutions.
  • Super Powered Handguns: To protect from high-powered guns, level 3 bulletproof glass can be used. You can use such glasses to protect high-occupancy and high-risk buildings including government institutions.
  • Automatic Weapons or Assault Rifles: Level 4 to 8 bulletproof glass or B7 rank glass protect from deadly weapons such as assault rifles. Such glasses are used to protect embassies, military, and high-level government buildings.

When was bulletproof glass invented?

The history of bulletproof glass contains a lot of interesting stories. According to some resources, it was invented back in the 1600s. Prince Rupert’s Drops were teardrop-shaped pieces of glass. These items were named for the prince who brought the novelty to England.

The glass had a large end and a narrow, long tail. It was created by dripping molten glass into water. So rapid cooling hardened the glass. As a result, the bulbous end of the hardened glass could stand up to huge amounts of punishment from severe hammer blows.

However, a slight blow to the narrow end shattered the entire piece immediately. It was very entertaining for people and they were very curious as well. Though they didn’t call it bulletproof glass, it could be considered as the first bullet-resistant glass.

Similarly, some studies show that modern bulletproof glass was invented in 1903. If you want to know how and who invented bulletproof glass, read the next question!

Who invented bulletproof glass?

Edouard Benedictus, a French chemist, is the inventor of modern bulletproof glass. He invented it in 1903 accidentally. He was busy in different experiments with a solution of nitrate in the flask. During this experiment, the solution formed a layer around the flask.

When he accidentally dropped the flask, the glass didn’t shatter after breakage. In this way, he got the idea that an unbreakable glass could be made with a combination of plastic and glass. So this was an accident behind the invention of bulletproof glass.

What is a bulletproof glass made of?

Bulletproof glass is made of acrylic and polycarbonate plastic through a series of layers. See above for more details about the process.

Bulletproof Glass 101: Everything You Need to Know About Bullet Resistant Glass (4)

What can break bulletproof glass?

As we have already discussed the different types of material are used in manufacturing bullet-resistant glass. Each material can resist only to some extent. Some types of glass are vulnerable to blunt objects, but others are not.

(Video) Shooting "Bullet Proof" Glass in Slow Motion. & Patreon/Contributus Giveaway! GunCraft101

Therefore, you can break the glass by shooting multiple times in the same location. Further, almost all glass is vulnerable to a high-powered rifle round.

Breaking Acrylic Bulletproof glass

Acrylic-made glass can be broken by hitting them for 5 minutes with a sledgehammer. Plus, a single rifle bullet is enough to break this glass.

Breaking Polycarbonate Glass

Polycarbonate is stronger than acrylic so it resists firmly even against powerful rifles. So you can’t break such glass with a sledgehammer or rock.

Bulletproof Glass 101: Everything You Need to Know About Bullet Resistant Glass (5)

Is bulletproof glass illegal?

Being secure is everyone’s right. So it is completely legal to use bulletproof glass. In the past, only security forces, heads of state, and banks use armor vehicles. Today, it is common to use bulletproof vehicles among Politicians, celebrities, and sportsmen, etc.

Are police car windows bulletproof?

Most of the police cars don’t have bulletproof installations. Because it is very difficult to roll down such glass for communication purposes due to its thickness – unless you have specialized motors and electronics that aid in the operability of the windows.

However, in dangerous areas, some police cars have bulletproof windows. They use such cars for different purposes like when driving on the scene of car chases, random acts of violence, and domestic abuse situations.

Final Words

Bulletproof glass is available in all sizes and formats to secure vehicles and buildings. It reduces the momentum of the bullets and other projectiles and protects you. Although bullets of high-powered rifles can still pierce through the glass, it still reduces the risk drastically. Therefore, it is good to use bulletproof vehicles for politicians, business tycoons, and other important individuals who have the means to protect themselves.


What is the difference between bullet proof glass and bullet-resistant glass? ›

The more accurate term for what people mean when they say bulletproof glass is bullet-resistant glass. However, when you get up to the highest levels of protection the strongest protective glass provides, for all intents and purposes you can consider it bulletproof.

How resistant is bulletproof glass? ›

Bullet resistant glass (commonly known as bulletproof glass) can be composed of several different materials, all offering a different level of protection. These levels of protection range from Level 1, which can sustain three 9mm bullets, all the way to Level 10 which can protect against a 50 BMG bullet.

Can any bullet go through bulletproof glass? ›

It is designed to withstand one or many rounds of bullets depending on the firing weapon and the thickness of the glass. Bulletproof glass reduces the velocity by absorbing the energy from the bullets. However, it is not fully impenetrable.

What is the most important ingredient in bullet proof glass? ›

Layering: Bullet-resistant glass is made of layers of different polycarbonate plastics (such as Makroclear™, Cryolon or Tuffak) in-between layers of glass to help absorb the impact of a bullet.

What can cut through bullet proof glass? ›

Diamond A2Z Blades Cuts Steel, Concrete & Bullet Proof Glass - Belts And Boxes.

What is the strongest bullet proof glass? ›

To answer the original question that inspired this article, the strongest bulletproof glass available today is glass-clad polycarbonate, and the thicker the final product (meaning the number of layers in the sandwich), the greater the ballistic protection it offers!

How many bullets can a bulletproof glass take? ›

As identified by UL 752 standards, the highest level of bulletproof glass historically available has been Level 8, which is made to withstand five rounds from a 7.62mm rifle allowing for no penetration of the bullet and no glass spall.

Can you drill through bulletproof glass? ›

Acrylic Panels

Monolithic acrylic is the most common type of bulletproof “glass” on the market. Ranging in thicknesses from 1 ¼” to 1 ⅜”, acrylic is easy to drill, cut, route and slot, making it a malleable material for both flat and curved windows.

Can bulletproof glass be scratched? ›

SCRATCH REMOVAL (for uncoated bullet proof glass): Most minor scratches can be removed by hand polishing. The polish should be applied with damp pads of soft cotton flannel and rubbed parallel to the scratch in a straight back and forth motion. Excessive rubbing at one point should be avoided.

Can bulletproof glass be broken by explosion? ›

While bulletproof glass is great at stopping handgun rounds, it's ineffective against explosive grenades. So, if you hit the glass with an RPG or any other type of hand-launched explosive device, it's sure to be utterly destroyed. The RPG can blast through as many as 16 separate layers of bulletproof glass.

Can spark plugs break bullet proof glass? ›

Throwing a spark plug shard might not immediately work on a windshield or bulletproof glass. Ordinary car glass is either annealed or tempered glass. Both materials easily give way to the ceramic of the spark plug insulator. In contrast, many windshields have a laminate layer that can withstand greater impact.

Can you drive a car through bulletproof glass? ›

Yes, the installation of bulletproof glass in private cars is entirely legal, and anyone can install bulletproof glass for protection in their vehicle (we recommend professionals who can properly seal and install the Armormax® materials).

What is the thickest bullet proof glass? ›

Bulletproof glass ranges from 0.25 inches to 3.5 inches and as the thickness increases, so does the weight. This is critically important to consider when designing and building structures. Bulletproof glass ranges in levels of protection from UL 1 to 10.

What material can stop a bullet? ›

They may be complex, such as Kevlar, UHMWPE, Lexan, or carbon fiber composite materials, or basic and simple, such as steel or titanium. Bullet resistant materials are often used in law enforcement and military applications to protect personnel from death or serious injury.

How thick is Level 3 bullet resistant glass? ›

For example, Level 3 glass-clad polycarbonate (capable of stopping three rounds from a . 44 Magnum) is a 0.375-inch thick layer of glass, a thin coat of polyurethane, and another 0.375 inch sheet of glass.

How much does it cost to get bullet proof windows? ›

The cost of a bulletproof window ranges from $150 to $800 per square foot depending on what bullets are to be stopped, whether the window is opening, how intricate the design is, and the size of the window.

Can bullet proof glass broken by ak47? ›

A projectile fired from a rifle, such as the AK-47 or the Nato rifle G3, has a lower speed of up to thousand meters per second. This means: Glass breaks faster than the speed of the projectile. Therefore, the breaks in the glass are ahead of the projectile.

How thick is bulletproof glass for cars? ›

The index of refraction for all of the glasses used in the bulletproof layers must be almost the same to keep the glass transparent and allow a clear, undistorted view through the glass. Bulletproof glass varies in thickness from 3⁄4 to 31⁄2 inches (19 to 89 mm).

How much does bulletproof glass cost? ›

The price can range from $3,000 to $20,000. The price of the car window will depend on the size of the car, the style of the window, the material of the window, and the level of insurance coverage you have.

Can an arrow go through bulletproof glass? ›

Yes an arrow (or crossbow bolt) can pierce through some bullet proof vests.

Can you drill a hole in thick glass? ›

You can use any standard power drill to drill holes through glass. The most important thing to have is the diamond-coated or carbide drill bits. Learn more about the full process below. This technique works for many fragile surfaces like mirrors, ceramic tiles, plant pots, and more.

Can you use Windex on bulletproof glass? ›

Do not use abrasive cleaners. Strictly stay away from using benzene, window cleaner (i.e. Windex), alcohol (or alcohol based cleaners), lacquer thinners, alkaline cleaners, carbon tetrachloride or petroleum based solvents such as acetone or MEK.

What is the name of the strongest glass? ›

What Type of Glass Is the Strongest?
  • Toughened (tempered) glass: ⁣ This kind of glass is recommended for safety purposes. It's manufactured by use of controlled thermal or chemical treatment processes. ...
  • Laminated Glass: ⁣ This kind of glass tends to hold together when it's shuttered and stays in the frame. ...
  • Plate Glass:⁣

Why do police cars not have bullet proof glass? ›

It's expensive and most police departments have limited budgets. Uparmoring adds some weight to the vehicle. Bulletproof windows that still have power window functionality and go up and down are even more expensive and police need to be able to lower their windows.

What happens if you throw pieces of a spark plug at a window? ›

Spark plugs instantly break windows when thrown at the glass with sufficient force because they are generally made of aluminum oxide ceramic or porcelain, which concentrates a tremendous amount of energy at a single focal point on the glass.

Can bulletproof glass stop an AR 15? ›


Defeats threats of both rapid gunfire from both handguns and automatic weapons, including the AR-15 and AK-47 rifles.

What happens when a bullet hits bulletproof glass? ›

The glass breaking absorbs some of the bullet's energy by spreading the force over a larger area and the flexible polycarbonate stops the bullet. Bullets shot from the inside of an armored car can penetrate the bullet-resistant glass because they strike the softer polycarbonate layer first with more focused energy.

Do bulletproof windows go down? ›

Often times we get asked, if I buy an armored car from you can you still make my windows operable? In other words, can you roll down bulletproof windows after the armoring process takes place? The quick answer is yes.

What is level 1 bullet-resistant? ›

Level 1: Refers to bullet resistant glass able to withstand fire from small caliber handguns. It must be able to resist a minimum of three 9mm FMJs traveling at a minimum velocity of 1,175 feet per second (f/s) Level 2: Defines bullet resistant glass designed to withstand fire from larger caliber handguns.

Can aluminum foil stop a bullet? ›

Aluminum armor can deflect all the same rounds from small-caliber weapons as traditional bulletproof glass. But while traditional bulletproof glass warps, fogs, or spiderwebs when shot, transparent aluminum remains largely clear. It also stops larger bullets with a significantly thinner piece of material.

Can magnets stop a bullet? ›

Typically, no. Most bullets aren't ferromagnetic – they aren't attracted to magnets. Bullets are usually made of lead, maybe with a copper jacket around them, neither of which sticks to a magnet. These magnets made a bullet tumble on Mythbusters, but didn't change where it hit the target.

Do bullets go through walls? ›

Most household objects won't reliably stop a bullet. Bullets easily puncture most walls, doors, and floors. However, brick, concrete, and cinder blocks effectively stop most common calibers. But each bullet takes out chunks, so it can only protect you for so long.

Is bullet proof the same as bullet-resistant? ›

Broadly speaking they are all describing the same thing, but technically speaking, bulletproof, armoured, ballistic are only correct as a collective term, whilst bullet resistant with a qualifying level of protection is the correct way to describe it.

Is bullet-resistant the same as bullet proof? ›

While the industry term for our line of products is bullet-resistant, the more common term is bulletproof. Things like bulletproof vests, however, are not actually bulletproof, but bullet-resistant.

What is another name for bullet proof glass? ›

Laminated glass is the original “bullet proof glass.” It's crafted from layers of glass and resin, similar to a thick stack of modern car windshields.

Can bullet proof glass be broken with gun? ›

Bulletproof glass (known more accurately as ballistic glass) is designed to absorb the force of a bullet rather than breaking apart. If you're determined to break through the glass, you can do so by shooting the glass multiple times in the same location or by shooting the glass with a high-powered rifle.

Can a frying pan stop a bullet? ›

Unfortunately, even a 9mm pistol can easily blast a hole through a cast-iron skillet. However, two skillets can stop pistol rounds, so do with that what you will. A cast iron tub might do the job if it were positioned so you could hide behind it, especially if you could fill it with water.

Can you bullet proof any car? ›

Yes. Some vehicles, however, are more conducive to be armored than others. We have a portfolio of vehicles (see here) but can apply our armoring technology to almost any vehicle brand. Armormax® has patterns on over 80 different makes and models (from Range Rover to Tesla to Cadillac).

What is the most effective bulletproof material? ›

Ultra-High Hardness (UHH) armor steel is the best performing steel alloy for protection against armor piercing (AP) bullets. Thanks to a 578 to 655 HBW hardness, UHH steel panels are able to break AP projectiles' core and provide efficient protection with reduced weight compared to High Hard (500HB) material.

What is the strongest bullet proof Armour? ›

Level IV armor is the highest rating of body armor currently available, and it will stop armor-piercing rifle threats. It can withstand up to 30-06 M2ap steel core armor-piercing rounds with a mass of 166 grains and a velocity of 2880 ft/s.

How many bullets can bulletproof glass take? ›

As identified by UL 752 standards, the highest level of bulletproof glass historically available has been Level 8, which is made to withstand five rounds from a 7.62mm rifle allowing for no penetration of the bullet and no glass spall.

How much does a bullet proof glass cost? ›

The price can range from $3,000 to $20,000. The price of the car window will depend on the size of the car, the style of the window, the material of the window, and the level of insurance coverage you have.

How many types of bullet proof glass are there? ›

Bullet resistant glazing can be produced using a few different materials. The most common include acrylic, polycarbonate, glass-clad polycarbonate, and laminated glass.

How many inches of glass can stop a bullet? ›

Bulletproof glass ranges from 0.25 inches to 3.5 inches and as the thickness increases, so does the weight. This is critically important to consider when designing and building structures. Bulletproof glass ranges in levels of protection from UL 1 to 10.

Can bulletproof glass stop a sniper? ›

Mostly used in the military as sniper rifles, no consumer-grade bullet-resistant system will stop a . 50-cal rifle bullet, which requires Level 10 bulletproof glass (usually three or more inches of polycarbonate plastic, which equates to almost half a foot of tempered glass).


1. Bullet Proof Glass vs Ballistic Barrier Shade
3. Hardware Store Bulletproof Glass project [DIY]
(Tech this out meow)
(How Ridiculous)
5. Unturned how to make bullet proof glass
(Fire HawK)
6. Lens Materials - Everything you need to know | Thin Lenses Advice
(The Spectacle Factory)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Sen. Emmett Berge

Last Updated: 01/30/2023

Views: 5345

Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Sen. Emmett Berge

Birthday: 1993-06-17

Address: 787 Elvis Divide, Port Brice, OH 24507-6802

Phone: +9779049645255

Job: Senior Healthcare Specialist

Hobby: Cycling, Model building, Kitesurfing, Origami, Lapidary, Dance, Basketball

Introduction: My name is Sen. Emmett Berge, I am a funny, vast, charming, courageous, enthusiastic, jolly, famous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.