Not Sure Of Physics Involved

Refresh my memory of the physics involved by firing a handgun in a closed car. Certainly, the muzzle blast can cause deafness, but is window glass shattered sucked back into the vehicle?

Your windows will not blow out if you fire a handgun in a vehicle.

Here is one where they are shooting a rifle from inside a car with the windows up and no windows are “blown out.”

There will be glass falling from where the bullets pass through and crack the window, but it does not turn into a cascade of glass blowing out or getting sucked back in.


THX- I wasn’t sure.

Not sure if this is pertinant, but in both vehicles there was either an open window or open door. I suspect that windows shattering are a myth, but the videos are not definitive proof. Interesting topic, sparked my interest! BTW, I would not want to fire any weapon in an enclosed space without proper ear protection, but realistically there may not be time to get proper ear protection.


The windshield is laminated, this is why it won’t shatter. It does not mean spallation debries (glass spray) are not produced both outside and inside the car.
The side windows may or may not be laminated, and might shatter with fragments flying everywhere.

1 Like

This topic is kind of sticking my mind. The more I think about it the more I think it is a myth, even the side windows. Modern automotive glass is pretty tough. I saw a person throw a cinder block at a driver’s side window because they had locked their keys in the car, it bounced off and hit him in his shin! The only way I have seen glass break is from creating a small point of pressure, then the window shatters. That is the concept behind tactical pens and glass breakers. Spread out the pressure (like firing a gun) no issue. Focus the pressure with a glass breaker, you’ll need a new back window, side or windshield. Obviously you will break the glass by firing through it, however the bullet will be deflected. Should have given more thought to my first post…

I would like to share a bit of personal experience. Some years ago I managed a distribution center that had it’s own trucking fleet. we also managed the mail for about 50 remote sites. One day some men hijacked one of our vans and took it to a town several miles north of us to rob a bank. Yes it was a dumb move because it was the slowest van we had, but that is a digression. They ended up getting into a running gun battle with the police and some local citizens. The men inside the van had a Mac 10, two 1911s and a shotgun. The police seemed to be equipped mostly with 9mm while some of the citizens had rifles.

The aftermath of the whole thing was I got back a van full of holes in the body and every window. I learned 9mm has a hard time going through a van door and liner, hardly any went into the van except on the side where the metal was the thinnest. I learned that bullets do not shatter safety glass nor will a burst from a Mac 10 blow out the windows. A shot gun shooting slugs doesn’t seem to blow out the windows either, though it does make a good sized hole in the windshield.

Now I know there is a lot more volume of air in a full sized Chevy Van but if windows were going to be blown out that Mac 10 burst should have done it.

1 Like