Can five Toyota Hilux side windows stop a bullet?

SVI Engineering, leading specialist manufacturer of armoured products, has released the thirteenth and penultimate episode in its innovative Shoot Through series of videos, this time subjecting five Toyota Hilux side windows – one stacked behind the other – to fire from an AK47 (see Episode 13 here).

“The Toyota Hilux is known all around the world for its legendary toughness and durability. Still, we know even a Hilux bakkie’s standard side-window glass isn’t nearly resilient enough to stop an AK47 round. But what about five stacked in a row?” asked Nicol Louw, SVI Business Development Director.

So, SVI clamped five Hilux side windows together before securing them at the far end of its dedicated underground shooting range. Then, the company unleashed a round from an AK47 mounted in a test rig. As shown in the footage captured by a Photron Fastcam SA4 high-speed camera – generously supplied by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and set at 30 000 frames per second – the 7.62x39 mm conventional steel-core round has no issues penetrating the five layers, ultimately shattering every panel and sending countless small pieces of glass flying.

“The slow-motion footage certainly makes for spectacular viewing, even if the experiment made a mess of our underground ballistic laboratory. This sort of safety glass is tempered as opposed to laminated, which gives it a high surface compression and results in it shattering into tiny pieces when struck. Ballistic glass, on the other hand, is fashioned from various multiple layers and is designed to disperse a projectile’s kinetic energy upon impact,” explained Jaco de Kock, CEO of SVI.


Conceived to both inform and entertain, the full 14-episode Shoot Through video series – an episode is published on SVI’s //">YouTube channel approximately every two weeks – sets out to answer whether various (mostly standard) automotive components can stop a round discharged by a firearm.

The subject of the first episode in SVI’s Shoot Through series was a ventilated steel brake disc from a Toyota Land Cruiser 79 bakkie, while the second episode featured a Volkswagen Polo engine block, the third a shock absorber, the fourth a Polo cylinder head, the fifth a seatbelt mechanism, the sixth a window lifter motor, the seventh a Ford Everest owner’s manual, the eighth a car battery, the ninth three layers of Kevlar, the tenth a 3 mm mild-steel plate, the eleventh a 6 mm mild-steel plate and the twelfth a 6 mm armoured-steel plate.