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Old 05-22-2008
Mk23 Mk23 is offline
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Default 'Bullet Proof' patrol car. TRUE STORY

(Apologies in advance for the redundancy in explaining various bullets and their effects on cars here. I had originally wrote this up as an email to people less firearms-knowledgeable than we are.)



This story was relayed to me personally, by a friend of mine and friend of the family, Zee (his name's Zerino, we just call him 'Z') who was with the San Francisco police department, and was accepted into the SWAT team, but moved to El Paso, TX soon after. This was all long enough ago to have happened before I was born. We were shooting pool and drinking beer when the conversation eventually made it to this topic, and he shared one of the most hilarious law enforcement related stories ever, and I am doing my best to remember the details and post this story right here on sinaboard for you now.


Zee made fast friends with people in the local law enforcement in El Paso, including the El Paso County Sheriff. Well, the Sheriff retired, and a new Sheriff was elected, as is the norm in every county in the United States. This new Sheriff used the recent increase in the budget to have armor installed in several of the department cruisers, and called out everyone he could find in the local law enforcement community to observe a demonstration he was going to hold. Zee got an invite.

So there is the new patrol car. Just back from being armored, new paint, shiny windshield, majestic new flashing-light arrangement on the roof... the Sheriff is standing next to his own personal car, and has this big grin on his face. And everyone already knows he's going to shoot at the car. It's a demonstration, right?

Well, the Sheriff is wearing his 9mm pistol, but doesn't go for it. Instead, he walks back towards his own car. Zee knows that the Sheriff keeps a .357 magnum revolver in the glove compartment, and figures that's what the Sheriff's going to use to demonstrate. But the Sheriff isn't going towards the passenger side door, he walks all the way around, opens the trunk. Zee figures, oh, he's going to use a shotgun, or maybe the lever action rifle that the Sheriff hunts with occasionally. That'd be more impressive. But no, the Sheriff doesn't take out a shotgun, or a lever action rifle, or even a submachinegun. The Sheriff takes out an honest to god Austrian Steyr AUG assault rifle, one of only 3 that the department purchased for trials, and his grin is getting wider.

Ooooh yeah. He strides closer to the newly redone patrol car, and you can hear the *CLICK* as he pushes the safety across to 'Fire'... levels the weapon at the car.... and does not fire once, does not fire a burst, the Sheriff pulls the trigger back, and holds it there, and sweeps the muzzle of the weapon back and forth across the patrol car, until the rifle runs out of ammunition (which wasn't TOO long.... only 30 rounds). Then just slings the assault rifle over his shoulder, and grins again, looking all pleased with himself.

Now, let me explain something to you about bullets, and cars. If you were to take an average car right off the street, and shoot at the driver's side door with a lever action rifle, the bullet would go into the driver's side door, go OUT the passenger side door, and still be powerful enough to kill someone on the other side of the car. Same with the .357 magnum, and even the 9mm pistol. Buckshot from a shotgun would go through the driver's side door, wipe out the driver and whoever's in the front passenger seat with one shot. This is what an armor package on a patrol car is designed to protect from.

The Steyr AUG assault rifle fires 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition down a 20" barrel. This ammunition, fired from this weapon, is designed to penetrate a titanium plate 1.6mm thick, AND 20 layers of kevlar behind it.

The Sheriff is still standing there, grinning like an idiot, as the people he had gathered for this demonstration of the 'bullet proof' patrol car start walking over to the car, examining it. Eventually one guy speaks up, "Hey, that was really awesome. But.... wasn't the armor supposed to stop the bullets? There's matching holes on the other side of the car."

.....Yeeeaaaah... the Sheriff stands there, looking petrified for a few loooong moments, then takes out his cell phone. Zee didn't hear what he was saying, but soon after that, a tow truck came, and towed the perforated patrol car away.

A few days later that exact vehicle was reported as 'stolen'.
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