UP-armoring a vehicle to defend against rifle fire

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Jappleseed911
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UP-armoring a vehicle to defend against rifle fire

I'm trying to defend against incoming semi-automatic rifle & carbine fire (likely .223) at a 45 to 90 degree angle to the driver & passenger side. I'm trying to protect against a somewhat coordinated roadside ambush. It's hard to explain but I have a strong gut I will face hostile fire from the side of my vehicle at some point. Yes, I know, "don't go stupid places with stupid people doing stupid things at stupid hours" but when SHTF, I may have to roll a hard 6 to make it to our fallback location.

That being said, does anyone know of a cost effective way to source, cut & hang/weld Brinell 500 steel plate (aka AR500 or Hardox) or an equivalent to create armored doors? I know I may have to add a 3rd hinge. Does anyone have a ref for the Southwest region (CA,NV,AZ)?

Unfortunately for windows, it looks like bulldog will only cut side-glass for 2003-2012 year vehicles. Does anyone have a suggestion on cost-effective cut glass in the southwest?

http://www.bulldogdirect.com/bullet-glass

I'm shooting for a final configuration that will utilize:

> ARB (or equivalent) front ram bumper (also good for deer hits/ protect the radiator)

> AR500/hardox cab protection on the doors and areas where our legs extend

> Bulldog or equivalent door glass (if I can afford it)

> front windshield and rear cab glass reinforced with Clear Inc 4-layer safety tint (bomb resistant) - no retail distributor that I could find though?

> occupants wearing E-Sapi plates, side sapi's, and upgraded PASGT's with first aid kits (IFAKs) & celox at the ready.

> rear of vehicle loaded with supplies, aux tank, and 2 spares wheels/tires with curb weight right up to the GVWR.

Does anyone have any suggestions or comments? I'm open to another material that will defend against rifle-fire.

Much thanks in advance. And THANKS to TURD for this place!

Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 06:06
bern
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I met via virtual

I met via virtual acquaintance in another forum a guy who had his ride armored and tricked out.  He used these guys:

http://www.texasarmoring.com/

Maybe they can offer you some tips?

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Mike7.62
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GVWR

Loaded to GVWR? Does that include the up armor that you're going to do? I would look into beefing up the suspension , as the addition of bullet resistant glass and AR500 around the cab will significantly increase the vehicle weight, possibly exceeding the GVWR before you add in the  armored occupants, weapons, ammo, supplies, and spare parts. Having modified a few suspensions on Jeeps and other trucks for pure off road use, I can tell you that it changes handling characteristics and performance, especially when heavier/higher springs are added. With all the weight you're planning to add, you will need to look into this, or go to a heavier vehicle.

Jappleseed911
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Mike7.62 wrote:Loaded to

Mike7.62 wrote:

Loaded to GVWR? Does that include the up armor that you're going to do? I would look into beefing up the suspension , as the addition of bullet resistant glass and AR500 around the cab will significantly increase the vehicle weight, possibly exceeding the GVWR before you add in the  armored occupants, weapons, ammo, supplies, and spare parts. Having modified a few suspensions on Jeeps and other trucks for pure off road use, I can tell you that it changes handling characteristics and performance, especially when heavier/higher springs are added. With all the weight you're planning to add, you will need to look into this, or go to a heavier vehicle.

Thanks for the reply. No, the armor would be included in the GVWR.

As it stands, the vehicle is a 3/4 ton Dodge Ram 12v Cummins Diesel w/ low miles, fresher rancho's all around, and a GVWR of 8800 lbs. I've done more research into the type of armor i will be puting up: at this point I think 1/4" plate AR400 or AR450 @ ~.062 lb's per sq inch. I won't be doing the windows or the underbody....I'm strictly defending against linear shots from someone in the prone or standing position (impromptu ambush) and will augment with upgraded PAGST's and something to address spall.

So, for example, a 52"x 28" section (to be mounted in rear) should weigh around 90 lbs if my calculations are correct.

1/4 inch plate seems to be the minimum standard to defeat 5.56x45/7.62x39 at 25 yards vs the 3/8 inch plate that goes into armor carriers. 1/4" plate seems to defeat multi-hits. I don't mind plate deformation (to multi-hits) as long as I can save some weight. It's my intention to weigh the rig fully fueled with my essentials onboard and work around that paradigm.

Any thoughts?

Patriot Family
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Why not just go with Kevlar? 

Why not just go with Kevlar?  Much lighter, and can be mounted between sheet metal and door panels in some cases.  It's available in sheet quantity and variable thicknesses to offer the same ballistic protection as plate steel.  It wouldn't offer the same longevity, but all things being equal, I'd rather have a lighter/nimbler truck than an overweight tank.

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Jappleseed911
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Thanks for the reply! I

Thanks for the reply! I thought about kevlar but, to my knowledge, there is no kevlar/other ballistic fiber-type material, that will stop assualt-rifle type centerfire rounds ala AK47/AR15 w/o some kind of reinforcement. That goes double for big-bore rounds such as .308 or 7.62x54. Is there something new out there?

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Jager06
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Interior

Interior linings of kevlar are affective, as the bullet has already lost velocity and expanded during the piercing of the skin of the vehicle. Let it hang loosely when its attached so that the movement of the blanket will also dissipate energy. Or hang it between a less heavy plate and the skin of your vehicle. I dont mean hang free, but laid loosely over the plate before you place into the vehicle. Lastly I might look at SWAT type hand carried shields and modifying them to fit into the vehicle with modification to your vehicle. Dual purpose.

If armored glass is cheaper, use it instead of plate. I have seen it stop stuff that ceramics and steel did not.

Finally, I have done security for some folks here and there, and driven a wide variety of armored vehicles, both overtly and covertly armored. Getting trapped inside if there is a fender bender (much more likely scenario) would be a horrible way to go.

Just something to think about.

Jager06

Mr. Fix
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@ Jappleseed911

I definitely like the above post for reinforcing the interior of doors, and side panels.

As for Windows, multiple layers of Lexan can be placed both in front of and behind the stock glass windows,

And with a little bit of practice, you will be able to find out how many layers you need.

Even up to a quarter of an inch thick per layer can still be bent to fit the contour.

Although you may need to work your way up to 1 inch thick in order to stop the bullets,

This can be done with a trip to the Home Depot, and a few hours of cutting and fitting.

I have also found that filling your tires with a product called “Great Stuff” makes tires bulletproof as well. Just let all the air out, and insert the straw in the valve stem, and keep pumping it in until you can't get anymore in, then reinsert the valve, and drive the car for a few miles. The next day, the tire will be permanently as hard as a rock. ( This may take about 10 cans per tire).

You can shoot holes in it all day long, and it will still roll.
Just make sure you use a car that is extraordinarily powerful.

You're going to need to move a tremendous amount of weight, and you are going to need to move it as quickly as possible.

If your vehicle has coil springs, adding blocks of rubber between the coils will help to keep the car suspended with the extra weight, with leaf springs, you will need to add leaves.

I have also added coils, to “help” leafs.

Good luck on your voyage!

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