Armoring your bugout car

Discussion in 'Vehicle & Transportation' started by justsayno, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. justsayno

    justsayno Member

    Would anyone here consider armoring their bug-out car in case you ran into a pack of thieves in a situation of anarchy and they shot at your car?
  2. Denny

    Denny Praying for America

    How would you go about doing so? We threw a bunch of ballistic plates all over our vehicles before we got uparmored ones here, in Iraq.

    I know there are companies that can uparmor your vehicle, but they're expensive. Several down-falls too... you gain a lot of weight (there goes your gas mileage), it's hard on the drivetrain (bye-bye tranny if it isn't beefed up), most don't allow for windows to roll down, door hinges and suspension need to be beefed as well. Don't forget to also switch to non-pneumatic tires like the President's vehicle... talk about a rough riding vehicle!

  3. pantser

    pantser Member

    What about using a type of sticky foam insulation to hold a thick piece of metal there I have no problem carrying an extra 200 pounds just for doors only (2)
  4. ldmaster

    ldmaster Well-Known Member

    old kevlar

    I found a source for old kevlar, police agencies, who would be destroying the stuff anyway. The rep for the company that swapped the armor out sold it to me with the proviso that I not resell it (they're supposed to certify that they destroy it)

    I trimmed the 'wings' off and made several rectangles, then sewed the panels together and overlapped them. It weighs about 40 pounds per door. I waterproofed them with a rubber coating and inserted them into heavy mil plastic, then sealed them again. The heavy mill plastic is fastened to the outre door panel and it's about 1 inch thick.

    It wont stop rifle rounds, probably slow them down a bit though - and weighs nothing. A similar plate of steel would have been around 75 lbs and fastening it in would be diffucult, and the plate wouldn't have given me the coverage that I was able to get by cutting and sewing the old armor.
  5. Redtail

    Redtail Well-Known Member

    One thing to consider though is that Kevlar, in order to form an antiballistic barrier, needs to have a trauma plate behind it. THe Kevlar acts as a shear-resistant puncture barrier, and a hard steel plate or a titanium/Aramid plate sits behind that in order to prevent the Kevlar fibers from moving and causing loss of structural stability.

    Why not just have a faster, smaller car that can help you avoid such situations? Or a solid enough car to power through any barriers or obstacles?

    Or better yet, personal body armor?
  6. TheBlackRabbit

    TheBlackRabbit Member

    Barbed wire can be used to keep people off of your vehicle. Stopping bullets is not going to be easy.
  7. Big B

    Big B Well-Known Member

    Ahhhhh, shoot first....
    Any questions?
    Big B
  8. TheBlackRabbit

    TheBlackRabbit Member

    Just saying that armoring a vehicle is difficult. Of course is you are bristling with pew-pew then they make think twice... :D
  9. stompk

    stompk Member

    you know the conveyor belts they use at quarries? get and old one and play around with that. 2-3 layers worth or so.
  10. BobS

    BobS Member

  11. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    I think your time and energy would be better spent on other things then bulletproofing a vehicle personally. Maybe have some thick sheet metal to cover the windows laying around the garage just in case but welding armor or such right now would be pretty extreme.
  12. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    I'm with Dean on this...
    I think making an improvised APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) is a pretty silly waste of time, energy and resources!

    If you DO decide to do something this silly,
    Keep in mind that STEEL does NOT make a very good bullet defeat!

    Steel works OK for shrapnel, but the directed energy of a bullet will defeat a LOT of steel in short order.
    I can blow right through a 3/4" steel backing plate with nothing more than a .30-06,
    And I can blow through 1.5" of steel with a .30-06 Armor Piercing round...

    Bullets are VERY hard to defeat head on,
    If you attempt to defeat them head on, you will have to absorb all the energy they carry with them, which is a BUNCH!

    The best way to defeat a bullet is to 'Yaw' it.
    If you Yaw a bullet in flight, it will break it's own self apart,
    and you will only need something strong enough to take a glancing blow...

    OR, to have the bullet hit something MUCH more prone to break the bullet up than steel...

    CERAMICS are the best way to break up a bullet.
    Ceramics will fracture when impacted, so a large plate isn't the best idea, smaller plates that overlap are a better way to do things...

    If you don't have a bazillion dollars to make custom ceramic panels, then use ceramics little, cheaper brother,
    You would be surprised what a common red brick will stop!
    Tatictals in Somolia had bricks in the doors and bed sides, and that stopped 90% of what was thrown at them.

    Many APC's from poorer countries add concrete slabs, looks kind of like bricks, to the armor to defeat AP rounds.

    If you were going to 'Up Armor' or 'Hillbilly Armor' a common vehicle, I'd take a que from some of the poorer countries...

    Somalia in '94 our forces were frustrated by what the locals called 'Tacticals'
    That would be a light pickup with bricks stacked in the doors and bed walls, and a heavy machine gun or recoilless rifle mounted in the back.

    Baltic Republics were shooting the crap out of each other when Yugoslavia broke up, and they molded fiber/ceramic reinforced concrete to defeat AP rounds and some RPG's were even defeated.

    Our troops are using 'Gun Trucks' with ammo boxes of rocks or concrete out against the outside of the truck bed, and sand bags or ammo cans with packed earth behind them to absorb the shrapnel from the rounds breaking up in the rocks or bricks...

    Works very well!
    Military gun truck - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  13. omega

    omega New Member

    SHFT Vehicle

    I have thought about that for a long time. It depends on the vehicle, some are easier that others. If one has a pickup and I do, this is the set up I would do. {Note, I have not done this yet} You have all seen the trucks with the lumber rack on trucks. Now most of the lumber racks protrude over the cab section of the truck. Now the material I would use is polycarbonate panels that can fold down and protect your side windows. They lay flat on the lumber rack when not needed and since they are clear, it would make them almost invisible. You also have them in the bed of the truck-protecting the rear window. For the door protection, two ideas, place kevlar curtain in the dool panel, and or have a section of polycarbonate custom fitted to slide into place to protect the driver and the passenger. It is not 100% but in a truck, and I would use a 4x4 with a good steel grill guard, I doubt a few shots could get though.
  14. Magi

    Magi Active Member

    I saw an episode of Burn Notice a week or so ago. They placed phone books into the voids of the doors. Not sure if it would work in real life. Seems like it would be one way to keep the weight down.
  15. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    I'm buying body armor. Since I'm in the middle of the city I'm not counting on the car being very mobile. It also gives me the ability to change cars if I need to. I get a feeling in a real bad situation you'd be changing cars quite often.
  16. jebrown

    jebrown jebrown

    You can armor your vehicle to stop anything from a BB gun to any hand held RPG or something with more destructive power.
    Still yiou are wasting time and money while you provide yourself with a false sense of security.
    You will also need to armor the roof of your vehicle as well as the undercarrage.
    After shooting out your tires or putting something in your path that will flatten your tires they can come in or shoot through your roof.
    Flip your vehicle on its side and shoot through the floor.
    Ever think about armor for your radiator? How about your gas tank? One hole which can come from others things besides a gun and BOOM now your vehicle is on fire.
    I can think of much better ways to spend money other than on vehicle armor that is iffy at best.
    What are the real odds of you needing an armored vehicle?
  17. dukman

    dukman Greenhorn

    The whole idea of a bug-out vehicle, IMO, is to get out of dodge BEFORE it gets really bad. If you are needing bullet-proofing on your vehicle, then you are trying to get out DAYS OR WEEKS later than you should have...

    Instead of trying to armor the vehicle, I say put it into the rig other ways: beef up the suspension, over-sized alternator, steel braided hoses, extra capacity radiator, stout bumper, good tires, good winch, tow hooks, off-road lights, snorkle, roof rack, etc etc.
  18. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    I've always like police model cars. I used to sell Chevrolet police cars. The police models aren't that much more expensive than the normal ones. You get all kinds of high performance and high durability extras. You can also snap up used police cars at auction for next to nothing.

    If buying a police model car is illegal in your area most car makers do a "taxi package" which is almost identical to the police model and it's civilian legal.
  19. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

    I agree with most of the people that have responded to this thread. Armoring your car is not an efficient use of resources. The extra weigh will reduce gas mileage which is counter productive to the whole objective of a BOV.

    Personal body armor as suggested by Canadian would be more practical in most situations. The money you save could be spent making the improvements by suggested by dukman.


    Expeditioner :)
  20. Chemechie

    Chemechie Member

    Hmm... A couple thoughts

    Check out this guy The Box O' Truth - The Buick O' Truth for good info on what various weapons will do to a vehicle.
    It depends on what you are up against and what your vehicle is; an older vehicle with heavier sheet metal may stop pistols pretty good; anything civilian against heavy weapons (M-16 or worse) will be in trouble.
    In my opinion, defensive driving and good recon will be more help than armor. I've worked with the military before and seen how much damage even light military equipment can do to civilian vehicles.
    Of course if you want a serious armored vehicle, look up the Ferret - an old British armored car available in the US for as little as $15,000 depending on condition. Street legal even!