View Full Version : Bullet proof door
May 3, 2008, 03:01 PM
want some ideas on a more or less bullet proof gate for my house. right now my gate is the same as every other gate in the country. thin sheet metal welded onto a metel tube frame. the frame the hinges are on is welded into the rebar of the house. however just about any pistol round will blow right through it. I would like to make myself a new gate that will stop pistol rounds.
I'd start by fabricating a prototype and then testing it. I think reinforcing your existing gate would be the way to go if the hinges were strong enough. I would think in terms of layers of heavy gage sheet metal with an air space between them.
May 3, 2008, 03:24 PM
why an air space; i was thinkin wood or something? i dont have apHD in anything so i dont know
May 3, 2008, 03:41 PM
I think he was trying to save as much bulk as possible, with the sheet metal, and the air space.
If it was up to me, I would probably put the sheet metal over a layer of wood, or two with the wood grains running at right angles to each other, then put another sheet metal layer on the inside. It is going to be heavy as can be, but if your frame can handle it, it should offer some protection in my opinion.
May 3, 2008, 05:23 PM
Your talking about a gate at the front door, hence a a security door in place of a screen door? can you post some pictures of what you have now?
May 3, 2008, 07:48 PM
Thanks bob, for getting on this. Dismantler
May 3, 2008, 08:00 PM
They aren't cheap, but they do custom doors and have done bullet resistent doors in the past for govt buildings etc. My best friend works in their custom door department and made the door for my arms room.
May 4, 2008, 01:47 AM
I'm thinking a .357 magnum and up presents quite a bit of energy. You might end up with too much weight for the hinges by adding layer after layer of metal and testing as you go. The idea of adding air space to conserve weight strikes me as a good idea. Perhaps going to the auto wreaking yard and getting a couple of radiators.
The radiator has a couple of inches of metal, with a lot of air space. I think a radiator, two, might provide the penetration resistence without getting too heavy.
May 4, 2008, 07:19 AM
May 4, 2008, 11:44 AM
I would either contract these guys or similar, or I would find a supplier of ballistic Kevlar and build it myself. I have alot of experience building things out of steel that get shot at with all calibers of pistol and rifle. I rebuild and maintain the equipment at our local indoor range. Mild steel can be easily penetrated by jacketed bullets if hit straight on. The high power lane at the range was swiss cheesed when I took on this task. I rebuilt it using 1/2 mild steel plate at a 45* angle, and the owner checked all rifle bullets entering the range with a magnet, most surpluss ammo is steel with a copper wash. So we are now dealing with high powered rifles only using modern lead with copper jackets. Some of them still punched holes and broke the hinges. I used automotive leaf springs, cut them up and welded them together and it has been nearly 6 months, no damage to the plates whatsoever. Made all the way through deer season sight in without a scratch. Leaf springs are not mild steel, they are hardened and tempered, and extremely heavy. It would be both weight and cost prohibitive to try to construct your door from thick steel. On the 5 pistol lanes, I use 3/8" mild steel and even the S&W 500 wont penerate it at the 45* angle I use on the target holders. Straight on is a different story, and again too heavy. I strongly suggest the use of ballistic Kevlar as it is light weight and designed for your intended purpose. I have never priced this material, but you could buy it short, leaving an open space above head level, and even one at ankle level to save materials cost. I would find an entry door that you could take apart to insert it inside if you don't want to see it, or just hang on the inside of your door. Here is a company that specializes in exactly what you need.
May 4, 2008, 03:21 PM
my gate is about 8 feet wide and 9 feet high. i ahve not figured out how to compact pics to put on the forum but am working on it.
May 4, 2008, 03:25 PM
it is the gate to my driveway, but will want to do the same deal on the two smaller doors exiting the house.
May 4, 2008, 03:54 PM
I just took my .38 loaded with 130 grain ball out and shot a 3.5" thick pressure treated post. These are commonly used for porch/deck construction. The post stopped the bullet before it got through...but not by much. Perhaps you could experiment with a wooden outside backed up by a steel backing. The wood would slow the bullet down and absorb energy before it hit the steel back stop.
Are you more concerned about handgun fire, or is there a possibility that somebody will be shooting a rifle at you?
May 4, 2008, 04:59 PM
the truth is there is a great danger of ak rounds over here, but i just assumed it would be too big of a deal to armor my gate against those. you ahev a good point about the wood. it´s amazing how strong wood is compared to steal. i am actually likeing that idea of wood on metal. could sure make the front of my house look perty as well.:D
i am gonna try it this week to see how it works.
The idea of the air space was to allow the round to deform and keyhole between layers. 4 1/16th inch layers of steel will stop more than 1 1/4 inch plate.
More energy is expended in the process of entering a material
and exiting it multiple times. If a lattice of batten strips etc was sandwiched between layers you'd have good structural integrity too.
May 4, 2008, 05:35 PM
I was thinking your front house door. Gates to the drive give you lot's more options as you can support super heavy in many ways.you could also use plate on the front and rear, with 458 baffles inside, which would combined with air spacedeflect the bullets. This is how the traps at ranges are made up baffls at 45* I don't have autocad, but what I am saying is the I represent on plate and the / represent individual baffles.
I think Bob's suggesting something that would be very effective but labor intensive to build. think of the design for corrugated cardboard.
May 5, 2008, 01:35 PM
Some years ago we did a "bullet proof" front window for a bank I worked for at the time.
The product used was 1 1/2 inch thick clear Lexan plastic sheeting (or so I was lead to believe) and it was supposed to stop any basic handgun round up to a .44 mag. Will it? I am not the expert, . . . just passing on info.
May God bless,
May 5, 2008, 04:48 PM
Rifle rounds can penetrate pretty good. correct me if I am wrong but I am working under the idea that your entire property is walled off and the 8x9 gate is the only entrance point.
if that is what we're dealing with I would recommend a thick wooden gate with steel or some other metal attached to the outside of it. maybe put the gate on wheels to roll in a sliding or swinging fashion so all the weight isn't on a hinge. we aren't talking about a bank vault door here it is a gate to a residence in a rural area. properly done a gate like this would just look strong and not necessarily armored. why draw all that attention to yourself? armor isn't easy cheap or light. The small door on an 1151 up armor hmmwv is heeevy, and it ain't cheap either.
edit: by thick wood I mean 4'' or more. really thick beams stacked and somehow binded together would be ideal
May 5, 2008, 05:55 PM
Lot's of great suggestions, unfortunately none, including mine will stop a 7.62x39 steel bullet, which is likely what is being parayed around down there. They me be copper washed but they are steel bullets and I have seen the go all the way through all of our traps and exit our building through cinder block walls. This is after all the steel. The truth is unfortunate, but cheap surpluss ammo is likely what you are dealing with. Try the wood with alot of thickness, this will slow the bullets, baffles in air space may even help them chgage direction. I sypathize with you as I know of no one simple or cheap answer, aside from moving. I work with a guy from Guatamala, good honest guy, hard worker too.
May 5, 2008, 09:12 PM
Keep in mind, just because the door is bullet proof, does not mean anywhere else near the door is. Take a page from Michael Western's book on how to get past such doors.
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