G9 Bullets vs. Windshield Glass

The setup, so you know its gonna be a good day

Several months ago, I got a chance to test a bullet from a company I had never heard of, named G9. Like most of you, I have been to the dance several times with the latest and greatest, and the alleged magic often comes up short. G9 has a completely different outlook of how a bullet is made, what they call an external hollow point. I scoffed at the concept and begrudgingly set out to perform a tissue test. Using some slabs of meat, I was absolutely blown away by the results. It isn’t often I get my socks rocked off, but the G9 did the job. The wound tracks were absolutely mind-boggling. So when I had a chance to test one of the G9’s other claims to fame, you can bet your last penny I was all in.

In addition to making tissue look like it went through a blender, G9 also touts an unparalleled ability to penetrate auto glass, and stay on target. This is a bigger problem than you might think if you have never spent any time blasting auto glass. I’m going to go ahead and speculate that most people haven’t, unless you have your own range, or you have an awesome job. I have had both, and let’s start with this. Shooting auto glass and/or cars is just as much fun as you think it is, and it never gets old.

Unorthodox G9 bullet shape

But to the problem part, glass does weird things to bullets. Even regular plate glass, sitting straight up and down, presents an issue. Enough so that the DOD spends mountains of ammo and time figuring out exactly how to shoot through it, reliably. The getting through part isn’t really much of an issue, especially if you brought lots of bullets. The crux of the problem comes from predicting where your bullet will go after. This isn’t a big deal when you are talking about a situation that is all bad guys. Shoot a lot, the glass will be gone in short order, and a couple of flyers is a small price to pay. But what if you have a mix of bad guys and not bad guys? All of a sudden, using a belt fed machine gun seems like less of a good idea.

Advertised claims, and yes it does

Auto glass is actually even worse. If we are talking windshields, they are set at an angle, which further makes the bullet do strange things. And they are laminated safety glass, which will actually shred bullets. It seems kind of stupid to think glass will tear up a bullet, but it is absolutely true. Despite being brittle, glass is actually extremely hard. And those same sharp edges that will cut your fingers play hell on a copper jacket.

shooting with XDM 3.8

What does a bullet actually do when it hits the glass, as far as flight path is concerned? I wish I had a better answer, but the true one is pretty strange. No one knows. The results are entirely unpredictable. Some people will tell you to shoot low because the glass deflects the bullet up. Some will say shoot high because the glass will grab the bottom edge of the bullet first, and turn it down. But after doing quite a lot of testing myself, I would tell you to shoot a lot. After you blow a big enough hole in the glass, your bullets will start acting normal again. But as we discussed, that isn’t always an option.

Why should you be concerned about shooting through auto glass? Because it affects the bullet either way. If you are an LEO, the very real possibility exists you will need to stop a driver one day or blast a single bad guy with multiple unknowns in the same car. For the citizen, it doesn’t take much imagination to envision a scenario requiring you to shoot through your own windshield and get hits on target precisely. The 1993 shooting at the CIA headquarters is but one such example.

Lots of glass was harmed in this test

For testing, earlier this month I managed to acquire a new windshield from a local shop and set out to prove or disprove the G9 claim. After the amazing tissue results, I was really very curious to find out if they had solved another handgun problem.

For comparison testing, I used a box of standard hollow points. And to set a baseline, the hollow points went first. My target was set 5.5 feet behind the glass, to maximize any flight deviation. After all, we wanted to know for both shooting in and shooting out. The hollow points performed, as normal, sketchy. I got some hits on the target, but they were irregular and jagged. They could have been pieces of the jacket, pieces of glass, or the lead core. Without a high-speed camera, it is impossible to be sure. And I also got hits way low, showing serious deflection of at least part of the projectile. This is a bigger problem than cardboard truly reflects. Cardboard, quite obviously, is easy to tear. A C02 airgun will blast right through one. So cardboard gives us nothing in terms of the power of impact. If you’re the “I wouldn’t want to get hit by even a piece of a bullet or jacket crew”, hold on. Me too, I get it. But I would bet most of us have been shwacked by a chunk of lead off a steel target. Spall happens, with banged up targets or improper angles. Did it take anyone of you out of the fight? Didn’t think so. When it comes to neutralizing a threat, your bullet needs all the mass it can get. If we believed in lucky shots, all of us would carry 22’s.

Standard hollow points. a shotgun looking pattern

Then we got to the G9. And just like on tissue, it delivered. Every shot hit where it was aimed, with next to zero deflection. And when we were done, we had only enough holes to account for the bullets fired. No shredded jacket hits, or safety glass embedded in the target.

G9- all grouped where aimed

G9 seems to really be onto something here and it is worth your consideration. Do I believe in magic bullets? Not yet, but I am certainly turning the corner.

Visit G9 to learn more about G9’s bullets by clicking HERE

***Shop GunsAmerica for all your ammo***

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website, Off-The-Reservation.com

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Darrell July 17, 2019, 10:38 pm

    Glad your back Clay

  • Michael July 16, 2019, 12:26 am

    I suspect the windshield used for testing might have reacted to impact differently if it were actually installed in a vehicle. There is a lot more rigidity and resistance to deflection once a windshield is installed with proper adhesive. May or may not have influenced results, just my 2 cents

  • JCitizen July 15, 2019, 2:33 pm

    The windshield appears to be at an angle similar to my GM SUV, so if you believe Hollywood, that is the most common vehicle to be seen in various “operations”. I was impressed with the deflection of the more ordinary round. However, I saw a video way back in the 90’s showing tests of all kinds of weapons, including the venerable .50 cal HBMG, and you would NOT believe the deflection shown in many vehicle materials. Even flimsy metal doors could cause a bullet to go off into space, with totally unexpected results – some times not even penetrating the dummies used in the VHS video of the day. Maybe some of you have seen it – I was gobsmacked!! I was able to see why the Texas ranger that went up against the Barrow gang used .30 cal rifles and a BAR to attack that old Ford car Bonny and Clyde were using. They meant to assure as many hits as possible, or they’d be the next target.

  • Gary July 15, 2019, 2:18 pm

    Hmmm, look around in traffic these days nearly if not all windshields are raked for an aerodynamic effect. Many years ago I shot at the raked windshield of a 67 full size Pontiac with a .380 at close range. The FMC bullets left a skid grooves. Taking out my Colt Combat Commander .45 shooting 230 grain FMJ that did the job, left nice round thru holes Shoot at a common in vehicle vehicle windshield then state hands on facts. I’ll be picking up some G9 ammo !

  • SuperG July 15, 2019, 10:47 am

    I disagree, most cars are made to be aerodynamic and have angled windshields. Vans usually have the more vertical windshields,

  • Tenbones July 15, 2019, 10:38 am

    So you are saying that if the windshield was placed at the proper angle, the hollow point bullets would not have deflected and the G9 bullets would have…..???

  • Jerry Pinch July 15, 2019, 9:06 am

    I agree with Will, put the glass at the angle it would be at on a vehicle. Then show what the G9 would do.

  • U.S. Otriad July 15, 2019, 8:37 am

    It was. Many vehicles have nearly vertical windshields.
    It is infinetly impossible to find an ‘average’ angle of a windshield due to the sheer number of different vehicle shapes and sizes in service in the world today.
    An option for you is to conduct your own test, on a windshield placed at the angle of your choosing, and report back to us.

  • Mike July 15, 2019, 7:08 am

    Great article and insight as always Clay, thank you.

    So I like many are hoping you’re back from your hiatus , vacation, sabbatical or where ever you’ve been MIA and return to penning more such articles !

  • James Sutton July 15, 2019, 6:15 am

    That’s an impressive bullet and a very informative video. I wonder what Clay is carrying in his own guns now? Specifically, Is he carrying G9s for self-defense? Thanks!

  • Bob Fossil July 15, 2019, 5:53 am

    Another well written and humourous article. I enjoyed the technical info. Cheers.

  • Jaque July 14, 2019, 11:30 am

    Another great report by Clay Martin. The rate of advancements in ammunition design today is truly amazing. New radars, high speed cameras, 3D printing, CAD/CAM, propellent chemistry, metallurgy, and computing power has given the ammunition designers and engineers tools few dreamed of 20 years ago. The G9 is surly the result of such technology. And these tools have become affordable and available to interested individuals to buy or rent.

    On another note, I was beginning to think that Martin had left the planet. I look forward to his test reports and after a week without one I begin withdrawals. I like his presentation style, his service to our country, the weapons he brings us. Keep em coming Clay.

  • Bobs your uncle July 14, 2019, 8:52 am

    Thanks, good stuff, add all that to the hope I never find out for real list.

  • Will Drider July 12, 2019, 10:47 pm

    G9: Impressive! The limited Test did show the deflection “or” none. I was hoping the windshield was at a more realistic (as installed) angle. Maybe next time?

    Thznks for the great work.

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