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Do Tires Stop Bullets?

Whereas most people want a safe planet, a fraction of its population is making it hard to live that dream.

Nevertheless, some people are adopting various techniques and technologies to maintain safety amidst this chaos.

For example, people invest in bulletproof vehicles to increase their chances of coming out alive if caught in a live shooting situation.

Regarding this topic, some things remain a mystery to most people.

For instance, do tires stop bullets?

If you use a regular car, don’t expect its tires to offer substantial ballistic protection.

Their work is simple, supporting your vehicle’s weight and providing traction.

So, beyond that, including withstanding a bullet’s impact, it is expecting too much from the car, especially the tires.

On the other hand, special tires are designed to offer ballistic protection.

These tires are commonly associated with law enforcement and military vehicles.

The tires will disperse and absorb the energy from any incoming projectile thanks to robust materials, including Kevlar and several rubber layers.

Nevertheless, it is worth noting that these tires aren’t entirely bulletproof and hence have limitations.

For instance, the tires may not stand a chance if dealing with high-powered or sustained gunfire.

On the contrary, they may only be sufficient when dealing with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and small arms fire.

Equally important, these tires are extremely expensive and impractical for most car owners.

Without much ado, let’s learn more about the said bulletproof tires.

Can Tires Be Bulletproof?

Whereas bulletproof tire is a common term, one would say it is quite a hyperbolic definition of those tires.

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After all, what people call bulletproof tires are run-flat tires.

By design, these pneumatic vehicle tires can resist deflation following a puncture.

Consequently, one can continue driving the vehicle despite the puncturing of such a tire.

Nevertheless, one should drive the car at a relatively low speed, not exceeding 56 mph.

Equally important, don’t drive for too long under these circumstances; instead, limit the distance to between 10 and 50 miles.

These bulletproof tires will deflect and absorb the projectile’s energy, thus keeping them functional despite the impact.

There are various designs that tires manufacturers have adopted to achieve that, including the following;

Airless Tires

Their manufacturer, Resilient Technologies, design these tires for slow-moving, off-road and military vehicles.

Expect the tires to withstand rough terrain, IEDs, explosions force and gunfire.

Unfortunately, their speed limit is as low as 25 mph.

Tires with Solid Metal Ring

This ring is usually inside the tire and serves as a supporting system.

Besides solid metal, its material can also be plastic bands.

Its edges are smooth to ensure the ring doesn’t cut the rubber.

It ensures your car tire retains its even after a projectile penetrates.

Equally important, the ring strengthens the tire enough to deflect a bullet.

After a projectile penetration, this tire can handle the car’s weight for up to 1 hour if you don’t exceed 50 mph.

Self-inflating Tire

Don’t confuse its technology with the tire pressure monitoring system.

After all, the monitoring system only identifies the need, whereas a self-inflating tire will also inflate itself automatically if a need arises.

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Its main users are military and commercial entities, and these tires are smart enough to adjust their pressure depending on the terrain.

An excellent example is the Hummer which has a bulletproof off-road tire that controls air pressure using the Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS).

Self-sealing Tire

As the name suggests, following a bullet impact, this tire will seal any opening, including the hole.

If you are wondering why that’s possible, the tires have special materials capable of self-sealing.

Consequently, the tire buys you up to 1 hour to escape a dangerous setup by maintaining sufficient pressure for that moment.

Durable Thick Rubber Tire

Unlike regular tires, these use rubber that’s ten folds thicker.

Therefore, the material is quite heavy and can withstand the impact of various gunfire.

For example, the material is strong enough to prevent any typical handgun bullet penetration.

On the other hand, heavy armoury and high-caliber guns are strong enough to penetrate this thick rubber.

That said, even the heavy and strong armoury must impact this material at a certain angle for them to penetrate.

The bottom line is that these technologies don’t prevent bullet penetration almost all the time.

However, they keep the tire fit for driving for some time after the penetration to give the passengers time to escape danger.

Can Any Bullet Pass Through a Tire?

Various bullets behave differently upon impacting a car tire.

For example, a rifle calibre and pistol counterpart can make a huge difference.

What’s constant, though, is the high temperature of any bullet.

If it is 9mm, it can puncture the tire leading to a small leak.

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On the other hand, the bullet energy of a 22lr isn’t enough to penetrate a large tire.

If you have a small tire, expect a 12 gauge to shred it immensely.

What Things Can Stop a Bullet?

A tire isn’t one of the things that can stop a bullet.

However, there are several bulletproof materials, including the following;

  • Ceramic
  • Fiberglass
  • Kevlar
  • Polycarbonate
  • Polyethylene
  • Steel
  • Wood

The materials can prevent the bullets from penetrating certain surfaces.

Their main working mechanism revolves around absorbing the bullet energy and won’t reach its target.

Are Military Tires Bulletproof?

Whereas most people assume otherwise, not all military tires are bulletproof.

However, most technologies used to stop bullet penetration or minimize its impact are commonly employed in the military.

Therefore, military car tires give soldiers enough time to leave a danger zone.

The vehicles have run-flat tires that are often self-inflating, which comes in handy after a puncture and deflation.

Can Bullets Go Through Rubber?

Bullets can go through almost anything, including wood and steel.

Given how the sturdiness of rubber is compared to such materials, there are high chances of the bullet going through it.

Rubber is as weak as human skin when resisting a bullet.

However, how much it penetrates depends on the bullet’s velocity and the rubber thickness.