SVI Engineering, leading specialist manufacturer of armoured products, has released the eleventh episode in its innovative Shoot Through series of videos, this time demonstrating whether a 6 mm mild-steel plate is capable of stopping an AK47 round (see Episode 11 here).

“In Episode 10, we showed just how easily an AK47 round is able to penetrate a 3 mm mild-steel plate, illustrating why creating so-called ‘DIY vehicle armour’ from such a material would be a terrible idea. So, what happens if we double the thickness of the mild-steel plate to 6 mm? Will the result be any different?” asked Nicol Louw, SVI Business Development Director.

To answer this question, SVI secured a 6 mm mild-steel plate at the far end of its dedicated underground shooting range before unleashing a round from an AK47 mounted in a test rig. As shown in the footage captured by a Photron Fastcam SA4 high-speed camera – graciously supplied by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and set at 30 000 frames per second – the 7.62×39 mm conventional steel-core round has no problems punching right through the thicker plate.

“The 6 mm mild-steel plate may look and feel very similar to the armoured steel version, but as you can tell from the slow-motion footage, it certainly doesn’t provide the same – if any at all – ballistic protection when faced with AK47 fire,” said Jaco de Kock, CEO of SVI.

‘Shoot through’ series background

Conceived to both inform and entertain, the full 14-episode Shoot Through video series – an episode is published on SVI’s YouTube channel approximately every two weeks – sets out to answer whether various (mostly standard) automotive components can stop a round discharged by a firearm.

The subject of the first episode in SVI’s Shoot Through series was a ventilated steel brake disc from a Toyota Land Cruiser 79 bakkie, while the second episode featured a Volkswagen Polo engine block, the third a shock absorber, the fourth a Polo cylinder head, the fifth a seatbelt mechanism, the sixth a window lifter motor, the seventh a Ford Everest owner’s manual, the eighth a car battery, the ninth three layers of Kevlar and the tenth a 3 mm mild-steel plate.

The company

SVI is an original equipment manufacturer that has specialised in armoured vehicles since 2004. The company is a market leader in Africa, serving the private, corporate, security, mining and governmental segments. SVI holds a Level 2 B-BBEE certification and its quality management system is certified to ISO 9001:2015 by TÜV Rheinland.

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