We’re talking about the windows here, and the answer is “Yes”

In one of his earlier videos, YouTuber ItsYeBoi said that if he gets 50,000 likes, he will “Shoot his Tesla.” Well, the viewers obliged and he had had no option but to go ahead and do it. This, of course, didn’t mean he would blow up his Model 3 by any means. Instead, he decided to shoot the car’s window. Now, the Model 3’s stock window is not bulletproof like the Cybertruck’s, so this dude decided to paste a thick laminate over the existing window that would, in theory, allow the glass to survive ‘the shoot’. But, as the video’s title suggests, “Can A Bulletproof Tesla Really Stop A Bullet?”

How Can You Make Your Car Window Bulletproof?

ItsYeBoi took his Model 3 to ACE Weapons Range where they applied a thick laminate to the Model 3’s stock window that would make the glass bulletproof and shatterproof. He then proceeded to test the laminated glass rigorously.

He first tested the glass by hitting it with a number of different things, including small rocks, a baseball, paintball pellets, and airsoft BBs, among other things before finally moving on to the gun. An axe caused a little damage, and a blunt mace actually cracked the glass. It didn’t shatter, but it did crack it completely. The same damaged piece was hit with sledgehammers and baseball bats, but it refused to shatter and fall out. Finally, the glass was shot at twice with a pistol and, as expected, it survived.

Laminate: Window Reinforced With Protective Films

Can You Really Make a Tesla Bulletproof?
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Applying a laminate like the one ItsYeBoi used makes the glass bulletproof without adding any weight to it. The laminate, at the end of the day, is just layers of different material similar to aftermarket window tint. It is also very lightweight. It can also be slapped on any window without making any changes to the structure of the door or the window winding motors, as long as you stick to a limited number of layers.

Pros Of A Laminate Glass

The biggest advantage, obviously, is that the glass becomes a lot stronger. The layers of laminate sure make the glass thicker, but not so much so that you’ll need to make further modifications to the car. But, with that said, some car windows have tight seal at the top of the door where the window slides in when rolled up to help eliminate road noise. If you opt for multiple layers, the windows may not roll down completely and may not roll all of the way up. With multiple layers, it may be necessary to add thinner, maybe even custom-made window seals, if you want the window to close and seal correctly.

Cons Of A Laminate Glass

That said, I wonder why companies don’t offer this as an official accessory. If it can make a window safer, it ought to be offered by car makers. It doesn’t even require any structural changes in most cases. In fact, it even saves your car if someone is trying to break-in by smashing the windows. The only drawback I see is that it will be close to impossible to break the windows in the case of emergencies. Imagine a car sinking in water or in a position (post-accident) where the doors cannot be opened. This laminate could drastically increase the amount of time it takes emergency crews to save occupants.

Are Bulletproof Laminates Legal?

Can You Really Make a Tesla Bulletproof?
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In the States, this type of laminate is legal as long as it meets the federal requirements. You may require special licensing and permission if you’re bulletproofing a car extensively, though. There is also something known as one-way glass where in the window will be bulletproof from the outside, but can be broken from the inside. This is a neat solution to the point I raised above, however, this glass can be thicker and could require other changes as the stock glass itself is replaced.

How Much Does Bulletproof Laminating Cost?

Can You Really Make a Tesla Bulletproof?
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As for the pricing, you can get polycarbonate sheets for a relatively cheap price. Campbell Window Film, as mentioned by tssbulletproof.com, for example, can set you up with Ultra S800 8Mil Clear laminate for somewhere between $8 and $18 per square foot. Whether or not it’s actually bulletproof on the other hand, is a different story. The more extensive you get with this, the higher prices will climb.

If you plan to replace the stock glass of any car with bulletproof glass, the costs easily run into five-figure pricing. Outside of structurally altering the car and car doors, bulldogdirect.com quotes pricing of anywhere between $25 and $100.00 per square foot for “bullet resistant flat glass,” the end pricing of which is dependent on the size, thickness, and level of protection needed. Add in the installation (required) and modifications (also required) to the car, and we’re not talking about a low-cost job by any means.

Final Thoughts

Can You Really Make a Tesla Bulletproof?
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Anyway, this was a fun video and it did show us that you don’t need to replace your car windows with bulletproof glass to make them indestructible. Simple hacks like these laminates can also do the trick, unless you plan to drive around in a war zone on a daily basis. In fact, he’s not the first guy to do it. Back in December last year, a person did the same thing to his Volkswagen Golf’s window and achieved similar results. Do you think automakers should consider laminating car windows and windshields straight from the factory? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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