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Video: How many gun safes can a .50 caliber shoot through?

Terminal ballistics. (Edwin Sarkissian/YouTube)
June 09, 2021

Edwin Sarkissian’s YouTube channel is known for various weapon’s focused videos, primarily shooting different weapons against different targets and seeing what happens. In this 2020 video, Edwin tests how many safes it will take to stop the penetrating power of a .50 caliber bullet. He does this in the backdrop of a vast desert, ensuring that safety parameters are in place because a .50 caliber bullet can travel a long distance. Before jumping right to the .50, however they start with lower caliber rifles to build up the suspense.

The first is the MP5, which is a 9mm chambered rifle, which this particular rifle being full automatic. Surprisingly, the MP5 penetrates the first and second gun safe front to back, but does not penetrate the third safe. The next gun is a .44 magnum pistol with a hollow point, which doesn’t make it out of the second safe.

Gun Safes/ YouTube – Edwin Sarkissian

The change rounds and add an “extreme penetrator” hollow point to see if the ballistics change. Unfortunately, nothing changes. The next pistol is a full metal jacket (FMJ) .50 caliber pistol, but gets stopped short at the third safe. The next pistol is a 500 Smith & Weston revolver, which penetrates cleanly through three safes, but does not exit out the last wall of the third safe. At this point, the 9mm still remains the champion.

Pistol rounds/YouTube – Edwin Sarkissian

The next rifle is an AK-47, which is again stopped by the third gun safe. Edwin says at this point “the good news is that you will only need three of these to save your life!” Next up is the 5.56mm NATO round shot out of an M-16—which does not perform any better and only makes it through the first two safes. So far nothing has entered the fourth safe and has been stopped short by the third safe in the line up.

More attempts / YouTube – Edwin Sarkissian

The SCAR .308 is up next—which is a heavier bullet than both the M-16 and AK-47. The .308 now takes the lead and is stopped by the fourth safe. The next rifle is an 8mm brought back from WWII, but despite the hype it only made it through two safes.

Rifle rounds/ YouTube – Edwin Sarkissian

The next weapon up is the .50 caliber BMG shooting armor piercing rounds. The round explodes inside of the second safe and keeps penetrating through the third safe. Based on the trajectory of the angle, the round explodes through the third safe and exits off to the right of the next safe. The shooter resets to hopefully line up the next shot so as the round will go through all safes.

On the second shot, the .50 cal penetrates cleanly into the fourth safe, but catches the top and gets lodged before exiting.

Terminal ballistics/ YouTube – Edwin Sarkissian

In summary, no rounds were able to make it out of the fourth safe, giving the misrepresentation that if you were behind four of these gun safes, then you would be pretty safe from the penetrating power of bullets. However, the dense material of these safes would be much safer to hide behind for cover then most household items.