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MattS

Effectiveness of Armored Windshields

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Just had a German 7.9mm machine gun wound me severely through the armored glass windscreen of the P-47...from 350m away.

 

Plausible?

 

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I'm not a ballistics expert, but my gut feeling--as I'm sure yours is telling you--is a solid 'no.'

 

From that extreme range the bullets shouldn't even be penetrating your plane's skin, much less heavy glass.

 

I've seen the game render ineffectual strikes on the skin from extreme range (as in, I see and hear the flash of a bullet hitting me, but there's no hole or damage when I watch the clip later); so I'm not quite sure what to make of your scenario.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, plausible.  At that range an MG34 round could penetrate ~10mm of armoured plate (0 deg angle).  If you were closing on your target at any margin of speed then the penetration would be increased.  Bulletproof glass is designed to stop the first round but after that it drastically loses effectiveness.  So quite likely you were hit with multiple rounds and your armoured glass integrity was reduced.

 

Or let me put it another way, the armoured glass did it's job.  If there was no armoured windscreen there you wouldn't be here to tell the tale. :)

 

Sorry oc2209, A planes thin aluminium skin would not stop a 7.92mm round at that range.  The Mg34 7.92mm round would penetrate 7.5mm of armour at 500m let alone light aircraft skin.

 

https://panzerworld.com/armor-penetration-table

 

EDIT:  It was also possible the round did not penetrate but if spalling is modelled then maybe your virtual wounds were caused by the armoured glass spalling from the bullet impact?

Aluminium_plate_spalling.gif

Edited by ICDP
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2 hours ago, oc2209 said:

From that extreme range the bullets shouldn't even be penetrating your plane's skin, much less heavy glass.

 

2 hours ago, oc2209 said:

I'm not a ballistics expert

This is so true

 

 

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Have you guys tried using a tank to shoot up the windows of trucks? The window itself appears to be impenetrable (using the coaxial anyway)!

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Posted (edited)

The armoured glass was quite effective but no miracle cure. A hit at the right angle with correct calibre would most likely penetrate but I'm not sure Il-2 calculate the protective effect.

 

1312602114_Bf109trffipansarglaset.jpg.60945d169e0d6a16047d598e29dfc6f4.jpg

Edited by MA_Goblin

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9 hours ago, MattS said:

Just had a German 7.9mm machine gun wound me severely through the armored glass windscreen of the P-47...from 350m away.

 

Plausible?

 

Offline or online?

 

In real life, it should not have happened.

T.O. No. 01-65BC-1 "P-47 Thunderbolt Pilot's Flight Operating Manual" Section I "Description", 1. "Airplane", d. "Pilot Protection" (1) says:

Quote

ARMOR. - Front and rear armor protection sufficient to withstand U.S. .30, German .312, and Japanese and Italian .303 (7.7mm)-caliber fire by direct right angle hit is provided for the pilot.

47.thumb.JPG.e70a1996888328434ad6f7189ae5aa39.JPG

 

The reason I'm asking whether it happened online or offline is that if it was offline, I would expect the game to handle the armour protection correctly.

Planes do contain definitions for parts/sections with armour protection and bullets calculate their energy loss while travelling through them, or the ability or inability thereof.

However if it happened online, then what you saw isn't necessarily what the Server thought would have happened.

You might have seen a bullet hit your pilot straight upfront, whereas the server thought it hit you in the side of your fuselage and you got hurt from shrapnel.

Online, damage results are simply unpredictable at the moment as the Server has a mind of his own, and everything summing up to his conclusions is carefully hidden from us mortals.

 

:drinks:

Mike

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Posted (edited)

Bullet resistant glass will have seriously reduced effectiveness after one hit, subsequent rounds would have an easy time penetrating.  The chances are you were hit with more than one round.  So it will help, but is not impenetrable.

 

Edited by ICDP

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, ICDP said:

Sorry oc2209, A planes thin aluminium skin would not stop a 7.92mm round at that range.  The Mg34 7.92mm round would penetrate 7.5mm of armour at 500m let alone light aircraft skin.

 

I'm referring to the fact that the defensive fire from a bomber's gun would be striking most parts of the plane at an extreme angle.

 

I'm not saying aircraft skin has any bullet resistant properties above .30 cal, and extreme angles.

 

.30 cals were notoriously poor in penetrative power under most combat (as in, not ideal testing) scenarios. To be at all effective, they needed to be used at virtually point-blank range. 350m is not point-blank range.

Edited by oc2209

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, oc2209 said:

 

I'm referring to the fact that the defensive fire from a bomber's gun would be striking most parts of the plane at an extreme angle.

 

I'm not saying aircraft skin has any bullet resistant properties above .30 cal, and extreme angles.

 

.30 cals were notoriously poor in penetrative power under most combat (as in, not ideal testing) scenarios. To be at all effective, they needed to be used at virtually point-blank range. 350m is not point-blank range.

 

You should put down the shovel and stop digging.  You specifically said that a 7.92mm round would not penetrate an aircrafts aluminium skin at 350m and that is not accurate.  The damage it does when it get's in there is small but that's not what you stated.

Edited by ICDP

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1 hour ago, [DBS]Browning said:

What makes you so sure it hit the armored glass? 

Wild guess: The fact that the bomber was straight in front of him?

 

:drinks:

Mike

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6 minutes ago, SAS_Storebror said:

Wild guess: The fact that the bomber was straight in front of him? 

 

Not great evidence is it? That bullet could have got numerous other places to cause an injury. 

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59 minutes ago, ICDP said:

 

You should put down the shovel and stop digging.  You specifically said that a 7.92mm round would not penetrate an aircrafts aluminium skin at 350m and that is not accurate.  The damage it does when it get's in there is small but that's not what you stated.

 

Sorry, I didn't realize I was a newspaper and I was obligated to issue formal retractions and clarifications.

 

I know that I read somewhat recently about the failure of .30 cal to penetrate even the skin in certain instances, because of deflection angles. But of course, without recalling the source, it's worthless.

 

All I'm saying, is this: what a .30 (and yes, it's not perfectly the same as the German round; but I prefer to speak in American terminology) can do on paper, and what it does in combat, are generally two different things.

 

In combat, it was quickly deemed woefully inadequate, as offensive or defensive armament. If we were talking about .50 cal, I would never question its penetrative power at that range.

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Just stick to engaging single engine fighters in future, it's much, much safer.

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53 minutes ago, [DBS]Browning said:

Not great evidence is it?

Just a guess. I'm not the OP.

 

:drinks:

Mike 

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, oc2209 said:

 

Sorry, I didn't realize I was a newspaper and I was obligated to issue formal retractions and clarifications.

 

I know that I read somewhat recently about the failure of .30 cal to penetrate even the skin in certain instances, because of deflection angles. But of course, without recalling the source, it's worthless.

 

All I'm saying, is this: what a .30 (and yes, it's not perfectly the same as the German round; but I prefer to speak in American terminology) can do on paper, and what it does in combat, are generally two different things.

 

In combat, it was quickly deemed woefully inadequate, as offensive or defensive armament. If we were talking about .50 cal, I would never question its penetrative power at that range.

 

It was deemed not as efficient for shooting down bombers as hits, even with 8X MGs as in the Spitfire were not causing enough internal damage.  RAF tests against a Blenheim Bomber showed 8X MGs were easily capable of penetrating the skin but the subsequent tumbling meant that 1 out of 5 rounds would penetrate 4mm of armour or cause a fuel tank fire.  Having said that, the RAF during BoB did shoot down a lot of LW bombers even with "woefully inadequate" (as you claim) MGs.  LMGs were not useless, most air forces still mounted them right up until the end of the war.  They just weren't as effective as heavy MGs, or cannons.

 

In this instance the hits were directly onto the bullet resistant glass and as such tumbling would not be a factor.  The bullet resistant glass would certainly stop 1 or 2 high velocity 7.92mm LMG rounds but subsequent hits could penetrate and (IF) spalling is modelled it could explain why the OP virtual pilots was wounded.

 

The OP asked if it was plausible, evidence presented so far shows it was indeed plausible.  Armoured glass offered pilots in WWII some protection but let's not start pretending 7.92mm LMG rounds were "woefully inadequate".

Edited by ICDP
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It would be great to have the visual effect of bullets that failed to penetrate but crack the glass.

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16 hours ago, oc2209 said:

I'm not a ballistics expert, but my gut feeling--as I'm sure yours is telling you--is a solid 'no.'

 

From that extreme range the bullets shouldn't even be penetrating your plane's skin, much less heavy glass.

 

I've seen the game render ineffectual strikes on the skin from extreme range (as in, I see and hear the flash of a bullet hitting me, but there's no hole or damage when I watch the clip later); so I'm not quite sure what to make of your scenario.

 

350 meters is definitely not an extreme range by any means for a machine gun. It's close range in terms of MGs (as far as infantry goes) where it can still kill and penetrate stuff with no problem. That being said it shouldn't penetrate armoured glass that is specifically designed not to be penetrated by this sort of a bullet.

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4 minutes ago, ACG_Onebad said:

350 meters is definitely not an extreme range by any means for a machine gun.

While I agree that for an MG 17 350 meters should not be an "extreme" range...

 

5 minutes ago, ACG_Onebad said:

It's close range in terms of MGs (as far as infantry goes) where it can still kill and penetrate stuff with no problem.

...here I would say "it depends".

In my service time we've been using the Heckler & Koch G3 and as far as it's combat range is concerned, the maximum specified combat distance was 400 meters (and that's where sight scale ended, too) and the maximum distance we've been shooting at in training was 300 meters - and at that distance, "precision" was a word from foreign language and successfully killing and/or penetrating anything "with no problem" was a tad out of bounds.

 

:drinks:

Mike

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Firing an 7.92mm rifle cartridge out of a mounted MG 17 is very unlike firing a 7.62mm cartridge out of a G3. A medium MG's range is considerably farther than the range of a rifle due to the mount and the longer barrel. A MMG team would have target cards for 1,000+ meters.

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This incident did happen offline, and the target was directly in font of me.

 

I looked back at the track and the tracer(s) looked like a laser beam going directly into the windscreen 🤣 

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2 hours ago, SAS_Storebror said:

 

 

...here I would say "it depends".

In my service time we've been using the Heckler & Koch G3 and as far as it's combat range is concerned, the maximum specified combat distance was 400 meters (and that's where sight scale ended, too) and the maximum distance we've been shooting at in training was 300 meters - and at that distance, "precision" was a word from foreign language and successfully killing and/or penetrating anything "with no problem" was a tad out of bounds.

 

:drinks:

Mike

 

Yeah, that's a matter of precision. Of course 400 meter shot when firing a rifle off hand is really hard to land, but the 7.62x51 out of a G3 will still make any dude fold up like a garden chair if connected. But now put the same G3 or a proper MG on a tripod, drop an ACOG on it and you can reliably drop dudes at way farther than that - of course the accuracy will be mostly by volume, and not precision but it will kill. Even when they're hiding behind wood/drywall/anything that isn't hard cover.

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In the last 600 yard match I shot when I was competing in Service Rifle competition, I could regularly score accurate hits, from prone, with my 1953 M1 Garand chambered in .30-06 with 175 grain HPBT Match projectiles.  350 meter hits with service ammunition would be no problem, 200 yards with surplus 150 grain ball was boringly repeatable.

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6 hours ago, Vortice said:

Just stick to engaging single engine fighters in future, it's much, much safer.

 

You're not wrong there. Even if most of the time it's minor damage, AI bombers and their gunners in this game are just goddamned annoying and unrealistic. That's all I'm going to say about that because I'm extremely pissed off and I don't want to be rude.

 

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7 hours ago, oc2209 said:

I'm not saying aircraft skin has any bullet resistant properties above .30 cal, and extreme angles.

 

It should though... at least for 12.7mm-15mm AP rounds... the skin will induce yaw in the bullet and shave off a couple mm of penetration.

 

  

7 hours ago, oc2209 said:

.30 cals were notoriously poor in penetrative power under most combat (as in, not ideal testing) scenarios. To be at all effective, they needed to be used at virtually point-blank range. 350m is not point-blank range.

 

The major factor is supersonic/transonic drag... at longer ranges these small mass bullets will lose a lot of energy and not do as much penetration damage. However, I personally suspect that, even a pair of light machine guns, even at relatively long ranges, should have a chance of being effective - at least from certain angles against certain vulnerable spots. After-all, even rifle bullets stand a chance against the scopes of the Elephant...

 

Some more thoughts on this here: 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, cardboard_killer said:

A medium MG's range is considerably farther than the range of a rifle due to the mount and the longer barrel.

There is not a big difference between the G3 and the MG3. The G3 has a muzzle velocity of 780m/s and the MG3 800m/s. The difference is just the amount of ammunition you are sending to your target. Maximum shooting range for the MG3 on bipod is 600m, on tripod (Feldlafette) it is 1200m. So as Onebad already mentioned 350m is no distance for 7.62x51mm, or even the german WW II caliber 7.92x57mm.

The bullets will penetrate the aluminum surface of an aircraft, but lose a lot of armor piercing quality, because the start tumbling after they penetrated the aluminum surface.

 

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9 hours ago, ICDP said:

Having said that, the RAF during BoB did shoot down a lot of LW bombers even with "woefully inadequate" (as you claim) MGs.  LMGs were not useless, most air forces still mounted them right up until the end of the war.

 

I specified earlier that .30 cal is marginally effective at close range.

 

Regardless of what anyone says here, I will always contend that in air combat (I don't care about comparisons to ground combat efficacy), 350m is long range for a .30. If you want to spray 500 rounds at that distance, you might get lucky. But it's not a way to consistently do damage to a target.

 

I would wager that the majority of BoB kills were made under 350m. No, I have nothing to back that up. Just a feeling.

 

Anecdotally, I just read an account of Saburo Sakai's, where he said he put 200 rounds of .30 into the cockpit area of a Wildcat at very close range. He then pulled up next to the plane, shocked that it was still flying. The pilot was wounded in the shoulder, and did eventually bail out. But he wasn't a red slurry like he would have been with any other ammo type.

 

LMGs were still used at the end of the war out of expedience, not because anyone believed they were truly effective. No American plane still used them exclusively. The Avenger had mixed .50 and .30 defensive armament; the latter was probably only necessary due to the confined ventral space it was used in. The Helldiver had them, but against Japanese planes it wasn't as detrimental. The Catalina was also mixed. I can't think of any other American planes that still used them. None in the ETO.

 

The British left them on their heavy bombers; the only reason an upgrade wasn't necessitated was that they were used at night.

 

The Russians and Japanese both swapped out .30s for .50s on their most common planes as the war progressed. In the Japanese case it was mostly offensive .50s. The Russians switched to .50 offensively and defensively.

 

Why the Germans were still using .30s in a plane as important to their operations as the Ju-88 was, I'll never know.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, SAS_Storebror said:

While I agree that for an MG 17 350 meters should not be an "extreme" range...

 

...here I would say "it depends".

In my service time we've been using the Heckler & Koch G3 and as far as it's combat range is concerned, the maximum specified combat distance was 400 meters (and that's where sight scale ended, too) and the maximum distance we've been shooting at in training was 300 meters - and at that distance, "precision" was a word from foreign language and successfully killing and/or penetrating anything "with no problem" was a tad out of bounds.

 

:drinks:

Mike

 

Yea Mike, but that wasn't the problem of 7,62x51 or the G3, but of the G3 iron sights. I was shooting both G3 A3 ZF with scope at 800m at Hammelburg and it does the job just fine. In our Leo 2A4 back in the 90s we were shooting MG3 at 1000metres at Bergen range. That is for grazing effect on area target but penetration power is just there at that range. Does anyone know whether or not back then "Hartkern" ammo (not full metal jacket but steel core) was used by the allies in their 0.303 guns? If not I would have a hard time believing that penetration of armored windshield would be possible.

 

15 minutes ago, oc2209 said:

Why the Germans were still using .30s in a plane as important to their operations as the Ju-88 was, I'll never know.

 

They corrected that by switching to 13mm later on.

Edited by sevenless

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42 minutes ago, sevenless said:

They corrected that by switching to 13mm later on.

 

Sortof... in the dorsal position... but they retained the MG81 in the ventral position in a lot Ju-88 models...

 

The British didn't abandon the 0.303 as a defensive weapon either... sure the mid-upper gunners often eventually got 0.50 cal weapons and at the end of the war they introduce 20mm cannons... but throughout the war 4x0.303 was the armament of the most important gunner position. Given that night fighters liked to silhouette their targets against the sky, and often approached from below, their canopies were somewhat exposed and suspect that saturating the target with low-caliber bullets was quite effective.

 

It is also worth noting that a bomber merely has to get the attacking aircraft to break-off its attack... whereas the fighter has to shoot down the bomber before its pilot (or single-engine) gets hit by the gunners of any of the aircraft in the formation it is attacking... so the bomber only has to deter whereas the fighter has to take out a large aircraft in a single pass... hence why it was felt fighters had a need to use 8 or 12 machine guns whereas bombers could get by with 1 or 4 machine guns per turret...

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, MattS said:

That's all I'm going to say about that because I'm extremely pissed off and I don't want to be rude.

 

We know what you mean. Those little pixel Terminators could really ruin your day. On the other hand you learn the hard way which angle NOT to use for attacking a bomber. But I agree, precision of those little fellows is superhuman and I'd like to have their ambot too for my own fun.

 

15 minutes ago, Avimimus said:

Sortof... in the dorsal position... but they retained the MG81 in the ventral position in a lot Ju-88 models...

 

True, I think not even in the 188 they abandoned twin-MGs completely.

 

15 minutes ago, Avimimus said:

It is also worth noting that a bomber merely has to get the attacking aircraft to break-off its attack... whereas the fighter has to shoot down the bomber before its pilot (or single-engine) gets hit by the gunners of any of the aircraft in the formation it is attacking... so the bomber only has to deter whereas the fighter has to take out a large aircraft in a single pass... hence why it was felt fighters had a need to use 8 or 12 machine guns whereas bombers could get by with 1 or 4 machine guns per turret...

 

I think that is the important point here. Forcing them to break-off before he is in killing range is sufficient. The fighter pilot might not know if someone with 0.303 or 0.50 is shooting at him.

Edited by sevenless

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31 minutes ago, sevenless said:

 

We know what you mean. Those little pixel Terminators could really ruin your day. On the other hand you learn the hard way which angle NOT to use for attacking a bomber. But I agree, precision of those little fellows is superhuman and I'd like to have their ambot too for my own fun.

 

 

Unfortunately, with the US .50-armed planes the only way to achieve sufficient volume of fire to get a kill is to approach at a relatively flat angle from behind...prime defensive gunnery zone 😕

 

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9 minutes ago, MattS said:

 

Unfortunately, with the US .50-armed planes the only way to achieve sufficient volume of fire to get a kill is to approach at a relatively flat angle from behind...prime defensive gunnery zone 😕

 

 

Practice head-ons like the Germans and Japanese were eventually forced to do versus Americans.

 

A more dangerous alternative is to come in from below and well off-center. Pull up suddenly to do a snap shot at an engine, then roll into a turn away from the bomber. I have found this to be marginally effective.

 

Coming in from dead 6 will either get your engine fatally damaged, or get you wounded/killed, a very large percentage of the time.

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Posted (edited)

Even though my credibility has been shattered in this thread, I intend to follow up with my above advice by putting my money where my mouth was.

 

I set a Ju-88 to average skill. I put myself in a P-47 with extra ammo, and half fuel (for better handling). We started on the deck. I approached from the rear, lower-right side, maintaining a roughly 45 degree angle. I could easily see the tracer coming at me, and I bobbed up and down to, evidently, spoil the AI's aim. I wasn't hit once from this angle.

 

As I got closer, almost flying parallel, I quickly pulled up and into the Ju-88. I almost fired as I was turning through the 88, but not quite. I hesitated to try to get a solid burst, before rolling and turning away. One engine emitted light smoke. I let the 88 get far ahead of me, dropping my throttle to do so, and then I repeated the same attack. On each attack pass I increase throttle to about 85%. This time I killed the rear upper gunner. Again, I wasn't hit with a single bullet.

 

I want to clarify here that I'm pausing and looking at the Ju-88 from external view, so I know what's happening clearly. Yeah yeah, cheating. This is for science. Moving on.

 

Knowing the gunner was dead, I switched from coming in low to high. I was very, very careful to not dip low enough to allow the ventral gunner to get a shot as the pilot banked regularly. My previous two experiments didn't result in my being wounded, but each time I approached too directly, and didn't evade enough, my engine was fatally hit with an oil leak.

 

So I pretty much ended up treating a lowly Ju-88 and its peashooter gunners, like a B-17. In several more passes, I killed the forward gunner, and the plane was losing large amounts of fuel vapor and both engines were lightly smoking. Finally, with ~1500 rounds remaining, I killed the pilot from a high rear attack. Only the ventral gunner was alive of the whole crew.

 

While my gunnery is surely laughable (this whole experiment went much more smoothly in a 109 and Fw-190), the salient point is that I didn't get hit by a single bullet. I believe the key to the AI is that it does not adjust its fire instantly. There is a grace period where, if you come in from a wide angle, it will allow you to linger for a second or two before it adjusts. If you come in from dead 6, there is no adjustment delay. Hence, it pastes you.

 

 

Edited by oc2209
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18 hours ago, [DBS]Browning said:

What makes you so sure it hit the armored glass? 

 

Well I can't know for sure but the target was directly in front of me and when I watched the replay I saw tracer fire going directly into the front windscreen.

 

 

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5 hours ago, MattS said:

 

Well I can't know for sure but the target was directly in front of me and when I watched the replay I saw tracer fire going directly into the front windscreen.

 

 

 

Given that we only see tracers and not the rest of the rounds, it's entirely possible that the glass stopped all the rounds and it's the ones unseen that hit elsewhere and wounded you.

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22 hours ago, =gRiJ=Roman- said:

It would be great to have the visual effect of bullets that failed to penetrate but crack the glass.

There is such effect. I've seen it a couple of times.

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2 hours ago, [DBS]Browning said:

 

Given that we only see tracers and not the rest of the rounds, it's entirely possible that the glass stopped all the rounds and it's the ones unseen that hit elsewhere and wounded you.

 

[ ] Armor glass

[ ] Armor plate

[ ] Engine block

[x] "Elsewhere"

 

Seems legit.

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