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Shooting through a window

I have always followed the motto "show me and I will believe". And that is why I try to demonstrate the theory in practice as much as possible during teaching. And so it has become a habit that we test those theories in courses and trainings in a practical way. When I was talking about shooting a precision rifle through a window years ago - it was clear that sooner or later we had to test it as well...

We did this test in 2018 during one of the Advanced Sniper courses. And because it was a course I didn't want to sacrifice more than a few hours for this test. So we temporarily built such a structure on the shooting range. The window was ordinary double-glazed. It was set at an angle of 45° to the shooter and the target was placed 2 meters behind the window. The window and the target were connected by a plank for stability. Behind the target we stretched a fabric 2 m high and 5 m wide. We also wanted to know where the shards and fragments would fly inside the room and how dangerous they would be...

The theory is that shooting through a window at an angle changes the trajectory of the bullet. I have confirmed this theory long time ago when shooting from a pistol through the windshield of a car. The change of the trajectory is really significant. Therefore it is also claimed that for precise hit with the rifle it is better to shoot through the window frame than through the glass. Another theory says that 6.5 calibers are less affected than the .308 Winchester and therefore they are significantly better for this purpose.

So we decided to make an attempt to shoot through the window and through the window frame. Then try both variants for comparison with 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester calibers.

We shot at a distance of 100 meters from prone. Before this target all shooters proved that they are able to hit a 2/3 MOA target each shot in these conditions.

The 6.5 Creedmoor impact was not affected by the penetration of the glass. The shooter hit a sticker in the center of the target he was aiming at. We expected some shift but it didn't happen.

.308 Winchester caliber hit. The impact from the projectile is to the left of the aiming point (the hole at the top is from the glass shard). Here it was really confirmed that shooting through the glass at an angle changes the flight trajectory of the bullet and the impact shifts. The difference in impact in this case was 6 centimeters.

Both hits through the window frame were affected by the fact that the bullet cut through the edge of the window as it penetrated the wood which slightly deflected it from the direction. In both cases (both calibers) the difference was smaller than the .308 caliber through the window. The deviation was actually half of it: 3 centimeters in both cases. In the case of a wooden frame the target and its surroundings were also hit by many shards as in shooting through glass. They were fragments of wood of various sizes.

Shards of both glass and wood from the frame were able to penetrate the target and the fabric behind it. Their spread to the sides was quite noticeable but they had the most energy relatively close to the bullet impact - up to about 25 centimeters from the impact.

The result of this test is therefore not surprising. We tested that the lessons are right...

In any case the benefits for each participant in similar tests are great. We can try in practice what only a few people did. To verify that what we are learning is not just theoretical knowledge read from books. To try some things for real and show the results is just priceless. As I say: "show me and I will believe"...


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