Truck Buyer: So, you’re telling me I can dodge bullets?
Elon Musk: No, I’m saying that when the Cybertruck is ready, you won’t have to.
(apologies to the Wachowskis, and maybe Elon, too)
In a recent interview with Inside EVs, automotive industry expert Sandy Munro says one of the reasons he’ll be buying a Cybertruck is that it could protect him from stray rounds when hunting. That isn’t the most likely way a Cybertruck might take a bullet (more on that below), but let’s look at that claim real quick.
“I used to go hunting a lot (before the pandemic), and all hunters are worried about stray bullets.” Mr. Munro said to Inside EVs. “I heard through the grapevine that the stainless steel that they got will deflect the bullet. If something like that happened, I wouldn’t want to find a hole in my car.”
It’s apparently true that the Cybertruck’s “ultra-hard cold-rolled stainless steel alloy” will stop 9mm rounds. Elon Musk couldn’t test it live (being in Hawthorne, California at the time), but he showed high-speed footage of the truck’s skin stopping multiple parabellum rounds fired from 10 meters away. The truck won’t come away unblemished, but it stopped the projectile.
I already hear that one guy in the back saying, “But those were 9mm rounds, that thing wont stop .30-06!” Yes, dear hypothetical, but likely reader, you are correct. From 30-ish feet away, the truck’s stainless steel that is dented by 9mm won’t stop a typical hunting round. But then again, if a hunter hits your truck from 33 feet away with a rifle, it probably wasn’t really a “stray bullet.”
Let’s see at what distances the Cybertruck would stop a .30-06 round. First, let’s figure out a typical energy at 10 yards with a typical 9mm round:
According to the GunData.org ballistic calculator, an Aguila 9mm FMJ would have 379 lb-ft of energy at 10 yards.
A .30-06 round with a 168 gr A-MAX bullet would have the same energy as a 115gr 9mm round at between 1300 and 1400 yards. So an actual stray round, if fired from over 1400 yards, probably wouldn’t penetrate the Cybertruck. This is, of course, assuming that it doesn’t hit the truck’s “armor glass.”
Truth be told, though, you’re pretty unlikely to get hit by a stray round during hunting season. While stray rounds do happen, hunters typically use accurate rifles, aiming at something fairly large, and there’s usually lots of forest between the hunter and anyone or anything that could be hurt. And, that’s all assuming the hilly terrain doesn’t stop the round itself.
The Cybertruck is more likely to protect you in places like Baltimore, Minneapolis or the south side of Chicago. You know, locales with tough gun control laws where you’re theoretically safe. Places where the morons who are shooting at each other are far more likely to be using handguns.
I wouldn’t want to test this, but the Cybertruck seems like it might be the go-to production pickup truck for driving around in some of the nation’s most dangerous cities with commonsense gun safety laws.
Then again, the criminal element is the the only thing motorists have to worry about. Have you seen the state of police marksmanship and use of force in some jurisdictions?
The Tesla Cybertruck, set to be produced in the company’s new Austin Gigafactory, just might be the best production vehicle for those who want to ensure their safety from ballistic threats. Just be sure to duck behind one of those metal panels if you ever see police trying to use yours for cover, and hope the bad guys aren’t using a rifle.