Bullet Fragmentation Inside Plexiglas

Some cool “Art”:

More pics over at the photographer/artist Deborah Bay’s website.

Cue the obligatory deep statement from the photographer herself:

…I also was intrigued by the psychological tension created between the jewel-like beauty and the inherent destructiveness of the fragmented projectiles. Many of the images resemble exploding galaxies, and visions of intergalactic bling sublimate the horror of bullets meeting muscle and bone. In fact, Susan Sontag described the camera as “a sublimation of the gun” — load, aim and shoot.

haha that’s a good one!

As Jesse mentioned, it’s lucky the “Professionals” in law enforcement at a Houston TX community college took care of the shooting.  God knows what would have happened if someone not in law enforcement would have fired those shots… Give a regular person in Texas a piece of plexiglas and a gun you might as well sign your own death certificate haha *eye roll*

I wonder what thickness of plexiglas she used?  It seems to be easily available as thick as 1″.  If shes using 1″ or thinner i’m actually kind of surprised that bullets don’t just sail right through that.  I might have to try this…


Hat tip: Jason L, Jesse



Peter April 20, 2012 at 03:58 am

Remember that the ammo used in these photos is ordinary police type jacketed hollowpoints. This ammo is not designed for deep penetration but for expansion and quick shock to the body.

I would submit that with, say, a “Ruger only” max load in a .45 Colt with a hard cast 270 to 325 gr. semiwadcutter or RNFP would sail right through that plexiglass.

Back when Kevlar vests were first getting started during the ’70s a couple of pals and I experimented with ways to defeat the vest. We, BTW, were not crooks but law enforcement and a couple of firefighters. We found several ways and we reported them to the folks at a couple of the companies making those vest. The easiest way was a cast zinc bullet at high velocity. I can say this in a forum because the vests have improved since then and a zinc bullet won’t burn through an officer’s vest anymore.

The bottom line is there is always a bullet that can defeat armor of any kind. Might take a cannon but it can always happen. When I was still more or less a rookie an outfit started making clipboards out of ballistic plexiglass. I carried one for a while, actually quite a while. It was big enough for both a notebook and a ticket book. If I recall correctly it was rated to stop a 158 grain .357 Mag at point blank range. It was really a better deal than a vest in the Texas summer when it’d still be in the high 90s past midnight. It’s no big gain if one dies of heatstroke but is invulnerable to bullets.

Matt G. April 20, 2012 at 03:28 pm

Not all of them were hollow points. I only looked at two pictures but try were labeled “9mm Glock ball” and “AK-47 7.62×39”.

JonMac April 20, 2012 at 04:29 am

The camera comment is pretty valid actually. Why do you think we ‘shoot’ pictures? Anyone who’s looked through a viewfinder has made the comparison themselves. Especially wildlife photography, which uses some of the same skills as hunting.

Not to mention the gun camera (footage of combat gunfire), camera gun (gun-shaped training aid) of WW2.

Jess Banda April 20, 2012 at 07:32 am

“Cue the obligatory deep statement from the photographer herself:”

Just once I’d like for an artist to be honest and not blow smoke:
“Yea, I was watching TV one day and thought, it might be cool to see what happens when you shoot bullets at sh*t…and then call it art…and get it displayed …and have people stand before the pieces and project their own meanings onto it.”

ozwald April 21, 2012 at 10:51 pm

you probably wouldn’t understand. you can’t be obvious or you won’t get the pretentious points that actually fuel the art community. like as a conceptual artist, i have to say “i forced the audience into a blunt confrontation with their expectation of hygiene versus their security standards.” instead of “i broke into several houses and shit in their crockpots.”

Jesse Ingall April 22, 2012 at 05:33 pm

Hahahhahahahhaha I love your comparison

NikonMikon April 20, 2012 at 09:25 am

I’m going to have to say that shooting with a camera is very similar to shooting. I do both, and when you get down to the really slow shutter speeds while hand-holding the camera it is pretty much exactly like shooting a rifle except you have to hold it longer after you ‘pull the trigger’. I am talking speeds like 1/5th of a second and whatnot.

Here is an example of what I mean: http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/3848/276507630188db20c791b.jpg

That is 1/5th of a second hand held. You pretty much take a deep breath, exhale and snap it and hold really really still until the mirror comes back up.

Taking photos like that at night for months in Korea actually helped me shoot a lot better. I am able to shoot out to 500 yards with iron sights and hit pretty decently. I believe some of my picture-taking at night helped with this.

ENDO-Mike April 20, 2012 at 04:14 pm

Cool yea I know what you mean. I usually crank up the shutter speed on my 60D so I don’t have to be so steady. Either that or I use a tripod when I’m fooling around taking pics.

NikonMikon April 20, 2012 at 08:16 pm

Yeah the only reason I even dealt with such shitty speeds is because my camera is ancient and I did not want super grainy pics by upping the iso to reduce shutter speeds. Your 60d should def enable you to take good pics without having to take such long shots. cool stuff man.

CHAOS April 20, 2012 at 10:39 am

definitely pretty cool to see that stuff. i would have loved to see some more interesting projectiles stuck in the plexi… like all solid copper projectiles or polymer tipped hollow points…

Church April 20, 2012 at 03:07 pm

Cool pictures, since it’s 4/20 I imagine the photographer’s statement was made under the influence. Cause I sure hope she’s not that crazy!

sirkut April 20, 2012 at 06:17 pm

I really despite artists trying to intellectualize their art. “I also was intrigued by the psychological tension created between the jewel-like beauty and the inherent destructiveness of the fragmented projectiles.” I mean really. Do you really ever say that?

ENDO-Mike April 20, 2012 at 07:07 pm

Might be able to impress some intellectual type girls at the range with that line. Most people would want to smack you though. ahhaha

Johnny November 15, 2016 at 11:29 am

I was one of the two officers providing the weapons, ammunition, and range to conduct this “art” exercise. The plexigalss was not your general run of the mill that you find at the local box store, it was laminated plexi use in bullet resisting applications. Rifle rounds penetrated the majority of the time such as 5.56 and 7.62 x 39. Handgun rounds, even the .44 mag with 240 grain factory soft points failed to penetrate. It was both educational and fun working with Ms. Bay in the creation of her art form.

Director of Public Safety

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