Much like stainless steel is really just rust-resistant steel that may indeed fall victim to oxidization, bulletproof glass isn’t some magic material that causes slugs to bounce off its surface. But if you have access to an iPhone screen protector made from bulletproof glass and access to firearms, it has to be tempting to see just how bulletproof the material is.
That was the carrot dangled before Ars Technica’s Lee Hutchinson when he received a PR pitch from a company announcing “the first reusable screen protectors for iPhones and iPads made of bulletproof glass.”
Granted, while the pitch from the manufacturer never claimed that the screen protector would make a phone bulletproof — only that the protector is made from “tempered bulletproof glass” — the very use of the term seduces the curious into seeing what would happen if an iPhone ended up on the wrong end of a firing range while sporting one of these card-thin protectors.
After getting surprisingly good results when subjecting the protector to tests like stabbing it with a screwdriver and running it over with a car, Hutchinson took an old iPhone 4 and one of these screen protectors out to a firing range in League City, TX, where the owner let him in before regular business hours to take aim at the smartphone.
His first shot didn’t just go through the screen protector, it went clear through the iPhone.
“So in case anyone was wondering if iPhones are bulletproof, we’ve also managed to answer that question at the same time,” writes Hutchinson. “They are not.”
Since he was there and had the time and ammo, he fired off another six shots, transforming the device into something that looked like it had been run through the pulse cycle on a Blendtec.