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An Introduction to Ballistic Glass Ratings

Signals Defense: A Building Shielding Blog

An Introduction to Ballistic Glass Ratings

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Ballistic Glass is rated to hold up to attacks from handguns, shotguns, or rifles. There are two major threats when transparent glazing’s come under a ballistic attack. The first is projectile penetration of the glazing. If the laminate fails, the result is often destruction, injury, or death. The second major threat to glass windows while under a ballistics attack is “spall.” Spall occurs as shards of glass break away from the rear face (protection side) of a laminate as a result of the impact, becoming projectiles themselves. Significant injuries, loss of vision, and death have occurred due to high-spalling laminates.


UL Standard 752 and National Institute of Justice (NIJ) 018.01 are two industry standards that we see referenced most frequently for Bullet-Resisting (BR) security glazing. BR security glazing is typically composed of clear or tinted glass, adhesive interlayers, and high quality multilayer polycarbonate. The overall thickness varies based on the BR rating required. Signals Defense has experience sourcing glazing from UL 752 BR Level 1 through 8.

Rating Ammunition # of Rounds Avg. Glass Thickness
UL Level 1 9 mm 3 shots 13/16″
UL Level 2 .357 Mag 3 shots 1-1/16″
UL Level 3 .44 Mag 3 shots 1-1/4″
UL Level 4 30 Cal 1 shot 1-5/16″
UL Level 5 7.62 mm 1 shot 1-9/16″
UL Level 8 7.62 mm 5 shots 2-3/8″


You can read much more on building and physical security here. For more information about Ballistics Glass, please contact us.

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