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The Cybertruck failed a YouTuber's bulletproof test when shot by bigger guns

Grace Kay   

The Cybertruck failed a YouTuber's bulletproof test when shot by bigger guns
  • YouTuber JerryRigEverything put Elon Musk's claims that the Cybertruck is bulletproof to the test.
  • The truck could withstand shots from a handgun, but couldn't fend off faster weapons.

If you pack enough heat, Tesla's Cybertruck isn't bulletproof.

Zack Nelson, known for his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, put the electric truck's stainless steel exterior to the test. In a video that was uploaded on Friday, Nelson shot the vehicle with a series of guns, including an AR-15 and .50-caliber rifle.

"Nothing is actually bulletproof. There's always going to be a bigger bullet, but today we are going to see scientifically where that line gets drawn," Nelson said in the video.

The Cybertruck was able to survive shots from a 9 mm handgun — which Musk had previously said the vehicle could withstand — and a .22-caliber rifle, which left small dents in the metal. However, Nelson noted the truck's metal cracked if the shots landed too close together on the metal.

The truck took on more damage, however, when Nelson brought in some faster weapons, including a .17-caliber rifle, as well as an AR-15 and .50-caliber gun. The video from the .50-caliber gun shows the shot flying through the car door — which Nelson left open to avoid damaging the truck's interior — and taking a nickel-sized chunk out of the metal. The metal also cracked all the way through when Nelson fired the .223-caliber AR-15 at the vehicle.

While the truck didn't prove entirely bulletproof, Nelson said he was still impressed by its durability.

"The truck is still in one piece," Nelson said in the video. "There's a few ventilation holes now, but, overall, I am very satisfied with how bullet -resistant the Cybertruck is. It works on 9 millimeter, .22. Anything faster than that and there's gonna be a hole, but still slowing down a bullet is infinitely better than letting it pass through both sides of the vehicle."

Notably, a .50-caliber rifle is an incredibly high-powered weapon. A single round from a .50-caliber Browning Machine Gun could "knock down hovering helicopters, penetrate armored limousines," according to The Small Arms Review.

An auto expert previously told InsideEVs that the Cybertruck will likely be able to deflect weapons that have a lower velocity like a pistol or a Tommy Gun, but it won't be able to withstand faster weapons, like a .223 AR-15. — which can fire bullets at a speed of around 3,000 feet per second, more than three times as fast as a Tommy Gun. (During the vehicle's delivery event in November, Tesla also shared a video of the truck surviving a round of bullets from a .45-caliber Tommy Gun.)

A spokesperson for Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nelson told Business Insider he plans to patch the holes and leave the divots from the smaller guns for aesthetic purposes.

Since the Cybertruck was first announced in 2019, Musk has hyped up the rugged nature of the truck. The billionaire initially said the vehicle would be bulletproof, but later qualified that the "doors are bulletproof to .45" & 9mm."

When Elon Musk first revealed the Cybertruck in 2019 he attempted to demonstrate the vehicle's "armor glass" windows by having Tesla's design boss throw a metal ball at the Cybertruck's window. At the time, the glass immediately broke when hit by the metal ball. Musk later said on social media that a prior test had compromised the window.

"Sledgehammer impact on door cracked base of glass, which is why steel ball didn't bounce off," Musk wrote on X. "Should have done steel ball on window, then sledgehammer the door."

During an interview with Joe Rogan in 2023, Musk said that the standard Cybertruck wouldn't have bulletproof glass, but the stainless steel doors would still be thick enough to stop a bullet. Musk said Tesla would also offer a version of the truck with thicker fixed-pane glass windows.

The billionaire also appeared to soften expectations for whether the Cybertruck's stainless steel doors would be able to stop all manner of weapons, telling Rogan a "crossbow might get through."

"The thing that matters is kind of the energy per unit area," Musk said.

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