Bullet-resistant glass is an essential component of security for various environments, offering protection against a range of ballistic threats. With levels ranging from 1 to 8, each type of bullet-resistant glass is designed to meet specific security requirements. A variety of materials are employed to provide a shield against different calibers of bullets.

This guide explores the levels of bullet-resistant glass, highlighting key features, our product numbers, and the materials used in each.

Partnership with SafeWood Designs

As we detail the intricacies of bullet-resistant glass, it’s important to highlight our partnership with SafeWood Designs, a leader in advanced security solutions. SafeWood Designs brings to the table innovative design techniques and materials that complement our bullet-resistant glass offerings.

Their expertise in creating custom, aesthetically pleasing, and highly protective environments ensures that our clients have access to the best in security design. Together, we’re setting new standards in safety and design, making secure environments more accessible and effective.

Types of Bullet-Resistant Glass

Level 1: Basic Handgun Protection

  • Products: SWD 001 AG, SWD 1000, SWD UL1
  • Materials: Traditional Laminated, Polycarbonate

Description: Level 1 glass is designed to stop bullets from common small arms, such as 9mm and .38 Special handguns. It combines glass and polycarbonate layers to absorb and disperse the bullet’s energy, typically measuring around 1.25 inches in thickness. This level offers an effective, yet economical, barrier suitable for lower-risk environments like residential properties or small businesses.

Level 2: Enhanced Security for Higher Threat Levels

  • Products: SWD 002, SWD 002 AG, SWD 002 LS
  • Materials: Traditional Laminated, Insulated Ballistic Glass

Description: Level 2 glass provides added protection against more potent firearms, such as the .357 Magnum. Incorporating additional polycarbonate layers, this glass variant, around 1.5 inches thick. It is designed for environments at a slightly higher risk, including retail establishments and banks, ensuring a greater level of security without significantly compromising visibility.

Level 3: Robust Protection Against Powerful Handguns

  • Products: SWD 003, SWD 003 AG, SWD 003 LS, SWD 003 LS IG HC Low-E, SWD 3000, SWD 3500
  • Materials: Traditional Laminated, Glass Clad, Polycarbonate

Description: Level 3 glass is engineered to withstand bullets from .44 Magnum handguns, offering superior protection through its multilayer composition that can reach up to 1.75 inches in thickness. It’s suited for high-security buildings such as law enforcement facilities and secure corporate offices, providing a robust barrier against high-caliber threats.

Level 4: Rifle Protection for High-Security Environments

  • Products: SWD 004, SWD 004 AG, SWD 004 LS
  • Materials: Glass Clad, Polycarbonate

Description: Designed to protect against rifle threats, specifically from .30 caliber rifles, Level 4 glass employs advanced layering technology. It is a thicknesses of up to 2.25 inches. This level is indispensable for military installations and government buildings, offering reliable protection in scenarios where high-powered firearms are a concern.

Level 5-6: Advanced Security Against Military-Grade Arms

  • Products (Level 5): SWD 005, SWD 005 LS, SWD 005 MH
  • Products (Level 6): SWD 3000
  • Materials: Glass Clad, Polycarbonate

Description: Levels 5 and 6 escalate the protection to guard against military-grade weaponry, such as AK-47s at Level 5 and even more potent rifles at Level 6. These levels utilize the thickest and most resilient composites, measuring from 2.5 to 3 inches, to safeguard against some of the most dangerous threats. Ideal for embassies and high-risk government facilities, these glasses provide peace of mind in high-stakes environments.

Level 7: Near-Impenetrable Barrier Against Sustained Fire

  • Products: SWD 007
  • Materials: Glass Clad Polycarbonate

Description: Offering unmatched protection, Level 7 glass is capable of withstanding multiple shots from high-power rifles. It features a construction that exceeds 3 inches in thickness. This grade is specifically designed for the most secure installations, such as military fortifications and government command centers, where failure is not an option.

Level 8: Ultimate Protection Against High-Caliber and Armor-Piercing Rounds

  • Products: SWD UL8
  • Materials: Glass Clad Polycarbonate

Description: Level 8 glass is the pinnacle of bullet-resistant technology, designed to offer unparalleled protection against the most lethal threats, including armor-piercing rounds. With a construction that maximizes thickness and resilience, this level of glass is engineered for scenarios where the highest level of security is non-negotiable. Typically exceeding 3 inches in thickness, Level 8 glass is ideal for protecting VIPs, and securing national security installations and strategic command centers against the most severe ballistic attacks.

Making the Right Choice

When selecting bullet-resistant glass, assessing potential threats and the specific security needs of your location is crucial. Understanding the materials used in each level is essential for determining the glass’s protective capabilities against various ballistic threats. These materials include traditional laminated, insulated ballistic glass, acrylic, polycarbonate, and glass clad.

Additionally, it’s important to verify local codes and requirements for the use of bullet-resistant glass. A proper, certified framing system is typically required to maintain code-compliant protection. At Torstenson Glass (TG), we not only stock over 200 types of glass products in various categories but also offer advanced bullet-resistant glass solutions, including levels 9 and 10, for those requiring the utmost in security and protection.

Established in the heart of Chicago, TG has been a leading force in the glass industry for over 130 years, combining tradition with innovation to meet every glass need. Whether you’re looking for individual pieces or expansive custom projects, our commitment to precision and quality remains unwavering. If you don’t see what you need, just ask!