Material Experiment #1: Car Tires

DISCLAIMER: This is an art project, the artists are not making any claims that these instructions will prevent you from being harmed by guns. Consider this website for information purposes only and use at your own risk. We are not responsible for the outcomes of you following these instructions. 

People around the world, including black people in the US, trans women of color and people in global south countries such as Mexico and Colombia, are subject to murder by guns on a daily basis. My hope is that by spreading this information about affordable bulletproof materials, more people can protect themselves from this form of violence.

Many forums online, in particular survivalist and white supremacist forums, discuss ways of creating homemade bulletproofing and knife resistant clothing. Many of these forums refer to car tires as a bulletproof material, when they are layered 8-10 layers deep, because of the steel belting inside of them. Car tires can be acquired for free in many cases. Additionally, online discussions claim that many airbags are made of Kevlar and can also be acquired cheaply at a junkyard. Kevlar may be bulletproof when layered 15 times, but we have been unable to verify this in our testing.

To create your own bulletproof clothing or backpack, start by acquiring some tires. I acquired these tires for free at the mechanic around the corner from my house.

Next, acquire a sawzall. This may be the most expensive part of the process so far. Google lists used sawzalls for $30. You may be able to cut the tire with a simple hacksaw, but I was unable to. With a sawzall, you can cut through the steel belted tread of the tire.



Next, use the sawzall and cut through the sidewall where there is no steel belting. Now that you have cut through the tread and the sidewall, you should have panels like this:




These can be inserted into the lining of a jacket or vest or into a backpack. If there are 8-10 layers, they may be bulletproof from standard rounds from smaller caliber weapons such as pistols, and should stop many knife attacks. Try covering essential organs such as your heart, stomach and lungs. See our post about testing results, which are still inconclusive. 

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