Tesla Claims the Cybertruck Is Bulletproof — but Only to “Outdated” Firearms

While withstanding a Tommy Gun is cool, it’s basically a prop in comparison to modern day guns.

Eva Hagan - Author

Mar. 7 2024, Updated 12:54 p.m. ET

Elon Musk stands in front of a Tesla Cybertruck at a demonstration in front of a crowd.
Source: Getty Images

While the Tesla Cybertruck may be the most unconventional looking vehicle on the market today, bearing with that unique exterior might be worth it some people, if rumors that the Tesla Cybertruck is bulletproof are true. The sharp edges and angular design isn’t exactly an aesthetic choice, but a result of using the same grade of stainless steel used to create some SpaceX rockets.

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Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has boasted the Cybertruck’s ability to withstand continuous bullet hits, a major selling point for the unique vehicle, which officially hit the market in December 2023. However, some experts are skeptical as to whether the Cybertruck’s bulletproof claims are accurate.

A Tesla Cybertruck sits on a stage in front of a crowd of people holding up their phones to take pictures.
Source: Getty Images
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Is the Tesla Cybertruck bulletproof?

The Tesla Cybertruck may be bulletproof to some guns. According to The Conversation, the vehicle doesn't look like any of Tesla’s other products because it was designed with high-strength stainless steel, a material that isn't as easy to design with, but also makes the truck bulletproof.

In November 2023, the same time as the Cybertruck’s release, Elon Musk posted a video on X showing how the Cybertruck fared while being hit by bullets. In the video, Musk claims that the Cybertruck's doors are bulletproof against .45 caliber and 9 millimeter caliber ammunition. Although the bullets left dents on the sides of the truck during the demo, none went through.

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According to Business Insider, the body of the Cybertruck is composed of "30X cold-rolled stainless steel," the same material used for SpaceX’s Starship megarocket. The windows are made of layered “armor glass,” which will not stop a bullet; however, Musk has claimed that in the future, Tesla will sell a “beast mode” Cybertruck with bulletproof windows, with the caveat that the windows can’t roll down.

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In October 2023, a video on X captured a Cybertruck driving down a highway in California with bullet dents all over the side. Musk replied to the tweet with the statement, “We emptied the entire drum magazine of a Tommy gun into the driver door Al Capone style. No bullets penetrated into the passenger compartment.”

As impressive as it seems, some experts are skeptical. According to Inside EVs, a Tommy Gun is an outdated firearm, and shoots at a lower velocity than many modern guns. Jay Jarvis, forensic consultant of Arma Forensics in Atlanta, told Inside EVs, “I would expect higher velocity rifle bullets, especially armor-piercing bullets, to penetrate this steel.”

So, while it seems that the Cybertruck is technically bulletproof to some guns, Tesla might not be accurately portraying its ability to withstand shots from modern firearms.

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Are any other Teslas bulletproof?

Other than the Cybertruck, Tesla has not claimed any other of their vehicles to be bulletproof. The Cybertruck is the first Tesla vehicle to allegedly have bulletproof capabilities, as well as “armor glass” windows. However, these supposedly shatterproof windows actually did shatter when met with a metal ball at a very awkward 2019 Cybertruck demonstration.

While no Tesla vehicles other than the Cybertruck claim to be bulletproof, Armormax, an armored passenger vehicle manufacturer, sells what it claims to be bulletproof Teslas, as well as bulletproof vehicles by other popular brands. So, while you may not be able to buy a bulletproof Tesla Model X, Model Y, or Model 3 directly from Tesla, there is always the option to customize safety options with companies such as Armormax.

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