Rob Suddaby
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Security doors with ballistics resistance are not typically certified to protect against a Kalashnikov attack. This post looks at what to consider so that your site is protected.

Although there are few official statistics on how widespread the Kalashnikov, or AK-47, has become, there could now be as many as one for every 70 people in circulation.

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Terrorists are known to use Kalashnikovs and although it is a weapon for which different types of ammunition can be used, one particular high-level bullet – the M43 or PS ball – has meant manufacturers of security doors are having to revisit the way their doors are constructed.

Kalashnikov Attacks and EN Standards

The current European standard which measures the bullet-resistance of security doors (EN 1522) does not include testing with the M43 bullet.

EN 1522 awards certificates for bullet-resistance in seven classes (FB1-FB7) as well as an additional certification, FSG, for shotguns.

It tests with a range of ammunition and firearms but almost all the projectiles used for testing are soft core bullets made of lead.

Level Weapon Ammunition
FB1 Rifle Lead bullet
FB2 Hand Gun Soft core (lead)
FB3 Hand Gun Soft core (lead)
FB4 Hand Gun Soft core (lead)
FB5 Rifle Soft core (lead)
and steel penetrator
FB6 Rifle Soft core (lead)
FB7 Rifle Hard core (steel)
FSG Shotgun Solid slug

The M43 on the other hand is made of mild steel. This makes it much more likely to penetrate several objects rather than expand on its initial impact as a lead bullet does.

A specific type of ammunition is employed at each FB level but there is also a list of other frequently used bullets which the EN 1522 standard states could be comparable to the ones used for testing.

The M43 bullet however is not included on this list, so certain manufacturers of security doors are conducting their own special tests to ensure that sites are getting the required level of protection.

Adapting a Security Door for Kalashnikov Protection

The M43 bullet may be more penetrative than soft core bullets but it travels at much lower speeds (around 700m/s).

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To stop it breaking through a security door, the solid infill of the door has to be thicker.

And since the weakest point of the door is at the joints – such as between the glazing and the frame – these areas also have to be reinforced.

Make Sure the Whole Door Has Been Tested

If a security door has not been tested as a whole unit, it might not actually meet the levels of resistance you require.

Some doors for example have had the glass and the frame tested separately, but this will not highlight the weaknesses the whole door has.

A complete test will include the glass, solid infill and frame and testers will shoot from different angles to try and find the weakest point in the construction.

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This is critical when testing for resistance against the M43 bullet. If any part of the bullet pierces through any part of the door, then the door fails the test.

Download Guide to Standards for Security Doors and Windows