How many iPhones does it take to stop a bullet?

Can a stack of iPhones protect a Samsung Galaxy S6 from a blast fired from a Russian assault rifle? You'll just have to watch and see.

Michael Franco
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Michael Franco
2 min read

Whenever a new iPhone comes out, there are lots of questions about its screen resolution, its battery life, the quality of its camera... You know, normal questions.

A YouTube user known as EverythingApplePro recently had another kind of question about the shiny slabs of tech -- just how many of them it would take to stop a bullet shot at close range from an AK-74. No, that's not a typo; the AK-74 is a Russian assault rifle that was released in 1974 and put into wide circulation during Russia's 1979 conflict with Afghanistan. Like its more well-known predecessor, the AK-47 (which was made in -- you guessed it -- 1947), the gun was also made by Mikhail Kalashnikov. But I digress.

What's really important here is that, according to EverythingApplePro, the gun can fire bullets that leave the muzzle at up to 2,900 feet (about 884 meters) per second. So just how many phones would you need in your pocket to stop that bad boy from penetrating your hide?

To find out, the intrepid host of EverythingApplePro built a wooden holder and placed into it eight phones, including three iPhone 6 Pluses, two iPhone 6s, some smaller iPhones, one iPhone clone and a Samsung Galaxy S6 at the very end for good measure. Then he fired into the lineup.

The results? Well, you'll just have to take a look at the video above. In the first attempt, you'll see that the bullet actually hits the wooden frame during its trajectory, so that certainly helped slow it down. Fear not! A second round is put right through the middle of the devices next, so hang in there for the real results. And there's even a shotgun blast at the end to finish things off -- literally.

One thing is certain: It's not practical to carry enough iPhones on your body to make you bulletproof (and you wouldn't have the air space between them that exists in this experiment either). For that, you might want to check out this cool bulletproof suit (if you have lots of cool cash on hand).

Oh, and don't try this experiment at home. Please?