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Bullet-penetration not realistic
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Heavy rounds fail to penetrate obstacles they should normally penetrate. E.g.: 7.62x51mm does not exit human torso, 12.7x99mm does not exit brick wall, 6.8mm and 7.62mm do not penetrate single door of car wreck.


Legacy ID
Game Physics
Steps To Reproduce

Place a human in front of a wall, shoot in torso with EBR (7.62mm), check wall for impact mark. Place two humans behind each other, shoot in torso with EBR. Bullet fails to exit body.

Place human behind a brick wall, use the 12.7 HMG on the Hunter to shoot the wall, bullet does not exit wall.

Go to the car wreck in Agia Marina, shoot the rusty single door from the outside with 6.8mm or 7.62mm, check nearby wall for impact marks. Bullet does not penetrate car door.

Event Timeline

p00d73 edited Steps To Reproduce. (Show Details)Mar 7 2013, 3:43 PM
p00d73 edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
p00d73 set Category to Game Physics.
p00d73 set Reproducibility to Always.
p00d73 set Severity to Tweak.
p00d73 set Resolution to Fixed.
p00d73 set Legacy ID to 1352896725.May 7 2016, 11:26 AM
Goose added a subscriber: Goose.May 7 2016, 11:26 AM
Goose added a comment.Mar 7 2013, 6:39 PM

This is important, so voted up. I noticed some of this as well.

Robot added a subscriber: Robot.May 7 2016, 11:26 AM

Please add this feature.

Even worse with bushes - bullets fail to penetrate some of them (green ones), as well as plywood obstructions and metal shacks.

probably another engine limitation or they would have added it already. this engine sucks.


welcome to patch 1.63 ^^

Definitely would appreciate some of this!

Thank you for your feedback.

The described test very much depends on other conditions: civilians are more vulnerable than combat units due to the vests and uniform armour. Also our game calculates deflection of bullet when passing through a material. So it can very well happen that you don't observe bullet-impact mark on a close-by wall simply because the bullet has exitted the body in a different place than direct line. This behaviour is considered desirable and happens in real life, too.

I have made several tests and I was able to shoot between 1-3 civilians (sorry:) standing behind each other with the EBR weapon.

In coming alpha releases, general bullet penetration has been revised and tuned. Probably we will have still some other iterations of penetration tests and it may change (slightly) again.

I will remain assigned and inform you about coming changes.

Can you also reproduce the bushes and brick wall?

What is your opinion about current penetration values? They have been changed.

p00d73 added a subscriber: p00d73.May 7 2016, 11:26 AM

@Zeloran: I did some more tests in the dev branch today, I'm able to shoot through a brick wall with the 12.7mm Lynx now (probably the same with the HMG?). The Lynx also shoots through several civilians.

However, with the EBR and Mk. 18 I failed to shoot through any civilian (and I tried around 500 in total...)

At point blank, a 7.62mm weapon should almost always exit. The 6.5mm and 5.56mm would be more likely to deflect, but should also have a very high chance to exit.

At you can find values for the penetration in (simulated) human flesh for most common rounds.

I love the bullet penetration systen, on all games, and in arma 2, is a really fun thing, kill something or someone behind a semi hard cover, with a powerful gun
in arma 3 , is a little wrong indeed

debatable since "tactical" use of a HMG for such penetration might go a little against any conventional roleplay, as they spray town with bullets that feasibly pierce houses.

Goose added a comment.Jul 8 2013, 4:16 AM

Wow, 355 upvotes and not a single downvote (yet).

I was watching a Dslyecxi video where he was flying an AH-6J and there were enemies shooting from inside a building. He flew over and sprayed the building with hundreds of rounds from his twin 7.62 miniguns.

I remember he made a comment about how in real life the guns would be sending rounds tearing through the bricks and mortar and making the enemies inside very uncomfortable, but that in ArmA he would have to get a lucky hit through a window.

It would be nice to see more penetration from many bullets, not just .50 caliber. Definitely makes things a lot more interesting and fun!

upvoting this, definitely a feature that needs bolstering and further testing.

Meanwhile this video serves as a bit of a cheat sheet if you're playing multiplayer. I'll remember to hide behind one of those outdoor walls, as they even stop a .50 cal round.

pils85 added a subscriber: pils85.May 7 2016, 11:26 AM

Referring to the youtube video and self-testings, penetration is still badly messed up.
Penetration is a very important issue, especially in urban-area clashes.
Arma has always been and is still not a realistic war sim to the point, you only shoot at sight and then most likely kill the other player with a high accurancy.
In real firefights, soldiers often just fire in the direction of a enemy hideout, hoping to hit something or at least supress enemy backfire.
Firefights like these are way more intense and would be more fun in a game.

So in an urban area or when attacking a hideout, it would be realistic and fun just to fire towards the enemy, hoping to penetrate the objects he is hiding behind.
And well, in fact, bullet penetration is way higher in reality than it is in Arma 3 right now.

  • All large caliber cannons (20mm, 30mm, 40mm; with piercing ammo) must be able to penetrate almost every usual object and in many cases even twice. For example almost every kind of brick or concrete wall, trees, cars etc. etc. (just tested a 40mm cannon on a thin wall once, it did penetrate which is good. hope it's the same with other objects)
  • 7,62mm and .50 cal.: The .50 cal. e.g. in snipers is made to penetrate even light armored vehicles in reality. So it should at least penetrate simple brick walls and thin concrete made objects which it can't right now.

7.62mm machine guns and assault rifles can penetrate simple walls, too. At least after a few rounds. You wouldn't be safe in one of those old houses in Arma 3 if it were real and so you shouldn't be in the game. (same for cars!)

  • 5,56mm and 6,5mm: Almost no penetration power in the game. These kind of bullets still have some good penetratiom power in real life and so should have in the game. Both should be able to go right through a car door, one occupant and the other car door. Also should be able to go through doors, thin walls and easily through those iron sheet lodges.
  • 9mm: Should be able to penetrate at least one car door, those iron sheet lodges, thin wooden doors and still be able to do some damage.

Don't generalize 12,7x99mm ammunition. Not every sniper rifle or machine gun is loaded with AP rounds. Some use standard Ball projectiles (FMJ), match grade projectiles (BTHP), SLAP(T)(saboted light armour penetrator) rounds or MP (multi-purpose) (e.g. Mk211Mod0).

5,56x45 is a bad penetrator. Unless you are talking about the Mk262 and advanced 5,56 loads. The standard M885 ball is deflected by brush and some soft covers.

The AP variants with tungsten carbide penetrators are lacking stopping power (overpenetrating) and the Mk262 is a hybrid that tries to make things better. But the caliber itself was a mistake, hence the switch to 7,62x51 and .45 in regard to handguns.

The 6,5Grendel is slightly better but reduces magazine capacity due to the cartridge size.

Most important is the energy density. There is some reason for 4,6x30 and 5,7x28mm weapons. They lack stopping power but have a high sectional density compared to other calibers.

I guess an ammo switch option would be too complex, regarding the many calibers Arma 3 offers.
So they probably should stick to the main purpose. And as far as I know they use the .50 cal sniper (instead of the smaller ones) mainly because of it's penetration power. Watched a documentation about it lately.

To the 5,56: That's true, but again I'd say they should stick to the most common ammo.

Here is a video of what I guess are standard FMJ 5,56mm rounds fired by a AR-15:

I find the penetration power shown in this video still quite impressive. Easily goes through a 6mm steel plate and ballistic gel as thick as 2 human bodies.

Or that one: (5,56mm NATO standard green tip round)

So I'm not satisfied that in Arma 3 the 5,56 won't even penetrate a car door and almost looses all it's power after penetrating one wall of that really thin rotten iron sheet lodge.

Some may think we are debating about nonrelevant details.
But these details are very important to create a realistic feeling and gameplay. And it has a huge impact on the way players play this game. When you know your gun has realistic penetration power (e.g. a machine gun), you don't run around houses trying to spot the enemy inside like in Counterstrike - you fill that building with lead from a distance like they would do it in real warfare situations.

Just made some further testing with autocannons.
Seems that 30mm/40mm AP easily penetrates a whole house (2-3 walls) and destroys a car behind that house with a few rounds.
That and the concept of destructible buildings is awesome and give the game really a much more realistic feeling.

Now the APCs just need a bigger ammo capacity. Those 40 + 60 rounds of the 40mm are gone in no time :D
I read most of the APCs with 20-40mm autocannons can carry up to 1000+ rounds (the crew needs to rearm the ammo belts though after a certain number of rounds)

Kirill added a subscriber: Kirill.May 7 2016, 11:26 AM

Most of the walls and fences in the game are made of brick, clay and fine concrete. It is not clear why the 5.56mm and above do not punch them. It would be more strongly penetrate therethrough in 50% at 90 degrees and 10-25% at 45 degrees. I do not know how BI classified materials and stopping action of the barriers..., but the current system is wrong.

Watch this video showing a MEA ( Multi-Environment Ammunition ) passing through multiple bottles of water and a plate of steel. Not really sure about the caliber but maybe a 12.7. Look the power!!!

Also look at my ticket about MEA and the many applications.

Tried so many times to double kill two men with a single bullet

pops added a subscriber: pops.May 7 2016, 11:26 AM
pops added a comment.Aug 28 2013, 3:35 PM

I noticed that the Zefir's 7.62 mm bullet are able to penetrate the sand sacks of the large bunker. And those are quite thick. I would assume that the bunker is safe to hide in from small arms fire.

Yeah i fired a .408 through a thin tin roof at 200m, nothing happened to the target.

Did some more testing using the bullet cam script ( and saw the following behaviour with a .408:

  1. The bullet can pass through stone, concrete walls at 500m, people as well.
  2. Can't pass through the tin roof, so might be an issue with the material they've defined.
  3. Bullets do pass through doors as well.

However, behaviour on meeting a closed window seems to be random, once it got reflected, once it passed through. Same with concrete houses.

Uuuuummm....So I tried to reproduce this problem almost exactly, except Agia Marina isn't anywhere near me so I improvised. Long story short, it didn't exactly work out and I think I'm going to be tried and imprisoned :(

it's time to fix it
It is necessary to change the characteristics of the stone / concrete fences!
The bullet after penetration (5.56 and 6.5) has little (law) effect.
7.62, 408, 50cal cant penetrate limestone\brick wall at an angle of 45 degrees.
Skeletons of cars (objects) is not penetration.

Related to:

Zubr has better penetration than 6.5 rifle??? Damn, its unrealistic...

Bunny wearing body armor cannot be penetrated by 12.7???? SUCK!

I think we can safely close this ticket? In recent ArmA 3 versions penetration seems pretty accurate. 9mm and 45 ACP are mostly stopped by stone walls but pass through soft wood/plastic plates, 5.56mm and 6.5mm have a fair chance to penetrate walls, but only at direct angles and close range, 7.62mm retains a lot of energy through walls, and the high-caliber snipers can reliably kill targets behind walls from long ranges.

Anyone has more bugs?

There is a very low damage fireing at people hiding in bushes still. Bushes and grass seems to slow down bullets too much or possibly deflect them

Bushes are discussed in another ticket. Its a known bug.

Mk44 Bushmaster, MP-T shells, the same

Closing down as very generic and old ticket and lots has changed since. For specific issues, please create new tickets (unless already available).