In a recent article, I explored whether Cybertruck will be able to resist stray bullets. The answer was that it could, but only if the round came from far away. This got me to thinking that it would sure make for a fun article to get some scraps of the same metal that Cybertruck is made out of and test them against a variety of handgun and rifle rounds. I could get some 304 steel from a local metal supplier, but there’s no way to really know if it’s exactly the same stuff that Cybertruck will be made of or if it’s the same thickness, so it wouldn’t be a very good test.
It used to be that one could email the Tesla press people and get a response, but that team doesn’t exist anymore, so about the only thing I can do is post here and hope Elon Musk or someone else at Tesla sees this and likes the idea.
Elon, if you’re reading this, I know you’re super busy, so just getting some steel samples would be awesome. I’d need them to be 4″x4″ or larger to make sure there’s good space for pistol testing at longer ranges. My groups are pretty good, but there’s only so much you can do with a pistol at safe distances from a steel target that may deform and spit stuff back at you. That size would also be good for rifle testing, as we could put a number of rounds on that size of metal for photographic comparison. I’ll be able to test it against everything from .22 LR to .44 Magnum in a controlled environment.
Also, if it’s possible to laser cut the edges, it would aid in the testing. Torch or plasma cutting tends to weaken the edges of a steel target more than laser cutting, and that would negatively affect testing. If not, I can mark the edges off to avoid testing in weakened areas.
If You Can Spare a Few More Minutes
On a flight between Los Angeles and Austin, you probably end up passing not too far from a little regional airport, KLRU. If you can spare the time to land there, there’s an outdoor gun range at the next exit along I-10.
I’ve been a certified firearms instructor since 2010, and have taught over 1000 students in 3 states, so we could easily set up some safe and private range time to test the metal and have some fun. Feel free to bring the kids or anyone else you want along. We can even cook up some burgers with Hatch green chile to give you the full New Mexico experience.
I don’t know what your prior experience is. For all I know, it could be greater than mine, and you obviously can afford the best instructors on the planet (and I don’t claim to be one of them). The main point here would be to get some good images and have some fun while writing an entertaining article for CleanTechnica.
If, By Some Miracle, There’s an Afternoon or a Model Y to Spare
I crossed out “mettle” in the title, but it may be possible to test both the metal and mettle. I know that in terms of both time and vehicle availability that this idea of taking an actual Cybertruck out for testing would be a long shot, but hopefully at some point in the future we’ll be able to borrow one and get that footage in.
If nothing else, it could be fun to give a Model Y a small lift and all terrains, and do some of the lighter stuff out here. I know with media loaners they typically don’t allow you to modify the vehicle, but if there’s any flexibility there, it would be fun.
The area has some of the most rugged, varied, and interesting terrain in the country. If you have a prototype that could be brought out here, there are a lot of trails it could be run on for photos. Some are light trails nearly any vehicle could handle, while others are extreme. Most of them have great scenic spots that would make for great images.
There’s no need for a film crew, as I have the gear to get some decent 4K video from ground and air that we could use for articles here.
I’m sure the readers here and your fans on Twitter would like to see all that, assuming that’s possible right now.
Aden Crater would probably be the best place to go. There are very few people or vehicles out there, especially on weekdays. All but the last quarter mile is accessible by a car, and the steps up onto lava rock are readily handled by 2-wheel-drive vehicles. At the end, there are several places to test more extreme things, but they’re optional and easy to back out of. It’s an ancient volcano, with a mix of desert scenery and lava rock near train tracks.
The same trail goes on to Kilbourne Hole, a place where magma came in contact with groundwater thousands of years ago, causing a big steam explosion that opened up a huge hole in the earth. It’s not as scenic as the volcano, but there’s still some neat photo and testing opportunities, especially with sand.
Other trails in the area near the airport include the Box Canyon trail, which would test the capabilities of the vehicle a little more. Here’s a video I took of the area:
Whatever There’s Time For
Like I said earlier, I know there’s not a lot of spare time, so just getting a few steel samples would be great. If there’s any time for more, it would be deeply appreciated by both myself and the readers. Plus, it would be fun to talk a bit about the political future of Mars and related security issues. Whatever you have time for!
Featured image by Jennifer Sensiba