Will a filing cabinet save your life and be enough to stop bullets, providing good cover? Hickok45’s demonstration should answer that question.
You see it in the movies all the time: office guys taking cover behind filing cabinets in a big Hollywood-concocted gunfight scene.
Will a filing cabinet save your life by providing enough ballistic protection to stop rounds fired in your direction? Watch this to see how a filing cabinet stacks up against pistols and an Ak-47.
In the military, we would do what we called “pen-dems,” or penetration demonstrations to spell it out. These were typically a bit of an eye-opener for a lot of us as most of the standard full-metal-jacket ammo had some very good penetration, giving you a good idea of what can realistically provide cover from fire.
We also would do it on body armor and ballistic plates placed down range, which would give you confidence in your equipment as the more modern armor can stop quite a bit of small arms ammunition from penetrating, reducing battlefield wounds and mortality.
While this demonstration was not heavy on the scientific conditions, I think it clearly answers the question if a filing cabinet will stop rounds from penetrating. It was okay against .380, stopping a few rounds, but once heavier calibers were fired, filing cabinets do not provide great cover from fire.