This study focuses on the ballistic performances of 1 and 2 mm-thick and 2 x 1 mm-thick cold rolled sheet metal plates against 9 mm standard NATO projectile. The velocity of the projectile before and after perforation, the diameter of the front face deformation, the depth of the crater and the diameter of the hole were measured. The fracture surfaces of the plates near the ballistic limit were also microscopically analyzed. The highest ballistic limit was found in 2 mm-thick plate (332 m s(-1)) and the lowest in 1 mm-thick plate (97 m s(-1)). While, the ballistic limit of 2 x 1 mm-thick plate decreased to 306 m s(-1). Typical failure mechanism of the projectile was the flattening and mushrooming at relatively low velocities and the separation from the jacket at relatively high velocities. In accord with the ballistic limits, 2 mm-thick target plate exhibited the highest hardness value. Microscopic investigations showed the significant reductions in the grain size of the targets after the test. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.