© The Author(s) 2022.This study investigates the low-velocity and ballistic impact responses of SiC-reinforced Al6061 metal–matrix composites in different reinforcement volume fractions. Low-velocity impact (LVI) tests were performed with samples having SiC particle volume fractions of 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, and 40%, while ballistic tests were carried out with samples having volume fractions of 0, 10, 20, and 30%. The weight-drop test method was used for LVI by applying 50 J (4.45 m/s) energy to all samples. Ballistic tests were carried out under the same conditions on all samples with the projectile launched at an average velocity of 500 m/s. For the determination of the ballistic resistance of the samples, the projectile penetrations in the witness structures were taken into consideration. The damage and deformations caused by both the LVI and the ballistic test in composites were examined. By the LVI test results, composite samples have absorbed less impact energy by increasing the reinforcement volume fraction, as well as demonstrated superior performance compared to unreinforced samples. In addition, the crack formation was mainly observed in the samples containing 30% reinforcement, while the composite material with a 40% volume fraction was completely broken. With the increase in the reinforcement volume fraction, the ballistic resistance of the samples increased significantly.