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pyro3k2
06-13-2010, 4:55 PM
Some ones vest expired this week at work and since insurance doesn't cover them we took it out to the range just to see how protected this person has been for the past 5 years. Turns out that well actually.
This was a SOFT plate rated at IIa, after the tests this person no long wears IIa (and nor should he the cheap skate :rolleyes:).
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3139.jpg
Sorry about the bullet holes, I forgot to take pictures of the vest before we put it through it's paces. It's rated to 124gs 9mm and 158gr .357 mag, so in theory it should stop 40cal and 45. Im the kind of person where seeing is believing hence the tests :)

http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3140.jpg
The most "fun" looking part of the vest the middle portion of this plate doesn't look like anything special so I didn't take pictures however, the back side of this plate looks very interesting
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3141.jpg
I'll get to those larger looking holes later in the review.
This photo is of the lower left side of the vest with some defeated .45acp rounds and some 9mm. Also note that we only fired .45acp at this plate so all the 9mm recovered from this plate penetrated the front plate and was defeated by this one. Still not a good day for the guy wearing this.
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3142.jpg


more photo's to come

pyro3k2
06-13-2010, 5:03 PM
This is the lower right side of the vest with some defeated .45acp JHP, we only shot hollow points into this section of the vest.
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3143.jpg

This is one defeated 9mm hollow point, remember we only shot 45 in this plate so this is one of the round that penetrated and a hollow point at that:eek:.
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3144.jpg

We started this test out with Ammuntion that the vest itself said it could defeat, being 115gs FMJ 9mm rounds, the vest only defeated 4 of 20 rounds, But one could argue that this is indeed an expired vest, but it was only a few days expired though. So we tested some Hollow points with similar resutls but with slightly higher amount of rounds defeated, but still had a high penetration ratio. These where the 4 9mm rounds that were defeated, also note that these were probably the first rounds into the vest.
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3156.jpg

These are the 9mm hollow points stopped
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3157.jpg

pyro3k2
06-13-2010, 5:07 PM
These are the .45acp FMJ's stopped, as I thought before we tested most of the 45 rounds were defeated by the body armor, but we would have to pause every few shots to put the re allign the vest, there was a greatly increased transfer of energy that was visible :cool:
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3154.jpg

These are the .45 hollow point stopped by the vest, most did not expand as intended.
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3155.jpg

These are a few of the interesting hollow points
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3150.jpg
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3158.jpg

The initial test being completed, with a large amount of failure to defeat rounds it advertised to stop i.e. 115gr 9mm FMJ's we decided to more on to the next section of the test and just shoot rounds in it to see if they could be stopped. The next round was a 1oz 12ga shotgun slug which was actually defeated!
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3146.jpg

more to come

pyro3k2
06-13-2010, 5:19 PM
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3152.jpg

I was very supprised to see it stop the slug, so I busted out my .450 bushmaster and unloaded 10 rounds at 50 yards. The vest did not defeat any of the rounds all 10 were full penetration of the front and rear soft plates. These are rifle rounds being shot at a pistol grade plate, I just wanted to see what would happen if anything :rolleyes:
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3163.jpg

Next was 3 rounds of .308 tap ammo the 168gr type at 50 yards all three round penetrated the front and rear plated as I expected
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3164.jpg

This was what the vest looked like after I spent and hour digging through it and pulling out all the rounds layer by layer
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm349/DrCuddlez_86/Fun%20with%20bullet%20resistant%20vest/IMG_3147.jpg

In conclusion I do not believe level IIa would be a good level of protection to go with. I would spring for IIIa at minimum with rifle plates if desired. The vest could take a1-2 hits before the next one would penetrate, I dont recall any instence where the bad gun only fired 1-2 rounds. But to be fair those 1-2 rounds could save your life! It does beat the hell out of wearing nothing at all, but if you wear your armor 90% of the time while you are at work, if I where you i'd spend the extra money on the IIIa or better since statistically you have a better chance of using your vest than you do your firearm.

Still a very fun test none the less, surprised me with some of the rounds it stopped, by the way unles otherwise stated all shots were taken at 7 yards, including the 12ga slug.

CA Gun Laws Suck
06-13-2010, 5:25 PM
Nice review! I am suprised on the lack of expansion on the .45acp.

leelaw
06-13-2010, 5:29 PM
What job do you have?

pyro3k2
06-13-2010, 5:29 PM
Nice review! I am suprised on the lack of expansion on the .45acp.

Yeah so was I, I was expecting atleast some expansion.

pyro3k2
06-13-2010, 5:30 PM
What job do you have?

Armed Security

chefdude
06-14-2010, 3:26 PM
great review!!

socalshooting
06-14-2010, 3:36 PM
How were you hanging up these vests to shoot? Were they free floating on target hangers?

RedDawn
06-14-2010, 3:43 PM
Thanks for the review. That definitely gives me food for thought.

jdewolf
06-14-2010, 4:02 PM
I'm not surprised by the 12ga slug at all. However I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end. I can only imagine how much kinetic energy transfer would go into your body. My ribs f'n hurt just thinking about it. That would truly be a movie style knock you on your *** type impact.

Regardless pretty damn cool :)

xibunkrlilkidsx
06-14-2010, 7:36 PM
I'm not surprised by the 12ga slug at all. However I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end. I can only imagine how much kinetic energy transfer would go into your body. My ribs f'n hurt just thinking about it. That would truly be a movie style knock you on your *** type impact.

Regardless pretty damn cool :)

yep. im sure it would easily break a rib or two.


fun day at the range nonetheless.

Jonathan Doe
06-14-2010, 7:43 PM
The true test of the efficiency of the vest needs to be tested against ballistic gelatin or BIG piece of meat. But, your test shows what the limitation of the vest is. Good job.

cyclenut
06-14-2010, 8:01 PM
Awesome review. Thanks for the cool eye candy. My buddy is training to be an LEO. I'll fwd him this link. :cool:

virulosity
06-14-2010, 8:06 PM
How were you hanging up these vests to shoot? Were they free floating on target hangers?

If there wasn't something solid behind it then it probably performed much better than reality. The vest is light enough to resolve some of the inertia of the projectiles.

TKM
06-14-2010, 8:19 PM
It's always fun to zap stuff.

There is a site called the box of truth chock full of this type of fun.

There is a guy named D-R over on Glocktalk selling leftover bits of kevlar vests if you would like to try to protect a watermelon or something.

SJgunguy24
06-14-2010, 8:39 PM
That is why I have a 3a in a carrier with 1/2" of spun dyneema plates that cover the entire area that the 3a covers and then some.

The Spun Dyneema I use stopped 7.62 and 5.56.

socalshooting
06-14-2010, 9:14 PM
If there wasn't something solid behind it then it probably performed much better than reality. The vest is light enough to resolve some of the inertia of the projectiles.

Actually, shooting the vest without an actual backing (like the curvature of a body, or clay molded in the same shape) is not really testing its real life application. The kevlar fibers on the vest depends on the curvature of the body to flex it in a convex shape and therefore reducing the impact of a bullet by acting as a spring and spreading out the impact surface area. Also, your body will also absorb a good fraction of the impact resulting in some bruising but no penetration.

This is how you properly test soft body armor. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM41suaOoMs)

Turbinator
06-14-2010, 9:31 PM
I like this, great post. Interesting!

Turby

jonnyt16
06-14-2010, 9:37 PM
You guys seen this?

<object width="660" height="525"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZnkYN_4XZhI&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00&border=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZnkYN_4XZhI&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="660" height="525"></embed></object>

socalshooting
06-14-2010, 9:45 PM
You guys seen this?

[YOUTUaBE]<object width="660" height="525"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZnkYN_4XZhI&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00&border=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZnkYN_4XZhI&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="660" height="525"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]

The quality of youtube comments hasn't improved over the years.

bryan28
06-14-2010, 9:53 PM
add one more reason why military switched to 9mm

... but i still like .45 a little bit more :)

humgunner
06-14-2010, 9:55 PM
Curious, how does a vest expire?
Does wearing it loosen the fibers or something?

Looks like you had a fun time. It's always nice to see how far you can push someting before you defeat it.

diginit
06-14-2010, 10:31 PM
You guys seen this?

<object width="660" height="525"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZnkYN_4XZhI&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00&border=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZnkYN_4XZhI&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="660" height="525"></embed></object>

I agree, What an idiot. Anyone that would put themselves on the recieving end of a firearm, Vest or not, is just plain stupid...

qua77ro
06-15-2010, 6:01 AM
it's like meds, many don't really expire but FDA requires them to have a limited shelf life. Manufacturers prefer it as it forces people to buy new meds. It's all a waste of money most of the time. Don't get me wrong some meds do have a limited shelf life but most things (advil/tylenol, etc) don't really expire that quickly.

As for vest testing one other point to consider from what I remember reading in the past, soft vests shot in the same general location in rapid succession will often fail. As the first round already forces the fibers to stretch to absorb the energy dis-forming the layers in the vest itself. So subsequent rounds can more readily penetrate.

pyro3k2
06-15-2010, 11:25 AM
How were you hanging up these vests to shoot? Were they free floating on target hangers?

We had the vest strapped around four 2L bottles filled will water and taped together. They kept the natural curve of the vest very well and allowed for some flexing to occur. We could also tell pretty quick if a round made it through the first plate.

I'm not surprised by the 12ga slug at all. However I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end. I can only imagine how much kinetic energy transfer would go into your body. My ribs f'n hurt just thinking about it. That would truly be a movie style knock you on your *** type impact.

Regardless pretty damn cool :)

After the slug we had to pause the testing, and replace the bottles and realign the vest. The slug had thrown the vest about 5-6 feet from where it had started. Who ever was wearing that was not a happy camper.

Actually, shooting the vest without an actual backing (like the curvature of a body, or clay molded in the same shape) is not really testing its real life application. The kevlar fibers on the vest depends on the curvature of the body to flex it in a convex shape and therefore reducing the impact of a bullet by acting as a spring and spreading out the impact surface area. Also, your body will also absorb a good fraction of the impact resulting in some bruising but no penetration.

This is how you properly test soft body armor. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM41suaOoMs)

From what i've seen in testing and read about this is an accurate statement.

Curious, how does a vest expire?
Does wearing it loosen the fibers or something?

Looks like you had a fun time. It's always nice to see how far you can push someting before you defeat it.

I actually am not sure HOW a vest expires other than high velocity lead absorbtion, But I do know that insurance wont cover you or your equipment if your vest is over 5 years old. Personally I Change my vest out ever 2-3 years since they are making better and better ammunition. It would be like only updating your virus protection software once every 5 years, so I dont complain too much about it.

Falstaff
06-15-2010, 12:17 PM
I think I read somewhere that kevlar's stength degrades as it ages.