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Testing Body Armor

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by JoeLiberty, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. chaosmagnet
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    This was some years ago and I do not remember the lesson verbatim, but I believe I recall the gist of it:
    1. Getting shot sucks, although it will likely suck much less if you are wearing body armor and the round hits you in it. We were instructed that incoming fire has the right of way, and cover should be sought when possible.
    2. Getting shot with a .357 Magnum round sucks more than getting shot with a .45 ACP round, which sucks more than getting shot with a .40 cal round, which sucks more than getting shot with a 9mm round (the test results he showed us were from JHP defensive rounds, not FMJ).
    3. If you know you're getting into a fight with people wearing body armor, try to bring a rifle and friends with rifles.
    4. The body armor defeating drill we were taught was designed to use a volume of center-mass shots so that the "back face signature" (in other words, damage done by a bullet that does not penetrate) or outright defeat of the body armor (by hitting it in the same area repeatedly) to slow or even stop the assailant, before considering a shot to the ocular vault.
     
    #21 chaosmagnet, Apr 28, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
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  2. ac7ss
    • In Omnia Paratus

    ac7ss Loaded Pockets

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    Police body armor is usually level II at minimum. That will work on much anything less than 44 Mag.
    Adding trauma plates will take it above level III.

    Most gun crimes are done with 9mm or smaller handguns, I could find no mention of crimes or confiscations of the two handgun calibers that a level II wouldn't protect from.

    The reasoning: a bullet spalling off of a rigid trauma plate that, because of anatomical issues, is angled back towards the face, is more likely to cause more significant damage than without the plate in place.

    However, they now have soft trauma plates that should alleviate this issue.
     
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  3. huntnow

    huntnow Loaded Pockets

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    I'm very curious about the conversation the original post was intended to provoke.
     
  4. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    Acknowledged
     
  5. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    a) It depends on the the incoming projectile's LOAD, the level of the armor, and where that armor is worn. Level II worn on the thigh when hit by standard pressure 9mm is gonna hurt much less that when hit by the HOT submachine gun NATO version. Thirty-eight Special 115-grain +P+ will penetrate Level IIA and will hurt much more than when the same load hits Level II. I can go on past what these pages will allow. My point is that there is a groundswell of scenarios.

    b) Again, it depends on the LOAD not, necessarily, the caliber. Load the same .45 caliber projectile in 165-grain at 1200 fps and your have the equivalent of the 125-grain, 1400 fps .357 Magnum. LOAD the .40 at 125 grains at 1400 fps and you have the equivalent of that 115-grain 1400 fps .357. Load a 115-grain 9mm projectile at 1400 fps and your have the equivalent of the aforementioned .357. To simply state what your stated above is largely ignoring the other factors of a particular cartridge that can determine the efficacy of a cartridge loading.
     
    Last edited by 0dBm, Apr 30, 2017
    #25 0dBm, Apr 29, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
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  6. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    a) I won't discuss what police forces typically use. NIJ-rated and tested Level IIA will protect against 125-grain 1400 fps .357 Magnum hollowpoint, but 125-grain 1600 fps FMJ will penetrate. Forty-four Magnum 185 grain 1200 fps will not penetrate Leve IIA; however Level II will stop it because the load only allows it to travel at that velocity (SAAMI-specs wise, 1200 fps is just barely making the "magnum" category). Increase the projectile weight to 240-grains and the velocity to 1450 fps and a Level IIIA is needed to prevent penetration.

    b) Simply adding a rigid trauma plate will mitigate the penetration but MAY invariably increase the blunt force trauma. It largely depends on the physiological conditioning of the wearer.

    c) Most violent crimes involving the use of a firearm are those that use a handgun using the .355-.357-inch (9mm) projectile or smaller. Much more are those that use .25 to .32 calibers because many of the handguns can be made VERY inexpensively and is LIKELY what the typical miscreant will gravitate to.

    d) There have been inroads made in developing soft-er panels (a term used to differentiate them from the hard plates such as steel and ceramic).
     
  7. huntnow

    huntnow Loaded Pockets

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    This thread has assumed a strange, speculative life. I don't know what any of you do personally or professionally but I have had the occasion to wear body armor/ballistic vests for almost 20 years in an official capacity. First of all, you don't get to negotiate the level of protection that is issued. Most law enforcement agencies wear vests that protect against a similar round to the one they carry, that's pretty much common knowledge. Second, pick up a reloading manual of any kind and one can easily discover what rounds are likely to hurt more or compromise protective devices. Heavy and fast is gonna hurt like hell. Third, let's leave the testing to professionals with more than a little knowledge of material science.
     
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  8. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    a) This is one major problem. It is largely due to 1) lack of knowledge about the scenarios in which the wearer is likely to be involved, b) the person or small group responsible for making that decision of which type will be issued, and 3) the budget of the organization. This decision can become risky to those that actually NEED to wear them. Fortunately I've had the latitude to CHOOSE which one that I felt was needed beginning with those earliest, crudest forms when they were being introduced back in the early 70s.
    b) That assumption can be a fatal one BECAUSE simply looking at the printed specifications will lead to forgoing, often popular opinions NOT verified by actual testing.
    c) Heavy and fast will hurt. How heavy? How fast? If you fail to quantify those values then b) will likely occur. Light and fast will also hurt, but can actually penetrate MORE and kill; depending on other factors like projectile ogive and coating. Remember the teflon coating? It wasn't urban legend. Simply speculating can lead to loss of many lives.

    Yes, leave the testing to those trained in that field; those with a combined experience in materials AND ballistics because those with just materials testing will likely NOT have the experience with the most important material to be tested: the human body.

    No, you don't know me. We're just having a conversation.
     
  9. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    No need to imagine. Just view them.
    The material that I have discussed is not new. It's been around for decades. On Richard's former website before he sold the company, he had a section where it tallied the number of lives saved by the use of one of the products made by his former company: Second Chance.

    Simply dismissing this aspect of firearms usage because your individual bias limits your understanding is to dismiss the empirical data of the benefit of this product and the requisite field, sometimes adhoc testing of them just to prove to those with preconceived notions that they were WRONG.
     
  10. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    Tell us about your knowledge about materials testing.
     
  11. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    a) For "the record," DON'T. Contact a credentialed authority that is willing to share the information gathered from actual documented testing. Try Safariland.com. DON'T place ANY credence on ANYTHING that you read on the internet.
    b) Yes, be thankful because your armor was likely purchased and stocked well over 15 years ago as a result of a quantity purchase by some government agent doing his/her job AS a purchasing agent WITHOUT the requisite understanding of what that product is suppose to do.
    "Fathoming" was NOT your job. Yours was to simply wear it in hopes that it would work. I have issue with that! Too many of you have risked your lives NOT knowing what what ballistic armor cannot do. You have likely seen the deadly effects of 5.56 x 39; but have you seen the effects of 7.62 x 51 (the preferred rifle cartridge of the enemy) ON the armor that was chosen FOR YOU?

    I wasn't discussing rifle cartridges; only those used in handguns. Your foregoing concussing about "being dumb" enough to having a rifle round tested on oneself has merit. Would you feel the same way about wearing one again in the battlefield after having read what I stated in b)?
     
  12. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    The mods will likely shut it down because of the controversy; just likely many LEAs shut down Richard Davis' EARLY assertions in the past. If there is ONE "point" that I make with all the information that I have offered, it is that you DO much more research about your choices regarding the one most critical item that several of you have decided to begin carrying BECAUSE most of what you have read is largely based on assumption.
     
  13. MCPOWoller

    MCPOWoller Loaded Pockets

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    a) You seem to go to great lengths to prove whatever point you are trying to make and which most people either doubt the test or doubt the sanity of anyone willingly undertaking the test. Either way it makes me even more suspect.
    b) All f my issued combat gear was purchased with unit funds from Combat Camera. This was after recommendation from Naval Special Warfare. If it was good enough for those Operators it was good enough for us.
    c) I have seen first hand more than my fair share of the effects of 7.62 rounds. As a Navy Combat Camerman it was my job to document the good and the bad.
     
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  14. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    a) People will remain suspect at anything. Remain that way with ANYTHING you read on the internet because you never know who is offering the info. I'm NOT offering any credentials to or even identifying myself. As far as YOU or anyone else is concerned, I'm just someone that is just conversing with you all. Do your own research. Do as much of it. Get the info from reliable sources.

    b) There is a long list of military groups that pass the info of the recommendation: Pax River, Redstone Arsenal, Aberdeen, etc. The list goes on. I can even cite some sources that are quite obscure. "At the end of the day," as some have a need to state, if a product meets the Statement of Work (SOW), it goes tot he lowest bidder (don't get met started on this!). If it is still in stock, it gets issued: regardless of how old it is or how long it is still sitting in stock; as long as it "meets spec." Do some "diggin" because "if it was good enough" gets people killed.

    c) Good! You have a frame of reference that you and I and those with military combat experience share that many on this forum carrying those pocket pistols do not. Have you seen "first hand" of the lack of devastation those tiny rounds impart?

    Juist conversing with ya.
     
  15. JoeLiberty

    JoeLiberty Loaded Pockets

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    I'm a civil engineer and product testing is kind of what I do for a living. I have seen products that passed one load test and failed another because the support conditions changed. A very simple example can be seen in AISC 13th ed Table 3-23. or Table C-C2.2. The stress in a beam is a function of the end support's rigidity, the vertical support spacing, etc. The buckling capacity is a function of lateral bracing, etc.

    So if it's true, then what exactly was your 'objective'? Furthermore, if that's true, then through your testing you could not hope to make any claims about the efficacy of that brand of kevlar worn alone, nor any claims about the efficacy of LOADS against any kevlar worn alone, nor about the efficacy of LOADS against an unarmored person, nor any other really useful criteria, other than a qualitative, "This one will hurt more than that one if the subject happens to be wearing a plate underneath his kevlar armor.". Unless you had some other hypothesis you were trying to test, in which case, please tell us. I love a good conversation, and I'm trying to be open minded about this.
     
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  16. JoeLiberty

    JoeLiberty Loaded Pockets

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    I'm not a cop, don't know what they do, but the testing was done with a plate beneath the armor.
     
  17. Ethos

    Ethos Loaded Pockets

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    Beyond just being able to say..."I've been shot with a bunch of hangun calibers" it seems to me the test was pretty pointless.

    Wanted to test a vest, yet a plate was used. Which beyond a plate WITH a vest completly defeats the point. A vest with a plate is going to have a completely different effect than one without on the body as many people have mentioned to varying degrees.

    If you wanted to test ammo, by the time you paid for a nurse, checkups, vests (not buying someone risking getting shot that many times with one vest with increasingly powerful ammunition), etc, etc expenses, wouldn't it have been cheaper and far less risky and ummm...smarter, to buy equipment that could measure such data?

    I've seen some videos on the Tube where people did this non scientifically but IMO it proves nothing except some people will do anything for bragging rights. JMO