Fieldcraft  when a bullet goes through the armor

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I figure someone on this site has seen an instance where a bullet has passed through body armor and into a person. What I am wondering is if the person who was wearing the body armor suffers a lesser injury because the body armor slowed the bullet down before it hit flesh.

To put it another way, are you better off with inadequate body armor as compared to none?
 

Crazy Dog ll

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Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

Poor ammor would be better than nothing, Heard of stories that billflods,cells and other items in pockets stop bullets, One thing is that if the bullet peneration the armor it will drag the vest material into the wound and cause infestous tissues. Better little than none,I say!
 

ArcticLight

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Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

Good question, have seen shows on history channel where the bullet mushroomed out and DID slow down immensely but the body still absorbed someof the shock..

Would think that a 9mm or 45 would be 1/2 to 3/4" in diameter and much slower but that couldstill be MORE lethal.

Remember Lincoln was killed with a bullet traveling 300fps...

 

Crazy Dog ll

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Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

But Lincolin did not have armor. and yes in the older days and even now .bullets that are large ,haevy and slow do have a tramu shocking power that does the job. Civil war and bufflo hunting proves this out. The proper vest stills does take the full blunt of the stopping power of the bullet. This power is spreaded through the vest over a larger area and hoping the victim survices this.
 

dj70

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Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

If it was a 223 or a ak47 round you might get lucky, on the other hand if it was a M14 round......your toast. All depends, what distance, caliber, frontal or glancing and if your lucky or not. I had a chinhook co pilot land at my LZ with 2 holes, one in each foot, shoot with a ak or sk perfectly through each pedal. If he didn't have his leather seat belt on, they might have gone into his stomach. Other than his feet having holes in them he was fine, his abominal region was just bruised. This was junk nam stuff, haven't seen much about the new stuff but from what I hear your still toast if close or point plank with ak ammo.
 

TiroFijo

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Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

In modern soft armor, if the bullet penetrates it generally does not loose too much velocity, and it is still VERY lethal after passing.

I don't know about hard plates...
 

marduk185

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Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

id say if you plan on taking fire youd better be wearing the best armor you can get. that said nothings perfect and the best idea is to not get hit. you wear the armor to prevent the stuff it can stop from killing you. you duck and weave to avoid the stuff it cant stop, ie. rifle rounds. i have personally witnessed a belt buckle stop 9mm. bullet melded around it and broke it but it didnt penetrate the lucky sob.
 

doc76251

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Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

Armor is good
Bad Armor is good
Any armor is good

If you take six whacks with a baseball bat to the chest will your heart stop? Mebbby.

If you blow six holes through your chest will your heart stop? Um yeah, what's left of it.

I'll take my chances with the baseball bat and live to bitch about the pain.

Anything that helps keep the bad nasties from the outside from getting inside my body is a good thing. I got antibiotics just incase some crap from the vest gets in.

Cheers,

Doc
 

Pat M

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Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

But would you wear a flak vest if that is all you have, or a steel pot hemet ?
They're not kevlar but... ?
 

doc76251

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Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Pat M</div><div class="ubbcode-body">But would you wear a flak vest if that is all you have, or a steel pot hemet ?
They're not kevlar but... ? </div></div>

I've worn both.

Yes, I'm that old, and even took a bath in the pot
grin.gif


If it's all you've got you need to kill somebody with better sh!t.

Cheers,

Doc
 

tobylazur

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Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

I heard that the Germans hate the current/last generation flak jackets because they actually cause rifle bullets to tumble while through the vests before penetrating the body. Anyone hear of this? Could be just an Internet rumor though.
 

Advokaten

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Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TobyLazur</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I heard that the Germans hate the current/last generation flak jackets because they actually cause rifle bullets to tumble while through the vests before penetrating the body. Anyone hear of this? Could be just an Internet rumor though. </div></div>

plain bull, but yes a bullet will tumble/be instable after penetrating a west, however most of the stuff being used to shoot a Nato/US soldiers will break up partialy in the armor,

the core and pieces of the jacket is what will hurt you, better to have 100 grain going at 400 m/s than 147 grain doing 700 m/s in conclusion, yes the armor is still the way to go.

In a second thought, I had a person take multiple 22 Lr in a front plate of a west, he is now sight impaired due to lead wash that kicked up,

one good reason for using solid eye wear.

/Chris
 

Da-Law-Dawg

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Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

Piss poor armor is better than nothing against handgun fodder. However, as was said, regardless of the vest stopping the bullet, blunt force tramua is a SOB. A .44 mag round at close range has the ability to sever arteries (aorta, etc.) or lacerate organs even tho' the vest stopped the round. As for regular body armor against rifle fodder, in short, your ass is had. A 50gr V-Max out of a .223 will hand your ass to you most ricky-tick! That goes for virtually all cenerfire rifle fodder.

Something that'll shock the hell out of you, for shits-n-grins I shot a Level IIIA vest with a 17 HMR. 17gr pill penetrated COMPLETELY thru the front panel! There's one to make you think!!
 

Advokaten

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Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Da-Law-Dawg</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Piss poor armor is better than nothing against handgun fodder. However, as was said, regardless of the vest stopping the bullet, blunt force tramua is a SOB. A .44 mag round at close range has the ability to sever arteries (aorta, etc.) or lacerate organs even tho' the vest stopped the round. As for regular body armor against rifle fodder, in short, your ass is had. A 50gr V-Max out of a .223 will hand your ass to you most ricky-tick! That goes for virtually all cenerfire rifle fodder.

Something that'll shock the hell out of you, for shits-n-grins I shot a Level IIIA vest with a 17 HMR. 17gr pill penetrated COMPLETELY thru the front panel! There's one to make you think!! </div></div>


Speed kills all armor, for vest and plates I have read a quote of 1000 m/s is a sort of threshold level, above that and the armor is no good.


Best regards Chris
 

McCrazy

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    My vote is better to have some sort of armor rather than no armor at all. Whatever energy the bullet expends getting through the armor is that much less terminal energy it can dump into your organs.

    Are there freak instances where no armor would be better. Probably.

    Just like there are times when not wearing a seatbelt would save a life when wearing it might have cost the life.

    It's all about the odds though, and your odds are better with the protection.
     

    hipshot

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    Any armor beats none. One thing to remember is that backface deformation will cause pain and injury, regardless. If you are wearing soft armor, the tighter you can wear it (you still need to be able to breathe and move), the more it will mitigate the effects of backface deformation. But no matter how tight you wear it, the hit's gonna hurt. Many of the armor "tests" i've seen consisted of test patches lying loose on the target, which is unrealistic. I used to laugh at one company that marketed a ballistic baseball cap. A shot in the head with a serious caliber would likely have resulted in the round pulling the cap through your head. No thanks.
     

    Nocalphoenix

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    Standard 168 match starting at 2600fps will exit a level IIIa soft armor vest doing about 2500fps. However if the same bullet hits an intervening barrier and the frontal diameter is increased or it tumbles the same vest may stop it. This was in testing I conducted with armor available in about 2003 and may be outdated info.

    The greatest enemy of soft armor is a narrow frontal diameter and high speed. A regular old ice pick will go through most soft armor without a plate insert.
     

    S4B

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    Armor is better than no armor and i cant think of any incident of being hit by a round or multiple rounds without armor would have benefits over being hit with armor on. Obviously if the round is a large caliber i.e. .50 cal or the Russian 12.7x108mm (DSKA) your day is over.

    Today's SAPI plates used will withstand multiple hits from 7.62 rounds. I can tell you that while in Ramadi in 2005 I witnessed a vest take 5 rounds of 7.62x54 from a distance of 100m and all it did was knock they guy down. He didn't even know he had been hit there till he had RTB. So yeah, I haven't heard of anyone taking rounds that actually penetrated the plates. Not that it has not happened, I am just unaware.

     

    dj70

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: S4B</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Armor is better than no armor and i cant think of any incident of being hit by a round or multiple rounds without armor would have benefits over being hit with armor on. Obviously if the round is a large caliber i.e. .50 cal or the Russian 12.7x108mm (DSKA) your day is over.

    Today's SAPI plates used will withstand multiple hits from 7.62 rounds. I can tell you that while in Ramadi in 2005 I witnessed a vest take 5 rounds of 7.62x54 from a distance of 100m and all it did was knock they guy down. He didn't even know he had been hit there till he had RTB. So yeah, I haven't heard of anyone taking rounds that actually penetrated the plates. Not that it has not happened, I am just unaware.

    </div></div>

    Sorry......but are you positive on this being a 7.62x54? Could it have been a 7.62x39? Were these direct frontal shots? I've seen what a M14 7.62x51 can do first hand. I do admit that I don't have and 1st hand knowledge on the 7.62x54 but I will look into this more.
    Thanks for your service.
     

    S4B

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    I am absolutely sure as to the caliber. A couple of the rounds were direct frontal hits. 3 came in at an angle(45 degrees?) The one magazine, an HK mag filled with Mk 262 rounds completely stopped the one roundon its own. a couple of the rounds were tracers and were lodged in the rack that was filled with magazines, 40mm HEDP rounds and a couple frags.
     

    dj70

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: S4B</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I am absolutely sure as to the caliber. A couple of the rounds were direct frontal hits. 3 came in at an angle(45 degrees?) The one magazine, an HK mag filled with Mk 262 rounds completely stopped the one roundon its own. a couple of the rounds were tracers and were lodged in the rack that was filled with magazines, 40mm HEDP rounds and a couple frags. </div></div>

    How do you tell the difference between the 7.62x39 and the 7.62x54, unless you captured the weapon? Wouldn't both russian rifles fire the same bullet, or are they different projectiles? Not that I don't believe you, I'm trying to understand this myself. :~) That dude that got hit is one lucky SOB! Glad to hear he is OK. Sounds like your plates were better than our plates.....by far. So did this guy get hit by 2 different shooters or did the first rounds turn him to the side?
     

    S4B

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    I would say comparing the the 7.62x39 vs the 7.62x54 is sort of comparing a 30/30 to a 30.06. They are a world apart in almost every way except they are both .30 caliber rounds.
    He took a total of 6 rounds(5 in the vest, one grazed his arm) from the first opening volley of the ambush. we didnt capture the weapons but we all saw the rounds that were left in the vest/rack as evidence and there were 7.62X54. without a doubt. the plates we had were the regular black SAPI plates. Im not sure what you were issued but im a believer that they work.
     

    dj70

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    A 30-30 and 06 would be easy to spot, but a 7.62x51 and a 30.06 shooting fmj....well, I doubt if you could tell the difference without finding the rifle. I also agree with just about everone, that any protection is beter than none. Frontal shots on the Nam style flack jackets with an AK or SK was like a knife through hot butter. Probably some of the reason we had 59,000 KIA.
     

    Country

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    It was physicaly impossible to wear a flack jacket and carry all your other operational gear in the tropics.
    The over heating of your body and brain would kill you quicker than the enemy.
    Flack jackets were more suitable to armour corp . Also other non infantry support troops.
    Most photos taken of troops in Vietnam wearing flack jackets were posed for the press to make the folks at home feel better or they were not on actual operations at the time.
    The weight and bulk of a flack jacket back then made it useless to the real fighting soldier.
    America had 59 000 killed in action because of booby traps , mines , troops that were not trained in jungle warefare, politiians that did not understand Guerrilla type jungle warefare , and a south Vietnamese country and government that was totally infiltrated by communists.
    Not enough troops to hold any real ammount of ground for any length of time and a failure to understand the degree of underground tunnels and bunkers.
    You have to remember that it was pre 1972 . If they had the technology they have now the losses would have been much less. However the outcome was always going to be the same.
    The North Vietnamese lost millions but that did not deter them. A lesson to be learnt.
     

    LoneWolfUSMC

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    Piss poor armor can kill you.

    If it doesn't stop the threat in question then all it does is tire you out and dehydrate you quicker. That's why flack jackets were despised by most of us who had to wear them. We knew they wouldn't even stop a pistol round and were a pain in the ass when you were humping a combat load. As soon as we could, then got dumped in the CP and left there. I figure if I can run faster I would be a harder target to hit.

    With the armor on the market today there is NO REASON not to purchase what you need to stop the threat you may encounter. My soft armor that I wear every day was about $500 five years ago when it was issued to me (coming up on time to replace). My Level III/IV ICW plates cost me $150 ea. and the carrier was another $50. The combined armor will stop 99% of the threats I would encounter in the US. If someone goes nuts with a 50 the plan is not to get hit.
    wink.gif
     

    Megacab

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    To add a Post Script to McCrazy's post :

    Body Armor is like a condom, a spare tire, a pistol, and artillery.
    I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it...


    As a note : If the bullet is designed to specifically to defeat body armor? It's ballistics aren't going to be effected enough to matter. It's through the armor and into the wearer like the armor wasn't there.



    Jack


     

    dj70

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LoneWolfUSMC</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Piss poor armor can kill you.

    If it doesn't stop the threat in question then all it does is tire you out and dehydrate you quicker. That's why flack jackets were despised by most of us who had to wear them. We knew they wouldn't even stop a pistol round and were a pain in the ass when you were humping a combat load. As soon as we could, then got dumped in the CP and left there. I figure if I can run faster I would be a harder target to hit.
    </div></div>

    Rodger.....copy that. Out

    Great picture Country.....II Corp, west?
     

    Halfnutz

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    I wonder if the people worried about blunt force trama, tumbling bullets, and infection from vest material are the same people who refuse to wear seatbelts?
     

    dj70

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    I never worried about any of that stuff, but always wear my seat belts.

    Got a $10.00 head....wear a $10.00 helmet or none at all.
     

    Switchblade

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    The standard com bloc weapons that fire the 7.62x54 are the PKM GPMG, and the SVD Sniper Rifle. All others fire either the 7.62x39 or the 5.56 x 39(our's is 5.56 x 45).
    The ESAPI is designed to stop muliple hits from the larger 7.62x54 which is the equivelant of the 30-06 militarily speaking. The standard 7.62 x 51 147fmjbt ball round is the equal to the older version of the US .30, or older 7.62x54 with their older styled powders(newer rounds may be more powerful).
    IF the weapon S4B states was a PKM or an SVD it ws indeed the larger 7.62x54. If it was an RPD, or RPK, it was the smaller 7.62x39
     

    wirehand

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    Quote:Switchblade "The standard com bloc weapons that fire the 7.62x54 are the PKM GPMG, and the SVD Sniper Rifle. All others fire either the 7.62x39 or the <span style="color: #FF0000">5.56x39 </span> (our's is 5.56 x 45).
    The ESAPI is designed to stop muliple hits from the larger 7.62x54 which is the equivelant of the 30-06 militarily speaking. The standard 7.62 x 51 147fmjbt ball round is the equal to the older version of the US .30, or older 7.62x54 with their older styled powders(newer rounds may be more powerful).
    IF the weapon S4B states was a PKM or an SVD it ws indeed the larger 7.62x54. If it was an RPD, or RPK, it was the smaller 7.62x39"


    Red text should be corrected to 5.45x39mm
    Just so someone doesn't try to put 5.56mm in 5.45mm barrel
     

    ROGUE7A

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    Standard SAPI defeats multiple M2 ball (aka 30.06) at muzzle velocity. The ESAPI defeats APM2 (30.06 Armor Piercing) at Muzzle Velocity. Both of which must be worn in conjunction with soft armor. When hit with either of the above the ACCEPTABLE backface deformation when combining the plate and soft armor is 44mm into Ballistic clay. Conventional soft armor is tested to stop 9mm subgun and frag. The latter of which is more difficult to stop then bullets. US mil armor is not "certified/lot tested" against warsaw pact ammo because of the inconsistancies The comment regaeding a bullet pulling debris from a vest into the body and causing infection is ignorant. I guess the originator of that must fight naked because clothing will do the same. Truth is ANY puncture wound from a non steril object will cause infection if not treated.
     

    ROGUE7A

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Country</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It was physicaly impossible to wear a flack jacket and carry all your other operational gear in the tropics.
    The over heating of your body and brain would kill you quicker than the enemy.
    </div></div>
    That may have been so "back then" but I must say I have been in such conditions and ALWAYS wear a plate carrier at minimum with little issues with comfort, mobility or equipment integration. I know the kit you had "back then" would not perform at current levels but I do not subscribe to the "Insh Allah" theory.
     

    LoneWolfUSMC

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Country</div><div class="ubbcode-body">LoneWolfUSMC here is a photo to get your blood circulating. </div></div>

    That was quite a bit before my time, but I think some of the gear I was issued was there.
    wink.gif
     

    ROGUE7A

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LoneWolfUSMC</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Country</div><div class="ubbcode-body">LoneWolfUSMC here is a photo to get your blood circulating. </div></div>

    That was quite a bit before my time, but I think some of the gear I was issued was there.
    wink.gif
    </div></div>

    I like the shirt that has a pic of a shield and sword and says "if your 782 gear didn't look like this don't talk to me about the Old Corps"

    Lonewolf - I think they issued the same crap until '02 lol Jeeze what self respecting grunt still doesnt prefer a large ruck?
     

    robozebra

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: doc76251</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If you take six whacks with a baseball bat to the chest will your heart stop? Mebbby.

    If you blow six holes through your chest will your heart stop? Um yeah, what's left of it.

    I'll take my chances with the baseball bat and live to bitch about the pain.
    </div></div>

    Cardiac injury from "blunt force trauma" is called commotio cordis. Here's a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commotio_cordis
    It is more likely to occur in children, but can occur in adults. The leader in the field is a guy named Mark Link. He's at TUFTS. If you are into reading about this stuff, I'd recommend looking at some of his research. Cool studies with pigs and baseballs...

    CWJ
     

    robozebra

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Da-Law-Dawg</div><div class="ubbcode-body">However, as was said, regardless of the vest stopping the bullet, blunt force tramua is a SOB. A .44 mag round at close range has the ability to sever arteries (aorta, etc.) or lacerate organs even tho' the vest stopped the round.</div></div>

    A 44 Mag may have enough kinetic energy to result in fatal trauma, even though stopped by a vest, but it's not likely. If it did, I'd bet the person had some vascular issue as well. You have to generate a tremendous force across the chest to "tear" the aorta. It's seen in motor vehicle accidents.

    CWJ

     

    Crazy Dog ll

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    Not a para,doctor nor miltary. I think that some materials are more infections than other Wood for example,bamboo pit sticks or for that matter a common wooden splinter goes under your shin,its a must get it out sitution,the infections is very rapidy,that just a close to skin surface punture. Any deep woundis infections and need treated right away. During World Two in the European Theater,my dad was a scout and they were issued rabbit fur camo outfits during one winter. The infections from a gun wound was so bad they end up throwing them away. Juat saying some materials are worse than others,but in the end ALL must be treated.
     

    Crazy Dog ll

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    I wear my seatbelt all the time. Many safety classes and flimes showing people flying through the front windsheild and with the company I work for,if you did not have your seatbelt on at the time of the accident,no help,no insurance money.Your 200 lbs. of body mass turns into 4000+ lbs. of flying energy at 60 MPH! An infectious wound from a bullet preicing body armor is just something pointed out,material drag into the wound. I also wear Nomex fire retardant overall and all the PPE equipment need in accords to OSHA,Federal,State,Tribal,D.O.T.,Hazard Mat,OIl Company Policies,State ,City,Highway Patrol Oderances,I'm obey the laws up to the yeng-yang ass.
     

    Country

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    Its not the materials so much as the germs that are on the materials or your skin when they are draged into your body by the bullet or whatever.
     

    Former0302

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    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    Unfortunately I've witnessed a 5.56 round from a negligent discharge go through a kevlar flak jacket center mass. At a range of less than 10 feet, the round went through both sides and the result was fatal.

    That said, I'd rather be wearing one than not wearing one. You never can tell what's going to hit you, and from what range. Something is always better than nothing.

     

    ganyana

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 12, 2008
    83
    1
    Zimbabwe
    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    Since many injuries are caused by ricochet's, spall from the inside of the windo etc...any vest from level II up is worth it.

    Having been hit twice by bullets from an AK47...a vest would not have helped in either case. The one that caught my collar bone would have passed over the hard plate and the one that hit me in the leg...well that in itself was a study in how much a drop in velocity can help. The bullet hit thr ground about 20m from me and bounced through my thigh. I sat down, but damage was minimal and I was actually able to drive myself to the nearest hospital (5hrs drive away) after the contact was over.

    I am also convinced that I would not have survived the chest wound if it had been a 7.62 Nato round that had hit me. That AK bullet made a mess and it was 42hrs before I recieved proper medical attention, but I R here!

    As an asside, We tried soviet Tokarev pistols on a Second chance IIIA vest when they first became available (the tok being the most common pistol in use by the bad guys here). Bullet went through both sies. The vest would stop a .44 Ma as the rep said it would, but it sure as hell didn't impress a 7.62x25 round!( I still bought one!)

     

    500grains

    Private
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Nov 20, 2008
    387
    261
    dirt nap
    Re: when a bullet goes through the armor

    Welcome ganyana! It's great to see you here. Is the weather still freezing portions of your anatomy off?

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