View Full Version : TACTICAL/BALLISTIC SLUG QUESTION
September 3, 1999, 03:50 PM
A number of people seem to agree or disagree about the tactical ability of the 12 gauge rifled slug. I can't remember were I read the information, but a chart showed the NIJ ballistic chart of various bullet resistent vests and listed a 1 oz. rifled slug as being able to penetrate a level IIIA vest( and lower levels) I have talked to a number of Police Officers and civilians on this topic and all have come up with the same three answers: No, it cannot penetrate the vests, Yes it can penetrate the vest, Or, no it won't penetrate the vest but it will cause back-face deformation.
Any and all info/feedback is and will be appreciated!
September 3, 1999, 07:05 PM
The only known true source for Body armor information is the NIJ. You need to do research on NIJs ( National Institute of Justice ) web site.
Here is what they have to say about what vests stop what projectiles.
NIJ Standard-0101.03 establishes six formal armor classification types, as follows:
Type I (.22 LR; .38 Special). This armor protects against .22 Long Rifle High-Velocity lead bullets, with nominal masses of 2.6 g (40 gr), impacting at a velocity of 320 m/s (1,050 ft/s) or less, and against .38 Special roundnose lead bullets, with nominal masses of 10.2 g (158 gr), impacting at a velocity of 259 m/s (850 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against most other .25 and .32 caliber handgun rounds.
Type I body armor is light. This is the minimum level of protection every officer should have, and the armor should be routinely worn at all times while on duty. Type I body armor was the armor issued during the NIJ demonstration project in the mid-1970s. Most agencies today, however, because of increasing threats, opt for a higher level of protection.
Type II-A (Lower Velocity .357 Magnum; 9mm). This armor protects against .357 Magnum jacketed soft-point bullets, with nominal masses of 10.2 g (158 gr), impacting at a velocity of 381 m/s (1,250 ft/s) or less, and against 9mm full-metal jacketed bullets, with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr), impacting at a velocity of 332 m/s (1,090 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against such threats as .45 Auto., .38 Special +P, and some other factory loads in caliber .357 Magnum and 9mm, as well as the Type I threats.
Type II-A body armor is well suited for full-time use by police departments, particularly those seeking protection for their officers from lower velocity .357 Magnum and 9mm ammunition.
Type II (Higher Velocity .357 Magnum; 9mm). This armor protects against .357 Magnum jacketed soft-point bullets, with nominal masses of 10.2 g (158 gr), impacting at a velocity of 425 m/s (1,395 ft/s) or less, and against 9mm full-jacketed bullets, with nominal velocities of 358 m/s (1,175 ft/s). It also protects against most other factory loads in caliber .357 Magnum and 9mm, as well as the Type I and II-A threats.
Type II body armor is heavier and more bulky than either Types I or II-A. It is worn full time by officers seeking protection against higher velocity .357 Magnum and 9mm ammunition.
Type III-A (.44 Magnum; Submachine Gun 9mm). This armor protects against .44 Magnum, lead
semi-wadcutter bullets with gas checks, nominal masses of 15.55 g (240 gr), impacting at a velocity of 426 m/s (1,400 ft/s) or less, and against 9mm full-metal jacketed bullets, with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr), impacting at a velocity of 426 m/s (1,400 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against most handgun threats, as well as the Type I, II-A, and II threats.
Type III-A body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available from concealable body armor and is generally suitable for routine wear in many situations. However, departments located in hot, humid climates may need to evaluate the use of Type III-A armor carefully.
Type III (high-powered rifle). This armor, normally of hard or semirigid construction, protects against 7.62mm full-metal jacketed bullets (U.S. military designation M80), with nominal masses of 9.7 g (150 gr), impacting at a velocity of 838 m/s (2,750 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against threats such as 223 Remington (5.56mm FMJ), 30 Carbine FMJ, and 12-gauge rifled slug, as well as the Type I through III-A threats.
Type III body armor is clearly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection, such as barricade confrontations involving sporting rifles.
Type IV (armor-piercing rifle). This armor
protects against .30-06 caliber armor-piercing bullets (U.S. military designation APM2), with nominal masses of 10.8 g (166 gr) impacting at a velocity of 868 m/s (2,850 ft/s) or less. It also provides at least single-hit protection against the Type I through III threats.
Type IV body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available. Because this armor is intended to resist "armor piercing" bullets, it often uses ceramic materials. Such materials are brittle in nature and may provide only single-shot protection, since the ceramic tends to break up when struck. As with Type III armor, Type IV armor is clearly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection.
So to answer your question, No a IIIA vest will not stop a 12GA rifled slug.
September 3, 1999, 08:04 PM
Thanks for the info.
September 3, 1999, 09:45 PM
Don't forget that the NIJ grades the vest on more than just penetration. Back-face deformation (ie., blunt trauma) comes into play as well. Perhaps it would be more accurate to state that the lower threat level vests will either: 1) not prevent a 12ga slug from penetrating, or 2) will exceed the accepted parameters of back-face deformation when a slug is stopped.
[This message has been edited by Daniel Watters (edited September 04, 1999).]
September 3, 1999, 10:12 PM
NIJ says that any back face deformation over 1 3/4" is a failure.
September 4, 1999, 02:29 AM
I'll buy that. Imagine your sternum deforming almost 2" inward! This would not be conducive to living.
September 7, 1999, 03:02 PM
Check out what Second Chance has to say about "back face deformation" and the NIJ standards.
For the record Second Chance is the ONLY manufacturer that the "top dog" goes out and shoots himself with pistols or has sombody else shoot him with rifles while he is wearing his vests. Plus the Second Chance vests have more doccumented "saves" than ALL the other vest manufacturers put togeather.
September 7, 1999, 05:18 PM
The Second Chance vests have earned an excellent reputation. It has been proven that they meet or exceed required ratings.
As far as the NIJ standards go, They are the only independant testing group to attemp to rate body armor.
While I do not doubt the quality of the Second Chance vests, I don't make it a habit of taking the word of someone that is trying to sell me something.
September 7, 1999, 05:53 PM
Long Path: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation involves compressions of the sternum that exceed 2-inches in depth. The human rib cage is very flexible.
/s/ Shawn Dodson
Firearms Tactical Institute
September 7, 1999, 08:13 PM
Even if the body armor does its job, having a 230 grain bullet decelerate from almost 1000fps, in 2 inches, dumping 350ft/lbs of energy into a temporary dent in my chest sounds less that pleasurable. It would likely be followed by me falling to the ground and attempting to breathe.
September 7, 1999, 09:34 PM
Or even rupture of organs/embolism?
September 7, 1999, 11:03 PM
Second Chance has a video out showing Richard Davis being shot with everything from a 38 special to a 308 (I think). In the video there are interviews with officers shot while wearing his vests and they discribe the feeling and their actions/reactions upon being shot. EXTREMLY informative to say the least, as it's not always what you think will happen.
September 10, 1999, 06:16 PM
I shot some body armor panels with slugs, OOBuck and handgun rounds at a couple of body armor classes at law enforcement academies. The panels were Levels IIA and II. Both stopped all the rounds fired at them. While I'm certain that getting shot with a 12ga slug while wearing armor is more than unpleasant, it is survivable.
My $.02 :)
We have found that no vest has failed to stop a round for which it was rated, and many vests have stopped rounds more powerful than for which they were rated.
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