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View Full Version : do shotguns go through body armor?


R1000
November 12, 2006, 03:06 AM
are shotguns more or less powerful than rifles?
thanks

.351winchester
November 12, 2006, 03:45 AM
Depends on the level rating of the vest and projectile(s) but in almost all cases no, it will not defeat any decent body armor with ordinary loads.
More powerful than a rifle? Within 50 yards/pistol range distance or indoors, nothing can top it in effectiveness. But it's range can end where a rifle bullet is just getting started

M14fan
November 12, 2006, 08:43 AM
I think the Box of truth has addressed this.
http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot16.htm

TexiCali Slim
November 12, 2006, 11:04 AM
I think if it were a close range thing like a urban situation, it would either do enough internal bleeding to kill you or hurt so bad you'll wish you didnt even put the armor on.

USP.40
November 12, 2006, 12:12 PM
A slug couldn't feel to good with armor on.

deerslayer79
November 13, 2006, 11:03 PM
I'll bet you that leave one hell of a bruise!

buckster
November 14, 2006, 12:08 AM
Went through 1.5" Bullet proof glass on another Box of truth. I was really impressed with the 5.56. Had no idea it did that. The 45 did pretty good, it's kind of a slug too. The slug definitely has knock down for sure. Nothing beats a shotgun down the hallway.

mr00jimbo
November 14, 2006, 12:21 AM
Shotguns are the trackstars of contraversy. Some people tell me that slugs "don't go very far" and others claim they will kill elephants. :rolleyes: :confused:

Hook686
November 14, 2006, 01:53 AM
I used the ballistic calculator at:

http://www.handloads.com/calc/index.html

with .730" diameter, 328 grain slug, at 1550 fps muzzle velocity. I indicates a 1750 ft-lb muzzle energy and still shows 786 ft-lbs energy at 100 yards, with a 10-1/2" slug drop.

This strikes me as a pretty potent firearm, however it is used.

nkielborn
November 15, 2006, 09:17 AM
the penitration may not be the danger i remember hearing that the actual impact may cause enough internal trauma to kill you. ya it may not penitrate but it would push the vest pretty deeply and i belive thats why kevlar doesnt work on rifles. cause the can make kevlar vest thick enough to stop a rifle bullet but the trauma of the vest catching the round will kill u due to internal bleeding and things of that nature.

Double Naught Spy
November 15, 2006, 10:57 AM
I think if it were a close range thing like a urban situation, it would either do enough internal bleeding to kill you or hurt so bad you'll wish you didnt even put the armor on.

the penitration may not be the danger i remember hearing that the actual impact may cause enough internal trauma to kill you. ya it may not penitrate but it would push the vest pretty deeply and i belive thats why kevlar doesnt work on rifles. cause the can make kevlar vest thick enough to stop a rifle bullet but the trauma of the vest catching the round will kill u due to internal bleeding and things of that nature.

Not likely. Sorry guys, but a shotgun puts out as much energy at the receiving end as at the launching end. I have yet to see a person bleed to death from internal injuries from firing a shotgun, even when pressed against the chest. I have fired my 870 from the chest.

The kevlar, if rated for the projectile, will essentially 'catch' the projectile as it comes in and several things happen to slow the projectile. First, the thickness of the kevlar spreads the impact over a larger area, so that the energy that makes it to the skin isn't as concentrated. Second, the kevlar and body have a certain amount of give that slows the projectile down further before the projectile reaches the impass and is fully stopped. Third, the incoming projectile will attempt to penetrate the kevlar weave and will cause tugging of the fibers, some of which will yield with friction, thereby removing still more energy. And last, the impacting round may actually crush and obliterate some layers of kevlar on impact, further draining of the incoming round's energy.

The reason why kevlar doesn't work on rifles isn't because if the vest was thick enough to stop the bullet that the trauma from the impact would still cause all sorts of internal injuries. Most rifles rounds are not stopped by kevlar because the spitzer piont passes between the weave. There is no "catching" of the projectile as with slower rounds or even something like a .45-70 round nose or soft point. So to stop a pointy rifle round, the round needs to pass between enough layers of kevlar to be slowed by friction as it passes between the fibers and weave. This will be a relatively slow stop, requiring lots of layers more than normal, and dissipating potentional impact energy over a much longer period of time.

Most vests protect the torso. The torso is also projected by the rib cage. It will take a tremendous amount of force to transfer a bullet impact into a blunt force trauma through the vest and rib cage enough to kill the person from internal injuries.

Yes, some folks shot with pistols and shotguns while wearing vests sport some very nasty bruises and some deep bruises. Second Chances used to have their SAVES book and it has some great stories, with some pictures as well. There are folks who are shot in the vest with significant calibers and during the heat of battle, don't even realize the vest has stopped the incoming round. There are others that felt like somebody hit them with a hammer and they have some goodly sized bruising. There are few reports of internal damage such as to organs.

Part of the rating of a ballistic vest by NIJ includes the blunt force indentation to a clay backing that is X number of centimeters. Sorry, I don't recall the specifics. A vest does not pass a given rating if the rounds penetrate the vest or the clay backing is indented more than a certain amount.

What does this mean?

It means that a lowly IIA vest will stop 00 buckshot. The highest rated soft armor, IIIA, will stop 12 ga slugs. Here is a 'ballistic wheel' showing ratings and example rounds. Sorry, I no longer have the list of the specific rounds, but you can obviously find the 12 ga loads. Note that IIA has the least protection, the II, then IIIA. Level III vests, not shown, are hard armor as are level IV vests.

USP.40
November 15, 2006, 11:52 AM
My friend was saved by armor in Iraq he took a 7.62x39 to the chest. That ceramic insert armor is amazing.

Rugged
November 15, 2006, 12:20 PM
HRT, urban SWAT, etc... All put metal trauma plates in their armor. The metal blunts the spitzer point, so what passes through into the kevlar has no bc because it is in a squishy mutilated shape. The kevlar easily catches that. The metal trauma plates also spread the force over a wider area.

Some agencies JUST use plate carriers.

Double Naught Spy
November 15, 2006, 02:47 PM
Some agencies JUST use plate carriers.

Then they are not just using trauma plates. Trauma plates are not the same as armor plates. Trauma plates usually will get penetrated if worn exterior to the kevlar (as some are designed to be worn), but do help spread out some of the force of the impact. They are not ballistic armor plates and are not intended as such.

If an agency is just using plate carriers and plates, they are using either ceramic or steel hard armor plates in the carrier, not trauma plates.

C Philip
November 15, 2006, 11:18 PM
I believe quadrangle buckshot can penetrate light body armor due to the sharp points on the shot. However I imagine this would be inconsistent as there is only one point on each "pellet," so the position in which it hits matters. As far as I know this ammo is not available for sale to civilians. If you reload you can make your own "armor piercing" shotgun ammo by loading .30-06 or .50BMG AP sabots. I imagine you could also load a .50 API sabot, but I'm not sure it would ignite.

Ruger4570
November 15, 2006, 11:53 PM
Ummmm? why is it important to know???? You have plans??? It is probably the last thing I need to know or care about.

Savage10FP308
November 16, 2006, 12:05 AM
"Not likely. Sorry guys, but a shotgun puts out as much energy at the receiving end as at the launching end. I have yet to see a person bleed to death from internal injuries from firing a shotgun, even when pressed against the chest. I have fired my 870 from the chest."

That has to be the silliest thing I've ever read. If this is the case then why do bullets frequently leave bruises on the people that get shot while wearing a vest? Why even wear armor at all, right? WRONG! There are so many other factors! When you shot your 870 from your chest did the butt of the gun hit your chest going 1200 fps? Were you at the business end? Is the butt of your 870 made up of a slug or 00 buckshot? The surface area of the butt coupled with the rubber recoil pad equals your statement making no sense! And yes, LEO that wear vests often have trauma wounds and internal bleeding from being shot with mere handgun rounds. If it feels the same as shooting it then by all means let me buy you a vest and shoot you in the chest with a 12 gauge slug! I didn't think so!

revjen45
November 16, 2006, 01:40 PM
Weren't flechette loads developed to enable a shotgun to penetrate armor?

C Philip
November 16, 2006, 03:32 PM
I think so. They were meant to also go through thick brush. In reality however they're not very effective as the flechettes hit at odd angles, not always point first. Also the wounds they cause don't kill quickly, they tend to wound rather.

shotguna
November 16, 2006, 08:04 PM
I agree with Ruger on this, you don't need to know about the capibilities of body armor. however, if you really, really need to, go ask a police officer, i'm sure they will tell you right away :rolleyes:

banditt007
November 16, 2006, 10:55 PM
check this out for armor piercing shotgun rounds.. http://mkballistics.com/specs/TACTICAL%20AMMUNITION.htm pictures didnt work for me but it gives you an idea whats out there

Ruger4570
November 16, 2006, 11:01 PM
Thanks shotguna: I have read some of this gentlemans posts and I have to wonder why he asks. Curious??? or otherwise. He was also looking for steel core bullets too. Maybe I am getting paranoid, maybe he just has an inquiring mind??and wants to know.

Maser
November 16, 2006, 11:22 PM
I'm sure there are steel pointed sabot slugs that can penetrate body armor. Probly listed as a destuctive device though.

45RackerTracker
November 17, 2006, 02:03 AM
Well the guy's banned already, and no more. At least he didn't ask anyone here to divuldge the vibrating palm technique.:rolleyes: :D

Savage308
November 17, 2006, 08:46 AM
I got banned too! With no reason given for being banned!:mad: Did a mod go ban crazy and just throw me in the mix? I had almost 500 posts without so much as a single warning of any kind!

Anyways, back on topic! I am waiting for a rebutal from DNS on his "physics" post!

chris in va
November 17, 2006, 12:18 PM
Not likely. Sorry guys, but a shotgun puts out as much energy at the receiving end as at the launching end

I have a problem with that equation though. The firearm has a lot more mass than the projectile with much more inertia. You put the stock of the shotgun against your chest and you'll feel a nice thump, that's about it. Be on the receiving end of the slug with body armor and it'll be a LOT more than just a tap.

For example, fire the same round out of a 200# gun (theoretically). I seriously doubt you'll even feel it fire. Again, fire it out of a 350 grain barrel (just play along) and things get interesting.:cool: