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View Full Version : Slugs vs. Soft Body Armor


Nightcrawler
October 16, 2001, 01:06 PM
I'm posting this as an addendum to another thread I made in the General Handgun Forum.

Most soft Level IIIA vests are rated to stop 12 ga rifled slugs. I am certain, however, that you'd still be "dropped" from the impact, unless you're the type of person who can get several of his ribs broken at once and not lose your balance.

But what about 12 ga 3" magnum slugs, with their higher velocity? Will those penetrate a Level IIIA vest? What about 3" Sabot slugs that sabot down to a .50 caliber bullet, moving at even higher velocity?

I honestly wish I could afford a bunch of Level IIA, II, and IIIA vests, and whole slew of different handguns and shoulder arms, and some camera equipment. I"d make a nice research documentary on this subject. :)

SDC
October 16, 2001, 01:44 PM
I'm fairly sure that slugs have too much frontal surface area, and not enough velocity to pose much of a PENETRATION hazard to anyone wearing a vest, but, as you've pointed out, penetration is the least of your worries if you sustain multiple rib and chest fractures from a slug impact.

Double Naught Spy
October 16, 2001, 02:54 PM
Makers of ballistic vests never claim that injuries will not result if the wearer is shot. Their claims are that the bullet will not penetrate (given the vest's rating). People get injured, some hospitalized, when shot while wearing vests. Others don't even realize they have been hit.

Sure, a giant 12 ga. slug from a 3" magnum round will hurt like hell, might break a rib, but likely won't penetrate a IIIa vest. Heck, a shot to the center chest might even cause enough blunt force trauma to stop the heart or bruise a lung. That is why they have trauma plates for the center of the chest - to help disperse the force over a wider area.

As for a nice documentary, why not just call Second Chance and get one of their catalogs. You will see lots of really pale skinned guys with no shirt on, showing off their bruises while holding the vest that stopped the bullet. It ain't pretty, but the the concept is conveyed well.

Joe Botz
October 19, 2001, 11:43 PM
FLAIL CHEST sucks! tension pnuemothorax secondary to trauma from deformation,,positively sucks! and even if the vst stops the slug as it probably will,, your ass will be effectively stopped/stunned for the follow u to the brain housing group...

Sodbuster
October 19, 2001, 11:51 PM
Great to hear from you, Joe. :rolleyes:

Foxy
October 22, 2001, 12:50 AM
A friend of mine took a PASGT helmet (the issue military helmet) out plinking. It stopped 9mm's and .45ACP's alright, but 5.56x45 and 7.62x51 made nice neat holes all the way through. The 12 ga slug (sorry, don't recall if it were 3" or 2 3/4" or what) didn't penetrate the kevlar, but it did collapse the helmet in about 6". That would have probably been painful, at least, and probably lethal (assuming you have a vital organ in your head ;) )

Nightcrawler
October 22, 2001, 06:23 AM
I once took an old USGI steel pot helmet to the shootin' hole.

.45ACP 220gr FMJ, from a 4" barrel, penetrated one side and outwardly dented the far side. Range, 10 feet.

.357 Magnum, 158gr LSWC from a 16" barrel penetrated one side and left a bigger dent in the far side. Range, 10 feet.

5.56x45mm 55gr FMJ from a 16" barrel made a nice small entry hole and a nice small exit holt. Range, 30 feet.

7.62x39mm 122gr JHP from a 20" barrel made a big hole going in and a bigger hole going out. Range, 30 feet.

12 Gauge, 2.75", 1-oz rifled slug from a 20" barrel made a massive hole going in and nearly split the back of the helmet in half. It also blew off a large piece of metal on its way out. Range, 5 feet.

Foxy
October 22, 2001, 08:39 PM
As for a nice documentary, why not just call Second Chance and get one of their catalogs. You will see lots of really pale skinned guys with no shirt on, showing off their bruises while holding the vest that stopped the bullet. It ain't pretty, but the the concept is conveyed well.

I just recieved my 2nd Chance catalogue. In their brochure of 'saves,' one of the saved guys recieved a 12 ga slug on his IIA vest and got a large bruise, but no broken ribs. However, the slug had gone through a door before it hit him. Still looking for more 'saves' with shotgun slugs.

Shawn Dodson
October 22, 2001, 10:14 PM
In all documented incidents that I'm aware of in which concealable soft body armor stopped a shotgun slug the officer who was shot was not physiologically incapacitated.