The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 15, 2005, 01:34 AM   #1
Jelly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 22, 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 238
Ballistic Vests Altering Your Ammunition/Firearm Selection?

It's something I've never really thought about before that much, but with "bad guys" wearing various forms of body armor more commonly these days, I've started to consider it in selecting the best firearm and corresponding ammunition.

1. Are any handgun calibers more effective than others at penetrating ballistic vests? For instance, I remember hearing a story where a civilian shot a BG with his CCDW 1911 .45 (I'm a .45 fan, so don't think I'm picking on anyone here), but the guy was wearing a vest, and was able to return a shot (with deadly consequences) before the trained and capable civilian could take a shot to the head.

Would a smaller round (9mm) be any better? Should one pick a FMJ?

What about rifles and shotguns?
Jelly is offline  
Old May 15, 2005, 01:50 AM   #2
captainsdad2
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Location: Glendora, California
Posts: 11
not a chance

You can discount any handgun round defeating a decent ballistic vest. The majority of them protect against rounds up to & including 44 mag. Some even have a breast plate that supposedly protects against some rifle rounds.
__________________
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored". Aldous Huxley, Novelist (1894-1963).
captainsdad2 is offline  
Old May 15, 2005, 02:18 AM   #3
41special
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2005
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 263
I don't think the situation is really worth preparing for honestly, but to dispell a myth :

Quote:
You can discount any handgun round defeating a decent ballistic vest.
This is 100% not true. I have personally taken vest that have seen just year of road use in my agency and shot them.

A hot 9mm cut through a 2A like butter.

Most don't take care of their vest properly and weaken them by folding, rolling etc...

Instead of concentrating on defeating a vest I would concentrate on dumping energy into it. It's not like in the movies people don't just get back up. If you dump 500 or so ftlbs into a vest, if it penetrates or not, it's going to break ribs, knock the wind out of them, cause temporary loss of body function, etc....

In your above situation the BG might have got of a shot regardless.
__________________
___________________________________

An old west lawman once said when asked why he carried a .45, "because they don't make a .46"

God created man, Sam Colt made them equal.
41special is offline  
Old May 15, 2005, 02:37 AM   #4
InToItTRX
Registration in progress
 
Join Date: December 8, 2004
Posts: 304
How about an FN Herstal Five Seven with SS192 ammo.
__________________
\
InToItTRX is offline  
Old May 15, 2005, 07:18 AM   #5
RWK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 20, 1999
Location: Occupied Virginia
Posts: 2,777
This is an excellent, thought provoking thread. My answer is “no”, although I changed my carry weapon about a year ago from a .45 Colt to a 10mm because I wanted the enhanced ballistics – velocity and particularly energy – provided by the 10mm (both are four-inch N Frame S&W revolvers).

Jelly also asked about rifles and shotguns. I have ALWAYS believed that for close-range defense (home protection, etc,), NOTHING was better than a Remington 870 loaded with 12 gauge 00 buckshot. I wonder, however, how that changes in the “vest scenario”?

In addition, I wonder if point-of-aim tactics should change from “center of mass” to head and/or thighs and groin? Further, should I load my Smith 610 with some 10mm FMJ rounds, perhaps (for example) two Gold Dots, followed by two FMJ, followed by two more Gold Dots?

I would certainly welcome opinions regarding all these questions.
__________________
__________________
Μολών λαβέ!
RWK is offline  
Old May 15, 2005, 08:52 AM   #6
simonsay
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2005
Location: TX
Posts: 13
I still haven't heard all the details on the Tyler shooting or even the amount of training or skill of the liscense holder. I don't know if he was attempting head shots or not. Failure drills are practiced by the military, law enforcement, and even common in practical shooting games. "Mozambique" or two to the body and one to the head is the most common failure drill I know of. If you KNOW WITH CERTAINTY you have put two in the chest and the threat is still there, you better change point of aim, doesn't matter what you're shooting. If you don't practice it or play it, you probably aren't gonna remember to do it. As unlikely as using a gun is, it is even more unlikely to use one against a vest. Carrying a round that is more likely to overpenetrate would not be worth the risk for me. Carrying a gun that you can shoot(read: not pocket guns), and shoot accurately with good defensive ammo, is to me at least, the most reasonable solution. $.02
simonsay is offline  
Old May 15, 2005, 01:00 PM   #7
JollyRoger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 24, 2005
Posts: 168
I've been a LEO for 15 years, and during that time the only BG's with vests I have come across have been bank robbers and drug dealers. The drug dealers have them because they are subject to being robbed for their drugs or money. A citizen with a CCW permit is most likely to run into trouble with an armed robber, and these guys don't wear vests for a couple of reasons. Your typical robber picks his target of opportunity based on who looks like an easy mark: someone out of place in his environment, not paying attention, drunk and stumbling around, etc. His objective is not to get into a gun battle, but to get money quickly with as little danger to himself as possible. If he is carrying a gun, he won't have spare ammo, a holster, or a vest because if the cops drive by and want to have a closer look at him, he can ditch the gun by tossing it (or running and tossing it), and there is no way to make a good arrest on him. A holster, vest, or spare ammo goes a long way to proving the gun he tossed belongs to him. Although most BG's aren't legal scholars, there are also laws against felons having vests or possesion of ammo, and word of this is starting to spread based on the current Project Safe Neighborhoods initiatives (which enforce felon-in-possession laws.)

Even if a BG is wearing a vest, he is not going to stick around if someone is shooting at him. Bear in mind, these guys know if you get a lucky shot in, they could get hurt or killed and if they go to the hospital with a gunshot wound, the staff will report it to the police.

Changing your ammo to defeat most III or IIIA vests would require you to go to a rifle round, shotgun slug, a specialty round like the armor piercing teflon-coated-brass-bullets (try explaining that one to the good guys), or one of the fast, small caliber rounds like the .22 WMRF or the 7.62 Tokarev. A lot of trouble for no real advantage, IMHO. The most likely scenario is still that the BG sees the gun, hears the bang, and begins to quickly recede into the distance, whether you hit him or not.
JollyRoger is offline  
Old May 15, 2005, 01:20 PM   #8
Lucky 7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 20, 2002
Posts: 454
Tips from USMC SOI

My instructors here at SOI West has all seen the elephant and they answered one Marine's ? on "body armor":
-Put rounds in his center mass until he goes down
-If he's alive (after going down) perform a failure drill
-Sometimes it's the shock (of getting shot) that gets you and not always the actual round.

Just what the Corps is thinking/teaching these days!

-L7
__________________
Signature Space For Rent.
SOLD!
"Just relax. Breath normally. All you should see is the front sight post. Ignore the the target. Wait for the pause between breaths and when you feel good about it...ease the trigger back."
-PMI Sgt. Hopkins, USMC
Lucky 7 is offline  
Old May 15, 2005, 02:40 PM   #9
USP45usp
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2000
Location: Eugene, OR
Posts: 3,428
I have a IIIA vest with a IV trama plate.

Even if I was wearing it, I would still run or seek cover if I'm being fired upon.

If the BG is wearing armor, that is where the practice of the double tap to COM and then one to the head.

My body armor has the side panels but since I have the armor I know it's shortfalls so therefore if this were to happen I would have a slight edge to place a shot that others wouldn't.

Here in Oregon, a felon cannot own, let alone wear, armor but we all know how many criminals obey the laws.

Wayne

*on a side note, no, I'm not paranoid. The body armor was issued and then it was given to the person issued due to hygine(sp) issues. When body armor is worn, in 130 degree weather, and the gallon of water that you've just drank turns to sweat, even with a t-shirt between the armor and the skin, it stills gets funky.
USP45usp is offline  
Old May 15, 2005, 03:58 PM   #10
Dwight55
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2004
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 2,562
No, . . . I have not made any changes but one. I used to carry 3 full 7 round magazines and one in the tube. I now carry 3 full 8 round magazines and one in the tube.

All 25 are .45 ACP Winchester White Box FMJ. They work wonderfully well in my SA .45.

I really don't know any bg who can stand getting hit COM 25 times with a .45 ACP and still want to be bad.

If I ever meet one, . . . I'll be sure to post here first.

May God bless,
Dwight
__________________
www.dwightsgunleather.com
If you can breathe, . . . thank God!
If you can read, . . . thank a teacher!
If you are reading this in English, . . . thank a Veteran!
Dwight55 is offline  
Old May 15, 2005, 05:21 PM   #11
Jelly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 22, 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 238
Quote:
.45 ACP Winchester White Box FMJ
FMJ? Why did you make this choice vs. the JHP's?
Jelly is offline  
Old May 15, 2005, 05:59 PM   #12
ClarkEMyers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2004
Location: PacWest
Posts: 454
Hasn't yet but that could change

I can imagine a circumstance where I would load some AP alternately or first in last out in a handgun.
ClarkEMyers is offline  
Old May 15, 2005, 10:09 PM   #13
BillCA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,087
My first thought about "armored bad guys" was maybe I should spend $199 on a CZ-52 in 7.62x25 Tok! That's a fast, hot round, but the risk of overpenetration, ricochets, etc make it less than desireable.

If I shoot someone 2 or 3 times COM and he's not going down for the count, my point of aim is going to shift. Either low, to the hips/groin/gonads region or to the head & neck. Presuming that those targets are too hard to hit, I'll keep putting them COM - with the idea that someone absorbing between 5 to 8 impacts of 250 to 450 ft-lbs over the sternum & ribs will get the hint that I don't play well with others.

I'll take "targets of opportunity" if I can (if I'm not shaking so bad I can't aim), like knees, ankles, hands & arms which are seldom shielded.
__________________
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
BillCA is offline  
Old May 16, 2005, 12:31 AM   #14
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
Posts: 10,431
Let's see, yes, there are some pistol rounds that will penetrate soft body armor. The number of such rounds decreases as vest level of protection rises. There are not a lot that will penetrate IIIA vests, but FN 5.7 and the Tok, certainly will.

Has the potential for BGs wearing vests influenced ammo and firearm selection? Not for the concealed carry pistol, but in the home with a .223 rifle.

Quote:
Jelly also asked about rifles and shotguns. I have ALWAYS believed that for close-range defense (home protection, etc,), NOTHING was better than a Remington 870 loaded with 12 gauge 00 buckshot. I wonder, however, how that changes in the “vest scenario”?
00 Buck isn't going to penetrate a ballistic vest. Een IIA will stop it.

Quote:
Presuming that those targets are too hard to hit, I'll keep putting them COM - with the idea that someone absorbing between 5 to 8 impacts of 250 to 450 ft-lbs over the sternum & ribs will get the hint that I don't play well with others.
This assumes, of course, that you are going to manage to hit the guy 5-8 times COM, a very big assumption. Whether or not you hit him at all, he will get the hint that you don't play well with others. The shooting alone signifies that as noted by Jolly Roger.

In regard to the 250-450 lbs of impact, it isn't near as bad as you might think. Ballistic vests are designed to 'catch' incoming rounds in their weave. This has a couple of effects. First is that energy is bled off by the vest weave's catch, pulling fibers and stretching the weave. Additionally and in combination, the weave spreads out the energy. So, while you may get 450 lbs of impact via a bullet's diameter that will transfer energy at the same width at skin level and then spread out in the body. With a ballistic vest, the energy impacting the skin isn't the size of the caliber, but much larger, as much as a baseball sized area for something like a .45 acp and a IIIA vest, many times the area of the .45 acp round. Being spread out, less damage is done to the wearer.

The same holds here for hits on target...
Quote:
I really don't know any bg who can stand getting hit COM 25 times with a .45 ACP and still want to be bad.
What makes you think you are going to be able to hit the bad guy 25 times COM? Just curious, just how many bad guys do you know and have information on in regard to their ability to absort such impacts?

Quote:
You can discount any handgun round defeating a decent ballistic vest. The majority of them protect against rounds up to & including 44 mag. Some even have a breast plate that supposedly protects against some rifle rounds.
As noted, some handguns will penetrate. As for the plates that supposedly protect again some rifle rounds, they most certainly do and will do so over the vast majority of small arms shooting standard ammo types other than AP.
__________________
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher."
-- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
Double Naught Spy is offline  
Old May 16, 2005, 07:56 AM   #15
tlm225
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 21, 2004
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 661
No, the probability of encountering a vest clad BG is extremely low. My ammo choice is based upon using what I believe will perform best against non-armored targets. I figure that if he hasn't gone down by six the shaking of my arms will increase the size of my "cone of fire" to include arms, legs and head!!
tlm225 is offline  
Old May 16, 2005, 08:34 AM   #16
ATW525
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 14, 2005
Location: Concord, NH
Posts: 2,683
I'm with the people who don't think it's worth the trouble. Stuff 7.62x25 and 5.7x28 are novelty rounds and aren't my first choice against the much more likely unarmored bad guy. Perhaps when somebody comes up with a good concealment holster for an AR-15 pistol I might consider packing something that can defeat body armor, but I'm not exactly holding my breath...

I do recall seeing a 5.56mm revolver in a gun rag years ago, but I think it was specialty peice by KAC or something like that, and I'm not sure it ever went into production.
ATW525 is offline  
Old May 16, 2005, 06:23 PM   #17
Dwight55
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2004
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 2,562
Jelly asked why I chose FMJ over JHP:

I do not know when I may need my .45 CCW. I do not know how I may need it. FMJ gives me better, total, overall protective opportunity, I believe.

FMJ gives me the option of severely damaging anyone wearing any level of body armor (providing I can dump several COM shots into the vest).

FMJ will penetrate car doors and even house doors when JHP's flatten out and do not penetrate.

FMJ will bull right on through glass, . . . JHP's "may" ricochet away from the intended line.

I can continue on and on, . . . basically the FMJ round has many talents, the JHP only has the claim to fame that it expands rapidly, . . . and it may.

FMJ rounds I know and trust: JHP, . . . I don't.

May God bless,
Dwight
__________________
www.dwightsgunleather.com
If you can breathe, . . . thank God!
If you can read, . . . thank a teacher!
If you are reading this in English, . . . thank a Veteran!
Dwight55 is offline  
Old May 16, 2005, 08:23 PM   #18
DaddyFatSacks
Member
 
Join Date: May 8, 2005
Posts: 17
When it comes down to it... A bullet is a bullet. The probability of you needing any special round is low. Just shoot what you like, have more expensive carry rounds and use whatever you feel comfortable with. Personally, I like FMJ, just my preferance.
__________________
SFC
DaddyFatSacks is offline  
Old May 16, 2005, 08:49 PM   #19
Jelly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 22, 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 238
Thanks Dwight...

It just seems that so many on here are anti-FMJ and tell you all day long that these rounds are ineffective compared to modern JHP's.
Jelly is offline  
Old May 17, 2005, 10:59 AM   #20
gb_in_ga
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2005
Location: Wylie, Tx
Posts: 3,011
Am I altering my firearm/ammo selection because of ballistic vests? No. But I am not ignoring the extra threat either, I am quite aware of what happened not so long ago in Tyler. What I am doing is keeping in mind that the "standard" double tap drill is not sufficient, that it may become necessary to quickly shift aim to secondary targets like the head, hip, thigh or groin if the first couple of COM hits seem ineffective. I recognize that the primary threat around here are the various sorts of burglars and home invasions. I find it doubtful that burglars would obtain vests, as usually they choose to operate by stealth and/or surprise. Organized home invasions are more problematic: since they are going in looking for trouble, they actually may have the vests. Thankfully, while the neighborhood I live in is fairly nice, there are much wealthier neighborhoods in close driving distance, I figure that the invaders will most likely go where the pickings are better. Even then, I'm not ignoring the threat. Oh, and the other main threat is crazed druggies, who I really doubt will have vests -- if they had the money to get a vest, they'd spend it on drugs. If they had a vest, they'd sell it for drug money. Not saying that they aren't a threat, but I doubt they'd have any sort of vest.

Even so, I just keep the ol' Mozambique thing running through my head...
__________________
COME AND TAKE IT
http://www.tamu.edu/ccbn/dewitt/batgon.htm
Formerly lived in Ga, but now I'm back in Tx!
gb_in_ga is offline  
Old May 19, 2005, 10:04 PM   #21
GeorgeF
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 23, 2004
Posts: 572
You could always specialize and keep an eye out for someone making a .17 HMR pistol in a concealed carry format - that would sure got through a vest. Although I wouldnt count on it taking the person out.

What about .22 (or .22WMR)? I thought I remember reading somewhere that because of their small diameter they worked well against the 'weave' of the kevlar vest. Or was that just hooey? Now I also wouldnt trust a semi-auto .22 with my life because of their rim, and a pocket pistol with 5-6 rounds in .22 wouldnt make me feel too protected.
GeorgeF is offline  
Old May 19, 2005, 11:56 PM   #22
41special
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2005
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 263
George F,


Well speak of the devil look at this:

http://www.taurususa.com/products/pr...egory=Revolver
__________________
___________________________________

An old west lawman once said when asked why he carried a .45, "because they don't make a .46"

God created man, Sam Colt made them equal.
41special is offline  
Old May 20, 2005, 01:00 PM   #23
GeorgeF
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 23, 2004
Posts: 572
Neat! Wonder if these things are any good at stopping a person.

Hate to carry a gun just to scare dogs.
GeorgeF is offline  
Old May 20, 2005, 01:53 PM   #24
gb_in_ga
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2005
Location: Wylie, Tx
Posts: 3,011
"Wonder if these things are any good at stopping a person."

Ah, there's the catch. It actually may (or may not) penetrate the armor, but even if it does, will it put a person down fast enough to be effective? I wouldn't bet the farm on it. That extra high velocity teeny little bullet sounds like it won't penetrate, unless they have a FMJ for it, and even then the wound channel would be tiny. You'd probably be better off using a traditional SD round and practice the Mozambique.
__________________
COME AND TAKE IT
http://www.tamu.edu/ccbn/dewitt/batgon.htm
Formerly lived in Ga, but now I'm back in Tx!
gb_in_ga is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:23 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13270 seconds with 9 queries