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Old December 17, 2009, 06:46 AM   #1
JohnH1963
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Does exterior bodyarmor make your head more of a target?

This is something I was thinking about. Is there any study which demonstrates more of a risk to your head while wearing exterior bodyarmor?

It seems logical that if you are wearing exterior bodyarmor then the person shooting at you would naturally aim at your head versus your chest.
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Old December 17, 2009, 07:08 AM   #2
LordofWar
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My American employees working in Afghanistan wear huge jackets over the vests to conceal it. To conceal parts of the vests that protect the neck area they wrap around a scarf or put on a shawl.
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Old December 17, 2009, 08:06 AM   #3
Tommy Vercetti
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nothing says aim for my head like exterior body armor
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Old December 17, 2009, 09:13 AM   #4
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If a person thinks in a rational fashion, they will have common knowledge that police, military in combat zones as well as others will be wearing armor. Therefore they shoot for the body portions that will be less likely to be protected.

The non criminal or violent person does not think like a killer.

A well known talk personality stated that if a person wants to shoot a police officer, BATF or such, always aim for the head. This advice was given to those that knew they had done nothing wrong but still be invaded by government workers.

As of the last few years, a lot of persons committing armed robbery also wear armor. Many states have passed laws against wearing body armor while in the commission of a crime.
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Old December 17, 2009, 09:14 AM   #5
xm21
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Does wearing a helmet make the body more of a target?
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Old December 17, 2009, 12:30 PM   #6
ClayInTx
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I’m glad to know some states have passed a law making it illegal to wear body armor while committing a crime.

Now if they would just make it illegal to carry a gun or knife while committing a crime.

After they do that the next step would be making it a crime to commit a crime while committing a crime.

Sorry, oldman1946, but I just couldn’t resist. The Devil made me do it.
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Old December 17, 2009, 04:01 PM   #7
oldman1946
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Quote:
I’m glad to know some states have passed a law making it illegal to wear body armor while committing a crime.

Now if they would just make it illegal to carry a gun or knife while committing a crime.
Several states forbid wearing body armor while commiting a crime.

But ALL states to my knowledge has a law against the use or possession of a gun or deadly instrument while committing a crime. An armed robber gets time for the robbery and more time for the possession of a weapon.

Most of the time a fed charge can be brought in as well for a felon in possession of a firearm
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Old December 17, 2009, 08:06 PM   #8
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YES!
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Old December 17, 2009, 11:14 PM   #9
FM12
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In a word: Yes. As the developer of the Second Chance vest used to say, "If they see the armor, they shoot for the head".
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Old December 17, 2009, 11:44 PM   #10
Double Naught Spy
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Quote:
nothing says aim for my head like exterior body armor
Quote:
In a word: Yes. As the developer of the Second Chance vest used to say, "If they see the armor, they shoot for the head".
And yet thousands of cops and soldiers keep getting shot in their body armor with calibers that won't penetrate it.
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Old December 18, 2009, 04:52 AM   #11
troy_mclure
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you ever try to shoot somebody in the head? even with a carbine and <50' away? its verry hard, especialy if either person is moving. the head bobs around like crazy.

i think its a non issue, except for law enforcement shooting armoured crooks.
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Old December 18, 2009, 02:05 PM   #12
Skans
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Two things.

1. Shoot for the head, and you will likely miss. If someone were attacking me and they were wearing body armor, I'd much rather get a couple of hits to the body that will knock them senseless for a couple of minutes than try for the immediate head shot.

2. In combat, I'd think that most rifle rounds, including 7.62x39 steel core ammo would easily go through most body armor. Unless you are wearing ceramic or steel plating, I didn't think the standard issue stuff stops rifle bullets. I could be wrong on this - just asking.
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Old December 19, 2009, 09:14 PM   #13
Erik
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"Does exterior bodyarmor make your head more of a target?"

Not really.
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Old December 20, 2009, 12:24 AM   #14
JohnH1963
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The most current form of bodyarmor used by the military does protect against armor piercing rounds. Specifically, a vest can provide protection against one M2 Armor Piercing .30-06 Springfield round.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Improve..._Tactical_Vest

My personal opinion is that if I was engaging someone at close quarters and saw them wearing this bulky vest then I would probably aim for the head. Its difficult to say though because I would probably have between 1-2 seconds to react and fire.

Could it hurt wearing a plain windbreaker type jacket over the exterior vest? The only harm in wearing a windbreaker jacket is getting tangled up in it.
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Old December 20, 2009, 12:45 AM   #15
yrralguthrie
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What's the point?

So if the body armour makes the bad guys aim for the head you should take it off? So what if it does, it still better than no body armour.

yrral
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Old December 20, 2009, 12:51 AM   #16
JohnH1963
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You can take yours off, I am going to keep mine on.

I believe the solution is to camoflauge the bodyarmor. Body armor companies make the exterior vests appear very paramilitary and its obvious that someone is wearing a vest. If they could make the vests look more like ordinary clothing...at least from a distance...then I think the head might be less of a target.

I think wearing a similar color exterior vest to the clothing you are wearing is one idea.
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Old December 20, 2009, 03:35 AM   #17
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There are external carriers made to mimic the uniform shirt the person is wearing, saw that years ago when working armored trucking. I used a concealable, and still do, but yes, most soft body arnmor will not stop a rifle/AP bullet. I can't conceal a vest like that.
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Old December 28, 2009, 08:17 AM   #18
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If I was firing at a person wearing exposed body armor, I would probably try to take them down with 2 shots to the body and finish them off (if neccesary and justified) with a shot to the head once prone. Even if the vest stops the round from penetrating, the impact is substantial.

I was once shot by a "less than lethal" beanbag round from a Mossberg 12 gauge (courtesy of the USMC Non-Lethal Weapons Course, I was OPFOR that day) and, despite wearing a flak jacket (I know this is not the kid of body armor we are debating) I found myself prone and disoriented from the impact.
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Old December 28, 2009, 02:54 PM   #19
RickE
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Recently in Pierce County Wa, 4 officers in Lakewood and two in a rural Part of the county were attacked. They all had vests. The 4 in lakewood were killed. It appears all but one were neck/head shots. The other two, the same. One is on the mend, the other is very critical, and not improving. Yes, it changer the target area. Especially when the odds are overwhelming that they have vests.
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Old December 28, 2009, 04:15 PM   #20
Adamx
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it really depends what type of attack it is.

if its a heat of the moment, close quarters, or spontaneous type of gunfight, the stress level prevents a certain amount of thinking and most people probably would not even register that you are wearing a vest, they would be just shooting instinctively. Thats why body armor saves so many officer's lives.

If its someone lining you up in a rifle scope, chances are they are more calm and thikning more clearly and will likely take notice of the fact that you have armor.
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Old December 28, 2009, 07:35 PM   #21
jhenry
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I am not too worried about it. My head is abnormally small with a sloping forehead and thick bone. Most calibers should skip right off.
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Old December 29, 2009, 12:24 AM   #22
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Anyway you look at it body armor is a GREAT THING

Hi,
Yes, if it is obvious then maybe a sniper will go for a head shot. But then that is what most snipers will aim at anyhow, in skirmishes, once the first round is fired most people on both sides will tend to take shots that are hastily aimed at the largest target they can see ( which is also why you are tought to use cover)

Yes, Body-Armour does make you more cumbersome and is a royal pain when you are in a hot place.

BUT, Yes, it has saved thousands of lives even the old style vests that were only designed to stop fragments have saved lives (twice for me).


Brgds,
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Old December 29, 2009, 01:20 AM   #23
geologist
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Quote:
If they could make the vests look more like ordinary clothing...at least from a distance...then I think the head might be less of a target.
Check out this Colombian body armor manufacturer.

http://www.miguelcaballero.com/cms/front_content.php
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Old January 3, 2010, 05:36 PM   #24
edw794
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times have sure changed, especially in law enforcement. i remember in 1973 when i was in the police academy, a second chance rep was present to demonstrate their concealable body armor. the point he drove home was what has been mentioned above, if they saw the armor, they would shoot for the head. so it was a biggie for us interested in police survival at the time to make sure concealable body armor remains concealed, and most imortant, to refrain from publicizing body armor to the general public. today, it would be difficult to find a soul who is unaware law enforcement wears body armor. that is probably the reason why the lakewood murderer aimed for the heads of the officers.

unfortunately, the point regarding the general population's knowledge of body armor can be said for the carrying of backup weapons for law enforcement. everyone knows.

ed
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