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Old July 24, 2012, 09:29 PM   #1
scrubcedar
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Best pistol caliber vs body armor, NO Colorado posts!

THIS THREAD IS NOT ABOUT THE COLORADO SHOOTING! This thread is about what could be done to prepare if more mass muderers start to use body armor! Here is where I'm at. I currently carry a j-frame smith. Five shots of .38 special rounds is starting to look as weak to me as it did to LE back in the day. I'm perfectly prepared to do what's needed to carry something larger and heavier. Something that gave me some realistic shot if confronted with an armored opponent would be nice. Is it practical to carry an N frame smith? .44 specials in the chambers with .44 mags in a differently located speedloader maybe? Would .44 mags break ribs in those circumstances? I'm a BIG guy and can wear western vests or jackets to conceal. I've never pulled the trigger on full house.44 loads. Is anything even remotely concealable loaded that way likely to be out of my ability to use? One more thing. Has anyone seen any evidence or any studies about effective pistol rounds? In other words is this even possible?
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Old July 24, 2012, 09:32 PM   #2
Denezin
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S&w .500 magnum.

Joking aside this is a good question.
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Old July 24, 2012, 09:48 PM   #3
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7.62x25 Tokarev has some pretty surprising penetration.
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Old July 24, 2012, 09:55 PM   #4
Deaf Smith
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9x25 Dillon.

A 10mm Glock 20 can be used.

Just drop in a Lone Wolf 9x25 barrel (it's a necked down 10mm).

Doubletap has 95gr FMJ at 2000fps or 125gr. FMJ-FP Match at 1700fps

So how does that grab ya?

And I have a Glock 20!

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Old July 24, 2012, 09:56 PM   #5
Dragline45
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The FN Five-seven with armor piercing ammunition (not available to the public) will go right through body armor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FN_Five-seven

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FN_5.7%C3%9728mm
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:09 PM   #6
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.22LR and aim high.
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:12 PM   #7
jackpine
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this is a training issue not an equipment one. Practice often, well and hard and carry a comforting gun not a comfortable one. End of story.
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:27 PM   #8
idek
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I'll just chime in about the question of breaking ribs. there's a video or two out there of a guy in body armor voluntarily being shot by a high powered rifle at a distance of a few feet. He stands on one foot as he's shot and doesn't even lose his balance.

Maybe it'd be different with a big .44 slug, but I doubt you could count on breaking bones or knocking him off his feet. If it doesn't penetrate, it may leave a bruise, but I wouldn't expect much more than that.
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:27 PM   #9
scrubcedar
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I'm not a handloader deaf, would a 10mm work almost as well? It seems to me the only realistic scenario is using the energy of the round to break ribs/ cause internal damage. First hit breaks the rib. The second in same area shoves the jagged rib into what ever is behind it. You hope.
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:30 PM   #10
scrubcedar
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Idek, do you remember where you saw the video? If that means no realistic damage through the vest, at that point we need to look in another direction entirely.
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:31 PM   #11
essohbe
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I second the Tokarev. I love mine and it definatley overpenetrates.

Go to YouTube and type in "Tokarev vs body armor." There's some people on there doing interesting experiements.
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:35 PM   #12
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I'll agree with the .500 S&W. Whether it can penetrate or not, the force of a 440 grain slug at 1600 fps will probably incapacitate someone, most likely killing them.

In .44 Magnum you can get 340 grains at 1400 fps from Buffalo Bore ammo, not too bad either. Those loads are Ruger only so get a Redhawk.

I believe either of those loads to the chest would do the job. Here is a Youtube video I found testing a .44 Magnum vs some expired body armor:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu0zuYPcrv4

On the other hand I am not going to conceal carry a large bore revolver and tote it around. I was thinking about getting a laser for my Glock 19 to make head shots more of a realistic possibility, but I am not sure which laser to get.
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:37 PM   #13
idek
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaS_2l8nGdg

it's an old video, and I'd guess thinner, more effective armor is available now.

at about 2:15, one guy is shot with a 7.62x51 rifle. At about 5:00, a guy shoots himself with a .44 magnum.
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:45 PM   #14
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laser + five seven. rapid low recoil dump at head
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:46 PM   #15
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I didn't watch the entire video. For the rifle shot, I head a distinct "clang" -- suggesting that he was wearing a trauma plate. That changes things. The type of body armor most patrol police officers wear (as opposed to SWAT teams) is soft armor. It doesn't allow penetration, but it also doesn't dissipate the impact over a large area as a trauma plate will do. A hit on soft body armor WILL hurt, and can easily break a rib.
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:50 PM   #16
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First and foremost, federal law prohibits armor-piercing handgun ammunition for non-LEO's. Armor-piercing ammunition is specifically defined by bullet construction and material by law. Secondly, armor which incorporates hard trauma plates will stop all common handgun cartridges regardless of bullet construction and material (NIJ level IV body armor is rated up to and including 30-06 AP ammunition).

With that said, you have to understand how body armor works in order to understand which cartridges can defeat it and why. Body armor works by distributing the force of an impacting bullet over the largest possible area thus preventing its penetration. Because of this, a bullet which imparts the most force on the smallest possible area will be most likely to penetrate the armor. The most effective cartridges at penetrating body armor are those which drive a small-diameter, non-expanding bullet at high velocity. The two most prominent examples of such cartridges are 5.7x28 FN and 7.62x25 Tokarev. If a very light, non-expanding bullet were used in a long barrel to get the highest possible velocity, a handloader might be able to work up a loading in .357 Sig, 9x25 Dillon, .357 Magnum, .357 Maximum, or .327 Federal Magnum that could potentially penetrate NIJ level II armor.

The tradeoff is that the very attributes which make a bullet effective against armor also make it rather ineffective against unarmored people. The loadings which I described above would, in soft tissue, create very small diameter "icepick" wounds that would most likely go completely through a person with relatively little tissue damage. Because of this, most people who carry a handgun for defensive purposes, including police, choose a larger diameter bullet and/or an expanding bullet. This choice is made because, while inferior against armor, unarmored attackers are far more common and thus more prudent to be best prepared against.
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:55 PM   #17
Willie Sutton
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"there's a video or two out there of a guy in body armor voluntarily being shot by a high powered rifle at a distance of a few feet. He stands on one foot as he's shot and doesn't even lose his balance."


Why would he? The guy shooting the rifle didn't fall down... same energy is directed on both directions, fore and aft, every time a rifle is fired. If it doesn't knock down the shooter, it ain't gonna knock down the recipient.


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Old July 24, 2012, 10:57 PM   #18
Willie Sutton
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"there's a video or two out there of a guy in body armor voluntarily being shot by a high powered rifle at a distance of a few feet. He stands on one foot as he's shot and doesn't even lose his balance."


Why would he? The guy shooting the rifle didn't fall down... same energy is directed on both directions, fore and aft, every time a rifle is fired. If it doesn't knock down the shooter, it ain't gonna knock down the recipient.



"I'll agree with the .500 S&W. Whether it can penetrate or not, the force of a 440 grain slug at 1600 fps will probably incapacitate someone, most likely killing them"


Uhh... <sigh>... No. See above. Physics must not be a strong subject among the local gentry. If that were true, then all .500's would be single shot pistols, with them either incapacitating or killing the folks shooting them...



.221 Fireball would be the thing in a handgun. You need an icepick of a round.



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Old July 24, 2012, 11:02 PM   #19
TxFlyFish
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the thing is not all ice picks go straight through ...some tumble once they go thru the vest and hit soft tissue


wait .... how do Jedi knights do it?
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Old July 24, 2012, 11:04 PM   #20
scrubcedar
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Two different views about effectiveness. The second one was regarded as a failure prompting a recall.
http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/m...issue_id=82008

http://azplea.com/index.php?option=c...news&Itemid=47
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Old July 24, 2012, 11:17 PM   #21
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Carry a crossbow or throwing knife...
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Old July 24, 2012, 11:34 PM   #22
stevelyn
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Quote:
this is a training issue not an equipment one. Practice often, well and hard and carry a comforting gun not a comfortable one. End of story.
I agree. Learn the failure-to-stop (Mozambique) drill and practice often.

If I knew I was going up against someone who was possibly armored, and a rifle wasn't an option, the Tokarev would definitely be my first choice for a readily available and concealable firearm.

I was just reading an article in Soldier of Fortune about Carlos The Jackal and his use of a CZ 52 to ventilate a couple of French agents that went to question him. The rounds went through the agents, then the floor, then into the apartment below and then some.

I think Carl Drega also used a Tokarev and it whistled right through the armor the trooper he killed was wearing.

Minimal cross-section + high-velocity= penetration.
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Last edited by stevelyn; July 24, 2012 at 11:44 PM.
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Old July 24, 2012, 11:40 PM   #23
scrubcedar
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5.7x28 pistols seem to be new and very expensive. Any of them closer to $500 anybody know of? The tokarev seems to be coming up just as much and is stupid cheap, with ammo being reasonable too. Have we found a cheap, practical, answer to the question? I saw the one youtube video it worked, the other did not. The body armor that's most available/cheapest, anybody know what level it is?
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Old July 24, 2012, 11:42 PM   #24
scrubcedar
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Stevelyn, I'm a relative noob. What's a mozambique drill?
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Old July 24, 2012, 11:51 PM   #25
stevelyn
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Mozambique Drill= 2 to the chest, one to the head. I think the term comes from the African bush wars of the 60s and 70s.

In formal firearms training environments it's called failure-to-stop. It's part of our police qualification course at 2 and 7 yards and is shot from both the holster and guard positions.
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