The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > General Discussion Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 20, 2013, 12:26 PM   #1
Andrew Wiggin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 22, 2012
Posts: 225
Hillbilly body armor test

In a thread on another gun forum, a user showed us that floor tiles could be used to stop rifle rounds. I decided to test whether it was possible to make homemade "body armor" that would actually work. I'm pleasantly surprised by the results.

I used three PEI grade V porcelain floor tiles with a coat of Herculiner on the front and between tiles and a thick coat (about a quarter inch) on the back to capture fragments. I placed a paper grocery bag behind (to see if anything came through) and shot it at about twenty feet with .223, 7.62x39mm, and .40 S&W. Unfortunately, I didn't know the close range POI on my AK as well as on my AR so I had to shoot it three times with the AK to get a hit where I wanted. The reason is that the first shot was too close to both edges and caused the whole corner to bend back into the paper. I don't *think* the bullet made it through but I couldn't be sure until the third shot.

Afterward, I shot it with an additional ten rounds of .40 and not a single round made it through.

This stuff did quite a bit better than I expected.


Video of test
Andrew Wiggin is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 01:34 PM   #2
UtopiaTexasG19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 3, 2011
Location: S.E. Texas Gulf Coast
Posts: 743
Now you've gone and let the "cat out of the bag" and we know what going to be hanging all over the out side of the next generation of Iranian tanks.
UtopiaTexasG19 is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 01:52 PM   #3
Dr Big Bird PhD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2012
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 778
How heavy would that be if you put a slab on both sides of your body?
__________________
I told the new me,
"Meet me at the bus station and hold a sign that reads: 'Today is the first day of the rest of your life.'"
But the old me met me with a sign that read: "Welcome back."
Who you are is not a function of where you are. -Off Minor
Dr Big Bird PhD is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 02:20 PM   #4
jknight8907
Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2006
Posts: 87
Re: Hillbilly body armor test

Would you duct tape it to your back?
jknight8907 is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 02:21 PM   #5
ratshooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 22, 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 760
Thats cool. What is Herculiner? I hope Gecko45 doesn't find out about this stuff.

On THR there is a thread about what to put in walls to stop penetration. Now we know what to tell him.
__________________
Have you ever danced with the Devil in the pale moonlight?

A village in Kenya called. They want their idiot back.
ratshooter is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 03:06 PM   #6
Andrew Wiggin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 22, 2012
Posts: 225
I'm pretty sure it would not stop .300 Winmag.

Three tiles weigh about 12 lbs without the bed liner but for the next iteration, I plan to use only two tiles, less bed liner, and cut them to 10"x12" "shooter's cut."
Andrew Wiggin is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 06:20 PM   #7
Come and take it.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 16, 2009
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 999
I am witness to some research involving another ceramic material that is widely used commercially. The idea is to back up the ceramic with something that will prevent it from blowing out the back. The ceramic grinds the bullet up while the backing stops the momentum.

This backing could theoretically consist of plastics, aluminum or plywood.

It is amazing to see what windshield of car will do to most bullets. Even though a bullet might penetrate the windshield it loses a lot of its structure making its way through.
Come and take it. is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 06:48 PM   #8
Nickel Plated
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 17, 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NYC
Posts: 549
Quote:
I'm pretty sure it would not stop .300 Winmag.
I'm pretty sure not alot of folks get shot at with 300 WinMag
Nickel Plated is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 08:12 PM   #9
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
Posts: 10,568
Quote:
I'm pretty sure not alot of folks get shot at with 300 WinMag
But those that do usually don't get shot more than once.

Neat test, Andrew. Thanks for sharing.
__________________
"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 February 20, 2013, 08:23 PM   #10
Nickel Plated
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 17, 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NYC
Posts: 549
Quote:
But those that do usually don't get shot more than once.
Those that do usually have access to better equipment than porcelain tiles from Home Depot your turn.
Nickel Plated is offline  
Old February 21, 2013, 06:49 AM   #11
Tickling
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 17, 2011
Posts: 181
Interesting, thanks for the video.
Tickling is offline  
Old February 21, 2013, 08:10 AM   #12
Tucker 1371
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2008
Location: East TN
Posts: 2,040
Impressive, all you need now is a plate carrier. Two things, weight of an individual plate and have you considered trying ceramic plates?
__________________
NCO of Marines, 3rd Award Expert Rifle, 236 KD Range
D Co, 4th CEB, Engineers UP!! OEF 21JUN-20SEP2011
REV. 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Tucker 1371 is offline  
Old February 21, 2013, 10:48 AM   #13
Andrew Wiggin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 22, 2012
Posts: 225
Ceramic is actually not as tough as porcelain. Grade V porcelain is the toughest you can get, so far as I know.


For the noobs (I know it looks like I'm new but I forgot my old login credentials) the comments about .300 Winmag and duct taped plates refer to the original mall ninja, Gecko45. Great story and worth a trip down the Google hole if you wanna kill some time.
Andrew Wiggin is offline  
Old February 21, 2013, 05:44 PM   #14
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
Posts: 10,568
I think you mean to say that ceramic is not as hard as porcelain. Porcelain, or vitrified ceramic, is usually much harder than unvitrified ceramic, but is more brittle as well. So porcelain isn't very tough necessarily when it comes to fracturing.

Fracture issues have been problematic in the design of ceramic armor as well. The ceramic needed to be hard enough to stop incoming rounds, not completely shatter when impacted, and not break apart under normal wear and tear of handling and wearing. So upon impact with a ceramic piece of armor, the ceramic is formulated to stop the bullet, deform and absorb the impact and catch bullet spall, and do so without shattering the entire plate, thereby allowing the plate to be viable for multiple impacts. So the fractures and microfactures created on impact are prevented from spreading and as such, keeping the ceramic largely intact except for the directly impacted location.
__________________
"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 February 21, 2013, 05:50 PM   #15
ScottRiqui
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 2,905
Quote:
the comments about .300 Winmag and duct taped plates refer to the original mall ninja, Gecko45.
One of my favorite comments on the original "mall ninja" story:

"If plan A is for you to take multiple rounds of .308 in your back, I would come up with a plan B."
ScottRiqui is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 04:00 AM   #16
ballardw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 19, 2008
Posts: 350
Didn't Myth Busters do some test like this?
__________________
-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
All data is flawed, some just less so.
ballardw is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 04:53 AM   #17
stephen426
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2005
Posts: 2,886
There is a bullet proof vest called Dragon Skin that works off the same principle. Rather than using large plates of ceramic, they use multiple ceramic disks that are arranged like scales (hence the name dragon skin). If a large plate is hit and shatters, it's ability to deflect bullets is greatly compromised. The force required to break the ceramic is what actually stops the bullet. It is similar to styrofoam inside a bike helmet. While the foam is actually pretty hard, it shatters on impact absorbing the energy of the impact.

I still don't think I'd walk around with flooring tiles duct taped to my body though...
__________________
The ATF should be a convenience store instead of a government agency!
stephen426 is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 06:57 AM   #18
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,685
Wasn't Dragon Skin rather thoroughly discredited shortly after it was first introduced? Or am I getting it mixed up with some other personal body armor scammer?
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 07:50 AM   #19
Tucker 1371
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2008
Location: East TN
Posts: 2,040
Quote:
I still don't think I'd walk around with flooring tiles duct taped to my body though...
You would want to cut the tiles into a shooters cut (cut off top corners at 45 deg angle) and put them in a plate carrier vest. The military's body armor is a soft vest with removable hard ESAPI (Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert) plates which weigh 7lbs or so each. Still, you'd look just as conspicuous walking around in a tactical vest as you would with tiles duct taped to you.

*Edit-

Quote:
Wasn't Dragon Skin rather thoroughly discredited shortly after it was first introduced? Or am I getting it mixed up with some other personal body armor scammer?
Yes and no, the tests IIRC were conducted by the Army's research lab who happened to have developed the body armor Dragon Skin was seeking to replace. They claimed that their tests showed the DS did not stop several rounds that it claimed to and that the "scales" did not hold together in very hot temperatures. IIRC there was no third party or oversight for the Army's tests. Draw yor own conclusions.

That said I hope I never get handed dragon skin even if it DOES work as well as it seems to. Why? It weighs 10lbs more than the plate carrier I wore in Afghanistan and the ESAPI plates work well enough. No thank you.
__________________
NCO of Marines, 3rd Award Expert Rifle, 236 KD Range
D Co, 4th CEB, Engineers UP!! OEF 21JUN-20SEP2011
REV. 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

Last edited by Tucker 1371; February 22, 2013 at 08:00 AM.
Tucker 1371 is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 08:46 AM   #20
spacecoast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Location: Sunshine and Keystone States
Posts: 4,167
Nicely done, I love doing tests like that. Very impressive performance against the 7.62x39, which penetrated at least 12-15 inches of phone books/computer manuals in my testing.

Quote:
What is Herculiner?
It's truck bed lining material from what I can tell.
spacecoast is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 01:48 PM   #21
Reinz
Member
 
Join Date: February 18, 2013
Location: East Texas
Posts: 37
Interesting test!

Thanks
Reinz is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 02:15 PM   #22
lcpiper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 15, 2011
Posts: 1,405
Quote:
Yes and no, the tests IIRC were conducted by the Army's research lab who happened to have developed the body armor Dragon Skin was seeking to replace.
They did design it, but they don't manufacture it, and they wouldn't have been hurt in any way if Dragon Skin had proved out to be significantly superior. It's a government D0D organization, and like most they do employ contractors as well as their actual DoD employee staff.

Typically they would have received a tasking to develop body armor with such and such requirements, "Not more then X pounds, water resistant, stop a Xmm projectile at XXXXXFPS, with a 85% or better rate of success. However they right up the requirements, that's what they design to meet or exceed. Once they have done this and the prototypes test out, a contract get's let out to produce them and companies bid for the work. The companies products also must be tested to make sure they meet the same requirements as the contract stipulates. Once the companies' products past testing then they can submit bids on the contract.

Every day, all contracts that have been awarded, for $6.5 million or greater, are posted at this website http://www.defense.gov/contracts/.

I like this site cause I can find out who actually has work and not just who is trying to get work.
__________________
Colt M1911, AR-15 | S&W Model 19, Model 27| SIG P238 | Berreta 85B Cheetah | Ruger Blackhawk .357MAG, Bearcat "Shopkeeper" .22LR| Remington Marine Magnum SP 12GA., Model 700 SPS .223
lcpiper is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 07:24 PM   #23
Ben Towe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 6, 2009
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 1,122
Quote:
What is Herculiner?

It's truck bed lining material from what I can tell.
It is, widely available at auto parts stores.

Very interesting test, thanks Andrew.
__________________
'Merica: Back to back World War Champs
Ben Towe is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 08:03 PM   #24
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
Posts: 10,568
Quote:
Wasn't Dragon Skin rather thoroughly discredited shortly after it was first introduced? Or am I getting it mixed up with some other personal body armor scammer?
Yes, Pinnacle apparently fudged some of the credentials/ratings in order to get military contracts. That and QC problems got the armor booted from the military although it showed/shows great promise. The concept is apparently very good, but the implementation wasn't.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_Skin
__________________
"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 February 22, 2013, 08:11 PM   #25
Tucker 1371
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2008
Location: East TN
Posts: 2,040
Quote:
They did design it, but they don't manufacture it, and they wouldn't have been hurt in any way if Dragon Skin had proved out to be significantly superior. It's a government D0D organization, and like most they do employ contractors as well as their actual DoD employee staff.
Thanks lcpiper, knew I was a little fuzzy on the detail.

Anywho, I think I might take a whack at this and test it against my M1A with 147gr FMJs.
__________________
NCO of Marines, 3rd Award Expert Rifle, 236 KD Range
D Co, 4th CEB, Engineers UP!! OEF 21JUN-20SEP2011
REV. 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Tucker 1371 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 10:24 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 0.12745 seconds with 7 queries