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Old November 30, 2007, 09:00 PM   #1
cold dead hands
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Body armor questions

Some yahoo in the gunstore told me that 7.62x25 will defeat level 3 body armor. Turns out he might be right, but that is why I am asking here.

I have read (can't remember where) that level 3 is only tested up to .357 mag and that the level of protection is not sufficient to stop a very fast small bullet like the 7.62 tokarev. The article went on to state that the Chinese test their armor with 7.62 tokarev because of it penetration abilities.

I was also told by yet another yahoo (this one was Coast Gaurd) that .17 HMR and .17 Mach2 will pierce armor as well.

Any merit to this stuff?
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Old November 30, 2007, 09:55 PM   #2
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Level 2 will stop (hopefully) up to an including a .357 mag.

Level 3A will stop (hopefully) up to and including a .44 mag.

Not sure about the Tok ammo, no knowledge on that caliber. And forget stopping a high power rifle round.

Here is a good link with descriptions of the different ratings levels.
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Old December 1, 2007, 02:37 AM   #4
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Oh, at first I thought you said 7.62 x 39...

The speedy little 7.62x25 Tokarev pistol cartridge is a hotrod. It will penetrate a kevlar helmet at 50m according to some sources, but will certainly penetrate it at 25m.

Threat level III-A will stop up to .44 Magnum semi-jacketed HP at 1400 fps or a 9mm at 1400fps.

Level III-A is the "best" of the soft body armor ratings. To get a higher protection you have to go with externally worn "hard" body armor (i.e. SWAT style vests).

Level III body armor relies on ballistic "inserts" or trauma-plates over the front and back. Level III will stop up to six rounds of .308 NATO (7.62x51) @2750 fps using 1/4" Ballistic steel or 1/2" Ceramic trauma plates.

Level IV armor is the highest rating. Using Ceramic or steel plates it will stop one round of .30-06 AP ammo @2,850 fps using a 3/4" Ceramic or 1/2" Ballistic Steel plate.

From what I gather on the net, a level III-A vest will not adequately stop a 7.62 Tokarev round and the use of hard inserts is recommended.

Note that the vest may actually prevent penetration but the deformation depth may be too deep to qualify the vest (i.e. too much blunt trauma behind the impact point).

Clear as mud?
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
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Old December 1, 2007, 09:16 AM   #5
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BillCA, clear as mud to me thanks!!
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Old December 1, 2007, 09:30 AM   #6
Double Naught Spy
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Level III body armor relies on ballistic "inserts" or
over the front and back. Level III will stop up to six rounds of .308 NATO (7.62x51) @2750 fps using 1/4" Ballistic steel or 1/2" Ceramic trauma plates.
The use of trauma plates is a bit misleading here. Depending on the maker, many"trauma plates" offer very little ballistic protection. Their whole purpose is the spread out energy over a wider area to help reduce blunt force trauma. Some are actually meant to increase ballistic protection. For example, see the offering here where trauma plates and trauma paks are offered, but only a couple are to increase ballistic protection...

In short, not all trauma plates are created equal and not all increase ballstic protection.
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