Tested- Army issue Interceptor Ballistic Panel


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RoostRider
September 9, 2009, 04:59 AM
I'll give it to you that this was nothing like a scientific study, but a buddy of mine had a discarded Interceptor, Ballistic Panel, Groin Protector (standard current military issue ballistic panel with no trauma plate)...

Soooo.... we decided to shoot it with a combination of 9mm JHP +P+, 9mm Ball, .38 spcl. JHP, .357 mag JHP, and 12 ga ~7 shot(?)... hey, it's all I had on me at the time... It was placed over a loose pile of dirt and shot at ~5' distance....

This is some of the shot and one 9mm slug that we recovered (we recovered them all but I can't find the others right now)... notice that some of the shot is deformed, and some is not... all of the hollow points just folded in on themselves (as seen in this photo), and failed deform much more than standard ball ammo.

http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=105047&stc=1&d=1252478888

Here is a photo of the label on the panel... for reference as to what exactly it is...

http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=105052&stc=1&d=1252482038

This is the panel assembly taken apart after shooting to demonstrate construction... the fabric goes in the sleeve... the sleeve goes in the nylon case... the nylon case is placed over the groin area... (hopefully yours isn't full of lead like this one)

http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=105048&stc=1&d=1252479991

This is the front of the panel... to demonstrate hit areas.... the large circle is the shotgun blasts... they were taken last.. the others are 9mm, 38 spcl, and .357 mag holes

http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=105049&d=1252480567

This is the rear of the complete panel assembly... clear exit holes right?? (circled for clarity).... we called "lame" on the Army for this one after the first 9mm appeared to have gone clean through.... we were in haste... yes, there is a considerable amount of energy on the far side of the ballistic panel, enough in fact to rip the fabric, and no doubt leave massive welts, and maybe even organ damage... but as noted earlier, upon further investigation we recovered every shot from inside the panel... very few went more than 6-8 layers of fabric deep... none even came close to getting half way through (clearly focusing the energy in a rather tight area)

http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=105050&d=1252481195

This is a closer look at the fabric in the area hit with the 12 ga 7 shot... a mass of pellets are fused together there in the middle (much more than the photo shows), while some of the errant pellets penetrated much further and stopped with very little distortion... (much further was still no where near halfway through)

http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=105051&stc=1&d=1252481798

(In case you have noticed- yes, I know I posted this in another thread as well.... but I put so much effort into it... lol... and it is not exactly the same topic (that thread is about recovered bullets in particular)... this one is just an example of a simple test on the gear they put our boys in...

I intend to reassemble the unit and fire some rifle rounds into it (from further distance, but still close range)..... we'll see if that ever happens.... if it does I'll be sure to post it up...

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Silvanus
September 9, 2009, 08:25 AM
Thanks for posting the results of your test :)

I'm not very familiar with different types of body armour... Is this plate supposed to stop rifle calibers? If so, is there any chance you'll be able to shoot it with a 7.62x39 or 5.45x39? It'd be interesting to see the result of that, since it's what the enemy uses:uhoh:

RoostRider
September 9, 2009, 01:56 PM
Thanks for posting the results of your test

I'm not very familiar with different types of body armour... Is this plate supposed to stop rifle calibers? If so, is there any chance you'll be able to shoot it with a 7.62x39 or 5.45x39? It'd be interesting to see the result of that, since it's what the enemy uses

You are welcome.

The Interceptor Body Armor, without trauma plates (such as this piece), is designed and claimed to stop 9mm and fragmentation. It accomplished stopping a .357 mag with no problems at all from nearly point blank ranges.... well, aside from the obvious bruising and possible damage from a blunt force.

As to the rifle calibers.....

I intend to reassemble the unit and fire some rifle rounds into it (from further distance, but still close range)..... we'll see if that ever happens.... if it does I'll be sure to post it up...

I intend test the 7.62x39, .308, .223, (all military rounds) but I don't have a 5.45x39.

The Nev- you're not the first one to tell me I had to watch that movie..... I guess I will have to now.... lol

THE DARK KNIGHT
September 9, 2009, 01:59 PM
FYI Ballistic vests are intended to function with something squishy behind them. If you didn't put it up against ballistic gel, or clay, your results are inaccurate as it will not absorb bullets as intended.

RoostRider
September 9, 2009, 02:04 PM
READ THE POST!... it clearly states that this is pretty far from a scientific test.... but the reality is that is is pretty similar to the actual military tests... and pretty close to real life scenario... soft tissue or not behind it..... this test was done over loose dirt, which actually emulates a body pretty well. And actually the FAT test conducted by the military uses clay, not gel, behind to determine penetration.

RoostRider
September 9, 2009, 09:09 PM
It turns out I should get a chance to hit this thing with some rifle rounds tomorrow if it all works out.... I'll be sure to post up about it

Double Naught Spy
September 9, 2009, 10:13 PM
Those are a about the results you would expect. The vest should stop all hollowpoint pistol ammo just fine. If pistol ammo is going to over penetrate the vest, it would be more likely from ball ammo than hollowpoint.

Centerfire rifle ammo, save for .30 carbine, should go right through it, particularly anything with a spire tip. .45-70, even hollowpoint, will blast right through. This is especially true given the damage already sustained by the panel, but would happen anyway. We have put .45-70 hollowpoint through a comparable vest at 100 yards. .223 will go through at 300 yards easy.

RoostRider
September 9, 2009, 10:32 PM
OK, there seems to be some confusion here, and the mods need to keep coming in and clearing up this thread.... which I appreciate, but hope to alleviate with this post...

I thought it was clear, but once again-

1- Interceptor Body Armor is the current issue Army body armor for use in Iraq and other combat areas.

2- This piece is a "Groin Protector", and as such does not have integrated modular ceramic plates incorporated. Without these plates, such as is the case in this piece, the armor is rated to stop 9mm and lower powered rounds at near point blank as well as small fragmentation (I'm assuming IED/grenade type stuff)

3- The armor, without the ceramic plates, is not rated to stop 7.62x39, or any other high power rifle cartridge that I know of..

4- This is not presented as a thorough scientific test of Interceptor Body Armor

5- I do not now, nor have I ever, worked for any company that makes, tests or sells body armor to the military or anyone else.

6- The body armor was tested in the best "farm boy" methods available to us at the time. Which was to throw it over a pile of fresh black dirt and shoot at it from the closest range we felt safe (~5'). This gave the unit some pliable support from behind, not terribly different than the clay used by the military in their FAT tests of this, and other products, to determine penetration. (penetration is a simple concept... if it penetrates, it fails... if it doesn't, it passes...)

7- Not one round of handgun tested (up to .357 JHP loaded pretty hot) managed to penetrate.

8- The shotgun blasts (2 close to center from near point blank), failed to penetrate as well.

9- I used no method to determine the FPE or ft/lbs/sq in that resulted on the back side of the protector (neither does the military)... but just eyeballing it tells me that a LOT of force was exerted in a very small area behind each shot (perhaps less so on the shotgun blasts)

10- This information is not provided to bolster or discredit any claim by any manufacturer of any protective body armor... it's just what I saw.... take it for that... that's all I did...

RoostRider
September 9, 2009, 10:39 PM
Those are a about the results you would expect. The vest should stop all hollowpoint pistol ammo just fine. If pistol ammo is going to over penetrate the vest, it would be more likely from ball ammo than hollowpoint.

Centerfire rifle ammo, save for .30 carbine, should go right through it, particularly anything with a spire tip. .45-70, even hollowpoint, will blast right through. This is especially true given the damage already sustained by the panel, but would happen anyway. We have put .45-70 hollowpoint through a comparable vest at 100 yards. .223 will go through at 300 yards easy.

Sorry, I walked away from my post for a bit and posted without seeing your post....

I agree that this is exactly what we should expect to see. Although I would like to see better energy dispersion than that if it were protecting MY groin... but that is another story.... this equipment only claims to stop penetration, and that it seems to do...

I was surprised to see that the hollow point ammo simply folded in on itself instead of spreading out.... as such, it appeared to penetrate similar to the ball ammo that was shot at it... and suffered very similar distortion in the process...

I am eager to see if the rifle with blast right through it.... but I think you are likely right, and most rounds, esspecially AP rounds, will tear it up, even from range...

The armor is highly damaged now, and that should be taken into consideration, but it will still give some example of the abilities of it... (I think it will reliably still stop 9mm despite the damage)

atomd
September 9, 2009, 10:40 PM
But will it stop a kick from a furious woman wearing high heels? That is the gold standard test in groin protection!

leadcounsel
September 9, 2009, 10:43 PM
Great unscientific testing. I've been to Iraq twice with different units. My armor (IBA, IOTV, etc.) was made by Point Blank and later by Eagle Industries. At some point I think I had an Interceptor.

Anyway, I always wondered what the actual kevlar would protect against in the real world. In a lab it may stop X, but we all know kevlar degrades in sunlight and water and dirty abuse. Guess what - when I was in Iraq I was in the sun a lot and sweat my XXX off. No joke, after a day of wearing it the kevlar is soaked all the way through. And if it rains, you get soaked. So I wonder after months or years of abuse, sun, and sweat and water, I wonder how effective the kevlar is.

Great test though.

FROGO207
September 9, 2009, 11:05 PM
Great test for us who don't get to handle these items. Thank you for taking the time to post results. IMO If one feels safer with the equipment on one will be able put more attention into safely finishing assigned task. We all want our troops home safe.

peyton
September 10, 2009, 02:26 AM
It is inconvient to wear, but got to protect the "jewels". Great test and gives me a little more confidence while I am traveling in the unfriendly land's of Iraq.

Dravur
September 10, 2009, 02:45 PM
Hey Roost,

thanks for this. This was very informative and I applaud your effort. I realize that this was not a scientific test and I didn't take it for one. It is good to see how it worked and I appreciate you taking the time to do it.

Cheers

RoostRider
September 10, 2009, 10:22 PM
Glad some of 'our guys' got to see and appreciate this rudimentary test.

leadcounsel- this armor was made by Point Blank Industries....

I didn't get a chance to go to the range today... sorry.... but I will do it soon and post up the results with a rifle....

shibbykins
September 11, 2009, 01:04 AM
i got 2 extra sets of the front and back plates aswell as shoulders and a few groins. you now have sparked my interest.

NC-Mike
September 11, 2009, 03:03 PM
Did the OP really say he suspected the rounds may cause organ damage after inspecting the ballistic panel. :eek:

Dravur
September 13, 2009, 07:47 PM
I know if I get hit in the groin with a shotgun blast, there will definitely be organ damage, with or without the vest....

But, at least with the vest, you get a chance at fathering kids someday.

RoostRider
September 13, 2009, 11:46 PM
Did the OP really say he suspected the rounds may cause organ damage after inspecting the ballistic panel.

Not exactly.... the OP said

there is a considerable amount of energy on the far side of the ballistic panel, enough in fact to rip the fabric, and no doubt leave massive welts, and maybe even organ damage

That surprises you? Take a look at it yourself... but I mean really, take it for what it's worth... it's my opinion after visual observation only, and nothing more... as noted, so many times already, THIS IS NOT PRESENTED AS A COMPREHENSIVE TESTING OF INTERCEPTOR ARMOR...

I'm with you Dravur.... it will, without a doubt, substantially reduce the damage caused by a handgun cartridge, and logically speaking, any fragmentation of similar ballistics....

NC-Mike
September 14, 2009, 12:54 AM
That surprises you? Take a look at it yourself... but I mean really, take it for what it's worth... it's my opinion after visual observation only, and nothing more... as noted, so many times already, THIS IS NOT PRESENTED AS A COMPREHENSIVE TESTING OF INTERCEPTOR ARMOR...


It was just what particular organ that was likely to be "damaged" that prompted my concern. :uhoh:

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