Flak Jackets - Can they stop a bullet?


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NoAlibi
December 14, 2009, 02:54 AM
A neighbor came home from a gun show with a never issued surplus flak jacket that cost him $60. It looked brand new and weighed significantly more than a level 2 bullet resistant vest.

I have no experience with flak jackets and I don't know what they're made of or if they can stop any handgun rounds. If they can, then at that price it might be nice to have in case something goes bump in the night in your home.

Can anyone shine a light on this?

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Broken11b
December 14, 2009, 03:02 AM
short answer, no.
longer answer, what kind of flak jacket, there are many, and probably still no.

Wheelgunner56
December 14, 2009, 03:04 AM
If it says "Flak Jacket", which I assume it does and it is at the price paid, it is not designed to stop bullets. You need "Body Armour" made to NIJ standards to stop bullets. Might look cool on some display near your home bar or in a "man cave", but don't trust it to stop bullets or blades.

Sean T
December 14, 2009, 03:05 AM
They were designed to stop "low-velocity" shrapnel, not bullets of any kind. Handy if someone is throwing grenades at you. IMO, if you want body armor, buy something designed to stop bullets. You can buy surplus Kevlar vests for pretty cheap, ~$2-300 depending on condition.

hub
December 14, 2009, 03:24 AM
Yes/No, the older type flak jackets are designed to stop shrapnel or flak not bullets. They may be able to stop small caliber pistol or shotgun hits. That is MAY but I wouldn't trust my life to it.

The newer issue interceptor vest can hold a trauma plates to protect vital organs from small arms rifle fire.

They are both made of multiple layers of kevlar.

carsten1911
December 14, 2009, 08:29 AM
Hi,

all protection vests have an expiry date...at least for their non-steel or non-caramics parts.
The polymer fibres lose their protective properties.

So anything that comes "used", "non-used but issued long time ago" etc. can be counted upon to do an impressive job on carnival...and nothing more!

Dont anybody bet more than half a shilling on those expired protective vests!

Carsten

627PCFan
December 14, 2009, 09:56 AM
This is what you want--

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot15.htm

ultradoc
December 14, 2009, 10:06 AM
my guess would be no.

X-Rap
December 14, 2009, 10:22 AM
This is what you want--

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot15.htm
__________________

Not me.

desidog
December 14, 2009, 04:17 PM
^Nor me.

If you really wanted to drop some loot on something with little practical purpose; I'd get an armor carrier vest for 50-odd bucks, and look around for some 1/8"+ thick pieces of scrap steel...stainless would be better.......cut to size, grind down edges...hammer on anvil for curves....and you're wearing something very heavy that greatly limits your mobility and sneakiness, and still won't stop most rifle rounds.

X-Rap
December 14, 2009, 04:20 PM
I think you could save $50 on the vest and just buy a big roll of duct tape:scrutiny:

Average Joe
December 14, 2009, 09:25 PM
No, and they are heavy, and hot. Most of us in my outfit lost them on the trail...

Shadow Man
December 14, 2009, 09:36 PM
I had one once, a surplus flak jacket. Got it from a friend in the Baltimore PD. So, being the curious type that I am, I took it to the range and wrapped it around a tree stump. Results are:
5 shots, .22LR 40gr. = 5 holes through the front of the jacket.
5 shots, 9mm 115gr. = 5 9mm bullets in the front of the vest. No penetration.
5 shots, .45 ACP 230gr. = 5 .45 bullets in the front of the vest, significant trauma to the stump.
5 shots, .30 Carbine 110gr. = full frontal penetration. 5 holes through the stump, rounds caught in back of vest.
5 shots, 5.56x45mm 62gr. = full penetration through the vest and stump.
5 shots, 7.62x39mm 123gr. = full penetration, stump and vest.
5 shots, 7.62x51mm 150gr. = full penetration, stump and vest.

Granted, the vest was chewed to hell and back by the time I was done, so some of the later tests may be flawed, but I think that about sums it up. Hope it helped.

atomd
December 14, 2009, 09:38 PM
If they can, then at that price it might be nice to have in case something goes bump in the night in your home.


You're tellin me someone is gonna hear a person smashing in their front door and they are going to go to get one of those vests out and put it on? I highly doubt that. When people come up with these big complicated plans...the first thing that goes out the window are their plans. I'd rather put that money towards practice ammo or towards a home security system or towards a dog or dog food or towards a class. I just don't see that being realistic. If someone was breaking into my house the first thing I'm grabbing is a gun. The second thing is the phone.

kingmt
December 14, 2009, 10:01 PM
They should stop most hand gun rounds but a .22 or smaller & knife blades they will not stop. They will not stop high power rifle rounds. I don't think it will stop something like a 44 mag but should stop a .45 ACP though.

All of this being said the key word is should. I have one but I don't see me using it but it would be better then being hit without one.

.455_Hunter
December 14, 2009, 10:53 PM
In my experience (and others), the PASGT vests of the 1980's and 90's generally provide at least level IIA ballistic penetration if in good condition. Though it may stop larger, more powerful rounds, the backside deflection maybe too great.

Defense Minister
December 14, 2009, 11:41 PM
If you want to buy something that will stop a handgun round, be sure to buy a body armor vest made no earlier than 1987, and tested to the NIJ standard. Those vests also list specific calibers that they are effective in stopping. Stay away from anything that has ballistic panels containing Zylon.

MICHAEL T
December 14, 2009, 11:44 PM
I shot a issued vest in 68 with a 25 auto One of the guys had brought over from states . The 25 ball shot thru the vest .

Navy_Guns
December 15, 2009, 12:35 PM
We put a PASGT vest on an articulated plywood dummy and sat him in a lawn chair. The vest stopped a 525 grain Lyman slug at short range from a 12 gauge. It knocked the dummy over backwards in the chair and broke his arm off from the impact, but the slug was laying on the ground next to the chair (I've still got it).

Warhawk83
December 15, 2009, 12:39 PM
No.

On R.Lee Ermey's show on History Channel he puts a flak vest in front of a watermelon and repeatedly kills the watermelon. Apparently helicopter pilots would stick flak vests on the floor of the chopper and next to the windows but it didn't work.

ranger335v
December 15, 2009, 01:36 PM
"5 shots, 9mm 115gr. = 5 9mm bullets in the front of the vest. No penetration."

Obviously, anything sure beats nothing but no vest we can wear will stop much.

Test round #5 more than suggests the currently popular 9mm cartridge is perhaps the lest effective common "defence" round. But, it sure beats nothing...

My 1911/.45ACP hasn't been far from my hands since before our military were forced to accept the European wimp's favorite round because of the NATO Treaty. Even if the .45 never penatrates a vest it will surely leave a mark and a sore spot!

Landpimp
December 15, 2009, 01:52 PM
if your looking for something to save your life, get a real ballistic vest, can be found "used" for $100-150

the new fabric trama plates are very nice

as a side note......a yellow lab puppy can crew thru a balistic panel :D

Hold My Own
December 15, 2009, 06:17 PM
Flak Jackets aren't even intended to stop rounds in the first place IIRC. Just shrapnel. Nothing with an extremely concentrated trajectory and massive force like a round would do.

Ragnar Danneskjold
December 15, 2009, 07:13 PM
You're tellin me someone is gonna hear a person smashing in their front door and they are going to go to get one of those vests out and put it on? I highly doubt that. When people come up with these big complicated plans...the first thing that goes out the window are their plans. I'd rather put that money towards practice ammo or towards a home security system or towards a dog or dog food or towards a class. I just don't see that being realistic. If someone was breaking into my house the first thing I'm grabbing is a gun. The second thing is the phone.

If you train yourself to do it, you will do it. If you set your alarm and wake yourself and put your vest on, and do that enough times, I have no doubt you will be able to manage that simple task when something really wakes you up.

And second, it's funny you say that all plans go out the window, and then you go on to outline your own plan. I just thought it wasn't amusing.

Nicodemus38
December 15, 2009, 09:23 PM
Old R Lee Ermey did a test on flak jackets and bullet stopping in the first or second season of his show. it was found that a late model flak jacket issued by uncle sams outfit, was flung 20 yards when it was hit with a blast from a surplus claymore.
penetration was excellent. the flak jacket was unable to stop those american made ball bearings, looked like 20 gauges holes through and through on it.

flak means shrapnel. bullets normally mean high velocity rounds. on a side note russian troops discovered in chechnya that some kinds of body armor cannot stop pointy lead bullets from 22lr rifles, on some of the woven stuff they simply push fibers apart and slide through.
nothing will stop a bullet quite like a ceramic or steel plate designed to stop 54r or 308/30-06 class rifle rounds.

content
December 15, 2009, 09:56 PM
Hello friends and neighbors // No they were Not made to stop bullets.

rocky branch
December 16, 2009, 03:27 PM
Chopper guys had some jackets with big heavy plates they sometimes sat on.

They called them "Chicken plates" which was also the name of the little folding doors some had in front.

I was an advisor to the CIDG program 60-70.
Our guys, mostly Cambodians and Montagnards wanted flak jackets and helmets after seeing GIs with them.

We got a load that was quickly scarfed up by the LLDB and sold to the strikers.

They were pretty thrilled til I wrapped one around a post and ventilated it with a .45.

We took very heavy incoming mortar and rocket fire late 69-early 70.
The vests helped a lot then.

wishin
December 16, 2009, 04:14 PM
I was an advisor to the CIDG program 60-70.

+1
I hope your in-country time wasn't continuous during that period, but broken up into a couple of tours. My single year in 67-68 seemed like ten!

doc540
December 16, 2009, 04:19 PM
Good friend was a chopper crew chief.

He said he lined the floors with layers of them, not one or two.

He also said he wore a metal deflector vest of some sort over his flak jacket(s).

Lucky guy to have made it home in one piece when friends and crew didn't.:(

wishin
December 16, 2009, 04:49 PM
Off topic, but let me add that all the Huey guys I knew, and probably all I didn't know, were nuts. A brave bunch.

61chalk
December 16, 2009, 06:02 PM
True Story...heard on the news maybe 3 or 4 yrs ago. Here in Indiana, a guy getting ready to enter the service wanted some experience before going in...So he put his Flak Jacket on an had his best friend shoot him with a .12 ga.....He's dead an his friend charged with a manslaughter.

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