50BMG vs Body Armor


PDA






CSBOMB
December 14, 2009, 02:00 PM
One of my students swears that he has seen a video of a US Marine being hit by a 50BMG round and surviving...not only surviving but getting back up off the ground.

Is there ANY Body Armor that could not only prevent the round from penetrating...but somehow, magically dissipate enough energy to keep every bone from being crushed and every internal organ from being turned into jelly?

If you enjoyed reading about "50BMG vs Body Armor" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
essayons21
December 14, 2009, 02:14 PM
No.

The video he is probably thinking about: http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=3587841

Sorry about the myspace link (not mine), but the video seems to have been taken down off youtube.

Apparently that medics unit tracked down and captured the sniper, injuring him in the process, then the same medic that was hit ended up working to save the life of the insurgent.

Pat4x4
December 14, 2009, 02:14 PM
BS.. I know what video he is talking about.. And a Guy got hit by a Iraqi BB gun.. Unless you were wearing 3" or more thick steal plate you are not going to be living after the fact.. Why would a American shoot another American Anyways

CSBOMB
December 14, 2009, 02:15 PM
Oh...and I suppose I'd have to question the likelihood of a US Marine getting hit with a 50BMG round to begin with seeing the probability of a foreign fighter having a 50 rifle.

Pat4x4
December 14, 2009, 02:17 PM
yep, that is the video.. I love modern technology..

CSBOMB
December 14, 2009, 02:18 PM
More than likely it was a 7.62x39...or at worse a 7.62x54??

essayons21
December 14, 2009, 02:18 PM
There were .50 rifles in the possession of the Mahdi army in March 2008. Not to mention a few remaining Dishka's, at least one of which was inside Sadr City in 2007-2008.

Dr.Mall Ninja
December 14, 2009, 02:20 PM
yeah that video looked fake

General Geoff
December 14, 2009, 02:21 PM
Not unless you count holding a 3/4" AR500 steel plate in front of you as "body armor" :)

essayons21
December 14, 2009, 02:24 PM
yeah the chance of an Iraqi get a chance to shoot a 50 bmg round at an american seems pretty slim to me.

http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q177/collingscb/Tungsten50edited.jpg

Recovered round, solid tungsten, had penetrated approx .75 inch of steel armor, a kevlar blanket, and lodged in a MICH helmet. The guy wearing it was fine.

CSBOMB
December 14, 2009, 02:28 PM
That round looks untouched!

essayons21
December 14, 2009, 02:30 PM
Yep, you could just barely make out some rifling marks on it, and that was it. This was the third time a truck had been hit, and the insurgent shooting supposedly had a meeting later in the week with a Hellfire.

essayons21
December 14, 2009, 02:31 PM
yeah that video looked fake

The video is real, but it was not a .50 round he was hit with, but something in the 7.62 range.

CSBOMB
December 14, 2009, 02:33 PM
Hellfire for a 7.62? ...that's a satisfying trade off.

Grey Morel
December 14, 2009, 02:40 PM
Your student has a poor grasp of ballistics, as well as the forces involved. Please use this opportunity to educate him properly.

ny32182
December 14, 2009, 02:41 PM
The .50's official role is stopping light armored vehicles, right? I'm pretty sure there is no "body armor" on the planet that is going to stop that within its accurate range.

CSBOMB
December 14, 2009, 02:47 PM
He is an interesting character. One of the other students just said "Mr. D...I think he just wants to argue and isn't going to listen to anything you say..."

That says enough.

IndianaBoy
December 14, 2009, 02:57 PM
He is sorely mistaken. It is asking a lot of body armor with the plate inserts to stop anything in the 7.62 class. 50 BMG, forget about it.

Tell him to play less video games.

627PCFan
December 14, 2009, 03:00 PM
I saw a clip on the military channel. He was shot by a PSL which I believe is a 7.62x54R.

desidog
December 14, 2009, 03:17 PM
Oh...and I suppose I'd have to question the likelihood of a US Marine getting hit with a 50BMG round to begin with seeing the probability of a foreign fighter having a 50 rifle.

As a point of fact, the US supplied the Afghani Mujaheddin with Barrett M-82's back in the 80's to combat the Soviets. Some of those guns have turned up...others are unaccounted for. A buddy of mine doing counterinsurgency work traded H2O wells for guns, and came across one.

rcmodel
December 14, 2009, 03:22 PM
Yep, you could just barely make out some rifling marks on it, and that was itIf it's solid tungsten like you said, it is not a bullet.

It is the AP core out of a bullet.

No doubt the copper or steel bullet jacket stripped off when it went through the 3/4" steel armor and the AP core continued on.

Thats how AP ammo works.

Nobody anywhere makes solid tungsten bullets without a jacket over it to protect the barrel.

rc

essayons21
December 14, 2009, 03:26 PM
Negative, it was milled from solid tungsten. It was something manufactured by the insurgency for a specific purpose. I don't know if it was some sort of sabot arrangement, I'm sure the tungsten couldn't have been good for the barrel, but there are rifling marks on the bullet.

Also, the diameter of the bullet was approx. 12.7mm, so if there was any sabot or jacketing it was extremely thin and most likely stripped off immediately after firing. And look at the bullet, it has a boat tail... never seen a boat tailed penetrator.

Very unusual, which is why it was recovered and sent for analysis, not just kept as a souvenier.

rcmodel
December 14, 2009, 03:31 PM
Well heres the thing.

Tungsten is so many times harder then any barrel steel that if they made it big enough to engage the rifling, it would take the rifling out with it the first shot.

After that, bullets would tumble and not hit point first if they hit at all.

rc

essayons21
December 14, 2009, 03:36 PM
Which is why I personally thought it was some sort of sabot arrangement, but that doesn't explain the clear rifling marks on the back 1/3 of the round.

KBintheSLC
December 14, 2009, 03:50 PM
Most Level 4 trauma plates are designed to take hits from 30-06 and 7.62x54. These develop energies under 3000 ft/lbs. The 50BMG develops energies far exceeding 10,000 ft/lbs. sometimes upwards of 13,000 ft/lbs. That would perforate multiple soldiers wearing L4 trauma plates in the front and back.

JuryRig
December 14, 2009, 03:51 PM
If the bullet was tungsten, the rifling wouldn't have left marks on it. Yes?

Shadow Man
December 14, 2009, 03:54 PM
I've seen that video a few times. It is definitely not a fake, as I also saw a follow-up interview with the medic depicted there. IIRC, it was a 7.62x54R, and shattered his SAPI plate, bruising his chest. The medic can't complain, the plate did exactly what it was designed to do, and he suffered no ill effects other than a wicked bruise. He was definitely not shot with a .50 caliber weapon system though. No body armour that I am familiar with can stand up to that kind of trauma.

A .50caliber or 12.7mm rifle in the hands of the insurgents was not all that uncommon. During the buildup for Operation Al Fajar, Muslim fighters from the world over came into Iraq to take a crack at the Infidel invaders. A significant amount of Chechens were encountered, notable because they were the best trained and armed. They had been fighting the Russians for years, and had aquired some interesting bits of weaponry. Remember,the Americans are not the only military to field a rifle of that caliber, the Russians used them too, and reportedly some Chechens had them, and used them with marginal success.

The tungsten bullet bit is odd, RCmodel being correct in that a solid tungsten bullet would strip a barrel of its rifling, yet I've been around enough to trust the guy on the ground, and if Essayons21 says that it was pure tungsten and had rifling marks, then it did. Hard to say what its intended purpose was, or how it was fired. The insurgency is constantly improvising and adapting, and they recieve help from outside the country as well (EFP's from Iran, for example) so it is difficult to say with any certainty what that is all about.

7X57chilmau
December 14, 2009, 04:07 PM
Without weighing in on whether I believe the penetrator ever had a jacket or not..... Pure tungsten is actually not that awful hard - it can be cut with a hacksaw.... But penetrators are usually a tungsten based alloy or a carbide, much much harder....

The rifle marks on it could be scrapes on a penetrator core as it scraped thru the armour plate, or machining marks.... Or they could be rifle marks...

One lucky man wore that helmet, though. I'm sure of that :)

J

TheBandit
December 14, 2009, 04:15 PM
tungsten is in the hardness range of 50-60HRC. Steels in the high 50s and low 60s aren't uncommon. It is entirely possible that a "wimpy" steel barrel left rifling grooves on the "super" tungsten bullet

CSBOMB
December 14, 2009, 04:40 PM
Here is the whole story of the medic from History Channel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqV_rmiSCZc

Sam Cade
December 14, 2009, 05:12 PM
at 35 seconds into the above video we see an american armed with a SVD. Unexpected.

Shadow Man
December 14, 2009, 05:40 PM
Unexpected, but not unheard of. Quite frequently, soldiers and Marines tasked with training or operating with the Iraqi forces will arm themselves accordingly. A US Army Ranger, Maj. Greene comes to mind. He used to run around the traffic circle of death with a Tobuk or FAL. Now, I don't know what the circumstances were of the soldier in the video, but it is not all that uncommon.

CSBOMB
December 14, 2009, 05:49 PM
I was wondering what that unwieldy looking thing was (the "SVD").

LibShooter
December 14, 2009, 05:49 PM
Tungsten is so many times harder then any barrel steel that if they made it big enough to engage the rifling, it would take the rifling out with it the first shot.


Actually, pure tungsten is in the same hardness range of the best (hardest) steels, so if you're committed you could build a rifle that would shoot a few tungsten bullets before the barrel is trashed. Not very practical, but possible. Maybe some of the insurgents are doing some ill-advised reloading for their stolen military guns or Barretts?

Shadow Man
December 14, 2009, 06:24 PM
Well, unlike common conception, the insurgents are not all goatherders who live in mud huts...they can actually come up with some ingenious and deadly things. I wouldn't put it past them to get a bunch of tungsten penetrators or what have you, melt them down, and then cast a bullet.

essayons21
December 14, 2009, 06:38 PM
There were 3 shots over a 1 week period, assumed to be from the same shooter and rifle, even though JAM was believed to have multiple 50 cal or 12.7mm rifles. All three hit the TC side of a vehicle and penetrated armor. 2/3 hit a soldier inside a vehicle. The one I posted lodged in the MICH of the TC, another lodged in the side plate of the TC.

Range was estimated to be <250 yards. Hellfire took out the suspected firing position later in the week, never heard of any more vehicles hit by large caliber rifles for the next few months of hostilities.

I posted the photo to show the penetration power of 50 caliber projectiles, especially AP ones. It was a unique circumstance, hence the importance of recovering the projectile for further analysis. I have relayed only information that I am 100% sure of, first hand. The projectile eventually made it back to CONUS, and I didn't hear anything further, and at the time didn't really care.

The insurgents, especially JAM in Baghdad/Sadr City, improvised all sorts of deadly weapons, many of which never made too much sense. EFPs that could penetrate M1 Abrams with ease, EFPs with multiple and interconnected initiation systems that used a custom built circuit board (but didn't detonate because they forgot to remove tape from one of the sensors), one IED that appeared to be designed to project liquid mercury, and a 26" diameter EFP that according to physics would have never been able to work. Glad I never found out.

Wes Janson
December 14, 2009, 09:30 PM
It's a standard .50 BMG (or potentially 12.7x109mm, were it a DShK) AP projectile with the jacket peeled off by the passage through the outer layers of armor. The color and ogive are a giveaway. Totally typical result when you fire AP into a steel target. The rifling marks are actually impressed onto the core through the jacket; the rifling compressed both jacket and core alike. And yes, the tungsten penetrator has a boattail:

http://www.biggerhammer.net/barrett/fas/ammo-50.gif

627PCFan
December 14, 2009, 10:11 PM
Im with Wes.

FWIW assuming he was "sniped" with a 50 its gonna have a brake on it (barring an insurgent having a single shot Ma Duece) and I dont know anyone who would risk running a sabot through a 50's Muzzle brake-

Hammerhead6814
December 14, 2009, 10:17 PM
Tell your student to take a semester of physics and then try to tell you, or anyone, that someone survived a .50 Caliber round. There isn't an armored vest on the planet that could stop one. Maybe if the shooter was 2500 away or so. Just checkout the ballistics table.

Shadow Man
December 14, 2009, 10:22 PM
I hate to throw a wrench in your statement Hammerhead6814, but I know of at least one person who survived a direct hit with a 12.7mm (.51 cal) bullet. Col. Charlie Beckwith. He was hit while working with project Delta (no, not Delta Force :rolleyes:) during Vietnam. I'm unsure of the range, but he was hit in the abdomen, had no protective vest of any kind on, and lived to tell the tale.

Granted, the odds are slim, but the impossible does, sometimes, happen. That's war for you.

And at 2500 yards...the target would have to be wearing the vest on his head, the bullet's trajectory would mean that it would be coming nearly straight down...

Ron James
December 14, 2009, 10:26 PM
Well , couldn't measure the distance, but a documented case of a NVA equivalence of the 50 went through the front of a Charlie Model Huey, and lodged in the chicken plate of the pilot. documented, photographed, writen up and verified. 1966.

Bluenote
December 14, 2009, 11:49 PM
One of my students swears that he has seen a video of a US Marine being hit by a 50BMG round and surviving...not only surviving but getting back up off the ground.

Is there ANY Body Armor that could not only prevent the round from penetrating...but somehow, magically dissipate enough energy to keep every bone from being crushed and every internal organ from being turned into jelly?
__________________


.50 bmg carries something on the order of 15 thousand lbs of striking energy at the muzzle , three times that of .458 mag.


Not a chance.

Ohio Gun Guy
December 14, 2009, 11:59 PM
I must be less of a man..... But I really dont think I could work to save the POS that just tried really hard to kill me.

Our guys have some very big brass ones knocking around....

HorseSoldier
December 15, 2009, 12:45 AM
At one point the US military was working on a SAPI-type plate that could take .50BMG and 12.7mm hits for use by aviators but I don't think it was ever practical with the technology available, and definitely isn't what the guy in the video clip is wearing (the posters who noted he's hit COM with 7.62x54 are correct).

If you enjoyed reading about "50BMG vs Body Armor" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!