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Flak Jackets - Can they stop a bullet?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by NoAlibi, Dec 14, 2009.

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  1. NoAlibi

    NoAlibi Member

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    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?
     
  2. Broken11b

    Broken11b Member

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    short answer, no.
    longer answer, what kind of flak jacket, there are many, and probably still no.
     
  3. Wheelgunner56

    Wheelgunner56 Member

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    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.
     
  4. Sean T

    Sean T Member

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    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.
     
  5. hub

    hub Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  6. carsten1911

    carsten1911 Member

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    expiry date

    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
     
  7. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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  8. ultradoc

    ultradoc Member

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    my guess would be no.
     
  9. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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  10. desidog

    desidog Member

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    ^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.
     
  11. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    I think you could save $50 on the vest and just buy a big roll of duct tape:scrutiny:
     
  12. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    No, and they are heavy, and hot. Most of us in my outfit lost them on the trail...
     
  13. Shadow Man

    Shadow Man Member

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    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.
     
  14. atomd

    atomd Member

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    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.
     
  15. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    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.
     
  16. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    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.
     
  17. Defense Minister

    Defense Minister Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  18. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    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 .
     
  19. Navy_Guns

    Navy_Guns Member

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    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).
     
  20. Warhawk83

    Warhawk83 Member

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    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.
     
  21. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "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!
     
  22. Landpimp

    Landpimp Member

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    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
     
  23. Hold My Own

    Hold My Own Member

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    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.
     
  24. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    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.
     
  25. Nicodemus38

    Nicodemus38 Member

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    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.
     
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