flintlock weapons vs kevlar

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Tired_and_hungry, Jun 13, 2012.

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  1. Tired_and_hungry

    Tired_and_hungry Member

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    Has anyone ever done any tests where flintlock pistols and muskets were shot at kevlar vests?

    Essentially, how would today's NIJ certified level 2 and 3 soft armor vests do against a close range shot from a pirate's flintlock pistol from the 1660s or a musket ball from a Napoleonic era musket?

    If penetration would not occur, would the blunt trauma be survivable?
     
  2. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Considering the fact that folks have survived short range attacks with shotguns, yes they would be survivable. The larger the caliber, the easier it is to stop in a vest. It is the 22 LR that manages to penetrate the vests!
     
  3. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    I really don't think a soft lead round ball stands a chance against modern body armor.
     
  4. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
  5. kBob

    kBob Member

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    I had for a presentation a 2A vest mounted in a glass fronted picture frame by the local police Dept for a presentation on the question of whether hollow points should be banned in hand guns (Back during the original Assault weapons ban effort those folks were throwing out everything they could think of to hopefully have something slip through) The vest had taken a load of 00 Buck at one foot from the muzzle. The person hit was released after an overnight stay in the hospital just to be sure BFT was not an issue.

    Hmm Pirate pistol ball or load of 12 gauge 00 that has not even left the wad column yet......sounds about the same.

    Mind you I would not want to be shot withether even in a Class IV hard vest but no magic in pirate bullets if they are lead. Not sure what Iron Shot might do as it would not likely waste any energy deforming itself.

    I have use a bit of 2A retired vest to stop .38 Special lead and JHP and 9x19mm silvertips and lear RN .45Auto. Maybe I should take my flintlock Kentucky .44 from Pedersoli and shoot at that scrap. I rather imagine though that a .570 RB from a rifle will if not penitrate bury the panel in the back stop.
     
  6. Busyhands94

    Busyhands94 Member

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    Good lord... that isn't gun safe. Wow. Just... wow. I mean it's really awesome to know a .45 Kentucky Rifle will shoot through steel (now I want one) but that's absolutely unsafe how they filmed it. Don't try this at home indeed.

    ~Levi
     
  7. T Bran

    T Bran Member

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    I'm with Levi on this one.
    These guys are seriously scarey and should not be handling firearms of any kind.
    T
     
  8. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

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    I got to help with a "vest test" demonstration in 1997 where we shot some police trade-in vests from Second Chance with 45-70s, my .54 ML rifle (using ball and conical bullets), arrows, crossbow bolts, and .22 rimfires. We also did knife demonstrations. If you're thinking "Mythbusters", I'm OK with that,because these were NOT scientific tests; this was a buncha yahoos with vests, guns, and time on their hands. The vests were on torso targets that were in turn mounted on 2" x 2" posts placed in 5-gallon buckets of concrete. Trauma plates were in place for some of the tests, and distances were from 5 to 25 yards. The stand-out results, which were allegedly reported to Second Chance:

    The .54 never penetrated the vests, but tended to break the posts, especially with Maxi-Balls. I theorize that the trauma plates helped the Maxis dump their energy into the target.

    "Trapdoor" 500 gr. 45-70 loads acted a lot like the .54 slug loads. Marlin-level 350 gr. loads made hash out of the trauma plates. No penetration.

    Arrows from my hunting bows, compound and recurve, were stopped by the trauma plate but zipped through the vest if there was no plate installed. Field points and cut-on-contact broadheads were used.

    .22LRs were stopped, but .22 Magnum full-patch bullets got through.

    Most knives would get through the vest, including a butter knife that had been sharpened on the sidewalk. The guy doing that part of the test has been into kendo his whole life, and teaches officer survival.

    So, T&H, I figure if my .54 with loads that usually pass through an elk couldn't get through a mid-90s Second Chance vest, a muzzleloader using pure lead projectiles of any configuration is going to be embarrassed, too. But note those broken poles- that is BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA ON A STICK, BABY! Whoever gets whacked with a Maxi-Ball being pushed by 110 gr. of powder is going to barf up his spleen.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
  9. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    That reminded me of a LEO who died from Blunt force trauma back in the 1980's. He took a 3 inch 12 Rifled slug center mass and it snapped a rib and the broken rib punched a hole in his heart. It also spit his Sterum. I don't remember the brand of vest but it stopped the slug but it still killed that Officer.
     
  10. buggley

    buggley Member

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    how does kevlar work? i have heard that it tha speed and shock of a bullet will make it seize up the round when travling at high speed but you can stab a pencil through it. this is probably a question for google but it is late and i dont want to search =). if this is the case a soft lead ball might pass through fine but a harder round would get locked up in it.
    i dont know any thing about this stuff it would be nice to have an explination.
     
  11. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    1. http://www.bulletproofme.com/Ballistic_Protection_Levels.shtml

    2. http://www.bulletproofme.com/NIJ_Test_Rounds_CHART.shtml
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  12. Vermonter

    Vermonter Member

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    Ajumbo, what did the lead bullets look like after hitting the vests? Did they expand?
     
  13. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Vermonter,

    Lead (bullets and Buck)and JHPs I revovered all expanded and all bore the imprint of the cloth on the noses. Sometimes Buck or lead bullets would stick for a bit though could be shaken loose.

    A Round of Czech 9x19 mm AP showed no expansion after passing through a swath rated "Z9" an in house Second Chance rating and passing through two inches of paper and imbeding in an oak tree. Interestingly three other military FMJ loads were stopped. Appearently there was something to the rumor that the Czechs loads special hot SMG rounds. The recovered Canadian and European 9x19 mm FMJs showed some deformation and much less cloth imprint than the commercial lead and JHPs. The most interesting event that day wsa an old Remington 185 grain JHP .45 ACP. Technecally this did not penitrate the vest....it just shoved the vest in a oneinch area mostly through the paper backing....now there is some back face deformation. I used to love that load though the experts claimed it did not expand well. Perhaps true, but it did a number on auto glass and car doors and 55 gallon drums lined up one behind the other (we called that the A Team Test....I love it when a plan comes together)

    -kBob
     
  14. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

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    My experiences mostly mirror kBob's. On cloth alone, soft lead projectiles mushroomed slightly, HPs broke up, and hard lead "riveted" somewhat. All recovered projectiles showed cloth marks. Broadheads were substantially dulled, but quality knives didn't lose much edge at all..

    The trauma plates were tough on anything that hit them. HPs broke up spectacularly, soft and hard lead pills were unrecognizable. Broadheads blew apart like they had hit a rock (which they pretty much did, really.)
     
  15. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    These are interesting observations, particularly about edged weapons.

    I work in packing houses where employees are required to wear a kevlar glove on their non-knife hand. The gloves do a good job of preventing slicing type cuts, but you can still stab through the glove with the point of a knife.

    Not fool-proof by any means.
     
  16. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    The reason pointed objects like arrows, knives, ice picks, etc will penetrate a Kevlar vest is because Kevlar is a woven fabric.
    They will not penetrate a vest made of Spectra Shield. It's a non woven Ultra High Molecular weight Polyethylene. UMHW is also used as a bearing/anti friction material because it's slick as snot on a doorknob.
    Funny, that it stops bullets.

    Utilizing the trauma plate nullifies the test results, because you are no longer testing the ballistic panels. The trauma plate will slow down, deform, and sometimes stop threats. It is, after all, a steel plate.
    If you want to test the effectiveness of 2A, 2, and 3A panels, you have to leave out the trauma plate. The plate is designed to spread out the blunt force, but it is also a helluva barrier, in it's own right.
    The problem with steel trauma plates is that the bullet can ricochet off the plate and hit you in the chin/throat.
    I'm in the process of making several different trauma plates for my vest. I'm making synthetic plates, and different types of synthetic/steel laminate plates.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  17. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Yes hard plates really make a difference.....if the projectile hits it.

    WHen I was supposed to be flying I had a vest our folks used that had a ceramic plate front and back and some thin (compared to the old M1967 protective vest) fiber glass "vests"

    We were warned that even after passing through the OH58s plexiglass or non armored parts (pretty much only the seat had any armor) that 7.62x39 M43 would penitrate the soft bits. On the other hand the plates were supposed to be proof against .30 AP at point blank range and .50 BMG at 500 yards. Based on my experience with the M1967 "flak jacket" I feel that the soft parts of that vest might not stop an 1863 .31 Remington. My first day as an observer my pilot dispite it being peace time slipped his back plate out and sat on it. He flew in VN and insisted sitting on the plate had saved more than one friend and he preferred to practice flying while perched on the plate. It was uncomfortable until one considered the numbers 12.7 and 14.5 in millimeters.

    Interetingly there was a harness tha allowed you to where the plates without the vest. I did this a couple of times when pay Officer and they actually concealed fairly well under the old Class A Greens.

    Notice I did make this post have a BP reference!

    -kBob
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  18. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    One of my instructors in A&P school flew choppers in Nam and he got shot in the testicles and the chest, by small arms fire that came up through the belly.
    IIRC, he started sitting on a vest afterward.
    I remember him saying that the round in the chest hurt worse than the one to the scrote.

    I guess that's because we've all been kicked in the nads, but normally, not in the lungs.

    Another instructor, also a Nam vet, was there in the early days and said the Flying Banana used to have crossbow bolts stuck in the belly, and holes from muzzle loaders, when they returned to base. He was issued an M2 carbine. That tells you how early in the conflict it was. Then again, so does the Piasecki.

    There's my requisite BP reference.
     
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