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martini-henry vs kevlar

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Puncha, Sep 27, 2009.

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  1. Puncha

    Puncha Member

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    Will a modern level IIIA soft armor vest be able to stop a 577-450 slug from a martini-henry rifle at a distance of 10 yards? Assume that the round is loaded to original british army specs and that the rifle is the mark I version.
     
  2. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    would say the soft lead, large frontal area and low MV would work in the vests favor.

    But I don't know if Kevlar could handle it or not.
     
  3. gallo

    gallo Member

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    You may just die from blunt trauma.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Soft body armor penetration is directly related to the velocity of the bullet.
    Fast burns on through, while slow gets stopped.

    The 577/450's 480 grain bullet at 1,350 FPS is slow.

    However, even if the bullet didn't make it through, the blunt force truma from a soft vest would probably kill you anyway with that long heavy rifle bullet punching you.

    rc
     
  5. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah, I dunno about penetration, but I would NOT be volunteering to take that hit even if I was satisfied that it would not make it through the kevlar. That would be brutal.

    Mike
     
  6. alemonkey

    alemonkey Member

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    It might not penetrate the kevlar, but it might drag the kevlar vest through your body along with the bullet :) That's a big slug.
     
  7. atblis

    atblis Member

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    I dunno, that bullet actually has a pretty good sectional density (on par with a 200gr+ 308 bullet). I think it might actually do it.
     
  8. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    If the vest would stop a standard 12 ga slug I'd hazard a guess that it would stop the Martini-Henry. Roughly the same weight and velocity.
     
  9. Nicodemus38

    Nicodemus38 Member

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    50-90 has been proven to penetrate and fling "bulletproof" vests around. at such a short range, unless you have a quality vest designed to stop RIFLE rounds such as a 30-06 using military ammo, it will most likely go through.
    even if it doesnt, at such a range and such a heavy bullet energy, it will probably create more then enough energy to stop vital organs such as the heart or lungs on impact.

    its the famous "is a 10 foot distance from an exploding hand grenade a hit or a miss drill sergeant?'
     
  10. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    This looks like a job for the Box o Truth...
     
  11. alemonkey

    alemonkey Member

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    I remember hearing about that test. If I recall correctly so LEO's were testing vests at a range where a guy happened to be shooting a 50-90 so they tried it out just for fun, thinking it wouldn't penetrate. Apparently it really did a number on the kevlar.
     
  12. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    And what is old is new again...

    Seriously, though? We're witnessing a revolution in protective technology. For the first time since the advent of firearms, it is realistic for a soldier to be equipped with body armor that is proof (for a few shots, at least) against the weapon he carries. This is truly revolutionary, and hasn;t happened in, what, 500 years? More?

    I don't think the full implication of that has hit home with our planners just yet, because right now we have it both ways- our foes shoot rounds that our armor can defeat (under the right conditions), and they're too disorganized and poor to have equivalent armor that can defeat our rounds. Once we go up against a first-rate opponent again, we may end up having trouble on either side of the equation- perhaps we'll encounter opponents with better armor, or perhaps someone will end up going back to full-power rifle rounds and buck the 60 year trend towards intermediate power cartridges.

    Mike
     
  13. natman

    natman Member

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    A 12 ga slug is roughly the same weight, but of much bigger diameter (.73 vs .45). This gives the Martini bullet a much better sectional density, so it will penetrate better.

    Both are large and slow, so they might not penetrate the vest. However, I wouldn't want to be wearing the vest while the proposition was being tested.
     
  14. alemonkey

    alemonkey Member

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    I think that's a good point, Coronach. We won't be fighting Jihadis forever, and some day when we go up against a modern army the current direction the stuffed shirts are moving our military in is going to look short sighted.
     
  15. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Remember this: A bullet doesn't have to fully penetrate body armor to defeat it. NIJ tests include how deep a depression the bullet leaves in the medium, whether or not the round penetrated. If the depression is deep enough to have severely damaged internal organs, the vest will not be rated for that round, even if the bullet was stopped.
     
  16. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Not exactly. Burning through is an issue for calibers/bullet shapes that might not want to otherwise pass between the fibers, so you would need the hyper velocity to make them defeat the armor via blunt force. However, you can slowly press and ice pick right through. You can pass through a spire pointed 9mm round (copper, not lead) at 1100-1200 fps where a ball or hollowpoint round would not pass of the same caliber and velocity.

    If the round can separate the fibers, it can pass right through and it doesn't have to be going hugely fast to necessarily do so.
     
  17. Eightball

    Eightball Member

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    So, it seems that a better question would be if a martini-henry round would cavitate your internal organs regardless of penetration of a vest?

    My vote would be "probably."
     
  18. hammerklavier

    hammerklavier Member

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    I've thought about that, it is pretty amazing. In fact, back in the armored knights days, the swords could penetrate chain mail. The advent of heavier plate armor brought a change of weapons: the mace; to inflict blunt force trauma trough the armor as it were. All armored systems were always somewhat susceptible to arrows. Although, the English mitigated their effect with felt padding, and the Mongols with silk.

    The end effect (should battle armor become common in other places than the USA and Europe) will be that the soldiers will began carrying more powerful rifles once again (or death rays).
     
  19. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    When body armor that can defeat the current generation of small arms becomes prevalent, there are already solution on hand that just haven't been compelling for current operations. Rifle fired flechettes lack the wounding power of conventional bullets, but their penetration is unrivaled. Explosive rounds are already on track - e.g. XM25 and MX-307.

    The currently available armor can already defeat full power rifle rounds, so stepping back will accomplish nothing.

    Mission gear evolves to meet the operational requirements.
     
  20. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    Rifle-fired flechettes? Don't they also have ballistic issues?

    Current armor can defeat full-powered rounds, but for practical purposes it's limited to chest plates, AFAIK. And no one is limited to just going to what we think of as "full-powered, AP" rounds. One way to deal with it is to go even bigger, with well constructed AP bullets. Sure, you limit ammo carriage and rate of fire, but you will rapidly exceed the ability of armor to keep up (absent the inevitable technological shift on that side of the equation). The other way is what you said- explosive rounds, or eeking superior penetration out of the existing rounds.

    One way or the other, this is an interesting development.

    Mike
     
  21. Puncha

    Puncha Member

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    What if you were shot from a distance?

    Okay so we've established that it is not a good idea to take lead from a martini henry up close.......

    But if the slug impacted from 50 or even 100 yards away, would level IIIA armor make it survivable w/o blunt trauma killing you?
     
  22. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    [Science fiction geek mode]

    I recall that was a minor point in Jerry Pournelle's stuff set in the CoDominium -- full body protection against small arms was common place, so troops had to carry battle rifle-ish sort of weapons to defeat it.

    (Though more science fictiony would be a rail gun shooting something like 4x45 tungsten/steel darts just under friction melt velocities . . .)

    [/science fiction geek mode]
     
  23. atblis

    atblis Member

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    Same bullet now going probably somewhere between 1300 and 1400 fps (assuming it started at 1500 fps). It would still hurt.
     
  24. danweasel

    danweasel Member

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    Time for some double-quote action!

    As a follow on question, does any other military equip it's soldiers with body armor to the level of the US? I know a lot of NATO troops have armor but do ALL of the support troops have it too (Like in the US)? What about possible enemy countries? Just curious...

    Oh and lest I be accused of hijacking: My money is on full blown penetration from 10 yards.
     
  25. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    The have cost of production issues and long range accuracy issues. Rifle flechettes that could penetrated 3/16 armored plate were demonstrated in 1962 (see Ezell's "The deadliest weapon that never was"). The Steyr ACR also had armor piercing capabilities far beyond any small arm now fielded. The problem with weapon like the Steyr ACR is that they had a dispersion that did not allow for pinpoint accuracy. Of course the whole theory of the SPIW and its decedents was that rifles are unnecessarily over-accurate for general combat, and a high rate of fire burst, with a controlled nutation would produce the highest hit probabilities.

    The killer for flechettes was and is their lack of lethality. Unlike spitzer type bullets that become unstable when transiting media (such as going from air into flesh) due the center of gravity being well behind the center of aerodynamic pressure, flechettes are very stable when changing media. The fins that give them stability on air work equally well in tissue.

    see this thread: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=366659

    Winchester did determine that it was possible to produce flechettes that had excellent penetration but would fracture at the waist when striking tissue, resulting in two wide wound tracks and increasing lethality significantly. Whether such a round would meet Hague compliance is another matter.

    Bt anyone who has ever seen a tank APFSDS will understand that flechettes are the ideal projectile for defeating armor.

    Steyr ACR ammunition

    [​IMG]
     
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