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Posted: 4/16/2006 12:06:30 PM EST
I noticed that I had my old Second Chance Level IIIA Ultima Zylon® ballistic vest from back when I worked in the PD in my closet. These things have to be replaced every few years, and mine was manufactured back in 2001. Zylon® is also the material that went under extreme scrutiny and was pulled off of the market because it did not last as long as other materials, despite manufacturers’ claims. Second Chance offered either a discount on another vest or an upgrade “Performance Pack” to bring the Zylon® vest back to spec, and that’s what I opted for at the time. Since the whole vest is expired now anyway, I figured I may as well shoot the thing and see if it still works. I got my Glock 23 (.40 SW) and a HK USP 9 Compact (9mm) to test it with.


Second Chance Ultima IIIA Vest

I shot it with a .40 Hornady TAP FPD round first. The vest was placed against a wooden platform, and the vest had the blue Performance Pack installed. Here are pics from that shot.







The Performance Pack stopped the round, and also the FMJs in both calibers afterwards. A few bullets went into the old yellow ballistic panel below, but it stopped them. Once up to 10 rounds through the front, a couple fully penetrated the vest. A side shot of the ballistic panel completely penetrated, probably because it was near the edge of the material. First pic below is of another shot captured by the PP, and the second is the side penetration.




When shooting the Performance Pack itself, there was penetration. Like the note on it says, it can’t provide stand-alone protection. The yellow regular panel, though old, still held up on its own to several rounds. First pic is of the penetration from only shooting a stand-alone PP panel once. The second and third pics are of a round caught by shooting the old regular panel alone (after a few hits).





So, this was no scientific test, but even though the vest is 5 years old it still stopped several rounds, with and without the performance pack. I just thought you might like to see the photos at least. Oh, here are the recovered bullets. I could not find two or three that fully penetrated, though.

Link Posted: 4/16/2006 12:08:18 PM EST
Cool.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 12:11:31 PM EST
Neat!
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 12:13:26 PM EST
Keen!
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 12:15:33 PM EST
O_P's copyright lawers will be contacting you shortly
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 12:20:59 PM EST
Nifty.

I got one of those and got the performance pack back then also. The more I've read about ALL vests, they last much longer than the manufacturer will state. Not that I want to trust my life everyday on an expired vest, but during SHTF scneario I'd gladly put on an expired Zylon vest rather than no vest.

Moral to the story...keep your old vests and try to keep them in good condition (no temp extremes, lay flat, etc..) 'cause you never know....

Your results mirror info I'd gotten from Second Chance people back when the Zylon issue was in full alert. Your Zylon vest will probably stop what it was intended to stop which is to say more likely than not, but there are/were too many wear issues/variables to be able to predict performance....
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 12:22:37 PM EST
Bitchin'
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 12:26:03 PM EST
I should also add that the shooting occured from 7yds away.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 12:50:16 PM EST
single bump
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 12:52:34 PM EST
Did you use beamz?
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 11:47:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By NME:
Did you use beamz?



Negative.
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 11:52:42 AM EST
If the vest had been backed by clay or ballistics gel, I wonder if the rounds that penetrated would have done so. I always hear that a vest that isn't backed properly is pretty easy to penetrate.
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 11:53:19 AM EST

Originally Posted By Napoleon_Tanerite:
O_P's copyright lawers will be contacting you shortly




+1 you should change it to The Old Zylon® Vest-Of-UNCERTAINTY
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 11:54:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/17/2006 11:55:58 AM EST by MuRDoC]

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
If the vest had been backed by clay or ballistics gel, I wonder if the rounds that penetrated would have done so. I always hear that a vest that isn't backed properly is pretty easy to penetrate.



yea it has to be backed or it to work right, it's a great vest if it stopped them without the backing
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 11:57:53 AM EST

Originally Posted By MuRDoC:

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
If the vest had been backed by clay or ballistics gel, I wonder if the rounds that penetrated would have done so. I always hear that a vest that isn't backed properly is pretty easy to penetrate.



yea it has to be backed or it to work right, it's a great vest if it stopped them without the backing



Phone books work well.
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 12:02:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
If the vest had been backed by clay or ballistics gel, I wonder if the rounds that penetrated would have done so. I always hear that a vest that isn't backed properly is pretty easy to penetrate.



I concur.
You should have used a clay backing for a slightly more scientific result.
Still a good post though.
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 12:48:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:

Originally Posted By MuRDoC:

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
If the vest had been backed by clay or ballistics gel, I wonder if the rounds that penetrated would have done so. I always hear that a vest that isn't backed properly is pretty easy to penetrate.



yea it has to be backed or it to work right, it's a great vest if it stopped them without the backing



Phone books work well.



yes they do, I've only tried them wet though
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 1:05:10 PM EST
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