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Posted: 3/22/2006 12:43:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 1:33:49 PM EDT by Old_Painless]
I have a friend that is a member of AR15.com, contact me about a shoot he was involved in a while back. I will not give his name or department or even state.

His note said (paraphrased):

"Hi OP,

I am a SWAT sniper and was involved in a shooting a while back. The bad guy was a crazy guy that was hold up in a building and threatening to kill citizens and police officers. The SWAT Team was called in and I was on the rifle. We found out that he had put on three bullet-proof vests, with trauma plates, one on top of the other.

My partner and I discussed the possibility that he might exit his cover shooting and do so at a run. In that case, I might have to take a body shot. We wondered if the .308 would penetrate three vests and plates.

We were also concerned as the Entry Team was carrying .40 S&W pistols and a couple had AR15 rifles. Would these penetrate either the back of the vests (where there were no plates) or the front, where there were plates?

As it turned out, he came out of the cover at a walk and pointed a gun at some people and said he was going to kill them. I took a head shot, stopping him.

My question to you is: Would the .308 have penetrated 3 vests and plates? And what about the .40 S&W and the AR15?"

He agreed to send me some vests and plates that are similar to what the bag guy was wearing.

Here's what we will test:

1. Would the AR15 have penetrated the vests and plates? How about the .308?

2. Would a .40 S&W have penetrated the soft armor, without the plates? The AR15?

Here's the set-up:

I rebuilt the clay, Box O' Truth. This box allows us to place modeling clay behind the vests to more closely simulate a human body. Most vests will only work if they are backed up by either a human body or clay.



I couldn't talk Tman into wearing the vests, hence the clay.

The SWAT Sniper was set up at approximately 58 yards from the target. So, and we set up the test at 58 yards.

Here it is, ready to go. We have three vests, with three plates, (2 hard and one "soft") against the box.



First, the .223.



I am shooting a Hornady 55 grain TAP round.

It punches a hole through the first plate. But did it go through?



Nope, but it put a slight dent in the clay. Where did it stop?



After punching through the second vest, it was stopped by the third vest.



Next, the .308.



We used the Federal Gold Match 168 grain bullet, same as the SWAT Sniper. I will be using my Accuracy International AE.

It punched a big hole through the first plate. But did it penetrate all three?



Here's the back of the vests.



No exit! But a big dent in the clay.

Where did it stop? It went through 2 plates and was stopped by the third "soft" trauma plate.



I'm glad I wasn't betting money on that shot. I'd have lost.

What if they didn't have to go through the plates? Could they shoot through three vests, without plates?

Let's try the .40 S&W. A HydraShok out of my Glock.



It was stopped by the first vest.



Even with 3 vests, it still made a slight dent in the clay.



Here's the recovered bullet:



What if they had had to use the .223 at close range without any plates, such as on the sides or rear? Here's the .223 at 7 yards. (Note the piece of brass in the air.)



An ugly exit from the third vest:



I opened up the hole and recovered a small piece of the bullet.




Lessons Learned:

1. A SWAT Sniper needs to know a lot of facts, even before the shot might be taken. My friend said that he was very concerned about shooting against 3 vests and plates, but if the bad guy was running, he might have had to take such a shot.

Good thing that he didn't have to take it. It doesn't look like it would have penetrated 3 vests and 3 plates. Who'd have thought it?

They also stopped the .223 TAP round.

2. What about 3 vests at close range without the plates? They stopped the .40 S&W with no problem.

But the .223 went right through.

I've said it before.....rifles are rifles and pistols are pistols.

I never cease to learn things at the range. Besides, shooting stuff is fun.


Thanks to Tman for the photo help and for the use of the Truck O' Truth.



Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:47:32 PM EDT
Excellent as always.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:47:34 PM EDT
SWEET!

Thanks OP
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:47:43 PM EDT
That's just cool
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:49:01 PM EDT
Interesting experiment.

So the guy was WEARING three vests, all three with plates?
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:49:22 PM EDT
Damn OP, thats a lot of Cha-Ching in armor. Sweet Test.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:49:34 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:49:44 PM EDT
You lucky dog!

Thanks
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:49:53 PM EDT
Thanks, O_P!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:50:18 PM EDT
Theser are the best posts on this site -- the effort is much appreciated!!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:51:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Steve_T_M:
Interesting experiment.

So the guy was WEARING three vests, all three with plates?



Yep, just like my test.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:52:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 1:35:26 PM EDT by ironoxbows]
Accuracy International AE

{The Joker} Where does he get those wonderful toys?! {/The Joker}



Well done once again.....
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:53:00 PM EDT
Very good information, as always.


- BG
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:53:19 PM EDT
Just like there's no such thing as too much training - there's no such thing as too much knowledge and CERTAINLY never too much B.O.T.!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:54:16 PM EDT
Sweet!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:54:33 PM EDT
Very cool test. Thanks dude!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:54:36 PM EDT
Oh wow, I would have thought the .308 would have penetrated.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:54:41 PM EDT
crap, now i gotta get more plates and vests
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:55:49 PM EDT
I kinda figured that 3 vests with plates would have stopped pretty much any round shy of at least a .338 Lapua. Do we know what level vests the perp was wearing at the time of the incident? If it was a level III vest or above then the round probably wouldn't have even made it through the first vest. I guess that's why it's always a good idea to carry a few rounds of AP! MJD
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:56:06 PM EDT
once again, thank you for the information.


These are always well thought out and interesting (shooting stuff is always fun).

I can't believe Tman wouldn't wear the vests in "the interest of scienctific research"



Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:56:22 PM EDT
This is my favorite test yet.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:58:31 PM EDT
Thanks Old_Painless Love the info I get from these
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:58:31 PM EDT
[furiously scribbling notes]
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:59:24 PM EDT
Another excellent test Old_Painless! Thanks!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:59:32 PM EDT
The "Chairman of the Board" comes through again with an incredibly useful and informational report.

O_P, you are one marvelous guy!

HH
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:59:40 PM EDT
Wow, that is an awesome post.

I would have also bet the .308 would have blown through, like a hot knife through butter.

Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:00:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By j-fonz:
This is my favorite test yet.



Mine too.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:00:54 PM EDT
Interesting


I have a suggestion. Have you bult an exterior wall of truth? Drywall, insulation, osb, and siding. I think it would be interest to see if the insulation and siding would affect penetration.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:03:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By HoustonHusker:
The "Chairman of the Board" comes through again with an incredibly useful and informational report.

O_P, you are one marvelous guy!

HH



Aw shucks.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:03:44 PM EDT
Mods...How about a forum dedicated solely to OP's "<blank> O' Truth" tests?
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:03:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By krpind:
Wow, that is an awesome post.

I would have also bet the .308 would have blown through, like a hot knife through butter.




You and I would have both lost money.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:04:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 1:07:15 PM EDT by Red-Bucket-98]
OP really needs his own forum here on AR15.

The Forum of Truth!

ETA: Beaten by twenty seconds.

Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:05:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By krpind:
Wow, that is an awesome post.

I would have also bet the .308 would have blown through, like a hot knife through butter.




You and I would have both lost money.



Did you do a shot from the sniper's position that didn't hit the trauma plates to see if it would go through the vests alone at that distance?
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:05:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JIMBEAM:
Interesting


I have a suggestion. Have you bult an exterior wall of truth? Drywall, insulation, osb, and siding. I think it would be interest to see if the insulation and siding would affect penetration.



I haven't done exterior wall tests yet.

But I can tell you that insulation makes no difference at all.

www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot12.htm

Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:05:17 PM EDT
Good stuff.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:05:57 PM EDT
Im new to this, so excuse the learning curve:

where the rounds hit the vests, but did not go through, but cause the massive indentation into the clay.

What type of injury would this be similar to? It looks like those shots would have hit a sternum or rib cag. It would obviously shatter those bones? And cause them to puncture vital organs/vessels?

Just curious since it did not 'go through', what would be the end result to a bad guy if they did get hit with one of those rounds and what damange/state of consciousness (sp) they would be in afterwards.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:06:28 PM EDT
Thanks OP for all the tests! I enjoy seeing them.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:06:30 PM EDT
Reason enough to post the following.


OP and Tman in 08!



Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:06:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wombat_SCSO:
Did you do a shot from the sniper's position that didn't hit the trauma plates to see if it would go through the vests alone at that distance?



52 yards is no "distance" for either a .223 or a .308. Both would have no problem with the vests without plates.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:06:40 PM EDT
Very good post.
Maybe this is a case for having a couple of AP rounds in your kit.
I would also liked to have seen what my 338LM have done with 250BTHP.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:09:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By chromeluv:
Im new to this, so excuse the learning curve:

where the rounds hit the vests, but did not go through, but cause the massive indentation into the clay.

What type of injury would this be similar to? It looks like those shots would have hit a sternum or rib cag. It would obviously shatter those bones? And cause them to puncture vital organs/vessels?

Just curious since it did not 'go through', what would be the end result to a bad guy if they did get hit with one of those rounds and what damange/state of consciousness (sp) they would be in afterwards.




Flesh is surprisingly resilient, and bone is stronger than you think. The clay represents the MOST the flesh would move at all, and then the flesh would return back to it's former shape, probably none the worse for wear. There's a video floating around here where a guy was shot in the trauma plate by an FAL at close range, and experienced no ill effects.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:09:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By j-fonz:
This is my favorite test yet.



+1

As always, great test O_P!

LOVE that AI .308!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:10:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By chromeluv:
Im new to this, so excuse the learning curve:

where the rounds hit the vests, but did not go through, but cause the massive indentation into the clay.

What type of injury would this be similar to? It looks like those shots would have hit a sternum or rib cag. It would obviously shatter those bones? And cause them to puncture vital organs/vessels?

Just curious since it did not 'go through', what would be the end result to a bad guy if they did get hit with one of those rounds and what damange/state of consciousness (sp) they would be in afterwards.



I am no medical doctor, but RDs (Real Doctors) have posted in my threads about this in the past. I can tell you what they said, paraphrased:

While a big dent in the clay would indicate a "painful" hit, they would probably not break ribs or bones. They would be painful, but not disabilitating.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:10:34 PM EDT
The .308 didn't penetrate the 3 vests,but I wonder if it would have
been enough force to knock him down for a second shot ?

Would this be like being hit by a baseball from a pitching machine ,
or more like being hit full force with a baseball bat ?
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:12:16 PM EDT
Well done as usual OP.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:12:46 PM EDT
Interesting...

But what about AP rounds?

Will M885 go thru 3 vests and 3 plates?
Will 7.62 NATO AP round go thru the same combination?

Inquiry mind want to know.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:13:24 PM EDT
Awesome!

Quick Question:

What was the NIJ rating of the three vests in your tests, and the three plates (or two, if the soft plate was just a trauma plate)?

Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:13:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cobrasks:
The .308 didn't penetrate the 3 vests,but I wonder if it would have
been enough force to knock him down for a second shot ?

Would this be like being hit by a baseball from a pitching machine ,
or more like being hit full force with a baseball bat ?



I don think it would have been enough to make him go down,it would hurt like hell though.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:14:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By chromeluv:
Im new to this, so excuse the learning curve:

where the rounds hit the vests, but did not go through, but cause the massive indentation into the clay.

What type of injury would this be similar to? It looks like those shots would have hit a sternum or rib cag. It would obviously shatter those bones? And cause them to puncture vital organs/vessels?

Just curious since it did not 'go through', what would be the end result to a bad guy if they did get hit with one of those rounds and what damange/state of consciousness (sp) they would be in afterwards.



You could proabably count on a big bruise and maybe a couple broken ribs, but I wouldnt count on that taking the guy out of the fight. It may or may not have stopped the guy, but he probably wouldnt be critically wounded by a round that didnt penetrate all the vests.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:17:19 PM EDT
sounds like the cops need AP!
good test
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:18:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cobrasks:
The .308 didn't penetrate the 3 vests,but I wonder if it would have
been enough force to knock him down for a second shot ?

Would this be like being hit by a baseball from a pitching machine ,
or more like being hit full force with a baseball bat ?



It would not have knocked him down, unless he was surprised and "scared" into falling.

As noted above, there are videos of guys standing on one foot and getting shot with a .308 onto a vest and they do not fall.

The Clay Box O' Truth weighs about 50+ pounds and was not clamped to the saw horses. It did not fall over when shot.
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