The Box O’ Truth #16 – Level IIIA Armor

A while back, my friend Michael contacted me, he said, “I am sending you some “shootpacks” (18″x18″)

The one condition is that you not mention my name or the supplier. Because your setup is informal, they would not want to have their name connected with the testing since you don’t have a NIJ-certified laboratory setup.

For your information, body armor material is designed to work when worn by a human.

Humans are compressible.

IIIA material will work when put on a person or over 4″ of ballistic clay, but if you just put IIIA material over concrete or over boards, it will fail.”

Is this a great job or what!

16-1

The box contains Modeling Clay from Hobby Lobby.

I hung the armor over the front.

First 9mm.

I shot 115 gr. JHP out of my Glock 34.

16-2

It flattened it out on the third sheet.

The “shoot pack” had 28 sheets or layers.

Notice how it did not “fill” the hollow point, but just flattened it out.

16-3

This is the dent in the clay.

16-4

Then .45 ACP, Hydrashock JHP.

16-5

Again, it was flattened completely.

And notice the dent in the clay.

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How about a .40 S&W?

It was stopped in the second layer.

16-7

But it made a nasty dent.

16-8

We decided to try a round of 9mm Ball because that is most commonly used in the Sandbox.

Notice how it flattened out the ball.

16-9

This armor isn’t designed to stop rifle fire, but why not try the trusty AR15?

You can see that Tman has just hit the target and blown it up.

Notice the orange clip in the air.

16-10

How’s that for a kill shot?

16-11

We didn’t set this up, but look at the jacket laying in the hole.

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16-13

These are the remains of the M-193.

How about 12 gauge 00 Buck?

Here I am turning it loose.

16-14

It only penetrated 2 layers.

This is the dent in the clay.

This is the dent in the clay.

The pellets were caught between the second and third layers.

16-16

Here they are after I dug them out of the armor.

Here they are after I dug them out of the armor.

Well, what about a 12 gauge Slug?

Notice the impact.

Notice the impact.

It penetrated several layers, but flattened out completely.

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And this is the dent it made in the clay.

And this is the dent it made in the clay.

How about, as Gunny Highway said, “The prefered weapon of our enemy”, the 7.62 X 39.

16-21

It went right through the armor, just as expected.

It only made a small entry.

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But it was clear that there was a larger hole beneath.

So, I dug away the top layer, and this is what I found.

Ugly.

16-23

Lessons learned:
  1. Level IIIA armor stopped the handgun bullets tested, just as designed. Either JHPs or Ball.
  2. Once again, “Rifles are rifles and pistols are pistols”. Rifles went right through, just as expected.
  3. The armor stopped 00 Buck and Rifled Slugs.
  4. If your adversery is wearing armor, don’t depend on pistols or shotguns. Go for a rifle. As Clint Smith says, “The only purpose for a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should have never laid down”.
  5. And, as always, shooting stuff is fun.

Thanks to Michael for the armor, and thanks to Tman for the photo help.