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Bruno, I have a few ideas which might help you.

First, I'd like to suggest that you obtain some mild steel of a sort which is available to you. If possible, ascertain the grade and record it.

Then test it yourself. I know that there is a shooting community in South Africa, so it might be a matter of finding someone who could put in some time to give you a hand.

Record the results photographically, and put them up on this forum. I would be delighted to see them myself.

Another thing to consider, while you experiment, would be steel in combination with other substances. For example, what happens if you bake a ceramic layer on top of, or beneath the steel? Or lead? Weight for weight, does it stop bullets better, or worse? What if you have a sprayed on plastic layer, such as is used to protect the beds of pickup trucks? What if you have a layer of leather on top of which and beneath which you have layers of steel platelets stitched on? Does the leather help to absorb the impact? What if it is fully tanned, but full grain leather? What if it is rawhide?

I don't know how the circumstances might require you to take your life in your hands, but I saw that many of the strikers were armed with cold steel. How well is a strike from a spear blocked?

Another option might be other metals. Various alloys might offer better options.

I hope that this gives you food for thought, and I am genuinely curious to hear what you got.
 

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I suspect that one of the strong points of the spray-on coating which is used on pickup truck beds is that it helps distribute impact over a wider area on the strike.

I have a sort of vision of a steel plate, coated in that stuff, then cut up and drilled to be stitched onto a kevlar or similar backing, in scales. It should be like a poor man's equivalent of that dragonskin bulletproof stuff.
 
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