What defeats body armor?

I'm just wondering cause i was looking into vests...

Class III can stop 7.62 x 63 mm 180 GR, SP going 2540 ft./sec... which equals out to 2,487 ft.lbs....

How about a littler 110 grain which is hot loaded? 110 grain loaded with 60.5 grains of IMR 4320?? vel. is 3470.... crunch the numbers and that's 2,941 ft. lbs at the muzzle.. Lighter round, but going faster and hitting harder.... How about the 250 grain 06 rounds? Which are going slower, but are packing over 3,000 ft. lbs


Well yeah i figured that AP rounds would take the armor down, but not every thug has those.. I was just talking regular bullets

14 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    Actual foot pounds of energy is not an indication of a rounds ability to defeat body armor. For larger bullets like the 45acp - the energy is spread out over a large surface........ where a 30cal rifle projectile is concentrated in a smaller area.

    Velocity of the round is important. 900ftlbs of energy spread over 2 milliseconds of time may not shear the Kevlar. Go to a faster projectile and deliver that energy in less time - you create more stress on the fibers.

    Bullet construction comes into play next. Typical lead and hollow point bullets are going to warp or mushroom - this greater surface area would be a benefit when hunting, but, becomes a disadvantage against body armor.

    Last - consider the bullet design. Steel cores are not going to expand and are effective against fiber armor and some trauma plates - where as the 'cup' design of modern M16 green tip ammo if highly effective against flack vest and fiber body armor - yet has little penetration on the trauma plate.

    The other issue many people do not know or consdier - most body armor is not resistant at all to a knife attack. This is why your local police and trooper vest are still kinda bulky - these versions offer the officer some protection against sharp blade attacks.

    You also need to consider the laws of physics. Body armor may stop the bullet - but the person hit isn't going to jump right up and dance the night away .......... it's probably on U-Tube somewhere - the guy who invented the 'Second Chance" soft body armor. He would travel from police station to police station and have people shoot him while wearing his vest. His torso was on big black and blue bruise - even though he put several thick NewYork phone books behind it to prevent injury. Getting hit with a vest on is gonna be a big owie.

  • 3 years ago

    Class 4 Body Armor

  • Logan
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    Bullet composition, sectional density, and velocity have more to do with armor penetration than muzzle energy. A vest may stop a 12 gauge slug, but it doesn't mean it will stop a steel core 5.56 with the same energy. It will however still ruin your weekend just due to the impact and crushing damage it does without penetration.

    Also, I don't believe a Class III will stop a 30-06 as easily as you think. Perhaps from an angle at range, but point blank at that velocity, I wouldn't be surprised to see it punch right through and stop on the other side. The 110 grain will go through anything short of a Class IV plate for sure. You have a better chance of stopping heavier slower rounds with soft points than lighter, faster rounds, with higher sectional denisity that are constructed to avoid flattening out.

    If you want to stop 30 caliber (7.62x25, 7.62x39, 7.62x51, 7.62x54R, 7.62x63, etc...) you need to look beyond Class III and IIIA, and go straight to Class IV.

  • akluis
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    raw energy is one way, pushing to higher velocities is another, or a solid steel core (not the softer steel core used because steel is cheaper than lead)

    30-06 AP ammo will breech class 3 armor, you need class 4 to stop that, and even that will only stop a single shot normally.

    some of the very strong designed for holding together under high speeds and or deep penetration premium bullets do almost as well as dedicated AP bullets.

    I think given the two choices of an extra light bullet going extra fast vs a slow heavy bullet, the fast bullet will have a good chance of penetrating class 3 armor

    I know the 257 weatherby magnum will penetrate class 3 armor like nothing

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  • 4 years ago

    Virtually all modern high velocity rifles rounds will defeat most body armor but to quote G. Gordon Liddy, aim for the head since you know they will be wearing armor.

  • 10 years ago

    I shoot my .300 Win Mag at a 1/2 inch steel plate from 100 yards on my property... each bullet punches right through the steel and into the tree/berm behind it. I feel confident that a .300Win Mag, .300Weatherby or .300 Remington Ultra Mag would penetrate Class III armor.

  • 10 years ago

    Speed and size are part of the equation, but probably just as or maybe even more important is bullet construction.

  • 10 years ago

    Head shots defeat body armor.

  • 10 years ago

    PTRD armor piercing

    Source(s): enough said
  • 10 years ago

    I'm thinking RPG-7...

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