Talk:Ballistic vest/Archive1

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Etymology of bullet-proof in History[edit]

Firearms made their entry at the end of the medieval era. When many knights and nobles purchased their new breast plates, they wanted “proof” that the armor would protect them from early bullets. Armor makers would shoot the breast plates, and the resulting dent in the new armor was provided as evidence that it was “bullet-proofed”.

This absolutely reeks of a false etymology. Can anyone provide sources?

I'm not the one who wrote the above quote in the article, but I have heard it before. I don't have an actual source, but I read it at the Arms and Armor gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. They had a sign explaining the term next to some bullet-proofed armor. According to the sign, the dent in the armor was often incorporated into the armor's decoration. TomTheHand 13:52, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I just saw this stated on Modern Marvels on the History Channel.
Agreed, I've also seen this stated on History Channel. --Umrguy42 (talk) 23:30, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Man that is one ugly picture. Can't anyone find a nice pic of a marine or navy seal? What about those cool looking anti-terrorist guys on the NY police force?

I would like the secont the ugly pic comment, why not get a pic of some more appropriate vest usage!

It would be nice to verify the UL standard. Unfortunately, UL charges $210 for it ($445 if you want a hardcopy). Anybody got a copy they can double-check? -- Ortonmc 01:19, 26 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Here's a link to the Google HTML converted cache of NIS Standard 0101.04 since the server hosting the link I posted appears to be down at the moment. Alereon 10:46, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)

Paragraph 3 of the history section seems rather discombobulated, specifically the two references to armor in the second half with only one type of armor named. Does anyone know what the name for this second type of armor is or can the confusion be cleared up somehow? Ixti Ikari-kun 13:04, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

could somebody please fix the table here? --Musschrott 19:00, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Moved page from "bullet-proof vest" to "bulletproof vest", as non-hyphenated form turns up more hits on Google and lists "bulletproof" as the primary form of the word. --Lowellian 01:54, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

Does anyone have good information about the resistance against projectiles such as arrows or quarrels? --blades 01:07, May 16, 2004 (UTC)

Sharp edges such as knives, hunting arrows, and shrapnel will cut through the fibers in bullet-resistant soft body armor, penetrating the armor with ease. Bulletproof vests that incorporate hard "threat plates" (made from ceramic, titanium, or a kevlar weave embedded in plastic) will provide protection from such threats. Flak jackets use a material that is designed to snag the jagged edges of shrapnel, which is why it's ineffective against bullets or other threats. I am, however, not an armorer so take my words with the usual salt. Alereon 09:35, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)
Is it just the lighter versions of ballistic vests that are ineffective against crossbow bolts or is even type V of little use against them? Jon (talk) 15:41, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Added link to a article with some technical details, because I thought something like that would be useful if someone wants some in-depth understanding about such complex matter which cannot be gained from a general article. Of course, it wouldn't hurt if some more construction details would be included in this article as well. --Arny 21:47, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Stopping rifle rounds[edit]

The section on rifle bullet core types and ceramic protection was removed as incorrect "urban legend". I have replaced the text and added references to support the material. If this section still has points which are in dispute for technical content please note the issue here in the discussion page so that the matter can be cleared up. The area of rife bullet performance is quite complex and the nomenclature for these bullets is very confusing. The bullet diameter and cartridge length is not enough to describe the bullet core, the bullet type must be included. Even this level of detail does not always clarify the threat level a bullet type. An example is getting clear agreement on the muzzle velocity for the most common bullet 7.62x39mm M43. This round can have a range of velocities from 2000fps up to 2500fps depending on the where the ammunition was made and the weapon use. We need to attempt to help clarify this section if there are points of confusion. --Bodyarmor (talk) 21:43, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm no expert but I've read that current standard issue US Army protective vest is able to stop an AK47 round at point blank.

No way. At that range it will go through the individual and any body else behind him. Shots fired from a rifle or a machine gun? Forget it.
Funny, because it's designed to do this, seeing most US adversaries use the AK-47 (or the AK-74 or some recent retreated like the AK-103). 17:11, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Interceptor armour should be able to stop it point blank, i think its rated for 3 AK shots on the trauma plate at ~10m. A video that shows how effective the armour is (WITH trauma plates) is (sorry only wmv). I think the main problem at the moment is the lack of trauma plates in serivce.

Yes, you are right. But it can stop a 7.62 x 39, not a 7.62 x 51 NATO, which would penetrate.

funny sapi plates rate m80 ball (7.62x51), isnt it? Even funnier esapi rate armor piercing m2 (3006)

The above statement is incorrect Interceptor plates WILL stop 7.62 Nato, its type III!!!!!

It would be great to get some information on the Dragon skin armor, by pinnacle armor.

Dragon skin is lv III so it should stop up to 7.62 NATO unless its an Armour Piercing round . Uber555 03:05, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

using a plate, not only soft iirc
Rifle rounds all use FMJ, so they are all armor piercing. Malamockq (talk) 00:56, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
FMJ is not armor piercing. AP has a tungsten or steel penetrator core. FMJ penetrates better than soft point in general, but not as well as AP. Interceptor WILL stop three 7.62X51 or three 7.62X54R rounds on the SAPI plateMzmadmike (talk) 13:03, 12 April 2008 (UTC)


I think this article has numerous problems. I think that they are trying to differentiate high-powered rifle rounds from assault weapons? Rmhermen 15:02, Jul 31, 2004 (UTC)
I hope that my edits to the performance standards section address some of your concerns. Alereon 10:49, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)

Removal of the "Urban Legends" section[edit]

I have removed this section because I believe that nearly the entirety of the section is false and misleading. Different types of bullets DO have different penetration characteristics for body armor, and handgun bullets CAN penetrate body armor, especially the lightweight armor routinely worn by police officers. There are documented cases of handgun bullets penetrating the protective panels of bulletproof vests, especially the lightweight models used by police officers. Alereon 10:14, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)

I agree, and with the wiki format I don't think that the inclusion of urban legends is appropriate unless its explicitly related and intrinsic to the topic.

In relation to the statement about bullets from handguns regularly penetrating body armour. That particular vest contained a faulty material which placed it's manufacturer in a very difficult finnacial position and the poice officers in less than desirable set of circumstances see ARMOR HOLDINGS, INC. COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF SECOND CHANCE BODY ARMOR --Uncle Ming 05:25, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Restrictions on ownership[edit]

Should at least have link to another article in which legal restrictions on ownership or use are mentioned. --Daniel C. Boyer 00:28, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

"Curiously enough, bulletproof vests remain legal in many countries where firearms are heavily restricted, such as the UK." There is absolutely nothing "curious" about this. It is perfectly sound and sensible to restrict something that can harm other people while not restricting something that prevents other people from harming you. Consider any other type of weapon and you will find that it is perfectly natural to restrict weapon but not the protection. Medicins and vaccins are relatively unrestricted compared to biological warfare agents. Gas-masks and anti-nerve agents are unrestricted compared to chemical warfare agents. An air-raid shelter is rarely subject to many restrictions but a bomber certainly is. You could probably armour up your boat as much as you like but the government will object to you installing missiles or cannons. Mine-detectors are subject to fewer restrictions than mines are. Fire-fighting equipment is subject to very few restrictions but incendiary devices are rarely legal.

I have taken the liberty of editing that sentence.


While I don't disagree with your edit, I do have to say that I believe there is some sense in restricting access to bulletproof vests. Having easy access to fire-fighting equipment doesn't make it easier to be an arsonist, but having access to a bulletproof vest makes it easier and safer to rob a bank. In a country where firearms are heavily restricted, it is less likely that you'll be shot on the street, so I guess that's why the author said it was "curious" that bulletproof vests are legal in countries where you're unlikely to be shot by a criminal. TomTheHand 12:03, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I am glad you agree with my edit. I understand your logic, but I do not fully agree. If I were an non-suicidal arsonist would I like to have some fire-fighting equipment? The answer is 'perhaps'. Some light flame resistant clothing would be useful as would a simple breathing mask and perhaps a small powder extinguisher. On the other hand I must be able to get out quickly and perhaps blend into a crowd so this equipment must not make me stick out. Furthermore, possession of these items, while not illegal, could draw the police's attention to me. In the end, it is a judgement call. If I prioritize personal safety I would want such equipment, if I prioritize staying out of jail, I would not. Similarly, would I like a bullet-proof vest if I were to rob a bank? It might increase my chances of surviving a hit, but even a none-penetrating hit creates a bad bruising that hampers me and makes it harder to get away. The vest itself hampers me, makes me bigger and more conspicious. It is a judgement call. If I were to prioritize personal survival, it might be a good idea to wear a bullet-proof vest. (I am not even sure about this, though. The vest might cause the police to aim for my head!) If I prioritize getting away, I would not. Generally speaking, I think many other legal accessories are more unambigiously useful -such as a police radio.


 ::Additionally, it may SEEM reasonable to you to restrict weapons, but a great many of us who are subject matter experts find such laws ludicrous.
 The theory on banning armor seems to be that citizens should be happy to take police or criminal fire or frag, for the good of society.  That also is an offensive theory to a great many people.  "Curious" in reference to the legality/illegality of something is a definite POV violation, unless supported.  It's very curious, forex, that some countries allow computer access to people without specific needs, because of the risk of child porn.Mzmadmike (talk) 13:30, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Please don't edit the table[edit]

The table on Performance Standards is taken directly from NIS Standard 0101.04, which is a primary source. Please don't edit it, or if you feel an edit is important, mark your changes clearly in some manner. I've been [surrounding them in brackets]. Note also that Level IV is the highest body armor level. There may be types of armors that provide more protection, but describing them as "Level V" is erroneous. I've also found no Google results at all for Level V body armor, so I don't think the term is in use anywhere. Alereon 09:55, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)

All information put into the article can be edited. If you want you can link to the primary source (or in some cases add the material to Wikisource) but preserving primary text is not what we do here. In many cases, government-speak will not good encyclopedia material make. I think the brackets are a very bad idea. Rmhermen 14:03, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)
I appreciate your point of view. The way I'm looking at this is that we're providing information about performance standards for body armor by quoting a relevant passage from the actual standard. My view is that, since we're quoting the actual standard, making changes to it is like altering a direct quote from somebody. I think if we want to insert additional information into the middle of such text or change something, we need to mark it in some way like an editor would. Another option would be to get the same information across without taking a quote directly from the source, but I think in this case quoting the standard is the best way to present the information. Alereon 11:25, Dec 12, 2004 (UTC)

Is it just me or is that a giant paragraph... I can't really begin to comprehend where to begin breaking down; just wanted to point it out DevastatorIIC 08:51, Jun 9, 2005 (UTC)

Shouldn't these tables read "impacting at a MAXIMUM velocity of Xm/s or less"? To say "a minimum of X or less" is basically like saying "just X" isn't it, since you can't go less than something that's already the minimum? I've looked at NIJ Standard–0101.04 and it does indeed say "minimum", but this doesn't make a whole lot of sense this way, and I think this may actually be a typo in the NIJ standard.--Bennihana 05:32, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

What about alternative standards for bullet resistant body armour such as the UK Standard? (Found copy at

[(Found copy at] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Xtre250 (talkcontribs) 11:49, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Someone has placed this text "[provided the projectile hits the hard trauma plate]" in the table. It will be removed in 2 weeks unless someone can provide a good reason for not removing it. I have three reasons for removing it.

Firstly the text is taking the standard out of context. The standard is designed to rate armour against specific known threats. That means a standard manufactured firearm with a standard manufactured bullet in a standard test environment. It does not take into account any variables in the real world. Hand loaded ammunition fired from vehicles travelling at speed, tailwinds, high altitudes etc.

Secondly the text is incorrect. They are hard armour plates not trauma plates. "Trauma packs" are designed to reduce the amount of trauma the body sustains in a ballistic event. Armour can be heavy to get around in, so to provide a little extra protection, without increasing the weight of the armour dramatically, trauma packs, usually made of the same material as the vest, are placed over major organs.

Thirdly the text seems to infer that they are of little use. Hard armour plates are designed to stop rifle rounds which have much higher muzzle velocities than handguns or armour piercing rounds. The plates are to cover the most vital parts of your body.If you where to make a vest out of the material it would reduce your mobility to that of a medieval night. If the projectile does not hit the hard armour plate that means it has done one of three things. 1 Hit you in the head (Goodbye, so long, see you later) 2 Hit you somewhere else not vital to you staying alive with some exceptions. 3. Not hit you at all (That'll do Donkey). It's all about reducing the likelihood of death in a ballistic event. --Uncle Ming 05:26, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Suited up[edit]

Can't source it, but I've heard body armor reduces combat fatalities 10-20%. Trekphiler 20:55, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Actually, having body armor over no body armor reduces fatalities far more than that. That, with modern medical attention and excellent casualty extraction make fatalities relatively rare.

Etymology of term "Bulletproof"[edit]

I can't prove it, but the etymology here looks very much like a folk etymology. The OED treats -proof generically. Based on the OED's dating -proof is already being used generically by the late 1500s -- proof as a noun is an old French borrowing in the 11th or 12th century -- but bullet, also a French borrowing, doesn't even enter our language until the 1500s. If the dating is true, it would be just as likely that something_else-proof was applied to bullet-proof as it would be for bullet-proof to be applied to other words. Andrew.

Yes, -proof is a generic term; bulletproof is not, nor is it implied to be, the origin of the world "proof." What is meant in the History section is that the term "bulletproof" originates from how breastplates were originally "proofed," or proven to be effective, against bullets, hence bullet-proofed, hence the origin of the current word bulletproof. TomTheHand 14:11, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
According to a recent "modern marvel" show on The History Channel gave example of how armor makers would "Proof" their various styles in past times. A peice of armor might be "arrow" proof or "slash" proof. When bullets entered the battlefield, again proof against bullets would be desired, and so the makers would shoot a plate with a bullet letting the dent show that the article was "bullet" proof. The show claimed that the current use of "bulletproof" stems from this. Had bullets proven to be less effective than arrows, I suppose we could be using Arrowproof instead of Bulletproof.

SN-42 weight[edit]

Under the description of the Soviet SN-42, the weight is stated at 3.5 kilograms. It is also stated that it was too heavy for standard infantry use. Given that 3.5 kilograms is only about 8 pounds, I have a nagging suspicion there's a typo in there, and it's supposed to be 35 kilograms. Can anyone confirm/refute this? The Dark 06:15, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

I searched Google, but couldn't find anything but the one referance to 3.5 kilograms. 8 pounds does sound light. I would guess more like 20 to 30 pounds. Maybe someone else can find the true wieght in a book reference somewhere? Mytwocents 21:02, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

SN-42 protection[edit]

I corrected SN-42 protection distance. Really it was 50 meters and stated here 100-125 meters is close to max. effective range of MP40 against targets in winter closing -- (talk) 11:03, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Spider silk vests[edit]

Removed spam: I have erased this line from the future of Bulletproof vest: "Additionally, there remain many obstacles that researchers have yet to surmount in producing spider silk vests that are safe for the user. Chief of these are the unfortunate side effects of being slowly devoured over the course of several weeks and having eggs lain in your chest cavity." Iddo 23:02, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Polyethylene trauma-plates[edit]

Could someone clarify which kind of polyethylene is used for trauma-plates because there are many of them? And a side question, which physical property is most important for trauma plates in general, is it tensile strength as in the vest fibers or something else (like hardness)? --Arny 08:45, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Hardness is close to it but I can't remember what it is exactly. But trauma plates absorb energy by the creation of area as they crack when a bullet impacts it.

Incorrect info[edit]

"In recent years advances in material science have opened the door to the old idea of an actual "Bulletproof vest" that will be able to stop handgun and rifle bullets without the assistance of heavy and cumbersome extra metal or ceramic plating." Metal and ceramic plating is NOT required to stop handgun bullets, only rifle bullets. I am removing the mentioning of handgun bullets in that section.

A couple of issues. First the goal is to have a vest that will stop both handgun bullets and rifle bullets without metal or ceramic plates. As it now is, a handgun rated vest won't do much for rifle bullets. The gift of foresight is a gift which few have; when should one wear the rifle vest and when should one wear the handgun vest? I wouldn't want to guess wrong on this. Secondly, there are handgun bullets that a traditional vest without plates won't stop. The old Tokarev comes to mind. It is often a preferred handgun when possibly having to counter assailants who may be wearing handgun-rated vests. It can cut right through them; it is known for being rather skorchy for a handgun! And, to stop it, metal or ceramic plates are required. Have reverted the edit. Yaf 23:06, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Then it should be added that soft armor stops most handgun rounds and plates are (with that exception) only needed for rifle rounds.

"Canadian legislation makes it legal to wear and to purchase body armor such as bullet proof vests. However, there are current proposals to the legislation to make it illegal to wear such body armor during the commission of a criminal offence."

Hmmm... Isn't it illegal to commit a criminal offence anyway :-S?


There's a new type of ceramic armor called Dragonskin(prototype at the moment). It's sort of ceramic scale-mail covered on both sides with Kevlar. Perhaps someone down the line should add that to a disambiguation on the Dragonskin page? I'd rather not screw it up myself. ^_^

ahh dragon skin its been certified sice December at lv 3 Uber555 03:10, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

most of Pinnacle's armor has been DEcertified, they're facing lawsuits by the US military for claiming levels of protection that were never tested by NIJ, and the claim that M14s shoot 7.62 NATO at "just under a mile a second" and "Can penetrate an inch of steel" are utter BS. If those are Pinnacle's PR, they're lying. If not, someone is badly mistaken on the claim. I've added cite tags for now, but if it's not verified soon, I'll simply remove the statement. Military 7.62 is around 2800 ft/sec and cannot punch an inch of steel.Mzmadmike (talk) 04:49, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Armor v. Armour[edit]

There's currently about 12 occurances of armour compared to 50+ of armor, including external links. For consistency's sake, I'm going to replace all occurances of armour with the more common armor (though I'd rather be adding U's than removing them). BigNate37 08:29, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Bah. I screwed that up. Broke some links and such. Probably wrecked some article titles. I think I got it all sorted out in my second edit, hopefully I did. If not, that's the last time I make edits at 0230h. BigNate37 08:34, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Armour is the correct spelling, not armor.

Armour v. Armor[edit]

Bah! You may choose to use the Queen's English if you wish, but I'll stick to my honest Southern English. V. Joe 16:40, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Can people stop changing Kelly Armour to Kelley Armor. If the first use of it was in Australia, then the Australian spelling will be used cuntheads. When the Gameboy Color came out here nintendo didn't add a 'u' because it was originally based on US english, so have the same fucking courtesy, it was originally Kelly Armour, so don't change it because Americans are fuckheads and can't understand that Queens English is the true original form. Thankyou —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eddieebo (talkcontribs) 03:49, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Be advised that you are expected to abide by our policies against incivility and personal attacks. In other words, you mustn't refer to other users as "cuntheads" or "fuckheads." Express your disagreement respectfully by explaining your viewpoints, not by hurling insults at those with whom you disagree.
Regarding your actual complaint, please note that we usually use the same English variety throughout an article. In other words, if an article is written in Commonwealth English, even a section pertaining to the United States should maintain this style (with few exceptions). I urge you to read Wikipedia:Manual of Style#National varieties of English for a more thorough explanation. Thank you. —David Levy 06:36, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that "Ranger Armour" will be a dead link. US companies use "Armor." I concur with spelling it based on country of origin. Besides, the "English" spelling is really "French" and who wants that?;-)Mzmadmike (talk) 13:00, 12 April 2008 (UTC)


The history completely ignores the law enforcement side of ballistic armor. Extremely remiss since that's how most of the public is aware of it. Second Chance? Richard Davis? The Zylon controversy and lawsuits?--Buckboard 09:49, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

The history is completely and utterly wrong. Obviously none of you are Australians and therefore have never heard of Ned Kelly. If the supposed first instance of bullet resistance fabric occured in 1881, then Ned Kelly didn't exist. The great bushranger lived from 1855-1880 and was famous for wearing a metallic bullet proof vest and helmet along with the rest of his gang. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eddieebo (talkcontribs) 14:27, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Who the fuck keeps removing the section on the kelly gang armour. If the supposed first instance of bullet resistant fabric was in 1881, what the fuck was ned kelly wearing in 1880. Fuck the histroy is damn wrong, if you check out the ned kelly page and other sources you'll find that they say the armour was worn in 1880. I update the history and someone wants to remove the fact. YOU ARE FUCKING RETARDS, this is about education of fact not what you think is right. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:25, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Body Armor Redirect[edit]

Body Armor redirects to Bulletproof vest, ignoring other uses of the term for garments in use in nations like the UK where knives and other non-ballistic weapons present a more common threat than bullets. --Prince of Cats 15:31, 22 July 2006 (UTC) __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thats true, and while the article does mention that there are special vests for knives, it doesn't go into them in any detail. either this artical should be changed to read "body armor" and include information on vests for knife protection or a seperate article should be created about them. I don't think a lot of people understand how much more difficult it is make protection against knives and needles. The article also should be expanded to mention police who need such vests for drug raids against attacks using needles.

Bulletproof vest needs to redirect to body armor, where the main article should be. Anyone who actually HAS any knowledge about these things can tell you that calling modern armor a bulletproof vest is like calling George Bush a prime minister. 03:28, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

I completely agree. The only thing I can think of that you can put a person in that is "bulletproof" would be a structure with enough concrete/steel to stop rounds. The stuff we wear to increase the survivability of a round hit is bullet-resistant, at best.