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1. Testing Timeline
2. Summary: Ballistic Armor Stops Anticipated Threats

a. Specs

b. Methods

c. Ammunition Used

d. Firearms Used

3. Conclusion: Ballistic Results

Readyman Rifle Armor/Ballistic Armor Plate Timeline

1410: Load guns, ammunition, backpack with armor panel insert, and Bob in the truck.

1420: Arrive at the range and set up the gear for testing and camera equipment

1430-1545: Live Fire, Video Documentation and Data Collection

1628: Depart Range with data collected

Summary: Ballistic Armor Panel Stops Anticipated Threats

Last summer, we tested a ballistic panel insert using a standard nylon backpack. The armor panel rating was NIJ Level IIIA (protects against handguns and shotgun pellets). Testing and data showed that the light-weight panel stopped the US Military M882 full metal jacket projectile.

Not surprisingly, some of the first reactions were that our test was immaterial because mass shooters often use rifles. At that moment we did not have access to an armor plate insert that would be light enough to be practical. A few months later that changed.

Readyman recently announced the availability of an NIJ Level III ballistic armor plate insert for briefcase or backpack use. We acquired one from Readyman to test.

Specs

Readyman Ballistic Rifle Armor Plate

  1. Dimensions: 10″ wide x 15.25″ long
  2. Weight: 2 lbs 10 oz
  3. Material: Spectra
  4. Rating: NIJ Level III

A comparable Level III hard armor AR500 steel panel for tactical vests weighs 10 pounds.

Methods

We inserted the ballistic armor panel into a nylon backpack and suspended the backpack on “Bob” (our soft training dummy).

The ammunition, with the exception of the M882 Ball, was acquired over the counter from a common retail store.

Rounds were fired from an approximate distance of 25 feet. We deliberately spread the rounds out on the 10×15.25 inch panel.

Ammunition Used

  1. 5.56mm / .223 Remington was a 55 grain FMJ bullet traveling at approximately 3200 feet per second
  2. 7.62x39mm ammunition was 124 grain FMJ bullet traveling approximately 2300 feet per second.
  3. 7.62x51mm (.308 Win.) was the ATI 150 grain FMJ traveling approximately 2800 feet per second. This round mimics the standard medium NATO machine-gun load.
  4. M882 US Military spec 9x19mm load. This is a 124 grain FMJ bullet traveling in excess of 1200 feet per second.

All the rifle and pistol projectiles were copper jacketed with a lead core.

Firearms Used

  1. Custom built AR15 semi-auto, 16-inch barrel
  2. WASR10 UF Kalashnikov style, 16-inch barrel
  3. Remington 700 Bolt-Action, 20-inch barrel
  4. NAK9 Kalashnikov pistol, 11-inch barrel.

Ballistic Results

The majority of media-promoted mass murders in the United States during the last ten years have involved a rifle chambered in .223 Remington. A smaller number included firearms chambering the 7.62x39mm.  At press time, there were no reported or documented mass murders using a firearm chambering .308 Winchester and/or 7.62x51mm NATO. The 9mm pistol round is extremely commonplace both in criminal attacks and lawful use of force shootings.

First shot 9mm, then .223 Rem, then 7.62x39mm, then 7.62x51mm NATO.

Examining the Panel

  1. The 9mm and .223 were stopped inside the panel with little noticeable bulge or damage.
  2. The 7.62x39mm created a considerable bulge/indent in the panel but the projectile did not pass through.
  3. The 7.62x51mm or .308 Win. FMJ projectile was the last to be fired into the panel. This round passed through the panel, backpack, and Bob the training dummy.

Disclaimer: It should be noted that the 7.62x51mm was fired into a panel that had been compromised by three previous rounds. Based upon historical evidence, the .308 or 7.62x51mm NATO is the least likely of all four rounds to be used in a mass murder style attack. No documented cases are available.

We hypothesize that a fresh, uncompromised panel may have stopped a single round of .308 FMJ. It requires further testing to discover that data.

There are the facts of the test and the data. Please feel free to draw your own conclusions.

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Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

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