Disclaimer, I use and advocate modern ceramic plates.

Looking for materials, references, photos, etc.  regarding injuries to users of steel plate armor from spall, projectiles that impacted at less than right angles and deflected into the user, etc. 

Already searched here and elsewhere and not seeing much, but I think that such things often may not make into the public domain due to HIPPA, etc. 

Much appreciated.

 

 

Original Post

Sorry no data, but unless there's something to reliably capture the fragments/projectile then they are going to strike something in a 360 degree area around the impact.   I like this video to show new instructors about the safety considerations when setting up a steel range sessions.   

https://www.youtubedotcom/watch?v=QfDoQwIAaXg

Relating to this, if you look at videos in which bad guys engage officers, they rapid fire (Dallas being only 1 such incident) and all those rounds, should they hit steel, create a lot of spall. 

Further, in reality, angles of fire are not 90 degrees, so after those bullets hit steel, they are likely to leave as a more or less intact projectile, with significant wounding/fatality potential.

This has been a known issue since the intersection of armor and bullets, only the degree has changed.

The IJN Battleship Musashi had a spall liner inside each of its 18.1 inch three gun turrets and I am sure this was a wide spread practice in the Imperial Japanese Navy.  The liner was made of 9 mm think silk to absorb spall.

In the Vietnam War, helicopter crew were issued ceramic "chicken plates" with a ballistic nylon cover to capture spall from the shattered ceramic plates.

There are a number of modern tanks with spall liners on the inside.

So, known issue with known countermeasure.  Cover the armor with something to capture the spall.

 

 

 

 

....

Sincerely,

 

Trajan Aurelius

 

 

When violence is the local language, be fluent.

 

"He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins.  For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices, it fosters negligence, and incites not only the wicked but even the good to do wrong."  Saint Thomas Aquinas, "Summa Theologiae/Second Part of the Second Part/Question 158", c. 1274

JF posted:

Sorry no data, but unless there's something to reliably capture the fragments/projectile then they are going to strike something in a 360 degree area around the impact.   I like this video to show new instructors about the safety considerations when setting up a steel range sessions.   

https://www.youtubedotcom/watch?v=QfDoQwIAaXg

Cool video. 

But let's be clear, the fragments that come off a plate even without ricochet are moderately unpleasant. They eat away at concrete and metal over time. Softer materials (fabrics, chipboard) handle them better I guess because they are fast but very lightweight, but I wouldn't want my head in the way. 

I have heard many, many anecdotal stories, and over the years seen a handful of autoposy diagrams and AAR photos of serious ricochets from steel rifle and trauma plates. But I cannot find much online, and anything definitive or scientific about it. 

Weird. And disappointing. I have been having arguments the past two weeks at work about something nerd security related and am winning because I can pull out stuff like new NIST standards. I was likewise hoping that things like NIJ 0101.06 would cover this, but they seem to not consider the actual context of use. In fact they explicitly consider a deflection a "stop," with no consideration of where the deflected projectile goes subsequently. Of the other standards I can find, none of them are more illuminating. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Trajan Aurelius posted:

This has been a known issue since the intersection of armor and bullets, only the degree has changed.

The IJN Battleship Musashi had a spall liner inside each of its 18.1 inch three gun turrets and I am sure this was a wide spread practice in the Imperial Japanese Navy.  The liner was made of 9 mm think silk to absorb spall.

In the Vietnam War, helicopter crew were issued ceramic "chicken plates" with a ballistic nylon cover to capture spall from the shattered ceramic plates.

There are a number of modern tanks with spall liners on the inside.

So, known issue with known countermeasure.  Cover the armor with something to capture the spall.

Question (not challenge): I thought spall liners were to stop spall. Spall being the armor itself turning into secondary projectiles from deformation or penetration by a projectile, explosive force, or other mechanical effect. 

And I thought I had seen in detail (somewere, probably a book I cannot search with google!) that spall protective materials may or may not be useful to protect against ricochet, as they are designed/selected to protect against fragments forming in contact with the interior of the spall liner. 

Are there anti-ricochet coatings available also? How do you tell what functions a coating has when purchasing some? 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Last edited by shoobe01

Shoobe,

I see the spall problem and the ricochet problem as very similar; the ricochet is the primary projectile; spall is a secondary projectile.

Spall liners, inside turrets of any size, capture spall.  Ricochets and spall from steel body armor plates can both be contained by a ballistic covering.  Both are moving fast enough to cause injury.  This is how chicken plates work(ed).  Bullets would penetrate the carrier and ballistic covering, slowing it a bit, and hit the ceramic plate beneath it.  When it bounced or ricocheted, it was  moving much slower after transferring energy to the plate and it's wearer.  It will also not be point on and probably fragmented.    This allows the ballistic covering to capture the primary and secondary fragments.

As to which armor has spall liners or anti-richochet coverings, and not just a plastic cover, you'll have to ask the maker.  I am surprised they don't come with a ballistic covering as part of the package.   Learning has occurred.

 

 

 

 

....

Sincerely,

 

Trajan Aurelius

 

 

When violence is the local language, be fluent.

 

"He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins.  For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices, it fosters negligence, and incites not only the wicked but even the good to do wrong."  Saint Thomas Aquinas, "Summa Theologiae/Second Part of the Second Part/Question 158", c. 1274

SFF- Are you trying to convince someone to not get them?

If so, how about videos of XM193 hitting steel plates?  There's a lot  and I've found them most effective in getting people to reconsider  

Couple spalling with the fact that XM193 cruises straight through and it's a no-go.

-----------------------------------

What is left when honor is lost?

Many of the AR500 company's plates they can cover with a rubber-like substance to catch spall (frag) from the bullet striking the plate. 

This adds thickness (about 1/4") and weight.

But how well does it protect the user from spall/frag?

TheTick posted:

SFF- Are you trying to convince someone to not get them?

If so, how about videos of XM193 hitting steel plates?  There's a lot  and I've found them most effective in getting people to reconsider  

Couple spalling with the fact that XM193 cruises straight through and it's a no-go.

Yes.

Going to show vids and maybe also put some cardboard around some (rifle grade) steel targets that we have to show what happens.

Trajan Aurelius posted:

This has been a known issue since the intersection of armor and bullets, only the degree has changed.

The IJN Battleship Musashi had a spall liner inside each of its 18.1 inch three gun turrets and I am sure this was a wide spread practice in the Imperial Japanese Navy.  The liner was made of 9 mm think silk to absorb spall.

In the Vietnam War, helicopter crew were issued ceramic "chicken plates" with a ballistic nylon cover to capture spall from the shattered ceramic plates.

There are a number of modern tanks with spall liners on the inside.

So, known issue with known countermeasure.  Cover the armor with something to capture the spall.

Or you wear armour to defeat the spall from the plate:

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/REL23774/

There is a company up here that sells AR500 armour made with some sort of special process and then covered with a coating that is supposed to catch all the spall from multiple rounds.

They are S&J Hardware.

Regards.

Mark

Formerly known as ML

Last edited by MWL

Most of the ar500 coatings are just spray on bedliner.

 


 "We have no scars to show for happiness.

We learn so little from peace."

FWIW, last summer one of the students in a class I was teaching had some new steel plate armor.  He wanted to shoot them and "see what happens".... ok, it was his idea.  I know I have accidentally left a can of paint  sitting in front of steel targets, and already know what inevitably happens.  Highly unscientific testing followed.  

There was some kind of a coating on the steel, almost looked like the stuff used as bed liner in the back of my truck.  Shot it with some Black Hills 77 grain OTM ammo out of a 10.3" Colt 6945.  There was a small dent in the plate, and a circle of the coating about 2 inches across blown away.  The stuff wasn't very think at all, just a coating like it had been sprayed or maybe rolled on.  He was happy as hell, since the bullet didn't penetrate, so, good, I guess.  

A local PD just had some dude come and donate a bunch of plate carriers with steel plates.  I guess if I had the choice between getting shot, and taking a hit on a steel plate, I'd pick the plate.  I don't think there's much doubt that there are better options.  I'd also like to see any verifiable instances injury from frag or ricochet.  

 

*******

Joined 08/26/03   Location:  Southern Oklahoma

MAC19D posted:

...There was a small dent in the plate, and a circle of the coating about 2 inches across blown away... 

While I have seen some legit rubbery coating with fibers under that look like spall coating inside armored vehicles, most plate coatings I see are like this. Often even come from the factory with corners chipped off. Unless I missed something about the material properties, spall shields seem like they should not be brittle.

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Put a watermelon (or balloons) above the plate on a stick/support to act as an unscientific analog for their melon and then shoot the plate. Then point out how soft and squishy the underside of ____________'s jaw/neck is and wait for the light bulb to flicker to life.

You can also use poster board cut into a 4" wide strip however long and duct tape to build a "frame" (like a cake pan) perpendicular around the edge of the plate to act as a witness card to show that the bullet frags don't just go into the ether.

Location: in SE Idaho, the birthplace of television.  And Epstein didn't kill himself...

There are videos of the ar500 spall guard being shot and the results dont seem that tragic.  Their buildup coating is paxcon, which was related to Line-X .   If you have been in an MRAP you have seen this same shit.

 

i usually buy ceramic anyway.   More comfort in the modern skinny ass plate carriers.

https://youtu.be/ZxkJM1elAyc

 

 

 

 

This is a timely topic as some of us at work were discussing the same thing.

 

My (also unscientific opinion) having seen steel targets shot, is that the projectile stands a large(r?) chance of richocheting upward into the bottom of my face/neck, or downward into my legs and penis. None of which I want. 

 

 

 

 

 

Joined:      14 January 2010                Location:  MAINE

My problem with the anti-spall/frag coatings is that while they may work OK when it's only 1 or 2 shots, but when the bullets come at you in MULTIPLES, they probably don't work so well.

Count yourself lucky if it's only 1 or 2 shots.   I don't count on luck . . . .

Case in point  -  watch the video of the Dallas officer who was murdered when using the pillar for cover and was flanked . . .

 

 

I took an m193 in the plate in back once.  Right over the kidney, from about 50 yds.   I deleted half of this post because the rest of it could have been lawyered into some bullshit about violating a post lawsuit NDA.

I don't think I'm going to take many rounds on the plate if I do get nailed.   I would think most of them would be non-center of mass hits and a lucky one or few in the plate protected area.  

The backface deformation on my early ceramic plate was intense and frankly I think it was on the edge of penetration.   Maybe a modern plate would do better.

 

 It also sorta swings a bit the other way towards steel the more multi hit you are going  for.   I would suspect a steel plate with a Kevlar wrap around liner might take even more hits than a ceramic plate before  a bad outcome.

i guess I'll finish this out by saying I think plates are like ar15's.   An old m16 from bam wasn't much to write home about...and a $400 m4 today isn't either.   But that doesn't mean a $1000 ar15 with all of today's modernizations is junk either.    If you spend a bit on a steel plate and Kevlar spall guards it might be as good or better than all but the most premium ceramics.   If you paid $34.50 for your steel plates with Krylon spray paint on them you are probably fucked.

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