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How well does Level III armor hold up?

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The set-up: The box contains modeling clay from Hobby Lobby. I will hang the armor over the front.

First 9mm.

I shot 115 gr. JHP out of my Glock 34:

It flattened it out on the third sheet. The "shoot pack" had 28 sheets or layers. Notice how it did not "fill" the hollow point, but just flattened it out.

Here's the dent in the clay:

Then .45 ACP, Hydro-Shock JHP.

Again, it was flattened completely. And notice the dent in the clay.

How about a .40 S&W?

It was stopped in the second layer. But it made a nasty dent.

We decided to try a round of 9mm Ball because that is most commonly used in the Sandbox. Notice how it flattened out the ball.

This armor isn't designed to stop rifle fire, but why not try the trusty AR15?

You can see that Tman has just hit the target and blown it up. (Notice the orange clip in the air.

How's that for a kill shot?

We didn't set this up, but look at the jacket laying in the hole.

Here's the remains of the M-193.

How about 12 gauge 00 Buck? Here I am turning it loose.

It only penetrated 2 layers. Here's the dent in the clay.

The pellets were caught between the second and third layers.

Here they are after I dug them out of the armor.

Well, what about a 12 gauge Slug? Notice the impact.

It penetrated several layers, but flattened out completely.

And here's the dent it made in the clay.

How about, as Gunny Highway said, "The preferred weapon of our enemy", the 7.62 X 39.

It went right through the armor, just as expected. It only made a small entry:

But it was clear that there was a larger hole beneath. So, I dug away the top layer, and this is what I found:


Lessons Learned:

1. Level IIIA armor stopped the handgun bullets tested, just as designed. Either JHPs or Ball.

2. Once again, "Rifles are rifles, and pistols are pistols". Rifles went right through, just as expected.

3. The armor stopped 00 Buck and Rifled Slugs.

4. If your adversary is wearing armor, don't depend on pistols or shotguns. Go for a rifle. As Clint Smith says, "The only purpose for a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should have never laid down to begin with."

5. And, as always, shooting stuff is fun.

Ah ha! The true source of these photos has been found! Go check out

Thanks to Grant, Alex, and David for finding it for me!

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