Video: Side-by-side test: Interceptor vs. Dragon Skin

updated 5/20/2007 7:26:37 PM ET 2007-05-20T23:26:37

Below are the results of independent ballistics tests commissioned by NBC News and conducted on May 3, 2007, in Germany. At NBC’s request, the Beschussamt Mellrichstadt laboratory did comparative testing of the Army's body armor, Interceptor, against Dragon Skin, a flexible body armor.

NBC News has blacked out the specific caliber of ammunition used in the tests, because the Army believes that level of detail may assist the enemy. NBC News did, however, share those details with the Army.

Test 3 was of Dragon Skin alone. The Army does not require its body armor to defend against a bullet of this lethality.

“BFS” stands for “Back Face Signature,” or the amount of trauma produced when a bullet strikes a body-armor vest. As one U.S. government agency explains, “When armor is tested, it is mounted on clay backing material whose consistency is controlled. After the shot, the depth of the clay deformation behind the armor panel is measured and recorded as the BFS.”

TEST #1a
Conducted on INTERCEPTOR Level IV vest with ESAPI Plates

1 round of [armor piercing ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 30mm

Additional round of [armor piercing ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 32mm

Additional round of [armor piercing ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 47mm

Additional round of [armor piercing ammunition]
Results: COMPLETE PENETRATION

TEST #1b
Conducted on DRAGON SKIN Level IV Vest

1 round of [armor piercing ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 23mm

Additional round of [armor piercing ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 23mm

Additional round of [armor piercing ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 27mm

Additional round of [armor piercing ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 24mm

Additional round of [armor piercing ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 23mm

Additional round of [armor piercing ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 20mm

Test #2a
Conducted on INTERCEPTOR Level IV vest with ESAPI Plates

1 round of [armor piercing incendiary ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 34mm

Additional round of [armor piercing incendiary ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 41mm

Additional round of [armor piercing incendiary ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 37mm

Additional round of [armor piercing incendiary ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 43mm

Additional round of [armor piercing incendiary ammunition]
Results: no penetration but BFS of 51mm (FAILS BFSSTANDARD)

Additional round of [armor piercing incendiary ammunition]
Results: COMPLETEPENETRATION

Test #2b
Conducted on DRAGON SKIN Level IV Vest

1 round of [armor piercing incendiary ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 26mm

Additional round of  [armor piercing incendiary ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 23mm

Additional round of  [armor piercing incendiary ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 26mm

Additional round of [armor piercing incendiary ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 23mm

Additional round of [armor piercing incendiary ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 11mm

Additional round of [armor piercing incendiary ammunition]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 27mm

Test #3
Conducted on DRAGON SKIN Level IV Vest

1 round of [armor piercing ammunition of a “composite” nature]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 22mm

Additional round of [armor piercing ammunition of a “composite” nature]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 20mm

Additional round of [armor piercing ammunition of a “composite” nature]
Results: no penetration and BFS of 14mm

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