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October 09, 2003
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Kent PD WA Zylon vest testing results

Time/Date: August 27, 2003 at approximately 1530hrs

Place: Kent Police Indoor Range at 24523 116th Ave S.E. Kent, WA 98030

Present: Ofc Bill Robnett, Rangemaster/Armorer; Ofc Bill Blowers, Training Officer; SGT Frank Connelly, Training Supervisor; Joe Williams, Second Chance Rep; CPT Mike Painter, Patrol Commander(not present for all testing).

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The purpose of this testing was to assist Kent PD in determining whether to retain our current issue Second Chance Ultima Level IIA body armor after documenting 3 ballistic penetrations of this particular armor in PA, CA(Level II), and MT.

Method of KPD testing: a vest, in carrier, would be strapped to the provided Second Chance (duxseal-filled) manikin. 5 rounds of a designated ammo would be fired into the front panel, distributing the shots throughout the panel, without flattening between each shot. The panel would be examined for any full penetrations of the panel; backface deformation (BFD) was not measured, only observed. This panel would be smoothed out, reattached to the manikin, and another 5 rounds of same caliber/different bullet style ammo would be fired from the same handgun into this same panel.

These rounds would be distributed throughout the panel, staying away from the previous 5 hits as much as possible. This panel would be examined in the same fashion as previously described. The rear panel of the vest would now be attached over the manikin''s duxseal chest and the same tests would be run on it, using a different pistol/caliber.

Pistol and Ammunition: Beretta 92F 9MM pistol - Winchester 127gr(+P+) JHP (RA9SXTP) lot#MG22, this was our duty ammo from 94-97, prior to our current Winchester 147gr duty load.

This 127gr load/barrel length is specifically listed, by Second Chance, as being within the capabilities of their IIA vest. This load averaged 1275.4 fps over our chronograph during our Ultima tests.

American Eagle 124gr FMJ (AE9AP) lot#231322Y081, this load is similar to that described on the vest as NIJ certified (9MM 124FMJ 1090fps). This load averaged 1093.5 fps over our chronograph during our Ultima tests.

HK USP .40S&W pistol - Winchester 180gr FMJ (Q4238) lot#RH13, this load is quite similar to the round the penetrated the vest in PA.

Remington 155gr JHP (R40SWI) lot#K17EC9918, this load averages about 150fps faster than the 180gr above and was the only other .40S&W round on hand

Chronograph: Gamma Chrony; 8ft from muzzle, 5ft in front of manikin

Test #1

Vest: Ultima Level IIA; made 09/17/02, lot# 845, serial# 0922873. This vest was worn for about 6 months by a probationary officer who resigned.

Front panel: took 5 hits of both types of .40S&W ammunition without penetrations

Back panel: took 5 hits of Win 127gr with one penetration took 5 hits of AE 124gr with one penetration

Later examination of the Zylon panel with the Gore-tex covering removed shows only 6 solid hits within the stitched portions of the panel. Any hits outside of the reinforced stitch pattern in the woven but unstitched edge material were discounted.

This left us with 4 hits/1 penetration (3.5" up from the bottom of the panel an 2.25" in from the right edge, 5th shot)with Win 127gr JHP at 1311fps; and 2 hits/1 penetration (7" up and 2" in from left edge, 2nd shot) with the AE 124gr FMJ at 1089fps. The other 4 JHPs chronoed at 1276,1276,1294, & 1245 and the other 4 FMJ shots were 1086, 1132, 1105 & error due to angle over chrono.

Test #2

Vest. Ultima level IIA: made 07/2000, lot#70958 (or 3, hard to read), serial# 07004005. This vest was worn by a K-9 officer for approx 3yrs.

Front panel: took 5 hits of Win 127gr with 2 penetrations took 5 hits of AE 124gr with 3 penetrations

The Win 127gr penetrations were the 1st(1293fps, 2" from top/ 2" in from right edge) and 2nd (1255fps, 3.1" from top and centered) shots.

The AE 124gr FMJ penetrations were 2nd (1084fps, dead-center), 3rd (1098fps, 9" from bottom/1.25" from left edge), and 5th (no vel, 3.5" from bottom/ 5.25" from left edge) shots

Back panel: took 5 hits of both types of .40S&W ammunition without any penetrations.

Concerned about the 9MM penetrations, we decided to run duplicate tests using heavily used out-of-date Second Chance Monarch vests with the same Beretta pistol and 9MM ammunition. These Monarch tests were run the following morning; present were Officer Bill Robnett, Officer Bill Blowers, and SGT Frank Connelly. Joe Williams had other appointments but was kind enough to leave his vest manikin for our testing use. These Monarch vest were marked for shot placement to duplicate the same hits as those in the 9MM Test #2. Any deviation from duplicating the same hit locations should be attributed to shooter (Robnett) wobble.

Test #3

Vest: Level IIA: made 5/1996, lot# 1384, serial# 05960231

Front panel: took 5 hits of Win 127gr with no penetrations took 5 hits of AE 124gr with no penetrations

Test #4

Vest: Level IIA: made 10/1996, lot# 1659, serial# 109626600

Front panel: took 5 hits of Win 127gr with no penetrations took 5 hits of AE 124gr with no penetrations

The average velocities of the ammunition used on Test # 3 & 4 were as follows:

Win 127gr = 1293fps

AE 124gr = 1112.1fps

Additional observations from Robnett, Blowers, and Connelly would be a reduction in BFD with these old Monarch vests, conservatively estimated at about 60%.

Officer Bill Robnett
Rangemaster/Armorer
Kent Police Training Center
24523 116th Ave S.E.
Kent, WA 98030
253.856.5857
253.856.6330 FAX



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