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June 27, 2022

Bullet-Proof Vest Resists Fire of Three Pistols, 1924

In 1924, to demonstrate the effectiveness of a bullet-proof vest he invented, a New York man donned the garment, posed as the target and allowed three policemen to shoot at him at close range. Repeated fire of thirty-eight and forty-five caliber bullets failed to penetrate the vest. The missiles were flattened against the sides of the protector and fell harmless to the ground. Following this demonstration, young women put on the vests and also served as targets.


While the picture is a bad re-enactment (the distance was greater than that), the vests from the 1920s and 30s could stop a .38 special bullet fired from ten yards, a .45 acp at sixteen. The old vests used steel or duraluminum allowing the wearer to withstand “blunt action trama.”




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