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Old 04-30-2016, 06:41 AM
Mr. Bill Mr. Bill is offline
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 85
Bullet-Proof Vests

It's a common, almost mandatory, trope in movies and TV. The hero is involved in a gunfight, takes one or more gunshots to the chest and goes down like a sack of beans. Later, after the dust clears, he peels back his shirt to reveal a bulletproof vest with the bullets lodged in the fabric of the vest, sometimes flattened, sometimes protruding out like there was no damage done to the bullet.

My question is, is this the way it actually happens? Does the bullet get lodged in the vest, or does it actually get stopped and fall away? With the absence of penetration, is the momentum of the bullet enough to knock someone down, with loss of voluntary muscle function for a moment or two?

On a related note, why is it that a kevlar vest will stop bullets, but not a knife?