Best body armor to wear to a Man vs. Chimp pit fight?

The great viciousness and apparent ease of chimpanzee attacks on humans has been noted in several threads on the SDMB. For example, we’ve had a thread discussing the best unarmed combat techniques (if any), would avail a person under suck attack, which also raised the point that even the strategy of “bugger this” and hightailing it wouldn’t necessarily work because chimps have greater burst strength, which includes running in at close distance: a human would need a head start in time, as well as clear ground, to be able to create some distance to play the stamina card (and be in reasonable shape too) before the chimp gives up.

So let’s say an unfortunate human is sentenced by a cruel Raja to trial by combat with a chimp in an enclosed arena - a pit fight. He is not to be allowed any weapon, but is graciously(?) allowed his choice of off-the-shelf body armor (no custom-made body armor with poison spikes protruding from Wolverine-like claws). If he can defeat the chimp (kill or incapacitate the chimp into submission), he is free to go.

Is this simply a cruel way to prolong the agony or give the victim false hope?

For example, if I were to wear padded kevlar type armor, this is designed to blunt stab and bullet projectile types of attacks. But the chimp’s main attacks are with the teeth (mashing trauma) and stuff like ripping off fingers and limbs (detaching arms or legs have been mentioned in several chimp attacks) as well as softer parts like eyes, ears and genitalia. I’m not sure how much protection such armor affords against attacks like that.

Metal plate armor, like what the knights of old wore, might be another idea in that the gauntlets would serve as brass knuckles of sorts - you could hope to land enough haymaker punches with a mailed fist on the chimp’s noggin to eventually lay him out or beat him down. But that kind of armor is also donned in segments: the arm pieces are not welded to the shoulder, or there would be no practical way to put it on and take it off and still have a full range of movement for swinging a sword or aiming a lance. Which in this case, means the chimp could simply rip the arm off of an armored knight like we might do with a lobster’s claw.

What else?

Ironman’s suit?

On a serious note, chainmail might work best. It should protect you against bites and claws, and at least diffuse blunt trauma. Your face would be uncovered, though, so you’d need to use your arms to protect that. Add a pair of heavy gauntlets and you have a chance.

I’ll take this stuff. Bite proof, and a couple of good punches will send the chimp right off. Doesn’t have to be a welded suit - the chimp isn’t going to be using any “technique,” so I doubt ripping your arm off would be a high probability. I’d pick another helmet, though. One with a bit more vision, with a face guard that clamped down so it couldn’t be ripped open.

I’d never want to fight any large wild animal (let alone a chimpanzee) without a gun, but I’d second the suggestion of full plate armor as silenus linked to. The advantage I see with that is I think it’d be very hard for the chimp to deliver its typically most fearsome attacks: bites. I don’t know that the chimp would be able to bite you through that armor, and things like eye gouging and ripping off of genitals would also be very hard.

Chimps have great hand dexterity but I don’t know that they would instinctively know how to get the armor off of a man. They know how to use rudimentary tools to kill small mammals hiding in little nooks and crannies (like bushbabies) but I doubt they’d have any ability or knowledge or getting at a man in plate.

What I’d probably do is just curl up as best you can in plate and cover my head with my hands. That way I’m essentially doubly protected in my vital areas (by having a solid helmet and my plated hands covering my head/face, and possibly blocking access to my underbelly which is also covered in plate in any case.)

I could see a chimp really hurting itself trying to go after metal armor like that, and like most wild animals I assume if I lay there long enough he’d eventually back off…which then might enable me to try and somehow land some blows on him.

Chainmail doesent do anything against blunt/impact trauma. Great against teeth/claws/sharp implements.

That armor that that crazy bear guy (the one that didn’t get eaten) invented awhile ago. If it can take a grizzly swat, it can take a chimp.

I would imagine that when we bring back gladiatoral combat as entertainment (after American Idol as well as various sadistic gameshows involving people crawling around and getting knocked off various giant inflated things, this is the next logical step), this question will be answered through empirical testing. Followed by nude centerfolds of “Chimp Killer” Spike Testosteroneson tripling the sales of Women’s Day magazine. (I have such hopeful visions of our society’s future.)

Since you’re specifying off-the-shelf, rather than the custom-built anti-grizzly suit mentioned above, I’d go with a Jim Suit. Might not be able to actually defeat the chip in a pit match, but at least I’d survive the experience with all my limbs still attached.

Related thread

Would this Troy Hurtubise Ursus Mark V bear protection suit protect you from enraged chimpanzees?

Wow, and I thought I was going way off the rails in thinking about this topic…!

The suit of armor makes sense. Unlike the bear suit, you have some chance of standing up after you get knocked down.

Is there a suit of armor that would stop a chimp from tearing your limbs or head off?

Otherwise your best bet is Silenus’ suit of armor.

I would go with Deadric - you need 90 in smithing and some daedra hearts, bu the pure AC makes it worht it.

A suit of full plate armor is no more “off the shelf” than that crazy grizzly armor. It’s not like you can get either out of the Sears catalog. 99% of shit available online is just that.

If I’m denied that, I’ll take a new atmospheric diving suit. Even if it doesn’t have motorized assist, I’d be able to fall on the beast, pinning it with the weight of the suit and suffocating it with the clamps or a forearm to the throat.

Replica plate armor is mentioned through online catalogs I get sometimes, from having bought a sword or two in my time for wall/Halloween display and the occasional brandishing. Though they do ask for measurements, I figured it was a case of fine tuning an existing template produced piece than a truly from-scratch custom job (I wouldn’t call it that if you could just provide 3 or 4 self measured dimensions by email, versus going in for them to do it first hand).

Here’s a place that Google found for me - the manufacturing time is 30 days minimum, so maybe it is more custom than OTS. Still, in looking at that set of armor, I don’t see what would prevent an Enraged Pit Chimp (EPC) from plucking one’s arm out if that was its aim. Presumably it gets a foot on your torso and its hands on your forearm and applies a hard tug to do it at all. That plate armor doesn’t look like it would do anything but be a decorative and detached covering in that scenario.

As for the diver suit, if it’s that heavy and bulky how do you propose pinning the chimp with it? It’s going to be far more mobile than you. You’ll also be top heavy with that huge helmet. One shot to the shoulders or head, especially from behind, and you’re going down with that EPC on your back pinning YOU down, and tugging at the helmet.

That said I think I’d go for the full plate armor. I need offense as much as defense, and maybe a good punch in the mouth with a steel gauntlet would cow the chimp or at least make it less willing or able to bite.

I was picturing hugging it and falling forward. Let the weight of the suit do the work. If the deep can’t breech that suit, I’ll wage my life a chimp can’t.

Pulling an arm off wouldn’t be a normal attack for a chimp. It might try it at some point, but it would first go for the face and the groin, maybe the throat. But even an enraged chimp might realize it wasn’t facing a normal animal if any kind of armor was used. As I said before, full fixed or flexible plate would be needed to keep the chimp from using its hands and feet and teeth as weapons. And better than bear suits or diving suits, you would retain some mobility. The ability to hit him back with armored fists, feet, knees, arms, elbows and head is going to make an impression on him. The chimp will give up and try to run if even tries an initial attack. In the bear suit and diving suit you’ll be knocked over, but he won’t be able to hurt you. I assume the diving suit is sealed, which is better than the bear suit which is vented, because if he can’t hurt you, he’ll probably pee on you.

ETA: With the suit of armor you still risk getting peed on also. So actually then, diving suit is the best insurance against any kind of attack, but you have zero chance of scoring any points yourself. The chimp would still win the fight.

  1. How about a giant hamster ball? Diameter at least 5 m, the surface would be too flat for the chimp to grip/bite. You could try running him over.

  2. Do they make electrified armor? Something like http://www.popsci.com/diy/article/2011-05/2011-invention-awards-stunning-development

  3. You may not have to win a chimp physically. Being an animal, he’d be intimidated if you were big and loud enough, like how most defenses in the animal kingdom work.

If only I could buy this to wear