Saving Doc Brown from terrorists

In the greatest film trilogy ever, Back to the Future, Doc Brown is shot by a terrorist unloading a magazine of what looks like an AK-47 from a range of a few metres.

The film was made and set in 1985 - would any bulletproof vest save the good doctor from that period? If they used the DeLorean to travel to 2012 (3 years short of hoverboards) is there anything we have today that would withstand an unloading from an assault rifle at close range?

Whether or not some military flak vests from that period would stop those rounds I know not. But it looked like to me that he was wearing a standard level 2 or level 2A police soft body armor. And rifle bullets of any caliber will slice right through it like warm butter. Even the level 3A vests available today are no match for rifle fire, regardless if it is an AK47 or an old Winchester pre-64 deer hunting rifle.

This was a terrible plot hole in a movie that otherwise covered all it’s bases very well.


Time travel? Mr. Fusion? Precisely timing a digital clock to an event on a mechanical clock, in the past?


Those are all fantasy things that may or may not eventually exist.

Soft body armor is a real thing that already exists, but they made it look like it could do something that it certainly can not do.

Doc lined the bulletproof vest with the left over uranium that he stole from the Libyans.

It was in a cut scene. In my imagination.

Look the guy built a flux capacitor and a time machine, and you think that with a 30 year head start he can’t build a bullet proof vest that will stop and AK-47 round?

It was plutonium.

Point. Of course, he’d have been S.O.L. if he’d gotten shot in the head. To say nothing of the fact that the terrorists’ crash into the photo booth probably didn’t kill them. They’re still out there, waiting for their chance.

[killjoy mode]

Everything in all the movies is made moot by the fact that the Earth is not the unmoving center of the universe. The moment you tried to use his time machine you’d have materialized somewhere either in the Earth’s crust or out in the vacuum of space (the planet having moved out from under you!)

Biggest mistake: They could have just gotten more gasoline from the hidden Delorean in Part III !


But it’s not moving through a stationary “ether”, either. I can always select a frame of reference where I am at rest. Railway carriage or the embankment? Only the Shadow knows.

Play nice; it’s much more fun with only linear motion.

Anyone think we’re going to have flying cars and hoverboards 3 years from now?

Level III body armor is expected to stop multiple hits of .308 Winchester FMJ (7.62 X 51 mm NATO). 6 rounds at 2,750 fps (838 mps).
Possible material -

  • 1/4" Ballistic Steel (6 mm)
  • 1/2" Ceramic (13 mm)
  • 1" Polyethylene (25 mm)

Level IV body armor is expected to stop one round of .30-06 M2 AP (Cartridge, Calliber .30, Armor Piercing, M2). One round at 2,850 fps (869 mps).
Possible material -

  • 3/4" Ceramic (18 mm)
  • 1/2" Ballistic Steel (12 mm)

The AK47’s 7.62x39mm would would have a muzzle velocity of approx 2500fps using a 123gr bullet. Approx 1707 ft-lbs of kenetic energy.

The 7.62 X 51 mm NATO would have a MZ of 2750fps using a 150gr bullet. Approx 2519 ft-lbs KE.

The .3006 M2 AP would have an MZ of 2850fps using a 165gr bullet with a steel core. Approx 2976 ft-lbs KE.

So, it’s possible that the right body armour could stop multiple hits from an AK47 but you would be knocked off your feet and your torso would feel like it’s been beaten with baseball bats. Definate brusing and possible broken ribs.

You really think Doc left the gas in the car he was prepping to be in storage for 70 years? He would have drained the fluids out and disposed of them.

Nearly two inches of body armor would be rather noticable, not to mention heavy.

Flying cars have been available for decades. Hoverboards might still be a few decades off. The flux-capacitor should be ready next Thursday if everything turns out as planned.

The 30-year head start is the crux of the biscuit. A dude that clever, with that much time (and motivation!), would certainly have devised a sufficient piece of body armor.

There’s that word again. “Heavy.” Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the Earth’s gravitational pull?
Dr. Emmett Brown

Airplanes that can drive on a highway have been available as inefficient expensive novelties. Flying cars as a common thing for everyday usage, as depicted in the movie, are not available and won’t be available in 2015.

There’s this article about a policeman who managed to stay alive after getting hit by 3 AK-47 and 6 pistol (Makarov and Tokarev) bullets :eek:

The article is in greek but there are pictures of the bulletproof vest:

Clearly, someone has been mucking about with our timeline!