How Painful Is It To Be Shot While Wearing A Ballistic Vest?

Robert Kaiser, CEO of PPSS Group, demonstrates that his company’s ballistic vests work by getting one of his staff to shoot him at point blank range with a 9mm Glock 19 …

The vest he was wearing is 1/4″ (6.5mm) thick. It will save your life, but it won’t be a pleasant experience.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Don’t Tread

    Change the title wording. “Will” to “while”.

    • Lance

      Word UP!!!!

      • BillC

        You’re one to talk. It’s “does”, not “dose”.

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      typo, thanks.

  • brod

    Good call with the shooting glasses. Safety first!

  • Lance

    Id say at any distance and being shot with any center fire pistol and rifle round will hurt and cause some harm to you. Many vets have bruised and broken ribs thanks to level 3 armor which dose save there life though.

    • Even soft armor in 3 or 3A will leave you with a bruise about 4×4 inches on average. Getting a cracked rib isn’t unusual either.
      Everyone reacts differently though. Some say it hurts like hell while others who are pumping a bunch of adrenaline say they didn’t feel much at first.

  • orly?

    Does this really have to be explained?

    Do people really expect gun shot victims to fly from magnum/AKM rounds?

    • BillC

      Yes. I also heard people go flying through windows and walls if shot by any shotgun. /sarc/

    • MrSatyre

      I don’t see anyone here remarking over how he didn’t go flying through the air after being shot. Just comments about the amount of force transferred from the round to the point of impact. There’s a difference.

  • mikee

    But is it UN proof ?

  • S. Cautela

    I didn’t expect Liv Schreiber and Spike Jonze’s Teutonic love child to actually be shot in this video… It looked like he was trying to center a hard plate before the shot instead of soft body armor… I can certainly understand the presence of a medic for a rib cracking soft body armor shot… But a ceramic plate 9mm shot?… I’m pretty sure if the guy suffered injuries it was because the plate was produced in a 5th grade pottery class… I’ve seen guys shot with 3 7.62x39mm in a plate without penetration.

  • Wolf

    The vest just stops the round from penetrating. The kinetic force still has to go somewhere

  • Yo dawg, I heard you like bulletproof vests so I put a vest into another vest so now you can be bulletproof while your bulletproof.

  • bbmg

    Overly dramatic introduction for a stunt that has been done many times.

    Texas Armoring CEO did something similar a while back:

    Also, no data was given on the type of ammunition being shot.

    Simply saying “9mm” tells us nothing but the diameter of the bullet, I’m sure that if it was this particular cartridge his guts would be spilling out on the floor:

    Still, he had the cojones to do it. And trust a person to do it, as opposed to a fixed test rig that would be unlikely to accidentally shoot him in the face or said prominent cojones.

  • ThomasD

    Like a Nolan Ryan fastball to bare skin.

    The upper chest protection of that vest looked a little sketchy – with far too low a neckline IMO.

    I’d be more afraid as the one pulling the trigger. Botch that job and you’ve got a lot of explaining to do. It’s the one time I’d demand a laser.

  • dan citizen

    stopped a .45 over my right kidney with soft armor. (friendly fire) Felt like getting hit with a hammer. Bruised the kidney and pissed blood for three days.

    took a 7.62 x 39 to a ceramic sapi in the chest. A big push, like a kick, but no bruising or other harm (except needed new underwear)

    • avconsumer2

      Good lord man. Don’t you understand? The end with the hole in it is what you don’t want pointed at you!!

      But seriously, wow @ that x39. Any idea on the range of that one? I always imagined those would hit like a truck.

      • j

        The difference is that soft armor flexes your flesh has to absorb energy while hard armor is rigid and absorbs all the energy itself.

        • avconsumer2

          True, but still, ballistics difference (energy release) is pretty night and day between those rounds (@2000 ft/lbs guesstimate). Regardless of armor type, those little plates can only absorb so much before passing it on. Guessing it was quite the difference in ranges.

          • Steve (TFB Editor)

            The actually energy is not that much. Consider that you feel the same energy when firing the gun itself (but spread over a longer period of time and over a much larger surface area.

          • avconsumer2

            Good point. Excellent comparison. I forget recoil is coming from that as well.

          • Loofah

            That’s actually momentum you’re talking about

          • dan citizen

            the plate shatters, but the impact is spread over the entire plate so rather than 1,500 foot pounds being exerted on a .30 spot it is spread over about 120 square inches, 1,700 times the surface area.

            From there the math gets complicated because you have to start figuring force over time.

            I did all the math once because I wanted to know why I lived, yet the two guys next to me died (one caught it in the outside of the sapi plate, the other was not wearing his armor)

            This experience was the motivation for me now being a maker of custom armor.

          • avconsumer2

            Wow. That is a sobering recollection sir. Thanks for sharing & protecting those that need it.

      • dan citizen

        about 20 feet.

    • Patrick Mingle

      holy shit. that is all

    • Badkarma060

      Glad you are still with us.

      • dan citizen

        me too 🙂

        • Leonardo Padrino

          friendly fire?! That’s ridiculous.

          • dan citizen

            Nothing heroic or interesting in the friendly fire incident.

            Two teams of security contractors sent to the same place, neither knew the other would be there, leading to a cartoonish moment when both groups literally ran into each other walking around a corner in the dark, then we all abandoned all reason and training, instead we ran around pissing our pants and shooting at each other. lots of injuries and 1 death.

            One of those “oops” moments.

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      Shot twice! Have you called it a day or still trucking on?

      • dan citizen

        I am old and fat now and do not play soldier any more

  • claymore

    Nothing new here folks. The owner of point blank has been shooting himself regularly since way back in the 70’s when vests first came out.

  • Aaron E

    Reminds me of the old videos of Richard Davis of Second Chance Body Armor shooting himself while wearing his body armor. Davis was more impressive though as he would shoot himself, spin, and then fire multiple times to knock down bowling pins, or other targets.

    • Avery

      And that wasn’t with a 9mm but a .44 Magnum.

      The same video has the host shot with a FAL while wearing a Second Chance HARD Corps vest and standing on one leg to demonstrate how well the vest can stop rifle rounds

  • George H Hill

    Yes it hurts. Broken sternum took some time to heal.

  • Clint Notestine

    ive seen the old clips of the guy shooting himself with revolvers

  • Sulaco

    Very much depends where on the vest/what type vest you are hit on…(sorry), I got hit on a soft vest at a range qualification shoot, fragment from a bounce off a steel plate. Hit the very edge of the soft armor, stopped it but felt like being hit with a bat at full swing.

  • Zog

    And still wears eyepro…. nice!

  • Geoff a well known Skeptic

    Could the moderator ask Richard Davis of Second Chance fame? He has taken more point blank body armor hits than anyone else. If you want to test your own package, wear hearing and eye protection. Wear long sleeve shirts with a high neck buttoned. Geoff Who ain’t that brave.

  • Nick

    How could you not want to do business with a company who’s CEO is willing to put his life on the line with his product. He trusts it with his life so you can too.

  • john
  • zaneproctor

    Well, it would have been very painful; despite wearing a bulletproof vest you still got a severe injury. However, it might happen in certain situations, since most of the vests are not 100 percent bulletproof and are not able to reduce the impact of bullet. It is essential to buy good quality vests that provide excellent protection against any firearm threat. If you are looking around to find good quality vests then you can look up , which are using lightweight ballistic fabric material called Honeywell Goldflex specified by the National Institute of Justice that provide best protection.