Bulletproof Carthart Jacket?

A suspect in NY was shot by NYPD however four of the nine rounds were defeated by the suspect’s Carthart jacket. NYPD uses Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P JHP. According to an article by the Tribunist, one round grazed a bystander. I know from previous examples, the NYPD hit ratio is rather low. If you recall two officers engaged a shooter outside the Empire State Building and missed while engaging him only a few feet away. That makes me wonder if those 4 rounds were not necessarily defeated by the Carthart jacket but perhaps they missed the intended target and the rounds went to the side but still hit the jacket. No mention of which Carthart jacket the suspect was wearing.

Bearing Arms has a different hypothesis of what happened. Lucky Gunner and TNoutdors9 both did tests of Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P against denim.


Lucky Gunner saw similar results in their test. Click here to see the test.


Bearing Arms suspects that the bullet did as it was designed, defeated the jacket, went through the body of the suspect and exiting out the body. However the back of the jacket stopped the bullet from completely exiting. The information about this incident is very vague. The simple fact of counting bullet wounds would determine if the suspect was hit nine times or only five, if we are to believe that the jacket stopped four rounds.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • Paul Strealer

    I’m going to call it much the same as the old “.30 Carbine won’t penetrate a heavy winter coat” thing. Namely, that New York’s finest did what they do best, miss.

    • TVOrZ6dw

      Ahh, no Sarge- I didn’t shoot those bystanders. All my shots hit the suspect, but bounced off his jacket. Yea, that’s it.

    • Sianmink

      Also jet fuel can’t melt steel I-beams.

      • CommonSense23

        That one is true.

        • Sianmink

          It can weaken them enough to severely reduce their load-carrying capacity though.

          • CommonSense23

            Can weaken them to 90% if you also throw in building supplies. And also cause them to expand.

          • BR549

            Oh really. The #2 Home Heating OIl has a higher BTU rating than the Jet-A fuel used on those aircraft. Not only that, your oil burner, while not carrying any real load, is finely tuned to maximize the available ambient oxygen on a near CONTINUAL basis. The 9/11 fires were FAR below that temperature. Bottom line is that the metal parts of your oil burner, even at maximum efficiency, will last for many decades ……… because ambient air does NOT provide enough oxygen to damage them. Beside that, the whole pancaking theory has been blown out of the water. What about the squibs, the explosions in the basement, etc.

          • mrdakka

            Please take a materials science class on ductility and malleability before you spout off nonsensical bullshit. Every engineer knows that the properties of materials change with temperature.

          • Jim C

            Even in the building that didn’t get hit by a jet?

      • They don’t have to melt, they just has to lose integrity (weaken), which happens well below the melting point. Gravity does the rest.

        • Ryan

          So they weaken at perfect 45° angles then? Wow. I suppose that explains the pools of molten steel, in the subfloors, reported by firefighters, and other 1st responders, after the buildings were dropped? Oh yeah and about buildings made with steel frames. NOT ONE HAS EVER COLLAPSED DUE TO FIRE. EVER. And if it was because the plane strike had weakened a portion, how is it that the buildings both came straight down?

      • GOT12

        look up tanker truck crashes under bridges

        bridges collapse from less heat than was in the wtc

    • Anon

      I wonder if the 12 pound triggers had anything to do with this…

  • M.M.D.C.

    Maybe he had a few hair weaves stuffed in there.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Thats gotta be embarrassing.
    The NYPD manages to hit something and the bullets bounce off the damn jacket.

    • iksnilol

      I imaigne the NYPD is all: “WE HIT HIM! WE HIT HIM FOR ONCE… the bullets bounced off? OH COME ON!”

      • forrest1985

        As the texan in the simpsons would say “cant catch a break”

  • Jcfergus

    If the shots were “defeated” by the jacket, that implies they would have hit his body. It seems that there would be at least bruising from the impact. Shots that don’t leave at least a bruise should be considered a miss.

  • Nathan Alred

    I’m going to bet on the “four bullets stopped by his coat” were perforating shots that expanded as they passed through his body, and had slowed enough to be stopped by the coat on exit.

    I’ve seen a sweatshirt stop an expanded round before. Be careful searching dead guys – the “petals” on the copper jacket can nick a finger pretty easily.

  • A Fascist Corgi

    I’d actually be interested in a bullet proof jacket. I know that companies make them, but I’ve never seen bullet proof clothing in person.

    Does anyone own bullet proof clothing? How practical is it on a daily basis?

    • Billy Jack

      A guy in South America (Colombia I believe) came out with bullet proof cloth and clothing that’s the thickness of regular shirts and slacks maybe 9 years ago. It was supposedly legit stuff but expensive. Haven’t seen or heard of it since. I’m guessing it was either too good for a lowlife like me to hear about again or fraud. Between that and ceramic plates there should be lightweight pistol level protection out there.

      BTW – In NYC wearing kevlar or any type of bulletproof clothing that’s obviously bulletproof, including having a vest under your jacket during a pat down, will get you cuffed and in a cell. I’m not sure if there is even any ordinance backing it up. Those caught in the 90s from my recollection were dealers and armed robbery guys trying to stay safe.

      • Nigel Tolley

        Check your local laws.
        UK has no laws forbidding bullet proof vests, NZ has extensive laws that ban antique pith helmets without a license. YMWV.

  • Bill

    I own a LOT of Carhartt – jeans, shirts and multiple jackets/coats, and while they are tougher than boiled owls, they ain’t bulletproof. No way, no how. Because they are the official school jacket and tuxedo of Appalachia, there’re a lot of guys, and the occasional gal, who gets lit up while wearing one and they seem to get wounded or killed just fine.

    And let’s lay off NYPD for a change. They did one of the first quantitative studies into police shootings, and their firearms training unit is tasked with training hundreds of Basic cadets every year while qualifying and uptraining about 34,000 cops. Their hit rate is average for LE agencies: about 40 percent last I checked. As to the Times Square shooting, imagine trying to dump somebody whose slashing away with a knife in an area about the size of a McDonalds with a hundred other people in it. If you can do better, go through the 2 year application process, be one of the 2% selected, get through your academy, then your FTO training, and show us how it’s done. Or meet me with an Airsoft gun and I’ll bring the Shocknives. Hit rates mysteriously plummet everywhere when someone is actually moving and trying to kill you. And if NYPD coppers had to wait until they had perfect target isolation before shooting, not nearly enough people who desperately needed to get shot would get shot. It’s environmental: where I work a stray round at worst would hit a random deer or abandoned strip mine, or if I’m in town a mutant redneck hillbilly that has so much meth in their system they can’t possibly be killed by conventional weapons.

    • John

      >And let’s lay off NYPD for a change.

      They shot a civilian.

      No. I’ll lay off them when they start to actually train with their guns.

      • Bill

        You haven’t really studied their training programs, have you? News flash, cops miss all over the nation, they hit the wrong person, all over the nation, they even shoot each other, all over the nation, and have since time immemorial. New York is no better or no worse than any other agency.

        And guess what: non-cops have had bad shootings also.

      • Ghost930

        Got to go with Bill here sport. Are you a cop? Ever been a cop? Ever been in a gun fight? Yeah, thought so. This isn’t Hollywood, it’s called real life, and it isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. To train every NYPD officer to lets say Tier 1 level, so their shooting skills are somewhat enhanced (and I have seen Tier 1 guys miss in combat) would cost the city of NY millions of dollars in man hours, and ammo (try adding 500 rounds a week, times 34,000, time 52). That doesn’t even factor in the overtime, facilities needed, and equipment. NYPD has a fairly decent training program for the amount of people they have to push through on an annual basis. If you were, or ever had been a cop you would know this. Pay attention, there will be a pop quiz later.

      • Winter

        As a former LEO I can agree with Bill and the others, real life gunfights are nothing like what everyone has grown up seeing on TV. In real life it’s a huge chaotic clusterfrick where you are literally fighting for your life point blank with real bullets. One of the biggest problems in America is that much of our population gets their education from TV and then base everything they say afterwards on that fictional education.

        If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone raging on the news (both public and newscaster) about something the police did based on B.S. they’ve gleaned from TV and taken as fact I’d have a new Vette by now. It’s not completely their fault since unless they have actually been a LEO (such as myself and others on this site) they really have no way of understanding what it’s really like so TV knowledge or just taking things at face value becomes their default.

        There are definitely bad cops out there doing bad things but the majority of things that the public see on TV and then go railing about and protecting over are actually legitimate actions that simply look harsh at face value without the experience to know better. Most Americans don’t even want to consider the fact that they may not have the training to differentiate between right and wrong because they learned it all on TV.

        This is the same issue that gun rights in America have been under fire over the last several years. They don’t want to admit they may not know what they are talking about. As long as others are agreeing with them they don’t need the facts, all it takes is a group of people to agree in willful ignorance to override any need for education.

  • Oldtrader3

    NYPD ought to be ashamed to call themselves Police Officers or Defenders? If they can not hit anything, how can they defend and protect themselves, let alone anyone else?

  • Joe Schmo

    I live in a state that borders New York, so their news basically becomes our news because nothing happens in my state that matches any of the crazy circus side-show that is New York and New York City.

    I remember back when the one shooter was killed by the NYPD outside the Empire State Building. The shooter shot is boss in the head, killing him. The NYPD officers then engaged the shooter from a very close distance, no more than five or seven yards. After the police had neutralized the threat, it was found that nine bystanders had been hit by someone’s bullets. Initially, everyone believed the shooter had turned on the crowd near the building and opened fire before the officers engaged him. But in reality, it was found that the officers engaged him almost immediately after he shot his former boss, before he had time to turn and shoot at anyone else.

    So who shot these 9 civilians? Well, the cops did. They fired and 9 rounds hit innocent people because of their incompetence. Because of their lack of training and negligence, 9 people were injured. None of them died, nor do I believe that any of them were in critical condition. But the fact that anyone was hit by a bullet that had not entered and exited its intended target in that scenario is unacceptable.

    New York City and the NYPD should realize that their officers are likely going to be shot at while on patrol in a crowded area. They are not going to be shot at in a large open space where there is literally no one else around. They need to be trained to be familiar with the dangers involved with shooting in a crowded area.

    It also doesn’t help that they have the NY triggers in their Glock 19’s, that makes it even more difficult for people who don’t practice marksmanship to accurately hit their intended target.

    So I would not be surprised if these officers missed those four rounds or if they just grazed the suspect.

  • politicsbyothermeans

    4/9 and only one innocent bystander wounded? Someone is going to get a commendation.

  • Will

    As a retired police officer and a twenty five plus year police firearms instructor I can tell you I have seen police officers whose shooting skills are APPALLING!! Yet they are still allowed to work every day and carry a firearm. If the public only knew…..

  • Uncle Festet

    I think the extra shots are the result of a deflected bullet breaking up before hitting the suspect.

  • smartacus

    reminds me of Pulp Fiction, when they noticed not being hit by a single bullet then casually decided to shoot back :p

  • DL

    Ball 147’s and hits him in his groinal vicinities.

  • The number of flaws in this experiment are unbelievable!!! Dropping weights in his experiment (when nothing was dropped on the top of the buildings), assuming the towers used L/360 rather than setting what the actual spec was, oh…and expecting plywood to react like cement…That is downright laughable!!! He has absolutely no concept of the effects of momentum, or outright ignores out. Either way, he should stop posting backyard garbage science.

    If they had the supports wired with explosives, they would have triggered it right after the planes hit the building…not an hour later, what would be the point of that???

    • grifhunter

      Man, remind me to buy stock in Reynolds Wrap. SMH

  • Oldgringo

    After that video I now carry my 380

  • LT Rusty

    Some years back a friend of mine was on the wrong end of a negligent discharge. 44spl, very hot hand loads. Bullet ricocheted off a flat rock and caught him dead center on the sternum, right over the heart. He was wearing a Carhartt jacket, just like the one pictured above. To this day there’s a big lead mark there, but no hole.

    • Cottersay

      Since you have no idea of the energy or velocity of the bullet that hit your friend, then we have no idea if the Carhartt jacket had anything to do with stopping the projectile. Probably a T-shirt would have done the same thing.

      • LT Rusty

        I’d note here that I never made any claims to know the energy or velocity. I simply related it as an interesting anecdote involving Carhartt products and bullets that didn’t penetrate. That’s all.

  • Darren Hruska

    Carhartt “stops” 9x19mm Parabellum JHPs, but North Korean jackets “stop” .30 Carbine FMJs like sixty years ago! ‘Murica needs to get on North Korea’s level of jacket technology! 😉