Old Weapons & CANNON v. AR-500 Body Armor – FIGHT!

Eric from IraqVeteran8888 and crew are back at it with the cannon, this time instead of taking on poor, old, defenseless ballstics gelatin, takes on something a bit more formidable, AR500 armor. The armor is Level III) a standard “triple-curve shooters-cut” from Sparton Armor with an anti-spall coating.


Weapons used include:

  • .577/450 Martini Henry (480 grains at 1,350 FPS – 1943 ft-lbs energy).
  • .577 Snider (500 grains at 1,250 FPS – 1,753 ft-lbs energy).
  • .72 Caliber Matchlock Musket (550 grains at 1,300 FPS – 2,064 ft-lbs of energy).
  • 10 Gauge Rifle Slug (766 grains at 1,280 FPS – 2,786 ft-lbs of energy)
  • Parrot rifle (8400 grains – ~45,000 ft-lbs of energy)

Each of the various antiques throws at least 480 grains of lead at the armor, which defeats all the center-fire ammunition with ease, albiet with some serious spall damage. Simply put, that much lead has to go somewhere and the anti-spall coating is decimated with a few rounds.

On the flip side, the antique firearms win the day with the cannon, hitting the armor with such ferocity that it goes concave, fractures, and ultimately becomes deadly fragments itself, even if the lead projectile ultimately does not penetrate the target.

My take-away? The Civil War would have been far less deady with any kind of serious AR500 armor.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • TVOrZ6dw

    Great video. Love seeing those old rifles in action. The cannon at the end was stunning.

  • John

    Find that old Confederate submarine and shoot cannon at it. Perchance it’ll bounce off.

    • datimes

      I’m surprised your comment wasn’t censored. I posted some history earlier today on the death of Confederate General Polk by cannon ball and TFB deleted it.

      • zardoz711

        >17 hours ago
        >The 3-inch solid shot that killed Episcopal Bishop and Confederate
        >Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk on the morning of June 14, 1864, nearly
        >tore him in half. When his mangled body was carried down from Pine
        >Mountain, Georgia, on a litter, Private Sam Watkins of the 1st Tennessee
        >noted that the bishop-general was ‘as white as a piece of marble,’ and
        >‘not a drop of blood was ever seen to come out of the place through

        looks like it’s still posted to me

  • Jim_Macklin

    Duh! I recall that about 20 years ago an Arizona Deputy wearing a Level III vest was shot with a 45/70/405 lead ball round. The vest stopped the bullet. Trouble was the rib-cage in his back stopped the vest which was pull through the chest and ling by the 45/70 fired from a rifle.
    Pistol vests stop pistol bullets. Soft lead can be stopped by the soft body armor but need a plate to stop the greater energy of a old rifle caliber.
    There are body armors available that will stop 7.62×51 and lesser powerful rifles, but they are heavy, hot and expensive. Soldiers in combat expect to be shot with rifles and so many US soldiers do wear the armor that defeats the 7.62×39 and even the 7.62x54R.
    Cops expect to be shot with handguns. If they are up against rifles, they call SWAT.
    They even have face shields that will stop a 7.62×51 at 10 yards.
    Even battleship armor can stop some projectiles.

    • mosinman

      i actually think that’s a section of a Tiger tank’s armor that got partially penetrated by a British At shell