PSA: Flak Jackets Are Not Bullet Proof

Earlier this week Alexandro Garibaldi shot his cousin, Joaquin Mendez. They purchased a flak jacket and wondered if it was bullet proof. Joaquin was wearing the vest when his cousin Alexandro shot him in the chest. Alexandro is a felon in possession of a firearm. Oops. There is a saying about the IQ of criminals. Even if they had purchased an actual bullet proof vest, it is never a good idea to “test” them on yourself.

For details of this story click here.

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


  • zaqzilla

    Yeah, that’s why they are called “flack jackets”. Because they’re made to stop flack not bullets.

    • Ron

      FLAK is the acronym of the German words for anti-aircraft cannon.

      • zaqzilla

        Yes, they were originally issued to bomber crews to protect them from shrapnel from anti-aircraft rounds. Hence the term FLAK Jacket. Like I said they were never designed to stop bullets.

      • Rooftop Voter


        Took plenty of that on my job.

        • Scouse

          Attending a OPP Range in Ontario Canada, a out of service Kevlar vest was hung on a target carrier, ran out to ten yards, and was shot a couple of times with 9mm pistol rounds.
          Couple of hollow points, a hard ball round, no penetration. I had some very light 9mm rounds, made for shooting steel close up. Made of a very shiny plastic? Shot at steel? Just blew up, no fragments at all. Shot at this old Kevlar vest? It blew right through it! A little cloud of feather like bits floated in the air!

          • Ranger Rick

            The plastic served as a lubricant for the bullet. That’s why ballistic panels are sealed in plastic to prevent water from serving as the lubricant.

      • Ron

        They were designed to stop fragmentation, if in fact they were using shrapnel they would have been less effective.

  • GPSrulz

    I was aggressively told: “Its a casualty limiting device” by my instructor. Meaning it will slow down shrapnel and not stop bullets. As a wise-arse 19 year old, I asked why are we even wearing these then, which turned into a butt polishing fest by two instructors.

    • iksnilol

      They also serve another purpose: Helping keep your primary meat bag together for whoever is bagging your corpse.

      • Swarf

        How did you get a copy of my wedding vows?

        • iksnilol

          What kinda wedding did you partake in??

          I really want some deets now.

      • Ron

        FLAK jackets were designed to stop wounds from small fragmentation that cause the majority of battlefield wounds. Since frag can range from the few grains to razor sharp chunk tens if not hundreds of pounds in weight it does not work all the time.
        I say fragmentation and not shrapnel, because shrapnel is a specific type of munition typically no longer used (claymore and beehive rounds being examples of shrapnel still in usage). While fragmentation is the either effects of high explosives or in the some rare cases, secondary projectiles after a round has hit something (concrete frag from rounds hitting it is an example).

        • iksnilol

          Does that contradict with what I said?

          • Ron

            Well frag that is large enough to cut a body apart would have gone right through a PASGT.
            In the Naval Gun Fire School, they had a piece of frag from a 16″ gun that was like 6 feet long I am sure if that hit you with your FLAK jacket would not keep your body together.

          • iksnilol

            I presume a 2 meter long piece of frag would nail you to a nearby wall.

    • Swarf

      butt polishing fest

      Lotta people pay to see that.

      • GPSrulz

        Yeah, I was smart and witty, but could never keep my mouth shut. After 23 years, it has a nice mirrored finish.

        • Nathan Alred

          Disturbing mental image.

  • Xtorin O’hern

    remember that comment before about my state showing up on this site in a positive light… about that….

  • Swarf

    I am trying to feel bad about the loss of a human life because I care about humanity as a whole even when it is deeply flaw— and I can’t care.


  • LazyReader

    Fine that dumb redneck with reckless redneckitude.

  • Mr Mxyzptlk

    We were told in training that our CBA vests (old British army vest only rated for flak and some pistol rounds, some sort of standard as the PASGT pictured above) were not to stop the bullet, but so that when you are shot it helps hold you together and stop your innards flying out the exit wound.

    • Iggy

      There’s a scene in Catch 22 (book and movie) that rather graphically demonstrates what happens when you take the vest off and it stops holding your innards. Let’s just say there was a… decompression.

    • Tritro29

      With our old soviet vests, we were told that it was a smaller bag that would make it easier to put us in a bigger bag…Confidence everywhere.

  • Lance

    Good Health and a idiot soon part.

  • randomswede

    I know it will sound callous but; this sounds like some weird version of “the Darwin awards”.

    • Russ Kell

      This isn’t a weird version. It is the actual thing πŸ˜€

      • randomswede

        I guess.
        The typical “winner” does something stupid to themselves leaving them dead or unable to reproduce. I looked at it as Person A shot Person B dead, but as they are related it disrupts part of Person A’s genes going forth.

        Looking at it as Person B did something stupid by letting himself get shot, then it’s most conventional indeed.

  • Anomanom

    Florida Man is at it again I see.

    • Nathan Alred

      How can there be so so many Florida men? Shouldn’t they have gone extinct by now?

      • RocketScientist

        I get is jokes, but there IS a reason for the FloridaMan meme. About 15 years back the state passed a series of “Sunshine Laws”. Kinda like state-level freedom of information acts on steroids. Basically ANY government documents, information, memos, meetings minutes, etc etc etc are available to the public very easily (with obvious exceptions). As a result, its VERY easy for reporters to get hold of and search police records, and pull out the weirdest for their “wacky news” segment. I’ve lived all over the country. Trust me, idiots are everywhere, and weird stuff like this happens ALL OVER. Its just a lot easier to find out about it in Florida.

        Oh, also, we’re a haven to the homeless, since you can basically live with nothing more than a pair of shorts and flipflops damn-near year round (even feed yourself with a cane pole). A lot of them are homeless due to drugs/mental health issues, perfect conditions for a FloridaMan story.

    • datimes

      On the Fox radio affiliate in Ft. Myers they were doing a segment in the morning called Flori-duh. The broadcaster would read a stupid criminal story every day.

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    Well that jacket isnt doing a thing for all the flak he will get for being a Moron.

    (his quality of moron deserves to be capitalized)

  • M1911

    The gene pool needs a little bleach now and then.

    • Don

      The good thing is that he kept it in the family thus thinning that line of idiots πŸ™‚

  • 40mmCattleDog

    What did Thomas Jefferson say again? The tree of liberty needs to be refreshed from time to time with the blood of morons? No wait that’s not right…

    • ostiariusalpha

      That sounds more like ol’ Andy Jackson. And he would have meant it literally.

      • 40mmCattleDog

        Good old Andy, beating would-be assassins with his cane since 1835.

        • Ranger Rick

          The last of the real “Democrats”.

      • n0truscotsman

        Not a fella I like at all, and it sounds just like him πŸ˜‰

  • Dave Parks

    I once served on a grand jury, probably heard over a thousand cases over the course of three months. The depths of criminal stupidity surely have no bottom. The foreman of the jury, a retired gentleman who had spent much of his career dealing with juvenile criminals, was very fond of a particular saying:

    “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”

    • Bill

      Grand Jury is a hoot. If you ever felt good about the human condition and the future of mankind, one term as a juror will clear that right up.

      • Disarmed in CA

        Or as a young “John Connor” opined in the classic T2, “We’re not going to make it, are we?” while watching 2 younger kids pointing guns at each other “bang bang! I got you!” “No you didn’t!”

      • Ranger Rick

        For most folks it’s an eye opener.

  • It’s not a good idea. If a man made it then it can fail. Why chance it.

    • Swarf

      It’s a damn joke, Phil.

    • iksnilol

      Besides, shooting a vest means it’ll be able to stop fewer rounds later.

  • Will

    Mr. Darwin doing his thing.

  • DanGoodShot

    Yup… I bet they vote for Hillary.

    • AC97

      You can’t vote when you’re dead, now can you?

      • Nashvone

        Depends on which party you’re registered with.

      • Don

        Are they even legal and able to vote is more like the question πŸ™‚

        • steveday72

          Illegals vote too – especially in California… the DMV there automatically registers people who have drivers licenses to vote. They said there is no method in place to see if the drivers are legally allowed to vote and they were not planning on implementing such a system.

          California is a completely lost state. Short of a Civil War there and cleansing of corrupt bureaucrats and crooked politicians, I don’t see any hope for fixing it.

  • Gregory

    Well, at least neither man is going to produce offspring.

  • William Morrissey

    “Alexandro is a felon in possession of a firearm.”

    …but not in possession of a brain.

    • Cmex

      To think owning one of those could have prevented both.

  • Don

    “it is never a good idea to β€œtest” them on yourself.” The guy didn’t test it on himself, he used his guinea pig friend. And once again it happens in the lovely state of Florida. Makes you wonder what’s in the water down there πŸ™‚

  • john huscio

    From the location and individuals involved, it sounds more like a flakka jacket….

  • jerry young

    I don’t know what they’re like today but back in the 70’s in Nam they weighed a ton and I wouldn’t trust them to stop a rock thrown at me by hand let alone take a gunshot, saying that these dimwits got what they deserved

    • iksnilol

      Well, we kinda stopped making them after “Nam”… So you can safely assume they’re the same crap.

      • jerry young

        That very well may be I haven’t been around them since in the early 80’s

  • Franivelius

    He probably killed his cousin on purpose and then lied about it.

  • Vizzini

    Only bad thing about this story is that it wasn’t a murder-suicide.

  • Some Rabbit

    Well the PASGT type armor pictured contains about 30 layers of 1,000 denier kevlar. If that’s what he was wearing, then it’s likely that his pal shot him with a rifle because 30 layers should stop every handgun round made. I’m thinking it was probably one of those Korean War era jackets that only had ‘ballistic’ nylon inserts.

  • Realist

    I wish people would do some research and quit doing stuff like this…it makes firearm owners look like simpletons writ large.

  • steveday72

    Not so long ago I tried explaining the above to a teenage neighbor. I told him that he’d be lucky if it even stopped a .22 – it then spurred him on to visions of putting 1/4″ aluminum plates in the vest pockets. SMH

  • Cmex

    Darwin at work.

  • Jim

    Darwin’s theory of evolution proving itself yet again……………….