Flexible Body Armor Saves PSD/Security Operator from 7.62x39mm API Round Hits by David Crane
by David Crane
"From: XXX XXXX
by David Crane
The following article contains exlusive photos of a Pinnacle Armor SOV-2000/Dragon Skin® ballistic vest (containing a ceramic composite hard armor disc matrix) after taking multiple impacts from 7.62x39mm API (Armor-Piercing Incendiary) rounds (steel core). Click on photos below to view them full-size.
I’ve been writing about Pinnacle Armor’s rather impressive SOV-2000/Dragon Skin® flexible ceramic composite hard body armor solutions (i.e. flexible scalar armor) for awhile now. The last DefenseReview.com article I wrote on Pinnacle Armor was appropriately titled Revolutionary Flexible Anti-Rifle Body Armor for Security Operators and SPECOPS (December, 2004). That short article contained a link to my main article on Pinnacle Armor, which I wrote for Military.com SoldierTech (a DefenseReview.com content partner site). This much larger article is titled Body Armor Times 10: Pinnacle’s Innovative, Flexible Body Armor (December, 2004).
DefenseReview recently received a copy of an email communication that was sent to Murray Neal, CEO of Pinnacle Armor, from a PSD (Personal Security Detail, or Personal Security Detachment)/Security Operator about an operational save (his own life) that was made by one of the company’s SOV-2000/Dragon Skin® vests against 7.62x39mm API (Armor-Piercing Incendiary) rounds (steel core) fired from an AKM/Kalashnikov-variant rifle. In the accompanying photos, notice the almost complete lack of any impact damage to the impacted ceramic composite armor discs, other than a small burn mark, as well as the relative thinness of the Pinnacle Armor ceramic composite armor discs, compared to traditional SAPI plates. In fact, the wearer apparently didn’t even know he had been hit (he didn’t feel the rifle rounds’ impacts!) until after the skirmish was over, and he took his vest off. The following is a copy of the email communication that was sent to Mr. Neal/Pinnacle Armor (the message/content has been sanitized for the purpose of protecting the PSD/Security Operator’s identity, as well as his employer’s/organization’s identity):…
"From: XXX XXXX
Sent: Friday June 24, 2005 5:03AM
To: Murray Neal
Subject: Thank You
I work as a contractor for the XXXX XXXX in Iraq. We do PSD (Personal Security Detail) work for our clients.
My employer XXXX XXXX recently issued us with new body armor (Pinnacle), and I was slightly put off by the weight of the armor. It was heavy and slightly uncomfortable to begin with, but I have to admit, it kind of “adapted” to my body after a day or two. The weight distribution is a definite plus.
However, we were involved in a IED (improvised explosive device) attack and small arms fire on the XXX of XXX 2005.
After the contact, when I removed my tactical vest, I saw that I had taken hits in the back of my vest. They were 7.62x39mm (AK-47) and they were inches apart. I was hit in the back (and we checked, if I was wearing any other body armor, I would not be writing this to you), as it were both low hits (below the typical 10”x12” plate coverage). In terms of bruising, nothing whatsoever. I did not even KNOW that I was hit twice until I took off my tactical vest (this was after about 2 hours after the contact) and saw the damage. It was only then that we took a close look at my body armor that we realized I was hit twice by an AK-47. I had another ricochet hit around the top end of my back that may have caused serious injury to my lower neck.
I’m including some pictures of the vest (and the vehicle I was in, I was the vehicle commander, sitting right front.) I have no doubt in my mind that the vest saved my life. I lost three good men in my vehicle in this contact. I have to say that no amount of body armor could have saved them. The fact is, thanks to your product, I walked away from this (and I stress the fact “walked”.)
Thank you for your research and effort, providing a product that stood up to the promise. I would gladly provide you with the SIR (Serious Incident Report) of the day, as well as any other info you may need in order to enhance or better your product.
Once again, I thank you and your team from the bottom of my heart,
DefenseReview has been told that all of the PSD/Security Operators in the gentleman’s unit are now wearing Pinnacle Armor SOV-2000/Dragon Skin flexible body armor (flexible ceramic composite hard armor vests). By the way, in the photos above, outer material from the vest has been cut away for the purpose of examining the ballistic impact effect on the Dragon Skin® hard armor discs.
Mil/LE/Government and Private Military Company (PMC) personnel and organizations interested in getting more info on availability and pricing for Pinnacle Armor SOV-2000/Dragon Skin scalar body armor/flexible hard armor should contact the author (me) at [email protected], and I’ll put you in direct contact with the appropriate individual at Pinnacle Armor.
Click here to read my detailed Military.com SoldierTech article on Pinnacle Armor flexible hard body armor anti-rifle protection, titled "Body Armor Times 10: Pinnacle’s Innovative Flexible Body Armor". The article provides much more detailed info on the SOV-2000/Dragon Skin flexible hard body armor’s unique advantages and capabilities. It should perhaps be noted that Military.com SoldierTech is a DefenseReview.com content partner site.
Now, here are additional photos of the PSD/Security Operator’s SOV-200/Dragon Skin vest and a 7.62x39mm API round after the API rounds impacted the operator’s vest:
We also have pictures (below) of the PSD/Security Operator’s vehicle that were taken after the IED (Improvised Explosive Device) attack. You can see that the damage was extreme/total.