The U.S. Capitol Police alerted its rank-and-file this month that FBI lab testing of long-approved body armor has uncovered a previously unknown flaw that can subject female officers to deadly ricochets from bullets.
The advisory, obtained by Just the News, revealed that the FBI first detected the problem, known as the “skip effect,” when it “departed from legacy testing protocols in a desire to test body armor in an ‘as worn’ condition, and to account for various body shapes and sizes.”
“The testing revealed that when a projectile strikes the female body armor at an extreme angle on the upper chest area, the projectile does not penetrate the body armor, but rather, skips or deflects off the surface of the armor into the neck region,” the advisory explained. “Because of the angle at which female body armor lays when worn, projectiles may skip off the top center of the female armor and travel to the area of the jugular notch” in the neck where the jugular vein passes.
This will be an interesting problem to solve. How can the body armor be made to not deflect the bullets into the head and neck and still conform to the shape of women’s bodies enough to be comfortable?
This also points out an weakness of the armor for men as well. With the proper angle of incidence bullets can funneled into areas like the arms. Aim for the “arm area” and the shooter gets a disabling hit even if they miss the arm itself.