ArmorShield USA is a bullet resistant vest manufacturer based in Kentucky. I had the good fortune to meed them in January where they showed me their very impressive Cobra Strike Plate.
ArmorShield put together a video of an informal test on one of their NIJ .06-certified bullet resistant vests. In this test, they put more than 100 rounds into the same vest panel. Rounds include many of the typical handgun rounds, but also the 9mm Winchester 127 grain +P+, the FN Five seveN, .45-70, 12 gauge rifled slug and the monstrous .500 S&W Magnum. Take a look:
If you watch the video all the way through, you will see that all of the rounds were stopped by the ballistic panels. The carrier is pretty torn up, and it appears some of the rounds may not have been stopped.
However, once the narrator cuts the bullet resistant vest apart, you can see that all of the fired bullets were stopped.
Back-face deformation in the clay is obviously a concern. The day is cold and the clay will not deform as much in colder temperatures as it will in the warmer testing conducted by the NIJ. So, the measurement is not an apples-to-apples comparison.
However, it is clear that all of the bullets were stopped, and that while some damage to the body is likely from the 12 gauge slug and .500 Magnum, the bruising, broken ribs or other injuries are much less likely to be fatal than one of those rounds ripping through your guts.
Frankly, it is an impressive test. I’d like to see similar tests on other manufacturers’ vests to see if they hold up to similar abuses.