Melyanna (melyanna) wrote in little_details,

Range of possible injuries when shot while wearing bulletproof armor

Setting is modern USA. My details are a little sketchy because I'm a long way off from writing this, and I'm looking to know what my plot options are after this event.

My victim is a woman in her late thirties/early forties, and she's wearing a ballistics vest of some type when shot from about three feet away. The vest would not be the top-of-the-line version, but it wouldn't be a cheap one either. (Cheap being relative, of course.) She's wearing it under a trench or winter coat, so the shooter doesn't know she's wearing it.

The shooter is carrying a weapon that can be concealed relatively easily (also under a coat, I imagine, but we're not talking about a sawed-off shotgun here), but what that weapon is is not critical to the plot. I'm wondering what range of injuries is plausible in such a scenario. I know that at the least, she's going to be badly bruised and probably have broken ribs, and she'll be pretty uncomfortable for a few weeks. Assuming that armor-piercing rounds are not used, what's the worst that could happen short of death? I don't want her to be severely incapacitated for weeks or months, but I'm not opposed to her winding up in surgery.

I'm also open to the idea of her getting stabbed. My research to date has suggested that a ballistic vest would help protect her from a stabbing but not nearly as well as it would from a gun.

Searched for "getting shot while wearing bulletproof vest" and variations on that; so far I've learned that there are different levels of bullet resistance in ballistic vests and that women tend to have trouble getting concealable vests that fit and work properly. I've also seen a lot of anecdotes about getting shot, a lot of talk of how you don't fall over from the impact of being shot (thank you, Mythbusters), and inadvertently wound up in a TV Tropes article on bulletproof vests (farewell, productivity!).
Tags: ~weapons: firearms

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