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09/13/2004 Archived Entry: "Chain mail and shotguns"

IAN ANSWERS A VITAL QUESTION OF THE DAY in his latest field report.

How Will Your Chain Mail Handle a Shotgun Blast?
By Ian McCollum
Wolfesblog Roving Blogispondent

Okay, I know there are some folks out there who are into both guns and medieval combat - so here's an experiment you may find interesting. I recently discovered that one of my friends makes chain mail as a hobby. He knows that I'm a shooter, and we got to discussing the protective capabilities of his mail (specifically, it's butt-jointed stainless steel European 4-in-1). We were sure that rifle and pistol bullets would go right through it, but weren't so sure about buckshot. When I mentioned that I was heading out to the range this day, he gave me a piece of mail to try out with some of my S&B #00 buckshot.

Out at the range, we used a couple nails, and tacked the mail up to an old wooden door that was lying around. Then from about 20 feet, I loosed a single shell of buckshot into it (using my S-Mart boomstick). The results were impressive...the pellets each blew about a half-inch in diameter circle of mail clear out. Youch.

The conclusion: if you're going to a shotgun fight, don't bother with chain mail. It'll just end up as so much more metal for the surgeon to pick out of you. A piece made of stringer metal, with a denser weave, and riveted together might work more effectively...but I seriously doubt it.

Click here to see the results. (Opens a new window.)

Posted by Claire @ 08:41 AM CST

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