Broadhead Tips

Can an arrow pierce body armor?

I was wondering if an arrow is capable of piercing modern body armor. I don't mean like an old fashioned longbow but from something like a powerful compound bow or modern crossbow. If so how much power would be required to do so and what are the attributes of the arrow that would be required.

Yes, targetbutt is correct, but he did leave ouit a couple things.

Momentum. The more momentum the sharp broadhead (or perhaps even bodkin*) tipped arrow has, the more resistence it takes to stop that arrow. A fellow named Pip Bickerstaffe, using an English "Warbow" (an English Longbow, of the "Robin Hood" style, made of yew) put bodkin tipped wooden arrows through plates of modern mild steel from a distance of 20 or so yards.... In fairly broad, general terms, the heavier the arrow, the more momentum the arrow has.

The actual type of metal those "armor plates" are made of. See above, about the bodkin tipped arrows and the plates of mild steel....

And, of course, there are always gaps between those metal/ceramic armor plates in "body armor". The plate might be able to stop a knife or sharp broadhead tipped arrow -- but if the knife or arrow hits one of those gaps....

The reason kevlar can stop a bullet is because the bullet is usually designed to squash down, and become larger in diameter when it hits something. That larger diameter means more surface area hitting the "target", and because the bullet weighs very little to begin with it is easier to slow (and stop) the bullet.

The point of the broadhead (or bodkin) does not normally squash down like a bullet does, so it stays small with very little surface area at the place of impact with the armor. It isn't just the weight of the broadhead (or bodkin) which has to be stopped, either -- it is the weight of the entire arrow (and most hunting-weight arrows are far heavier than most bullets - at least twice as heavy as a 30-06 slug).

*a bodkin is not a "target" or "field" point - it is a type of point designed for piercing armor.

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