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Generally speaking, ceramic armor plates can soak 8-12 medium caliber rounds from a rifle, and apparently are tested for two 7.62x54mmR hit equivalents, in the 30.06 AP round.
Steel can soak... Uh, well, infinite medium caliber rounds. If they don\'t penetrate, the hit doesn\'t do much more than minor bruise. Speed is key for penetration.
I've some faint memory of a (written?) work of someone picking up a second bullet proof vest after the one he or she is wearing already took some damage, and then wearing both at the same time...
Anyone knows about this and could clarify where that came from?
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How well does it match the trope?