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CNN is reporting that one life may have been saved by a chunky laptop during the Ft. Lauderdale Airport shooting. Fox News has the story:

“The backpack saved my life,” Steve Frappier said, speaking on CNN’s “AC360.” “[I] dropped and the backpack was still on my back and I was turned in such a way where that at one point when the shooter shot toward my direction … there was a bullet that ricocheted.”

Most people don’t walk around wearing body armor. While that kind of protection would definitely come in handy in a mass shooting event such as this one, it’s just not practical in most cases. Some companies such as AR500 Armor sell armor plates specially designed to fit in a backpack or messenger bag. It’s an effective and discrete solution to mitigate the risk of such a low probability/high consequence event.

Or, in a pinch, an Apple laptop works too, apparently.

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    • Been done. It’s all over YouTube. Laptops and phones.

      Looks like the lithium battery fired up with the hit. Some laptops might be like strapping an IED to yourself. The explosive battery explodes when shot.

      • I think I have three or possibly four in a junk pile in the basement that could go to this endeavor. But, yeah, it’s been done before. The real question is what caliber and projectile to test. Do we just go with the most popular handgun option, which is probably a 9mm hollow-point of some flavor? I think we all know a rifle round is going to whiz right through a laptop or three.

        • So would any handgun round, even a .22 LR, as long as it didn’t hit the battery. There’s not much material of any solidity in a laptop or phone. Looks like this was a lucky strike — it hit the case edge-on at an oblique angle and probably traveled through the laptop’s guts all the way to the hinge before stopping. Unless the bullet was already nearly spent, a hit just about anywhere else would’ve gone straight through.

          I’ve spent a big chunk of my range time shooting at any trashed household item I can get my hands on, so I consider myself an expert in the field. 🙂

    • I have done this with hard drives before. I have another set of them that I must decommission soon. I know 9mm and .40 will go through a HD but .45 usually won’t penetrate all the way through. I was going to use rifles only for the next round but maybe I’ll do pistols again too and take lots of pics.

      • Because what is this and why do you need it and airport security requirements are randomized in order to maximize deterrence and operational efficacy, so we’re confiscating it.

        Have a nice flight.

        • If its a case of surrender the armor or refuse to fly, its time to write the corporate leadership naming people and places, and getting some coffee napkin legal advice from a few lawyers in the family. They can either refund the ticket or get some bad PR.

          Last I checked, its perfectly legal to fly with ballistics plates in carry on. If its integrated or sewn into the bag, it would make a great stink-story to call out the airport on confiscating someones carry bag while leaving them with a pile of clothing and toiletries. Esp if it were elderly veteran, other than white, or LGBTQWETF+!

          Then again, security is a bunch of clowns who try to make problems out of anything. Once, they called out my copper penny box because it looked weird on Xray. The DOD haircut + moto bag gets you pulled aside every time and forced, yes, forced through the body scanner, I think they wanted to jackoff to the .mil body. Sweat too much, like I do, over active sweat glands whatever its called, its explosive swabbing.

          I drive now, if I decide to fly for whatever reason (I haven’t), I’d fly with nothing but a carry on and disposable luggage.

      • I’m not sure how my nail clippers would either, but there you are.

        (note: I suspect they’ve relaxed that particular prohibition but the general idea is the same)

    • I keep a level IIIa plate in my backpack that I travel with. I’ve never once been asked about it, much less told to remove it. However, my Leatherman tool is stopped on nearly all flights. The dangerous little scissors are more dangerous according to the tsa.

    • Nonsense.
      If you suddenly discover a need for ballistic protection, a briefcase could be placed between you and the threat much more quickly than a backpack strapped onto the wrong side of you.

  1. A Metal plate might be banned under the category of hammer or club or other striking weapon. Synthetic armor should pass just fine. Might want to remove the stickers tho.

    Oh, and just who do you think these body armor companies have been selling to all these years? Yea, to that guy in front of you in the TSA line.

  2. This was always my plan at work, in a pinch. Use a couple of stacked laptops as a ‘shield’ and charge. Or, frisbee them at the psycho. (of course because I am essentially a disarmed and defenseless potential victim while @work, and I’m not going to knock over 70 year old Sally trying to run out the back door to save my own life at the sake of others, or get shot in the back trying to do so. I’d prefer to at least go down fighting, even if it just gives a person or two an extra few seconds to get out the door)

    • even considering the bullet resistant nature of this laptop, still lousy price to performance ratio. Its still a Apple.

  3. If we are talking about protection from modest handgun rounds (such as the ubiquitous 9 mm parabellum), you would not need an AR 500 plate. Almost any plate steel would stop 115 grain bullets at 1,100 fps.

    Maybe you would only need a 1/8th inch thick AR 500 steel plate versus a 1/4 inch thick cold-rolled steel plate to stop jelly-bean handgun rounds … the weight savings would definitely be worth it.

    Or you could just get standard Level IIa ballistic vest material for your backpack or messenger bag and be good to go with almost no additional weight.

    Also of interest, polycarbonate sheets are bullet proof if they are thick enough … I imagine the minimum thickness polycarbonate sheet weighs less than minimum thickness cold-rolled steel plate. Anyone know the minimum thickness a polycarbonate sheet should be to stop modest handgun rounds?

  4. Nick, a few years back you did a test of an ultra-flexible, thin, light armor product.

    Put that in your carry-on…

  5. Good thing the shooter didn’t use a 45, because even if the computer stopped the bullet, it would still steal the victim’s soul. Sarc/

  6. Is there a possibility that someone here will make Apple authorized Body Armor !? How about a Tactical Bulletproof vest composed of Apple I Phone 6, or 6+ trauma plating ! “!!! T H W O C K !!! Siri ! What cailber was that !!!!”

  7. In WWII over 20 million people died and there was a story of a soldier whos life was saved by coins in his pocket. Now every other shooting has a cell phone or a lap top other miracle bullet stopper tacked on fiction, like the orlando helmet with the hole in it that experts are sure would have still been a killshot. These are all hoaxes.


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