Dragon Skin body armor is a type of bulletproof vest made by Pinnacle Armor. It is distinguished by its silver dollar-sized circular discs that overlap like dragon scales, creating a flexible vest that allows a greater range of motion and can absorb more hits than standard military body armor. The discs are composed of a silicon carbide ceramic matrices and laminates, much like the larger ceramic plates in other types of bulletproof vests.
The armor is available in the SOV-2000, which had been certified as Level III protection, but this certification has subsequently been withdrawn; SOV-3000, currently in process of getting Level IV certification, and a classified level V variant.
Dragon Skin has been worn by some civilian contractors in Iraq, some elite special forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, some SWAT teams, nine generals in Afghanistan, bodyguards tasked with protecting generals, and U.S. Secret Service personnel.
Pinnacle SOV-2000 level III armor is made of an imbricated overlapping configuration of approximately 0.25” x 2” ceramic discs encased in an aramid textile cover. The area of Dragon Skin body armor coverage varies between different layout configurations selected by the user.
History Channel and Discovery Channel tests
In a test for the History Channel's military show, "Mail Call", the vest repelled nine rounds of pointed steel ammunition from an AK-47 and 35 rounds of 9 mm, all fired into a 10-by-12-inch configuration on the vest. In "Test Lab", also on the History Channel, the vest withstood a total of 120 rounds, fired from both an AK-47 (7.62 × 39 mm) and MP5 (9 x 19 mm). In another demonstration on the Discovery Channel series "Future Weapons", a Dragon Skin vest withstood numerous rounds from an AK-47, an MP5, an M4 carbine (5.56 x 45 mm), and a point-blank detonation of an M67 grenade. While the vest was heavily damaged (mainly by the grenade), there was no penetration of the actual armor.