Is it possible to deflect a bullet?

Deflective Shielding: Possible?

From what I read, would you like armor that deflects projectiles based on angled or sloped armor? Although such armor has been used in tanks and other armored vehicles since it first appeared on the battlefield, I don't feel that you can apply this principle to personal armor just as easily. Tanks fight their opponents in a predefined orientation. You never stand upside down, lie down, roll around, etc. (At least hopefully not.) Thus, one of the great advantages of sloping armor is lost. Sloping armor increases the thickness without increasing the thickness of the armor itself.

If I deflect your projectile, where will it be deflected? Having a metal plate on my chest that deflects bullets straight up into my head and neck isn't ideal. However, I fixed this problem by adding shielding in these areas.

Since I can't guarantee what angle your projectiles will hit me from, I'll have to make my armor thick or curved all over instead of sloping. So I think we need to start thinking archaically and looking at traditional plate armor designs.

Plate armor is designed not only to stop incoming blows but also to deflect them. You will notice a general trend in this armor towards rounded and conical shapes designed to distract swings rather than taking them straight. Traditional plate armor, however, died from the gun. This was not because the design was flawed, but because the materials available simply couldn't withstand the force of a bullet.

In your question, you mentioned that this is 100 years in the future. It's not that we don't have the materials to make this armor yet, AR500 for example, it's a weight problem. However, your timeframe fixes this for us. If you're not against the idea, robotic exoskeletons solve almost every problem there is when it comes to armor. They increase the mobility of the wearer in the armor and essentially remove weight restrictions.

Although fictional, I think the design of this armor checks many of the boxes. It generally has rounded armor shapes, a shield around its neck for protection from bullets deflected by the breastplate, and appears to be supported by an exoskeleton beneath the armor coating.

I would have put this right in the answer, but it's not an https link so I can't.

Helmets now allow you to make better use of traditional armor designs because the orientation of the head relative to the incoming fire is relatively predictable. Thus it is possible to place an inclined armor plate over the wearer's face. Additionally, you may want to investigate designs that incorporate something similar to a rear shield to protect yourself from deflected projectiles entering the wearer's neck.

An example of a helmet with a rear shield.

Interestingly, this design carried over to more modern designs like the German steel helmet from WWII.

Hope at least part of it was useful. Have a good one.


I have to answer a small part of this Not agree: offers sloping armor no additional armor thickness for a given weight is a common misconception. In order for a given volume to be trapped, an inclined armor plate must be longer by a factor equal to the additional protection it provides, resulting in a net protection to weight equivalence. Angled armor is used primarily for its increased resistance to shaped charges (e.g. HEAT) and its greater likelihood of deflecting high velocity projectiles through geometry, but does not save weight.


That's true, I probably should have found a better picture. I just picked one that illustrates the main point, which is the deflection ability and the increased thickness. I can change the answer to reflect this if I find another picture that illustrates this point.