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Making a BULLETPROOF John Wick Suit in Real Life!

Apr 11, 2024
We spent the last year developing a

real

-

life

version of John Wick's

bulletproof

suit

. And this is one of the bullets we fired at him. Now before we begin, I want to make something absolutely clear. Nothing is

bulletproof

. There is no such thing as a bulletproof vest. Bullet resistant is much more appropriate, but bulletproof sounds much better, doesn't it? We've all seen movies with bulletproof vests, FBI agents, cops, and SWAT guys. They all have them. Even Iron Man's

suit

is bulletproof. But no one, no one, has a bulletproof suit. And he looks as good as John Wick.
making a bulletproof john wick suit in real life
Like. Come on, come on. It's literally a bulletproof three-piece suit. And with John Wick 4 hitting theaters on March 24. Let's just say I thought it would be the perfect time to upgrade my wardrobe. How cool would it be to make a bulletproof suit? Is it even possible? I learned how to sew things on a sewing machine, but I wouldn't

real

ly call myself a tailor. So for this build, we hired the best of the best. Materials science engineering student with extensive experience in

making

men's suits for Hollywood. They asked that this video not be shown to them to keep their identities secret from their other clients.
making a bulletproof john wick suit in real life

More Interesting Facts About,

making a bulletproof john wick suit in real life...

When we talk about bullet-resistant clothing, like vests, it all comes down to layers of ultra-high-strength materials. If you think about a sheet of paper, for example, it is not very strong. But once you layer the paper, it becomes much stronger. This is the basic principle of most ballistic armor. You've probably heard of Kevlar before, but not all Kevlar is created equal. In fact, the Kevlar used in body armor is highly specialized and manufactured in a very specific way. And it's not really something that you, as a consumer, can go out and buy. For example, this is over a half inch of Kevlar that we bought from McMaster Carr.
making a bulletproof john wick suit in real life
And as you can see, a bullet went through it. Luckily for us, we were able to work directly with some of the manufacturers of these highly specialized bullet resistant materials. And in fact, they sent us tens of thousands of dollars worth of fabric that we needed to both test and build this project. We needed to determine what our suit should really support. In the John Wick movies. There are a couple of different suits, but for our purposes we'll focus on the classic black three-piece evening suit from John Wick Two. We see the tailor demonstrate the bullet resistance of the suit, using what appears to be a P226, a standard classic pistol.
making a bulletproof john wick suit in real life
And throughout the catacombs we see that the suit withstands a variety of weapons, most of which fire nine millimeter bullets, but one that requires 45 ACP rounds, one MP, and five submachine guns. So that's our goal. How do we balance bullet resistance without sacrificing the aesthetics and flexibility of a suit? Now, that is the question we must answer for ourselves at the shooting range. We have 38 different samples that we are going to test and I have labeled them one through four. And basically all the samples in table one are the recommendations of many fractures for the number of layers of each material.
So, hypothetically, everything in this box should stop a nine thousand bullet. Now, what we've done is reduce the number of layers, box by box, because what we're trying to determine is what is the minimum number of layers and the most flexible material that still stops a nine. bullet because we are currently testing all these materials monolithically. So it means that we are only using one material. But most bulletproof armor uses composites. It uses multiple different types and different layer orientations and all that. But let's get started, I guess our position is uhhh... It's a good thing we're only testing one at a time.
Well. We have a failure here. As fun as it was, our first take revealed a very big problem. Our swatches kept flying off the wall and the size of our fabric swatch also seemed to make a big difference in the outcome. We began our testing with the manufacturer's recommended layers, similar to what you'd find in a commercial vest. But some of the bullets just went through. We were trying to save the expensive fabric but ended up wasting it all anyway with a bunch of data that isn't even going to help us. So we looked at NIJ armor standards and made our new samples 15 by 15 inches, the size they recommend for testing.
We also revised our test bench to better retain the sample. This time we will only use the vector since stopping the vector will stop the P226. We've also improved the elastic so the samples hold a little better, which hopefully means we'll be able to shoot multiple times without having to disturb the sample at all. And the reason we want to get two hits is that the problem is that firing the sample just once could be a fluke. So just because it stops the ball immediately doesn't mean it's bulletproof. It's deep inside me. There's the bullet. He stopped him.
The more deformed the bullet is, the better the armor will be, because as you can see, it is less deformed and almost manages to penetrate it. So this is my favorite material. The bullet never penetrates the front layer. Then 60, 39 and 43 passed. Interesting knitting, failed. I was into sewing. I don't like those odds. Oh, it was still 58 and yes, the quilt had failed. So I'm sure the complete failure on layers 16 and 17 is pushing it. 65 passes, 44 passes. But all white materials have massive deformation. If we kept this super tense somehow, the bullet would probably go through it. The energy is absorbed as it passes into the foam.
So it's slowing down and that's why it stops the bullet. If I wear this with a rope around my neck and you shoot me, I'm dead. Come in, come in. We have realized that our testing method is flawed because it is not a pass. Once again, the data we collected was not very useful. We got sample passes that probably should have failed. We needed a better human analogue than the pink foam. We decided to go back to using oil-based clay. What the ninja standard really recommends is that I try to take shortcuts to speed up testing.
Using the clay will also allow us to accurately measure the backface deformation or the depth at which the bullet stops. Rear face deformation is the reason you still break your ribs even when wearing a bulletproof vest. With this updated test procedure, we returned to the range and obtained our data for the monolithic test. It's time to start testing the compounds. We learned a lot from these samples, but the hard part is putting on a suit, how are we going to create the ultimate bullet resistant composite? To offer the most protection you need plate armor. This is what can stop rifle fire once you get down to level 3A, now that we like soft armor.
This is what most bulletproof vests are made of. But as you can see, it's still quite thick and probably won't fit well in a finely tailored suit. So we're going to have to look at level two and below these level two samples that the manufacturer recommends that are pretty thin. But in the field we were able to detect even thinner samples. The next step is to take these material samples and manufacture composites. Basically, our goal is to get somewhere between our possible minimums and level two, while keeping it flexible, lightweight, and able to fit inside a suit.
Let's start

making

some compounds. The front layer is going to stop. The bullet on the back layer will help reduce warping of the back face. I'm told that making armor is almost as much of an art as it is a science, so I don't think I need this. I'm just going to try to make it look as cool as possible. When we went to the range, one material in particular caught my eye and it was the Kevlar fabric that really stopped the bullet in the first layer. Even cooler, it left the woven pattern on the bale.
So let's try to make some swatches with this as the top layer. Which would emerge victorious? I have no idea. Have you ever Googled his name and been shocked to see his personal information exposed? If you haven't done so now, what you find may bother you. This information is available for anyone to find, including spammers and auto-collars, all thanks to data brokers. So if you don't want your personal information exposed and sold, let me tell you about today's video sponsor, Aura, either it is a powerful tool that can help keep your data safe or works hard to identify it.
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You can use my link Aura.com/hacksmith to try two weeks for free. You won't believe how much exposed information you will find in those two weeks. Leave you or keep you safe. To establish the basis for our new testing method, we are using a level 3A vest that we disassemble and place on the clay. So let's see how he does it. So it should have stopped the bullets and it seems it did. Personal note. I have to aim higher. I was very close to the wood appearing to have a deformation on the back side of between 10 and 15 millimeters.
Success is 44 millimeters or less. This one almost looks like it went through, but I don't see a bullet there. I would say it is a successful test. So when we actually measure the deformation of the back face, you're going to have to pick a reference point because look how much it sticks out there when stopped, although it could even be below 44 millimeters. I hope it stopped it, in our previous test it stopped it. So there is a problem with our approval test. Well, last time there was a 25% success rate with two shots. Well, 25%. Success rate, two shots.
Hmm. The math doesn't add up. I mean, take a look. We were very lucky last time, learning a lot doesn't seem so bad. It could be on the verge of level two. Turns out stopping bullets isn't easy, but I would have thought my arts and crafts I don't think would hold up that well. We also definitely learned that there is a lot of variability in the bullets we use. Whether they are filled with a little more or a little less gunpowder makes a big difference. There is a lot involved in making bulletproof armor and we are only scratching the surface.
While we continue to collect data in the field. Our tailor will begin to make the pants. We are not going to make them bulletproof, but we are going to make them resistant to abrasion and stabs. We did some quick tests with different materials and found something perfect to protect my legs. I also had a custom t-shirt made at Jeff Alpaugh Custom, where we studied stills from the movie to make sure we got it right. They also had this amazing silk lining made for us from Hacksmith. Pretty classy if I do say so myself. This is the fourth or fifth time we've been back to the range and we've almost finished our bulletproof materials.
Now we have had to make some concessions and have decided to make the suit jacket a little thinner and that probably won't stop the vector. So we brought in new samples and we're going to test just the pistol to make sure the jacket can stop a pistol and the vest can stop a submachine gun. Then there is the variability in bullets. You may be confident in your results, but the reality is that you only have four rounds that may contain a little less gunpowder. Some really perfect on the outside of the material yet. I have faith that what we can do is just make the suit look good and not look like a sweater.
It seems we're a little optimistic with our suit jacket trays. We kind of went for the lighter side of compounds and even using P 226, we couldn't get a 100% success rate, which means we'll have to refine those samples a bit and come back. But we brought back more samples for the vest and we'll go back to the vector to see if we can get a vest that can stop a submachine gun. Easy, right? It's just a submachine gun. This is the only one that worries me a little. Yes. Oh congratulations. You just broke a rib. These next two samples are very special.
They are identical in terms of material accumulation, but one of them has been impregnated with adisgusting fluid that the emporium of thought created for us. Hypothetically, the thickening fluid should reduce rear face deformation, so the use of thickening fluids in soft body armor is still under investigation. So this is really cutting edge. So I hope it works. The bullets you can buy on the market are not the most accurate. So my barber made us some custom bullets, which are exactly 115 grains with 4.5 grams of compact powder. So, hypothetically, these bullets should have almost the same impact, meaning we will actually be able to tell if this sample or the next one with the cutting thickening fluid is better.
Look at that guy too deeply for comfort. Very good. It's time to see what happened. I'm guessing it will probably look very similar to the last one we filmed. Actually, that seems pretty deep. Throughout all of these tests, we have realized how much goes into the development of ballistic armor. Unfortunately, our results, using an elegant nanoparticle shear thickening liquid, were inconclusive. To do it right, we could probably spend an entire year refining those samples. You should, however, check out the ideas and forums video to learn more about it and how it might work. But we have some good news.
During testing, we confirmed our final material composite for the vest. 16 layers in total with less than 3.4 millimeters thick. So awesome. Our specialist will start on the vest when we return to the range to finalize the jacket material. This is the fifth time we are back in the field and have our final samples. And the hope today is that not a single bullet goes through and we can start making this suit that Uno went through. It really looks like the dynamo is like a handkerchief through the Kevlar. Another pass. Oh, look at that. I guess my biggest concern is that when we finish the suit, we'll want to unload it.
And if a single bullet passes, we will have lost. Shows 110, 112. things. So, according to the replay of that footage, the first bullet lodged in the bulletproof material. And then when I hit the material the second time and bounced right into the fluorescent bulb above my head, I never thought I'd say it, but I'm getting tired of going to the range. We set out to build a lightweight but durable, bulletproof John Wick suit, and it took us a lot longer than I expected. But I think we've determined that we're winning material. The jacket has about 20 layers of special Kevlar and each second layer is cut at a 45-degree angle.
This means we can finally start assembling the full suit. But first, a quick thank you to Urban Tactical for allowing us to use their Thought Emporium range and of course to my hairdresser for helping us through the testing phase. Now, let's make this suit. If you want to help support the channel and own a piece of Hacksmith history, visit hacksmith.store. We have lots of memorabilia from this project, including a sample of the material used in the vest with a crushed bullet and a continent. currency. Check it out at Hacksmith.store. Here we have a jacket!...more or less.
In this state, everything can be changed. And that's important to me because I don't know how the bullet resistant panels and the wool are going to work together. We have mock sleeves, we have a mock neck. All of these white seams are temporary and will eventually be removed. We left plenty of room in the seam allowances to ensure adjustments can be made when we get it on James. This is a complete mockup of the bullet resistant panels. Now, on the actual suit, it will go between the fabric and the lining. But this one will do because it will just sit under my mockup and simulate the thickness of the panels so we can fit James in nicely.
So these are your pants. This is your shirt. This is some weight. It looks like the movie, right? It doesn't look bulky. I expected it to look much bulkier. This is where I have spent hours and hours agonizing over the pattern. The suit is definitely a little thicker than the one in the movie, but obviously the one in the movie isn't real at all. I'm really excited to see this thing lit up with some bullets and then hopefully stop those bullets. So we learned a lot of wonderful things during the test. We're going to cut it at the waist so James looks super cute and we also need to make some adjustments so that the wall and bullet resistant capes match up so Charles can use the fitting software and cut them at the waist.
Laser cutter. We have the bullet resistant capes all sewn together. I'm a little worried about how the Kevlar will interact with the wool. That's something that's still a cause for concern because of how thick it is. I have to use some very unusual methods. Well, I want there to be no wrinkles, right? I want it to be as smooth as it is now. You know, I don't know if that will be possible with this Kevlar. Well, you can do your best. Look, I've been trying to think through all the steps, trying to make sure that each step moves towards it, that it has good form, I kind of struggle with where the line is good enough.
It's interesting because we're striving as functionality with style, and a lot of our projects are either all functional-looking or all look-and-feel. Functionless. We both need this. Yes, there is a balance to strike, as with all things, but I like them 100%. Could we do 75% on both? You will never be able to get 100% on both. That's not an option. It is always necessary to reach an agreement. Yes. And the commitment from the beginning is that we will put about a quarter of an inch of plastic inside the clothing. There is a lot you can do. Yes. Even then, you have to remember that 99.95% of other people don't have a remotely similar experience.
They look out and say, Oh, damn, that's a suit jacket. But it has bulletproof material. This is amazing. Yes. While I see each of the errors. This jacket will be finished tomorrow. So that's 4 pounds of Kevlar you're using. You can see it well. Yes, that's a suit. You look very muscular. Charles. Hit me. With the scissors. No no. Good afternoon, Mr. Wick. It's been a long time coming, Mr. Wick. Is this a formal event or a social affair? Social. And is this for day or night? I need one for the day and one for the night.
And what style? Italian. How many buttons? Two. Pants? Conical. How about the lining? Tactical. That was amazing. This suit is super flexible. I had no problems shooting that gun and honestly it feels like a slightly thicker and heavier suit. It doesn't feel like I'm wearing a bulletproof vest, but I do feel super safe in it. And the mobility, like I could run and be John Wick in the suit. No problem. I think it's safe to say we definitely accomplished that goal, but the most important goal was making a bulletproof suit. So after almost a year of hard work, it's time to film this.
Now. Obviously I'm not going to wear the suit and we're testing it because that would be incredibly stupid. We have this mannequin who volunteered to have all his ribs broken. Needless to say, don't try this at home. Don't try to make your own armor and certainly don't test it to begin testing. Let's compare our custom made composite to a standard bulletproof vest. We're going to use a P226, which is the same gun they used in the movie. First, the standard bulletproof vest. ...and now ours. Let's see what happened. Oh, I'm nervous. You can see the hole through the wall, but we knew that would happen.
This wall is not bulletproof. Let's take a look at this one first. Where did I hit him? Yes, it's right there. It has lumps. Yes, it's right there. He did his job, as expected. The pressure is on us. I can already say it. That's where I hit him. A small hole in the wool. I am nervous. Didn't they button his shirt? What is this amateur hour? Ah, I don't feel anything. The hole is right here. There is no hole here. I can feel a small lump. We did it. He stopped a nine thousand bullet. Oh no.
His tie. I knew we should have made the tie bulletproof. And I can feel the bullet. It's right there. In reality, it seems like it hasn't even gone through many layers. It looks like it went through two layers. Ta daaa. Full metal jacket, nine millimeter round mushroom like crazy. It worked. Oh! I spent a year building a bulletproof suit. And he stopped. He stopped the bullet. Let's zip it back up. We're not done with you yet, friend. Let's increase it a little. I'm going to send three more towards each vest, heading towards ours. I'm starting to see some holes in the vest.
But I repeat, that's just the wool. We'll check this guy out first. I can start to see the holes here too. Now it worked. I don't know. What you expect is a bulletproof vest. And remember, we made the bulletproof vest and the suit jacket. So together they are even more bullet resistant. We are good. Nothing yet. It's not even that much damage to the mannequin. It is literally like a small deformation that surprises. Three bullets, zero holes. It's hard to see, but there are no holes there. The vest works better than expected. But you might be wondering what happens if John Wicks runs for cover?
Okay, do not worry. We also armor the back. Look at that group right there, right there, right there. Nothing, just my sweaty t-shirt from before. So there was one right here. There's one right here. And there's one down here. And as you can see, there are no exit wounds. This is amazing. Still we went out. We have to bring out the biggest weapon. This is very promising, but we've only tested it with nine mils. Now, remember, a .45 caliber actually has a lower impact velocity than a nine mil. So based on these tests it should also be able to stop 45 cal.
But let's step it up. We are going to use this vector. It's the Canadian equivalent of an MP5, which is what they used in the movie against John. And it sounds weird calling John. John Wick. John. John Wick. John. Mr. Wick. Not precisely. And ours. It seems to have moved more. Oh, the vest is pushed into the mannequin right here, causing serious damage. There is a bullet. There are two bullets. I think we're fine. Oh, it's leaving marks on the dress shirt and I can feel a nice little bruise on the mannequin. It look very nice.
But this is a submachine gun, so let's use it as a submachine gun. Now, we've put the jacket on ours, but first I'm going to photograph the store-bought vest. See how it withstands a flurry of bullets. Oh! Ah, ah. It doesn't look good. Uh-oh, it doesn't look good at all. Oh Lord. She died. Getting a little nervous. I don't know if I just grouped the shots together really well. And that's what did it. I'm pretty confident in our vests, but we've put the suit jacket on top, which has another 20 or so layers of Kevlar. Both of them can definitely stop the vector, although obviously the vest stopped it too.
It is the moment of truth. I'm going to take a glancing blow to the shoulder, the left lapel, the right lapel and, for good measure, the vest again. Oh, we definitely tore a seam. Let's look at this one first. Oh, the suit jacket was successful. The bullet is here. It feels like it's just going through one or two layers of Kevlar. You can see that the fabric has moved there. The hole is there. Let's check for an exit wound. Now. It doesn't look like it went through the suit. So it's somewhere inside the suit because it didn't go through the lining.
Well, it's not on the mannequin. I had to make some concessions and probably won't stop the vector. Alright. What's up with this guy? You can literally see where the bullet traveled. So Kevlar was skipped here. And I can feel like everything is pulled back and like the Kevlar is parachuted around the bullet that catches it, and there's no hole here. But I put one more shot in the vest. It's risky, I know, because we've already proven that the vest works. I do not feel anything. The shirt looks good. And some fat kids taking home a chicken dinner.
We set out to defend ourselves against a nine thousand pistol and a submachine gun. And he stood the test. Thank you all for following this epic journey. It took me over a year to make this video and I am very, very proud of both this project and the video we made. If you want to see even more content about the suit, consider becoming a YouTube member by clicking the join button next to subscribe because we will publish an expanded version. I tell you that it is an extended cut. We have a lot of images of the suit and I'll be doing a Q&A to talk about all the things we didn't get a chance to mention in this video.
Thanks again for watching. Make sure you subscribe. We're just getting started.

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