Ballistic vest is a new kill streak in Modern Warfare 3, and I was curious how much protection it actually provides.

Is it enough that you can survive sniper headshots? Or is more along the lines of a few more SMG bullets?

  • Haven't experienced this yet but I have to imagine surviving a sniper headshot isn't likely. Commented Nov 8, 2011 at 18:06

4 Answers 4


According to the wikia, it increases overall health by 30 points.

Of the sniper rifles, the Barrett .50cal, AS50, L118A, and MSR do 98 points of base damage. These rifles all have a 1.1x damage multiplier for abdomen (lower torso). Without a ballistic vest, this results in a one-bullet kill, with a vest it takes two bullets to kill.

However, these rifles also have a 1.5x damage multiplier for the chest and head; hits to these areas are still one-bullet kills.

From experience, ballistic vests make targets much more difficult to kill with a sniper rifle.

  • It would be nice to know what that means in terms of actual bullets. Quoting the OQ: is it enough to survive a headshot?
    – Malabarba
    Commented Nov 8, 2011 at 21:06
  • Ah, that's what I get for attempting to answer a question for a game I haven't played. I assumed weapon damage was shown in-game. I'll do some more research and see what I can find.
    – Arkive
    Commented Nov 8, 2011 at 21:28
  • 1
    Don't sweat it, I haven't played it either. =) But from previous MW experience, I think damage doesn't show in-game.
    – Malabarba
    Commented Nov 8, 2011 at 23:07

From my experience:

In terms of extra bullets, it gives you an extra shot with an SMG at mid range, or assault rifle at long range. You are essentially guaranteed not to be one-shotted by a sniper.

All bets are off if someone lands a headshot on you, though.

As @Arkive mentioned, it gives you an extra 30 hp


I have done previous reasearch in all MW games and dug up that you do indeed have 100 hp to spawn with. I do have the game (MW3) and the ballistic vests do provide 30 extra hp. That being said you CAN NOT survive a headshot from the sniper AS50 or L118A, but all of the other snipers you can live from the blast


Since I have not found a chart with the hacked raw data from the game, I am using numbers from previous Modern Warfare games, which seem to be similar in terms of raw data. The standard damage multiplier for headshots from the previous multiplayer games was 1.4 for most weapons except sniper rifles, where it was 1.5. Sniper rifles have dealt 50-70 damage in the previous Modern Warfare games, so a headshot would deal 75-105 damage. Since players have 100 hp, the extra 30 might allow you to survive, but I cannot confirm this.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .