Video: .50-cal Desert Eagle vs. Bulletproof Vest … and Melons

The marketing folks at are clearly having fun with their ongoing video series comparing how their bulletproof vests perform against random items such as melons after being shot at close range by a high-caliber pistol.

Because, why not?

In a video from last year, Tom Nardone, chief executive officer of the parent company of the Troy, Michigan-based online retailer, fired a .50-caliber Desert Eagle at watermelons. In a new one released last week (shown above), he did the same to honeyrock melons.

In case you’re wondering, the round pierced all five honeyrock melons, though it didn’t seem to go through all seven watermelons. By comparison, it went through just seven layers or so of the 40 layers of the $299 vest, according to the footage.

Besides its entertainment value — which for this viewer included a reminder of the Desert Eagle Mark VII wielded by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in the 1993 action flick, “Last Action Hero” — the video offered the following bit of trivia:

“You can see the difference in damage to the melons when the bullet is supersonic and when its velocity drops below the speed of sound. In the first melon, the bullet is supersonic and resulting shock wave creates a large path of destruction. As the velocity slows, the bullet just pierces the melon, leaving a much smaller entrance and exit hole.”

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • iac

    To bad they didn’t show a slow motion of the round going through the melons !

  • LIAM

    Bullet proof vest vs 50 cal….YEA RIGHT!! THE BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA WILL KILL YOU ALONE!!

  • guest

    It’s a .50 cal AE round not a 12.7mm x 99 mm Browning. Big difference in amount of powder charge, case and projectile length, it’s just a .44 magnum with a bad attitude. Not something I would want to take a shot while wearing their vest however.

    • Mike in Fort Worth

      Exactly, it would hurt like hell and leave a pretty good bruise but the “blunt force trauma” would not kill you. The vest is rated to stop that round and it will absorb any lethal amounts of energy.

      • Docsenko

        There was a deputy in Corpus Christie who was shot by a .44 mag. at point blank rage. He wore a level 2A vest. He was dead before he hit the ground. It stopped the bullet, but the shock wave caused by the impact detached part of his heart. If hit in the sternum, I bet it will fracture with a .50 AE.

  • Bravo 25

    Do any know if this armor is stealthy or does it have a IFF embed ? For example, COTS monofiliment (Weedeater line etc) reportedly contains a Drone or UCAV or SU-CAV or Robot target acquisition ‘marker’ ? That first melon’s hydro-shock swath of annihilation speaks eloquently for armor. In this area a USMC CMBT Surgeon reported a spike in mil spec gunshot wound amputations resulting from poor wound cleansing. That first melon is more than fun– it demonstrates how much wound cleaning is required. I agree that slow motion would be helpful and fun. Col. Brown, USAF Air War College Hydroplate Theory (youtube) is slightly off-topic, but demonstrates the incredible power of catastrophic hydro-shock and cavitation.