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Russian Spetsnaz Use Live Ammo For Ballistic Shield Training

Published June 5, 2021

Video reportedly shows Russian spetsnaz conducting live-fire ballistic shield training somewhere in the North Caucasus Republic of Ingushetia.


The idea behind such dangerous training is to psychologically strengthen the shield bearer's trust in his gear. If he has personally stopped bullets with no harm to himself in a training environment, he is less likely to flinch or retreat in a real world hostile engagement when a squad of his teammates are standing behind him and relying on his commitment.


While that philosophy makes sense, this drill wouldn't pass the risk-reward matrix for most Western military units. Bullets have a tendency to become unpredictable once they strike any surface. A shard of broken bullet may deflect down into the operator's foot, or some sort of freak equipment failure could unnecessarily endanger the shield bearer's life. Western militaries would be more likely to demonstrate the effectiveness of the shield with live ammunition with no one standing behind it, and practice using simu-nition type training rounds when someone is handling it.

Published June 5, 2021

Video reportedly shows Russian spetsnaz conducting live-fire ballistic shield training somewhere in the North Caucasus Republic of Ingushetia.


The idea behind such dangerous training is to psychologically strengthen the shield bearer's trust in his gear. If he has personally stopped bullets with no harm to himself in a training environment, he is less likely to flinch or retreat in a real world hostile engagement when a squad of his teammates are standing behind him and relying on his commitment.


While that philosophy makes sense, this drill wouldn't pass the risk-reward matrix for most Western military units. Bullets have a tendency to become unpredictable once they strike any surface. A shard of broken bullet may deflect down into the operator's foot, or some sort of freak equipment failure could unnecessarily endanger the shield bearer's life. Western militaries would be more likely to demonstrate the effectiveness of the shield with live ammunition with no one standing behind it, and practice using simu-nition type training rounds when someone is handling it.

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