I've watched this thing several times, and as far as I can tell that is a real .38 round in the revolver. And it did recoil, although not much, meaning that an actual bullet was fired. What I do find passing strange, though, is that the brain-damaged reporter did not even have a red mark on his side. Give me an effing break! A .38 Special at point-blank range and not a trace of where the bullet struck? Also, it seems that the clothing in question is designed to stop 9mm Parabellum, and piss-ant cartridges of that ilk. What if someone were to shoot point blank at your heart with a .45 ACP? Say "blunt force trauma." Say, "Ceramic plate, wish I had one."