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Old May 29, 2015, 18:33   #51
longhair51
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That is good news. There is a lot of m193 and other high velocity varmint rounds out there. Granted, they would have to be fairly close to you to defeat ar500 but the possibility is there. Added capability and weight savings....what's not to like?
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Old May 29, 2015, 21:12   #52
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That is good news. There is a lot of m193 and other high velocity varmint rounds out there. Granted, they would have to be fairly close to you to defeat ar500 but the possibility is there. Added capability and weight savings....what's not to like?
It was quite shocking how far out the M193 punched AR500...when I made the discovery (around the same time it broke on 10-8 back in '07, actually) I thought I'd gotten a bad batch of steel. Was hitting and penetrating at 50M, which is kind of scary.

This material has been available for a time, the issue has been forming/curving it. CNC roll press was how they did it (because I can tell you even a 100 ton press brake is not up to the task!).
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Old May 29, 2015, 21:50   #53
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Wat about with Kevlar spall guards? Starting to make me consider blowing my budget this month...
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Old May 30, 2015, 00:17   #54
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Wat about with Kevlar spall guards? Starting to make me consider blowing my budget this month...
Looks like they coated with rhinohyde or other truckbed liner to take care of the spall.
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Old May 30, 2015, 01:05   #55
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Looks like they coated with rhinohyde or other truckbed liner to take care of the spall.
The liner adds about a pound and a quarter...bare plates with Spall Guards would be a thinner and lighter option.
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Old May 30, 2015, 12:45   #56
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Wat about with Kevlar spall guards? Starting to make me consider blowing my budget this month...
Backers will not influence which primary rounds a plate will stop. They are soley there to catch any fragments that may barely make it through if a round's V50 exceeds the plate's capabilities. They also provide additional blunt force trauma.
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Old May 31, 2015, 16:15   #57
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Personally do not like rigid body armor. It's o.k. for situations where mobility is not an issue, but if have to move much especially twisting torso it restricts movement, chaffs and is terribly hot during long summers we have down south. Have a set of shooters cut 10"×12" level IV plates with spall guard coating and would only wear if knew for sure would not be moving much or articulating upper body. Basically would only wear if barricaded in house and not planning on leaving and air conditioning functioning.

Sure someone has made it but try putting a set of rigid plates on a female and they will be crying soon in matter of a few minutes due to comfort in the breast area. In Kevlar/Kevlar and Gold Shield combo wife has level IIa, II, IIIa, and III all that is cut and sewn to fit female properly. Have dozen or more assorted 5"×8" to 8"x10" trauma plates that can be added to any of our armor and she would rather lose a full level threat rating to use soft trauma panels than rigid. Level IIIa with soft trauma panels is most she will wear now due to mobility issues from her bone disease.

The steel plates and carrier I own has no side protection. Even if going light weight and lower threat level I want full coverage. Recently acquired new level III vest with neck yolk, shoulder and bicep daps, groin and sacrum panels all of which can be removed if want. All of the add on's and side panels are level IIIa rated. With rigid trauma plates added on top of the relatively stiff main front and rear panels it also becomes almost unbearable for any length of time.

For most times feel body armor is necessary wear either level IIa, II or level IIIa. The IIIa is only worn when shooting at indoor range as seen too many close calls in concrete room full of strangers blazing away. My job puts me in a lot of high risk locations like south side of Atlanta, often after dark. If working such areas wear level IIa with stab layer in summer and II with stab panels in winter. Levels IIIa and above limit my ability to crawl around under racks and drawers or scamper up antenna towers.

Prefer something can conceal and protects me well enough that will survive a surprise encounter. So few hoodlums carry rifles, especially with AP ammo feel that if attacker is of any quality and realizes first shot you don't go down they are going to shoot low or for the head. Just want a chance of surviving the first round or two, if while have head stuck in telecom cabinet on a night time service call, someone decides to cap me to get keys to truck.

Best new pieces of armor added of late are the level IIIa briefs/diapers shown in picture below. Worn in conjuction with my level III tactical vest with shoulder, bicep, side panels, neck yoke, groin protector and sacrum protector have enough protection lower body area likelihood of surviving someone shooting low goes way up. Honestly though own it, don't see need for anything higher than level III. The lower rated protection worn as opposed the higher protection level not worn due to comfort or inability to conceal is like the gun left at home or in vehicle. If only had one vest and it was a high threat level would seldom, if ever, be worn. Level II with a front and rear IIIa trauma panel is most versatile and used vest in collection.

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Old May 31, 2015, 18:50   #58
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Huey, well said. Thanks for sharing your personal experience.

This highlights something that does not get brought up enough, that I feel very strongly about:

A level IIA vest that you have on when you need it beats the level IV plates and IIIA vest left at home because they're too uncomfortable.

Until the new 6th generation of composite fibers hits the market, there are not likely to be any perfect solutions regarding rifle-class protection. Your point about current rifle armor being...less than ergonomic for females is another issue that has not been addressed satisfactorily.
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Old August 10, 2015, 14:04   #59
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Just got word. The new Maingun Advance plates will be available for order in one week!

He is pricing them extremely affordably, and also offering them with plate carriers.

www.eepurl.com/bu3gsj
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Old August 15, 2015, 00:51   #60
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So here is my question - why would I wear these levelIII plates to specifically stop the 193 rd at NINE pounds, when I can don a set of 14lb levelIV SAPI plates that will stop .308/30-06? yes its an additional 5 lbs but you better not run into a dude with a FAL
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Old August 16, 2015, 12:52   #61
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So here is my question - why would I wear these levelIII plates to specifically stop the 193 rd at NINE pounds, when I can don a set of 14lb levelIV SAPI plates that will stop .308/30-06? yes its an additional 5 lbs but you better not run into a dude with a FAL
Durability. The steel plates will stop everything that an original SAPI will stop (M193, M855, M80 Ball, .30-06, 7.62X39), while remaining viable after dozens of hits. The (N)SAPI plates are good if you have a logistics tail that can replace plates once they have been used. If resupply is not possible, steel makes way more sense.

SAPI are also, not strictly speaking, level IV rated. Level IV calls for one round of M2 AP, and then the plates could (being silly here) evaporate into shiny particles. Level III calls for 6 rounds of M80 ball @ 2750 fps before being compromised. The .mil uses their own standards for evaluating and certifying plates. There is some overlap with the NIJ IV rating, but typically E- and X-SAPI will stop three rounds of up to AP threat before being compromised.

The only reason to go with a IV rated plate is if you suspect your OPFOR will have black tip rounds, and that they are a significant risk. Otherwise, level III and III+ all day long makes better sense. Remember, even though III+ is not an "official" (NIJ) level, it is important to consider WHAT THE PLATE STOPS. Many (if not MOST) III UHMWPE plates will NOT stop M855 AT ALL.

Plates like the AMI TAC3S were developed to combine the best features of UHMWPE and steel plates. The new generation of steel plates looks to be thinner and cheaper, and nominally as effective as the TAC3S.

It all comes down to what YOU want the plates to do. Hope that made sense.
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Old August 22, 2015, 01:41   #62
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I want plates that weigh 5lbs and will stop 50bmg - just like everyone else
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Old August 24, 2015, 14:27   #63
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I want plates that weigh 5lbs and will stop 50bmg - just like everyone else
Boy, don't we all.

Thing is, I could build them for you, with a certainty. If I had M5 fiber and CNT toughened B4C (both of which are unobtainum and/or prohibitively expensive). You would not like the blunt force trauma one bit, though.
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Old August 28, 2015, 00:06   #64
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Well, there is that pesky physics issue... it may stop the pill but the pill may just may break every bone in your chest and kill you just the same when the impact snaps your neck... there is that problem
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Old August 29, 2015, 21:42   #65
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Just to put a historical spin on this thread,

The UWGB Linothorax Project: Reconstructing and Testing Ancient Linen Body Armor

https://www.uwgb.edu/aldreteg/Linothorax.html
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Old August 30, 2015, 14:50   #66
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Just to put a historical spin on this thread,

The UWGB Linothorax Project: Reconstructing and Testing Ancient Linen Body Armor

https://www.uwgb.edu/aldreteg/Linothorax.html
Story, an excellent site. It is interesting to note that the Conquistadors reverted to brine soaked linen armor when confronted by the obsidian arrowheads of the Aztecs. Seems the volcanic glass was penetrating their Milanese steel breastplates, but was stopped by the salt-soaked layers of hemp fabric. Counter-intuitive, but it shows why testing is so important.
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Old August 30, 2015, 16:04   #67
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Thanks, glad to share. Struck me as an Ancient version of kevlar and by extrapolation, lesser-than-kevlar fabrics might be super-glued into potentially useful field expedient armor.

Although it's alot easier to just go buy the stuff...
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Old August 30, 2015, 16:43   #68
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Thanks, glad to share. Struck me as an Ancient version of kevlar and by extrapolation, lesser-than-kevlar fabrics might be super-glued into potentially useful field expedient armor.

Although it's alot easier to just go buy the stuff...
I would recommend either brining it, or dilluted white glue. Super glue actually makes the resulting laminate too brittle (yep. Have actually tried this out). Alternating layers of quilted/brined linen and silk were the best, able to stop 90# recurve bow arrows in 18 layers, both broadhead and bodkin. Unbrined took 30 layers.
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Old October 12, 2015, 14:55   #69
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Been shooting AR500 steel for a long time now and I am a fan of steel gongs. they tend to last a very long time.

With that said, curious about whether to buy curved or flat.

I understand about the curved plate maybe wrapping around you better, but at the same time, would seem to maybe not distribute blunt force across as wide of an area if you did happen to take a hit. In fewer words, it would seem to distribute the force more to the sides more than across the entire piece from a lack of better description.

What about the back plate. Which do you prefer for that? Curved or flat?

I've never felt the need to have armor, but, you just never know what may be coming down the pipe. Seems like every time someone mentions gun control, personal protective armor somehow gets thrown in there some how.
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Old November 09, 2015, 08:03   #70
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There are amour materials that are soft until gets hit when it hardens up (I do not remember if just around the area or the entire pannel) quickly enough to stop a bullet. I think one of those companies have been trying to sell them to the US military for some 5 years but it was not deemed complicate and heavy and expensive enough.
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Old November 17, 2015, 14:46   #71
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Purchased what appeared to be a military issue vest on Ebay recently. Had what appeared to be a molle carrier some version of MARPAT or ACU pattern camo and quite a few accessories attached such as IFAK, radio pouch, M4 magazine pouch, pistol pouches and others. All main ad said was "Bullet Proof Vest", all description said was "new, unissued dealer sample missing packaging and no tags. Never been issued" and only a single picture. Seller said did not know anything about body armor, could not answer any questions as afraid would give incorrect information. It was a $250 buy now and had watched it a week knowing something about it looked like had seen before but unable to place. Seller was able to say it had panels in it but not what kind or rating.

Took a chance and ordered the thing right before auction ended and finally arrived. As advertised it was new as showed no wear or dirt. Nice, clean and crisp including all the accessories. Did not take long as in reading the tags to realize the carrier is a Second Chance Titan Assault Enhanced Carrier model. Opened it up and has new Second Chance Summit Series Level IIIa front and rear panels, clean as a new penny and no staining or signs of being worn ever. Also has the 6"×10" side panels and a set of Impac Special Threats Plates front and back. If seller had taken pictures of inside and back, along with pictures of tags and then made a list of what the tags said on each accessory item and listed in auction format he would have gotten in the $750 to $1,000 plus range. I asked the guy questions twice had he taken a little effort to answer I would have been decent and suggest he pull his listing then relist with correct and complete information so could get fair price. But apparently he sells so much stuff he doesn't have the time or takes the time to research his products. One thing for sure is have his store in my favorites folder and will be watching him closely.

Now for a question. Anyone have a source for determining threat level when different panels are stacked? This has dual pockets that allow use of 8"×10" or 10"×12" panels or both. Side panels accepts 6"×10" or 6"×6" mini panels. Can run it with either size front and back or both. Sides can run small, large or no panels. Basically can make it a super light load carrying vest or full protection high threat level unit. So many options I may not sleep for two days swapping panels around till it feels just right. Have plenty of extra sets of panels and wondering if put a set of Level II panels in with the IIIa panels if there is a chart that gives actual threat level for multiple plates stacked?
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Old November 17, 2015, 16:35   #72
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Purchased what appeared to be a military issue vest on Ebay recently. Had what appeared to be a molle carrier some version of MARPAT or ACU pattern camo and quite a few accessories attached such as IFAK, radio pouch, M4 magazine pouch, pistol pouches and others. All main ad said was "Bullet Proof Vest", all description said was "new, unissued dealer sample missing packaging and no tags. Never been issued" and only a single picture. Seller said did not know anything about body armor, could not answer any questions as afraid would give incorrect information. It was a $250 buy now and had watched it a week knowing something about it looked like had seen before but unable to place. Seller was able to say it had panels in it but not what kind or rating.

Took a chance and ordered the thing right before auction ended and finally arrived. As advertised it was new as showed no wear or dirt. Nice, clean and crisp including all the accessories. Did not take long as in reading the tags to realize the carrier is a Second Chance Titan Assault Enhanced Carrier model. Opened it up and has new Second Chance Summit Series Level IIIa front and rear panels, clean as a new penny and no staining or signs of being worn ever. Also has the 6"×10" side panels and a set of Impac Special Threats Plates front and back. If seller had taken pictures of inside and back, along with pictures of tags and then made a list of what the tags said on each accessory item and listed in auction format he would have gotten in the $750 to $1,000 plus range. I asked the guy questions twice had he taken a little effort to answer I would have been decent and suggest he pull his listing then relist with correct and complete information so could get fair price. But apparently he sells so much stuff he doesn't have the time or takes the time to research his products. One thing for sure is have his store in my favorites folder and will be watching him closely.

Now for a question. Anyone have a source for determining threat level when different panels are stacked? This has dual pockets that allow use of 8"×10" or 10"×12" panels or both. Side panels accepts 6"×10" or 6"×6" mini panels. Can run it with either size front and back or both. Sides can run small, large or no panels. Basically can make it a super light load carrying vest or full protection high threat level unit. So many options I may not sleep for two days swapping panels around till it feels just right. Have plenty of extra sets of panels and wondering if put a set of Level II panels in with the IIIa panels if there is a chart that gives actual threat level for multiple plates stacked?
Nope, nobody has a chart of stacked panels. I do know it takes over a 1.5" of stacked panels to stop a .30 ap round, at which point you at which point you are around 8 ~ 8.5 pounds per square foot and ceramic inserts are thinner and lighter.
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Old November 18, 2015, 16:39   #73
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This 3a armor is currently on eebay. It is also listed on the NIJ website as compliant. Does anyone have experience with this brand?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/251958172693...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
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Old November 18, 2015, 18:10   #74
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This 3a armor is currently on eebay. It is also listed on the NIJ website as compliant. Does anyone have experience with this brand?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/251958172693...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
Never seen them but went to their site and have a huge range of high end products. The NIJ Level IV+ panels rated for 7.62 armor piercing incendiary are interesting. Looking at their entry vests, EOD suits, helmets and such along with have North American and International divisions guess is they have their act together. Their 10"×12" Spartan Plate rated Level IIIa and only 3/16" thick and under a pound seems like a nice plate.
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Old November 18, 2015, 18:50   #75
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This 3a armor is currently on eebay. It is also listed on the NIJ website as compliant. Does anyone have experience with this brand?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/251958172693...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
They make a ton of stuff for military contracts. So good mil spec stuff, and they are the low bidder.
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Old November 20, 2015, 09:38   #76
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MAJOR UPDATE 5-28:

A company called Armor Wear just beat everyone to market with their new AR680 plates. These are Ultra-Hard Steel, and will stop M193 at 3000 fps and above. I no longer recommend AR500 steel plates, with minimum being Mil-HHS (Maingun), and best practices being UHS.

https://armour-wear.com/shop/all/ar680-steel-plate/

Plates are 6.2 lb. without coating and 7.4 with.

I posted this exact comment on a thread on the ak files a day or so ago... What are your thoughts on this? I was seriously going to pick up some of the ar680 plates after watching the videos on their website until I saw these:

http://youtu.be/uX3XRUUqjvM

http://youtu.be/tMSNc3lZsYE
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Old November 21, 2015, 20:27   #77
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Would anyone comment on this:

A number of years ago I heard and read that Kevlar panels lost some of their ballistic properties when soaking wet.. Something about the water transmitting the shock wave and it cuts the fibers..

Is that right?
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Old November 21, 2015, 20:49   #78
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Yes, Kevlar cloth loses some performance when water logged. Damp is not a significant issue. It is also proportionate to the projectile shape. Like a good sharp needle sews through Kevlar smooth as silk, a long slender high ballistic coefficient bullet with sharp point will take more advantage of the wet fibers slipping when wet but your average blunt and stubby handgun bullet will not see any significant advantage if Kevlar is wet.

Amount of water saturation is directly proportionate to how much affected. Soaked to every fiber and dripping with pointy rifle bullet attack and will have some issue. Carrier wet and panels damp against typical pistol bullet little issue. If raining hard I usually put on a rain shell and don't worry a bit. Also have ABA coated metal trauma plates in most of my carriers to give the Kevlar some protection.

Spent a lot of time studying the issue and pretty much relegated it to a no worry deal personally. Unless a person plans to only own one do all vest then gotta have Kevlar for most days. Steel and rigid panels day in and day out will have you leaving vest at home the day you really need it. If I were going bare minimum would have a Level II Kevlar and a Level III+ or IV rigid.
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Old November 25, 2015, 00:09   #79
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This is my current favorite tactical vest. It is the military's Outer Tactical Vest or OTV and mine is made by Second Chance. Due to front opening design it's easy to get on and off but no weak area due to way front overlaps itself to seal up tight.



Vest was purchased new as can tell in photos not even gotten dirty yet, arrived with Second Chance level IIIa armor inside specifically stating protects up to a multi-hit burst from 9mm submachine gun at point blank range. Has 11.5"×14.5" panel pockets front and rear for additional ballistic protection. Have two sets of 11"x14" panels for mine, first set is stand alone rated Level IIIa and second is rigid Level III+ multi hit rifle panels. This is reason asked about if a chart giving approximate rating of stacked panels. Would like to know if added a Level II, IIa or IIIa set where it lands in protection level. Also odd that the label says IIIa and stops up to point blank range 9mm sub machine gun attack. Would think they would say 44 magnum but part of official rating says
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.44 Magnum; Submachine Gun 9mm; also provides protection against most handgun threats
From military standpoint a 9mm sub gun attack is much more likely than some zipper head with a Model 29.

Without additional panels it is super comfortable and as sitting has no extra panels will probably add a set since out for winter but remove come summer so don't die of heat stroke if pull on to investigate something going bump in the night. With the IIIa soft panels it is a little more obtrusive but when the 3+ rigid panels go in it becomes measurably more uncomfortable. Currently have neck yoke, sacrum and groin panels installed. Have set of shoulder and bicep DAPS laying in basement for it but becomes unwieldy and takes double the time to get on with all the shoulder/arm protection. If need that much more will put on the Level IV vest with all the bling ballistic accessories installed and ready to go at all times.

It OTV has several add on accessories; two double M4 magazine pouches, Universal Radio Pouch being used as empty magazine dump pouch, IFAK, radio pouch, shotgun ammo pouch to carry exotic shotgun ammo, two grenade pouches, two pistol magazine pouches and a 100 ounce Camelback water carrier on back. Have two double stack pistol magazine pouches to install as units on vest are single stack and one has standard Leatherman multi-tool and other Leatherman Crunch with ViseGrip type locking pliers. Grenade pouches carry compass, lighter and snacks, etc. Purchased this thing so cheap could not pass up. Strange how good body armor deals crop up fairly often. If SHTF around house this will be the vest most likely worn. If incoming rounds seem imminent then the rigid 3+ panels will go in.

Wore a level II vest at work all day past two days and extra support actually helps my back. Tonight had all of my vests, extra panels, carriers and add-on devices and on top of five ready to wear vests could put together a couple more out of all the spare pieces. Tomorrow going to see about rearranging all the accessory pouches for better ergonomics and see if possible to get pistol and Randal knife on board. Also want another doble thickness AR 15 magazine carrier if possible. With six magazines plus bandoleer can carry a pretty hefty load of ammo. Drag handle is nice feature. Suggest all actually wear their vests on occasion as teaches your body to tolerate and helps you figure out how to arrange the extra load bearing stuff. Considering taking into field Thanksgiving and run a couple of live fire courses to see how it acts as have never worn except around house. Now for the new Second Chance Titan Assault Vest to arrive so can bling it out. Got another set of IIIa female panels for wife and looking for carrier as she only has one tactical vest with molle system. Don't need half a dozen sets each but if we really have a SHTF situation and some of our pre approved persons arrive alive may likely have to outfit them and safer they are more can leverage to protect us if gunfight happened and its been more of a function of 20 plus years of keeping up with newer technology.
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Last edited by hueyville; November 25, 2015 at 14:31. Reason: Had some confusing syntax posting too late at night with too little sleep again.
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Old December 22, 2015, 13:35   #80
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Just purchased two sets of these panels that fit my torso like made for it but just tad large which gives me a little growing room or ability to layer over soft panels. Rated 3++ with letter from accredited lab saying will stop up to three rounds of 7.62×51 FMJ NATO, three rounds of 7.62x54 FMJ Combloc, six rounds of M855 Green Tips and multiple hits of 7.62x39 steel core. Pretty heavy at 7 pounds for front and six for rear but rating is stand alone, not in conjunction with Level whatever panels underneath. Plan on putting in smallest carrier will fit with molle and use as loaners if SHTF and have friends show up for the party.



My personal level 3++ vests use Dyneema plates which are just under two pounds per plate and takes about 1/3 more rounds of any cartridges listed above. These new plates worn as stand alone would not be too bad, especially if the other option was nothing or handgun only rated armor in a rifle fight. Good coverage for anyone up to size Large. Don't know how would fit or cover anyone that wears XXL or bigger.

Also got this thing in mail and now that had time to handle going to order two more. Holds a standard groin panel plus a 6"×6" actually almost 7"×7" panel.



My plan is to drop a standard soft groin panel in main pocket and 6"×6" soft panel in the trauma plate pocket and either one of these 1/4"×4"×5" titanium plates which are Level 3+ or a 6"×6" Level 3+ ceramic or boron carbide. Have to put the titanium in middle as don't want bullets spalling and sending fragments into my family jewels.



Collect so much of this stuff spend many evenings playing Leggo's swapping carriers, panels, plates and add on's building out specific threat level pieces with different amounts of coverage. From very concealable Level II to concealment IIIa through Level 3+, 3++, 3+/4 have ability to choose best coverage to weight ratio for the party attending without having to reconfigure something when in a hurry. The small trauma panel in the groin protector is a smart add on.

The Level IIIa ballistic underwear bought as soon as came to market really covers groin, hips and butt well but is designed mainly for tank crews who sit most of the time. It's hard on mobility and bad about chaffing my delicate areas. Another event like recent southern California deal or two and you won't be able to easily buy this stuff.

Do your best to stay away from steel plates (IMHO), the thought of one spalling M855 penetrators and chewing up my neck and face sends shudders. Reason steel panels are so inexpensive is their cheap. Better than nothing but I don't want any. Will shop and find bargains on good panels as they crop up.
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Old December 22, 2015, 20:29   #81
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Do your best to stay away from steel plates (IMHO), the thought of one spalling M855 penetrators and chewing up my neck and face sends shudders. Reason steel panels are so inexpensive is their cheap. Better than nothing but I don't want any. Will shop and find bargains on good panels as they crop up.
If the steel is uncoated or unprotected, then yes. But with a good lining and spall guard, front face splash is mitigated. Check out an M855 vs. spall guard here:

https://drmorgear.wordpress.com/2014...patriot-plate/

And the Maingun Patriot 2 plates are not cheap. They are rated to stop M80 ball and M193 at 3300 fps (something no other 4.5mm thick steel plate can currently claim).

I agree regarding target steel plates (AR500). These are not optimal, and will be penetrated by M193.
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Old December 23, 2015, 09:40   #82
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Some spall guard is better than others. Seen test where after round two truck bed liner has gone to crap and may as well be bate steel. Have some steel plates bought out of curiosity and $50 each price tag. Weight was not attractive though ceramic or boron carbide are not much lighter. There is a company doing a steel plate with a high density foam layer bonded to rear for comfort and distribute blunt force impact and level IIa Kevlar panel bonded to front for spall. Soon as they do them in AR680 will buy a set.

If someone can wait and save a few more pennies, Dyneema is so much lighter worth it's price even if doubled. My Dyneema panels actually float. Since evacuation by water is a high possibility with 38,000 acre lake in back yard that covers four or five counties, have a Navy special operations vest with Level IIIa Kevlar with total coverage including groin, sacrum, neck and shoulder panels plus 3+ panels Dynema front and back. Has the drag handle and single pull release plus the flotation kit. Pull a tab and cartridge inflates enough air bladders entire vest becomes boyant so becomes life preserver and floats. Took me a while acquiring all the pieces to get it all blinged out at affordable price.
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Old March 05, 2016, 14:55   #83
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So we all know I am a body armor freak by now. For years just worn when felt working in high threat area but starting first week of November been wearing every day. Put on when dress to leave and stays on till get home in the evening. Will be posting soon on what I have discovered from daily wear of concealment armor. One thing will say is it has actually decreased my back pain as works like a back brace. Doctors seem to think that's good, just a pain to listen to my heart till undo straps for them to get inside.

Been in bed since yesterday from outpatient and cruising eBay and other places looking for more armor as its become a fetish. Specifically looking for a set of Level III+ Dyneema plates formed for female shape. None of my 3+ or 4 works for wife. The ceramic boron and similar is too heavy for her frail frame and my lightweight Dyneema plates fit fine rear but not front. Can understand why. Have found a couple of sources but being used to buying bargains, the female Dyneema found is a budget breaker but may just go ahead and bite the bullet and order one up for the gal and not tell her how much it cost.

Just this week she told me too much was piling up in bedroom and to take some downstairs to the archives in gun room. I keep us each a daily wear, comfortable vest upstairs and hanging on closet door is her surprise SHTF level 3a vest and hanging on back of bedroom door is my SHTF level 3++ vest. Is level 3a from crotch to collar plus sides then has stand alone 11"×17" 3++ Dyneema plates front and rear. Way it opens from front just by pulling on wide velcro closure can hit the floor, wear pajamas to sleep and have slip in shoes next to bed can actually maneuver in and put tactical vest on in well under a minute with rifle in hand ready to defend the castle.



The vest has plenty of spare mags for night vision rifle or pistol, IFAK and other essentials. Amazing how quickly can get it on and closed. Have lots of vests and this is quickest high threat level ever owned. The plates are rated for five 7.62×51 FMJ's, mag dump of 7.62×39 steel core or mag dump of M855 Green Tip. If going to armor up for zombies, may as well do it right.

As new vests and accessories arrive generally pile on dresser. This week pile got to where sliding off in floor due to height so before went to outpatient yesterday it had to all go downstairs except for two units each plus my daily work vest.



Also had to take all the new trauma plates and other odd ballistic pieces as wife didn't think a stack reaching the ceiling was really necessary in bedroom. She just doesn't understand. Someday going to take most of the 5"×8" panels have collected and have mom's quilting qroup sew me a quilt. It's an actual goal, imagine going to bed every night under a quilt of mixed level 2a, 2 and 3a panels. Think it would be cozy knowing if the bugger man snuck in past all the alarm devices, shot me in the bed to be able to leap to my feet all pissed off with the 1911 compensated pin gun that lives under my pillow.



Watch eBay constantly and every time see ballistic rated 5"×8" panels for $10 or less I buy them like tater chips. Bet we have close to 100 by now not counting units permanently buried in structure of home, door panels of trucks and other odd places. A company recently sold me 24 8"×10" Level 2 panels for a song on a "make offer". Had sewn on a contract and somehow had typo on internal paperwork between office and production on level customer had wanted. Were supposed to sew 3a in the odd size but made a bunch of level 2's before someone caught error. Were happy to part with all in one transaction.

My plan is since relegated to bed rest of day but approved to go to church tomorrow if rest after, find and order a minimum 10"×12" Level 3+ Dyneema Female front panel before weekend is over. Would prefer a 10"×14" or 11"×17" but figure can't be too choosy. It's only fair for wife to have same level protection as me or better. She can't run and hide. Has to sit in chair and duke it out though can move pretty fast with a cane when spots a snake or a mouse.
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Old March 05, 2016, 15:17   #84
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What if they shoot you in the head
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Old March 22, 2016, 07:03   #85
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Four of these 3+ Dyneema plates for $50 each. Watching fleaBay and Craigslist close pays. Just over five pounds per pair of 10"×12" plates. Dropping six to seven pounds off weight of vest is big help for tired ol man. Also finding other ways of dropping weight like swapping level 3a soft armor behind plates to level 2. One vest is now 10 pounds lighter and feel just as effective with 6"×6" Dyneema side panels plus front and rear with level 2 soft armor.



Now playing Leggo's swapping plates and restacking vests to get the most lightweight set up for each particular weapon may choose for a situation. Having to carry a weapon not best for a job or try to swap magazines and accessories in vest while under stress is a no go for me. Considering cost of nice rifles, a nice vest to match your most popular is cheap. Now have a lightweight vest for 5.56, 6.8, 308 and shotgun. Selling a lot of ceramic, ceramic boron, SAPI, etc plates and may use the cash for one more set of lightweight plates. Getting a front plate for females was hard. Figure enough female cops and military would have been more options.
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Old April 10, 2016, 20:14   #86
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Another bargain hit the door this week. Four 10"×12" Level 3+ plates. Weigh 2.75 pounds each and paperwork says rated for minimum of six rounds of 7.62×51 NATO FMJ in a six inch circle. Rated same for SS109 Green Tips as 308. Rated for multiple 7.62×39 steel core or 5.56 NATO 55 grain FMJ, lab papers said 20 rounds or more dependent on shot placement. Guy selling had what he called Level 3 that were 2.2 pounds each but didn't carry any rating for green tip. All rifle panels own have tested and are positive buoyancy.



Used the 10"×12" rectangles for rear of this vest and three others. All have same rating front panels. Two with 10"×12" shooters cut and two with 11"×14" in front opening vests. Dropping six to nine pounds per vest and keep high rating makes it more likely to put on. Now a vest set up for 5.56, one for 6.8, another 7.62×51 plus spare haven't decided what accessories to add yet. Sold two sets of the heavy plates for more than paid for the new lightweight panels each. Upgrading two vests and adding two additional rifle rated vests with lightweight panels pretty much fills the armor niche for life.

The two new are the quick release NAVWAR carriers one has the inflating bladder for use as a P.F.D with 57 pounds of flotation rating in case I fall in the bathtub. Put level 2 soft armor full coverage panels backing up the rifle plates and providing wrap around coverage while saving weight. The level 4 set is so heavy probably would never put on now. Learned that lighter the armor, more likely to put it on. Daily wear level 2 vest with 6"×9" 3a trauma panels that replaced 3a vest is worn much more often than the old heavy unit. Only thing want now is a lightweight level 4 mult-hit set of plates. The level 4 ceramic panels are so heavy with additional gear is so heavy doubt will ever put on. If someone shows up with a BAR loaded with 30-06 Blacktip am screwed no matter what armor wearing.



Found a vendor with a lot of overburden and was happy to sell two bulk orders cheap. Purchased a small order to see quality of product then first bulk. Was so good, tagged a second order along with a few good Ebay finds.
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Old April 10, 2016, 21:33   #87
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Huey - you have an impressive collection of STUFF, and a lot of knowledge - do you have the physical ability to DON all that shit and actually fight in it? I ask because I'm in moderately good shape, a 50yr old in a few weeks (shot left knee), and I'm questioning MY ability to shoot and scoot with 50 lbs of gear and guns on my person - 20/30 years ago no problem - at 50... problem. I can bench my weight and curl 40lbs per arm but so what - I can hump the gear - the issue is for how long AND effectively fight in it.
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Old April 10, 2016, 22:13   #88
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Do best to stay in shape but not 30 anymore. Climbing cell towers or ladders most days helps. No, I could not load out a full kit then go on forced march. But dropping almost ten pounds per vest with the new plates makes wearing much easier. My plan is using for a scenario where defending the house or have to go out into yard and yes, an under 30 pound vest blinged out with gear is quite doable.

The new plates changed the rules. 11"×14" plates on front opening vests went from nine to 3.5 pounds. By time swapped rear plates also, lost over eight pounds of weight on those two vests. Most likely will be worn mostly sitting in chair scoping field of fire, not running through woods. Have worked hard on reducing weight of equipment from vests, rifles, boots, etc.

Losing a pound off your footwear is equivalent of five pounds on your back. New boots have carbon fiber foot beds instead of steel shanks. Even downsized weight on radios, knives, IFAK and more. New helmets are over a pound lighter. Just keep carving away to keep load reasonable. Why some vests only have a single radio, no IFAK and only spare magazines.

Long as able to carry an antenna up a 400 foot tower should be able to wear tactical vest around property as needed. Why last two put level 2 soft armor under plates instead of 3a. Saved a few pounds on that. Couldn't imagine wearing the cheap AR500 steel plates that are so popular now.
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Old April 11, 2016, 12:32   #89
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Thanks for posting this 009.5, what I have to say about body armor is: it does not help if they head or hip shoot you.

What about Pinnacle Dragon skin??
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Old April 12, 2016, 06:36   #90
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Building on this previous work, Rabiei then set about building high-strength armor. The shield was comprised of boron carbide ceramics as the strike face, with composite metal foam (CMF) as the bullet kinetic energy absorber layer and Kevlar panels as backplates. To test its durability, Rabiei and her team took aim with a 7.62 x 63 mm M2 armor-piercing projectile, which was fired in line with the standard testing procedures established by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

"We could stop the bullet at a total thickness of less than an inch, while the indentation on the back was less than 8 mm," Rabiei says. "To put that in context, the NIJ standard allows up to 44 mm (1.73 in) indentation in the back of an armor."
http://www.gizmag.com/metal-foam-bullets/42731/
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Old April 12, 2016, 09:19   #91
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Thanks for posting this 009.5, what I have to say about body armor is: it does not help if they head or hip shoot you.

What about Pinnacle Dragon skin??
Dragon Skin is out of business and vests now have "collector" value added for some reason. Principle design Guru now running Stealth Armor Systems and has a great Level 3+ flexible armor. Post toward top of page with picture and links.

How many average Joe's can purposely hip or head shoot a moving target? If someone with real skills comes after you, your done as can go for neck even if helmet with armor. Heavy kit has groin and sacrum panels, new level 3a diaper, thigh and shin protectors. All except the front and rear panel, and helmet are rated 3a which just start a rifle round expanding before busts you like a rotten melon. Lucked out on a pair of Level 3 high cut helmets but face, ears nor neck covered. So a man able to place rifle shot precisely is unstoppable if decides to take you out.

Wear vest working in bad neighborhoods as most gang bangers are toting Glocks, shooting sideways "movie style" and odds are if stand still may miss. If they let loose a magazine from an AK, am toast in work vest. But if shot in back with handgun in effort to steal truck load of equipment and tools may just survive. Can make decision to play possum or fight based on situation.

My head to toe kit with Level 4 panels best can do is shuffle around house. No way can sprint across yard, over fence and into the woods. Why doing best to reduce weight while maintain reasonable threat protection. Moving toward level 2 soft armor in tactical vests with level 3+ Dyneema or similar plates. The 11"×14" plates in front opening vests cover a lot of vitals.

No way can do rifle armor head to toe unless using DARPA money and technology. Now have a new chemical foam armor that reacts with bullet to dissolve it before penetrates. Researchers say a few years from becoming available on street. Assume that means certain people already wearing if admit existence and basics of how technology works. Supposed to be half thickness of Dyneema and Level 4 multi hit capable. If still walking and talking when hits the street will upgrade again.

Have no intention of defeating a dot gov team if tasked to take out citizens with no criminal record. If SHTF and barricade house want to be able to have best protection possible. If work in gang areas of city figure torso covered for handguns increases odds significantly. If could get an OSHA approved bullet resistant work helmet the plastic thing put on when get out of truck would be replaced. Found a company making neon yellow and orange covers with reflective panels for vests so your conspicuity vest required for job sites can have armor inside. Now have two of them so when pull on my OSHA work vest am donning armor at same time if feel need. They are common for emergency workers in Europe now.

No armor will stop a talented shooter with a rifle. Hopefully if their trained to take first shot center of mass, when hit, be your warning to seek better cover fast. Can only imagine the technology Presidents and Secret Service wear under their coats now. Bet it's beyond comprehension.
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Old April 12, 2016, 14:54   #92
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Dragon Skin was a great idea but had a fatal flaw - oblique shots would penetrate the armor - for straight on shots it worked really well, get shot from an angle...no so good depending on the geometry of the incoming round.
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Old December 23, 2016, 08:53   #93
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Posted in another thread about issues with Level IIIa soft armor that ask most and will tell you it will stop any handgun round up to 44 magnum. Heard the rep for a body armor company telling a gun store owner and employees that while training them on his product line that they were brining in beginning 2017.

Downloaded from an armor manufacturers website my NIJ chart is pdf and hard to cut and paste across platforms with a tablet:

NIJ LEVEL IIIA:

(.44 Magnum; Submachine Gun 9mm). This armor protects against .44 Magnum, Semi Jacketed Hollow Point (SJHP) bullets with nominal masses of 15.55 g (240 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 426 m/s (1,400 ft/s) or less and against 9mm full-metal jacketed bullets with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 426 m/s (1,400 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against most handgun threats as well as the Level I, IIA, and II threats. Level IIIA body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available from concealable body armor and is generally suitable for routine wear in many situations

Have two sets of "special threat plates" from one manufacturer that list these rounds as known to defeat Level IIIa armor in the FBI 2.0 protocol testing procedure:

357 SIG 125 grain Gold Dot
Remington 357SIG 125gr GJHP
40 S&W 165 grain Gold Dot
9MM GECO 124 gr FMJ
9MM Ranger 127 gr SXT HP
Winchester 9mm Luger +P+ 127gr SXT
Aguila 40 S&W 10 95 gr Hollow Point
Tokarev 7.62 x 25 Norinco 85gr FMJ
Gold Dot Speer 40 S&W 155gr GDHP
Corbon 9mm +p 115gr JHP
Winchester Ranger 9mm Luger +P+ 127gr SXT
Sellier & Bellot 9mm Luger PARA 115gr FMJ
Hornady Frontier Cartridges 10mm AUTO 155gr JHP
Hornady Frontier Cartridges 10mm AUTO 170gr JHP
Interarms 7.63mm x 25 FMJ
CZECH Tokarev 7.62mm x 25 Steel Jacket
Belgium 5.7 x 28 Stnd. Rnd. SS195 S.R. Ammo
Belgium 5.7 x 28 Stnd. Rnd. SS196 S.R. Ammo

Just received a new set of special threat plates with this list plus those above:

Tokarev 7.62mm X 25mm 86gr Steel Jacket
Winchester .357 SIG 100gr Frangible SF
Winchester 9mm 127gr SXT
Speer .357 SIG 125gr GDHP
Speer .357 SIG 125gr FMJ FN
Speer .44 Mag. 240gr SJHP
Winchester Ranger 9mm Luger 147gr SXT
Geco 9mm Luger 124 gr FMJ
Aguila 9mm Luger 65 gr IQ Hollow Point

Thats 27 handgun rounds from specification sheets in plates from two manufacturers plates I own. How many more are listed from companies I haven't purchased product from, new rounds that haven't made it on a list yet or ammo that hasn't been tested. I have a 200 grain 45 acp cast bullet w gas check load along with similar cast bullet loads in 357, 44 special and 44 magnum that burn holes in 3a armor.

With correct alloy plus gas check to allow pushing a cast bullet at top of charts they seem to shrink as they interact with soft armor vest and as sacrifice diameter keep penetrating till approximately 60% of their original mass penetrate with enough force to travel four to eight inches in gellitan or clay. So next time you see that old timer still toting a wheelgun with hard cast Keith bullets don't mouth off about modern ammo and it's magic powers as a lifetime of shooting cast have learned if play with alloys can make them do anything, especially if willing to pour nose from soft lead and base with hard and a gas check can get expansion and penetration.

For you guys that depend on your armor daily look at some of the new plates. The set that just arrived this week are only 0.75 pounds each in 8"×10" size. Covers a lot of vitals and actually makes your 3a handgun resistant. When I pointed this out to company rep he really started dancing then pulled out his level III and IV multi hit rifle plates for a solution as didn't offer special threat plates in his line.
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