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Old November 09, 2011, 11:47   #1
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Body Armor: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Ok, lots of folks have requested I repost this here, so here ya go. It is an overview of body armor MATERIALS, rather than specific manufacturers. I have been designing and building armor for more than 14 years, so have a fair amount of experience creating and destroying all sorts of bullet stopping goodies. I will add to this as needed, and as people request. If you have any questions, please let me know. If I don't have the answer, I will tell you so, and see if I can get it for you. I am not the ultimate expert on this, just have a strong fondness (my wife calls it something else) for armor.

If you are interested in even more details, review, tests, etc, check out my new armor blog at: http://www/drmorgear.wordpress.com

Just some recommendations (and this goes for any armor you buy, new or used):

Avoid Spectrashield, Spectra woven, or Dyneema: This material is based on polyethylene, the same stuff that milk jugs are made of. The armor version is referred to as Ultra High Molecular Weight Poly-Ethylene (UHMWPE). In situations where it gets hot (and most car trunks in the summer can get HOT), it will denature, reverting back to simple milk jug plastic. Armoring FAIL. I used to be a fan of this stuff until I read some great info by Kevin "Mad Dog" Mclung and Doctor Roberts ("DocGKR"), two names that you should look up and listen to. They did some eye opening tests (especially Mad Dog) on the dangers of Spectra. If the material goes over 180 F, it becomes a danger to its wearer.

Avoid Laminates: Something else both of these gentlemen strongly advise against. Laminated armor materials have huge drawbacks (Spectra laminates more so). They suck against contact shots (the muzzle blast literally melts them, allowing rounds to go right through), they delaminate with wear, they don't breathe (try wrapping yourself in saran wrap- that's how comfy they are), and they don't have anywhere near the shelf life of woven kevlar (which is practically immortal as far as I have seen). Steer clear of laminates:

Spectrashield contact shot- massive penetration:
http://www.itstactical.com/wp-conten...pb-150x150.jpg

Spectrashield vs. Woven Kevlar BALCS panels contact shots- Spectrashield, massive penetration, with one shot .44 Mag, Woven Kevlar took 9 rounds before penetration:
http://www.itstactical.com/wp-conten...ct-150x150.jpg

Spectrashield contact shot- massive penetration
http://www.itstactical.com/wp-conten...it-150x150.jpg

Woven Kevlar Contact Shot- No penetration:
http://www.itstactical.com/wp-conten...it-150x150.jpg

PHOTOS COURTESY ITS TACTICAL

AVOID ZYLON: For the love of everything that is holy. There was an amendment passed in congress outlawing this stuff for pete's sake. It was supposed to be the next great armor material, and lots of manufacturers jumped on it. Trouble is, combine heat with humidity (um, your body?) and the material degraded rapidly. This lead directly to the deaths of at least two police officers, and Zylon was (after much foot dragging) pulled. Don't ever use it.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN SURPLUS ARMOR TO AVOID THE ZYLON BLUES:

POINT BLANK FUSION (ZYLON AND SPECTRASHIELD)http://www.us-elitegear.com/fusion.htm
Z-SHIELD (A ZYLON LAMINATE, YECCCH!)
Z-FLEX (SAME AS ABOVE)
THERE ARE MORE, BUT THIS IS A START.

If the label does not say, and the seller cannot/will not swear to it, assume any surplus armor contains laminates, Zylon, or both. Zylon containing vests were universally deep-sixed after the Berry Amendment, and could be rooted out of dumpsters. These are appearing on Fleabay and forums (Currently there are Zylon containing vests in the Equipment Exchange), being sold to unsuspecting buyers. ASK, ASK, ASK, and if you get a song and dance, walk away. Your life is much too precious to risk anything but woven Kevlar.

Pretty muchly that leaves woven aramid as the last man standing. This stuff is, as always, a great material. It is tough, fireproof (it will char but not melt at above 700 F) and will retain most of its ballistic effectiveness even after reaching this temp. Being woven, it breathes better. Contact shots have a much harder time getting through. It lasts virtually forever- the 5-7 year warranty is not there to tell you when it goes bad. Nominally, it is just there as a CYA measure by the companies to limit liability. In one test, it was actually shown that older vests did BETTER than new vests at stopping rounds. Weird, I know. Here are two references:

“NIJ tests failed to demonstrate any significant differences in 10-year-old armor, regardless of the extent of use or apparent physical condition”

“The warranty exists solely to limit the manufacturer's liability on the product and is not a reflection of the anticipated service life of the product.”

...Guide to Police Body Armor, National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC)

You can also find an abstract here:

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digi...11390NCJRS.pdf

So kevlar, kevlar, kevlar. Woven, not laminated.

Regarding plates, Doc is on the right track. Rifle armor is important, as soft armor is completely useless against rifle rounds. M193 will go through about 120-140 layers of soft armor with enough zip left to seriously ruin your weekend. Believe me, I have checked.

Jpanzer- Just to reiterate, soft armor cannot be level III. Max rating is IIIA. And don't assume, get the specs, or better yet, test it yourself!

Rifle armor is rated either level III or IV. Now, the interesting thing is, the higher rating is not necessarily better. If you expect to be facing enemies with AP capability, the IV is nice to have (the spec calls for the plate to stop ONE round of .30-06 M2 AP black tip. One round). If you are expecting normal mild steel or lead cored, go with III by all means. The spec for III calls for stopping 6 rounds of M80 .308 ball @ 2750FPS within a 6" circle. So much better multi hit. Always read the specs!

Then there is the question whether the plate is designed to stand alone, or be worn with soft armor behind it ("In Conjunction With"). The stand alone plates tend to be heavier, as they typically have much thicker backings. This is nice if you are wearing just the plates and nothing else, but usually you have some sort of soft armor on, so the ICW are usually a better bet. Plus, just me, I like having extra padding. But if (like Doc Jarhead mentions) you like mobility, then stand alones might be for you.

Materials for rifle armor usually focus on hard stuff- soft armor defeats pistol rounds by catching, slowing, and deforming them. They are low velocity (relatively) with a fairly large frontal area. Rifle rounds are fast, with a small, pointed frontal area. The defeat mechanism is yawing, deforming, eroding, shattering, and frictive braking (the last one is unusual).

Steel- Tried and true, this material is great for stopping rounds (millions of steel targets can't all be wrong). It stops by deforming rounds. It can keep stopping them as long as the structure is uncompromised. Heat and mistreatment do not affect it. Drawbacks- it is heavy for its protective levels, it can rust if you chip the paint, and it spalls. What is spall? Well, it is the reason most steel target manufacturers recommend being 50-100 yards from the target. When a round hits, it splashes little bits of copper and lead in a cone at an angle. If you are wearing one of these plates, that high velocity splash can end up in your throat and face. Make sure if you run steel plates you wear spall guards in FRONT of the plates. Just a few layers of kevlar are all that is needed. One final drawback to steel plates- certain high velocity threats can penetrate it. A few years back, there was a dustup over a certain manufacturers plates not stopping M193 @ above 3000 fps (but remember, M193 is not in the spec!). So do your homework.

UPDATE 5-28-2015- A company called Armor Wear has just released steel plates made with Ultra-Hard Steel ("UHS") which WILL stop M193 at 3000fps and above. I now consider this material best practices, with Mil HHS the bare minimum.

****Material choices: BEST is UHS (Ultra-Hard Steel/AR680) next best is Mil-Spec HHS (High Hardness Steel), offered by Armor-Wear and Maingun Surplus respectively****

AR500 (Abrasion Resistant, 500 Brinell Hardness) IS NO LONGER RECOMMENDED!

*UPDATED 5-28-2015*

A quick and dirty rule of thumb for stopping the M193 threat with steel plate: 500 bhn (Brinell Hardness) needs to be 10mm thick at 3100 fps to stop M193, 600 bhn needs to be 6mm, and at 58-63 Rc (Rockwell C), the plate can be made 4.5mm thick.

Titanium- Ahhh, Titanium. The very word brings to mind a supermetal that can do everything. More misconceptions surround this metal than just about any other. While true, it does make superior armor in some regards, it is not a panacea. Ti has been used for several decades in the construction of advanced airframes (the A-12 was over 60% Ti, a strategic metal mostly found in Russia...). Its claims to fame are: lightweight (60% the weight of steel @ comparable strengths) and corrosion resistance. It is virtually impervious to corrosion (ironically, because it oxidizes so quickly, forming a tough layer of TiO2). It cannot be hardened appreciably above the high 40s low 50s Rockwell C, and even that requires exotic precipitation hardening Beta alloys. The most common alloy in use is referred to as 6-4, which is short for 6Al4V (6 points of Aluminum and 4 points of Vanadium). Ti is a fairly tough metal, which makes it a good choice for armor plates for AFVs and APCs in thick section (I don't have the TE numbers compared to RHA in front of me right now, but they are pretty good). In soft armor vests, Ti plates are sought after as trauma plates vs. steel because they are lighter and do not rust. In sufficient thickness (2-3mm) they will stop all handgun rounds, up to and including some AP like the steel cored Tok rounds that play merry hob with most soft armor.
For rifle armor, Ti falls short- it is not hard enough to shatter high velocity rifle rounds (see above re: hardness). This is where the TE (thickness equivalency) comes into play. Ti can stop rifle rounds, even larger caliber cannon fire, but in thicknesses and weights that are prohibitive to us groundpounders. My research has shown M80 will be stopped by a 14mm thick plate of 6-4 backed by 4mm of Aramid. Most steel plates are between 4.5mm and 6mm depending on backing. There have been some hybrid steel/Ti plates, but at that point, you might as well just go all steel. Choose the right material for the job- for pistol rounds, Ti is a champ. For rifles, look elsewhere.

Ceramic- This material encompasses several types of ceramic. The most common is Alumina, also known as Aluminum Oxide or Al2O3. It is very hard (upwards of 9 on the Moh's hardness scale), fairly light, inert, and not TOO expensive. It stops projectiles by erosion, shattering, and yawing. It is almost never used alone, relying on a backing to keep the high velocity rubble and projectile fragments from continuing into your body cavity. It is great against lots of rifle rounds, and can be made proof against some AP rounds. It is insensitive to heat and water. Drawbacks- more expensive than steel, can be sensitive to mishandling (think cracked plates if you toss them in your gear bag). Other ceramics include Silicon Carbide and Boron Carbide (more expensive and VERY expensive respectively). These are lighter and harder materials, and can stop the very highest of threats (tungsten carbide cored AP for instance). Most level IV plates are B4C.

Spectra- Wait, didn't I just say don't use this? Yes, yes I did. I am including this here for information purposes, and also because it is a gray area. Spectra in hard armor is not as HUGE a danger as soft armor (this from DocGKR) because of the amount of heat required to get it isothermic (the same temp throughout). So, if you have Spectra hardplates, there you go. Standalone Spectra plates can stop rifle rounds with enough layers. It stops rounds via frictive braking (think of bullet brake). However, be advised there are some rounds that will penetrate UHMWPE plates, such as M855 green tip. So again, do your homework. AN EXAMPLE IS FOUND HERE:

http://www.m4carbine.net/archive/index.php/t-32839.html

GREEN TIP M855 IS NOT IN THE SPEC FOR LEVEL III, SO DON'T ASSUME.

The Future/New Advances- Current research is focused on several different threads. In the area of soft armor, the Next Big Thing(tm) looks to be Magellan (Now Dupont) M5 fiber. A fiber discovered in the late 90's, this material has been under development for the last 12 years. Preliminary tests have shown it to be superior to Kevlar in nearly every category- tensile strength, durability, fire resistance (it is the most fire resistant fabric ever designed). On a per unit volume basis, it would allow for a 60% reduction in armor weight for the same protection level as Kevlar KM2! The material is a light blue color, and has not been made widely available due to continuing engineering difficulties. Spinnerets that are used for processing Kevlar filaments are not strong enough for this fiber, and will break under the strain! This has required a redesign of the manufacturing processes, which = delays.

COMING SOON- KNIFE/STAB ARMOR INFO

I hope this has been helpful- armor is one of those things that should be in everyone's kit bag. Please IM or email me if you have any further questions. I will do my best to answer them.

If you are looking for a good source for armor, I suggest the following:

Best non-fragile rifle plate is currently the AMI TAC3S: http://store.appalachiantraining.com...de=AMI%2DTAC3S

Best ceramic plates for the money are Midwest Armor Guardian Level IV: http://store.appalachiantraining.com...IAN%2DIVTriple

Best ceramic plates PERIOD are Midwest Armor Venture FM4: http://store.appalachiantraining.com...Code=FM4%2DMED

Best UHMWPE plates for the money are Midwest Armor MASS III: http://www.midwestarmor.com/body-armor/mass-iii

Best UHMWPE plates PERIOD are Midwest Armor Venture FM3: http://www.midwestarmor.com/body-armor/venture-fm3

For the best steel plates: BEST CURRENT PLATE IN TERMS OF PERFORMANCE AND PRICE is Mil-Spec (Mil-A-46100) HHS (High Hardness Steel), now offered in curved form: http://www.maingun.biz/Body_Armor_St...12twocurve.htm

For splash/spall guards for steel rifle plates: http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=178729


Stab and cut resistant armor-

It is far past time to include information on stab and cut resistant armor. This will incorporate all current options.

****CUT AND STAB ARMOR******

Ballistic armor is designed to stop high velocity projectiles, while cut/stab armor is designed to stop very slow, sharp and pointed objects from cutting/piercing the wearer's skin.

This type of armor is a continuation of the most ancient forms of personal armor, which has seen the use of bone, fabric, leather, and finally metal. It is interesting that the current state of technology has returned to the use of fabric as the primary defense against thrusting and cutting implements.

As it has been for millennia, there are always trade-offs in terms of protection vs. weight/concealability. The most protective suits, while they can be made with extremely good ergonomics, will tend to be hotter, heavier, and far from low-profile. Semi-rigid and rigid armors, which include forms of metal mesh (traditional "maille"), interlocking articulated plates (metal or metal/composite), lamellar, or solid plates are very efficient at stopping cuts and thrusts. Their weight and heat burden tend to be fairly high. Materials range from stainless steel, titanium, to rigid para-aramid (Kevlar/Twaron).

Fabric materials are currently used in the majority of concealable stab/cut vests. These include the familiar materials Kevlar, Twaron, and Spectra. As before, UHMWPE laminates should be eschewed, even though they may provide better numbers in terms of weight. The known weaknesses of this material outweigh any benefits. Generally, the Para-Aramids are woven, similar to their ballistic counterparts, but are much tighter weave. This is to prevent spikes from pushing the fibers aside. The number of layers is directly proportional to the protection levels, which are rated in a similar way to ballistic standards. They are:

KR1/SP1 (Knife Resistant Level I/Spike Protection Level I) - Lowest level, resists knife thrusts and spike stabs at 24J up to 36J
KR2/SP2 (Knife Resistant Level II/Spike Protection Level II) Medium level, resists knife thrusts and spike stabs at 33J up to 50J
KR3/SP3 (Knife Resistant Level III/Spike Protection Level III) High Level, resists knife thrusts and spike stabs at 43J up to 65J

Level I armor is generally the best choice if wearing for long periods and/or concealed. Level II is a good compromise between concealability and protection. Level III is for short periods of time, and is not generally concealable.

The test protocol involves dropping a weighted sabot with the test blade or spike onto the armor sample. Up to 7mm of penetration is allowed at the minimum force, and up to 20mm at the maximum force. Any greater penetration will fail the armor. There is no penetration permitted for the spike test. A single sample armor may be subjected to over 30 drops, with no overpenetration permitted.

I am sure a lot of folks are wondering about how well knife/stab armor performs against bullets. The answer is "not as well as a dedicated ballistic vest." K/S armor is engineered towards a very different threat compared to handgun rounds. Knives, spikes, and syringes have a very small frontal area compared with handgun bullets, and as such, require different materials and construction methods to be used. There are dual and triple rated vests (ballistic + knife and ballistic + knife + spike), but they are generally VERY expensive, and heavier/thicker than dedicated armors. If you absolutely have to protect against multiple threat types, try to wear before purchasing to ensure it is comfortable.

Last edited by 009.5; May 29, 2015 at 08:52. Reason: UPDATED STEEL PLATE INFO
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Old November 09, 2011, 21:20   #2
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Thanks for taking the time to post that!

I have soft armor and am thinking of upgrading-your write up is very helpful.
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Old November 10, 2011, 01:20   #3
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Good sticky???

Good person to deal with also.
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Old November 10, 2011, 11:21   #4
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Very nice information. I usually don't read long posts but this was so full of good info I couldn't stop.
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Old November 13, 2011, 16:00   #5
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Thanks gents, my pleasure. Here is a link to the info DocGKR found regarding laminates vs. woven kevlar:

http://www.itstactical.com/gearcom/b...ft-body-armor/
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Old November 13, 2011, 23:34   #6
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Quote:
Good sticky???
I'll second that. Very informative and easy to read and comprehend.
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Old November 14, 2011, 19:02   #7
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Wish this was here in 07 when I spent 600 buccks on 3 zylon vests for me and my family. Armor is hard to come by here in ct. Has to be ftf transaction by law.

Still have the vests. Can't morally sell them. Figure its better than a tshirt till I get sumthin better.
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Old November 17, 2011, 23:23   #8
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Current recommendations UPDATED 2-27-14!

Helmet: MSA Gallet TC-2001 ARAMID

Rifle Plates:

1# Armored Mobility Hybrid Level III

2# MIDWEST ARMOR LEVEL IV TRIPLE CURVE- PENDING FULL REVIEW

3# TAP GAMMA Level III DOUBLE/TRIPLE CURVE

Last edited by 009.5; February 27, 2014 at 19:43.
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Old December 01, 2011, 13:56   #9
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Care of woven Kevlar- Since this has come up a lot, here are my recommendations:

The enemies of woven Kevlar are two- sun exposure (strong, chronic exposure to UV light) and bacteria/fungus. The best way to protect against the former is don't go sunning in your bare armor panels. Keep them inside the carrier, or at the very least in their protective fabric outer sheath. For the latter, every once in a while, soak the armor panels in a weak solution of baking soda. This will kill the fungus, and neutralize any acids produced by sweat eating bacteria. You can then follow up with a very mild dish soap solution, then rinse again and let dry. This will keep your armor practically immortal. DO NOT put your armor in the dryer, and DO NOT use harsh chemical cleaners on it. Just baking soda and a little dish/bar soap is all you need.

HTH

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Old December 20, 2012, 22:03   #10
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New info to be added...
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Old December 21, 2012, 08:13   #11
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Sticky is a great idea for this.
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Old March 11, 2013, 12:26   #12
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Updates: After several false starts, soft armor utilizing carbon nanotubes is becoming commercially available. With tensile strengths on the order of 100 or more times that of current body armor fabrics, this material could be even more of a step up from Aramids as Aramids were from Silk and Ballistic Nylon.
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Old March 11, 2013, 17:46   #13
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My own preferrred Body Armor, to place between my Invaluable Hide and Hostile Fire, would be a Body Of Water....Say the Pacific Ocean, for instance....
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Old March 11, 2013, 19:24   #14
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Well said....even better is the mass of the entire planet...not much can penetrate the core...
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Old March 12, 2013, 13:11   #15
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Originally Posted by 009.5 View Post
Updates: After several false starts, soft armor utilizing carbon nanotubes is becoming commercially available. With tensile strengths on the order of 100 or more times that of current body armor fabrics, this material could be even more of a step up from Aramids as Aramids were from Silk and Ballistic Nylon.
Any companies you can recommend that are producing vests with carbon nanotube technology? Has any testing been done you are aware of? Wondering if the back deflection is less with this material.
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Old April 24, 2013, 14:06   #16
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Any companies you can recommend that are producing vests with carbon nanotube technology? Has any testing been done you are aware of? Wondering if the back deflection is less with this material.
The only one I know of is called 2ndamendmentarmor, their product is called Rhynohide. From my research, it is a single layer of CNT fabric underneath UHMWPE laminate, so I am not tremendously impressed. If they increased the number of CNT layers underneath a woven Aramid, I might be more interested. There are some vids on youtube with testing.
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Old May 04, 2013, 12:33   #17
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Check out Bourque armor, their new Kyronized plates look interesting. Will post a review when I am able to get a sample to test. This may be the best bet for non-fragile, non-steel rifle plates.
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Old May 07, 2013, 10:05   #18
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I have heard recent advertizements for something called "infidel" body armor, they claim to be multi-hit and light-have ya heard anything about that stuff?
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Old May 07, 2013, 13:53   #19
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The only Infidel armor I could find was a company selling the same plates as AR500 Armor and Targetman for 3 times the price(!)

http://infidelbodyarmor.com/index.ph...&products_id=2

Thanks for the heads up.
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Old May 07, 2013, 20:40   #20
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Got my plates from Targetman. He has coated plates. His videos are on Youtube, and are pretty informative.
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Old May 09, 2013, 07:14   #21
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My spall guards from 009.5 are excellent, super light as well.
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Old May 09, 2013, 22:40   #22
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My spall guards from 009.5 are excellent, super light as well.
I'm on the wait list!
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Old June 27, 2013, 20:53   #23
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Got mine today. Perfect fit, well made - can't ask for more.

Thanks!
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Old September 16, 2013, 22:36   #24
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Originally Posted by 009.5 View Post
Check out Bourque armor, their new Kyronized plates look interesting. Will post a review when I am able to get a sample to test. This may be the best bet for non-fragile, non-steel rifle plates.
Thanks for the info you have put up.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...011+BW20110714
Quote:
Bourque Industries' Kryron Armor Stops .50 Cal AP Rounds
* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.
Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:15am EDT

Test conducted for unspecified military agency at unspecified military location

Bourque Industries, Inc. (OTC:BORK) today announced that the Company yesterday demonstrated unprecedented ballistic protection from its new Kryron armor and a significant improvement over earlier test results, defeating several .50 caliber armor piercing rounds with a lightweight armor plate designed for personal body armor.

The tests were conducted at the request of an unspecified military agency, at an unspecified military installation, and with unspecified senior military officials in attendance.

Bourque demonstrated increased protection over previous test results for its Kryron Terminator personal ballistic armor line and exceptional multi-impact capability. A Terminator Fat Boy plate was shot multiple times with .50 caliber AP ammunition and .30 caliber AP ammunition, then reversed and shot with the same rounds again, with no penetration, ricochet, shatter or spall.

In addition, a Terminator Thin Line plate sustained several dozen rounds of 9mm machine gun fire at exceptionally close range with no penetration, ricochet, shatter or spall.

All results were achieved with weight savings over the current industry-standard personal protection armor plates.

Bourque also successfully demonstrated proof-of-concept for industry-leading, multi-impact and lightweight armor protection for land-based US military tactical vehicles and US military aircraft.

“This is the most important testing day Bourque Industries has had, as now all doubt about Kryron's capability should finally be laid to rest,” said John M. Bourque, inventor of Kryron and founder of Bourque Industries. “It is clear that Kryron is the best ballistic armor material on the market today, and the clear choice to protect America's warfighters on land, in the air, and on the seas.”

About Bourque and Kryron

Bourque Industries is a publicly-traded company (OTC: BORK) based in Tucson, Ariz. Bourque is the exclusive distributor of all Kryron-based technologies.

Kryron is a state-of-the-art proprietary aluminum alloy and the optimal material for ballistic armor plates. Compared to industry-standard personal protection ceramic plates, Kryron Terminator armor is lighter, far more durable, and completely eliminates shatter, spall, and ricochet.

Bourque Industries, Kryron, and Terminator armor are trademarks of Bourque Industries.

This communication to shareholders and the public contains certain forward-looking statements. Actual results may vary materially from those indicated by such statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, including, without limitation, statements regarding estimated revenues, estimated future production, and the value thereof, are forward looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.

Bourque Industries
http://bourqueindustries.com/
Andrew Myers, 520-981-6207
andrew.myers@bourqueindustries.com
This does sound impressive
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Old September 16, 2013, 23:36   #25
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Thanks for the info you have put up.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...011+BW20110714


This does sound impressive

It might be, if they could make more than 1 or 2 plates a month. Seriously, Bourque is in prison and I personally know the guy who is trying to keep this company alive. He has been making the metal in his garage. At first glance, the metal looks like aluminum. Supposedly, only Bourque knows how to make the secret ingredient used in the metal...

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting to obtain a completed vest.
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Old September 18, 2013, 01:03   #26
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It might be, if they could make more than 1 or 2 plates a month. Seriously, Bourque is in prison and I personally know the guy who is trying to keep this company alive. He has been making the metal in his garage. At first glance, the metal looks like aluminum. Supposedly, only Bourque knows how to make the secret ingredient used in the metal...

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting to obtain a completed vest.
This is news to me. Thank you for the information.
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Old October 20, 2013, 23:41   #27
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Updated 10-20-13, knife and stab armor info added.

Updated 10-21-13, steel plate thickness vs. M193 info added

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Old November 21, 2013, 20:26   #28
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March of 2013 -
Demonstration of Kryron Armor successfully stopping numerous threats including several hits of .50 cal BMG from 50 feet.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=db2_1363581806

http://allenpub.com/lantanas-siegmun...ed-body-armor/
Quote:
...
The current standard design used in body armor includes ceramic construction that does its initial job but inconsistently. When bullets hit the edge of the original armor, they could splinter or spall, causing potential injuries or death.

So Siegmund assisted Bourque in developing an option that featured two types of metal – titanium and an aluminum composite – that are infused together and encased in spall wrap. The main active component is the aluminum composite, which is impregnated with Carbon Nanomaterials. The revised version also resists fluids, temperature and shock, high-pressure altitudes, and fungal growth and has improved electrical properties.

“It makes the material very hard yet elastic so it absorbs energy,” Siegmund said. “It absorbs the bullet and doesn’t shatter and can withstand multiple impacts so it protects you much longer. It’s much better and 25-30 percent lighter which is huge for soldiers who have to carry 40 to 50 kilograms of equipment.”

Kryron Terminators are designed to withstand multiple high-velocity impacts. In fact, Siegmund said in one test the armor took hits from 60 bullets without any problem.

While Kryron Terminators have been around for several years, getting them to market has been a challenge especially with the military.

“It has passed all the standards and requirements of the Army,” Siegmund said. “Now we’re in the process of trying to sell it to them. We’ve been able to sell to some police departments including Seattle and in Arizona.

“It’s difficult to get into the military branches because it’s a very closed industry. You have to know the right people. The marketing people in Arizona are trying to get to that level and get in front of people who make the decisions.” -
...
http://ih.advfn.com/p.php?pid=nmona&article=59232399
Quote:
Bourque Industries, Inc. (BORK) Announced Conclusion of Initial Independent Lab Testing of Kryron with Positive Results



Bourque Industries announced today that it had concluded initial testing of its Kryron material through two Independent Laboratories. Kryron was tested by Alfred University and under the direction of Bourque's independent consultant, Robert Rieger, who then rendered a report based on the lab findings.



This testing did not focus on the ballistics characteristics of Kryron, but rather on other properties of the material that management believes could have commercial application.



Mr. Rieger reported that thermal conductivity for Kryron was so high that it could not be measured on the Alfred University equipment, concluding that ?this is an extremely positive finding which might permit Kryron to be a superior thermal management (including heat sink) material?.



Mr. Rieger received an MBA from Syracuse University, and MS CERE and BCERE Ceramic Engineering degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology. During Mr. Rieger?s career he served in various positions with M-Cubed Technologies, Inc., University of Arizona, Eller College of Management, Fisher Scientific International, Ferro Corporation and others.



More testing is planned to explore further the characteristics of Kryron for application as a potential heat sink material, and also to determine and document its potential benefits in ballistic armor applications and in other markets and applications.
and

Quote:
Bourque Industries Announces Board Change

Tucson, AZ August 19, 2013 -- Bourque Industries (Pink Sheets: BORK), a development stage Company exploring and developing metal alloys and related product applications using a patented metal-alloying process called Kryron, announced today that it is changing the makeup of its Board of Directors. Board Members, Charmaine 'Sandy' Berry, Raymond Humphrey, and Scott Stover will make-up the re-constituted Board, and will elect as the new Chairman of the Board, a person still to be determined. Messrs. Schissler, Willis, Kotelec and Heffron have under their own volition, opted not to serve an additional term and be reappointed, in each case for personal or business reasons unrelated to Bourque and its business and activities.

The reconstituted board intends to focus the company interests in three areas; immediately identifying and recruiting key executive leadership; identifying scientific personnel that will further test and communicate the special properties of Kryron, the company's primary asset; and securing new sales channels that will help underwrite the Company's ongoing business plan.

About Bourque Industries


Bourque Industries is a development stage company with a business plan in the field of advanced materials science directed to developing and then producing metal alloys and related product applications using a patented metal-alloying process known as Kryron. Kryronized alloys may have global potential for unique applications across a wide range of industries. The current applications being explored are directed to ballistic armor and electrical products. Our initial goal is to prove up the value of our patented alloy. Please visit www.bourqueindustries.com.
So it looks like the company is still alive.
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Old February 27, 2014, 19:42   #29
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Well, great news- getting so much in the way of emails and IM's I decided it is time to blog. Check out http://www.drmorgear.wordpress.com Still getting it going, so check back for updates.

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Old February 27, 2014, 20:28   #30
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Well, great news- getting so much in the way of emails and IM's I decided it is time to blog. Check out drmorgear.wordpress.com Still getting it up, so check back for updates.
So let the Brain Picking BEGIN!!
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Old February 28, 2014, 00:30   #31
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Are the Gamma plates currently sold by Blue Line Gear (PACA product?) still gtg or is there something better in the weight/rating class for similar $?
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Old February 28, 2014, 02:44   #32
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Gates, the TAPs are still GTG, but I am awaiting some plates that may have them beat for both price point and protective rating. Subscribe to the thread and my blog feed for updates. PM sent.
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Old February 28, 2014, 09:09   #33
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Thanks.
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Old February 28, 2014, 21:28   #34
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Thanks for your efforts 009.5. I've finally figured that the weight penalty vs the protection benefit of body armor is kind of a no brainer. The newer stuff is so light now....what's a couple pounds among friends right? My knowledge of body armor came from Marine flack jackets originally procurred in the Vietnam era. They were heavy and almost useless. I think they were intended for shrapnel protection. The funny part is that they were issued twenty years after that conflict ended. Gotta love the frugality of the Corps. Fast forward twenty five years and the world is a changed place.
The materials science just keeps advancing, almost as fast as the situation keeps declining. I wonder if there is any correlation there?
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Old March 01, 2014, 01:06   #35
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...Rifle armor is rated either level III or IV. Now, the interesting thing is, the higher rating is not necessarily better. If you expect to be facing enemies with AP capability, the IV is nice to have (the spec calls for the plate to stop ONE round of .30-06 M2 AP black tip. One round). If you are expecting normal mild steel or lead cored, go with III by all means. The spec for III calls for stopping 6 rounds of M80 .308 ball @ 2750FPS within a 6" circle. So much better multi hit. Always read the specs! ...
I agree that you should always read the specs...

As I remember it, the milspec for ESAPI plates calls for defeating three rounds of .30CAL M2 AP (which is slightly different than the NIJ level IV rating, of course)...

Thanks for posting all the interesting info...

Forrest
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Old March 01, 2014, 12:31   #36
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I agree that you should always read the specs...

As I remember it, the milspec for ESAPI plates calls for defeating three rounds of .30CAL M2 AP (which is slightly different than the NIJ level IV rating, of course)...

Thanks for posting all the interesting info...

Forrest
Gold star!

MIL and NIJ tests are different, and I will be publishing a post on the various differences between all past and current test standards and methodologies soon.

Thank you for the kind words.
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Old March 01, 2014, 13:51   #37
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The Blue Line plates showed up, they are 2005 MFG dated - look like N.O.S. - I found some concern on the web that because of the age of the plates the glue holding the strike face to the underlying composite might have degraded to the point that when you shoot one of these plates they delaminate - assuming they are in a good carrier they should hold together and be good for a few hits depending but I was wondering if anyone had an opinion on this.
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Old March 01, 2014, 19:13   #38
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The Blue Line plates showed up, they are 2005 MFG dated - look like N.O.S. - I found some concern on the web that because of the age of the plates the glue holding the strike face to the underlying composite might have degraded to the point that when you shoot one of these plates they delaminate - assuming they are in a good carrier they should hold together and be good for a few hits depending but I was wondering if anyone had an opinion on this.
Gates, thanks for the update and concerns.

This is worthy of a post all on its own. I recall a paper written in IJIE discussing greater efficacy in armor systems where the elements were weakly adhered vs. strongly adhered (cover face, hardface element, backing element). My own testing has shown this to be valid.

The mechanism was not well understood, but I think it may have something to do with a micro version of the air-gap effect, and decoupling of the transmitted shocks through the different materials. As long as the strike face is structurally sound, my OPINION is that you should be fine. I will try to find the link to the paper referenced above and send it to you, if you are interested.
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Old March 02, 2014, 03:34   #39
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Any combo armor out there that resists ballistic and cut/stab threats pretty well. From what you wrote, I'd assume that you might be able to find NIJ II or IIIa KR1/SP1 and III or IV that may be KR/SP2 or KR/SP3 because of bulk issues.

Can you layer the lower-level soft cut/stab over lower grade (soft) ballistic armors and bump up the protection of the latter a notch if the combination of the two kinds of protection are not easily found together? I'm wondering from both a technical and a practical standpoint the feasibility of layering regarding bulk and comfort and temperature regulation.
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Old March 02, 2014, 19:08   #40
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Any combo armor out there that resists ballistic and cut/stab threats pretty well. From what you wrote, I'd assume that you might be able to find NIJ II or IIIa KR1/SP1 and III or IV that may be KR/SP2 or KR/SP3 because of bulk issues.

Can you layer the lower-level soft cut/stab over lower grade (soft) ballistic armors and bump up the protection of the latter a notch if the combination of the two kinds of protection are not easily found together? I'm wondering from both a technical and a practical standpoint the feasibility of layering regarding bulk and comfort and temperature regulation.
That is a good question. In my testing, there is some benefit to layering, but by putting the ballistic armor on OVER the stab layer. I did not see a full level equivalent improvement, but the BFD reduction was noticeable.

The reasoning behind this is that the knife/stab armor is going to see benefit in having more material over it (increasing the work the point/cutting edge has to do), while typically the denier of knife/stab armor is too small to have much affect on the initial strike of a bullet.
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Old March 08, 2014, 22:58   #41
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That is a good question. In my testing, there is some benefit to layering, but by putting the ballistic armor on OVER the stab layer. I did not see a full level equivalent improvement, but the BFD reduction was noticeable.

The reasoning behind this is that the knife/stab armor is going to see benefit in having more material over it (increasing the work the point/cutting edge has to do), while typically the denier of knife/stab armor is too small to have much affect on the initial strike of a bullet.
Another question - which of these generally cost more, ballistic or cut/stab? I would think that putting the stab armor on the outside would help protect the ballistic vest, which I expect cost more, from damage from non-ballistic threats, even if it doesn't increase ballistic protection.
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Old March 09, 2014, 12:01   #42
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Another question - which of these generally cost more, ballistic or cut/stab? I would think that putting the stab armor on the outside would help protect the ballistic vest, which I expect cost more, from damage from non-ballistic threats, even if it doesn't increase ballistic protection.
Knife/stab is usually more expensive, due to the (significantly) more expensive material for its construction. A bullet strike compromises the effectiveness of stab armor much more than the converse, due to the much finer weave of the fabric. I hope to be able to rerun the test to illustrate this phenomena on my blog within a few months, funds permitting.
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Old April 14, 2014, 22:22   #43
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Wanted to give you guys the heads up before I get to a review. These plates:

http://store.appalachiantraining.com...RDIAN-IVTriple

are currently the best deal for standalone level IV I have seen.

That is $332 plus ship for a pair. :O No connection to Appalachian Training, but Mike is a cool guy to deal with. Let him know I pointed you in his direction.

Will be posting a review very soon.

ETA: Link fixed
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Old May 03, 2014, 02:27   #44
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14.6 pounds for two - heavy but the price is right.
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Old June 29, 2014, 23:46   #45
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Maingun Surplus now offers curved level III Mil-A-46100 steel plates. I consider these to be best practices for steel plates from a price and durability standpoint:

http://www.maingun.biz/Body_Armor_St...12twocurve.htm
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Old July 10, 2014, 14:59   #46
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Latest version of spall guard and Maingun flat HHS plate shoot test here:

https://drmorgear.wordpress.com/2014...patriot-plate/
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Old April 24, 2015, 12:39   #47
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UPDATE: It has come to my attention that there is a rumor circulating that deployed vehicle airbags are made of Kevlar, and can be used as ballistic armor.

THIS IS FALSE. Vehicular airbags are made with either polyamide (Nylon) or polyester. They have no ballistic properties whatsoever.

Airbags are white. Kevlar is bright yellow.

Polyamide and polyester drip/melt/burn. Kevlar chars/self-extinguishes.

DO NOT USE DEPLOYED AIRBAGS FOR PROTECTION OF LIFE OR PROPERTY.
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Old April 24, 2015, 16:45   #48
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UPDATE: It has come to my attention that there is a rumor circulating that deployed vehicle airbags are made of Kevlar, and can be used as ballistic armor.

THIS IS FALSE. Vehicular airbags are made with either polyamide (Nylon) or polyester. They have no ballistic properties whatsoever.

Airbags are white. Kevlar is bright yellow.

Polyamide and polyester drip/melt/burn. Kevlar chars/self-extinguishes.

DO NOT USE DEPLOYED AIRBAGS FOR PROTECTION OF LIFE OR PROPERTY.
Most vehicle airbags are made of ballistic nylon, nylon 6 or 6,6. It is the same nylon used in flak jackets in Vietnam. A M1951 or M1955 flak jacket would stop a 7.62x25 round point blank. Only problem of course was they weighed 10 pounds. So yes airbag material does have ballistic properties, not as good as Kevlar, and you need a lot more of it.
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Old April 24, 2015, 19:14   #49
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M-1951 flak jacket is 12 plies of ballistic nylon. No way that will stop a round from a Tokarov, except at extreme range or a very strange angle.

Vietnam aircrew ceramic chicken plate - sure. PASGT kevlar vests of the 1980's - something slow like a .45 sure, but not a 7.62x25 at close range. Circa 2000 Inerceptor Armor - perhaps (but 7.62x25 is hard to stop).
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Old May 29, 2015, 09:01   #50
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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.
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