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Old February 13, 2020, 08:55   #1
AFeod
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ďExpiredĒ soft body armor...

I recently acquire a good amount of covert soft armor vests. Think leo, under the shirt style. Most of it is un-issued with a few pieces that have been worn. Itís a collection of II and IIIa. Mostly IIIa.

The only issue is that it is all past the ďretireĒ date. I know itís been well taken care of and stored correctly, laid flat, in a climate controlled space.

Iíve read a few things that state that itís good to go well past itís due date, but wanted to ask the ďexpertsĒ here too.

Iíd like to keep a couple sets, but sell the rest or use it as trade fodder. I just donít know enough about it to put a value on it.

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old February 13, 2020, 10:10   #2
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Expired date for worn, sweated in, exposed to elements versus Expired date for stored flat under temperate conditions.

Expired dates seem to benefit lawyers and manufacturers for a lot of things.

Just my opinion but I'd use 'em.
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Old February 13, 2020, 10:13   #3
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DUDE keep it in tupperwear and it will stay fresh.
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Old February 13, 2020, 10:50   #4
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If it takes 10,000 years for a soda plastic bottle to break down in a land fill,,,suspect your vest will last a good long time too.

Any of us(non active duty military/cops) with vests,,,well,,,,an old vest is far better than no vest at all.

I've got a lot of really old,,,armor strike plates,,was thinking one day,,not highly recommended, so hung one up,,out came the L1A1,,,
it took 5 rounds,,with no through and through penetration.

Old is just old,,,not all used up or ruined.
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Old February 13, 2020, 11:55   #5
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Thanks for the replies, I do appreciate your input. Now for the next question...

Do I sell the inserts, or inserts and vests? Obviously there would be a big price difference because they are older, but how much of a drop? 20 bucks an insert and 50 for a vest with two inserts? Iím just throwing numbers out. Iím not trying to take advantage of anyone, yet donít wanna sell myself too short either.

I could definitely use some project money...
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Old February 13, 2020, 12:20   #6
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Thanks for the replies, I do appreciate your input. Now for the next question...

Do I sell the inserts, or inserts and vests? Obviously there would be a big price difference because they are older, but how much of a drop? 20 bucks an insert and 50 for a vest with two inserts? Iím just throwing numbers out. Iím not trying to take advantage of anyone, yet donít wanna sell myself too short either.

I could definitely use some project money...
Buy low and sell high.

The "market" will set the prices.

Take a couple of sets,,,best and worst,,throw them up here for an auction.

Whatever they go for,,,that sets the market price.

Once you know the market price,,,what folks will pay for them,,,then set your pricing and unload them.

Got a friend,,he buys stuff for a dollar,,,then sets a price of 100.00 on it.
His place looks like a museum,,vs a store.
Nothing ever sells and nothing ever moves.
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Old February 13, 2020, 13:33   #7
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To my point of view you bought good body armour simply because when you wear it you can't be sure it's good. You won't take foolish risk thinking you are protected. Seems like cops are getting killed all over the nation and they are wearing new body armour. Not saying they are taking uneccssary risk but body armour isn't helping the dead guys.

Did the guys main it have an all night party before comming to work? No really I guess soft body armour has been tested for years and is good stuff. They sell a lot of it.
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Old February 13, 2020, 13:43   #8
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Put it on.

And don a half-dozen full magazines. And your rifle.

I can think of a lot of other stuff you should carry too. But we'll just go with the mags and the rifle and the armor for now.

Now make a vid of you covering 6 miles on broken terrain without stopping with all that (or "just that") kit.

If the enemy bullets don't kill you the ruck will.

It should be fun.
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Old February 13, 2020, 14:19   #9
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Put it on.

And don a half-dozen full magazines. And your rifle.

I can think of a lot of other stuff you should carry too. But we'll just go with the mags and the rifle and the armor for now.

Now make a vid of you covering 6 miles on broken terrain without stopping with all that (or "just that") kit.

If the enemy bullets don't kill you the ruck will.

It should be fun.
Donít know what this has to do with my posed questions... but hereís my response.

I wouldnít call it fun, but doable sure.

I may be the oddity here, but the majority of my career has been as a Wildland firefighter.

Carrying a forty pound pack along with a saw slung over my shoulder covering miles on uneven terrain is my wheelhouse.

Now Iím almost 43, I run a crew now, I ride my bike everyday and on my days off I can bang out a couple thou vert feet on my tele skis for a good time. If snow is no good drive off the hill and bang out 20-30 miles on the mountain bike and clean 2k vert easy peasy.

Oh, and a resting heart rate in the 40ís...

I donít smoke anymore nor drink, and eat primarily raw and veggie. Donít watch tv, No fun to hang out with at all...
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Old February 13, 2020, 14:37   #10
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Donít know what this has to do with my posed questions... but hereís my response.

I wouldnít call it fun, but doable sure.

I may be the oddity here, but the majority of my career has been as a Wildland firefighter.

Carrying a forty pound pack along with a saw slung over my shoulder covering miles on uneven terrain is my wheelhouse.

Now Iím almost 43, I run a crew now, I ride my bike everyday and on my days off I can bang out a couple thou vert feet on my tele skis for a good time. If snow is no good drive off the hill and bang out 20-30 miles on the mountain bike and clean 2k vert easy peasy.

Oh, and a resting heart rate in the 40ís...

I donít smoke anymore nor drink, and eat primarily raw and veggie. Donít watch tv, No fun to hang out with at all...
I had a friend who passed away last weekend that would mirror your lifestyle and body shape. Hard charger at the gun club that looked and acted in perfect shape. Just retired then died. Had all the great gear and FA guns a military background that taught him to use them.

Enjoy your health and be thankful for today because tomorrow may never come.
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Old February 13, 2020, 14:48   #11
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I had a friend who passed away last weekend that would mirror your lifestyle and body shape. Hard charger at the gun club that looked and acted in perfect shape. Just retired then died. Had all the great gear and FA guns a military background that taught him to use them.

Enjoy your health and be thankful for today because tomorrow may never come.
I read that thread BJ, I am sorry for your loss. Loosing a friend is never easy.

I do enjoy everyday, and I do feel blessed.

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Old February 13, 2020, 15:05   #12
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All great advice here on this

Okay, so you understand the armor industry helped write the expiration nonsense.
The idea was to create a constant resupply market.

I used to do LE contracts as a vendor up into the early 2000s
Okay some hard facts:

Main thing that can affect soft armor is UV exposure
sweat is mostly cosmetic

I would swap out new for old with like a ten cent on the dollar credit
anything shabby went into new carriers
being into this dirt cheap we tested old panels out a number of times
even sweat stained up ones functioned as well as new Kevlar so there is that
what really kills a vest is it having been shoot already
just wearing one, not really much and new unused vests are new and unused depending on storage conditions.

in the lead up to Y2k I just murdered it
at that point I had an easy couple hundred plus vests I sold on gun boards and Ebay'd at the $100 price point. They were expired but well less than half price of new

just depends on what kind of vests you have
figure no more than half of retail on the same mfg and model valuation in my opinion
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Old February 13, 2020, 15:10   #13
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When talking about Aramid based armor used armor tests as good as new. I'm not sure about the Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE). I've read that it degrades in heat.

http://bulletproofme.com/Quick_Answers.shtml#6
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Old February 13, 2020, 16:10   #14
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I didn’t know soft ba was rated at level III?

The plates that the army used were level III IIRC and the weight of them combined with the summer heat caused guys to get salt burns on their skin from wearing them

I would say that expired BA that retains its integrity would still have value

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Old February 13, 2020, 17:08   #15
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We got a whole con-ex box full of "returned" soft armor several years ago.

Half of it was blood-soaked and just nasty as shit.
Looked like some of the guys who had worn it had a really bad day on the last day they wore it.

The other half of the conex box was practically brand new.

Everything was right-at, or past, its posted expiration date.
I scooped up a couple vests that looked like they hadn't been shot or bled-on.
Wore it to the range a couple times, then put it back on hanger. Which collapsed under the weight after a couple years. Had to buy one of those expensive "armor" hangers to get it off the floor of the closet.

I really don't see me wearing it anywhere that somebody might be shooting at me with pistols. If they are shooting at me with rifles, I can only think about that other half of the con-ex box. If they are shooting accurately at you with rifles, YOUR expiration date will be acutely shorter than the posted expiration-date of the armor in 99% of the scenarios I can imagine.

Last time I fought a wildland fire, I burned up a brand new pair Christmas of Chuck Taylor's stomping it out. My mom was pissed.
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Old February 13, 2020, 17:13   #16
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Put it on.

And don a half-dozen full magazines. And your rifle.

I can think of a lot of other stuff you should carry too. But we'll just go with the mags and the rifle and the armor for now.

Now make a vid of you covering 6 miles on broken terrain without stopping with all that (or "just that") kit.

If the enemy bullets don't kill you the ruck will.

It should be fun.
Some of us,,,are smart enough to use the Jeep to cover those six miles,,,or not get into a situation where ya running for your life in the first place.

With that said,,,,,If I lived in VA,,,hint, hint,,I'd be getting my old ass back into humping shape post haste. Rifle, spare mags,,pop tarts,smokes,,couple of canteens.

No one with a brain cell connected,,runs into a hot combat zone with a full pack,,be them 18 or 70.
Drop ruck,,,go fight,,go back to ruck.
Kinda why they make a LBE harness with mag pouches and canteen covers,,little compass case, and personal 1st aid kit.
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Old February 13, 2020, 18:16   #17
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Being street smart helps too...


https://youtu.be/9ncI-xPItHI
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Old February 13, 2020, 22:09   #18
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bulletproofme.com has done some testing on old armor


http://www.bulletproofme.com/How_Goo..._Surplus.shtml
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Old February 13, 2020, 23:23   #19
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If I lived in VA,,,hint, hint,,I'd be getting my old ass back into humping shape post haste. Rifle, spare mags,,pop tarts,smokes,,couple of canteens.

No one with a brain cell connected,,runs into a hot combat zone with a full pack...
I've got a Vietnam original magazine vest to go with my (ass-less) chaps. Figure I can fill the mag-pockets with tube-socks filled with 30-30 ammo. Probably still have those scorched Chuck Taylors around here somewhere too. I can be speedy when I got to. Probably won't bother with the canteen. I'll just knock over liquor stores and 7-11's if I need Slim-Jims, smokes and re-supply of liquids. I've learned to keep a pack of rubbers in one of the magazine pouches, 'cause they never have my size in lamb-skin at 7-11, and they don't sell rubbers in liquor stores in Virginia.

If you tie the handles of two 7-11 bags together, it makes an expedient backpack, or hood-rat sports-bra even.

In the front, a couple 40's in one bag, Slim-Jims and pork-rinds in the other. Then in the back two bags, couple cartons of smokes (only for trading, because I gave up fags), and whatever old-school porn mags they have from behind the counter. If I'm gonna go down, I'm gonna go down "standing up"... if you know what I mean.

I found that I can load the AP handloads in the 30-30 tube magazine if I alternate AP rounds and snap-caps in the tube. Reduces magazine capacity by half, but its still easier than completely breaking position to load single rounds.
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Old February 14, 2020, 00:02   #20
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I've got a Vietnam original magazine vest to go with my (ass-less) chaps. Figure I can fill the mag-pockets with tube-socks filled with 30-30 ammo. Probably still have those scorched Chuck Taylors around here somewhere too. I can be speedy when I got to. Probably won't bother with the canteen. I'll just knock over liquor stores and 7-11's if I need Slim-Jims, smokes and re-supply of liquids. I've learned to keep a pack of rubbers in one of the magazine pouches, 'cause they never have my size in lamb-skin at 7-11, and they don't sell rubbers in liquor stores in Virginia.

If you tie the handles of two 7-11 bags together, it makes an expedient backpack, or hood-rat sports-bra even.

In the front, a couple 40's in one bag, Slim-Jims and pork-rinds in the other. Then in the back two bags, couple cartons of smokes (only for trading, because I gave up fags), and whatever old-school porn mags they have from behind the counter. If I'm gonna go down, I'm gonna go down "standing up"... if you know what I mean.

I found that I can load the AP handloads in the 30-30 tube magazine if I alternate AP rounds and snap-caps in the tube. Reduces magazine capacity by half, but its still easier than completely breaking position to load single rounds.
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Old February 14, 2020, 00:04   #21
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Thanks for the replies, I do appreciate your input. Now for the next question...

Do I sell the inserts, or inserts and vests? Obviously there would be a big price difference because they are older, but how much of a drop? 20 bucks an insert and 50 for a vest with two inserts? Iím just throwing numbers out. Iím not trying to take advantage of anyone, yet donít wanna sell myself too short either.

I could definitely use some project money...
When you figure out pricing please let me know
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Old February 14, 2020, 02:10   #22
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I've got a Vietnam original magazine vest to go with my (ass-less) chaps. Figure I can fill the mag-pockets with tube-socks filled with 30-30 ammo. Probably still have those scorched Chuck Taylors around here somewhere too. I can be speedy when I got to. Probably won't bother with the canteen. I'll just knock over liquor stores and 7-11's if I need Slim-Jims, smokes and re-supply of liquids. I've learned to keep a pack of rubbers in one of the magazine pouches, 'cause they never have my size in lamb-skin at 7-11, and they don't sell rubbers in liquor stores in Virginia.

If you tie the handles of two 7-11 bags together, it makes an expedient backpack, or hood-rat sports-bra even.

In the front, a couple 40's in one bag, Slim-Jims and pork-rinds in the other. Then in the back two bags, couple cartons of smokes (only for trading, because I gave up fags), and whatever old-school porn mags they have from behind the counter. If I'm gonna go down, I'm gonna go down "standing up"... if you know what I mean.

I found that I can load the AP handloads in the 30-30 tube magazine if I alternate AP rounds and snap-caps in the tube. Reduces magazine capacity by half, but its still easier than completely breaking position to load single rounds.
You'll do,,,yep,,, you will.
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Old February 22, 2020, 18:31   #23
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Purchased a bullet resistant vest from a retired Florida cop several years ago. It was issued to him as a rookie and he wore it on patrol for ten years. When promoted to detective he kept in the trunk of his car for twenty years till retired. That is 30 years exposure to South Florida heat. Put in his closet then when moving listed it on eBay with fact it was over thirty years old and I was only bidder buying for twenty bucks.

Have a mannequin which have used a router to hog out four inch deep of material in chest and back with outside dimensions of 12" wide by 14" tall which I fill with sculpters clay to test the back face signature of body armor. (Blunt force trauma in some vernacular) Vest was rated NIJ 3a so loaded up a 4" 44 mag with full power 240 grain SWC which is the standard round NIJ 3a is tested to. Front failed on forth round but was still slowed enough would say the penetration was survivable but the blunt force trauma from four hits could easily have damaged internal organs beyond survival.

Tested back with one round of 9mm ball which it stopped, one round of 9mm special threat and one round of 40 Smith which both defeated it and is consistent with new out of the box NIJ 3a. I wear armor every single day. The nurses where I have my nerve blocks have learned how to help me get my armor back on with proper layering of undershirt and overshirt without questions. My surgeon has to wear a lead lined vest all day to protect him from backscatter off the x-rays he uses to guide his instruments as works. He now has a pair of extra NIJ 2 ballistic panels in his work garment and a covert vest he wears when called in to hospital after dark due to the walk in Atlanta from employee parking to building. Many medical staff workers tell them it's a back brace just to keep them from profiling me as paranoid or crazy.

I wear NIJ 2 with 6"x9" or 8"x10" Dyneema semi-rigid special threat plate in front and 5.5"x10.5" NIJ 3a soft trauma pads over spinal area. The front panels are rated 3a stand alone but their true magic is stopping special threat rounds with minimal back face signature. From my testing would say if took handgun rounds to my front trauma plate would sting but not distract me from the fight. From shooting dozens of vests without plates, trauma pads and with up to NIJ 4 rifle plates I would not wear soft armor without a semi-rigid trauma plate in front. 5"x8" plates are tiny and what most use. Takes a perfect dead center shot for them to make a stop. I have armor wear in summer that leaves a 2" gap along side of torso for ventilation. That is where most rounds defeat armor is on sides where oblique shots get through the gap. During winter wear armor with a 2" overlap on sides.

When work church security I wear a NIJ 3a vest which has an 8"x10" NIJ 3 rifle plate in front that is less than 1" thick and weighs two pounds. In rear wear a 8"x10" NIJ 3a semi-rigid special threat plate with pair of duty size pistols. Have two sport coats and one shot custom tailored to cover this setup and look like am 5' 10" and 200 pounds rather than 5' 10" 165 pounds which is actual weight. Wearing armor daily since the Paris night club shootings several years ago have only had two people actually notice and those instances upper button had come undone and could see the logo on vest peeking out of shirt. Cops dont even notice NIJ 2 with good high quality trauma plates when worn with appropriate sized overshirt. When hug family and church members if asked say it's my back brace as back is giving me issues which 99% never question.

All of the armor in my current rotation of daily wear, have a dozen NIJ 2 vests with front and rear trauma panel pockets, all have electronic discharge weapon shielding. Most soft armor a Taser will punch right through. My carriers all have a thin layer that stops stun gun and Taser attacks before any interaction with ballistic panels. In the dozen NIJ 2 vests I wear daily as can only wear one day in summer as sweat them up and stink at end of day and don't want to wash carrier and wipe down panels daily or even every couple or three days only two have ballistic panels that are in date. That expiration date is a con that forces all enforcement agencies to replace their armor every five years ensuring continued business for the armor companies. Of my four NIJ 3a covert vests two are in date and two are not and could care less. Like plastic bottles will still be strong after I die of old age. Remember soft armor will not stop knife attacks without stab panels or rigid trauma panels.

I have shot more armor than most will ever handle and none has ever had a total failure of its rated ability. There were some runs of Chinese made ballistic cloth that made it into some companies armor so need to find a list of all known instances and make sure any used you buy is not on the list. Most of it was Tworn so when see that material on ballistic panel label be sure to check. I work outside in up to 102į temps and 85% to 90% humidity in armor but when work in that heat wear small or extra small carriers with extended straps so have plenty of room for body to ventilate heat. On me a small or extra small covers chest from neck to just above belly button and leaves a 3" gap on sides between front and rear panels but has trauma panels and except for a hit under my arms if take center of mass rounds am still protected.
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Old February 22, 2020, 20:07   #24
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Put it on.

And don a half-dozen full magazines. And your rifle.

I can think of a lot of other stuff you should carry too. But we'll just go with the mags and the rifle and the armor for now.

Now make a vid of you covering 6 miles on broken terrain without stopping with all that (or "just that") kit.

If the enemy bullets don't kill you the ruck will.

It should be fun.
Valid point, and certainly is a serious consideration at my age. Fact: Bugging out or running ( hell, even walking more than a couple of miles ) ain't realistically in my cards. However, that doesn't mean the armor wouldn't be usefull in a defensive or minimally mobile scenario.
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Old February 22, 2020, 23:43   #25
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Rifle armor for me is to be used defending the home when the fence line is likely the farthest I will wander when add weight of magazines, radios, handgun and other accessories. Mainly for protection from spall coming off the barricades have built in to hardened firing positions. Am not taking off across the north Georgia mountains in summer wearing a full kit and ruck sack.
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Old February 23, 2020, 12:08   #26
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my 10 cents as long as it was the not the brands that were recalled due to poor stoping effect due to heat or water exposer and was store right and dry it should be ok for at least 5 year ..... That said why risk it

I would go to AR500 or Sparten etc and get new soft plates and tramue plates for em ...Keeep the old instersts for emergence use or car etc
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Old February 23, 2020, 21:34   #27
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Have you ever worn AR500 steel armor for long? Most of the rifle plates I sell are to people who purchased steel and wore once or twice and then nailed it to a post in their back yard to use as a gong. I have destroyed more mannequins shooting steel armor than anything. The Spall off bullets, especially frangible and specialty bullets will rip the faces off the heads of my mannequins first (have two with replaceable heads now) as starts ripping their necks and chins off first and then migrates to groin and thighs. The steel using truck bed liner loses most of its Spall protection first round, Kevlar wrapped usually blows the seams and thin layers away in a couple of hits.

Most of my personal plates are laminates of Dyneema, Kevlar and steel in center from vendors like Tencate which can break a person quickly. Rest is solid Dyneema often with a Kevlar bonded layer on exterior to help extend it's lifespan. I have shot over fifty assorted current commonly used plates not counting older plates no longer used. Steel plates are just to stop a round if a man can stand wearing it. It's amazing the number of local car repo men that buy steel off eBay and after second night of work are calling me asking if have plates they can pick up before go to work the third night. Just opened another browser window and did a Google search for "weight of NIJ 3 AR500 10"◊12" body armor plate" and got 9.5 pounds per plate.

My average NIJ 4 plate use in my kits is under four pounds and Level 3 plates 2.2 to 2.5 pounds. I can't imagine running around with 19 pounds of trauma plate versus 5 to eight pounds for both front and rear. Two of my NIJ 4 plates weigh less than one steel NIJ 3 plates and my NIJ 3 front, rear and 6"◊8" side plates are less than a single steel NIJ 3 plate and do not spall. I am constantly rotating plates and generally buy three when try something new so have one to actually shoot myself rather than believe an Internet or fleabay ad. I even have a full coverage laminated NIJ 3+ SWAT entry vest with interlocking plates that leave zero gaps between front, side, rear and groin plates that is thick and bulky but weighs less than a milspec vest with AR500 plates over soft armor and spall panels over the steel and still has no side protection.

I recently upgraded both mine and wife's primary helmets with the new NIJ 3 rifle rated helmets that weigh a few ounces less than our NIJ 3a MICH milspec helmets. With all Team Wendy suspension, rails and mounting hardware lose more weight and gain a huge amount of comfort. From many years of playing with new armor and new rounds can say if a person does not roll with newer technology he will come up against rounds that will smoke his big old heavy plates. Oddly these days lighter is usually stronger and safer as it is engineered using better materials to allow someone to carry a lighter load out and stop new technology rounds. In half the rifles out of the vaults on the Ponderosa every second or third round will smoke NIJ 4 plates and pass though both front and rear plates and body between them from fleabay steel. Have discovered many sellers of steel are not even using AR steel anywhere but their advertising. Why I want a label from a major military and law enforcement supplier on my plates and soft armor.

My kit next to my bed the plates are so light they float and are NIJ 3/ICW4 and will float weighing 2.3 pounds each. Side plates are so light most would never believe are ballistic rated for anything and housed in a Tactical Tailor Fight Light carrier and uses Fight Light pouches so with seven loaded magazines, pair of radios, IFAK, handgun and other accessories like a Hexar NIJ 3 flexible groin protector weighs the same as a pair of steel plates with no carrier or any accessories. By the time you dropped steel plates front, rear and side, spall protection, rear padding behind plates, load out of gear and groin protection the steel equipped vest will weigh double. That would suck so bad I would just not wear it especially knowing my plates will stop eight rounds of 7.62 and one to two of 30-06 where the steel will turn into a spall machine chewing my face off after a few hits.

Edit:
Looked up the specs on two pair of my Tencate rifle plates. The pair in my Fight Light carrier are 0.77"◊10"◊12" and actually weigh 2.42 pounds. They will stop hits from all tested rounds up to 0.323" from edge. Considering 95% plus of armor claims no ballistic ability till inside a half inch from edge you normally subtract one inch in both aspects from its actual coverage. I will take that extra 1/4" of protection from edge as adds a half inch of protection in each aspect compared to most armor. Some of the 0.77" thickness comes from a thin layer of ultra high molecular padding to rdeuce felt backface signature on impact. The two rounds minimum of 30-06 is AP and plates are rated NIJ 3+ stand alone/NIJ 4 ICW NIJ 2 soft armor backer. They carry a 15 year warranty due to materials and have no drop warnings like U.S.G.I. issue that will shatter if drop on a hard surface and is not multi hit friendly. They are dual compound curve for added comfort and below are ammo they are tested with and guaranteed to stop.

.30-06 APM2
5.56x45 M855 (SS109/GREEN TIP)
7.62x54R API B32
7.62x39 PS BALL (MSC)
7.62x39 API BZ
7.62x51 M61 (AP P80)
7.62x51 M80 (NIJ III)

Found the spec sheets on my lightest set of Tencate rifle plates which are 0.55"◊10"◊12" and weigh 1.9 pounds. That is thin and ultralight. Also dual compound curve for comfort, 10 year warranty with no drop warnings rated NIJ 3. Full rifle rating and less than two pounds each. Use vests with plates in the 1.9 to 4.3 range and will turn all your nine plus each steel plates into gongs. Last steel plate I shot would not stop 5.56 55 grain FMJ M193 under fifty feet. "Sir can you please back up, my armor requires you to be twenty more feet away to stop those bullets?".

5.45x39 7N6 (MSC)
5.56◊45 M193 BALL
7.62x39 PS BALL (MSC)
7.62x51 M80 (NIJ III)
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Last edited by hueyville; Yesterday at 03:09.
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Old Yesterday, 12:54   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFeod View Post
I recently acquire a good amount of covert soft armor vests. Think leo, under the shirt style. Most of it is un-issued with a few pieces that have been worn. Itís a collection of II and IIIa. Mostly IIIa.

The only issue is that it is all past the ďretireĒ date. I know itís been well taken care of and stored correctly, laid flat, in a climate controlled space.

Iíve read a few things that state that itís good to go well past itís due date, but wanted to ask the ďexpertsĒ here too.

Iíd like to keep a couple sets, but sell the rest or use it as trade fodder. I just donít know enough about it to put a value on it.

Any advice is appreciated.
Half of my personal covert vests came from buyouts of an entire LEO lot at auction. They wI'll have a pallet or three of vests randomly stacked. Bigger departments may have say 350 officers so buy 400 vests on a P.O. number so have extras for new hires, damaged vests, etc. Almost every bulk buy will find several, sometimes over a dozen still sealed in original plastic that spent their five years unissued in a closet. On occasion will still be in factory box as well. All of wife's covert armor is dealer salesman samples that rotate every model change or if just get dirty. I don't care if how old it is, if in original sealed package and spent it's life in a dark closet what can be wrong with it.

All officers are issued armor but 25% work in the office and except for initial fitting has never been worn when turned in. I can tell by examining wear in seams, sweat stains, especially on ballistic panels which are not run through a washing machine if it's actually been used or not. Separate mine into NOS, issued and unused (A Grade), issued and lightly used (B Grade usually issued to detectives who only wear when make a raid), worn daily by patrol officer but we'll maintained (C Grade) then all highly worn (D Grade) and damaged (F Grade) gets shot.

Some I put on my mannequin and test with its rated threat level and above to find special threat rounds especially in the 9mm/38 special size that defeat NIJ 2. Some goes in front of ballistic gelatin and purposely over horsepowered to see how much it affects the bullets performance compared to two layer leather or four layer denim test. I am a huge fan of Protech Impac-HT, Impac-MT, Impac-CD/DT, Impac-RT plates and Level 4 Armor Piercing plates which hare never seen an expiration date on and have over 100 at present. Like Hardwire (one of my favorite rifle plates) Protech, Hardwire and many others soon as start making a mark on the scene get bought out by the Safariland Group.

Anyone that doubts dated armor is just paranoid. Have shot over fifty modern vests front and back of which zero failed to stop their rated threat. In addition to my NIJ full coverage, no gap NIJ 3 SWAT entry vest have a pair of DARPA research vests that were issued to Navy seals to wear covert while running missions that required blending in with local crowds. The former SEAL that gave them to me said they were told would stop any traditional handgun threat and rifles up to 7.62◊39 from fifty feet or more. He said they shot one when given to be sure we're not lied to and none of their personal handguns would defeat it and took half of a 30 round magazine from an AK before it began coming apart. They are thicker than my NIJ 2 but thinner than my NIJ 3a. Am unsure about what to do with them other than keep to use on a rainy day.

I have been buying Vietnam issue armor, especially that issued to helicopter crews for collecting and the uglier examples have shot. Those old door gunner "chicken vests" are tough as nails. Have all three weights and have shot all three which all have early Kevlar outer layeds and based on threat level its layered over Aluminum Oxide*(heavy weight), Silicon Carbide*(medium weight) and Boron Carbide*(light weight). Considering I am 57 years old all of these I have shot stopped their rated threats. If the panels look good they are good. Only exposure to chemicals that make them discolored and "crunchy" would concern me.

I will say again, the expiration dates are a total sham to force government agencies to replace their kits keeping the armor companies fat with return clients. If have enough pass through your hands will see some companies warranty exact same base materials three, five, seven and ten years. Why is one Kevlar only good for three years and another ten? It's the difference between companies that want to sell more armor versus those that are semi-honest. Notice no military armor has expiration dates only issue dates.
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A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3 G.W.T.
"If it is worth doing once...it's worth doing it a few more times to get it right." Stimpsonjcat
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