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Body Armor: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly UPDATED 3-12-2019

KrinkBusta

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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
 

Bruce Allen

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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?
 

hueyville

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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.
 

hueyville

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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
.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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hueyville

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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.
 

009.5

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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/201...-4-2-3-spall-guard-and-maingun-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.
 

hueyville

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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.
 

hueyville

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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.
 

hueyville

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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.
 

hueyville

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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.
 

gates

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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.
 

hueyville

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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.
 

ALL FAL

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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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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/
 

hueyville

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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.
 

gates

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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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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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My young brother in law is a police officer now, and I want to make sure sure he has the best protection he can get. He's patrolling in really bad parts of town. What it the best right now for a patrol officer? Thanks.
 

Sig220

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My young brother in law is a police officer now, and I want to make sure sure he has the best protection he can get. He's patrolling in really bad parts of town. What it the best right now for a patrol officer? Thanks.
Not to interfere in the OP's thread, but the best is a balancing act. You want enough protection to cover against the most likely threats. If you go too far in protection, you lose wear ability as they become more uncomfortable and heavy. No vest will work if its not being worn. I always wanted coverage up through 9mm because that was the most likely threat. Never saw a 44 on the street and never saw one go into evidence! So again, my advice is to go with a vest that #1 will be worn/comfortable and #2 protects against the most likely threats. Not to say a vest that protects against .223 or even 7.62 is useless, there is always a place for it as a "active shooter" vest.
 

John A

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Many agencies will prevent the officer from using anything that isn't specifically on their "approved" list for liability reasons.

AR500 is heavy, but I would keep one in the trunk for active shooters too.
 

hueyville

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Wear a NIJ Level 2+ soft vest with 8"x10" Dyneema special threat panel front and 5.5"x11" Level 3a soft trauma panel over spine. I keep a plae carrier with 10.5"x12.5" and 11"x14" NIJ Level 3++ Dyneema rifle plates in passenger seat or back seat along with NIJ Level 3a helmet.



So I leave with a lightweight covert vest every day that protects lungs, heart and spine from all handguns plus ability to grab a large set of rifle plates that will stop multiple rounds of 7.62 M80 ball plus the helmet in floorboard. AR 15 is in lock behind seat and timing myself if working at average job-site can usually bolt to passenger door have rifle plates, helmet and rifle all secured and ready to work in 45 seconds to two minutes based on if on ladder or close to vehicle unloading bed.

Ask him how big the trauma panel pocket is on his vest (most will handle one size bigger than published instructions if measure) and buy him a Safariland/Protech Special threat or Multi-Threat plate for front and if has a rear trauma panel add a soft panel to rear. A lot depends on what he is concerned about. Most vests don't have stab panels and a sharp knife will slice right through. My carriers are now rated for electronic discharge weapons such as Tasers and stun guns. A half dozen cops discharging their stun guns at same time while not deadly, would prefer to not have the probes thread through my soft panels and getting zapped.

Weather will depend a lot on how much kit he will want to wear. Winter and can load your carrier with all the bling you want. Summer hot sun if in Florida or Texas and a heat stroke is not worth being unconscious while wrestling a perp. Stab panels are thin, good trauma panels are thin as well. Most of the better companies such as Protech, Hardwire, etc have been purchased by Safariland and can't see a department having any issues with Safariland accessories. Remember most departments replace their armor every five years but my Protech and Hardwire Dynema trauma panels are rated 15 years so look at rating and can save replacing as often.

I have dozens of Dyneema trauma plates in all sizes and threat levels from special threat to multi-threat and rifle. I could turn loose of a few plates and even a few vests as have over 150 vests in stock. Trump has been supporter of a ban of sales of armor to private citizens since before he was a politician. Also the Dems want to ban civilian armor sales so been hoarding good new and lightly used vests for some time. Now that test plates for two companies during R&D phase before send in for NIJ certification they have really piled up. That said most of what I wear is Second Chance, or a company owned by Safariland as they buy every small company that develops a really good item quickly as they can..
 

hueyville

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Big site update for SHOT Show:

http://www.drmorgear.com
In your blog your recommendations to avoid several specific steel plates is highly appreciated. Personally I only have some specialty laminates with steel and Dyneema to keep Level 4 plates reasonably thin and light. Otherwise I avoid steel completely but for those who do use it going in with eyes wide open and some good advice is very important.
 

009.5

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Huey, my pleasure. The Armor Database is currently being updated. Just have been extremely busy with R&D.

The current steel plates bear almost no resemblance to the steel plates of 10-15 years ago. The current chemistry is almost like a metallic ceramic, in terms of grain structure. I don't mean to toot my own horn (too much), but I was one of those pushing for a move to HHS and EHS (High Hardness Steel and Extreme Hardness Steel) about 6 years ago. Now it is industry standard (though Doc at the sadly defunct Patriot Plate gets credit for being the first adopter).

Most of the current level III+ (capable of stopping M193 above 3100 fps) use Armox Advance steel, which in my opinion, is the finest armor steel for rifle plates extant.

In your blog your recommendations to avoid several specific steel plates is highly appreciated. Personally I only have some specialty laminates with steel and Dyneema to keep Level 4 plates reasonably thin and light. Otherwise I avoid steel completely but for those who do use it going in with eyes wide open and some good advice is very important.
 
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