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

hueyville

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Based on how your kit is stacked, especially with primary plate and proper pad behind it to disperse the blunt force trauma and reduce amount of plates backface signature from being shoved into your ribs. Have a kit which is my sitting at a table in the house behind cover only vest and has Tentacte "military sales only" NIJ 4 plates up front with First Spear padded plate backer behind the main plates then a 1/2" thick NIJ 3a UHMWPE plate behind pad then NIJ 3a soft kevlar full upper torso protection. Was able to test a very similar stack out using 6'x6" NIJ 4 plate up front, padded plate backer section behind, then a 3a UHMWPE 6'x6" layer with NIJ 3a soft Kevlar behind it. I seldom shoot my 338 Lapua to keep wear down just verify scope once per year.

Above described layup I did test attached to front of a piece of sculptors clay and used my 300 Win Mag using a maximum book handload with a M80A1 projectile. have 30 caliber WW2 vintage black tip, modern AP, API, copper solids (type banned by BATF) and others but have determined the M80A1 projectiles are stunning penetraters while still giving some expansion/fragmentation of base so create a true wound not just a small hole. The NIJ 4 plate I used was a 6"x6" Protech 2014MC side plate (NIJ 4 Armor Piercing rated), 6"x6" remainder of a First Spear plate backer had used testing a 8"x10" plate, then a 6"x6" BAM NIJ 3a fiberglass side plate with a VISM/NcSTAR 6'x6" (Chinese made) kevlar sie panel backing it all up in a worn military ACU side pocket.

Put one round of the M80A1 loaded into a 300 Win Mag dead center of plate from 50 yards. the Protech plate stopped the round but had so much backface signature am sure if not for other layers behind it would have created a blunt force trauma wound requiring hospitalization. if it were a sternum shot would likely have broken bones and damaged the heart badly if not permanently if person hit was not tough or had additional protection behind plate. The First Spear plate backer did its job and rebounded after absorbing the majority of first plates deformation. The fiberglass panel looked compromised but was not broken, the Chinese Kevlar looked unhurt and the clay had the smallest of dents. Ability to wear such a kit and move is like moving in a bomb disposal suit. Sitting at a table behind cover with a fan to keep cool am good for hours. The 6"x6" Protech plate was ruined but had it been full sized bet it could have sucked up more rounds as long as not in same vicinity.

Purchased a new Point Blank International III vest in black with shoulder/arm protection. Also just received a set of full size 10'x12' shooters cut UHMWPE plates from a company never used or even seen tested but have a NIJ 3 stand alone certification from accredited lab. Plan is to put these in the new Gen 4 IOTV but ordered a pair of 6"x6" side plate from same company to shoot before put this kit in service. Plates weigh 3.9 pounds and float nicely in the tub. Are rated to stop five rounds of M80 ball and will see what they stop beyond that when small plates arrive. That is five new rifle kits in past five weeks, somewhere I need to stop but new and better armor keeps coming out. Also bought a real Pinnicle Armor DragonSkin kit with their proprietary rifle armor off Craigslist in "like new" condition from seller who had no idea what he was selling. Seems to be raining armor lately plus new helmets.

Edit:
Been trying to add another ProTech Delta 4 Helmet to collection for a couple months. eBay vendor recently listed 36 "police surplus" at $314 each and refused a $200, $240 and $270 "make offer" plus has $20 shipping. Been outbid on three that went north of $300 and had my browser lock and one got away from me selling at $240 shipped which is in my acceptable range if super nice. Guy listed one on three day auction with $50 opening bid, $200 buy now and $12 shipping. Have resisted hitting buy now expecting someone else to snatch it up. He did not list any magic key words like ACH, MICH, ballistic helmet or such. Just put "ProTech Delta 4" in header and size Large in description but pictures showed it as immaculate and date of manufacture of 2019. Just "won" it for $140 including tax and shipping.

Sent seller a "thank you" soon as I paid and asked if had any other armor or accessories. This person must not know armor or accessories or how to list but had a box of parts did not know what they were. In box was an Ops-Core N-Rail set with bungies and other accessories, a Wilcox titanium 3-hole N.V. mount, a Protech upgraded suspension system with dial-adjust headband and the quick release face shield mounts. All were new, someone intended to put all on this helmet and ups the retail value to $900 helmet with all parts. Asked how much for the parts and said another $100 and would ship with helmet. My guess is helmet has never been worn so sent him the $100. I have the NIJ 3a face shield for the rail mount system and have never used as most mounting systems make face shield hard to remove once installed. Could easily assemble the $240 in helmet plus accessories, add my face shield paid $50 and list for $999 with a Team Wendy cover and watch my money triple but it's going to become the helmet that sits on bedpost of bed and side I sleep most nights just adding a sound kit and popping on a PVS-14. Move my high ear to passenger side of wife's bed and the ProTech 4 LT purchased a couple weeks ago moves to the truck. Now need to get back as have four more items to try and snipe cheap tonight.
PROTECH® Tactical Rail Mount for Ballistic Face Shields

The ProTech® Ballistic Face Shield tactical rail mounting system is an innovative mechanical design allowing the 702L, 702M, and 702MT ballistic face shields to be attached onto the industry standard picatinny rail mounts equipped on Delta helmets. Designed for tactical teams in need of a ballistic face shield that is compatible with tactical rails and shrouds, the new rail mounting system is an easy to use locking mechanism suited for rapid deployment. The enhanced speed allow for face shields to be deployed or stowed with the use of just a single hand. The all new rail mounting system provides the ability for mounting on all cuts of helmets: Full, Mid, and High cuts. The new system supplies all the features perfect for tactical teams approaching high pressure situations.
 
Last edited:

rowjimmy

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This may be a dumb question, but spall is a serious concern and not all armor has effective spall coating.

What about the habit of wearing mags across your chest? Would a round impacting the mags and ammo create enough dangerous spall (and there is no coating there) to cause serious harm?
 

John A

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I know that it is not the preferred or recommended way, but I cut a thin piece of wood to create a barrier that I put around the edges of my plates.

While some would tell me that isn't acceptable, I have noticed that the pressure treated wood that is holding up my targets, takes a very long time and a whole lot of shots before being chewed up badly enough to have to replace them. So, it is pretty effective at stopping spalling, regardless of what anyone says. I'd always be interested in finding out a better way of doing it.

I have more confidence in that physical barrier than flex seal or truck bed liner or whatever they spray the plates with alone. I'm not even sure how well small fragments would be able to penetrate and exit the carrier pouch. That material is pretty thick.
 

Woodpusherpro

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What about the habit of wearing mags across your chest? Would a round impacting the mags and ammo create enough dangerous spall (and there is no coating there) to cause serious harm?
I think the threat from that would be debris to the eye. Magazines and ammo aren't going to spall the same way as a bullet onto hardened steel.
 

Stranger

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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

009.5
Easy fix for sweat/water/bodily fluid intercalation in hard plates is a mylar/polymer food storage bag. Seal them up before installing them in the carrier. Easy peasy.
 

Stranger

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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.
As someone with extensive knowledge of carbon nanotube polymers (2 year post-doc with one of the world's foremost producers/researchers), I would say don't waste your money. CNT is not the wave of the future most people thought it would be.
 

hueyville

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On the subject of spalling and debris from accessories I have my seamstress sew trauma panels whenever possible on the back or inside of as many accessory pouches and other load bearing equipment as possible. I have multiple blast belts and battle belts. All of my blast belts (prefer medium width to the tall as they interfere with my ability to articulate in odd positions) have the factory recommended armor inside and many of my blast belts either augment or replace the internal padding with armored accessories. Stealth Armor Systems makes a Kevlar liner for USGI plate carrier shoulder pads that a pair fit perfectly in some of my USGI battle belts and fit from buckle to almost mid spine without overlap. Not as good as a nice battle belt but some extra ballistic protection where your vest overlaps your belt protects from oblique fragments and projectiles.

My battle belts and blast belts have mix of drop leg accessories from holsters to magazine pouches and IFAKs. Most of the pouches or holsters attach to molle drop leg panels and all my mollee drop leg panels have a 5'x8" NIJ 2 or 3a panel sewn on its back to give a little extra padding to leg and if pistol, magazines or IFAK take a hit then adds ballistic protection. 5"x8" trauma pads are $20 on fleabay these days but occasionally find a seller with many and if buy a dozen or more get them for $10 each. I literally have over 100 5"x8" trauma pads as always try to use bigger in my armor so 5'x8" just pile in boxes (6"x9" minimum and 8"x10" in any carrier that will hold panel that large) and a while back had my seamstress sew a box of my 5"x8" trauma pads from years of piling up into a king size cover for my bed which looks like a really cool quilt but is a mix of NIJ 2 and 3a pads in different colors.

On the back of my drop leg panels for holsters have a trauma pad, same for left leg drop leg panels to hold magazines or IFAK. Many of my IFAKs have a trauma pad sewn in the back so if it takes a hit will suck up some of the threat before projectile gets to my carrier, plates or panels. I have them sewn to backs of some of my knee and elbow pads but my primary pads are London Bridge which have pouches to add their properly sized armor panels to give ballistic protection to elbows and knees. have one pair of Air force issue multicam flameproof/blast proof pants that has shin pockets as well as side pockets on thighs. Seamstress sewed a pouch in all pockets so 5'x8" panels fit in shin pockets, 6'x9" fit in back of thigh pockets and even have pads she cut and rewed to fit in back pockets then sewed some odd pieces to pants in other places so if pants are on with all trauma panels in about 70% of my legs, thighs, butt, etc have a patchwork of bullet resistant panels covering many major arteries and veins.

I have boxes and boxes of Kevlar panels in all sizes and shapes that use to augment armor or add armor to odd items. Except for potential spall from an accessory since do not use steel armor its not an issue but i always have ballistic rated glasses on that fit very snug to protect eyes. My vests all have neck yokes and throat protectors, sacrum protectors, side plates and helmets have nape protectors and so on. if I can cover it with a ballistic panel I cover it. Many of my rifle rated overt vests have a NIJ 2 or 3a soft panel in front of plate even if vest has full coverage soft armor liner. Figure it may protect plate from damage if take a couple handgun hits before aggressor figures out they need to swap to a rifle. Since all my plates are super lightweight and have so many panels may as well use them. Have five of the big Rubbermaid storage boxes filled with shoulder DAPs, groin protectors, shoulder protectors, trauma pads and odd ballistic liners for vests from a myriad of NATO and civilian providers.

Some of my magazine carriers have ballistic protection between the magazines and my body but wont stop spall from flying in odd directions and hitting my chin, face, thighs, etc and why I add all the accessories to my full coverage vests. I don't run side protection on all my plate carriers or even shoulder protection but most have shoulder armor. I have a pair of totally stripped down plate carriers that live in trucks with nothing but 10'x12" shooters cut plates and no accessory pouches. They have Velcro panels that attach to the molle and based on needs can grab a three magazine 5.56, 6.8 or 7.62 pouch or two and just slap to the Velcro, radio pouch, cell phone pouch or IFAK on the fly and stick to one of the Velcro patches as get out of truck.

As to last question spalling of penetrators on steel plates is a potentially bad proposition as if a M855A1 or M80A1 penetrator were to hit in manner it is redirected into neck/chin/face its going to suck. That said with my kits the darn thing should be about 1/2 way in plate and stuck with a small hole showing facing front and small dent from backface signature against body. I run plates that are designed to catch and trap bullets not just send them bouncing another direction. I ordered two more sets of Hesco plates this week after wife noticed a could of my kits seemed lighter. told her found a deal on Hesco 3810 NIJ II+ super lightweight plates. Removed a set of 3810s and a set of Hesco L210s and when she realized the weight difference said to get another pair or two if able to find a deal. One of my vendorts hooked me up on a MAP price with additional discount for buying two sets plus they were needing to reduce their inventory on small plates. I am running one pair of medium and one large and when measured her she decided the 9"x11.75" smalls were big enough considering final weight of only 3.4 pounds while we have full size plates that weigh the same from another vendor but do not come as cheap.
 

hueyville

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Just got back from one of my regular Radio Frequency Ablations on lumbar spine area which requires the folks to pull pants/underwear to just below where crack of my @$$ begins to clean and place surgical drape. Newish girl in surgical center where have these done made mention of never seeing underwear like mine or with patent number, label (Secure Planet Gen II-ABL Kevlar shrapnel shorts) plus all the panels and pockets. Anesthesia tech and surgeons assistant told her they were "bulletproof" and soon as we get him to outpatient he will want his bulletproof vest back on immediately.

Had my Zofran (I.V.anti-nausea), 0.3 ml of 1.0 ml Fentanyl administered, tech was hooking up the Prophenol and given me first 1/3 as normal before paging surgeon. I explained at some point nothing is bullet proof if someone has a big enough gun and my underwear were blast/shrapnel resistant in pelvic, groin and butt area then the removeable ballistic pads covering femorial artery area protection level is up to small caliber handgun to medium caliber handgun based on pads chosen to wear in the sewn in pockets. I wear everyday to protect from a endmill coming unglued at 30,000 rpm or spall if have to take cover behind something if gunfire were to become a threat. Was slurring the last of my explanation out as surgeon (wears body armor on his walking commute to work and has NIJ 2 panels in his lead lined surgical vest, as does anesthesia tech, which protects them from x-ray backscatter) walked in.

Segway to Enlignten Folks on Pain Management:
Have installed ballistic barriers, sold body armor and other goodies to locally owned pharmacies all over Mayberry. While the facility I was in is @!!¡@^c€ Spine they do have "pain center" as secondary smaller copy as they specialize in surgical pain mitigation rather than handing out pills. Watched a program on NatGeo over the weekend about issues with prescription pain medications in Nashville TN and interviewed one pharmacy owner who tells anyone that calls or walkins do not sell oxycodone, oxycontin or any hydrocodone based meds has had six armed robberies seeking pain meds in just three years and an attempted after hours burglary almost monthly.

Pill mills and greedy doctors have turned a huge portion of people into junkies for profit and its stigmatized all pain patients while turning pain management providers into targets. Saw another t.v. program where two brothers opened a pain clinic in Florida, hired a half dozen doctors with no morals, had a huge pharmacy and would see even out of state patients who were making six million dollars per month servicing junkies and dealers selling pain meds. Its easier to buy pain meds on the street than through doctors and pharmacies from what I understand now. I was on a high powered pain medication for five years 2011 through 2016 that a 30 day supply was under $100 initially and to try and stop abuse was $850 per month when purchased last bottle in 2016.

Cost, Federal and local law enforcement crack downs has made it almost impossible for even needy patients to get (most doctors can no longer write scripts for high powered pain meds, must be DEA certified) that in my ministry work know of six local pastors who shot themselves when their GP could no longer write their scripts and were afraid they would loose their job if a congregation member saw them going into a "pain clinic". During end of Obama era was helping elderly who had real issues understand why and integrate from their lifetime doctor helping them into modern pain management system usually at request of pastors who were scared some of their elderly who didn't understand would bust a cap on themselves.

When I was in final phase of titrating off daily use of pain meds (that bottle is still half full) it was a major deal to fill my last medication before quit. Was seeing elderly WW2, Vietnam vets, former military with major injuries who could not get their meds from V.A. as rules changed so fast. Also were elderly men/women with serious injuries flooding into my pain clinic in tears because their doctor could not write their prescriptions anymore and the paperwork required along with records (try and get original records for injuries that happened more than ten years in past), monthly blood and urine analysis who were baffled.

For better part of 2015 through 2017 I would spend an hour or more holding hands, helping old people fill out the twenty to thirty pages of incoming documents and explaining why they had to go through this every trip to my specialist because I felt bad for them and staff had limited time. Many didn't understand real reason was the Democrats were trying to kill them and get them out of Social Security/Medicare benefits. Throwing in rules where people had to actually bring in all prescription bottles regularly to all doctors has turned medical facility parking lots into a freaking war zone of muggings to take an old person's bag of meds. Now covid is their best answer to killing off elderly.

Been seeing current pain specialist in Atlanta for 13 years now and he has a huge number of Atlanta PD cops, ex military paying cash or using retirement benefits from job they had after service, elderly who can't get help from their GP of twenty years and has gone from two offices to twenty-two offices since the rules changed. I went from a drug screen every six months to every month (insurance and Medicare pays $664 for each patients monthly screening) as they wanted to be sure patients are taking their meds, not selling them.

My doctor is a surgeon and was one of the first dozen board certified pain specialists in United States and founder of the Emory Hospital/University Pain Center. All he does is surgical intervention but has doctors on staff for people that are better managed with medication. I have to be back next Wednesday and thus far have had five outpatient procedures in 2022. You have to be tough to survive a procedure with anesthesia every three to five weeks plus my regular physical therapy which keeps me off pain meds. The 72 hours following each Radio Frequency Ablation burn, two to three per area every six months as wear off. I get thoracic, lumbar, SI done and left knee for average of fourteen burns per year and two facet blocks with steroids in lumbar as an RFA does not hold for six months where I have most damage.

I no longer have them done to neck but have to be at my neurologist tomorrow for my every 120 days injections to trashed disks in neck (new deal that works better and less recovery) but these do not require anesthesia or multiday recovery. Pain medication I take now is Ketorolac (prescription Ibuprophen) and have a maximum five day supply per month script. I dread the day have to go back to narcotics but it will likely come by my 70s. That said have seen multiple friends and relatives die from overuse of OTC ibuprofen and Tylenol. If eating ibuprofen daily or more days than not your going to die of stomach and intestinal complications. If choose Tylenol then your going to loose your liver. Ask an honest doctor if don't believe me.

Thus Obama war on prescription opioid abuse has just sent opiods to black market from dishonest doctors, theft or fakes. Guy who was one time national president of a biker club son bought over 3/4 million Vicoden from one Air Force supplyman who figured out how to cook the books. In just two months of 2021 DEA seized enough Fentanyl being smuggled from China to make over two million fake pain pills which 1 in 4 fakes seized have a lethal dose. Same two month period 700,000 fakes made in U.S. by Mexican cartels were seized in a single bust and over a million legitimate pills stolen from distribution hubs. Just in actual seizures the two month period tracked between stolen legitimate pills, smuggled legitimate pills, smuggled fakes, fakes made in U.S. and chemicals to make fakes U.S. law enforcement rounded up over ten million oxycontins, oxycodones, vicadens, etc. The federal crack down created a huge demand but worse increased the use of heroin by over ten times as its easier to get.

Back on Body Armor:
As I was dressing out in post op the surgeon returned my 1911 which he locks in his desk drawer when hand it to him in pre-op. Normally just hands my my pistol and moves on as he has patients stacked in two operatories but today he said topic of conversation were my bullet proof underwear and wanted more information. Gave him quick description and they are blast/shrapnel rated with removeable ballistic panels that cover the two major arteries in each thigh in area a tourniquet is almost impossible to use and bleed out in minutes if any are busted. He asked where he could get some and told him would bring him a package of three with pair of trauma pads next week when go in for second part of current RFA.

Sometime today am sending him an email on difference between Tier 1 and Tier 2 Protective Undergarments and actual NIJ rated underwear. I have a pair of NIJ 2 that actually fit well and have good coverage plus a pair of NIJ 3a that are not. Wife says the 3a brand is comfortable for her. Also have a company that makes a carbon fiber and Kevlar cup worn in ballistic briefs or athletic supporter have not been tempted to buy as is expensive and suspect comfort will be poor. Have Tier II PUGs from various countries including the most recent USGI version very few civilians have seen much less own.

The very best and only ballistic underwear have ever seen only made it to the development, NIJ approval, SHOT Show then limited release before the company discontinued it. They had two models (one with butt cheek panels, other with genetals/thigh area only) and had announced release of their Gen 3 models when dropped it from their line. Guess $800 underwear was not a big seller. Scored a pair with butt panels off a cop who purchased a pair which was too small and sold them on fleabay as "tried on for size only" and a second pair from guy I buy lots of salesman samples from.

The pair with butt panels are o.k. if standing or sit in soft chair for under twenty minutes but sitting in truck seat for hours are not fun. The front panel only version is better but chaffs after a day of general wear in places that get sore. But if I were going to a gun fight would definitely wear and when have high profile church events wear the pair without butt panels. I have USGI Tier 1 PUGs from four suppliers (USMC are way different than Army) but prefer Secure Planet and Short Bark Industries.

Wear the Secure Planet whenever feel the need to have the ballistic panels over thighs and Short Bark when go without panels. The Secure Planet are super comfortable, fit better than most normal underwear without any bulges and I wear a size medium in them. (5' 10", 168 pounds) The Short Bark are a bit more bulky but have more layers of Kevlar and more area of coverage with Kevlar. They don't make you look like wearing a diaper or Depends as some Gen 1 Tier 1 PUGs did. I wear a large in Short Barks. Going to Atlanta or doing security at church wear Secure Planet with either one layer of inserts (380 acp) or two layers (NIJ 2 unrated) of inserts. Daily wear to work or around town its Short Bark with no panels.

If plan to go with my NIJ 3 covert kits or NIJ 3/4 overt kits its either with panels and Tier II over garment PUGs, Duratech ACCS (current British version) or full NIJ 2 or NIJ 3a underwear. With the new USGI Tier 2 overgarment thigh protection and Tier 1 its actually reasonably comfortable (especially compared to Gen 2 Tier 2), have good mobility and can be fairly sure that will hurt but survive 9mm hits to your pelvic and thigh area which is second place I will shoot if someone sucks up a center mass hit. Everyone seems to have overt torso kits and helmets these days but very few have groin and thigh protection. Shoot a man in his hip its going to bust his femoral arteries and put him down from busted hip bone while he bleeds out.

Today even coming home following a procedure where nerves were fried above and below my belt line the Secure Planet PUGs with single layer of thigh panels were as comfortable as any cotton or silk civilian/performance outdoor underwear I own. Wife kept seeing more packages of PUGs coming, assumed it was underwear I wanted to wear so put 15 pair in service and are now my daily wear. Reading articles where military surgeons pulled dozens of fragments from grenades/IEDs from guys PUGs that instead would have taken multiple surgeries to remove from groin/pelvis without them and realizing how comfortable current generation are they just make sense. They are also super antimicrobial. Bet my surgeon will ask for more just like most of my doctors now own two covert bullet resistant kits plus a kit for their wives. Most doctors I know don't like the walk from office to vehicle these days.
 

Colts4me

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Might as well get some feedback on this stuff. As Oregon continues to tank , most of the murders are done with handguns. What are your thoughts on this brand?

 

hueyville

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Might as well get some feedback on this stuff. As Oregon continues to tank , most of the murders are done with handguns. What are your thoughts on this brand?
Don't own any but have handled it and know people who have. Do own several garments with built in body armor and its the least likely worn. Except for an over $1,000 custom motorcycle jacket had NIJ 2 Kevlar with NIJ 1 stab panels added to make it bullet resistant and protect from being impaled if left the road into trees the stab panels take over.

I want a nice trim snug fit on my EDC covert armor and let a simple button up shirt conceal it. Hardwire has some NIJ 2 that is about as thin as a undershirt now and NIJ 3a thinner than most of my NIJ 2 kits made just a few years ago but its pricey. I purchased the new 3a kit to wear with an 1/2"×8"×10" NIJ 3 ICW plate to wear at church. Gives me 7.62×39 protection and 308 protection but several 5.56 rounds will defeat it but barely. If take 85% of the sting away from M855 its better than a hole out the back of your armor with busted heart and lungs between. Have a stand alone NIJ 3 that stops SS109/M855 plate for it but its obvious wearing armor and uncomfortable.

Find good quality name brand surplus NIJ 2 or pay up and buy some of the really new stuff from Hardwire, Safariland, Protech and others. Am seeing NIJ 2 armor now so thin and comfortable its worth the $795 retail. Since I work outside during summer and sweat my kits up so bad still use surplus (all were department purchased and unissued or salesman samples) and keep 14 kits in rotation so only have to wash carriers every seven to ten days. Two pieces is always better than one and two will outlast one by five times.
 

hueyville

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Have a new piece of kit ordered for testing and evaluation. If it works as claimed when am on the road working a dozen sites per day where a text message or call can totally reverse my route to another state and really have nobody to alert (if I leave for work, wife has been up in pain all night and finally get her comfortable enough before I leave I won't call and wake her even if told her would be in office all day and call sends me to Western NC, Nashville or Birmingham. Actually Baton Rouge LA or Lexington KY is more likely than Alabama) this may be the ticket. Past 24 months have encountered three armed property owners under care for Alzhimers or Dementia left unattended with access to loaded firearm. Get sent somewhere and crazy grandmother blasts me with coach gun (had I not been faster and able to keep truck between me and grandma her intent was to blast me) then this device should alert a set group of people who understand my job, can work creative solutions, have clout to get authorities to listen and dispatch.

Includes:
Two sensor panels (front and back) with integrated BLE modules and supporting software
Function:
The AID system with BLE-ASSY-02 provides a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) notification to a device with BLE support (Bluetooth version 4.0 or higher) such as an:
  • Android smartphone
  • iPhone
  • Land Mobile Radio (LMR) provided the radio supports BLE
  • Compatible tablet
BLE-ASSY-02 has an enclosure with a rechargeable battery (typically one year charge).
  • Single Mode of Communication/Notification using BLE to a device with BLE support
  • Detects break in continuity of active sensor panel and automatically sends emergency alerts
  • Automatically sends GPS location
  • Displays battery level of BLE module
  • Allows entry of person's name/identifier
  • Can open microphone on cell phone (Android smartphone only) so a designated individual can listen in at the attack scene
  • Sends location of the injury (upper/lower, front, back) and updated position when moved 30 feet or more.
  • AID App runs in background, remaining active
It is a very thin panel (thinner than the lowest threat level stab panel and each panel goes in your carrier behind your ballistic panel. It detects force from a blow and if its enough to cause injury, if panel or device has been compromised plus gives most probable cause such as bullet (and if armor made the stop or failed), knife and size of area cut or blow from blunt force and estimate of energy.

Just slide replaceable panels in kit and link to phone or Bluetooth enabled radio and can activate a device with "man down" button even if user is incapacitated. Huge deal for lone workers doing roadside jobs, cops patrolling rural areas or a fire team to platoon sized unit to detect wounded member, where they are and get the medic on them asap. This thing evolves and works can see it in every cops kit and every combat troops kit.
 

Colts4me

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hueyville

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Since I do manual labor in the hot sun, have 14 NIJ 2 Kevlar "work" kits so during summer wear one day, hang to dry and wash carrier. Sounds like a pain but sweat like I do outside when 94° and 90% humidity you stink when you get home. All use Protech 6"×9" special threat plates in front. With 14 kits can wash carriers every ten days and not crawl back in sweaty/smelly armor next morning. Winter can wear a work kit a full week between washings.

Have about six "dress" kits from NIJ 2 plus special threat plates to NIJ 3a with 8"×10" NIJ 3 plates front and back (1/2" Tencate militay/LEO only but can be found without a letter). My dress kits can be worn dozens of times to months without washing as only hot sun is between truck and structures with HVAC. Those shirts don't appear to be durable enough if used daily and washed often. Also don't like the gaps, IMO YMMV

My two newest kits are the Safariland M2 Covert Carrier one with the NIJ 2 SX panels and other uses the M2 Covert Carrier with the Hardwire NIJ 3a panels. Expect both to outlive me. I use a lot of Protech but in past two years they have gone LEO/Military only offering everything from special threat plates, vehicle armor to armored guard towers.

Safariland Armor
 

hueyville

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Have over twenty of these kits in various sizes (mostly medium and large) from a police surplus power buy. Had reached "expiration date" still sealed in plastic with original boxes from a large department that buys enough in each purchase to outfit all on staff, future hires plus replace any damaged units till next purchase. They issue to the "desk" cops too which some may never wear except day its fit and one or two 4th of July parades doing traffic control. Had two dozen that were all boxed up nice and neat. Sold all the used as A, B and C grade then shot the fugly vests. Made enough selling all the used to pay for my new kits kept.



With special threat plate showing, full coverage NIJ 2 and the plate is flexible and NIJ 3+ stand alone so heart and most of lungs well protected with stunning comfort.



Pile of carriers ready for laundry. Notice all are marked so easy to match fronts, rears and panels when reassemble. All the pieces marked "A", "H", through "M" and so on go together. When take panels out all get wiped down with very mild non ammonia or other nasty chemical antibacterial cleaner as sweat through carriers.



Some of my favorite trauma plates, center are 8"×10" right are all 6"×9". Outer 1/2" is not "supposed" to stop rated threat so running 5"×8" as see most do means a whopping 4"×7" area of protection. That is not enough for me but have seamstress sew pockets in in the pockets of fatigues, back of magazine pouches, IFAKs, drop leg accessories and more to put all the 5"×8" panels I get. Even had so many at once had my moms "quilting club" sew me a king sized quilt for bed out of trauma panels.



My favorite NIJ 3a dress kits before adding the Safariland M2 Covert Carriers with armor mentioned in last post. This Safariland Zero G is good stuff.



Stack it deep, if SHTF can screw extra to your walls with drywall screws and fender washers. Not a joke....





Since asked about covert, no discussion of overt, rifle plates or plate backers other than to say "friends don't let friends buy steel". Steel is for targets and what all my steel plates that come in become. Had a set with truck bed liner rated NIJ 3+ fail to 7.62×39 cast. Never even got to real ×39 and all AR 15 calibers from the lazy 6mm×45 to subsonic 458 SOCOM punched them. Don't know if vendor was running a con or received a sheet of mild steel instead of AR steel and did not test it.

Surplus can be a great route to go if know what to buy and what not to buy. Lots of recalled Chinese Tworn out there. Its what drove Force One into bankruptcy when a pile of cops died and government sued them into the dirt. That said lots of really good Force One product out there if have the list of affected models to avoid. Others got hung with it too, like steel, never buy made in China armor or helmets, the all freaking fail.

 
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hueyville

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Dressed for church and attending across the street so its three minutes from door to parking lot. As dressing reminded me of a concept I have embraced. Wear USGI Tier 1 PUGs evey day for underwear as super comfortable, durable, crotch, groin and butt are blast rated up to NATO issue grenade fragments. If saw blade throws a carbide tooth, router bit slings off a big hunk, shaper bit explodes or carbide end blows up at 30,000 rpm with fragments hitting me in hip/groin area have some protection. All of these have happened at some point in my life and got lucky.

I wear a medium in Secure Planet PUGs which fit loose and large in Short Bark Industries which fit almost snug. Secure planet are more comfortable but Short Bark have thicker Kevlar in groin/crotch/butt area and bigger trauma pad pockets. For work I do not run trauma pads unless know will be running big equipment all day or working in high threat area and wear the Secure Planets with their trauma pads installed. For church I wear Short Bark with their larger trauma pads and layer a second medium size pad over the large pad.

have bought a pile of extra trauma pads off eBay and shot them. A single pad will stop a 380 acp 88 grain HP but any 9mm round blows through though slowed greatly but the two big arteries sitting there will bleed out in fifteen seconds if not able to get a clamp on one if ruptured. People ask why have two artery clamps in my primary IFAKs... If stack two pads, (used medium over large) and bullet hits in area where two are stacked it will stop 9mm, 357 mag and 45 acp. Did not test special threat rounds like 40 Smith, 10mm auto and 357 SIG with better projectiles as the 9mm and 357 mag were deep enough into second pad do not think it will stop the special threat rounds.

Still would slow them and fragment them greatly. Even a 9mm or 45 acp is going to impart enough backface signature to break your hip and bruise tissue badly but it beats a gaping hole with a good 9mm or 45 acp hoolow point busting arteries, blowing through hip and lay there bleeding out. This gives me blast rating in crtch and butt and the area where two biggest arteries in leg sit will stop a guy with a 9mm Glock or most average handgun/ammo combinations. They are chap in three packs with single set of pads, buy two sets and spare pads and you extend ballistic protection way below your vest.
 

hueyville

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Wife said she can tell its finally hit mid 90°s as have eight kits airing out in climbing gym so a couple days away from breaking down to wash carriers and wipe down panels. Pulled a large out of the box in a hurry this morning and couldn't get straps tight enough so had to dive back into box for a medium to visit the doctor. May wash whats dirty now while recovering foot. As an FYI should have this in as many kits as possible as tasers will punch through many vests and then your screwed, this prevents any electronic discharge weapon from getting hold of you through your armor.

HiLiteSS_004.jpg
 

hueyville

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Have been looking for another Safariland APACS kits for some time. These are stunning pieces of kit but due to almost $1,000 cost few agencies would buy for guys in overt armor to be cool on hot days but this will drop perceived temperature inside of a full rifle kit twenty degrees or more while evaporating sweat fast as it forms so your not totally miserable on 95° with 90% humidity days. Easily goes in and out of kit and fans can mount on side or rear. Can run run a single fan if not horribly hot but my covert armor has been uncomfortable enough since temps hit 95° to 99° with north Georgia humidity.


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At only 1/2" to 5/8" thick panels to distribute continuous circulating air it is the difference between comfort and potential heat stroke if fully kitted out with full coverage rifle armor and only adds less than a couple pounds. Now have three and need one more so able to stack out a pair of summer kits for both myself and wife. Especially if grid were down, barricaded in house without HVAC and having to stay fully kitted up during an extended firefight defending the Ponderosa.

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Comes in a serious professional hard case to protect it well when not installed if say travelling to Ukraine to join the Lincoln Brigade.

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Odds are if start hunting you will not find an APACS kit and if do and someone like me spots in an auction format in NOS unused condition like this and others have found would not blink at running it up to stoopid price in an auction format. While have been lucky and found all of mine in unissued condition from agencies that purchased but after recieving first unit some budget issue blocked equipping entire SWAT team with them so nobody got it and sat till they pop up in local law enforcement auctions. I watch a lot of county, city and individual department auction inventory to find odd items like this then when show up or if held online seems I am only bidder who knows what is and get it at opening bid or when no response to opening bid will throw out low-ball offer and usually walk with it. Last one I saw on fleabay had light use and was bid up to $500 when I dropped out and winning bid was just under $800.

These CTAVs, another Safariland Company are inflatable plate backers proven to drop core temperature of body 11° with no fans or perceived added bulk or weight. Each CTAV is bringing $100 to $150 new in packaging with inflating and deflating tool. Can wear these year round and all my full coverage kits that tend to get hot have them front and back. It's full on summer and if have a heat stroke in midst of a firefight your going to be the loser. These keep you from dehydrating as fast by staying cooler reducing water needed and making you a more effective fighter.

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Have been working with several other cooling systems and modifying them. First Spear has the best economical cooling plate backer that adds year round comfort from your plates and keeps you some cooler in heat. Have them in a couple kits but having issues finding photos of them. Before break down a kit to photograph will add another set to next First Spear order as have a half dozen or more accessory items need to add to kits that are proving to be must haves on kits using them with. Soon as get another set of the First Spear comfort/cooling plate backers in will get some pics up and think are about $50 per set last I ordered.
 
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brunop

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I can tell you that these plates are expensive - or at least they are by my standards - but they're light (4 lbs.) and neutrally-buoyant.

And they stop multiple Green Tip hits at 50 ft. out of a 20" barrel.

It's the 3800 series from Hesco. Tuscan and I shot this video a few years ago.

 
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