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Body Armor Thread. Advice and information.

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by CharlesAFerg, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. CharlesAFerg

    CharlesAFerg Beaverton Active Member

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    Do you have body armor?

    Do you train(PT or shooting) with armor?

    What about civilian purchase/ownership?

    Do you have technical knowledge about body armor?

    Recommendations?

    ...Ceramic plates?
    ...Legality?
    ...SHTF?
     
  2. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    No but I will soon

    what about it? BulletProofME.com Body Armor / Bullet proof Vests is a good place to get armor. I believe there is also a vendor at the expo center gun show on the far left wall, but I have not really checked out what he has.

    the basics...

    Well, I plan on getting a ProMAX concealable level IIIA vest made with GOLDSHIELD and that has rifle plate pockets. Don't know what you are looking for, there are other options if you want something like with molle all over it.

    Depends on what you want, steel plates are thinner (easier to conceal) and offer better multi-hit capability but are very heavy. Ceramic is much lighter, but also much thicker.

    EDIT: oh yeah there is also the ultralight polyethylene stuff. It stops some rifle rounds, but generally will not stop steel core ammo like SS109/M855.
    only illegal in communist freedom-hating states
    Better to have and not need... If some natural disaster or something happened and I had to protect my home from rioters I'd be very glad to have armor to put on. If someone breaks into my house and I have lots of time I might throw it on maybe, dunno.
     
  3. CharlesAFerg

    CharlesAFerg Beaverton Active Member

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    Thanks.

    I hope more will chime in soon, as I meant this to be for discussion among everybody. I wasn't really asking specific questions. :thumbup:

    With that said, does anybody have military surplus armor/current issue armor?
     
  4. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I have always found it rather odd that people get tactical rigs and molle gear and have the latest and greatest gizmo on their M4 yet they are not wearing body armor or a helmet when they train. In some of the vids, I see some cops with their tactical armor on but for the most part people are out there putting rounds down range in cargo pants and a molle vest. Its a lot different wearing an IBA with plates and a helmet. If you say you don't have armor or don't want to wear it, ok, that's your choice. So, you are forewarned enough to get your molle vest and ammo and sidearm and grab your M4 but you don't have time to put on an IBA and Kpot? Are you knowingly going to engage presumably armed assailants without body armor? Its one thing to train without armor for CCW situations, but its quite another to train tactically with a rifle or shotgun without armor.

    Do I have armor? Yes, but even I only train with it on rare occasion because I don't really expect an attack by armed assailants. My tactical rifles are historical toys to me, nothing more. If you are just out having fun like me then you don't need armor. If you are really taking your training seriously, then get some armor and train with it. It takes a lot more effort to fight with 45 pounds of armor, ammo, and water so you might want to get used to it. If you don't believe in Kevlar, then I hope you believe in God or have the luck of the Irish... :)

    For tactical training I would recommend a full IBA with plates. You can hang your magazine pouches and other assorted molle gear on it and it goes on like a jacket filled with lead shot. :) Surplus Kevlar helmets are pretty cheap and will protect your brain housing group from the odd projectile at various angles. If you think the plates are the only thing that will stop rifle fire so I will go with just a plate hanger vest... What if your armed assailant du jour has a pistol, shotgun, or a pistol caliber carbine? Really want to give up protecting the rest of your torso and neck to save a little weight? Oh, make sure you have a tourniquet and some Quick Clot bandages just in case all the above advice was meaningless and that golden BB found you. :)
     
  5. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Military Surplus Body Armor with Ceramic Plates

    Used, but a vest with plates, you can't get anything with a better price tag

    Yes, somtimes and only on rare occasions (the more you wash it, the more the Kevlar breaks down), civilians can purchase and own as long as you don't commit a crime with it, a little tech background and a lot of personal experience, only fork out the doh for ceramic plates if you expect to get hit by some serious rifle rounds (.308 ish), and they have their pros and cons for SHTF
     
  6. stitchclimber

    stitchclimber St. Louis Active Member

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    yes, both a soft IIA and Hard plate

    yes, I run Practical Rifle and plinking with Armor.

    Legal here in OR and WA unless you are in the process of committing a crime.

    Recommendations?

    ...Ceramic plates?
    ...SHTF?[/QUOTE]

    If you're going to do armor for tactical training I'd recommend a MOLLE vest that accepts both balcs cut soft armor and plates. I run a second chance ceramic plates on my rig. JC Weaponry has a good price point with them.
     
  7. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    JC sells armor?
     
  8. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    To me the most important thing is concealability, which is why I chose a GoldFlex Level II vest from BulletProofMe. Tapes like GoldFlex are made from the same aromatic-amide ("aramid") fibers as Twaron fabric, but because they lie flat the fibers are all optimally oriented, so it takes fewer plies to meet the Level II spec.

    Vests made from Twaron fabric are flexible and forgiving, plus they can be cut and stitched like any fabric. That's why my bride's vest is a surplus Twaron cop article - because women require garments that are a little more -ah- sculpted than men's. Her vest is made with darts in it.

    The GoldFlex vest is expensive, but it's not an investment that I'm likely to be repeating any time soon. It is 60% the thickness (and weight) of an equivalent Twaron vest. I chose Level II so that the vest will stay with me, and not spend its life guarding my sock drawer. I wear it shooting at Brown's Camp, because there are so many ricochets at that rock pit.

    My most likely worst-case scenario involves facing down multiple assailants with 9mm's and/or .380's. The next step up for me would be rifle plates for dealing with 7.62X39, which would be neither concealable nor even marginally realistic for daily wear. So I stick with a vest that I can do the Wally-World walk in without a care.

    One other thing: The giveaway is in the back, not the front, up near the shoulders. A hoodie hides the strange back-printing pattern well.
     
  9. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    How big a difference in thickness and comfort is a level II vs. a level IIIA goldflex vest?
     
  10. TheHossUSMC

    TheHossUSMC Eugene Member

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    You can pick up all different sort of armor and plates on ebay as well. I suggest you only buy from sellers that have a lot of good reviews.

    If you are interested in stoping handgun bullets only then you should look at level 3a or level 3 soft armor that you can put trauma plates in. Level 3 stops the same bullets that 3a does, but 3a is thinner and or lighter. Trauma plates have no huge effect on round stoppage, but they help disperse the kinetic energy of the round over a larger area, therefore preventing crushing injuries like punctured lungs from broken ribs, etc. I don't really recommend lower levels because my life is not worth saving a few bucks.

    I will tell you all I know about plates which is less than soft armor.
    As far as plates go there are several different kinds. Steel plates are thin but very heavy. Ceramic plates are thicker and lighter. There is a new kind of plate made out of some kind of plastic but it is the most thick, yet also the lightest. I would go with level 3 or level 4 stand alone plates. That being said I would never wear a stand alone plate without at the very least a plate backer. This kind of defeats the purpose of having stand alone plates, and therefore I decided to go with two sets of plate / soft armor combos for different situations.

    I would not train with my body armor for the sole reason that expose to sun/sweat/weather will degrade the armor and turn it into expensive junk. Finding something with similar weight/size and putting in your plate carries would be preferable.

    My personal setup right now is twofold. This is for informational purposes.
    1. Low profile kit
    In this setup I run a police / vip style concealable soft armor with steel plates under a shirt. Over the shirt I run my Esstac Bush Boar that could be concealed under a jacket.

    2. Go to war kit
    In this one I have a soft armor setup in a combo chest rig. Soft armor inserts are inside the LBV. The soft armor has front, back and side inserts. I am currently searching for the right plates for this one as I have not decided to go with ceramic or the new plastic plates.


    I just did a vid on my low profile rig and will do a vid on my new rig ina few days if you wanna check it out.
    YouTube - Esstac Bush Boar LBE
     
  11. stitchclimber

    stitchclimber St. Louis Active Member

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    yup.
     
  12. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    You can pick up inexpensive training plates that simulate the weight and bulk of the real deal without putting undue wear and tear on them.
     
  13. matt_w

    matt_w Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    Their website is down right now, but check out Easi Armor. They are a local company in Portland, and are very nice/helpful and make good quality stuff. If you are unsure of sizes/fit/etc you can go in and try it on (advantages of it being local).

    easiarmor.com
     
  14. sweetbeard

    sweetbeard Beavertown OreGUN! New Member

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    call him!
     
  15. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    I don't know.
    I chose Level II because of the threats I'm anticipating, basically very average handgun rounds.
     
  16. Leif Runenritzer

    Leif Runenritzer Kernilyis Active Member

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    I was about to buy a concealable III-A gold shield vest some months ago, but then i happened upon this post that explains how contact-range shots are not reliably stopped by "polyethelene laminate soft armor":

    Soft Body Armor - M4Carbine.net Forums

    Gold Flex is mentioned by name; is this similar to Gold Shield? From what i can get in the documents, they seem to be made of the same thing.
     
  17. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    Well now that's interesting. Maybe it is best to stick with regular soft armor then even if the goldflex/shield stuff is thinner. Is that level II gold flex though or IIIA? I would be interested to see how IIIA goldflex compares with the level II aramid/kevlar stuff at contact range.

    I don't know the difference between goldflex and gold shield either.
     
  18. CharlesAFerg

    CharlesAFerg Beaverton Active Member

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    Any armor owners willing to share?
     
  19. Celtic Armory

    Celtic Armory Port Orchard, WA Member

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    I USED to have armor, till some meth head stole it from my truck along with everything else in my tool bin. I hope his balls rot off.
     
  20. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    This made me lol, I don't know why. :laugh: Did you get reimbursed by your insurance?