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body armor

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by spengo, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    I am considering getting some body armor. Why? Because I can and I want to. :D Anyway, I am thinking about what type would suit my needs best--concealable soft armor or hard plates. Also, is there a significant difference in comfort for different thicknesses of soft armor.

    Concealable armor:
    On one hand, it would be nice to have something that you could wear whenever you want without getting any attention for it, but on the other, is it really worth it to wear armor? I guess this is addressed to police as they have the most experience wearing it for extended periods of time, but really how uncomfortable does that stuff get? It isn't nearly as likely for a civilian like myself to need it so is it worth the discomfort? Also, if it is worth the discomfort would you recommend 4mm level II goldflex panels or 5.25mm level IIIA goldflex? Does the extra 1.25mm of added protection also equal added discomfort? Level II still stops almost all pistol ammo.

    External plate armor:
    Many people keep a rifle in the trunk of their car just in case they have time to get it out and need it for some reason or other (zombies!). You could also keep an external vest with tacticool molle crap all over it in the trunk with your rifle, something you could throw on over whatever you are wearing if the situation arises. Think this might suit the needs of the average gun nut more than concealable?

    There's also the do-all option, a soft vest with molle on it and plate pockets that you can conceal if you want, or stick molle tacticool on it and put plates in and use as an external vest.

    I've been mostly looking at these Pro-MAX vests:
    http://www.bulletproofme.com/ProMAX_Vests.shtml
    or maybe this BLACKHAWK! (always have to use all caps and an exclamation point, they are that operator) for an external-only plate carrier
    http://www.bulletproofme.com/TACTICAL_Body_Armor.shtml#Blackhawk-Vest
    or maybe go all the way and get some interceptor

    Open to other suggestions as well.
     
  2. Randini

    Randini Salem Member

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    I've also been looking at the "bulletproofme" website, I've only been looking at stand alone multi. hit plates, my thinking is why only get something to stop pistol rounds? just need the cash now :(
     
  3. smithmax

    smithmax here Member

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  4. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Well, the price is only $4,000.00 for a polo shirt. Not bad. The problem is that they have to be dry cleaned and that would break the bank. :)


    shirtcopy.jpg
     
  5. Selftest

    Selftest Bellingham, WA Member

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    I'll give you an honest answer here...


    Body armor can be a pain. I have worn two types, both IIIA. One felt like wearing a mattress. It was hot, bulky, everyone knew I had it on (didn't care, it was my job) and it got a little uncomfortable over 12 hours of use 4 days a week. The second type, while thinner, still experienced most of these symptoms. It wasn't bulky, it wasn't super uncomfortable, and it wasn't very heavy... But it traps heat and moisture like nobody's business. You end up smelling like a locker room if you don't wash the carrier every single day. This is a royal PITA. You also have to wipe down the panels themselves, as they are usally coated in a vinyl-like substance that just stays wet and smelly.

    Also, you do funny things that you don't realize when you where vests. All my collared undershirts were always stretched out because I would lift them away from my skin when it got too hot, just to get some airflow.

    Honestly, though, you really only notice it on hot days. Cold days, it's kind of nice, it keeps your core pretty warm.

    That being said... I don't think I, personally, would ever wear it outside of a uniform/range/training type of environment. And if I did, I would get the highest level of protection, because IIA is really just as uncomfortable as IIIA.

    Look at Second Chance, Extreme, and some of the Galls low-profile stuff is pretty nice.
     
  6. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    We use Grainger for parts and supplies at work and for some reason looked up body armor and they have body armor and trauma plates.
     
  7. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    We use Grainger for parts and supplies at work and for some reason looked up body armor and they have body armor and trauma plates.

    I was tempted to order some and see if corp approved.
     
  8. wakejoe

    wakejoe Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    Second Chance was recently in a lawsuit with the government for not being as strong as they rated themselves or something like that.

    I wear a concealable plate carrier, with two large plates front and back. I can wear this under anything (Sweatshirt, leather jacket..), but when "SHTF" I can throw on a lightweight molle vest over the top of it.

    Food for thought.
     
  9. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    Wow you wear plates all the time? Isn't that more than a little uncomfortable? D:
     
  10. wakejoe

    wakejoe Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    Only when I need to for work.
     
  11. Oakley1wa

    Oakley1wa Beaverton, Oregon, United States Member

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    I have an ABA vest that I love. It is IIIA with a hard and soft trama plate insert. It is fairly comfortable but I wouldnt trust it against anything bigger than a handgun. Ive had several vest, including a basic Galls IIIA and I like the ABA best so far. Call or stop by Blumenthals Uniforms or LEED (Law Enforcement Equipment Distrubutor) They can answer your questions and show you makes and models.
     
  12. JohnWayne

    JohnWayne USA Member

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    The new IIIA Second Chance is the most comfortable I've had. I still wouldn't wear it off duty.
     
  13. slideglider

    slideglider PDX Member

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    Level III and up is the only thing that will stop .223 and .308. Adding plates will weigh you down a good 10-15 pounds, for the good ones. Add that weight to your ammo weight plus rifle and hundgun, tools and knives, clothes, backpack and water if you carry those.

    Mobility vs. Firepower.

    Sometimes it's better to be quick than armored. A handgun has a usable distance of around 25 yrds. I would rather be able to get to cover or evade as quick as I can rather than be bogged down by a ton of weight. Also keep in mind that most established NATO rounds were developed with the purpose to overcome the proliferation of body armor. Smaller bullets and steel penetraters are part of the equation. All that armor doesn't protect you from an upper body, neck,head,groin,leg or foot shot. All those are terminal or will lead to terminal in due time by blood loss or dragging you down for follow up shots and leaving a blood trail.

    Your best protection is to be able to shoot as accurately as possible and have an absolute awareness of what is going on around you.

    A flare gun with smoke or gas rounds could help you evade as well if outnumbered. Keep a mask from HomeDepot(gas particle rated) and some eye goggles with you as well in case they intend to use it on you.

    Blend in and be GREY MAN. It can help buy time and save your rear exterior. Use what's there.
     
  14. Redrum

    Redrum Portlandia Active Member

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    I currently wear an ABA level IIIa concealable soft vest with a hard trauma plate insert behind a soft trauma plate

    I've worn soft body armor of various manufactures for the last 10+ years

    the number one thing is to get a vest that fits you correctly

    the number two thing is to get a vest that fits you correctly

    I wear an Under Armor t-shirt under my vest...it makes a huge difference in comfort and moblility
     
  15. Oohrah

    Oohrah NorthwestSouthern Oregon Coast Member

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    I agree with Slideglider!!! Also consider your stance will need to altered somewhat so you are face on to your target. Side, or quarter turn exposes the under arm exposure. Unless you are in pretty fair condition, you will notice the difference carrying that weight. Trama plates I prefer the ceramic over the steel.
     
  16. JUSTIficatioN

    JUSTIficatioN Seattle, Wa Member

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    sorry if I'm hi-jacking the thread, but I have a question. Anybody know about point blank brand body armor? I know the military uses it (or used to maybe) but i've heard they have had problems with it.
     
  17. motohead185

    motohead185 Portland, OR Member

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    Redrum is totally right get something that fits you correctly and also buy body armor that is resistant to the caliber you carry. Also remember if the round doesn't penetrate the blunt force trauma will.
    Oh and has anyone heard of the product called d3o? I guess its a material that is flexiable but will become very ridged when compressed quickly. Thought it might be something good to put between yourself and the vest to prevent some blunt force trauma.
     
  18. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    A man has to have a real need to wear body armour. I wore the armour and plates for 12 hours a day seven days a week while working for KBR in Iraq. Hot and heavey and most of the people who were wearing it carried little else.

    jj
     
  19. Oohrah

    Oohrah NorthwestSouthern Oregon Coast Member

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    I agree with Jim on this one. We have a few of those brand, but I only see them used on the range for annual Qualifications and tactics Most use an updated, better fits. Lightest with the same ratings is what most look at. Fits are getting much better. So far no has been able to verify that they are able to stop anything at their rated capacity. Guess thats a good thing. One incident involving a knife a couple of years back. Many are not that great in that field!!!!
     
  20. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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