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Discussion in 'Parts & Accessories Wanted' started by bsybouts, Jan 12, 2013.
Standalone Level III or IV
Size: Medium or Large
Also looking for 2 side plates
First of all, you need to do some research about exactly what you're looking for. SAPI plates are not Stand Alone. They must be used in conjunction with soft body armor to be fully protected.
After a very unpleasant purchasing experience, I've learned more than I could've imagined about body armor. I've also found a lot of misinformation floating around, even by the so called experts selling the stuff.
The only other place I found SAPI rifle plates was Bulletproofme. com. They are made by LTC so I'm sure you may be able to find other distributors via the company. They are mil spec but they only satisfy the rating when used in conjunction with the appropriately rated soft body armor underneath. That is called a combined rating. According to NIJ specifications (the folks who rate vests): "For a Type III hard armor or plate insert that will be tested as an in conjunction design, the flexible armor shall be tested in accordance with this standard and found compliant as a stand-alone armor at its specified threat level. The combination of the flexible armor and hard armor/plate shall then be tested as a system and found to provide protection at the system’s specified threat level. NIJ-approved hard armors and plate inserts must be clearly labeled as providing ballistic protection only when worn in conjunction with the NIJ-approved flexible armor system with which they were tested." I have a photo of Bulletproofme's LTC brand SAPI vest and I immediately noticed that they added a sticker saying "when used with an Interceptor OTV or Level IIIA vest supporting". I'd be very interested to know if every level IIIA vest on the market had been tested as "a system" as required by NIJ standard 0101.06. I highly doubt it.
And to further tire your eyes, the Stand Alone Plates that many companies advertise as "Multi-hit" Stand Alone level IV plates may not be NIJ multi-hit rated. Be certain that the NIJ has certified it to be Multi-hit. I'm not aware of a single plate available to the public that is certified to be multi-hit by the NIJ. To get a Level IV rating, the plate must protect against one 30.06 AP round. There's nothing multi-hit about a single round. To get around that, many companies will say their Multi-hit plates were tested by an independent lab. That is not the same as NIJ certification.
Be aware that many of the Level IV Stand Alone Multi-hit plates out there are being sold as Ceradyne Plates. This is a bit of misinformation. These plates are in fact Max Pro Armor plates. Max Pro is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ceradyne, but according to Marc King, President of Ceradyne Armor Systems, Max Pro plates are categorically not Ceradyne plates. It may have to do with the fact that Ceradyne manufactured plates are not sold to the public. The only way you should be in possession of one if if you are a military contractor or member of the US military.
Be careful when buying used plates. You have no way of knowing what exactly you are getting or if they are in serviceable condition. Remember it's your life you're protecting. Ebay has them but most of them are Government Property that grew legs. I've read of a guy on AR15.com who owned six plates that he had purchased from Ebay at various times. One of the plates had a slight noise when he picked it up so he had suspicion there may be something amiss with it. He found a buddy who x-rayed all of them and to his surprise found four of the six ceramic plates were cracked. He had no idea.
Here are a few links you may find useful:
Proper wear of armor: Proper Wear of Armor (with anatomical diagrams) - M4Carbine.net Forums
NIJ Standards - Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/223054.pdf
Cool, thanks for the info!
Are you still looking for sapi plates