body armor

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body armor

Post by Blacksheep » Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:41 pm

I dont see any good threads without necroing something thats out of date.. apologies if I miss something

given the talk of banning, its making me consider upping the timeline of acquiring armor.

what is a good economical option, that isn't steel? I know there are various ratings.. iiiA and so on, what is the standard rifle system being run? something I can throw in a plate carrier
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Re: body armor

Post by woodsghost » Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:47 pm

Youtube has some stuff on different body armors and tests of penetration.

Spall protection is pretty amazing, especially with the AR500.com coating. Again, look up YT vids. The only reasons I see NOT to go with steel are weight and the possibility that they will not stop certain rounds outside the specified range.

Rifle armor is rated at Level III or Level IV. There is plenty of information on that. IIIA is a soft armor rating, intended for pistols and shotguns.



Good centralized location for information here:

http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=95949
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Re: body armor

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:57 pm

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Make sure your carrier actually fits you. If you need a XL, get an XL with the XL plates. If you need bigger than an XL, time to go custom.

Don't be this asshole:

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Re: body armor

Post by Blacksheep » Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:50 pm

Hrm already I learn stuff

Thought iiia was rifle, shrug

So I also should get then sized appropriately
(Speaking of which, do you guys recommend front and back or just front plate?)
( I await black hawk down references)

What is the difference between 3 and 4?
That I could prolly google, but while I'm picking brains

What's the weight/cost difference between ceramic(?) and the ar500?
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Re: body armor

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:16 pm

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Re: body armor

Post by woodsghost » Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:52 pm

If I recall correctly, weight difference between AR500 and SAPI is about 1 pound per plate. Not insignificant, but not terrible, either. Then you think about buying 2 plates and a carrier for the cost of 1 SAPI plate, and realize the steel can be used over and over, while the SAPI should be discarded after take a hit, and can develop fractures from handling and needs to be tested once a year or so.

To me, armor makes sense in a static defense or an assault. If you plan to walk around much, armor starts to lose appeal for me.

Further, almost everyone I know who wears armor in the military is coming out with back problems. Donning armor for firefights makes a lot of sense. Living in it seems to be doing a lot of harm. PT might alleviate many of those problems. I honestly don't know.

Also, sometimes you have to pick your poison. Do you risk future back problems? Or future lung/heart problems?
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Re: body armor

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:08 pm

woodsghost wrote:If I recall correctly, weight difference between AR500 and SAPI is about 1 pound per plate. Not insignificant, but not terrible, either. Then you think about buying 2 plates and a carrier for the cost of 1 SAPI plate, and realize the steel can be used over and over, while the SAPI should be discarded after take a hit, and can develop fractures from handling and needs to be tested once a year or so.
6.7lb for a size medium level IV ceramic stand-alone (no backer required) vs 7.5lb for a level III steel plate. Standard SAPI (requires soft armor backing, still IIIA) is about 5-ish lb without the kevlar backer. PE (will not stop M855/M193) stand-alone Level III plates weigh about half what a SAPI does. PE/Hybrid plates typically fall between SAPI and PE, weightwise. You have to factor protection level in when comparing weight.

Steel MIGHT take more hits. Steel requires something (thick polymer/rubber coating is popular these days, or kevlar sandwich) to keep spall from coming off the back and spatter/deflections off the front. NIJ-rated Level IV plates are six rounds of .308 FMJ or M855 with no more than one inch between consecutive strikes, no penetration and no more than 40mm backface deformation to be considered a "pass."

Like I told OP, get to reading the links, particularly bulletproofme.

Error correct RE: Level IV NIJ rating. E-SAPI MIlspec test runs for .30-06 M2, not NIJ.
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Re: body armor

Post by Blacksheep » Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:09 pm

Hrm... Bit of an overload...


Bulletproofme looks good that's doc

I think I would probably lean towards the level 4 sapi stand alone, without measuring yet, I'm going to guess I'll need a large.. But then REI says my torso is very long, so I'll have to look

I think it said 270 ish, which doesn't strike me as unreasonable... But I don't know the market
It's got me a tad concerned, seems like a lot of stuff won't stop m193
Unless I missed it the Bulletproofme stuff is tested with .30-06 ap, but unless I'm mistake that doesn't mean it'll stop m193

I figured that round would be more commonly stopped, given it's prevalence it's a round I'm specifically concerned about
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Re: body armor

Post by Stercutus » Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:31 pm

woodsghost wrote:If I recall correctly, weight difference between AR500 and SAPI is about 1 pound per plate. Not insignificant, but not terrible, either. Then you think about buying 2 plates and a carrier for the cost of 1 SAPI plate, and realize the steel can be used over and over, while the SAPI should be discarded after take a hit, and can develop fractures from handling and needs to be tested once a year or so.

To me, armor makes sense in a static defense or an assault. If you plan to walk around much, armor starts to lose appeal for me.

Further, almost everyone I know who wears armor in the military is coming out with back problems. Donning armor for firefights makes a lot of sense. Living in it seems to be doing a lot of harm. PT might alleviate many of those problems. I honestly don't know.

Also, sometimes you have to pick your poison. Do you risk future back problems? Or future lung/heart problems?
I am not coming out with back problems. Hip problems yeah, but I am getting fat and old. Wearing armor all the time sucks. Getting shot sucks more. If you think there is a good chance of getting of getting shot somewheres it is a better option.
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Re: body armor

Post by RonnyRonin » Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:55 pm

woodsghost wrote:If I recall correctly, weight difference between AR500 and SAPI is about 1 pound per plate.
In my experience, very false.

I bought size medium SAPIs, almost exactly 4lbs a plate. my buddy bought 10x12" (ish?) AR500 plates and his are 8lbs a plate (you might be able to find lighter ones).

believe me, the difference between 8lbs and 16lbs is both significant and noticeable when you are wearing them. The other thing to keep in mind is that ceramics are often double curved while steel is only single curved. for my skinny self then translates to a huge comfort difference, if my only option was AR500 I wouldn't even bother with armor. (Ok, that's a lie but only for static defense would I ever wear it).

I'm quietly waiting for the next materials breakthrough, I figure we're only a few years away from a plastic plate that can stop greentips, weigh less then 8lbs a pair and float.
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Re: body armor

Post by Boondock » Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:55 pm

Stercutus wrote:Wearing armor all the time sucks. Getting shot sucks more.
Amen, to that brother, amen.

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Re: body armor

Post by Blacksheep » Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:32 pm

I never got a clear answer on the single or front and back plates

I'm considering only getting a front plate, for cost and weight reasons

Am I way off base here?
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Re: body armor

Post by RonnyRonin » Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:50 am

Rebel Pariah wrote:I never got a clear answer on the single or front and back plates

I'm considering only getting a front plate, for cost and weight reasons

Am I way off base here?
I'd go double or nothing. running away is a big part of my plan, and not having eyes on the back of my head means I want all the help I can get back there. also think about someone shooting down from an elevated position at you, if you are crouched, prone, crawling or moving low and fast, what is more exposed your front or back?
I know if I was in a fight I'd go out of my way to sneak around behind other folks, I assume it's a pretty common tactic.
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Re: body armor

Post by woodsghost » Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:57 am

Rebel Pariah wrote:I never got a clear answer on the single or front and back plates

I'm considering only getting a front plate, for cost and weight reasons

Am I way off base here?
I'd be inclined to get front and back protection. You are not always facing the direction the bullets are coming from. Particularly in an urban area, actually, in any area, bullets can come from 360 degrees.
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Re: body armor

Post by ancient_serpent » Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:21 am

Great links already in the post, so I'll just throw my personal experience out there.
I have worn military E-SAPI and X-SAPI plates on deployment, have a set of civvies SAPI plates, UHDMPE w/ ceramic plate and two sets of steel AR500 plates currently.
There is a weight difference, but as long as you are wearing them in a carrier or vest, you can do a few things to off set some of that. You can usually find a couple of places to drop weight, perhaps loose a mag or two, dispense with side armor. You can try switching some of your equipment to a MOLLE belt with suspenders to better distribute the load.
The single curve steel plates are not as comfortable as triple curve SAPI plates. No doubt about that. However it's not unwearable. I do training with steel plates all the time, worn them in shoot houses and PT. A good carrier makes a world of difference, too. I regularly do the "Murph" workout, three mile runs followed by pull-ups, dips, push ups, etc in them. Again, not the most comfortable but not horrible.
The cost benefit of the AR 500 plates is considerable. I think they're a good deal even if they were a bot more expensive. Yeah, they're not as protective as SAPI or ceramic, but you don't have to worry about cracking them, yearly x-rays (which I don't know of anyone doing anyways). Supposed to have much better multi-hit protection as well.
So while not perfect, a perfect solution for some.
Also yes, get back plates.

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Re: body armor

Post by Blacksheep » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:02 pm

Ok, so I should run both

What specific plates do you guys personally like?
I liked the ceramic stand alone IV ones from Bulletproofme but I'm open to suggestions
I'm not sure I want to go with steel even though it's cheaper

How fragile exactly are the ceramics? You mentioned dropping on corner is a nono
Understandable, same concept as dropping a phone on it's corner

But can you still go prone without worrying of cracking a plate?
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Re: body armor

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:06 pm

Rebel Pariah wrote:But can you still go prone without worrying of cracking a plate?
Yes, for at least two deployments and two deployment training cycles.
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Re: body armor

Post by Blacksheep » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:52 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
Rebel Pariah wrote:But can you still go prone without worrying of cracking a plate?
Yes, for at least two deployments and two deployment training cycles.
So just don't drop them on the corners?
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Re: body armor

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:57 pm

Rebel Pariah wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
Rebel Pariah wrote:But can you still go prone without worrying of cracking a plate?
Yes, for at least two deployments and two deployment training cycles.
So just don't drop them on the corners?
Don't pack them in the bottom of a soft bag that will then be unceremoniously thrown around on tarmac, off the back of several trucks, moved by pallet, and then had the process repeated in reverse order. Also don't have your buddy hit you with a hammer while you wear them to see if they work.
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Re: body armor

Post by Blacksheep » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:04 am

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
Rebel Pariah wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
Rebel Pariah wrote:But can you still go prone without worrying of cracking a plate?
Yes, for at least two deployments and two deployment training cycles.
So just don't drop them on the corners?
Don't pack them in the bottom of a soft bag that will then be unceremoniously thrown around on tarmac, off the back of several trucks, moved by pallet, and then had the process repeated in reverse order. Also don't have your buddy hit you with a hammer while you wear them to see if they work.

The first I can see...

The second I really don't want to, but I have enough Marines in my family... Facepalm
And why do I get the feeling it wasn't a small hammer?
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Re: body armor

Post by clarence » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:52 pm

What does ZS think of US Palm's Defender armor?

https://www.uspalm.com/products/us-palm ... ndgun.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVJ4eCvPnzc#t=482

I've the Handgun version back in the US (haven't seen yet).
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Re: body armor

Post by woodsghost » Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:06 pm

clarence wrote:
Opted for the front panel only as I assume the back would interfere with my backpack.
I have heard folks say they like the ALICE system because it has more back room for plates. Few pack systems are designed for use with armor, though I think the ALICE system works by happy accident.

I hear US Palm as a good reputation. That is all I know.
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Re: body armor

Post by clarence » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:12 pm

Sorry, woodsghost, I somehow edited that line out when I added the youtube video.

I've the Eberlestock Cherry Bomb. Again, it's back in the US and I've not seen it yet. I'll see how it sits over the Defender when I next get back.
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Re: body armor

Post by woodsghost » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:29 pm

clarence wrote:Sorry, woodsghost, I somehow edited that line out when I added the youtube video.

I've the Eberlestock Cherry Bomb. Again, it's back in the US and I've not seen it yet. I'll see how it sits over the Defender when I next get back.
Well, edit it back in if you feel like it ;) I hope you find what you need for pack/armor fit.
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