Do you have Body Armor?

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Stercutus
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Do you have Body Armor?

Post by Stercutus » Wed May 17, 2017 6:27 pm

I have noticed that the prices in body armor have dropped down in to the really affordable range lately for the most common threats (pistols under 44 magnum). Practically everyone can afford at least something these days.

Do you have? Why or Why Not?


Here is an example:
Here are some soft IIIa panels and carrier for $139.

https://www.botach.com/battle-steel-lev ... r-package/

I get no compensation for any of the links. Just looking for discussion.
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by Hokicake » Wed May 17, 2017 6:36 pm

i HAVE A HELMET AND VEST GIVEN TO ME IN THE FAR FAR AWAY LAND OF KUWAIT A FEW YEARS BACK AND IT'S ACU COLOR AND THE HELMET IS THE NEW KIND WITH A ACU COVER TO IT BUT I NEVER LIKED IT OR WORE IT REALLY CEPT THIS ONE TIME WE WERE RUNNING THROUGH SOME CROSSFIRE IN THE NIGHT AND MY BABY TURTLE FELL OUT OF MY FRONT POCKET WHEN I WAS GOING OVER THIS LITTLE FENCE AND I WAS LIKE OMG WHERE IS IT SO I STARTED LOOKING ALL OVER THE GROUND WITH MY LIGHT AND PEOPLE WERE LIKE WUT YOU DOING WE GOTTA GO AND i SAID MY LUCKY TURTLE FELL I NEED TO SAVE HIM SO THEN THEY ALL STARTED LOOKING AND OMG I ACTUALLY FELT A BULLET WHIZ BY MY FACE TOO BUT I FOUND IT AND WE WENT AND HE STILL SLEEPS WITH ME ON MY PILLOW!

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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by JeeperCreeper » Wed May 17, 2017 6:37 pm

I almost picked up a Spartan Armor XL Lvl3+ carrier and panels for like $300 last Christmas. It's like an AR550 steel with truck bed liner and a condor carrier.

I ended up getting a soft armor with a hard "heart" protector from a cop buddy for $200. It's concealable. So if a reason I need one occurs like Katrina or other disaster, then that would be good for the gray man look.

Then again, that can be a rumor as I lost all my cool toys in a boating accident.
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by RickOShea » Wed May 17, 2017 7:57 pm

Got a TAG carrier and some of those heavy-ass level 3 steel plates with the "truck bed liner" coating. Image
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by echo83 » Wed May 17, 2017 8:29 pm

I have a Safariland Level 2 vest, and I bought a steel trauma plate to go with it. It's concealable.

The trauma plate is not ballistic rated, but apparently is a ricochet hazard. How's that for a mixed message?

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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by RonnyRonin » Wed May 17, 2017 9:08 pm

Stercutus wrote: the most common threats (pistols under 44 magnum).
while statistically this is true, the number of AR15s alone in circulation makes it hard for me to calculate pistol rounds as the most likely threat.

Soft armor is ridiculously cheap if you are willing to be a little sketchy, my best tip is to buy "female" vests as apparently there aren't a ton of women shoppers in the second hand market. I've purchased more then one female level II vest for less then $50.

I picked up at least one larger sized mens level II vest at a gunshow for $40ish.

I traded a north face backpack on craigslist for a full IBA will all soft inserts (level IIIA ish)

While the PASGT and "flak" vests have been shown to be next to useless, the old Vehicle Crewman body armor inserts are good kevlar and can be stacked to reach level IIIA. I ended up with a bunch of these from a previous job and have sewn a few together into loaner vests. These of course are far more bulky and heavy then modern IIIA inserts, armor has come a long way in the last few years.


For hard plates the new glut of steel on the market is so cheap as to be hard to discourage, and probably would be a good bet for defensive use, but I found them to be heavy and uncomfortable enough that I saved up for ceramic. An older pair of plates on the used market seems to go for $200-$300, I was patient enough to pay closer to $150. If the used market wasn't an option I would probably save up for the plastic plates that are even lighter then the ceramics.
I did buy some side SAPI plates as well, but found them too heavy and uncomfortable for what they added so I likely wouldn't use them except in a more static defensive role.

If you do buy standalone plates, rather then wearing a whole soft armor vest underneath them the military surplus DAPS components are pretty affordable from surplus stores or eBay, and can cover gaps in your plate coverage with less weight and bulk then a full vest.

Personally I prioritize hard rifle armor over soft, and mostly plan around standalone plates but soft armor is too cheap not to buy, and could certainly be used more surreptitiously when you just want a little peace of mind but its not whole-hog red-dawn/mad max party time.
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by Dogan » Thu May 18, 2017 12:18 am

RonnyRonin wrote: Soft armor is ridiculously cheap if you are willing to be a little sketchy, my best tip is to buy "female" vests as apparently there aren't a ton of women shoppers in the second hand market. I've purchased more then one female level II vest for less then $50.
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by RonnyRonin » Thu May 18, 2017 12:47 am

All my female vests came from eBay. Haven't checked for a few years but I doubt the market has changed all that much, I assume the majority are expired police vests. A lot of my vests look to be in pretty rough shape but I've tested a few of them and all have performed as their ratings would suggest.
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by Halfapint » Thu May 18, 2017 1:22 am

I've been contiplating getting some armor. I just can't justify it yet. Once I get a house and some other stuff, armor will be on the list.
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by Stercutus » Thu May 18, 2017 6:29 am

I can understand priorities.


I have also been lucky able to find some amazing deals on body armor over the years. I have noticed that even though soft ballistic armor is not supposed to protect against bludgeoning blows it seems to do it quite well. It also seems to help under certain situations with auto accidents such as impacts with steering wheels and other items in the vehicle. While this is apocryphal data I find it convincing.

I am thinking that if your armor is light enough to wear during a major disaster where flying debris or a vehicle crash is a threat it might be worth a consideration, even if you don't believe that bullets are a major concern.
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by LowKey » Thu May 18, 2017 8:02 am

Stercutus wrote: I am thinking that if your armor is light enough to wear during a major disaster where flying debris or a vehicle crash is a threat it might be worth a consideration, even if you don't believe that bullets are a major concern.
I find no flaw in your reasoning.
Also it's not as if anyone is going to get advanced notice that someone will shoot at them that day because the power is out and the dregs of society think that means it's a free for all.

Myself, I have some SAPI plates given to me by my employer when I was working up north. I really need to get around to finding a better, lower profile, carrier for them. I'd upgrade to HDPE plates but they don't offer the same level of protection as SAPI....they're just much kinder on my lower back. AND I need to get some plates for my wife.

Someday when I'm back on that side of the pond I'll look into some soft body armor for more routine wear. I keep hoping they'll come up with better materials that will simply be sewn in as a liner to the cover garment and which won't cost 6 months pay. :lol:
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by woodsghost » Thu May 18, 2017 6:26 pm

None yet. Been thinking about it. Not making enough money to justify it yet. Things like more food, more water, medical training, and a little more weapons training are higher on the list.

A new wheel bearing hub also just got put at the top of the list and very much took priority. But resolved now.

But my thoughts are that soft armor is a reasonable thing. Rifle threats are known threats and can be dealt with through the right posture and 2 feet of rock/masonry. Pistol threats are more likely to be unknown threats and be close enough that rapid reaction is difficult. Armor would be a real boon in such a situation.

Most of what I know about armor comes from this thread. http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=95949
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by RonnyRonin » Thu May 18, 2017 7:23 pm

woodsghost wrote: Rifle threats are known threats can be dealt with through the right posture and 2 feet of rock/masonry. Pistol threats are more likely to be unknown threats and be close enough that rapid reaction is difficult. Armor would be a real boon in such a situation.
Certainly not bad reasoning, my main purpose in having rifle armor is to catch the first well-aimed shot if I am ambushed (unknown threat), certainly after I know I'm being shot at I'm doing my best to rely on available cover. The criticism I often hear about rifle armor is people imagining relying on it to protect you in some sort of running Hollywood gunfight, but since I will likely never have the luxury of being the aggressor I can't help but imagine being on the receiving end of an ambush as my most likely threat, whether from PAW tree snipers or a mugger at bad breath distance.
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by Hokicake » Thu May 18, 2017 7:28 pm

WELL IN MY OPINION MUGGLES DON'T NEED ANY BODY ARMOR AND IT JUST WORRIES ME WITH THEY WANT TO BUY THAT.

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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by JeeperCreeper » Thu May 18, 2017 8:31 pm

Hokicake wrote:WELL IN MY OPINION MUGGLES DON'T NEED ANY BODY ARMOR AND IT JUST WORRIES ME WITH THEY WANT TO BUY THAT.
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by Halfapint » Fri May 19, 2017 1:47 am

RonnyRonin wrote:
woodsghost wrote: Rifle threats are known threats can be dealt with through the right posture and 2 feet of rock/masonry. Pistol threats are more likely to be unknown threats and be close enough that rapid reaction is difficult. Armor would be a real boon in such a situation.
Certainly not bad reasoning, my main purpose in having rifle armor is to catch the first well-aimed shot if I am ambushed (unknown threat), certainly after I know I'm being shot at I'm doing my best to rely on available cover. The criticism I often hear about rifle armor is people imagining relying on it to protect you in some sort of running Hollywood gunfight, but since I will likely never have the luxury of being the aggressor I can't help but imagine being on the receiving end of an ambush as my most likely threat, whether from PAW tree snipers or a mugger at bad breath distance.
Wait you're not on some sort of critical response team at a mall, and will need to lay your body down to multiple 338 lapua shots, while your partner uses you as cover to return fire???

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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by Stercutus » Fri May 19, 2017 3:55 am

He just meant "not yet".

Rifle attacks with a CFR rifle round are still a rare thing. I mostly think active shooter attacks and a WROL scenario even if the WROL is localized and temporary.

Robbery's and shootings with a rifle in .22lr seem to be becoming more common in my area but it may just be a local thing. But just about any soft armor in good shape will stop a .22.
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by RickOShea » Fri May 19, 2017 8:52 am

Just remembered this Dave_M article from a few weeks ago...

http://www.breachbangclear.com/nothing- ... th-rifles/

That got me wondering, has anyone seen any testing of AK and AR "pistols" versus level IIIa armor?
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by Stercutus » Fri May 19, 2017 10:11 am

RickOShea wrote:Just remembered this Dave_M article from a few weeks ago...

http://www.breachbangclear.com/nothing- ... th-rifles/

That got me wondering, has anyone seen any testing of AK and AR "pistols" versus level IIIa armor?

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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by teotwaki » Fri May 19, 2017 10:20 am

I currently have Level IIIA soft armor in a lightweight vest that allows both a war belt and pack to be worn with the vest.
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by RonnyRonin » Fri May 19, 2017 10:59 am

Stercutus wrote:He just meant "not yet".

Rifle attacks with a CFR rifle round are still a rare thing. I mostly think active shooter attacks and a WROL scenario even if the WROL is localized and temporary.

Robbery's and shootings with a rifle in .22lr seem to be becoming more common in my area but it may just be a local thing. But just about any soft armor in good shape will stop a .22.
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All my armor is pretty consciously for fantasy scenarios and not real life, if I ever get the feeling I should start wearing armor around town thats the day I rent a moving truck.

Fantasy scenarios and public ranges I should add, those people are scary.
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by woodsghost » Fri May 19, 2017 6:44 pm

RonnyRonin wrote:
... my main purpose in having rifle armor is to catch the first well-aimed shot if I am ambushed (unknown threat), .....
I was thinking about that too. I believe the choice to always choose traveling the shittier terrain helps decrease this risk.

I also believe one cannot really avoid this risk. Those snipers will always have the ability to put holes in you unexpectedly. Though recent experience in urban warfare suggests armor does decrease the casualties from less capable marksmen.

I believe "looking unimportant" is also supposed to help.

Really, sleeping in places snipers don't want to go and maintaining constant patrolling seems to me the best preventative medicine. Others correct me if I"m wrong.
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by woodsghost » Fri May 19, 2017 6:47 pm

JeeperCreeper wrote:
Hokicake wrote:WELL IN MY OPINION MUGGLES DON'T NEED ANY BODY ARMOR AND IT JUST WORRIES ME WITH THEY WANT TO BUY THAT.
Go play with your turtle...
Jeeper, have you not put The Obnoxious Wind on ignore yet?!?!?!

I"m delightfully free from certain postings :clap: :awesome:

The only time I see that stuff is when someone else quotes it.
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Re: Do you have Body Armor?

Post by JeeperCreeper » Fri May 19, 2017 10:19 pm

woodsghost wrote:
JeeperCreeper wrote:
Hokicake wrote:WELL IN MY OPINION MUGGLES DON'T NEED ANY BODY ARMOR AND IT JUST WORRIES ME WITH THEY WANT TO BUY THAT.
Go play with your turtle...
Jeeper, have you not put The Obnoxious Wind on ignore yet?!?!?!

I"m delightfully free from certain postings :clap: :awesome:

The only time I see that stuff is when someone else quotes it.
Nah, I enjoy the resistance now and then. I try not to feed the troll too much to give it attention, but I like to remind it that it is hated. The post she made in this thread before the quoted one is a doosy....
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