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View Poll Results: Do you keep body armor as part of your "emergency gear"?
Yes 22 20.75%
No - but it's a good idea 47 44.34%
No - there's no point. 37 34.91%
Voters: 106. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 18, 2012, 05:30 AM   #26
0351A
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It depends

It can be useful, but only once you have the necessary amount of firearms and ammunition. Assuming you do, not very useful except for shtf and actual battle. I disagree though about too heavy. A light weight carrier and a helmet-properly fitted they can be helpful even without being shot or catching shrapnel. I once had this whole wall, complete with sea wire, fall on me. The Armour was helpful. Granted, you could get the same effect with a hard hat, but still.
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Old December 18, 2012, 04:06 PM   #27
ClydeFrog
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"body armor", Dragon Skin, 5.11 vest(s)....

I've worked as a armed professional & served in the US armed forces for approx 24 years.
I never owned my own vest or body armor but I'm not against the idea or plan. In Kyle's non fiction book; American Sniper, former SEAL Chris Kyle writes that his in-laws got him a set of Dragon Skin armor to use on deployments in SW Asia. Kyle stated he used it often on spec ops missions.
I researched Dragon Skin & read a few T&Es/reports that said it was over-rated and not up to milspec/US law enforcement requirements.
I heard Dragon Skin & other US body armor designs had major problems in bad weather(rain) & extreme heat(110 degrees +).
Second Chance is highly rated, but the original owner had big problems with law enforcement in the late 2000s.
In closing, vests & body armor have practical uses for armed professionals but be leery of the ads & claims. I'd spend the $$$ to get decent kit.
5.11 used to market a slick jungle vest that has body armor inserts. It was meant for EP(exec protection/personal security) PMCs & plainclothes LE officers in SW Asia.
I'm not sure why 5.11 ended this product line. It was on www.uscav.com .

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Old December 19, 2012, 05:56 PM   #28
rayway
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I think the bad guy doing his evil stuff would be wearing some body armor/ kevlar/vest/stab resistant vest/ armored hard plate carrying vest etc, while "Criming Around" Much more likely that someone would have their own armored vest at home. Remember they most likely KO'ed a security guard or stole his keys or scammed someone then cleaned out all the equiptment where ever it was located.
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Old December 19, 2012, 07:03 PM   #29
Maxb49
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Speaking of body armor, it seems that more criminals and home invaders are using body armor. The shooter in Colorado wore body armor. Is there any modern pistol caliber that handle this threat without being subject to the armor piercing bullet ban?
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Old December 19, 2012, 08:52 PM   #30
EricReynolds
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I have 2 that I wear regularly while on duty. They're in my room next to the safe. If SHTF, I'd throw it on I suppose, though I never gave it any thought. However, if I hear something go bump in the night, I grab a pistol and go check it out. I do not vest up to walk downstairs. Oh the irony if I'm killed by a burglar that shoots me in the chest!
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Old December 19, 2012, 09:44 PM   #31
armoredman
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I have the stuff, and it's HEAVY as all get out.I took this photo before I really had it set right. It's a promo piece, and it's steel plates, not Kevlar. Very heavy, but will stop most common rifle rounds. The carrier and coating will absorb spall and the MOLLE vest makes it easy to keep the two mag pouches that came with it.



Now what do i do with this interesting 14 pound monster? It sits waiting for a TRULY bad day. It's quick to get on, but it does take time. I would have to say the day I need this thing will be the worst day of my life, and very, very unlikely, but because I was able to get it, I'm happy to have it.
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Old December 20, 2012, 12:33 AM   #32
rayway
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The SS109 green tip will go through lots of body armor. I would be sorry to not be aware that they most certainly should have some stock 9mm penetrator type ammo since 9mm has so much overpenetration anyhow. And yes you can buy armor piercing rifle ammo that I am aware of. And no teflon does not make a 9mm ball go through body armor unless its teflon and steel core combined or steel core only. Teflon 9mm ball without a precision intergral shifting steel core would only help it go through a piece of glass a little smoother not likely any body armor. I think you can't "fashion" armor piercing pistol ammo like 9mm with only a Teflon type composition spray coating unless you could simulate charachteristic materials like the tip material of a hornady mach 2 on the tip of a 9mm bullet which sounds possible might look sorta like a glaser safety cartride though. Strange anyhow that would only work on soft type armor so the professional manufactured kind is definately better. Mabey a Barnes solid copper bullet with a nail impressioned deep in it will penetrate vests especially if its a high powered rifle cartridge or 9mm fmj bullet.
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Old December 20, 2012, 01:02 AM   #33
ClydeFrog
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FNH 5.7mm?...

A point to consider are a few of the newer, ultra fast rounds like the 5.7mm from FNH-USA.
A 5.7mm pistol was used by the US Army major in the tragic Fort Hood TX spree shooting a few years ago. To my limited knowledge, the US Secret Service also packs the compact 5.7 P90 SMG to deal with any threats that wear body armor. The standard sidearm remains the SIG Sauer P229R DAK pistol in .357sig. The USSS has used the .357sig since the mid 1990s.

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Old December 20, 2012, 08:28 AM   #34
Maxb49
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The 5.7 is a good round, but doesn't FN restrict their sale to average people?

How does a hardened 10mm penetrate?
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Old December 20, 2012, 06:17 PM   #35
Sgt127
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A couple points from someone who has worn body armor pretty much every work day for the last 28 years.

Chances are, if you are not wearing it when things go down, you won't have time to put it on.

All the hard armor I have ever worn was when I was on SWAT for ten years, and, generally, it was on our time table. WE decided to run the warrant. WE decided to make entry. We had to respond to a barricaded person. The minute or so to throw on hard armor is trivial when it takes you 10 minutes to get there.

There is noting wrong with good folks having some armor around. But, buy good stuff if you are going to do it. If you think there may be an actual armed threat, it better be the FIRST thing you put on, because after the window shatters, or the front door is kicked, I'll bet you forget about it.

Hard armor is miserable to wear. Its heavy and, its hard to move, much less move quietly without banging into every corner.

For years, we did not wear helmets. The thoery was that is slowed down you movements and it was hard to "quick peek" around corners and windows. Helmet technology has come a long way. I would always wear a helmet now.

I was on SWAT for ten years, not anymore, but, I still have a set of plates in a carrier for an active shooter secenario. I always wear it through our two day active shooter schools just to remind myself how awkard it is to move around in it.

Most body armor has an experiation date. If it didn't, pencil pushers would keep cops in the same armor for a 25 year carreer. We too have shot old vests, they work fine. But, I would only be fairly sure about that with Kevlar. Some of the new materials can delaminate through heat and moisture. Two things my vest is constantly exposed to. I know there have been days in August here in Texas that every drop of cologne and deoderant I started with has soaked into my socks at the end of the day. That vest felt like I had jumped into a pool.
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Old March 22, 2013, 02:39 AM   #36
freedash22
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Shelf Life on Body Armor

There is a "shelf life" on body armor but it is mostly a formality invented by lawyers wanting to repeat-sell on existing users. Body armor lasts a long time, especially vests using kevlar (yellow woven fabric). Spectra or Dyneema (white shiny fabric) also lasts long but I am not sure if it lasts longer than Kevlar. Zylon on the other hand is a no-go for me (good thing they are no longer being built).

Me and my friend got an old Second Chance Kevlar vest (PASGT vest-style with woodland camo and front overlap) made in 1987 (from really faded markings on the interior). We shot it with Magtech 45 ACP FMJ from a FNP-45. The rounds did not go though, not even 1 layer and it had 30 layers (we opened it up). So from my experience, ballistic vests are a good investment.

Last edited by freedash22; March 23, 2013 at 12:49 AM.
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Old March 22, 2013, 11:52 PM   #37
Mezzanine
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I havent worn body armor since i was in Afghanistan... Dont get me wrong though, i would like some for the house but the only time i ever see any for sale is on the used market and i dont trust them... "NIB" claim is not what i want to trust when theres a bullet flying at my chest that needs stopping...
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Old March 23, 2013, 12:29 AM   #38
swcc22
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Re: Body Armor

No im a joe blow guy and I own a fn five-seven if u got the cash u got the gun I.paid 1800 pre panic for mine. It came with two 20rnd mags. Now finding ammo for it right now suck but anyone can buy an fn five-seven
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Old March 23, 2013, 12:37 AM   #39
ScottRiqui
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Is there a move in civilian armor from Kevlar and similar materials to plate carriers and hard plates? Doing a shopping-oriented search for "body armor" seems to pull up more carriers/plates than it used to, and fewer of the "traditional" soft-armor vests.
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:10 AM   #40
freedash22
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Used Body Armor

I currently have body armor with me sporting a Second Chance T-15 plate. I got it used and love it. This was built many years ago. It's light, cool and fits me nicely.
It's always okay to support the body armor industry by buying factory new armor but if you are on a tight budget, or not in the law enforcement or military, quality-proven used body armor will do you just fine 98% of the time. Just be very discerning when buying one and make sure the panels are genuine and free of compromising damage. Especially for concealable armor users because your primary protection is really not having the attacker know you are wearing body armor. If your attacker knows you are wearing armor, you will lose a lot of your advantage. So wear it always and keep it low. You never know when you will be glad you did.
Before I forget, I should also mention that body armor with hard trauma plates will provide excellent protection from blunt force trauma in car accidents and collisions (prevents internal injuries). Lots of lives have been saved because of this. I think this is another plus to consider if you like any excuse just to wear one.
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:32 AM   #41
freedash22
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Shot armor panel

Digging through my things, looks like I still have the .45 Magtech FMJ slug and the piece of kevlar we shot a year ago with my FNP-45. This piece of kevlar came from a second chance vest made in the late 80's (Kevlar 29?). The backing was a sandbag. 30 layers overall and not 1 layer penetrated. The black marks on the kevlar are where the bullets landed, we shot this a total of 5 times from both sides. Not a single layer penetrated whatsoever. If you look closely, the slug is a bit dented and the rifling marks from the barrel are visible.
Now this is a .45 ACP, probably a Level IIa-II threat, certainly not IIIa but for what I paid for, this was a neat experience and a good vest.

P.S.
Sorry for the blurry picture, my only camera is from my phone.
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:23 PM   #42
Brit
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I have vest from my Son (Security Company) he wears one all the time. He thinks at 77 YOA I have a lot of time yet to help him out!

When I do ATM Guarding jobs, I wear the vest, under my shirt.

Normal armed patrol on sites, no, it is in the vehicle.

Not so sure how bright that is. But in ATM robbery's, the BGs tend to arrive shooting (so we have been told) if they drive up, they can exit with long guns, I have a Glock 19, spare G17 magazine. If they use the Bank Building for a rush, most likely I will have 20 yards to draw and fire. They most likely will have handguns.

At this time (3 years) we just being there alert, and armed, seems to have been enough. Not totally banking on it though.

Had an older Vest, at a Police range, stopped all the 9mm we shot at it. Except for Frangible, made by the International Cartridge Company. 9mm 100g. Do not know velocity, I would say it was fast.

Two rounds, right through both sides, little flakes of Kevlar floating in the air!

This ammo was introduced for plate shooting. No ricochets.
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:31 PM   #43
manta49
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If i was going to war yes. If i feel the need to sit in the house armed wearing body armor its time to move. If i feel the need to wear body armor going to the shop again its time to move. Things are not bad are they. I think it depends on the threat I know one person here that wearing body armor saved his life but he had being warned that a terrorist organization was planing to kill him. So in his case i think it was sensible to take extra precautions.

Last edited by manta49; March 23, 2013 at 02:14 PM.
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Old March 25, 2013, 01:50 AM   #44
Habaz72
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I've always practiced the "Mozambique Drill" where you practice shooting two qucik rounds center of mass then an aimed shot to the head (ocular cavity). Even if the bad guy is wearing armor the two to the chest will slow him down enough and/or stun him to allow you to place that aimed head shot.

I think buying a 5.7 or looking for penetrator rounds also means a round could drastically over penetrate if the bad guy weren't wearing armor. Then you're talking about rounds going through walls and into the streets or neighbor's house.

And the money you save on body armor or a 5.7 can be spent on range time to work on the drill.
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Old March 25, 2013, 04:47 PM   #45
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I'd think if you're worried about being attacked by people wearing armor you should either start carrying a rifle/shotgun, or re-evaluate your career.

It would be hard - in a defensive situation - to make use of Mozambique style drills. People move fast, and one would assume that a robber that thought to bring armor would also have a gun. Plus, as civilians we can't start shooting until we're pretty sure that our lives/safety (or property in some states) are in danger.
"2 to the chest 1 through the ocular cavity" sounds great on the internet, but starts to fall apart when you look at the actual logistics.
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Old March 25, 2013, 07:47 PM   #46
tomrkba
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There is no point until you're standing on a two way range. Suddenly, you will wish you had it.

I think people should build up their kits for that "militia thing". Their kit should include armor. Unfortunately, just about everyone, including myself, neglects the whole militia thing.

People spend thousands of dollars on rifles, optics, mags, and ammo for the purposes of self-defense. The odds of using a rifle in a self-defense situation are extremely low (just look at the stats). Yet, somehow, the rifle is "needed", yet a $600 Level IIIA vest is deemed "not needed". What kind of upside down world do we live in? You can have a Level IIIA vest or plate carrier on in under 10 seconds if you have it setup properly. If you have warning that something is happening there is no reason not to put it on.

Last edited by tomrkba; March 25, 2013 at 07:57 PM.
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Old March 26, 2013, 05:13 AM   #47
dayman
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I absolutely agree that armor is a worthwhile purchase - that's why buy it.
But the conversation had shifted from the pros/cons of having armor to ways that you can overcome other people wearing it.

I think it's worth having, but few enough people do that I don't feel it's necessary for most of us to spend a lot of time worrying about what to do if you're attacked by other people wearing it. Even if it wouldn't kill them I'd think getting punched in the vest by a few bullets would be enough to make most people stop what they're doing and look for cover.
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Old March 26, 2013, 06:23 PM   #48
9mm
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Yes, keep it on flat surface. I do not think body armor "expires" unless exposed to elements and under constant use.. I keep mine on a flat surface in my bed room. I am interested in a vest for plate carriers but CBA to spend $400 a plate but then again that is a life time investment, just like buying two guns. In these times its not a bad idea. Esp if you are in a big city.
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Old April 7, 2013, 06:39 AM   #49
johnelmore
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Am I the only one who hates body armor? Every single piece of body armor I have worn has been uncomfortable and distracting from thin II-A setups made of Dyneema to the heavier III-A varieties. All of them slow you down. Before making a decision on body armor go to a range and test out your accuracy with and without. Run a 100 meter dash with and without.

I tend to think body armor has probably caused a few fatalities...
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Old April 7, 2013, 11:19 AM   #50
tomrkba
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Quote:
Before making a decision on body armor go to a range and test out your accuracy with and without. Run a 100 meter dash with and without.

I tend to think body armor has probably caused a few fatalities...
Being in shape helps, as does a positive attitude. Not everything in this world is made for your convenience. Like a handgun, it's meant to be comforting, not comfortable. Buy a personal force screen when they finally come out.
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