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Old October 31, 2002, 11:38 AM   #1
Tamara
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Consumer Reports doesn't do this...

When's the last time somebody's shot up a few vests in the name of science and/or investigative reporting?

These things ain't exactly cheap, and the few times I've considered buying, I'm stymied by thoughts of "How well do these things really work? Is Brand X really better than Brand Y?"...
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Old October 31, 2002, 12:43 PM   #2
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I read somewhere that Chuck Taylor used to model them while his friends put some rounds into em. Maybe it was here?
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Old October 31, 2002, 01:54 PM   #3
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Richard Davis, head of Second Chance Body Armor, used to shoot himself while wearing one of his vests four or five times a year. He has slowed down a bit recently, but still tests his vests that way.

If I was buying body armor I'd buy Second Chance.
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Old October 31, 2002, 02:47 PM   #4
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S.W.A.T. has performed testing in the past, including backface deformation testing. We plan on more in the future. One of the reports pending is sure to shake up the industry.
Denny
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Old October 31, 2002, 03:24 PM   #5
Derek Zeanah
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Quote:
One of the reports pending is sure to shake up the industry.
MadDog wouldn't be part of that report, would he?

Been wondering when he'd follow-up on previous postings...
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Old October 31, 2002, 05:53 PM   #6
Denny Hansen
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Yep!
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Old October 31, 2002, 07:36 PM   #7
KSFreeman
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Hey, Denny, is SWAT going to run Leroy's data on vest testing?!?!?! ROTFLMAO! (Sometimes I do the jokes just for me).
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Old November 1, 2002, 02:01 AM   #8
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I saw a short report on FOX News about 4 weeks ago regarding a vest manufacturer.
Apparently the vests they were making weren't stopping bullets in tests. NYPD did a big recall.
The name of the company eludes me at the moment though, something to the effect of BHP?
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Old November 1, 2002, 10:06 AM   #9
ACP230
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The vest company with the problems mentioned was Point Blank.
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Old November 4, 2002, 10:34 AM   #10
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Second chance may send you squares of fabric for testing if you call them.
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Old November 4, 2002, 01:22 PM   #11
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Rich Davis is a VERY cool guy.

Hence, we should buy his stuff. Always support the cool people.

Besides, his stuff works as advertised.
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Old November 4, 2002, 01:39 PM   #12
Crimson Trace
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As a current Point Blank wearer, can someone fill me in on this, my pucker factor just went skyrocketing.

Any particular models in question?

Department owes me a new vest soon anyway, but...

-Z
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Old November 4, 2002, 02:33 PM   #13
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Hey. Mike. Do a search at TacticalForums.com
Mad Dog's been real busy with this research.
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Old November 4, 2002, 03:54 PM   #14
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Mike,

The thread at TF is at:
http://64.177.53.248/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000266.html

I hope you're not affected!
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Old November 5, 2002, 02:00 PM   #15
Crimson Trace
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I'm "affected" alright, but my vest seems to be OK.

Next time 2nd Chance or Safariland.

Thanks for the links. Appreciate it.

Stay safe.

-Z
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Old November 5, 2002, 03:57 PM   #16
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Nope, the folks at Consumer Reports don't do that sort of thing with live people. Why? Because too many product makers fudge their data. Consumer reports does do a tremendous amount of testing of various types of items, regardless of cost, but they refuse to do tests that will directly put a person's life in jeopardy. As a result, they are able to keep their staff without any hassles.

Unfortunately, rags like SWAT have a history of reviewing products by manufacturers who are buying large amounts of advertising space in the rag. That sort of casts dispersions on whether the tests are actually fair or valid. That doesn't mean they aren't, however.
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Old November 5, 2002, 04:04 PM   #17
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"Rags like SWAT have a history of reviewing products by manufacturers who are buying large amounts of advertising space in the rag. That sort of casts dispersions on whether the tests are actually fair or valid."???

Now there's an intelligent comment....simple way to prove it, 00. Open any copy of SWAT....run thru the companies featured, then compare 'em to the Advertiser Index....let us know what kind of correlation you find.

Altenatively, ask yourself this:
What would possibly motivate SWAT to provide a feature that SLAMMED a recently introduced Shotgun when that company was a FULL PAGE advertiser..they naturally, pulled out on us.
Could it be:
A) Because we thought the advertiser would say "Thank You"
B) Because we're MORONS
C) Because we have have some pride in our personal reputations

When you go around making comments like that, you generally wanna be able to back 'em up. Otherwise, people are likely to stop taking you, ummm, "seriously".
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Old November 5, 2002, 06:24 PM   #18
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casting ASPERSION

or

casting doubt?


Now back to your regularly scheduled thread.


p.s. In Rich's defense, he does an admirable job of separating sales from editorial.
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Old November 5, 2002, 06:34 PM   #19
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Unethical??

00,
I'm gonna' take personal offense at your comments.
Can you be a bit more specific as to who, what, where, when or why?
The magazine has a standard of ethics, and I'm sure that Denny would be happy to pass on to you what the writers are required to do when testing anything. Why would the magazine be held to a lower standard? Are you questioning the integrity of Rich, who has done a fair amount to keep the fight against those who hate us proceeding on an even keel.
How about Denny? Questioning his ethics. Partner, you are dead wrong if you are.
Don't confuse SWAT, the management or the worker bees with something else in your past.
I write for SWAT for a reason, and that reason is the integrity of those involved.
We- all of us- are in business to make money. However, i can tell you that no one is getting rich at SWAT, regardless of their capacity. Certainly no one here is going to hit the big one based on the advertising that comes from lying about a piece of kit- and the loss of credibility would be the cruelest cut of all.
Advertising is a fact of life, and generates the cash flow necessary to keep the magazine alive.
Unless they raise the price of the mag to about the nth degree.

I'm not a big fan of "tests", because they usually involve an insignifigant statistical sampling of a particular item. However, sophisticated testing is not generally viable for a specialty magazine of this type. How would a maker react when you tell him that you want 1000 Fortortna 2000's to test until destruction, and by the way, could the ammo guy please give us 100K worth of Uncle Cheech's garlic soaked heat seekers to run through them?

What you get are impressions based on the users observations and modified by his experience. If the writer has a frame of reference that includes T&E, and has the time and facilities available, you will get a fair representation of what a particular item is capable of doing.
I'll speak for myself here, but anything that i write about is gear that i have been issued or purchased and have carried and used in training and operationally, and the results are based on the user community's input.
Want to talk about other mags? Have at it. Just don't throw out the baby with the bath water.
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Old November 5, 2002, 06:46 PM   #20
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I would simply direct those with any question to the Authors Area of the S.W.A.T. website. Look under Product Policy. http://swatmagazine.com/authors.htm

BTW, Rich and I hold ourselves to the same policy as our authors.

Denny
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Old November 5, 2002, 07:08 PM   #21
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00, shor nuff (a little Tejas lingo). [switching accents] Oh, yes they do (product test on live persons)!!! Or at least SWAT writers do!

Anytime a gun rag writer stands behind a product enough to shoot himself, you have to be impressed--advertising Benjamins concerns aside!
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Old November 6, 2002, 10:02 AM   #22
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A little clarification:
Years ago (and before my time) several writers for S.W.A.T. did let themselves get shot while testing vests.

I'm not going to have any of my guys get shot as I feel that is totally irresponsbile. Not going to do it myself either. I already have one award from the Kevlar Suvivor's Club and feel no need to get a second. Everyone will just have to settle for "lab" type tests.

Denny
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Old November 6, 2002, 06:12 PM   #23
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While I do enjoy SWAT and several other rags, I am continually surprised by the high number of glowing reviews of products they describe. That is my opinion. I will do as Rich suggests and see if I can find any makers advertising products in SWAT that SWAT has tested. Fair enough challenge and SWAT will get another sale as I go to buy a copy.

Rich Davis of Second Chance did in fact used to let himself get shot several times at year. I know at at one point while doing a demo that was taped, I found out that he used phone books under the vests to help offset blunt force trauma. Of course, that doesn't exactly give the proper impression of the ballistic vest's performance when you have something like that to take all the collateral damage out of the shooting. At the time, it was noted that Davis couldn't be repeated shot as it would eventually take its toll on him. Well of course it would because while vests my provide pretty good protection, the wearer doesn't necessarily get off completely free.

Putting people in ballistic vests to test them to see if they are really a good form of ballistic protection isn't a great idea. Ballistic vests don't always work, hence why they aren't called "bullet proof" and every so often, just like with other products, there are bad batches. Ask a NY officer about the wonderful vests they had to replace from Point Blank.
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Old November 6, 2002, 06:21 PM   #24
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00,

As another SWAT staff writer, I would encourage you to go back over the last 18 months of SWAT Magazine and familiarize yourself with what we are all about. Yes, you will find some glowing reviews of certain products or schools... but you will also find honest criticism and constructive commentary about a great many pieces of gear, practices and instructors. You will find that some of those criticised were or are advertisers.
It is my hope that you made your comment out of ignorance and not out of malice. If it was the former, I hope you wil become familiar with us.
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Old November 6, 2002, 06:40 PM   #25
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Denny, thanks, I should have elaborated on that. Usually that's my style, yak, yak, yak . . . .
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