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Old September 11, 2008, 12:49 PM   #1
Sparks2112
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Civilian Use Of Body Armor

First off, I'm not trying to be tacticool, nor am I planning on robbing a bank any time soon. Due to the recent unexpected pregnancy of my wife I've decided to get myself a night job to supplement my full time income from photography. Said night job is at a Stop and Rob offering pretty decent health benefits / life insurance options. (Ironic eh?)

My question is this, how many of you who are not Military or LEO's own Body Armor, and which manufacturer offers the best mix of cheap vs. effectiveness?

Thanks Again.
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Old September 11, 2008, 01:49 PM   #2
ringworm
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Force One.
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Old September 11, 2008, 02:18 PM   #3
Stagger Lee
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Save your money....that's why you're taking on another job, right?

You'll find the stuff to be hot and/or uncomfortable and you'll tire of people noticing it and commenting and and once the novelty wears off, you'll toss it in the closet, money wasted.

BTW, "cheap" and "effective" don't go together. You get what you pay for.
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Old September 11, 2008, 02:26 PM   #4
Sparks2112
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Save your money....that's why you're taking on another job, right?

You'll find the stuff to be hot and/or uncomfortable and you'll tire of people noticing it and commenting and and once the novelty wears off, you'll toss it in the closet, money wasted.

BTW, "cheap" and "effective" don't go together. You get what you pay for.

Actually for the health benifits more than anything else.

Those were kind of my thoughts too to be honest though. Also I can't imagine not spotting trouble coming and being able to do something about it.

I promised my wife I'd ask about them though.

"Can't you at least get a bullet proof vest?"

"I'll see honey."
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Old September 11, 2008, 02:31 PM   #5
TheManHimself
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If crime is bad enough in your area that you have to consider wearing body armor to work at a second job, I'd think maybe the health benefits aren't really worth it.
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Old September 11, 2008, 02:36 PM   #6
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If crime is bad enough in your area that you have to consider wearing body armor to work at a second job, I'd think maybe the health benefits aren't really worth it.
Statistically crime is nowhere near bad enough for me to carry a gun in the area I live in. I do carry however. Knowing a situation isn't likely to happen but being prepared for it anyway seems like a better idea than "Well, this probably isn't going to happen so I don't need...."

You get the point. I'm just curious what options are, and if anyone on the boards own/use any regularly.

Anyway, I blame my father-in-law telling my wife how dangerous Convenient stores are to work in for her recent interest in me acquiring body armor. I tried to point out to her that the area he lives in (Springfield, MA) made the top 15 most dangerous places to live in the U.S. not too long ago.

Deaf ears of course.
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Old September 11, 2008, 02:40 PM   #7
Erik Prins
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they are not that expensive. you might find yourself not wearing it though. they get fairly uncomfortable, it is not that bad but it is like wearing a life jacket all day, constant pressure and no airflow. I have found that exercise shirts work great for under it- shirts like "underarmor" brand (kindof funny bc i dont think that was the intended use ) basically one of those shirts that is all synthetic fibers and advertises that it wicks the sweat off.
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Old September 11, 2008, 02:43 PM   #8
tplumeri
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i think we need an opinion from the master himself....
Gecko, are you out there?
speak to us, oh wise one.....
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Old September 11, 2008, 02:45 PM   #9
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i think we need an opinion from the master himself....
Gecko, are you out there?
speak to us, oh wise one.....
Thanks for being helpful.
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Old September 11, 2008, 03:03 PM   #10
Oldjarhead
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Civilian Sales of Body armor Illegal

I could be wrong, but I would say most states consider body armor sales except to Law Enforcement and the military is Illegal, for obvious reasons. I am sure there are some limited exceptions. Save your money.
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Old September 11, 2008, 03:06 PM   #11
Scattergun Bob
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Sparks2112

I have spent a lot of time in a vest. It is different than most folks think, you do not simply wear it and then dump it in the corner at the end of the day.

I spent about 10 years wearing a Second Chance, or a Point Blank vest with a trauma plate. Each has unique features, each would stop most common pistol rounds.

Hears the deal, if you choose to wear one, consider it a second skin and ALWAYS wear it. You can not skip a day or get lazy!

"The Other guy will dictate when and where the gun fight will be! Just be ready."

Your vest has to be cared for and cleaned on a periodic basis, or it WILL degrade! I usually had 2 carriers and swapped out frequently = more $$$.

They are by their nature bulky, cumbersome, and HOT... Buy cool shirts to ware under the vest = more $$$.

I was unhappy to leave the street, I am a natural sheep dog, however, I was very happy not to have to ware a vest every day working at headquarters.

If you look at the Second chance and Point Blank web-sites they give a good overview of their products.

No one can tell you if the hassle and expense of wearing a vest will be rewarded by a save. "one thing for dam sure, if your not wearing it, it can't save you!"

Good Luck & Be Safe
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Old September 11, 2008, 03:35 PM   #12
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I'd second the comment about "if you need to consider body armor for a second job..get a different one!"

I have 2 sets that lay flat under the bed and only come out for classes where people behind me have loaded guns and bumps in the night. It is HOT when worn for any amt of time...I cannot imagine our LEO members wearing it all day...ug.

When I needed a second income, I considered em all plus and minus..and ended up at the airport hucking packages around for a few hours at night...got a good workout and made enough extra to justify.

Best of luck in whatever you do.
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Old September 11, 2008, 03:36 PM   #13
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Thanks for being helpful.

anytime Sparky.

but if you want to window shop, go to Galls website. they supply to NYPD.
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Old September 11, 2008, 03:58 PM   #14
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New Hampshire, at least, criminalizes only CRIMINAL USE of body armor, not possession or lawful use. Possession by a convicted felon is prohibited under federal law, unless required by the employer.

That said, you'd probably have to work a lot of hours to pay for it, as it's not particularly cheap even on the lowest end.
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Old September 11, 2008, 04:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
I blame my father-in-law telling my wife how dangerous Convenient stores are to work in for her recent interest in me acquiring body armor. I tried to point out to her that the area he lives in (Springfield, MA) made the top 15 most dangerous places to live in the U.S. not too long ago.

i live in one of the lowest crime areas in the country(violent crime anyway).it didnt stop 2 scumbags from getting off the interstate(from Springfield perhaps?) and killing two clerks during a robbery a few years back.middle of the night and cash on hand makes you a target pretty much anywhere.

if it were me?...second shift?maybe...3rd shift?probably.i'd definately be armed,regardless of store policy.

i dont currently own any body armor,but i intend to in the near future.im about to get certified as a pistol instructor for CCW...shooting with new folks(and the occasional idiot im sure) is reason enough for me.theres been a few times just shooting at the range when i wished i had been wearing some.

also...

Quote:
BTW, "cheap" and "effective" don't go together. You get what you pay for.
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Old September 11, 2008, 04:29 PM   #16
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Ignore the naysayers. Body armor is cheap insurance. I wore a vest while working at a bar known for bad problems. Yes its hot, but manageable. Wear an Underarmor shirt underneath and you will be fine. Vests arent always noticeable, you can dress around it. Or be like Junior on Reno 911 and wear it outside your work clothes, .

Second Chance, Point Blank, and Safariland are three manufacturers that I would trust. At bare minimum a Level II would suffice, but a Level IIIa is great. Trauma plate is a tossup, maybe you need it, if you are facing people with rifles? Theres more options than just a steel plate, do some research on it through the manufacturers.

Get fitted for a vest, so you know what dimensions you will need. You can't simply go by the S-M-L-XL-XXL, as that typically only addresses the chest diameter. You also need to figure in the length of the torso, both front and back sides.

Once you know what size will work, (its okay to get it too big around, so you can overlap the coverage) check ebay for vests. There is a 'born-on' date on each vest, so make sure you get something made in the last year or two.

A quality vest brand new can easily cost over $1,000., but when buying off Ebay expect to pay about $250 or so.
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Old September 11, 2008, 04:44 PM   #17
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I have a vest that I bought at a gun show when the first of the Kommiefornia "ban body armor for civilians" stuff came out. The people that come to the gun show here in Vegas are: http://www.bulletproofvestusa.com/

I bought a IIIa Kevlar vest. They also have "Spectrashield" vests which are lighter, because less layers are used. They are a bit more money. My vest was $400 about 3 years ago. They offered a 5 year warranty on the vest, plus free replacement if it takes a shot or even a traffic accident.

Went on a ride along last year and wore an underarmor shirt under the vest and another over it to hold it tight in place. Didn't bother me for the day. Normally it sits flat under the bed.

For your deal, like others have said, perhaps a different line of work is in order. I made $20/hr delivering pizza years ago. I'm sure there are others as well.
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Old September 11, 2008, 05:19 PM   #18
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convenience stores are at best 9 bucks an hour around here. You can do that easy with tips delivering pizza. ups and the post office pay night time truck unloaders up near $20 an hour last I checked (couple years ago). side jobs repairing cars, installing stereos and water purification consulting nets me about 800 a month. (2-3 jobs per month)

benefits? purchase a supplement plan.
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Old September 11, 2008, 05:35 PM   #19
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Now that fall is rolling around, it will not be as uncomfortable to wear one. Summer is a beast of a season to sport a vest, but the rest of the year is more tolerable.

It can't hurt.

I used to work nights at a junky little gas station many years ago. Never had any problems except the manager stealing cartons of smokes. I kind of liked the job. Lots of down time to sit around drinking coffee, read the paper, etc...

Make friends with the local cops. It's not hard, just be generous with the coffee and keep a fresh pot going at all times. Stale coffee is still stale, even at 4am. If you have a cruiser pulling in for a refill every 5-10min, badguys are probably going to look for a less risky target.

I like the Second Chance vest I have, but my experience is pretty skimpy. I haven't tried any other brands.
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Old September 12, 2008, 08:33 AM   #20
Sparks2112
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Thanks for everyone's comments and suggestions. After doing some more research, and talking to a police officer friend of mine I ran accross www.bulletproofme.com. After taking some measurements and giving them a call they have some level II stuff for around $250 and some level IIIa stuff for around $350. About a weeks pay at the new job, and well worth it in my mind seeing as it's something I wouldn't mind having anyway.

BTW for those of you who suggested another job. Working by yourself at night anywhere can/is dangerous. It's amazing to me that people who feel the need to go around armed the majority of the time, and defend that decision to anyone who suggests it might be silly/uncalled for can turn around and ridicule a decision someone might make to offer themselves some level of protection should a worst case scenario happen.

Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox. I need to go shave my back so when I duct-tape the extra rifle plates to it it doesn't hurt as much when I take them off.
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Old September 12, 2008, 08:47 AM   #21
Stagger Lee
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What was it they say about a fool and his money?

But like he said, he wanted it anyway, job or no job. I kind of suspected that from the beginning.
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Old September 12, 2008, 09:08 AM   #22
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Since you'll be inside as store where the temperature is regulated and not doing much physical labor besides restocking canned peaches and beer you'll probably be fine with a vest.
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Old September 12, 2008, 01:25 PM   #23
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Don't get a vest to go to work in a convenience store! One of two things could happen:

1. If a guy comes in to rob the joint, and he only wants the money, GIVE it to him, and he'll leave. Let the cops hunt him down later.

2. If a guy comes in to rob the joint, and he is intent on killing you, he's gonna shoot you in the HEAD.

Either way, you're not going to get much use out of that vest, and it will be an EXTREME investment in money, sweat, and trouble.

Advice: Save your money, and buy the new baby some toys.
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Old September 12, 2008, 01:41 PM   #24
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Quote:
2. If a guy comes in to rob the joint, and he is intent on killing you, he's gonna shoot you in the HEAD.
What will I be doing when they're attempting this?

You know though, you're really right. That's a wonderful reason why cops shouldn't have one too. I mean, if someone wants the cop dead they'll just shoot them in the head right? Let's get rid of vests entirely and spend that extra money on something worthwhile. How about inmate reform programs? That way when the perp who wanted the cop dead decides he'd like to get his college education he can do that too.

Our troops shouldn't have them either. If the insurgents really want them dead they'll also just shoot them in the head. Let's spend that money on an outreach program to radical Islamic fundamentalists. I'm sure we'll make great inroads that way.

I vote for having this thread closed, honestly I wish I hadn't asked in the first place since my own research would have sufficed and very few people actually answered my original question.

Quote:
how many of you who are not Military or LEO's own Body Armor, and which manufacturer offers the best mix of cheap vs. effectiveness?
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Old September 12, 2008, 01:42 PM   #25
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Also check out www.galls.com they have what they call the university that gives more insite into ballastic armor.

I used to wear one at work.
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