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Old September 21, 2012, 04:59 PM   #1
Vireye
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Question Regarding Bullet Resistant Vests

Hey all, this seems to be the best subforum here for this post...

First off, I do live in CT, however I am both current military AND Security, so I can legally own and obtain (face to face) a bullet resistant vest.

Now that that's out of the way:

I do not make a whole lot of money in Security...I'm a Senior Supervisor (Sergeant) with a private security company (I work at a mall). I make $10.00/hr.

During the course of my four years with the company and on this site, I have been in a whole mess of situations, from brawls to an armed robbery. Several of my officers wears vests, a couple NIJ Lvl II's and one IIIA.

There is one fellow who has offered to sell me a Lvl II vest for pretty cheap, but, here's the thing. It's almost 12 years old.

Allegedly the fellow is an MP (I don't have cause to doubt this) and bought the vest following 9/11 and used it for 6 months stateside. He then "retired" the vest, along with one other, and it remained in storage at his unit.

He is now selling it...he shot up its sister vest and sent me the photos (stopped both a 9mm and .40 cal). I know it's well out of warranty, that doesn't really concern me...

I would be using this vest at work, and also as part of my "bug-out" kit. If I were a LEO, I would prefer a much newer vest...but, being a "mall cop", that's not really an option for me.

I have the evidence that the vest still works...but what are all your opinions? I realize this is less than ideal, but I've read everything online from the things fall apart after five years to them lasting MUCH longer if properly cared for.

His asking price is $150.00, and again it's a level II concealable vest.
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Old September 24, 2012, 01:10 PM   #2
ClydeFrog
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vests, body armor...

I'm not a big expert on body armor or armored vests but to my understanding, some vests like the Kelvar type wear out after 5-6 years. These vests may lower the quality of protection or become useless.
I wouldn't buy a body armor vest that was 12 years old.
There are a few brands & types of material available on the US market.
For uniformed security or extra protection, you may want to buy a over-garment with body armor/plate inserts. I've seen a few firms that market uniform vests/garments(black, green, white, navy blue) that could work with your regular security shirt.
For details about good body armor choices & related products; cases, hangers, garments, IV/plates, etc see; www.galls.com www.policehq.com www.uscav.com www.actiongear.com www.qmuniforms.com .
Some online retail sources/firms require security licenses or LE status before buying. Your military/MP identification may help but check with the company before you order.
I'd look at the Second Chance line in class III or the IIA with plate inserts(chest-back).

Clyde
ps; top body armor isnt cheap but it's far better than used or out-dated equipment.
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Old September 24, 2012, 05:58 PM   #3
Vireye
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I've been doing considerable research since I first posted this question...a good number of LEO's I know (and many I've found online) who have done extensive testing have stated they have no problem trusting their life to a vest that is 15-20 years old that has been properly maintained.

IF it doesn't contain Zylon. Which is the issue I now face...

The vest is an American Body Armor Model XT2-1 Threat Level II. I've already spoken to ABA, and unfortunately they don't track vests as old as this one, so they can't tell me if it contains Zylon or not...

Unfortunately I think my only option is to find someone else who owns a XT2-1 who can tell me what the darn thing is made out of....
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Old September 24, 2012, 06:12 PM   #4
YARDDOG(1)
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Should be Labled somewere on vest ; )
Y/D
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Old September 24, 2012, 06:15 PM   #5
Vireye
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SHOULD BE

being the operative phrase there
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Old September 25, 2012, 12:38 AM   #6
KenW.
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I shot a vest that was expired by two years a couple of years ago. It stopped FMJ in 9mm and 45ACP. Then I shot it with a 12 ga slug and 000 Buck. It stopped the buck really well, but I'd avoid getting hit with a slug. It didn't penetrate completely, but it was sent rolling downrange several feet.

The expiration dates exist mainly as a liability preventer; how long should a manufacturer be required to stand behind the product? They make money by selling replacements and by staying out of lawsuits. For liability reasons the vest has to expire SOMETIME.

Replacing the vest every five years is good practice though. Vests keep getting more and more flexible, light, bullet resistant, and comfortable. My first vest, a level 2A was almost 3/8 of an inch thick. Now my level 3A is about a quarter inch and much more comfortable.
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Old September 25, 2012, 05:50 AM   #7
ClydeFrog
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Funds, body armor choices, styles...

I agree that using body armor or protective garments as a armed professional is a good idea. It's better to save up & buy a quality design that will hold up to regular use than to get cheap armor that may not work correctly after a long period.
Gore-tex, Coolmax, SpectraShield are all brand names you should look for in body armor vests. I'd heard that Kelvar does not work properly if it gets wet too.
As posted, newer styles & fabrics are now on the US market. Don't forget the added plates for extra protection too.
I saw that Second Chance had a undershirt design with pockets for armor plates. The garment cost around $50-60.00 w/o the protective inserts. Galls & PoliceHQ.com sold them but it might be discontinued.

Clyde
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Old September 25, 2012, 06:05 AM   #8
Aaron1100us
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I took one of our vests that was 5 years outdated and shot it from 10 feet with a .40 and .22 it stopped both.

Sent from my PB99400 using Tapatalk 2
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Old September 25, 2012, 11:41 AM   #9
Vireye
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Looks like the panels are SpectraShield Plus...managed to dodge the Zylon bullet, I think
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