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Old April 15, 2013, 03:46 PM   #1
9mm
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Body armor hard plates, do you need trauma pads?

Do you need trauma pads behind a hard armor plate thats a (stand alone) I seen testing on hard armor and sometimes there is dimples-force applied back to the wearer, but this is only on higher rounds such as 308 and 7.62x54R.

At 9:44 in this video there is a dimple on the other side. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfVAnU8SabY

I guess that could really hurt the wearer.

Or would just a plain LVL IIA, II or IIA pad versus the trauma pad be better, as I under stand it trauma pads don't stop bullets, just catch blunt force, so soft armor be better?
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Old April 16, 2013, 08:14 AM   #2
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I'm certainly no expert on this [or anything else, except maybe for Top 40 from the 1975-1990 era]. However, for what it's worth, I have been wearing concealable body armor at work for 24 years. I always wear the trauma plate. In fact, my most recent department issue vest came with the usual soft trauma plate, and I wear both that one and also an older steel trauma plate of the same size behind it. It seems to me that more protection is a good thing, and it would also seem that if I do take a bullet there, I should [theoretically] not feel it as much. Besides...if a suspect should try punching me in the chest, he's going to himself a LOT more than he'll hurt me!
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Old April 16, 2013, 08:19 AM   #3
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We use them underneath the armor on our Plate Carriers, I'd say yes to avoid internal organ damage or broken ribs. Buddy of mine is a 240B gunner, took an AK round in the front plate from about 50m, still left a helluva bruise and knocked the wind out of him.
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Old April 16, 2013, 10:48 AM   #4
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I too wore them underneath my plate carrier. A buddy of mine took an AK round right in the chest, went through a PMAG and then hit his plate, knocked him down hard. Big ole bruise under his shirt, too.
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Old April 16, 2013, 10:47 PM   #5
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Does anyone know about the Israel trauma pad/plates? those are the most common ones that come in 10x12 on ebay. The guy has great feedback and I heard good thigns about the Israel body armor from various other sites.
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Old May 10, 2013, 02:55 AM   #6
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Rifle Plates

I saw that one from ebay too. I think they work great although the loose wrapping does suggest low-cost manufacturing. +1 on the free 10x13 trauma panels for each pair of ceramic plates bought. But hey, looks won't stop bullets. Overall for the price, they look like a good deal.

I also saw Sturmgewehr's videos or armor plate testing. Check them out on youtube. Be sure to also watch the part 2.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mt5hJ...6YliUQ&index=4

On part 2, he'll test the ceramic and dyneema plates on a dummy. Notice the cracked mannequin chest even without penetration. That's serious blunt force right there.

By the way, I have read somewhere before (can't find the link) that Germany's SK standards (equivalent to NIJ Ballistic levels) have a MUCH lower Back Face Deformation (BFD, the temporary inward collapse a panel will suffer after taking a hit) quota (US NIJ 44mm BFD to Germany's SK 20mm). This means that equivalent German plates might pass less BFD-based trauma on the wearer compared to NIJ-certified plates. I am not 100% sure about this but if you really want a plate that addresses this, it's worth a look.
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Old May 10, 2013, 07:51 AM   #7
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These are such general questions for such an equipment specific scenario.

Quote:
Do you need trauma pads behind a hard armor plate thats a (stand alone)
If the plates are military post mid-2010 manufacture then no. They have been extensively tested and are true stand alone. Non-military issue it is difficult to say as manufactures use different definitions of "stand alone". Anything that produces serious back deformation can hurt or even kill you.

Quote:
Or would just a plain LVL IIA, II or IIA pad versus the trauma pad be better, as I under stand it trauma pads don't stop bullets, just catch blunt force, so soft armor be better?
I am not sure I understand your question. Soft armor and trauma pads generally are in no way better than IIIa+ hard armor.
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Old May 10, 2013, 09:16 PM   #8
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Okay I ordered those from Israel, the 10x12 is soft and flexable but the 6x8 is a hard stiff won't bend. They are form inside with some sort of hard board material. It is better than nothing. I saw some testing of lvl IIIA armor and II some of the heavier rounds 44 mag and 5.7x28? the FN round I forget the caliber it is. Left pretty heavy trauma on the other side, Like ramming a pen into a paper but not going through but leaving a sharp bump on the other side. All in all for $70 for four trauma pads that no other comapany makes these sizes for trauma pads it was worth it(free ship was around $22 Israel dollars from him to ship to me)
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Old May 10, 2013, 09:19 PM   #9
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Oo
The one I am holding is a 6x8 and the one next to the left of it is the other 6x8. My other 10x12 is floating around. The 6x8 are hard, can't bend them, can take a punch. The 10x12 is flexable, can be cut for trim around a vest or so.

I found no other sellers selling 6x8 trauma plate/pads/panels, only in 5x7/5x8's. It took 3 weeks to get these.



Quote:
Back Face Deformation (BFD,
+1 these offer little BFD but are better than nothing, as I can't find any other panel/plates out there that are in this size. I saw that video a few days ago and these would help with the BFD. I like to see a video of a trauma panel tested with armor plate to see reduce of BFD on gel/bob the dummy in the videos.

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Old May 10, 2013, 09:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
I am not sure I understand your question. Soft armor and trauma pads generally are in no way better than IIIa+ hard armor.
My question was would a lvl III3(SOFT ARMOR) insert be better than a cheap trauma pad, because trauma pads say "no ballistic materials included"

I saw Rhino armor offers 6x8's but $50 for a peice lol and 10x12 $120 :/ I got both sets ofthe trauma panels(4x) for $70



Also there seems to be a surplus of old body armor going around in single front/back peices. I heard armor isn't good past 5+ years but have seen tests done that show other wise. Kevlar can rot and I think if you USE IT EVERYDAY for five years it counts. Not everyone uses it for everyday. 5 years = 1825 days of use.
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Old May 11, 2013, 03:35 AM   #11
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I don't wear armor, never have, but it seems to me if you need to wear any level of armor, you should wear the heaviest level you can get ahold of and stand up in.
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Old May 11, 2013, 06:17 AM   #12
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Back when I used to ride along in ambulances they gave me a vest with trauma plates, it was heavy as heck and obstructed my movements.

I had a cop friend give me a level II soft vest and found being able to move my upper body more freely a plus.

Last edited by Vanya; May 11, 2013 at 12:11 PM.
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Old May 11, 2013, 08:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
I don't wear armor, never have, but it seems to me if you need to wear any level of armor, you should wear the heaviest level you can get ahold of and stand up in.
No.

Quote:
My question was would a lvl III3(SOFT ARMOR) insert be better than a cheap trauma pad, because trauma pads say "no ballistic materials included"
If it has no ballistic material it will not stop bullets.

Quote:
Also there seems to be a surplus of old body armor going around in single front/back peices. I heard armor isn't good past 5+ years but have seen tests done that show other wise. Kevlar can rot and I think if you USE IT EVERYDAY for five years it counts. Not everyone uses it for everyday. 5 years = 1825 days of use.
Soft armor deteriorates over time. Use speeds the deterioration. It is impossible to say without knowing what kind, level of use, maker etc what condition it will be in.
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Old May 11, 2013, 09:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
If it has no ballistic material it will not stop bullets
I am refering to trauma not spotting bullets (the force of the bullet on the vest, needing a backing(I.E Israel trauma panels. vs a small 10x12 lvlIII3 soft armor insert.)
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Old May 12, 2013, 11:16 AM   #15
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Are you talking about back face deformation from bullet strikes? If so, again it depends upon the type of the hard armor. Some are integrated with the hard panel, some require a trauma pad and some require soft armor backing. It really depends.
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Old May 13, 2013, 04:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Are you talking about back face deformation from bullet strikes?
Yes.
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Old May 13, 2013, 09:07 PM   #17
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He's talking about using a NIJ rated soft armor in place of a trauma pad beneath hard armor plates. You or someone else would have to shoot it to see if it provides any significant increase in protection. When you're talking about improving LVL III hard plates you're talking about wanting to stop .30-06 and up, I don't think an extra layer of soft armor is gonna do that for you, therefore I see little benefit in it.

Edit- and YES, you do need something soft beneath those plates. I wouldn't dispense of them just to shave a few ounces or bucks, as I mentioned earlier if you take a 5.56/7.62x39 round to the plate is going to leave a nasty bruise even with trauma pads. Wouldn't want to know the effects without them.
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Old May 15, 2013, 11:28 PM   #18
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Try Semi-Rigid Plates

Upon closer examination of the plates being offered by Israeli Weapons on ebay, I must say that these are the first trauma plates I have seen where it specifically says it should be placed BEHIND the soft ballistic panels (or plates). I think this is okay and reasonable but unusual as I am used to seeing them placed in front of most vest panels.

That said, I think they offer less spall protection than most (non-ballistic) trauma plates but for the price and specific trauma reduction purpose they serve, they are quite a good deal.

If you are interested in trauma reduction using level IIIa soft plates, you can try Rhino armor or ARMA plates on ebay. ARMA (made in Netherlands) is cheaper but appears to be just as good and they come in Kevlar and Dyneema Hybrid variants. Both offer them in various sizes. I should note that ARMA appears to have more stitching (which increases stiffness and trauma reduction) than other soft IIIa inserts I had used.

However, if you want the best trauma reduction from a IIIa trauma pad, try "semi-rigid" plates. Impac ST and HT are good examples. You can also use Canadian-made IIIa semi-rigid inserts sold by apmt1999 on ebay. These are better but may compromise the concealability of your vest as they may print through your clothing. Also, due to the extra lamination process in their manufacturing (which really enhances trauma reduction capabilities), they cost much more than soft IIIa inserts (which traditionally use stitching to reduce trauma).

Last edited by freedash22; May 15, 2013 at 11:43 PM. Reason: Accuracy
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