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Old February 7, 2011, 08:33 AM   #1
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Opinions on body armor.

I am looking for thoughts on body armor that meets certain criteria. In the past, I would just wear one over my shirt, but now I have to conceal it, something I've never had to contend with when it comes to body armor. So, in my transition to plain clothes work, I need your help. This is what I need.

1. Full side coverage.
2. Relatively lightweight. (I'm not averse to anything under, say, 20 lbs.)
3. Preferably, level IIIA or III. (Two West Memphis officers were shot by AK47s last year, so that need for III+ is a possibility... and it'll sooth the Mrs.)
4. Easy to maintain/clean.

I know that concealable rifle armor isn't exactly common, if it exists at all. So, let me know what you gear gurus think!
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Old February 7, 2011, 10:10 AM   #2
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AFAIK, if you want level III armor and above, you need hard plates--which takes the armor beyond the realm of concealable, unless you wear big, loose fitting clothing year round.

I remember hearing about some level III plates that would go in to the trauma pocket. Perhaps look in that direction for level III coverage?

And congrats on going plain clothes--that usually entails a promotion, right?
E Pluribus Unum
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Old February 7, 2011, 10:19 AM   #3
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Well, yes. Thanks!

The promotion actually came a while back, but with a new baby, I've been waiting for my tax return for new gear.
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Old February 8, 2011, 07:28 PM   #4
unit 900
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Apples/oranges; concealable/level3. As mentioned, a rifle rated (level 3) vest is generally a 'tactical' vest with an external carrier. They use more ballistic fabric/laminate and have front and rear compartments tailored to accept ceramic/polyethylene/hybrid plates (just 3A without the plates, level 3 or 4 with appropriate plates). Based on personal experience I would recommend the following, unless SWAt entries are part of your daily routine:
Second Chance Monarch (all woven aramid) in the NYPD 'full cut' pattern. This comes up under the armpit to help prevent cross chest shots that may enter the armpit, whether through the upper arm or not. I would get two IMPAC plates (made by PROTECH) in 8x12 or whatever is the largest size. These are made from compressed polyethylene (same stuff in the level 3A shields). They are very lightweight and offer a remarkable level of protection against PISTOL rounds, including all variants of the FN 5.7 excepting the LEO/Military restricted black tip AP. The vest is concealable, well, not wearing just a T shirt. Get an external carrier and you are good to go on all fronts. Just MHO.
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Old February 12, 2011, 04:52 AM   #5
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remember, you gotta wear it!!!!!

A level III vest will roast your goose in the south if you are in and out of AC much at all. With plates and full side protection, you are talking one hot item.

Get a wearable vest, level II minimum, plates as an option, and you'll not be so hesitant about wearing it in 98 degree weather.
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Old February 12, 2011, 09:17 AM   #6
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Well, lucky for me the temperature is not much of an issue. I work only nights, so I get mostly jacket weather. That is why I'm not too concerned about breathability.
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Old February 12, 2011, 09:34 AM   #7
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May be best to keep a plate carrier in the car and wear the more concealable stuff day to day.

Not the best option I know but tough to wear Ak stoppable gear day to day.
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Old February 12, 2011, 05:27 PM   #8
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check it:
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