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CSEMARTIN

Best Body Armor?

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Who is making the best body armor these days?

 

I see a lot of different companies out there, but I have no idea how to choose the right one.

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Interested in this also. Especially for classes/training.  

Back when I was shopping for plate Carrie, condor was one of the companies I was looking at 

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As someone who puts on 3A every day for work spend a bit more and if you plan on actually using it and if your looking at plates steel is not for your friend it is cheep BUT it weighs a TON.  For soft armor second chance is nice.

 

As far as what to chose it depends what you need it for 2A is great for being light and very low profile but dont plan on it stopping much over cheep slow 9mm and level 4 is great at stopping 30-06AP but is heavy and cost a lot and is bulky.

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2 hours ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

Do they all stop a knife ?

No soft armor is rated for stab protection. 

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Second Picture for sure is my style. 

Spartan and Ar500 seem to run deals on Lvl 3+ plates on the regular. If just for training and the like I would be ok with that. 

If it was duty gear and I had a increased odd of it actually saving my life, I wouldn't put a price on it. I hear from people that wear armor for work ceramics are the way to go. 
Ferro Concepts Slickster if you wanted a carrier. 

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Tactical or concealable

the latest generation 2nd chance was the most comfortable concealable armor I used, also the under shirt you wear makes a huge difference in comfort. I started with cotton because that’s all they had and at the end of the day it was soaking  wet and felt like an was wearing a wet mop

switched to underarmor wicking type material and the difference was noticeable 

 

 

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6 hours ago, rustychev said:

No soft armor is rated for stab protection. 

That is not accurate as most corrections personnel wear soft armor stab and bullet resistant vests.  

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, Robertwil18 said:

That is not accurate as most corrections personnel wear soft armor stab and bullet resistant vests.  

You are correct that stab vests are a thing but they are not armor in that they don't stop bullets and are not "soft". Your going to have a hell of a time concealing any stab vest I have ever seen.

 

Please post a link to a vest that is rated for both stab and ballistic.  I have never seen one. 

 

Plenty of vests for one or the other.  Also I have never seen a stab vest I would call soft armor.  Most are stiff as a board but are not called hard armor because they are not armor plates.

Edited by rustychev

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Take a look at this company.  They're called Veteran's Manufacturing https://vetsmfg.com/.

 

I've never seen anything stop a .50 CAL.  I'll also bet you'd have a hell of a time punching a knife through it.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, CSEMARTIN said:

Take a look at this company.  They're called Veteran's Manufacturing https://vetsmfg.com/.

 

I've never seen anything stop a .50 CAL.  I'll also bet you'd have a hell of a time punching a knife through it.

 

 

True but that is not soft armor.  It's a rifle plate.  Also try that with ball ammo and I will bet the outcome is not the same.

Edited by rustychev

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12 minutes ago, rustychev said:

True but that is not soft armor.  It's a rifle plate.  Also try that with ball ammo and I will bet the outcome is not the same.

 

I guess I had assumed that if it would stop a .50 CAL, it would stop a pistol round.  I apparently have some learning to do which is why I started this thread.  Thank you for that observation.

 

 

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O my guess is that plate would stop most handgun rounds but its a polyethylene plate witch have proven to not be good for 223 green tip or any AP round for that mater.   Polye is light so that's good but it has limitations.  So back to your original question there is no best only best for what you need.

 

What someone needs to know to point you in the right direction  is to know just what you want it for.  Are you a range officer at a handgun range then get 3A soft armor because soft armor has much better coverage but will not stop rifle threats but if your at a rifle class you will need appropriate plates to stop that but plats are heavy and bulky and have much leas area. 

 

I have a very nice set of level 4 plates will stop all current .mil rounds and 30-06 AP they almost never get used because of weight and bulk.  My plates are 10x12" with the front plate having a shooters cut in the top corners.

 

Coverage is the triad off my soft armor covers from about 1.5" above my belt to just above the second button (think first buttoned button with no tie on) on my uniform shirt and wraps all the way around.  My plates are 10x12" squares front and back.  Nothing low and I don't put in side plates but you can get them but they still leave a lot of open room.  My plate carrier still comes in around 20lbs with nothing in it other than the plates.  Start adding mags water first aid side plates it will go up fast.

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I've used numerous types of body armor between the military and current police swat team.  My favorites so far are First Spear products or Velocity Systems/Mayflower.  Not to say there aren't other good ones.  For plates, level 3 ceramic with a special threat rating for M855 is the standard on my team.  Level 4 has more protection of course, but the added bulk and weight (and cost) wasn't worth it.  Stay away from steel unless you just want to play around on the range for a short time.  Mags, medical, comms, any other tools you absolutely need is what you should focus on.  If you add everything you might ever need you'll get way too heavy.  Ounces equal pounds, pounds equals pain.    

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2 hours ago, rustychev said:

 

 

What someone needs to know to point you in the right direction  is to know just what you want it for.  

 

I work at a county hospital. It’s a matter of time before someone starts shooting the place up.

 

I’m looking for something light and concealable. Something that will stop a pistol round and/or a rifle round. Knife resistant would be a plus.

 

I’ve had three credible threats in the past 5 years. Hospitals are targets now, and people hate me.

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, CSEMARTIN said:

 

I work at a county hospital. It’s a matter of time before someone starts shooting the place up.

 

I’m looking for something light and concealable. Something that will stop a pistol round and/or a rifle round. Knife resistant would be a plus.

 

I’ve had three credible threats in the past 5 years. Hospitals are targets now, and people hate me.

Been there done that was hospital security for 3 years be for LE

Rifle and concealable are not really going to happen it would be kind of like trying to concealed carry a open gun.

 

Here is a rough guide to what stops what.
    
NIJ LEVEL I:

This armor protects against .22 caliber Long Rifle Lead Round Nose (LR LRN) bullets with nominal masses of 2.6 g (40 gr) impacting at a minimum velocity of 320 m/s (1050 ft/s) or less and 380 ACP Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) bullets with nominal masses of 6.2 g (95 gr) impacting at a minimum velocity of 312 m/s (1025 ft/s) or less.

    
NIJ LEVEL IIA:

(Lower Velocity 9mm, .40 S&W). This armor protects against 9mm Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) bullets with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr) impacting at a minimum velocity of 332 m/s (1090 ft/s) or less and .40 S&W caliber Full Metal Jacketed (FMJ) bullets with nominal masses of 11.7 g (180 gr) impacting at a minimum velocity of 312 m/s (1025 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against Level I threats. Level IIA body armor is well suited for full-time use by police departments, particularly those seeking protection for their officers from lower velocity .40 S&W and 9mm ammunition.

    
NIJ LEVEL II:

(Higher Velocity 9mm, .357 Magnum). This armor protects against .357 Magnum jacketed soft-point bullets with nominal masses of 10.2 g (158 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 425 m/s (1,395 ft/s) or less and against 9mm full-jacketed bullets with nominal velocities of 358 m/s (1,175 ft/s). It also protects against most other factory loads in caliber .357 Magnum and 9mm as well as the Level I and IIA threats. Level II body armor is heavier and more bulky than either Levels I or IIA. It is worn full time by officers seeking protection against higher velocity .357 Magnum and 9mm ammunition.

    
NIJ LEVEL IIIA:

(.44 Magnum; Submachine Gun 9mm). This armor protects against .44 Magnum, Semi Jacketed Hollow Point (SJHP) bullets with nominal masses of 15.55 g (240 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 426 m/s (1,400 ft/s) or less and against 9mm full-metal jacketed bullets with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 426 m/s (1,400 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against most handgun threats as well as the Level I, IIA, and II threats. Level IIIA body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available from concealable body armor and is generally suitable for routine wear in many situations. However, departments located in hot, humid climates may need to evaluate the use of Level IIIA armor carefully.

    
NIJ LEVEL III:

(High-powered rifle). This armor, normally of hard or semirigid construction, protects against 7.62mm full-metal jacketed bullets (US military designation M80) with nominal masses of 9.7 g (150 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 838 m/s (2,750 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against threats such as 223 Remington (5.56mm FMJ), 30 Carbine FMJ, and 12-gauge rifled slug, as well as Level I through IIIA threats. Level III body armor is clearly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection, such as barricade confrontations involving sporting rifles.


NIJ LEVEL IV:

(Armor-piercing rifle). This armor protects against .30–06 caliber armor-piercing bullets (US military designation APM2) with nominal masses of 10.8 g (166 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 868 m/s (2,850 ft/s) or less. It also provides at least single-hit protection against the Level I through III threats.

Level IV body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available. Because this armor is intended to resist “armor piercing” bullets, it often uses ceramic materials. Such materials are brittle in nature and may provide only single-shot protection since the ceramic tends to break up when struck. As with Level III armor, Level IV armor is clearly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection.

 

 

Im not sure you can even get level 1 armor any more and level 2 is the minimum any LE uses that I know of.  All the large departments in my area are using 3A.  Swat uses heavey leveal 4 stuff.

 

Also note that not a single one talks about stab resistance.  Will my 3A slow a knife maybe and that is hoping for a duel knife with a blunt tip.  Something like a ice pick will sail right thru it no problem.  You can get stab rated stuff but the design  is totally different and not good at caching bullets.

 

Spike Levels Table

 

I know very little about the stab vests but I do KNOW body armor for firearms do not stop knives or spikes and the stab vest used in jails and prisons are almost as big and heavy as level 3 and 4 armor.  

 

Hope this helps.  http://www.bulletproofme.com  is one of the few places left that I know sells to the general public.  If you do end up buys some keep the following in mind.  It only works if you have it on and if your really going to have it on 40 hours a week it needs to be comfortable.  We spend 1k per vest last time I checked and even at that at the end of the day I want it off ASAP so if you buy a 400.00 vest you most likely will not use it for long.  Comfort is directly related to thickness and flexibility thinner and flexible is better but also more money.  Also level 2 will be thinner and more flexible than 3A in the same price range but it is possibal to find a thinner and more flexible 3A for more cash then a cheep 2.

Edited by rustychev

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I don't think they've made it back into business, but my favorite armor is Dragon Skin by Pinnacle.  I bought my own back in 2007 or so when two of my Henderson County Deputies where murdered.  While it's out of date, it's still the armor I carry in the back seat and wear when the need arises.  I'm not really a fan of ceramic plates because of their multiple hit performance.  We are issued some really light weight plates from Point Blank.  If I had some decent/current soft armor to wear under it, I might wear it instead of the Dragon Skin.

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18 hours ago, CSEMARTIN said:

Take a look at this company.  They're called Veteran's Manufacturing https://vetsmfg.com/.

 

I've never seen anything stop a .50 CAL.  I'll also bet you'd have a hell of a time punching a knife through it.

 

 

.50 "  it's peanuts 😉

 

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On 7/19/2019 at 9:47 PM, rustychev said:

 

 

Here is a rough guide to what stops what.
    
 

Thank you rustychev for posting all of this.

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