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Thread: Body Armour

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    Body Armour

    Just wanting to get a feel for how many of you think it is an essential piece for the average everyday Joe.
    Do any of you see the need for b.a. in the near future?
    Is it one of those items that is "better to have and not need...."?
    Have any of you picked up any and for what possible reasons/scenarios?
    What brand?
    Im looking into some lite duty armour I wish to pick up. Just wondering whats the general consensus out there.
    Thanks y'all.
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    Make sure your body is ready, I've seen people get shoulder and back injuries from body armor and additional combat load. I have lost an inch in height from body armor and bouncing around on a river assault boat.

    i guess you could say it's always good to have body armor, what's the reasoning behind owning such a thing? If I had to have armor, it would be a simple plate carrier and a load bearing vest to go over it.
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    I think anybody who can truly afford to own it should do so.
    I don't own any but I have been looking at DKX as far as rifle plates are concerned.
    Take heart.

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    From an LE perspective, I would say armor is good, but realistically 98% of those who own armor not in the LE or military field are not going to wear it more than a couple of times. It will just sit in your house gathering dust and eventually it will end up on the classified section of X gun forum.

    If you are truly serious about training for preparedness, you have to change your entire lifestyle. If we're talking soft armor, are you going to give up your dress code and style to accommodate wearing it all the time? If you're talking hard armor, what is the realistic likelihood that you will don a plate carrier in the dead of night? Where are you most of the day? Will you carry it with you everywhere you go? What practical good will it do if you have it in your car?

    These questions are not meant to discourage you from owning armor, but a better place to start (if you haven't already) would be to attend training courses that emphasize survival mindset, and stress induced shooting exercises. Notice I say that without knowing anything about you or your experience, and I will leave it said. There is no greater offense than thinking you know more than you do when in reality we don't even know what we don't know. Guiltiest offenders are LEOs/LEAs and a vast majority of prior service guys.

    Be honest with yourself, are you even in shape to wear armor for an extended period of time? There are plenty of things a lot of us should be working on before buying new firearms or gear with the bold intentions to use them in bad situations.
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    As mentioned above - hard or soft armor???

    Soft Armor = Will only protect you against pistol rounds, and even then - some will be able to penetrate, depending on the Armor level.

    Hard Armor = Will protect against rifle rounds - but there are still variables to be considered.

    I'm gonna assume you're talking about a SHTF chest rig with plates - so I'm just gonna assume plate carrier...

    Considerations;

    Ceramic plates = triple curve/"shooter cut" will conform to your body better and tend to be lower-ish profile. Around 1/2" - 3/4" thick. They usually weigh around 7.5 lbs (each) for a "large" size, which is typically 10X12. Quality ones are multiple round rated, typically stopping up to 7.62 NATO. They can be considered "fragile," and if you drop your plate carrier on it's corner, they CAN crack.

    Polyethylene plates = triple curve, light weight (around 3-4 lbs each for a 10X12), but THICK (can be 1" plus). Also multiple round rated, up to 7.62 NATO. These are light, but as already said - THICK!!! Over twice as thick as a ceramic plate. I have a polyethylene plate in my SWAT Tac vest = I hate it b/c of how thick it is, I don't like shooting rifles with them. Nice and light though.

    AR500/Steel plates = Tend to be flat, with more companies starting to add curve/contours to them. Seem to be heavier, approx 7-9 lbs each. Despite the weight, they are by far the thinnest plates out there, most being only 1/4" - 3/8" thick. Steel plates are tough as, well, STEEL - so no real care issues. Biggest issue w/AR500 plates is Spalling. If you catch a round (which is bad enough), the round will fragment into a bazillion steel splinters which radiate out in all directions (IE; your face still catches a bunch of shrapnel). AND as an added bonus - is shreds your carrier too. Companies are successfully mitigating this by coating their plates with a "Rhino Lining" type coating, which catches the spall - and does it successfully. Point being - if you get steel plates, get the coated ones and save yourself the possibility of secondary injuries (provided you catch a round and the armor stops it).

    If you're gonna but body armor, and you think there's a legitimate reason for it - DON'T SKIMP/PENNY PINCH!!! Buy WISELY, but don't get all tight-assed on a piece of kit that could potentially save your life.

    I'm 39 years old, 6'00" tall, about 210 lbs, w/a 44-46" chest. My personal SHTF plate carrier/rig contains 4 loaded AR mags, 2 pistol mags, knife, small flashlight, Leatherman, blow-out kit (gunshot trauma med kit), and a 100oz camel back. With two 10X12 Ceramic plates, two 6X6 side plates. My load-out weights about 45-48lbs - which isn't all that bad! I train with my gear - every week. I will go out and hump between 2-6 miles, wearing full kit, and carrying a rifle. 2 mile hikes are usually up steep hills (like on a fire-break), and 6 mile hikes are usually on flatter ground and done for speed). If I can't make it out for a hike for more than 2-3 weeks - I feel it, BIG TIME. And regardless - I'm always SOAKED with sweat when done. Point being - you need to TRAIN/PT with it. Otherwise, you won't make it for more than a block or two when you need it most. TRAIN with it also mean SHOOT with it, and not nice and easy on the firing line - shoot from less than ideal position(s) - prone, supine, side, etc. You'd be amazed at the amount of discomfort/difficulty you have when shooting supine with a camel back that sits too low on you gear.

    Food for thought...
    Last edited by j-rod; 10-28-2013 at 03:07 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by USN^Riverine View Post
    Make sure your body is ready, I've seen people get shoulder and back injuries from body armor and additional combat load. I have lost an inch in height from body armor and bouncing around on a river assault boat.

    i guess you could say it's always good to have body armor, what's the reasoning behind owning such a thing? If I had to have armor, it would be a simple plate carrier and a load bearing vest to go over it.
    Lots of good advice in this thread, especially this post.
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    I assume by "light duty" you mean the kind that police and some security guards wear. You're more likely to encounter a pistol than a rifle during a regular day out and about.

    I've worn soft armor on several occasions.. I worked at a theater and after 9/11 for awhile there I had it on. It wasn't uncomfortable and nobody detected it. I also wore armor when I couldn't carry a concealed weapon.

    I will say that if you have on soft armor and someone pats you on the back or otherwise makes physical contact with you.. they WILL feel it and you WILL get asked awkward questions. I'm already a freak so wearing armor sometimes is just one of my many eccentricities.

    Make sure it fits properly and the newer you can get it, the better...look for side protection but make sure it's comfortable. Avoid armor that has zylon in it at all costs.. Second Chance might be the only brand that has that, but always check. If you get shot while wearing the armor, you will probably live but IT WILL HURT LIKE A BITCH. You are not Superman while you are wearing body armor.. you just have a little bit more protection than normal.. do NOT do anything stupid or take unnecessary risks.
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    I retired with permanent spinal damage from body armor, rucks and jumping.

    Most will use it until it annoys them, then it'll collect dust. It's not fun to wear when you have no choice, less so out of the blue for someone unaccustomed and untrained
    Instead of telling each other how bad the situation is why not take 2 minutes of your life and tell our elected officials instead? www.congress.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by davehal9000 View Post
    i retired with permanent spinal damage from body armor, rucks and jumping.

    Most will use it until it annoys them, then it'll collect dust. It's not fun to wear when you have no choice, less so out of the blue for someone unaccustomed and untrained
    this^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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    Thanks for all the feedback.
    Mainly, as some stated here, I am new to this kind of thing and all I was really thinking of using it for would be more of a casual use type deal or a "it gets worse" scenario. I have had no prior le/military training.
    I have really been pondering about this and Ive decided to go with soft armour that can also carry plates, if anything like this is available at all.
    I am a smaller guy at just over 5' and average 130#'s.
    I would really like to attend some defensive training of some sort and an Appleseed event as that is more of the mentality I have now.
    Grass-roots homeland defense.
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    Illinois, as many of you know, is not carry friendly although CC law was just passed. Seeing as to how Chicago boasts of its safe no-gun laws yet pushes its criminals out towards the out-lying cities, I find it not a bad idea to have one of these added protection vests a plus.
    There have been many shootings in this part of the state and I only see things getting worse if we continue kicking the can down the road we are presently on.
    Sorry to rant.
    I am just trying to cover as many sides as possible.
    Needless to say, when ones time has come, there is no stopping it, yet, taking extra precautionary measures, what can it hurt?
    Great advice so far.
    Thanks all once again.
    Please keep more advice/experiences posting.

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    Most "concealable" duty-type vests nowadays have a pocket on the front of the carrier (and sometimes in the rear) which can accommodate a slide-in trauma plate. I'ts not gonna stop any type of rifle fire or anything like that, but some are rated to stop 12 gauge slugs when used in conjunction with the soft armor in the vest - not that I'd ever want to test it!!! The one(s) I wear are made of Titanium and are covered with Kevlar to catch the spall. They are very light and very thin. They are designed to distribute the impact of blunt force, and they do it amazingly!!! - While I've never been shot, I HAVE been punched in the chest on more than one occasion by a "bad guy" and it doesn't even phase me, not to mention they usually break a knuckle or two.
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    Quote Originally Posted by USN^Riverine View Post
    Make sure your body is ready, I've seen people get shoulder and back injuries from body armor and additional combat load. I have lost an inch in height from body armor and bouncing around on a river assault boat.

    i guess you could say it's always good to have body armor, what's the reasoning behind owning such a thing? If I had to have armor, it would be a simple plate carrier and a load bearing vest to go over it.
    this is what I use. Basic carrier with 2 lvl 4 plates and an LBE over it. Not too heavy and easy to move in. You will need to practice shooting as it will change your contact point on your shoulder (at least it did for me).

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    I have a carrier with rifle plates. It's already been said, but if you go that route be sure to actually train in them at least occasionally. Each plate is only just slightly over 7 lbs, but you'd be surprised how much that weight will impact your endurance and agility the first few times you train while wearing it.

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    If you're talking something to wear to the store there are some good concealable vests out there that if worn enough can be fairly unnoticable to the wearer. It won't provide protection against 7.62 ball but may mean surviving and going home after a run-in with a local thug
    Instead of telling each other how bad the situation is why not take 2 minutes of your life and tell our elected officials instead? www.congress.org

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    I have a set of plates in a carrier that I have not used since I've got them. Rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it, I s'pose. Know your gear.
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