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All of a sudden my Facebook feed is inundated with ads for body armor or plate carriers. I'm completely ignorant about this subject but somewhat interested. Where is a good place to start learning about this? Thanks.

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This is a pretty good primer, but it’s a deep rabbit hole. There is also a lot of controversy in the industry over the use of different materials, but you have to weigh your needs vs costs. 
 

 

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56 minutes ago, broox said:

All of a sudden my Facebook feed is inundated with ads for body armor or plate carriers. I'm completely ignorant about this subject but somewhat interested. Where is a good place to start learning about this? Thanks.

Facebook is inundated with these ads because the riot organizers are calling for all rioters to start wearing body armor.

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7 minutes ago, E4 No More said:

Facebook is inundated with these ads because the riot organizers are calling for all rioters to start wearing body armor.

Hey, even if the gospel is preached out of bad motives, it’s still being preached. So if it gets good folks to think, “hey, maybe I should get some of that too.” I’m about it. 
 

I’m a firm believer that not getting holes put in you is more important than putting holes in other people. 😁

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43 minutes ago, E4 No More said:

Facebook is inundated with these ads because the riot organizers are calling for all rioters to start wearing body armor.

Yes, I've noticed the quickly increasing numbers of the protestors wearing military style vests lately. Makes you wonder about the source and who is providing them. Wouldn't seem that all these young people espousing peace and love would know how to acquire such equipment.

My wife noticed the similar attire last night and asked if they were wearing "bullet proof vests", so I tried to explain what little I knew of them.

Yes, I've thought about looking into it as well, but may be too late and expensive to acquire size vests and plates for an old fat man.

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13 minutes ago, hipower said:

Yes, I've noticed the quickly increasing numbers of the protestors wearing military style vests lately. Makes you wonder about the source and who is providing them. Wouldn't seem that all these young people espousing peace and love would know how to acquire such equipment.

 

I would put money (but not my life!) on them ordering them from Wish.com. Which means they’re getting plates of styrofoam and raw mild steel. All the reputable manufacturers have lead times of around 1-3 months. 

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55 minutes ago, Chucktshoes said:

Hey, even if the gospel is preached out of bad motives, it’s still being preached. So if it gets good folks to think, “hey, maybe I should get some of that too.” I’m about it. 
 

I’m a firm believer that not getting holes put in you is more important than putting holes in other people. 😁

They are killing people and getting body armor. That is not good.

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1 hour ago, alleycat72 said:

Well, time for AP rounds. 

Or head shots. 2 inches below the belly button will put them in a wheelchair for the rest of their life. Hard to riot and loot from a wheelchair. 

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16 minutes ago, E4 No More said:

Or head shots. 2 inches below the belly button will put them in a wheelchair for the rest of their life. Hard to riot and loot from a wheelchair. 

If they don’t bleed out first.

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Armor is like a gun, some is better than none, but it's not the be all end all tool.  I've always been indifferent to it for civilian use (though I surely want it commercially available for anyone who wants it).  Bullets just don't bounce off of those things like they would Superman...it's just to protect vital organs from a shot that would kill. 

If you're going into a situation where you're wearing body armor, you should hopefully have good medical support and expedient transport to a facility that can handle trauma.  If you feel the need to protect vital organs, your extremities and lower body (especially if you've got a plate carrier that doesn't go below the naval) are still at risk, and without someone to deal with that trauma right away, along with a care team at an ER equivalent, you can take a turn for the worst fast.

Now, for those taking the streets...they're probably thinking about protection from less than lethal rounds, which means some cheap stuff would serve the purpose.

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On 9/2/2020 at 1:43 PM, Chucktshoes said:

I would put money (but not my life!) on them ordering them from Wish.com. Which means they’re getting plates of styrofoam and raw mild steel. All the reputable manufacturers have lead times of around 1-3 months. 

There are a handful of companies who are putting Hesco L210 Special Threat rated plate sets out regularly and they are in stock. Trex arms and Kota tactical are 2 that I know of off hand.  The special threat level plates seem to be a good balance of basic rifle round stopping power without the weight/cost of going with a full rifle plate designed to stop 30-06 and other "high powered" rounds

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On 9/2/2020 at 1:10 PM, lock n' load said:

I've looked at the Safe Life Defense armor a few times. It seems to cover more areas and is flexible but it is rather expensive, especially rifle rated armor.

It cost more but fit want I was looking for so I ordered one of their flexible vests.  Long wait time but hopeing to get it in about 3 to 4 more weeks.

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On 9/2/2020 at 4:30 PM, lock n' load said:

Or a femoral artery hit

 

On 9/2/2020 at 5:16 PM, E4 No More said:

The arteries branch out before that, but their intestines won't be very good.

Here is a great target I've trained with for years, it gives you a pretty good idea of what and where to aim for.  Level IV plates are great, and can stop most rifle rounds in conjunction with Level IIIA soft body armor, but as with everything,  your mileage may vary.  As was said above, be prepared to get injured by the kinetic energy, bullet spalding or pieces of the plate itself.  Quick medical aid is vital but I'd keep a trauma kit handy, aid may not be able to get to you in time, self or buddy aid may be all you can get, so I'd brush up on your first aid skills too.

Man-with-Vitals.thumb.jpg.a6b0062391ee383860f0c093d9d7ef85.jpg

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14 hours ago, Omega said:

 

Here is a great target I've trained with for years, it gives you a pretty good idea of what and where to aim for.  Level IV plates are great, and can stop most rifle rounds in conjunction with Level IIIA soft body armor, but as with everything,  your mileage may vary.  As was said above, be prepared to get injured by the kinetic energy, bullet spalding or pieces of the plate itself.  Quick medical aid is vital but I'd keep a trauma kit handy, aid may not be able to get to you in time, self or buddy aid may be all you can get, so I'd brush up on your first aid skills too.

Man-with-Vitals.thumb.jpg.a6b0062391ee383860f0c093d9d7ef85.jpg

Stop the Bleed

Knowing how to patch holes is as important (if not more so) than making them. 

Edited by Chucktshoes
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  • 2 months later...

I used to have a carrier with metal plates but as my heart issues progressed they just became to heavy so I sold them. I've been considering something lighter

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We had some that were rather light, but don't know how they compare to AR500 plates, in both weight and energy dissipation. 

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Some years ago I was at a group shoot where the host had a police issue soft armor vest he wanted to test. We wrapped it around a large post and started shooting at it. It did stop all the handgun rounds. however, you could see some serious dents in the post where they hit. You'd survive, but have serious impact damage such as broken ribs and possibly damaged organs. I hit it with one of my heavy 300gr .45 Colt bear loads. The vest stopped it, but buried the material 2" deep in the post.

Rifle rounds OTOH zipped straight through the front side, the post and out the back. My younger son, who did a tour in Iraq, told me that their ceramic plates were rated to take three hits from a 7.62X51 before failure. 

I'd definitely go with plates. 

Edited by Grayfox54
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I went with a set of steel plates from AR500.com a few years ago and have been happy with them. I bought a 3rd plate to test for myself and the only thing I had pass through it was some AP .308 and eventually some 5.56green tip after I hit the same spot about 15 times. There are pros and cons to any type of armor. The only real con, in my opinion, to the steel plates are the weight. Mine are 7lbs per plate for a large, and that of course varies by which size plate you use. If you go steel, spend the extra money on the spall mitigation. The biggest pro to the steel plates is durability, followed closely by price. I had great ceramic plates in the military (expensive) but managed to break three plates in 7 years, and thankfully never got shot. Now is a great time to buy as AR500. Com does a big Black Friday sale every year, usually 15-20% off. It will probably take several weeks to get them.
 

I don’t carry my armor with me everywhere at this point. Hopefully won’t ever feel the need to. But if I do have to strap it on my mindset would probably be that I’m going to do whatever I can to buy my family time to get somewhere safe. In my limited experience seeing guys get hit in their plates they were almost always hit other places also, and needed prompt medical attention on a scale that I will not have in any home defense or loan wolf situation. I absolutely think it’s a necessary tool in the toolbox, but no matter how little or a lot you spend on them they will not make you invincible. It’s important going into any type of fight to mentally brace yourself that “this is really going to hurt” to lessen some of the surprise when it happens.

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Ok, I can weigh in on this a bit.  I shot one of our old outdated soft body armor panels, Level IIIA, which had already been tested years ago, it still did very well.  These are green tips, captured in the panel.  I also sent some .40 at it, just for S&G.  I could only find one that went through, a 5.56.

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To be fair, the panel was draped loosely, if it had been solid behind it, it may have been a different story.

Fun fact, sometimes you don't feel the hit, until much later when the adrenaline has worn off and the bruising begins.

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