Body Armor

This is a discussion on Body Armor within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a chance to buy a second chance level 2a+ from a leo friend. I know that over time kevlar vests degrade. Does anyone ...

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Thread: Body Armor

  1. #1
    Member Array wingchun's Avatar
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    Body Armor

    I have a chance to buy a second chance level 2a+ from a leo friend. I know that over time kevlar vests degrade. Does anyone know how long they are good for? It apears to be in good shape with a new trauma plate and carrier. btw, I need it for work, I do security and we have to but our own vests.

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  3. #2
    Member Array glocksmygun's Avatar
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    If I am not mistaken most vests expire after 5 years. This does not mean that they are not any good after 5 years it is just when the company request you buy a new one. (I think it is a way to make money myself) At the PD were I work we have taken vest that are 10 to 15 years old and shot at them and they still stop the round so use your own judgement.

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    Member Array jonathancase's Avatar
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    It seems i have talked to my pops (fed) and my brother (local) LEO, and they have both mentioned something about the safe life being around 5 years or so.

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    I talked to a company rep from Galls and they sell many vests from different manufacturers. The 5 year thing comes from a vest being worn everyday and some measurable degradation due to moisture and heat that occurs with wearing a vest. Because of that, most companys will only warrant their vests for 5 years.

    We too have shot vests that were at 15 years old and all of them stopped what was shot at them. With that being said, the newer class III vests are ligther and thinner than the class II vests of a decade ago.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    Member Array Mark Garrity's Avatar
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    Wingchun,
    Check the label on the vest to see if it is kevlar or zylon.
    Second Chnace started making vests out of a material called zylon and they were recalled due to failures in the field because they degraded too rapidly in humidity and moisture. Unfortunately the zylon vests were the thinnest, lightest, and most flexible in existence.
    The pending lawsuits on that product line is what put Second Chance out of business. If it is a kevlar vest it should be OK. The most recent Kevlar Second chnace vests were marketed as their Monarch series.
    The zylon ones were marketed as their Ultima.
    "He who makes things with his hands is a laborer, he who makes things with his hands and his head is a craftsman, he who makes things with his hands, his head, and his heart is an artist."
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    Member Array wingchun's Avatar
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    Thanks guys!

    I feel better, I was starting to think that I wasted my money. I wrote second chance and they wrote back the next day. They wrote that the vest should be replaced every five years but better to have it than nothing at all.

    The vest was made in 94 . It's made of kevlar and is in good shape. I'm getting a new carrier and trauma plate for it from the guy I bought it from. I think I'll use it for now and start saving my pennies for a new class 3 vest.

  8. #7
    Member Array wingchun's Avatar
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    Anyone know of a good place to get good armor for a good price?

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    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    MNBurl

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    Member Array Double Naught Spy's Avatar
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    At one point, Gall's (http://www.galls.com) had some of the best prices for new vests that I could find. You go with one of the Gall's vests which are Gall's brand carriers and Safariland brand inserts (as I recall). The least inexpensive of the bunch are plain old kevlar. Kevlar, as already noted, seems to withstand the test of time pretty fine and dandy. I would not give that consideration to some of the other miracle nylon materials that have not been time tested in such a manner, especially after Second Chance and their Zylon problem. Zylon turned out to be garbage and Second Chance kept selling Zylon vests even after knowing the material degraded at a much faster rate that they were advertising and officers were killed as a result, the vests failing to stop rounds for which they were rated.

    For the most part, kevlar is kevlar and brand choice tend to comes down to carrier options and the cut or shaping of the vests...assuming you stay with kevlar as the ballistic barrier material.

    For testing and fun, I have purchased kevlar panels off of eBay in order to see how different types of rounds behave when striking a vest. With panels as old as 18 years, none failed to stop rounds for which they were rated, but I didn't attempt to test all at their highest rating either, however. As I recall, the vests used to be rated for 3 round insults. I never had any fail that were fired out in the original test manner (rounds being something like 4" apart). In fact, the vests would suffer many times that number of insults before failing, usually as a result of putting a second round through an already damaged area.

    our local PD recycles old vests as trunk liners so as to add to the ability of their squad cars to serve as cover, at least from pistol fire.

  11. #10
    Member Array wingchun's Avatar
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    I like galls alot, I've ordered most of my gear from them. Thier vests do seem to be priced right.

    I'm getting into exec. protection and bodygaurd work, more or less it's up to me to have all my own gear. The company I work for has some of thier poeple carry a carbine. They have class 4 tactical vests, talk about alot of money. My boss just spent almost 2k on his vest. He does make alot more now than when he was a leo.

  12. #11
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    The class 3 or 3A is about all you can wear that is concealed.

    Keep in mind that class 4 is usually a class 3 with the hard plates installed in an outer carrier.With the plates installed they weigh 20+ pounds.

    One can get a class 3A extended vest for 369$ from Galls and NO you dont have to be an LEO. I think the cheapest vest they have is a 2a for 179 bucks so they arent really that expensive.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  13. #12
    Senior Member Array afeazell21's Avatar
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    I would say Galls or try http://www.gtdist.com/
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  14. #13
    Member Array Double Naught Spy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    The class 3 or 3A is about all you can wear that is concealed.

    Keep in mind that class 4 is usually a class 3 with the hard plates installed in an outer carrier.With the plates installed they weigh 20+ pounds.
    Not exactly. A "Class 3" as you call them is actually hard armor, usually ceramic. So a Class 4 isn't a Class 3 with hard plates since a 3 is hard plates as well. It is the IIIA that is the highest rated soft armor. Level III is the first level of hard armor, then comes Level IV that will stop even more than the IIIs. III, IV, and whatever above are all hard armors.

    Now, there are Level III and Level IV plates that are stand alone and those that are not. Stand alone plates have their full stopping power with no additional help. There are III (and IV?) rated plates that must work in tandem with soft armor to achieve full effect. These are NOT stand alone. For example, the an armor plate may be sufficient enough to stop a round from fulling penetrating, but it may spall or have partial penetration of the projectile and it is necessary for there to be a backing of IIIA armor to stop whatever comes off or comes through the hard plate, or to simply dissipate the kinetic energy sufficiently.

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    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy View Post
    Not exactly. A "Class 3" as you call them is actually hard armor, usually ceramic. So a Class 4 isn't a Class 3 with hard plates since a 3 is hard plates as well. It is the IIIA that is the highest rated soft armor. Level III is the first level of hard armor, then comes Level IV that will stop even more than the IIIs. III, IV, and whatever above are all hard armors.

    Now, there are Level III and Level IV plates that are stand alone and those that are not. Stand alone plates have their full stopping power with no additional help. There are III (and IV?) rated plates that must work in tandem with soft armor to achieve full effect. These are NOT stand alone. For example, the an armor plate may be sufficient enough to stop a round from fulling penetrating, but it may spall or have partial penetration of the projectile and it is necessary for there to be a backing of IIIA armor to stop whatever comes off or comes through the hard plate, or to simply dissipate the kinetic energy sufficiently.
    Now there is plate-less Level III, IV and "V" ballistic protection (don't know how they are dealing with blunt trauma) in both tactical and concealment options; read my thread and follow the links on it:

    http://www.combatcarry.com/vbulletin...ad.php?t=14183

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