Armor?

Armor?

This is a discussion on Armor? within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I know there are a several LEO, Firefighters, and EMS working on the forum I have been thinking about this for a while and haven't ...

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Thread: Armor?

  1. #1
    Member Array LRFireEMS's Avatar
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    Armor?

    I know there are a several LEO, Firefighters, and EMS working on the forum

    I have been thinking about this for a while and haven't had too many people to ask their opinion on this, Body armor.

    My main focus is while I'm at work as a basic on an ambulance, not as much firefighting. So comfort, mobility and concealment is going a must in my choice. What threat level brand and style to you guys recommend

    Also I tried to select the most appropriate forum for this, admins if this is not correct please feel free to move it.


  2. #2
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    If I were you and felt armor was a must, I'd buy a tac vest, the kind you wear over your uniform, and put it on when the call is risky.
    The reason I say that is that vest must be fitted to wear properly like an LEO does. If they are not, they are very uncomfortable and it will end up sitting in a closet with your bank account a bit lighter.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  3. #3
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    +1 on what SIXTO says

    If you are just buying because it is cool, it's not. Vest are hot and uncomfortable and if they are not fitted properly they can be painful
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  4. #4
    Member Array LRFireEMS's Avatar
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    I'm aware of the negatives of concealed armor, but unfortunately I can't call every dangerous situation. If I'm going to get body armor its going to be fitted and will not stay on the shelf.

  5. #5
    Member Array mouse07410's Avatar
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    Educate me please - who can fit the concealed armor vest, and how? Is it something that just takes time and patience, or one must sew Kevlar to get a good fit?

  6. #6
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    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
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    I would say that you need to evaluate the threats you expect to encounter, and then determine the level vest you need. Are you primarily concerned about pistol, rifles or knives (most standard kevlar vests aren't actually very good against knives.) For rifles you are going to need something with trauma plates, and that adds a lot of weight and bulk, they tend to be uncomfortable, and really hot and make you less mobile/maneuverable(that is true of all the models I've had issued to me at least.)

    Even with soft armor (think more what police wear under their uniforms as opposed to SWAT or military), you are going to have a lot of the disadvantages mentioned above.

    Body Armor Levels

    That site has a decent description of the different levels.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  7. #7
    Member Array LRFireEMS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeyeLCPL View Post
    I would say that you need to evaluate the threats you expect to encounter, and then determine the level vest you need. Are you primarily concerned about pistol, rifles or knives (most standard kevlar vests aren't actually very good against knives.) For rifles you are going to need something with trauma plates, and that adds a lot of weight and bulk, they tend to be uncomfortable, and really hot and make you less mobile/maneuverable(that is true of all the models I've had issued to me at least.)

    Even with soft armor (think more what police wear under their uniforms as opposed to SWAT or military), you are going to have a lot of the disadvantages mentioned above.

    Body Armor Levels

    That site has a decent description of the different levels.

    I guess I should say that I've done a little research, I kinda wanted to enter this with out making any suggestions on what I was thinking.

    I'm wanting to shy away from anything below level II, I might be asking a little much from something to wear everyday. I also need stab protection, which as much as I'd like to have ballistic protection I have a feeling that I need more protection from stabs with a 2nd being ballistic.

  8. #8
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    Protection Levels

    1 .22 Magnum 40 gr. JHP (1209 FPS / 369 MPS)
    2 .32 ACP 60 gr. Silvertip JHP (936 FPS / 285 MPS)
    3 .380 ACP 95 gr. FMC (902 FPS / 275 MPS)
    4 .38 Special 125 gr. Nyclad SWHP (1009 FPS / 308 MPS)
    5 .38 Special +P 110 gr. JHP (1049 FPS / 320 MPS)
    6 .38 Special +P 140 gr. JHP (869 FPS / 265 MPS)
    7 9mm 124 gr. FMC (1173 FPS / 358 MPS)*
    8 9mm 125 gr. JSP (1121 FPS / 342 MPS)
    9 9mm 147 gr. Black Talon (1010 FPS / 308 MPS)
    10 9mm 147 gr. Golden Saber (1083 FPS / 330 MPS)
    11 9mm 147 gr. Hydra Shok (1011 FPS / 308 MPS)
    12 .357 Magnum 158 gr. JSP (1308 FPS / 399 MPS)*
    13 .357 Magnum 110 gr. JHP (1292 FPS / 394 MPS)
    14 .357 Magnum 125 gr. JHP (1335 FPS / 407 MPS)
    15 .40 Caliber 180 gr. FMJTC (992 FPS / 302 MPS)
    16 .40 Caliber 170 gr. FMJTC (1095 FPS / 334 MPS)
    17 10mm 155 gr. FMJTC (1024 FPS / 312 MPS)
    18 10mm 170 gr. JHP (1137 FPS / 347 MPS)
    19 .41 Magnum 210 gr. LSWC (1141 FPS / 348 MPS)
    20 .44 Magnum 240 gr. LFP (1017 FPS / 310 MPS)
    21 .45 Long Colt 250 gr. LRN (778 FPS / 237 MPS)
    22 .45 ACP 230 gr. FMJ (826 FPS / 252 MPS)
    23 12 ga. 00 Buck (9 pellet) (1063 FPS / 324 MPS)
    24 9mm 124 gr. FMJ (1215 FPS / 370 MPS)*
    25 9mm 115 gr. Silvertip JHP (1252 FPS / 382 MPS)
    26 9mm 124 gr. Starfire JHP (1174 FPS / 358 MPS)
    27 .357 Magnum 158 gr. JSP (1453 FPS / 443 MPS)*
    28 .357 Magnum 145 gr. Silvertip JHP (1371 FPS / 418 MPS)
    29 .357 Magnum 125 gr. JHP (1428 FPS / 435 MPS)
    30 10 mm 175 gr. Silvertip JHP (1246 FPS / 380 MPS)
    31 .41 Magnum 210 gr. JSP (1322 FPS / 403 MPS)
    32 .44 Magnum 240 gr. SJHP (1270 FPS / 387 MPS)
    33 9mm 124 gr. FMJ (1440 FPS / 439 MPS)*
    34 9mm 115 gr. FMJ Israeli (1499 FPS / 457 MPS)
    35 9mm 123 gr. FMJ Geco (1372 FPS / 418 MPS)
    36 9mm 124 gr. FMJ Cavim (1259 FPS / 384 MPS)
    37 .44 Magnum 240 gr. LSWC (1448 FPS / 441 MPS)*
    38 .44 Magnum 240 gr. HSP (1320 FPS / 402 MPS)
    39 12 ga. 1 oz. Rifled Slug (1290 FPS / 393 MPS)
    40 12 ga. 1 oz. Rifle Slug (1254 FPS / 382 MPS)
    * NIJ certification round when used in concert with the NFCAS sternum plate.
    Bullet Abbreviations
    The following standard abbreviations are used to designate types of bullets or projectiles contained in the rounds tested.
    FMC/J-Full Metal Case/ Full metal Jacket
    FMJTC-Full Metal Jacket Truncated Cone
    HSP-Hollow Soft Point
    LRB-Lead Round Ball
    LRN- Lead Round Nose
    LSWC-Lead Semi-Wadcutter
    JHP- Jacketed Hollow Point
    JSP- Jacketed Soft Point
    LFP- Lead Flat Point
    SJHP- Semi-Jacketed Hollow Point
    SWHP- Semi-Wadcutter Hollow Point

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Thumbs up www.bulletproofme.com

    Go to www.bulletproofme.com

    I bought a Level III ballistic insert from them, which I keep in my briefcase. Makes a good shield, and will stop subgun rounds.

    I tried a vest, but was just too hot and uncomfortable. The folks there are very knowledgeable, and will spend time with you on the phone. If you have a medic bag, you may want to explore the ballistic insert route.

    Good luck!
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    When my agency looked at this subject a few years ago, they asked me (the "gun guy") for some research. The IIa will stop most threats commonly found on the street and is available in a slightly more comfortable and lighter vest than the II. Keep in mind that the vest may well stop rounds over what it is rated for, but will deform more on the back face (that's the part against you). There was some disagreement among those who study such things that the amount of back face damage required by the NIJ may not really coorespond to injury to the wearer. Some folks think the standard is too strict, thus requiring vests to be excessively heavy, thus less likely to be worn. A burn or a bruise is better than a hole through your guts in my opinion. If I had to buy a vest to wear on duty at my cost, I would buy the lightest IIa I could find and add a good trauma plate to it. Looking at the pic from QKshooter, I am not too likely to face .357 and 9mm from carbines in my area and IIa will stop most of what I see. I have no idea how the new fabrics/composites are against knives, but I can only assume they are better than Kevlar. I wonder if anyone even uses Kevlar anymore?


    By the way, my agancy dropped the idea..... Too expensive.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superhouse 15 View Post
    When my agency looked at this subject a few years ago, they asked me (the "gun guy") for some research. The IIa will stop most threats commonly found on the street and is available in a slightly more comfortable and lighter vest than the II. Keep in mind that the vest may well stop rounds over what it is rated for, but will deform more on the back face (that's the part against you). There was some disagreement among those who study such things that the amount of back face damage required by the NIJ may not really coorespond to injury to the wearer. Some folks think the standard is too strict, thus requiring vests to be excessively heavy, thus less likely to be worn. A burn or a bruise is better than a hole through your guts in my opinion. If I had to buy a vest to wear on duty at my cost, I would buy the lightest IIa I could find and add a good trauma plate to it. Looking at the pic from QKshooter, I am not too likely to face .357 and 9mm from carbines in my area and IIa will stop most of what I see. I have no idea how the new fabrics/composites are against knives, but I can only assume they are better than Kevlar. I wonder if anyone even uses Kevlar anymore?


    By the way, my agancy dropped the idea..... Too expensive.
    It's not just the penetration that's the issue. I'm no expert and will point it out readily, nor did I stay in a holiday inn express.

    I do however remember quite clearly seeing test firings at different level vests at some point, and the real damage came from the trauma to the internal organs even when the vest wasn't actually penetrated. The force exterted on both the pigs and the clay molds was devestating with the lower level vest when hit by higher order rounds even though they didn't penetrate. We're talking large watermellon size shock cavities with severe internal organ trauma. The vest that was placed around a large clay block was NOT penetrated by a 357 I believe is what it was, but when the vest was removed there was a mellon sized empty cavity behind where the vest took the impact. This was a solid clay block about human thickness.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
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  12. #12
    Member Array LRFireEMS's Avatar
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    Good info, thanks guys I'd love to get more opinions about what you wear/would wear

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Agave's Avatar
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    We wear US Armor's IIIA vest. When I get allowance money, I'm going to get an over the uniform carrier. I know it's there but, I don't let it worry me; I kind of feel funny without it. Some days on hikes when it's hot, I get encouraged to take it off though.
    The preceding post may contain sarcasm; it's just better that way. However, it is still intended with construction and with the Love of my L-rd Y'shua.

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  14. #14
    New Member Array hbabler's Avatar
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    I wear a gatorhawk IIIA and a 2nd Chance IIA, I am in North Texas and it is hot, the IIA is much more comfortable to wear. Go to the bullet proof me website and look at the used and contract overrun vests that they have they have a measurement guide on their site, and if you give them your measurements they will let you know what they have that will fit you and that is about the cheapest that you will get a well fitted vest for. Make sure that you get one that fits right, my IIIA does not fit quite right so it does not get worn as much as the IIA, vests are uncomfortable and hot, I do not think that you can ever find one that is going to feel good all the time but you get used to the feeling the more that you wear it.

  15. #15
    Member Array alexcantslee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Go to www.bulletproofme.com

    I bought a Level III ballistic insert from them, which I keep in my briefcase. Makes a good shield, and will stop subgun rounds.

    Good luck!
    Sigh....everytime I log into these forums I find something else I wanna get!

    Question, and forgive me if this has been asked before. That ballistic insert....does it set off metal detectors? Like if you flew with a laptop would it be able to go through security?

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