Body armor recommendations...

equilibrium

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I would be down for a group buy. DFNDR, RMA or Hesco. Preferably DFNDR, LVL 4.
 

SuckitTrebek

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If you get hit in the plate it's pretty much center mast. May want to work on your use of cover a bit in the first place.

Saw lots of guys get hit in that area. Fact is though, most are not hit in that plate area.

Based on 4 years in iraq/afghan.


When it's grab and go time. I got no room for 16-20 more pounds when speed is of the essence.
 
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wigwamitus

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I'll probably never need armor ... but I've had it on my list for years (and never prioritized it high enough to actually get it) ... but I think is it that I don't want to be unable to get it because the "king" said so. :)
 
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jcam

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I'll probably never need armor ... but I've had it on my list for years (and never prioritized it high enough to actually get it) ... but I think is it that I don't want to be unable to get it because the "king" said so. :)
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I agree
 

Dev L

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M193 and 7.62x39 will be stopped by lvl 3A.

M80 ball will be stopped by lvl3 plates.

Lvl3+ (not an official NIJ rating yet) will add M855 protection

Lvl4 will add 7.62x54R and 30.06 AP

The question here is lvl3+ or lvl4 and the weight difference.

View attachment 7122157
This whole threat level chart is bullshit. First you say special threat plates are bullshit, then you put up a chart that suggests all level 3 plates can stop XM193, which is not true, in fact level 3A+ plates would only be certified to stop pistol rounds by NIJ but that mekes them not bullshit? Also, a level 3 NIJ plate that would not stop M193 is somehow NOT bullshit?

Educate the consumer. Let them make their own choices. I would select a non NIJ plate that stops M193/M855/.308 over a NIJ listed plate that is defeated by M193.
Cops are poor. Your elitest remarks would lead to a cop into not purchasing rifle proof armor, vs buying a plate that WOULD stop multiple rounds of 99% of the rounds fired at him. Who is doing the greater disservice? The guy reccomending an NIJ compliant special threat plate or the guy worshipping the myth of NIJ superiority?

Lets be honest, all NIJ backface signature levels are far higher than euro levels. I would also like to see see some instances of a rifle plate stopping a rifle round but the wearer dying. Not theory, but real life examples... of humans. Surely there must be some, especially with all the plates that are merely NIJ compliant and total trash, right?
 

Dev L

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Who is your go to supplier?

Here is the easy button answer.

Hesco 3610, in the SAPI size that fits you. The only thing you will have to worry about is some close range hunting rifles in magnum calibers or larger and dedicated AP rifle ammo. Level IV only covers SOME of those big magnum rifle rounds and SOME of those AP rounds. Also, some of those rounds might be stopped only once with 3610 but 2 or more times with level IV armor. The odds and weight and price dont tip the scales away from Hesco 3610. If you have more money, Hesco 3810 series which is thinner and lighter. Even more money and demand level IV, the 4800 series. Always stand alone, SAPI, and multicurved.
 

TheGerman

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This whole threat level chart is bullshit. First you say special threat plates are bullshit, then you put up a chart that suggests all level 3 plates can stop XM193, which is not true, in fact level 3A+ plates would only be certified to stop pistol rounds by NIJ but that mekes them not bullshit? Also, a level 3 NIJ plate that would not stop M193 is somehow NOT bullshit?

Educate the consumer. Let them make their own choices. I would select a non NIJ plate that stops M193/M855/.308 over a NIJ listed plate that is defeated by M193.
Cops are poor. Your elitest remarks would lead to a cop into not purchasing rifle proof armor, vs buying a plate that WOULD stop multiple rounds of 99% of the rounds fired at him. Who is doing the greater disservice? The guy reccomending an NIJ compliant special threat plate or the guy worshipping the myth of NIJ superiority?

Lets be honest, all NIJ backface signature levels are far higher than euro levels. I would also like to see see some instances of a rifle plate stopping a rifle round but the wearer dying. Not theory, but real life examples... of humans. Surely there must be some, especially with all the plates that are merely NIJ compliant and total trash, right?
You may want to read what I wrote again. The only thing I missed was the word 'not' in ;M193 and 7.62x39 will NOT be stopped by lvl 3A;; which anyone looking at the chart could have figured out.

Then again I mention 3+ isn't an actual NIJ rating, so the option is basically roll the dice on plates that are 3+ that have been shown to stop M193/855 or go lvl4 standalone if you're not comfortable with that. Not sure how we didn't say exactly the same thing there......

There are a metric ton of videos on youtube showing 3+ plates stopping it; the option is this, or go full rifle plate because I've never been 100% sure what someone was going to shoot at me with. It's really that simple.

Being poor? Get out of here with that bullshit.

And then your worried about people not 'worshipping' NIJ, yet then want to argue that its not possible for someone to die of trauma following a hit on a NIJ plate because its a NIJ plate? What?

Other than the last part, you said literally what I had said, yet somehow the only thing that seperated it all was reading comprehension.
 
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ClangClang

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Whatever you do, make sure that the plate is NIJ certified. Not submitted for approval, not just as good as, not exceeds NIJ. NIJ certified or its bullshit.
This is not necessarily accurate. NIJ standards were written almost 50 years ago against the threats that were seen in theater in Vietnam. There have been some minor improvements, but nothing substantial. Hell, 5.56 isn't even acknowledged as a threat in the most current protocol. Revision 0101.07 was due out in late 2018 and will finally account for modern threats, but it has not been ratified yet.

Few of the most modern, best plates on the market hold an NIJ rating, for example AT Armor's Stop-BZ plate, or Velocity's API-BZ. Instead, they have been subjected to a strict testing protocol internally and verified by a 3rd party independent ballistic lab (HP White or OBL). Any reputable armor manufacturer will happily provide you with the testing results. For my money, I'm far more interested in a modern plate that's been independently tested against the more realistic threats seen on the streets of the US today than M80 ball and M61 AP (has there ever been a homicide in the US with M61?)

Buuuuuuut - if you are buying budget armor and/or not knowledgeable enough to read/interpret ballistic testing charts, defaulting to an NIJ rated plate does give you some measure of peace of mind that you are buying a plate that will perform to a set standard. The only risk is encountering threats (e.g. M855) that the plate was never designed/certified to stop even though it is "NIJ certified."
 

elwarpo

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One thing to watch is m193. Most armor limits m193 protection to 3150 fps, while there are a lot of 3300 and 3350 fps m193 out there. The same with m855, lots of hot loads out there. I run 2 different vests depending on what I am doing. Level 3a for running around and rma 3+ (level 4 side) for shtf. I figure there is little chance I will meet on ap 3006, and the multihit of level 3 makes more sense than single hit rating of level 4.
 

SuckitTrebek

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The bottom line is some body armor manufacturers make their own "threat level" system and grade their body armor
individually.
Level 4 does not always stop the same things.

Just a matter of paying attention to what you are buying.


Though I still find it funny most feel the need for body armor. Rock on.
 
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Spooky68

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Though I still find it funny most feel the need for body armor. Rock on.
Deep down I suspect a lot of folks would agree but fall into the camp of “I don’t care I’m getting it anyway”. I tend to lean that way myself....but this is probably a topic for a new thread.

Edit: I’m excluding the folks who need it for work.....mil, LE, security....etc
 
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M8541Reaper

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Though I still find it funny most feel the need for body armor. Rock on.
Everyone wants armor until it’s time to rock armor lol.

Here is the easy button answer.

Always stand alone, SAPI, and multicurved.
This. If you’re going to buy armor, stick with that formula and you’ll never have an issue with a quality carrier. If you don’t run a quality carrier, then don’t bother with getting armor. On the flip side to that, your carrier should never cost more than your armor lol.

LMT, Crye, Ferro, Spiritus - all make slick/lower profile/minimalistic quality rigs that are reasonably priced and would pair perfectly with the plate specs above.

If you buy Rothco/Condor/wtf ever other airsoft carrier for your armor, then you deserve to choke on your e-cig after your shitty AR500 plate tears a hole in the bottom of your carrier and breaks 6 of your remaining 9 toes.
 

Dthomas3523

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Just going to address the cops are poor and can’t afford comment.

Everyone is always poor and can’t afford it. Until their buddy or another officer/agent gets shot. Then all of a sudden they can afford the armor (which they wear for a month or two and then stop wearing it again).

Anyone needing it for duty use can absolutely find a way to afford it. It’s a bullshit excuse if they can’t.

Also, few things to keep in mind:

1: just like an ifak, it only works if it’s on your person. Not in the car, closet, or even a couple feet away

2: stay away from soft armor if at all possible, especially if you work in the heat. You’re basically wrapping yourself in insulation. You’ll go down from heat exhaustion/stroke long before you get shot.

3: armor is for a fuck up. The best way to stay safe is not get shot. Sounds cliche, but that’s the truth. If you need the armor, it’s because either something went really wrong or you fucked up.

4: don’t go overboard so much that it’s impractical. You can’t cover up all of your body. You’re going to have some exposed areas and if you happen to catch a round in that area, that’s the chance you take for mobility and practicality
 

PBWalsh

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@Dthomas3523

I agree with your post. Unfortunately, many LE agencies, including my current and former department, would balk at the idea of officers purchasing their own armor and PC for duty use.

I’d love to spend my personal money on a Spiritus Slickster with Hesco plates. Oh and a good belt too, not that leather/velcro crap that never stays put and does not distribute weight efficiently.

My current department does have some plates/PC in the back of all the patrol cars, but its not allowed for general use, only exigent circumstances IF you have time to get to it.

LE departments really need to be updated to modern tech and get out of such a traditionalist/institution inertia mindset.
 
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Maveroid

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Not worried about cost, looking for level 4 so weight is of little concern but the lighter the better.
Check out shellback Tactical is price doesn’t matter. I have LV3 plates which will stop up to 7.62. The plate carrier and plates combined are around 8-9lbs.
 

aslrookie

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The bottom line is some body armor manufacturers make their own "threat level" system and grade their body armor
individually.
Level 4 does not always stop the same things.

Just a matter of paying attention to what you are buying.


Though I still find it funny most feel the need for body armor. Rock on.
Here we go again with the "needs" thing. I still find it funny that most feel the need to buy more guns instead of ammo/training. Rock on.

Go ahead and keep making undercutting comments against the people who are on your side when there are an increasing amount of people who are trying to take away your rights.
 

W54/XM-388

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2: stay away from soft armor if at all possible, especially if you work in the heat. You’re basically wrapping yourself in insulation. You’ll go down from heat exhaustion/stroke long before you get shot.
From your experience, in the average Texas Spring/Summer/Fall are you actually able to wear a plate carrier with just plates & not be like close to passing out without ice cold AC?

I have a fair bit of decent soft armor, some concealable some not, but around these parts of Texas it seems to be only comfortable to wear in the middle of winter, so it stays in the car / house most of the time.

If there is a significant difference in how hot it makes you, I may look at one of the more covert style plate carriers that can still be stuck under a large loose button down shirt.
 

Dthomas3523

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@Dthomas3523

I agree with your post. Unfortunately, many LE agencies, including my current and former department, would balk at the idea of officers purchasing their own armor and PC for duty use.

I’d love to spend my personal money on a Spiritus Slickster with Hesco plates. Oh and a good belt too, not that leather/velcro crap that never stays put and does not distribute weight efficiently.

My current department does have some plates/PC in the back of all the patrol cars, but its not allowed for general use, only exigent circumstances IF you have time to get to it.

LE departments really need to be updated to modern tech and get out of such a traditionalist/institution inertia mindset.
There’s some things you tell your department about and there’s things you don’t.

I’ll take a slap on the wrist for a policy violation after something happens vs asking pretty please may I wear some armor.

Besides, if it comes to head, what department wants the publicity of people finding out they don’t allow their officers to wear some sort of rifle protection.
 

Dthomas3523

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From your experience, in the average Texas Spring/Summer/Fall are you actually able to wear a plate carrier with just plates & not be like close to passing out without ice cold AC?

I have a fair bit of decent soft armor, some concealable some not, but around these parts of Texas it seems to be only comfortable to wear in the middle of winter, so it stays in the car / house most of the time.

If there is a significant difference in how hot it makes you, I may look at one of the more covert style plate carriers that can still be stuck under a large loose button down shirt.
As long as the sides are open, not a huge issue. The key is ventilation. Regular soft armor that wraps around your body doesn’t breath/ventilate.

If you’re looking for concealable pistol protection, look into front and back lvl IIIa plate. Not soft armor but actual plate armor. It’s usually about .75lb and sub 1/4” thick per plate.

Use that with a low profile open side carrier and you should be fine. Will you be warmer than not wearing it, yes. But it won’t be like wrapping yourself in soft armor.
 

PBWalsh

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There’s some things you tell your department about and there’s things you don’t.

I’ll take a slap on the wrist for a policy violation after something happens vs asking pretty please may I wear some armor.

Besides, if it comes to head, what department wants the publicity of people finding out they don’t allow their officers to wear some sort of rifle protection.
True, if I did buy rifle plates, it’d have to be concealed under an issued shirt. Much would rather have an outer vest/carrier/PC for general purpose. Can’t stand an inner vest, seriously cuts down on utility. My point above was directed towards going to a full PC for duty, THAT is what the admin would scoff at.

Currently we just rock basic 3A soft armor either in an inner vest or a Elbeco outer carrier, the outer carrier sucks bad. Would not recommend anything from that company based on what I have seen.
 

TheGerman

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The bottom line is some body armor manufacturers make their own "threat level" system and grade their body armor
individually.
Level 4 does not always stop the same things.

Just a matter of paying attention to what you are buying.


Though I still find it funny most feel the need for body armor. Rock on.
Yeah, thats kind of my point about the NIJ rating as far as people not knowing what they are looking at. There's companies out there producing lvl 3+ stuff thats fantastic; then there's also a ton of lvl 3-lvl4 chicom shit out there for 1/3 the price. Ill let you guess what someone who doesn't know much about armor will buy.

As for strictly sticking with NIJ; not at all. The carrier I use the most now is lvl3+.
 

Dthomas3523

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True, if I did buy rifle plates, it’d have to be concealed under an issued shirt. Much would rather have an outer vest/carrier/PC for general purpose. Can’t stand an inner vest, seriously cuts down on utility. My point above was directed towards going to a full PC for duty, THAT is what the admin would scoff at.

Currently we just rock basic 3A soft armor either in an inner vest or a Elbeco outer carrier, the outer carrier sucks bad. Would not recommend anything from that company based on what I have seen.
I’d go on official record and ask the department why they don’t care about their officers being shot with a rifle. Have a union?
 

SilentStalkr

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Yeah, thats kind of my point about the NIJ rating as far as people not knowing what they are looking at. There's companies out there producing lvl 3+ stuff thats fantastic; then there's also a ton of lvl 3-lvl4 chicom shit out there for 1/3 the price. Ill let you guess what someone who doesn't know much about armor will buy.

As for strictly sticking with NIJ; not at all. The carrier I use the most now is lvl3+.
So you running Hesco or defndr?
 

Keel Haul

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I got a set of “front towards asshole” level 4 ceramics from grey ghost gear before they went “limited edition” and jacked the prices through the roof. They fit perfect in my warrior assault systems dcs plate carrier.
 

PBWalsh

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I’d go on official record and ask the department why they don’t care about their officers being shot with a rifle. Have a union?
Alabama, no union here. I need a bit more time before asking for changes. Need to earn my time here. I hope to see it different though for the betterment of all.

Anyways, back to the original topic. I need to get some personal armor for myself...
 
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Dthomas3523

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What do you guys think of using some Kevlar with a level three plate?
You mean soft armor under?

Personally I stay as far away from soft armor as possible. But I’m not sure if it would enhance the protection from stand alone level 3 up to say 3+.
 

Gohring65

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You mean soft armor under?

Personally I stay as far away from soft armor as possible. But I’m not sure if it would enhance the protection from stand alone level 3 up to say 3+.
Yes, soft under a stand alone level 3 plate.
I was thinking that would/should stop everything a level 3+ would.
 

Dthomas3523

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Yes, soft under a stand alone level 3 plate.
I was thinking that would/should stop everything a level 3+ would.
How often you looking to wear it? Soft armor blows when wearing it for extended periods.

And why? Already own level 3 plates and soft armor? If not, just buy 3+
 

TheGerman

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So you running Hesco or defndr?
I have 3.

Defndr 3++ which is right at 4lbs per plate
RMA 3+ multicurve the first 3+ set I had and at 4.5 per plate and slightly thicker than the Defndr (it says 1.2, I think its thicker than that)
LTC lightweight lvl4 standalones that are 6lbs per plate and .7 thick; not sure where you can buy these now as I bought them through my contracting company prior to a deployment

And Team Wendy blue training plates :p
 
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ClangClang

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Yes, soft under a stand alone level 3 plate.
I was thinking that would/should stop everything a level 3+ would.
No. Most rounds which will defeat a NIJ Level III plate will retain more than enough velocity to pass through soft armor, and if FMJ, probably pass right through your body and out the soft armor on your back as well.
 
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W54/XM-388

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Has anyone done some testing on having a thinner plate, then a soft armor pack, then another thinner plate and seeing if that provides better protection than a single thicker plate?
 

Gohring65

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What do you guys think would be the best for a shtf situation with UN Troops storming your house?
Level 3+ or is level 4 going to be a lot better?
 

10000yards

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When I worked armored transport, I always bought PACA from Galls, Level 3A
it's hotter than 2A but has better stopping power. Just my 2 cents. Customer service was rarely needed at the time.
It came with exterior and wicked under garments and a carrying bag.