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GrassHopper
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8,204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any of you guys own body armor? If so, what brand? What rating? What level?
Plates or soft armor?
Preferences?
Where to buy?
 

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Premium Member
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My issued vest is a Point Blank, level IIIA with a soft trauma plate in the front. It's very thick, very heavy and pretty uncomfortable. If I had my choice I'd go with a III or a IIA.
 

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Glockin’ since 1993
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38,793 Posts
Used to wear a IIIA with full wrap side panels. Like wearing a barrel. You need to figure out if you want a concealable/duty vest or SWAT/military hard plate vest or just plate carrier.
 

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1,348 Posts
Level II is the minimum I would wear (9mm, .357 Magnum) but level IIIA is preferable (.357Sig, .44 Magnum). IIA is the lowest level. Level III is hard armor, as is IV. Full current standard is here: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/223054.pdf

2.1 Type IIA (9 mm; .40 S&W)

Type IIA armor that is new and unworn shall be tested with 9 mm Full Metal Jacketed
Round Nose (FMJ RN) bullets with a specified mass of 8.0 g (124 gr) and a velocity of 373 m/s ± 9.1 m/s (1225 ft/s ± 30 ft/s) and with .40 S&W Full Metal Jacketed (FMJ) bullets with a specified mass of 11.7 g (180 gr) and a velocity of 352 m/s ± 9.1 m/s (1155 ft/s ± 30 ft/s).

Type IIA armor that has been conditioned shall be tested with 9 mm FMJ RN bullets with a specified mass of 8.0 g (124 gr) and a velocity of 355 m/s ± 9.1 m/s (1165 ft/s ± 30 ft/s) and with .40 S&W FMJ bullets with a specified mass of 11.7 g (180 gr) and a velocity of 325 m/s ±9.1 m/s (1065 ft/s ± 30 ft/s).

2.2 Type II (9 mm; .357 Magnum)

Type II armor that is new and unworn shall be tested with 9 mm FMJ RN bullets with a specified mass of 8.0 g (124 gr) and a velocity of 398 m/s ± 9.1 m/s (1305 ft/s ± 30 ft/s) and with .357 Magnum Jacketed Soft Point (JSP) bullets with a specified mass of 10.2 g (158 gr) and a velocity of 436 m/s ± 9.1 m/s (1430 ft/s ± 30 ft/s).

Type II armor that has been conditioned shall be tested with 9 mm FMJ RN bullets with a specified mass of 8.0 g (124 gr) and a velocity of 379 m/s ±9.1 m/s (1245 ft/s ± 30 ft/s) and with .357 Magnum JSP bullets with a specified mass of 10.2 g (158 gr) and a velocity of 408 m/s ±9.1 m/s (1340 ft/s ± 30 ft/s).

2.3 Type IIIA (.357 SIG; .44 Magnum)

Type IIIA armor that is new and unworn shall be tested with .357 SIG FMJ Flat Nose
(FN) bullets with a specified mass of 8.1 g (125 gr) and a velocity of 448 m/s ± 9.1 m/s (1470 ft/s ± 30 ft/s) and with .44 Magnum Semi Jacketed Hollow Point (SJHP) bullets with a specified mass of 15.6 g (240 gr) and a velocity of 436 m/s ± 9.1 m/s (1430 ft/s ± 30 ft/s).

Type IIIA armor that has been conditioned shall be tested with .357 SIG FMJ FN bullets with a specified mass of 8.1 g (125 gr) and a velocity of 430 m/s ± 9.1 m/s (1410 ft/s ± 30 ft/s) and with .44 Magnum SJHP bullets with a specified mass of 15.6 g (240 gr) and a velocity of 408 m/s ± 9.1 m/s (1340 ft/s ± 30 ft/s).

2.4 Type III (Rifles)

Type III hard armor or plate inserts shall be tested in a conditioned state with 7.62 mm FMJ, steel jacketed bullets (U.S. Military designation M80) with a specified mass of 9.6 g (147gr) and a velocity of 847 m/s ± 9.1 m/s (2780 ft/s ± 30 ft/s).

Type III flexible armor shall be tested in both the “as new” state and the conditioned state with 7.62 mm FMJ, steel jacketed bullets (U.S. Military designation M80) with a specified mass of 9.6 g (147 gr) and a velocity of 847 m/s ± 9.1 m/s (2780 ft/s ± 30 ft/s).

For a Type III hard armor or plate insert that will be tested as an in conjunction design, the flexible armor shall be tested in accordance with this standard and found compliant as a stand-alone armor at its specified threat level. The combination of the flexible armor and hard armor/plate shall then be tested as a system and found to provide protection at the system’s specified threat level.

NIJ-approved hard armors and plate inserts must be clearly labeled as providing ballistic protection only when worn in conjunction with the NIJ-approved flexible armor system with which they were tested.
As far as brand, it really depends on what you intend to use it for. They all have to meet the NIJ standards, so no matter the brand, you get the protection. The difference is in materials used, which affects comfort level and concealability. If you don't care about concealability, then you can buy just about any brand.

There are a ton of online police supply stores (LA Police Gear comes to mind) that sell to civies and you can find all sorts of body armor on eBay. You can also check out http://www.bulletproofme.com/index.shtml. I'm sure there are a number of others.
 

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Banned
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The zeroG is very concealable, I often wear it over a white beater and under a tee shirt in the summer. The PB not so much, but it isn't meant to hide. Thats why I sprayed it black, because at night it is harder to see in the shadows.
 

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GrassHopper
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8,204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Besides conceal-ability, is there any difference in protection between soft and hard armor?
 

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GrassHopper
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8,204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
you have a favorite company for Plate carriers… looking at Tyr tactical cause they are here in town...
 

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Glockin’ since 1993
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38,793 Posts
I'd go to them. They're a good company. If anything they can guide you to what you're looking for.
 

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they sell to civies? or do i have to find a third party?
I got mine at a Military Surplus store. It was worn by a Naval Officer for about an hour and came in the original bag and box lol. I rarely put the plate into mine though, it's like another 12lbs or so it gets old.
 

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Premium Member
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442 Posts
nukinfuts29 said:
The zeroG is very concealable, I often wear it over a white beater and under a tee shirt in the summer. The PB not so much, but it isn't meant to hide. Thats why I sprayed it black, because at night it is harder to see in the shadows.
How about knives?
 

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Premium Member
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285 Posts
On duty: Gator Hawk level IIIA with side panels
Off duty: my own "chest of steel" :)

When i was running Op's in Iraq wore level IV - rated to stop multiple 7.62 hits but HEAVY as all get out! (see attached pic)

Z
 

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Glockin’ since 1993
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38,793 Posts
blackwolffcf said:
they sell to civies? or do i have to find a third party?
Call em up. I used to have to show ID at some shops but alot are getting away from that. Some do some don't sell to civilians.
 
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