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Old 08-04-2020, 05:20 PM
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I'm no expert, but here's my experience fwiw.

AR500...

Their "multi-curve" is not multi-curve. Their published weights are BS. Aside from that it's fine. CATI has nice curves, but they're heavy. Spartan has decent curves too and their weights are fairly accurate.

I've got III+ steel and IV ceramic. SAPI style cut and swimmer style cut. Single curve and multi-curve. I've only got 1 set of side plates and they're in a box somewhere. PC's made by Spartan, 511, Agilite, and Beez. I use them for cross-fit and have 1 for each member of the family JIC.

True multi-curve is noticeably more comfortable. The ceramic and swimmers cut steel are noticeably more comfortable. I can wear any of my plates in an Agilite or 511 PC all day long and while working out. The other PC's wear on me after a while, but good curves and cuts make plates more bearable in a cheap PC. Aftermarket shoulder pads can be had.

The less comfortable set ups are ok for family for a finite time. Like driving through a roadblock or dealing with a home intruder. They all either came with or were refitted with flexible cummerbunds. Inflexible cummerbunds and side plates restrict my breathing too much for running. Not an issue for sedentary use.

If you just want a bump in the night rig, I wouldn't invest a whole lot. These days availability might be the biggest determining factor in what you buy. If you intend to wear it much for training or exercise or real shtf be picky about the PC.

YMMV
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ksmedman View Post
What helmet do you have? A PASGT?
I'm not sure I want to spend the money on a Team Wendy, and the Hard Head Veterans stuff has a good price, but I've heard mixed reviews.

Thinking just go with a PASGT and maybe update the pads..?

OP: I have a Multicam AR500 Sentry with 10x12 III+'s, but I also bit the bullet and picked up a set of Hesco 400's that I put in a Condor PC in urban grey. I also have level III soft armor that I can wear under something, and picked a IIIA Rimelig backpack 'plate' that I put in the hydration slot in my EDC backpack. Figured it's better than nothing, and I can take it anywhere.
Both are ACH helmets, IIIA kevlar, purchased thru surplus channels. IIRC about $100 each at the time.
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Old 08-05-2020, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from 28DaysLater View Post
Re: grayman

Saw something maybe pertinent on social media today...

There's a woman in Britain who was an activist. She was trying to draw attention to immigrants committing sexual crimes. Britain is persecuting these activists, and she was put in prison for marching while wearing military-type clothes.

The law was applied because she was wearing a green coat (which in my opinion didn't really look that military at all), a winter hat with some kind of insignia on it, and a cross medallion.

She says that she's one of only four people who have been prosecuted under that law.

Then here's the irony---

The other day a group of young men in Britain from the other side of the political spectrum were doing a BL M demonstration, and imitating NF AC. They had black molle, black boots, black BDU pants, insignias on the backs of their vests, and other gear. They were also doing a little bit of drill, although not very seriously.

Those people weren't arrested or prosecuted.

Therefore... maybe a hint of where things could go legally in the USA in the future. Your female friends or family members may be in danger from oppression if they go out looking arguably a little military, and men may also be a little better off at some times and places looking a little more like Eminem and a little less like a prepper stereotype. Imagine if sexually predatory forces like the badguys in 28 Days Later were snatching them off the streets with the legal basis of something like that, and if it were just as flimsy and hypocritical as what's going on in Britain... could even be meant to frighten em, turn em against you, and use em against your group...

It's just speculation for now, but we'll see what happens.

As of today, though, remember that they can get away with painting a huge mural right under Trump Tower, and they even have cops constantly protecting it. The list of examples of that part of the political current could go on and on.
Two things.

This is what de-funding the police looks like. About ten years ago they cut 20,000 police officers from front-line duty in UK. This was allied to colour-conscious recruitment, where eligible white male candidates were turned away in favour of non-white or female candidates. Consequently, nowadays they only go for the easy targets.

We established some time ago in UK that our laws apply to only about 90% of the people. This has been confirmed by the response to the lock-down, and the subsequent increase in Covid infections in parts of the country populated by the 10%.

We pretend to expect immigrants to follow our laws, while not prosecuting those that break the first law they encounter, our immigration laws. We have a much rougher road to travel before this is fixed.

And I am aware this is a major thread distraction, sorry about that.
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:01 AM
Rural Buckeye Guy Rural Buckeye Guy is offline
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Gotta question about defensive equipment like this, hope you can answer it. My friends and I are getting older. Our injuries from an active youth are accumulative and limiting, even with dieting and frequent exercise. Our incomes are increasing though, enough to equip younger family member in thier physical prime but getting set up in life. Many of them are vets, maybe 1/3 from active combat MOSs. Defensive gear is next on the list for a group bulk purchase.

The the AO is rural, sgricultural, a grid of main roads and farm roads. Lightrrwieght is better. Deer hunting is shotgun and shoulder-less calibers by law in Ohio but a plethora of dhouldered calibers in nearby KY and IN.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Cant go level IV
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:47 AM
FalconsBravesHawks FalconsBravesHawks is offline
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I think that's a great idea Buckeye. I am currently doing some similar things. Whenever I purchase prep type things I try to get more than I normally would. Ideally, I should have gotten 4 of everything even firearms that way their is no fighting between the kids. I have 3 boys, so instead of getting 2 ar15's...I should have gotten 4 or 5 (wife). That way we each have the same thing so no arguing about who gets what, lol.

Definitely get family member things now while we still can, especially if they can't quite afford them. Hopefully it will never be needed, but I would rather have a tangible "insurance policy" rather than the 1000's we spend every year on house/car/life/etc.
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Rural Buckeye Guy View Post
Gotta question about defensive equipment like this, hope you can answer it. My friends and I are getting older. Our injuries from an active youth are accumulative and limiting, even with dieting and frequent exercise. Our incomes are increasing though, enough to equip younger family member in thier physical prime but getting set up in life. Many of them are vets, maybe 1/3 from active combat MOSs. Defensive gear is next on the list for a group bulk purchase.

The the AO is rural, sgricultural, a grid of main roads and farm roads. Lightrrwieght is better. Deer hunting is shotgun and shoulder-less calibers by law in Ohio but a plethora of dhouldered calibers in nearby KY and IN.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Cant go level IV

Anything capable of stopping bullets is going to have a weight, thickness, and/or price associated. It's a balancing act.

RMA makes a "light weight" level IV plate, coming in at about 4.7 pounds and $1000 with a 3 month lead time.

https://rmadefense.com/577-2/

Level IV composite ceramics is about 8.3 lbs and $300-600 depending on several variables. https://www.spartanarmorsystems.com/...spartan-armor/

So for roughly twice the money ($1000 difference for a set) you can shave off maybe 40% of the weight, representing maybe 5 lbs or a gallon of water.

If you're outfitting say 4 people with $2000 per set plates, that's $8000 in just the plates, plus the cost of carriers and gear....

The alternative is to accept the limitations of steel, get III+ which stops almost anything you're likely to encounter except top end rifles, and weighs 8 lbs per plate, is thin, and doesn't expire or degrade over time. About $100 per plate, so for the price of just 2 of the $1000 plates, you could outfit a family with plates, carriers, etc. of III+...

I guess it all depends on your needs and budget and realistic threats.
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Old 08-05-2020, 01:56 PM
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Some comments/observations:

1. Black is a poor night-time camouflage choice. Black uniforms, plate carriers, load bearing gear, helmets, duty gear, etc. are designed to provide a uniform look among organized law enforcement or security forces. Black provides little practical utility in terms of providing cloaking camouflage at night. As a matter of fact, when it comes to solid colors during hours of darkness, dull grays, greens, or browns work better than black. If you absolutely have to use black, go with a mottled pattern.

Few things in nature are solid black. Not even black bears. At night, a man wearing black BDUs & black field gear (harness, pack, weapon, boots, hat) stands out more than one wearing the same in OD green.

I have decades of personal experience at sneaking around in the dark with guns and can attest to this fact. We avoided any use of black clothing or equipment during conduct of small unit reconnaissance patrols, raids, or ambushes.

For a short period of time back in the 70's/80's, SFOD-D (Delta Force) wore black dyed OD jungle fatigues specifically for use in the shadows and pools of darkness found around linear targets like airliners, structures, and mostly urban terrain. Places where there might be deep shadowed areas next to well lit electric lights. Their choice was also very much about IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) while conducting Actions on the Objective. Nobody else would be wearing such a color scheme. It worked somewhat, but they eventually abandoned that idea. My first hand observation of those guys over the years.

I've snuck onto barrier-ringed military installations, breached electronically guarded perimeter obstacles, conducted surreptitious reconnaissance & surveillance, and patrolled thousands of miles. Urban and rural. Black clothing & gear is a no-go at night. Sounds counter intuitive, but it's the truth. Black looks like a big moving dark hole in the fabric of the universe and fails to blend in with background or surrounding concealment. It shows up especially well when viewed through night vision devices.

Never mind day light where anything black (in a natural setting) jumps out at the eye. I've seen daylight ambush positions given away because someone showed very small increments of exposed black clothing that broke up an otherwise well camouflaged position: black weapon barrels/forearms, black t-shirts exposed at throat, black boots, black pouches, black watch caps, etc.

Earth or vegetative tones work far better (as do camouflage patterns).

2. Ballistic Helmets. If it's time to wear plate carriers with hard plates... it's time to wear a ballistic helmet. Going no-helmet is like ordering a BLT without the bacon. Any projectile that requires a plate to stop it... will also pop your brain housing group like a water balloon. Armor is a system. Have a ballistic rated helmet.

3. Plate carriers (by themselves) are a high odds bet in an equation that trades-off most ballistic coverage for comfort and mobility. The bet is that the primary threat is from aimed rifle caliber fire. Just about ignoring likelihood of handguns, fragmentation, blast, shotgun patterns, or shrapnel. A way for overburdened combat troops to guard upper torso vital zone and still be able to carry load bearing gear, weapons, rucksacks, radios, crew served, etc. on foot across tough terrain... and in broiling climates. Like a swordsman employing a little buckler rather than a full-sized shield. Minimalist plate carriers (with no other armor coverage beyond that little plate) are like BUGs. Better than nothing, but not by much.

The correct answer for most preppers is a body wrapping soft armor II or IIIA vest... that also features front/back plate pockets. Able to be worn concealed and providing vastly more coverage against common handgun, PCC, shotgun threats... while still providing rifle caliber protection of the areas covered by plates. Plate carriers more for an extended field environment where you have to hump many miles, while carrying a load.

People like the idea of plate carriers because they are a lazy way to "cheat" on worn bulk & weight. Instead of wearing a soft armor chassis or full vest that actually provides far more coverage.

4. The defining factor for wearing plates is a determination that your primary threat is from rifle caliber weapons. If handgun or shotgun calibers are more likely, you're better off with a concealed soft armor vest providing greater coverage area.

5. Consider wearing armor rated to at least defeat the ammunition you carry (or that most commonly arms your group). Getting shot with your own weapon is not really all that uncommon in the real-world. Even if you're not a cop. Another factor in the soft/plate armor equation.
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Old 08-05-2020, 03:40 PM
FalconsBravesHawks FalconsBravesHawks is offline
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Originally Posted by Astronomy View Post
Some comments/observations:

2. Ballistic Helmets. If it's time to wear plate carriers with hard plates... it's time to wear a ballistic helmet. Going no-helmet is like ordering a BLT without the bacon. Any projectile that requires a plate to stop it... will also pop your brain housing group like a water balloon. Armor is a system. Have a ballistic rated helmet.

The correct answer for most preppers is a body wrapping soft armor II or IIIA vest... that also features front/back plate pockets. Able to be worn concealed and providing vastly more coverage against common handgun, PCC, shotgun threats... while still providing rifle caliber protection of the areas covered by plates. Plate carriers more for an extended field environment where you have to hump many miles, while carrying a load.
what are some recommendations for body wrapping soft body armor, and also a good ballistic helmet?
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Old 08-05-2020, 05:44 PM
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what are some recommendations for body wrapping soft body armor, and also a good ballistic helmet?
I'm not the best to advise anyone on this but the Interceptor Multi Threat System may be a good way to go.
The body wrapping Kevlar gives pretty good coverage, especially with the neck/throat guard attached. The groin protector is kind of a PITA to walk around with but you can put it on or take it off pretty easily. You can wear it with or without the plates inserted and I believe it will take either steel, UHMWPE or ceramic.
It is heavy though. With plates and neck/throat option and steel plates, it weighs in around 26 lbs. Thats without the groin or deltoid coverage options.
Altogether it seems to have better coverage than most IIIa vests. They cover a lot but the "arm holes" are pretty big. I'm going from memory but the Interceptor might have a little more coverage under the arms.

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Old 08-05-2020, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
what are some recommendations for body wrapping soft body armor, and also a good ballistic helmet?
Where soft armor vests or chassis rigs are concerned... are you looking for an economic deal? Or are you willing to spend more? That would determine my recommendations.

As ~Black.Dog~ already pointed out, surplus USGI Interceptor vests (or the IOTVs that superseded them) are probably the best bang for the buck, along with certain models of refurbished concealable police soft armor. Depends also upon whether you see yourself primarily wearing concealed vs. wearing externally visible armor. Prices are gonna range from $250ish to $350ish for surplus military carriers with soft armor panels included. Plates are extra. Sometimes you'll find one on armslist, craigslist, ebay, local classifieds, etc. for a screaming deal (either less money or with plates included).

https://www.qm-supply.com/product/io...rceptor-vests/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Improv..._Tactical_Vest

Those military vests provide wrap-around torso coverage and you can add all kinds of accessories to provide side, deltoid, neck nape, collar, or groin protection. Which can add so much additional bulk and weight that you'll be unlikely to wear the damn things outside of vehicular travel. But either of those basic vests provide good soft armor coverage (IIIA) front, sides, and back... covering most of your torso. And you can fill the plate pockets with Level III/IV rifle defeating hard plates.

A place to purchase reliable used (or new) law enforcement/military armor is: http://bulletproofme.com/

Some good examples of what's available in the refurbished market:
http://bulletproofme.com/Bullet_proo..._Catalog.shtml

The Easy Button on helmets is any surplus ACH (or very similar MICH) military helmet. They're conservatively IIIA rated (but will also defeat some rifle hits). Same helmet used by US military in combat since the mid to late 2000s. As it's soon to be replaced with an improved version, expect a lot more ACH models to hit the civilian market. Just as happened with the older PASGT helmet when it was replaced. Typically ~$300 these days.

BTW: A surplus PASGT is still a very affordable and effective helm. Typically ~$100 these days.

Speaking of these days... it's a tough time to be buying armor, compared to last year. Just as with guns and ammo, there's a huge demand. Prices are up and availability is down. So if you see something that you want... get it. It won't be around for long. You might pay a little more, but that's better than not having any at all.
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:00 PM
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Where soft armor vests or chassis rigs are concerned... are you looking for an economic deal? Or are you willing to spend more? That would determine my recommendations.

As ~Black.Dog~ already pointed out, a surplus USGI Interceptor (or the IOTV that superseded it) are probably the best bang for the buck, along with certain models of refurbished concealable police soft armor. Depends also upon whether you see yourself primarily wearing concealed vs. wearing externally visible armor. Prices are gonna range from ~$250ish for surplus to well over $1k for state of the art.


The Easy Button on helmets is any surplus ACH or MICH military helmet. They're conservatively IIIA rated (but will also defeat many rifle hits). Same helmet used by US military in combat since the mid to late 2000s. As it's about to be replaced with an improved version, expect a lot more ACH models to hit the civilian market. Just as happened with the older PASGT helmet when it was replaced.

BTW: A surplus PASGT is still a very affordable and effective helm.
That's good news on the helmets. I got a PASGT a few years ago for next to nothing. But I like the ACH much better. I've been waiting for the right deal to come along on one of those.

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Old 08-05-2020, 08:46 PM
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Safe life defense makes what they call the Flexible Rifle Armor System. It's been independently tested to be effective against common rifle rounds thought if memory serves it won't protect against 855. It will however stop 7.62x39, and most other 5.56 and .223 rounds

It is a VERY expensive, but its pretty much the closest thing to what you're asking for.

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Old 08-07-2020, 12:29 PM
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AR500 is having a 20% off sale. Code is "8years."
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Old 08-07-2020, 01:06 PM
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AR500 is having a 20% off sale. Code is "8years."
lol, yeah I got the email for that a few hours after my order, wtf
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:47 PM
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1-Multicam, best for my area......rural.

2-10x12, my sizing is between L 10x12-XL 11x14 plates but I like minimal, no side plates...too bulky.

3- 3+ is ideal but I have both 3, 3+, and lV. 3+ is the lowest I would go, too much green tip out there. Ceramic is my choice personally, you can get affordable 4.6lb level 3+ plates that are multi hit.....not a steel fan, but they have their place.

4- The Freeman if I must choose from there. Crye SPC Airlite swimmer is choice....I like minimal carriers.

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Originally Posted by FalconsBravesHawks View Post
First, what color do you think is best (multicam, black, tan, olive) and why?

2nd, what size plates do you like the best? 10x12 or 11x14 and on sides 6x6 or 6x8...and why?

3rd, what level for the plates...I'm thinking III+ and steel...thoughts?

4th, which carrier is your favorite from ar500 website?
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:31 PM
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lol, yeah I got the email for that a few hours after my order, wtf
You could always cancel and re-order if its not shipped yet.
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:05 AM
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I would likely go for a class 3 soft armor under garment, with a plate carrier to absorb the shock value..

I would try to not look like military or like police, because it makes you a target magnet..

i would also make a consideration of a thin liner vest to hide what you are wearing where possible because going for the commando look is the quickest way to get yourself killed..

all the body armor in the world isn't going to save you from a neck and head shot..

If you are dumb enough to walk around wearing something in the realm of police/military issue and walk about in some type BS matters crap expect to get arrested in the UK..
and anywhere else you can get thrown in the docks for military/police imposters and have the legal books thrown at you...
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:46 AM
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My concern with steel is fragmentation. I've seen what happens to wooden stands that hold steel plates. Even when coated or wrapped within a few rounds there is fragmentation where my carotid artery, jugular vein, and brachial artery's are.
Those tests we ran were several years ago; maybe someone has new information?

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Old 08-11-2020, 08:21 AM
John Matherson John Matherson is offline
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For anyone interested, here's a 15% off code at Tactical Scorpion. Their level 3+PE and level 3+ Extreme are pretty impressive plates for the weight and cost.

Their level 3+ PE stops XM193 and 7.62x39 that was shot 3/4 inch from the edge, there was some good distortion/de-lamination but it stopped it. At 3.3 lbs it's very nice.

Their level 3+ Extreme plate will stop green tip xm855 and weighs 4.6lbs.

These are made in the USA. I used this code last night. Here is the coupon code: thegunpenguin

https://tacticalscorpiongear.com/bod...i-extreme.html
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Old 08-11-2020, 09:46 AM
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As far as vest stuff.

Lots of guys go single stack for mags because they complain about double stacks keeping them too high off of the ground while in a prone position. I went single stack mags for this reason. I also don't have side plates in. My issued IOTV is so freaking heavy (side plates are required) that I chose to forego the side plates on my personal vest for a lighter option. Also, it's light enough that my wife or oldest son can throw it on and not die from weight-overload.

You can always divvy up gear between multiple options: vest, battle belt, and pack--not everything has to, nor SHOULD everything be piled onto your vest.

On my vest, I have a triple stack of single mags, a small admin pouch for my phone, a flashlight, and pen, and pad, and an IFAK.

In my opinion, you can technically get away with just mags and an IFAK. If you're wearing a vest and entertain the idea of getting shot, an IFAK WITH A TOURNIQUET is a necessity. I bought a pre-assembled IFAK from Amazon, but ditched the huge pouch and added some extras--quick clot granules, chest seals, and added extra alcohol prep pads.

The only other thing I can think that might be needed is some type of radio holster or pouch for comms.
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