Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 52 Posts

Registered
Joined
576 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just out of curiosity, how good are bulletproof vests at stopping bullets?
And in a SHTF scenario would SF members wear one when we have to run the mob gauntlet to the grocers?
And I suppose we could even make our own from two steel plates from the junk yard hung from our neck, one protecting our front and the other our back?
If we wanted to buy protection these below look interesting, presumably we slip them in the lining of our jacket?



Below: these Stab vests look interesting too but I don't suppose they're bulletproof, so perhaps it'd be best to buy a bulletproof vest in the first place which would be bullet AND stab proof?



Below- I LURV this, presumably it's more lightweight and comfortable to wear?
 

Registered
Joined
499 Posts
Vests will stop bullets. But what you have to consider is the punch factor. Soft vests hit by a larger pistol round will hit you hard and will make it harder to recover. Ie get up and back to action. A PCV will stop rounds and still have a punch factor. But make recovery easier. The best would be a combo of soft and hard (hard outside, soft under) but its added weight and heat. A lot to consider.
 

Registered
Joined
576 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Check NIJ standards for each level...馃槑You need a Level IV for rifle rounds.,.Stab vests are for corrections officers...save your money
Youtube has a doz videos on homemade armor
..The best would be a combo of soft and hard (hard outside, soft under) but its added weight and heat..

Ok, if Level IV is the super-duper best, why would we want to spend our pennies on anything less?
And perhaps we should be willing to put up with a super-dupers weight and heat if it means it'll save our life?
 

KOAD; FOAD; ESAD
Joined
7,088 Posts
Ok, if Level IV is the super-duper best, why would we want to spend our pennies on anything less?
And perhaps we should be willing to put up with a super-dupers weight and heat if it means it'll save our life?
You are 100% correct...I wear soft IIIa on duty but I wear it 12-14 hrs a day..hard is bulky but I keep a tac vest close at hand...defending the homestead Ill wear 4
 

Registered
Joined
499 Posts
Ok, if Level IV is the super-duper best, why would we want to spend our pennies on anything less?
And perhaps we should be willing to put up with a super-dupers weight and heat if it means it'll save our life?
It comes down to weight, heat, bulk and situation. Situation being, are you going to afganistan? Or are you a security guard at a milk factory? Different armor weights come into play in situations as well. Light weight IIIA is more flexible. So if you are moving around a lot you want to have mobility. Bending over, twisting, kneeling. Try doing these things in still plates and you will see it can be cumbersome. Having a plate ride up into your neck. Or trying to climb an obstacle in hard plates. Adds a layer of difficulty. So flexibility. Weight and Heat. If its summer at 80+掳F outside and you are moving around. Prepare yourself for the chafing and swamp chest/back. Lighter armor here is slightly more breathable (I use this loosely) where as a PCV isnt very breathable. Keep in mind armor was built for professionals. As protective gear. It's not comfortable to wear for extended periods. And again situation. What do you need it for?
 

fortis fortuna paratus
Bugout? I'm going nowhere!
Joined
82 Posts
Those plates in your post are level 3. It will stop 308 but not 223 / 5.56. At least not close up. Get at least level 3 + that will handle 223/5.56. An inexpensive yet tough armor carrier is the Condor MOP-C. Comfy, distributes the weight well and has held up well. Have had mine for 4 years now. Makes 20 pounds of armor almost a joy to wear.
 

Registered
Joined
576 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Body Armour Act
Did you know about this law??

I see the Bill is dated 2019, has it become law yet?
If it hasn't become law yet, it seems we should consider buying armour legally while we still can, so we'll be exempt if/when the law takes effect..;)
Exemption quote from link- "enhanced body armor that was lawfully possessed by any person at any time before the date this section takes effect."
 

Registered
Joined
576 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Just seen this interesting piece dated Oct 30th 2020-

It summarises with-
"There are a lot of legitimate reasons that a law-abiding citizen might want to purchase body armor for their personal safety. As we see violent crime rise in many parts of the country this can make even more sense.
Most regulations and laws around the wearing and possession of body armor are very reasonable, and by and large, it is legal to both have it and wear it...
Always check with the laws in your state to make sure you鈥檙e following them if you鈥檙e thinking about buying something like a bulletproof vest."
 

Registered
Joined
502 Posts
....why would I care if it is ILLEGAL to wear a device to SAVE MY LIFE????
Nope, not gonna back down on that idea. I already carry a sidearm for same self defense purpose- why should one be prohibited from wearing a slab of steel to save their life....?
Of course, the same idea evolves out of such bad laws- the criminal element will just have more victims to hit. HIGHER crime levels than before.
But we already knew this, right??
I don't mean to turn this into a political rant, but once again,............
BTW- buy curved plates- much more comfortable.
 

Registered
Joined
1,837 Posts
Ok.. Some issues here that need to be addressed.
1:
Once body armor has been hit, its pretty much done. You have to loose it.
2: The steel plates as previously mentioned will/wont stop certain rounds.

3: Being hit with one on does NOT GARANTEE LIFE!!!!! Many people hit with one on have died from internal bleeding.

4: Being hit with body armor on is NOT hollywierd hit and run crap.
Once hit you will be DOWN and HURTING! The energy has to go somewhere and even if it doesn't penetrate your body. the energy is still moving through your body and will put you on the ground with alot of hurt!

5: Body armor is also specific in size. One size DOES NOT FIT ALL!

And if you are female or male with moobs, you genuinely need to consider the proper fit. Them bulges on yer chest (if you have them) will cause all kinds of discomfort.

When I purchased mine when I worked ATMs, the weight of the Level III soft armor was alot and damn uncomfortable. Yes you get use to it, but you also need to be aware of the limitations.
Side penetration stabbing possibilities, (only the steel plate can slow down or stop a knife or point like a screwdriver.
 

Registered
Joined
576 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
....why would I care if it is ILLEGAL to wear a device to SAVE MY LIFE????
Once hit you will be DOWN and HURTING! The energy has to go somewhere and even if it doesn't penetrate your body. the energy is still moving through your body and will put you on the ground with alot of hurt!
1- yeah no rules in a SHTF knife fight..:)
2- people might say "being hurt is better than being dead"..;)

PS- regarding home-made armour, Ned Kelly's helmet and body armour protected him (it took 18 bullet hits), but his arms and legs weren't covered, so the cops aimed at them (no rules in.....) and Kelly went down.


 

Registered
Joined
135 Posts
I guess I'll throw my opinion in here. First, you get what you pay for. Lots of people will spend $900 on a nice handgun or $1500+ on their defensive rifle but then spend as little on their armor as possible. Some considerations with cheap armor: it's less comfortable, it's heavier, it's less durable and it has less modularity. Also, don't load it down too much. The goal is to protect the vital organs while maintaining the ability to shoot and move effectively. Hanging too much off of it or a carrier that has excess non-ballistic material is going to work against you.

What I currently have: The idea when I got it was to just have armor period. It works but I wish I had saved up and just bought the good stuff first. It's an AR500 minimalist carrier with steel level III+ plates and 6 mags on the front. It will stop just about all rifle rounds and it does the job, but it also weighs 26 lbs. Not ideal. All in all I think it cost me about $350 for it.

What I'm getting. Just placed the order for it yesterday: Crye precision JPC 2.0 with Hesco special rifle threat ceramic plates and 3 mags on the front. Shifting the other mags to my gun belt. This carrier loaded will weigh more like 15 lbs, making it far more comfortable, maneuverable and capable. Cost was more like $700. This setup is regarded as a high quality option, so there really isn't any reason not to spring for the good stuff unless it's just not available.

I personally wouldn't mess around with the old style wraparound bulletproof vests when you can rock a much nicer minimalist plate carrier. All that extra fabric will do nothing but add bulk and doesn't stop bullets anyway. They even make covert slick carriers for wearing under garments if you want to go plain clothes. But at the end of the day, hard plates are really not that uncomfortable and are better than soft armor at defeating rounds.
 

Registered
Joined
576 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Idea-
To cut down on the heavy weight of a Lev 4, perhaps manufacturers could make the back part of it a lighter Lev 3 (or less) on the assumption that most hostile rounds will be coming from the front?
 

Registered
Joined
135 Posts
Idea-
To cut down on the heavy weight of a Lev 4, perhaps manufacturers could make the back part of it a lighter Lev 3 (or less) on the assumption that most hostile rounds will be coming from the front?
Kind of reminds me of an exercise we did once when I was in the Marine Corps. It was a CQB force on force deal with sim paint rounds. I was covering a doorway and somebody was supposed to be covering the hallway behind me. Next thing I know I got shot in the back. I guess my buddy got killed. So I'd probably want the same level of protection in the back lol You can get lighter weight plates that have the same level of protection but it costs you.
 

Registered
Joined
576 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
..Next thing I know I got shot in the back.
Sh** happens,how about it grasshopper?-



BTW I was surprised to learn from the true Nam book 'Chickenhawk' by Huey pilot Robert Mason that his chopper unit (in 1965-66) were slow to be issued with armoured chest protectors, so I emailed him a few years ago to ask about it and here's our dialog-

ME- For about half (?) your year-long tour, you and most of your Cav pilot colleagues were without chest protectors, yet other units (Prospectors) always had more than enough.
Didn't you or your Cav mates ever get mad and feel like raising hell about the shortage, as obviously it was caused by some incompetent admin foulup.
MASON- We complained, but it's difficult to know to whom to complain in an organization the size of the US Army. Besides, we didn't know other units had them until we were assigned to them later.

ME- Why didn't your superior officers do something to put it right? (Personally I'd have been so mad I'd have been in a permanent state of near-mutiny and done stuff like leaking the story to the media and continually bellyaching to the brass).
I'd have even somehow made my own chest protector (a slab of thick steel) hung around my neck and buttoned under my flight suit. I might even have put another slab under a cushion to sit on.
MASON- They did try to get us the armor. The officers who could've gotten the armor were met with a wall of bureaucracy that claimed the stuff was just lost in the vast supply line and would turn up any day.
So, the belief that the chest protectors were on the way, just delayed, kept us going. Besides, it's a war, right? I thought armored helmets would be smart, too, but they were never made.
These days the helos are armored quite well, but a Huey wouldn't get off the ground with the armor they carry on a Blackhawk, for example.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Mason-
 

Registered
Joined
135 Posts
Sh** happens,how about it grasshopper?-
You sound like a salty old timer. "expect the unexpected" is exactly the point I was trying to make. Suggesting strapping a thick slab of steel to you chest after suggesting reducing threat level protection on the back to save weight (maybe a pound?) seems counter-intuitive.
 

reluctant sinner
Joined
17,446 Posts
+1 for BushRangers. They took old Ned down with buckshot in the legs.

Remember the bank robbers in komiefornia several years back! Didn't end well for them.
 

Psalm 37:28
Joined
1,125 Posts
+1 for researching NIJ threat ratings for armor. Then you'll know what you're shopping for.

+1 for plates and carrier over soft vests (more protection from plates--soft vests are basically pistol-only)

There are a lot of misconceptions in this thread. However, I speak only from a good bit of research, not from experience, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Here we go:

Level IV ceramic plates are actually lighter than Level III and Level III+ steel plates. They are also usually a good bit more expensive. I've seen Hesco ceramic plates for around $250 a pair, which isn't much more than good steel plates, but that was months ago.

Ordinary steel plate will offer protection from some lower-velocity rounds, but I wouldn't depend on DIY armor.

Armor is multi-hit capable, even ceramic armor. It won't shatter or be compromised unless it takes a ton of rounds, especially if they're in the same place. You should still replace it if hit because repeat hits in the same area can compromise it.

Service members have taken hits in their plates and not realized until later. It is not necessarily true that you will have internal injuries or even notice a hit in the plate. Still not a bad idea to adhere some padding (cheap yoga mat, etc) on the back side of the plates.

ETA: bear in mind the trade-off of protection for mobility. You will be less mobile in armor, and physical conditioning should be a priority if it isn't already. Armor isn't for every situation, either. Some situations will demand greater mobility than armor allows.
 
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
Top