Looking to buy body armor / vest--any ideas where?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by graehaven, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. graehaven

    graehaven Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking to outfit myself with some serious defensive capability. Any recommendations on where I can get some of this stuff? I mean, sure, I can google anything, but, I thought I'd ask for your guys' opinions too. Thanks. :D:eek:

    This is not because I want to do anything illegal, rather, because I truly believe we are headed for SHTF scenario......with every passing day. :eek:
  2. Shellback

    Shellback New Member

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    I belive you are right, it is part of being prepared. I will keep this thread in my sights I to have the need to know.
    Tim
  3. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Moderator

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  4. graehaven

    graehaven Well-Known Member

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    Well, I know I need at least a Level IIIA with front and back trauma plates in order to stop rifle fire. So that's what I'm looking for.

    So far, I've found on here:

    http://www.interamer.com/bvests1.htm

    The one at the bottom, the A9 is the level desired.

    But, any other input on this topic would be great!
  5. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    I was going to ask how much protection you desire but you said IIIA.

    Gonna say what I know...not trying to insult intelligence.

    First...III/IV plates that stop 7.62mm are not "trauma plates"...those are cute little alloy plates in police vests. (I wore those as a personnel security detail; big difference. Police concealed vest [II] are like a T-shirt compared to level III/IV.) A plate is an 11 lb/5 kg ceramic plate called a SAPI. You may brush by with about $300 per plate, but the real deal is closer to $400 each.

    My experience with III/IV armor is mostly Point Blank. We started using it in 2000. That's who I'd recommend. (Keep in mind they did have a recall this year on several thousand products, but as far as I've ever seen their kit is the best of the heavy duty. The recall really speaks more for the QA/QC monitoring this kit than it does speak negative against Point Blank. They've provided the US military with millions of quality pieces of kit.)

    A Point Blank III system is going to put you back about $1,600.

    Yes there are cheaper and there are imitators. But there is a reason Point Blank is the most common personal armor in the US Army and those others are not.

    Be extremely wary of buying used body armor. You can pay $800 for a heavy vest that fails or $1,600 for a heavy vest that works.

    Some advice I'll share from the past decade+ using heavy body armor:

    Body armor is it's own kind of suck; When I'm retired from the Army I will never touch the crap again.

    Body armor adds 10 degrees to the temperature. No cool-guy super product resolves that either. You have to double your water intake in hot months. In one night, on several occasions, we lost more men to heat exhaustion than wounds...these were highly professional seasoned Soldiers who maintained a high level of hydration too.

    Body armor is performance perishable. If you don't store it, it wears out.

    Body armor isn't "bulletproof" and doesn't make you invincible. Every mate I lost KIA was wearing body armor. It does save lives, but with immediate level 1 care and a fast trip to professional trauma medicine. I only saw body armor save a life by itself a couple times...ballistic helmets probably do more life saving than vests.

    Body armor restricts your movement. Going 1 or 2 sizes smaller on your SAPI plates is a good compromise.

    Body armor is hell on your rifle accuracy. A good habit before going to shoot prone is to lift up hard on the bottom-front of your vest, which lowers the rear SAPI some to prevent it hitting the back of your head/neck/flipping your lid. Another trick that's different for every individual...let one side all the way loose and tighten the other all the way...this lets you use the pocket of your shoulder better...you'll have to play with it, as everyone is different. Some tighten the shooting side, others the weak side etc.

    You must be physically conditioned better than an athlete to fight with 30 lbs of armor plus your weapon, kit, ammo, and water. You hit 60 lbs, 80 lbs, 100 lbs of gear quicker than you think. Weight is your most relentless and merciless enemy.

    Last but not least, a sincere caution...We run several miles in our body armor frequently to condition for it, in addition to daily running. In a civilian SHTF, if you have to move out and aren't used to the vest you'll end up throwing it away...it sucks that bad.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  6. noslolo

    noslolo New Member

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    Great post Delta.
  7. graehaven

    graehaven Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Delta, that's exactly what I was looking for, info from someone with first hand experience.

    I had no idea that the stuff was so expensive. I may have to rethink my "need." :eek:

    Just trying to prepare for all eventualities, and I'm finding it, near impossible. Discouraging to say the least.

    I don't want to turn my home into a bunker, and I'm not sure even how to, if I had to. Sand bags and steep plate do NOT go with the wife's decor. :eek:

    The body armor search is just another part of it all. Perhaps having materials on hand to protect the house on the whole is a better use of said $1600. Although, I don't even know what that would get me.
  8. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    No problem bro.

    You could compromise for IIIA without rifle plates for way less. (Always remember trauma plates just absorb energy, not stop bullets. Rifle plates...SAPI...stops rifle bullets.) That would protect you from handgun/shotgun threats, and frag, for 1/3 the weight of III/IV protection and half the $$$. Also...at 1/3 weight you'd be more likely to keep it on.

    A legit dealer of the real deal like US Cav is going to require a military/police ID and unit letterhead to ship to you, otherwise I'd recommend a couple places. I think it's a liability thing. Be wary otherwise on the internet. I do believe though that you can walk into a dealer and order if armor isn't locally restricted...you know how every city/state laws differ.

    I stand by my opinion that Point Blank is the way to go. Some LE might be able to better advise for concealment armor, but that's down in the Level II area.
  9. graehaven

    graehaven Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, this is NY, I don't even know if it's restricted here or not. With my luck, they don't allow civilians to have it here. That way we make easy targets when they come to wipe us out. Nice. :mad:
  10. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    I hear you.

    I ought to be more clear about the legal part. Odds are it is okay to own. But it may be restricted to who can buy. Make sense?

    Not trying to open a can of worms...I know it differs city by city; town by town; county by county, but in places I've lived...Kind of like switchblades...you can own it in your home, but cannot carry it around or buy it without military/police ID. At the sporting goods stores you hand over your military ID just to touch one to check it out. BUT...at a gunshow nobody asks for ID......

    My point is you should check around; It is most likely doable.
  11. Charlie the sniper

    Charlie the sniper New Member

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  12. vytoland

    vytoland New Member

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    dont forget to get something to protect from those head shots
  13. new308handloader

    new308handloader New Member

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    +1
  14. SARG

    SARG Member

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    Ebay availability ........... ticks me off that they are ........ but there's no shortage.
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