I have to buy my own armor, and a few years back I bought the TAC3s plates from Armored Mobility Inc., along with their plate carrier, based on information from Dr. Roberts.  I’m retired now, but am part of the security detail at our church.  Because of experience and training, my post puts me as the first person an active shooter will encounter.  I have always had confidence in the TAC3s plates to stop likely threats until recently.  I know people in my state who have access to M855A1, and if they can get it, than maybe some less desirable folks can get it too.  So does anyone know if my current plates are effective against these new threats, as I checked the AMI site and information was sketchy.  I really hate buying replacement plates, as the TAC3s were way more money than I could really afford back then.  The newer plates I’ve seen will cost me nearly $2k for front and rear plates, but they stop M855A1!  Being retired, that’s not a realistic option.

Additionally, can anyone recommend a good plate carrier to replace my AMI carrier?  The cummerbund on the AMI went south fairly fast, but is still useable, but I would prefer something lighter and more streamlined, along the lines of the Crye JPC.  

Any help on either of these issues would be greatly appreciated.

Original Post

No independant knowledge.

My recommendation would be to reach out to them and ask if they have had the plates tested against the newer rounds. 

edited to add: About 70-75% of OIS involve suspects shooting calibers, rounds that IIIA soft armor will defeat. I do realize that OIS are different from citizen involved defensive shootings for a number of reasons.

To approach this, have you looked at church or workplace shootings to get a handle on what weapons are being used? Also, and I'm working on this project, what caliber weapons are being used or recovered in crimes locally? Just something to consider. 

Typical law enforcement encounters are NOT what we are expecting.  Yes, some churches get robbed on Sunday morning, and we had an unknown individual show up in a very long coat carrying  a large utility bag and acting very strange.  He turned out to be harmless,  and we treated him well.  We are prepared for those types of events.  We want to be prepared for the events like the church in Garland, Texas and the synagogue in New York; to be prepared for possibilities, not probabilities.   Right now we are only armed with 9mm handguns.  We are not a bunch of irrational Walter Mitty's either, as our pastor is a former Marine Corp officer, and all but one on the security detail has either military or law enforcement experience.  We take this very seriously, because it's not just that our families are there, but we consider our members to BE family!   We considered security to be adequate  based on local crime statistics, but in the last four months we have had a number of discussions on how to improve, as none of us believe our current system is adequate for an active shooter or shooters.  We have to balance security needs with also not wanting our church services to look like a preppers convention.  We currently only use concealed handguns, and most members have no idea we even have armed members distributed around the sanctuary.  However, we are looking into having at least one AR available, and I'm the designated person if that comes to pass.  I want my armor to be up to the task too.  I have seen first hand what 5.56 can do, and I do not want to have live streaming of our church members being cut down by 5.56 or any other firearm.  We do NOT want shotguns inside the church for obvious reasons.  Another denomination a few miles from us has a very sophisticated security setup, and they can pretty much handle any situation that may arise.  As for our church, we may have been a bit naive in the past, and we will doubtful ever have a system like theirs, but we certainly need to do far better than we are now.   I'm actually the security team member working with the pastor to improve things, and the plate armor question came up, and it made me realize that I no longer know if my current plates will be adequate, should they be needed.

 

Are you going to be wearing the plate carrier every service?  Or will you put it on once the attack begins?  If you are first in line when do you have opportunity to dress out?  I’m very happy that your church is taking security so seriously but I’m not sure $2k in plates is the most efficient way to secure the church?  

Level 4 plates (ESAPI) are rated for M2 AP (.30 armor piercing), so that should have no issues stopping M855A1 and even M80A1.

PRAISE THE FALLEN

SSG Kevin Roberts KIA 7-May-08         SPC Peter Courcy KIA 10-Feb-09

1Lt Nick Dewhirst KIA 20-July-08          PFC Jason Watson KIA 10-Feb-09

CPL Charles Gaffney KIA 24-Dec-08

 

Joined: 2/21/04          Location: Seattle,  WA

Perusing the website, it seems unlikely.

https://www.armoredmobilityDOTcom/Products_Tactical_Plates.aspx

The above site lists "m855 A1" as being stopped by the BZST, but the same load is absent from the TAC 3S / 3S LT.

BUT...

Some random dentist posted the below on P&S on 6 Mar 2017:

https://primaryandsecondaryDOT...ac3s.2924/post-19752

Velocity Systems PBZ, AT STOP-BZ, Tencate 6400 is a triple curve plate that offers a relatively thin profile and light weight, along with the ability to defeat multiple hits of both 5.56 mm M193 & M855, 7.62x39 mm FMJ, and 7.62x51 mm FMJ, as long as the hits are spaced about 2" or more apart. It does have a ceramic facing which can crack if the plate is subject to abusive wear and storage conditions, thus should ideally undergo periodic non-destructive testing to assess for occult cracks.

The AMI Tac3S and Tac3S light plates use a steel facing, which is much more durable and tolerant of abuse; this also allows much closer shot spacing--these have demonstrated the ability to stop hits as close as 1 mm apart. However, the plates are a single curve and a bit heavier and thicker.

If knew I was going to face a CONUS attacker I would want to be wearing the AMI; if I had to wear the plates all day long, every day, I'd probably be more comfortable in the Tencate 6400/Stop-BZ/PBZ.

Same dentist also has this to say about the AMI Tac3S on 2 July 2009:

https://www.lightfighterDOTnet/topic/level-iii-patrol-armor-test?reply=2843236909156308#2843236909156308

We have never been able to get an AMI TAC3S plate to fail using non-AP ammo. We have fired up to 30 rounds of several types of ammo into the AMI plates without failures (LeMas, M193, M855, M43, M80). Another large Norcal urban agency fired 100 rounds into one without a failure...

He seems to know of what he speaks...

Also...

"to be prepared for possibilities, not probabilities"

VBIED?  Vehicle ramming the crowd after services? Suicide bomber?  Sniper? RPG? Fire bombs?  While the mission drives the gear train, the mission needs to be realistic.

There are too many possibilities to war game.  Houses of worship are tempting likely because they are viewed as soft targets in conjunction with being a symbol of whatever the evil bastard thinks he stands against.  Is overt security a possibility?

$2,000 is a decent pile of resources to direct at an area you have mostly covered.  is the expense worth it?  Would the money be better spent elsewhere towards the same goal?

 

I already have the plates.  My plan is to wear them from the time I arrive until I leave, but only during the main service on Sunday morning.  The various Bible studies and choir practice during the week will not involve anything more than what we do now, and that is concealed carry, and on those occasions, we are no longer working as a team.  It is unrealistic to have the plates sitting there waiting for the flag to go up,  just as it would be unrealistic to have our firearms locked up.  Of the four of us involved, possibly one other may end up with soft armor, but even that is doubtful.  I still have my soft armor, but it is getting long in the tooth, so I no longer trust it.  Based on the facility design, should a serious problem arise, being the first in line, I have seconds to respond.  Right now the plan is that I move to look out the outer doors (inner doors behind me at that point), as soon as a vehicle enters the parking lot, or I see someone walking toward the doors.  This allows me time to see.  If it’s folks arriving late, I hold the door open and greet them.   Whenever I move to those doors, my backup moves to my original position to cover me.  The other two members of security stay in the sanctuary, one behind concealment (not cover) in the sound booth.

The  plates don’t secure the church.  They are for my protection.  The church pays for nothing we do in the way of security.  All our handguns are individually purchased and owned.  To be honest, I have no desire to EVER wear plates again!  Especially these AMI plates!  I also have no desire to stand out there every Sunday with a 6960 slung over my shoulder.  However, when we look at the design of our church, a church that was built many decades ago before anyone would have ever thought the day would come that we may need protection, there really isn’t any real cover except the two sets of doors at the entrance.

Maybe it is unrealistic to have any body armor, or even a rifle, but as I stood there yesterday, after our discussion about security, and knowing that only the two sets of glass doors were between me and possibly someone with an AR or AK, my speed of presentation, split times, and normal level of accuracy with my carry pistol really didn’t give me a warm and fuzzy.

Erick posted:
RichY posted:

Typical law enforcement encounters are NOT what we are expecting.  

My apologies. Carry on. 

I think you read my intent wrong.  My apologies if that is so, as it was most certainly not how I meant it.  Everything that was done in the past at our church pretty much reflected typical law enforcement encounters in our area, as the previous head of security was a detective lieutenant.  He had to move due to his wife’s health issues.    Given local statistics, truthfully, I cannot totally justify edc.  However, my own experiences have taught me that bad things happen even in “safe” places.  I live within walking distance of a national forest.  It’s very peaceful out there, and most driving through it would say it is very safe, but I know the local game and fish officer for that area, and she tells me otherwise.  As  Pat often said, “just sayin”.  Statistically, our church should NEVER have to worry about criminal acts, other than vandalism, but our concern is that is precisely what the folks in Garland and New York City were thinking too.  Our pastor is new, having been here only six months.  He was in South Carolina at the time the madman killed the people at a church’s Bible study.  He told us yesterday that a female black pastor he knew took firearms training after that attack and carried concealed in church thereafter.  My point was, if you look at crime statistics - and I lived with the Uniform Crime Report for a while in my past, none of these churches or synogogues should have had anything to be concerned with.  Using a Pareto chart, such crimes would not even appear for consideration.   Unfortunately for the attendees at those churches and synogogues, it turned out to be a very real possibility, and that in why we want to be better prepared.  Maybe it is an exercise in futility, but only time will tell.

.22lr posted:

 

Also...

"to be prepared for possibilities, not probabilities"

VBIED?  Vehicle ramming the crowd after services? Suicide bomber?  Sniper? RPG? Fire bombs?  While the mission drives the gear train, the mission needs to be realistic.

There are too many possibilities to war game.  Houses of worship are tempting likely because they are viewed as soft targets in conjunction with being a symbol of whatever the evil bastard thinks he stands against.  Is overt security a possibility?

$2,000 is a decent pile of resources to direct at an area you have mostly covered.  is the expense worth it?  Would the money be better spent elsewhere towards the same goal?

You’re right, those are possibilities we have not  considered.  It appears that many responding here believe our concerns are both unwarranted and/or childish, and as such, I’m actually sorry I asked.  If it is okay with the moderators, can we just delete this thread?  

Sir,

My opinion should not matter to you.

To paraphrase my response:

- The vendor website indicates your plates will stop the vast majority of likely threats, but are not rated for AP.

- A real SME has indicated your choice as good for CONUS (though I suspect they would survive even in the mean streets of Hawaii.)

- Looking at the Lutheran churches in a 25min driving distance of Prescott Valley (there are 4-5) a vehicle based attack seem like a possibility. Most look to be light construction with one having brick walls some distance from the building.  Most were surrounded by flat, clear land. Dabiq (ISIS) and Inspire (Al Qaeda) magazines are available in English via the web and are worthwhile to review methods of attack.

It is noble to want to defend your fellow parishioners.  If, as you say in the first post of this thread, purchasing $2k plates is not realistic AND your current plates are very capable, why expend the funds?

 

Edited at 5:02est for typos

I think it is very commendable to be actively working towards keeping your church safe.  Just the fact that you guys are armed and trained is a huge step forward in these times.  

To the OP about plates and what they will stop.  Well this is a highly personal choice.  You are looking at possible threat levels, and even the likelihood of attack.  You assess those risks and equip as required.  Would I be concerned about this (stopping m855a1)?  Probably not.  I would be armed but probably not armored because in my opinion, the threat level isn't there yet.  But that is just me.

If the threat levels do raise to that point, what do you do?  Then you get the best plates you can and drive on.  If you can get m855a1 pro, GTG.  If not, you do the best you can, with what you have.

To the point of an active shooter being only one kind of attack taking place.  Very true.  It's like the old saw about the survivalist, prepping for nukes, laid low by a virus.  Again, looking at threat levels, and likelihood of attack.   Some kind of barrier plan may well be just as important.  Having a multi-faceted defense, instead of relying on one thing.      

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Setting aside any thread controversy and upset, for most CONUS defensive use, plates which will stop multiple hits of M193 and M855 are key--both of which are threats not routinely tested by NIJ.  Neither steel nor all compressed polyethylene plates will stop BOTH of these threats.  If you are an LE officer near a current US military base, I strongly suggest getting plates which will also stop M855A1 and M80A1.

If you truly need to stop modern AP threats, why get Level IV plates which are tested against a 1940's era projectile from WWII?  Would it not make more sense to test against reasonably modern threats like M993, M995, 7N37, 7N39, let alone some of the even more advanced projectiles?

Whatever threat level you get, plates must be able to stop three consecutive hits placed at each corner of a 3" triangle.  

Triple curve is generally more comfortable, especially for a front plate.  

SAPI sizing is generally more versatile that issuing everyone a 10x12.

Hesco and Tencate make good plates; AMI and Velocity also offer good plates.  

The AMI Tac3S will defeat M193 and M855, but it will NOT always stop M855A1 and M80A1; AMI does offer other plates which will do so.

DocGKR posted:

If you are an LE officer near a current US military base, I strongly suggest getting plates which will also stop M855A1 and M80A1.

Let's not get caught in assumption bias.

If bad guys can get it, the risk is anywhere.  National Guard, Reserve, and ROTC units draw the same ammo as the Active force.  If it walks away from the legitimate user it can be sold face-to-face or at gun shows any place.  Hand loaders can make their own Barnes or whatever equivalents.

Knuckleheads buy or steal whatever they can get their hands on.

Some guys just back from deployment told me they tested M855A1 on ESAPI's and they defeated it. I figured if it could stop M2 AP, you'd be safe but apparently not. InRange on YouTube did a test on Russian Level 4 plates and it stopped M855A1.

PRAISE THE FALLEN

SSG Kevin Roberts KIA 7-May-08         SPC Peter Courcy KIA 10-Feb-09

1Lt Nick Dewhirst KIA 20-July-08          PFC Jason Watson KIA 10-Feb-09

CPL Charles Gaffney KIA 24-Dec-08

 

Joined: 2/21/04          Location: Seattle,  WA

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