I am sharing this after having just gone through the process of selecting and purchasing 360+ plate carriers, 700+ plates, and 360+ ballistic helmets for use by uniformed patrol officers. Nothing written here is intended to supplant or contradict advice provided by the SME's in this forum. Some of the information in this post is available elsewhere in the Lightfighter forums. Nothing in this post is intended to address the needs of SWAT teams or other special units in American law enforcement. This is primarily intended for patrol officers trying to make a personal purchase or patrol supervisors tasked with selecting and purchasing the "best" product possible for their officers while working with a limited budget. Some of this information may also help answer questions & criticisms from administrators, purchasers, policymakers, and citizen watchdogs.

I do not claim to have all the answers.  I'm just trying to help the overworked street cops trying to re-invent the wheel as they paddle homemade rafts through an ocean of bad infomercials. I freely admit that some of the information in this piece is influenced by the culture and requirements of my agency (which may be radically different than yours).  Let's begin...

There is no nice way to say this but we all need to beware of “snake oil salesmen” looking to make a buck from tragedy. Heretofore unknown vendors of rifle plates and active shooter “packages” are coming out of the woodwork since the Dallas incident. Most of their textile products (i.e. carriers) are poorly constructed and made in China. Such carriers may be satisfactory for Airsoft games but they are wholly inadequate for duty use. Some of their plates are lightweight but ineffective against ammunition commonly available at gun shows and large retail outlets. In some instances, their plates are effective but far too heavy for practical use by the average uniformed patrol officer (especially with two plates - 1 front and 1 rear). The body armor industry is beset by merchants altogether devoid of the least qualification to the field of terminal ballistics. Internet startups are peddling rifle plates from assemblers holding no papers of authenticity from any institution, recognized or improvised.

Selecting the "right" plates is super-confusing unless you've been working with this stuff on a regular basis over the last few years. It seems there's a "catch" or a "yeah, but..." to every option.  For example, the “old fashioned” ceramic plates were and are effective armor but they can be somewhat fragile. They are supposed to be X-Ray inspected annually to check for cracks compromising their ballistic protection. Steel plates can work well but they are heavy and awkward even if they are thin. Most importantly, they often do not stop some of the 5.56 rounds which can be purchased by the case at Cabela’s, Academy Sports, etc. Polyethylene plates are light and comfortable but they are often very expensive. Also, like some steel plates, several variations of commonly available 5.56 rounds will defeat them. What to do? Who do I believe? Which product do we truly need?

START WITH THIS: Realistic protection from rifle ammo must assume that suspects will walk into a big box store and unknowingly purchase a case of ammo which is capable of defeating many rifle plates. Your future adversary need not be well-informed or intelligent to select this product. He only needs to pick it off the shelf at random. This ammo is not “armor piercing” but it will punch right through many of the plates currently being sold with flashy marketing or fear.  The ammo in question primarily includes the following types of 5.56mm X 45mm (Mods: These links go to retail outlets only to serve as an example of how widely available this ammo truly is - please de-link if needed):

Let's get serious about learning important stuff now that I've got your attention with my own fear-mongering. The attachments to this post are intended to provide you with the “minimum must know” material for dealing with salesmen, vendors, and manufacturers. Before you read any further, you should go to the bottom of this post and carefully read the four attached files: 

  • “Rifle Plates" and Plate Carriers for Patrol Officers: A Few Things to Think About by Doug Deaton (Me)
  • Good Rifle Plate Options for LEOs by Dr. Gary K. Roberts (with a supplement at the end by Lightfighter member Longeye)
  • Excerpts Specific to Rifle Plates (Hard Armor) from “Selection & Application Guide 0101.06 to Ballistic-Resistant Body Armor”  collected from the original document by me.
  • Classifications & Definitions from NIJ 06 Standard  separated and collected by me.

Now that you're becoming better informed about standards and ratings, here are the "parent documents" you will want to save somewhere and refer to often: 

 NIJ Selection and Application Guide to Ballistic Armor 

Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor (NIJ Standard 0101.06)  

If you are buying on behalf of others, I recommend you take the time to carefully read these sections from the “Selection and Application Guide” before you get too far along in your process:

Chapter 3 - NIJ Ballistic-Resistant Body Armor Standards and Testing Program

Chapter 5 – Measurement, Fit and Coverage

Chapter 6 - Purchasing and Procurement Considerations

Chapter 7 - Development of Procurement Specifications

Use this NIJ-maintained site to confirm if a particular item or model of armor has actually gone through the NIJ’s compliance testing program:

Models that Comply with the NIJ Standard-0101.06 for Ballistic-Resistance of Body Armor 

 Additional resources that may be helpful for verifying information provided to you by vendors and/or manufacturers:

Testing, Standards and Products Information

Ballistic Armor Compliant Product List (Alternate Site)

Approved Testing Laboratories

 

More to come in the next post...

 

Attachments

Original Post

I hate to tell you this but I am not going to make any recommendations on which specific items to buy. I will provide some general recommendations along with more attachments. I will also end this post by telling you what my agency ultimately purchased.

Regarding Plate Carriers for Patrol Cops:

I strongly recommend you avoid anything with large exposed plastic buckles because they tend to get caught/crushed in car doors or trunks, hung up on hinges or wires,  and basically crushed, snapped, or lost. Get something that is made to rapidly don over the top of the patrol uniform (and underlying soft body armor). 

Avoid anything made "offshore" unless the vendor can provide adequate proof of quality (and preferably a list of other professional end users). Be sure there are bar tacks (reinforced lines of stitching) at critical load-bearing points. Make sure it comes with at least one pouch or pocket. MOLLE is nice but consider the follow on issues of logistics and purchasing of pouches.  

Check out the first attachment to this post entitled, "Proper Wear of Armor" and this post about the same right here on LIghtfighter. Stay focused on the reason you are getting these things in the first place. The primary purpose of a plate carrier is to hold the protective hard armor plates in place. Their secondary purpose is to enable the patrol officer to carry mission-essential equipment. If you don't control methodology and doctrine early on, you will have some of your people overload the carrier with stuff they don't need. Some might even compromise their ability to perform at their peak effectiveness.  For example, watch out for the guy who loads his carrier up with 6 spare magazines (in addition to the one in his rifle) but doesn't have a place for other important items (trauma kit, radio, multi-tool, flashlight, etc.).  

Side Note RE Patrol Rifle Magazines: Even if it takes an average of 6 rounds to stop 1 bad guy, three magazines loaded with 28 rounds each is still enough ammo to kill 14 bad guys.  Using that same math, a single magazine loaded with 28 rounds will enable you to put down an average of 4.66 bad guys. Patrol cops can do a lot of good work with a rifle and 2 spare magazines (for a total of 3 magazines). 

Do not take any vendor's word for anything. Period. Get your hands on the product. Put two heavy plates in the carrier and then have different sized people at your agency try it on. Then have them run with it. Dance in place. Make it shake. Make it shimmy. Get out your seat and jump around. Jump up, jump up and get down. You might surprised at how many of the "offshore" plate carriers will fail this simple test in the first 30 seconds. 

If you keep seeing "knock off" carriers which are clearly a copy of another company's plate carriers...that's a clue about the products you should be looking for.

Regarding Ballistic Helmets for Patrol Cops:

The preferred helmet style/pattern for most police patrol operations is the Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH). The MICH pattern is also acceptable as it is effectively identical to the ACH. There are several other helmet profiles similar to the ACH/MICH pattern which would likely meet your needs.

 The ACH/MICH helmet profile is compatible with most standard public safety style gas masks and personal protective equipment (PPE). The ACH/MICH has been in service since approximately 2002 and is now the standard “workhorse” of helmets for both military and law enforcement. It can be used in its simplest configuration or it can be upgraded later to accept modular components (rails, search lights, night vision mounts, etc). See the attached photo and this article for more information about the ACH.

 Some agencies choose to avoid the PASGT profile because of the visor or “lip” which can make it difficult for some officers to fire their rifle from the prone position and/or interfere with acquiring a proper sight picture, especially when using a red-dot sight. This is not always the case and it's certainly not a hard-and-fast rule (I can sense the Marines bristling now). It goes without saying that a PASGT-style helmet is definitely acceptable for officers who are not using patrol rifles.

 Whatever helmet you decide to go with, make sure it provides Level IIIA ballistic protection. While most helmet manufacturers state their products provide level IIIA ballistic protection, it is important to note that NIJ does not certify Level IIIA helmets. The NIJ certification for helmets only provides for testing up to Level II. The only comprehensive Level IIIA testing protocol for helmets in the U.S. is conducted by H. P. White Laboratory, Inc.  Though NIJ Standard 0106.06 does not address helmets, most reputable manufacturers conduct or contract testing of their helmets consistent with or similar to the Level IIIA requirements of that standard.

 Here’s some verbiage that may be helpful for writing your specifications:

 “Helmets considered for purchase must conform to the requirements of Type II classification as defined by the NIJ Standard for Ballistic Helmets (0106.01). Vendors must provide documentation of ballistic testing consistent with the Level IIIA requirements of NIJ Standard 0106.06. Additional documentation of testing conducted in compliance with the following standards is strongly preferred:”

 Helmet Manufacturers (non-exhaustive list):

 Helmet Vendors (non-exhaustive list):

 If you're still reading this post, I know what you're thinking: Enough of your blather! What did y'all buy? 

These are the products my agency went with.  I am not suggesting that you should do the same thing.  

Plate carrier (one per officer)

Shellback Tactical Banshee (black in color)

More Info re Shellback Banshee @ SKD Tactical

Plate (two per officer)

ProTech Model 2120-5, Level III+ Stand Alone, Multi-Hit  /  This is a multi-curve ceramic/polyethylene composite plate weighing only 5.5 pounds. It is capable of stopping 6 hits of some of the most potent 5.56mm and 7.62mm rifle ammo available. They are drop-tested and include padding on the surface worn nearest the body. This plate is rated for all the ammo listed in our specs and it does not need to be x-rayed every year. It is the best value we could find in terms of protection, weight, cost, thickness, and curvature.

Helmet (one per officer)

United Shield ACH/MICH Level IIIA with military pad system (black in color)  

While we sought the best possible price on items meeting our specifications, these are not “low bid” products. This is professional-grade equipment intended to ensure our officers' survival in the face of extraordinary threats. We believe these products provided us with the best possible combination of personal protection, durability, weight, cost, and delivery time.  A “better” product does us no good if it cannot be delivered for another 5 months or if we cannot afford to buy it for every member of our department. 

Please check out the attachments for additional information. I'm happy to answer any questions as much as I am able. 

 

Attachments

Damn, Doug.  Good stuff.  I feel like I've been to school, while still knowing next to nothing.

Mojo/Mark
__________________________
Yo homey, is that my briefcase...?
Vincent from "Collateral"
__________________________
You want the good life, you break your back, you snap your fingers, you snap your neck... Prong/Demon Hunter
__________________________

Because...I Can. 


Joined: 9/30/09
Location: Northern Nevada (Reno/Sparks)

Outstanding info. Thanks for the effort.

Somebody sticky this thread...

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The moral high ground is sometimes just a head on a long pike... - Astronomy

 

A new Plt Ldr is like a first time new mother. The Plt Sgt is a lifelong midwife and nanny. It's your baby, but he knows a lot about changing diapers and other ugly things. - Astronomy

THIS post/thread is EXACTLY why LF exists.

BZ Doug.  You've undoubtedly saved a lot of guys a lot of homework, and more importantly - made your agency brothers much safer.

My workplace's internal testing has shown that the ProTech 2120's continue to perform and be a great value (based on your criteria of balancing protection, weight, cost, and availability), particularly for agencies on a budget, and for guys forced to purchase with personal $$.

 

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"Of every one hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there; Eighty are nothing but targets; Nine are real fighters... We are lucky to have them... They make the battle. Ah; but One; One of them is a Warrior... And he will bring the others back." - Heraclitus (Circa 500 B.C.)

 

Joined:  6/10/09          Location:  WDC area  (most of the time...)

 

Great, info. Thanks for sharing. A wealth of great info and thanks for including reference documents.

  • The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
  • The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.

- Sun Tzu -

The Art of War

Great job.  Wish I had this 2 years ago.   We also ended up with the PT 2120 plates front and rear.   We went with the Protech TacPR carrier because.... Unfortunately I was forced to go on state bid and it was the best option available on the bid list.   Luckily the plates were what I wanted and were on the list as well.  

So are  these individual issue or were you stuck doing we we had to do and have one per vehicle.   I'm guessing individual issue based on your numbers - or maybe you work at a huge agency

Edit:

I forgot to mention in my initial post (and somewhat of a sidebar) that I agree that two spare rifle mags are probably adequate for 99% of situations. However, officers should consider their individual or department circumstances as well. For example, in the North Hollywood incident, LAPD officers fired over 650 rounds and the two suspects fired over 1100 rounds. So having some extra mags isn't necessarily a bad idea. Obviously, not at the expense of other critical equipment.

I know that ALERRT (active shooter training) encourages officers to carry at least 100 -120 rounds. I personally carry two spare rifle mags and two spare pistol mags on my everyday-wear carrier and five spare rifle mags on my throw-on LBT carrier. Just my thoughts and something to consider with plate/carrier selection.  Excellent info in the post.

  • The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
  • The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.

- Sun Tzu -

The Art of War

Doug,

Strong work! As one of your quoted sources, I am humbled.

I should know better by now, but I continue to be amazed at the reach that Lightfighter has. You never know who is reading something you posted, and what the second and third order effects are.

So, thanks for taking the time to put all this together and share it. Know that there is a ripple effect.

Lyle

I posted this in another thread discussing Level 3+ plates, but figured I would add the link here as well (to help more LFers). This is a spreadsheet collecting a variety of information on some of the plates available. As I said in the other thread, hopefully, some will find it helpful. The prices may vary, but it provides some useful comparison.  Be sure to fully research any plates you are interested in to validate the information. 

Armor Plate Comparison Sheet

  • The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
  • The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.

- Sun Tzu -

The Art of War

So this is what I have troubles wrapping my head around.  It seems there are level III/IV icw plates on the market that have had excellent reviews in the past.  However, they are not listed on the NIJ 06 approved list.  What am I missing here?  What is the status of plates like the  AMI TAC3S, Velocity System P34, AT LESAPI.  So are there plates flying under the radar because the NIJ standard  is pigeon holing level III or level IV or because the companies don't submit the sample plates to be tested in both categories, or are the model numbers displayed by NIJ not the same as the model names provided for retail?  I get the impression that level IV doesn't mean that it will stop the multi hit rounds of level III.  However, there have been level III icw plates that can actually rate level IV and special threat plates that will allegedly protect against both that aren't rated NIJ 06 for either III or IV.  Then some of these plates do throw in an NIJ rating  using  NIJ .04 rather than NIJ .06.  It seems like every company would cater to the ICW crowd with the latest NIJ testing standard as agencies are looking into patrol officers having the throw on option.  Just trying to get a handle on this, so sorry for my scattered thought process.

Not an expert on this, but here's what I'm seeing:

-Not everyone wants to subject their products to NIJ testing, whether's it due to the expense, or lack of perceived need for it

-NIJ testing for 3/4 doesn't mean all that much, it's not especially relevant to today's threats.

-Ratings from the manufacturer or vendor may or may not mean much, the devil is in the details.  You have to inquire about the details of the testing.  For example, just because a plate is claimed to stop M855 doesn't mean it will stop M193.   Just because it'll stop M193 out of a 14.5" barrel doesn't mean it will stop M193 out of a 20" barrel. 

SFF posted:

Not an expert on this, but here's what I'm seeing:

-Not everyone wants to subject their products to NIJ testing, whether's it due to the expense, or lack of perceived need for it

-NIJ testing for 3/4 doesn't mean all that much, it's not especially relevant to today's threats.

-Ratings from the manufacturer or vendor may or may not mean much, the devil is in the details.  You have to inquire about the details of the testing.  For example, just because a plate is claimed to stop M855 doesn't mean it will stop M193.   Just because it'll stop M193 out of a 14.5" barrel doesn't mean it will stop M193 out of a 20" barrel. 

SFF,

Very valid points. It is always a good idea to request the test results for your plates of interest. It seems the current NIJ standards are more a means of decreasing liability on departments and mfgs and a way of ensuring funding (ie: grants) than an efficient operational measure. 

"Special Rifle Threat" validation is the current trend which means you have to even more carefully consider what threats a plate is tested to stop and which threats it is likely to stop.  The OPs point is probably the most important about body armor, determine your likely threats, weight, and cost requirements then narrow down from there.  As implied, body armor is a confusing topic.

 

 

  • The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
  • The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.

- Sun Tzu -

The Art of War

CHINDITS,

Sorry, I missed your post when I made my last reply. I am not a body armor/ballistics expert, but I have done a lot of research and have some experience in the subject.  I will share some of what I have learned in my research.

Several of the plates you are referring to are certified under the NIJ 101.04 (2005 Interim) requirements such as the Velocity System PSA4. These plates won't show up in the current NIJ certification list. However, they retain their original certification. Many companies offer plates under the old spec and the new spec. These plates are often very similar, if not identical. For example, the Highcom 4SAS7 and the 4S17 are essentially identical plates, but the 4S17 has refinements, namely extra padding for the drop test, to meet the .06 spec. Since many vendors are actually selling rebranded plates (LTC, Tencate, Hesco, etc), the model # in the NIJ .06 certification list may not exactly match the company's own "model #." Most companies keep the original plate mfgs model # for the NIJ purposes. Additionally, some companies may sell the exact same plate from the same OEM mfg, but one company may decide to get it certified and the other may not. 

Then you add in the realm of "special rifle threat" validated and independently tested plates. Since the .06 standard addresses SRT plates, many companies make them. Most of these plates are designed around specific applications or threat profiles such as the Velocity PBZ (SA and ICW versions). So these companies don't bother to take on the extra expense of getting them NIJ certified. They just conduct independent testing. Some companies offer plates that are independently tested to the full NIJ standard, but not certified. Again, usually, this is to save cost. However, be wary of some unscrupulous vendors selling plates that may not be high enough quality to pass the test. Look at the independent test results. The test info should include whether the test was conducted to the full standard or the abbreviated standard.

If you are looking at level III/IV plates, again, be sure to look at the actual test results. A level III/IV plate should have been tested to meet both standards (multi-shot 7.62x51 and  likely a single shot 7.62x63 M2AP).  Usually, they are ICW plates. I don't know of any NIJ .06 certified III/IV plates. These will usually be independently tested. 

Lastly, some plates are tested to the ESAPI standard (military standard). This is similar to the NIJ level IV, but is considered more stringent. These would be considered special threat rated/independently tested plates. These plates may or may not even be tested to the NIJ standard. The Velocity System PB Lvl IV (ESAPI) plates meet the NIJ .04/05 as a stand alone plate and the ESAPI standard when ICW their level IIIA backers.

I hope this helps. I welcome input from any of the SMEs.

 

  • The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
  • The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.

- Sun Tzu -

The Art of War

jw917 posted:

I posted this in another thread discussing Level 3+ plates, but figured I would add the link here as well (to help more LFers). This is a spreadsheet collecting a variety of information on some of the plates available. As I said in the other thread, hopefully, some will find it helpful. The prices may vary, but it provides some useful comparison.  Be sure to fully research any plates you are interested in to validate the information. 

Armor Plate Comparison Sheet

How sure are you about the Velocity Systems BZ SAs being just rebranded TenCate Cratus 6400SA? I ask because the BZ SAs claim to provide multi-hit protection against M80, while the 6400SA spec sheet/STOP-BZ webpage do not mention any type of 7.62×51mm testing.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

 

老僧三十年前未參禪時、見山是山、見水是水、及至後夾親見知識、有箇入處、見山不是山、見水不是水、而今得箇體歇處、依然見山秪是山、見水秪是水。


Joined: 2008-07-16

Thank you for all the replies.  I have had the unfortunate task of choosing plates for a small department.   I have no expertise and the only experience I have with plates is wearing what the Army gave me.   The only definitive factor is that these plates will be stored for years in 4x4 vehicles with outside temps from -30 to low 90s.   They will be ICW  patrol issued IIIa soft armor.  As with most decisions, this will be fodder for the sharpshooters to find fault and admin to find excess expense.  I already know the level IV standard is not the realistic threat in this area, but any  AR/AK ammo and any hunting round designed to harvest yotes to elk is definitely on the plate.   I have seen  several plates that I thought were viable options, but I have already been questioned on their NIJ .04 rating rather than the NIJ .06.    I personally am not committed to the means that level III and IV plates are stratified and the special threat plates seem to accommodate that.  However, I will probably have to justify any decision based on a standard that can be quantified.    If I step outside of the NIJ testing realm, then that obviously makes any decision more difficult to defend.  So if company A decided not to submit plates to NIJ, but they tested them through allegedly independent research facility Z how do I know that facility Z isn't biased by the contracted tests.  Or how did you go with a NIJ .04 rated plate when NIJ .06 plates are available, etc... etc...  

JW I did check out your spread sheet and much appreciated.  I also reviewed multiple links provided by the OP, which were invaluable.   I guess me trying to fill in the gaps found in the system is what causes my head to swim.  There has been no shortage of information provided in this post and many of the previous posts provided by Doc.

Edit: I should also clarify the level III and level IV test for level III/IV plates are conducted separately on two different plate samples. It does not mean a single plate will stop the AP round and the .308 rounds. Although, in reality, it might be possible that a quality plate could do so given the right conditions.

  • The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
  • The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.

- Sun Tzu -

The Art of War

Default.mp3 posted:
jw917 posted:

I posted this in another thread discussing Level 3+ plates, but figured I would add the link here as well (to help more LFers). This is a spreadsheet collecting a variety of information on some of the plates available. As I said in the other thread, hopefully, some will find it helpful. The prices may vary, but it provides some useful comparison.  Be sure to fully research any plates you are interested in to validate the information. 

Armor Plate Comparison Sheet

How sure are you about the Velocity Systems BZ SAs being just rebranded TenCate Cratus 6400SA? I ask because the BZ SAs claim to provide multi-hit protection against M80, while the 6400SA spec sheet/STOP-BZ webpage do not mention any type of 7.62×51mm testing.

Default,

Per Velocity, the BZ SA plates are a "modified" version of the Tencate 6400. I don't know what specific modifications are made to the plate other than the obvious outer cover coloring and labeling.  It has the same weight and thickness profile as the standard 6400 plate. 

Yes, the BZ lists 7.62x51 as a rated threat, but the Tencate 6400 does not.  The AT STOP-BZ plate is also the same plate as the Velocity BZ SA plate (per AT). It also does not list the 7.62x51 as a rated threat. 

With no change in weight or thickness, it doesn't seem that the plate has more ceramic or PE material in design. It may have just been a matter of testing the plate for the 7.62x51 threat. Just my thought on it. 

I updated the wording in the note of the sheet to make it more clear. 

I hope this helps clarify. Again, any of the SMEs should provide better input.

  • The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
  • The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.

- Sun Tzu -

The Art of War

jw917 posted:
Default.mp3 posted:
jw917 posted:

I posted this in another thread discussing Level 3+ plates, but figured I would add the link here as well (to help more LFers). This is a spreadsheet collecting a variety of information on some of the plates available. As I said in the other thread, hopefully, some will find it helpful. The prices may vary, but it provides some useful comparison.  Be sure to fully research any plates you are interested in to validate the information. 

Armor Plate Comparison Sheet

How sure are you about the Velocity Systems BZ SAs being just rebranded TenCate Cratus 6400SA? I ask because the BZ SAs claim to provide multi-hit protection against M80, while the 6400SA spec sheet/STOP-BZ webpage do not mention any type of 7.62×51mm testing.

Default,

Per Velocity, the BZ SA plates are a "modified" version of the Tencate 6400. I don't know what specific modifications are made to the plate other than the obvious outer cover coloring and labeling.  It has the same weight and thickness profile as the standard 6400 plate. 

Yes, the BZ lists 7.62x51 as a rated threat, but the Tencate 6400 does not.  The AT STOP-BZ plate is also the same plate as the Velocity BZ SA plate (per AT). It also does not list the 7.62x51 as a rated threat. 

With no change in weight or thickness, it doesn't seem that the plate has more ceramic or PE material in design. It may have just been a matter of testing the plate for the 7.62x51 threat. Just my thought on it. 

I updated the wording in the note of the sheet to make it more clear. 

I hope this helps clarify. Again, any of the SMEs should provide better input.

Thanks for the information. I had asked Mike at AT whether or not any 7.62×51mm testing had been done with the STOP-BZ, and he stated that he "[didn't] have any test data for M80 against the BZ, only the listed threats", so I was curious about it, given the specs on the BZ SA. I agree that it would most likely provide proper protection against ball 7.62×51mm in general, and that it's probably just a matter of testing, just thought it was interesting that one site would list M80 while the others are careful to ignore it (e.g., TenCate specifically did not check off M80 testing on this spreadsheet: http://www.tencate.com/amer/Im...2014_tcm29-33035.pdf). 

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

 

老僧三十年前未參禪時、見山是山、見水是水、及至後夾親見知識、有箇入處、見山不是山、見水不是水、而今得箇體歇處、依然見山秪是山、見水秪是水。


Joined: 2008-07-16

chindits posted:

Damn this is a great business, essentially the standard is voluntary and the existing standard just leaves you wondering what falls in between the standards of III/IV and how that should apply to your needs.

 

Yes, I agree. I think that is why Doug's title and original post are fitting. I have read  from several SMEs and spoke with several vendor that echo that it is best to look at your specific  mission and threat needs then narrow down on what best suits you in the weight, protection, and cost parameters.

The NIJ certification is important from a legal/liability and financial standpoint.  If you are looking for federal grant money or assistance it will likely require using certified plates.  It may be important to discuss plate selection, if you are doing it for the whole department, with the legal unit. They may want certified plates from a liability and insurance savings standpoint.  Ironically, the same NIJ certified labs do the same tests on the NIJ certified plates and the SRT plates.  It is all in what the company or mfg want to pay for.

I hope you are able to figure out a good option. I personally found the Hesco 3610 plates to be a good balanced option and the Hesco 4600 if you need Level 4. But there are lots and lots of good options out there.

 

  • The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
  • The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.

- Sun Tzu -

The Art of War

I'm not a patrol officer but my son is. His dept has not provided hard armor and he is a little on the cheap side.  From all I have read, I have not seen any ratings for common hunting rounds like 30-30, .270 win, 30-06 non-AP , or .300 win mag. I'm assuming (dangerous) 30-30 would probably behave similar to 7.62x39 non steel core. Would level III stop 30-06 non AP or would that require a level IV? What about .270 win and .300 win mag? My apologies if my search has been lacking and this already covered.

Garg 'nuair dhùisgear

jw917 posted:

I posted this in another thread discussing Level 3+ plates, but figured I would add the link here as well (to help more LFers). This is a spreadsheet collecting a variety of information on some of the plates available. As I said in the other thread, hopefully, some will find it helpful. The prices may vary, but it provides some useful comparison.  Be sure to fully research any plates you are interested in to validate the information. 

Armor Plate Comparison Sheet

I find that chart to be very typical of the options in a very large market.  

Will Marshall Point Blank Enterprise NC, SC, GA Territory Manager

 wmarshall@pbearmor.com

PPE, Point Blank, PACA, Paraclete

I guess maybe I did not miss NIJ or special threat testing on common US domestic rounds.  I can understand the .mil not testing for rounds like .270,.300 win mag etc., but it seems like NIJ or manufacturers marketing to cops would take these into consideration. Common hunting rounds would seem  very likely threats to Patrol Officers. I went ahead and ordered Armour Wear 3+ for my son. Hopefully, they never get tested on him.

 

Garg 'nuair dhùisgear

Hard Shell posted:

At Hard Shell, we designed quality ballistic solutions by optimising the raw material in such a way that can meet the threat level. Body  Armor seems to be next weapon against crime so before buying one should exactly knows the type of threat they posing in their daily operation. For more protective gear solution please visit http://www.hardshell.com (Body Armor Manufacturers)

Quote to save this. Hard Shell adds nothing to the discussion; heck, last week he confused the levels in the Protective Clothing system with NIJ threat ratings. SMH!

Have done a lot of reading , reviews everywhere. Lots of videos on the interweb. Settled on RMA level IV plates, I believe they where the 1089's. Ordering a set for myself and a set for my son. Very light plates with a patented tile array system ( may actually be a better way to build with ceramic) that has videos of it defeating 5 rounds of 300WM and then 20 rounds of M80 all on the same plate.

Outstanding work. I wish it was here about this time last year. I spent a couple of months researching plates and external carriers for Canine Officers, as I was seeking permission to outfit all 20 of us within my agency. This information will make it much easier for someone tasked to outfit their officers with carriers and plates to do so in an informed manner.

When I was doing my research, I was shocked at how many "Rifle" plates were not rated to stop the common 5.56mm and 7.62x39 ammunition available for sale at the local Wal Mart! 

And once you start to talk of an agency sale, the snake oil salesmen come out of the woodwork.

Once again, Thanks Doug for putting this together. 

 

 

 

Joined: 4-23-04                                          Location: SW Ohio

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