Some background, I am a uniformed officer in Baton Rouge and have been doing a lot of research since the attacks we suffered over the summer. I am wanting to upgrade my issued level 2 point blank soft armor that came with a special pistol threat trauma plate and a carrier. I also want to get rifle plates.

After lots of reading here and other places I think I have narrowed my choice down to the Velocity Systems LPAC and soft armor. I will have to wear this carrier under my uniform and this appears to be the best option. I do have a few questions that maybe the experts here can answer.

1. The LPAC armor cuts are proprietary to the LPAC, so does this cut provide better maneuverability, comfort? What I want to know is what are the difference/advantages in the LPAC cut from my current armor (it appears BALCS but I am not sure), other than because it is designed for the LPAC.

2. Due to current nature of officer attacks, the idea of "I will just throw on my plates if something happens" seems to have gone out the window. And I may be overthinking things, but I was thinking of using the LPAC and adding a thin, lightweight plate (possibly one of these http://www.tyrtactical.com/pro...r-level-3-i-c-plate/)  to the front to wear under my uniform. If this sounds like a bad idea or too bulky just let me know, I can always just buy a stand alone plate carrier.

I appreciate any opinions offered and any help with my search.

Original Post

Just for back groumd, I wore a similar set up to what you're describing for some time. I am a patrol officer in a large Canadian municipality; that changes my common threat matrix from yours. I am at a far smaller risk of being in a gun fight;  but overwhelmingly Canadian cops are shot by rifles as opposed to handguns. My common threat rounds would be .30cal hunting type rounds, 7.62x39 MSC fired out of an SKS, and 55 gr 5.56. Following a multiple LODD event in Moncton, New Brunswick, I set out to upgrade my ballistic protection .

Bottom line up front, I found that the decreased mobility and increased awkwardness was not worth the ballistic protection. 

I sourced an LPAC but was unable to find the accompanying soft armor at a reasonable price through Cdn retailers. I therefore used my issued soft armor in the LPAC; probably an 85% solution but sub optimal. the fit was not quite the same and resulted in some armor rolling and discomfort.

I was also unable to source a reasonably priced advanced composite plate like the Tyr plate you referenced. My best option was a thin but heavy level 3+ or a thick but light polyethylene level 3. I chose thick but light, as the data i could find on that Armor Express plate indicated it would stop my common threat rounds and was in the area of 3 pounds lighter. I also chose not to run  a back plate, my thinking again being a weight penalty and comfort while seated.

The upside is that I loved the construction of he LPAC, and it perfectly positioned both my hard and soft armour to protect my vital areas. bombproof kit. 

THE downside was that my plate was approx, an inch thick. it severely restricted mobility through my core, and somewhat compromised my shooting platform in asymmetric positions. I get in physical fights way more often than gun fights,  and the bulk and stiffness hindered me to a point where I was concerned about being injured by a weird, off balance movement.

Now, if I had access to a thinner plate at the similar weight at even a reasonable price, I would still consider that option. my solution was to procure a 5x8 inch special threat plate rated for my common threat rounds that I wear all the time. that plate is about .5 inch thick and less than 2 lb. I barely notice it but it will keep the bad stuff out of the important stuff. I also procured 2 of he aforementioned level 3+ plates and a carrier. my line of thinking is that I still have full time rifle protection in case  of ambush, and I religiously up armor on increased threat calls. 

Boiled down, I think you are on the right track; but be forewarned that it is not a turn key solution and that, like anything, the optimal solution is not gonna be  cheap.

 

 

 

 

Missed the edit window... I would also take a look at the TAG Fugitive armour carrier. I found it more comfy than the LPAC due to the liner system and for my body shape it also was capable of positioning the soft armour and plate correctly. 

I do know however that TAG is not considered top of the line kit anymore, and due to its closure system does not feel as secure when worn.

Also, I'm sure someone will be along to remind you that wearing a back plate is just as essential as a front

Just saw this.

Velocity Systems offers VS-13A which is a Kevlar package and VS-33A which is a Dyneema package. I have both. For backing plates the -33A is fine, for standalone wear the kevlar package is prefered.

For the OP's original question:

The VS cut of armor for the LPAC or the LPAAC (same cut or armor, the extra "A for assault" just means the carrier has MOLLE and a drag handle) is biased around mobility. I have used the LPAC under uniform shirts extensively, then transitioned to the LPAAC as an outer carrier once they were authorized. In either case, I have been wearing front and back plates. I started with 2518's and transitioned to VelSys PBZ not long after. Both work well in their roles.

I have owned and used both BALCS and VS-13A cuts. I prefer the coverage and fit of the LVS-13A over the BALCS, but either are viable and I would not throw a fit if I was back in BALCS in a gunfight. The VS-13A cut has higher side coverage and slightly narrower chest coverage enhancing arm rotation somewhat. The BALCS has slightly longer torso coverage. Flip a coin.

I posted up pictures of the coverage difference btw BALCS, VS-13A, and SAPI plates in the stickied "Proper wear of Hard armor" thread. Find it on the second page here: 

https://www.lightfighter.net/to...-with-diagram?page=2

Note that the pictures are all of Large size soft armor. You could drop to a medium BALCS and maybe approximate the fit of the VS-13A to a degree.

Bottom line is that the VS-13A is a very useful cut of armor, and the LPAC and LPAAC carriers are great ways to wear it, with or without plates.

 

On the plates.

The Tyr plate you linked looks like a good option. Anything thicker than .5" and much heavier than 4 lbs per plate sucks in the day after day grind. 

 

 

Longeye, thanks for the info. I was wondering how you eventually got your department to adopt the external carriers, or could you share your presentation. I wrote a 2 page summary of the argument for external carriers but have been unable to get anywhere with it. I would like to compare what I have. Thanks

BLUF: I went asymetric, built a coalition, and let the pressure come from anyone but me, even though my fingerprints were all over the proposal.

My white paper is on another computer. The basics are that I requested to do a trial wear of the outer vest. After I was cleared hot for thirty days to do that, I made sure that I was seen on every shift by the other deputies, and did the show and tell thing. I also tried to bee seen at higher profile places with community members present who would comment if they thought it "Looked too militaristic". Wait for it.... Wait for it... And nobody commented one way or the other, as I had predicted. At the same time, I had the white paper ready to go, and left it in a few mailboxes of the people I ID'd as having influence on the eventual decision. It initially went no where, other than having other deputies push the rope uphill by saying "Deputy Longeye wore that vest and it looked all right... Why can't we?"

Then after a few months it was announced that our vests were expiring and the new vests would include both a RSUC and a concealable carrier and deputies would be free to choose which they wanted to wear, based on the task and personal preference.

About half the deputies initially used the new shiny RSUC. Over the next couple of years that number shifted to approximately 3/4 of the badges wearing the external.

I wore the issued RSUC and armor for a couple days, coined the term RSUC (Really Shitty Universal Carrier) and went back to wearing my personally owned LPAAC and VS-13A that I had worn during the trial period. Subjectively, the difference in comfort, don-ability,  and security in a ground fight is better by a factor of ten or better.

One of lessons that emerged is to get T&E copies of whatever vest/carrier the agency might approve, then run them through DT, live fire ranges, patrol shifts, etc. Basically do active cop stuff in them for a month. We didn't and found out after the carriers came that they were easy to disassemble in a ground fight, and that the adjustability of the Point Blank RSUC was essentially non existent, so the soft armor and plates didn't ride as high as it should on some guys.

 

I have a LPAC with VS13 panels, I will just give a simple +1 to Longeye.

I don't normally run it with plates, but as a soft armor concealed vest the proprietary cut is much nicer than the crap the .gov issues.  Depending on my future assignments I plan on purchasing the LPAAC carrier and using that as an external carrier if possible.  I will just swap the soft armor between carriers as necessary based on mission and tasking.

Joined: 13DEC07      Location: Meridian, MS

Longeye, I'm the process of putting together the exact type of proposal it sounds like you've done for LPAACs with VS13 panels for our K9 Unit.  Any info your willing to share would certainly be beneficial.  Let me know if that's possible and I'll send you my .gov email.  Thanks

"Pain is Temporary, Victory is Forever"

Longeye posted:

Just saw this.

Velocity Systems offers VS-13A which is a Kevlar package and VS-33A which is a Dyneema package. I have both. For backing plates the -33A is fine, for standalone wear the kevlar package is preferred. 

I got these approved for my dept a couple of years back following a T&E process and a white paper. The last order I did (July 2016, I believe), Kevlar wasn't an option even though it was still listed as a product on their website. It was dyneema only. Just FYI.

Just to give an update, the dept bought plates and plate carriers for all officers. I  have not picked mine up yet, but I am going to assume they will be the normal low bid options. But a nugget of good news came out of all this. They have approved wearing the carrier and plates at all times. So that opens my options up considerably, I think I am leaning toward the LPAAC option at this time, it would be even better if they offered it in dark navy, but I think black will be passable. 

Now onto my second dilemma, wearing something more comfortable under the carrier that will mimic my uniform but not be as bulky or hot. I see Blauer makes armor skin under shirts that are half class A and half moisture wicking material, does anyone have experience with something like that or can point me in a direction?

I have worn a Velocity Systems LPAC with TYR plates exactly like you were considering under my uniform for a couple of years. It isn't comfortable, but it is functional.  I have plates on front and back.  Now that I am not in uniform as much, I really like it. We bought external carriers without plates for uniform options, but I chose to stuck with my old uniform and own carrier.

"Hold my beer and watch this"

burgeman posted:

Now onto my second dilemma, wearing something more comfortable under the carrier that will mimic my uniform but not be as bulky or hot. I see Blauer makes armor skin under shirts that are half class A and half moisture wicking material, does anyone have experience with something like that or can point me in a direction?

I wear them daily. Decent enough. Not as comfy as you're favorite under armour shirt but they do he job well. And they don't look awful if you shed your carrier in hq or something.  I do wear an under armour t shirt underneath it though as it's got a better feel than he Blauer material. 

“They were two douchebags who met in the normal course of being two douchebags.” - Sully, Third Watch

How well does the "standard NATO sizing" work for Velocity's concealed body armor?  I've always been individually sized for SBA, sometimes well and frequently not.  It seems that fit matters more than any other factor with SBA/  Most mentions of Velocity products seem to refer to hard plates or, at a minimum, external carriers.  Anyone using Velocity in a concealed vest?  Thanks and be safe.

JNC,

Are you wondering about the ULV or the LPAC sizing for concealment?

LPAC is comparable to NATO sizing. If you have used BALCS, LPAC/ LPAAC sizing is about one coverage level lower than comparable BALCS. So a BALCS Medium is comparable in coverage to a Large LPAC, even though size wise, they both correspond well to NATO sizing. Part of the difference is where the coverage is located on the torso, and mobility is why. See this thread for a group of pictures I posted that overlay the various cuts of armor- on Page 2:  https://www.lightfighter.net/to...-with-diagram?page=2

Thanks for the responses, guys.  I'm hoping  to replace my current under-the-shirt armor with something more effective , greater coverage, and hopefully comfortable  (albeit I don't believe comfort should be a primary concern).  Velocity is on the other side of the DC Beltway from me so I can drive over there to see what they have.

I know the response is late but I wear a LPAC daily under a patrol uniform in the TX heat and it is not uncomfortable.  I ordered 10x12 MTEK 604cpi plates for it, they stop 55gr .556 and 7.62x39 ball.  The plates are .5 inch thick ish and weight about 2 lbs.  I traded some ballistic protection for mobility but the package is light weight and makes running and climbing fences easier as well as rapidly getting out of a patrol vehicle.

 

Second the TYR HAS 3/7 3+ plates are awesome.  I am issued these plates in a tyr PICO MV and the thickness makes a night a day difference from my previous Protech FAV w poly plates.  

You cant go wrong with the LPAC so long as you use it for its intended purpose as a high threat alternative to conc arable armor.  It offers better under arm/side chest protection and allows for 10x12 plates. I carry a Haley DC3Rx in the front seat and can strip the shirt to add load carriage to the QASM clips if time permits.  

Negative- clips on interior of vest for ballistic groin dig into ribs and don't come off without breaking them, no loss I'm never running a groin on this vest.

Since Velocity Systems bought Mayflower the LPAC ships with same back panel as LPAAC including MOLLE and drag handle as well as larger loop field on front.  PICs on Velocirt Systems sight are current generation.

 

jnc36rcpd posted:

Thanks for the responses, guys.  I'm hoping  to replace my current under-the-shirt armor with something more effective , greater coverage, and hopefully comfortable  (albeit I don't believe comfort should be a primary concern).  Velocity is on the other side of the DC Beltway from me so I can drive over there to see what they have.

What did you end up doing?

I bought the LPAC in aug 16' and wore it up until this week.  I shipped it back to Velocity Systems to have the armor cut down to size med and should have it back within a week.  I'll have to buy a new carrier but that's the cheapest part of the system at $200ish. I was kinda between sizes and have lost a bunch of weight since I bought the large.  Velocity advises to measure you vest size to ensure overlap on the sides but I'm only 5'10" so I had trouble with the height of the vest while driving and wearing a duty belt.  I was coming off reinjuring my knee and my wife having twins when I bought it and have lost 25lbs since.   Definitely go try it on.  The MTEK plates are awesome and light weight.

 I can tell I'm wearing more armor than a concealable vest and it is hot, a side effect of better ballistic coverage no way around it, but not terrible and I'm in Central Texas I just drink water and embrace the suck. I ordered a armorvent retrofit kit to try out and that may help.  I love the vest, I figure if I get ambushed on patrol I won't have time to put on a plate carrier as I bail out of my truck, or it will be in the truck if I need it when dismounted and this vest and plate combo at about 6 lbs offers enough protection against common rifles and the AK/AR pistols that are so popular around here.  It's a good compromise.  Looks like Velocity Systems replaced he Kevlar panels with aramid since I bought my vest either way if you make his decision recognizing that speed/comfort vs armor is always a compromise you should be happy.

 As a patrol supervisor at my day job I've got it set up so I can skin the shirt and throw on my chest rig and helmet if a call turns into a SWAT call out.  I originally caught some flak from my PTL LT because the vest is ranger green and occasionally you could see the top through my color at the throat.  He got over it.  If you think someone will care just get a black one.  

The TYR PICO MV is my SWAT issued vest.  It's the most scalable and offers the best coverage of any vest we tested, you can option it for lots of coverage or take off the accessories to slim it down.  The plates were a revelation, they are advertised to stop green tip and are super thin.  As a ICW plate they are great.  I'm not worried about them being ICW our vests have soft panels for coverage anyway.  Our previous vest was the Protech FAV mk2 enhanced with mc2113-3 plates.  Those plates were lighter by a half pound but were 1.25 inch thick and sensitive to heat above 160deg (think trunk).  The xframe system and belt allow the groin to mount to the belt to stay were it's useful and doesn't restrict movement.  We have been in the TYR vest for 2 years with no complaints or problems. 

TXcop posted:

if I get ambushed on patrol I won't have time to put on a plate carrier as I bail out of my truck, or it will be in the truck if I need it when dismounted and this vest and plate combo at about 6 lbs offers enough protection against common rifles and the AK/AR pistols that are so popular around here.

THIS. 

To my way of thinking, the practice of keeping a PC in your trunk and donning it for high risk calls is obsolete. 

You wouldn't put your SBA in the trunk and don it for only high risk calls, right?  (this used to be a common practice for CONUS LE)

I'd had to deal with enough people who could have used rifles against us, that coupled with events in Dallas and Baton Rouge, I made the decision to wear plates full time (Tyr HA 3/7 plates in a Safariland LAPD/Oregon City external carrier). 

I bought the LPAC in aug 16' and wore it up until this week.  I shipped it back to Velocity Systems to have the armor cut down to size med and should have it back within a week.  I'll have to buy a new carrier but that's the cheapest part of the system at $200ish. I was kinda between sizes and have lost a bunch of weight since I bought the large.  Velocity advises to measure you vest size to ensure overlap on the sides but I'm only 5'10" so I had trouble with the height of the vest while driving and wearing a duty belt.  I was coming off reinjuring my knee and my wife having twins when I bought it and have lost 25lbs since.   Definitely go try it on.  The MTEK plates are awesome and light weight.

 I can tell I'm wearing more armor than a concealable vest and it is hot, a side effect of better ballistic coverage no way around it, but not terrible and I'm in Central Texas I just drink water and embrace the suck. I ordered a armorvent retrofit kit to try out and that may help.  I love the vest, I figure if I get ambushed on patrol I won't have time to put on a plate carrier as I bail out of my truck, or it will be in the truck if I need it when dismounted and this vest and plate combo at about 6 lbs offers enough protection against common rifles and the AK/AR pistols that are so popular around here.  It's a good compromise.  Looks like Velocity Systems replaced he Kevlar panels with aramid since I bought my vest either way if you make his decision recognizing that speed/comfort vs armor is always a compromise you should be happy.

 As a patrol supervisor at my day job I've got it set up so I can skin the shirt and throw on my chest rig and helmet if a call turns into a SWAT call out.  I originally caught some flak from my PTL LT because the vest is ranger green and occasionally you could see the top through my color at the throat.  He got over it.  If you think someone will care just get a black one.  

The TYR PICO MV is my SWAT issued vest.  It's the most scalable and offers the best coverage of any vest we tested, you can option it for lots of coverage or take off the accessories to slim it down.  The plates were a revelation, they are advertised to stop green tip and are super thin.  As a ICW plate they are great.  I'm not worried about them being ICW our vests have soft panels for coverage anyway.  Our previous vest was the Protech FAV mk2 enhanced with mc2113-3 plates.  Those plates were lighter by a half pound but were 1.25 inch thick and sensitive to heat above 160deg (think trunk).  The xframe system and belt allow the groin to mount to the belt to stay were it's useful and doesn't restrict movement.  We have been in the TYR vest for 2 years with no complaints or problems. 

I totally agree SFF officers should wear rifle rated armor at all times and have helmets handy.  The TX legislature just passed SB12 providing funds for departments to purchase plate carriers and level 4 plates.  This is somewhat unfortunate, though well meaning, as I don't see many officers wearing heavier, less flexible vests full time for rifle protection when their Department issues plate carriers.

I also foresee issues with my officers, I run across it a little now as about 1/3 of my guys bought carriers and ar500 plates after Dallas even though I suggested staying away from steel plates, with officers loading out their PCs like they are on an HVT raid in Iraqistan.  Patrol officers don't need 6 or more rifle mags and Rambo knives, I don't carry that many mags on my kit for SWAT though I have extras in the assault pack, these Rambo vests on the "bigger" guys keep them from running or driving their patrol unit.  

I've tried to explain the military term "most dangerous threat" to the guys and some just don't get it. I read a quote once that is applicable from an Alaskan bush pilot "what's on your person is survival gear, anything else is camping equipment".  When you need armor, IFAK or ammo you need it right now!

An increase and the home equity line and concern about "standardization" of equipment backburnered this project.  I do intend to get over to Velocity to see their products as well as checking out what's available at TacOps East.  For now I'm still rolling with a PT Armor IIIA.

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