I am looking into the possibility of upgrading my body armor.  I know that plates can be good and (comparatively)light, but not cheap. The highest end threat I can realistically expect to encounter is .30 AP.

If I've got a budget of $2k for front and rear, where should I start? Thanks for any guidance you can provide.

"Hold my beer and watch this"

Original Post

I'd reach out the AT armor.  I spent probably well over an hour total via messenger with them discussing my needs and end goals.  They were excellent and didn't push one particular plate on me, rather capabilities of each plate. While 30 cal AP is a "potential" threat where I am, it wasn't a "probable" threat.

I ended up with a set of 10x12 STOP plates from them that I wear daily in a First Spear Strandhogg doing the PoPo gig.  If I was more concerned about 7.62 API their STOP-BZ plate would have been my choice.

"Rifle rated?"  What threats do you want it to stop?  Do you want it to be NIJ rated?  Level IV is not necessarily better than Level III, just different.  Can you expect to face the higher velocity 5.56mm or military type 5.56mm threats (because a "light" polyethylene plate probably won't stop those) ?  Does the manufacturer do "in house" / YouTube testing against special threats or have an independent ballistics lab certify their plates for non-NIJ threats?  

I am another happy AT customer.  But you need to define your requirements a little better.

So far, you are saying you want a lightweight plate that will stop .30 AP and is light weight. 

do you mean .30-06 AP?  If so that pushes you toward something in an NIJ level IV which tend to be heavy.  Or do you mean .308 AP or 7.62X39 AP or 7.62X54 AP that opens up a number of other options.  Are you actually  seeing .30 CAL AP rounds? 

Do you require DOJ certification?

What are you going do be doing while wearing the plate? Contracting in Iraq, CONUS LE, classes and SHTF? 

What size and cut do you need?  SAPI, Shooter, Swimmer?  That's driven by intended use and body size and type.

Given what you've said so far and what your budget is I'd look at HESCO and Velocity Systems. 

 

 

___________________________________________________________________

I'm either dead right, or horribly wrong. Either way the results should be entertaining.

 

"Shoot the MOTHERF$%^ER until he changes shape or catches fire"  the PAT ROGERS

Running a set of Velocity Systems API-BZ plates and very happy with them. Don't know if I would pay the price for them if it was out of pocket.

"This is my shield. I bear it before me in to battle, but it is not mine alone. It protects my brother on my left. It protects my city. I will never let my brother out of its shadow nor my city out of its shelter. I will die with my shield before me facing the enemy."

https://store.atarmor.com/AT_A...ate_p/at-stop-bz.htm is probably the easiest selection if you're not beholden to NIJ standards. I'm fairly certain that they're just rebranded TenCate Cratus CR-6450 SA. Good mix of weight, thinness, and performance.

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

If you mean .30-06 then the HESCO 4800's are a good Level IV option. Depending on your size, you can get them at around or under $1,000 per plate. https://www.sabersolutionsllc....riant=21332281589840


If you mean 30 caliber as in 7.62 x 39 API, then the U210's are a great choice. Not only will it be more cost effective than the 4800's but also lighter and thinner https://www.sabersolutionsllc....pecial-threat-plates The U210's were chosen over the Tencate plates (rebranded as API-BZ, STOP BZ, etc by various armor dealers) for an FBI contract. 

Here is a threat matrix from my site that you can use to reference your threats and what HESCO armor plate will meet your needs. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/file...?3194194948970693074

This an interesting thread.  Since the OP doesn't specify, I'll jump on it.  What if I want a SHTF level of protection, that would protect against 7.62 x39 AK stuff, M193, and M855, with possibly M855A1 thrown in.  Would the U-210's be the one?  

"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

Some good comments above.

As noted previously, if any CONUS LE are wearing plates that are not fully tested against and certified to stop at a minimum multiple hits of both M193 and M855 fired out of a 20" 1/7 twist barrel, they are grossly wrong and putting their officers at risk.  For agencies nearby military bases and any agencies smart enough to get ahead of emerging threats, plates should also stop multiple hits of both M855A1 and M80A1.

FWIW, 7.62x39 mm M43 mild steel core FMJ and even BZ is relatively easy to stop, as is 7.62x51mm M80 ball.

Last I looked, bad guys are not using a time machine to raid 1940's era ammo caches to load up their M1 rifles and BAR's for bank heists ala Clyde Barrow.  So why would anyone purchase LIV plates tested against an early 20th century AP threat like .30-06 M2 "black tip"?  For anyone needing true AP protection in today's world, you need to get plates designed to at least stop multiple hits of relatively modern AP threats, including M993 and M995, as well as 7N37 and 7N39 if working OCONUS--note that minimum recommendation is not even addressing the latest 21st century emerging AP threats...

Hey Doc!  Thanks for weighing in.  Long time no talk.   Yeah a lot of water under the bridge just since the G-WOT, much less the Depression.  When dept's finally got guys to wear BA, it was level II soft armor for wheel guns in .38 caliber.  Man how things have changed.  Although I bet a lot of dept's haven't.  

Body armor is among the many topics on line which are so confused by all the noise out there.  Nice to be able to come to a place and get a legit answer.  

BTW, have you gotten a chance to test the new "Stop Shot" stuff?   They're sending that stuff out far and wide to anybody that wants to shoot it up and post their youtube vid; I would be interested in seeing YOUR thoughts on the matter.  If they have enough sack to send them your way.  Or should I say enough alloy/synthetic fiber blend.            

"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

DocGKR posted:

Some good comments above.

As noted previously, if any CONUS LE are wearing plates that are not fully tested against and certified to stop at a minimum multiple hits of both M193 and M855 fired out of a 20" 1/7 twist barrel, they are grossly wrong and putting their officers at risk.  For agencies nearby military bases and any agencies smart enough to get ahead of emerging threats, plates should also stop multiple hits of both M855A1 and M80A1.

FWIW, 7.62x39 mm M43 mild steel core FMJ and even BZ is relatively easy to stop, as is 7.62x51mm M80 ball.

Last I looked, bad guys are not using a time machine to raid 1940's era ammo caches to load up their M1 rifles and BAR's for bank heists ala Clyde Barrow.  So why would anyone purchase LIV plates tested against an early 20th century AP threat like .30-06 M2 "black tip"?  For anyone needing true AP protection in today's world, you need to get plates designed to at least stop multiple hits of relatively modern AP threats, including M993 and M995, as well as 7N37 and 7N39 if working OCONUS--note that minimum recommendation is not even addressing the latest 21st century emerging AP threats...

My potential threat at the upper end is a redneck with a 30.06 deer rifle.  Like you said, I really doubt I will be facing someone with a stash of black tip 30.06, but Cletus and his Savage are a distinct possibility.

"Hold my beer and watch this"

K.O.A.M. posted:
DocGKR posted:

Some good comments above.

As noted previously, if any CONUS LE are wearing plates that are not fully tested against and certified to stop at a minimum multiple hits of both M193 and M855 fired out of a 20" 1/7 twist barrel, they are grossly wrong and putting their officers at risk.  For agencies nearby military bases and any agencies smart enough to get ahead of emerging threats, plates should also stop multiple hits of both M855A1 and M80A1.

FWIW, 7.62x39 mm M43 mild steel core FMJ and even BZ is relatively easy to stop, as is 7.62x51mm M80 ball.

Last I looked, bad guys are not using a time machine to raid 1940's era ammo caches to load up their M1 rifles and BAR's for bank heists ala Clyde Barrow.  So why would anyone purchase LIV plates tested against an early 20th century AP threat like .30-06 M2 "black tip"?  For anyone needing true AP protection in today's world, you need to get plates designed to at least stop multiple hits of relatively modern AP threats, including M993 and M995, as well as 7N37 and 7N39 if working OCONUS--note that minimum recommendation is not even addressing the latest 21st century emerging AP threats...

My potential threat at the upper end is a redneck with a 30.06 deer rifle.  Like you said, I really doubt I will be facing someone with a stash of black tip 30.06, but Cletus and his Savage are a distinct possibility.

So that's 7.62X63mm, You could stop a 7.62X63mm JSP going 2780fps with a 1" thick HECO 3810 (I'd still ask for the testing report) from:

https://store.atarmor.com/Hesc..._Plate_p/hs-3810.htm

There might be some other options, but a lot of the testing I've seen posted was for military rounds, not civilian sporting rounds.   Doc, or some of your Brother LEs might be able to help.  I've read about III+ plates able to stop your heavier hunting rounds, but without test data I'd be risking your life.

___________________________________________________________________

I'm either dead right, or horribly wrong. Either way the results should be entertaining.

 

"Shoot the MOTHERF$%^ER until he changes shape or catches fire"  the PAT ROGERS

Diz posted:

Hey Doc!  Thanks for weighing in.  Long time no talk.   Yeah a lot of water under the bridge just since the G-WOT, much less the Depression.  When dept's finally got guys to wear BA, it was level II soft armor for wheel guns in .38 caliber.  Man how things have changed.  Although I bet a lot of dept's haven't.  

Body armor is among the many topics on line which are so confused by all the noise out there.  Nice to be able to come to a place and get a legit answer.  

BTW, have you gotten a chance to test the new "Stop Shot" stuff?   They're sending that stuff out far and wide to anybody that wants to shoot it up and post their youtube vid; I would be interested in seeing YOUR thoughts on the matter.  If they have enough sack to send them your way.  Or should I say enough alloy/synthetic fiber blend.            

Not Doc but they list some of their III plates that do not stop M855 as III+ and their warranties don't line up with the NIJ CPL list. 

They are Tencate plates but they make bold claims that they've come up with a new "patent pending" technology called "Duritum" that results in the lightest PE plates on the market. From my research, I think it is just a trademarked buzzword and in the end, when you compare the specs to say a 3800, it is not lighter...

Shady shit.

We are currently issuing the Hesco 3800c. They are very, very light...a bit thick when sitting in a vehicle a lot, but a very nice weight for all day wear. The threat coverage is pretty good, I’d prefer it to be the same as my personally owned Velocity PBZ’s but I’m fairly confident in their ability to stop what we usually see in my AOR .

BTW...DocGKR, have you tested the Hesco 3800c? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on them. 

Joined: 13AUG2010        

Location: Southern Arizona 

XTCBX posted:

We are currently issuing the Hesco 3800c. They are very, very light...a bit thick when sitting in a vehicle a lot, but a very nice weight for all day wear. The threat coverage is pretty good, I’d prefer it to be the same as my personally owned Velocity PBZ’s but I’m fairly confident in their ability to stop what we usually see in my AOR .

BTW...DocGKR, have you tested the Hesco 3800c? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on them. 

I have the ability to order the 3800C's now and have them listed on my site. 

Got the chance to handle one and it's a bit heavier in weight when compared to the normal CORDURA covered 3800  and the threat matrix between the two are different which is pretty strange as I'm sure they are identical to each other besides of the cover material. My thoughts are that it wasn't tested for that threat when made for US CBP but I'm going to email my contact to make sure. 

I'm a fan of Polyurea coatings on hard use plates. I have a 3611C Level III+ and that is the only other plate in HESCO's line-up that is coated instead of wrapped. 

Specs:

3800 - https://www.sabersolutionsllc....level-iii-standalone

3800C - https://www.sabersolutionsllc....-alone-free-shipping

So the CORDURA wrapped model exhibits less than 44mm of BFD with .30-06 JSP but the polyurea coated version has more than 44mm of BFD with .30-06 so HESCO does not list it on the threat matrix for the 3800C. 

The plates are identitcal in construction between the two, just the coating is different. The polyurea cover will definitely have greater longer longevity and seeing as the 3800 is a buoyant model, the polyurea cover seems like a good choice as well.

Shot Stop Armor sells stand-alone level III NIJ certified armor, then they also provide a non-NIJ certified III+, which is individually tested and put on YouTube to defeat special threats like “green tip” ammo. I got two 10x12 level III for about $900 with an LE/GOV discount.

My plates are a half inch thick, and weigh 2.4 pounds each. They are also multi-curve. They are comfortable sitting in a car all shift, as well as on arduous mountain hikes. 

I supplemented the front and back plate with soft armor side-inserts from SKD tactical at about $100 each. I put it all in a Ferro Concepts “Slickster” carrier. All in all it weighs maybe a couple pounds more than my old soft armor external vest. 

https://www.shotstop.net/

 Cheers.

 

"Well if there ain't gonna be any rules, let's get the fight started!" -Butch Cassidy

I know I’m a little off topic but I have an older set of TAP GAMMA III+ plates. A little heavy by modern standards at 5 lbs.  each.  Are these still a viable set today? At the time I got them I believe they were rated to stop both M193 and M855. Not entirely sure if that is an NIJ rating or just a manufacturers claim.  

These are a civilian SHTF role in a PIG Brigandine PC.  

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)

Mojo,

You have to go on the manufacturers website and see what the specs are for the plates. Sometimes it is also printed on the inside of the plate itself.

I believe NIJ only rates either level III or Level 4. I don’t think they have a current standard for III+. 

Usually manufactures will get their plate certified to level III through NIJ, and then do independent testing on top of it for the special threat rating. Usually you can find videos.

Cheers.

 

"Well if there ain't gonna be any rules, let's get the fight started!" -Butch Cassidy

MOJONIXON posted:

I know I’m a little off topic but I have an older set of TAP GAMMA III+ plates. A little heavy by modern standards at 5 lbs.  each.  Are these still a viable set today? At the time I got them I believe they were rated to stop both M193 and M855. Not entirely sure if that is an NIJ rating or just a manufacturers claim.  

These are a civilian SHTF role in a PIG Brigandine PC.  

Someone here knows something about these plates I'm sure. What does the collective that is Lightfighter say?

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)

MOJONIXON posted:
MOJONIXON posted:

I know I’m a little off topic but I have an older set of TAP GAMMA III+ plates. A little heavy by modern standards at 5 lbs.  each.  Are these still a viable set today? At the time I got them I believe they were rated to stop both M193 and M855. Not entirely sure if that is an NIJ rating or just a manufacturers claim.  

These are a civilian SHTF role in a PIG Brigandine PC.  

Someone here knows something about these plates I'm sure. What does the collective that is Lightfighter say?

Sorry, I responded above but forgot to quote you. I think they should be fine!

Melon_Killer posted:
MOJONIXON posted:
MOJONIXON posted:

I know I’m a little off topic but I have an older set of TAP GAMMA III+ plates. A little heavy by modern standards at 5 lbs.  each.  Are these still a viable set today? At the time I got them I believe they were rated to stop both M193 and M855. Not entirely sure if that is an NIJ rating or just a manufacturers claim.  

These are a civilian SHTF role in a PIG Brigandine PC.  

Someone here knows something about these plates I'm sure. What does the collective that is Lightfighter say?

Sorry, I responded above but forgot to quote you. I think they should be fine!

My apologies, somehow I missed the posts referring to my question. I see them in my phone now but on my work computer I didn’t see them.  Back  in the day 7 or 8 years ago I think they were the hot ticket.  They are still in like new condition.  

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)

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