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Thoughts on personal armor in a SHTF situation. The pros are quite obviously more protection from various threats based on how much and what kind of armor you're wearing. The cons of course are more weight slows you down. I have a pair of bracers made from fairly thick stiff leather I wear to Renaissance fairs. The cover my entire forearm. They're powerless against a firearm and only cover my forearm. Ballistic armor is expensive and again slows you down if your objective is to move fast. Just curious as to people thoughts on the matter is all.
 

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I do have a couple sets of military soft armor - wish I wouldn't have bought it. Although I might turn around and sell it all at a nice profit.

If I'm going to wear armor it will either be A) soft concealable vest, good for most handgun rounds or B) Hard - probably AR500 metal - plates that will stop most rifle rounds. The military vests I have can carry metal or ceramic plates but no(Ok, it still covers more area, but...) need for the HEAVY, THICK and HOT kevlar if you are going to wear plates...

Also, you can get a high quality carrier and steel plates for about the same price as the military kevlar, although I don't really think either of those will ever be needed - but when crime is high and everyone is carrying a gun to the store having some concealable vests might be a great idea.
 

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Body armor does little to protect you from a good shot. Even with plates your hands, feet, and head are still vulnerable. Are you going to wear protection that is rated for a 3006? 358 Winchester? or the more common 9mm and 223?

Even a tank is vulnerable if it can't move fast enough.
 
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I saw a good price on some level IV armor. It was six hundred bucks for the front and back plate with soft armor built into the carrier. With Molle webbing stitched onto the front and back. I already move at a snails pace so the extra weight wouldn't slow me down and because I'm slow (not as fast as a bullet) the extra protection would be a boon.
 

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Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Over the last year, I've bought a variety of surplus body armor off the internet and I think everybody that's into serious home protection should make the investment - if you shop around, you can get bargains on this stuff. The soft body armor isn't that restrictive or heavy and doesn't really affect weapons handling or movement very much. My wife and daughter both have Level II soft armor vests with trauma plates in front for additional protection, and they're covered from neck to belt line. Interestingly, you can also pick up the surplus German flak vests (which are level IIa armor for cheap - $49 a pop right now) and they're camo, easy to put on, and they can be worn over the other soft armor, giving you an added and much larger area of protection that covers the neck, shoulders, and farther down on the torso - I love those things.

I have a level II soft vest with a trauma plate, and a used NYPD surplus SWAT tactical vest that has lots of pockets and a pistol holder, which also has level IIIa armor in it and a fairly large steel trauma plate in front which is rated as level III for rifle fire. That vest provides complete torso and neck coverage, only weighs about eight pounds, and it's very flexible. Only paid somewhere around $80 for it as I recall.

Then, in the overkill department, yep, I joined the crowd and bought a Molle plate carrier, complete with ACU lightweight crotch and kidney armor panels, with the coated AR500 steel plates inside and cut-up surplus level IIIa Kevlar panels inside the rest of the carrier - that sucker is HEAVY! It is definitely the defense of last resort or the "go to" item if a hoard of crazy peeps are approaching, but it takes a few minutes to get that thing on and it weighs about 18-20 pounds, so yep, it does restrict movement - on the plus side, I am confident it will stop anything short of an RPG.

And being a longtime militaria collector, yep, I've got some PASGT and MICH helmets too, which I'm not getting rid of, just in case! If I had to recommend body armor though, I'd definitely recommend just getting a decent used Level II or Level IIIa vest - in most situations, those will save your bacon from most pistol cartridges. If somebody's shooting a rifle at you, just make sure you're a better shot than they are! ::redsnipe::
Can you link to those flak vests and a validation they will stop bullets? I've heard that many times before but I have personally shot up 2 different flak vests and they didn't even stand up to standard .22lr. EDIT: FWIW they were both old US surplus vests, so I don't know how others would hold up.
 

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Are you going to wear protection that is rated for a 3006? 358 Winchester? or the more common 9mm and 223?
Level IV E-SAPIs can stop M2 .30-'06 AP rounds, and can be found on Ebay for $200 for a set. Should do the trick against SP or Ballistic tip hunting ammo. More powerful calibers may penetrate, but that's dependent on type of round, range, angle, ect.

I'm going to vote for body armor, at least in the form of a good plate carrier. There are certainly times when having it would come in handy, and not be a hindrance, such as standing watch, or on your neighborhood watch's patrol. If there is ever a time that you don't need it, or feel that it is slowing you down.... take it off. Better to have and not need than need and not have, and just because you have it doesn't mean you're stuck with it.
 

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I have issued to me, 3A personal body armor made by prisoners in the federal system and yes I know that makes no sense but it is the government. I also have plate armor called MSA paraclete that is supposed to stop rifle rounds. It's heavy but the worst thing I found is that it is incredibly hot. It limits movement and wears you out from the weight but it can save your life.
 

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Body armor is the reason we started training to take headshots on intruders. For years we practiced middle of mass shooting but that seems like a bad idea with "full body" body armor. You cannot protect the face and head, the hands and feet. There are always ****** in any armor.
 

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In any tactical situation, people tend to take cover. Then they expose just enough to take a shot.

Body armor might be good if you expect to get ambushed or are in a static defense, but who the hell just plows forward like civil war infantry these days? If I'm coming after you, I'll be crawling from cover to cover while someone provides covering fire. I'll be trying to flank you, not charging right up the middle. Body armor won't do me much good.
 
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If you really think you need armor, take a look at DKX plates. Their rifle plates (Max III) weigh less than 3 pounds and will stop a .308 at 20 yards. (150 gr ball ammo) These are kinda thick, but they actually float!

Nutnfancy did a test on this plate, shooting it 6 times at 20 yards with a .308 with no penetration.

If you get them from www.firearmsprostore.com you can use coupon code "nutnfancy" to get an additional discount.

Here's his test shoot...


They also have pistol plates for less than $200 and other products as well.

PS: I don't give a shit if you like Nutnfancy or not. As far as I am concerned, it could have been anyone pulling the trigger. The point is that the plate took 6 shots from a .308 at 20 yards without failing. Stay focused.
 

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First if you buy the old style flake jacket the military used they will not slow or stop a bullet with out the steel plates in them.
Vest have a place but to be effective they must be worn correctly, worn all of the time. Face facts not many will.
Modern day vest have a limited life spans and the effectiveness degrades over time.
If you do purchase good ones keep them in packaging until the day they are needed.
Want a Big shock research 5.56 and it's ability to perpetrate steel plate ( Goes right through ) . That is another reason Military uses the ceramic plates now.
 

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Want a Big shock research 5.56 and it's ability to perpetrate steel plate ( Goes right through ) . That is another reason Military uses the ceramic plates now.
Depends on the type and thickness of steel. I used some old junk steel, and at about 25m, neither 5.56 or 7.62 would penetrate half inch steel, but both would penetrate 1/4" steel. No real difference between them, aside from the size of the crater.
 

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I have fired my 30-06 through half inch plate many times. I use hunting bullets 165 gr BTHP. My 357 will put a hp bullet through 3/8" steel. If you are wearing armor plan on getting hit in the head, hands or feet because those are your exposed areas.
 

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If you really think you need armor, take a look at DKX plates. Their rifle plates (Max III) weigh less than 3 pounds and will stop a .308 at 20 yards. (150 gr ball ammo) These are kinda thick, but they actually float!

Nutnfancy did a test on this plate, shooting it 6 times at 20 yards with a .308 with no penetration.

If you get them from www.firearmsprostore.com you can use coupon code "nutnfancy" to get an additional discount.

Here's his test shoot...


They also have pistol plates for less than $200 and other products as well.

PS: I don't give a shit if you like Nutnfancy or not. As far as I am concerned, it could have been anyone pulling the trigger. The point is that the plate took 6 shots from a .308 at 20 yards without failing. Stay focused.
That's why I have a 300 win mag.
 

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One of my favorites armor or no armor. Armor plate carrier with AR500 steel plates most handguns arnt effective really past 30-50 yards anyways and as a secondary weapon the initial rounds are going to be of a heavy caliber. Although the argument can be made for well placed shots I challenge you to first get a target that can move slowly 3-4 mph a walking speed (just think how fast a man jogging would move as well) then shoot a 4 inch target while you yourself are moving at an oblique angle and honestly the hips would be the thing to shoot anyways.
 

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I competed with my revolver out to 100 yards on a target that is less than 1/4 the size of a man. It takes a bullet from that revolver less than .120 seconds to go 100 yards. That means about a 6" lead at 3 mph (less than the width of a human head). At an oblique angle the lead would be less and the head is a huge 8" target. The target is down and that is with a pistol, off hand, at 100 yards.
 
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Maybe for you...who competed. We have all heard story after story of police that miss quite often even at short range for a variety of factors. I am quite certain that the average cop is able to train a lot more than I am. Personally, I know I have lots of improving to do to comfortably feel I can hit a moving target with that kind of precision, especially if I am moving and adrenalin pumping at the same time.

My stance is the same...totally depends what "specifically" you want to prep for. There are absolutely situations where armor can save your life and keep you fighting. Plenty of situations where I wouldn't wear it. BUT...I cannot think of a situation where I would WANT to wear it...but wouldn't because I felt whomever was on the other side was probably a good enough shot to defeat it. For that reason I have armor.
 
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