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Body Armor

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Body Armor

Postby totes6 » Mon, 07 Jun 2010 12:40:08

So I went to the gun show last April and saw that there were vendors there selling body armor. Mainly the vest style. So I was started scratching my head and did a little searching. It seems that it is completely legal here in Virginia (not surprised but I do like to double check the VA code) to wear body armor with the only caveat of § 18.2-287.2

Wearing of body armor while committing a crime; penalty.

Any person who, while committing a crime of violence as defined in § 18.2-288 (2) or a felony violation of § 18.2-248 or subdivision (a) 2 or 3 of § 18.2-248.1, has in his possession a firearm or knife and is wearing body armor designed to diminish the effect of the impact of a bullet or projectile shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.


So I guess my question is does anyone here wear body armor on a regular basis besides someone in law enforcement/military? What level do you tend to wear? Why did you choose that level? Do you have a recommended brand?


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Re: Body Armor

Postby firstcavapache64 » Mon, 07 Jun 2010 13:22:07

To me the wearing of body armor would be in reaction to a specific threat or situation. If there was a stalker threat to my household, for example one of my kids ex boyfriend or girlfriend making serious threats. Or if a Katrina like disaster has occurred and there was a lack of local and or state police present to prevent mob violence. Other than that I don't feel the need to wear that level of protection. I am not a prominent target such as a celebrity, politician or extremely wealthy person so I would not feel it necessary. The weight and constriction can be a burden and I feel that my handguns and edged weapons would be enough for any situation I am likely to face. Everybody has there own threat level to figure out for themselves however and if you feel it is needed than seek out a trusted police officer and see what they wear. They put it on day in and day out and rely on it to make sure they go home at the end of the day. To them it isn't a fashion statement like it might be to some business men or celebs. Just my two cents worth.
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Re: Body Armor

Postby gunderwood » Mon, 07 Jun 2010 14:29:16

I've looked into it, but don't have any. Reasons I would want some:

1. Home invasion. A tactical vest (soft armor only) that can be slipped on in seconds. It depends on your house, but this may be useful.

2. Hunting, not everyone is a good shot and makes good decisions about when and what to shoot at. In any case, accidents happen. Problem is you would need armor plates to stop rifles, which aren't cheap and add a lot of bulk/weight to the vest. Generally not 100% compatible with #1, but with different carriers it is possible.

3. Riots/zombies. I am confident I could defend my house against zombies to a limited extent. There is an big problem here. You can't legally shoot rioters until they are posing a direct violent harm to yourself and family. Just running around busting up stuff isn't enough. Just sitting outside with a AR15 (like a lot of shop keepers did during the LA riots) is enough to persuaded the rioters to go some place else. Body armor not really needed. However, if they are violent rioters or are you to get you specifically (like Machete!), than body armor is a huge plus. You have to expose yourself to shoot back. Besides, most housing units won't stop bullets.

Generally, once the bullets start flying, you need to get out of there ASAP. Body armor or not, disengage. You don't need body armor to sit on your roof with an AR to have them go elsewhere. Body armor does not give the ability to stay somewhere you shouldn't and fight it out. It does give you a second or third chance to get away though. Just some thoughts.

Be careful of anything that isn't Kevlar only. The newer stuff is polymer based and degrades with wear and heat. Problem is that any lightweight vest is going to be only partial Kevlar. The new NIST standard (-05?) calls for an accelerated wear/heat test, which I think is great. Don't know of any vests you and I can buy that pass that test yet. The last I checked only government/LEA could purchase those new vests.
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Re: Body Armor

Postby krayzedpinoy » Thu, 29 Mar 2012 18:57:16

I use a level IIIA, ProMAX Gold Shield full wrap custom made to my specs. It's pretty expensive, but I wanted the best. I got it from bulletproofme.com they got cheaper ones as well...of course cheaper in price, not quality. I just have a spending problem...
Why I wear a vest - I carry a firearm for self defense and the protection of others against a threat with an equal weapon. I wear a vest to protect me, while I'm putting my life on the line protecting myself and others with my firearm. I insert my K-30 plate when I feel I maybe leaving home and going into a more dangerous area. We carry guns because we expect the unexpected, I wear a vest because I expect the unexpected.


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Re: Body Armor

Postby gunderwood » Thu, 29 Mar 2012 20:08:16

krayzedpinoy wrote:I use a level IIIA, ProMAX Gold Shield full wrap custom made to my specs. It's pretty expensive, but I wanted the best. I got it from bulletproofme.com they got cheaper ones as well...of course cheaper in price, not quality. I just have a spending problem...
Why I wear a vest - I carry a firearm for self defense and the protection of others against a threat with an equal weapon. I wear a vest to protect me, while I'm putting my life on the line protecting myself and others with my firearm. I insert my K-30 plate when I feel I maybe leaving home and going into a more dangerous area. We carry guns because we expect the unexpected, I wear a vest because I expect the unexpected.

Would be interested in a review of sorts on your vest.
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Re: Body Armor

Postby Kreutz » Thu, 29 Mar 2012 22:10:07

Having once worn a 3a (I worked in Harlem alot) on an extended basis....it sucked. Nothing like sitting on a 100 degree subway platform in August with that thing clutching your torso.

Mine was off the rack.

Helps you keep good posture though.

Those special t-shirts are a must and never put them in the dryer, they get all scratchy.

In your scenarios a home invasion isnt practical unless you can drill it down to muscle memory, and if hunting a rifle round will punch right through anyway.

If you're getting hit with a shotgun while hunting methinks someone is out to kill you anyway.

As for zombies, those suckers will just bite your ankles anyway.


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Re: Body Armor

Postby BW1911 » Fri, 30 Mar 2012 06:46:04

I have toyed with the idea of getting some just for trips to the gun range. There are always a lot of people there, you cannot keep an eye on ALL of them ALL of the time, and I have been muzzle swept a few times by newbies and by persons who knew better and just lapsed for a moment.


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Re: Body Armor

Postby jdonovan » Fri, 30 Mar 2012 07:25:15

BW1911 wrote:I have toyed with the idea of getting some just for trips to the gun range. There are always a lot of people there, you cannot keep an eye on ALL of them ALL of the time, and I have been muzzle swept a few times by newbies and by persons who knew better and just lapsed for a moment.


Yep after a few uncomfortable situations on public ranges, I gave into my concerns and got a level II concealable. Friends I was with that day didn't notice until we got home and I pulled off my shirt to remove the armor.

I decided against IIIa as I don't expect carbine threats, and rifles will make even a IIIa look like it wasn't even there.

The cost wasn't unreasonable , but is is hotter than heck in the summers here.

Oh I also added an IAFK and clotting agents to the range bag. The girl and I are both first responders, and those things added to my BLS kit give me quite a few more options for treating injuries until the local responders get there.


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Re: Body Armor

Postby gunderwood » Fri, 30 Mar 2012 14:04:08

Kreutz wrote:In your scenarios a home invasion isnt practical unless you can drill it down to muscle memory, and if hunting a rifle round will punch right through anyway.

It depends on your home layout. In my case, I have an immediate alarm (beeping) which will go off if anything is opened and you have four flights to come up before getting to me. For IIIA yes, a rifle plate carrier can be put on relatively quickly (ever try running up four flights with a rifle?); you don't need or aren't restricted to soft armor in that case.

Kreutz wrote:If you're getting hit with a shotgun while hunting methinks someone is out to kill you anyway.

Hunting accidents happen, not very often, but they do with no ill intent.
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Re: Body Armor

Postby gunderwood » Fri, 30 Mar 2012 14:47:23

jdonovan wrote:I decided against IIIa as I don't expect carbine threats, and rifles will make even a IIIa look like it wasn't even there.

IIIA just does higher velocity pistol rounds for penetration (e.g. a "9mm" round @ ~1400fps, aka .357 SIG) and larger calibers for blunt trauma (e.g. .44Mag).


jdonovan wrote:Oh I also added an IAFK and clotting agents to the range bag. The girl and I are both first responders, and those things added to my BLS kit give me quite a few more options for treating injuries until the local responders get there.

Being a first responder is great, but the first thing they will tell you in a combat trauma course is, combat trauma is different. Also, the US military has significantly revamped their combat trauma courses extensively since about mid-2000s due to Iraq and Afghanistan. We gained a lot of experience with it (unfortunately) and learned that most of the traditional first aid (e.g. boy scouts, first responder training, old military training, etc.) wasn't working too well. This includes gunshots.

Significant changes (as far as I'm aware) are:

1. If there is significant trauma to a limb, tourniquets are the first response. Of course you apply direct pressure while attempting to put a CAT on, but it's only intended to reduce blood loss while you apply the CAT. If you have to choose between the two, apply the CAT. When you apply the CAT, apply it as high as possible; do not attempt to apply it lower as it's less effective. The CAT can be applied one handed with is a huge benefit if you have put one on yourself. Of course that only works if you practice putting them on yourself (which should be part of any good course you take). Interestingly, what use to be a small part of a trauma course is now easily half of it!

This is direct contradiction to the previous idea that tourniquets are more a last resort and have dire consequences. The reality is that surgeons use tourniquets all the time in operating rooms in the US to minimize blood loss with no side affects. In general, if the tourniquet is left on for less than 2 hours there is a extremely small probability of causing any additional damage to the limb and that usually buys you enough time to get help/evacuated. Same would be true in a accidental range shooting. As you approach 2 hours you need to make a decision about removing it or not. Never do so with amputations or partials or patients at risk of shock. Loosening is done half a turn at a time with 5-10mins intervals checking on the wound for blood loss. If a tourniquet is on for more than 6 hours, never remove it as you'll likely kill the patient.

Oh ya, tourniquets hurt. Don't let your patient convince you that it's on too tight because it hurts. Crank it down until the blood stops. Add two if you must.


2. QuickClot/Celox/Etc. are not silver bullets and will not work if you don't use them properly (duh). We sent guys in the field with these early in the war, but didn't train them on their use so results were very poor. You must pour them directly on the source of the significant blood loose (usually artery/vein) and then apply direct pressure. Direct pressure doesn't mean surface pressure, it usually means (in this case with severe trauma) sticking your hand in the wound to apply it properly. These are to be used only after a tourniquet has been applied (when appropriate) and not in place of. Also, never apply them to torso and head wounds. Armpits and groin are the best uses because you can't apply a tourniquet. With the head you run the risk of causing pressure on the brain and with the torso your not going to do anything useful and probably will do something harmful.

Like all tools you have to learn how to use them and I fear many people buying them think its a dump and forgot application (not you per se).


3. Never give them an IV unless you're about to do a field transfusion (interestingly you don't have to worry about blood types for a one time field use any more...I don't know what it requires when you get to the hospital though). If they need fluids, do it by the mouth. Saline kind of acts like a mild poison when given to those with serious blood loss (salt is absorbed by the surrounding tissue) and worse yet it raises the blood pressure (more fluid) which runs a significant risk of blowing out the clot!


4. Never perform CPR (obviously we're only talking about sever combat trauma). You will kill them buy blowing out the clot(s).


A good course covers so much more, but those are kind of the highlights of changes or things people should be aware of. Not all of them have made it back to civilian courses yet and even in the military it's not known unless you've had a recent course and have been deployed to a war zone.
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Re: Body Armor

Postby wolfhfac » Fri, 20 Apr 2012 21:10:03

I don't see LA type riots happening in Virginia. Not even in DC, given it's small compact size and the amount of federal law enforcement in the immediate area. So I wouldn't get body armor due to the threat of riots. This would be more favorable to ward off rioters coming right at your home: :machinegun:


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Re: Body Armor

Postby zombiekiller57 » Fri, 20 Apr 2012 21:28:32

viva la resistance - it will be too late to order it if it's needed :roll:
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Body Armor

Postby CDRGlock » Fri, 20 Apr 2012 23:18:50

BW1911 wrote:I have toyed with the idea of getting some just for trips to the gun range. There are always a lot of people there, you cannot keep an eye on ALL of them ALL of the time, and I have been muzzle swept a few times by newbies and by persons who knew better and just lapsed for a moment.


That's why I have it. Mine is class IIIA. I wear it to and from the range or gun club. My AR15 bad doubles as a Class IIIA vest, too. If it is the holidays when crime rates go up, I wear it, also. Thanksgiving through New Years.


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