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neomedic
04-11-2007, 2:45 PM
Just wondering if a 5.56 FMJ round would be able to go through a Level II or Level IIA vest? Anyone info is greatly appreciated.

Oh...is ball ammo better than hollow points in terms of going through obstacles (just as car door, brick wall, etc.??)

Thanks.

grammaton76
04-11-2007, 2:52 PM
Soft vest? ABSOLUTELY. They provide approximately zero protection from rifle rounds.

Hard plates? Probably not.

The ambiguity here is that II and IIA is available as soft body armor and I believe there are some hard plates rated the same. But, the hard and soft ratings aren't comparable.

http://www.bulletproofme.com/ has the best "newbie breakdown" of stop ratings I've seen.

Also - no, hollow point is generally worse at penetrating than FMJ. Think about it... HP is meant to break up as fast as possible when it hits something, which is contrary to the goal of going THROUGH something...

brando
04-11-2007, 3:02 PM
He's correct. Soft armor is not rated for rifle calibers. Level III plates (steel, ceramic, etc) can stop most rifle rounds while Level IV handles armor piercing ammo (at significant weight costs). Plates come in two forms - stand alone and in-conjunction. Most are the latter and require IIIa soft armor underneath to catch residual fragments and other material separated by the impact. There are also multi-hit rated plates, but those aren't actually NIJ rated, if I recall. That's where you get manufacturer's rating like Level III+. Some plates can't take more than one hit (lots of lightweight polyetheleen(?) plates are like that), while others can take 10 rounds of 5.56 as long as their spaced properly. The DoD uses a slightly different rating scheme, BTW.

Budd
04-11-2007, 3:25 PM
From Future Weapons - Dragon Skin!!!!:D

brando
04-11-2007, 3:27 PM
Stick with something NIJ rated. Dragonskin is a cool concept, but the jury is still out on its overall effectiveness.

neomentat
04-11-2007, 3:35 PM
Is it legal to own body armor in CA? If so where can I order a III-A level armor for cheap. thanks

grammaton76
04-11-2007, 3:38 PM
Legal, yes. But if you're committing a crime of ANY sort, including infractions (i.e. speeding!) while wearing it, you're looking at a felony conviction plus 5 year mandatory sentence.

Other than that, armor is completely legal. I paid $400 for mine, came with a trauma plate, from that asian guy who shows up to all the Socal shows. It feels pretty solid still, and it's spectrashield as opposed to kevlar. Kevlar is great stuff, but spectrashield keeps its effectiveness much longer IF stored in a cool environment AND not on end (i.e. on a coat hanger). Kevlar is less temperature sensitive but will generally degrade more readily than spectrashield.

brando
04-11-2007, 3:46 PM
Legal yes, but why cheap out on something that's supposed to protect your life? That's like buying a $5 lock for your $500 bike.

xenophobe
04-11-2007, 4:01 PM
Stick with something NIJ rated. Dragonskin is a cool concept, but the jury is still out on its overall effectiveness.

Dragonskin is in use by more than several division commanders, though they won't let the troops use it. The jury isn't out, the tests were skewed. Do your research.

NIJ rating doesn't really mean much except it was tested to standard. I would only be concerned with concealable duty armor. Any military style MARS, Cereflex, ceramic tile or ceramic bearing type plates will be Level III 7.62 rated or better.

Any standard ceramic/dyneema plate will be III 7.62 rated. Nothing is rated higher than IIII by NIJ, although European STANAG III would be equivalent to NIJ V if NIJ ratings went that high. STANAG III will stop wolfram carbide AP, whereas NIJ IV is only rated at .30-06 M2 AP and won't stop any of the tungsten/wolfram carbide projectiles.

In-conjunction plates only need the IIIA soft body armor for trauma protection, and in conjunction plates work just as well if you're using a trama plate behind it. Stand alone plates have extra padding built in. It reduces the physical impact of the round hitting. A .308 hitting a hard plate is like getting hit with a baseball bat, and if you don't have padding underneath, you'll break ribs.

Kevlar as a use as ballistic protection is outdated due to effectiveness due to weight.

Noonanda
04-11-2007, 4:25 PM
the ESAPI (enhanced small arms protective insert) plates we are issued are rated at M-2 AP 30-06, the regular SAPI plates are M-80 7.62 nato ball rated

Quiet
04-11-2007, 4:47 PM
Also remember with the soft body armor (kevlar/spectre/etc.), it is recommended that you replace it every 5 years due to enviromental effects (sweet/sunlight/etc) on the body armor degrading it's effectiveness.

grammaton76
04-11-2007, 4:52 PM
Correct. However, from what I've read, the Spectra does hold up much better than the Kevlar, IF you manage to keep it stored within its optimal temperature range (and position, i.e. LAY IT DOWN FLAT, and when not in use, put something inside it such as a firm pillow) and don't wear it a lot.

If you're wearing them a lot or not paying much attention to how you store it... replace Spectrashield just as often as you'd replace Kevlar.

neomedic
04-11-2007, 5:51 PM
gram...are you talking about the Asian guy who keeps telling everyone that its going to get banned and stuff???

grammaton76
04-11-2007, 5:54 PM
gram...are you talking about the Asian guy who keeps telling everyone that its going to get banned and stuff???

Correct. His schtick is pure alarmism (it probably will happen eventually, but not tomorrow like he claims), but I've no reason to believe the armor is bad.

Back when I bought it, he was the only guy at the show with concealable armor I could try before buying. Certainly didn't wanna order online and have it not fit.

sierratangofoxtrotunion
04-11-2007, 6:25 PM
I actually heard people badmouth the quality of his product. I'd be interested to hear the final verdict on that guy, as I'll be in Reno this weekend and I'm sure he'll be there, I've seen him there a couple previous times.

brando
04-11-2007, 6:43 PM
Dragonskin is in use by more than several division commanders, though they won't let the troops use it. The jury isn't out, the tests were skewed. Do your research.

Yep, all of the weird irregularities and the ongoing Pinacle vs DoD testing standards conflict makes me think the jury is still out.

gn3hz3ku1*
04-11-2007, 6:52 PM
funny how we hear people say how CA is anti body armor when OC has a huge manafacture.. ceradyne

brando
04-11-2007, 6:58 PM
Ceradyne makes some very good plates.

M. Sage
04-11-2007, 7:03 PM
If you're just looking for a cheaper SHTF armor, get a plate carrier and a stand-alone level III, or maybe two, one front and one rear.

MARK1
04-11-2007, 7:08 PM
Also remember with the soft body armor (kevlar/spectre/etc.), it is recommended that you replace it every 5 years due to enviromental effects (sweet/sunlight/etc) on the body armor degrading it's effectiveness.

Where can I find more reading to support that a 5 year old vest is no good.
What if the vest was bought brand new and never worn,.. its just laying flat in the shelf. Is it still good? thanks

grammaton76
04-11-2007, 7:10 PM
Where can I find more reading to support that a 5 year old vest is no good.
What if the vest was bought brand new and never worn,.. its just laying flat in the shelf. Is it still good? thanks

Well, the big question isn't "is it no good", but "does it still pass the NIJ ratings?" If it was bought brand new and never worn and not shuffled around frequently, and (this is really the more important thing) NOT exposed to sunlight or heat, it's probably fine.

What'll happen over time is that the vest's stop ability will degrade... so that level IIIA vest might not stop a 44 magnum anymore, but it'll probably take a LONG time to degrade below, say, II performance.

Surveyor
04-11-2007, 7:30 PM
You know, back in my mall patrol swat spec ops days, I would duct tape trauma plates to my body. That way I could absorb several .308 rounds with no injury.

I'm actually a level IV mall ninja, (of the first order). (Shhhh!
don't tell anyone.);)

JPN6336
04-11-2007, 7:47 PM
Leaving Active Duty was the worst thing for my SHTF rig. They made me turn in the Interceptor vest, ESAPI plates, Helmet, basically everything cool.

Dont Tread on Me
04-11-2007, 7:56 PM
I bought a Level II Second Chance Featherlight vest from Galls.com for around $400.

It is very comforting while at the range/matches but I do get the odd comment from others. I have it setup so if things go bump in the night it is the second thing I grab after my G17+X200.

I did a first aid course which included some limited gunshoot wound treatment. You really don't want to get hit in the trunk of your body....

Rifle plates are next on my list. There are some trumor platest that claim to stop rifle rounds but even if they do they cover far too small an area.

pnkssbtz
04-11-2007, 8:09 PM
Looking in the bullet proof me link posted I have a question.

It has the pistol calibers in one section and the rifle plates in another... Do the rifle plates also come with kevlar, or is it just a plate carrier for the rifle plate?

Or should you use a rifle plate in conjunction with regular pistol caliber vests?

Whats to stop me from buying a molle vest with inserts for plates and then buying plates?

brando
04-11-2007, 8:32 PM
You know, back in my mall patrol swat spec ops days, I would duct tape trauma plates to my body. That way I could absorb several .308 rounds with no injury.

I'm actually a level IV mall ninja, (of the first order). (Shhhh!
don't tell anyone.);)


hahaha...I remember that one.

rksimple
04-11-2007, 9:48 PM
To those worrying about Kevlar and it's longevity:

My father was an LEO back in the late 70's to early 80's. He bought a Point Blank vest early on in those years. I don't know what level classification system they had back then, but it looked to be like a level IIA, as it was thinner than a Level II vest I have. A couple years ago we decided to test its bullet "stopping" ability. It was worn for about 7 years and then put into a drawer were it stayed, laying down (ie. not hung), until we decided to put it through the paces. We removed the back panel, wrapped it it a towel, and placed it on some wet sand. Fired from point blank range, we tried a .38 158grain +p LSWCHP (FBI load) from a 2 in. model 10, and a 9mm 124gr FMJ from a Glock 19. The backface deformation wasn't able to be measured, but the NIJ testing standards are piss-poor at best. So that really didn't concern me. The .38 was peeled right off of the top of the first layer of Kevlar. The 9mm penetrated about half way through and flattened. We had to dig that one out, but many layers of Kevlar under it were left in good shape.

After performing this less-than-scientific test, I conlcluded that:

A) I don't ever want to be shot, even with 2 vests on. The concussion and blunt force trauma that would be associated with that will do damage.

and B) I think vest manufacturers put a lifespan of 5 years on their product to stay in business.

YMMV.

Dont Tread on Me
04-11-2007, 11:10 PM
Legal, yes. But if you're committing a crime of ANY sort, including infractions (i.e. speeding!) while wearing it, you're looking at a felony conviction plus 5 year mandatory sentence.

Can you point to the penal code for this? You've got me worried as i tend to wear it when drive to/from the range.

Surveyor
04-12-2007, 11:13 AM
california is not body armor friendly ... i got a earful from some guy at the Glendale gun show on how fienstein is trying to eliminate vests ...i then saw him at the costa mesa gun show pitching the same thing...i came home and looked it up and its true CA is not body armor friendly...please advise


It's all because of that damn North Hollywood bank robbery, way back when. The cops were totaly outgunned by a couple of crazy Russians in Kevlar. Luckily for the police, a local gun shop supplied them with appropriate weapons.

Surveyor
04-12-2007, 12:49 PM
now cause of these stupid laws those same guns shops probably dont have those weapons to compete with what the robbers were using :mad:


That's what I was thinking :( . The robbers had real F/A assault weapons, not wannabe semi-autos like the cops.

That's weird though, how did they get machine guns when they're illegal to possess or buy in Ca :rolleyes: .

Good thing we banned semi-auto M-16 clones! :rolleyes:

OZONE78
04-12-2007, 12:53 PM
That's what I was thinking :( . The robbers had real F/A assault weapons, not wannabe semi-autos like the cops.

That's weird though, how did they get machine guns when they're illegal to possess or buy in Ca :rolleyes: .

Good thing we banned semi-auto M-16 clones! :rolleyes:

If you know what you are doing, besides being an idiot, it is very easy to convert any ar/ak-type rifle to full auto.

Technical Ted
04-12-2007, 12:55 PM
california is not body armor friendly ... i got a earful from some guy at the Glendale gun show on how fienstein is trying to eliminate vests ...i then saw him at the costa mesa gun show pitching the same thing...i came home and looked it up and its true CA is not body armor friendly...please advise
Probably the same vendor that has shown up at the Cow Palace shows for the last several years with signage claiming that a ban on civilian body armor ownership is coming down any second now.

One reason I never buy into the "good deals" at gunshows is that many of the vests I've seen are used police trade ins. Some of them made from cleaned and re-covered panels to look like new.

mblat
04-12-2007, 1:11 PM
It's all because of that damn North Hollywood bank robbery, way back when. The cops were totaly outgunned by a couple of crazy Russians in Kevlar. Luckily for the police, a local gun shop supplied them with appropriate weapons.

They weren't Russians. Larry Eugene Phillips, Jr. and Emil Dechebal Matasareanu can be a lot things, but Russians are not one of them.
First sounds like WASP, and second somewhere from Easten Europe. Romanian maybe?
Hollywood made them into Russians..... for whatever reasons, may be more dramatic effect?

One reason I never buy into the "good deals" at gunshows is that many of the vests I've seen are used police trade ins. Some of them made from cleaned and re-covered panels to look like new.

So, where do you buy your body armor?

Quiet
04-12-2007, 4:32 PM
They weren't Russians. Larry Eugene Phillips, Jr. and Emil Dechebal Matasareanu can be a lot things, but Russians are not one of them.
First sounds like WASP, and second somewhere from Easten Europe. Romanian maybe?
Hollywood made them into Russians..... for whatever reasons, may be more dramatic effect?
Matasareanu was Romanian. I think (not 100% sure, didn't keep track of it) LAPD settled out on the wrong death law suit brought up concerning how he died. Something about the suspect bleding to death in custody and no medical aid was given.

So, where do you buy your body armor?
Inland Uniform in Riverside.

Neil McCauley
04-12-2007, 4:52 PM
I like the Cover6 from Safariland. http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t195/Imajiwa/17.gif

xenophobe
04-12-2007, 6:47 PM
Yep, all of the weird irregularities and the ongoing Pinacle vs DoD testing standards conflict makes me think the jury is still out.

Jury is not out. DOD tested the vest laying flat. Since Dragonskin is overlapping discs, it needs to be tested while in a shape that resembles actual wear.

All the top combat brass who can afford it does. That in itself should tell you that they're not wearing IBA with plates. IBA isn't really all that great.... I'd much rather have SPEAR-BALCS with a repairable level 4 plates, or MARS.

Dragonskin would be better, but at nearly 2x the price I'll pass.

bernieb90
04-13-2007, 1:42 PM
Correct. However, from what I've read, the Spectra does hold up much better than the Kevlar, IF you manage to keep it stored within its optimal temperature range (and position, i.e. LAY IT DOWN FLAT, and when not in use, put something inside it such as a firm pillow) and don't wear it a lot.

If you're wearing them a lot or not paying much attention to how you store it... replace Spectrashield just as often as you'd replace Kevlar.

Sir I believe you have been misled by someone whose only interest is in selling you a product that is inferior. The fact of the matter is that Spectra and all other laminates like those made of Zylon are extremely sensitive to temperature and degrade very quickly to the point in fact that they will drop well below their rated level of protection especially on contact shots. True woven Kevlar/Twaron vests will retain ther NIJ ratings for many years and in fact even 20+ year old kevlar vests will continue to stop threats for which they are rated.

Please read through this thread before buying any body armor:
http://www.tacticalforums.com/cgi-bin/tacticalubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=78;t=000502

Dragonskin has been tested and found to perform quite well, most of the issues have to do with politics and money.
http://www.tacticalforums.com/cgi-bin/tacticalubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=78;t=001286#000000

brando
04-13-2007, 1:58 PM
Jury is not out. DOD tested the vest laying flat. Since Dragonskin is overlapping discs, it needs to be tested while in a shape that resembles actual wear.

I talked to a ballistics expert who tested the vest extensively and yes, it did perform well, so I correct my statement - the jury is in ;)

SI-guru
04-13-2007, 2:02 PM
I talked to a ballistics expert who tested the vest extensively and yes, it did perform well, so I correct my statement - the jury is in ;)

DocGKR ? :eek:

brando
04-13-2007, 2:17 PM
Damn CommoGuy, you outed me ;)

CA SHOOTER
04-16-2007, 4:33 PM
funny how we hear people say how CA is anti body armor when OC has a huge manafacture.. ceradyne

FYI : Dragon Skin made by Pinacle is manufactured in Fresno , CA