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Old 02-14-2018, 12:23 AM
johndoe2150 johndoe2150 is offline
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Default Ballistic Vest Question.

So I was issued a Ballistic vest for a paramedic job that was made in 1992. I have a strong feeling that itís most likely way past itís service date. Whatís your thoughts? Any recommendations on what you would recommend for replacement inserts for the vest?
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:50 AM
Michael777 Michael777 is offline
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Take it to the range and shoot it. See if it still works
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Old 02-14-2018, 1:17 AM
johndoe2150 johndoe2150 is offline
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As entertaining as that sounds for science. I wouldn’t do that
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Old 02-14-2018, 2:18 AM
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Atomic Donut Atomic Donut is offline
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Vests usually last 5 years. Unless you are a paramedic in Bagdad I see little reason for you to spend money on a ballistic vest.
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Old 02-14-2018, 5:11 AM
GizmoSD GizmoSD is offline
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We shoot a lot of vests in classes, and sometimes out of curiosity. Iíve shot vests older than yours, and they still work fine. The expiration dates essentially stem from two factors: NIJ cert 0101.06, and lawyers. Assuming the vest is made of Kevlar (or similar) and has been treated normally over its lifetime, itís fine and will still work. It might smell bad, but thatís a different story. If your company wants to give you a new one, even better, but itís just chasing liability. The vest will still perform.
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Old 02-14-2018, 2:18 PM
CinnamonBear723 CinnamonBear723 is offline
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Generally the life expectancy of a vest is 5 years but I have know many to last much longer than that.
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Old 02-14-2018, 2:59 PM
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eviioiive eviioiive is offline
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Years donít matter

Itís all storage conditions and panel materials
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:00 PM
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If it was not exposed to water or sweat, it should work for a long time.
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Old 02-15-2018, 6:22 PM
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TrailerparkTrash TrailerparkTrash is offline
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The key to making a vest last a little longer is to store it flat when you take it off. Donít hang it from a hanger in your locker.
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Old 02-15-2018, 8:00 PM
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Mustang Mustang is offline
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If it is Kevlar or Spectra fiber it is probably OK. That stuff degrades slowly if kept out of sunlight and away from water. But it does degrade.

However, if it is Zylon fiber, be careful. Zylon was popular briefly in the 90's because it was light and flexible. Unfortunately, it degraded rapidly and was known to fail much sooner than the other fibers.
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