Body armor recommendations...

Wormydog1724

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AT Armor. Call and talk to Mike. He’ll get you squared away on what you need vs want, and can guide you through the process. Their STOP plates are pretty awesome from all of the reviews. Multi curve is the way to go for comfort, I went single curve and regret it.

I have two sets of level 4 stand alone plates, LTC which is my heavy budget set I use for classes and another set is Velocity System plates. The VS plates are lighter.
 
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bourbonbent

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My buddy and I both use RMA Level IV stand alone plates. Check out their YouTube videos, I’m pleased with it. Way more comfortable than any of the SAPI iterations.

I use a single in an LBT Rhodesian vest. He uses a pair in an LBT 6094. I neglected to get the back panel for the Rhodesian vest when they were still making them, so I will add a second when I figure that out.
 

HUNTERVASSER

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    I ordered a pair of STOP BZ (IP) stand alone plates in June and am patiently awaiting my order to be filled. I will take picts in and out of my carrier when it arrives.
     

    Novak77

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    Check out Tyr Tactical, a lot of my buddies who were in high speed units rocked their stuff.
     
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    broncoaz

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    Anyone have feedback on spartan armor systems?

    Spartan Armor Systems is around the corner from my buddy’s shop in Tucson, he knows them and thinks they are good dudes. My only experience is with a IIIa backpack plate he got for me, seems quality but I can’t speak to anything else they make.
     

    GTOJOSH

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    I only have a iii from them, but infidel body armor multicurve is very nice for the price, and they often have some bundle packages from time to time for good deals for good gear.
     

    sonichanxiao

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    Hesco 4800 series, Level 4, lightest, expensive
    At least $1000 per plate, so over 2k for one set.

    If you have connection can get this, it's pretty much the most inexpensive Level 4 plate I've ever seen. A Canadian shop sells this, and they get the shipment via a US agency, not sure how they did that.
    About $400 for the set
    review:
     

    Gypsy

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    Parachelet Atlantic tactical carrys it. Fairly light. Ar500 while better than nothing should be left for Armored vehicles.
     
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    TheGerman

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    I have the 6.4lb per plate lvl4 standalone from bulletproofme that were a spare set I left stateside. As far as the triple curve, size, weight, fit and ballistics protection this is about as good as it gets until you get into weird/super expensive stuff.

    Also remember, some much lighter high tech shit doesn't actually stop M855; so make sure that it does as it will be one of the most common rounds you'd be up against.

    If you want a lighter option and are focused on stopping M193/M855 plus everything AK, look into lvl3+ from places like RMA.
     

    TheGerman

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    Crap. I have no idea now lol. So many options. Def needs to stop m855. Anything is better than what I had nearly 20 years ago.

    It's the cheap/light/stops lots of bullets matrix; pick 2.

    Whatever you do, make sure that the plate is NIJ certified. Not submitted for approval, not just as good as, not exceeds NIJ. NIJ certified or its bullshit.

    Second, make sure it stops M193, M855 and 7.62x39. There are some plates that will stop 2 out of the 3, but not all 3; you want all 3 as these are going to be the most likely rifle rounds you will encounter followed by 30.06, 7.62x51 and 7.62x54R.
     

    W54/XM-388

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    This is probably where one should ask @THEIS what would be the best body armour plates that are easy for USA civilians to purchase.

    You'd probably want the lightest & most comfortable ones that could still stop AP .308 and preferably AP 30-06

    I guess however if something was rated to only stop AP .223 but was super light and easy enough to carry around all day then it might be worth it since you'll wear it more than the heavy stuff.
     
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    SilentStalkr

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    This is probably where one should ask @THEIS what would be the best body armour plates that are easy for USA civilians to purchase.

    You'd probably want the lightest & most comfortable ones that could still stop AP .308 and preferably AP 30-06

    I guess however if something was rated to only stop AP .223 but was super light and easy enough to carry around all day then it might be worth it since you'll wear it more than the heavy stuff.

    This. But in my neck of the woods the .308 variety is just as common as the .223. .30-06 would be an outlier in most cases but might be seen. So that’s why I was looking for something to stop everything from a .30-06 and under. But I totally get the need for being quick and agile to. Just depends on what’s more important. Realistically given my environment speed is probably going to be the bigger deciding factor as I’m not likely to meet .30-06 around here and there is not a lot of terrain to allow super long distance shots. Most would be 400yds and closer and most would probably be wielding a AR of some sort, not anything like a .30-06. But you never know. Kind of a gamble really out here.
     
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    TheGerman

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    M193 and 7.62x39 will be stopped by lvl 3A.

    M80 ball will be stopped by lvl3 plates.

    Lvl3+ (not an official NIJ rating yet) will add M855 protection

    Lvl4 will add 7.62x54R and 30.06 AP

    The question here is lvl3+ or lvl4 and the weight difference.

    RMA.jpg
     

    MarinePMI

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    Also remember, when we're talking composite plates, how you store the plates matters.

    Hence why you'll see some have both AR500 plates and composites; one set for everyday wear (which isn't a lot of people) and one set for tossing in the back of the vehicle, forgetting about, but there in the event you need them, and with no fear of de-lamination occurring due to heat/temprature changes over time (or storing them flat, where the curves cause pressure the instigates de-lamination).

    TheGerman offers some pretty sage advice: Cost/Weight/Protection. Pick two.
     

    powerspc

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    Shellback Tactical (they make the carriers for USAF Security Forces) you can build your own kit based on your specific needs or buy "off the rack" Active Shooter Kits which come pre-configured.


    One thing to keep in mind is body armor is like building out a rifle. There are lots and lots of options depending on what you think you need, e.g., Doffing? Drag handles? Side plates? PALS webbing? SAPI plates, etc.
     

    sonichanxiao

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    Say what! I saw an ad for these Chicom plates, wondered about them if they were real or paint ball / air soft.

    thanks
    After some research, it seems the company CCGK is a military and LE contractor. If this YouTube review does not convince you, maybe buy a single level 3 plate and test it? The price is too expensive if it's only a paint ball or airsoft one.
     

    deersniper

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    Will anything stop .338 and above?

    When 6.5 AP comes out will it defeat a lot of these plates?
     

    Viper1973

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    I've had good luck with the folks over at Highcom (www.highcomarmor.com). They make military-grade Level IV as well as soft body armor. They're civilian friendly and have discounts (like 20%) if you visit their social media pages. You just have to provide documentation that you're a US citizen and a proper person (Carry License). They also ship fast. I received mine within a week.
     

    W54/XM-388

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    Will anything stop .338 and above?

    It would depend on the weight you are willing to carry.
    An AR500 plate large enough to spread out the impact without dimpling and with a cushioning backer would do the job.
    But it might also be just about your entire load carrying capability.
     

    Son of Dorn

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    Will anything stop .338 and above?

    When 6.5 AP comes out will it defeat a lot of these plates?
    In seriousness, I recall one platemaker (I cannot remember for the life of me which but I have their site written down somewhere) stating theirs will stop a .338 but I'd take that with a grain of salt. Maybe at the very end of its trajectory, if it had slowed down enough and lost enough power, but I think it would still hurt like the dickens and you'd probably want something soft underneath to help with the impact, and I don't think you'd want to take more than one bullet from it.
     

    Strykervet

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    Well, it's physics. At the distance that record shot was performed with a .338LM, it had roughly the energy of a .45ACP fired at close range. So it depends I guess. If you're within 1200m though, forget about it. On the other hand, Lvl4 will stop .30-06AP which means it'll stop .300winmag AP provided it's just a little bit further downrange. It's all subject to the same laws, but they're not gonna test it for obtuse and extreme situations. What they do test it for gives you a good idea though.

    The Bulletproofme.com plates are a good price for the lighter weight Lvl4 plates and there are some videos of these being tested online, ie, "shot the shit up" and a random, standard 10x12 did better than anyone would expect (it's been copied since). Sorta like AR lowers, there are some plate mfg.'s that make plates for various customers. I think these are like that but don't quote me on it. They have a massive selection including polymer plates and plates that'll fit limbs, etc. They also sell soft armor and Dyneema as well as kevlar. Dyneema is the good shit. There's an older soft armor that broke down easily after time, I forget the name, nobody sells it new anymore but you wanna avoid it if you buy used.

    Pretty sure the plates have stickers with the inspector's initials and the rating but I don't have one in front of me and it's been a while since I looked. I could if anyone is interested enough to PM me about it.

    If you're cheap, you can save a little bit by getting the lightweight front and back plates but get standard side plates. Since they're smaller, the weight difference won't be that noticeable vs. the cost in some cases. Get the biggest front and rear AND side plates you can fit (within reason, based on your size). You WILL pay for the lightest plates, but unless you're gonna wear 'em everyday, I wouldn't bother. But I would get the Lvl4 no matter what.

    AR500 plates are heavy as shit but are fine if you're just wanting a SHTF something that will work to keep around. In that case though I'd probably just get a simple but heavy duty built plate carrier for those.

    For a good plate carrier, I'd probably go with the Crye. They make different ones, I'm talking about the cheaper one. It's pretty basic if that's what you're looking for. If you want something more high speed and are willing to spend the money, Crye has 'em such that you can build your own how you want.

    Paraclete makes a really damn good vest, the RM07 releasable I think? It's something like that. It's an older vest but it's got all the necessary shit like a double cummerbund, flip down velco apron, add on armor, etc. I got one on Ebay years ago from a guy that deployed for like 3 months and was required to take one but didn't use it. Brand new, dyneema soft 3A armor. I like the FDE or coyote color shit because you can add whatever color gear like Multicam to it and it breaks it all up well and gives you more options.

    An IOTV is another option for a quality vest at a low cost, just get one that hasn't been used much (if at all) and DEFINITELY has not had the soft armor washed in a washing machine. If it looks used, stay away from it. New is always better and I'd just say don't buy used plates, period. BTDT.

    IOTV and the Paraclete both accept full range of plate sizes based on vest size, side plates, quality soft armor, full range of applique armor, tons of molle real estate and ability to put a QD assault pack on the rear, etc.
     
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    Mike4837

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    I recently bought some Hesco lvl 3 plates for patrol use. It took a lot of time and research to get to that point. My recommendations will be generic. Talk to the guys at AT Armor, Hesco, etc and get their advice for your specific needs or wants. I'd strongly discourage AR500 plates. I know, the cost, the cost! They might stop bullets, but there's a strong chance of bullet frag which can still cause injuries even with the truck bed liners etc. Oh. And they're crazy heavy. If you seriously need armor, then composite/ceramic plates might cost a bit more, but they're designed to absorb bullets, not spray them every which way. I find most AR500 armor purchasers buy them because they don't need armor but they like the idea of it. Trying wearing that stuff on top of 35-40lbs of kit you've been wearing for the last 5 hours of shift and weight will start to matter to you.

    In the end, good luck with your purchase. The armor world is vast and a little mirky at times. Find a professional that can walk you through the options and steer you to what you need for your requirements.
     

    Mute

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    You have to be realistic and weigh (no pun intended) the possibility of being shot at with specific power level ammunition against the practicality of using the body armor that will stop those rounds. Using level 4 armor isn't something you're going to do every day nor are you likely to want to wear a IIIa concealable just for a jot to the market in 100 degree heat.
     
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    toopoorformore

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    If you’re looking for level IV protection in conjunction with soft body armor the company Safe Life Defense is making UHMWPE plates for $169 per plate.

    Not affiliated in any way but I had been looking for a reasonable alternative to the super expensive and ubiquitous body armor available and came across them.

    I’ve thrown them into an active shooter carrier for work and, even though they haven’t been shot they appear quality and aren’t “fragile”, a worry with some with regard to ceramic plates.

    Lighter than ar500, as I just finished a four day rifle class with them without issue or significant back pain...:)
     

    SharpsNitro

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    I was going to ask about Gator Hawk armor but I see they were absorbed into Safariland. Any experience with this armor? My local LEnsupply house carries them.
     

    uffduh

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    Group buy opportunity? People I know who wouldn’t have been interested previously are asking more often about what to keep on a hanger in the closet.
     

    aslrookie

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    Group buy opportunity? People I know who wouldn’t have been interested previously are asking more often about what to keep on a hanger in the closet.

    Not a bad idea...only problem is everyone would have to agree with a company and probably 2 different plate types max.
     

    dgheriani

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    I'll echo what everyone else has said about AR500, maybe good for shtf but no way would you want to wear that around daily. I got a set of AR500 Lvl 3+ plates in a Grey Ghost minimalist plate carrier (took it off a prize table) and I wear that for fitness (pull-ups, pushups, 6km run). I got the AR500 plates cause they are heavier and barely more expensive than crossfit-type plates. The whole setup weighs 17.5 lbs and man can you feel it. If I actually felt I needed armour I'd get the lightest I could afford.
     

    BenjaminMartin6.5

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    I only have a iii from them, but infidel body armor multicurve is very nice for the price, and they often have some bundle packages from time to time for good deals for good gear.
    I’ve got Infidel light weight plates and they cost a bit more but less than 5lbs apiece instead of 9+ apiece for ar550.
     

    wigwamitus

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    Spooky68

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    To me price mattered and I didn’t want AR500. That led me to Bulletproofme.com. Make damn sure you understand sizing (SAPI vs non SAPI) and what size plates your carrier will take. Sometimes carriers will take SAPI AND non SAPI and sometimes not, so make sure you read the fine print.... and make damn sure you know what size will fit you. I have screwed it up twice now and in most cases plates cannot be returned. Multicurve.... must get multicurve....
     
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    wigwamitus

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    Agree sizing is key !! I can tell from the issues my #1 shooting buddy got his too small ... I got dfndr armor on the phone specifically to review sizing ... but since I have crye precision carrier ... there are less unknowns .. they knew the right size as soon as I gave them the CP sizing data. I went with their recommendation (which was SAPI).