Armor Plate Carriers

Discussion in 'Survival Gear' started by Dunmaghlas, Jan 25, 2020.

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  1. Dunmaghlas

    Dunmaghlas Expert Member
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    Thoughts on plate carriers? I will be using issued carriers in infantry in the military and will be purchasing a couple for personal defense and training. I've seen good carriers ranging from $99 to $300+ without pouches or panels or armor plates and level IV plates from $99 to $399. Anyone have any past experience with plate carriers? What level plates do you think would be sufficient? (levels II, IIIA, III, III+, III+ Lightweight, IV)

    Plates:
    https://www.ar500armor.com/ar500-armor-body-armor.html

    Carriers:
    AR500 Armor® Testudo™ Lite Plate Carrier
    https://www.ar500armor.com/plate-carriers/plate-carriers-en/invictus-plate-carrier.html
    https://www.ar500armor.com/plate-carriers/plate-carriers-en/valkyrie-plate-carrier.html
    https://www.spiritussystems.com/shop-all/equipment/lv-119/
    https://www.cryeprecision.com/armor-equipment/jumpable-plate-carrier-jpc
     
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  2. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Dunmaghlas,

    Ref: "Thoughts ... ?" ; "what level plates":

    I was required to wear a IIIA vest in industry for our overseas insurance requirement.

    My thought is to keep vest/plate carrier subordinated to one's ability for maintaining the max mobility and agility.

    I've been shot at with RPG2 (Vietnam) and 57mm RR (post war). The main causes of injury are shrapnel and non-ballistics like gas, germs.

    My thought are to minimize vest costs and and weight and place at least equal emphasis on neck protection. The hard hat /helmet and NIJ IV vest works a little for the protected areas. The neck and face and femoral artery are neglected to the point that, overall, body bags are the best and least costly alternative.

    As a private citizen, do some R&D on the HAZMAT PPE to emphasize the mosquito and gas protections. This is the new casualty arena.

    Only for an illustration - no endorsement - ... spend some time surfing around:

    https://pksafety.com/blog/respiratory-basics-n95-vs-p100
     
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  3. Dunmaghlas

    Dunmaghlas Expert Member
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    Yeah, mobility seems to be one of the biggest issues especially once you add all the other gear required for whatever. I am going to be infantry to begin with so if I get recon then I won't be carrying much of the extra garbage or a ruck, depending on the situation. Fortunately, CBRN equipment is used by all Marine Corps infantry these days. Even my brother as an MP has a CBRN bag. Their masks are kinda trash though. They do the job, but they're extremely uncomfortable.
     
  4. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard ! Staff Member
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    I have not used this product but it does seem interesting . Worth a watch and possible investigation. YMMV!!!!

    Safe Life Flexible Rifle Armor

     
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  5. Dunmaghlas

    Dunmaghlas Expert Member
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    If only Safe Life weren't so dang expensive lol
     
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  6. LastOutlaw

    LastOutlaw Master Survivalist
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    I'm not sure what the Marines use but the following ifo comes from US Army issue experience.

    If you are in basic, don't buy anything. There will be plenty of opportunity for you in the future to get all of that. If you have questions about issued vests they most likely will issue you an IOTV. It has level 3a soft armor in it. It also is heavy and bulky. It comes with DAPS to protect your shoulders and sides. Most infantry remove the daps. They also come with a lower back pad that hangs down behind the vest. There also is a triangle shaped groin protector that hangs down in the front. Most soldiers leave this on.

    The IOTV goes over your head and then has two cummerbun type velcro straps that go around you to close it. It also has a cable that has a handle front and center of the vest. The cable runs across your shoulder to the back of the vest and the vest weaves itself through the cable. This is a fast exit cable. If you pull the handle in the front the vest will fall apart and come off of you.
    This vest also has a drag handle on the back.

    There are also ceramic plates that the military uses. These are front and back plates as well as side plates which are smaller. They are good plates and bring the armor level up to level 4 which will stop an AK round. They will absorb the round and take numerous strikes. If one is damaged they will swap it out at any time for you. In my opinion these are the best plates there are. Personally I would stay away from the AR500 plates. They will have a ricochet or spall problem and could cause you to die. When a round hits a steel plate that does not absorb it the round has to go somewhere even if it fragments. Fragments are likely to go up into your face or neck or under your armpits. Neither is a good place to get fragments. I have also heard of people buying plates at gun shows labelled as AR500 and taking them home, shooting them and a rifle round goes right through them.

    There also is an older IBA vest. It has less protection on the sides but also is a level 3a vest which will stop pistol rounds by itself. They add the level4 ceramic plates to these also. It holds one plate in front and one plate on the back. There are additional small attachable pouches to add side plates to these. The IBA vest is put on like a conventional vest and overlaps in the front with a velcro closure. There is no fast exit cable on this vest. This vest also has a drag handle on the back as well.

    There also has been an additional smaller plate carrier added to the line which has level 3a pads and holds a front and back plate. Side plates can also be added to this. This vest was brought in for use by the mountain troops in Afghanistan who were complaining of the bulk and weight of the fully loaded IOTV as they ran up and down hills and mountains.


    I hope my post answered a few of your questions concerning US military armor.
    Feel free to reply with any questions you may have about what I posted here. I do not know everything about this stuff but I do have a good working knowledge about it.

    This is simply my opinion and others may not agree.
    Good luck in your military career and thank you in advance for your service.

    LO

    PS. after wearing the fully loaded IOTV with all armor, pouches fully loaded, water, helmet and all the added gizmos I asked an active duty service member how he could run in it.

    His response was:
    " Oh don't worry when they start shooting at you, you will get to running just fine!"
     
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  7. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard ! Staff Member
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    Good post LO.
     
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  8. LastOutlaw

    LastOutlaw Master Survivalist
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    Thanks. Just tossing out the info I have.
     
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  9. Dunmaghlas

    Dunmaghlas Expert Member
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    Marines use similar carriers and plates from what others in infantry have told me. The recovery handle on the back i know for sure we use. Also my question was about body armor in general, not just military, so your question covered all of the military side lol. On the subject of stuff to buy during boot camp, the Marines do not give you anything. You pay for all of it. My mention of buying some was because we don't get to take our duty carriers home and I do personal training on my own time so I want a carrier with plates for my own training. But yeah man great info, super helpful.
     
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  10. F22 Simpilot

    F22 Simpilot Master Survivalist
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    What kind of bullet proof vest would you recommend a civilian have? Something lightweight I suppose. Not sure if you buy plates and then a vest or what.
     
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  11. LastOutlaw

    LastOutlaw Master Survivalist
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    There are two things that I really like about the military setup.
    The first is the soft armor. it lays behind the plates. It will cushion the impact of a round hitting a plate. I also like that military plates absorb the round and hold it. This leaves no worries about SPAAL or shrapnel. If you don't think will leave a mark look at this:
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. LastOutlaw

    LastOutlaw Master Survivalist
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    I would think that if one did decide to use an AR500 p;late he could find some of the military soft armor and run it in front of the plate to try and catch SPAAL maybe. Not sure how well that would work though.
     
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  13. Dunmaghlas

    Dunmaghlas Expert Member
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    Soft armor, level IIIA, something you can conceal under a shirt. AR500 sells a nice reasonably-priced concealable soft armor kit that I've been looking at but there are other companies that sell concealable soft plate carriers as well.
    https://www.ar500armor.com/plate-carriers/plate-carrier-packages-w-armor/ar-concealment-with-soft-armor.html
    I'll be wearing something similar to this daily and if need be I'll throw a carrier with level IV and mag pouches and other accessories over it. I'd suggest just buying a kit but if you're going to buy them separately then just do research first and find a carrier with the right space to hold whatever plates you choose and buy them together. Hope this helped.
     
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  14. Dunmaghlas

    Dunmaghlas Expert Member
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    Yeah there will always be a mark. But I'd rather have a massive bruise and a potential broken rib than have 120 grains of lead in my chest. The military setup definitely is the best for their application.
     
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  15. F22 Simpilot

    F22 Simpilot Master Survivalist
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    Thanks. What is the hybrid plate configuration? And I think I might go with the trauma pads. Thoughts?
     
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  16. Dunmaghlas

    Dunmaghlas Expert Member
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    Sorry for the late reply. I think the hybrid plates are essentially just a lighter composition that offers the same protection, but I'm not 100% on that. Should be the same protection either way. and yes, trauma pads are a must every single time. You'd be in a world of hurt if you didn't wear those and just the plate lol
     
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  17. F22 Simpilot

    F22 Simpilot Master Survivalist
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    Thanks.
     
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  18. LastOutlaw

    LastOutlaw Master Survivalist
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    I bought a black vest from a special forces guy once and when I opened it to see what he had been using in it , it was a simple black civilian plate carrier and he had slid two large military soft armor IIIA groin pads in the front and back of it. That was all he used. They look something like this:

    55fc499ce21f4784a90743886122abe4.jpeg
     
  19. Dunmaghlas

    Dunmaghlas Expert Member
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    That's funny, considering how much higher SF's budget is lol. The Marines will be giving me the groin pad and shoulder armor but almost no one uses the shoulder pieces and only most use the groin pads. We do have hard plates in our carriers though.
     
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