Bullet Proof Vests-Aren't Bullet Proof


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michiganfan
December 20, 2003, 08:44 AM
Interesting.


http://www.freep.com/news/mich/vests20_20031220.htm
BULLET-RESISTANT VESTS UNDER FIRE

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Stinkyshoe
December 20, 2003, 11:30 AM
"One suit blames Second Chance armor in the shooting death of a California police officer last July."

Hmmm.....I didn't know that the body armor could actually pull the trigger. Maybe they need to sue the gun manufacturer too.:banghead:
They need to test the vests that are several years old and see if they still can do what they say. Just because a LEO wears a bullet proof vest doesn't mean they won't die. Did they test what kind of ammo the dirtbag who shot him was using. Could it have been some +p ammo or some "cop killer" ammo. The Vest Company should be questioned and held accountable to be sure their products exceed their guarantee year after year, but they'd be the last person that should be gone after.

SnWnMe
December 20, 2003, 11:40 AM
The vests we use at work are clearly marked with an"expiration date". Also has a "shelf life". FWIW, I brought one of the beat up ones to a local range and witnessed one of the shooters blast it with a 325gr 45LC bullet @ 1300 fps @ 15 yds. The vest held.

Also, +P ammo doesn't mean jack against vests in good condition. Rifle bullets are a different story.

Jeff White
December 20, 2003, 11:50 AM
Second Chance is being sued because they made the body armor with Zylon, which they knew was not suitable for use in body armor. The manufacturer of Zylon did not recommend that application for the product.

Second Chance has been unwilling to replace the vests made of Zylon, but has been offering upgrade kits.

The body armor in question was well within the time frame that it should have worked as advertised. This isn't the same thing as trying to collect damages for the way a lawfull product is misused. The suit is alleging that Second Chance built a defective product. There have been a couple other threads here about this issue.

Jeff

Stinkyshoe
December 20, 2003, 12:32 PM
"FWIW, I brought one of the beat up ones to a local range and witnessed one of the shooters blast it with a 325gr 45LC bullet @ 1300 fps @ 15 yds. The vest held."

Wow, thats really amazing. Isn't that about the same ballistic energy as a 44 mag. What do bullet proof vests cover? Are they designed to only product the heart, lungs, and nervous system from strait on hits? I really wish there was a way the LEOs and Military personel could have better protection w/o the weight and loss of motion.

7.62FullMetalJacket
December 20, 2003, 12:41 PM
325gr 45LC bullet @ 1300 fps @ 15 yds. The vest held.

Oww! I am glad I wasn't wearing the vest. Of course, if I was going to be shot, then maybe the "Oww" is better than "dead."

As usual, Mod White is right. Seach and you will find some passion and a few facts. It appears Second Chance was putting out a defective product.

Mike Irwin
December 20, 2003, 01:42 PM
Not only do vests have an expiration date, they also have to be cared for in VERY specific ways. If you don't, the protection level can be SERIOUSLY degraded.

Brigrat
December 20, 2003, 02:39 PM
For more info than you could ever want about the Zylon battle go here and start reading:


http://64.177.53.248/cgi-bin/tacticalubb/forumdisplay.cgi?action=topics&forum=M.D.+Labs+&number=5&DaysPrune=10&LastLogin=

If the link doesn't work, it is the MD Labs forum on tactical forums web site.

elkhunter
December 20, 2003, 04:20 PM
I saw a beat up vest shot with a 454 cassull. I can't remember the ballistics info, but it didn't hold. Not even close. But then the same vest did stop a .45 APC and a .38 special, what it was designed to stop. It wasn't designed to stop the Cassull.

mdsteele
December 20, 2003, 05:51 PM
I've got an old mid 80's flak jacket that I've shot with 9mm and 357.mag and it stopped them cold. I dont' know what would happen if it were being worn at the time. I know better than to try rifle rounds.;)

ahenry
December 20, 2003, 05:58 PM
Second Chance is being sued because they made the body armor with Zylon, which they knew was not suitable for use in body armor. The manufacturer of Zylon did not recommend that application for the product. Actually Second Chance is the about the only manufacturer that is admitting that Zylon is failing after exposure to humidity and general wear. American Body Armor makes a Zylon vest that has to have the same short comings (since the short coming is due to the Zylon itself) but they are unwilling to admit it or attempt to rectify it. At least Second Chance is doing something.

NukemJim
December 21, 2003, 10:02 AM
IIRC BSST ( a German body armour manufactorer ) has also said that Zylon is not suitable for vest for the same reasons.

Also I believe that US Armour does not use Zylon again for the same reasons.

As always I could be wrong I have read the threads at tactical forums but am NOT an expert on body armour.


NukemJim

riverdog
December 21, 2003, 01:18 PM
I'm not a LEO and have no personal vested interest in body armor, but I just spent the last few hours reading and following links regarding the whole Zylon/Second Chance Ultima Issue. Seems like SC's lawyers are gonna be real busy over the next few years; Second Chance may not survive as a result of not only the lawsuits, but the negative PR of their previous denial that there was an issue. After what I've read today, I would not trust SC and would look elsewhere for BA. But I'm not in the market.

The German BA manufacturer BSST ceased using Zylon very early and recalled those in the field. US Armor has not and does not use Zylon in their vests. Second Chance OTOH, in spite mounting evidence that Zylon deteriorated due to humidity and exposure to sunlight, refused to admit there was a problem until months after an Oceanside LEO was killed by a pistol (.40 SW) round through a panel the vest which should have stopped that round. His vest was 7 mos old, well inside the warranty period.

This is a real ugly situation for all involved. I'm no BA expert by a long shot, but I know how to read. Anybody who wears body armor or who may be in the market owes it to themselves to follow the links and read. Start with a "zylon" search on GlockTalk's CopTalk forum.

riverdog
December 21, 2003, 02:17 PM
Glocktalk thread (http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?threadid=198389) about Zylon and SC Ultima. Good read.

Pilgrim
December 21, 2003, 02:29 PM
I've got an old mid 80's flak jacket that I've shot with 9mm and 357.mag and it stopped them cold. I dont' know what would happen if it were being worn at the time. I know better than to try rifle rounds.

One has to be careful with drawing conclusions with these type of tests. What the flak jacket is draped over and the object's resiliancy or resistance to deforming under blows has an effect on how the jacket resists bullets.

Pilgrim

mdsteele
December 21, 2003, 06:38 PM
One has to be careful with drawing conclusions with these type of tests. What the flak jacket is draped over and the object's resiliancy or resistance to deforming under blows has an effect on how the jacket resists bullets.

?

I didn't draw any conclusions. I stood the thing up, shot it, and noticed that nothing penetrated. I "did" state that I don't know what would happened if it were being worn at the time.

I'm not about to try it on and see. ;)

sendec
December 21, 2003, 10:31 PM
I am really getting tired of seeing Rich Davis getting hammered over this. The amount of smoke and noise drifting over the web about the "Zylonistas" is just phenomenal, its like he's being attacked by a pack of mad dogs. Zylon may or may not be a suitable material for bullet-resistant vests, but the inference that Davis et al have engaged in some vast conspiracy to endanger the LEO community just reeks. There is FAR too much conjecture and far too little empirical data to infer that parties may be negligent or civily culpable.

Bottom line is that there is nothing in life that is %100 percent reliable. Davis took the point in an extremely volatile endevour and has led the industry in innovation and advancement. Could Zylon have been a mistake? Maybe, maybe not, but the jury is literally and figuratively out on that. Zylon vests may be total junk in the long run, but Davis still has a bunch of saves in the plus column in my book. Any loss of life is tragic, but Davis didnt pull the trigger.

Body armor is just that. It isnt bullet proof, nor does it confer invincibility. It can and will fail, just like any other device in the field.

7.62FullMetalJacket
December 21, 2003, 11:03 PM
Remember asbestos? The flame retardent super material that was used everywhere. Oops! Causes cancer.

Remember lead paint? Paint your house once every 30 years. Almost as good as "metal plating." Oops! Causes dain bramage.

These are but two substances/compounds which someone presented with the best of intentions but failed the "health" argument over the long term.

These are not "bullet-proof" vests since they will not stop all bullets (i.e. rifle, big bore revo) and will not stop a bullet in every instance or at every angle. They do work well in most instances. If given the choice, I would take ANY vest out there, including Zylon, over NOTHING. :cool:

JShirley
December 21, 2003, 11:08 PM
Yup. No such thing as "bullet proof vest", just body armor at various levels.

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