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Body armor for home defense

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by walking arsenal, Jul 31, 2007.

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  1. walking arsenal

    walking arsenal Member

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    Up until now i've never really thought of purchasing body armor for my home defense kit.

    After thinking about it a while it seems like it might be an alright idea. Kind of like car insurance, except no one forces you to get it.

    I really don't need anything thats super highspeed as the vest will spend most of its time in my closet and only come out when somthing serious goes down. Like some sort of civil unrest I.E what happened during katrina.

    Thing is, i dont know much about ballistic wear. Can i get some opinions on some brands that are not too expensive but that will stop rifle rounds? I really dont even mind buying used.

    Thanks. WA
     
  2. igpoobah

    igpoobah Member

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  3. FourNineFoxtrot

    FourNineFoxtrot Member

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    I have a IIIA Marom-Dolphin vest, but not for HD... as others have said, there's really no time to don a vest when your door crashes in. I originally bought it for duty wear as a Security Guard, and although I never used it on duty, I suspect that it would have been too heavy/bulky/hot for summer wear, anyway.

    Mainly, I think of it as a "Gettin' outta Dodge" accessory, one that I will hopefully never need, but which is nice to have. If "Something Bad"(tm) happens in my city (you could call it SHTF, TEOTW, Civil Disorder, or whatever acronym/descriptor you prefer), I fully intend to abandon my basically indefensible apartment and Bug Out to my buddy's house in the boonies. Maybe that description evokes cynical thoughts of tinfoil hats and the like, but I find it immensely comforting to have a rudimentary escape plan. Helps me sleep at night. Besides, after what happened in New Orleans... I'm no longer complacent about the safety of cities, particularly in a crisis.

    Edit: The OP asked about vest advice... which I completely ignored while ranting about my willingness to make like an armadillo while running for cover. My apologies.

    There are sites that have a pretty good description of comparative vest capabilities, according to NIJ ratings. Here's the Wiki article:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulletproof_vest

    My understanding is that LEOs (excluding SWAT and the like) tend to wear Level II body armor as a compromise of protection and mobility. IIA, slightly lighter, is NOT rated to stop .357s. Straight level II supposedly is. Level IIIA is rated to stop just about any handgun round. Level III is rated to stop some rifle rounds, some of the time. Level IV is supposedly rated to stop just about any rifle round, short of an anti-material round like the .50 BMG. My understanding is that Level IV is primarily used for the rating of trauma plate inserts which can be added into vests, not the vests themselves.

    Of course, vests do fail, and multiple hits can destroy a vest's integrity, or render a trauma plate useless. The term "Bulletproof vest" is somewhat of a misnomer, and entirely too optimistic: "Bullet-resistant" is more accurate. There are no guarantees, and feeling invincible just because you're wearing enough armor to make a medieval knight green with envy can make you overconfident, which can lead to fatal error.

    If you want to know about vest brands, I know a little bit. Safariland and Second Chance are two of the names I hear the most. I believe Monarch is a big name, too. Their armor is, from my limited knowledge, pretty darn good. They also cost a lot. New armor can run you anywhere from $500 to well over $1000, and XL sizes, I know from experience, will cost extra. Other brands may offer a more cost-effective solution, however. Milsurp and generic brands (Gall's had their own line of armor for a while; they may still), and used armor, can be effective, and provide a good value... but you get what you pay for, and when you pay less, your savings come at the cost of some uncertainty, I think.

    Finally, caveat emptor: I'm just an idiot kid with zero real life experience who likes to run off at the mouth early in the morning after having too much coffee. Sorry for the long post, and good luck.
     
  4. scubie02

    scubie02 Member

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    check your laws on such things--in the People's Republic of NY body armor is illegal for us regular folks, who's lives aren't important enough to need such protection!
     
  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Not much chance of finding any of that available unless you are willing to spend a lot of money. Most vests are designed for pistol rounds since that's the greatest threat for LE. Military vests are designed for rifle rounds, but they are bulky and expensive and difficult to get.
     
  6. 30 cal slob

    30 cal slob Member

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    i think that is incorrect.

    that is the #1 thing i hear from NY and NJ folk. "it's illegal for you to even have it."

    actually, IIRC, it's only illegal to have it if you're in the process of committing a felony while wearing it.

    otherwise, if you can find somebody to sell it you, you're good to go.
     
  7. Cannonball888

    Cannonball888 Member

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    [​IMG]
    CP3: Ceramic Stand Alone Plate 10x12 Level IV 7.5 pounds
    "Stand-alone" plates are designed to stop ballistic threats using the plate alone.
    No ballistic vest is required for this plate, as all the energy and fragments are
    stopped in the plate. These plates are usually reserved for tactical operations
    or anti-terrorist work where the ammunition threat is unknown, or if the wearing
    of a vest is considered too cumbersome.

    Price: $280.00

    S&H: $15.00



    Material: Aramid Fiber Bonded AL98, Aluminum Oxide 98%
    Size 10" x 12"
    Curvature: Triple Curve
    Front/Back: Front
    Finish: Nylon Cover
    Protection: NIJ Certified Level IV Stand Alone

    Weight: 7.5 lbs

    It will defeat the following threats:
    7.62 × 54mm lead core ball ammunition, Dragunov Sniper Rifle at 0 meters
    7.62 × 54mm AP, Dragunov Sniper Rifle at 0 meters
    7.62 × 51mm NATO ball ammunition at 0 meters
    7.62 × 51mm AP M-61 at 0 meters
    7.62 × 51mm Swiss Munitions AP (WC Core) at 0 meters
    7.62 × 39mm mild steel core, AK-47 at 0 meters
    7.62 × 63mm AP at 0 meters
    5.56 × 45mm SS109/M855 at 0 meters
    5.56 × 45mm M193 ball at 0 meters
    5.45 × 39mm Russian ball at 0 meters
    12 gauge slug at 0 meters

    http://www.tamiamiarmor.com/
     
  8. walking arsenal

    walking arsenal Member

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    Thanks for the info guys.
     
  9. Engel

    Engel member

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    body armor for home defense???!!! just makes me wonder where some of you people live!


    body armor gets too hot unless you live in a cold climate. It dehydrates you quicker than you could blink. Back when I used to have to wear it on the job I would stuff ice packs in it to keep my core temperature down because the first few times I wore it I started seeing tunnel vision from overheat/dehydration. Ever since that I would stuff ice packs down it or just not wear it unless I absolutely had to. Soldiers in Vietnam didn't wear it for this fact either. Unless you have a job in law enforcement, military, or security... I dont see a reason for owning body armor. Seems ridiculous. my 2¢'s
     
  10. Cannonball888

    Cannonball888 Member

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    "When a man with a .45 meets a man with a rifle, you said the man with the pistol's a dead man. Lets see if that's true".

    ClintIronVest.jpg
     
  11. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Member

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    My thoughts exactly.

    Actually, my first thought was, "why not just make a tinfoil vest to match your hat".

    :D

    No offense, I had to throw that in though.
     
  12. Bones11b

    Bones11b Member

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    Just wondering is there is a site dedicated to body armor where you can compare the legality of owning it in different states. Usually when I travel I check the laws in different states first online then by contacting an LEO in that state. For example I may go on packing.org (yes I realise the information isn't totally accurate) and then cross check the info with the LEO in the state I am planning to travel to. Are there any states the forbid owning body armor by civillians? Lets say I wanted to know about body armor here in Florida, anyone know a good site to read up on the legalities of such equipment? Oh andso as no to ignore the original posters request here is a good site on body armor.

    http://www.bulletproofme.com/
     
  13. Law Abider

    Law Abider Member

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    when to use body armor

    this is my first post.

    forgive me if i haven't read every word of every post as i probably have should.

    it seems the vast majority of my new friends here, refer to home defense as a burglary or some type of psycho killer rapist break-in, aka "bump in the night".

    business deals go bad, ex-wives win custody of their kids over their psycho ex-husbands, usually but not "necessarily idle" threats are made over "you made amorous solicitations towards my monogamous partner and i'm going to have some not-so-nice words for you when i come to your home tonight" (although maybe not said in not those exact words).

    under these types of not so unheard of circumstances, we would have plenty of time to don body armor as well as make many other out of the ordinary preparations to protect the lives and safety of ourselves and loved ones. even it's if only for a few days until things "cool off".

    i live in one of the best deer hunting locations in the country, everybody and their grandma has a sighted in 3" 12" gauge and a box of slugs in their home available to themselves or whomever is able to steal them.

    i came to this board looking for specific help as to types and even brands of body armor would be suit me in this type of situation.

    being new to this, i would welcome your knowledge and experiece.

    thanks in advance..
     
  14. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    I'd suggest reading this, and then Googling for the appropriate threat level armor you want. The NIJ data isn't the end of the discussion, but it's a start.

     
  15. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    And the above people are your local Mall Ninjas...:evil:
     
  16. NukemJim

    NukemJim Member

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    If you really want to learn a LOT about vests on the net spend time lurking and using the search button on Tactical Forums.com , Gear and Gadgets, MD Labs

    http://www.tacticalforums.com/cgi-b...ebb.cgi?ubb=forum&f=5&DaysPrune=365&submit=Go

    A huge amount of data available with many excellent links. This forum subsection is moderated by Mad Dog who was the first (to the best of my knowledge) to blow the whistle on Zylon.

    THEY DO NOT TOLERATE LAZY PEOPLE ASKING QUESTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN ANSWERED REPEATEDLY.

    IF YOU POST QUESTIONS WITHOUT DOING YOUR HOMEWORK AND USING THE SEARCH BUTTON YOU ARE VERY LIKELY TO GET BANNED VERY QUICKLY.

    I read much on that forum, learn much but post extremely rarely.

    NukemJim
     
  17. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    Personally I would spend the money on strengthening your barricades, like solid interior wood doors with reinforced frames and stronger hinges with long fasteners. That actually BUYS you some extra time to make preparations when an intruder wakes you up and fails to breech on their first attempt.

    After buying the extra time, you would have more leeway in seeing what to "upgrade" next like your ballistic vest idea.
     
  18. nachosgrande

    nachosgrande Member

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    How on earth can body armor be illegal? So let me get this straight. It's illegal to wear no clothes, and it's also illegal to wear too much clothes?
     
  19. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    Its common misconception that it is somehow illegal. I've heard law enforcement here claim that it's illegal. Yet they didn't confiscate it from the wearer, only make the (empty) threat of confiscation unless they put it away. The wearer ended up filing a complaint and got a bulletin distributed to law enforcement to stop harassing folk.

    If you're committing a felony WITH body armor, it just adds another item to your list of charges.
     
  20. average_shooter

    average_shooter Member

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    Some ask why would anyone need body armor?

    Why do cops need it? Oh, because they run the risk of getting shot at when things go south.

    So, then, if there are people out there willing to shoot a cop, why would they not shoot me, an average guy, if I accidentally got in their way?

    Reinforce your walls and doors, make a safe room. Great idea.

    Lock yourself into a single position where you must stay in order to stay behind protection. So, in a Katrina situation, where someone may need to move around the block to check on neighbors and assist or help protect others, how are they supposed to carry their safe-room with them? By this logic nobody should have handguns because there's no reason to carry protection with you outside the home. What kind of crazy are you that you think you need to defend yourself outside your house?

    How about this, why don't soldiers just stay on base, behind the wire, cops stay in their patrol cars or the office? Oh yeah, they kind of need to go outside the wire to do their job... Oh yeah, I might need to go outside my house to help my neighbors in a bad situation.

    While I recognize that there are likely very few instances in which I will truly wish to have armor, it is also very likely that I will never have to draw my handgun to defend myself against an aggressor, but I carry anyway just in case. I find it incredibly arrogant to make "tinfoil hat" and "mall ninja" comments about things like this.

    Why can't some folks just leave it on the level of "personal choice" like they do with the choice to carry?

    And I'm not really trying to rag on anybody, but the arrogant comments are what really gets old after a while...

    EDIT: Holy crap, I just noticed Ken's comments and the original date of the thread. Alright, I'm a little embarrassed for the rant because I don't usually respond to zombie threads in such a fashion...:eek:
     
  21. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    I don't know why it is, but nearly every time I see an old thread brought up from the archives it's by a brand new member.

    Law Abider,

    First, it is considered good etiquette to read through a thread before posting, especially one that doesn't even go beyond a dozen posts.


    Second, you'll have to make choices that are right for you, and your own circumstances. This is a firearms discussion board, not a body armor discussion board. Unless you are content with a lot of speculation and conjecture, perhaps your question might be better served by asking it on a board comprised of people that actually use body armor, like a Law Enforcement discussion forum.


    I own a ballistic vest, but I'm not going to begin to suggest I'm qualified to answer your question. Best of luck. Do your own research, like I did, and I'll bet you'll arrive at a good conclusion.
     
  22. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Thing is, i dont know much about ballistic wear. Can i get some opinions on some brands that are not too expensive but that will stop rifle rounds? I really dont even mind buying used.

    There is no "inexpensive" body armor capable of stopping rifle rolunds. In fact there is no body armor that meets the criteria of being inexpensive. I would not buy used. You just don't know how it's been treated. UV radiation (from exposure to sunlight, washing in bleach or other unapproved cleaners can deterioate the body armor so it won't stop anything.

    Check the legality of owning it in your state. Some states have laws making it illegal to possess during commission of a crime or possession by a convicted felon. There may be states that ban it for civilians.
     
  23. Law Abider

    Law Abider Member

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    thank you bullfrog for your reasonable and civilized response.

    it's nice to know unemotional and intelligent debate is still possible even among those that are unwilling and/or unable.

    my mistake was not making it clear that i was already familiar with what a federal gov't agency told me to think.

    my argument should have been this:
    anyone familiar with Col. Jeff Coopers "codes of awareness" might agree body armor may or may not be appropriate in a code yellow, code red, or a code black situation, but what about code orange? is it or is it then no longer a personal choice but just another item of preparation among so many others?

    if so the numerous posts of "how long does it take to put on body armor" and "should i have any" would be irrelevant. am i mistaken?

    i also ask that you consider that the purpose of body armor is specifically for the defense of firearms every bit and maybe even more so than the "fine menswear cover garments" that neither you nor i believe belongs in a "functional fashion menswear forum"

    with respect to you...
     
  24. coylh

    coylh Member

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    Body armor has a couple of additional Safe Room uses:

    * It creates a safe direction where there otherwise might be none (apartment living) which you can use for administrative handling.

    * If you position it behind your quick access safe, it makes the safe itself capable of absorbing an ND.
     
  25. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Jeff Cooper never defined a "code black". Go back and research what Jeff himself actually publically said about his color code system. You'll find he never described a "code black". And you'll find his color code system has been perverted to say things he never intended. He's gone on record himself, before his passing, to say that.

    Others came along behind him, even before his death, and tried to define a "code black", and he rebutted them.


    You must make your decision based upon your own needs and requirements. But understand this - there is no such thing as "cheap body armor". Any body armor you will purchase will cost at least as much, if not more, than a simple firearm. Expect quality, entry level body armor to start at $400.00. If you want rifle rated armor, expect to spend roughly twice that amount.


    Body armor is an individual decision. I own a vest. If you want some, do your research like I did and go get it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
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