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very light armor?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Wapato, Apr 29, 2012.

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  1. Wapato

    Wapato Member

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    Because most people seem to agree the best firearm for a fight is the one you actually have with you, manufacturers are cranking out the pocket pistols, and members here are advising people to get them.

    I'm wondering about the body armor side of that. Sure, level IIIA is great and all that. But realistically I doubt there are many of us here that aren't LEOs that actually wear any type of armor at all. I'm given to understand level IIIA is heavy, bulky, restrictive, costly, and would be very uncomfortable in the heat. Level II is only a little better.

    Given that, would it make any sense to consider level IIA or level I (does anybody even make that anymore out of modern polymers?)

    Could a modern level 1 or IIA be the sort of thing you just slide on instead of your usual undershirt or dress shirt so that you'd actually wear it?

    Related to the efficacy of that, does anybody know much about how bulletproof vests fail? Or put a different way, if a gun is just a bit too much for the vest, does the bullet limp through with a much lower velocity and maybe fail to create a fatal injury, or as you increase velocity on a bullet does the vest suddenly go from "stops completely" to "fails miserably">

    Also, would a vest be somewhat practical as a measure against other hazards? I recall reading somewhere that half the "saves" for some police department in a study were from things other than attacks by a weapon, and were instead credited for saves related to various falls, explosions, being impacted by a car, being in an accident in a car, having something fall on them, etc. Though I don't think it went into great detail.
     
  2. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    I'd be very interested to hear the answer to this one. I've been curious about it myself.
     
  3. Giterboosted

    Giterboosted Member

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    In for the answer on that too
     
  4. Shoobee

    Shoobee member

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    I can only think of 4 reasons to wear a "vest."

    1 - LEO

    2 - military

    3 - bank robber

    4 - paranoid
     
  5. cambeul41

    cambeul41 Member

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    Some people think we all are! :D
     
  6. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    Let's slightly change your post to reflect what other like-minded people say all the time...

    It's bad enough when those outside the firearm community throw stones at us, worse when we throw stones at each other.
     
  7. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    regarding the first part of your question, there are a few companies that make bullet-resistant clothing

    http://www.miguelcaballero.com/cms/front_content.php

    As to the second part, Kevlar certainly will slow down rounds that defeat it, and reduce their impact on the other side.
     
  8. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    first, there isnt any soft body armor which one can wear that isnt hot and restrictive.

    second, level IIA is the lightest ive heard of and though it is not rated for a .357 magnum it will stop a .357 magnum, the back face deformation will be brutal, but better than a slug in your chest.
     
  9. Freedom_fighter_in_IL

    Freedom_fighter_in_IL Member

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    Yes and Kind of no to that. While the bullet itself MAY be stopped, the blunt force trauma from the impact can cause severe damage itself. If impact is around the liver, kidneys, or spleen, the impact trauma can actually be very deadly.
     
  10. Shoobee

    Shoobee member

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    Actually I love my 45ACP and I think everyone should own one, or at least a 9mm if they cannot handle the 45ACP. Robbery and rape would then go down, we would need fewer police, and everyone would become more responsible citizens.

    A vest is a totally different story.

    If ever there was anyplace where I thought I had to wear a vest, I just would not go there.

    Situations for wearing a "vest":

    1 - you are a LEO and you know you have an unpopular job

    2 - you are FBI or DEA and you are going on a dangerous raid

    3 - you are getting ready to rob a bank and you don't want someone taking a lucky shot at you

    4 - you are military in a combat zone

    5 - paranoia in the civilian world.
     
  11. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Maybe paranoid, but most likely just strange

    If I feel compelled to investigate a break-in type sound in my house, I would not feel the least bit paranoid about

    1 taking a gun

    2 putting on shoes

    3 putting on a vest

    but I would feel it a waste of time to put on socks or pants.

    What does that make me?

    Lost Sheep
     
  12. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    thats what i said.........
     
  13. Shoobee

    Shoobee member

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    shoes and vest would be a big waste of time.

    pants and gun is plenty.

    youre living in the wrong neighborhood if you also need a vest.
     
  14. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    I am getting off-topic here, but your post prompts me to ask,

    Which is more survivable? A penetrating bullet wound (assume powerful, heavy, but not expanding) or that same impact as blunt force trauma?

    OK, back on topic:

    There are more bulletproofing options than just the vest or the (pretty expensive) clothing mentioned by essayons21.

    Bullet-resistant clipboards or briefcases come to mind immediately. Cutting down the bulky vest to a smaller size, to just protect the vitals rather than the full chest is an option.

    Knowing that every concession to comfort or economy gives up some safety, you have to balance your particular needs. We protect ourselves thermally by "layering" our insulation. Is there a way to "layer" body armor? Just brainstorming here, so if that last sentence is crazy, let me know.

    Lost Sheep
     
  15. Manson

    Manson Member

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    Well protected and half nekid.
     
  16. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    You mean if I live in a nice neighborhood and someone breaks into my house, they will never, ever shoot at me, especially when I confront them with a gun in my hand letting them know the cops are on the way? Do you really think that living in a nice neighborhood is going to do anything to prevent a BG intent on harming you and/or your family from shooting? Sorry pal, but that's delusion talking. I've been kicking myself for selling my vest for the past 2 years.
     
  17. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

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    While I would not wear a vest daily, there are circumstances where having a vest would be a good idea. Riots would be a big one. If I heard a noise putting on a vest is not going to happen, hearing my front door go, if I had the time I'd put one on. If I had one I'd put it in my last stand/strong point and that is what it would be for.
     
  18. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    DB makes a fine point. Toting about with you a firearm, a bullet resistant vest, or both is somewhere between paranoid and very wise. Hopefully you'd have no need of either in the course of a long, peaceful life. Tragically, you may need both someday. Even worse, when your crisis comes neither may be "enough." Each of us has to make our own decisions about how prepared we choose to be.

    (As seen in other, current threads, some folks feel the need to have a rifle nearby at all times. I'd say a light, unobtrusive, bullet resistant vest is a more reasonable choice for facing "likely" civilian-world threats than a rifle.)

    We've had this discussion before. Not everyone has the benefit of living in a "good" neighborhood. (If you need a GUN, you must be living in the wrong neighborhood, no?)

    Not everyone who might keep a vest next to their home defense gun is a paranoid nut. (If you have need for a tool with which to SHOOT someone, might you also not avail yourself of a tool to keep you from being SHOT? Seems the two could go hand-in-hand.)
     
  19. zoom6zoom

    zoom6zoom Member

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    With some of the idiots handling guns at the range, that's a place I'd like to be wearing one!
     
  20. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    I've noticed the Range Safety Officers in charge of the New Shooters Squad at our local IDPA matches tend to wear vests fairly often. It's not unknown for them to get muzzle swept by a newbie in the excitement of the moment.
     
  21. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    Haha. Oh man, that was good.

    Let's try to just answer Wapato's question instead of telling him what level of protection is "reasonable" in our opinion. I don't plan to wear body armor to the grocery store, but I don't think that entitles me to tell everyone else they can't/shouldn't/etc. I can understand the reasoning for Lost Sheep deciding to put on shoes and a vest while investigating a sound in his home (if there wasn't the possibility of a criminal willing to fight him in the home, he wouldn't need a gun either or any real need to check it out at all)...that said I won't be buying a vest for anytime I investigate a sounds because I can't afford one and think the odds I'll need one are slim. That doesn't mean that Lost Sheep doesn't need one or shouldn't use his...it just means we're different people with different situations and circumstances and so power to him.

    So let's not bicker about who or when someone might need the stuff and just try to answer Wapato's question and leave the judgmental comments to ourselves.

    Wapato, I think the real question is simply that anything you could wear which would be comfortable, would do very little to really up your odds. So I think it generally loses out in the benefits are way outnumbered by the disadvantages (ie slight protection vs high cost, uncomfortable, etc). So yeah, it might be better than nothing but you'd probably find you wouldn't be able to find something that would work well for you everyday.
     
  22. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    I had to wear a vest everyday for work at one point in time. I'll pass thanks.
     
  23. Manson

    Manson Member

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    I agree. We seem to have gotten into motivation rather than availability and effectiveness.
     
  24. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I would be happy to throw on a vest before investigating noises in my home. My son has his own IIIA vest he has trained to throw on and roll under the bed if things "go south". Since we live some scant miles from the drug smuggling corridor the feds ceded to the cartels, I don't think this paranoid. ShooFly fails to understand there are states that allow the use of a vest for civilians, and sometimes people who might have to go places that are 'questionable", or wish to have some level of protection in the night, might want one they can wear/throw on. He also fails to understand there are some civilian jobs that might require one - I wore a concealable vest for years in armored trucking.
    I see he also feels 9mm is for those who can't "handle" 45ACP. :) Just how many dead horses DO you own?
    Goodbye, ShooFly, your trolling is done for me.
    To the OP, with the high quality of today's' concealable vest, go with a IIIA. Safariland is a great name to trust, as is Point Blank or Second Chance. There are some used armor sites, but I don't like used armor that much. Try to buy new if you can - it will cost you as much as a good quality sidearm.
     
  25. SquareBeer

    SquareBeer Member

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    Vests are wise in certain situations! Paranoid is for those that do not understand and thank goodness I understand. We've looked at a few sites but can't really tell what is good and what is not.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
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