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Thread: Advice on running plates/helmet

  1. #1
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    Advice on running plates/helmet

    1. When running with plates, how to keep them from hitting the bottom of chin at sprint speed? When worn anatomically to cover the high arteries coming out of the heart... at full speed sprints they tend to hit my chin in any sprint at 85%+. They are as tight as possible while still allowing deep full breaths without impeding breathing, while not slapping or losing contact with body at any time.

    2. When shooting pistol, as both arms move to isosceles shooting position plate tends to rise up into throat as well. Doesn't get in the way of fast accurate fire, but can be annoying.

    3. When shooting in prone with both plates and helmet:

    Plate tends to pop up and forward making shouldering the butt of the rifle particularly difficult. Off the plate is pretty far out (plates extend to the nipple, butt makes contact just outside of the shoulder pocket)

    dropping to prone, helmet tends to be JUST... lower than horizon/level height and requires an additional upward tap to rock it back and out of the way. high quality helmet and fit correctly, no visor lip or low cut rear

    4. When running a heavy vest, lower armor sticks out enough that 3 o'clock waist carry can sometimes result in an impeded draw, but trying to avoid subload/mid subload on leg (all over the place no matter how tight when running); any other ideas? No vest mounted pistols.

  2. #2
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    What carrier are you using? I've never had my plates hit my chin.
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  3. #3
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    Grey Ghost, same happened with the 1st gen JPC which I had as well. Only when sprinting pretty hard.

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    Can we get a pic of you wearing the carrier in its currrent configuration?
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  5. #5
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    Would rather not share that online. The plates are SAPI large and the top of the plate is even with the suprasternal notch, the bottom of the plate is 2-3" above the belly button. The edges of the front plate do not completely cover the nipples, but the next size up is just too big/awkward (wide) to make work effectively when I tried them.

    Wondering if I should tighten the sides down more. The plates don't slap my body or come off my body horizontally, but rather bounce up to my chin when running hard. Not hard enough to injure or do damage but definitely noticeable and distracting. Would move to another carrier or plates if that would fix it.

    Only 3 mags across front, 1TQ on the carrier. Overall cinched fairly tight, but some room for deep breathing without constriction.
    Last edited by voiceofreason; 11-20-18 at 07:59.

  6. #6
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    What are you wearing the plate carrier over? I found that some of the slicker, tight synthetic tops allowed the plate carrier to move more on my body than other clothing.

    I put on a plate carrier just to see what you were talking about, and there's no way my chin can hit the top of the front plate unless I'm tucking my chin in. If I lift up the front of the plate carrier the front plate will contact my neck, but not my chin if my head is straight.

    Besides ill-fitting gear, some of it's also due to technique. We've all seen guys in classes with gear flying in all directions when running; everything seems to be moving around their person. We've also seen people that look 'tight' when running - with less stuff moving around.

    I took some classes years ago where the subject of running with a carbine and armour was addressed. Rather than running with both hands on the carbine (sawing back and forth across your chest as you run); the advice given was to hold your carbine with your strong hand tight to the body, while letting the support arm swing while running. With the rifle muzzle pointed up, the butt would be tucked under the arm against the side of the body. So, the rifle doesn't swing back and forth. This also serves to keep your plate carrier from moving around on your body as much when running, as the arm locks both the carbine butt and plate carrier to the body.

    If you have to run with the muzzle down (some ranges require you to); then you grab the rifle around the barrel nut area (thumb over the top, other fingers on the front of the mag well), while the rifle and arm is pressed into the armour. The main thing was to keep the rifle motionless relative to the body when running, so there's less reciprocating mass, plus the elbow tight to the body keeps the plate carrier from bouncing up and down. YMMV, but this worked for me.

    Just experiment like this - put your plate carrier on and jog in place with both arms pumping back and forth. Then clamp down one side of the plate carrier under that elbow with one arm bent tight to your side; let the other one pump and jog in place again. I'm pretty certain you'll find the plate carrier bouncing much less when secured under one arm.

  7. #7
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    That's some great info. I run with a forward lean and keep my gear on the "tight" side as I prefer minimalist and simple.

    will definitely try pinning the plate/front side down with the right/rear arm. Will try both muzzle up and down and see which works better. For live fire, I am required to run muzzle down.

  8. #8
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    Sounds like you need to run your PC a lot tighter to your body. The tighter the PC is the less any of those things you are mentioning become issues.

    I try not to have anything on the front of my PC at all, I prefer a very slick setup in the front and load all my stuff on the sides (radio on the back top).

    When shooting pistol with plates you'd want to shoot isosceles, if you blade your body you are utilizing less of your plates and more of your body, that defeats the purpose.

    As for helmet, again, right it tight. So tight that you can do a barrel roll without it moving at all. Yes it may suck depending on your helmet choice and mounting hardware, but that's how you are supposed to run them anyway.
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  9. #9
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    Plates are pretty tight already, will tighten some more and see how much tighter I can get it without limiting breathing too much. I ran it too loose when I first got them and they moved when I ran. They no longer move at all unless I'm at 90%, then I only notice the chin issue. Will start too tight and loosen a bit at a time.

    Will tighten the helmet up more. Never had any issues with it except when in prone it's just a tiny bit too far forward. Will crank down and see what happens.

  10. #10
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    Plates shouldn't be hitting your chin at all under normal running conditions, so other folks here have given you some good ideas to try out, but something else you can do is attach some self-stick foam weatherstripping to the top edge of your plate. Really helps the comfort and takes away the sharp crack of the plate hitting your chin in case you ever trip and fall. You can also attach it to the bottom of your plate as well, if you still have space in the plate bag. It's very cheap comfort and insurance against an accidental edge-drop.

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