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Thread: Recommendations for armor rated for SS109 M855 green tip...

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by j102 View Post
    Thanks for starting this thread. Good info.
    You're welcome.

    TED

  2. #42
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    That rules out steel completely, and all but the most expensive poly plates. Basically any halfway decent ceramic level III plates are going to work. All just a matter of how much you want to spend. They all work, and they all seem pretty reliable, so it just comes down to weight, curvature, and thickness. You want light, super curvy, and thin, but that all costs money. You can get decent single curve, 5 lbs, 1 inch thick plates for several hundred a set.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by utahjeepr View Post
    Not to be a dick, but if your gonna wear plates why would you stop short of level IV esapi? YMMV, but I'm not. What you're willing to die for a dude up for packing a .30 cal, but not for the masses hauling 5.56? I realize "percentage of incidence" and all but yeah I'll take the weight.
    It's pretty unlikely that you're going to get shot at with AP .30 cal, much less get hit with one at close range. ESAPIs are in fact super high quality plates that are relatively cheap for what they are, when you can find them in serviceable condition for a good price. Like all milspec armor, they're extremely overbuilt. Keep in mind though that to get the full rating you have to have the backers, and they add another pound each, so each medium plate is actually 6.5 lbs. Again, that's light considering how overbuilt they are, but it's still 13 lbs that you have to carry, not including side plates if you want them. And while an extra two pounds might not sound like a lot, plates kind of follow the same curve as guns, where an additional two pounds can make it feel twice as heavy. Kinda like how an eight pound AR feels insanely light, whereas a ten pound AR feels equally insanely heavy.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Defaultmp3 View Post
    Right, that was my point, that your typical civilian concerns would not involve anything that would require Level IV, as any realistic chance of meeting AP type rounds would mean you're fighting a military and for whatever reason they've loaded up AP, which is a solution I find quite ludicrous, even in the wildest 3%er dream. That, or you're fighting fudds that have decided to bust out their old black tip rounds (or memesters that bought it for the Hell of it).

    Most of the special threat plates will not take .308 Win well; I believe that most will stop penetration, but BFD will exceed NIJ standards. Defeating M855A1, the aforementioned Hesco U210 and TenCate CR-6450SA are the hot ticket. The Velocity Systems API-BZ claims to be able to stop a single round of M80, along with the regular threats that the U210 and 6450 can, but I'm a bit suspect on that, as it was my understanding that it's just a rebranded 6450, so not sure how that's done. Lot of good plates that's rate for most common .308 Win and .223 Rem, but due to the nature of threat testing, most of them aren't going to be rated for M855A1; you're likely going to have to pick either guaranteed M855A1 threat defeat or else guaranteed M80 threat defeat (the latter being an integral part of Level III testing, which requires defeating 6 rounds of M80). You could pick a special threat plate that defeats M855A1 and throw on some soft armor under to mitigate BFD, I guess? Or look for hybrid Level III plates that utilize a ceramic strike face, which is likely what's going to be needed to defeat M855A1 (but would be a SWAG at best still).

    I suppose the Hesco 4800LV would be the way to go, with your specific criteria. Still overkill, IMO, but you do you.
    This is the biggest issue with the NIJ rating system and how people misunderstand them. Level IV is the highest so it has got to be the best right?

    Or how a plate stays rated against 7.62 NATO and people assume it stop things like M855 because 7.62 > 5.56. When in fact its much harder to stop 5.56 than 7.62 because of velocity.

    Id rather have regular Level III thats been actually been tested against specific rounds Im concerned about ie API-BZ or M855A1 than a Level IV that just blindly follows the 1 round of .30-06 AP test which might be worthless after taking 1 round of API-BZ or A1.
    Last edited by vicious_cb; 05-01-21 at 19:21.

  5. #45
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    I am concerned about the use of m855, m193, & 7.62x39 as it used to be found at nearly any gun store before the ammo shortage. Around here it seems if folks don't have an AR-15 they have some type of an AK variant or an SKS.

    Something else to think about is hunting cartridges. Living in the deep south (Mississippi) most everyone, including myself, deer/hog hunts. So you also have .243 win & .243 WSSM, .308 win, 30-06, .270 win & .270 WSM, .300 win mag & .300 WSM, as well as the Nosler and Weatherby uber velocity cartridges.

    I'm not in law enforcement anymore, but still want protection. Reading this thread is very interesting and I appreciate all the words of wisdom that has been shared.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by LOBO View Post
    I am concerned about the use of m855, m193, & 7.62x39 as it used to be found at nearly any gun store before the ammo shortage. Around here it seems if folks don't have an AR-15 they have some type of an AK variant or an SKS.

    Something else to think about is hunting cartridges. Living in the deep south (Mississippi) most everyone, including myself, deer/hog hunts. So you also have .243 win & .243 WSSM, .308 win, 30-06, .270 win & .270 WSM, .300 win mag & .300 WSM, as well as the Nosler and Weatherby uber velocity cartridges.

    I'm not in law enforcement anymore, but still want protection. Reading this thread is very interesting and I appreciate all the words of wisdom that has been shared.

    Hesco's L210 on a budget or U210 (thinner and more expensive) are ideal for stopping 5.56, including m193 and m855. Will save your life vs .308 but you may crack a rib (which is why they're not "rated" for .308, but .308 won't full penetrate in the 1st 3 hits). U210 can also be worn decently concealed under a shirt 1-2 sizes larger than normal with a low-vis carrier.

    Hesco's 4800 series is most ideal vs .308 and 30.06, but costs a lot.

    None of those are NIJ rated, solely due to failing drop testing, which is of no concern to me because...

    NIJ level III and IV plates have to pass NIJ drop testing (and thin Hesco plates fail this drop testing), which requires foam surrounding the entire plate to absorb drop impact (which does nothing to stop bullets - it's purely there for the drop tests). That extra thickness makes it a bitch to maneuver a long gun buttstock without it snagging on your plate. It is obviously dysfunctional in my personal experience - I'd rather have a greater chance of my plate cracking if I drop it on concrete, than not be able to use my long gun as well, if my ballistic protection is the same in both scenarios.

    Foam (on the rear of the plate) also does help with reducing injury from BFD, but you'd have to get shot with .308+ for that to come into play, and still using your gun better trumps that imo. For the plate to work, you have to get shot in the plate - not somewhere else. So maybe its balistic protection helps you, and maybe it's totally irrelevant. But if your plate is always in your buttstock's way, that is a disadvantage you're guaranteed to suffer from.
    Last edited by Naphtali; 07-19-21 at 07:28.

  7. #47
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    I have no trouble working a gun in the bulkiest set of armor I have access to. It has E-SAPIs and soft armor under the shoulder straps. With that said, if you need thin, I also have been provided a JPC with 3810s, and that setup is super thin. I believe it is rated for 855, but double check that.

    Not being able to shoot in plates would be like not being able to shoot with tits.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1168 View Post
    I have no trouble working a gun in the bulkiest set of armor I have access to. It has E-SAPIs and soft armor under the shoulder straps. With that said, if you need thin, I also have been provided a JPC with 3810s, and that setup is super thin. I believe it is rated for 855, but double check that.

    Not being able to shoot in plates would be like not being able to shoot with tits.

    Everybody (everyone's body) is different, but I have yet to meet a Delta or SEAL at a carbine course who doesn't discuss the fact that long guns are more awkward to use with plates, requiring a modified skill set for weapon manipulation / shouldering. And the thicker, the more awkward. I would wager that a high-90% of professional shooters do not find it irrelevant as you do.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naphtali View Post
    Everybody (everyone's body) is different, but I have yet to meet a Delta or SEAL at a carbine course who doesn't discuss the fact that long guns are more awkward to use with plates, requiring a modified skill set for weapon manipulation / shouldering. And the thicker, the more awkward. I would wager that a high-90% of professional shooters do not find it irrelevant as you do.
    I suppose I could be wrong.
    Last edited by 1168; 07-19-21 at 14:09.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1168 View Post
    I suppose I could be wrong.
    It's not right or wrong. It's that your personal experience may vary from what is considered typical. A wide frame and a loose sling may be the reason.

    The tighter the sling (without being dysfunctionally tight), the more work the sling does for you to help with recoil control during shooting (the ultra-tight SAS slings with mp5s in the 80s / 90s were the extreme example of slings giving recoil control). And the better weapon retention you have with a sidearm transition. But a plate eats up the gap when you do anything - which matters more with a tighter sling and less of a gap. Changing right and left shoulders is probably the worst thing a plate interferes with (part of why I make no attempt to train this or do it any more).

    You also generally can't shoulder a weapon normally with plates, at least for most people. The plate will sit partially or fully overlying your axillary crease (even with a shooter's cut), so normal shouldering is completely impossible. It's more common to shoulder more laterally on your deltoid, avoiding the plate, but weapon control during shooting suffers, as the weapon isn't in as tight to your body, and the more lateral stock position increases rotational torque during firing, which decreases recoil control. Less common is to shorten the stock an inch and shoulder more medially fully on the plate - this feels very awkward, and you have much less tactile feedback of stock position since it doesn't touch your body, and it can slip off the plate which makes shooting with the shortened stock + now extra lateral placement extremely awkward. At least on your deltoid it's likelier to stay put. Either way though, cheek weld is very different and requires a more unnatural neck position.

    The thicker the plate, the greater all of these problems - if you have them in the first place. Your plate's effect doesn't just end at the plate edge - your carrier material can angle back down from the anterior plate face toward your chest wall, if it's a thick plate with a tight fit in the pouch. That angle / return to your chest is also a protrusion that can interfere with another inch or so wide of the plate.

    If you have a wide torso, your plate may not overlie your axillary crease at all, and this may be a non-issue (would generally require a very wide torso for this to be true). If your slings are very loose, this also may matter far less.

    And - per your deleted post - I don't "hang out" with Tier 1 guys. But I've spent ~20 days training under 8 or 9 of them as instructors, and they are exceptional at teaching and seem tirelessly happy to answer questions. One thing that you have at courses is plenty of time to talk during breaks / lunch / etc. When something is a problem for me, and I ask them how they solve it, and the universal answer is "it's not fully solvable (for them) but here are the ways you can try to mitigate it, and this is my preferred way," then while it may not affect 100% of shooters, it's definitely common enough to be worth sharing the info on general forums.
    Last edited by Naphtali; 07-19-21 at 20:23.

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