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Anyone familiar with First Choice Thin Blue Line Armor?

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  • Anyone familiar with First Choice Thin Blue Line Armor?

    Hello,

    I was wondering if anyone could fill me in on Thin Blue Line Armor from First Choice. It is the only affordable armor that is offered locally in my area, and I would like to know if it is fairly comfortable?

    This is for hospital security, so it is on my dime but is required. Judging by the wide assortment of confiscated knives and .44 magnum bullets on display in the security office, I'm going with a level IIIa.

    If this armor is fairly comfortable and competent, I would be inclined to keep my money local, otherwise I may have to look online. I searched and found a lot of topics on armor, but nobody really mentioned this brand.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Tom

  • #2
    Do some research but the NIJ just pulled its certification from a couple armor companies and for some reason I think First Choice was one. Working where you do I'd think you'd be more inclined to get something with more stab/slash protection then a straight up bullet-based ballistic vest.

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    • #3
      The company's site says their armor is made from Twaron. A vest of 100% woven p-aramid fiber like Kevlar or Twaron is a good choice. Just beware of laminates; they have a tendency to degrade and delaminate over time. Contact shots seem to melt through the material, too.

      As far as I know, three vests have passed the FBI Body Armor Test Protocol. None of them are from First Choice Armor, but maybe the company just hasn't sent a sample for the test yet. One of the three is from Pinnacle, the other two are from Diamondback Tactical. One of the DBT vests contains Dyneema, a polyethylene laminate, but it's blended about 50/50 with Twaron.

      There are lots of differences between the NIJ certification tests and the FBI tests, so a vest that is NIJ certified for a certain threat level still might not pass the FBI tests. Also, anything advertised as "lighter/thinner/more flexible" may very well equal "less protection."
      --
      Capital Punishment means never having to say "you again?"

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      • #4
        First Choice has been sued by the Dept of Justice for selling vests made with the discredited, and discontinued, Zylon fiber.
        Their current products are NIJ certified.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by RR_Security View Post
          The company's site says their armor is made from Twaron. A vest of 100% woven p-aramid fiber like Kevlar or Twaron is a good choice. Just beware of laminates; they have a tendency to degrade and delaminate over time. Contact shots seem to melt through the material, too.

          As far as I know, three vests have passed the FBI Body Armor Test Protocol. None of them are from First Choice Armor, but maybe the company just hasn't sent a sample for the test yet. One of the three is from Pinnacle, the other two are from Diamondback Tactical. One of the DBT vests contains Dyneema, a polyethylene laminate, but it's blended about 50/50 with Twaron.

          There are lots of differences between the NIJ certification tests and the FBI tests, so a vest that is NIJ certified for a certain threat level still might not pass the FBI tests. Also, anything advertised as "lighter/thinner/more flexible" may very well equal "less protection."
          +1

          Construction and components are the key things here, not so much the "name brand."


          There's a saying in the body armor circles:
          - VERY COMFORTABLE
          - MOST AFFORDABLE
          - BEST PROTECTION
          now choose two....
          All Gave Some - Some Gave All

          {"data-align":"none","data-size":"custom","data-tempid":"temp_14312_1475388990098_890","height":"65","title":"flower.gif","width":"72"}

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Resq14 View Post
            There's a saying in the body armor circles:
            - VERY COMFORTABLE
            - MOST AFFORDABLE
            - BEST PROTECTION
            now choose two....
            +1
            Frugal (cheap) though I am, I think I'd have to forgo "affordable" to get the other two.
            --
            Capital Punishment means never having to say "you again?"

            Comment


            • #7
              When I was in L.A. and trying to find a better vest than our issued one, I had the rep come out to meet with those of looking to upgrade our vests, about 10 of us ended up ordering vests from them, we were looking for level IIIA protection and can't remember anybody being dissatisfied. I think they make a quality product, but I would personally stay away from the Thin Blue Line as that seems to be thier value model and if I remember correctly weighs more than their other models. We ended up going with the millinium Flex model. I would still use it but my current dept. requires us to wear the vest they issue. Heck I still have mine, which sits in my closet if your interested....

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              • #8
                I am trying to locate K Kappelman who helped with a survey for the DOJ about armor vests. The email that DOJ gave is 10-7. As a volunteer (active!) I demanded that my station provide me a "good" vest, but in the DOJ survey of users, they neglected to ask volunteers any questions. In Compton, you sometimes need a vest under your vest. If anyone is involved in a survey in the future, please include VOPS - we're targets too!
                Check out the report issued 9/17/09 by USDOJ on Body Armor - over 60 pages of comparison and information.
                Last edited by RLRay; 09-18-2009, 11:22 PM. Reason: after thought.

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