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  • Body Armor brand

    Off all the various body armor brand and types out there,Point blank range,Black armor,Engarde and ABA,what is among the pro's considered to be the best?

    Or is it all the same when it comes to quality and vest character? I mean,they all stop the same at the same level,or is it variation with the names? Is the only difference color and name?

  • #2
    I've worn Second Chance, Safariland Zero G, Guardian Technologies and Point Blank in my career. Of all Second Chance is by far my favorite. It was a little heavier than the others but much more comfortable. I am currently wearing a Zero G that is due for replacement this summer. My agency buys some different brand now (not one that I've heard of before) that is supposed to be a 10 year vest. So far its a love it or hate it verdict with the people that have them. I would love to go back to Second Chance.

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    • #3
      Construction is most important

      100% WOVEN Kevlar/Twaron/p-aramid construction is the most important thing for LEO's with respect to soft body armor.

      Avoid vests using laminates in their construction. Contact shots (i.e. the reality of getting shot) will compromise laminate construction, allowing certain rounds to pass through that should otherwise be stopped. Contact shot protection is NOT part of NIJ testing.

      Lighter and more expensive does not necessarily mean the best protection. Armor reps won't acknowledge this. Of course, look what happened to the Colorado Vest Test protocol...

      While wearability is important, sacrificing contact shot protection for comfort is foolish.

      There are some threads in the lightfighter.net forums that are eye-openers.
      Last edited by Resq14; 03-26-2008, 07:59 PM.
      All Gave Some - Some Gave All

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      • #4
        what is soft body armor, is there a hard body armor? what is the difference?

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        • #5
          Soft body armor is typically constructed of woven synthetic fibers, including aramids and polyethylenes. Example: Kevlar, Twaron and Spectra concealable body armor. This is what many LEO's wear for ballistic protection on a day-to-day basis. NIJ level IIIA (with some exceptions) is the highest amount of protection you can find in soft body armor. This armor is commonly worn concealed under uniforms by police officers. Unlike hard body armor, soft body armor is very flexible, lighter, and more comfortable to wear.

          Hard body armor is constructed of many different materials. Examples: ceramic and pressed polyethylene. This is what most military personnel wear for ballistic and shrapnel protection on a day-to-day basis. Also, LEO's frequently use these in higher risk situations (active shooter, SWAT response, etc). These usually provide NIJ level III/IV and up protection. This armor is essentially rigid and heavy, usually worn externally in plate carriers.



          There are some exciting new synthetic fibers being developed that have been announced just recently. I'll try to dig up the links.
          Last edited by Resq14; 03-27-2008, 02:04 PM.
          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
            spectra layers arent woven. like dyneema, they're unidirectional, with each layer being placed at 90 degrees to the one below it. this helps with dispersion of energy after taking a hit because with woven fibers more of the energy is blocked by the criss-cross pattern and absorbed into the body whereas with unidirectional fiber the energy can flow more freely and disperse over a wider area.

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            • #7
              Oh, look--the thread didn't really die. It was just holding its breath.

              Just a note about "Dyneema SB61." If anyone has a certain model of vest from BAE Systems Products Group (American Body Armor, LLC; Safariland Armorwear, LLC; Protech Tactical, LLC) and didn't get word of some vests being recalled, you may want to check here.
              It's only certain models, and the company was taking steps "to recover the affected models from the field," but I thought I'd mention it just in case someone has a second-hand vest and didn't get the word about this. The model numbers are at the link above.

              So, Resq14 or anybody, got an archived list of the vests that did pass the CVT before the program was trashed?
              How about the latest FBI testing protocol? Has anything passed that yet?
              --
              Capital Punishment means never having to say "you again?"

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              • #8
                SecondChance T2 in "Max Coverage"

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                • #9
                  I have no archive of the CVT, unfortunately.

                  I believe I've read on LF.net that there's at least one vest that's passed the FBI test, but that there were complaints that it was "too uncomfortable."

                  Not sure on the manufacturer.
                  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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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Daniella View Post
                    Off all the various body armor brand and types out there,Point blank range,Black armor,Engarde and ABA,what is among the pro's considered to be the best?

                    Or is it all the same when it comes to quality and vest character? I mean,they all stop the same at the same level,or is it variation with the names? Is the only difference color and name?
                    We use the Extreme body armor. It's much thinner and lighter than the second chance and has the same rating. Check your PM for a warning.

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                    • #11
                      I use PACA, about 1yr old, and a Zero G. I like the PACA better.

                      G-man
                      1*

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                      • #12
                        Anybody ever used or heard of Gator Hawk? I think they just changed their name to GH Technologies. This is the brand my agency issues. I've never heard of it before. How are they in reference to quality and reputation.

                        I'm thinking about buying my own vest anyway. I'm thinking about the Second Chance Monarch "Max Coverage". Any product reviews on this vest?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Resq14 View Post
                          I have no archive of the CVT, unfortunately.

                          I believe I've read on LF.net that there's at least one vest that's passed the FBI test, but that there were complaints that it was "too uncomfortable."

                          Not sure on the manufacturer.
                          Yeah, that's the crappy part. I read on another forum about some that were supposed to be "more flexible," etc., but they were more likely to have excessive backface deformation, too.
                          "It's always something."
                          --
                          Capital Punishment means never having to say "you again?"

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                          • #14
                            anyone ever use or know anything about the Thin Blue Line vests from First Choice?

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                            • #15
                              POINT BLANK!!

                              I wore them in Afghanistan and it worked great against an RPG..... The new Point Blank stuff is the best around. When I opened the store I did a ton of research and decided to go with Point Blank.

                              I have many departments on contract for Point Blank and they have nothing but good stuff to say about it...... Take a look at the Vision and Highlight...

                              http://www.pointblankarmor.com/HILITE.asp

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