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How much weight is your armour?

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  • How much weight is your armour?

    Hey guys, me and a friend are working on a next gen armour, not on a huge scale or anything just out of our
    kitchens as a pet project for now. Here in Northern Ireland a police constable performs his or her duty with a chest rig weighing
    something in the order of 20 Kilo's or more. I have had the displeasure of dawning one of these rigs and it was
    quite an awful experience and predictably a lot of people are ending up with permanent back injuries as a consequence
    to this. We are trying to make a lightweight material that would see full sized wearable plates in the 1 to 1.5 Kilogram region.

    We ARE getting there! Albeit on a non existent budget, if we went ahead and made full size plates now, they'd be about 2kg each
    but I want to put in a bit more effort to try to get that weight down even more.

    These 100x100x25mm test samples can and will defeat .223 55 grain FMJ's fired from a bolt action rifle at point blank range along with
    other threats such as AR-15, AK-74 and NATO 7.62x51.

    What's the situation like where you are at with personal injuries due to heavy gear?

    Cheers
    Noel.

    t1.jpg t2.jpg t3.jpg t4.jpg
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Being on routine patrol with heavy rifle armor on is not a thing here.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Joe, is that true across the board or is it dependant on the state or department? Here of course we have several terrorist groups and every one
      of them have at one point or another murdered police constables so maybe it's just not quite the same situation over there.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Noel38m View Post
        Hey Joe, is that true across the board or is it dependant on the state or department? Here of course we have several terrorist groups and every one
        of them have at one point or another murdered police constables so maybe it's just not quite the same situation over there.
        I have spent time in Belfast, so I think I know where you're coming from.

        There are areas where we probably should be better equipped, but it is not customary for patrol officers in the U.S. to wear rifle armor for routine patrol. A lot of us do carry rifle armor and AR-type carbines in the trunk as part of our active shooter kit.

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        • #5
          BTW, my wife and I have been to the Isle of Man (for the TT) and visited Joey's statue overlooking the Bungalow Curves (a duplicate of the one in his home town of Ballymoney). My wife and I both found it moving...

          Comment


          • Noel38m
            Noel38m commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah, I was a motorcyclist, Joey was a hero in my mind, I stopped watching the races when he died, just like I stopped watching Formula 1 when Aryton Senna died.

          • Aidokea
            Aidokea commented
            Editing a comment
            I think Joey was everybody's hero, including his brother Robert.

            After many years, Robert recovered from his 1994 TT injuries at the Ballaugh Bridge jump well enough to race 125s without full use of his right hand, by moving the front brake to the left bar. He did well enough that he eventually got back on the 250. But during a practice session at the 2008 North West 200, his engine seized at about 160 mph. When he grabbed the clutch, he got the front brake lever too, and went down. His sons Michael and William were in the same session, and came upon the crash. Robert passed in his son's arms.

            The organizers told Michael and William that they couldn't race, because of the risk in that emotional state. Michael and William forced their way onto the grid, and the organizers realized that if they tried to remove them, it would trigger a mass riot. Michael won the race.
            Last edited by Aidokea; 02-03-2021, 08:12 AM. Reason: Spelling...

          • Aidokea
            Aidokea commented
            Editing a comment
            William passed at the 2018 Skerries 100 in Dublin- he went down on the big bike for unknown reasons at what appeared on video to be top speed (around 200 mph).

          • Aidokea
            Aidokea commented
            Editing a comment
            There is an excellent 2014 documentary on their family, narrated by Liam Neeson:

            https://youtu.be/SLI2r8pyla0

        • #6
          We have the Angel Armor as an option....all day kevlar and plate protection, for rifle rated armor for patrol.

          Comment


          • Noel38m
            Noel38m commented
            Editing a comment
            Just had a look, so basically it's UHMWPE plating, it's light, we're hoping to surpass that in lightness though, the only drawback I don't like about that kind of plating is the back face deformation you'll get, it'll save your life ok but you may end up with a few broken ribs. If some gangster breaks out the green tip ammo then you're out of luck because it will go through UHMWPE unfortunately.

          • Kraut0783
            Kraut0783 commented
            Editing a comment
            Please improve it and we will buy yours....we are always looking for better! We still have our plate armor, but this is for the everyday patrol officer.

        • #7
          All the Chinese surplus steel-core 7.62x39 out there is a problem too...

          Comment


          • #8
            Originally posted by Noel38m View Post
            Hey Joe, is that true across the board or is it dependant on the state or department? Here of course we have several terrorist groups and every one
            of them have at one point or another murdered police constables so maybe it's just not quite the same situation over there.
            It is common across the US. We carry rifle plates in our cruisers, which seems to be standard for those agencies that have rifle armor for patrol officers. There are almost 400 million firearms in the United States, and the vast majority of Line of Duty Deaths are not because an officer's body armor was defeated by a rifle round.

            Comment


            • #9
              I'm off the opinion that if we can make the armour so light then it also means we can cover more of the body and if it minimally interferes with an officer / constables duties then it doesn't make any sense not to wear it at that point. Obviously we have a lot of work to do and we'd need to source some funding opportunities for the work. I think however it would do more good than it will do bad for all concerned.

              Comment


              • #10
                Originally posted by Noel38m View Post
                I'm off the opinion that if we can make the armour so light then it also means we can cover more of the body and if it minimally interferes with an officer / constables duties then it doesn't make any sense not to wear it at that point. Obviously we have a lot of work to do and we'd need to source some funding opportunities for the work. I think however it would do more good than it will do bad for all concerned.
                Good luck with the work. You should consider, however, that it's unlikely LEO's (especially in the US) would wear full plate on a daily basis. Weight is only one consideration...the bigger issue (besides cost, because the government generally goes as cheap as possible) is movement and "wearability."

                Even wearing soft armor all day has an effect on movement. We pretty much live in this stuff from 8-16 hrs a day. We repeatedly get in and out of cruisers, crawl around on crime scenes, and generally have to do all the day-to-day stuff required of the job. Full hard plate, by its very definition, isn't flexible, so it's not really a viable option for daily wear for most LEO's...it's more limited to being carried to be put on if the situation mandates or being used in limited-sized trauma plates.
                "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
                -Friedrich Nietzsche

                Comment


                • #11
                  Most agencies in the US wear level III vests with a trauma plate. My vest is level IIa.

                  I've never weighed it but my guess is 7 pounds more or less.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by BrianT View Post
                    Most agencies in the US wear level III vests with a trauma plate. My vest is level IIa.

                    I've never weighed it but my guess is 7 pounds more or less.
                    No.

                    NIJ level III body armor is rifle armor, and almost without exception, is rigid plates worn in an external carrier.

                    NIJ level IIIA body armor is the highest level of soft concealable body armor issued to police officers, and that doesn't happen as often as it should.

                    Most police officers are issued NIJ level II or level IIA body armor. Level IIA offers less protection than a full level II vest.

                    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...(United_States)
                    Last edited by Aidokea; 02-05-2021, 06:27 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by Aidokea View Post

                      No.

                      NIJ level III body armor is rifle armor, and almost without exception, is rigid plates worn in an external carrier.

                      NIJ level IIIA body armor is the highest level of soft concealable body armor issued to police officers, and that doesn't happen as often as it should.

                      Most police officers are issued NIJ level II or level IIA body armor. Level IIA offers less protection than a full level II vest.

                      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...(United_States)
                      Well there you have it.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Originally posted by Aidokea View Post
                        All the Chinese surplus steel-core 7.62x39 out there is a problem too...
                        Mild-steel core 7.62 is just that, mild steel. It's no different than the much more prevalent lead core steel jacketed Tula, Wolf, Silver Bear, Brown Bear and Golden Tiger ball ammo out there.

                        Years ago I had about 5k rounds of a custom 5.45x39 load worked up by Clark Custom Cartridge (which is long out of business now), which was a 58gr 3/4 solid copper projectile, with the remaining 1/4 being a machined hardened steel penetrator.

                        It got about 3050-3100 fps out of my AK-74, and smoked through AR500 steel targets like a laser.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Turns out we're shelving our efforts into lightweight armour for now due to a total absence of funds. The only reason we got into this sort of thing in the first place was because two foreign investors expressed interest in it, we thought it could be done, so we did it anticipating some investment but the investors dragged their heels for close to a year. I don't want to give up on it completely, I think it's brimming with potential and we'll probably resurrect it at some point down the line.

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