Is old used armor better than no armor

Low Branch

Well-Known Member
Greetings to all and Merry Christmas,

I recently acquired, for free, a 2004 model Point Blank Interceptor OTV with Large SAPI plates in woodland pattern. This armor is used and has been exposed to sweat and heat and apparently one blow of a hammer (One SAPI plate). I probably would not have shelled out any money for a vest such as this, but since I have it in my closet can I rely on it in a time of need? I never really considered armor until this thing fell in my lap and I am just curious as to its continued ballistic capabilities.

HHB Guns

Well-Known Member
As a deputy and a purchase order man for the coast guard I have been involved with body armor for about 11 years. To answer your question... point blank says 3-5 years service life with the elements. The answer is always having it is better than not having it but there is nothing that guarentees that it will work after the 3-5 years life span. I can tell you that they are so expensive that most agencies use it well after 5 years. In the coast guard we took some that were about 8 years old to the range and shot them with 9mm and 5.56mm and it did its job. I wouldnt wear anything less than Leval IIIA. The sheriffs office only carries IIA and I bought my own with a trauma plate for rifle calibers. Hope that helps.

Dirk Pitt

Well-Known Member
Put the SAPI that's been hit with a hammer in the back. Without the SAPI's Interceptor OTV are rated to ether II or II-A, I don't exactly recall which but I'll open up mine latter and look at the inserts and let you know.

I'm with HHB, I don't like wearing anything less than IIIA and if you're going to be wearing a vest like an Interceptor or something else that isn't a concealment vest you really should be wearing plates since you aren't going to be concealing a vest like that anyway.

Something to consider is that you can now buy other plate and armor carriers and swap the Kevlar inserts and SAPI plates into those. I don't know about what you think but I'm not a huge fan of the Interceptor, don't get me wrong it's great armor and I'll take that over the MTV any day. But I don't like the fact that the MOLLE is broken up down the center, it forces me to ether space my load out ether all to the my reaction hand side or disproportionately balance them across the center. I really like the ability to use the entire front of my vest for MOLLE pouches.

Low Branch

Well-Known Member
I have an FLC for carrying mags and such that I have already tested over the OTV. I thought about picking up a newer Interceptor carrier with the Molle webbing across the entire front. I found Point Blank carriers on eBay at a decent price and then I would not have a two piece kit. I searched around the internet for carriers compatible with the kevlar I have and, if I searched right, have found that the Spartan will fit the Interceptor armor. This vest seems slightly better than what I have now.


Well-Known Member
Bullet Proof Me dot com (WWW.BULLETPROOFME.COM) has eleven year old panels that you can buy to shot at yourself for about $40. They have tested many vests that are this old and found that ALL will stop rounds well past the expiration dates.

They sell new, used, and refurbished vests of various types.

No, I'm not a paid spokes model, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.


Well-Known Member
When I was in the Army I was issued an IBA and then they came out with the kit that upgraded it with all kinds of accessory kevlar panels to afford greater side and bicep protection. The IBA is good and if you can find one cheap go ahead and get it. You can periodically find "pieces" of up-armor kits (i.e. a groin protector or a deltoid protector or a neck yoke) that still contain kevlar and are usually unused. You can cannibalize these parts to freshen up the kevlar inserts of your used, worn IBA you got cheap from e-Bay,, etc.

A key ingredient to any body armor, however, is a rifle plate. Soft body armor (kevlar) is good for fragments and low-velocity pistol ammunition. When paired with a rifle plate it is fantastic. When standing alone... it leaves much to be desired. Kevlar breaks down over time with use, exposure to sunlight and extreme temperatures. It is not unheard of for a soft body armor vest to be defeated by standard FMJ 9mm even though it may be "rated" to stop it, due to the vest being worn daily for a year or two in high heat.

If your life is worth protecting then it is worth protecting well. Acknowledging the chance that you may encounter gunfire is a good first step but taking it the next step further and emplacing rifle plates (titanium, ceramic, steel, et al.) is how you elevate your precaution to it's next logical level. If you are in a situation where body armor is prudent then you will likely need to stop rifle or shotgun fire, since that's the preferred weapon of people that go into a situation where they expect to use a gun, whereas handguns are what people take with them when it is possible to use a gun.

All the above is a preface to me showing off my armor, anyways.

For my wife, she has a Desert Camo XL-IBA with two brand new XL-ESAPI plates. I added a few panels of extra, new Kevlar that I cannibalized from assorted up-armor parts kits like I explained above. The vest is XL but she isn't XL. This vest is loose on her but will have to fit the bill until I can acquire one in her size. I will eventually add two M-16 magazine pouches to the front and two 1-quart canteens to the rear. She is getting an SBR AR-15 in the coming months so this combination suits her needs for "last line home defense" should Hurricane Hugo's grandson show up and destroy civilization for another consecutive month or two.


For myself, I have an ACU XXL-IOTV with both deltoid (upper arm) protectors, neck yoke protector, groin protector, ass protector, and both side protectors installed. I have full-torso-wrap Kevlar protection. For plates, I have front and rear brand new XL-ESAPI and two used MEDIUM-SAPI installed in the side protectors. I figured a little extra plate protection on the sides would be a good thing to have should I need to keep my house safe from land pirates during times of "extra-legal civil strife." The sonofabitch weighs 40+ lbs naked, without any magazines or water. I'm not having to ruckmarch anywhere and, instead, am going to be fighting a defensive battle from behind cover. Since I am not abandoning my family, I don't need maximum mobility. I need maximum ballistic protection. I feel I have it.








And, just in case you're wondering what a little lady looks like wearing body armor, here's my wife showing off my IOTV with all four plates installed. That smile of hers quickly turned into a grimace due to the weight. It made her appreciate her "light" IBA, though!