SHTF PPE?

HOLY DIVER

Well-Known Member
wondering what every one thinks we need for protective gear?bullet proof vests?can we own them legaly?i'm not sure.kevlar helmets?is the cost of these items so high we are better off just to take our chances?tactical googles?gloves?boots?what will be usefull?what will be a waste of money?
 

armaborealis

Well-Known Member
My personal "SHTF" is a home invasion at 2 AM. My #1 goal is to keep me and mine alive, then #2 is to repel boarders until LEOs arrive. So heck yeah, body armor is well worthwhile.

You can get gently used police surplus soft armor from BulletProofMe.com for quite reasonable rates. Right now it looks like they have level 2 in stock for a bit over $200. When I ordered I was able to get 3A for mid $200s but looks like they're out of the cheaper 3A stuff right now. For $30 each I was able to reinforce the vests with 5x8" K-30 plates which up the protection to everything up to and including 12 gauge slugs/30 carbine/44 magnum from a carbine in the plate and basically any common pistol or shotgun round in the rest of the vest. We also have PASGT helmets but those are more for use in tornadoes as we don't have a basement. There should be no legal issues with you owning or buying body armor unless you're a felon.

People will spend tons of money on firearms (often MULTIPLE firearms in many calibers) but think its crazy to drop two hundred bucks on a bulletproof vest. I don't get it.
 

PCShogun

Well-Known Member
+1 on body armor. If you can afford it and really worry about Civil unrest and emergencies, do so.

I cannot recall where I got the article from but it was about a guy in Argentina when their economy collapsed. He spoke about people shooting at cars they saw had groceries in them as they drove home with them. When people become hungry, they become desperate.

Remember that rounds can EASILY penetrate homes with vinyl siding, and car body panels. Find Kevlar blankets and place them in your car doors and/or walls. You may not have time to put on armor if its a surprise home invasion. Even thick phone books can stop most common pistol caliber rounds. Think about a safe room in your home where you can shelter if rounds start flying. Having a wall that provides cover (not just concealment) will be a benefit if someone breaks into your residence and you take fire.
 

HOLY DIVER

Well-Known Member
VERY GOOD INFORMATION! i was concerned with the legal stuff.what about "plate carrier"vests from cheaper than dirt.where do you get the plates?
 

armaborealis

Well-Known Member
HOLY DIVER said:
VERY GOOD INFORMATION! i was concerned with the legal stuff.what about "plate carrier"vests from cheaper than dirt.where do you get the plates?

BulletProofMe.com has plates for sale.
http://www.bulletproofme.com/Body_Armor ... tion.shtml

Many rifle plates need to be layered on top of soft Level II or IIIA armor for best effects so you might as may want to start with soft armor (cheaper) then upgrade later to plates if you have time or inclination. They do have rifle plates on sale for $150 right now too.

USPalm also makes armor geared for the civilian market (https://uspalm.com/component/magebridge ... l?Itemid=0). They run $200 for a front 3A panel only so I think you're better off with police surplus, personally, but hte US Palm product is new and looks slick.
 

Tigerstripe

Well-Known Member
dont forget you get what you pay for.
i was just on a site and a level 3a with front back and side ceramic plates is going to be somewhere around 2 grand.

2 sons going to war again. one just got his armor and said if he lost it that the Army would charge him 5 grand, thats the good stuff.

ALSO dont forget there is an expiration date on kevlar. and sweat is really bad for it.
 

HOLY DIVER

Well-Known Member
Tigerstripe said:
dont forget you get what you pay for.
i was just on a site and a level 3a with front back and side ceramic plates is going to be somewhere around 2 grand.

2 sons going to war again. one just got his armor and said if he lost it that the Army would charge him 5 grand, thats the good stuff.

ALSO dont forget there is an expiration date on kevlar. and sweat is really bad for it.
5grand.....2 rich for my blood.....guess i'll just keep praying that we never need gear like this
 

Tigerstripe

Well-Known Member
thats the millitary setup. they have groin and shoulder and neck protection and more.

like i said ill try to find the place where you get close to full upper body 30-06 protection around 2 grand, less without the plates
 

armaborealis

Well-Known Member
Tigerstripe said:
dont forget you get what you pay for.

2 sons going to war again. one just got his armor and said if he lost it that the Army would charge him 5 grand, thats the good stuff.

ALSO dont forget there is an expiration date on kevlar. and sweat is really bad for it.

Interceptor Vest (similar to police soft body armor, level II or IIIA equivalent) with ceramic SAPI plates runs around $1500. Side plates are another $700 or so. Groin protector is around $100. The ACH is around $250. I don't know how much the ballistic underoos run but they're like around $300. So that's around $3K. So $5K is believable, especially as Uncle Sam may not always get the best price. And if they're getting Dragon Skin or something better than Interceptor it may cost more.

Still, it is quite possible to get adequate protection -- depending on your anticipated threat -- for a lot less than that. I would prefer a $200 police surplus vest (Level II or IIIA) with a $30 K-30 plate or a $100 ESPAI 5x8" side plate (5.56 / 7.62x39) today than a full $3K setup a decade from now.

I found an interesting article from Time republished from ATF (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article ... 83,00.html) and all the top 10 most common crime guns are threats that would be stopped by a Level IIIA police vest.

Tigerstripe said:
i'm thinking more of a vest that just covers vital organs,prob a vest that can handel 223 and 7.62x39

In that case you need to go up to level III, which means hard ceramic plates. That increases the cost and weight. TANSTAAFL with armor -- there's a balance between cost, weight, bulk, and protection level. You can probably find a thick heavy III plate for a reasonable price. THat's fine if you're primarily concerned with home defense where you will be hunkered down and largely stationary.
 

armaborealis

Well-Known Member
Sorry for the thread necromancy but I wanted to pass along some potential bargains/opportunities.

COMPLETE SHOESTRING - $50 or so
BulletProofMe will sell you two expired panels for $40 ($30 if you buy legit armor). They'll sell a carrier for $15. Expired panels have "no guarantees" but generally hold up well. Obviously they will be soft panels so expect level II or IIIA (pistols & shotguns).

CHEAP RIFLE PLATES - $150
- Plate Carrier: Available from Red Cat Tactical on Ebay for $30 and up. You may do better -- I just saw a few odd sizes go for $20 or less. Red Cat Tactical is selling off DiamondBack Tactical's old inventory. This is all US-made .mil quality gear. The other option would be to get a basic Banshee or (gulp) Condor type product... You can do pretty well for $100 or so.
- AR500 Steel Level III Plates: Available from TheTargetMan for around $100 with side plates. Multihit protection. Covers most rifle threats; does not cover armor piercing 30-06, and not rated for AP 5.56 either (although some informal testing has shown an ability to stop a few hits outside 50-100 yards). This is the same sort of steel that folks shoot at steel challenge, three gun, etc so obviously it can soak up hits as long as it isn't the AP 5.56 stuff.
- DeFrag kit for the steel. The steel plates will shatter bullets on impact and send frag everywhere, like into your throat and legs. You need to coat them to make them safe. 0.5" of Herculiner Truck Bed Liner seems to do pretty well and runs about $20 a can. The other solution is to wrap them in kevlar with glue & duct tape (and maybe a thin layer of herculiner to keep it all together). Kevlar fabric is available for $50 (enough to treat two full sets of plates) on Ebay, or you can get some of the BulletProofMe test panels. Obviously with a "DIY" project like this you run some increased risk, but then again, it costs half that (or less) of ceramic plates.

And obviously, you can go "legit" with surplus police vests or level IV ceramic plates from BulletProofMe or another reputable vendor for more expense. But, for $50-150 I see very few excuses to not pick up some armor. I'd prefer to have two surplus "expired" panels in a carrier or a steel plate dipped in herculiner than nothing at all if there's a bump in the night at 2 AM to investigate.

I don't have any connection to any of these companies, other than as a customer. There's some good deals out there on armor now, and you can put together a bare bones but likely serviceable rig for less than the cost of a few boxes of ammo. I'm sure some folks will question using steel or expired panels, but if the alternative is nothing at all due to cost then heck yeah take the cheaper protective option over nothing!
 

11B3XCIB

Well-Known Member
As someone who's had a lot of experience with ceramic plates: I'd rather have an expired plate that's been well kept in an environmentally controlled area than a "new" plate that's been mistreated (ie dropped, stabbed (yes, people do this to "test" them), kept in hot/cold/humid environments). Age is not the best determining factor of an armor plate's service life.
 

armaborealis

Well-Known Member
11B3XCIB said:
As someone who's had a lot of experience with ceramic plates: I'd rather have an expired plate that's been well kept in an environmentally controlled area than a "new" plate that's been mistreated (ie dropped, stabbed (yes, people do this to "test" them), kept in hot/cold/humid environments). Age is not the best determining factor of an armor plate's service life.

Do you know any good tricks to evaluate a used ceramic plate other than xraying for cracks... Any tell-tales of abuse that you're familiar with?
 

11B3XCIB

Well-Known Member
The older, black SAPI plates (Small Arms Protective Inserts) are made of some ceramic offshoot, the newer ESAPI (Enhanced SAPI) is made of a boron carbide compound but similar in physical properties to the ceramic plates. The ESAPIs are green wrapped, where as the black plates are regular SAPIs. The ESAPIs are about $1200 for a new set, whereas the SAPIs are $800. That's brand new .GOV contract pricing.

Look at the edges for signs of being dropped. Dents, misshaped curves/corners, etc.

Feel all over the surfaces, back and front, and feel for any "soft" spots where there might be any give in the ceramic. You'll be able to tell if a spot has been impacted enough to break the ceramic because you'll feel grittiness when you press in and you may even hear crunching.

Also, take the plate and grab it on the sides and gently try to flex it then grab the top and bottom and again try to flex it. Not so hard like you're trying to break it, but you're testing to see if the ceramic is already broken. This is in addition to the surface spot check.

If the outer wrapping is severely compromised, like peeling up badly, looks like it's been submerged, etc, I would stay away from it.
 

11B3XCIB

Well-Known Member
I bet a decently strong guy could. They can be cracked and broken if dropped from normal standing height.
 

Tigerstripe

Well-Known Member
not for AP rds but what about doubling the soft plates to reduce weight and cost of steel or ceramic plates? would it handle 5.56?

AND if we are worried enough about being shot at i want to know where to get "blood clot" bandages preferably cheap. a year ago the 4x6 size was 5 bucks at walmart. now if they have it its either 10 or 20. there is a larger size too.
 

armaborealis

Well-Known Member
Tigerstripe said:
not for AP rds but what about doubling the soft plates to reduce weight and cost of steel or ceramic plates? would it handle 5.56?

AND if we are worried enough about being shot at i want to know where to get "blood clot" bandages preferably cheap. a year ago the 4x6 size was 5 bucks at walmart. now if they have it its either 10 or 20. there is a larger size too.

Almost certainly not. Think about it: if you could double up a pair of 3A vests and stop the most common intermediate rifle threats for 1/10 the price and weight, why would plates be on the market? :) Even the "lowly" 30-30 has three or four times the energy of most pistol rounds. Soft armor may help against frag, spall, richochets, or low energy rounds at extreme ranges but they will not stop rifle rounds that hit at any sort of reasonable distance.

You can test it yourself for $40, though, with a pair of surplus kevlar panels if you don't believe me... To start stopping rifle threats at anything other than extreme ranges you need plates. There are some companies doing cool things with new materials, like Midwest Armor's MASSIII, but those are super expensive. There is no armor that is light, cheap, and protects against everything. You need to decide what's important to you. For many civilian defenders, the primary scenarios requiring armor are probably bunkering down in the house during a home invasion, so you can probably compromise on weight as you're not going to be rucking all day with the stuff on. A civilian could also compromise on cost/weight by just getting a front plate, on the theory that the likely scenario involves you stationary and bunkered at the end of the hall/top of the stairs/behind the bed.

5.56 is actually really tough to stop. Level III plate armor isn't rated to stop the SS109 AP green tip penetrator at all, and it is only rated for the M193 FMJ ball outside of around 50-100 meters (it is based on round velocity). Generally Level IV is needed to stop that SS109 round. Even in the expensive, advanced MASSIII plates to get the AP protection you almost double the weight.

As for bandages, you can get new in box CAT tourniquets and Israeli Bandages from Chinook Medical for reasonable prices. They can also be found on Ebay, but a lot of those bandages are not the self-tightening Israeli bandage types. Get at least basic red cross first aid training, or better yet, a TC3 class. TC3 protocols are actually moving AWAY from QuikClot and similar agents. QuikClot is the absolute last resort. If you do opt for a clotting agent, get a bandage with the QuikClot impregnated into it rather than a loose powder.
 

Tigerstripe

Well-Known Member
well that makes sense. 2 soft panels wont stop a 223.

as for quick clot ive seen 2 kinds both impregnated. one is a bandage and the other is like a roll that you start shoving into a wound. packing. ive only seen the bandage for sale.
 
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