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Discussion Starter #1
From what I understand, there's nothing prohibiting normal people like you and me from owning or wearing them. I never heard of any regulations or restrictions in buying or selling like firearms. Only law I know of is that there's an added sentence if you commit a crime wearing one.

I've looked around and found a few websites advertising them. They have specs on the vest size and levels of protection.
From what I've read, Level IIIa will protect against basically all handgun calibers and Level IV will protect against a single hit from 30-06 AP or 5 hits of 308.

Of course there are additions called trauma plates. But I've never even seen one in person, much less had any experience with one. I am interested in finding out about them though, including which actually work, which are comfortable and concealable, and how one would obtain them if desired.

Use I could see would include farm patrols, necessary travel in bad neighborhoods when you're the wrong color, and the whole scope of situations where you wouldn't mind a bit of protection. My ideal vest would be one that would stop 7.62x39mm and below, but not the extremely heavy and expensive ones for 30-06 AP.
Of course IIIa is nothing to blow your nose on either, as not too many criminals carry 44 magnum.
 

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Threat level IIIa will not "protect" you from all handguns. It will stop PENETRATION of most commercial bullets from handguns. However, you will still feel the impact, and a hit from a .454 or .50 AE is likely to shatter ribs and send bone splinters flying through your chest, even if the bullet does not penetrate. Personally, I do own soft body armor and wear it when I feel I need more protection. Soft body armor is way better than nothing, just don't think it makes you bullet proof. I have great doubts that any commercial body armor will reliably stop a .30-06 FMJ, much less a real AP round. I think someone is blowing smoke.
 

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Since 03-15- 2002
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Klaus,
Didn't you buy one of the rigs from TAPCO? How's that working out? I'm leary of the rifle rounds claim as well. Another missed factor is knife attack.
 

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I agree with Klaus I have a iiia and it was rated for the 44 at 1450fps. but he is right it just stops the penetration not the brut force of the round hitting. Forget stopping a rifle the twist is such a slow rate the bullets would most likely punch through at just about any distance. Remember these vests can't stop a knife and a rifle round is like a hot butter knife it will pass right through
 

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I imagine a bolt from a cross bow, depending on broadhead would penetrate as well as a knife. If people are chasing someone with all this hardware, chances are someone screwed up by just being in the wrong place.
 

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OK, I wear one everyday of the week when I am at work , and when I work my off duty gigs. Let me start by saying that Klaus and Shaun are totally correct in their posts. Bones will break like a son of a gun upon impact. That Mel Gibson/Lethal Weapon/12ga to the chest sh$t/Get back up and talk about how pissed you are...it don't happen!

Show me a vest that will stop a 30-06 or five from a .308, and I'll show you a flak jacket or man hole covering!

As for what will stop what, I'm not gonna tell anybody that might be visiting this site how to kill me.

BattleRifle......there isn't a one of them that is truely concealable, or much less totally comfortable. You will sweat in 20 degree weather in one.
 

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Battlerifle - Oneastrix is right in my IIIa when I wore it on duty I could stand in a snow drift and I would sweat. The vest I have is approximately 1" thick per panel. its concealable but forget sitting for a long period of time or having a lot of flexibility as the thick vest is added protection from large cal's but you sacrifice comfort that's why most agencies provide level II and IIa vests.
 

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I wear PACA IIIA. It's thinner than what Shaun has, but it's a brand new generation vest....It isn't comfortable. And in four vests over three years, I haven't found one yet that is.

Trauma plates, yeah, I've always had one. It covers nothing more than you vitals on the front. It's added shock protection, nothing more.

Bottom line though, "I'd rather sweat than bleed."
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm well aware that nothing's "bullet proof", only bullet resistant. And I know there would be plenty of trauma and injury from it. I was more interested to hear about the variety out there. Interestingly enough, a 7.62x39mm has about the same energy as a 454 or 50AE, and about 60% as much momentum, so it might actually be milder on the wearer. But I think I'm more likely to be shot at with an AK than a Desert Eagle or a hunting revolver.
Not that I have any desire to be shot with anything, mind you...

But still, any affordable civilian sources?
 

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7.62X39 is going to tear thru a vest like it wasn't even there...223 is devistating. Concentrate more on avoiding the confrontation. That's the bottom line when it comes to survival. No shame in staying alive, and by that I mean.....Avoiding it in the first place. Any LEO or former LEO will back me on that one.
 

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Flack vest wont stop rifle rounds either. The only thing they are good for is weight training and support while sitting upright sleeping :)
 

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Total agreement Lefty O....
 

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Battlerifle if you want a vest I suggest you find you local police supply store and get properly fitted for one and try several on. If your driving through a bad neighborhood and need a vest - well your toast for getting out of your CAR. Even with a vest don't underestimate cover and concealment (remember concealment won't stop a bullet).
My lever IIIa vest stops 44 mag gas check @1450fps most walmarts sell 44mag jacketed bullets that will out perform my vest. Not too many bad guys out with lead gas check bullets.
A vest is a matter of trade-offs, comfort verse's protection. You could buy a vest that would stop a 50 bmg but could you carry it around or wear it ---NO! Would it stop head shots ----NO! Remember these are bullet-RESISTANT not bullet-PROOF vests. Vests will help protect the vital organ area but they are not the end all force field that TV makes them out to be.
check out secondchance body armors website www.secondchance.com
BTW - twist rate has nothing to do with penatration of the vest.
 

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Yes, the twist thing is a total myth. Some people got the weird idea that the spin of the bullet causes the fibers of the vest to entangle it and that is what stops the bullet. It is true that kevlar fibers can wrap around the slug, but that happens AFTER the bullet is stopped and is spinning in place.
 

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Could be why 7.62 x 39 steel core is now banned for import. It will penetrate a vest. It used to be a cheap source for ammo. 1* I asked this before why is it ok for LEO to use certain ammo and not the general public?
 

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It will be easier for them to disarm us when the time comes if they have better ammo than us. Luckily we have guys like 1* out there...hope theres more like him out there!
 

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Any 7.62 round is going to penetrate a vest guys.... It's not about steel core and what not. Give me a soft point 7.62, it will rip thru a vest like it wasn't even there.

As for the ammo thing....well, I don't know. Can't answer that really because I don't know about it. Give me an example of the ammo your are referring to, and I will see what I can come up with for ya. I don't agree with all laws, just have to use my discretion about enforcing them (well, some I don't have a choice).

I carry .40SW 180gr Winchester Ranger. It's supposed to be LE only, but my wife buys it for me all the time.... I prefer 155gr Speer Golddot actually, but you know that danged ole' dept poilcy......

Why do I get Glock, Sig, Beretta, Kimber, and HK for so much cheaper from factory dealers? Same goes with several Model 700's, Benelli, Remington 870's and so on.....I have to be honest about the gun discounts, it's a perk I'm not going to argue with! LOL
 

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Black Talon. Ok 1* why is it ok for LEO and not me? I have asked this question before,
 
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