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survivorman
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Posted: 6/28/2012 4:09:55 PM
[Last Edit: 6/28/2012 4:21:05 PM by survivorman]
I hear they are level four stand alones but most everything I read says in conjunction with soft armor.....are the green ESAPIs truly level four stand alones?



Edit: just found this video, and since there rated for AP I guess they are truly level fourvstand alone......im thinking that the reason they say to wear with soft armor backing is to reduce blunt trauma? Discuss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIarVbfERq4&feature=youtube_gdata_player
NapeSticksToKids
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Posted: 6/28/2012 4:18:56 PM
No they are ICW
"I suggest you give the tampons back to your sister and spend some of your cigarette money on trauma dressings."

Couldn't you use night vision and check them? Or does light discipline prevent that?
survivorman
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Posted: 6/28/2012 4:22:55 PM
[Last Edit: 6/28/2012 4:24:20 PM by survivorman]
Dont appear to be ICW from video I posted above........I have heard forever they are stand alone.....I am leaning towards that now.......still want to hear opinions, as video is impressive

zombiegristle
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Posted: 6/28/2012 4:24:41 PM
I have also gotten mixed info on standalone/ICW, but my understanding based on their labels was that they are standalone (whereas other military armor is very clear when soft armor is required for protection ratings, none of the ESAPI plates I have seen in person have such a label and simply claim a rating). However, several other members on here have told me that they are ICW plates and need Kevlar to get their supposed APM2 rating. Either way, they aren't level IV - military armor testing is different from the NIJ, and one rating does not imply the other. Last I heard, ESAPI testing was for three rounds of .30-06 M2 AP ammo spaced 2" on centers in a triangle, whereas NIJ IV requires only one round.
survivorman
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Posted: 6/28/2012 5:17:34 PM
If we're going with NIJ rating then the esapi is level four stand alone and that video is swaying me that way.....it was hit by three different rounds with no soft armor behind it and it did just fine.....yea no AP rounds but after watching that I don't think it would have an issue .....I do think the soft armor behind it is to reduce excessive blunt trauma
zombiegristle
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Posted: 6/28/2012 9:43:24 PM
I would not make a body armor purchasing decision based on a youtube video. That's about as sensible as writing a Master's thesis entirely from Wikipedia.
Cixelsyd
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Posted: 6/28/2012 10:12:10 PM
They are rated for M2AP when shot with a backer panel. Not stand alone.



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CovertChannels
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Posted: 6/29/2012 12:02:49 PM
Why do you want ESAPIs anyway? They are very thick, weigh too much, and aren't near as good as some of the civilian plates offered today. Just because the military uses them, doesn't make them top tier. They just happen to provide the level of protection needed at the price they could afford.

My SAPI plates I have from LTC (sold through MSA) are only 5 pounds (medium) and only 1/2" thick. They are multi-hit rated and stop everything but AP2 rounds. They do require soft armor behind them, but so does the military SAPI and ESAPI plates. You save a couple pounds per plate, and about a 1/4 or more in plate thickness.

Bulletproofme.com use to see (still may) the LTC SAPI plates as their SAPI plate option. Less than $550 for a pair.
I do my best to believe the crap in your posts.....
survivorman
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Posted: 6/29/2012 4:39:03 PM
[Last Edit: 6/29/2012 4:47:33 PM by survivorman]
Because I can buy two esapis in pristine shape for $300 shipped mediums are not heavy, they weigh in at a little over five pounds and I get the added benefit of AP protection. Also they are not thick as they measure in at about 3/4 in thick.........my skds BAE level four stand alnoe mediums are same weight and about 1 in thick.....again not heavy or thick and have added benefit of AP protection, and I dont need to wear soft armor backing
CovertChannels
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Posted: 6/29/2012 5:09:07 PM
Most ESAPIs are stolen from the military. I don't support theives. You can't buy two legit ESAPIs for that price
I do my best to believe the crap in your posts.....
dangerdan
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Posted: 6/29/2012 5:52:28 PM
ESAPI's are ICW if you want 7.62 AP protection.

I'd wear soft armor behind it for insurance purposes.
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survivorman
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Posted: 6/29/2012 9:52:08 PM
[Last Edit: 6/29/2012 9:56:06 PM by survivorman]
Thanks Danger
toki
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Posted: 6/30/2012 12:16:10 AM
Originally Posted By survivorman:
If we're going with NIJ rating then the esapi is level four stand alone and that video is swaying me that way.....it was hit by three different rounds with no soft armor behind it and it did just fine.....yea no AP rounds but after watching that I don't think it would have an issue .....I do think the soft armor behind it is to reduce excessive blunt trauma


I don't mean this in a disrespectful manner, but I don't think you have a very firm grasp of the technology and terminology of rifle protection plates.

First off, this needs to be clarified if not for you, then for many other people. NIJ level IV is a threat rating with specific test criteria. ESAPI plates are tested to a completely different criteria, established by the military, which is usually just referred to as being an "ESAPI" rating. The ESAPI rating is by definition an ICW rating, as I will explain below. There is no such thing as a "Level IV ESAPI" plate. There are level IV plates cast in an ESAPI triple curve shape, but the title of "Level IV ESAPI" makes no sense once you understand what the words mean. Unfortunately many use SAPI/ESAPI improperly to refer to any rifle plate.

The protocols and requirements for NIJ testing are public. If you really want to understand what the rating means, and how they are tested, then you need to go read the full PDF outlining the criteria of testing which is available on the NIJ website.

Additionally, there is enough information out there regarding the ESAPI plate testing procedure, as published by the military, that it is clear that ESAPI plates are tested as part of an armor system which includes the soft armor behind the plate. Accordingly, when going through testing, a certain frequency of PLATE PENETRATION is allowable if there is not full system penetration; meaning of course that the soft armor catches the spall and bullet fragments which are expelled from the back face of the plate during a plate penetration.

You also would always want to be wearing soft armor behind an ESAPI plate due to the fact that excessive Back Face Deformation can kill you dead just like a bullet punching a hole in you can. You can not measure BFD by looking at a plate after it has been shot. It does not work like that. Refer to the NIJ protocols for further explanation of proper BFD measurement.

The Youtube video you posted is not very enlightening if you understand what you are seeing. 7.62x39 is not a difficult round to stop in the context of rifle plates; pure compressed PE plates stop them just fine. The benefit of the ceramic hybrid plate comes from the ability to stop the higher threat rounds with hardened penetrators, like APM2, and M855. Those are harder rounds to stop than even the mild steel core 7.62x39. Additionally, BFD is not being measured in the video, and very well may be in the realm of serious injury or lethality.

The bottom line is that ESAPI plates only attain their APM2 rating when used ICW soft armor, and it is documented that plate penetration without system penetration is acceptable under the ESAPI standard. I wish I could tell you more about which rounds out of the test battery for ESAPI plate cause plate penetrations, but it is my understanding that data like that is classified, as is the full ESAPI testing protocol. I only know what I know from reading technical reports addressing very aspects of the armor technology published on the internet from various branches of the military.
themcfarland
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Posted: 7/8/2012 6:14:01 PM
This is good info, thank you for the information, May I also ask your opinion on these?
http://www.blackhawk.com/product/Ballistic-Ceramic-Plate-Level-4-Stand-Alone,32,91.htm

They are clearly stand alone, and level 4, heavy as hell, but aside from losing fragmentation and pistol protection from sides, stand alone seems to be coming down in price..

toki
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Posted: 7/8/2012 9:08:50 PM
Originally Posted By themcfarland:
This is good info, thank you for the information, May I also ask your opinion on these?
http://www.blackhawk.com/product/Ballistic-Ceramic-Plate-Level-4-Stand-Alone,32,91.htm

They are clearly stand alone, and level 4, heavy as hell, but aside from losing fragmentation and pistol protection from sides, stand alone seems to be coming down in price..



I am not familiar with those plates, or who manufactures them. Based on the weight alone, I would say there are better options out there at that price point, like the LTC standalone plates that bulletproofme sells, or the MaxPro DBA-IV(which can be had for as little as $175-180).
Layer60
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Posted: 7/9/2012 9:48:14 AM
[Last Edit: 7/9/2012 9:49:05 AM by Layer60]
First, I want to say that Toki's information is accurate. It's good to see because there is so much misinformation regarding armor thrown around on this board.

Second, what many people don't realize is that a majority of the level IV plates on the market today are roughly the exact same composition. (There are a few exceptions, of course.)

You can buy a very good level IV stand-alone plate these days for a modest price. It's lightweight level III stuff that's expensive, because the materials required are much more sophisticated.
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Posted: 7/15/2012 7:00:15 PM
[Last Edit: 7/15/2012 7:25:00 PM by zombiegristle]
I just spent a few minutes reading the DoD Testing for SAPI and ESAPI plates, and learned a few things that I thought I'd share here.

According to the document, the specific threats tested are classified but are referred to as "A", "B", "C", and "D". SAPI plates are tested against three hits per plate from "A", "B", and "C", while ESAPI plates are tested for an additional TWO hits from "D". I'll leave speculation as to the rounds used for the reader, but I think it's reasonable to assume they used common military cartridges found on modern batlefields.

The armor is tested with a soft backing, and the results from each hit are scored according to a point system. They check for partial plate penetration, defined as a projectile embedded in the plate with no damage to the underlying soft armor (this is ideal), complete plate penetration wherein the projectile partially perforates the soft armor but does not reach the clay backer, and complete system penetration in which the projectile penetrates both hard and soft armor and continues into the clay.

I'm going to copypasta the relevant scoring text from the document below for everyone's benefit - the basic gist is, SAPI and ESAPI are both ICW plates, but ESAPI are required to met SAPI threats standalone in order to get a contract. Again however, these in no way correlate to any sort of NIJ rating so anyone claiming an ESAPI is "level III standalone" or such is either ignorant or a liar, and you should not buy armor from them.

"According to PEO Soldier officials, the ESAPI lot acceptance scoring
criteria, which were documented in solicitation W91CRB-04-R-0033, were used as a
baseline for scoring the ESAPI first article tests. The lot acceptance scoring criteria were
based on catastrophic and limited failures and a penalty point system that was applied to
the limited failures. A catastrophic failure was defined as a complete penetration of both
hard and soft armor on the first shot, or a BFD of greater than or equal to 48 millimeters
on the first shot. A limited failure could occur on either a first or second shot and was
assigned penalty points as follows:

- A complete penetration of the hard armor and a partial penetration of the soft
armor on the first shot received 1 point.
- A complete penetration of both the hard and soft armor on the second shot
received 1.5 points.
- A BFD greater than or equal to 44 millimeters but less than or equal to
47 millimeters on the first shot received 1 point.
- A BFD greater than or equal to 44 millimeters on the second shot received
1 point.

The points resulting from limited failures are assigned only when testing against threat D.
For threats A, B, or C, any complete penetration on the first, second, or third shot resulted
in a failed first article test. For threat D, the accumulation of more than six penalty points
resulted in a failed first article test.
"

SOURCE: DoD Testing Requirements for Body Amor, Report No. D-2009-047

And on the topic of shot placement:



MORE GOOD NEWS. Apparently, the ESAPI plates were not always required to stop SAPI threats standalone, as evidenced by a footnote on page 29 of the report:

"As of June 14, 2007, PEO Soldier also assigned limited failure points to threats A, B, and C."

So, according to this, plates tested prior to that date and potentially afterward are not standalone for SQUAT. I would find it reasonable to assume that any plates from a contract granted near that date are also suspect. Note that this does not refer to the manufacture date of the plates, but rather to the date they were tested - which is certain to be PRIOR to the date the contract was granted, which is again PRIOR to the plate manufacture date.
SC-Texas
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Posted: 7/24/2012 10:53:44 PM
I was able to shoot a cracked Esapi and a tac-3s.

I would never use a plate ith out oft armr backing it up.

The back face deformation with the 80gr 6.8 and the federal 168gr gold match was impressive and would have hurt.
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