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Posted: 9/16/2012 6:51:34 AM EST
Just looking for your thoughts on using steel vs. sapi plates. I'm probably going to get some steel due to the cost and better stopping power.

In this video a 6x8 AR500 steel plate takes two .338 Lapua magnums an inch apart and neither penetrates:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2b4XWqU9EQw

Wrapping them in a few layers of ballistic kevlar will take out the fragmentation factor:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QfDoQwIAaXg

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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 7:05:01 AM EST
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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 8:26:00 AM EST
I'm fucking impressed the 1/4" plate can stop .338 Lapua like that.

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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 9:50:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By zombiegristle:
I'm fucking impressed the 1/4" plate can stop .338 Lapua like that.


There are videos on youtube of the 10 year old Gamma Plus plates stopping 338LM rounds as well. I would be surprised if any given ceramic level III plate didn't stop 338LM.

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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 9:51:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2012 9:55:54 AM EST by Grudgie]
Lvl3 ceramic isn't even rated to stop a single .30-06 at 100 yards much less TWO .338 less than an inch apart at 25 yards.

Edit: Sorry I was confused, lvl 3 ceramic CAN stop a single .30-06. I was thinking of 3a.

Thank you for that link. I may be using that later.

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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 10:12:11 AM EST
Originally Posted By toki:
Originally Posted By zombiegristle:
I'm fucking impressed the 1/4" plate can stop .338 Lapua like that.


There are videos on youtube of the 10 year old Gamma Plus plates stopping 338LM rounds as well. I would be surprised if any given ceramic level III plate didn't stop 338LM.


Yeah, but the Gamma was practically turned inside-out, not a minor dent. This is the sort of backface signature you see on ceramic plates hit with .308 ball - you might actually SURVIVE getting hit with a .338 with steel, whereas the ceramic would just kill you from bleeding IN instead of OUT.

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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 10:44:32 AM EST
Originally Posted By zombiegristle:
Originally Posted By toki:
Originally Posted By zombiegristle:
I'm fucking impressed the 1/4" plate can stop .338 Lapua like that.


There are videos on youtube of the 10 year old Gamma Plus plates stopping 338LM rounds as well. I would be surprised if any given ceramic level III plate didn't stop 338LM.


Yeah, but the Gamma was practically turned inside-out, not a minor dent. This is the sort of backface signature you see on ceramic plates hit with .308 ball - you might actually SURVIVE getting hit with a .338 with steel, whereas the ceramic would just kill you from bleeding IN instead of OUT.


A whole lot of speculation on your part there. Also, let me know how these home brew spall mitigation techniques work out with 338LM...I'll offer my own speculation of "not so well."

This conversation is silly though - steel plates suck, and 338LM is not a threat that realistically needs to be accounted for.

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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 12:33:40 PM EST
Originally Posted By toki:
Originally Posted By zombiegristle:
Originally Posted By toki:
Originally Posted By zombiegristle:
I'm fucking impressed the 1/4" plate can stop .338 Lapua like that.


There are videos on youtube of the 10 year old Gamma Plus plates stopping 338LM rounds as well. I would be surprised if any given ceramic level III plate didn't stop 338LM.


Yeah, but the Gamma was practically turned inside-out, not a minor dent. This is the sort of backface signature you see on ceramic plates hit with .308 ball - you might actually SURVIVE getting hit with a .338 with steel, whereas the ceramic would just kill you from bleeding IN instead of OUT.


A whole lot of speculation on your part there. Also, let me know how these home brew spall mitigation techniques work out with 338LM...I'll offer my own speculation of "not so well."

This conversation is silly though - steel plates suck, and 338LM is not a threat that realistically needs to be accounted for.


There was very little speculation on my part, have you watched the video you're referring to? And have you read the multiple threads on here where people have tested these anti-spalling techniques? You're just waving steel plates off without even looking at the data presented to you, and putting words in my mouth. I never said I needed to stop .338 Lapua, I just said I was impressed at the steel's performance.

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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 1:40:53 PM EST
Not this again.

Steel is not good for body armor, for a number of reasons (and home-brewed spall liners don't change that).

There are numerous material compositions that outperform steel at a lighter weight and even at a low cost.

If your armor is never going to see real action and you want to tinker with things like this, then by all means enjoy yourself. But no matter how many times the issue of steel vs everything else is tossed around, the truth will not change and that is: people whose lives depend on their kit do not wear steel.


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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 1:42:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2012 1:44:45 PM EST by NorthStaR209]
Originally Posted By toki:
Originally Posted By zombiegristle:
Originally Posted By toki:
Originally Posted By zombiegristle:
I'm fucking impressed the 1/4" plate can stop .338 Lapua like that.


There are videos on youtube of the 10 year old Gamma Plus plates stopping 338LM rounds as well. I would be surprised if any given ceramic level III plate didn't stop 338LM.


Yeah, but the Gamma was practically turned inside-out, not a minor dent. This is the sort of backface signature you see on ceramic plates hit with .308 ball - you might actually SURVIVE getting hit with a .338 with steel, whereas the ceramic would just kill you from bleeding IN instead of OUT.


A whole lot of speculation on your part there. Also, let me know how these home brew spall mitigation techniques work out with 338LM...I'll offer my own speculation of "not so well."





I'll second this. The constant comparison of the non certified "omega steel" vs actual lvl 3 ceramic plates is getting nauseating. How can you know forsure if the hardness of the steel is correct when un tested/certified? And to put your life on it? These are the same guys that think if you even look at a ceramic plate wrong it'll crack.



I'll second this. The constant comparison of the non certified "omega steel" vs actual lvl 3 ceramic plates is getting nauseating. How can you know forsure if the hardness of the steel is correct when un tested/certified? And to put your life on it? These are the same guys that think if you even look at a ceramic plate wrong it'll crack.

This conversation is silly though - steel plates suck, and 338LM is not a threat that realistically needs to be accounted for.



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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 2:36:58 PM EST
I think steel is better than nothing for limited use. (I don't think this is inconsistent with the advice from the professionals above). That said, my first line of defense is a level IV vest with ceramic plates. But I do have other vests with titanium and with steel. Those are for the less prepared family members and friends who will help me defend the bunker on Ft. Pilum if SHTF.

My non ceramic plates are bubba wrapped in kevlar from german surplus flak jackets. Wouldn't want a sibling or close friend catching any unnecessary spall to the underside of the chin if I can avoid it....
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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 2:52:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2012 2:54:04 PM EST by zombiegristle]
I wasn't talking about choosing steel over ceramic, nor was I suggesting anybody use steel for any given scenario, and I sure as hell wasn't saying everyone should switch because it's way better than all the fancy ceramic and composite plates out there. My exact words were:

Originally Posted By zombiegristle:
I'm fucking impressed the 1/4" plate can stop .338 Lapua like that.


Y'all need to chill the fuck out. If you actually wanted to know what I thought on the matter and have a rational discussion on it like adults, you could just try asking me.

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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 4:35:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2012 4:37:18 PM EST by TFW]
Some wisdom in the quote below my post that I want to expand on.

Gents steel has applications, and those are usually for very (VERY) specific threats and for men that do very specific jobs usually requiring ULV (Ultra Low Vis) armor protection. Odds are...you aren't one of those dudes. Neither am I.

My company specializes in armor for LE, mil and US citizens that care to go through the clearance process. I have heard all the arguments, usually it comes down to cost. It isnt like buying an AR. If you choose to go cheap and buy a shitty AR you will find out on the range and have the opportunity to fix it. Conversely, if you make a bad armor choice and it gets used...well you get the point.

Our plates are riding in carriers on some serious men that are in harms way as we speak. They are all ceramic plates. That would be an indicator.

When looking to choose armor:

1. Pick your most common threat that is LIKELY. Like the man said in the quote below, 338 might not be it. Could it be a threat sometime? Sure. But it might be a 416. Or a .50. Most likely it will not. Check the ammo sellers and look at what rifle ammo is sold out.- 5.56 7.62x39 7.62x51. Starts to paint a picture.
2. Choose the Level that corresponds to that threat (NIJ is very clear for rifle protection...although it is outdated, but that is another conversation).
3. Choose the material for the plates based on your mission / defensive requirements. Choose a backer to go with them if they are ICW.
4. Choose the size properly.
5. Now look at the price. If you dont currently have the funds to allocate...wait.
6. Buy the plates
7 Buy the carrier last. You dont need a carrier unless you have plates. Carriers without plates are jackassery at its best.

Hope this helps. Feel free to email/ PM with specific armor questions, will be glad to help.

Stay Safe - AT


.[/quote]
Originally Posted By toki:

snip...

- steel plates suck, and 338LM is not a threat that realistically needs to be accounted for.[/quote]

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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 4:57:01 PM EST
So maybe a 338 is not a realistic threat but I would speculate that if the average guy needed to wear body armor in the US then things are bad and you are just as likely to get shot by a 3006 hunting rifle as you are by a typical military round. Something that takes multipul hits would also be a great asset.

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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 5:19:15 PM EST
Here is a theoretical question for anyone: what would you think about steel as a viable plate if it weighed the same as standard ceramic and still offered the same lvl 3 rating?

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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 6:00:37 PM EST
Again, look for the most likely threat to protect against. I would disagree that the 30.06 hunting rifles being "as likely" are slim. Possible? Yes. Probable? No. I get what you are saying though, no one can be sure about the threat.

We always plan against the MPCOA (Most Probable Course of Action) not the MDCOA (most Dangerous..). Why? Because we cant protect against everything. So we choose to protect against the most likely rifle threat.

So your desire for multi hit is probably a good call. But it is your choice, not mine and that may indeed be the most likely for you. Thing is though the NIJ only accounts for two things: multi hit 7.62 NATO ball or 30 AP single hit. All other is independent testing. The rating choices are limited so it becomes academic in a hurry.

Hope this helps

AT




Originally Posted By Muddydogs:
So maybe a 338 is not a realistic threat but I would speculate that if the average guy needed to wear body armor in the US then things are bad and you are just as likely to get shot by a 3006 hunting rifle as you are by a typical military round. Something that takes multipul hits would also be a great asset.


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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 8:58:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2012 9:00:09 PM EST by toki]
Originally Posted By zombiegristle:
Originally Posted By toki:
Originally Posted By zombiegristle:
Originally Posted By toki:
Originally Posted By zombiegristle:
I'm fucking impressed the 1/4" plate can stop .338 Lapua like that.


There are videos on youtube of the 10 year old Gamma Plus plates stopping 338LM rounds as well. I would be surprised if any given ceramic level III plate didn't stop 338LM.


Yeah, but the Gamma was practically turned inside-out, not a minor dent. This is the sort of backface signature you see on ceramic plates hit with .308 ball - you might actually SURVIVE getting hit with a .338 with steel, whereas the ceramic would just kill you from bleeding IN instead of OUT.


A whole lot of speculation on your part there. Also, let me know how these home brew spall mitigation techniques work out with 338LM...I'll offer my own speculation of "not so well."

This conversation is silly though - steel plates suck, and 338LM is not a threat that realistically needs to be accounted for.


There was very little speculation on my part, have you watched the video you're referring to? And have you read the multiple threads on here where people have tested these anti-spalling techniques? You're just waving steel plates off without even looking at the data presented to you, and putting words in my mouth. I never said I needed to stop .338 Lapua, I just said I was impressed at the steel's performance.


First of all, let me apologize if you felt I was putting words in your mouth, my intention is not to be a prick here. I have watched that video (I just went and re-watched it again), and also read a great deal of the threads dealing with the spall mitigation projects. I do not dispute that the Gamma Plus was very torn up after taking a hit from the 338LM, but with absolutely no data on measured BFS arising from that shot, and therefor it is just speculatory to say that the hit would cause lethal levels of internal damage.

I write off steel after full consideration of the facts. Steel is even less relevant stateside than it is over seas due to the abundance of 50-55grain .223/5.56 here, rounds which commonly defeat 6-6.5mm steel armor. It also is generally more uncomfortable that other plate options, not commonly available in a triple curved design, and presents the serious problem of spall control. Once you have found a way to deal with the spall you have likely added about a pound to the plate, and have detracted from the one "plus" of the plate which is it's relative thinness. All in all there are better options out there. Sure, it is better than nothing, but if your budget is so shoe string that you can't buck up $250 - $400 for some low price point ceramics, your priorities might be a little out of whack.

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Link Posted: 9/16/2012 9:14:47 PM EST
Originally Posted By toki:
First of all, let me apologize if you felt I was putting words in your mouth, my intention is not to be a prick here...if your budget is so shoe string that you can't buck up $250 - $400 for some low price point ceramics, your priorities might be a little out of whack.


No need to apologize, I ain't even mad, just stop DOING it.

I do have steel plates. I don't have them because of budget concerns or because I think they're better than Ceramic. I have steel plates because the only situation in which I foresee myself putting them on, is any of a number of totally ridiculous hypothetical apocalyptic scenarios. If there's an active shooter at my apartment complex, I'm not going to take the time to don armor while he keeps shooting kids - I'm going to grab a gun and shoot back as soon as I fucking can. My apartment is about the size of a shoebox, if someone kicks in the door the only thing I have time to grab is the pistol next to my bedside. Furthermore, I have personally broken ceramic plates as my "training" in armor to stay accustomed to it includes amateur parkour and falling on pavement is rough on plates. $400 isn't much for armor, but when you fall and crack it, you start to think about cost. I could get training plates, but again this is not needed with steel and then I have no protection if someone takes a potshot at me while running! In my above-mentioned apocalyptic scenario, I'm not going to have the luxury of replacing plates after they get shot, hit with a baseball bat, or fallen on. I would need something that will last as long as possible before being rendered useless.

If anybody had asked me what I'd recommend, I would tell them I am a huge fan of the Gamma plates for people on a budget, as I have seen what they're capable of and I've owned multiple pairs of them myself - but again, they are fragile and in this case even moreso than usual because of their very thin ceramic element. Not going to work for my personal style. I've gone through a half dozen plate types for my personal gear over several years of evolving my gear, and I've settled on steel as the best choice FOR ME. For OTHERS, it is low on the recommendation list as my needs and uses are not standard.

Plus, steel plates make me feel like Iron Man. I'm having fun and there's nothing you can do to stop me.

blue = sarcasm.

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Link Posted: 9/18/2012 1:13:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2012 1:13:44 PM EST by WS6_Keith]

Originally Posted By TFW:
When looking to choose armor:

1. Pick your most common threat that is LIKELY. Like the man said in the quote below, 338 might not be it. Could it be a threat sometime? Sure. But it might be a 416. Or a .50. Most likely it will not. Check the ammo sellers and look at what rifle ammo is sold out.- 5.56 7.62x39 7.62x51. Starts to paint a picture.
2. Choose the Level that corresponds to that threat (NIJ is very clear for rifle protection...although it is outdated, but that is another conversation).
3. Choose the material for the plates based on your mission / defensive requirements. Choose a backer to go with them if they are ICW.
4. Choose the size properly.
5. Now look at the price. If you dont currently have the funds to allocate...wait.
6. Buy the plates
7 Buy the carrier last. You dont need a carrier unless you have plates. Carriers without plates are jackassery at its best.

Good list. The one thing missing here that was one of my main reasons for picking steel, is the multi-hit capability/ruggedness. As a few have mentioned, my armor is strictly for SHTF type scenarios, where replacing the armor is not an option. If a ceramic takes a hit or three, it's gonna be cracked, which takes away from its usable life. If you drop it, you can crack it. If you hit the dirt hard, you could crack it. With steel, this isn't as much of a concern, so from a lifespan view, I chose steel. YMMV.
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Link Posted: 9/18/2012 5:20:13 PM EST
Awesome reply. FWIW, here are my needs...any recommendations?
1) bump in the night, my bedroom is the safe room though not armored.
2) I teach NRA pistol and would like something low key, near invisible while around the less informed.

I am thinking a Second Chance?? I had one in the Navy, it was a pistol rated vest and had some plates in the front and back. We wore them under our uniforms while standing QD watch in foreign ports (forward deployed ship)....long story long time ago....

Thanks again...

Originally Posted By TFW:
Some wisdom in the quote below my post that I want to expand on.

Gents steel has applications, and those are usually for very (VERY) specific threats and for men that do very specific jobs usually requiring ULV (Ultra Low Vis) armor protection. Odds are...you aren't one of those dudes. Neither am I.

My company specializes in armor for LE, mil and US citizens that care to go through the clearance process. I have heard all the arguments, usually it comes down to cost. It isnt like buying an AR. If you choose to go cheap and buy a shitty AR you will find out on the range and have the opportunity to fix it. Conversely, if you make a bad armor choice and it gets used...well you get the point.

Our plates are riding in carriers on some serious men that are in harms way as we speak. They are all ceramic plates. That would be an indicator.

When looking to choose armor:

1. Pick your most common threat that is LIKELY. Like the man said in the quote below, 338 might not be it. Could it be a threat sometime? Sure. But it might be a 416. Or a .50. Most likely it will not. Check the ammo sellers and look at what rifle ammo is sold out.- 5.56 7.62x39 7.62x51. Starts to paint a picture.
2. Choose the Level that corresponds to that threat (NIJ is very clear for rifle protection...although it is outdated, but that is another conversation).
3. Choose the material for the plates based on your mission / defensive requirements. Choose a backer to go with them if they are ICW.
4. Choose the size properly.
5. Now look at the price. If you dont currently have the funds to allocate...wait.
6. Buy the plates
7 Buy the carrier last. You dont need a carrier unless you have plates. Carriers without plates are jackassery at its best.

Hope this helps. Feel free to email/ PM with specific armor questions, will be glad to help.

Stay Safe - AT


.

Originally Posted By toki:

snip...

- steel plates suck, and 338LM is not a threat that realistically needs to be accounted for.[/quote]

[/quote]

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WHILE DEFEATED WARRIORS GO TO WAR FIRST...AND THEN SEEK TO WIN."
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Link Posted: 9/19/2012 4:38:32 AM EST
Originally Posted By bmyk:
Awesome reply. FWIW, here are my needs...any recommendations?
1) bump in the night, my bedroom is the safe room though not armored.
2) I teach NRA pistol and would like something low key, near invisible while around the less informed.

I am thinking a Second Chance?? I had one in the Navy, it was a pistol rated vest and had some plates in the front and back. We wore them under our uniforms while standing QD watch in foreign ports (forward deployed ship)....long story long time ago....



For that, just get one of these and stitch it into a good quality pullover shirt.


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Link Posted: 9/19/2012 8:39:20 AM EST
Thank you Kieth. People are seeming to ignore the ruggedness and multishot capacity that steel has. I can get two double bend 10x12 steel plates and 2 6x8 steel side plates on Ebay for $150 shipped. The 10x12s are 7.4 pounds and the sides are 2.3. That is actually around the same as military ESAPI weight granted that with steel you have to add anti spalling and backers.

Buy the carrier last. You dont need a carrier unless you have plates. Carriers without plates are jackassery at its best.


And plates without a carrier is even more retarted considering that atleast the carrier can be used as a chest rig. Some people..

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Link Posted: 9/19/2012 9:41:55 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/19/2012 9:46:02 AM EST by Layer60]
Originally Posted By Grudgie:
Thank you Kieth. People are seeming to ignore the ruggedness and multishot capacity that steel has. I can get two double bend 10x12 steel plates and 2 6x8 steel side plates on Ebay for $150 shipped. The 10x12s are 7.4 pounds and the sides are 2.3. That is actually around the same as military ESAPI weight granted that with steel you have to add anti spalling and backers.

Buy the carrier last. You dont need a carrier unless you have plates. Carriers without plates are jackassery at its best.


And plates without a carrier is even more retarted considering that atleast the carrier can be used as a chest rig. Some people..


No, they aren't. If you already had your mind made up that steel was a great choice, there was really no need for a thread, now was there?

ESAPIs and level IVs in general are in no way comparable to steel. Your 0.25" steel plates will not stop M2AP, nor will they stop the very common M193 round unless you're a moderate distance away. A medium ESAPI is 5.5 pounds and a large ESAPI is 6.3 pounds. Plain steel is 8 pounds or more for a 10"x12"x0.25" panel. Add in a crude anti-spalling rig and soft backers and your weight jumps even more. Final rig weight for ESAPI is 11-12.6 pounds, while final weight for steel is 16-20 pounds or more. That is not "around the same". You can even buy NIJ certified level IVs for around $150 per plate, although a set of the cheapies weighs about 14 pounds.

Most level III plates are in no way comparable to steel. A typical level III plate weighs between 3.3-5.5 pounds. A good quality PE plate will take more rounds than you would ever expect to get hit by and are amazingly rugged. Straight PE plates also eliminate spalling. Their only disadvantage to steel is that they cost more.

Steel armor is fun to talk about on the interwebs because it's easily accessible for garage projects. In the real world, it is only slightly more practical than phone books and duct tape.


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Link Posted: 9/19/2012 10:20:24 AM EST
Originally Posted By Layer60:

Steel armor is fun to talk about on the interwebs because it's easily accessible for garage projects. In the real world, it is only slightly more practical than phone books and duct tape.





Seriously, the next thread will be about stab protection in soft armor and these guys will be saying "DuPont thought they were being smart with Kevlar Correctional, but phone books and duct tape are JUST as good, if not better, due to the low cost and extreme ruggedness of the setup, despite the extra weight."

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Link Posted: 9/19/2012 10:59:08 AM EST

No, they aren't. If you already had your mind made up that steel was a great choice, there was really no need for a thread, now was there?


Perhaps. However I was expecting more insight than just calling steel 'stupid'.

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Link Posted: 9/19/2012 11:27:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/19/2012 11:28:39 AM EST by WS6_Keith]

Originally Posted By Layer60:

ESAPIs and level IVs in general are in no way comparable to steel. Your 0.25" steel plates will not stop M2AP, nor will they stop the very common M193 round unless you're a moderate distance away. A medium ESAPI is 5.5 pounds and a large ESAPI is 6.3 pounds. Plain steel is 8 pounds or more for a 10"x12"x0.25" panel. Add in a crude anti-spalling rig and soft backers and your weight jumps even more. Final rig weight for ESAPI is 11-12.6 pounds, while final weight for steel is 16-20 pounds or more. That is not "around the same". You can even buy NIJ certified level IVs for around $150 per plate, although a set of the cheapies weighs about 14 pounds.

Most level III plates are in no way comparable to steel. A typical level III plate weighs between 3.3-5.5 pounds. A good quality PE plate will take more rounds than you would ever expect to get hit by and are amazingly rugged. Straight PE plates also eliminate spalling. Their only disadvantage to steel is that they cost more.

The steel plates I have are rated NIJ lvl III. I do not think that AP rounds are a real threat for my situation, so I chose multi-hit vs. AP performance. The plates I have are rated to stop M193 (International Armor Ti/Steel sold by DSG Arms). DSG says they weigh 7.6# per plate, about a pound more than an ESAPI. With the other stuff on the front of my armor carrier (MOLLE, magazines, etc) I'm not too worried about spall.

Again, when there aren't backup sets sitting around or available to buy (SHTF), I want a plate that will take multiple hits and still work. The ceramics break up when hit and quickly lose their function. Might be good for 3-4 rounds, but not the dozens that a steel will take. I'm not worried about rough-housing them...they won't break if dropped or if I hit the ground hard.

If the SHTF and I need this stuff, there isn't a pipeline to replacements if I take a few rounds. That said, the steel has a longer life IMO.
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Link Posted: 9/19/2012 1:54:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/19/2012 2:13:08 PM EST by toki]
Originally Posted By WS6_Keith:

Originally Posted By Layer60:

ESAPIs and level IVs in general are in no way comparable to steel. Your 0.25" steel plates will not stop M2AP, nor will they stop the very common M193 round unless you're a moderate distance away. A medium ESAPI is 5.5 pounds and a large ESAPI is 6.3 pounds. Plain steel is 8 pounds or more for a 10"x12"x0.25" panel. Add in a crude anti-spalling rig and soft backers and your weight jumps even more. Final rig weight for ESAPI is 11-12.6 pounds, while final weight for steel is 16-20 pounds or more. That is not "around the same". You can even buy NIJ certified level IVs for around $150 per plate, although a set of the cheapies weighs about 14 pounds.

Most level III plates are in no way comparable to steel. A typical level III plate weighs between 3.3-5.5 pounds. A good quality PE plate will take more rounds than you would ever expect to get hit by and are amazingly rugged. Straight PE plates also eliminate spalling. Their only disadvantage to steel is that they cost more.

The steel plates I have are rated NIJ lvl III. I do not think that AP rounds are a real threat for my situation, so I chose multi-hit vs. AP performance. The plates I have]are rated to stop M193]](International Armor Ti/Steel sold by DSG Arms). DSG says they weigh 7.6# per plate, about a pound more than an ESAPI. With the other stuff on the front of my armor carrier (MOLLE, magazines, etc) I'm not too worried about spall.

Again, when there aren't backup sets sitting around or available to buy (SHTF), I want a plate that will take multiple hits and still work. The ceramics break up when hit and quickly lose their function. Might be good for 3-4 rounds, but not the dozens that a steel will take. I'm not worried about rough-housing them...they won't break if dropped or if I hit the ground hard.

If the SHTF and I need this stuff, there isn't a pipeline to replacements if I take a few rounds. That said, the steel has a longer life IMO.


I find nothing from International Armor, or DSG Arms, that holds those plates out as being able to protect against M193. Please provide some citation, if you have some.

I'm not really sure what you are basing your "might be good for 3-4 rounds" statement on. If the plate is rated NIJ Level III, it is rated for 6 rounds.

ETA: you also may have missed this thread about those plates you are trusting your life to...

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Link Posted: 9/19/2012 2:03:24 PM EST
I would also like to know which steel plates stop M193.

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Link Posted: 9/19/2012 2:54:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By toki:

I find nothing from International Armor, or DSG Arms, that holds those plates out as being able to protect against M193. Please provide some citation, if you have some.

I'm not really sure what you are basing your "might be good for 3-4 rounds" statement on. If the plate is rated NIJ Level III, it is rated for 6 rounds.

ETA: you also may have missed this thread about those plates you are trusting your life to...

See the comments from Charlie at DSG Arms (post 16) in this thread: http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_2_268/191585_.html

OK, 6 hits it is for ceramics then. All of the videos I've seen of them being shot, they turn to dust and are pretty chunked up after only a few shots. The steels will take many more hits as they don't break apart like the ceramics.

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Link Posted: 9/19/2012 3:17:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/19/2012 3:19:15 PM EST by NorthStaR209]
Did you not just read the thread toki posted above? Sort of falls in line with all of this in the white "omega" steel everyone is buying. Without NIJ testing backing it, how would you know your getting the correct steel?

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Link Posted: 9/19/2012 4:21:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/19/2012 4:22:42 PM EST by Grudgie]
Originally Posted By NorthStaR209:
Did you not just read the thread toki posted above? Sort of falls in line with all of this in the white "omega" steel everyone is buying. Without NIJ testing backing it, how would you know your getting the correct steel?


Easy. The steel is so CHEAP (monetarily speaking) that you buy one of the manufacturer's single 6x6 plates and do all the testing you want. But ofcourse, it still won't have the magical NIJ stamp of approval that makes it lvl3.

Also, I am pretty sure Ceramics are tested to meet 6 shots evenly spaced as shown in photo a. If they took 2 in the same area they would fail. Steel doesn't have that little problem.




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Link Posted: 9/19/2012 4:46:25 PM EST
/facepalm

I'm out. It's like fighting a misinformation avalanche.

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Link Posted: 9/19/2012 7:58:55 PM EST
Why don't you share your knowledge that you seem to be hording. You haven't recognized any of the benefits that steel provides over ceramic and other plates. Yes it has its downfalls, but I don't think it is ignorant. Please tell me why you disreguard steel so much. And yes, NIJ tests 6 hits that are spaced apart as in the photo. Real life conditions are not like that.

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Link Posted: 9/20/2012 3:10:15 PM EST
Tagged....

For when they (and any reputable US manufacturers) come out with 5.56 M855 & SS109 Stand Alone Level III+++++++ multi hit in size standard cut XL 11x14 with Op Cut Front and Rectangle Back for max coverage. 10x12 is too small, hope Mfgs make bigger cuts

And it's NIJ rated-tested etc.

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Link Posted: 10/7/2012 12:12:14 PM EST
Originally Posted By toki:
Originally Posted By zombiegristle:
Originally Posted By toki:
Originally Posted By zombiegristle:
I'm fucking impressed the 1/4" plate can stop .338 Lapua like that.


There are videos on youtube of the 10 year old Gamma Plus plates stopping 338LM rounds as well. I would be surprised if any given ceramic level III plate didn't stop 338LM.


Yeah, but the Gamma was practically turned inside-out, not a minor dent. This is the sort of backface signature you see on ceramic plates hit with .308 ball - you might actually SURVIVE getting hit with a .338 with steel, whereas the ceramic would just kill you from bleeding IN instead of OUT.


A whole lot of speculation on your part there. Also, let me know how these home brew spall mitigation techniques work out with 338LM...I'll offer my own speculation of "not so well."

This conversation is silly though - steel plates suck, and 338LM is not a threat that realistically needs to be accounted for.


I'd rather take some spall from a 338 LM round then have it impact my unprotected chest.

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Link Posted: 10/7/2012 6:06:48 PM EST
Why would you willingly carry an extra 20 lbs of steel?
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Link Posted: 10/7/2012 8:22:41 PM EST
Originally Posted By Swoosh101:
Why would you willingly carry an extra 20 lbs of steel?


If you've got 20 pounds "extra" over ceramic, you must be wearing plates on your thighs, shoulders, forearms, head, and dick. The weight difference is more like 3-4 pounds, maybe 6 with sides. It's just a few extra pounds to factor into your loadout, maybe you could get away with carrying a couple fewer magazines or something? The weight is real, and it does make a difference, but a good carrier helps a lot and people love to exaggerate and rule the plates out as heavy, but then I see people piling on other shit that adds up to just as much weight and won't stop a bullet - and nobody seems to question it.

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Link Posted: 10/8/2012 12:15:13 PM EST
I believe the steel plates from bulletproofme are 10 lbs a plate.
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Link Posted: 10/8/2012 1:08:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By Swoosh101:
I believe the steel plates from bulletproofme are 10 lbs a plate.

bulletproofme says their plates are 8 lbs a piece. AR500.com says their plates are 7.5 lbs a piece. You can assume they gain a little bit of weight after you add some sort of spall guard. They only weigh a pound or two more than their ceramic alternatives.
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Link Posted: 10/8/2012 2:29:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2012 2:37:12 PM EST by NorthStaR209]
Not all ceramics are 7lbs like the one you mentioned so don't lop that turd in as a set standard. My lvl 3 10x12 standalones are barely 5lbs, I know my set of large SAPI's aren't too far behind that weight either but then again they are ICW. Steel will always be significantly heavier, not just by a few pounds.

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Link Posted: 10/8/2012 2:51:06 PM EST
"It will always be" is just as big a "turd" to be throwing around. It's only heavier because we have better technology for plates now, and the disparity will only continue to grow as more focus is placed on lightening a fighter's load. Rewind the clock a decade or two and we still had standalone ceramic plates at level III, but they were much heavier and thicker. This is just another unfair comparison.

If you try to make fair comparisons, steel is only slightly heavier than similarly-capable ceramics at a similar price point. It is also MUCH more durable, and much more prone to dangerous spalling. This is why for some people it makes sense, they don't mind the weight and desire the benefits of cost and/or durability (and some people such as myself enjoy finishing their own armor). As long as people understand the drawbacks and know how to work with/around them, there is nothing wrong with liking something different than you - steel is not inherently bad, it's just not ceramic. Military uses ceramic because it makes sense FOR THEM, and a lot of non-fighters who collect gear like ceramic because they're conditioned to turn their nose up at anything that isn't super-elite.

Everything has a cost/benefit ratio, and depending on the cost you are willing to pay and the benefits you desire, steel CAN BE desirable. Just don't be irrational about it and refuse to see that while it doesn't make sense for you, it might make sense for someone else. We've been pretty realistic about steel vs. ceramic in terms of performance, and with that information in mind some people will prefer one over the other for whatever reason, and there is nothing wrong with that.

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