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Posted: 1/20/2009 6:56:34 AM EST
What will German surplus flak jackets like this one stop?  I've seen them advertised elsewhere as II-A's.

ETA: IIA appears to be optimistic- Link

.45 did not penetrate, as expected the low velocity round is stopped by nearly all body armor, even the low quality and older stuff.    .40 appears to have penetrated a little further, but was still stopped cold.   The 9mm zipped right through, but as I will detail later, this result was not something I could easily repeat.    The above picture shows the test guns to be fairly standard guns in the related calibers.   A Kimber CDP in .45, Witness .40, and Beretta 92F in 9mm...  Later testing with the .40 revealed that it was not penetrating.  The initial 9mm penetration was very clean and indicative of the vest having had little influence on the bullet path...   9mm parabellum did, however, penetrate most of the time.
Link Posted: 1/20/2009 10:17:41 AM EST
Unless it has been tested by NIJ or equivalent, it has no ballistic level, or at least nothing we can readily compare to other vests.

Essentially, these things meet a fragmentation standard at best, and any other protection you get is gravy, but not to be expected.
Link Posted: 1/20/2009 10:23:33 AM EST
Quoted:
What will German surplus flak jackets like this one stop?  I've seen them advertised elsewhere as II-A's.

ETA: IIA appears to be optimistic- Link

.45 did not penetrate, as expected the low velocity round is stopped by nearly all body armor, even the low quality and older stuff.    .40 appears to have penetrated a little further, but was still stopped cold.   The 9mm zipped right through, but as I will detail later, this result was not something I could easily repeat.    The above picture shows the test guns to be fairly standard guns in the related calibers.   A Kimber CDP in .45, Witness .40, and Beretta 92F in 9mm...  Later testing with the .40 revealed that it was not penetrating.  The initial 9mm penetration was very clean and indicative of the vest having had little influence on the bullet path...   9mm parabellum did, however, penetrate most of the time.


Ballistic level on a flak jacket = Flak

They are technically NATO rated for a certain gram weight projectile at a certain velocity.  From what I can recall they use a .22 size projectile (equivalent to shrapnel) and launch it through a chronograph into the vest.  I don't even know if they use charged ammunition for their testing.  I think it may all be done with compressed air or nitrogen.

Either way, they have no NIJ rating so if you are hoping it will stop a bullet, that's what you would need to do while you're being shot...hope.
Link Posted: 1/20/2009 11:42:21 AM EST
What size chest will a German "large" fit? You ought to find out, before you spend the money. Thei hat sizes are funny, is all I can say.
Link Posted: 1/20/2009 11:58:05 AM EST
Yeah, I'm not buying anything after seeing the 9mm cut through.
Link Posted: 1/20/2009 1:05:10 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/21/2009 5:48:03 AM EST
Quoted:
Generally speaking, if it isn't American IBA or BALCS type armor, it is not likely to stop anything but shrapnel.


Well, unless it is a regular NIJ concealable vest.  The only thing that I would use flak armor under would be standalone plates.  But considering that flak is for some reason so much heavier than a regular concealable vest, saving a few bucks isn't even really worth it in this situation.
Link Posted: 1/21/2009 11:38:47 AM EST
Link Posted: 1/21/2009 12:35:00 PM EST
Quoted:
I was referring to military body armor. Of course, civilian body armor with an NIJ rating can be expected to stop bullets within its rating.

It kills me to see guys in the U.S. wasting money on frag rated armor. That shit is worthless to us.



What do you recommend in the way of a level IIIa vest - I don't care about concealability, that is under $500, and prefferably, under $350?
Link Posted: 1/21/2009 12:38:29 PM EST
Quoted:
Quoted:
I was referring to military body armor. Of course, civilian body armor with an NIJ rating can be expected to stop bullets within its rating.

It kills me to see guys in the U.S. wasting money on frag rated armor. That shit is worthless to us.



What do you recommend in the way of a level IIIa vest - I don't care about concealability, that is under $500, and prefferably, under $350?


Galls sells affordable IIIA vests.  Other than that, try egay.  Just buy new and if you can't buy new, buy within the manufacturer's warranty.  And only buy Kevlar.  It is time and field tested.  As long as it is NIJ rated it doesn't matter.  It will stop what it is rated to stop.
Link Posted: 1/21/2009 12:41:14 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/21/2009 1:42:20 PM EST
Quoted:
Quoted:
I was referring to military body armor. Of course, civilian body armor with an NIJ rating can be expected to stop bullets within its rating.

It kills me to see guys in the U.S. wasting money on frag rated armor. That shit is worthless to us.



What do you recommend in the way of a level IIIa vest - I don't care about concealability, that is under $500, and prefferably, under $350?


http://www.bulletproofme.com/ProMAX_Vests.shtml

http://www.bulletproofme.com/Bullet_proof_Vests_Catalog.shtml
Link Posted: 1/23/2009 9:07:51 PM EST
Teh German vest s at Cheaper Than Dirt are rated on the Shutzenclasse scalee IIRC (not making that up, the Germans have tehir own rating system) and that partiuclar vest coes in at less tahn a IIA rating when converted.  I.E. it wont' sotp shit beyond a 22lr.

You gotta pay to play, and *never* cut corners or go cheap when you are spending money on body armor.

Link Posted: 1/24/2009 6:40:53 AM EST
If you are looking at surplus vests, the US PASGT vests are somewhere between level II and IIIa. I've shot one up before and they stopped everything I shot it with. With that said, for not much more money, I would get a true NIJ rated vest that is new, or as new as possible. Any vest is better than no vest, but if you can afford better, why put your life on the line...
Link Posted: 1/24/2009 11:16:43 AM EST
Link Posted: 1/24/2009 4:15:03 PM EST
I shot the back panel of one years ago with a HK tactical 45, ammo was winchester white box, range was 4 yards.  It stopped it with no problems.  While I was at it, I also shot an 80's production British kevlar helmet I bought from Sportsman's Guide with the 45.  The shot entered the first layer and slid up and stopped.
Link Posted: 1/25/2009 7:33:54 AM EST
this *might* help explain why the resaults are all over the place.

I got some use/expired ballistic panels from bullet proof me, and they included an instruction sheet that explains that a proper backstop is needed ( something human like )

quote-if you use a concrete wall, or rigid surface as a backstop you can make a good vest fail!  on the other hand, if you were to hang a vest on a coat hanger and let it swing free, it will stop MORE of a threat than it will on a human body. For example, even a Level l fragmentation vest will often stop a Level ll-A or Level ll pistol threats when hanging free.
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