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Posted: 10/31/2004 10:25:49 AM EDT
I have decided on buying a bullet proof vest, probably used. I have a comfort range around $300+ so for that price range is their any vest worth having??? Preferably class II ( .45acp, tokarev ) Also is it true a .22 can go through a BPV??? Also I was told not to get a trauma plate because the bullet skips up or down on impact causing another wound, is this true??? Can class II armor be warn and not be obvious, I am fairly stocky and about 15lbs. overweight ( 6'0 237 lbs. )if this info would help. My former roomate had "paca" armor and plate he bought used for $280 is this good armor?? What brands should I look for???
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 10:34:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Mattl:
I have decided on buying a bullet proof vest, probably used. I have a comfort range around $300+ so for that price range is their any vest worth having??? Preferably class II ( .45acp, tokarev ) Also is it true a .22 can go through a BPV??? Also I was told not to get a trauma plate because the bullet skips up or down on impact causing another wound, is this true??? Can class II armor be warn and not be obvious, I am fairly stocky and about 15lbs. overweight ( 6'0 237 lbs. )if this info would help. My former roomate had "paca" armor and plate he bought used for $280 is this good armor?? What brands should I look for???


Kevlar armor has a limited shelf-life. If buying used, be damned sure it s not detiorated from use / abuse.
NOT using a trauma plate when there is provision for one is Stupid.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 10:39:40 AM EDT
Define what you want it for.


Daily wear?

SHTF use?

Raiding drug houses?


Fighting JBTs?

Robbing banks?



You need to define the use, analyze the likely threat, and decide on the class of armor from that.


There are lots of USGI's in Iraq right now that owe their lives to trauma plates.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 10:47:53 AM EDT
SHTF use mainly, wear to the atm nightly, sporadic wear not every day all the time.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 10:47:53 AM EDT
GET the trauma plate!
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 10:58:38 AM EDT
To bad your not able to wear a size medium. I have a brand new point blank level III vest I am going to sell soon since I was just laid off from work.

It all depends on what you want to use the vest for. Do you want to wear it concealed, externally, etc???

I have always used hard traume plates. And as F4YR stated many soldies and LE personel owe their lives to the use of trauma plates.

Armor usually has a 5 year life as set by the manufacture. You can extend that peroid by cleaning your panels once a month or so to remove salts/oils that your body sweats out. I would stay away from the material Zylon. Second Chance used it and apparently they had all sorts of problems with it.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 11:31:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/31/2004 11:37:03 AM EDT by 199]
Suggest you call it body armor or maybe a ballistic vest. The term “bulletproof vest” is a misnomer since it isn’t entirely true!

PACA is a decent brand. At one time both the FBI and the Secret Service used it.

The hard trauma plate can cause bullet splatter, which can go into your throat area. However, PACA used to supply a rather small and pitiful plastic-coated steel plate that wouldn’t stop most rounds anyway (I’ve shot up a number of their plates and the bullets tend to either punch through or to make a deep dent, rather than ricochet).

Small plates such as the above were intended to protect from blunt trauma such as the impact from a steering wheel during an automobile crash, rather than from bullets.

However, many if not nearly all plates nowadays do have ballistic capabilities – thus the ricochet danger is much greater. These plates are often wrapped in Kevlar or such to minimize this.

Definitely wear the plate if you’ve got it and if it’s practical for what you’re doing. Note that larger trauma plates are very cumbersome.

Any vest will stop a regular .22 LR. In fact, that was one of the test rounds for the long obsolete level I vests. Note though that most soft vests won’t stop edged or pointed weapons such as slender knives, ice picks, and such. (Prison guards wear a different type of vest for this reason.)

In my limited experience, Kevlar does not appear to have a shelf life, per se. However, it will certainly deteriorate from usage or abuse.

Five years is the typical standard applied to Kevlar, and is used by vest manufacturers for the warranty. However, I’ve shot Kevlar vests that were well over 10 years old (but not heavily worn) in unscientific tests with no problems.

Vests are pretty easy to spot if you’re looking for them. If this is a big issue, you might want to consider a thinner level IIA and a premium (and more expensive) vest. However, IIA’s don’t offer much margin for safety - if you’re getting a used vest, an II or even an IIIA is a better way to go. Not many folks wear IIA’s any more, anyway.

I’ve never dealt with these folks, but they appear to be reputable: www.bulletproofme.com

As already mentioned, absolutely stay away from vests made from Zylon (or Second Chance’s trademark for it, which is Ultima), regardless of manufacturer!!
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 11:39:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 199:
Note though that most soft vests won’t stop edged or pointed weapons such as slender knives, ice picks, and such. (Prison guards wear a different type of vest for this reason.


Diito on that.

I have a small sample sheet of kevlar, and I can cut a teeny corner off with my kid's school scissors, and I can poke thru it with my Benchmade 910 stryker folding knife.
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