Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 9/11/2004 7:26:09 PM EST
A few questions about full body armor.

I remember seeing somewhere on Internet police with full body armor. They had it on their whole body. Knees, elbows, forearms etc. My question is how can they move in such condition. They whole thing must weight more than 100 lbs. Also, how effective can the helmet be? I read somewhere that the glass can only stop one shot. After that, the following shot will get through. Did anybody wear such armor? Your experiences? In extreme case was someone shot while wearing one? How heavy is it? Is it legal for us peons to own one?
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 7:25:12 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 7:29:12 AM EST
i wear a vest 5 days a week for 10 hours a day. It's hot and it can be uncomfortable. I cannot imagine full armor. Your movement would be very restricted and i doubt you could spend a big amount of time in it. But since i have never worn full body armor i can only speak from my limited experience.

J
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 7:32:02 AM EST
Robocop?

At some point, you need a powered suit just to be able to walk--mech warrior. That would be pretty over the top for police.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 7:33:49 AM EST
Joan Lunden (sp?) did a special on a Special Forces direct-action team a few years back. They demonstrated a dynamic entry while wearing the whole kit, including arm and leg panels. In this case, their mobility was limited, but the benefits were obvious.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 7:37:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/12/2004 7:38:38 AM EST by billclo]

Originally Posted By Flak_Jacket:
A few questions about full body armor.

I remember seeing somewhere on Internet police with full body armor. They had it on their whole body. Knees, elbows, forearms etc. My question is how can they move in such condition. They whole thing must weight more than 100 lbs. Also, how effective can the helmet be? I read somewhere that the glass can only stop one shot. After that, the following shot will get through. Did anybody wear such armor? Your experiences? In extreme case was someone shot while wearing one? How heavy is it? Is it legal for us peons to own one?



I doubt it weighs 100 lbs. I did some research awhile back on hard body armor back in 1999/2000. At the time, the best I could come up with was a level 3-A vest, a hard plate harness, front and back Level 4 steel plates, and a level 3-A groin protector. Plus 3-A helmet. The whole thing would have weighed in about 24lbs. I have not seen the neck protectors, leg protectors, and arm protectors, but I wouldn't imagine that they'd weigh more than an additional 10-15 lbs.

Sure, they'd slow you down some, but under certain specialized circumstances, it might be worth it. You'd have to ask some real operators...
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 7:51:44 AM EST
We are not quite ready for full body armor, but we are getting closer.

You have seen the shoulder flap additions to the IBA that have been introduced in the last few months in news photos.

Then there is the Sandia Gauntlet


Which offers Level III protection to the arms.

In the longer term, there is the announcement from Unniversity of Pennsylvania and Duke University that they have found a way to spin Carbon Nanotubes like Kevlar.
www.betterhumans.com/News/news.aspx?articleID=2004-09-02-2

Which promises much lighter (or much stronger) ballistic pannels.

Then there is the DARPA powered Exoskeleton project which next summer will test at least two designs of power assistance frames for soldiers with the objective of allowing a soldier to carry a 100kg payload as if it weighed 10kg.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 7:56:31 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 8:16:37 AM EST
Are you thinking of the bomb disposal suits? They're full protection suits with helmets, face protection and severly limits your movement.

Link Posted: 9/12/2004 8:18:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By Combat_Diver:
Are you thinking of the bomb disposal suits? They're full protection suits with helmets, face protection and severly limits your movement.




That is what I thought of when I first read his statement.

However the new materials coming available make those contraptions obsolete, even without power assistance.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 12:25:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By Combat_Diver:
Are you thinking of the bomb disposal suits? They're full protection suits with helmets, face protection and severly limits your movement.

hr


No, I'm not talking about bomb disposal suits. I saw them on the net too. I was talking about regular armor with metal knee cap plates and elbows etc. I forgot where I saw the picture though. Btw are these legal to own? I read on some other forum that some armor is restricted.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 12:44:21 PM EST
the really amazing stuff is that spider silk they are starting to learn how to mass-produce.
From what I've heard, they can produce pretty significant quantities of Spider-silk by splicing the gene for it into milk goats and then extracting the silk from the milk. If they can figure out how to weave stuff with it, you could end up having a bullet-proof silk shirt!
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 12:58:28 PM EST
The problem with spider silk is that it stretches too much to be useful as armor right now. Being able to produce enough silk just to make one vest is a big problem currently, but making it so the silk stretches less is the other big problem.

Spider silk is stronger than Kevlar or Spectra Shield, however.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 1:00:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By Combat_Diver:
Are you thinking of the bomb disposal suits? They're full protection suits with helmets, face protection and severly limits your movement.




You'd actually be quite surprised how much range of motion you have in those suits (at least the latest ones). The company that makes ours even has a gymnast doing a parallel bar routine in their "infomercial!"

They are definitely not suited for dynamic operations, since the head and neck are are relatively immobile and heavily padded for blast / falling protection.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 1:19:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By billclo:

Originally Posted By Flak_Jacket:
A few questions about full body armor.

I remember seeing somewhere on Internet police with full body armor. They had it on their whole body. Knees, elbows, forearms etc. My question is how can they move in such condition. They whole thing must weight more than 100 lbs. Also, how effective can the helmet be? I read somewhere that the glass can only stop one shot. After that, the following shot will get through. Did anybody wear such armor? Your experiences? In extreme case was someone shot while wearing one? How heavy is it? Is it legal for us peons to own one?



I doubt it weighs 100 lbs. I did some research awhile back on hard body armor back in 1999/2000. At the time, the best I could come up with was a level 3-A vest, a hard plate harness, front and back Level 4 steel plates, and a level 3-A groin protector. Plus 3-A helmet. The whole thing would have weighed in about 24lbs. I have not seen the neck protectors, leg protectors, and arm protectors, but I wouldn't imagine that they'd weigh more than an additional 10-15 lbs.

Sure, they'd slow you down some, but under certain specialized circumstances, it might be worth it. You'd have to ask some real operators...



Not sure if this is true any more or not. A good friend of mine works for the SWAT team in Phoenix. He wears a Level 4 vest during barricades and entries. Trauma plate is 3/4" thick so he says. Weighs in at around 35-40lbs. Full front, back, and side protection with groin protection and neck guard (almost an inch thick in the neck guard!!!).

They work very well, by the way. He took his first bullet in 15 years on the job last Wednesday. 9x19mm from a Beretta 92. Says it felt like what your parents do to you when they're mad (poke you in the chest REAL hard with their finger). No bruising, blood welts, etc. He caught the bullet after it hit the vest and mushroomed.

Guys from his team were joking about how he caught the bullet with his pecs (real big guy, by the way), teeth, etc. He seems to be handling it well so far. I assume what he was wearing is designed to stop rifle rounds up to about .308, but not sure from what distance.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 2:47:03 PM EST
My gear, a Level IIIA full-coverage vest with Level IV rifle plates, weighs in at about 60 pounds, but that includesthe helmet and all of the other crap hanging off of it, like six carbine magazines, 5 pistol magazines, a couple of bangs and smokes, handcuffs, radio, gas mask, and various other little gadgets and required items. We have experimented with ballistic face shields but there is no real way to get good sight acquistion with those, even when using reflex optics. Eye protection is mandatory but usually takes the form of the almost disposably cheap Uvex ballistic safety glasses.

Our new vests are a little lighter and include upper arm protection. All of this stuff put together does make you move a bit slower, and can wear you out pretty quickly, which is why aerobic exercise and endurance is such a big requirement for us. We also train in all of this stuff very frequently, as that is about the only way to get used to it. Another downside is less flexibility and ability to move. This stuff only works well in teams where you have someone else to help you get into or over things. The plus side to all of this crap is that you do get a fair amount of inertia from it: if someone decides to resist, while we have some modified defensive tactics stuff for going hands-on, the simplest way is simply to linebacker them and knock their a** down, and the extra mass makes that fairly simple.

As far as armoring up the legs and arms goes, we have some Level IIIA leg protection, but they are rarely used. Arms are just kind of hanging out there; I guess that is why God gave us two, and we are required to shoot with either hand at various stages during qualififcation. I don't think we'll see much more in new armor developments or increased coverage until the material sciences catch up, which they seem to be doing rapidly.

As to legality, in most places, there is no restriction on non-LE purchase of body armor, although it is unlawful for felons to posess it in my state. There is a federal staute that prohibits wearing armor during the commission of a felony, but that is something that is basically an additional charge and not likely to come up too often.

As to full coverage armor, there are some options available out there, though I am not aware of anyone using such a set-up for entry work. US Cavalry was selling a set-up like this, that included full leg and arm protection with an Interceptor vest as the base system, but I can't find any pictures on their website right now. I think the whole thing ran about $4K and looked pretty darned buly.
Top Top