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9/17/2020 5:59:48 PM
Posted: 9/3/2008 6:04:00 PM EDT
The department I'm trying for I was told the officers had to buy there own vests if they wanted one the department has no rules about they vest you can get. Now I know I'm not hired yet I'm not planing on buying one until I'm told I've got the job but it can't hurt to ask and do some homework on this. This is for a street officer.

What vest would you buy if you had to buy your own?
Link Posted: 9/3/2008 6:10:54 PM EDT
I can't give you a direct answer, but the best SNR on the subject I've found is on LF.

A great thread to start in is:

http://lightfighter.net/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/440107306/m/1471013632

Spend a few hours going over the first several pages of threads in the armor forum will bring you up to speed very quickly.

DocGKR and others lay it all out.
Link Posted: 9/3/2008 6:15:00 PM EDT
I am kinda a fan of Second Chance or US Armor, both good companies. Here officer's are issued level 2 vests, a good guideline I have heard is make sure you get a vest that can stop your handgun round. You are usually pretty good going by that, forget what the percentage is of officer's that get shot and killed with their own weapon. Talk to other officer's at the department and find out what they use. Most importantly though get one that fits and is comfortable. If you are going to wear it 8, 10, or 12 hours a day you need that. Don't go cheap either.
Link Posted: 9/3/2008 8:03:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jcast141:
I am kinda a fan of Second Chance or US Armor, both good companies. Here officer's are issued level 2 vests, a good guideline I have heard is make sure you get a vest that can stop your handgun round. You are usually pretty good going by that, forget what the percentage is of officer's that get shot and killed with their own weapon. Talk to other officer's at the department and find out what they use. Most importantly though get one that fits and is comfortable. If you are going to wear it 8, 10, or 12 hours a day you need that. Don't go cheap either.


I have heard Second Chance was a company thats gone down hill! I always thought they where a good company to go with .
Link Posted: 9/3/2008 8:43:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2008 8:44:29 PM EDT by gixxer_sixxer]
Do a google search, there is a organization that helps police officers that have to buy their vest. You have to send in a request and a letter from your chief stating that the department don't pay for them, but from what I understand, they move pretty quick if you have all your info together.
I found one it's www.wecarefoundation.org  but I was thinking of another. Hope this helps ya.
Link Posted: 9/3/2008 8:48:12 PM EDT
I recently went with a custom fitted PACA level 2 concealment vest and really like it.
Link Posted: 9/3/2008 9:26:20 PM EDT
The way Second Chance treated LE with their Zylon failure, I would not recommend them.

They were rude, unfair in their reimbursement, and said if we tried a class action lawsuit, they would claim bankruptcy as soon as we filed the case in court.

I will never buy one of their products again.
Link Posted: 9/3/2008 10:55:31 PM EDT
I was issued an ABA "Xtreme" IIIA vest about three years ago.  The carriers suck.  They have six straps; two shoulder, four belly.  I believe I would prefer carriers featuring two very wide straps around the belly.  The thin ones tend to lose their elasticity relatively quickly.  I hope they've changed design by now.

Whatever you do, make sure the person doing the measurements is experienced with the same armor system you choose.  


-josh
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 11:39:08 AM EDT
Are there any vest to say away from? I'm looking to go for a III-A weight doe not bother me as I'm use to having a military vest on with SAPA . I do still want to get the lightest III-A I can find but I'll take the extra protection and a little more weight.

Do any of you guys carry rifle plats with you in your bag or squad car? I know the county I'm trying for is a big county in TX and mostly country but a large city Dallas only 30 miles away.
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 12:15:07 PM EDT
I have a heart rifle plate in my vest now, in addition to a large soft trauma plate. I have a throwover vest with another IIIA vest along with 2 stand alone plates.

Link Posted: 9/4/2008 12:29:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2008 12:30:09 PM EDT by shogun187]
Under most circumstances, higher cost doesn't mean better protection. The extra money gets you more comfort, nicer features, etc. but the protection level will be just as good. That being said, Gall's makes some decent vests. I've been running a Gall's level II for the last five years and it's served me well. I also recommend PACA as I would occasionally wear one when I wasn't wearing my Gall's vest.

ETA: I don't run any type of plates but I did purchase a Diamondback FAPC to keep in the trunk of the patrol car.
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 12:37:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RDP:
The way Second Chance treated LE with their Zylon failure, I would not recommend them.

They were rude, unfair in their reimbursement, and said if we tried a class action lawsuit, they would claim bankruptcy as soon as we filed the case in court.

I will never buy one of their products again.
Second Chance is under new management since the Zylon fiasco.
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 6:45:52 PM EDT
One word: PACA

Their comfortable, well made, and have alot more options.  I have a level III concealable vest.  Its very flexible and easy to move in.  It also stops 357 sig, which most level 2's won't.
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 9:31:31 PM EDT
I have Level IV plates (req soft armor behind it) in a Weesatch carrier.  It's a lot of weight once you add mags and other tools for an Active Shooter.  The only thing about the light (polyethylene) plates is they are bulky (thicker than my LIV) and can be temp sensitive.  Not sure how they do in a hot trunk.

Anyone who uses body armor/plates needs to incorporate combat med training.  It sounds like you're prior service, probably have some useful training.
Link Posted: 9/5/2008 12:21:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FN_form:
I was issued an ABA "Xtreme" IIIA vest about three years ago.  The carriers suck.  They have six straps; two shoulder, four belly.  I believe I would prefer carriers featuring two very wide straps around the belly.  The thin ones tend to lose their elasticity relatively quickly.  I hope they've changed design by now.

Whatever you do, make sure the person doing the measurements is experienced with the same armor system you choose.  


-josh


I have a new ABA Xtreme IIIA.  It now comes with both the six straps as you described as well as two big and wide straps, which I use.  I love the vest, its light weight and IIIA.  It also came with an extra carrier so you can take the ballistic panels out and swap them over while you have the other carrier washed or dry cleaned.
Link Posted: 9/5/2008 4:31:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FN_form:
I was issued an ABA "Xtreme" IIIA vest about three years ago.  The carriers suck.  They have six straps; two shoulder, four belly.  I believe I would prefer carriers featuring two very wide straps around the belly.  The thin ones tend to lose their elasticity relatively quickly.  I hope they've changed design by now.

Whatever you do, make sure the person doing the measurements is experienced with the same armor system you choose.  


-josh


I have the same vest (ABA Extreme) and it came with two wide "belly" straps and a couple of different sized/length shoulder straps. I think it is pretty comfortable. I have had PACA, Second Chance and ABA in the past and my current vest is my favorite

Make sure that it fits well and don't be affraid to ask for it to be custom tailored (not sure what the additional cost is as that is included in our dept issued vests). I have my bottom right front of the panel cut so that it does not interfere with my mag's. Make sure that you do not have a gap on the sides btween panels and make sure that it comes up high enough in front under your neck and high enough into the armpit.

Also look into one of the Second Chance titanium strike plate. Its very light and strong compared to a soft pack or steel/composite plate. I have a titanium plate that I put a soft pack infront of to reduce the risk of richocet/frags from still getting me.

What ever you get make sure that you wear it EVERY DAY u are in uniform despite weather, etc. You get used to it. It can't save you if it is in your locker.

Hope this helps,
J-
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