How to choose a bulletproof vest?

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by Fking, Oct 17, 2012.

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  1. stabman

    stabman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Some info:

    How does a stab vest differ from a bullet proof vest?

    Firstly most of our stab proof vests also offer ballistic protection. The difference between a ballistic only vest and a multi threat vest (ballistic and stab), is usually a few extra layers of treated Kevlar®. There are a few popular methods of treating a vest to add stab protection. The two main ways are to treat Kevlar® directly with a high strength plastic or glue (similiar to laminating paper, but with industrial high strength products). The second most popular way is to attach chain mail to the kevlar® stopping edge weapons from penatrating. Both ways are equally effective methods for creating a stab proof vest, and provide similiar results.

    Short version, something EXTRA gets done. It isn't just kevlar alone anymore.
  2. fuzzwuzz133


    May 30, 2012
    Truth to be told, not much is really bullet resistant. While in the military, I had to fish out maybe hundreds of rounds that went clean through IBA's. From what I heard at the FOB, body armor sucks. It's heavy, clunky, kinda hard to maneuver in tight spaces. Can't chase nobody to save their lives. It all depends on where the round hits, what kind of ammo the enemy is using, and how many times you get hit. I had one patient who took a 9mm FMJ in the chest through the plate. It was probably just one of the bad ones that got recalled, now that I think about it. Now if the US Marines sometimes can't even buy bullet resistant vests, I don't know how your Made in China vest will hold up. It's your life. Not mine. Me? I prefer to just not be in that situation.
  3. heresthedeal


    Oct 3, 2010
    as far as comfort, most of these guys are right, its hot, uncomfortable, sweaty, heavy, and "clunky", right up until the bullets start flying around.
    then it becomes extremely comforting/comfortable, you don't notice the weight, or the heat, or the hot spots under the shoulder straps, or how "clunky" it is, i don't remember having a lot of trouble running in it then either.
    matter of fact, you(at least me) want more of it.

    if all you can afford is some cheap Chinese armour, then go to a surplus shop and get some used soft armour, just check the dates on the plates.

    as far as a 9MM going through a "plate", i wouldn't believe that if i saw it. i have seen guys show up to post without the steel plates in their carrier(they figured what the hell, haven't been shot yet, i obviously don't need them), but there is no way a 9MM is going through an issue IBA, with Kevlar under steel.

    forget about the chinese vests, if you have to go cheap, get a used vest.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  4. Turbo Tension

    Turbo Tension

    May 6, 2010
    OP obviously did not read and think about the first line in my post. Obviously not a cop, and probably not even retail or corporate security...

    Can someone page EDWOOD7?
  5. fuzzwuzz133


    May 30, 2012
    If I recall correctly, there was a recall of IBAs in 2005 because they were combat ineffective(couldn't stop bullets). That might be it. My guy took one lower torso in late 2004 before they introduced SAPI plates on the sides. I know it's hard to believe, but as a former trauma surgeon you sadly see everything.
  6. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    Could be a bad plate (no manufacturer is perfect) could have been a user modification or bad maintenance (I was told by my boss at the race track to never assume a helmet, suit or neck brace was doing its job in a wreak as she had seen all manner of modifications. You wouldn't think a guy would drill holes in his helmet, but guys did, or wore polyester clothes under their nomex.... why bother?)
    Point is, anything is possible. a billion rounds fired into hundreds or thousands of IBAs and you get freak accidents. that said, do you want to add to your risk? If you buy a second chance, or other reputable vest, and they have a recall, or problem, you'll be looked after, more than likely. something from china? is it kevlar? or is it nylon, do you know, what happens if something happens? you are on your own.
    To me, if I had any reason to wear armor, I would, but then I have things I want to live for. I'd take out a loan if I had to, and spend the cash to get the best. Will it be perfect? no, but stack every card in your deck in your favor. By and large the old adage is still true. you get what you pay for.
  7. Allen R.

    Allen R.

    Nov 1, 2011
    I've got it! Protection from both, first thing you do is find a knights suit of armor, find one that fits of course, then after you have your knights armor, helmet, that will take care of the knife part of it , next buy bullet resistant vest, 3rd apply bullet proof vest over your suit of knights armor and you should be ready for any occasion, scratch the knights helmet, go find you a military helmet, and get you a ballistics facemask and wear that, so to recap, to protect the body we have knights suit of armor, to protect from bullets we put bullet resistant vest on top of knights suit of armor, we put on our military helmet and ballistic mask, proceed to grocery store with wife and kids!
  8. Turbo Tension

    Turbo Tension

    May 6, 2010
    A mirror

  9. Allen R.

    Allen R.

    Nov 1, 2011
    Love it!!LMAO I cant let this thread die, Hopefully it ends up in that special place, where it lives on forever, the D.A thread
  10. heresthedeal


    Oct 3, 2010
    after reading the last few posts i had to check to make sure this was "gadgets and gear" and not prac tac:rolleyes: or wine and cheese.

    you expect posts like those from some of the guys in prac tac, but not usually here in Gadgets and Gear. the guy wanted info on a vest, not about how he should go about his day. or how silly some people think it is to want a vest.

    Love it!!LMAO I cant let this thread die, Hopefully it ends up in that special place, where it lives on forever, the D.A thread

    not sure what D.A. thread is but if it means dumb *ss thread, then the quote from this thread "IIRC my vest in the military had steel plates in it" should hold a special place.

    how could you not remember if your vest had steel plates, only about a 20 to 25 lb. difference in weight. unless you never actually needed to wear one.

    posting a pic like the one above was classic general discussion from another forum, which is why i don't even go to that forum anymore. to many expert tool carriers.

    asking someone to page EDWOOD was a good idea, i don't know the guy, I've read some of his posts and saw some of his pics. my guess is he would have given the OP an honest answer from someone that actually wears armour for a living.

    To the op. like i said before, if you gotta cheap out on armour, check out some of the surplus or cop shops around your area, sometimes cops will trade in an older vest on a new one. wash the carrier, and check the dates on the plates. try to get a trauma plate for the front, doesn't add any real weight, just a few more layers of protection. good luck.
  11. Edwood7


    Mar 31, 2010
    Most of what everyone has posted is correct. Most vest are designed for a specific type of threat, most of the vest that are stab and bulletproof are harder to conceal under clothing and are made to be worn overtly or for user wearing uniforms ( I have mostly seen these types of vest in a prison setting).
    That being said I have never in my 12 years of work seen any one wearing one doing plain clothing type police work or high risk security details.
    I use a combination of hard plats and soft body armor, and most of the times when out working I don’t wear a vest, it’s just not worth it. Since most of the weapons used down here are high caliber assault rifles; soft body armor is useless, and wearing a plate carrier overtly will give me more unwanted attention. Blending in is a bigger advantage than stopping hand gun bullets or knives, I think this is true in other places.

    I use my plate carrier if I’m working in uniformed, doing overt security or if I know I’m headed for a shit storm.

    I have been in a few prison riots, and I have never worn a stab proof vest, I use the same soft armor-riffle plate carrier. Truth is in that type of scenario you’re more likely to get chemicals or human feces thrown at your face or being stabbed in the face or neck. Targeting the neck and face is also very common in street knife attacks as well; a vest won’t help in these cases.
    I don’t know where your planning on wearing it, but if you think it is necessary than I would recommend you get some training in urban survival and get some cardio instead. Situational awareness, avoidance, self-defense training that includes edged and impact weapons and if possible a hand gun and range time are all better options than wearing a stab and bulletproof vest.

    If I were to attack someone on the street with a knife to kill them id go for the neck stab first, targeting the traquea and jugular veins.
    Most of the people here are very knowledgeable, and have taught me a lot about knives and gear, more than I ever would of by myself, which is why I’m always grateful for this forum and its members.

    Man Appears In Court For Stabbing Teen To Death Wearing “Knife Proof” Vest

    I would never in my right mind buy a ballistic or knife proof vest from a web site made by some unknown company from China.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  12. Allen R.

    Allen R.

    Nov 1, 2011
    The guys attitude is what got me pissed, I was merely trying to explain to him that bullet resistant and stab resistant are 2 different things, then he goes on and starts calling me a liar, some of my friends on here know what i used to do, I'm not going to go into it right now It's been awhile since I actually put a vest on, so forgive me if my memory isn't what it should be it didn't have steel plates it was ceramic, Honestly I couldn't remember had to call a buddy of mine up and ask him, and yes before you say something about my memory I got injured when i had to wear a vest for a living and I have trouble remembering things both short and long term..
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  13. Allen R.

    Allen R.

    Nov 1, 2011
    Hey edwood7 u got a link to your stab test on the kevlar vest with that emerson you can post?
  14. Edwood7


    Mar 31, 2010
  15. Fking


    Mar 1, 2006

    one model of vest isnt enough to conclude that all kevlar vests can't....
    as you saw kevlar DOES stop blades

    Allen R. I know you are cool and had good intentions but obviosly kevlar can be cut and stab resistant big way as we can clearly see in number of videos.
    I guess there is difference from kevlar to kevlar too.
  16. misterjuiceman


    Sep 19, 2009
    It probably makes more sense wearing the full face helmet driving your car, in terms of the probability of a car accident happening versus that of a shooting happening.
  17. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    You are ignoring valid engineering evidence over error'net rumors and are gullibly accepting this as fact.

    Some of the posters may lack personal experience and post "over the top" comments but, the facts remain what they are.
  18. CWL


    Sep 15, 2002
    Let him believe what he wants. Let him buy the China vest and wear it.

    If the OP is a ninja, he'll be happy since he'll probably never need the protection of real body armor. If the OP is a future criminal, let him discover things the hard way.
  19. DrOpPoInT1110


    Jan 28, 2009
    Glad I clicked on this thread...very entertaining stuff. If you aren't going to take advice from people who KNOW what they're talking about, don't bother asking and just get the vest you've found through your "extensive" research. Personally, I can't imagine why you'd feel the need to wear ANY sort of ballistic vest as a civilian. If you feel you may need to defend yourself at some point, you are better off taking a class/classes on defensive techniques so MAYBE you'll have a fighting chance should someone ever happen to come at you with a knife/gun (from close range). That being said, do NOT come out of that class thinking you will indefinitely be able to stop an attacker and be some kind of super hero. Realistically, you will be able to minimize injuries- that's just how it is. Most importantly, just avoid putting yourself into a position where you may be attacked. It's very simple, really.
  20. djjonny


    Jan 11, 2012
    So If I'm understanding you.
    You've read some info from the net, watched some videos and never handled any kevlar vests

    Yet you now know more than people who have handled and used them in real life?
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