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Old 06-17-2013, 19:57   #1
kayl
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Rife plates!!!

I'm looking at getting a set of rifle plates this summer and want some feedback...

http://www.victorytacticalgear.com/s...fender-system/
^^^Is one of the setups I'm looking at. Looking around online, I can find next to nothing about Victory Tactical Gear- anyone have any experiences?

The other option I'm looking at is plates from Spartan Armor Systems (Formerly The Target Man).

They have Level III steel plates for $180/set (coated and formed)
-or-
They are introducing Level IV composite plates for $349/set

The two carriers I'm looking at are the TAG Bashee or the 5.11 Tactec Plate Carrier.

Any feedback???
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Old 06-17-2013, 21:41   #2
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Bulletproofme is well regarded in this area, if I recall, and offers a variety of options and prices.
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Old 06-17-2013, 21:55   #3
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I have two Banshee plate carriers and recommend them highly. I've heard very good about Mayflower but never used one myself. For the money, I don't think you can beat the Banshee. I'm hopefully going to be testing a plate carrier from US Armor (the ERPC I think) and it looks like a really nice grab-and-go system.

As for plates, I'd avoid steel unless you are really on a budget. It is heavy and in independent testing it simply won't stop AP or LeMas-type rounds. If I'm going to cart around weight, I want all the protection that weight can give me. I purchased a set of MaxPro Level IV Multi-Hit ceramic plates from Galls on sale. They ended up being around $375 shipped for both.

I recently had US Armor come out and we did some live-fire testing on one of their Polyethylene Spectra level III plates and a Ceramic Level III+ plate. They both worked as advertised in what was probably a "worse than real life" test. The Polyethylene plates are super light compared to ceramic or steel, but they aren't cheap. The US Armor plates were over $400 each. Also, most current polyethylene plates are only level III rated so they will not stop AP rounds or 5.56 green tip. The green-tip we shot at it zoomed right through. Polyethylene plates are more durable than ceramic as they can be dropped, etc., where ceramic plates can crack.

So it's mainly a matter of mission and cost. If you think you might encounter AP rounds (and there's a lot of AP out there) then go Ceramic level IV. If you need light weight and can deal with the lack of AP protection, go with the polyethylene. If you don't have much cash and need something, go with steel.
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Last edited by Chico Bill; 06-17-2013 at 22:57..
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:38   #4
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That setup looks like a decent deal. The TAG Banshee PC is probably the best bang for your buck you can find. A couple guys on my team have them, and absolutely love them. The are pretty low pro for plate carriers (before you start adding pouches). I've been considering replacing my issued Protech PC with one.


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Old 06-19-2013, 07:00   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chico Bill View Post
...As for plates, I'd avoid steel unless you are really on a budget. It is heavy and in independent testing it simply won't stop AP or LeMas-type rounds...
This video shows it stopping (purported) green tip 5.56. Not AP .308, but I'd be ok with this level of protection myself. Another factor is that steel does not degrade over time. It can be left in a closet for years before used.

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Old 06-19-2013, 09:48   #6
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Originally Posted by Unistat View Post
This video shows it stopping (purported) green tip 5.56. Not AP .308, but I'd be ok with this level of protection myself. Another factor is that steel does not degrade over time. It can be left in a closet for years before used.
I think you are correct...The info I saw showed the green-tip being stopped. It was the AP .308, .30-06, and LeMas rounds that penetrated the steel.

I agree, steel protection sure isn't bad...and the durability is the best you can get...It's just heavy with a sacrifice of some protection. Also, make sure if you're buying steel plates that they have anti-spall coating. I have heard you can have line-x applied (minimim 1/4") that will do the same thing...But I'm no expert.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:26   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chico Bill View Post
I think you are correct...The info I saw showed the green-tip being stopped. It was the AP .308, .30-06, and LeMas rounds that penetrated the steel.

I agree, steel protection sure isn't bad...and the durability is the best you can get...It's just heavy with a sacrifice of some protection. Also, make sure if you're buying steel plates that they have anti-spall coating. I have heard you can have line-x applied (minimim 1/4") that will do the same thing...But I'm no expert.
+1. I've read about folks who make their own kevlar "envelope" for the plates or coat them themselves, but I'd tend to just pay the extra $50 to buy them that way.

EDIT: I just realized this thread is in CopTalk and not the Survival sub-forum. Yeah, if you are going to wear them everyday or even more than a couple times a year, go for lighter weight.

I thought this was the survival forum. In that situation steel makes more sense to me as it will probably sit for years and hopefully never worn except in training.
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Old 06-19-2013, 16:04   #8
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Originally Posted by DaBigBR View Post
Bulletproofme is well regarded in this area, if I recall, and offers a variety of options and prices.
Yep! great company, I would't hesitate to order the plates from here (I did). The Banshee is a very popular carrier at our PD. I use an HSGI Woosatch, love it.
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Old 06-19-2013, 16:05   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unistat View Post
This video shows it stopping (purported) green tip 5.56. Not AP .308, but I'd be ok with this level of protection myself. Another factor is that steel does not degrade over time. It can be left in a closet for years before used.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb-ClokH0ks
Isn't steel pretty bad with spalling?
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Old 06-19-2013, 17:22   #10
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Isn't steel pretty bad with spalling?
That's why they started coating it with Rhino Liner and what not. Stops the spalling and catches bullet fragments.
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:54   #11
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Originally Posted by SCSU74 View Post
Isn't steel pretty bad with spalling?
We had some vendors visit during Urban Shield last year, and one was a rep from a reputable armor manufacturer. We were talking and the subject of spalling came up. He told me two things which I hadn't heard before:

#1. The angle at which you would need to hit for spalling to be a real concern (think vital neck and face area) is an extreme upward angle. You would almost have to be standing straight up, over the guy shooting at you. Carriers apparently do a decent job of containing fragments.

#2. Spalling is being pushed by armor companies (not end users), for one reason.... To justify going away from hard trauma plates for concealed vests, and using the soft "plates", which are nothing more than cast off material from making vests. It's a cost saving measure, because hard plates cost money, and they can make the soft ones for free.

He straight up told me that the entire industry has been pushing (and overplaying) the dangers of spalling to cover for their cost saving measures.

I'm no expert, but if given the choice, I would chance the possibility of taking fragments in the face over the probability of having holes punched in my torso. It's better than soft armor, and much better than nothing.


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Old 06-20-2013, 14:07   #12
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Anyone have any opinion on this plate from Armor Shield USA? $116 for a level IV stand alone ceramic plate.

http://www.uscav.com/productinfo.asp...=548&catid=448



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Old 06-20-2013, 15:53   #13
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I haven't heard of ArmorShield before. Those plates are listed at 8 lbs, which is on the lighter side of standard Lvl IV stand alone ceramic plates (which usually run 8.3-8.5 lbs). The price is really good, since standard plates run around $150 each.


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Old 06-21-2013, 17:37   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txleapd View Post
We had some vendors visit during Urban Shield last year, and one was a rep from a reputable armor manufacturer. We were talking and the subject of spalling came up. He told me two things which I hadn't heard before:

#1. The angle at which you would need to hit for spalling to be a real concern (think vital neck and face area) is an extreme upward angle. You would almost have to be standing straight up, over the guy shooting at you. Carriers apparently do a decent job of containing fragments.

#2. Spalling is being pushed by armor companies (not end users), for one reason.... To justify going away from hard trauma plates for concealed vests, and using the soft "plates", which are nothing more than cast off material from making vests. It's a cost saving measure, because hard plates cost money, and they can make the soft ones for free.

He straight up told me that the entire industry has been pushing (and overplaying) the dangers of spalling to cover for their cost saving measures.

I'm no expert, but if given the choice, I would chance the possibility of taking fragments in the face over the probability of having holes punched in my torso. It's better than soft armor, and much better than nothing.


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good to know! I hadn't heard that before either, thanks!
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