Body armor advice
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Body armor advice

  1. #1
    Marksman johnny mac's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    263

    Body armor advice

    I am looking for some advice on body armor. The only armor I've had has been issued level IIIA, designed to be worn under a uniform shirt. We've had a couple of outer carriers with MOLLE attachements rolled out, but niether have been very good, so I bought my own carrier. I found that my panels, which have "wings" to provide side protection don't fit. The carrier I bought is made for rectagular panels, with smaller rectangular panels in seperate side pouches. I am considering buying my own armor panels for the carrier, since it is still a better option than what we are being issued. I was hoping some of you had some experience and advice to offer on what types of armor are available, where to purchase, and cost.

  2. #2
    DSM
    DSM is offline
    XCR Guru DSM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,064

    Re: Body armor advice

    If you're already issued a "concealment" type armor, and you feel it offers enough coverage, I'd stick with it and look at a plate carrier. More than likely you'll already have it on during duty. Plate carriers can be thrown into your trunk bag and ready to go with your extra kit; ammo, IFAK, extra lights, etc, for active shooter type call outs. A good plate carrier and a set of plates, if your agency doesn't issue them, will run you about the same as an entirely new set of soft armor and a new carrier, if needed.

    If you're looking for a dedicated, external load bearing type set-up MSA Paraclete is pretty hard to beat but you'll pay for quality. I'd recommend a BALCS cut panel. Paraclete, Tactical Tailor and Eagle make good carriers for those. (Insert shameless plug here: I've got an Eagle BALCS carrier [no armor included] I listed in the trading post.) BALCS gives decent coverage and good mobility.

    The NIJ just updated their armor standards too so you might be able to pick up an "old spec" set too. I haven't gotten into how much has changed, if at all, since my armor set is brand new.
    When have any of our plans ever actually worked? We plan, we get there, all hell breaks loose.

  3. #3
    Marksman johnny mac's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    263

    Re: Body armor advice

    Thanks for the reply. I should probably be more specific. I am a pilot now, so my uniform and needs have changed. I try to maintain some anonymity here so that I am free to voice my opinions without any restrictions based on who I work for, so if I'm not specific enough about some of my needs that is why. Most of our aircraft are small and cramped, so bulk and mobility are an issue. I don't have a trunk, or the ability to put on extra armor when needed. What I wear is all I will have, and it also has to serve to carry any spare ammo or survival gear I choose to carry. What I am trying to build is a worst-case set-up, where I may be shot at while flying, or I may have to depart the aircraft into a hostile ground situation to provide back-up. I know that sounds pretty wild, and that is not something I have ever encountered or expect to, but I want to try to have the proper set-up, just in case. I am also putting together a chest-rig, so I can separate my armor and gear. This is sort of experimental, as I am still trying to find the right set-up. I am prepared to spend a few hundred dollars out-of-pocket, but I really can't afford to spend thousands-if I go anything over a thousand it's going to start to hurt.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    XCRForum.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    DSM
    DSM is offline
    XCR Guru DSM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,064

    Re: Body armor advice

    There are aircrew specific body armor solutions too though I don't have much knowledge of those since I am a professional passenger, not a flyer. My only recommendation then would be to get issued another vest to sit on so you don't take a hit in a bad place. Realistically, a concealable vest, or a concealable vest in an external carrier, or some similar combination, would fit the bill. The first question to ask yourself is what is the biggest threat you need the armor to defeat. Then you work your way down and make your risk assessments and assumptions. After all, you can't plan for every eventuality and the ability to hook up to the aircraft is another limiting factor.

    Your chest rig idea is probably a good way to go if you'll be sitting and in a harness most of the time. Keep it small and close-fitting and don't try to pack all sorts of giddy-gabbers. Your E&E kit, a couple or three spare mags, and an aid kit.
    When have any of our plans ever actually worked? We plan, we get there, all hell breaks loose.

  6. #5
    XCR Guru aziator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Southern AZ
    Posts
    6,835

    Re: Body armor advice

    I have been through 3 iterations of body armor flying for the Army. The recent stuff, the Air Warrior, isn't too bad. As issued it includes soft armor and a front plate (most seats are armored). The guys that are a little more special wear a little different stuff, more like the Paraclete stuff but designed for aviators. I am not sure if you can purchase the Air Warrior stuff but it is nice. It is lighter than other stuff and cut to fit a pilot (and cockpit) better.

    Back when I was flying Helos we wore the body armor with a survival vent over it. The vest carried a few mags, some rations, medical stuff, signal and comms. I always flew with an E&E bag as well which included a full camelbak, more rounds than I knew what to do with, 3 days rations and more medical stuff. Eagle Industries makes some good E&E bags but the large camelbak works well too.


    PM inbound.
    Don't confuse enthusiasm for competence

    Want more grip for your M&P Pistol? Send me a message.

  7. #6
    Rifleman paetrw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    157

    Re: Body armor advice

    Alright, if you're a flyer you don't want regular stuff. You'll probably better off with just a plate carrier. In the Army we wear the Air Warrior system which looks like this. It provides soft wraparound protection with front and back SAPI plates. If you could find something like that you'd be set. You'll have to accept the fact that you're still susceptible to ground fire unless your helo is armored which I doubt. If it were me I'd just settle on a MOLLE plate carrier with level III hard plates because if you have to land to assist anyone you're probably going to get shot at but at the same time you can't fly with all the regular bulk.
    The suck, embrace it.

  8. #7
    Marksman johnny mac's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    263

    Re: Body armor advice

    I'm not nearly as hi-speed as a lot of you think. I do my flying here domestically. If you see my other post about Agent Rosas, I'm sure you'll connect the dots, but this way I've never really said who I work for. I won't ever end up behind enemy lines, but I could end up in harsh terrain a long way from back-up, or as the only other back-up for a guy out there alone. Any fire I'm likely to encounter would be light small arms only, but our aircraft have NO protection. A lot of guys forego any armor at all, and nothing more than a pistol with a couple spare mags, but the threats are evolving, and I don't want to be "that guy" that everyone learns a lesson from and starts wearing armor and carrying a little firepower and survival gear. Although the likelihood seems remote, I'm personally familiar with an incident involving a crewman on the ground trying to back up someone being "detained" by multiple subjects with long guns. He very much wished he had departed the aircraft with armor and an M-4.
    I really appreciate all the responses, and clearly I'm in the right place to get good info-a lot of you guys have experince far beyond anything I'm really likely to see.

  9. #8
    XCR Guru aziator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Southern AZ
    Posts
    6,835

    Re: Body armor advice

    I have a couple buddies in your line of work, One is out of Phoenix I think and the other I can't remember. I would definitely go for some sort of a plate carrier if you already have the soft stuff you wear daily. A plate carrier with mag pouches and you would be fine. Collapse your M4 as short as you can and make a velcro type mount to hold it up in the windshield.

    I have pics somewhere of one of our medevac hawks that took a single .50 round through a magic sweet spot. It was a once in a lifetime hit for whoever made the shot. The bullet hit the aircraft at a perfect place where after puncturing the aircraft skin it passed through a small 2 inch gap between the side armor and back armor. The round entered the pilot in his back and exited out through the front plate and windscreen. He survived, collapsed lung I believe. It would have been worse but he was airborne and flying to the CSH anyways.
    Don't confuse enthusiasm for competence

    Want more grip for your M&P Pistol? Send me a message.

  10. #9
    Jack A Sol
    Guest Jack A Sol's Avatar

    Re: Body armor advice

    AMI makes a very nice level III plate which will handle most rifle threats that are not AP. It fits in a nice sized carrier and would be all that you needed for torso body armor.

    They are expensive, but consistently test at the top of their class and will take multiple hits all day long. It's at the top of my list for hard stand-alone body armor. http://www.armoredmobility.com/ you want the TAC3S plate.

    for soft body armor, depending on what it is, you may be fine with the issue stuff. At the federal level most agencies will follow the FBI reccomended and tested stuff and that is fantastic. US armor makes the "enforcer classic" soft IIIA concealable which is one of the best you can get. If you need something non concealable then make sure it is made from 100% P-Aramid WOVEN construction. This particular kevlar tests well for performance, contact shots, durability, wear and flexibility.

    I get my information directly from Dr. Gary Roberts who does a a great deal of ballistic and vest testing for government and police agencies on most of the products on the market. He usually sees and tests vest and bullets before they are even available to the general market, so I trust his evaluations as he has a great body of work to compare it to.

Sponsors

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. ACU Body Armor/plate carrier with Ballistic inserts
    By aziator in forum Trading Post
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-12-2012, 12:05 AM
  2. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-25-2011, 08:16 PM
  3. Split body gas block
    By nortac in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-12-2010, 05:24 PM
  4. Anybody own/know someone who owns Dragon Skin body armor?
    By Trip5896 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 42
    Last Post: 06-08-2010, 11:05 PM
  5. New body. Check this out!
    By killswitch1982 in forum Socializing
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 10-02-2008, 08:43 PM

Search tags for this page

air warrior body armor without plates

Click on a term to search for related topics.