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I get new body armor NEED HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by fuzzyduck, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. fuzzyduck


    Jan 10, 2007
    So I got told to look into the replacement body armor I want to get. I have a choice between the following:

    American Body Armor
    US Armor
    Armor Express

    I dont know what the limitations I have are in regards to ballistic protection, but I know that I will be getting the highest rating I can get.

    Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on the brand that I should get?
  2. Fireplug


    Apr 14, 2005
    Big D
    Do a search. There are plenty of threads on the subject. Couple are very recent. Good luck, stay safe

  3. Newcop761

    Newcop761 CLM

    Jan 29, 2001
    In Existential Crisis
    I've had two US Armor vests. They make a good product. Get a IIIA vest made of Kevlar /Twaron.

    I have no experience with the other brands.
  4. Butcher

    Butcher NRA Life Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    have fun in the summer with IIIA

    ETA: as if IIA weren't bad enough lol
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  5. I have no experience with ABA or Armor Express. I did wear a U.S. Armor vest several years ago and really liked it.

    With the NIJ 01.01.06 body armor standard, the protection levels of vests have significantly improved. You may find that Level II does what older IIIA used to do. I'd try to compare the company's II and IIIA vests before making a decision on protection level. I was looking at Survival Armor's vests at TREXPO recently. The Level II was considerably lighter than the IIIA (which wasn't bad) and offered significant protection.
  6. FM12

    FM12 I need AMMO!

    Jun 17, 2007
    Main thing: Wear it!! Whatever your choice. It cant help protect u if u dont wear it!
  7. RMolina628

    RMolina628 got a job!

    May 28, 2009
    Northern MI
    Last vest of mine was Armor Express, the product was not bad but the customer service was beyond terrible
  8. I wore a IIIA from ABA with my last gig. I personally never had any complaints. Lots of guys *****ed, moan and wouldn't wear their vest, but I suspect they would have done the same regardless of the make or threat level.

    Why anyone doesn't want a vest that provides the utmost protection, or even not wear one at all is beyond me.

    Edit to add: Discomfort is largely a state of mind and vest are just plain hot. Get the msot protection you can afford or your department will buy you.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  9. Kahr_Glockman


    Feb 26, 2005
    <======== Is currently wearing a level IIIA US Armor vest in the heat of the hottest summer in Texas history.

    You get used too it
  10. nitesite10mm

    nitesite10mm Dog Lover

    Jun 9, 2006
    North Alabama
    I am no more comfortable, nor do I feel "less hot" in a Level II than when I am wearing one of my Level IIIAs. Actually, I have two Level IIIA vests: one is ABA and one is Second Chance. There is a soft IIIB outer ballistic panel in a pocket on one of them but quite honestly I cannot detect one from the other. Other than the worst part of summertime in Alabama heat (during which day temps make it a pain), the rest of the year I feel like my vest wraps me in a comfortable coccoon and I feel awful without it. I'm 53 years old, am in great shape, work patrol in some pretty damn hot environments, and wouldn't wear anything less than IIIA. But I'm a 8P-8A night shift guy so I have to deal with noontime heat only occasionally.

    Second Chance and ABA are my two favorites, plus a fairly inexpensive brand known as Force One is actually pretty good at almost half the price. Made in Ohio, near Cincinnatti I think.
  11. cowboywannabe

    cowboywannabe you savvy?

    Jan 26, 2001
    U S Armor made of aramid fiber. Cool-Cop beats the summer's heat and humidity easily.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  12. BLACK Z


    Nov 29, 2001
    I wear a Safirland now, But I have two armor express vests, One I wore for about a year, very Comfortable, and I have a brand new one that armor express had sent me free of charge after I had a few fitment issues, Both vests now fit great and thereservice was great this was a few years back though.
  13. CW Mock

    CW Mock

    Feb 4, 2006
    I just got a replacement US Armor IIIA vest last week to replace the US Armor IIIA vest I had before it.

    The new one seems to be a little thicker and less flexible than the old one was when brand new. The quality of build in the carrier, panels, etc seems a lot better now than my original one. I have a soft plate and a titanium plate in mine.

    Looking at my IIIA and a IIA someone else ordered, there is almost no tangible difference in weight, flexibility or comfort. So, personally I don't see why its even worth it to only wear IIA when you can up the threat rating. The new US Armor IIIA vests are supposed to be a lot more effective in stopping .357 SiG and 7.62x25mm Tokarev rounds.

    Like Agent 6-3/8 said, get the most protection you can afford and wear it all the time. To not do so is plain stupid in my opinion.
  14. Sharky7

    Sharky7 Boomshakalaka

    Feb 21, 2009
    I wear a IIIa everyday, stop being a baby. You don't want to be that guy that won't carry a bug because it is too heavy or don't want a vest since it is too hot.

    If you get a good brand, you can barely tell the difference.


    Sep 29, 2005
    You hit the nail right on the head! I don't know where these guys got the idea that you'd be cooler in a level II over a IIIA. Unless your Level II vest came with A/C you are not going to be any cooler in it then you would in a IIIA. Adding more layers to a vest that already DOES NOT BREATH is not going to make it any hotter. If you think otherwise it's all in your head! The only downside to a IIIA over a II is that the IIIA is going to be a little heavier and less flexable but you'll get used to it!

    I really have to agree with Agent because I don't understand why anyone would not wear the highest level of protection availible. Do you level IIA and II fanboys understand the principals of blunt impact protection regarding armor? Yeah your level II might stop that round but when all your ribs in that area are broken and you can't breathe you could be out of the fight anyway. Now on to the most likely cause of death in our careers.... A car accident! A level IIIA will provide more blunt trauma protection allowing you to make it through a bad crash with less chance of serious injury to your "core."

    To the OP I love my US Armor vest. I just got the IIIA built to the newer NIJ .06 standard.