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Anti-Federalist
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What are threats? Purely defensive. Very low likelihood of the civil unrest, but it is not zero.

Not a cop. Not military. Not internet militia. So not going on the offense.

Threats being handgun, rifle or knife attack. I figure the most common threat for me is a guy with a handgun.

Keep in mind not all soft armor can defeat knife threats.
 

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I feel pretty.
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I went with soft level 3A + S-Pl3 (pointblank) that wraps around. Now it just wait until order comes in

In the very unlikely events of riots and such, probably stab + pistol is more likely than rifle.

Also my thinking is, a plate carrier can always be added over it if needed...but again.. not looking to go find trouble..
That's a smart move. Gear that you can wear often, concealed, is way better than a plate carrier that only sits in a closet.

Look forward to the review. I'm due for some fresh gear. I think I want the 3a full wrap. But I've never seen the full wrap versions, and am not sure if it looks funny.
 

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Plates are great if you know you are going to be in high threat situations. If you don't think you are likely to face rifle calibers go with light and flexible (soft level 2 or 3a)... movement is life.
I wouldn't have considered body armor a high priority survival item in the U.S. until recently. Now it seems just as important as a nightstand weapon.
 

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If absolutely EVERYTHING prep wise is taken care of. Sure - go get armor.

That said....so many better things to do IMO.

First - there is no evidence that looting and burning is coming to your neighborhood. Unless you live next to a Nike store. People loot and burn store and government buildings. Do you live in one or next door to one? If so move. Otherwise, never mind.

Next - Situational awareness - stay away from and out of that crap. You will not stop 10 guys shooting at you. The armor will stop the bullet or two that hit for chest, but not the one that hit your leg, arm or especially face.

Do you have even ONE example of someone in a crowd violence situation being saved by a vest? Not a cop facing a single shooter?

And - have you not ever done two in the chest one in the head drills? And as for a knife, you are in hand to hand. Vest is more hassle than benefit IMO. I want to be able to move freely then.
 

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I live in the exurbs way outside the closest city. I don’t work in or visit downtown. My bugout land is half an hour away and the route to it doesn’t go through any urban areas. It’s all rural.

We all have different personal situations, but I’m not sure I’d find myself in a scenario where armor was absolutely necessary. I’ve been spending my money on additional ammo, food, supplies, a whole-house propane generator, and new tires for the 4x4 pickup.
 

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https://www.history.com/news/the-epic-road-trip-that-inspired-the-interstate-highway--system

I live in the exurbs way outside the closest city. I don’t work in or visit downtown.

I have written that the road that leads to the city from my property; also leads the city dwelling fellow citizens to my property. It is not 1919 by a long shot.

1. I have rural property that is legally landlocked. Friendly adjoining neighbors. All kinds of game. I give it less than a week before all the game is gone - and all the locals know my property backs onto the very rare state game preserve.

2. I manage a farm about 5 miles down a road off of Interstate 10. The road will accommodate only one car driving down the road. If the locals don't clean the farm in the first week (and there are 100s of down and outers living on that country lane), someone from I10 will make it there.

The point is that in modern times, a person with a full tank of gasoline can to upwards 300 miles or more on a clean road. All that distance from a city gives a person is a few hours to a few days, if they live away from a major population center.

If I were rural, truly rural and everything was up to snuff, including choosing vantage points/fields of fire, I would spend the time scattering my supplies previously planned and getting some rest. Investing in a few shovels and sandbags might be a much better investment.
 

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Come on man!!
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I live in a small town inside a very red state which has passed laws to discourage the rioting that was seen in many major cities.

It's safe here. I have no real need for armor.

If I lived in Colorado near Denver, I would have armor.

@Khufu how is your sister doing? I hope she's ok after her recent misadventure. :D
 

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I’ve looked at it several times.

Finally decided that it’s very situational and a nice to have. Other things people should be buying right now fall more into the “definitely will use” category. So finally came down on the “not right now” side for body armor.
if you wait too long it may be too late. Just look at the current guns and ammo situation. A lot of armor is currently running 4-8 weeks back ordered.
 

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Anti-Federalist
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if you wait too long it may be too late. Just look at the current guns and ammo situation. A lot of armor is currently running 4-8 weeks back ordered.

That's the normal wait time even before 2020.
 
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Friends Call Me "Flash"
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I have the means to protect myself but did that with realistic goals. Armor is WAY too hot to wear for long periods of time in the Houston area.

Steel plates are very heavy and like others said, the anti spall coating is as important as the steel itself! I thought about having only a front steel plate to save money. WRONG! You need the rear plate to balance the weight of the front plate!

The industry standard is to reduce the size of the carrier and plates so they only cover vital areas. Don't fall for that! Cost is reduced that way, but are you willing to take a round to the gut to save some money? Get a full size unit that covers places that you don't want to be shot! I'm a big guy. My carriers are giant sized!

Wear the carrier correctly. It's not a "T" shirt. Wear it high enough to cover your upper chest and neck.

Soft armor has an expiration date (usually 5 years). Since I'm not an LEO or military, I disregard that. It's stored inside under moderate temp and humidity. That's as far as I go in preserving the armor.

Forget that "swing it over your head" approach to donning the carrier. I keep mine assembled and with the straps loose. I put it front side down on a table or bed, slide my upper body into it, straighten up, then pull the straps tight. In 30 seconds, I'm ready!

Do you need armor? Do you carry a spare tire in the car or truck? Hopefully, you'll never need it, but if you DO ........

While you're at it, send for a surplus helmet and gas mask. They're inexpensive! Like the spare tire, it will be there if you need it.

Flash
 

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Although the question of body armor is repetitive, it caused me to think about two problems:
1. repressing an urge to go out and spend money without thinking about the overall picture of survival;
2. the lack of an experienced mentor who himself is receptive to change.

Let me address no. 1.

Look up Sillock key (this includes all forum members). Do you have one in the car and one at home. Whether you are urban or think that you are rural or suburban. Isn't having Sillock key more important to your survival than spending $500 or more for body armor?

Now I address point 2.
One of my mentors was a military man tracker with decades of instruction behind him and combat tracking operations seeking armed terrorists. When someone showed him how to integrate optics into his specialty, he readily accepted the suggestions.

We don't know whether you have a house or not. For purposes of discussion, let assume that you do. Now you realize that fire and not some demonstrator is a larger threat to your survival.
If you are like within 100 feet of a fire hydrant (I am not) and you own the proper spanner wrench and used fire hose, you have some protection. Or, as I did, you can put your own fire suppression system on your roof line (Hopefully, the city water pressure will still be there)

Or, you just went through about 6 months of lockdown. Are you ready for the next one. $500 is nothing when you undertake to bring your meds, dental work and eye glasses up to date. It nothing when you go to Costco to stock up for round two.

It is tough to suppress the urge to go and just buy something.
Body armor? Ok. My acquaintance owned a pool supply company during the last LA riots. A guy comes in to rob the store! A pool supply company in a shopping center. The acquaintance engages, shooting the perp in the chest area repeatedly with a .38 special. He said a person could see the rounds causing dust and particles to fly from the perp's leather jacket. Dude dropped his shotgun and ran out. So, just buy a leather jacket. Most of us are going to be hiding rather than standing up. So buy a decent helmet first. Your head is going to exposed when you are looking around.
 

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Just lack finishing up
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Recently picked up some soft armor. Doubt I will ever need it. BUT, if I do need it, I want to be hard to kill. I also believe if circumstances require wearing the armor, it will probably be the last time I ever use it.
 

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Premium Member
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As said it should be down the list of priorities. I had reason to wear one, so as I got a heck of a deal I bought one. Have t put it on in 5 yrs. (yep expired but IMO better then a leather jacket. ;).
They are heavy, bulky, hot.. I would consider a vest built into a jacket, or actual weapons vest. (Are you covert, or overt?)
Take that +$500 and take a training class. Shooting effectively using cover IMO likely better use of funds. Plus you can pass a little on to your family.
I saw some videos of some new materials that looked impressive. But $$$ and no track record.
I would love a normal “John Denver” vest that is IIIa rated. With normal puffy look. Solid pockets, large storm flap (at least IIa rated) over zipper. Of course I want it complete for $150. ;). ;). I gave this idea to IIRC Hoffman in CA 20 yrs ago. Never got my free sample for the idea.
 

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Anti-Federalist
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I just scored some Hesco L210 ceramic, special threat plates for $353. Stops M855 but you lose the M80 rating of a standard level 3 plate.

 

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Millenium #3936
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There is nothing wrong with getting armor if that is your thing. Realistically speaking, as a citizen, armor is probably not what is going to secure your ability to manage a shtf crisis. Can it help?.. sure. As others have said, there are plenty of other more pressing things which stand well ahead of an armor consideration. Many people feel like armor is some sort of magic shield. A person can still suffer serious injury from hits to their armor. Its not all fairy dust and chocolate sprinkles.
 
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Pharaoh
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