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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a plate carrier with Level 4 ceramic plates so I’m set in that department. But, I’m thinking of adding in a soft type of vest that will extend all the way around to provide some protection around the sides and also provide lower abdomen protection.

Want the ability to wear this soft armor under my plate carrier if need be but also as a stand-alone system when I want to go concealed.

Any recommendations? Thanks


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I feel pretty.
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Bump.

I'm in the same boat. Seeing plenty of car harts and duck jackets with thin 2-3a protection, that look like nothing more than a warm coat.

And are you ok with just IIa?
 

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I have a plate carrier with Level 4 ceramic plates so I’m set in that department. But, I’m thinking of adding in a soft type of vest that will extend all the way around to provide some protection around the sides and also provide lower abdomen protection.

Want the ability to wear this soft armor under my plate carrier if need be but also as a stand-alone system when I want to go concealed.

Any recommendations? Thanks


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You want to wear a vest under your plate carrier?

The general point of armor is to cover your vital organs so you can continue the fight not wrap you up like marshmallow. Just get some side plates if you want the extra weight... I mean protection. You aren't going to be able to maneuver at all with that line of thinking and are better served with a safe room.

Of course there are plenty of soft armor manufacturers to choose from. None of them make a Muumuu that I'm aware of.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You want to wear a vest under your plate carrier?

The general point of armor is to cover your vital organs so you can continue the fight not wrap you up like marshmallow. Just get some side plates if you want the extra weight... I mean protection. You aren't going to be able to maneuver at all with that line of thinking and are better served with a safe room.

Of course there are plenty of soft armor manufacturers to choose from. None of them make a Muumuu that I'm aware of.
Yes, I agree with you for the most part. The lower abdomen though feels like a major vulnerability, completely exposed. I’d feel better with something there, even it’s it’s Level 2 protection. Maybe an abdomen pouch of some sort?


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What branch of LE are you in???

Doesn't your agency provide your amor?
 

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Yes, I agree with you for the most part. The lower abdomen though feels like a major vulnerability, completely exposed. I’d feel better with something there, even it’s it’s Level 2 protection. Maybe an abdomen pouch of some sort?


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Ok, well.... Maybe you should look towards bomb disposal patterns. They will give you more complete protection.
 

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Take a look at AR500 hybrid with the (non)Newtonian trauma pad.
Both are thin and lightweight, plenty light enough to wear in a t-shirt carrier.

https://www.ar500armor.com/ar500-ar...-hybrid-10-x-12-asc-iiia-soft-body-armor.html


https://www.ar500armor.com/body-armor/trauma-pads/ar500-armor-trauma-pad-10-x-12-asc.html

I've got the standard rimelig and trauma pads in a Grey Ghost minimalist carrier. That won't give him side or abdominal protection he is looking for. While I don't have any of their hybrid panels I'd still think it would be a bulky cluster****.
 

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Galloglaich
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I currently work for a small, rural sheriffs department in Kansas, in the departments 130+ year history we have had two line of duty deaths, one was a car crash in a blizzard and the Sheriff was murdered in 1916.

We are issued Safariland Hardwire 3A soft armor in a external carrier that looks like a uniform shirt, the department does not issue tactical hard armor as there has never been a need and the Commissioners aren't going to spend the money.

I have my person tactical carrier from when I worked in Texas, level 3+ steel front, back and both sides, I have a soft 3A vest underneath that to bump the protection to almost level 4, my setup is no more bulky or uncomfortable than the steel plates alone. The total set up with rifle and pistol magazines, first aid trauma kit, radio and all the other stuff on the vest and my rifle up my weight by less than 35 pounds with the weight fairly well distributed, I've worn it for extended periods of time on barricaded suspect calls in Texas without any real difficulty.
Rifle and Vest 200.jpg
 

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I currently work for a small, rural sheriffs department in Kansas, in the departments 130+ year history we have had two line of duty deaths, one was a car crash in a blizzard and the Sheriff was murdered in 1916.

We are issued Safariland Hardwire 3A soft armor in a external carrier that looks like a uniform shirt, the department does not issue tactical hard armor as there has never been a need and the Commissioners aren't going to spend the money.

I have my person tactical carrier from when I worked in Texas, level 3+ steel front, back and both sides, I have a soft 3A vest underneath that to bump the protection to almost level 4, my setup is no more bulky or uncomfortable than the steel plates alone. The total set up with rifle and pistol magazines, first aid trauma kit, radio and all the other stuff on the vest and my rifle up my weight by less than 35 pounds with the weight fairly well distributed, I've worn it for extended periods of time on barricaded suspect calls in Texas without any real difficulty. View attachment 749068

Adding level 3 armor to a 3A vest does not bring your protection level up to almost a 4. It's still level 3.
 

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Bump.

I'm in the same boat. Seeing plenty of car harts and duck jackets with thin 2-3a protection, that look like nothing more than a warm coat.

And are you ok with just IIa?
Level II is all my department has ever issued. In fact, I don’t know if any agencies in the area that issue level III.
 

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When it comes to your choices of body armor , the big questions are

1) what threat are you addressing

2) How and where will you be wearing it.

To question one, you already determined what type of bullet you want it to stop.

As to question 2, we don’t know how long and where you would be wearing it.

As a cop who would have to wear it 24/7 on occasion but definitely 8 hours or more every working day and get in and out of cars, stand foot posts in it, conduct a foot chase in it etc. A proper fit is very important.

If you are to throw it on in emergency and then take it back off, the fit is less important.

If you are to wear it every day, go to the known police channels such as safari land , second chance etc.

And yes they do have hard plate carriers for temp use over the soft armor.

They also sell integrated carriers as well.

But it’s expensive.

The cheaper, precut panels, are fine for most people and uses.
Throwing a plate carrier for level 3 protection over the soft armor vest is what most police agencies do. And the plate carrier vests are often shared among officers unlike the soft armor.

Integrating the hard plates and soft armor is just the choice of carriers. There are plenty of choices. A lot of cheap ones made in China to the expensive ones. Some of the companies that come to find are Blackhawk, and condor.

A little research and you will find them.
 

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Level II is all my department has ever issued. In fact, I don’t know if any agencies in the area that issue level III.
Most agencies don’t issue level 3 but level 3 A if not level 2

I wore level 3A with wrap around side protection . I also wore one that didn’t have the wrap around protection and would fit like a lobster bib on the fat guys.
That non wrap around was more comfortable because it let more air in. But the arm pit shot angle was less protected .

In most police shootings with a handgun, level 2 is just fine. Lighter and more comfortable. It will stop most of the handgun threats out there.
 

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Galloglaich
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Since I normally work uniform patrol, my primary armor is Safariland's level 3a Hardwire armor, at .74 pounds per square foot and something like .2 inches thick it is light and flexible, ours came with both concealable carriers and we also got the Elbeco BodyShield external carrier. The external carrier is somewhat cooler in hot weather and can be easily removed when in the office or working a crime scene where you don't need armor.

When I started in law enforcement in the early '70s body armor was just becoming available, we wore what was probably level 1 panels that only covered your heart and lungs front and back, it was thick and heavy so not really popular.

Soft armor can be had in level 2a, 2 and 3a with each level increase adding protection as no one makes level 1 armor anymore, hard armor such as steel, ceramic or the new plastics are level 3 and 4 depending on what you want the panel to stop (at least once).

My hard plate carrier is designed to hold either steel or ceramic hard plates in one pocket and soft armor in a second pocket so it can be worn with either hard plates, soft plates or both. The theory is that by adding soft armor behind the hard plate is that if a round does penetrate the hard plate it has lost a great deal of its velocity and energy, the soft armor behind has a better chance of stopping a round that would sail through it under normal conditions. As the external soft armor carrier is easy to put on and take off by simply pulling loose the side hook and pile and unzipping the cumberbund. I don't wear an hard plate carrier over my soft carrier, if I need hard plates I remove the soft carrier (only takes a few seconds) and put on the hard plate carrier in my back seat.
 
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