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#233617 - 10/13/11 07:10 AM Place for bullet-proof vest?
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Should we include a bullet-proof vest, or equivalent, in preparedness gear?

#233621 - 10/13/11 07:45 AM Re: Place for bullet-proof vest? [Re: dweste]
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: dweste
Should we include a bullet-proof vest, or equivalent, in preparedness gear?

The problem with bullet-proof vests is that, they aren't actually bullet proof. Instead, they carry a rating for what they are tested to stop.

Typical concealable soft armor works fine against handgun rounds (up to what they're rated to stop), but rifle rounds zip right though. For rifle rounds you need hard plates, which are expensive, heavy, and not easy to conceal. Even then it's not an easy choice; there are different rating for rifle plates as well, standalone vs. soft-armor backed plates, different sizes, different shapes for the front/back sides of vests, and so on. All of which come with their own set of requirements for proper care/maintenance to prevent degradation or failure.

That's not even getting into the legal side of things. In some states civilian ownership of body armor is illegal, in other states it's legal but with a list of caveats and restrictions.

So, when it comes down to it, one has to decide for themselves what they feel they might want/need based on their situation. Body armor can be a useful thing to own, but it isn't the "one size fits all" solution that people often think it is.

#233623 - 10/13/11 10:34 AM Re: Place for bullet-proof vest? [Re: dweste]
quick_joey_small Offline

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 446
Loc: UK
From Wikepedia:
'United States law restricts possession of body armor for convicted violent felons. Many U.S. states also have penalties for possession or use of body armor by felons. In other states, such as Kentucky, possession is not prohibited, but probation or parole is denied to a person convicted of committing certain violent crimes while wearing body armor and carrying a deadly weapon. Additionally, some states outlaw the wearing of body armor while committing certain, usually violent, crimes.'

#233624 - 10/13/11 11:42 AM Re: Place for bullet-proof vest? [Re: dweste]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1498
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
even if it is legal as outlined by Paul, and Quick Joey...what is your perception of threat?...

for the many people that have asked me to recommend a first handgun, that is the first question I ask them...

do you work for the States Attorney trying a high profile drug case?...

live and work on the southwest border?...

is Grandpa a circuit court judge?....

or are you someone that would enjoy handgun competition as a recreational sport?...

I shoot a lot, but haven't been shot at since 1972 in a land far far away...

I'm just a poor old retired school teacher... you may have other requirements

#233625 - 10/13/11 11:53 AM Re: Place for bullet-proof vest? [Re: dweste]
JBMat Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 745
Loc: NC
I say no.

They are hot, add weight, and only cover the upper body. Besides the already stated fact they are not "bullet proof" to all calibers/types of weapons, they are not knife proof.

To me, the worst part is they add a false sense of security. You may do something you wouldn't normally do if you are wearing one.

I've got a flak vest out in the garage. It protects some tools I guess. Never wear, but don't want to toss it.

#233626 - 10/13/11 11:57 AM Re: Place for bullet-proof vest? [Re: dweste]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2887
Loc: USA
Make sure that you train with your body armor if you plan to use it. Running, climbing, shooting, and all manner of other tasks are more difficult when wearing body armor. I've chosen to do without.

#233628 - 10/13/11 12:04 PM Re: Place for bullet-proof vest? [Re: dweste]
Tyber Offline

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 292
Loc: ST. Paul MN
Ignoring the legal ramifications, and ignoring your job or need for one, but looking at a "crisis situation" such as a natural disaster, riot, ect.. (Letís just look at a Katrina like event)

One of the key points that a majority of the people on this site (and that I feel is accurate) is that when things go sideways during a natural disaster, you want to be the "grey man" meaning you don't want to attract attention of being over prepared or seem like you have things that others want. You don't necessarily want to be the person with there lights on watching TV on there flat screen TV in there living room when the entire neighborhood has no power and some have lost there house to weather or circumstance. People have a tendency to take notice.

So if it is 100 degrees out and the nature of the environment makes you feel like the vest is necessary the first thing people are going to notice is that you look like the stay-puffed marshmallow man due to your vest, then people may start to wonder is, "what does that person have that they need to protect themselves so much?"

Now if it is mid winter and heavy coats are the nature of the beast, you will just look like you are supper cold.

I am not going to pretend to know al the laws and the legal ramifications of a vest. But I can say that you will draw attention to yourself, and that attention may not be wanted.

This site isn't an "end of the world as we know it" site. From what I have seen most people on this site seem to express that society will return to normal at some point and that things will get back together.

#233632 - 10/13/11 01:43 PM Re: Place for bullet-proof vest? [Re: dweste]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077

Should we include a bullet-proof vest, or equivalent, in preparedness gear?

I suppose you could carry around a level III ceramic plate in a backpack, which is designed to take a water pouch but at 6lb weight it would soon become a little tiresome after a while.


You would also probably need a ballistic helmet as well such as a British Mk6a or Mk7 (Mk6a's can be had for about £40-60)

Who do you expect to be shot at from?

#233635 - 10/13/11 02:09 PM Re: Place for bullet-proof vest? [Re: JBMat]
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: JBMat
To me, the worst part is they add a false sense of security. You may do something you wouldn't normally do if you are wearing one.

To me, JBMat's point about a false sense of security is also my own argument against your Joe Average prepper getting body armor--just in case. In general, that money is probably better spent elsewhere. Depending on the particular threats envisioned, tactics or other types of preps may ultimately be more effective protection than a vest. Or, put another way, if there were certain situations that I was fearful enough that I would want a vest, then there are likely other preps/planning I should do first, and buying a vest would be one of the last things to do.

Of course, when the rubber meets the road and a bullet is speeding towards your torso, of course I would prefer to be wearing a vest, but we usually have a lot more control over what happens before that moment comes than we think.

#233637 - 10/13/11 02:13 PM Re: Place for bullet-proof vest? [Re: dweste]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2887
Loc: USA
I'd rather spend the money on training. Cover is far more comforting than body armor.

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