Monday, September 22, 2014
I am debating between traditional Kevlar body armor and plate carrier
with steel. I would be curious to hear your opinions on body armor
Thank you for the outstanding website and videos. I highly recommend
your work to practical minded persons.
I think body armor makes a lot of sense. It used to be that people thought you were crazy for even bringing it up, but now its catching up little by little.
When crime is really bad out there, believe me, there’s many times in which body armor can be very important. My friends in Argentina, those that are “like minded”, they also understand the importance of armor and would go into a lot of trouble to procure it. Its not very realistic to think you’ll be the only one doing the shooting in a gunfight. Just like with owning a gun for defense, you need to own armor as well, and do so before someone is kicking your door down.
During high crime yet “normal” times, you’d use you BA in specific circumstances. Going to pick up large amounts of cash from the bank, visiting or traveling through bad parts of town for some reason, meeting up with strangers and when attending shooting classes where the risk factor is considered high due to people shooting in groups, sometimes finding yourself in a situation where you have to trust a stranger with a loaded gun right next to you or shooting as a team. Even beginner classes can be dangerous. My advice is to take body armor to all shooting classes.
Organizing a neighborhood watch or standing guard on your own after some disaster like a hurricane, storm or earthquake are good examples of body armor being good to have.
My advice would be to start with an external vest level IIIA with soft panels and rifle plate holders.
The model pictured above does include the soft ballistic panels (kevlar, goldflex, etc), not rifle plates. This means it will stop most handgun rounds but without the rifle plates a rifle round wont be stopped. These are a bit harder to conceal but the carrier is more rugged and you have the pockets for plates. You can still carry it somewhat concealed under fleece or jacket and when you can you can expand by buying some panels. This set up would work well for those situations where you want to conceal it, but wont need to do so on daily basis, and when you want to wear it externally and include the rifle plates for more protection.
concealable vest does have a place as well, but it is usually better for those that plan on carrying all day and need the extra concealment and comfort, while sacrificing durability and the pockets for plates.
Another option would be to go for a Plate Carrier and stand alone plates. These will stop rifle rounds, but the plates alone cover a small area and provide less protection than the plates+soft panels.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.