View Full Version : Body Armor

John Lindsey
23rd October 2007, 16:59
In another message, one of our members wrote the following:

Don't forget armor. That gives you a significant edge, if you're wearing it.

Ok, he was talking about swords and armor, but it applies to the modern world as well.

Ask yourself this, if you intend to get into a gun fight, would you wear body armor?

Well, I bet 99% of all people who own firearms for protection don't own body armor, or don't keep it handy. Why not? Too expensive? Too much trouble to put on quickly? Both are not true.

I have a set at home and a set in my car. My son has a set, thanks to the Iraqi Army and Point Blank. I feel that having body armor is a no brainer if you think you will have to get into a gun fight. Bad guys have guns too.

24th October 2007, 03:36
Of course, there ARE holes in armor :(

But by and large, you should have it if you think you are going into a gunifght/

John Lindsey
24th October 2007, 03:57
There is a big hole on the top where your brain housing group extends out. :).

Oh, and I have tried Dragon Skin. I hated it.

24th October 2007, 04:20
LOL, and if you have arms, you have armpits - which require pesky "shoot me here" holes as well.

A. King
31st October 2007, 13:13
The fact of the matter is that armor significantly increases your chance of survivability in a gun battle. Additionally, it allows you to have the advantage of maneuverability (based on the decreased probability of a fatal bullet strike) which is the ABSOLUTE key in winning any gunfight. Also, if you know how to use the weight of the armor to eat up recoil and maintain violence of action it will aid in your marksmanship technique as well.

There's probably a reason you hate Dragonskin, it doesn't work. That's why they don't have a DOD contract, and the multi-strike boron carbide plate with flak/9mm protection is still the standard. Just because they got a lot of hot press with the whole Discovery channel doesn't mean they passed the operational assessment. ( If you know what you're looking for you probably noticed that the test run on the Discovery channel actually failed. If a bullet makes even a 1/8 inch impression into the human body over a vital area, death will result.)

Gentlemen, I certainly don't mean to sound like a know-it-all, but I am in a career path which leans heavily on the effectiveness of my armor to get me to retirement. Feedback is appreciated, respect is mandated.

John Lindsey
31st October 2007, 14:40

Welcome to E-budo. You wouldn't by chance be in 1/75? There are quite a few Rangers here. I was 2/75.

I had high hopes for Dragonskin, based on all the PR, but you are correct. It failed to pass the test. To me, it was way too bulky and it didn't seem to like the Iraqi heat.

I am heading back over to the sandbox next week, and will be trying out the Crye armor system. Too bad they don't sell these on the regular market yet. It is very comfortable. My other vest is a CIRAS land, and served me well.

31st October 2007, 17:11
If a bullet makes even a 1/8 inch impression into the human body over a vital area, death will result.)

HUH? The backface deformation standard for NIJ approved police body armor is a whole lot bigger than that (about the size of my fist in clay) and I know of at least one body armor company who refutes their standard as being bogus.

Duane Wolfe

George Kohler
31st October 2007, 17:26

Former Ranger from Aco. I came in at the same time as former Aco 1SG (before the current 1SG) with initials A.M. I wasn't able to go to the Ranger Ball last week, but was there the 2 years prior. I've seen the pictures of the new barracks. They look nice, but it is still sad that 1276 is no longer there.

A. King
31st October 2007, 18:49
George, John,
I think everyone was sad to see 1276 go, but the improvement that the new facility represents is substantial. (Not to mention the lack of asbestos.) I also think its great that the boys no longer have to live and work in the same area, although it requires team leaders applying foot to ass when it comes to barracks maintenance.

Let me know how the Crye armor works out for you, I was always under the impression that all they made was carriers, not the actual armor. Is it still boron carbide multi-strike? That being said, I've always been a huge fan of Paraclete, and the fact that they have the side plate pockets built into the carrier,as opposed to having to supplement your carrier with Eagle MSAP, is a huge selling point with me.

Yes, a 1/8 inch depression into human flesh, created by a rifle, over a vital area, will kill. It is simply a matter of energy transmission. ( The same as the psi ratings you collect with an Anderson blast guage).

George, i'll buy a beer for big Al on your behalf the next time I see him. (Regiment?)

John Lindsey
31st October 2007, 19:07
Crye's carrier has the soft armor built into it. You can either use their plates, or they have a carrier designed for SAPI plates now as well. Not sure which one I am getting. Not sure what their plates are made out of. Paraclete is good to good as well.

Here is a view of the Crye carrier showing the padding and the ventilation system. This is has the SAPI plate carrier.

Trevor Johnson
31st October 2007, 19:34
In another message, one of our members wrote the following:

Ok, he was talking about swords and armor, but it applies to the modern world as well.

Ask yourself this, if you intend to get into a gun fight, would you wear body armor?

I was talking about swords and armor, true, but anything that prevents me from getting hit is good by me. I noticed in the pics you posted that you weren't wearing helmets. Is that standard for your operation?

John Lindsey
31st October 2007, 20:48
Helmets for us were only worn in vehicles. At the venues, we switch to ball caps. It was more of a personal choice. We were required to have the helmets on during movements, which makes things rather tight when you are in a land cruiser.

Jody Holeton
31st October 2007, 22:12
What do you mean the dragonskin doesn't work?????

Dear John,

Isn't the Crye set supposed to be standard issue for the Army in 2010?

What's the weight?

Is it compatible with the Future Force Warrior System?

Lee Mc'pherson
11th November 2007, 23:17
Was searching up on the DragonSkin armour seems good John what didnt you like exactly mate?

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=KTrTrsJu3pk one the more interesting articles about it

12th November 2007, 03:08
Yes, a 1/8 inch depression into human flesh, created by a rifle, over a vital area, will kill. It is simply a matter of energy transmission. ( The same as the psi ratings you collect with an Anderson blast guage).

What caliber are we talking about?

John Lindsey
12th November 2007, 08:03

Lets first say that the Dragon Skin lives up to its claims in terms of protection. We know it doesn't, based on recent military testing. But, if it was as good as they claim, the problems I had with it was the weight and the bulk. If you have to run or walk around with it and a full combat load, you will be worn out quickly.

There comes a point where you have to think in terms of fighting ability instead of trying to armor up your body to the point where you can't operate.

Lee Mc'pherson
12th November 2007, 09:17
So all the hype about it being light was rubbish? Ah well there is always only one ultimate test Battle . I've heard some rumours about a hyper dense plastic polymer cuirass type armor that's supposed to be in the pipeline (something like a stormship trooper suit I suppose:laugh:). Anyone else hear about it? I've seen plastic plates in development that weigh a lot less than the ceramic ones so I suppose it might be possible.

John Lindsey
13th November 2007, 02:27
Here is an article on the Army test

Army Refutes Dragon Skin Claims
Military.com | By Christian Lowe | May 21, 2007
The war between Pinnacle Armor and the Army went nuclear this week as NBC News claimed that Pinnacle's innovative "Dragon Skin" armor is far superior to the vest the Army currently issues to Soldiers.

The report shows test conducted by NBC that seem to prove the vest - as its proponents have claimed over the last several years - can take many more rifle shots than the Army's Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts.

But Army officials disclosed to Military.com that in a series of tests conducted by the service in May of last year, the Dragon Skin vest failed to stop bullets as well as the current Army armor. In fact, test results showed that bullets slipped through the vest as early as the second shot.

"The bottom line is that Dragon Skin by Pinnacle catastrophically failed to meet the requirement," said Brig. Gen. Mark Brown, the head of the Fort Belvoir, Va.-based Program Executive Office Soldier, in a May 17 interview.

Pinnacle's president Murray Neal told Military.com the tests were flawed and that Army testers were unsure how to adequately evaluate his technology - which uses a series of small ceramic disk "scales" to cover the entire torso.

He called Army claims that his vests failed "a bold-faced lie" and said the service is embarrassed to admit its current armor isn't the best out there.

The Army's ESAPI is a rigid ceramic plate about 12-inches high and six inches wide. Soldiers wear front and back plates and two smaller side plates, all of which are designed to stop armor piercing AK-47 rounds found in the war zone.

The controversy went public last March when the Army issued a so-called "Safety of Use Message" that banned all store-bought armor, and specifically stated that Dragon Skin did not meet the service's requirement for ballistic protection.

At the urging of Capitol Hill, the Army bought 30 Dragon Skin vests in May of 2006 and put them through a standard "first article" test to see if the armor could hold up to the same ballistic conditions its current-issued ESAPIs must endure during certification.

According to Karl Masters, one of the Army's top ballistics experts, the Dragon Skin failed to stop a 7.62 x 63mm APM2 round on the second shot of the test.

"We ran this vest through the exact same test protocol that every ESAPI supplier goes through," Masters said. "Can you meet the ESAPI requirement or not? That's the question."

Neal argued in a release after last year's tests that Masters and another Army ballistics expert were dumbfounded by the "flexible armor system" and weren't sure where to place the shots for the test.

"Deviation from the ESAPI test protocols and procedures tool place by the selection of shot placements of APM2 rounds around the ceramics in non-rifle defeating areas," Neal said in a written statement.

But Army officials said the shots were aimed at the same areas for ESPI testing and that the first penetration would typically have been the end of the "sudden death" test.

Engineers agreed to continue with the evaluation, however, subjecting separate Dragon Skin vests to submersion in oil, salt water, extreme cold and extreme heat.

Army data shows 13 complete penetrations or unacceptable back-face deformations - where the bullet doesn't go all the way through but causes enough of a dent that it would result in serious trauma - on four failed vests.

The tests were held in mid-May at H.P. White labs, a respected ballistics testing facility in Street, Md. H.P. White is the same test lab where the Army evaluates all its armor components, preferring not to use the Army-run Aberdeen Proving Ground ranges to fend off accusations of bias.

More troubling to Army testers was the near complete delamination of the disks from the Kevlar backing within the Dragon Skin on several of the environmental tests.

After being subjected to 160-degree heat for six hours, the Dragon Skin vest failed on the first shot. X-ray photos of the vest show the disks slipped off their backing, exposing portions of the chest area without any ceramic protection.

"Certain areas of the adhesive hardened and become brittle and when that happened, they all dropped down," Brown said.

Further tests in minus-60-degree cold, immersion in oil and diesel fuel showed similar delaminations and shot failures.

Neal said the Army manipulated the x-ray photos, but admitted one vest had an adhesive "anomaly."

Perhaps the biggest Army concern is Dragon Skin's weight. An extra large vest is nearly 20 pounds heavier than the Army's current armor, though Masters admitted it did have more rifle protective coverage than issued vests.

"The Army continues to look at these types of armor," Masters admitted. "If we can ever eliminate this weight penalty, we may have an opportunity to go to gapless coverage."

The Army declined to provide details of the test failures when the controversy erupted last year, claiming operational security concerns.

But the NBC News investigation prompted officials to rethink their strategy in an effort to keep Army families from purchasing Dragon Skin vests for their loved ones in the combat zone.

"Soldiers must have confidence in their equipment when they go down range," Brown said. "They've got to know that they're wearing the best and their families have got to know that they're wearing the best."