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TheDefaultHuman

Body Armor?

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I have followed this thread with interest. I'd ask the combat vets that are pro-vests, how much did you wear your combat gear driving to the local burger shop at home? I wore 'Chicken Plates', flak vests, AND sat in an armor seat in RVN but I was not combat ready at the PX on Long Binh. I had my side arm but not the armor. I see several officers at Mass on Sunday. Those in uniform have a vest, those that aren't don't. If I was part of a group that did foot patrols and had a reaction force; you bet I'd have a vest. If I knew when I was going to get into a gun fight - I WOULD NOT BE THERE! I'd be somewhere else, ANYWHERE else. Since I won't know, the question becomes is the cost of the vest worth the loss of the other preps that you could make with that money. Since I don't see combat as a major part of TSHTF, I think the money can be better spent on prepping my location. No arguments with those who choose differently, just remember it must be worn at all times. Every day at work, around the house any time you are not taking a bath or sleeping. Since I figure a 'home invasion' type scenario is a 'most likely' STHF scenario you have to make sure you have time to get your armor on at oh-dark-thirty when your front door gets kicked in before you grab your gun and still get to your defensive position.

My problem is that I know I won't wear it all the time. I did not even do that in a combat zone so I KNOW I won't do it now. Yes, there are times as a civilian when I would have liked to have had a vest. They were all sudden events that occurred at times when even if I had owned a vest, I probably would not be wearing it. LEO expect to confront bad buys when they are in uniform. Their job description means it makes sense to wear one when on duty. Other times? Always your choice. If I had enough resources for all my desired preps to be completed, then I'd own them. I wouldn't be wearing them 24X7 so the odds are reasonably good that I might not have it on when needed but if I was defending a BOL and I had had time to get ready, I would be wearing it. Since all my preps are not done and I do not see force on force combat as a major part of a SHTF scenario, I choose to spend on other preps. (Remember, the cost of ownership is not money, it is other things not done.) I have few quibbles with those who choose otherwise, just remember if the vest is discernible (most are, actually) you may have problems with work or with encounters with LEOs who may want to know why the vest. If you are otherwise prepped and want a vest - go for it. I choose a different route. Just my not so humble opinion.

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I think if you have the funds, and everything else in order, get something. But armor should be a last concern, after the basics are figured out, at least i think so. And if you are bugging in, armor may give you the staying power you need to stop a looter with an attitude, and remain in a bug in mode, as opposed to a bug out one. US Palm makes a civilian version for around $99 as well. Just shop around, and find something that would work for you. I currently own a Condor modular operator plate carrier (sans plates) that I got for around $60 from CTD. Its comfy, and tough, and there are soft armor inserts that are made specifically for it. Look on CTD, under the Modular operator plate carrier's reviews, and someone listed who makes them. Any plate should fit the bill for a survivalist, or someone just setting up something for defending their home. But I think armor should be a later purchase. (I think I said that already, which I think makes the point ;)) Armor is great, but food, water, shelter, and heat are more great. Concentrate on the necessities first, than get the extravagances. Just my thought.

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Well I live in Southern California. More than a few people (myself included) predict this place to turn into battlefield Los Angeles without too much help. 20,000,000 people packed into a resource depleted (what we have, like rivers is contaminated) desert with fragile ways in and out that are at capacity any day of the week? If you study the cartels in Mexico, you'll find that a successful "home invasion" that looks more like a SWAT raid isn't a difficult to pull off. With a dozen guys and weapons it could be done. The most important element IMO is violence of action, which is equally if not more psychological than physical. Even if wolves are only one percent of society, when you pack people that close you're still in close proximity to threats. If I ever get a vest, you bet I'll be wearing it.

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I have to agree with quiet man, its not the be all and end all, but it will tip the balance in your favour, in my job as an sfo, we wore stab/balistic vests with ceramic plates, after a while you dont really notice it when youre wearing it constantly, for me it would be a question of where i was, i would definately wear it in an urban situation, but i would less likely do so rurally, why? just a matter of cover i suppose, i think you would be more likely to encounter hostiles, at closer range, with less places to hide.

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Yeah, I am coming to the conclusion that its going to be somewhat lower on my list. I would rather have a month of food then a few days of food and a bullet proof vest, then having to find food with that vest when I could have just bought the food. My main concern is concealability, if someone knows I'm wearing it, I'm instantly the "Big Cheese" of the room, which may mean I am a target as well. Like someone mentioned earlier, some people respect authority, others don't give a rats ass. But wearing leather or something sturdy protects against the elements, and gives a slight amount of protection against a thrusting knife or speeding bullet.

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you can make a home made vest for pistol by finding some conveyor belting about 1/2 thick and a steel

belted radial tread cut and riveted , wired or stitched to it overlapping thin stainless shock plate about 6" x 8" If you make it like a shield arm braces with a lanyard for the neck would be better this is for a surprise hip shot probably wont stop magnum rounds but its better than standing there answering the door in a wife beater t shirt or buy a ballistic shield and brain bucket

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For my plan a vest or armor feels like the wrong kind of prep. I wore the stuff in the military when we knew we were headed for or looking for trouble. Dollars to dollars there so many preps I'd rather have that are not so combat focused. I also intend to prep for a decent to small sized community. So even if I shift it to just a dollars for combat prep I'd more likely want another quality rifle or shotgun available for defense and have a good fox hole or sand bag between me and incoming fire.

 

I totally get that there are exceptions and every measure has a countermeasure.

 

If my plan were to "bug in" in a metro area, a vest would definitely be much higher on my list. Again though I think overall the combat side of prepping is the dangerous glamour of survival prep and my hope is that through debating .40 vs .45 (I won't even consider a 9mm LOL) people start to take a long hard look at long term survival and resource production. An ever growing concern is that folks who start with the right ideology of prepping pick up a couple guns a knife and more bullets than they can carry. Quickly (or slowly) eat through their pantry of food (a month, six months a year) and then have no food and these handy lethal "preps" How many at that point will have forgotten how much we disparage the "takers" and become one themselves.

 

In the few real life discussions I've had with people wanting to talk about serious preps I often lead off with "What do you think you'll be eating on the 366th day?" I'm very discouraged that many people will have to answer "I have no idea".

 

My apologies if I've gotten overly serious tonight. Normally I'm the first to say "lighten up". I just spent a while talking with folks from the north east who've been without power for several days and are projected to do without for several more. Just has me thinking in my "reality prep" space.

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I bought a Level IIIa vest for my wife. Merry Christmas! Actually I received it as part of a larger purchase, a heck of a throw in, but I figured she would appreciate the gesture. I think vests would be useful in some SHTF situations, but like most of the other contributors here, I agree this is lower on the priority list. Indulge in it after you have your food and water preps in place.

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In the few real life discussions I've had with people wanting to talk about serious preps I often lead off with "What do you think you'll be eating on the 366th day?" I'm very discouraged that many people will have to answer "I have no idea".

 

My apologies if I've gotten overly serious tonight. Normally I'm the first to say "lighten up". I just spent a while talking with folks from the north east who've been without power for several days and are projected to do without for several more. Just has me thinking in my "reality prep" space.

A very good question. It brings us back to the difference between TSHTF and TEOTWAWKI. If you are planning to survive a hurricane, 2 to 6 weeks might work. If you are planning to survive TEOTWAWKI you need to be able to survive your third crop failure in this your second year of survival. That means the depth of your larder is MUCH deeper.

Don't worry about overly serious. These are serious times and call for serious people to work out real world solutions. I really don't see heavy combat as a realistic scenario. Heavy combat is EXPENSIVE in men and material. For that reason I tend toward survival preps that are less military oriented. I like weapons, I enjoy shooting them and I do have a few but if money were no object I'd have 5 years worth of preps and a very flexible arsenal up to and including some heavy stuff. Since I have limited resources, I start with a year and enough seeds for 5 or 6 plantings and working to acquire the required skills I need. This super dry summer and wild fire season has monkey wrenched some of my assumptions so I'm adapting but that is my approach. Your question about day 366 is a good one. We should all have a flexible approach so that we can adapt as the world changes.

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I bought a Level IIIa vest for my wife. Merry Christmas! Actually I received it as part of a larger purchase, a heck of a throw in, but I figured she would appreciate the gesture. I think vests would be useful in some SHTF situations, but like most of the other contributors here, I agree this is lower on the priority list. Indulge in it after you have your food and water preps in place.

 

Texas Bill,

Just curious - do you have a vest also? If not, you might consider what your wife's reaction to the gift might be. I can see a "Oh, so you want me to survive and have to go on alone?" attitude. I know my lady would never wear a vest unless I was wearing one.

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Heavy combat is unlikely after the first few weeks of TEOTWAWKI. My biggest concern is if the people who make it threw the first month killing for canned corn will probably be very good at it by the time I run into them. Maybe you don't want to be the mongol horde (no offense to any Mongolians out there) but some people will or kids who think it will be like fallout. In their mind it will be justified as we tried just taking what we need at gun point but that got my buddy shot so it's safer to just shoot first ask questions latter. The trick will be to let them fight each other until things are sort of stable and work with who ever is left in your neighborhood to put an end to it.

 

Snake, I wouldn't trust tire armor to do more then stop more then bladed or bludgeon weapons. I picked one up on the side of the road once to see what it would take to go threw it starting with 22 hollow points and ending with 22 hollow points because it couldn't stop them. If I wanted to protect my self with tires I would build a wall and fill the tires with dirt as I go.

 

Body armor has moved up on my list the past few days with the occupy protest moving closer to home and a few incidents of police encountering "weapons" on campus. The report wouldn't identify what was meant by weapons but I'm assuming the worst and hoping it just some girl with a taser because of the increase of rapes that happened last year... I need to get out of this state.

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Heavy combat is unlikely after the first few weeks of TEOTWAWKI. My biggest concern is if the people who make it threw the first month killing for canned corn will probably be very good at it by the time I run into them. Maybe you don't want to be the mongol horde (no offense to any Mongolians out there) but some people will or kids who think it will be like fallout. In their mind it will be justified as we tried just taking what we need at gun point but that got my buddy shot so it's safer to just shoot first ask questions latter. The trick will be to let them fight each other until things are sort of stable and work with who ever is left in your neighborhood to put an end to it.

 

Snake, I wouldn't trust tire armor to do more then stop more then bladed or bludgeon weapons. I picked one up on the side of the road once to see what it would take to go threw it starting with 22 hollow points and ending with 22 hollow points because it couldn't stop them. If I wanted to protect my self with tires I would build a wall and fill the tires with dirt as I go.

 

Body armor has moved up on my list the past few days with the occupy protest moving closer to home and a few incidents of police encountering "weapons" on campus. The report wouldn't identify what was meant by weapons but I'm assuming the worst and hoping it just some girl with a taser because of the increase of rapes that happened last year... I need to get out of this state.

 

I agree, large scale combat is unlikely. I don't even think it will be too likely in the first few weeks. By the time the gangs get ready to leave the cities, I think they will be able to travel very much. The resources will no longer be there for them. I wrote a rather scholarly piece (stubbornly opinionated in the view of those who are unfair minded - modest I'm not) http://survivalcache.com/tooth-or-tail-survival/ and expressed my views there. Basically I think there may be few on 1 or 1 on few but hordes of MZB as in Mad Max just seems improbable to the point of essentially impossible in most cases. Black swans are always possible but highly unlikely.

 

As to getting out of the state, if you mean you live someplace near NY or DC. Yep, I think relocating would be high on the priority list. At least a solid BOL and perhaps a way to telework. Too close to major cities puts you in the area the gangs will be trying to control. Not a good thing, especially if the LEOs are still active and resisting their takeover. Good luck, sir.

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Captain,

In response to your question, I am in the market for body armor for myself, but so far no luck. I am hard to fit, and tried on some XL armor and it looks like I am wearing a bib. I am not fat, more chunky, but I am 6ft, 6in tall and cursed with the body of my German/Viking ancestors. I picked up the armor for my wife because it was on my prep list and I got such a good deal I could not pass it up. She looked me a little funny, but appreciated the gesture. I don't expect to ever need it, but better to have and not need than need and not have.

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As to getting out of the state, if you mean you live someplace near NY or DC. Yep, I think relocating would be high on the priority list. At least a solid BOL and perhaps a way to telework. Too close to major cities puts you in the area the gangs will be trying to control. Not a good thing, especially if the LEOs are still active and resisting their takeover. Good luck, sir.

 

No I'm out in Commifornia. All the occupy protest out here have gotten a lot more violent the past week and the police aren't handling it well if there objective is to diffuse the situation. I have a seasonal flood plain between me and the nearest big city but it's not due to flood until Dec/Jan. But if local police start a riot in the student population it's less then 40 cops for the whole town vs 10,000+ students. To give you a little context this is what I see every time I turn on the news.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Htg-1FHBol4

 

 

Not the best examples because the local news doesn't put there stories on youtube but the students from the first video cornered a bunch of staff and police in a press conference about "why police are pepper spraying unarmed people sitting on the ground" and had a stand off for several hours. There's just a lot of tension here and it feels like things are really close to the breaking point.

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No I'm out in Commifornia. All the occupy protest out here have gotten a lot more violent the past week and the police aren't handling it well if there objective is to diffuse the situation. I have a seasonal flood plain between me and the nearest big city but it's not due to flood until Dec/Jan. But if local police start a riot in the student population it's less then 40 cops for the whole town vs 10,000+ students. To give you a little context this is what I see every time I turn on the news.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Htg-1FHBol4

 

 

Not the best examples because the local news doesn't put there stories on youtube but the students from the first video cornered a bunch of staff and police in a press conference about "why police are pepper spraying unarmed people sitting on the ground" and had a stand off for several hours. There's just a lot of tension here and it feels like things are really close to the breaking point.

 

Saw a video on local TV saying that the LEO's ultimately left the protesters in control. A VERY, VERY BAD IDEA. You have now taught them that if they stay put, the police will leave. Not surprised in California but it does sow the seed of future violence. California has beautiful country in it, but I'd never survive the fruits and nuts that get elected to office there. Good luck, sir. Texas is still hiring so if you're willing to move to a state that still thinks of itself as a nation, check us out!

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To the spousal armor question, i would not get my wife armor, for a few reasons, but most important, is she would not be able to handle the weight. i trained for eight years to run, jump, and even swim in armor with a weapon. She never did, nor does she want to. Its a skill set in many ways, and a mindset in others. you have to be comfortable with it on, not just tolerate it. If you want to incorporate armor into your plans, I would suggest getting a weight vest, and wearing it for a week straight. Take it off to sleep only. Otherwise, keep it on. Do it on a vacation or something. After the week, decide if the extra weight (should be at least fifteen pounds, but if you are thinking plates, make it forty) then go for it. If not, ditch the idea for right now. Armor is a great thing, I always wore mine when I was out and about in the thick of far away, distant lands doing things most people would never want to, but I was very used to it before i ever needed it. If you do get some, wear it whenever you fire your firearms for training, and practice doing simple things like digging in it. Working, eating, sleeping, and going numbers one and two in armor are martial skills (martial meaning "of war or military"). For those who are thinking of a helmet (which I will incorporate in any bug out system should I really need to GOOD) think of wearing a five pound hat, all day long. Some of you may have done so, or do so. Awesome. More power to you. But to those who haven't, its cheaper and easier to learn to hide, and use face paint, and fatigues than it is to buy, and learn to use a full armor system. $50 buck for cammies and camo paint. $1000 for a full set of armor. take your pick. Not trying to be mean, just thought of these points, and figured I would drop em here. Semper.

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Mike,

I appeciate your words of wisdom. I picked up the unused Level IIIa vest because it was, I thought, a good deal at the price and I had body armor on my list. I will discuss further with my wife. We plan to "duck and cover" as much as possible, and I definitely see the practical aspects of your advice. Thanks for the input. That's why I'm here, to learn.

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This is a tough question becuase yes it is good protection and a good idea, but for me personally I probably wouldn't get it becuase other are other things I would rather spend the money on and my choice would be to steer clear of a fight

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