Go Back   Maryland Shooters > Topics of Interest > Training and Safety
Don't Have An Account? Register Here

Join MD Shooters

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old July 20th, 2020, 07:43 PM #1
defygravity's Avatar
defygravity defygravity is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Baltimore County
Posts: 758
defygravity defygravity is offline
Member
defygravity's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Baltimore County
Posts: 758
Body Armor- ceramic vs. steel

Long time member, but have been lurking for a while because...kids.

It's been a while, but I figured it was either this section or the preppers section...sorrybifnits the wrong one!

Always been thinking of purchasing body armor, but with the recent turn of events in the US... I figured it's time to finally buy.

Was almost dead set on buying AR500.com armor, but learned they aren't NIJ certified. Then I was going to go with Spartan, but I began reading prepper sites that said ceramic hands down, and steel has no real upsides.

What do y'all think on the issue? I would be buying this for a SHTF scenario, and won't be using these plates with any regularity. I'd prefer for them to be lighter in case we would have to travel, but I've trained /ran in 30-40lb vests before with no issue. Again, would prefer not to, but wouldn't be the end of the world. Budget is a thing, so I'd prefer not to spend more than 500 on plates and carrier.

What are your thoughts on this debate? And also, how important is NIJ certification to you when purchasing a set?

Finally, for plate carriers, what do y'all run/suggest for this type of situation?

Thanks in advance, it's good to be back!

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
__________________
Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore
Baltimore Rifle Club
FFL 03/ C&R
Fun Lover.
defygravity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2020, 07:54 PM #2
aklax11 aklax11 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 387
aklax11 aklax11 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 387
I’ve got a set of each. The steel is less comfortable but can’t complain about spartan armors 20 year claim for the steel. If I was a billionaire I’d just get the lightest thinnest most protective ceramic and replace them every 5 years so for me it was based on price and length of warranty
aklax11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2020, 07:58 PM #3
Ammo Jon's Avatar
Ammo Jon Ammo Jon is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,133
Ammo Jon Ammo Jon is offline
Ammo Jon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,133
Reach out to Keith. Ask for the Ammo Jon discount.
https://pgarmor.com/category/body-armor/
Ammo Jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2020, 07:58 PM #4
defygravity's Avatar
defygravity defygravity is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Baltimore County
Posts: 758
defygravity defygravity is offline
Member
defygravity's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Baltimore County
Posts: 758
Quote:
Originally Posted by aklax11 View Post
Iíve got a set of each. The steel is less comfortable but canít complain about spartan armors 20 year claim for the steel. If I was a billionaire Iíd just get the lightest thinnest most protective ceramic and replace them every 5 years so for me it was based on price and length of warranty
Makes sense. Just figured with the weight I'd save on ceramic if we had to bug out I could carry multiple mags worth of ammo and a FAK.

Do you really think they'd only be good for 5 years if they're inside and not seeing every day wear in the desert? That's really the only thing stopping me from ceramic.

Also, did you buy from spartan or somewhere else?

Thanks!

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
__________________
Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore
Baltimore Rifle Club
FFL 03/ C&R
Fun Lover.
defygravity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2020, 08:04 PM #5
gre24ene's Avatar
gre24ene gre24ene is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,319
gre24ene gre24ene is offline
Senior Member
gre24ene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ammo Jon View Post
Reach out to Keith. Ask for the Ammo Jon discount.
https://pgarmor.com/category/body-armor/
This. Got a set of ceramic and a carrier from Kieth. Good dude
__________________
**Liberalism is a mental illness. Prove me wrong**
gre24ene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2020, 08:07 PM #6
defygravity's Avatar
defygravity defygravity is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Baltimore County
Posts: 758
defygravity defygravity is offline
Member
defygravity's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Baltimore County
Posts: 758
Quote:
Originally Posted by gre24ene View Post
This. Got a set of ceramic and a carrier from Kieth. Good dude
He local?!

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
__________________
Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore
Baltimore Rifle Club
FFL 03/ C&R
Fun Lover.
defygravity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2020, 08:22 PM #7
ken792 ken792 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 3,789
ken792 ken792 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 3,789
Five or ten years is only the warranty. Realistically, they’ll last longer than that with good storage conditions.

If you want cheap ceramic, get some Hesco 4401 or L210 plates. The 4401 are Level IV and 7.2lb, but Hesco also advertises them to be good for six hits each of 5.56, M80, or 7.62x39. If you don’t need it to stop M2AP or M80, the L210 is like 5.5lb and is good for six hits each of 7.62x39 steel core or 5.56 or one hit of BZ AP 7.62x39

Steel doesn’t contain spalling without a much heavier coating or a spall liner.

Steel doesn’t do well against high velocity 5.56. I’ve seen some steel plates advertised to only stop 5.56 up to 2700 FPS.
ken792 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2020, 08:33 PM #8
kbarrett220 kbarrett220 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Eastern Shore, MD
Posts: 75
kbarrett220 kbarrett220 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Eastern Shore, MD
Posts: 75
Armor

just happen to be an armor dealer. Have worn armor as a Police Officer and in 7 combat tourís as an Infantryman and an MP. Iíll give the quickest rundown I can. The manufacturers warranty means nothing on hard drive plates. If you have any questions to whether your hard plates combat readiness after rhe manufacturers warranty, just go to your local vet, pay them $25 and have them X-Rayed. But, if you have metal plates he prepared for bad news. All metal plates by any given manufacturer cannot be guaranteed to have the same stopping power. As each batch of poured metal cannot be identical. Then you have the issue of cooling it, oil? Or water? Oil guarantees a more even cooling and less defaults but is exponentially more expensive and as such MOST manufacturers use water. The. They have to cut them from a main sheet, and bend them. Each of these processes makes them even weaker.

Every type of armor has a pro and a con
METALS
PROS
- Cheapest armor overall
- Longest warranties
- thinnest plates
CONS
- Weight, pound for pound they are the heaviest plates on the market.
- They maintain ambient temperature (on a hot day you have a hot piece of metal on your chest, on a cold day an Ice cube.)
- because they ate hard edged, they will cut, pinch and bruise you around the edges of the plates. Thats why people wear trauma pads between the plate and their skin.
- Spalling - unless that metal plate is wrapped in kevlar and covered by nylon or doesnít have a thick coat of anti-spalling material on it, when a round hits that plate, it will splinter. And guess where those shards end up??? Your body or someone standing next to you.
- Ricochets, often confused with spalling. The round has to go somewhere. Insulated plates capture and encapsulates the round. Metals deflect. If your leaning back when that round hits your chest, it will likely end up in your face.

UHWMPE (Ultra High Weight Molecular Polyethylene
PROS
- lightest plates on the planet
- they float

CONS
- they WILL NOT stop any steel core rounds. Any real Russian or Chinese ammo, Wolf, Bear, Tula, M8555, SS109 will go straight through them like butter
- they can melt @180 degrees, you cant keep them in your car in the summer, close to an engine or a fire, you will lose you ballistic protection.

Ceramics
PROS
- the only plates tested and approved for Level IV the highest level of armor that can be worn. There is no such thing as a level IV metal plate.
- the only plate tested that can be worn that will stop an Armor Piercing round.
CONS
They are heavy, but always lighter pound for
Pound than metal.

There are hybrid plates out there which use more than 1 of these technologies but they are pricey but perform well and are lighter.

Metals are considered a poor mans armor. Theres a reason NO US Military units wear them or Police Departments that are federally funded canít purchase metal plates with federal grants
kbarrett220 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2020, 08:38 PM #9
defygravity's Avatar
defygravity defygravity is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Baltimore County
Posts: 758
defygravity defygravity is offline
Member
defygravity's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Baltimore County
Posts: 758
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarrett220 View Post
just happen to be an armor dealer. Have worn armor as a Police Officer and in 7 combat tourís as an Infantryman and an MP. Iíll give the quickest rundown I can. The manufacturers warranty means nothing on hard drive plates. If you have any questions to whether your hard plates combat readiness after rhe manufacturers warranty, just go to your local vet, pay them $25 and have them X-Rayed. But, if you have metal plates he prepared for bad news. All metal plates by any given manufacturer cannot be guaranteed to have the same stopping power. As each batch of poured metal cannot be identical. Then you have the issue of cooling it, oil? Or water? Oil guarantees a more even cooling and less defaults but is exponentially more expensive and as such MOST manufacturers use water. The. They have to cut them from a main sheet, and bend them. Each of these processes makes them even weaker.



Every type of armor has a pro and a con

METALS

PROS

- Cheapest armor overall

- Longest warranties

- thinnest plates

CONS

- Weight, pound for pound they are the heaviest plates on the market.

- They maintain ambient temperature (on a hot day you have a hot piece of metal on your chest, on a cold day an Ice cube.)

- because they ate hard edged, they will cut, pinch and bruise you around the edges of the plates. Thats why people wear trauma pads between the plate and their skin.

- Spalling - unless that metal plate is wrapped in kevlar and covered by nylon or doesnít have a thick coat of anti-spalling material on it, when a round hits that plate, it will splinter. And guess where those shards end up??? Your body or someone standing next to you.

- Ricochets, often confused with spalling. The round has to go somewhere. Insulated plates capture and encapsulates the round. Metals deflect. If your leaning back when that round hits your chest, it will likely end up in your face.



UHWMPE (Ultra High Weight Molecular Polyethylene

PROS

- lightest plates on the planet

- they float



CONS

- they WILL NOT stop any steel core rounds. Any real Russian or Chinese ammo, Wolf, Bear, Tula, M8555, SS109 will go straight through them like butter

- they can melt @180 degrees, you cant keep them in your car in the summer, close to an engine or a fire, you will lose you ballistic protection.



Ceramics

PROS

- the only plates tested and approved for Level IV the highest level of armor that can be worn. There is no such thing as a level IV metal plate.

- the only plate tested that can be worn that will stop an Armor Piercing round.

CONS

They are heavy, but always lighter pound for

Pound than metal.



There are hybrid plates out there which use more than 1 of these technologies but they are pricey but perform well and are lighter.



Metals are considered a poor mans armor. Theres a reason NO US Military units wear them or Police Departments that are federally funded canít purchase metal plates with federal grants
This is excellent information, thank you!! Do you sell armor to civilians?

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
__________________
Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore
Baltimore Rifle Club
FFL 03/ C&R
Fun Lover.
defygravity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2020, 08:41 PM #10
Ski169's Avatar
Ski169 Ski169 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 718
Images: 3
Ski169 Ski169 is offline
Member
Ski169's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 718
Images: 3
I’d go ceramic. They weight about the same as steel unless you bust your budget for the much lighter ones. Spalling is a concern with steel. Good ceramic has multi hit capability like steel but doesn’t deflect the projectile into pieces into your face and chin. Ceramic is more fragile in the sense that it shouldn’t be thrown around due to the possibility of cracking it. I have two sets of ceramic plates and they were in the $500 range each for just the set of plates. But they came in sets. Steel is definitely more budget friendly and the spalling issue can be mitigated to some degree with linex coating.
As for the carrier, cheap is cheap. I can’t speak to anything other than US made products but they can be pricey. Others with more experience with lower end brands can possibly make some recommendations. My recommendations will bust your budget. Crye JPC, TAG, or Tactical Tailor (both have several types of carriers). But you’re getting into the $300+ range. Although TAG has their classic carrier under $300. But like most things, you get what you pay for. Just my $.02 but others with more experience will be along to point out a few more things I’m sure.
Ski169 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

  Home Page > Forum List > Topics of Interest > Training and Safety


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2019, Congregate Media, LP Privacy Policy Terms of Service