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“The same organization that brought dildos to the University of Texas at Austin to protest guns on college campuses has released a new piece of satire,” reports, “an advertisement for ‘student body armor.'” Hmmm. I wonder who paid for that expensive looking clear-sided vehicle. Meanwhile, I’m thinking of buying my youngest a bullet resistant backpack. I mean, why not? Of course . . .

It doesn’t make a lot of sense for anyone to walk around wearing a bullet resistant vest unless they know you’re the target of an assassination attempt. Or live in CaracasBut why not keep a bullet resistant vest by the bedside for a bump-in-the-night scenario? Or add one to your SHTF gear?

Got body armor? What would it take to put you in that car– I mean a bullet resistant vest?

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  1. I’ve got class 3A tactical SWAT body armor with level 4 extra large plates front and rear and side. That in a nylon ballistic tactical helmet with night vision. My armor covers the chest shoulders neck back sides and growing. It’s really good stuff very expensive.

  2. I use a Blackhawk level IIIA wrap around vest with level III+ composite plates front and back. Web gear helps a lot in competition shooting and I might as well wear something practical. It’s also a great workout with the vest coming in at ~30 lbs once all my gear is on it. I’ve also recently started wearing a ballistic FAST helmet with digital ear pro mounted on the rails. Mostly so I can get used to the weight and have a good mount for my PVS-14 for night shooting.

    As for what it would take me to break it out for real? A Ferguson type situation. I can spend a day in the kit now in perfect comfort and it keeps my ammo, water, IFAK, and comms all in one easy to don package. The only downside is that it doesn’t work too well with my EDC IWB holster, so that needs to get swapped for my pre-loaded battle belt before I swim into the vest.

        • Yes. There are a couple things I would change on it, but overall, it’s a great system. The MOLLE on the back doesn’t go quite as high as I would like and there’s no provision for shoulder attachments. (Had to cluge together something to strap a pack to it.)

  3. I wish i could have the statistics worked out for me, but i would bet the farm those girls in that video are at a greater risk, by an order of magnitude, from sexual/physical violence by the black males featured so prominently in the video, than any stray bullets.


    • “I wish i could have the statistics worked out for me,”
      So are you too lazy to do the work or too stupid to do the math?

    • And you think we are not smart enough to be able to spot this comment for the obvious Troll content that it is. Very sad.

      Oh well, at least inserting supposed bigotry into the world’s most popular pro-gun website is a change from the usual lists of made-up gun control “statistics”.

  4. Am I in an active war zone? Am I getting paid? if not, I’m not any more likely to wear body armor than I am to hump a full ruck just for fun. And if I saw a guy at a competition sporting plates and a helmet I’d have to withdraw because I’d be laughing too hard to shoot.

    • Don’t go to Red October then or any similar competition. They have an entire armored division for shooters who do exactly that.

    • I shot a USPSA rifle match last year and there was a guy in full battle kit. BDU, plate carrier with front and side plates, helmet, comms, trauma pack, etc. He even had an IR laser and suppressor on his AR-15. He was in a different squad than me, so I didn’t see how well he shot, but that was his first and only match. never saw the guy again. I’m assuming he either shot poorly, his squad gave him a bunch of shit for his kit, or both.

      I already get catch enough flak from my shooting buddies for competing with a light weight chest rig for mag pouches. Gotta wear cycling jerseys and kydex if you want to fit in.

    • Body armor may not be that bad an idea at shooting competitions.

      I have a close relative who shoots competitive IPSA at the national level. They have been wounded by ricochets twice in the last 18 months. Not their own ricochets.

  5. As is the norm, they will be free to mock the gun owners on campus, because they’re very presence will act as a massive deterrent to any would be maniac so they’ll likely never have to face a campus shooter at UT – Austin

  6. I do not. Nothing against it and if I ran certain competitions I’d consider it PPE.

    However I don’t have time for that and I can’t justify the expense to put a plate carrier in the closet. Besides, my neighbors already think I’m nuts for humping around an 80L pack with nearly 100 pounds in it.

    • The quality carrier is where the cost comes in. I’ve got a set of “advanced shooter cut” AR500 level III plates, total weight is about 16lbs. The carrier it came with is total garbage, but the whole package was $200 shipped. Might be something to look at.

    • strych9 I normally wouldn’t have purchased armor but last year on black Friday I found front and back plates with carrier for 129 shipped. For that price I could just toss in the closet for whatever absurd what if scenario I could come up with.

  7. Here how I look at it.

    Why carry a sword without a shield? Granted, body armor would be most practical as something that can be stored discreetly nearby then pulled out as needed.

    Some scenarios where armor would be useful.

    From your vehicle if you must drive through a protest (or a protest blocks the road).

    At work if there is a problem outside or inside the building.

    If there is a nearby crime, terror attack or mass shooting.

    I carry the discreet ELSA armor that zips up into a format that looks like a messenger bag. I keep it at work, my vehicle, or the bedside.

    Alternatively, for ease and access, I have soft body armor inserts and trauma pads in all my edc backpacks, gym bag, daypack, travel pack, etc.

      • I apologize, I think I gave you the false impression that I was looking for someone to rescue me from my paranoid delusions.

        Meanwhile, please post where you live, as I’m sure many people would love to finally have proof of a safe space where no crime happens.

  8. Body armor … eventually.

    As the crazy years progress, and the bother of acquiring goes down, it’ll make sense eventually. Kinda like motorcycle gear, or some ski gear, the risk profile is similar, driving access a bit at a time. Safety technologies follow the same trajectory. Far enough back in the day, having a fire extinguisher only made sense in narrow, higher-risk situations. Less far back, carrying a mobile phone (or CB radio) was for safety as much as anything, and only made sense for a few.

    I’ll be entertained when dynamic protection — superfluids or similar exotic stuff out in primary research land, now — start migrating into the competitive ski world … and the enforcers have a conniption because bad guys could use it.

    “So, you want the citizens vulnerable? That’s your argument?”

    The same virtue-signalers who have an “ick” over gun safety gear, also drive their SUVs to manicured ski scars – er, runs – to get some nature on them, and want every safety precaution there is. They won’t actually confront the contradiction, but their contortions to avoid it will be entertaining.

  9. Level 4 AP rifle proof plates in a featherweight slick carrier in the truck. Just 9lbs total, and neutrally buoyant. IOTV with issued plates and kitted as it was in combat on a stand at home. Total weight, 45lbs, and it sinks like stone. Purely furniture.
    But there’s really no need for all of that. I have soft armor inserts in most of my backpacks and travel bags that make them pistol caliber proof. I have personally shot 6 rounds at 3 feet from a SW29 into a set without any penetration. They are thin, flexible, extremely light weight, and there are models that slip into just about any bag. A couple hundred bucks, but totally worth it.

      • Well for the backpack, it covers either your chest or your back, so it offers the same protection as any soft armor. For the briefcase insert, I put it in a VerTx briefcase with a shoulder strap that allows me to sling it across my chest or back, covering the vitals of those areas.
        With practice, you can pass your arm through the back of the pack quickly and draw your pistol with the other arm, effectively giving you an arm mounted pistol caliber shield which leaves your firing hand free.

    • Nice. Do you have any recommendations for taking that stuff on a plane? I’m going to be flying quite a bit for competition this year and, while I have the rifle side well covered, I shudder at the thought of putting $2000 of body armor and other kit through the luggage system.

      • I haven’t had a problem with soft body armor inserts in my packs on domestic or international flights so far.

        Never had anyone even comment after scans.

        • Yeah, I’m taking the full vest, helmet, and plates to an armored shoot in Utah. A bit much to shove in a rollaboard.

      • My plates and slicks actually fit inside my briefcase. During the times in my life I needed a full kit, I was flying on Uncle Sugar or private. So no, no actual experience traveling with the full kit on commercial transit.

        • Same problem. Somehow I don’t think my old sea bags would go over well with the TSA clowns handling the luggage. I’m thinking of just getting a First Spear kit bag and taking it as a carry-on, but I might get some odd looks.

      • If you are willing to drop the coin, and depending on what firearms you’re taking, there’s probably a Pelican case out there that you can cut the foam for. One of the larger and deeper cases that’s meant for stuff like seismic equipment would probably hold a helmet, carrier, rifle, pistol, mags, range finder, optics etc. Those things are basically bomb-proof. You can cut the foam yourself or tell them how you want it done and they’ll do it for you.

        The 1740 comes to mind as a starting point to start looking.

        • I *love* Pelicans. Got me some.

          Downside besides the weight is that they SCREAM *Steal Me*. The price of the Pelicans is usually indicative of the *value* contained within…

        • Geoff,you gotta camouflage them (and no, I’m not kidding about the following) beer stickers, hippie stickers, dope smoker stickers, shitty band stickers, cover up or remove the Pelican logo and before you do any of that beat the living hell out if it.

          I stripped and then, quite literally, dragged my 1720 (holds my suppressed AR) around the block behind my car a couple times and then sticker bombed the shit out of it with like $90 worth of hippie liberal stickers before I took it out of the house with a rifle in it. The more Volcom/Sasquatch/Beer/Save the Whales shit you put on it the less people look at whatever it is.

        • I watched a video of tech guy who does presentations on security at a lot of hacker conventions. The link was posted in the comments on an article here about traveling with firearms. The guy travels with firearms so that he can secure it expensive equipment. He uses containers that were for some sort of artillery round or something similar.

        • Don’t forget to drag it through some mud and maybe a few auto fluid puddles (not kidding) fresh scratches are a give away to bad guys who steal for a living.

          Also for soft side containers (think range bags), do not use something obvious particularly the really nice NRA or 5.11 bags (actually anything from 5.11 or any tactical company makes you a target)! Personally I use an old track bag, because I’ve sat and watched some idiots outside a range in the twin cities grade grade who they wanted to rob! Nice bag = target! old ratty bag = why bother?

      • You might just be better off straight shipping that stuff. It only takes one idiotic TSA agent to screw up your day.

  10. If I needed body armor I’d get it and it would be a tax deduction, or the force would pay. Since I am a civilian now a days and not in combat, I’ll save the few thousand dollars and buy something I need
    You armchair commandos and mall ninjas do what ever you like.

    • Yep:

      Buffalo Springsteen said it much better:

      Paranoia strikes deep
      Into your life it will creep
      It starts when you’re always afraid
      Step out of line, the men come and take you away

      • That song always highlighted the stupidity of the whole “peace and love” movement.
        First is says you are paranoid, but then says that if you step out of line men come and take you away. So…which is it? Are you paranoid, or are people looking to take you away for any dissent?

      • Buffalo Springfield. Vietnam era folk singers.

        Bruce Springstien is the Socialist everyman pretending to be a patriotic American.

    • I think the point is that no one gets to choose when they will be in combat.

      Further, it seems reasonable that if people fully expect and train to one day be in and hopefully survive a gunfight, armor would be a normal path to consider as it increases your odds for survival against bullets and knives.

      Granted it may raise your chances of being shot by police because they seem to have real problems telling friend from foe.

      • I am focusing on your use of the word “normal”. Normal is a personal judgement. Everybody thinks they are normal. Your normal is my paranoia when it comes to body armor. I’ll spend my time with aerobic exercise, cooking and eating right, driving carefully, carrying an EDC pistol without numerous spare magazines and staying out of situations that would possibly require body armor. The local gun aficionados in my area that pass away tend to do so from a lifetime of lack of exercise and poor diet decisions. None of them have died from a lack of body armor. My life simply does not involve situations where I need body armor.

        • Bottom line:

          You are willing to be in a fight (knife, gun, etc.) without any personal armor.

          I choose to have armor.

          Simple as that.

        • How’s about a Kevlar helmet? Femoral artery protection? Where do the scenarios end. Utter fantasy world.

        • Gray makes a good point here.

          A major consideration when thinking about any of this kind of thing is what your own risks are, how you access those risks and what rational steps you take to mitigate them. Where you live will play a major part in that.

          Someone who lives in the country and rarely visits a major city probably has no reason to consider body armor. Someone who runs certain competitions where a stray round has a much higher probability of hitting them has a different calculation to make. The same is true if you live in or regularly visit a big city.

          When those riots broke out in Charlotte last year I’ll bet there were a bunch of people who wished they had body armor.

        • I’m glad you mentioned competitions strych. If numerous intelligent people here at TTAG feel they need body armor at competitions, I’ll stay away. Part of avoiding apparently life-threatening situations. Also, I would rather have my F-150 than body armor during the Charlotte riots.

        • stych9, to each their own.

          I’m not trying to advocate that everyone must have body armor — just that it is simply something people should consider that is often overlooked.

        • Two scenarios where armor makes alot of sense:

          Aftermath of natural disaster like katrina

          LA riots type situation, large scale civil unrest over one thing or another. It’s happened quite frequently over the past 50 years.

      • Gray the point of wearing armor at a competition is because of an ND, not because someone’s intentionally trying to shoot you with a rifle.

        No matter how you cut it, we’re all capable of an ND. It’s a monster waiting to bite us. Get a bunch of people together with guns and the probability goes up, therefore your chance of being hit by one goes up too.

        If that’s not a risk you’re willing to take, then don’t, but for that kind of “tactical” competition that’s become so popular, I’d consider it PPE the same way I consider the guard, eye and ear pro necessary for running an angle grinder even though I’ve never met anyone who’s actually had a cutting or grinding wheel blow on them.

    • “What do you NEED that for?” Kind like when all the lUberals ask “what do you needs a 30 round mag for?” How about you go back to suckin cocks in your Hillary Bloomberg cry in you fuckin homo.

  11. Here’s all the lyrics, if you are so inclined:

    There’s something happening here
    But what it is ain’t exactly clear
    There’s a man with a gun over there
    Telling me I got to beware

    I think it’s time we stop
    Children, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look – what’s going down?

    There’s battle lines being drawn
    Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
    Young people speaking their minds
    Getting so much resistance from behind

    It’s time we stop
    Hey, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look – what’s going down?

    What a field day for the heat
    A thousand people in the street
    Singing songs and carrying signs
    Mostly saying, “hooray for our side”

    It’s time we stop
    Hey, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look – what’s going down?

    Paranoia strikes deep
    Into your life it will creep
    It starts when you’re always afraid
    Step out of line, the men come and take you away

    We better stop
    Hey, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look – what’s going down?

    We better stop
    Hey, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look – what’s going down?

    We better stop
    Now, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look – what’s going down?

    We better stop
    Children, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look – what’s going down?

    • It’s decent, not great. Steel plates are a major PITA (20 lbs for just the front and back plates) and their carriers are cheap shit. Quite frankly, if it’s the best you can afford, go for it, just don’t expect it to last.

      I would save my money. A CRYE carrier is not THAT expensive and you can get REAL composite plates for it that will be much easier on your back.

    • The plates work, they have an indefinite shelf life, and they won’t get damaged by being dropped. They’re good to stash and train with, not good for regular wearing. I got the curved Level III plates, which are 8lb each. I went with a good US made carrier though, not one of the Condor ones they have. They do have the lightweight plates which are a different steel, and those can be had in a smaller cut. They can be as light as 5.5lb.

  12. I’ve got an AR-500 concealment vest with some of their IIIA hybrid pads and trauma pads. I’ll wear it around the house and when I’m running errands every now and then. It’s less that I think I’ll need it and more so I know how it feels so it won’t slow me down too much if I did have a need for it.

    I do take it with me if I’m staying somewhere away from home. I’ll just drop it in the bottom of my bag so it’s there if anything comes up.

  13. Well I had thought about making some storm trooper armors to wear and go thump commies down in Berkeley. Does that count? >,,>

  14. I don’t consider myself a prepper by any means but I have two (cheap) armor setups. A simple condor carrier along with AR500 plates and a concealment vest w/ soft armor inserts and trauma pads. The way I look at it is that I have them as insurance. I know the chance that I’ll need them is next to nil but, in the grand scheme of things they’re not THAT expensive and god forbid I need them I’ll be glad I do. The bought the concealment carrier because my wife works downtown and we only have one car so, with the spate of urban violence recently its not completely outside the realm of possibility that I might have snatch her up during a period of unrest. If one seeks to maintain a certain degree of security buying armor makes more sense then buying yet another (10th, 15th, 30th) gun…Just my two cents.

  15. has decided to moderate all comments to quash dissent. Some “free and open discourse” right there.

  16. I have a personal Point Blank level IIIA concealment vest and a second issued for work, a Level III steel set of my own and a level IV work issued plate carrier. I went the steel because it was cheaper and has an infinite shelf life, plus if the S ever really HTF i have the work crap I can throw on.

  17. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense for anyone to walk around wearing a bullet resistant vest unless they know you’re(sic) the target of an assassination attempt.”

    Let’s change one part of that to play devil’s advocate.

    “It doesn’t make a lot of sense for anyone to walk around wearing a gun unless they know they’re the target of an assassination attempt.”

    Makes about as much sense. The chances of you needing to use a gun in self-defense are exceedingly remote. And if you roll snake-eyes on that chance, a soft ballistic vest would be about as useful as a gun (in some cases, more so).

    • ~19lbs for a complete front / back set? I think I’ll pass. I’ll stick to my 4.5lb (9lb set) polymer / ceramic composite plates thanks.

  18. I’ve spent about a grand on armor over the years. Worn it a half-dozen days. Today, it rides in my trunk just as it’s done for years. And as my circle of friends has grown, I’ve inherited a few sets of panels and plates that just sit in a closet.

    I’ve got more under the bed for the missus and me for bump in the night. And I’ve got Level IV that I can actually wear and function in now that I’ve been going to the gym for three years and taking Krav for two.

    Here’s my advice, unless you’re filling ATMs or Dancing with Savages, save your money. Spend it on some quality training instead if you must.

    Ditto for night vision, although I’m only in for half-a-grand in that category.


  19. I keep my old issue armor in the baseball unless I can see it being needed in which case I’m wearing on and putting the other on my wife.

  20. “What would it take to put you in that car– I mean a bullet resistant vest?” Retire right now kind of money because at that point, why not?

  21. Yes, Ar500 front and rear plates rated for multiple strikes of 308 AP. As an aside, I swear we had this same question a month or so ago.

  22. I wear soft armor in winter if I’m hiking……..been toying with throwing on a set of plates during hunting season….never know when/where the next Thomas dillion will pop up……

  23. My grandson is in a school in Raleigh, NC. I bought him a bulletproof back pack, told him not to tell anyone, just carry it. His mother was not really happy but he feels better that that made her happy.


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