Every time I get around other like-minded folks the topic of firearms always comes up. What do you have? What do you recommend? What is the minimum number of magazines to have? What do you consider to be a good minimum amount of ammo to put back? Ak or AR? 9mm or 40S&W or 45ACP? It goes on and on. You know a question I have never been asked?
“Hey, what kind of armor do you have?”
Nope – never been asked. The reality is preppers spend a ton of money on guns and ammo preparing for possible defensive situations and most preppers don’t consider body armor. Maybe the reason is all the time spent at the range shooting and hitting targets that don’t shoot back. Maybe it’s denial. Maybe spending a few hundred dollars on a hunk of metal or ceramic just isn’t as “cool” as a new gun. The reality is if a firefight happens and triggers are getting pulled rounds will go in both directions. Body armor just might save a life.
I have been slowly accumulating body armor vests and plates over the past few years. A couple months ago I contacted ModernSurvivalOnline sponsor SafeGuardArmor.com to get me a steel plate. Although not something they normally carry they we able to source a plate for me.
Levels of Protection
To summarize there are different levels of protection provided by body armor. These are generally categorized by a specific “Level”. The chart below shows the different levels of protection and corresponding ammunition that specific level protects against. The higher the level the higher the level of protection.
The plate provided by Safeguard Armor is rated Level III.
How Plates Are Carried
Plates are carried in plate carriers. These are vests provide a “pocket” on the front/back, and sometimes on the sides which plates are placed in. The plates ride in the carrier and cover vital areas.
Rourke’s Condor Modular Operator Plate Carrier – his current setup
Testing and Protection Demonstration
This initial testing included shooting a variety of calibers I had on hand. Part 2 will include additional calibers which should fit within the plates Level III rating.
Level III plate ready for punishment.
A couple shots of 115-gr FMJ 9mm had very little effect on the plate other than paint removal.
Standard 55-gr .223 Remington – nothing more than paint removal.
This photo shows both the 9mm and .223 Remington hits.
The Winchester BRI Sabot Slug fires a .50 caliber hour-glass 437 grain slug at around 1375 fps. Say you want a .50 caliber? Throw a Sabot Slug in your 12 gauge and you have one.
The 12 gauge Sabot Slug hits with tremendous power – but still no damage to the plate.
Here is a close up of the Winchester BRI 12 gauge sabot slug’s impact.
After this initial testing the back of the plate shows no deformity or damage at all.
In a few weeks I will be back out on the range punishing this plate with some additional calibers – including those that should push its limit.
I want to give a “shout out” to Safeguard Armor for sourcing this plate. If you are interested in body armor they carry a huge variety and are one of the industry leaders. As a sponsor of this website they help support me so I can keep being here for you.
Stay tuned for Part 2.