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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:51 pm 
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If you had to make your own body armor if you wanted it. How would you make it?
Would you just go for a chunk of steel between you and whatever size lead pill is coming your way or would you go for something more complex.
Say you only have three months and the tools, skills and resources you have now and can get within these three months. How much time would you spend on research, design and testing respectively, more for your time management than our reading pleasure.
If you want it, you have to have a finished product at the end of the alloted time, no making a bunch of prototypes and testing after unless you're comfortable finding out if the one prototype you get to keep works while wearing it.
What would you aim to protect from what type of threat?
Would you try for level IV for center mass and nothing for the rest or... well, what?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:40 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:57 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:07 am 
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The arc reactor is a bit hard to fabricate but otherwise ...

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Kidding aside I would be concerned about weight and mobility so I'd focus on just a chest plate if I could get good enough steel. The biggest threat is firearms.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:16 pm 
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"When a man with a 45 meets a man with a rifle, the man with the pistol will be a dead man." unless he's wearing home made body armor. "That's an old Mexican Proverb, and its true."

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:15 pm 
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Ok. There are plenty of YouTube vids on making armor out of epoxy and either fiberglass or canvas sheets. Make it thick enough and it will stop whatever you want.

Pistol armor is both easier to make and wear.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:19 pm 
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woodsghost wrote:
Ok. There are plenty of YouTube vids on making armor out of epoxy and either fiberglass or canvas sheets. Make it thick enough and it will stop whatever you want.

Pistol armor is both easier to make and wear.


Won't the more common threat be from rifles?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:45 pm 
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teotwaki wrote:
woodsghost wrote:
Ok. There are plenty of YouTube vids on making armor out of epoxy and either fiberglass or canvas sheets. Make it thick enough and it will stop whatever you want.

Pistol armor is both easier to make and wear.


Won't the more common threat be from rifles?


There's the rub, current statistics suggest pistols are far and away the biggest threat. How much that will switch in a WROL/PAW context is the million dollar question. I personally worry more about rifles considering the number of ARs in circulation, but it is entirely possible that pistols will still be the biggest threat if the world hasn't changed so much that open carrying longarms is still social taboo.

As far as the youtube vids, I disagree with the wisdom of making rigid pistol plates and don't think any of the homemade stuff is usable when built up to rifle threat thicknesses. Just buying ballistic kevlar and stacking the appropriate number of layers will stop pistol threats and still contour and drape better, just like modern soft armor. Hell if you are taking the time you could tailor it to your body much better then most commercially available vests for even more coverage.

For "homemade" plates cutting a sheet of ar500 or similar steel seems by far the most practical, but if either this or the kevlar is available it probably means that commercial options are available too and there is little point to going the DIY route.


I'm assuming the spirit of the thread is assuming commercial options became unavailable for some reason, or if a change in law restricted their purchase but not their ownership, In the former case I'd consider working on running and digging faster as the ultimate solution, for the latter I think the kevlar/steel options I presented would be best. For now off-the-shelf options will beat the socks off any homemade version, full stop. Most DIY body armor is a fun weekend project and nothing more.

As far as coverage even with high-end components there isn't much precedent for covering more then COM, either for reasons of range of motion or weight. The development of more reliable exoskeletons may change this trend and open up options for more coverage, but until then anything more then torso armor practically defines you as a static defensive emplacement. If you knew a certain band of raiders only had handguns and shotguns, a homemade "juggernaut suit" like the hollywood shootout knuckleheadds used could be applicable, but I think the window in history where that context could be true is well and gone.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:45 pm 
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What I'm thinking is that three months before collapse the gov is panicking and buying body armor is to put up a flag saying insurrection starts here, please disappear me at your earliest convinience as would buying a ton of guns and/or ammo.
Jungle drums are thundering of crack downs on groups with stockpiles but nothing on conventional media. Sites that sell body armor vanish, shelves that used to be full gape empty and you haven't yet bought any. Nothing official about body armor being restricted or illegal but everything about it screams don't let anyone know you feel the need.
Normal buying and selling guns are too ubiquitous to be a red flag but body armor, not so much.
In fact it seems that by limiting supply of body armor they are making sure that trying to get some will make the most likely to oppose them stick out enough so they can take notice.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:11 pm 
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feanor wrote:
What I'm thinking is that three months before collapse the gov is panicking and buying body armor is to put up a flag saying insurrection starts here, please disappear me at your earliest convinience as would buying a ton of guns and/or ammo.
Jungle drums are thundering of crack downs on groups with stockpiles but nothing on conventional media. Sites that sell body armor vanish, shelves that used to be full gape empty and you haven't yet bought any. Nothing official about body armor being restricted or illegal but everything about it screams don't let anyone know you feel the need.


Well most preppers believe in buying stuff *before* you need it.

Then again, there is some questioning of whether armor is really all that useful in a guerrilla war. While US troops survive more hits, there are those who say Afganis can run circles around them in the mountains carrying not much more than a rifle and an extra mag. I can't speak to the truth of it, but perhaps others will.

I believe Ferfal mentioned that in Argentina (2001) the main threat was pistols. I think the main weapon of anybody not purposefully going out to kill somebody is pistols. I think we see that today, and in the Wild West. So if you are planning on taking hits from the US military, probably better buy ceramic armor now.




Otherwise, pistol armor will probably be fine.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:33 pm 
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So "prepper" is something to do with being, what's the word I'm looking for... a word for ready for what may come, hmm. Nope, lost it. :wink:

Just because you mostly run circles around heavier geared soldiers in the country side doesn't mean there won't be times you need heavier gear.

Most people don't plan on taking hits period, a most unusual approach I must say.. :shock: :)
I live in Sweden so US military seems far fetched but I think 5.56 mm is the main caliber for our military as well.
I don't want my name on any lists or have any legal trouble for owning body armor but want to know that I can make my own. Already looked into making boron carbide trauma plates and various other options. Much more serious R&D than your average half baked diy.
I'm alone here in my lack of trust for the powers that be, and I'm keeping it that way since the likely groups to have any overlapping thinking about this are criminals, white supremacists, radical muslims or too intertwined with these groups to not put a bulls eye on my back by dealing with them.
Actually even being on this site is an indulgence, not impossible that my presence here has been noted.
Not saying it has but my trust that it hasn't, even though it would be a violation of our constitution, is zilch.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:53 pm 
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If you want level IV plates these can be constructed of three layers of Level VI Moh ceramic floor tiles. The tiles need to be put in a medium to cushion them from each other and then wrapped tightly together in Kevlar or fiberglass cloth. If you want to be really cheap you can use spray in insulation foam to layer between them. They won't have a curve so they will be less effective but this does work for a couple of shots anyway. After a couple of rifle shots they will start falling to pieces, but most level IV stuff does anyway.

This is of course for entertainment purposes only. Actual use in real life will result in certain death.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:06 pm 
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feanor wrote:
I live in Sweden .....
Actually even being on this site is an indulgence, not impossible that my presence here has been noted.
Not saying it has but my trust that it hasn't, even though it would be a violation of our constitution, is zilch.


Right with you then. Gotcha.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:27 pm 
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Anybody know if failed armor has any positive effect on survivability compared to unprotected and if so how close in rating it has to be to the threat that defeated it before you are likely to see any improvement?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:35 pm 
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feanor wrote:
Anybody know if failed armor has any positive effect on survivability compared to unprotected and if so how close in rating it has to be to the threat that defeated it before you are likely to see any improvement?


Too broad of a question to have a real answer. For steel armor, failed means it has a hole in it, anything that misses the hole is fine. For ceramic some people think that the tiniest microscopic crack makes it instantly worthless, but it is easy to find videos of shattered ceramic plates spitting out dust with each hit still stopping rounds.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:51 pm 
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feanor wrote:
Anybody know if failed armor has any positive effect on survivability compared to unprotected and if so how close in rating it has to be to the threat that defeated it before you are likely to see any improvement?


The whole idea with armor is that it protects the vitals. Even a successful stop, with no penetration can kill you if the back face deformation is great enough. You could see that with 12GA slug that might not penetrate soft armor but the slug breaks your ribs and hits something important. Penetration means game over most of the time.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:16 pm 
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Stercutus wrote:
feanor wrote:
Anybody know if failed armor has any positive effect on survivability compared to unprotected and if so how close in rating it has to be to the threat that defeated it before you are likely to see any improvement?


The whole idea with armor is that it protects the vitals. Even a successful stop, with no penetration can kill you if the back face deformation is great enough. You could see that with 12GA slug that might not penetrate soft armor but the slug breaks your ribs and hits something important. Penetration means game over most of the time.


Exactly, most of the time. My question was meant to be about if failure to stop the round makes it slightly less most of the time or not. Compared to not having anything to stop it.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:26 pm 
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feanor wrote:
So "prepper" is something to do with being, what's the word I'm looking for... a word for ready for what may come, hmm. Nope, lost it. :wink:

Just because you mostly run circles around heavier geared soldiers in the country side doesn't mean there won't be times you need heavier gear.

Most people don't plan on taking hits period, a most unusual approach I must say.. :shock: :)
I live in Sweden so US military seems far fetched but I think 5.56 mm is the main caliber for our military as well.
I don't want my name on any lists or have any legal trouble for owning body armor but want to know that I can make my own. Already looked into making boron carbide trauma plates and various other options. Much more serious R&D than your average half baked diy.
I'm alone here in my lack of trust for the powers that be, and I'm keeping it that way since the likely groups to have any overlapping thinking about this are criminals, white supremacists, radical muslims or too intertwined with these groups to not put a bulls eye on my back by dealing with them.
Actually even being on this site is an indulgence, not impossible that my presence here has been noted.
Not saying it has but my trust that it hasn't, even though it would be a violation of our constitution, is zilch.

Yea I'd say ... congratulations you made the list :crazy:

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:31 pm 
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flybynight wrote:
Yea I'd say ... congratulations you made the list :crazy:

Haha, so I wasn't quite paranoid enough for you, huh?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:37 pm 
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I wouldn't have to worry about it; already bought a bunch of level IIIA and level IV armor; helmets, vests, collars, shoulders, groin, thighs, knees, and shins. The torso armor and helmet are the only pieces that will stop a rifle bullet; all the rest of the armor is rated at level IIIA; enough to stop pretty much any handgun out there. Underneath the ballistic armor I have D3O impact resistant armor that's made from "intelligent" molecules which when at rest remain fluid and versatile, but upon impact, the molecules realign and it becomes rigid. Enough to stop a hammer. Over the impact armor and under the ballistic armor lies a IIIA Nomex shirt and trousers, with an anti-slash kevlar undersuit.

The only thing I can't get the suit to protect against yet is radiation, chemicals, or biological warfare. I'm working on that part though; it may or not be able to be done; hard to incorporate so much into one suit without possibly compromising other aspects of the suit. I can definitely get the boots and gloves to be protective against chem/bio threats though; they're also insulated against electroshock if I happen to be standing in a pool of water when some live wires fall down at the other end of the room, electrifying the puddle.

PS: I don't make my own armor; it's cheaper to just buy it than to build it all from raw materials, experimenting and testing for months, plus I just prefer to use the stuff that the professionals use; stuff that's already been battle-tested and proven effective on numerous occasions.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:11 pm 
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Wouldn't steel plates spall?

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:38 pm 
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204 wrote:
The... helmet .... will stop a rifle bullet;



Might want to double check that. The huge majority of helmets are IIIA, just like your soft armor.


grennels wrote:
Wouldn't steel plates spall?


Yes, but.

first off this gets a lot of press and seems to be written about as if tiny fragments of metal that have already bled off the huge majority of their energy are somehow as dangerous as the original bullet, I'll take spall over a hole in my chest any day of the week. I assume these are the same people that don't want to wear any armor at all for fear that backface deformation is more dangerous then perforated organs.

Secondly there are various ways to mitigate this that have been discussed all over the internet, the popular one is to coat the steel in spray-on bedliner. The one I've posited that doesn't seem to have been tested is simply putting a few sheets of kevlar on the outside of the plate, you could either just slip them in the PC or glue them to the plate easily enough.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:52 pm 
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204 wrote:
I wouldn't have to worry about it; already bought a bunch of level IIIA and level IV armor; helmets, vests, collars, shoulders, groin, thighs, knees, and shins. The torso armor and helmet are the only pieces that will stop a rifle bullet; all the rest of the armor is rated at level IIIA; enough to stop pretty much any handgun out there. Underneath the ballistic armor I have D3O impact resistant armor that's made from "intelligent" molecules which when at rest remain fluid and versatile, but upon impact, the molecules realign and it becomes rigid. Enough to stop a hammer. Over the impact armor and under the ballistic armor lies a IIIA Nomex shirt and trousers, with an anti-slash kevlar undersuit.

The only thing I can't get the suit to protect against yet is radiation, chemicals, or biological warfare. I'm working on that part though; it may or not be able to be done; hard to incorporate so much into one suit without possibly compromising other aspects of the suit. I can definitely get the boots and gloves to be protective against chem/bio threats though; they're also insulated against electroshock if I happen to be standing in a pool of water when some live wires fall down at the other end of the room, electrifying the puddle.

PS: I don't make my own armor; it's cheaper to just buy it than to build it all from raw materials, experimenting and testing for months, plus I just prefer to use the stuff that the professionals use; stuff that's already been battle-tested and proven effective on numerous occasions.


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It's sounds like you have a high risk security job. I suggest looking into something that would stop .338 Lapua. Perhaps duct-taping a second trauma plate to your back in case of repeated hits from a .308.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:39 pm 
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RonnyRonin wrote:
Might want to double check that. The huge majority of helmets are IIIA, just like your soft armor.


True; the vast majority of helmets are only IIIA, which is why I decided to go with a custom made MICH style helemt that's rated "AS-600 ACH Rifle Resistant" for about 2000 US dollars. You can pick one up here: http://infidelbodyarmor.com/helmets-c-1 ... _uploads=0

yossarian wrote:
t's sounds like you have a high risk security job. I suggest looking into something that would stop .338 Lapua. Perhaps duct-taping a second trauma plate to your back in case of repeated hits from a .308.


Thanks for the tip; I'll keep it in mind, but I'm not a member of the armed forces; I'm a firefighter. Wildland in the summer; on-call VFD in the winter. We don't face down a lot of gunfire unless someone has a bunch of ammo cans stored in the basement. Basements always suck when it comes to house fires; the shit people usually put down there is always extra hazardous or toxic lmao. XD

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