Weight is a relative concept

I am playing with new plates in an old carrier. Trying to decide between it, older Dyneema plates backed with soft armor and just going with pistol/buckshot-rated vest. Thoughts?

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19 Responses to Weight is a relative concept

  1. JD says:

    Entirely a question answered by what threats you think you have to defend against, and how visible you want the protection to be.

  2. daniel quinones says:


    Very light, good protection. Will stop m855 unlike some level 3 plates out there.

  3. Ray says:

    Planning on a combat action? A confrontation with police or government? Because 99% of ALL “assault rifle” shootings are done by government. And please, no BS about an “active shooter”. If any of you ARE so unlucky as to encounter one you will (1) Not have your plate carrier on-or even with you. And: (2) Will most likely be in a “gun free zone” where even your CC weapon will be a “no go”. It has become a really big fad in some circles to sport a plate. But like “tricked out” AR’s and the latest Glock , its just the latest fad , and one that only helps you if you have it on. Most will never carry that hot , heavy , and mostly useless steel or ceramic 11X12 inch handicap outside the range, or “training” (plinking out on the farm) so why bother? Soft armor is really all most of us will ever need/ want, or have any use for, and if you don’t have that on every time you go out the front door, it is of no more worth to you than the plate carrier you don’t have on. Ask yourself this before you “upgrade” “Is it worth the money for something I never use and will most likely NEVER use”? Keep the good plates you have and use the cash on training ammo and good boots. Both will serve you better than the new plates you don’t have with you when TSHTF.

    • Flint says:

      Most folks who have armor don’t wear it outside, even if it’s soft armor. They have it in case of a home invasion, not for street wear.

      • Ray says:

        Any home def. shoot will be O-V-E-R LONG before you find your armor. Even IF you have a “security” system that wakes you up. In my house , front door to bedroom is 21 FEET. Just retrieving my 12Ga. and racking a round puts any intruder inside 12 feet at contact. As you can see that eliminates any time to fumble with 12 to 20 Lb. of “armor” in the dark while half asleep. As I said ,most people who bought the “armor up” fad didn’t think it out logically.

        • Flint says:

          Buy a better door, and a house with a mudroom. If the alarm goes off when someone breaks into the mudroom, and the door between the mudroom and the house proper is of any actual quality, there will be substantial time before the intruder makes it into the house.

          As far as “finding” your armor, that’s a ridiculous statement. Anyone who actually trains can will automatically know where their stuff (clothing, gun, knife, baseball bat, or whatever else they’ve chosen to have ready) is, because they’ve practiced grabbing it and always place it in the same locations. That’s such a simple thing that no one could possibly claim to be at all trained if they cannot do that.

  4. R Duwe says:

    Go for a Level III or 4 plate, ASSuming a SHTF scenario. Not worth wearing unless it will stop AK & AR fire. Think of it as a mobile bunker. Too heavy to run around in, but when SHTF you need to be huddled up with the good neighbors.

  5. Jim R says:

    Building on Ray’s comment, it would be interesting to know – and I doubt anybody has anything like reliable data on the subject – what the “most common” self-defense scenarios actually are. Having that would allow for more intelligent planning. Yes, it’s certainly not a bad idea to plan for “worst case”: several heavily-armed and murderous goons invading your home or workplace, in which case heavy armor and a good carbine with lots of pre-loaded mags would be (ahem) useful.

    But the odds of such happening are vanishingly small*, and at any rate our society isn’t quite ready to accept people showing up for work or shopping for groceries while equipped for a hard day in Helmand province. So, where SHOULD the thoughtful citizen put his money and time? A selection of sidearms and holsters suitable for any activity or weather (“Damn. Going to the beach and I haven’t got a THING to carry…”)? Soft body armor that he wears whenever he steps outside his house? Martial arts training? A personal trainer to whip him into shape such that he can outrun the average villain?


    (*) Though San Berdoo showed us that they certainly aren’t zero.

    • Flint says:

      You are correct as to the lack of data. The FBI, for example, only tracks self-defense shootings, and not self-defense cases where no shots are fired by the defender. The vast majority of self-defense situations involve the attacker realizing they don’t face easy prey, and doing an impersonation of the Roadrunner. If it gets reported at all (if it happens in a jurisdiction where guns are illegal or frowned-upon by the powers-that-be, it may not), it will be entered as a home invasion, not a self-defense situation.

      “Averages” aren’t very useful, even if the data existed, though. Risk factors will vary depending upon the individual’s lifestyle and location. Personally, my greatest risk would be an unruly bear, so really hot ammunition and guns that can handle it are the most important investments – being able to stop human attackers is merely a side benefit in comparison. If I lived in or near a city, home invasion would be a much more significant risk, and it might make more sense to have things like armor.

      • Jim R says:


        But your point is really apt: people’s lifestyles and hence their risk factors vary quite a lot. I think that this is one thing that drives the anti-2A DC / NYC / Hollywood crowd: they live in very safe, very well-policed areas and have no conception of having to fight off robbers, drug dealers, or muggers (or bears!).

        • Flint says:

          I live in a rural area. Bears come right up to the door on occasion. While they generally have no interest in attacking humans, if I step outside and by dumb luck a mother is on one side of the porch and her cub is on the other (or any of a number of similar scenarios), I may only get one shot before she hits me.

          Your description of antis certainly fits many of them. Others live in dangerous areas, and follow the typical Socialist ethic: it’s easier to achieve equality by dragging everyone down to an equal level of misery, than to try and raise the downtrodden. Like unruly children, they’d rather smash the sand castle that others built, instead of building their own.

  6. Ray says:

    Actually Jim, The FBI compiles SD statistics. The published report states that almost all SD shootings happen during an armed robbery at work, or in the home at night while the homeowner is sleeping. Almost all are over in under 30 seconds from contact, and under 6 shots fired. Most are over with LESS than 4 shots, and LESS than 15 seconds. “Home invaders” and business armed robbers tend to try and hook it off at the first shot.

    • Jim R says:

      How complete are these? I suggest that the answer is “not very” as the published numbers for defensive gun use varies tremendously. As Flint writes above, there are probably a lot of DGU’s that involve the potential victim making it clear that he is armed and the would-be villain running away to rob, assault or rape somebody else.

      The data we DO have (that you kindly provide; thank you) point away from carbines and armor and towards concealed handguns carried at all times: the villains understandably tend to take their victims by surprise, and there’s simply no time to put on armor and get a carbine or shotgun from its rack or safe. This isn’t to say that there’s no need for those things, but rather – as you suggested – that they might not be as high a priority as a good pair of boots.

      • Ray says:

        Jim CC and handguns really are the best “every day”. But it still has flaws as MANY places simply won’t allow it (schools shopping malls , stadiums , ballparks.). Sad truth is that much of your life will be conducted unarmed , and we must accept that limitation (for now) or become a paranoid recluse in a “doom bunker” hiding in the woods behind barbed wire and girded in armor ,never far from our rifle, afraid of the boogie man —— Actually the FBI’s violent crime reports and studies are some of the most comprehensive ever done. Listing and compiling every shoot going back to the 30’s. The data base is ENORMOUS, with many strange “facts”. Like; Most humans survive handgun wounds from everything but .22’s. After 156 years they are still one of the nastiest things you can get shot with. If you take one to the brain it will do more damage than most magnums… Most “wisdom” about shooting’s is myth . The internet is one of the worst places to get accurate information. You’ll get a crap ton of opinion and emotion but little else of value.

        • Flint says:

          This is why I choose to live in the free world, instead of totalitarian-ville. I can carry anywhere except courthouses, prisons, and… nope, no “and” – that’s the entire list.

          Please don’t presume that the ridiculous laws wherever you happen to live apply elsewhere. Since I’ve never been to jail, and rarely have any reason to go to court, I can carry a handgun every single day of my life (and I do).

          Also, the .22 thing isn’t a “strange fact,” and doesn’t have anything to do with .22’s being magically more deadly than other calibers. It has to do with them being used for assassinations. One or two rounds to the center of the body are far more survivable than ten rounds directly to the temple, even if the former are large-caliber and the latter are .22’s. A “magnum” to the brain will do far more damage, but most folks don’t make head-shots in the real world.

  7. Ray says:

    Flint; Have you EVER had to respond to any kind of life or death emergency? From a sound sleep? (outside a war zone) Didn’t think so. No amount or type of “training” can prepare you for that. Its like being in a shooting, NOTHING can “prep” you for how you will react in a gunfight. “Buy a new house”? “With a mudroom”? “Better doors”? “put every thing in the same spot”? Yeh , obviously you don’t have kids or a mortgage . Do YOU train in the dark? With unknown hostiles bearing down on your family? Didn’t think so. Let me let you in on the first rule of high stress survival; KISS (Keep It Stupid Simple) Because when the shooting starts , EVERYTHING go’s south SUDDENLY , and everything is over in 30 seconds or less. Everything else is internet BS. AND Flint. You have a better chance of winning the powerball lottery than you do being the target of a multi-person “home invasion armed robbery” unless you live in the “hood”, And if You live in a place where HIAR is anything more than a paranoid “prepper” fantasy. Then I’m not the one that needs to move.

    • Flint says:

      Batting zero, ain’t ya? I have, unfortunately, been required to defend myself from an attack. One by an armed human (if the definition of “human” can be stretched to include such scumbags), and once by a deranged rottweiler (whose owners apologized profusely – they’d been planning to have the dog put down in a couple days due to its increasing mental instability). In both cases, I responded precisely how I’d trained to respond.

      I do have three kids, actually. No mortgage, for years – making sensible economic decisions results in minimal debt which is paid off quickly. Doors, FYI, are cheap. Anyone who actually cares about security can have it, without being rich. Those who do, rather than just fantasizing on the Internet, are aware of such things.

  8. nick flandrey says:

    Second for Flint’s response. Ray sounds like he’s decided it’s futile so why bother? I don’t feel the need to attack Ray, but Ray, if you really have given up on defending yourself and your family, why bother with firearms and defense blogs at all?

    Some simple things.

    Stronger door. Security door (some look just like glass storm doors and cost about $300) Extend your security system perimeter farther out. Motion alarm on your porch, or back yard gate open alarm gives you more time to respond. So does a strong door to the hallway where your bedrooms are located.

    There are lots of not very expensive options to increase your security situation.

    To go back to Oleg’s question, I have no personal experience, so I’m not gonna chime in.

    I CAN think of several scenarios where I’d want armor, and have budgeted to get some. Those scenarios are less likely than others that are in line for spending first, but they aren’t at the bottom of the list either.

    Perhaps someone can answer a question I’ve had for some time? I know lower classes of armor won’t STOP the rifle or magnum rounds, but won’t there be SOME benefit? Seems like the vest would absorb some of the energy and help reduce damage at least a little. Anyone got data on shootings where a vest didn’t stop the round?



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