Getting shot sucks anus. Try to avoid it at all costs. BUT, if you’re going to go to gunfights and play with the big boys, you should probably have some sort of body armor. HARD body armor, no soft armor here. Soft armor, even of the highest grade, won’t stop any rifle rounds of sufficient speed and pokiness. And you don’t want pokey things poking holes in your critical organs. So, hard armor. Since we want to survive and we’re not pissing around having gun fights on boats, we want plates that can take more than one round and maintain their integrity – we’re not worried about floating and buoyancy properties for now; so no ceramic.
I bought my plates a couple years ago when my first plate-carrier (Condor Sentry) was on sale on AR500’s website. I picked up the lil plate carrier and their level 3 steel plates with the built-up anti-spall coating. These suckers will stop multiple 7.62×51 NATO rounds (.308 for you dummies out there). In this video they shoot the crap out of the plate and hit it with some rounds it’s not even rated to stop, just to see what happens. The AR500 website (click on ‘additional’ down beneath the photos) claims the level 3 plates offer “Level 3 multi-hit protection against 7.62 mm FMJ, steel jacketed bullets (U.S. Military designation M80) with a specified mass of 9.6 g (147 gr.) and a velocity of 2,780 ft/s (+/- 30 ft/s).” That sounded good to me.
Anyway, I got a new plate carrier the other day from one of my best buds: Mayflower Assault Plate Carrier (APC). I wanted a rig I could attach my Haley DC3RX to and I got one. For simplicity and quick swaps to other kit sets, the Haley rig offers some sweet options (one for .300 BLK and one for .308). You have the option to run the rig on just a strap system if you want to leave your plates at home for a competition or range time.
WHAT: Mayflower Assault Plate Carrier (APC) body armor system from SKD Tactical. Mine is a S/M size and fits me (6 feet, 165 pounds) and it fit its previous owner (6 feet, 200 pounds) quite well, but was getting a lil snug from long hours spent in the gym.
WHEN: Gunfights, going to war, standing guard, running around like a dickhead exercising in a plate carrier, ops, playing videogames, or really bad days.
WHERE: You want the plates up high to cover your vitals. Your heart and lungs are pretty vital. So is your brain, but we’ll talk helmets when I can afford one.
HOW: Click-disconnect the side wolf clips for the chest rig flip up the front velcro, release the left and right cummerbund ends, and slip the whole joint over your head. Re-secure the cummerbund, flip the front panel back over, click the chest rig back in and boom, bop, bing, you’re supa hot fiya.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: My whole kit weighs 31 pounds including the Glock 17 with 7x magazines (1 in gun, 7 on rig), the .300 BLK SBR with 5x magazines (1 in gun, 4 in rig) and a sling, 2x AR500 level 3 steel plates with the full anti-spall coating, and the Mayflower APC itself. The DC3RX has 2 utility pouches you can use for whatever (3 Glock mags fit nicely or 2 AR mags, or one grenade, or a burrito) and the APC has 2 rip-open, hidden snack pouches (that’s what they are to meeee) on the front side.
I’d recommend some trauma pads or level 3 soft armor for under the plate carrier so you don’t get beat up and your bones don’t shatter if you do get shot. The plate carrier has no padding except on the shoulders, which isn’t a problem for me, but you soft little sissies might want some comfort padding/extra armor so as to not be uncomfy or dying. Remember, body armor is great, but if you get shot in the head, you dead.