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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Concielable Bullet Proof vest for under 200$?

    I'm looking into purchasing an easily concealable bullet proof vest. It needs to be a snug fit and hideable under my clothes, preferably a mid-range caliber resistant vest but honestly I'll take one that's designed for small arms as it's just a precaution. I know price is generally connected to quality with stuff like this but I have no experience purchasing any bullet proof products, I'd like to find a decent option for under two hundred bucks, but I don't want to just purchase one for cheap and get a bad quality vest. Bad quality in something stopping a bullet is generally a bad thing.
    If you have a suggestion for a bullet proof jacket or hoody within this pricerange that would be even better, thanks for any assistance you can provide.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tyndmyr's Avatar

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    Default Re: Concielable Bullet Proof vest for under 200$?

    You're probably looking for a soft 2A vest, then. Mine ran $250, which is a reasonable price for a concealable vest in that range. 2a will stop handgun calibers, shotshells, etc. It will absolutely not stop any rifle calibers. There are some unusual large handgun calibers that it is also not rated to stop, but that may stop under very unusual conditions.

    2A vests range from around $250 to $500, depending on specific tech, and the lower end ones are kevlar, which lasts for five years. Obviously it still provides some protection past the guaranteed time, but fabric can wear and stretch, and eventually protection degrades.

    If you decide to sacrifice concealability instead, you can watch the sales on AR 500, and grab a level 3 vest/front plate/back plate combo pack for under $200 when they have one of their frequent sales. This will stop all the way up to many carbine/light rifle rounds.

    The ratings are 2a, 2, 3a, 3, 3+, 4. 3+ isn't strictly an official rating, just an inbetween level that has become a defacto standard. The highest ratings are simply not available in a concealable package.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Default Re: Concielable Bullet Proof vest for under 200$?

    According to most people there is no such thing as a bulletPROOF vest. Body armor is rated to stop rounds up to a given caliber and type. Most will stop rounds that are faster/heavier, or at least slow them down a lot.

    I have seen used body armor for sale at around $200. They won’t be certified by the manufacturer anymore, but most of them will still provide decent protection. New, high-quality body armor can run $1000 or more, although $500-$700 is more typical.

    Just about any NIJ-rated vest will stop the rounds it is rated to stop. Failures against rated calibers are so rare as to be anomalies. The difference between cheap and high-quality body armor is with fit and comfort. The cheaper stuff is heavier, bulkier, and less comfortable to wear. The best models are going to be available only from licensed dealers, usually police uniform shops. These shops will have personnel who are trained in proper measurement and fit, so that the body armor is comfortable and functional. Proper fitting is absolutely essential.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Concielable Bullet Proof vest for under 200$?

    The other major danger with cheap or ill-fitting armor is what happens to a stopped round. Quality stuff will either absorb and contain the projectile or deflect it (and any fragments) away from the wearer. Cheap stuff, or anything badly fitted, won't necessarily do so.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Concielable Bullet Proof vest for under 200$?

    Quote Originally Posted by agustin1987 View Post
    According to most people there is no such thing as a bulletPROOF vest. Body armor is rated to stop rounds up to a given caliber and type. Most will stop rounds that are faster/heavier, or at least slow them down a lot.
    Techincally, "bulletproof" doesn't mean (or didn't originally mean) what you think it means.

    The term dates back from early firearms, when you could make a breastplate thick enough to stop a bullet. You then fire a bullet at close range (the only way to accurately hit the thing in those days) and the bullet left an obvious dent in the armor. That dent was the "proof" in bulletproof.

    Certainly pedantic, but considering that full plate armor has a place on this overall site, I thought I'd include it.

    PS: doesn't most of the real ability of a "bulletproof vest" come from trauma plates? Presumably any big difference between "stopping a 9mm" and "stopping small arms" comes down to the plates, and the cost of the cermet mix that makes them. Be careful of cheap plates: I've seen slickdeals for [steel] "plates that fit in armor" that were purely for tactic-cool fashion and possibly weight training.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    J-H's Avatar

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    Default Re: Concielable Bullet Proof vest for under 200$?

    Quote Originally Posted by agustin1987 View Post
    I have seen used body armor for sale at around $200. They won’t be certified by the manufacturer anymore, but most of them will still provide decent protection. New, high-quality body armor can run $1000 or more, although $500-$700 is more typical.
    The fibers in flexible body armor do break down over time from heat and moisture. I'd be very wary of buying a 10 year old vest that has been worn and sweated in constantly and expecting it to perform like a new vest.

    If you feel like you're in a situation where you need a vest, then you should also carry a blow-out (major wound) kit and know how to use it. There are some very nice, relatively small tourniquets on the market today. I went with SOFTT-W tourniquets for a kit I put together after a shooting at a Sunday morning religious gathering a few hours away in early 2020 - it was videotaped and well-documented, and the lack of immediate medical care plans may have cost a life or two. When seconds count, help is only minutes away via 911.
    I would also include a pressure dressing or two (the Israeli emergency bandages are well-thought-of), and a couple of rolls of gauze for stuffing/pressure, etc. This ends up too bulky to keep in a pocket, but does fit in a backpack. There has been a lot of development and good information on this topic thanks to the extensive combat experience US medics have acquired over the last two decades.

    Education is your best defense.
    • Most people who get shot in a civilian context are getting shot after they made a series of bad choices: Wrong place, wrong people, wrong choice of activities.
    • Cover (stops bullets) vs. Concealment (just hides you, doesn't protect against stray rounds)
    • How to not stand out from the crowd (gray man) or look like an inviting target. People have been killed over expensive tennis shoes.
    • Emergency medicine. I took a 5-week daytime EMT-Basic course back in the early '00s. Covered a lot of material very quickly. Good stuff if you have the time to spare. If not, basic ABCs and "Stop the Bleed" courses are out there...plus of course Youtube.
    • Plan exit strategies from situations. Be alert. Jeff Cooper has some classic writings on the topic.
    • Don't stand still if someone's shooting. A moving target is MUCH harder to shoot than a stationary target. In a shooting, the only reason to not be moving full speed is if you are taking aim to shoot back, or if you're already behind cover and are busy communicating or reloading.


    I hope this helps. I don't know that much about body armor, but if you'd like to discuss your overall situation and concerns further, feel free to PM me.
    Last edited by J-H; 2021-04-11 at 01:27 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tyndmyr's Avatar

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    Default Re: Concielable Bullet Proof vest for under 200$?

    Quote Originally Posted by wumpus View Post
    PS: doesn't most of the real ability of a "bulletproof vest" come from trauma plates? Presumably any big difference between "stopping a 9mm" and "stopping small arms" comes down to the plates, and the cost of the cermet mix that makes them. Be careful of cheap plates: I've seen slickdeals for [steel] "plates that fit in armor" that were purely for tactic-cool fashion and possibly weight training.
    While this is an excellent point, and you should definitely not go to sketchy places for body armor(seriously, watch any of the "body armor ordered from wish" videos), the weights for weight vests are surprisingly good at stopping rounds.

    They're not quite *as* good as proper high-abrasion resistance steel, but cheaper steel does almost as good for a given weight. If no other option exists, and you urgently need protection, steel weighted vests for training do offer you some.

    The emergency medical stuff is good advice, all of it.

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Blackhawk748's Avatar

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    Default Re: Concielable Bullet Proof vest for under 200$?

    Quote Originally Posted by wumpus View Post
    PS: doesn't most of the real ability of a "bulletproof vest" come from trauma plates? Presumably any big difference between "stopping a 9mm" and "stopping small arms" comes down to the plates, and the cost of the cermet mix that makes them. Be careful of cheap plates: I've seen slickdeals for [steel] "plates that fit in armor" that were purely for tactic-cool fashion and possibly weight training.
    Soft Vests work fine for smaller calibers, but they obviously do nothing to stop anything coming out of a rifle. Or a shotgun slug.

    Then again, it doesn't matter if you stop the slug, the impact will probably rupture your organs anyway.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Concielable Bullet Proof vest for under 200$?

    How much would it cost to build the homemade bulletproof vest that Jamie Hyneman made out of floor tiles on Mythbusters? That might be around the two hundred dollar range.
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