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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a call from a cop buddy late last night with a good deal on a soft Kevlar vest that I took him up on. I figure that besides SHTF uses it would be good to have while taking training classes and next to the HD shotgun.
 

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Watch out believe it or not Kevlar body armor has a expiration date on it's effectiveness................a lot of people don't realize that. His body armor may have reached it's degradation date and that may be why it's being gotten rid of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am familiar with Kevlar degradation, and this vest has 3 more years on it. Buddy told me it's from a guy in his department that just retired and is in great shape
 

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Old body armour doesn't have much commerical value left once it gets past five years in age. They are degraded by the passage of time, moisture and ultraviolent rays. Having said all of that...

I'd rather have a ten year old bullet resistant vest than to go up against a street cretin with out any vest at all. I have a pile of my old vests in the basement that the city bought for me through the decades and I never threwthem away since I'm a pack rat.

Back before I retired in 04 I gave a bunch of my PD's old bullet proof vests, walkie-talkies, car police radios, etc, smokey the bear hats and uniforms to a poor Sheriff's Dept in east Tennessee. We had replaced the radios back just before Y2K and all of this old gear was fixing to go into the dumpster. However that Tennessee Sheriff's Dept was very thankful for the gear since they worked for a very poor county with a tiny budet and they could use it since it was much better than nothing.


7thn
 

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Same here. I'd try not to pay very much for a piece of used body armor, but it'll still beat street clothes against ammo commonly used by criminals, e.g., .22LR, .380, 9mm, maybe .38 Spl 158's.
 

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Actually most kevlar vests are effective a long time past their expiration dates as long as they were not abused. I have seen tests on 10-15 year old vests that still worked. These are the old coarse weave kevlar, a lot of the newer miracle fabric mixed material vests degrade rapidly I would not trust them much past their expiration dates. After the Second Chance Zylon debacle where vests failed well before their expiration date I would pretty much stick with kevlar unless I had someone buying me a new vest every 4-5 years.
 

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I have a level II Twaron vest that I wear to work. I have two carriers that the armor inserts fits into, one blue and one white. The inserts themselves don't see much light inside the carriers, so maybe the UV hasn't deteriorated them. I don't worry too much about it because according to the NIJ standards, the only material that has suffered serious degradation due to UV are the ones made of Zylon.

I also have two 3/4" Level IV ceramic plates that fit into either a Blackhawk clamshell style carrier that I can throw over the Level II, or a tac vest that has plate carriers and Twaron side panels.

The Level II will supposedly stop most common pistol calibers, and OO buck, and shrapnel. The Level IV will supposedly stop up to .30-06. I haven't tested it, and don't want to.

BTW, for those wanting bullet resistant armor, you may want to get it soon, as the House has introduced a bill to ban sales of armor to civilians. I guess that they want folks to get shot, as well as not be able to shoot back. No surprises there.

A good source for acquiring some armor is www.bulletproofme.com I have dealt with them on a few occasions and they are very good.
 

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I keep an older Second Chance(Lvl. III) vest around, as well as a set of Level IV ceramics. Definitely not selling em either with the way the House is talking about banning them....
 

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My first vest was a Second Chance and I still have it. Fast forward to the last vest the city bought for us and the difference in their bulk and thickness is amazing.

In one of the advanced SWAT schools that I attended back in the mid 80s...

The instructors advised us to use old bullet resistant vests to up armour the inside of a patrol car if we ever had to pick up a downed officer in a firefight, such as happened years later in the LA Bank of America shootout with the two thugs with AK's.

I've wondered for years where we were supposed to come up with enough old bullet resistant vests on the spur of the moment to use as an expedient means of turning a police Crown Vic into a wannabe armoured car. LOL

7th
 

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I will second the vote for Bulletproofme.com. I have two plate carriers and have the Level IV multi-hit rifle plates backed up by Level II soft body armor inside the carrier for one, and the same set up but with Level III steel plates in the other. Did find a used Level IIIA soft body armor with stab shields at Keepshooting.com But that was a long time ago. YMMV

As with anything, read the reviews about any particular product (from multiple sites) before purchasing, also be sure what level of protection you are buying......
 

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..also be advised in some places (Florida) - use of body armour while committing a crime increase the possible jail time, raises the level of offense. Not that any M14Froum guys are braking laws but what if you had a self defence situation (Zimmerman) and were "in gear". I know, better to have it on than be dead but just giving a general word to those not familiar.

Also, not just time degrades the inserts but water/sweat exposure degrades some.
 

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I hope this is not too far off topic. I just like sharing stories.

I was in a pawn shop one day and this elderly lady came in with several pieces of body armor and gas masks. She seemed so out of character, but seemed to know what she had. She just wanted to sell it, but they couldn't reach a deal.

Good to see another Memphian on board.
 

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Great information. For one thing, I didn't know Kevlar degraded. Second, surprised our government wants to restrict sales of armor (as if civilians don't need self protection). Thanks to all the posters.
 
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Lots of ambiguity in regards to the subject "Kevlar degradation".

First, the degradation of Kevlar occurs because of exposure to a wearer's perspiration/sweat and any other substance exposure which may occur over its usage. Thus, if a vest is worn but not exposed to sweat/liquids (nor otherwise degraded via bullet impacts/stabbing instruments) its effective lifespan exceeds the "five year rule" no matter what ballistic vest companies "tell" us.

Some of you are correct in your analogies... there is not absolute rule as to Kevlar vest lifespan. Research them and take a look at the ballistic panels. Panels exposed to perspiration (especially longterm exposure) will generally have salt rings present.

Here's a fact for some to gnaw on... my first ballistic vest was worn for nine years straight (patrol duty). With each summer, it was exposed to my sweat. With each other season, sweat was less prevalent save for foot pursuits or other strenuous activity (fights).

I didn't belief the hype told to me by ballistic vest companies. At the start of the tenth year, I replaced my first vest with a new ballistic vest. I took my old "salty" vest out to my local range and tested it using all parameter calibers. My original vest was a level IIIA. My range time proved it stopped all paramenter calibers... as the product label denoted... and yes nine years later.

Not all that glitters is gold.
 
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