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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all Merry Christmas to everyone ("happy holidays is what the terrorists say" -30 Rock)

I had an interesting sit down christmas dinner with my wife's extended family and I have to say that it was very enlightening. I did not know that for the most part that Domestic US Agencies (USBP specifically) were moving away from introvert soft armor and moving specifically to extrovert plate carriers with standalone level 4 front/back/side inserts. Apparently, US Marines are already doing this in Afghanistan because of the mobility and weight issues.

Now, here comes my question: Is there any level 4 plate SHOULDER protection on the market? I know Canadian and German kevlar body armor have a type of almost hockey pad-like shoulder protector, but i have not seen anything that US military uses that is similar to this. The kevlar body armor that the army uses has SOFT shoulder protectors, but its nothing that will stop a rifle round while in the prone position.

Im not looking for mad-max roadwarrior type football pads, but some company has to have something on the market that can be worn in addition to plate carriers to provide level 4 shoulder protection without killing you in weight and mobility restrictions.

Any ideas?
 

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If you think about it for a minute, nothing short of armor plating is going to stop a rifle round while you are in a prone position. You cannot carry enough ceramic plates or tungsten plates unless you are naked in tennis shoes and carrying nothing else, except maybe your rifle.
I wore body armor often. We used secondchance with ceramic and tungsten inserts. Even as lightweight as it was supposed to be, it still weighed about 20 pounds. I took three hits, dead center mass from a 762x39 that knocked me on my keister. If the opponent had been able to continue to fire, my lower torso would have stopped any further rounds. And I wouldn't be writing this. In a prone position there is no protection available that still allows you to be functional. Now if you can come up with a suit of armor, about 9 inches thick and motorized.......oh wait, they call those tanks don't they?
 

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I remember an episode or two from Mythbusters, one they made a portable tornado shelter and on another episode they made some interesting stuff from a drywall mix and some fiber also was some ceramic stuff already adhered to a flexible backing.

Now I am not a noob by any means but I was just thinking for prone shooting there could be a armored "hood" that would be angled, it would have to have a shooting slot of course but otherwise would give protection from anything short of 20mm stuff. If I had the opportunity to prove a point say for an Israeli industry I would even go so far as to suggest small applique armor squares like a frontal checkerboard, mini counter charges against heavier bullets.
 

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...... there could be a armored "hood" that would be angled, it would have to have a shooting slot of course but otherwise would give protection from anything short of 20mm stuff. If I had the opportunity to prove a point say for an Israeli industry I would even go so far as to suggest small applique armor squares like a frontal checkerboard, mini counter charges against heavier bullets.
Dragon Skin has overlapping ceramic/carbon disks that will take hits up to 762x39. Israelis do have a body armor that is better but it gives up protection at certain places. .50 cal will penetrate one inch of steel at just about every angle. 762x54R AP will do the same. The trade-off is maneuverability. If you are humping 100 pounds of gear and another 100 pounds of armor, you won't be agile, mobile, and erectile. There are quite a few companies out there that provide body armor now. What you want is Level 4 plus, and the additional shoulder/armpit protectors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you very much for your suggestions and thank you for your service Ripper.

The product you are suggesting are actually soft kevlar inserts that wrap around your upper arms to give you a type of deflection and under arm protection to shrapnel. There are a few articles if you google "kevlar shoulder pads" that talk about how those came to be issued to soldiers in the Iraq theater of operations.

I agree with everything you said about weight and mobility restrictions. That is partially why I considered this topic might be of some benefit in the broken arrow forum.

What I was looking for (specifically to purchase for my wife's cousins who are in the Boarder Patrol) is more of a hard protector that can be worn with just the standard plate carriers they are issued (condor?) so they would have a little more protection while not giving up too much weight.

As I previously mentioned, Canadian and German troops seem to have some type of independent hard kevlar shoulder protection, but I am not fluent in their specifications.

Btw, it really says something when our domestic agencies are starting to give up on soft kevlar all together, but I think that is just a sign of the times.

Thank you again.
 

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Have seen and worn in hot zones the German, Norwegian, and Italian armor. The hard looking shoulders are just for looks. It is Kevlar and aramid shaped into a peak to stop....wait for it...knife thrusts or bayonet thrusts. Have seen and handled the Canadian BA. The ceramic shoulder pads are decorative. Saw them shatter when hit with a multiple round burst from MP5K. Fortunately the armor was on a mannikin.
Chinese and Russians supposedly have some in development although my bet would be the Chinese as the Russians tend to copy, reverse engineer and then screw up designs. Exception being the Kalashnikov.
Have BP, ICE and other alphabet agency folks living all around me and we talk and compare. They want something better than soft armor but the hardened stuff limits and REALLY LIMITS mobility. The one constant is having to handle aggressive illegals and their "guides" and you just cannot do it in a Level 4 or 5 BA suit.
I kinda liked the Dragon Skin but there is too much controversy over it. And it has become too expensive. Most BP now apparently are going with US PALM. www.uspalm.com
Appears to be good soft armor with an insert capability but again nothing is protecting the shoulders.
Prone is what you are looking to protect and if mobility isn't required, there are a number of manufacturers that can build a hide.
 

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First of all Merry Christmas to everyone ("happy holidays is what the terrorists say" -30 Rock)

I had an interesting sit down christmas dinner with my wife's extended family and I have to say that it was very enlightening. I did not know that for the most part that Domestic US Agencies (USBP specifically) were moving away from introvert soft armor and moving specifically to extrovert plate carriers with standalone level 4 front/back/side inserts. Apparently, US Marines are already doing this in Afghanistan because of the mobility and weight issues.

Now, here comes my question: Is there any level 4 plate SHOULDER protection on the market? I know Canadian and German kevlar body armor have a type of almost hockey pad-like shoulder protector, but i have not seen anything that US military uses that is similar to this. The kevlar body armor that the army uses has SOFT shoulder protectors, but its nothing that will stop a rifle round while in the prone position.

Im not looking for mad-max roadwarrior type football pads, but some company has to have something on the market that can be worn in addition to plate carriers to provide level 4 shoulder protection without killing you in weight and mobility restrictions.

Any ideas?
You can use the side SAPI plate armor.

FWIW, this was tested on some big Marines a few years ago, with the results being that they were better off without it. It's a tradeoff between mobility and speed. If you are looking for shoulder protection while in the prone, cover would work better.
 

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The product you are suggesting are actually soft kevlar inserts that wrap around your upper arms to give you a type of deflection and under arm protection to shrapnel. There are a few articles if you google "kevlar shoulder pads" that talk about how those came to be issued to soldiers in the Iraq theater of operations.
Yes and no. They tried them. In 115degree heat the soldiers dump them. And they don't really stop anything except fragments.



What I was looking for (specifically to purchase for my wife's cousins who are in the Boarder Patrol) is more of a hard protector that can be worn with just the standard plate carriers they are issued (condor?) so they would have a little more protection while not giving up too much weight.
ICE and BP aren't allowed, according to them, to wear more. Several of the folks here bought DragonSkin and side plates but were told to take it off and use the issue stuff.

It is really irritating that we can come up with all sorts of other gadget but not pliable body armor.
It all works to a degree but in standing, sitting, kneeling positions. Once you go prone you have opened up the arena to leg shots, shoulder shots, and drilling thru your helmet. Haven't really seen anything that prevents the 762x54R or 762x63 from breaking your breastbone or penetrating if AP.
And nothing made currently for the battlefield protects from .50cal/12.xmm. There are some ballistic shields but you have to hand carry them like a medieval shield and the suckers are heavy.
Just have them dress in period Viking costumes, carry long swords and battle axes and scream a lot. That'll rattle the snipers to the point the won't be able to hold steady. Or they'll be laughing so hard, you'll be able to spot them easy and take them down.
 

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It is really irritating that we can come up with all sorts of other gadget but not pliable body armor. It all works to a degree but in standing, sitting, kneeling positions. Once you go prone you have opened up the arena to leg shots, shoulder shots, and drilling thru your helmet. Haven't really seen anything that prevents the 762x54R or 762x63 from breaking your breastbone or penetrating if AP.
And nothing made currently for the battlefield protects from .50cal/12.xmm. There are some ballistic shields but you have to hand carry them like a medieval shield and the suckers are heavy.
Legs, shoulders, and heads are vulnerable in all positions. That's why soldiers are trained to seek cover regardless of their own armor. And whatever disadvantages there may be to the prone position, it has two major advantages: making you a smaller target and providing considerably more stability than other positions. As for protection from .50 cal/12.6 mm, until personal force fields are developed, it will be impossible to have practical body armor for every caliber that protects the entire body.

To answer the original question, http://www.tactical-life.com/online...icals-aw-ballistic-shoulder-bicep-protection/. It's basically the same shoulder protector the military uses with a small plate carrier incorporated.
 

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Best body armor I can think of

The only body armor I can think of that meets all the requirements is C&C brand. It was all the rave when I was in the Army. Hell, they used to have ads for it stuck all over the halls at Ft. Knox.




They had a different name for it back then, Cover & Concealment, because as they'd proved thousands of times, "What can be seen can be hit and what can be hit can be killed". Not being a smart ass, I'm just cheap and try to be practical about it.
 
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