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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some input guys. My department is about to purchase new vests using grant money. Most of us presently wear a Second Chance Monarch IIA. I know there is better stuff on the market now, but I haven't kept up on it. Does anyone have suggestions on which vests to choose? I am thinking a threat level II or IIA is fine, but I am not up to speed on all the new materials. Any input is greatly appreciated.
 

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Harley depending on what dept your with, call some of the local equipment places or call Monarch and Safariland for information packets on their vests, most of the people at my dept got safariland and monarch most were level 111a in safariland and 11 or 111 in the monarch, monarch felt lighter to me when i got mine but that is just a personal preference. I can remember the exact site, but if you go to a search site on the web look up ballistic vests and there should be studies done on the levels and types of vests and what they will stop for ammo.

Good luck.
 

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monarch all the way... AAA police supply in Dedham has statebid. that includes carrying locker,2 cool max tees, x tra carrier, and vest w/ carrier.. $300.00 dep and they will fit you. call and speak to mark, he was great and they offer the best deal in the state with all you get.. Don't forget your dept. id and tin, and u will be all set. Full price for it all was $750.. I think I dont remember but that was only 2 mons ago..So I bet its all still the same..
 

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The State Police has contracts with two companies. Second Chance and First Choice. The ballistic properties are the same and the sales guys will tell you this. It's the carriers and the "goodies" that go along with it vary. Other factors to think about are where are you going to go if you need service or have problems. Second Chance is a national company that uses AAA Police Supl in Dedham as their distributor. First Choice is based in Brockton (local boys). Any vest out there will stop bullets. Somthing else you have to consider is the depth of compression and energy dispursion with the fabric that is used. If a bullet doesn't penetrate the vest but the front panel compresses and touches the back panel you're just as f'd than if it went through. Talk to the companies they'll get you up to speed on all the lingo and standards. You'll be amazed at the protection you will get now for the size and weight you wear now. I went from a IIA to a III that weighs less and is more flexible. Unbelievable! :D
 

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I recently got a new vest it is a Second Chance Ultima 9th generation. The vest is made with zylon which is suppose to be stronger than kevlar, very light, very easy to move in. It came with 2 carriers and a choice of a soft trama plate or a T15 hard plate. Olly recomindation would be get a the carrier that has the one wide strap for the waist. The vest is so thin that it bunches up if you have the other carrier.
 

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She really didn't want to go for a spin in that classic ride :confused: what she thinking?

I also prefer the hard plate, though I can't find mine....dang kids must be using it as a ramp for there matchbox cars again
 

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I have been looking online to find something like a table to illustrate what the different levels do and I cannot find anything. For example (because I am clueless) what does a Level IIA do compared to a Level III. Then you add on terms like ballistic and my head is just spinning. I went and did a search for body armor etc and I found plenty of dealers which had such levels but none had an explanation of the ratings that they used. :confused:
 

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Scott,

Try checking out the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/. They are the R&D arm of the Justice Department and are part of the DOJ Office of Justice Programs. The site has lots of valuable info regarding equipment standards (mostly developed by them - you can find like a 30 page document on the requirements for the design of handcuffs ;) ). Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until late Sunday night, at best, to check out the site, as the OJP site is down for maintenance. However, many of the documents are available at the National Law Enforcement & Corrections Technology Center (an NIJ program) at www.nlectc.org.
Hope this helps,
Eric
 

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Scott,
Even better, just found the documents that should explain everything for you.

1) NIJ Standard 0101.03 - Ballistic Resistance of Police Body Armor

2) NIJ Standard 0101.04 - Ballistic Resistance of Personal Body Armor

3) NIJ Standard 0115.00 - Stab Resistance of Personal Body Armor

And here are the definitions of the different classifications ( NIJ Standard 0101.03 ,p.1):

CLASSIFICATION

Police body armors covered by this standard are classified into seven types, by level of ballistic protection performance.1 The classification of an armor panel that provides two or more levels of ballistic protection at different locations on the ballistic panel shall be that of the minimum ballistic protection provided at any location on the panel.

As of 1987, ballistic-resistant body armor suitable for routine full-time wear throughout an entire shift of duty is available in types I, II-A, and to a limited extent type II (depending largely upon the climate) which will provide protection from common handgun threats. Type III-A, which will provide protection from 9 mm submachine guns and 44 Magnum handguns using the test rounds, and types III and IV, which will protect against high-powered rifles, are normally considered to be special purpose armor most appropriate for use during tactical operations. See appendix A.

2.1 Type I (22 LR; 38 Special)

This armor protects against 22 Long Rifle High Velocity lead bullets, with nominal masses of 2.6 g (40 gr) impacting at a velocity of 320 m (1050 ft) per second or less, and 38 Special round nose lead bullets, with nominal masses of 10.2 g (158 gr) impacting at a velocity of 259 m (850 ft) per second or less. It also provides protection against most handgun rounds in calibers 25 and 32.

2.2 Type II-A (Lower Velocity 357 Magnum; 9 mm)

This armor protects against 357 Magnum jacketed soft point bullets, with nominal masses of 10.2 g (158 gr) impacting at a velocity of 381 m (1250 ft) per second or less, and 9 mm full metal jacketed bullets, with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr) impacting at a velocity of 332 m (1090 ft) per second or less. It also provides protection against threats such as 45 Auto., 38 Special +P and some other factory loads in caliber 357 Magnum and 9 mm, as well as the threats mentioned in section 2.1.

1 The ballistic threat posed by a bullet depends, among other things, on its composition, shape, caliber, mass, angle of incidence, and impact velocity. Because of the wide variety of cartridges available in a given caliber, and because of the existence of hand loads, armors that will defeat a standard test round may not defeat other loadings in the same caliber. For example, an armor that prevents penetration by a 357 Magnum test round may or may not defeat a 357 Magnum round with higher velocity. In general, an armor that defeats a given lead bullet may not resist penetration by other rounds of the same caliber of different construction or configuration. The test ammunition specified in this standard represent common threats to law enforcement officers.

1

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2.3 Type II (Higher Velocity 357 Magnum; 9 mm)

This armor protects against 357 Magnum jacketed soft point bullets, with nominal masses of 10.2 g (158 gr) impacting at a velocity of 425 m (1395 ft) per second or less, and 9 mm full jacketed bullets, with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr) impacting at a velocity of 358 m (1175 ft) per second or less. It also provides protection against most other factory loads in caliber 357 Magnum and 9 mm, as well as the threats mentioned in sections 2.1 and 2.2.

2.4 Type III-A (44 Magnum; Submachine Gun 9 mm)

This armor protects against 44 Magnum, lead semi-wadcutter bullets with gas checks, nominal masses of 15.55 g (240 gr) and impacting at a velocity of 426 m (1400 ft) per second or less, and 9 mm full metal jacketed bullets, with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr) impacting at a velocity of 426 m (1400 ft) per second or less. It also provides protection against most handgun threats, as well as the threats mentioned in sections 2.1 through 2.3.

2.5 Type III ( High-Powered Rifle)

This armor protects against 7.62 mm full metal jacketed bullets (U.S. military designation M80), with nominal masses of 9.7 g (150 gr) impacting at a velocity of 838 m (2750 ft) per second or less. It also provides protection against threats such as 223 Remington (5.56 mm FMJ), 30 Carbine FMJ, and 12 gauge rifled slug, as well as the threats mentioned in sections 2.1 through 2.4.

2.6 Type IV (Armor-Piercing Rifle)

This armor protects against 30 caliber armor-piercing bullets (U.S. military designation APM2), with nominal masses of 10.8 g (166 gr) impacting at a velocity of 868 m (2850 ft) per second or less. It also provides at least single hit protection against the threats mentioned in sections 2.1 through 2.5.

2.7 Special Type

A purchaser having a special requirement for a level of protection other than one of the above standard threat levels should specify the exact test rounds and minimum impact velocities to be used, and indicate that this standard shall govern in all other respects.
 

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Hi LEOs
Harley, we have First Choice MP200 vests which consists of a trauma plate $750. They have a state contract also(bullet proof vest program etc..) First Choice Armor + Equipment out of Brockton 508-559-0777 they will come to your department and measure your officers
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the input guys. FYI I ordered our new vests the other day. I decided to try a new company called GatorHawk. http://www.gatorhawkarmor.com/

They seem to make a pretty decent vest, and the carrier is like the old style, no problems like they have with the Zero-G vest carriers. If anyone has purchased a vest from these guys, I would be interested in any feedback.
 

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Anyone know who makes the "Galls" brand vests for galls? Just curious because a few of those ones are up there in $$ real close to second chance and such, just curious thats all and anyone have one of the galls types or know what they are like?? Don't know if i'd trust one but I guess curiosity got the better of me.
 

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I was fitted for a vest back in January by the department. The choices were Second Chance (vendor was AAA) and First Choice. I selected the first choice because the FIJ tests, which both vendors had, showed the First Choice to have better ballistic qualities. I thought the carrier was better as it had the ability to be adjusted horizontally and vertically over the body. The guy from AAA was less than convincing about his Second Chance. rhl
 

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kdk,
Gall's vests are made by Point Blank. I know the Zylon model is, but I'm not sure about the other models.
 

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Point Blank is currently the supplier for the US Armed Forces. They make the ballistic vests/jackets all combat troops are using. I can't speak personally of their quality, however I haven't heard any complaints from friends who are still in. -Stay Safe
 
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