This article was originally posted on Thefirearmblog.com
After reviewing the DFNDR UHMWPE body armor, I have a new found interest in similar polyethylene based armor. Angel Armor was at Range Day in the section off to the side of the main entrance. Their armor design caught my eye.
The feature that stood out was the two pieces held together by magnets. I am reminded of the infamous Mall Ninja Gecko45 and his need to wear double body armor. For those of you not familiar with the teachings of the venerable Gecko45 please read this (note that Gecko45 is a pair of clown shoes and you should not strive to be like him)
Last year I made the decision to trust my life on the street to Second Chance body armor. I got the level IIa because it stops the most rounds. plus I got the Trauma Plate for the front.
What scares me is that, although I can fit an extra trauma plate in the front, I cannot fit a second one in back. As of late I have taken to duct-taping a second trauma plate to the area of my back where the heart and vital organs are located. Then I put my vest on.
Here is the questions. The ducttape solution, although tactically sound, is hot and painful to remove. I would like to go to the single-plate solution in back. What I am worried about is repeated hits to that area with .308 ammunition. I have a high-risk security job and I fear that I would be the target for repeated long-distance shots to my back.
Are any of you aware of a thicker plate that could stop, say, .338 Lapua or something like that? Is there a better way to do the second plate?
BTW, I am, of course, usually carrying a pair of ceramic plates in my briefcase so that I can shield my head. My SO (we work as a team when necessary) has a similar accessory containing a breakdown NEF single-shot 300 WinMag with an 18″ bbl. The plan is that I shield us with my body and “catch the rounds” while she assembles the NEF. I lay down covering fire with my 23 (Bar-Sto .357 Sig barrel) and she makes the long shots. I will then throw smoke grenades to obscure the area while continuing to lay covering fire. The problem, of course, is when I have to turn my back to run, and then the problem crops up.
The two plates are held together by rare earth magnets in all four corners of the plates.
The thinner carbon fiber looking plate is a NIJ Level IIIA rated plate for pistol rounds up to .44magnum. The Truth 44S is only 0.25″ thick and weighs 0.35lbs for the 5×8″ plate and up to 1.08lbs for the 10×12″ plate. The carbon fiber is merely an aesthetic look. There is no carbon fiber in these plates.
The Truth 47S is the lighter colored and thicker plate is rated for 7.62×39 M67 Lead Core Winchester rounds. They are 0.58″ thick and can weigh 0.78lbs for the 5×8″ plate and up to 2.4lbs for their 10×12″ plate.
Once you snap them together, then the thread level increases and now you can stop 7.62x51mm. The combined weight is 1.13lbs – 3.48 lbs and the plates total thickness is 0.83″
The amount of swelling looks to be on par with what I saw when I tested the DFNDR rifle rated armor.
Angel Armor’s Truth series of plates are much thinner than the DFNDR armor however the coatings are different. The DFNDR armor has a soft cushion like texture on the inside of the armor whereas Angel Armor is rigid on all sides. Defender Armor also has a fabric outer layer that feels similar to gaffer tape.
Pricing for the armor is not that bad. The Truth 308S gets you both plates and the 8×10″ costs only $461. Get the larger 10×12″ plates and those will set you back only $572. While that seem a bit pricey, don’t forget that you are getting two plates and you can quickly and easily “up armor or down armor” as you see fit.