Can anyone tell me why does the price vary so much between Level 3 body armour & Level IV plates if they all have to meet the same criteria?
Are there some brands or materials that are better quality than others.Also with a 5 year guarantee is armour still up to the job after 5 guarantee expires ?
I would appreciate any advice and would like to know what forum members use.
The price difference in Body Armour Level 3 and 4 is a factor of various things these include:
The individual manufacturer’s ballistic material recipe;
It’s a bit like cooking; every manufacturer has their own material recipe to produce armour, which differentiates them from their competition.
What material are being used; metal, ceramic, composite and layered/laminated aramid fibres materials. If the latter is being used, it then goes to which type of fibre is being used, as some fibres are more expensive than others.
Kevlar®, made by DuPont.
Spectra/Gold flex® made by Honeywell.
Artec® made by Artec.
Twaron® made by Teijin Ltd.
Dyneema® made by DSM.
Here is an article from a company that weaves the ballistic material;
The largest weaver of Aramid and other high performance yarns in the U.S. The Hexcel, Anderson S.C. plant has over 25 years of experience weaving high performance yarns. Our ballistic protection customers manufacture civilian and military body armor using Hexcel fabrics woven from Kevlar®, Spectra®, Twaron® and other high performance brand fibers. These cutting-edge performance fabrics offer unmatched resistance to bullets, frags, cuts, stabs and abrasions, while offering lightweight strength and comfort.
Twaron® fabrics by Teijin
5 times stronger than steel, in the last 10 years of Twaron® Developments of finer filament count, uniquely combined with higher tensile properties, resulting in the patented Twaron®- Microfilament, led to the newest types of Twaron®, exceptionally well adapted to the specific demands of ballistic applications both hard and soft; characteristics include good dimensional stability and high modulus; it does not corrode or wear. It is a safer, more efficient, cleaner, and ultimately, more cost effective manufacturing operation. One that requires less energy and raw materials, and produces fewer harmful emissions. The product last longer, and have greater added value and are environmentally friendly. Replacing traditional materials with new, improved, product Twaron is cutting waste,
Kevlar® by Du Pont
Kevlar is lighter and stronger than steel, but loses its desirable properties when exposed to the sun for extended periods of time. A tough yarn, suited for ballistic protection and is used both in soft body armor applications such as personal protection ballistic vest.
As to the million dollar question “Which is Better”? That’s a very loaded question, how much is your life worth? The nirvana in the body armour industry is to produce armour that is thin, light weight, flexible, stop combat rifle ammunition, multiple hits and is cheap to produce. Unfortunately, the technology isn’t there yet to produce that armour. What is available, is thick, light weight plates such as the “Point Blank” Hard Armour plates, which are “Bulky”, or you have, thin and heavy plates, which erode your performance especially in hot weather environments. Most Security Operators don’t have the luxury of picking their body armour they use what is given to them, but if given the choice, it boils down to the individuals operational requirements.
The 5 year Guarantee is an insurance standard, the majority of insurance companies will only insure the manufacturers product for only 5 years. There are companies that offer longer guarantee, but they are few and far between and cost’s more. As to the effectiveness of body armour after the 5 year period, only in the last 2 years has research been conducted into the performance of body armour older than 5 years, which was brought about due the Zylon ballistic material fiasco. But in my experience unless the armour has been damaged, or dropped in the case of ceramic armour, there is no evidence for or against hard level 3 & 4 body armour older than 5 years not performing.
I hope that this info helps you out.
Level IV is not neccessarily better than level III.
What is your primary env/threat that you require this for?
A good combination is level III with removable front and rear trauma plates.
Last edited by mts; 24-10-2008 at 07:21.
Thanks for your advice and armour info apologies for late reply,what manufacturer do you use yourself?
MTS re your Q.
I am looking at having a level IIIA but being able to upgrade to Level IV if required.From web searchingsee Israeli vests seem well priced what is your opinion?
We wear level IV here, ime awaiting delivery of my new Dragonskin, expensive but my life is worth it,regards Ram.
Last edited by Ram Man; 28-10-2008 at 11:15.
I currently use First Choice Armor level 3a and their level 3 plates, but I will switch once I need to replace. As to which one, I will do some research into the latest armour on the market at the time.
Ive ordered myn direct from Pinnicle,the only problam i have is that i have to fly to the US to collect,ive not looked into the issue you raise,due to i will be the only person on my team with Dragonskin,but will look into it anyway regards Ram.
does anyone have a list of supplies in the Uk and wot are the costs, i am looking for a not so bulky one.
Have been looking at safariland multiflex 3a anyone any experience of their vests?
BulletProofME.com Body Armor / Bullet proof Vests
Sedo Domain Parking - Sedo GmbH
(Not sure of websites)
special forces kit
Came across in my own research have had no contact with any retailer yet,hope it helps