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  #1  
Old 06-19-2013, 2:17 PM
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Default New body armor, group buy pricing

I talked to the mods, and this is where I am supposed to post this. This is a reposting of the thread in the "off topic" section. Here is the basics:


I have finally managed to get the owner of the body armor company to let me raid his stocks at group buy prices, if I can sell at least 10 units, regardless of type. Between here and a couple of other of other forums I have sold that many, so we get these rates. These are the same plates I have posted on before, including the Level 3 lightweight plate that I broke down on camera after shooting it 5 times at 15 yards with 150gr FMJs out of a .308. An just to clear things up ahead of time, UHMWPE is Ultra-high-molecular-weight-polyethylene, which is exactly the same material as Dyneema and Spectra. If anybody else wants to order, send me a PM. I can hold these prices until the end of the month.

So here is what he has, and what the group buy prices are:

Hard armor plates:



These are available in 3 flavors.

Level III Alumina ceramic + UHMWPE stand alone plate: 2.5 kg, .88" thick, $179 SOLD OUT

Level IV Alumina ceramic + UHMWPE stand alone plate: 2.8 kg, 0.99" thick, $199

Level III 100% UHMWPE stand alone plate: 1.8 kg, 1.1" thick, $225 SOLD OUT


In addition, there are two kinds of level IIIA inserts. These are the same size as the plates above. One is a hard plate, that is much, much thinner. The other is a soft armor panel. Both are rated to stop Level IIIA threats and 7.62x25 Tokarev rounds. And both are made from Ultra-high-molecular-weight-polyethylene.


Level IIIA 100% PE stand alone plate: 0.56 kg, 0.35" thick, $80 SOLD OUT

Level IIIA soft armor panel: 0.5 kg, 0.47" thick, $80 SOLD OUT

Here is the soft panel:



Shipping costs will be the actual cost of shipping to your address. Normally a USPS flat rate box, plus insurance. No sales outside of the US. No sales to felons or other prohibited persons. And know your local laws before ordering.

-Mb
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Old 06-19-2013, 2:25 PM
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what company makes them. Are they NIJ certified, or homeboy certified.
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Old 06-19-2013, 2:25 PM
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can we get some more info on the MFG
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Old 06-19-2013, 2:37 PM
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is the posted price per pair or per plate?
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Old 06-19-2013, 2:47 PM
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What the weights of these various plates?

Is this type of ceramic less prone to cracking? That was one of the issues with SAPIs.
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Old 06-19-2013, 2:50 PM
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The price is per plate. They have US NIJ, EU, and Chinese state certifications from the factory. The NIJ testing was done at in independent lab here in the US. They are imported from China by Majestic Armor out of Las Vegas. They don't have a website up and going, they have mostly been doing gun shows and local sales. These are the same plates that I shot up last summer, and did the video review of how they held up.

-Mb

Edit: These do not have NIJ certification as far as I have been able to find out. I am working on tracking that down, but until I find out otherwise, assume that they are not certified. They have passed the testing requirements, but I don't know if the factory in China has followed through to have the NIJ certify them yet. See my later post on this.
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Old 06-19-2013, 2:57 PM
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What the weights of these various plates?

Is this type of ceramic less prone to cracking? That was one of the issues with SAPIs.
The weights and thicknesses are listed above in the description. Yes, these are less prone to cracking than the straight ceramic plates. These have the ceramic material encased in a UHMWPE fiber and resin matrix. The ceramic portion is there to break up the bullet and dissipate the energy. The UHMWPE layers are there to catch the bullet fragments and absorb the remaining energy. The lightweight Level III plate uses more layers of UHMWPE instead of the ceramic to keep it lighter than the other plates. The down side is that it is slightly thicker.

-Mb

(edit) Yes, they are made in China. As are most of the plates on the market today. These come out of the same factory that supplies militaries around the world. They have passed the NIJ testing, as well as a host of others. If it is a political thing, I can understand and respect that. But if it is a quality issue, I have taken these out and shot them up myself. They really do work.
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Old 06-19-2013, 3:54 PM
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can you show us the NIJ testing, is it up on the NIJ website?
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Old 06-19-2013, 3:57 PM
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I can't, as I am sitting here at work. I can probably track down the copies the owner has from the factory. I don't know what his policy is on releasing them. But I will certainly check on it.

-Mb
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Old 06-19-2013, 8:06 PM
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YouTube clips of your shoot up tests??
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Old 06-19-2013, 8:09 PM
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NIJ certified is important. If it's not on the NIJ website it hasn't been NIJ certified. Tested to =/= certified.

UHMWPE should be good for stopping common .30cal threats, however tends to have trouble with M855 as seen here. These may be ok since they have Aluminum Oxide, but have to see the certification first.

Last edited by FaRKle!; 06-19-2013 at 8:13 PM..
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Old 06-19-2013, 8:32 PM
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No, these do not have trouble with the M855. Not even the Level III 100% UHMWPE one. I have the lab tests on that one, along with the documentation and photos of it from the manufacturer. It held up just fine, with no penetrations, and minimal deformation on the back. IIRC, the cavity on the clay backing was in the 20mm range. Well below the 40mm threshold needed to pass the tests. I am still waiting to hear back from the owner on the US testing. I know they have passed the NIJ protocols, including at a US lab. I don't know if they are certified in the US at this point. As for your link, it does not note whether those were level III stand alone plates, or ones meant to be used in conjunction with a level IIIA vest. Looking at the results on the dyneema plate, and the fact that the rounds fully penetrated the plate, but were caught by the vest, I would tend to believe that they were not stand alone plates. The plates in this group buy are ALL stand alone plates.

-Mb

(edit) Here is a link to the video of me taking the lightweight plate apart after shooting it last summer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsB_d8rk9ek

Last edited by gun toting monkeyboy; 06-19-2013 at 8:43 PM..
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:41 PM
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I am still tracking down whatever they have on the US testing. It looks the certification tests I have seen are out of China. I could NOT find these on the NIJ website, so he (the owner) is trying to find out what the deal is with that and the manufacturer. At this point, I am going to have to assume that they pass the tests, but are not actually certified by the NIJ. I will post the documentation I do have, which includes the SS109 testing. I also sent off a batch of the different plates to an independent, NIJ-certified ballistics lab here in the US. The owner is springing for the cost, I just had to set it up. So hopefully I will have some results to post on here in the next few weeks. While not the same as actual NIJ certification, it will at least show that the plates meet the testing requirements.

-Mb
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Old 06-22-2013, 1:21 PM
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Okay, on the test that I have, it states (translated into English by their state testing agency) :

"The Ballistic insert provided has been by an SS 109 rifle cartridge with M16 5.56 automatic rifle at the range of 15m. Testing condition is normal temperature (natural temperature). Totally fired 6 rounds with sample attacking from the front, and no penetration. The maximum trauma depth on the artificial body is 23.2mm"

I will post the pictures as soon as I get a chance, but here are the results of the cavities left in the clay on the back side of the plate:

1) 954 m/s, 20.6mm
2) 951 m/s, 23.2mm
3) 956 m/s, 21.5mm
4) 951 m/s, 21.0mm
5) 948 m/s, 17.2mm
6) 940 m/s, 20.4mm

So, assuming that their test results are accurate, none of the rounds penetrated, and none of them even came close to the 44mm threshold that the testing allows. Please don't assume that because one type of armor tested online failed, that all types of armor made of that material will fail. This is the exact same kind of plate that I emptied a whole magazine of FMJ .308 rounds into last summer at 15 yards, and didn't penetrate. Give me a week or two, and I should be able to back this up with documentation from a US lab.

As for the Level 4 Alumina/PE plates, I know that they will stop the one M2 AP Ball .30-06 round, as I have tested that. The information from China shows that they will stop at least 3 rounds. As in the above tests, here are their results:

1) 841 m/s, 28.9mm deformation
2) 854 m/s, 25.8mm deformation
3) 846 m/s, 28.4mm deformation

Again, not evem close to the threshold of 44 mm.
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Old 06-22-2013, 1:54 PM
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The MV of that data matches what an m855 round should be out of a 20" M16 barrel. Do you know what kind of backing they had behind the plate (rigid body, ballistic gel, IIIa soft armor)?

Quote:
This is the exact same kind of plate that I emptied a whole magazine of FMJ .308 rounds into last summer at 15 yards, and didn't penetrate.
.308 performance has little to do with 5.56mm threats. For instance, the lvl III spec only states it has to defeat 147gr M80 ball ammo, therefore you can have a lvl III rated plate that will not protect against smaller caliber threats. Evidence of this are the many PE plates that will stop .308 just fine, but fail on M855.
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Old 06-22-2013, 5:18 PM
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It looked like a clay or an opaque gel backing in the photos. The divots were clearly visable after the plate was removed. No armor between the plate and the testing medium. These are stand alone plates. No point in testing their performance as stand alone if you have additional armor behind them. I am assuming that it was done per the testing standard, seeing as they went through all of the trouble to do it and document it. Again, I will have more information when the plates and panel get back from the lab.

-Mb

(edit) Just a note, and I am adding it here so that I don't look like I am bumping. The article saying how horrible spectra/dyneema/UHMWPE is , quite frankly, a load of crap. The "massive penetration" pictures don't give you any background on what was used, or whether or not it was a picture of the front or back. And the comments about it being "the same plastic as milk jugs" shows that somebody doesn't understand basic chemistry. Just because two chemicals have the same basic structure doesn't mean that they are the same. Polyethylene is a whole family of plastics made up of molecules ranging from only a few ethylene molecules polymerized into short chains, used to make plastic wrap, through large chains that can have literally MILLIONS of ethylene groups linked together to form long, incredibly stong molecules used to make UHMWPE. I know the "milk jug" sound byte is cool to toss out there, but it just isn't true. That is like saying a 1" nylon rope the same strength as a nylon thread, because they are both made out of nylon, and both some sort of fiber. Or the polycarbonate that you have over your light fixture at work is just as strong as the 8 inch thick polycarbonate they use to make the whale tanks at Seaworld. The person who wrote that article had a thing for woven Kevlar, and anything that wasn't Kevlar was crap. That may have been true for Zylon, but it isn't for UHMWPE.
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Old 06-26-2013, 7:29 PM
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Okay, the link to that oft-cited thread here on Calguns ripping UHMWPE has been pulled down. But one thing I do want to clarify is that you guys should realize that the person who posted that thread is selling kevlar panels. So it is not exactly what I would call an unbiased source.

A couple more items. First, the armor all went off to a NIJ certified lab last week. I should have results as soon as the owner gets them to me, most likely by next week. But that is up to the lab more than anything.

Second, I was looking at the specific gravity of UHMWPE. Interestingly enough, it is below 1. What does that mean? Well, I tossed one of the lightweight Level 3 plates, and one of the soft panels in the pool, along with a kevlar panel. Guess which one of the three sank? And guess which ones floated? Yes, even the Level 3 plate. It bobbed around, and kept popping up to the surface every time I pushed it under. I don't think they will be filling life jackets with them any time soon, but it is nice to know that they won't drag you under. I did not try the alumina/UHMWPE plates because as cool as it is that the polyethylene floats, I think the added weight and density of the ceramic would be a bit more than the smaller amount of UHMWPE in those plates could keep afloat.

-Mb
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Old 06-27-2013, 8:36 AM
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I'm interested to see how these will hold up against greentip
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:54 PM
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(sigh) Couldn't resist, could you? As I said, the plates are off being tested in a US lab. However, here are the results I have from the manufacturer in China.





You guys can either go with these results, or wait until I have the test results from the US lab. I don't know what else to tell people. I went through and got us a good deal. Between here and a couple of other forums, we have bought enough to keep the prices at this point for at least another month. The armor is real. It has held up to everything I have thrown at it over the last year or so, and posted the results on here. I had the owner go arrange to get them tested, and will have the results soon. And all I keep hearing is that "they aren't good enough for this", or "my friend heard that", or "the guy that is selling a different kind of armor posted a bunch of unsubstantiated claims about it being made out of soda bottles", or "they won't stop Martian Death Rays". Really? The guy that does the armor testing at the US lab thought they were good. He liked that they were Polyethylene. And he got all excited about testing them. According to him, it holds up better long term than kevlar, and is less susceptible moisture and body oils. And it wears less because the fibers are stronger. I will see if I can get more information out of him the next time I talk to him. But in the meantime, all I have is all I have. The results they got from the lab in China have thus far matched up with the results I have posted on here.

-Mb
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Old 06-27-2013, 1:14 PM
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Here are the Chinese results for the Level 4 Alumina/ PE plates:







Again, until I hear back from the owner with the results from the US lab, this is all I have available to me.
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Old 06-27-2013, 8:23 PM
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Picked up a TAG plate carrier for the GF. Using this with 2 soft plates right now, might try a hard/soft plate combo later.


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Old 07-08-2013, 4:43 PM
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I will be posting the results for the Level 4 plate in the next day or so. I am just waiting on him to get them to me. The rest of the inventory is sold out. Thanks everybody who bought plates and panels. I got the owner to agree that he will keep the prices on these at $199 for the rest of the month or until they run out, whichever comes first. After that, he is closing down the group buy. I will also look into what other goodies he is planning on getting in the next few months.

-Mb
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Old 07-10-2013, 1:49 PM
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As promised, here is the results for the Level 4 plate that is still in stock:



It looks like he will be getting some other odds and ends that I can post up here in the next few months. I will be going through his stockroom and seeing if there are any odd lots that I can post. I will check and see what the rules are with that, and it will probably have to go through the marketplace, unless I can find enough of one thing to do another group buy.

-Mb
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Old 07-10-2013, 1:55 PM
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Quote:
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As promised, here is the results for the Level 4 plate that is still in stock:



It looks like he will be getting some other odds and ends that I can post up here in the next few months. I will be going through his stockroom and seeing if there are any odd lots that I can post. I will check and see what the rules are with that, and it will probably have to go through the marketplace, unless I can find enough of one thing to do another group buy.

-Mb

am I reading this right.. partial penetration?
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Old 07-10-2013, 2:01 PM
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That means that the bullet went into the material, exactly like it is supposed to. They don't bounce off and leave the surface unmarred. Look at the pictures from the Chinese tests. Those are pretty much what the ones here looked like. It makes a hole in the first layers of material as the bullet goes in and breaks up. Then the fragments are caught/stopped by the layers behind. If you look at the notes, you only have 3 kinds of hits. Partial penetration, complete penetration, and unfair hit. No idea what the last one is. According to the test results, it passes the NIJ testing standards.

-Mb
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Old 07-10-2013, 8:27 PM
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Good to know it passed the Lvl 4 test it was advertised at. How's it (and especially the lvl 3 plates) do against 5.56/5.45 threats? That's what most people would really be interested in.
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Old 07-10-2013, 9:51 PM
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The level 3 plates passed the test with the green tips with no problem. I posted the manufacturer's testing on that above, and tested it myself with the same results. Realize that getting a ballistics lab to run the tests costs several hundred dollars per plate. On top of the cost of the plate itself. At this point I don't think that I can convince him to send off another plate for testing against a lesser threat just to prove that the plate will stop that as well. I have given you the stuff from China, which I can understand some people finding suspect. But I have done the same test myself and gotten zero penetrations on it. You are basically asking him to take a loss of around more than $500 on top of the more than $500 he already spent to get that plate tested. Just to prove to you that it does exactly the same thing it has done in the previous tests. On a plate that he is selling for a discount at $225, and he is currently out of. No offense, but that doesn't make much sense, no matter how you look at it. Especially not when he has plenty of people wait-listed to buy them when they come in again. If you are that uncomfortable with it, you might prefer to go with the Level 4 plate instead. It costs less anyway, and they are still in stock.

As for the level 4 plates, they stopped a .30-06 level Armor Piercing round. How it performs against an intermediate, non-armor piercing round is kind of moot. It isn't going to go through. If it makes you feel any better, I will see if I can get the used plate when it gets back from the lab, and shoot it a few times with the green tips though.

-Mb
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Old 07-11-2013, 8:10 AM
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Quote:
As for the level 4 plates, they stopped a .30-06 level Armor Piercing round. How it performs against an intermediate, non-armor piercing round is kind of moot. It isn't going to go through.
Unfortunately it's a false premise that, "If it stops X round, which is more powerful, it'll stop Y round which isn't as powerful!" Hence why a steel place can stop M855 with a steel penetrator yet M193 can zip right through. I generally agree that a L4 plate will stop lesser threats, hence why I hoping you'd have a L3 plate sent for testing instead of an L4 since there's more variability there (and most people won't be facing .30-06 AP threats).

Quote:
If you are that uncomfortable with it, you might prefer to go with the Level 4 plate instead. It costs less anyway, and they are still in stock.
It's not that I'm uncomfortable with it, it's that what you don't know CAN kill you with regards to armor. Unfortunately, NIJ ratings are far from "all inclusive." Realize I'm not trying to bash your product, but make sure potential customers are asking the right questions and have all the necessary information to make a possibly life-saving decision.
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Old 07-11-2013, 9:35 AM
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At this point, I don't know what to tell you. I posted picture of the plate being shot with the round you want at a state lab in China. I have shot it with them myself, and told you the results. I had the owner of the company spend thousands of dollars having the armor tested at an independent, NIJ certified lab here in the US, which confirmed the tests from China. And the only thing that you can focus on is the fact that a non-standardized test, costing even more money, hasn't been done to your satisfaction. You can continue to focus on that if you want, but at this point, I don't see the owner going in for yet another round of tests for no reason. The plates stop the round in question. You can choose to believe it or not. Seeing as they are sold out, and there is a waiting list for the next batch, I think he is okay with it right now.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:56 AM
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I still have a few Level IV plates left. They are still $199+ shipping each.

-Mb
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Old 07-22-2013, 2:02 PM
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Four plates left. Sale ends in 9 days.

-Mb
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:32 AM
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Last day, three plates left.
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