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cj5_dude
11-02-2014, 11:53
I rarely come to this forum but I have a feeling that this may be one of the best places to ask this question so please bear with me.

I'm a member of a small part time SWAT team. Our current body armor is expiring and we are in need of something new. Currently we have full wrap around Lvl 3A protection with steel Lvl 3 plates. It sucks, a lot. It's heavy and bulky and hard to do anything well in it. A lot has changed in the 5 years that we bought this system and it's my task to find out what's new and good.

I've spent a lot of time looking at different plate carriers and body armor systems online. I'm trying to get to SHOT this year to look at stuff in person. I've been talking to vendors of plates and working to get away from the steel Lvl 3 junk.

So what suggestions do you have for carriers for a SWAT team? Missions last hours and not days or weeks. We work in a small city but are surrounded by mountains and occasionally assist the county SO in rural areas. It seems to me that the trend is moving away from throwing everything on a huge vest to a smaller plate carrier and a load bearing belt system but that may or may not be ideal for our needs, I really don't know. I think just a plate carrier with hard armor isn't enough protection but full wrap around soft armor is likely too much.

What I've seen and liked so far has been the Tyr Tactical PICO MVW. I've gotten my hands on some Lvl 3 and 4 plates from HighCom Security and we're weighing the pro's and con's of all the different choices in plates. We can get 3 lb Lvl 3 plates that don't stop M855, 5 lb Lvl 3 plates that will, or 7 lb Lvl 4 plates that'll stop most rifle threats.

I clearly have a lot I have to learn and research, so if you could point me in directions of places to look, articles to read, etc I would be grateful. Also any brands to avoid and brands to seek out would be great.

Thank you so much for your help.