We're getting closer and closer to our first production run of body armor. The AR500 Steel was laser cut today. It'll have the curves put in tomorrow (after deburring and rounding the edges). Then it's off to get them coated with anti-spalling material. (Do yourself a favor and DO NOT buy steel armor plates that haven't been treated with an anti-spalling coating. The bullet fragmentation WILL injure you and possibly kill you and/or the
I started out by thinking, "What's the next stage of preparedness?". My answer was either chem suits or body armor. In my end of the world vision, I foresee then need for armor to defend against armed gangs and looters before a military attack (al-la Red Dawn).
So, I started researching and I discovered that I needed a material that would be good for multiple rifle hits and be durable. (I previously wore body armor as a LEO and it was only good against pistols.) Ceramic was out of the question due to its non-durable nature and the fact that it is designed to be replaced after a few hits. In a post collapse era, there will be no replacements.
That left steel armor. The military uses steel armor for their vehicles and other uses. The mil spec is clearly defined and achievable with regularly available AR500 steel (same steel used for front end loaders and bulldozer). I did some more reading and watching and found out that the bullet does not vaporize (as some claim), but actually fragments into small, but deadly, pieces that can wound or kill you.
Further research led me know learn that there are several products on the market (mostly available for the military and private security companies) that coat the steel and prevent the fragmentation (also called spalling) Spall can actually refer to the bullet fragments and any fragmentation from the armor itself. I contracted with a company that manufactures this anti-spall product and all of our plates will be coated with the material. It will also serve to prevent wear of the plate carrier.
How much does it weigh? Each plate will be 10 x 12 and the combined weight (front and back) is approximately 14 pounds. Not bad considering what it will protect you from.
I'll be posting videos and photos as we take them and keep you all posted. I'm very excited about this product and hope that you all will see the need for the armor. As a prior military and law enforcement veteran, I will not produce an inferior product; especially when someone's life depends on it. If my tests fail, we won't sell it as body armor (maybe someone would want a target?). LOL
But, I will post the video proof and all the evidence I can show that these are the real deal (assuming they are). I am not (at least at this point) going to get these tested by the NIJ or DoD. Why? Their labs charge tens of thousands of dollars for the testing. I'm focused on keeping the price low for you. If I did the official testing, my product would be hundreds more, and that would price out the people that actually need it the most. I don't have a firm price yet, but I'm thinking each plate will be ~$150. "But don't some places sell it cheaper!?" Yes, but their plates aren't coated and are probably produced in
That's it for now. Stay tuned and please spread the word. I expect these to go on sale in early January at my website www.internetprepper.com.