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Body Armor Material

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  • Body Armor Material

    I hear a lot about the fabric's deterioration over time, but for the most part, they speak of Kevlar.

    But what of the other materials?

    I have a vest constructed of Spectra Shield that is over ten years old. Although I've never worn it, and it has remained in the closet nearly since the day I have bought it, is the deterioration of this vest of any real concern? I understand that sweat and wear and sunlight all add to the material's rate of degradation. However if it is not exposed to such environments, will it's threat level hold up for considerable length?
    Media vita in morte sumus

  • #2
    Actually, Kevlar (if stored flat, not wet, etc.) will last a long time. I've shot Kevlar 129 vests that were made in the mid-1980s and they stopped what they were supposed to.


    • #3
      There has been a lot of research into Spectra vests and for the most part Spectra failed miserably on contact shots, regardless of age.


      • #4
        If you're not in a position to have to endure contact shots, like LEOs are, then it might not be that bad. Hybrid vests have a higher V-50 rating and, thus, can withstand 'hotter" ammo and are more likely to be rated for Hi-Vel frag than a straight kevlar vest.

        Cops, on the other hand, NEED to make sure their vests will stop handgun ammo. Their need to stop hi-vel fragmentation is very low (unless they're a bomb-tech) compared with a soldier. For example, I go out with a local EOD group as a for me, frag protection is a necessity. Contact shots, not so much.

        Again, determine your likely threat then buy accordingly.


        • #5
          Very good points, Tim.