Letter Re: Recommendations on Body Armor?

Dear James: J.H. is absolutely correct in that you should avoid body armor with Zylon, and that most of the “big name” brands in Body Armor have put out Zylon models. Some Point Blank production was only 20% Zylon, but it’s just not worth taking the chance. For any vest you should check out the manufacturer’s website, and then if there is any question of Zylon, get a confirmation in writing of the ballistic fibers used. The recommendation to buy only NEW armor is not always the best advice, though. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has tested 10 year …




Letter Re: Recommendations on Body Armor?

Sir: I’d read your post in SurvivalBlog about body armor – someone had asked for some recommendations. I own a small company and my employees wear armor, I’ve worn armor for ten years… And there have been some upheavals recently that those looking to acquire used body armor need, desperately, to be aware of that weren’t addressed in your answer – which was adequate but I felt needed elaborating on – so here goes! WHAT BRAND OF BODY ARMOR SHOULD YOU AVOID WHEN BUYING USED… Both Second Chance and Point Blank are facing bankruptcy and major lawsuits associated with some …




Letter Re: Recommendations on Body Armor?

James: I’m a newbie at preparedness. I have some nitro-packed storage food and I’m working on buying a few guns and getting training.  I think I’ll start with a course at Front Sight. But for immediate needs, I’m about ready to buy some body armor for “just in case.”  Are the mil surplus flak vests that I see advertised for +/-$80 a good deal? – T.Y. JWR Replies: I highly recommend the training at Front Sight it is top notch! About body armor; first things first: Forget about the older-vintage military surplus “flak” vests” that you saw advertised. These are …




Army Upgrades Interceptor Ballistic Armor With New Side Panels

(Quoting the American Forces Press Service, Jan 10, 2005, by Jim Garamone) The Army will continue to improve body armor issued to soldiers, and will begin manufacturing side-panel inserts to the Interceptor ballistic armor (IBA), officials said here today.  The side panels, which weigh three pounds, will be made of the same material as the small-arms protective inserts. Army Col. Thomas Spoehr is in charge of fielding body armor. He said the Interceptor body armor now issued to servicemembers protects against most of the threats they face in Iraq and Afghanistan today. “It’s the best body armor in the world,” …




News Item: 18,000 Point Blank IBA Vests Recalled

The folks over at Military.com report that the U.S. military just announced the recall of more than 18,000 Interceptor Body Armor (IBA) vests because they did not meet ballistic test standards when the body armor was made. This is the second body armor recall announced this year. The recall affects only the outer tactical vest and its soft inserts, made by Point Blank Body Armor Inc. of Florida, and not the ceramic insert that also is used in the armor. Among the eight lots of body armor being recalled, more than 10,000 vests went to the Marines and more than …




Two Letters Re: Lessons from the Big Sand Box: Firearms, Gear, and Tactics in Iraq

Jim: I have been meaning to write for a few days and thank you for posting Fernando’s observations from Argentina. I view the slow slide into economic collapse as the greatest threat and the one I am currently preparing for. What prompts me to write now is the post (12 Nov ’05) about experience in Iraq. Having recently returned from Iraq I thought I would add some of my observations that run a bit different. The AR pattern weapons definitely require greater maintenance but preventive maintenance will prevent problems. Five minutes a day is all it takes. The greatest handicap …




Letter from: “Doug Carlton” Re: Discrediting the Lessons from the Big Sand Box: Firearms, Gear, and Tactics in Iraq Letter

Jim: Unless you can actually verify the identity of the author of the “Firearms, Gear, and Tactics in Iraq” e-mail, then it is bogus. I’ve seen it running around the net in several incarnations with different authors attributed to it for some time now. Some reasons to believe it’s bogus without any authentication: The part about the M249 being a POS comes from an early AAR about the invasion. Some USMC units had weapons that were VERY well-used and I know a Marine that went in with his M249 held together with zip ties. The Army, with newer weapons, report …




Lessons from the Big Sand Box: Firearms, Gear, and Tactics in Iraq

We received this letter, ostensibly from a former Marine Corps First Sergeant, supposedly his second-hand assessment of weapons and enemy tactics in Iraq. This letter has subsequently been largely discredited, so I’m only leaving it up for a couple of days as a teaching tool. I’ve added a few notes. Special thanks to to another First Sergeant (1SG White) and to “Doug Carlton” for helping me with those notes. Hello to all my fellow gunners, military buffs, veterans and interested guys. A couple of weekends ago I got to spend time with my son Jordan, who was on his first …




From David in Israel Re: Body Armor and Handguns

James: About some of the subjects addressed by Fernando in Argentina: For a while people were really into getting body armor here [in Israel]. It was popular during the start of the intifada, but the problem was the bad guys mostly used rifles so you had to use the mega-heavy ceramic chest/back plates. Nobody uses them anymore, I suppose they might come out of the closet if things heat up again. We can also legally get snap in shoulder stocks for handgun here. I believe they are an NFA item with $200 transfer tax with background investigation in America. It …




Letter from The Army Aviator Re: EMP and Troops Shortchanged on Helmets, Etc.

It seems to me that I was reading some of Reason Kearney’s writings and he said the EMP damage to cars, etc was waaaay overrated. Of course, that was back when cars had a lot of non-solid state stuff and tube radios. I do remember he said all you had to do to protect the radio was ground the antenna to the car body. (Tube radio, I expect) and not to worry about the alternator and starter (unless you were smack dab in the middle of the flash). When he wrote that, we already had alternators in lieu of generators. …