At long last, now you can show your approval and pride of D-Rmor Gear to the world. Slap these velcro-backed, color matched PVC patches on your gear, your ride, your pets, your significant other…perhaps some discretion is recommended in the latter case.

Coming in at 2.5″ wide, this patch is as rugged as everything else made by D-Rmor Gear. And at $7.50 each, they are a bargain! Pre-order yours today, will be shipping out the first units on October 1st!

D-Rmor Gear Patch1

D-Rmor Gear Patch2

Due to the incredible current backlog, and the amount of effort required to make two versions of Spall Guards, I am temporarily discontinuing the version 5.1.1 Side Spall Guards to focus on the primary Spall Guards. They will return at some point in the future. Thanks to everyone who has inquired!

The backlog has continued to grow, and since I do not want to keep people waiting (and also do not want to put increasing stress on myself), I am suspending new orders until September 30th. I will still be taking names for the waitlist, please email me with the plate profile and number of guards you would like. Thank you all for your patience!

I can still remember 10 years or so ago, when steel plates were relatively rare. You had DBT, and one or two other options. Steels used were the expensive MARS 500 or similar.

Fast forward to now. Ebay is awash with sellers making their own versions of steel rifle plates, mostly using AR500 steel, a select few using MIL-Spec HHS (A46100), and some using SUB-standard (pun intended) steels. The latter, known as High Yield, is literally used in the building of submarine hulls.

HY-80, or High Yield 80, is a great steel to withstand high pressure at great depth. What it lacks is the hardness found in A46100 and AR500. This little detail can lead to bad things happening when it is shot by high velocity rifle rounds.

A gentleman on the “Toob” (Nellz442) did a shoot test with several common rounds, and while the plate easily handled pistol, and shrugged off 7.62X39, 5.45 punched it.

5.45 is an easier threat to stop than M855. Yes, it is still a hyper velocity, small caliber threat, which can give AR500 plates pause. But unlike AR500, HY-80 does not have the hardness to resist indentation, which allows it to be holed by a round that it was claimed to stop:

The second test (since removed from Youtube) using the backside of the plate showed M855, .30-06 SOFT POINT and 7.62X54 sailing right through.

This is an excellent opportunity for a reality check- it is fine to want inexpensive armor, but if that armor does not perform as intended/advertised, you have actually just spent far more than you would have if you purchase known effective steel in the first place. AR500 steel is still a decent baseline, and A46100 is still the gold standard for economical, and highly effective rifle armor.

Leave the SUB-standard steel for the submarines.

Coming Soon: Extreme Duty Plate Backers

Posted: August 29, 2014 in Swag

With the tremendous interest in the D-Rmor Gear Spall Guards, there have also been requests for a IIIA soft armor plate backer that exhibits similar workmanship, durability, and effectiveness.

I have listened, and am in the process of reviving the classic D-Rmor Plate Backer. Some of you may have purchased earlier versions some years ago, and the latest version (this will be 6.0!) will exceed all previous examples.

Will feature:

-100% pure woven Aramid construction
-Special construction methods to prevent wear-induced deterioration
-The use of Kevlar and Mil-Spec Nylon thread
-Enhanced design to minimize backface deformation
-Outer shell of 500D Cordura.
-Shooters cut that will work with most rifle plates on the market

Designed to hold up over years of hard use, it will have a *10 YEAR REPLACEMENT GUARANTEE* If for whatever reason the backer(s) experience workmanship or materials failure during the course of use during that time, I will repair or replace at my discretion.

No other piece of soft armor can currently claim that sort of longevity.

Furthermore, if it is used in a verified duty or self-defense event, I will replace it for FREE. No questions asked. Fully transferrable. Again, who else?

They will initially be available in 10″ X 12″ format, with other sizes to come.

Pricing is set at $130 individually, and $235 for a pair. Slightly more expensive than the garden variety soft armor backers, and actually less expensive than others. Worth every penny for the legion of extra benefits!

https://drmorgear.wordpress.com/coming-soon-d-rmor-gear-extreme-duty-plate-backers/

Please email me to get on a notification list. Availability will be October of 2014.

Because bullets and fragments are not the only threats out there, current technology has developed ways of dealing with some of the oldest weapons known: sharpy pointy things.

Ballistic armor is designed to stop high velocity projectiles, while cut/stab armor is designed to stop very slow (relatively!), sharp and pointed objects from cutting/piercing the wearer’s skin.

This type of armor is a continuation of the most ancient forms of personal armor, which has seen the use of bone, fabric, leather, and finally metal. It is interesting that the current state of technology has returned to the use of fabric as the primary defense against thrusting and cutting implements.

As it has been for millenia, there are always trade-offs in terms of protection vs. weight/concealability. The most protective suits, while they can be made with extremely good ergonomics, will tend tno be hotter, heavier, and far from low-profile. Semi-rigid and rigid armors, which include forms of metal mesh (traditional “maille”), interlocking articulated plates (metal or metal/composite), lamellar, or solid plates are very efficient at stopping cuts and thrusts. Their weight and heat burden tend to be fairly high. Materials range from stainless steel, titanium, to rigid para-aramid (Kevlar/Twaron).

Fabric materials are currently used in the majority of concealable stab/cut vests. These include the familiar materials Kevlar, Twaron, and Spectra. As before, UHMWPE laminates should be eschewed, even though they may provide better numbers in terms of weight. The known weaknesses of this material outweigh any benefits. Generally, the Para-Aramids are woven, similar to their ballistic counterparts, but are much tighter weave. This is to prevent spikes from pushing the fibers aside. The number of layers is directly proportional to the protection levels, which are rated in a similar way to ballistic standards. They are:

KR1/SP1 (Knife Resistant Level I/Spike Protection Level I) – Lowest level, resists knife thrusts and spike stabs at 24J up to 36J
KR2/SP2 (Knife Resistant Level II/Spike Protection Level II) Medium level, resists knife thrusts and spike stabs at 33J up to 50J
KR3/SP3 (Knife Resistant Level III/Spike Protection Level III) High Level, resists knife thrusts and spike stabs at 43J up to 65J

Level I armor is generally the best choice if wearing for long periods and/or concealed.

Level II is a good compromise between concealability and protection.

Level III is for short periods of time, and is not generally concealable.

The test protocol involves dropping a weighted sabot (weighing about four and a half pounds) from different heights with the test blade or spike onto the armor sample. Up to 7mm of penetration is allowed at the minimum force, and up to 20mm at the maximum force. Any greater penetration at either energy will fail the armor. There is *no* penetration permitted for the spike test at any energy level. A single sample armor may be subjected to over 30 drops, with no overpenetration permitted.

I am sure a lot of folks are wondering about how well knife/stab armor performs against bullets. The answer is “not as well as a dedicated ballistic vest.” K/S armor is engineered towards a very different threat compared to handgun rounds. Knives, spikes, and syringes have a very small frontal area compared with handgun bullets, and as such, require different materials and construction methods to be used. There are dual and triple rated vests (ballistic + knife and ballistic + knife + spike), but they are generally VERY expensive, and heavier/thicker than dedicated armors. If you absolutely have to protect against multiple threat types, try to wear before purchasing to ensure it is comfortable.

So to summarize: while there is some overlap in the capabilities of bullet resistant vests to stop blades, and knife/stab armor to stop bullets, unless they are specifically engineered to do so, don’t rely on them to protect you from all threats.

With R&D on the D-Rmor Gear CanGuard extreme duty suppressor shroud nearing completion:

https://drmorgear.wordpress.com/coming-soon-canguard-extreme-duty-suppressor-shroud/

it now needs to be tested. Hard. Since I am not blessed with a can, I will require the services of 3 volunteers. I realize that there will probably be more than 3, and that I will need to make the selection process as streamlined as possible. And so, below are the requirements:

1. Must be high-volume shooters, with >500 rounds per month.

2. Must put the majority of rounds downrange at rapid fire pace (fast semi or auto).

2. Must have a suppressor with nominal OD of between 1.25″ and 2″.

3. Must not have a suppressor with more than one major OD dimension.

4. Must be willing to document the use of the suppressor shroud in words and pictures over the 3 month testing period.

5. Must be willing to share the documentation with D-Rmor Gear, to include posting on the blog.

6. Must return the shroud to D-Rmor Gear at the end of the evaluation period, or sooner in the event of failure.

As compensation, testers will get the option to purchase a CanGuard at 70% discount upon completion of the final version. Plus the accolades and gratitude of the internets for helping advance the science of Suppressor Shrouds.

If this sounds like you, please send an email today. This testing and evaluation is slated to begin the second week in October. I will be building the evaluation shrouds to your specific cans, so please provide exact dimensions (break out those micrometers if possible).

Over the past half century, the primary fiber for use in soft body armor applications has been Aramid fiber (known commercially as Kevlar or Twaron). And though continued innovations and improvements have kept this fiber at the top of the heap in overall effectiveness, it is nearing its plateau. There is only so much that can be done with the (admittedly excellent) fiber, and a worthy successor has been chosen.

Some time ago, it turns out.

Originally developed in 1998 by Azko Nobel, M5 was first produced by Magellan, and subsequently by Dupont, which purchased the rights from Magellan in 2005. With a modulus of around 310 GPa and tenacity of around 5.8 GPa, it exceeds every current high-strength fiber (with the exception of carbon nanotube fibers) by a large margin.

It derives its great strength, in part, from its ability to form hydrogen bonds in 4 axes (by comparison, Aramid only forms biaxial hydrogen bonds). In addition, it is more flame resistant than Nomex, and exhibits almost no degradation when exposed to UV light. It also tolerates humidity well. Essentially, it shows none of the weaknesses inherent in current ballistic fibers, while being far stronger and tougher.

So why are we not seeing this fiber in commercial armor yet? Well, it is in part due to the exceptional characteristics. M5 requires “tempering,” which is a combination of heat treating and tensioning of the fibers as they come off the spinnerets. Unfortunately, equipment designed for Kevlar would be destroyed if it was used for processing M5, simply due to the incredible strength of the fiber. It is thought that much of the delay in bringing this fiber to market is due to the massive retrofitting required to process it into fabric.

One thing is for certain- the translucent blue M5 fiber will eventually replace the iconic golden yellow Aramid fiber as top dog in ballistic armor. Keep your eyes on M5, it will make quite a splash when it goes live.

http://web.mit.edu/course/3/3.91/www/slides/cunniff.pdf

http://defense-update.com/products/m/m-5-fiber.htm

**UPDATE** Spall Guard Backlog

Posted: August 19, 2014 in Spall Guards, Swag

For everyone waiting patiently on the backorder list, I wanted to provide a quick update. Due to the current volume of the backlog, I am taking incremental orders. What this means is, if you are interested in ordering, I will give you a projected date for sending in your order. This way, I can maintain both my sanity and the quality of product you expect. Please contact me to get an estimated order date, and thanks for your patience!

The legendary Tactical Armor Products GAMMA III+ series of plates was one of the most highly regarded rifle plates of its time. With decent weight, good quality build materials, and excellent stopping power, the now extinct TAP’s plates command a premium on the secondary market.

To fill the vacuum left by the discontinuation of the GAMMA, Midwest Armor stepped up to the plate. Like pretty much everything else in their linup, their continuation of the lineage, the SIGMA, was a grand slam.

I ordered my sample of this plate from Appalachian Training. Though they did not even have it officially in stock at the time, Mike was more than happy to get the ball rolling. The plate was a little over $449 shipped, thanks to Appalachian’s enviable flat rate shipping rate.

Due to an unfortunate (albiet very minor) issue with the plate’s PU finish, I got to experience the superhuman customer service that both Appalachian, and Midwest, strive for. I alerted Mike to the issue, and from that moment, it was as if a small army of extremely efficient Armor Ninjas were set in motion. I had an RMA number and label in my hands within mere hours, and the plate was back to Midwest, but NOT BEFORE they had already initiated shipping on a replacement. The box showed up two days later, full of extra goodies (some edible, some not). Now that, folks, is how CS is done.

The replacement plate arrived in good order, and the unboxing commenced. Even though this is armor, and is rugged as heck, the packing job done by Midwest would have kept a dozen eggs from getting so much as a single crack. The extra little details really matter.

Midwest Sigma 3+ front strike face.

Midwest Sigma 3+ front strike face.

The first impression of the plate was “tough.” The tan PU coating is really grippy and resilient. Curvature is not too extreme, and fit my plate carrier very nicely (SKD PIG). Weight is right at 5.45 lb. and thickness is 1.27″. The weight puts this into the “just under medium” category. Much lighter than steel, it is still heavier than the pure UHMWPE plates. However, this is due to the welcome addition of a thin ceramic strike face (in keeping with the GAMMA theme), which allows it to defeat the Green Tip M855, the bane of all UHMWPE plates.

Rear face with label

Rear face with label

Thickness is right at 1.27"

Thickness is right at 1.27″

Overall, I give this plate 4.5 out of 5 stars. The only reason it was not 5 stars is that I generally don’t give 5 star ratings to anything. This plate is rugged, relatively affordable, and comes with a 5 year warranty (and take it from me, if you need the warranty, you will be well taken care of).

Kudos to Midwest Armor and Appalachian Training. They make and sell excellent products.

http://www.midwestarmor.com/body-armor/sigma-iii

http://store.appalachiantraining.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=sigma&Submit=