In spite of the demands of life over the past year, I have not been letting the grass grow under my feet. Several projects that have been in the works for some time are nearing fruition. Some of the more particularly exciting are listed below:

1. D-RMor Gear Blades- These have been on the drawing board since at least 2011. As a huge fan of both the fixed blade and the Karambit-ring, (as well as the close-quarters blade shapes embodied in the Japanese Tanto and Viking Seax), and finding nothing currently available to satisfy my needs, I decided to design them myself. After many revisions, and redesigns, I settled on three designs that would provide end users with blades that would suit most possible training backgrounds.

In extreme-stress scenarios, fine motor skill goes away. Manipulating a folder (yes, even an assisted-folder), becomes quite difficult. Gross motor skill rules the day. Having a fixed-blade with an ring to index on makes gross-motor skill deployment and manipulation much easier.

Blade length was also a prime consideration. Having a blade in less-permissive environments is of vital importance, and in nearly all jurisdictions, a sub-3″ blade keeps you legal. This blade length does not sacrifice capability, and ensuring you always have a knife in all situations is an essential habit.

Blade geometry/materials/finish was chosen after having used many, many knives over decades. The blade geometries are designed for simple, close-range techniques. The EDK-1 is more functional in cutting, with a blade-shape inspired by the Tanto, but gives up nothing in the thrust. The EDK-2 and EDK-3, inspired by the Norse Seax, are primarily designed for the thrust, with the EDK-3 intended to enhance the overhand grip. I chose canvas micarta over G10 due to my preference for its feel (Canvas is “warmer” and “grippier” in my experience). CPM-3V steel is absolutely amazing when it comes to durability and edge holding. And Nickel Boron and Black DLC keep corrosion from ever being an issue.

I am confident that there are currently no other blades that embody all of these design features.

2. D-Rmor Gear SpreePreventionBag(TM)- In the past few years, things have definitely gotten a bit more…interesting in society. Violence and mass shootings are becoming more frequent. Being a designer (and end-user) of armor, I am always looking to improve my extant designs, making them more comfortable (and thus, wearable). But there are some scenarios that make wearing armor difficult. One of these scenarios was brought home in a very personal fashion a few years ago, after a very public shooting in a popular shopping area. I and my family had been at the venue mere hours prior to the incident.

Due to the day’s heat, and being a rather “trendy” venue, wearing concealed armor had not been an option. That was the point I started designing what was to eventually become the SpreePreventionBag(TM).

My considerations were to make something that could be carried anywhere, ensuring that myself or a loved-one would always have armor in the event of an Active/Mass Shooter type event. It had to be “Non-Obvious” in appeareance (color pallete could not include “tactical” or “camo” colors), had to be small enough to be handy, but big enough to be useful and provide coverage when folded out. It also had to fit a wide range of body types and sizes.

The finalized design does all of these things. Deployable in under 20 seconds, it goes from carryall to protective vest with a minimum of fuss and fiddling. It will also be able to accommodate eventual D-Rmor Gear rifle armor.

The SpreePreventionBag(TM) will be available for pre-order in Spring of 2017.

3. Frag-Tuf(TM) Magazine Pouch- The D-Rmor Gear SpallGuard does an excellent job at soaking up secondary fragmentation from bullet strikes on rifle armor, but what about secondary frag from outside of the plate pocket? Specifically, full magazines? Rounds impacting full rifle mags tend to create a cloud of razor-sharp, high velocity brass fragments which pose a grave threat to the face and throat. Thus, my design for the Fra-Tuf(TM) pouch. Designed to incorporate the same material used in the popular and effective SpallGuard, the Frag-Tuf(TM) stops and absorbs a large percentage of the secondary fragmentation in the event of a mag-strike. Designed to be light, strong, and functional, the Frag-Tuf(TM) will utilize standard attachment methods to secure to LBVs and Plate carriers. Initially to be offered in single-mag 30-round AR configuration, more options are planned.

The Frag-Tuf(TM) Mag pouch will be available for pre-order in Spring of 2017.

4. The ContactGuard(TM) Laminate Upgrade- Laminate armor panels (both UHMWPE and Aramid-Based), while providing excellent ballistic protection for the weight, suffer from several well-known drawbacks, one of the most dangerous being their susceptibility to contact shots (see my August 13th 2014 post https://drmorgear.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/shoot-test-contact-shots-vs-uhmwpe-soft-armor/ for graphic demonstration). To counter this weakness, and provide an option for those that either cannot or will not go to a full-aramid soft armor solution, I have developed ContactGuard(TM).

Almost 7 years of development went into this design, which makes use of advanced materials and construction methods to prevent contact shots from penetrating laminate panels. Adding negligible bulk and weight, each ContactGuard(TM) is custom made to fit inside an end-user’s vest carrier. And being far less expensive than a new vest, it gives owners of laminate vests a budget-friendly option.

The ContactGuard(TM) will be available for pre-order in Spring of 2017.

There’s more. Lots more. But hopefully this will whet your appetites. As always, your emails and feedback are much appreciated!

At long last, have begun taking names for my Spall Guard order queue again. If you would like to be placed on the notification list, please send me an email with the number of Guards you would like to order, the type/shape of plates they are for, and your contact information.

Have also been very busy with some new stuff coming out the first half of 2017. Stay tuned, and thanks for your patience!

Long Overdue Status Update

Posted: May 31, 2016 in Uncategorized

As usual, thanks to all the loyal readers. I appreciate the emails and inquiries, am doing fine, currently away from the workbench for the time being. I will be bringing D-Rmor Gear back to full operational status by the fourth quarter of this year, so stay tuned.

I will be closing for new orders after December 18th for approximately 2 months due to work obligations. This is the last day I will be able to start on and complete Spall Guard and Plate Backer orders until approximately the middle of February. All current outstanding orders will be completed and shipped before December 31st. Thanks to everyone for their continuing support, and Merry Christmas!

D-R

Over the past six months, there has been a great deal of both excitement, and lately concern, regarding the Armour Wear AR680 plate. Touted as a “level III+” plate, it is claimed to stop the extremely dangerous M193 high-velocity threat.

In the past few months, extremely un-scientific tests on Youtube seemed to “prove” that it was prone to failure when shot by M193 @ 3200 fps.

Unfortunately, Armour Wear did not originally release a very scientific test video themselves.

At this juncture, I have not seen proof either way, either validating or disproving the efficacy of the AR680 plates. Simply because both the proponents (the company in particular) and the detractors (youtube channel) did not take the small amount of extra time and effort to arrange a proper test.

A proper test is *NOT*:

Setting up a bunch of plates on a berm at a 45 degree angle and blazing away willy-nilly.
Setting up a huge sheet of the steel (again, at a range), and (again), blazing away.
Clamping the plate to a rigid fixture, with no backing, and shooting it.

To properly test body armor, hard or soft, requires the use of a backing. The NIJ specifies no.1 Roma Plastalina modeling clay. Any semi-flexible backing will do, as long as it is close in consistency to a human body. The reason for this is two-fold: first, to be able to determine how much energy (backface deformation) is being imparted to the wearer. Secondly (and for the purpose of this post, more importantly), to mimic the physics of the armor being worn.

A plate that is clamped to a rigid fixture will behave differently than one that is resting on a flexible surface. A rigid plate will have no give, and the round will transfer more energy to the plate. With a proper backing, the initial impact will be reduced ever so slightly.

For some armor (soft armor in particular) this will make the difference between complete penetration, and performing as designed (setting a soft armor vest against a plywood or other hard surface enables it to be penetrated with ease). This will also have relevance with hard armor, especially if it is near its failure threshold.

In the same way, propping a plate at an angle will allow it to stop far more than at 0 degrees of obliquity. MBT armor is sloped for this same reason.

As a result of the above, I will be performing a scientific (or at least, much more so than has been performed so far) comparitive shoot test on the Armour Wear AR680 and Maingun Patriot 2 Advance plates. I had contacted Spartan Armor in an attempt to source one of their level III+ plates to include in the test, but have not heard back from them.

It is my hope that this test will settle any arguments once and for all regarding M193 high velocity protection. Stay tuned!

Thank you all for your patience. I have been extremely busy over the past nearly three months, working through the backlog, traveling, and all the attendant details of life.

I have whittled down my Spall Guard backlog, and am currently at two weeks from time of order to delivery (almost back to normal).

For Extreme Duty Plate Backers and Cummerbund panels, I am at a week and a half.

For all other gear, I am at one week.

I have updated my Recommended Armor Database to reflect new information.

I have a lot of exciting review planned for the next few months, as well as new offerings. I will be attempting to returni to my regular blog posting schedule of once a week.

As always, I appreciate all your feedback, suggestions, and words of encouragement. Have a safe and wonderful holiday!

Due to EXTREME volume and interest in spall guards for the new AR680 and Maingun Advance plates, I am freezing all new orders until October 7th. If you are interested in having guards made, I am instituting my wait-list policy. Please email me with the type and number of items you would like, and I will place your name on the list. At such time as my backlog is cleared, I will send you a notification email with payment details.

Since I am one guy doing this, it is the only way to ensure everyone that has paid receives their gear in a timely matter, without compromising my quality or detail.

As always, thank you all very much for your patience and understanding.

D-R

August 17th, 2015

It is a good time to be in the market for effective and affordable steel rifle plates. Maingun Surplus, makers of the excellent and affordable Patriot Plate, have just announced their newest and best steel plates to date! The Maingun Advance plate will stop all normal level III threats, while additionally stopping the notorious M193 high velocity round (up to 3300fps!).

In addition, they will be offering package deals, a full set of plates with a plate carrier.

Details can be found here:

http://eepurl.com/bu3gsj

Kudos the Maingun for the time and effort required to design and create these Advanced plates!

IMPORTANT EDIT 11-23-2015: It has come to my attention that these plates may not perform as certified regarding M193 high velocity rounds. Until such time as I have conducted a shoot test in direct comparison to the Maingun Patriot 2 plates, I cannot recommend these.

All those that have read The Good, The Bad and The Ugly series here at D-Rmor Gear know that steel rifle plates are an excellent choice. Thin, extremely durable, and inexpensive (compared to ceramic and UHMWPE), steel plates really only have two drawbacks: their weight (usually around 7.5 lbs. and up), and their susceptibility to high velocity M193 rounds.

This round, at or above 2950 fps, will reliably swiss-cheese garden variety AR500 steel (up until recently, the most common type of steel used in commercial rifle plates and target gongs). That means from any rifle with a barrel longer than 16″, M193 renders steel armor useless.

One of several companies that have stepped up to address this lack is Armour Wear. Their new AR680 level III+ (note the plus) steel plates will not only stop level III threats (M80 ball), but M855 Greentip below 3200 fps, and the notorious M193 below 3300fps. This is faster than M193 travels from the muzzle of a 20″ rifle.

Using an advanced type of steel, these plates are not only stronger, they are lighter and thinner. Upon unboxing the plate, the second thing I noticed (the first was how nicely it was packed) was the seeming thinness. While there is a Line-X coating to help mitigate front-face splash, it is not obnoxiously thick as I have encountered on some plates. Taking the measure with a digital caliper showed the thickness right at 10.17mm, or about twice the thickness of the steel. Not bad. Weight was right at 7 lbs. 2 oz., also not bad for a fully coated plate (considering that other steel plates previously available in III+ weighed in at over 8.5 lbs.)

IMGP0577

I was struck by the quality and attention to detail. The coating was even, with no runs or sloppiness. The reverse of the plate includes a certification sticker, which contains the lot number, inspection number, and other information. Very impressive.

IMGP0579

The curvature (extremely difficult to do with this type of steel!) was even, smooth and symmetrical.

Finally, I was pleased to see that the lower corners were clipped, as this has the double effect of reducing weight and wear on plate carriers.

Armour Wear currently makes the AR680 in three sizes: 10″ X 12″ (reviewed), 8″ X 10″ and 6″ X 8″ (flat). The 10X12 retail for $135, which although definitely more expensive than previous steel plates, is quite affordable when the extra capabilities are taken into consideration.

You can purchase these plates directly from Armour Wear here:

https://armour-wear.com/shop/all/ar680-steel-plate/

I am pleased to announce that the highly anticipated D-Rmor Gear Extreme Duty Plate Backers (and Cummerbund Panels) are now available for purchase!

In celebration, during the entire month of July, I will be offering extras for all Plate Backer/Cummerbund orders over $100:

Your choice of one of the following:

Free Shipping
Upgrade to FR 500D Cordura Outer Shell
D-Rmor Gear PVC Touchmark Patch
D-Rmor Gear Armometer
D-Rmor Gear Armor Material Field I.D. Guide

Check out all the options available here:

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