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Forum Vassal
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some of the content in this thread is a re-post from M4C, but I think the value is great enough to be shared here.

The original thread can be found here: http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=85112

My own contribution is this, don't be part of the tiny plate club that has become increasingly popular in tactical carbine clubs. Wear the largest plate you can until your ability to function is impaired. The more likely you are to get shot at or take frag, or even a shotgun blast, the more coverage you'll tend to want.

I could sport a medium plate, but wear the large instead to cover more of my spine and organs (vital and otherwise). The ultimate goal being, if there is projectile flying in my direction, the odds of it hitting plate is greater if my plate is a little larger.



thorax_anterior.jpg

thorax_posterior.jpg

Here are general guidelines to follow at a bare minimum. As always, the more protection you can have without sacrificing mobility the better. This is just the bare bones.

Front plate: should be even with top of the sternum while standing, extend at least 1.5 inches past the bottom of your sternum and should cover the entirety of your nipples

Rear plate: should lie no lower than an inch below your vertebral prominence

Side plates and shoulder plates

Side plates are intended to protect the highly vascular elements of your abdomen. Side plates were introduced to prevent troops from bleeding out in the chopper on the way to the field hospital. Side plates are not necessarily intended to protect the heart, but if you wear them high up into your armpits you can protect some of the lower portion of your heart.

Protecting your heart from a shot to side is accomplished by shoulder plates, such as the ones manufactured by Crye Precision.
 

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Are you talking the esapi plates? Id wear the same size as the vest that's what fit and its what we were given. Noone would wear a vest too large. Sitting made the plate come up below the throat. You'd want it to fit snug and not move too loosely. I can't speak for the ones leos use. But in that case I want to be protected. But like you said wear the largest within your ability to perform. So im agreeing with you. Im not a large frame guy myself so I can't sport a large or xl vest. Too big and it does not cover high enough.
 

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This is interesting, I was having a conversation about this very subject with a retired SF guy. He was also leaning towards a smaller plate to keep moblility high. I'm about a medium but where a tightended size large vest with large plates. Still mobile but like oif said there is a little bit of movement. Guess it comes down to user preference.
 

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I don't think the vest I had would accept a larger plate. It was a bib type with a cumberbun for the side plates. That was a heavy setup.
 

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I actually was closer to a large than a medium...I guess somewhere in between, but I always wore a medium vest and plate to keep it snug to the body. Vests always wear my hips raw. So I liked it to sit a tad bit higher and snug to limit the gear's movement, but not so snug that it constricted my breathing. I have a 43inch chest and usually about a 33 inch waist so this was kinda tough for me to get gear just right.
 

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Forum Vassal
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The point should be to wear the largest plate you can before you start imparing your ability to move and function

I can wear a medium, but it rides way high, so I go with a large. My level of mobility and flexibility is the same, but there is about a 2lbs difference. If a large ate up my hips (which happens to me with BALCS armor), I'd go to a medium.

A big trend these days is guys going a plate size smaller than what they should be, wearing it high and leaving their spine, kidneys and lower organs completely exposed because of "mobility". The lower organs are essentially being written off.

I tend to think if I can't poke you in the belly button, your plate is too big. If I can poke you in the ribs, your plate is too small.
 

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OK So this is a semi necropost, but here is an excellent write up on how to wear your plates.

================================================ from Lightfighter.net ====================
Purpose

Body armor is meant to keep you in the fight. That is, armor is meant to protect your vital organs which, if hit, would immediately take you down and prevent you from putting rounds on target. The possibility of saving your life is a secondary benefit of body armor.

What to protect

With this purpose in mind we must understand those structures we need to protect which we can realistically protect while still maintaining a high degree of mobility. Our primary concern is the heart and the large blood vessels which sprout from the top of the heart: the superior vena cava, the arch of the aorta and the pulmonary trunk. I will refer to these vessels simple as “related vessels” from here on. A hit to the heart and its immediately related vessels will very quickly take you out of the fight and kill you within a minute or two.

Second in importance to the heart is the respiratory diaphragm, the muscle which, when contracting, allows you to decrease air pressure within your lungs and thus take in air. Destroy the diaphragm and you destroy one’s ability to breath.

Protecting the vertebral column goes without saying -we wish to protect as much of this as possible without sacrificing mobility for obvious reasons.

It is important to note that a hit to the lungs may prove to eventually be lethal but is not nearly as lethal as quickly as a hit to the heart and its immediately related blood vessels. The liver and kidneys, while highly vascular, are also not immediately incapacitating.

Front/chest plate

The top of your plate should be at the level of your suprasternal notch aka jugular notch. If you follow your sternum towards your head, the soft spot you reach at the top of it is the suprasternal notch. Your plate should ride at least level with the top of your sternum while standing.

The importance of positioning the plate at the top of the SN Notch is that you have a bundle of large blood vessels which rest on top of your heart and lie behind the manubrium (the uppermost portion of your sternum), most notably the aortic arch. The aortic arch receives blood from your left ventricle and will have the highest velocity of all the blood in you systemic circulatory system. Get hit here and you will be done. So, make sure your plate is riding higher, rather than lower because protecting your aortic arch is much more important than protecting your guts.

Also, as you can clearly see with the image below, a smaller plate allows for more comfort and mobility to the shooter will not necessarily mean you will leave immediately incapacitating areas unprotected -large plates will only cover a little more of your peripheral lung tissue and guts.

Reference image (anterior view)

Red is your heart and related blood vessels
Dark Grey/Yellow is a properly positioned plate
The sternum and clavicle are white with black outline




Positioning of rear/back plate

Find the most prominent bony eminence at the base of your neck. This is your vertebral eminence. Count down two bony spinouses (or measure down about an inch) and that should be above the level of the superior aspect of your sternum. Positioning at least this high will ensure your entire heart and its immediately related blood vessels are protected.

Reference image (posterior view)

The vertebral eminence is marked in the diagram below in blue.



Side plates and shoulder plates

Side plates are intended to protect the highly vascular elements of your abdomen. Side plates were introduced to prevent troops from bleeding out in the chopper on the way to the field hospital. Side plates are not necessarily intended to protect the heart, but if you wear them high up into your armpits you can protect some of the lower portion of your heart.

Protecting your heart from a shot to side is accomplished by shoulder plates, such as the ones manufactured by Crye Precision.

To sum it up

Here are general guidelines to follow at a bare minimum. As always, the more protection you can have without sacrificing mobility the better. This is just the bare bones.

Front plate: should be even with top of the sternum while standing, extend at least 1.5 inches past the bottom of your sternum and should cover the entirety of your nipples

Rear plate: should lie no lower than an inch below your vertebral prominence

Side plates: the higher they ride the better
 

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Excellent post. I've seen too many people slinging their plates like below their ribs for comfort.

Comfort is not wearing them, but if you're going to haul the weight around, do it like this^^
 

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I actually was closer to a large than a medium...I guess somewhere in between, but I always wore a medium vest and plate to keep it snug to the body. Vests always wear my hips raw. So I liked it to sit a tad bit higher and snug to limit the gear's movement, but not so snug that it constricted my breathing. I have a 43inch chest and usually about a 33 inch waist so this was kinda tough for me to get gear just right.
I am the same way, 45 in chest and 33 in waist.. I run Med I as well like my kit tighter but if you get the kit that best fit your body breathing shouldnt be to bad I mean having any weight pressed against you will effect your breathing somewhat, as far as side plates I dont run them, I know I leave my sides open but I would rather be able to move quicker and I feel that speed is safety.. I run a TYR tactical kit I love the way it fits my body its a spear cut with cumberbun, I have this in coyote brown.. they have others and different cuts and styles.. the guy who owns it started Diamond back tactical, sold that and started TYR, its an AZ based company and I was lucky enouth to tour their warehouse when I whenhome on pass before my tour, they make everything right on site. they even have these new plates that CAG is using now that are 7 pounds light then the standard issue.. they are sick..


 

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Good write up. I am a small guy so I wear small plates. They big army is wearing Iba in training and iotv/ spc deployed. I found a spc on the local market and command said cool. But my guys are very jealous for it. But we should all be getting them soon at rfi. Cif has a terrible habit of issuing lrg Iba/ plates to tiny guys. Just gotta keep sending them back....
 
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