Do you want to see out plate carrier accessories? Here is a list of items. Let me tell you one important thing, Plate carrier is tactical vest also called as Bulletproof vest with armour plates inside it. So, these are not normal chest rigs, which are used in military and law enforcement agencies to protect their bodies. Don’t be confused!! You may use them to protect yourself at home or any place like training, It is legal.
We have listed 10 important Accessories used while wearing plate carrier vests.
The Plate Carrier – The Bullet Proof Vest
A soldier plate carrier is a lightweight bulletproof vest (weight mostly depends on the plates), have quick access to the essentials and quick release. It must be intelligently and sophisticatedly designed to meet the severity of the job demands, like speed, mobility, accessibility to the magazines, communication, hydration etc. The plate carriers should be able to adjust easily and be comfortable, accessible, allowing mobility and carrying essentials with a minimalistic approach.
The design of a plate carrier would have the perfect size of plates to cover essential organs as well as to provide mobility to the solider and allow them to be quick and speedy as they are required to be. Some plate carriers have plates on front and back only but others provide side protection for covering kidneys from the sides with smaller plates. A good quality piece would have padded shoulders and cummerbund that are completely adjustable.
The stitching on the plate carriers is extremely important, along with the quality of thread, as well as with where the stitching reinforcements are placed throughout the plate career. Single stitching is used on the perimeter and the cummerbunds and Bar Tracking is used on high-stress points, for instance on each section of webbing, the reinforcements on shoulder straps and particularly on the drag handle backing that runs through the back of the plate carrier for added integrity. Bar Track Stitch gives that particular area more durability at more thread is fixated in that area increasing its strength especially those areas that are subjected to more stress and additional wear and tear.
The webbing is extremely important. Firstly in the front where the pouches are held as well as near the shoulder pads, shoulder straps and side straps. It is better to use the military spec webbing made with high-strength nylon, with low water absorption, high melting point as well as be resistant to abrasion. Avoid polyester and poly polyolefin.
Also, the quality of the buckles are extremely important, the buckles need to give you a quick fastening, provided that they are durable with internal reinforce sections to prevent it from collapsing easily in case of any hit or strike. ITW Nexus Buckles or Gerald Schwatz Buckle is the Military Grade polymer buckets that are highly recommended.
The Body Armor Ceramic Plates
These ballistic ceramic plates should be helpful at different threat levels, which means what kind of threat it will stop. Level II family will stop and a pistol calibre cartridge, that could be up to about 44 magnums, on specific velocity. Level III, including Level IIIA, Level III+, are being used more widely, these are good protection against common rifle cartridges.
There are a few different types of plates, some are composite; made of polymers and ceramics, and some are steel based. All these plates have their benefits and disadvantages. These protect specific velocities and specific calibres. Velocity is important as even the same level cartridge, with a velocity that is higher than average, will probably penetrate the body armour.
At Level IV, including Level IV + and higher, that stops armour piercing at all levels, but the drawback is that the prices are significantly higher.
The Steel body armour is a relatively affordable option for many. It provides Level III+ protection. At this point, the velocity plays a key role when steel body armour is used. A standard 55 grain projectile with higher speed will penetrate deeper than a 62 grain which would be relatively slower, and will not penetrate as much.
The impact of the bullet on the steel plate would cause a flower or shatter pattern on the armour and will cause spawling of the bulletin all directions and there is a possibility that it could cause severe injury while it spawls, more dangerously on the neck region. For that matter extra layering of build-up coating is recommended to contain the bullet as it hits the plate carrier, it is stopped or slowed as it penetrates the built-up coating, till it reached the steel armour.
It is minimal or no back-face deformation in steel armour although there is a severe impact from the hit towards the chest or abdominal cavity and therefore its highly recommended to get some trauma pads, which can absorb the energy as it is installed behind the plate for the purpose to absorb the immense energy it is transferring.
The Composite body armour, whether it is ceramic or polymer, they are susceptible to weight. The 62 or 77 grain has a higher likelihood of passing through than a standard 55 grain, due to the heavier mass that forces an expansion out and allows the bullet to penetrate through.
The impact of the bullet on the composite armour does not cause spawling as it is not hitting a solid surface. It would penetrate the front and then enter the armour and get caught in the layers. Sometimes the trauma pads are built-in and that takes in a load of energy that is released.
The back-face deformation of composite plate is likely to be a lot, as the material takes the impact and absorbs it. Any bullet could feel like a punch hit to the chest, but it will stop the bullet to get to the vital organs.
All these plates come in different types of cuts, some prefer one over the other, and each one has a special purpose. There is a standard regular cut plate, 10” by 12” with angular cuts on sides for more shoulder mobility. The next most common is the shooter’s cut as it is cut down a little bit more from the sides to provide more mobility to arms for shooting. Another one is swimmer’s cut, which is made for an extreme movement like climbing, jumping, and running, since they offer a little bit of less protection than a standard cut, but it’s a better option for dexterity. The plate has a curvature surface as well as deep cuts for the movement of arms as well as cuts on the sides of the bottom, this plate will protect the vital organs provided it is placed correctly.
Mag Pouches are short form for Magazine Pouches. The magazine is a removable part of arms which is used to store the extra ammunitions or bullets. You can get two options of mag pouches; closed top pouches and open top pouches. Closed is the oldest and safest option for mag pouch. Either steel buttons or Velcro straps are used to close the pouch for safety of magazines. Whereas open Pouches are used for ready and quick access of magazines at the time of use.
There are several kinds of Mag Pouches depending on the gun which is being used. There are different Mag Pouches available for handguns, rifles, pistols and other kinds of arms. You can either have a built-in mag pouch in your plate carrier or it can be tied up on your battle belt for extra magazines. These mag pouches are available in leather material as well as soft nylon material.
There are different capacities and qualities available and selection can be made based on specifications, requirements, need and usage. The variety includes single mag, double mag, triple mag and quadruple mag pouches. Some mags can also be stored on the belt for quick and easy access.
More commonly, the mag carriers can hold a maximum of 3 large magazines and sometimes even have the capacity to hold pistol magazines as well. It is usually designed to open from the top with quick access to the mags. One of the most widely used mag pouches is Kangaroo mag pouch which a close mag pouch and is suitable to carry up to 3 rifle magazines. It comes with inner elastic and non-slip liner for the safety of your magazines.
Cummerbunds for Plate carrier
The cummerbund is another important gear of a Plate Carrier. It is optional but very comfortable and user-friendly gear to keep your bulletproof vest intact. It works as an extra overlapping of soft armour on the front side of your plate carrier. It is an adjustable belt which fits all sizes. It provides support to MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) for more safety.
Soft Armor Compatible MOLLE Cummerbund is one of the most common types in which there are relatively larger Velcro straps inside which can be used multi-purposely such as keeping mag pouch, medical or communication device. It can even be used to keep side plates in the big hidden pockets for additional safety from the sides, considering the size of the side plates in this regard.
Flat Fish External Cummerbund is different from others with its large Velcro strap on the front and backside, it provides more space for plates or mag pouch. It also comes with 4-Way Stretch T-Weave sewn internally for comfort. These are lightweight and durable.
Another type is Base Cummerbund which has a quick releasing mechanism and made up of PV (photovoltaic) material which is better than nylon and it has lighter weight and more safety.
Lace Adjustable Cummerbunds is another type which has same features and can be worn by both male and female, on the plate carrier with an adjustable lace on the backside for easy adjustment without taking the vest off.
Shoulder Pads for Tactical Vest Plate carriers
The shoulder pads are one of the important accessories that help in managing the weight that falls on the shoulders as a result of the weight of the plates, mugs and mag pouches as well as other accessories. The right kind of shoulder pads will make it easier to be effectively mobile and quick without feeling burdened on the shoulders.
The material used in making the shoulder pads are essential; they must be lightweight as well as durable. Their durability is extremely important as it would make sure that extra weight and force will not tear and rip them apart. They should be designed in a way to provide ventilation with air to pass through, on the shoulder-facing side. Moreover, they must also not retain water as this would add extra weight to the shoulders.
Mostly wider shoulder pads are used as they provide more area than normal to disperse load and impact of energy. They should also be versatile to provide the user with the shape and size they are comfortable with, and with some of the shoulder pads, it is possible to customize them and shape them as per requirement.
The most important part of the shoulder pads is the cuts they have, from which you can use the back to back Velcro. Using the Velcro, it would become extremely easy to install the shoulder pads, on the shoulder belts of the plate carriers. It is important to make sure that the back to back Velcro length is such that you can include the drinking tube or the communication cable or even both if necessary.
Backpacks For Plate Carrier (Bulletproof Vest)
Plate Carrier Backpack (PCB) is a must-have gear, especially for long combats or travelling. These ordinary-looking backpacks can turn in to a Plate Carrier within seconds with its quick-release mechanism. It helps exceptionally if the situation is casual and there is a sudden change in circumstances and a need to be in instant combat. In such situations, there is hardly any time to put on a proper battle suit. It also has a rear armour plate pocket to keep you safe.
It comes in different sizes and is perfect for carrying weapons, ammunition, communication, medical and water for travelling. Sometimes they even have larger pouches to store a helmet.
In most of the backpacks, there is a main compartment with several sides and front porches. The main compartment has some internal pouches with Velcro strap for additional safety for the items carried. It is very spacious that can easily carry a machine-gun. Front zipper is for small personal items such as wallet, phone or cards. Moreover, It also has a padded and comfortable back panel and shoulder straps.
Some of the backpacks have straps on the front, like on chest and torso, to keep it more still. There would be a handle on the top for carrying it too. Some models of backpacks have a Modular Webbing on the outside of the bag for attaching extra pouches. It is made up of Nylon material for extra durability and longevity.
Tactical Helmet for Law enforcement Agency
Helmets are the most important gear for any combat to get head protection and avoid any head injuries. Looking back at history, leather was used to make the helmets for military soldiers in the early years. Later they moved on to steel pots for more safety but not from the bullet or gunfire. Currently, we have a wide range of tactical (Tac) helmets are available which are lightweight and made from Kevlar, carbon fibre, and impact-resistant plastic which can easily protect the head pf a person from gunfire.
Also, there are several accessories which can be attached with the helmets to make them more advanced such as communication devices, GPS system, torch or light, night vision optical, camera and many more.
There are two major categories of the tactical helmet, first one is Ballistic Helmet. As it name says they are designed to resist the gunfire and bullets to keep the person safe from any head injuries.
The second one is Bump Helmet, they are comparatively cheaper than ballistic helmets and they can resist the hit of falling of wreckage or building material. It is commonly used for any kind of natural disasters such as earthquake, hurricanes or tornadoes. They are also very useful in any bomb or grenade attack.
Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) is the best tactical helmet type which covers the qualities of both ballistic and bump helmets. With its soft chin strap, it is more comfortable and can be kept for a long time. It is made up of advanced Kevlar and modern ballistic fibre for best and guaranteed results.
These helmets are not used by military only, these are used by most of the law enforcement agencies of the world.
Patches for Plate Carrer (Tactical Chest Rigs)
Patches are an essential part of plate carries especially to show connection and association with an organization or group as well as to differentiate oneself from the opposite side of the enemy side.
Many different kinds of patches can be used on the plate carriers, for instance, the most common ones used are names, an institution, for instance, POLICE or RANGER, position like SHERIFF, even flags or symbols or logos to show support or belonging to a team or group.
Trauma Pads are designed to absorb or reduce the impact of force energy. It is a soft but strong pad which is installed behind any kind of plate. It is made up of non-Newtonian layers with the traditional foam which create a hard area to absorb the energy from the impact during combat. These are very lightweight and flexible pads and come in different sizes. The selection can be made customized based on the size of the plates. In today’s time, the trauma pads are incorporated in the plates themselves and are not required to be bought separately as they come as a built-in feature of these plates.