So, to be clear, most vests as worn by street police officers in the United States isn't sufficient to stop a rifle round such as the 7.62 X 39mm fired from an AK47. And since according to Blair/Martaindale research cited earlier, 27% of Active Shooters may be carrying arms/ammo that can easily penetrate an officer’s body armor, it's a concern we need to address.
I’d say the case is pretty clear for the option to don Level III plate carriers when heading into an Active Shooter (I prefer the term active killer) encounter. Since the potential for your standard garden variety violent thug to possibly be armed with an AK or a .30 cal or above rifle, the need for rifle plate carriers in multiple armed encounter situations exists.
Tacprogear Active Shooter Defense Kit
Tacprogear out of Delray, Florida and manufacturer of bags, packs, holsters, belts, slings, pouches & police duty gear as well as all things nylon for police, military, EMS and military contractors, recently sent me an Active Shooter Defense Kit for T&E.
The kit includes the well designed Tacprogear Rapid Assault Plate Carrier. The plate carrier, which I ordered in Coyote Tan can carry front and rear 10” X 12” armored plates. Manufactured from 1000 denier nylon. The front of the carrier features a large pocket with an access zipper on either side for ambidextrous use. The inside of this pocket features Velcro allowing for a handgun holster to be affixed. With padding at the shoulders the interior of the carrier panels feature a mesh material to improve air flow. A drag strap is located at upper edge of the rear panel as well.
The two Ballistic Ceramic plates are Level IV stand-alone which gives the wearer center mass protection for .30 armor piercing rifle rounds.
Donning and adjusting the Rapid Assault Plate Carrier was relatively easy. Once the shoulder panels are adjusted one side of carrier can be buckled thus requiring that you only have to insert an arm, buckle the other side and you’re good to go. The design of the carrier allows placement so that the carbine butt-stock can be properly seated in the pectoral area.
Both Level IV stand-alone plates and carrier weigh in at 15 pounds. Of course, once you add a magazine carrier to the MOLLE you’re going to increase weight but I suspect that the weight will vanish when/if the bullets start flying in your direction. MSRP for the Tacprogear Active Shooter Defense Kit is $379.99.
Hyper-violent subjects including Active Shooter/Killers as well as hardened street criminals are a fact that we have to plan and train for. Going into an active killer event armed only with a standard duty pistol while wearing only Level IIA armor seems risky. Improve your odds, train like your life depends on it, roll with a 5.56 carbine with adequate ammunition and don a Tacprogear armored carrier. Your life is worth it!
United States Active Shooter Events from 2000 to 2010: Training and Equipment Implications; by Blair and Martaindale
Active Shooter Events and Response (book) from Amazon.com by Blair, Nichols, Burns, Curnutt
Tacprogear Website for Active Shooter Defense Kit