Best Bullet Proof Vest Dragon Skin Alternatives – Helpful Buyers Guide

Purchasing personal body armor is a serious decision. You need to know that anything you put on your body will protect you, and there is no room for error. A bulletproof vest is one of the items for which there isn’t a low-cost substitute. Using a defective product can result in severe injury or even death. Having the best bullet proof vest dragon skin alternative options can save your life.

Several options in body armor and bulletproof vests are available for purchase on the internet. Dragon Skin is one of the most talked-about armors to have been on the market. We’ll take a look at what happened to Dragon Skin, as well as some of the best alternatives you can find.

Who Needs Body Armor?

Do you still need defense even if you are not a member of the police department or any law enforcement agency? Yes, you do. If you do not have a career where you are constantly at risk of being shot, you can still opt to buy decent body armor for yourself.

Security officers, bank staff, rangers, and even paramedics face a higher-than-average risk of getting shot. Robbers might try to steal from a store or a bank, poachers can fire park rangers, and paramedics are vulnerable to assailants who’re after their patients.

You can also choose to wear body armor if you need to protect your house. If you hear an intruder in your home, you should put on a bulletproof vest to be more secure when defending your property.

You can also wear a bulletproof vest as a means of range protection. Having something to shield you from an accidental shooting would give you peace of mind in a situation with people who’re wielding weapons.

If you participate in outdoor shooting competitions, a bulletproof vest will make you feel much better. More people outside of law enforcement will purchase bulletproof vests now, especially with the introduction of night training and tactical games.

Whatever reason you may have to protect yourself, it is essential to understand how to choose the appropriate protective gear for yourself.

Bulletproof or Just Bullet-Resistant?

You may be curious if a bulletproof jacket can protect you from being struck by a bullet. Well, the simple answer is no. No piece of defensive gear can guarantee that a shot will not enter your body.

Protective vests are bullet-resistant at best. They improve your odds of survival and reduce the seriousness of any injury you might sustain. In short, they give you a higher chance of surviving a shooting or other attacks than if you didn’t wear any protective gear at all.

The body armor of any kind, whether soft or hard, can fail to protect you. Soft armor, for example, cannot shield you from arrows, knives, or spear-like weapons. While hard armor can shield you from bullets, it can still penetrate it if the projectiles are quick enough or hit a weak spot on the vest.

That is why it is critical to check the rating of each protective armor’s threat level. You must choose the one that matches the sort of threat you expect to encounter. The Dragon Skin armor, for example, has three layers of defense. The first provides Level III protection. The second one did not receive official certification, but it was classified as Level IV by the manufacturer. The last one is a Level V variant, though it is not for sale to the general public.

What Is Dragon Skin Armor?

Dragon Skin Armor was created by Pinnacle Armor. With overlapping silicon carbide ceramic discs, this is a form of ballistic armor. It’s a scale-like safety jacket with more versatility than any other bulletproof vest on the market. One of the product’s selling points is its flexibility. A more comprehensive range of motion is possible thanks to the vest. As a result, the wearer can walk freely and swiftly. Furthermore, its manufacturer and testers say that it can take more hits than most military-grade body armors.

A few Iraqi civilian contractors choose Dragon Skin as their protective gear. In Afghanistan and Iraq, it was also the bulletproof vest of choice for a few veterans from the special operations forces. Generals, high-ranking bodyguards, US secret service agents, and members of the US SWAT squad all purchased Dragon Skin Armor for personal security. Even Seattle’s superhero, Phoenix Jones, added this body armor to his suit.

Dragon Skin’s Structure

The SOV-2000 is a bulletproof vest with a set of high-tensile-strength ceramic discs. The intertwined discs are encased in a sonic skin cloth cover. These discs are available in a variety of configurations that have various levels of coverage.

The Level III version’s outer is 0.12-inch MARS material. The layer adheres to a Dyneema backing. There’s even a Line-X coating on this to minimize spall. This model is about 9 pounds in weight.

Various Testing Conducted on Dragon Skin Armor

Various law enforcement departments and firearms owner associations wanted to verify whether the Dragon Skin could provide the degree of safety that the manufacturer claimed. That is why the Dragon Skin Armor went through several tests to clarify the statements.

Television Testing

The Dragon Skin Armor was able to repel nine rounds of bullets fired at it with an AK-47 during a History Channel show. Using a Heckler & KochMP5A3, it was also able to repel a 9x19mm projectile. The bullets were shot into a narrow 10×12 inch area on the bulletproof vest by the testers.

The Dragon Skin armor was able to withstand 120 rounds fired from a Heckler & Koch MP5 and a Type 56 rifle in another test performed by the same channel.

The Dragon Skin armor was able to withstand 120 rounds fired from a Heckler & Koch MP5 and a Type 56 rifle in another test performed by the same channel.

It was also able to withstand steel core rounds from several rifles in another demonstration. The hosts even put it to the test as a detonator for an M67 grenade. Despite being heavily damaged, the vest was able to prevent any shrapnel from penetrating.

In 2007, NBC News performed independent ballistic testing, pitting the Interceptor body armor against the Dragon Skin. They hired Wayne Downing, a former general, to watch the test and confirm its validity. The specialist determined that Dragon Skin outperformed the other two armors at the end of the trial.

Law Enforcement Testing

Several senators wanted to take a closer look at the Dragon Skin because of the multiple studies that claimed its performance to be better than the Interceptor. The Interceptor is the government’s defensive armor for military members. Senators Jim Webb and Hillary Clinton asked the US Comptroller General to conduct an investigation. Walker wanted to see if the newest security system was indeed superior to the previous one.

Around this time, the failures of the vest were apparent. The army performed a test in May 2006, which revealed that the Pinnacle-made body armor did not have the promised protection.

Other agencies performed experiments to demonstrate the Dragon Skin’s efficacy as defensive armor. In California, for example, the police department put the vest against 308 rounds fired from a five-foot distance using an ND.99MM rifle.

Even in academic testing, experts were able to conclude that Dragon Skin is effective. Even after striking the vest on the exact location with 5.56 mm LeMas Urban Warfare bullets with 40 gr mass, 5.56 mm M855 FMJ bullets with 62 gr mass, 123 gr steel core FMJ bullets, and 150gr FMJ bullets, these bullets failed to penetrate.

According to the tests performed by SWAT, the armor was able to block 40 rounds of mild steel-core bullets fired from an AK-47 and 200 rounds of full metal jacket bullets fired from a submachine gun. Following these experiments, the Fresno Police Department decided to purchase the Dragon Skin for its officers.

Failing the 2006 Army Testing

As previously said, the US Army sent a report to the Senate claiming that Dragon Skin was ineffective for use in actual combat. The first issue was a lack of quality control by the producer. According to the testing body, Pinnacle recalled 200 of the 380 vests it shipped to the USAF OSI due to insufficient manufacturing of the arms’ discs. This amounts to nearly half of the items they shipped.

Another factor brought up was Pinnacle Armor’s false claim regarding their product’s certification. The National Institute of Justice and Pinnacle Armor had to collaborate for a long time to develop suitable parameters and testing procedures for certifying the reliability of the Dragon Skin Armor. The manufacturer believed that the armor passed the Level III tests and had been allowed to mark their due tolt of the testing.

The Air Force placed an order for Dragon Skin vests mainly because of that certification. However, allegations came out that Pinnacle was labeling their protective vests as ballistic level accredited even though they had not received the necessary certification.

Pinnacle Armor’s CEO said they had received verbal approval from the NIJ and only lacked the written permission.

An even more significant challenge arose when the NIJ decided to revoke Dragon Skin’s certification. This occurred after the organization double-checked the manufacturer’s evidence. It claimed that the company was unable to provide sufficient data to back up the warranty period. As a result, the body armor was declared non-compliant. Following this event, the US Air Force agreed to terminate their contract with Pinnacle Armor.

Where Is Dragon Skin Now?

Pinnacle Armor and other organizations have tried and failed to get the NIJ to recertify the Dragon Skin. Nine Level III Dragon Skin models were tested in August 2007 at the US Research Laboratory to ensure that the manufacturer’s warranty period was correct. These models passed the NIJ’s ballistic safety test for Level III products. Pinnacle sent the findings to the NIJ, who dismissed them due to improper documentation. Pinnacle’s most recent action was to sue the NIJ to force the regulatory body to recertify the vest.

The US Army has issued a warning to anybody purchasing the Dragon Skin armor. According to their testing, 13 of the 48 shots in their test fully penetrated the armor. As a result, they are unable to justify the use of the shield, arguing that it would not withstand real-world combat.

Alternatives to the Dragon Skin Armor

For the time being, purchasing a bulletproof vest online is almost impossible. You’ll need to buy the parts from army surplus stores if you want to get your hands on body armor worn by soldiers and law enforcement officers. If you want a complete Interceptor kit, you can start with a Molle and then add the remaining six armor pieces. The Molle is a modular webbing that allows you to attach various gears such as the outer tactical vest, collar protector, groin protector, SAPI ballistic plates, and other external auxiliary armor.

1. Snacam Tactical Molle Vest

Snacam Tactical Molle Vest

If you want customized body armor, the Snacam Tactical Molle Vest is a great option. Webbing film (Molle) covers the exterior of this vest, allowing for modular customization. On the back and front, it has a hook and loop for patches and identifiers.

The vest is available in styles ranging from small to extra large. You can also adjust the vest’s waist and shoulder straps to ensure it fits your body.

Even without the ballistic plates, the Snacam vest has a composite flannel lining to provide protection. This provides enough defense for games like paintball and airsoft.

The manufacturer used 600D oxford fabric. This material is breathable, making the vest more comfortable to wear. It’s also well-made and has wear-resisting properties. The vest weighs just 1.76 pounds. This is ideal because as you add more gear, it will get heavier.

Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Affordable price
  • Completely customizable
  • Available in several different sizes
  • Made from breathable 600D Oxford fabric

Cons

  • Needs belt straps to prevent the vest from riding up

2. GFire Tactical Vest

GFire Tactical Vest

Another vest designed to accommodate modular attachments is the GFire Tactical vest. Any individual with a medium to extra large build can wear it. It comes with adjustable shoulder straps and removable pads, as well as waist straps. These anti-slip pads add to the comfort of the vest, which is particularly important when you load it with gear.

The substance used by the manufacturer is 1000D polyester. This is more durable and lighter compared to several other tactical vest fabrics. Since it allows for better air circulation, the high-quality polyester makes a huge difference.

The outer part is high-quality MOLLE. For your modular attachments, it has heavy-duty loops and webbings. The layout makes it simple to retrieve any items you’ve attached. Furthermore, the spacious design will allow you to carry all of your essential gear. There are also easy-access front and side pockets if you need additional room. You can use this to store extra equipment.

Pros

  • Anti-slip shoulder pads
  • Great for tall people
  • Made from 1000D polyester material
  • The vest is lighter and promotes air circulation
  • Outer part is premium quality MOLLE material
  • Enough pockets to allow essential gear

Cons

  • Shoulders aren’t as adjustable as they should be

Conclusion

The Dragon Skin armor was a great piece of equipment but was bogged down by paperwork and other certification problems. It passed several tests performed by various institutions, but the NIJ refused to certify it, and the US army eventually banned it. MOLLE-equipped vests with bulletproof plates are quite popular for everyday security and can provide you with excellent protection.

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