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Nick P.





Joined: 20 May 2010

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue 21 Dec, 2010 4:16 pm    Post subject: Kevlar Gambeson?         Reply with quote

I've been thinking about this for a few days. What if I had a Kevlar gambeson?
Is it feasible? Could the linen/cotton/wool bits be replaced with Kevlar or some other modern material? Has anyone done this before?
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Brandon Larson




Location: California, USA
Joined: 05 Apr 2009

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 21 Dec, 2010 6:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Kevlar Gambeson?         Reply with quote

Nick P. wrote:
I've been thinking about this for a few days. What if I had a Kevlar gambeson?
Is it feasible? Could the linen/cotton/wool bits be replaced with Kevlar or some other modern material? Has anyone done this before?


The DOD has had them since the 80's, and I just spent the better part of a year wearing one in Afghanistan Laughing Out Loud . But seriously, a modern military flack vest is just a kevlar gambeson, even if the style is different. What I find interesting is that they started adding plate reinforcement in the late 90's and now some combat troops are wearing plate carriers and dispensing with the kevlar protection. The modern path of armor development is similar to the middle ages, just with different materials.
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R Ashby





Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Likes: 6 pages

Posts: 103

PostPosted: Wed 22 Dec, 2010 4:38 am    Post subject: Re: Kevlar Gambeson?         Reply with quote

Brandon Larson wrote:
Nick P. wrote:
I've been thinking about this for a few days. What if I had a Kevlar gambeson?
Is it feasible? Could the linen/cotton/wool bits be replaced with Kevlar or some other modern material? Has anyone done this before?


The DOD has had them since the 80's, and I just spent the better part of a year wearing one in Afghanistan Laughing Out Loud . But seriously, a modern military flack vest is just a kevlar gambeson, even if the style is different. What I find interesting is that they started adding plate reinforcement in the late 90's and now some combat troops are wearing plate carriers and dispensing with the kevlar protection. The modern path of armor development is similar to the middle ages, just with different materials.


What an interesting point about the transition from kevlar to plate!
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Christopher Treichel




Location: Metro D.C.
Joined: 14 Jan 2010

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Wed 22 Dec, 2010 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

then there is also "Dragon Armour" in the works... anyone ever see that before? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_Skin_(body_armor)... nothing really new... well probably be wearing full plate armour in another few years again like this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powered_exoskeleton
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 683

PostPosted: Wed 22 Dec, 2010 10:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fencing jackets can also be made from kevlar.

I wonder where to buy a fine weave kevlar, since I'm only familiar with the coarse weave as used in shipbuilding. A kevlar brigandine with kevlar-epoxy plates inside seems like a nice idea. Similar to dragon skin actually...
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Bryce Felperin




Location: San Jose, CA
Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posts: 552

PostPosted: Wed 22 Dec, 2010 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Do note that though Kevlar does protect against bullets up to a point (high velocity bullets from large caliber rifles still penetrate Kevlar without plate protection) they don't protect against stabbing weapons (like knives) any better than other cloth materials.
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Mackenzie Cosens




Location: Vancouver Canada
Joined: 08 Aug 2007

Posts: 238

PostPosted: Wed 22 Dec, 2010 7:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Isn't Kevlar hot, sweaty and uncomfortable to wear or is that just a myth?

Natural fibers can be very comfortable to wear.
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Nick P.





Joined: 20 May 2010

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed 22 Dec, 2010 8:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mackenzie Cosens wrote:
Isn't Kevlar hot, sweaty and uncomfortable to wear or is that just a myth?

I don't know how much sweatier kevlar is than natural fibers, but kevlar vests might be sweaty because they have 10 layers or so
Bryce Felperin wrote:
Do note that though Kevlar does protect against bullets up to a point (high velocity bullets from large caliber rifles still penetrate Kevlar without plate protection) they don't protect against stabbing weapons (like knives) any better than other cloth materials.

I think that there are some stab resistant Kevlar varieties that are used by corrections officers. Those most likely work better than natural fibers.

It would be interesting to make a gambeson with alternating layers of the bullet and stab resistant fabrics. That might either work great, or be lacking in both areas, and really suck.
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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Thu 23 Dec, 2010 4:59 am    Post subject: Re: Kevlar Gambeson?         Reply with quote

Brandon Larson wrote:
Nick P. wrote:
I've been thinking about this for a few days. What if I had a Kevlar gambeson?
Is it feasible? Could the linen/cotton/wool bits be replaced with Kevlar or some other modern material? Has anyone done this before?


The DOD has had them since the 80's, and I just spent the better part of a year wearing one in Afghanistan Laughing Out Loud . But seriously, a modern military flack vest is just a kevlar gambeson, even if the style is different. What I find interesting is that they started adding plate reinforcement in the late 90's and now some combat troops are wearing plate carriers and dispensing with the kevlar protection. The modern path of armor development is similar to the middle ages, just with different materials.

I wore a kevlar vest with plate inserts in the back and front in Timor. The primary identified threats were from machetes and hand propelled ballistics, not too dissimilar from what soldiers faced historically.
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J. Kari




Location: Estonia
Joined: 17 Sep 2010

Posts: 21

PostPosted: Thu 23 Dec, 2010 8:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What about d3o?
Has anyone ever put it inside his gear? Like between authentic fabric ?
I think it would make most wonderful gear for steel fighting with no modern material that can be seen by others.


Heres to people who dont know what d3o is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VDeJ7rLUYU
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D3o
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Dec, 2010 9:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Kari wrote:
What about d3o?
Has anyone ever put it inside his gear? Like between authentic fabric ?
I think it would make most wonderful gear for steel fighting with no modern material that can be seen by others.


Heres to people who dont know what d3o is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VDeJ7rLUYU
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D3o


Combined with kevlar + armour plate it would take care of blunt trauma really well but I don't know or think it has bullet stopping qualities or cut protection on It's own.

Seems like a soft and spongy material that reacts to sudden impact by becoming very rigid and by spreading the energy over a wide area. I wonder how thick or thin it can be and be effective ?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 683

PostPosted: Thu 23 Dec, 2010 1:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Kevlar Gambeson?         Reply with quote

Bryce Felperin wrote:
Do note that though Kevlar does protect against bullets up to a point (high velocity bullets from large caliber rifles still penetrate Kevlar without plate protection) they don't protect against stabbing weapons (like knives) any better than other cloth materials.
Kevlar (or more precisely, aramid fibres) are much stronger than other fabrics, thread by thread. So it takes more force to break one strand.

Stabbing can mean two things: the blade pushes the fibres apart, or it breaks them. The second is much less likely with aramid fibres than, say, wool. The first one is simply a matter of how tight the weave is.

Taylor Ellis wrote:
I wore a kevlar vest with plate inserts in the back and front in Timor. The primary identified threats were from machetes and hand propelled ballistics, not too dissimilar from what soldiers faced historically.


Really? I'd love to hear some stories and/or see pictures sometime... I knew that Indonesian pirates still used swords occasionally, at least, they did some years ago. What kind of hand propelled ballistics do you mean?
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Brandon Larson




Location: California, USA
Joined: 05 Apr 2009

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri 24 Dec, 2010 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher Treichel wrote:
then there is also "Dragon Armour" in the works... anyone ever see that before? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_Skin_(body_armor)... nothing really new... well probably be wearing full plate armour in another few years again like this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powered_exoskeleton


I've read up on the "Dragonskin" armor and I would not trust it. From their own test reports, the weight is more than 50% greater than for the kevlar and plates we wear now, and the price is about triple for the same amount of protection. The only advantage seems to be flexibility, and even that is questionable. From reading their own reports, they required add onplates despite the "scales", which would drive the weight to around double what we wear now. The scales seem to be a marketing gimmick without much practical use.

They tried to create public pressure for adoption by the DOD with a media campaign a few years back, but fortunately it didn't work.
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Christopher Punty




Location: tx
Joined: 25 Sep 2010

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Fri 24 Dec, 2010 2:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dragon skin is a joke, it just plain doesn't work anywhere near well enough to justify the increased weight. Its performed poorly in every controlled scientific test done on it.
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

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PostPosted: Fri 24 Dec, 2010 3:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Having worn Kevlar nearly every day for twenty years, I can say this sounds like an excellent way to get heat stroke. A Kevlar gambeson under armor? No way.
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Edward Rees




Location: Portland, OR
Joined: 02 Dec 2010

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Fri 24 Dec, 2010 3:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One of the things I found interesting during my time in the military was the evolution of the armour.

In 1992 I was deployed to Somalia with a Kevlar Helmet and Flak Jacket. The helmet had a leather and webbing suspension system that, while functional, was almost guaranteed to give you a head ache and the Flak Jacket was generally agreed to be useful for keeping you warm and safe from rocks (those Somali kids were wicked with their slings) but not much good for direct fire.

Fast forward to 2006 and my issue for Afghanistan was a much improved ACH (Army Combat Helmet) and IBA (Interceptor Body Armour). The ACH had a gel pad suspension system and allowed you to do such amazing things look up. The IBA started off as a Flak Jacket with two ceramic SAPI (Small Arms Protective Insert) plates but throughout my tour more armour was constantly added. First the kevlar gorget, then the kevlar groin protector, then side SAPI plates, and finally kevlar pauldrons. The added protection was welcome while I was in an Uparmored Humvee (even if the added bulk made it nearly impossible to turn around) but dismounted patrols sucked. The added weight and bulk in the temperatures we were working in made me think of the knights during the First Crusade. The biggest problem (aside from the over all bulk) that I had with the armour was that most of the weight was carried on the shoulders. The kit I'm putting together from Allan @ the Mercenary's Tailor has much better weight distribution.

The church is close but the roads are icy; the tavern is far, I will walk carefully.
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Ben Sweet




Location: 831
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 512

PostPosted: Fri 24 Dec, 2010 8:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have worn Kevlar for maybe 8 years +/- now on motorcycle rides/rallies ...the sweatshirts & gloves come from a company in Australia http://www.dragginjeans.net/product/k-shirt the sweatshirts run a size small to the US.. They are pretty dang comfortable but not for keeping you warm as the wind goes right through them...I once had a video posted up that I did back in 2005 with me slash cutting my arm a few times with a Japanese kitchen knife, the gloves I use when cleaning the sharps..awesome stuff !

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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Sat 25 Dec, 2010 2:56 am    Post subject: Re: Kevlar Gambeson?         Reply with quote

Paul Hansen wrote:

Really? I'd love to hear some stories and/or see pictures sometime... I knew that Indonesian pirates still used swords occasionally, at least, they did some years ago. What kind of hand propelled ballistics do you mean?

Hi Paul, the main ballistics used were darts and slings like those described in this link;
http://aviationweek.typepad.com/ares/2007/04/why_wear_body_a.html
They seem funny until you see what they do to something they hit. Also, while I was there more than one digger was saved by his body armour from a machete or shiv, but man it was hot and hard to run very far in.
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 683

PostPosted: Mon 27 Dec, 2010 10:44 am    Post subject: Re: Kevlar Gambeson?         Reply with quote

Taylor Ellis wrote:
Paul Hansen wrote:

Really? I'd love to hear some stories and/or see pictures sometime... I knew that Indonesian pirates still used swords occasionally, at least, they did some years ago. What kind of hand propelled ballistics do you mean?

Hi Paul, the main ballistics used were darts and slings like those described in this link;
http://aviationweek.typepad.com/ares/2007/04/why_wear_body_a.html
They seem funny until you see what they do to something they hit. Also, while I was there more than one digger was saved by his body armour from a machete or shiv, but man it was hot and hard to run very far in.


Interesting article... Eek! Not funny at all...
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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Mon 27 Dec, 2010 6:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Kevlar Gambeson?         Reply with quote

Paul Hansen wrote:
Taylor Ellis wrote:
Paul Hansen wrote:

Really? I'd love to hear some stories and/or see pictures sometime... I knew that Indonesian pirates still used swords occasionally, at least, they did some years ago. What kind of hand propelled ballistics do you mean?

Hi Paul, the main ballistics used were darts and slings like those described in this link;
http://aviationweek.typepad.com/ares/2007/04/why_wear_body_a.html
They seem funny until you see what they do to something they hit. Also, while I was there more than one digger was saved by his body armour from a machete or shiv, but man it was hot and hard to run very far in.


Interesting article... Eek! Not funny at all...

Sorry, I meant the darts themselves seem funny, usually having ribbons etc attached, but yeah, they are lethal.
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