Homemade SAPI Plates anyone?

so i just bought a bunch of new tac gear, but mainly a new plate carrier and a bunch of pouches. and while i was out there runin around out there feelin legit, i noticed that with all my gear, the vest kinda flops around without any plates. so im too lazy and cheap to buy a $30 useless hunk of square plastic that no one is ever going to notice, and i wondered, why not homebrew it? so if ANYONE has an instructable or knows how to make fake SAPI "ballistic plates" PLEASE reply...PLEASE         



UPDATE- some people seemed to get the impression that im using this for real steel purposes. i can see why they would think that, since i was a bit vague on that part of the question. HELL NO. i will be using this for AIRSOFT. those are 6mm plastic bbs flying at speeds of 350 feet per second maximum. so just about anything works. and im wearing eye protection. so no one is shooting their eyes out either.

Picture of Homemade SAPI Plates anyone?
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Ezio886 years ago
I use sheets of the four inch schedule 40 PVC pipe you cut out the length you need then put a vertical cut all the way down it put it in the oven for five to seven minutes pull it out flatten it the cut to size and stick in vest. I have made halo Marine armor with PVC. It will take a baseball bat to the chest without pain.
Lay ten 10" x 30" sheets of cotton on a hard surface (concrete floor, sturdy table, etc.). Saturate with polyester resin, then compress them very tightly with something heavy (I like using a steel plate with 100 lbs of extra weight on top) for about an hour. Put ten more sheets & resin on top of that and re-flatten them. Repeat the process until your plate is the thickness you want. Let the resined sheets cure in a warm, dry location for 24 hours.

Next wrap the dried stack in a sheet of cotton material, seal the wrapping material with super glue, and apply a coat of Fiberglass resin (font, back, and sides) every 3 hours for 9 hours, then let the whole thing dry for an additional 24 hours. When the plate is completely dry, sand the surface down gently until smooth and slip it in your plate carrier.

Note: this is the same process used for making real ballistic plates, they just use Kevlar instead of cotton and a huge multi-ton press. I wouldn't test it with a real firearm, but it should be good enough for an airsoft rifle.
orksecurity6 years ago
I've got a sheet of 1/4" thick black plastic -- gods know where it came from, unfortunately -- which, if cut into appropriate shapes and stencilled with lettering, would be a pretty good match for the photo above. Unclear whether it would be lighter than plywood or not. All I can suggest is "keep your eyes open for anything thin, light, flat, and stiff enough."

Second the warning that you should be careful where you wear this. Airsoft range, fine. Convention hall costume, fine. On stage, fine. In public... well, even if you aren't in a situation where you might get shot, you're going to come across as a poseur, and someone may decide to take you down a notch.

Be careful what messages you send, and where.
predatory meatball (author)  orksecurity6 years ago
ughh. i hate getting all these warnings about airsoft things in public. nothing against you, i mean, youre definately right, but it just annoys me. it makes me feel like people assume im some dumbss that is gonna rob a bank with my aeg or something. again, nothing against you personaly, i just hate the constant "o, dont shoot in public this' or "youll shoot your eye out that". kow what im saying?
If you ask about something hazardous, you're going to have to put up with safety warnings. Doesn't matter whether the hazard is electrical, chemical, mechanical or social. If you're aware of the risk, just say "thank you" and let it go by as intended for the other folks reading this who may not have thought that far ahead. If you weren't aware of the risk... well, we're really rather you not find out the hard way. Evolution doesn't take prisoners.
rickharris6 years ago
Note: I have a fake Rolex, I rarely wear it because I don't want to get mugged for a fake,

If certain people "think" your body armour is real they may be tempted to test it!!
predatory meatball (author)  rickharris6 years ago
oh no, im not gonna wear this in public. hell no. i prob should have mentioned in the question, but this is only for airsoft. not gona be stoping anything with this. my bad
rickharris6 years ago
If we assume your not expecting this to actually stop small arms fire then just take a plastic bucket and cut the plates from that - it already has about the right curvature and will be minimal cost.cost
Best answer! The author should have written this in the text, but in his "keywords" you'll find "airsoft."
kelseymh6 years ago
Buy a sheet of 1/8" (3mm) plexiglass at your local hardware store. Cut it to the shape you want by repeated scoring with an X-Acto knife or glass cutter. Sand down the rough edges.

Use a heat gun or high-wattage blow dryer to heat and soften the plastic, then bend it to shape over a form (a 5 gallon paint bucket, or beer keg, or something similar. It should cool and stay formed fairly quickly.
Plexi might break nastily though.
Vyger6 years ago
plywood , glue and a rasp. Maybe some clamps.