A few weeks of searching online and talking to a lot of vendors eventually led me to Tactical Scorpion Gear – a body armor manufacturer based in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Tactical Scorpion makes soft and hard body armor, which includes AR500 steel and polyethylene plates, and they make their own carriers. Because they’re a manufacturer and a retailer, their products are less expensive than other vendors. I found their staff to be incredibly knowledgeable and very helpful. Since they make it, they know more about their products than your average retailer.
They sent me their Wildcat Molle Vest with AR500 level III plates, which is rated for .308/7.62 NATO.
Each laser cut 10×12-inch plate weighs around eight pounds.
Tactical Scorpion designs their own carriers too. The Wildcat carrier has a good amount of mesh to help with cooling, and the seams are double stitched. They use military grade ripstop nylon for all construction, in addition to heavy duty clips and straps. The plates are retained by both Velcro and snaps. The Wildcat ships with a Molle three-pocket mag pouch on front and an accessory pouch on the back panel, both of which I replaced with my own gear.
Here’s the best part: The entire rig – plates and carrier – has an MSRP of $161.95, well under my $200 goal.
Is this rig ready for long-term use or extended wear? Probably not. At around 20 pounds it is much heavier than other options. Does it meet my needs – something I’ll only use if the balloon goes up or The Bad Man comes calling? Absolutely.
The Wildcat rig fits well, doesn’t limit my movements and is fully compatible with my war belt. To sum, it is perfect for my purposes and the price is fantastic.
NOTE: Tactical Scorpion Gear offered Armed American News readers a special deal. Use the product code AAN21 and they will give you 15% off your next purchase. That, too, is a great deal.
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