Gear: ESAPI plates


ESAPI plates

Category: Duty & Tactical Gear
Subcategory: Personal Protection
Average Rating:
(8 Votes)

Army Pulled 8,000 Armor Plates from Field February 10, 2009|by Christian Lowe The Army recalled more than 8,000 bullet-resistant plates late last year for fear that they might not be able to stop the rifle rounds they were designed to defeat – one month before the Army agreed to pull 16,000 more plates after a government investigation cast doubt on their reliability. According to the top enlisted advisor for the Army’s Program Executive Office Soldier – the service’s top gear-buying office – officials were worried that a production lot of 8,018 enhanced small arms protective inserts, or ESAPIs, might have manufacturing flaws that earlier tests didn’t catch. So in December, the service pulled the plates from the front lines and sent them to ballistics labs for testing to see if they were up to snuff. “We opted to pull those 8,000 plates just to see -- just as, again, part of our surveillance program” to monitor quality, said Sgt. Maj. Tom Coleman, PEO Soldier sergeant major, in a Feb. 6 interview with military bloggers. Army officials had failed production lots of plates that were manufactured before and after the plates recalled in December, Coleman explained, so engineers decided to pull the 8,018 to make doubly sure they should have been fielded. “When the Army looked at the lot acceptance test back then for the big string of plates that were shot, they saw that there were a couple failed lot tests out there. Those plates were never accepted. They were scrapped,” Coleman told “In between them there were a couple lots that passed, but we said, hey, you know what? Let's pull those plates anyways.” News of the earlier armor recalls comes on the heels of a Pentagon Inspector General report that recommended the Army pull more than 16,000 ESAPI plates made by ArmorWorks from the field due to flawed test procedures on the initial designs. Though the Army disagreed with the IG's finding, the service's top civilian, Pete Geren, ordered the plates recalled anyway "out of an abundance of caution" and to allay fears among Joes in the war zone that their gear might be sub-par. The IG report mentioned the 8,018 plate recall deep within its findings, but the Army never made the news public. "Those lots passed," Coleman said of the 8,000 plates. "Everything was good with them. Some lots in front of and behind them had failed and were not accepted." Though results were not available, Coleman said the recalled plates are still being tested at ballistics labs, but so far none have shown signs of failure. Coleman reiterated the Army's position that all ESAPI plates sent to combat had passed quality assurance tests and so-called "first article" tests to confirm the design's ability to withstand armor-piercing rounds and claimed no plates have ever failed. "We have no reports of deaths from the body armor failing to stop the threat it was designed to stop, none," Coleman said. The Army is still trying to

Member Reviews

  • 2010_engagement_fotos_of_major_in_class_a_uniform_max30
    MrsMajDavis, Fri, 20 Feb 2009 05:56:32 UTC.
    1st review

    - 5 star

    God bless those who tested this product on active duty!

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  • Wpns_table_max30
    Bulldog136, Thu, 02 Apr 2009 20:37:15 UTC.

    Saw one plate take two rounds from a 7.62x54 Dragunov rifle, another took a AK round, both guys survived.

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  • 2008fb12801024_max30
    shalbaugh, Wed, 08 Apr 2009 13:36:12 UTC.

    Heavy, you weren't sure if it could take a round. Has stopped debree from IED blasts.

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  • Shackbeard_max30
    jshack, Sun, 03 May 2009 11:27:36 UTC.

    Saw a back plate take 3 rounds of 7.62x39 at about 10 feet from and AK. Vest and plates together stopped the rounds. It's heavy...........but when you work with people you can't trust to not shoot you then it's an awesome piece of gear.

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  • Purpleheartbadge_max30
    GumbyDoc, Mon, 11 May 2009 19:55:30 UTC.

    Saw this product save a lot of lives including MINE! From those pesty basterd-Jhihads..............Stopped countless fragmentation, mortar, RPG and Ak 7.62 rounds......bruising is required but stoppage is a blessing to me an some other Devil-Dogs.......I am a "DEVIL-DOC!" Semper Fi & God Bless all who serve on any street; anywhere; anytime; these colors do not RUN! I gave all & some Gave all..........blood,sweat & tears.

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  • Photo_user_blank_big
    Worldviewer, Sat, 16 May 2009 20:42:21 UTC.

    These plates work I have seen bullets that are armor peircing being stopped by these only thing is they are heavy as hell when you have all the plates added together on the current military body armor.

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  • 09-10-08_1418_panther_recon_max30
    bilzy7, Mon, 08 Jun 2009 16:28:00 UTC.

    all gave some, some gave all", some gave all means their life... i guess a dead guy wrote a review on here. ya its decently heavy but you get use to it. nothing like all this crap on full kit and everything, then ur the lucky manpack carrier. fun times.

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  • Hpim1010_max30
    BamBam129, Wed, 22 Jul 2009 14:52:19 UTC.

    All I'm gonna say is that my sapi plates were recalled..........a sick feeling came about me. But I've since recieved new plates and I'm gonna keep on truckin!!

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