Why do I wear dummy SAPI plates? Well, in addition to adding some realism to this “Mil-Sim” sport, dummy plates help a plate carrier maintain its shape and prevent it from flopping around as it would without plates. See, plate carriers are designed to be worn with plates being carried inside the plate carrier. I can’t afford real plates, nor do I see a reason to wear that expensive of a piece of gear around while I’m shooting plastic Bullet Balls at people, so I wear these hollow plastic dummy SAPI plate replicas in my plate carriers.
That, and it doesn’t hurt when you get shot with heavy weight BB’s at extremely close ranges. Illustrated below is the damage that my rear dummy SAPI plate when my assholes of friends decided it would be funny to pop 3-4 rounds into the back of my plate carrier at point blank with DMR-FPS-rated AK AEG’s. Imagine if I hadn’t been wearing these dummy plates – I mean, if BB impacts do this to hard plastic, what would happen to my skin without these there? Thanks guys. You know who you are.
Last summer, I was at the local Richmond Night Market volunteering in full kit (minus guns) as a walking and talking Airsoft model. Pretty much, I handed out pamphlets about what Airsoft is about and what this specific local store can sell to you. It was fun, yeah.
Some kid was asking about my plate carrier that I was wearing one night. He was curious as to whether or not I was wearing “real body armor.” When I explained that I was wearing (replica) hard plates, he asked me if it would hurt if he punched me… and I laughed. See, hard plates do pretty much nothing against the physical trauma of blunt force. Body armor doesn’t work in the same way that it is presented in movies, TV, and the media.
P.S. my brief explanation of what a SAPI plate does is after the break.
What is a SAPI plate anyway? To summarize, SAPI plates (specifically) are designed to prevent serious bodily harm to the wearer against high velocity projectiles… like rifle rounds. Note in the picture below from the internets that when a plate is sized and worn correctly, it provides protection over where the majority of critical internal organs of the human body are located. Kind of important.