Review: Grey Ghost Gear “Armor for the Everyman”

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High end armor used to require high end prices. Used to, says we. Mad Duo

Murr 2015

Review: Grey Ghost Gear  “Armor for the Everyman” 

About a year ago, Grey Ghost Gear announced their new lineup of hard armor small arms protective plates. Billed as “armor for the everyman”, the prices seemed to be too good to be true. Armor has to be expensive to work, right?

AR 500 plate fanboys will say no, that it’s “stupid” to shell out the big bucks for something superior at saving your life (ceramic being one often-referenced example). But outside of wearing steel ordered through tractor supply and pressed with a single curve in some dude’s garage, what other options are there? Gunshow SAPIs that have more cracks than a Detroit sidewalk?

Grey Ghost Gear wanted to offer a no-shit hard plate built to a high standard with modern technology, but not at a wallet-busting price. The result is their growing family of plates (some of which are so light they even float!) offered to military, LE and private civilian good guys. Their armor can be ordered easily, only requiring a copy of your CCW, cop or military ID. Before those of you out there without a CCW lose your minds about this, let me ask you two questions: first, why the actual fuck DON’T you have a CCW, especially if you feel that you need armor? Second, how else is a manufacturer supposed to sell rifle-defeating plates to the good guys without the fear of bad guys acquiring them? Don’t hate, move to a free state!

Murr 2015

The “Level IV Stand Alone Plates” reviewed in this article are NIJ Standard – 0101.06 Certified and weight 8.1 lbs each. They are just shy of an inch thick and measure 10” by 12”, so they will fit most carriers sized for a large issue ESAPI. They are multi-shot rated, which means they take several hits without being defeated by the rounds they’re rated for. Being “stand alone”, they don’t require a separate soft kevlar backer to catch spall (the little pieces of ceramic, projectile, etc. that can blow out the back as secondary missiles).  

That’s all good information, but would I be willing to trust my life to it? There was only one way to find out. I headed out to the range to see what the plates would stop, in the most scientific redneck way I could think of: shooting them.

Murr 2015

At $181.05 each, it wasn’t going to break my heart to shoot a plate. That price is extremely competitive with AR 500, which suffers issues such as ricocheting rounds, shotgun-like spall and heavy weight. There is a reason why they don’t make steel targets curved, and that’s because angles affect where a round will go. Sometimes that’s your throat, head, extended arms or legs. Capturing the round while defeating it is the point of ceramic-based armor, and that’s why I know of few professionals who willingly wear steel to safeguard their lives.

Walking into the armory, I stopped to think about which firearms to use for the test. I decided on military cartridges commonly found around the world, since that would be my own personal concern. I grabbed the rifles and ammo, and headed out. On the range, I secured the plate to a wood backer and began my informal evaluation. All shots were taken from 50 yards, with different sections of the plate selected for each shot. I started with a bolt action .22LR with a 40 grain hollow point, because why not? I took the shot, then went downrange to check the damage. The round cleanly cut the nylon cover, and left a significant crater underneath. The thought that these plates might not survive much immediately crept into my mind. The foolishness of this observation was soon forgotten with the following shots.

Murr 2015
.308 FMJ at fifty yards? No problem!

The next weapon was a 16” barreled AR-15, with one round of M193 55 grain FMJ and another of Lake City M855 62 grain “green tip”. Examining the plate between shots, I noticed that both left similar damage. Regardless of the inch-wide holes in the nylon, the plates defeated both. I purposely placed both 5.56 rounds about two inches apart, to replicate a “hammer” or controlled pair.  The fact that both rounds were so near each other yet failed to penetrate gave me a huge confidence boost in the plate.

Next came the 7.62×39 AK-47, the most common weapon on the battlefield. A FMJ Yugo military surplus round left a slightly wider hole, but was defeated by the GGG plate. When I switched to the AK-74, I thought the velocity of the 5.45×39 Russian military surplus round might burn deeper and potentially achieve a win. The 7N6 52 grain FMJ can jack up steel targets at close range, so I was justifiably suspicious the plate would fail. Nope, barely a difference from the 5.56 impacts.

By this point, Grey Ghost Gear had my full attention. Next up was the FNH SCAR, throwing a standard M80 Ball round. The 147 grain FMJ was stopped dead in its tracks, with only a small bulge showing on the reverse curve of the plate. My SVT-40 has been having failure to extract issues lately, so I skipped over 7.62x54R (if any of you super gun nerds know how I can solve this 1943 problem, please let me know in the comments section). In its place I used an M1 Garand. Surplus M2 150 grain FMJ once again left an impressive crater, but was just as easily defeated.

I felt this was an appropriate point to end the test. The plate was in ruins, so I figured I would give it a noble coup de grâce with the Barret .50. The 660 grain ball round punched a surprisingly clean hole through the plate, finding its resting place in the berm. So if you are worried about getting shot with a fifty, it’s best you stay in the MRAP…

Murr 2015
30-06 stopped dead in its tracks .

Overall I was impressed with the plate’s performance, and would recommend the Grey Ghost Gear plates to anyone looking for good, affordable ballistic protection. For shoot house classes, personal protection or professional use, I think these plates would serve you well. You can check out the lineup here on their website, and order yourself a set for less than a new Glock 19. 

Murr 2015
AR-15, AK-47, AK-74, SCAR-17, M1 Garand… the plate only admitted defeat to the .50 cal Barret.

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Mad Duo Nate Murr-NerfAbout the Author: Nathan “Mad Duo Nate” is a former USMC Sergeant who recently transitioned to being a nasty civilian. He lives largely on nicotine, whiskey and hate and can be frequently found orating Kipling poems to frightened hipsters. A graduate of the Camp Lejeune School for Wayward Boys, he was a Marine NCO, Infantry Platoon Sergeant and Scout Sniper team leader. He is a fully qualified American Jedi, handsome badass and world-renowned field barista. He has numerous deployments to the Middle East and Africa and is something of an idiot savant when it comes finger-fucking stuff to make it work better. Nate only chain smokes when he’s drinking and only drinks every day. We reckon he is probably best described as a sociopathic philosopher with vestigial cutthroat (though poetic) tendencies. Thus far Murr’s writing has appeared in such places as here on Breach-Bang-Clear, on Military.com, in field shitters and portajohns on at least 3 continents, in RECOIL Magazine and of course Penthouse letters. (Grunts: vestigial)

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8 thoughts on “Review: Grey Ghost Gear “Armor for the Everyman”

  • June 15, 2015 at 11:44 am
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    @Five3,

    Our level 4 plates are durable. there isn’t a drop hazard worry with these plates, our engineers tell me that by foaming the exterior and doing some other witchcraft with the ceramic layering, we can forget about damage due to drop.

    as far a dropping prone on top of a mag, that should never be a worry on our plates.

    Reply
  • June 13, 2015 at 8:26 pm
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    I’ve used level III AR500 for the last. Pulls years, weight wise they are practically the same as the GGG level IV. My reason for purchasing AR500, mind you I know little to nothing of armor, was “shelf life” and durability.

    I’d love to have level IV plates especially at this price but my concern over added protection is durability. Rural PA has many a rifle owning American around and I’m thinking ceramics are the way to go. Can you speak to durability at all – will I need to replace plates based on years owned or will dropping prone on a loaded rig compromise the plates? Really at this price I could affords to replace them every so often, but any experience/insight on durability would be appreciated.

    Reply
    • June 13, 2015 at 8:28 pm
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      Damn phone – *for the last 2 years,

      Reply
  • June 13, 2015 at 2:20 pm
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    Great review…appreciated. Now on to why a mf’er wouldn’t have a CCW? Ummm….because of negative views on CCW, political cock measuring of CLEO and CCW instructors in the region, finances, forcing mandatory CCW is contradictory to our Constitution…many reasons. And picking up to move to a free state is a lame ass bullshit costly endeavor that some forget. Not to mention that just because one moves to allow CCW does not mean they will be subjective (key word) to other bullshit arbitary laws with a field of drilling rigs and pumps invading their rural environment. I understand, you LEO live on arbitary laws and feed your family enforcing them – they also are contradictory to our Constitution. So why a mf’er wouldn’t want a CCW – there are many. Especially when they can open carry with no ill consequences (que the OC haters) – I will stand content knowing I am protected by the Bill of Rights while arbitary law, that can be dictated by asshole CLEO, allows you to carry concealed. My question is to why Grey Ghost would not allow proof of service (proof of Honorable Discharge) to apply. I guess judging how LEO do not qualify for Domestic Terrorist Listing but .mil does might suggest bad guys do not exist in LEA. Touché.

    Reply
    • June 13, 2015 at 5:37 pm
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      Jeb, that was one of the weirdest diatribes we’ve read and to be honest we’re not sure exactly what you mean. Our best guess is that you could just ask GG if proof of service would qualify, but you might oughta keep in mind that having an honorable discharge from whenever doesn’t mean you haven’t been convicted of a felony recently. Given that almost everyone there at GG IS a veteran (with the exception of a couple who were LEOs) and all are patriots, any thought that they might value one over the other is some borderline tinfoil asshattery. Don’t look for reasons to get pissed off where none exists dude. Having a .mil address doesn’t guarantee you’re a good guy (or an asshole) any more than having LEO credentials does. However, requiring someone to present a CCW/CHL at least shows they’ve passed some sort of basic background check. Seriously dude, you need to check yourself and ask them how they want to deal with someone who might not have a concealed permit for whatever reason. For fuck’s sake. Look for reasons to get riled up at the world much? As for “you LEO”, who are you directing that at? ‘Cuz the writer isn’t one. Damn that rant was so confusing we’re having a hard time even responding to it. Bottom line – we’re betting if you’re not a fuckwit and you don’t have a criminal record and you can prove it you can buy some plates. If you don’t like GG’s policies, fucking take your business elsewhere.

      Reply
      • June 13, 2015 at 10:12 pm
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        Duo – apologies for the diatribe… I could elaborate where much of it comes from as I do not comment much on individual blog postings. To sum up some clarity, it has been addressed in Kevinmo’s comment and your response was legitimate. I further agree about douchebags in the .mil profession – but I will concede they are much more limited in numbers to douchebag LEO. Considering UCMJ applies to all military while protections are continually granted to LEO to further them from prosecution for crimes – I would prefer keeping this kind of discussion/debate to emails with Hernandez. Something about his writing. I suppose my response came from the way things were presented for purchasing the armor along with a trend I have witnessed on BBClear that is highly supportive of LEO – even when they are violating the American individual. This trend has not always been as prevalent on BBClear as it has since current events across America has highlighted the over reach. Once again, apologies for making the mind spin circles – never my intent. I truly think we share similar beliefs however how some minions have presented them makes me question things, kind of like you guys wondering how drunk or fucked up I was with my original post. Stone cold sober, btw. Keep doing what the fuck you guys do – I agree with you guys more than I feel like looking at my IPad with Forrest Whitaker eye over what you guys do. And stop offering me a fucking Dependa – I’m really okay.

        Reply
  • June 13, 2015 at 1:19 pm
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    I will remind you many freedom loving states do “NOT” require a CCW. this is in regard to your comment about not having one. What does a buyer do then……

    Reply
    • June 13, 2015 at 1:42 pm
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      Fair point Kevinmo! In that case, or if you have other questions, then hit this e-mail: [email protected]. There’s gotta be a way to prove you’re not a felon, a dirty Commie or someone who enjoys watching The View. (Mad Duo)

      Reply

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