MITgel, God’s Armor
MITgel claims they have solved the problem of hot, uncomfortable body armor that doesn’t perform and protect like it should. They claim to take the term “ballistic vest” and turn it into “bullet proof vest.”
My body armor is tired and worn out
The label tells me that I should have replaced my armor after 5 years, which would be about 10+ years ago. I had newer body armor issued but it came out shortly after the body-armor-world got shook up over deterioration with Zylon body armor.
My newly issued armor was terrible to wear due to weight, stiffness, and overheating. Wearing my old body armor was better than not wearing any due to the misery of the new vest. I just kept thinking there had to be a better vest option.
Body Armor is Old Technology
Historical documents show an interest in bulletproof vest technology since at least 1538 when Francesco Maria della Rovere commissioned Filippo Negroli to create a bulletproof armor vest (most likely made of steel). Soft body armor has its roots dating back to medieval Japan with armor being made of woven silk.
Current versions of what we know to be soft body armor took off in the 1970’s. In 1976, Richard Davis, the founder of Second Chance Body Armor, designed the company’s first all-Kevlar vest, the Model Y.
NIJ Standards, Ratings, and Pass-Through
In the United States we use the NIJ to establish standards in ballistic body armor. Measuring the ballistic performance can be confusing and a bit overwhelming. My basic understanding of it is that the armors rating is based on determining the kinetic energy of a bullet at impact. Energy of a bullet is the key factor in its penetrating capacity. Velocity is used as the primary independent variable in ballistic testing. Ballistic Resistance of Personal Body Armor, NIJ Standard – 0101.04
The V rating of vests, as I understand it, deals with the “pass-through” of specific ammunition through the vest at a 100-round equation. The V50 is a ballistic test where bullets are fired at increasing velocities until the bullets start penetrating. The velocity where 50% of the bullets DON’T penetrate and 50% of the bullets DO penetrate is the V50 rating and standard for ballistic protection. The closer you get to zero, the more “bulletproof” the body armor is.
The New Standard Set?
Enter into the mix a new way of doing things, MITgel out of Tacoma, Washington. MITgel has a V.05 compliant rating, .05 chance that a bullet will pass through their body armor! You could actually call this a bullet proof vest. Why aren’t all law enforcement and military wearing this vest?
Nobody has ever achieved a V0 rating from the NIJ. Some doubt the NIJ would be willing to give that rating even if deserved due to the myriad of variables involved. MITgel has achieved a compliant rating of V.05, that’s huge! So why haven’t we seen this flooding the market yet?
Who is MITgel?
MITgel or “God’s Armor” is a product created by Tim Moore of Moore Innovative Technologies. Tim explained to me that the company started when he suffered a severe injury from a fall off of a roof. The knee pads he was wearing caused leg numbness which contributed to a fall. Tim used his down time to come up with a better design on knee pads. The success he saw with the knee pads led him down the path to create a better designed body armor.
What’s So Special about MITgel?
MITgel’s vest are indeed gel based and are wrapped in Dyneema. Dyneema is a high-strength synthetic fiber that is strong, moldable, and has many similar characteristics to Kevlar. Dyneema is trademarked as the world’s strongest fiber. Dyneema is 15 times stronger than steel and is 40 percent stronger than aramid fibers (such as Kevlar.)
MITgel armor floats, such as what is seen with the MITgel – Mark V Ballistic Flotation Vest, it is lighter than most traditional vests, and incredibly the vest helps keep you cool! The MITgel MARK V vest control thermal load on the user by maintaining core body temperature at 98.6 degrees even with the outside temperature is over 130 degrees or below -40 degrees Fahrenheit!
The MITgel vests are anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and the gel base is self-healing and closes right up when impacted. In addition to the V.05 compliant rating, the body armor has a 75% of deflection impact control meaning less injuries to the wearer. The Backface Signature averages at 28mm with a low of 16mm. The Dyneema wrap makes it stab and slash proof.
MITgel’s goal is to save lives through gel technologies and they need help getting it to market. They’ve passed the tests, including independent testing by Oregon Ballistics Laboratory, Homeland Security, and testing by SEAL Team 6.
Now What, When Can We Buy It?
I’m excited to get my hands on one of these vests and hope to be spending some time with MITgel soon to do some shooting for myself.
MITgel is working on getting this product to market but is struggling with funding and opposition from some bigger companies that have controlled this market for a long time.
The vests are made in the U.S.A. in Seattle, WA. The vests are currently priced at about $1,100.00 with a donation being made to Behind The Badge Foundation for vests sold in Washington State. MITgel is in talks with A.M.I.C.K. Tactical, LLC to create external carriers for the vest.
Tested and Amazed, Morpheus Might be Right
MITgel met me on the Willapa Firearms Training range for our own demonstration. I supplied an expired IIIA vest I had worn on duty for several years and they supplied a test panel of “God’s Armor.”
We kept the testing simple and I’m not even pretending to imply it was laboratory conditions. Using thin plywood clipped to portable target stands, we duct taped the test samples up and shot from a distance of 16’.
Starting with the 9mm, I shot two rounds at each of the two targets. This was repeated for the .40 S&W, .357 magnum, .44 magnum, and finally 12-gauge slugs.
The MITgel held all rounds with no pass-through. The standard vest had pass-through with one .44 magnum round and both of the 12-gauge slugs. The amount of damage done to the thin plywood compared to the standard vest sample was drastically different.
Seeing is Believing.
Watch the video and see the difference for yourself.
If MITgel can get this product to market at an affordable price – you’d be silly to not consider it when purchasing body armor. The significantly lessened trauma to the wearer was impressive.