There are a lot of articles and discussion forum threads on barrel twist rate for AR-15s. So why am I writing one? Well, some of the information on the web is very wrong. Additionally, this closes out comment threads we've had here touching on this topic, EMail exchanges I've had with readers, and personal conversations I've had with shooters and friends about this subject. It's natural to put this down in case anyone else can benefit from the information. Or you may not benefit at [read more]
I usually don’t like citing Strategy Page for anything. They don’t provide sources, and if it’s public domain (as it is from time to time), they don’t supply URLs. I also think that this particular Strategy Page article spends too much effort to explain something fairly simple. SAPI plates are for 5.56 mm rounds, while ESAPI plates are designed for 7.62 X 39. Troops generally train with SAPI plates, and get issued ESAPI plates in theater.
But this little tease at the end of the article is worth some thought.
All these plates are made of boron carbide ceramic with a spectra shield backing. This combination causes bullets to fragment and slow down before getting through the plate. Occasionally, some fragments will get through, but these are stopped by the layers of Kevlar that make up the flak jackets. The ceramic plates require a manufacturing process that uses, and produces, a lot of toxic chemicals. As a result of this, much of the production has moved to China.
Did you get that? Much of the production has moved to China. Ponder that statement for a moment.
China is the land of counterfeit parts, and not just any counterfeit parts, but ones intended for our military. But there is another dirty little secret that most engineers know. The Far East (China, and to some extent Japan) doesn’t do QA. Engineers who have components fabricated in Japan must travel there extensively and repeatedly to ensure that they get what they’ve ordered. Then usually they still don’t.
China is even worse. The concept of QA isn’t part of the cultural or social fabric of the country. They don’t understand it, don’t live it, don’t abide by its principles, and don’t have any conceptual understanding of it. Nuclear power plants are forbidden by federal orders from installing parts fabricated in China.
Here is a note to my readers. Procure anything that must be reliable in America. Do not purchase guns, ammunition, tactical equipment, important products and supplies, body armor (soft or hard plate) or anything else from China. Don’t do it. Just say no.
As for the ESAPI plates being made there, it’s just a little hypocritical to claim that our EPA is trying to protect the environment while in fact we just ship our “pollution” overseas. This isn’t the only product with which this kind of thing is done.
Ah. Hypocrisy. Rather like the ATF claiming to enforce gun laws while shipping thousands of rifles and handguns into the hands of Mexican cartels, no?