Wearing chain mail in daily living

I have done a brief internet search on chain mail. I appears that it is mostly used for " Society for Creative Anachronism"-type uses.

Can chain mail be used for self-protection today?

The rings used in making chain mail are usually made of metal, woven together, then pinched closed. You can’t do this with plastic, though it would make for lighter mail. Are there plastic chain mail shirts? Would they stop a knife?

How much does a titanium mail shirt weigh?

Would a metal chain mail shirt decrease appreciably the seriouness of getting shot with a gun?

Can I get on an airplane waring chain mail? (I’d like to take it off and put it through the x-ray machine, Mr. Homeland-Security-man, but it wont fit in the plastic bin) :wink:

A titanium mail shirt would be lighter, but still kind of heavy. It takes a lot of rings to make a decent shirt.

Maile is still used today, in doing butcher work, and in diving. Maile suits are worn by divers that deal with sharks, as it has been proven to lessen the severity of the wounds.

Maile would do you no good whatsoever against bullets.

If you’re wearing a normal, combat effective maile shirt it’s going to weigh anywhere from 40-70 lbs. It’s not something you just wear around for fun.

A good chainmaile would make you pretty much immune to getting cut or slashed with a knife. It would diffuse some of the impact of a blunt weapon, but you still have to worry about broken bones… and you get cool waffle shaped bruises.

I once saw a chainmail bra in a lingere shop.

It didn’t look especially comfortable though.

Yea, but imagine the look on some hood’s face when he took a swipe at you with his knife and you laughed so hard you fell over…

Well, just before he stabbed you in the neck or something.

I knew a chap who wore a mail shirt made of old-style beer tabs. It was probably useless as armor, but it made a fashion statement about beverages.

A titanium shirt wouldn’t even provide minimal protection against a bullet?

No. See, the problem with chain is that 1- most of the links in modern chain are butted, meaning that the rings are just pushed shut, rather than that actual method used of riveting, and 2- The chain weave still allows enough room and flexibility of the metal to let bullets penetrate.

I heard a story, totally unknown if it’s true or not, of a VC that was wearing a chainmaile shirt during the Vietnam conflict. Apparently he had gotten hit with a burst of fully automatic fire, and it had hit him, and pulled a chain of links through his body.

He died.

Titanium is light, and strong, but the design of maile is against being cut or slashed… being pierced will still kill you.

What’s wrong with kevlar?

Kevlar isn’t very good against edged weapons- a good knife will go through it. But maybe a kevlar/mail hybrid armor would be effective against both knife and gun, but it such a armor would be very heavy.

The popularity of metal body armor took a serious nose-dive after the battle of Agincourt. Arrows shot from longbows went straight through the stuff.

If someone attacks you with a sword, the chain mail will help.

If it’s bullets you want to stop, take sailor’s advice.

If it’s knives you want to protect yourself from, get a hard leather vest, which you would normally wear under your mail anyway. Dispense with the mail, just wear the leather.

Thorn-proof gear or motorcycle leathers will also help.

It doesn’t look cool like chainmail. Duh. :smiley:

Yeah, but i’s a bugger these days getting the jousting lance through customs, never mind getting the horse on the plane.

What about some revolutionary new plastic armor? Completely unnoticeable, and perfect for going through airport metal detectors.

Let me know if you get an airline upgrade wearing that plastic option ?

Nah, if it ain’t made from the fur of some South American camelid, no upgrade.

Chain mail is effective against slashing weapons and offers some protection against crushing weapons, however it is totally vulnerable to piercing weapons (daggers, pikes, etc).

Wearing a shirt full of holes, ringed with metal or otherwise, will not do an adequate job against high powered projectiles like bullets or arrows either.

Also, FYI, it’s seems to be illegal for civilians to possess kevlar/bullet proof vests (at least in NYC).

There was the famous case of the LA bank-robbers who emerged from the bank - guns-a-blastin’ - and they were wearing an outer layer of some kind of alloy plate over layers of kevlar. Plus they were armed to-the-teeth with high-power guns with deadly ammo that goes right through engine blocks.

There’s a guy in Queens (NYC) who shot a burglar who was rummaging through stuff in his son’s room. He may very well go to jail.

A few months ago, I got a lot of helpful info at SMDB about my Army 1860 Cap&Ball guns. I’ve since learned that I can carry those guns anywhere. Yet I’m committing a felony if I travel with a toolbox - in my trunk - containing the powder, caps and lead balls. In short - I cannot legally go to a range for target practice without a pistol permit.

These days, the most practical application for chain mail is protection when diving with sharks. Its effectiveness against edged weapons proves equally effective against shark’s teeth, giving divers and underwater photographers and filmographers unparalleled proximity to these creatures.


check out the info on maille you can check prices on rings of many diameters. Plastic, galvanized mild steel, aluminum, titanium, copper, silver.

I wear a shirt of 3/8" id 16 gauge galv. Knee length and half arms (SCA heavy combat). Chainmail is just cool. Even though it offers mediocre protection in SCA combat (blunt instruments) people are still nuts about it. You have to wear some or at least fondle it to understand why.

liquid metal, especially the very small ring stuff.

sidenote: in LOTR they used mail made out of pvc rings for the background actors. The main characters were wearing real mail for all the close up shots.

I don’t know about NYC, but I know for a fact that kevlar vests are legal in Pennsylvania, and I believe in most of the rest of the country.

Here’s a site with loads of info on modern body armor: http://www.bulletproofme.com