Metal armor serves as one of the two early-to-mid-game armors in Fallout and Fallout 2, along with leather armor. Metal armor has a higher amount of Damage Resistance and Damage Threshold bonuses but leather has a higher armor class. This means that the character is less likely to be hit while wearing leather armor, but they will take less damage if they get hit in metal armor. Metal armor is also very heavy for the relatively low amount of protection it provides. Notably, metal armor, including the Mk II variant, has a very high laser resistance, which is only surpassed by T-51b power armor, advanced power armor, advanced power armor Mk II, and Tesla armor.
In Fallout, it is possible to get this armor almost from the beginning by killing Garl, the leader of the Khans.
Garl, leader of the Khan raiders near Shady Sands, wears a set.
A gambler by a slot machine also wears a set. With a companion, it is possible to purposely get caught pickpocketing him into hostility, then allowing the companion to take the kill. This will not provoke the guards (but may make other gamblers attack). It must be looted before completing the quest to take out Gizmo for Killian. The gambler and everyone else in the casino will be gone after killing Gizmo.