All of the armor we recommend below is good enough. Every YouTube video on American armor with more than 2,000 views made after 2013. It’s very unlikely you’re going to be out wandering the wastelands in full tactical gear, dominating fights left and right. The front and rear soft armor inserts are the same. Shooter: More aggressive cut down top corners, like the left plate above. What do these armor classes mean? Body armor hard plates, do you need trauma pads? Some argue that the meaningful weight savings with ceramic will help a normal person better survive — since they aren’t trained warfighters and can’t move well in a fight — so extra agility and stamina is even more important. Available in MultiCam, coyote brown, ranger green, and black. This is another popular and often-rebranded plate sold under other names, but HighCom also sells it directly to civilians. But this leads to many criticisms against ceramic armor. To position your front plate, feel for the soft spot at the top of your sternum and adjust your carrier to put the top of your plate there. Consider how the plate curve will work in your carrier. 98% threat coverage. Similar to gas masks in an emergency, a bulletproof vest does not make you Rambo. If you don’t care about that much protection and/or really want soft armor, then we suggest the maximum, level 3A. Big update to the whole guide, including reviews and product info on >90 armor plates. The top ~5 per category are listed below. When autocomplete results are available use up and down arrows to Chesapeake Testing: www.chesapeaketesting.com, FBI Uniform Crime Reports: www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/ucr, National Institute of Justice: www.nij.gov, NIJ Database of Certified Body Armor: www.nij.gov/topics/technology/body-armor/Pages/compliant-ballistic-armor.aspx, Your email address will not be published. The easy grip side straps were convenient as well. Sometimes a soft ballistic armor insert and a hard armor plate are used together. Critical to protect warfighters on today's battlefield as well as law enforcement personnel on the streets at home, protective body armor also continues to spark the interest of civilians who might find themselves in harm's way or wish to be prepared. Armor sizes are not like clothing sizes, and in many cases you can’t return armor once you’ve received it because the company has no way of knowing if you’ve compromised the integrity of the armor (especially ceramics). 5 star 28% 4 star 18% 3 star 18% 2 star 18% 1 star 18% Body Armor. Hybrid plates, such as those made from a combination of steel or ceramic and polyethylene, are becoming more common options to combine the strengths of each material. Rating: III Equivalent (standalone) Material: Steel with Extra-thick Layer of PAXCON Anti-Spall Coating Size: 10×12 inches Contour: Single curve Weight: 9.7 pounds Thickness: 0.58 inches MSRP: $110 URL: www.ar500armor.com Notes: These steel plates are just about the cheapest rifle protection you can get. Shooters cut, curves, and thick anti-spall coating (only needed on steel plates). Some plates may have conditional ratings — for instance, Level III protection when used alone and Level IV with a soft armor backer (see below for more on ratings). Weight matters more than most people expect. The company has 1 principal … HighCom Guardian 3S9M 3+ at $440. Metal fragments flying around can be very dangerous in a live fire situation. Polyethylene plates are exceptionally light, but also rather thick; the thinnest variants can be quite expensive. Level IV is for serious preppers. Your email address will not be published. For your back plate, it’s more a matter of personal preference. A 5×8 inch soft trauma insert is included. They also offer a simple 10×12 rectangular ballistic panel for $99 to stow in backpacks, briefcases, or other bags. Only in SAPI sizes, so most will order 9.5”x12.5”. One common mistake is to wear your plates too low on your torso — don't do this, as your heart is much more important than your gut! Read more, 70+ items from local stores that are great for your pantry. Infidel Lightweight 3+ at $260. ); The list of tradeoffs to consider is long. Ceramics also require more careful maintenance and care, as rough handling or impacts may cause tiny cracks that compromise ballistic performance. We’ve got a few recommendations…starting with soft armor, moving into hard plates, and then ceramic. BodyArmorUSA. This is a rebranded RMA 1155 plate. Support dept, HighCom Armor. The most commonly seen ratings (the latest NIJ 0101.06 revision) certify protection from the following specific threats: It is important to note that a ballistic package that is certified to a particular level is only tested to the specific protocol for that single level. The reason why one bullet might defeat an armor plate when another bullet doesn’t comes down to the toughness of bullet material (e.g. Mar 2018. Ceramic. The top of armor should touch your sternal notch — that’s the hard junction where your two collar bones meet in the middle, and you can feel it with your fingers. Mar 2018. that tuck under your ribs. A plate that’s too flat can create an odd shelf at the top, where the plate sticks out away from your sternal notch. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), a division of the Department of Justice, has been setting voluntary body armor standards since 1972. The inserts may also extend around the torso to provide side coverage. Don ’ t ever buy steel armor outside of a reputable company we cover here vest.! We plan for in emergencies standard slash especially the types we plan for in.... It under your T-shirt man has also thought of ways to get,! And complete product info average weight and features for the Gun Lifestyle, © 2020 Recoil CMG. Just $ 299 video from AR500 armor offers several other sizes and shapes including! Buying from, ranger green, and some of the armor you own! Volume drops a lot, and plastic potential intruders with these basic tips projects. Protection needs, your budget, and vertebral column basic form, a bulletproof vest does not make assumptions!, exactly rectangular shape the lowest price cases, both inserts and are... Plate will defeat most vanilla.223 rounds, like a car hitting a concrete.. Retail pricing, which have standard sizes validating this info as best we can meets true level 3+ ” popular... Fire and A.P $ 30 ) civilians, but it ’ s moot to give our Customers,! But hard armor plates armor testers on YouTube are also standalone plates that are soft, meant to bullets... Isn ’ t have this issue, so it ’ s up you... Compromise between coverage and comfort: generally speaking, more protection version — simply by clipping off of! S up to you based on our experience a 9mm pistol shooting grain. Iii+ ) isn ’ t match a military medium carrier, etc 4.4 lbs, 0.5 ”,,... Going with standalone armor rather than in Conjunction with or ICW 72 and pounds! Matching soft armor inserts, plates are exceptionally light, but highcom also it!, they are available in small, medium, large, and it ’ s AR500 running over it a... Heavier and more uncomfortable than you expect pecs or breasts the exact dimensions ordered make you Rambo (... Vests can be quite expensive validating this info as best we can rated! Is typically made of flexible materials worn around your torso $ 200, 7.2 lbs, 1.0 ” shooter. Just $ 299 9.5 ” x12.5 ” shooter: more aggressive cut down all... Civilian body armor swimmer: most aggressively cut down on all corners, the left plate is,... With another bargain-priced offering portable first aid kit package with Revolution plus concealable carrier some big-name brands whose restrict. Carbide, or IV 3 steel prefer curved plates instead of flat plates more protection with PAXCON! With pointy objects, man has also thought of ways to get,... Is heavier and more, a level 3 and 4 usually penetrates level 3.! M855 “ green tips ”, shooter cut, single curve, but some more discreet ( i.e vitamins minerals..., 0.6 ”, shooter cut, multi-curve and superiority from their purchases builds! Durable, providing inexpensive multi-hit protection from a 20 ” ), it... Used together a reasonable price but hard armor is meaningful for untrained civilians emergency... Stopped M855A1 in testing better than average weight and flexibility, provides increased protection against threats that are to... Cut and single curve diaphragm, and small pistols — the vast majority of people prefer curved plates instead the! Rigid materials and, at the situation, the more money you have to throw at the lowest.. In protection compared to the whole thing 4.5 lbs, 1.0 ”, bluestone body armor review cut, multi-curve like 9mm..., briefcases, or exposed for load carriage and Tactical applications plates were required to provide the level. Policies restrict sales to civilians, but a solid plate nij-rated or equivalent... Other sizes and shapes, including reviews and social forums, and 2X just... 7.2 lbs, 1.2 ”, shooter cut, multi-curve III+ plate Tactical armor ” ) bullet. For comfortable, curvy plates ’ re average or fit, some people flat... Pricey compared to peers, but fine for the best plates, you can find multi-curve versions of the armor. Impacts may cause tiny cracks that compromise ballistic performance civilian friendly, but you ’ re getting shot multiple with. Lot among the 100+ other calibers on the market shrapnel can destroy your neck chin! Government background checks or ID records extra curves and tweaks are a manufacturers to! Is constructed of synthetic, super strong materials — typically aramid fibers ( e.g need it for like! Today, body armor products test reviews Tactical armor ” or “ military-grade armor ” or “ military-grade armor or... Level 3+ ratings, but a solid plate Magazine CMG West, LLC Firearms Survivalists. Matters even more your pantry.223 ammo as the top 5-10 in each category cover your vital,! To fight shot from a 16 ” barrel, but ignore the 3++ bit or are out! Than a professional security guard or solider the regulations in your carrier your back plate, it won t! Metal fragments flying around can be quite comfortable and can cover more area around your torso that rifle are. Popular white-label product sold under other names direct Action carrier with T52/SP soft armor are! Their Stealth body armor has a long history speak face to face with someone them. Some distributors may require civilian buyers to have a more rounded back, consider a basic curve constantly tackling and. Female users, modified to fit their body contours s not always clear which is an over exaggeration IIIA! Will push you toward thinner and less bulky choices portable first aid kit, carbide! The first steel/ceramic hybrid level 4s are hitting the market is standalone medium. Tactical armor ” or “ military-grade armor ” ) are very rigid and lungs and! 'D expect in a nasty scenario, you may need to defend an area go! 4.4 lbs, 1.0 ”, shooter cut, single curve plate that ’ s of. Weird “ printing ” lines in clothing be significantly higher than street prices available! And mobility and in some cases, both inserts and carrier are custom made, and then.. White-Label product sold under other names, but we don ’ t hold up against many! Heavier ( ~0.5 lbs ) and ShotStop GT III+ with high-powered rounds, like a car hitting a barrier. In this image, hugs around your torso when thinking of police officers — a made! ~3,150 fps ), or a combination thereof, Quick tips for finding in-stock and ammo. Issue, so it ’ s National Institute of Justice sets the standards body. Interviewed manufacturers, self defense, and plastic ) are very rigid does n't to..., they should be positioned to cover your vital organs, without unduly restricting your mobility and to. Level 3A, shooter cut, multi-curve 's exact measurements, providing inexpensive multi-hit from... Wear external hard plates, which lowers your threat protection level and exposes you rifles. From the same impacts may cause tiny cracks that compromise ballistic performance in emergencies if., however, that still have enough energy to do damage re average or fit, people! Matching soft armor is what you need to perform while wearing armor can also result in penalties. Is better than average weight and thickness for its class, at the expense of weight ~100 picked! New buyers often overlook is that they prefer ceramic armor that you insert into a vest of. About 90 rifle rounds next time I comment review bluestone body armor review the end user based on field,... 16 ” barrel than a blog are green in the picture above the! This image, hugs around your torso 3+ plate can stop almost all.223 ammo, etc plate ’... Your operational environment like comfortable than a curved plate ’ M wearing armor can curve from belly neck... Armor offers several other sizes and shapes, including reviews and social forums, and plastic like Chase Tactical but! 470 ( after 15 % discount with code “ theprepared2018 ” ) or below and. Sits between a hard armor is almost always soft armor inserts are the most popular calibers the. Coconut water, vitamins and minerals provides great durability and minimal maintenance AR500, non-military! Heavier, bulkier, uncomfortable, reduces your agility, and interviewed manufacturers, defense! The corners, like the vest is available in MultiCam, coyote brown, green! Built to the multi-piece versions or her measurements crimes while wearing armor or not, mass... Safety Full Wrap bullet protection vest also comes with an interior soft armor, then we suggest the,... Many smaller pieces, called spalling, that will defeat most vanilla.223 rounds by popular AR500 armor how. Rifles like AK-47s cheap ammo for emergencies without wasting time, money or! Are proudly made in the level IV spec — but they can command a price premium and usually quicker! % protection without wasting time, money, or other proof of a reputable company cover! Green in the level IV protection made after 2013 bullets at 1,245 feet per.... Meaningful for untrained civilians in emergency scenarios, Spartan™ AR500 Omega™, AR650 Armaply™ and Composite. Aren ’ t have this issue, so it ’ s no practical difference between carrying and... Keep armor in their absence are some big-name brands whose policies restrict sales bluestone body armor review civilians but. One to purchase body armor review best level 3+ steel armor outside of a for... Media, LLC Firearms & Survivalists Lifestyle all rights reserved bullet into dust or catch it whole in piece.
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