What to Consider When You Buy Body Armour
There are two main types of Body Armor, Soft Body Armor (SBA) and Hard Body Armor (HBA) or Rifle Plates.
Soft Armor Panels designed for ballistic threats come in Level 2, 2A and 3A and are designed to defeat certain hand gun rounds. There are also soft armor panels designed for stabbing and cutting attacks. Spike-slash armor panels come in level 2 & 3. If you are buying soft armor be sure to check if it is a spike or ballistic vest so you get the protection you need for your job.
Hard Body Armor (HBA) or Rifle Plates are designed to defeat certain rifle rounds. They come in level III ICW, Level III, Level III+ and Level IV. There are also some Hard plates that are level IIIA and only qualified to defeat pistol rounds. We currently only carry Hard Body Armor Rifle Plates. Click on the FAQ's below to learn more about the armor we offer.
The correct term is 'NIJ Listed Compliant'. Our most popular armor models are NIJ Listed compliant and can be verified at https://cjtec.org/compliance-testing-program/compliant-product-lists/
If you have any questions regarding compliance or would like to see addition testing data please reach out to us.
All ShotStop plate models we carry are less than one inch thick. This means they will fit any carrier and reduce bulk compared to any other armor manufacturer for plates at the same threat level. The more equipment you wear the more it affects your mobility. Egress, especially from vehicles can be an issue the bulkier your gear becomes.
Many rifle plates are still very heavy. Our body armor plates are the lightest on the market in their respective class for nearly every model. For models that are not quite the lightest they make up for it by being thinner than comparable plates. Consider all the equipment you carry. Medical gear, ammunition, restraints, radios, firearms, and body armor. The pounds add up, cause fatigue and injury which reduces safety and effectiveness in the field.
The NIJ mandates a 5 year warranty on body armor however some plates are still functional beyond that time frame if properly cared for. Replacing body armor every 5 years is a huge expense for departments. ShotStop body armor has been extensively tested, popular models are Listed Compliant by the NIJ and are backed by a manufacturers 10 year warranty for level IV armor and 15 years for all other models. Considering the cost of quality hard body armour, getting more than 5 years out of your investment is an important consideration. Law Enforcement Agencies can significantly reduce body armour costs over time by purchasing ShotStop body armor from Arctos Industries.
Match your body armor purchase to the threats you want to be able to defeat. When planning to buy Hard Body Armour (HBA) or Rifle Plates here is some key terminology you will want to know.
Level III ICW - ICW stands for 'In Conjunction With'. This means the plates only reach a level III rating when paired with NIJ Compliant level IIIA Soft body armour.
Level III - This means the plate is tested to withstand 6 shots of 7.62x51 M80 Ball Ammunition
Level IV - This means the plate is tested to withstand 3 shots of 7.62x63 M2 APM2 Ammunition
III+, III++, Special Threat - There is no NIJ qualification for plates designated as '+' or Special Threat. These are designations unique to each manufacturer and should be carefully researched so you understand exactly what you are getting. Ask the seller if they can show test result documentation to back up the claims made about what threats the plate can defeat.