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Old 06-21-2016, 07:13 PM
Yournamehere Yournamehere is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 912

The cheaper AR500 steel plates are affordable, but they only perform to Level III specs. They won't stop M193 out of a 20 inch barrel at close range, which would be a very common threat in SHTF, a mass shooting or a well armed home invasion. They are also substantially heavier than ceramic/composite plates that will stop more threats. They may be inexpensive, but they are a poor choice for certain intended uses, and, in my mind, the use they are intended for by the factory (overt SHTF armor). The only offerings worth buying are the Level III+ Lightweight plates, but they cost a lot more than the entry level plates, almost as much as Level IV standalones at other places. Not to mention their backlog is ridiculous. The only thing that lower end AR500 and steel armor in general has going for it is that it's sort of inexpensive, slim, readily available (sort of), and durable as all hell. The problem, however, is that it's bad body armor.

I was and still am considering getting AR500 Level III+ lightweight armor, but their wait time is not going down anytime soon. I believe Spartan Armor Systems Armaply, which has the same protection capabilities, is in stock all the time and about the same price if not cheaper. So, if you have to go steel, consider that. Personally, though, if I were to get plates, I think I'm probably just gonna shell out money for Level IV Ceramics at SKD or AT Armor and take care of them.

"But I only want concealable armor that will stop pistol threats" you may say. That's cool. Get soft armor. It will be a lot lighter and more comfortable and probably about the same price. Even if it's more, it will be worth it not to have to lug around steel or even bulkier ceramics.
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