Body Armor Feedback and News

For those of you who actually own and/or wear body armor, can you take a moment to help share some information? Thanks in advance for your help.


  1. What is the manufacturer and model body armor that you use?
  2. What type of material is your body armor compose of (ceramic, steel, etc.)?
  3. Are there any body armors you disliked, why?
  4. Are there any body armors you liked but did not buy due to cost?
  5. Is there any other information you wish you knew when you first purchased?

Thanks again. Looking forward to responses as I am researching more into purchasing some for use.


As am I. I look foward to the responses to help guide me.

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:white_check_mark: I do not own but would like to add to my bucket list these items to my EDC. The cameras that look promising are 1-3, and I have little to no training in trauma care outside of learning by reading/visual materials. I welcome input to guide my decisions. I hope this ties in well with to not only body armor. If tracking items (Phone) are not carried, then recording replacement will be necessary…in light of recent events.

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Can you tell us the requested “mission” for your body armor? LE Patrol officers around me use basic armor, which will stop handguns rounds of any caliber. However; a 556 will pass through without hesitation. On the other end the SWAT guys use stuff that will stop a 50, albeit with bruised and broken bones in spite of that.

A targeted feedback will be easier to produce when we know what we are staging for. In the summer, SWAT “thick” armor won’t be worn and the IF you need protection you will have left it at home. In the same way I won’t have the weapon I would pick if it magically could appear in my hands when needed (that would always be my M4), and instead it will be my Glock 19 because I will carry that. Get it?

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I want body armor that is more than suitable for home defense. Must stop 9mm, 10mm, 357, 44, 5.56 and 12 gauge. Hope that clarifies. That said I do not care about climate concerns as it will be worn indoors. And hey if you have alternative versions that are lightweight but can provide superior protection from penetration, by all means please share. Thank you!


I’d get level 3A. Shop price. As long as they are certified, it should be fine.The lower priced will be a little heavier, but for home use will work just fine. I picked up a couple level four ceramic plates on sale for a little over $200.00. With the carrier they weight about 18 pounds. Heavy as hell. Just for worst case use. Would not want to wear them for hours or as a LEO.


I don’t see much use for body armor in my world. As slow as I am the gunfight would be over long before i would be suited up. I have seen many body armor setups, but I always aske the question"If you are shot in the dominate arm/hand what good is chest plate armor?" I much perfer training and advoidence.
My days of dressing like Duke Nukem are long past.



Thank you for sharing actual useful information.

Sharing some body armor research that may aid others, since so few people in the USCCA community appear to own or use it.

Note: Beware AR500 products most are not NIJ certified.

Body Armor set up considerations:

There is naturally volumes more testing information, companies, and products available to research online. However, I think the above provide a good introduction sampling. I will add more information on specific companies that create/offer NIJ certified body armor in the near future if others are interested.

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Thanks @momo. Its worth calling this out since it is in the middle of all those links :wink:

This initially sounded weird to me, since AR500 is on the list of companies I was researching and everywhere I looked I saw NIJ this or that. I skimmed through the reddit link (there is a lot to go through, and the author seems to have an issue with steel plates in general but thats another topic) and then went back to AR500’s website for confirmation one way or the other.

And it does indeed look like AR500 uses TWO distinct phrases when talking about their armor.

For their Level III (Steel), Level III+ (Steel), Level III+ Lightweight (Steel?)

Independently tested and rated to NIJ 0101.06 standards…

And then they explicitly say the following for their Level III Lightweight (UHMWPE)

NIJ 0101.06 Certified

On their FAQ page, they have links to the independent 3rd party and their testing methodology, and they say they are tested to NIJ levels. My understanding is that NIJ testing is super expensive, which may be why they choose to have them tested by someone else rather than NIJ.

It is an important data-point when considering armor, whether you trust a non-NIJ party to “certify” the armor’s capability. I will definitely be paying closer attention to the specific verbiage on each model from a vendor to check for NIJ certification.

Thanks again for pointing that out.


You are welcome. Yes the NIJ certification is often overlook and needs to be properly discussed in the 2A community and I feel especially, here on USCCA.


They have since been removed from the NIJ government list of approved body armor.


Interesting news HR4568 Federal ban on body armor:


Good information about body armor offered by AR500 and why you should NOT BUY their product.

An alternative steel armor by SteelOps which uses high quality steel that’s AR600 and NIJ CERTIFIED to level 3, and stop m193 reliably.

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Instead of the barcode “I’m wearing body armor” tactical look there are some viable backpack options that accept ballistic panels. Check out Vertx brand.

I don’t have one, but have been doing some research and don’t wa to look like I’m going to cause trouble, which may be the public perception of one is wearing a full tactical vest.

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Have you tried concealing the body armor under clothes or even an oversized jacket? Doing so can reduce the inaccurate illusion that you are present to ‘cause trouble’, instead of ‘I am trying to protect my family’.

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That’s a great suggestion. I by no means am trying to stir the pot and am fully in the protect the family camp. Part of that is not drawing any attention that may be misinterpreted by the public or draw uneeded attention.

A view from all perspectives is important. The irony is if someone is wearing full body armor in a tactical manner it can make them a first target in a bad scenario.


I have the Spartan Steel AR500 Swimmers cut, in a Slickster carrier. It fits me pretty damn good (and I’m a little guy 5’4" 150ish) The only time I have ever really put it on, (thankfully) has been in the fall for morning walks (originally to get use to the weight, and now its a decent work out!!). Big bulky jacket or oversized hoody, nobody knows.


Why body armor at all? (A question my wife certainly asked). I’m not LE or in the military any longer. Body Armor is designed to protect a very small but vital portion of our body. Typically a 10"x12" area over the heart, spine and lungs. The “center-of-mass” area we are trying to punch holes in when we go to the range. Is the extra weight worth the cost and training time to use it? The kit I just bought will add at least 22 lbs to my loadout.

We live in troubling times. I’m not concerned about my very infrequent trips into town. Concealment isn’t an issue. I can’t up-armor my home. Sandbags and steel window coverings don’t fit our décor (just yet). My RJFA days are over. That includes running from violence that shows up on my doorstep.


I personally am getting AR500 armor, they’re a well known and good company. I personally run steel plates with trauma padding. I personally don’t like ceramic since I saw how easily broken they were and how they dont stop many rounds while i was in the army. Spartan tech i think its called i wanted to try but they were really expensive. As of other knowledge just make sure to think about all the applications of armor. Concealed or not, if you want a full carrier for pouches and such or a smaller frame to just protect vitals, there’s many aspects to look at

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