Steel rifle plates are an affordable and effective option for those looking for rifle-round protection, as well as possessing the twin benefits of extreme durability and thin profile. As I have mentioned in previous iterations of TGTBTU, they represent a viable solution to everyone from LEOs to the prepared American.

Their one main drawback, aside from their weight (on average, higher than either ceramic or UHMWPE) was their susceptibility to the very common M193 threat. This round, in general, could be counted on to Swiss-cheese garden variety AR500 steel, if shot at or above 3000 fps (a disturbing fact that has been well-known since 2007).

It has been known to me for some time that there was a solution, but it warranted further investigation. That solution was/is Ultra Hard Steel. Most armor-rated steel possesses a Brinell hardness (BHN) of around 480-510 (the well known “AR500″). This standard steel, used for target gongs, and of late, rifle plates, is hard, but not hard/tough enough to stop M193 at high velocity. This round, due to its energy and small frontal profile, “punches” out cylinders of material, a mode known as “shear-plug failure.” UHS, by comparison, possesses extreme hardness, almost approaching that of ceramic (anywhere from 650-720 BHN).

This steel will easily stop M80 ball, M855, and M193 in 5mm thickness, meaning that rifle plates made with this material are truly triple-threat capable (these three rounds, along with 7.62X39 constituting the main threat spectrum most wearers need concern themselves with both in and OCONUS).

A new company called Armor Wear has become the first to bring an UHS plate to market, and my congratulations to them:

Calling their plates “AR680,” in reference to the BHN, these plates can be fully expected to stop M193 at a remarkable 3300 fps. The price point is $134 per plate, which although higher than regular AR500, is very reasonable given the exceptional capabilities. Weight for uncoated plates is 6.2 lb., which is the same or close to some ceramic plates on the market! With the build-up Line-X coating, the weight rises to 7.4 lb. per plate, but that is still a vast improvement over the older, less-effective AR500.

With this sea-change in the nature of steel rifle plates, I can now unhesitatingly recommend steel as every bit as good as ceramic and UHMWPE if weight is not a primary concern. From this point forward, UHS should be considered “best practices” if one is considering steel rifle plates.

With the wearing of hard armor to defeat rifle threats becoming both more common, and more affordable, there seems to be conflicting opinions on plate sizing. One school of thought argues for maximum coverage- setting up the plate carrier with oversize side plates, and 11X14 (or even larger!) front and rear plates. The argument being, the greater area of coverage will result in greater survivability.

The other school of thought stipulates that the more steel or ceramic you strap on, the less mobile you will be. Smaller (8X10) primary plates, no side plates, or even omitting the rear plate, are all suggested to lighten the load, or to allow more ammo/sustainment gear to be carried.

Both schools have their merits. However, the latter school has a slight edge in my opinion (your mileage may of course vary). Smaller plates, while not providing as much coverage as larger plates, still do a good job of covering “the box” (Cardio-pulmonary box, containing the heart, large vessels/arteries, and a majority of the lungs). The role of armor is to allow you to stay in the fight longer, not make you invulnerable. A lighter, smaller plate improves mobility, resulting in less fatigue and more combat effectiveness. Not getting hit is always preferable to standing and taking rounds.

Secondly, omitting the rear and side plates (unless in a situation requiring the wearer to be stationary/defensive), may encourage a more pro-active/agressive mindset. Keeping “front towards threat” is not a bad habit to cultivate.

So unless you envision yourself in a fixed defensive situation, it may be worthwhile to consider lightening the load, and choosing smaller/fewer plates.

At this time, all ten slots for D-Rmor Gear Extreme Duty Plate Backers have been filled. Thanks for everyone that signed up. I expect to have these on a regular basis by Mid-June. Please email me to get on a notification list. I will also be taking suggestions for which custom sizes you would like to see (plate and cummerbund panels). Thanks!

At this time, due to backlog, I will not be taking any further orders for D-Rmor Gear Splash/Frag guards. Thanks to everyone who ordered. To those wishing to be placed on the notification list, please contact me via email. I estimate next open order date will be Mid-August.

As of today, there is one remaining production slot for the D-Rmor Gear Extreme Duty Plate Backers. Next opening will be Mid-June.

Thanks to everyone who has purchased and inquired!

With the blog celebrating its one year anniversary a little over two weeks ago, I thought now would be a good time to get some feedback from you, the readers. I feel that I have done a pretty good job providing a solid base of information, some unique and innovative gear and swag, and hopefully, useful reviews and resources on current armor products.

But, as I mentioned in my mission statement, I like hearing back from the people that read the blog. So I will ask: what would you like to see from me in 2015, in terms of gear, articles, or tests? No holds barred- I would enjoy getting your ideas and opinions. With any luck, your suggestions may appear here!

So drop me a line- let me know what you are itchin’ to see me make, write, or test in 2015!

I have known for quite some time that D-Rmor Gear Splash/Frag guards were causing quite a stir. And that it was only a matter of time before others started copying my design in earnest. Well, it looks like the good folks at have decided to flatter me by attempting to copy my design:

I am flattered that they acknowledge the efficacy of my design. And encourage folks to review my guards, compare the pricing, the specs, and the fact that I have been doing this for a lot longer than them. Please encourage AR500 to post pictures or video of their guards being tested with UNCOATED PLATES, as I already have. And then choose accordingly.

I wish AR500 well, and am truly tickled that they felt my design was worth copying! (Although I would encourage them to reconsider using words like “unique” and “innovative!”)

At long last, I am offering a limited pre-order on D-Rmor Gear Extreme Duty Rifle Plate Backers. Designed with over 12 years of improvements and features, these backers promise durability, comfort, and protection unmatched by any other current offering.



Boasting a 10 year replacement guarantee if ever used in a verified duty/SD incident, and built to last a lifetime, these backers will round out your armor loadout. Only the best materials are used, including 100% woven Aramid (NO LAMINATES), mil-spec 500D Coyote Cordura with Durable Water Resistant coating, and mil-spec Tex 90 thread. Currently offered in 10″ X 12″ shooter’s cut or rectangular cut, I will be fulfilling orders for a maximum of 10 sets, with last day for orders March 27th.

For more information, pricing, and ordering details, check this link:

Get ’em while they last, I have a small quantity of D-Rmor Gear Touchmark patches available. Made from extremely durable PVC, these patches complement any loadout. A bargain at $7.50 each, slap ’em on your gear, and anything else with a fuzzy loop surface!

D-Rmor Gear Patch1

D-Rmor Gear Patch2

After a challenging few months, I am opening up the queue for Spall Guard orders. Those on the notification list will be given first priority. I will only be offering front and rear guards at this time. My sincerest thanks to everyone for their patience, kind words, and well wishes!

Status Update

Posted: December 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Due to continuing obligations and personal matters, D-Rmor Gear is being placed into a state of temporary hiatus. I have received massive numbers of emails requesting information about ordering spall guards, plate backers, and other products (as well as many well-wishers and concerned inquiries, thank you very much!). I want to let everyone know that I -WILL- return to building Guards, Backers, and all the standard D-Rmor Gear items, as well as bringing many new ones to the table. At this time, however, it looks like it may be several months until this can happen. I have limited internet access in my current situation, and will try to provide an update around the middle of January.

To all my loyal customers and friends, thank you for your concerns, your reassuring and supportive words, and may your Holidays be blessed, peaceful, and healthy.