Recommended Armor Database

***UPDATED 11-29-2015***

Many of you have asked for a continuously updated database of the current “best-practices” armor items, and so I will (as per SOP) listen and obey.

The list will contain a top recommended choice for the category. I will strive to have two options in each, a “Hands Down Best If Money Is No Object” and a “Best Value For Performance.”

The recommendations will change, since time marches on and technology gets better all the time. Some of you may disagree (vociferously so), and that is encouraged. As I said in my charter post, this blog comprises the organic whole of my informed opinions (and I try to emphasize the former over the latter). Testing, eval and hands-on fondling of the pieces in question will go into why I recommend one bit of kit over another, but like cars, sports teams, and women, there is room for many tastes and many opinions.

It is simply my goal to distill and condense some really REALLY good choices into a single spot to make finding good armor a painless task.

Best entry-level plate carrier for the money is the Velocity Systems LWPC: http://store.appalachiantraining.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=LWPC

Best non-fragile rifle plate is currently the AMI TAC3S: http://www.armoredmobility.com/products_tac3s.php

Best ceramic plates for the money are Hesco Level IV Standalone: http://store.appalachiantraining.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=F1%2D4400%2D10x12

Best ceramic plates PERIOD are Midwest Armor Venture FM4: http://www.midwestarmor.com/body-armor/venture-fm4

Best UHMWPE plates for the money are Midwest Armor Venture FM3+: http://www.midwestarmor.com/body-armor/venture-fm3-Plus

Best UHMWPE plates PERIOD (IF CONCERNED WITH *WEIGHT* RATHER THAN *THICKNESS*) are Midwest Armor Venture FM3: http://www.midwestarmor.com/body-armor/venture-fm3

Best THIN, non-steel, special threats rifle plates PERIOD are the Midwest FM-STX: http://www.midwestarmor.com/body-armor/venture-fm-stx

For the best steel plates: BEST CURRENT PLATE IN TERMS OF PERFORMANCE is
the Maingun Patriot 2 Advance curved plate: https://www.maingun.biz/category_s/2048.htm

Best Steel Plates for the money:
Mil-Spec (Mil-A-46100) HHS (High Hardness Steel), now offered in curved form: http://www.maingun.biz/Body_Armor_Steel_Patriot_Plate_p/patplatepair10x12twocurve.htm

I NO LONGER RECOMMEND STEEL PLATES FROM ANY MANUFACTURER MADE WITH AR500 STEEL. THIS MATERIAL IS NOT A VIABLE OPTION WITH BETTER/MORE EFFECTIVE MATERIALS AVAILABLE.

DUE TO POSSIBLE ISSUES WITH ARMOUR-WEAR AR680 PLATES, I NO LONGER RECOMMEND THESE.

Best custom WOVEN ARAMID soft armor plate backers are D-Rmor Gear Extreme Duty Plate Backers: https://drmorgear.wordpress.com/coming-soon-d-rmor-gear-extreme-duty-plate-backers/

Copyright 2014-2016 D-Rmor Gear. All trademarks, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights and material contained on this website are exclusively owned and controlled by the Members; no material may be used or redistributed without express written consent. All rights reserved.

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Comments
  1. Warren Scott says:

    I have heard that the FN 5,7 X 28 rounds pass through Kevlar without much trouble. Is that true?
    Thanks,

  2. Cole Furqueron says:

    Would you recommend AR500 Armor Level III+ plates? They are AR 650 an approx. 1millimeter thicker than the Armour-Wear Plates. Is the additional thickness better for multiple impacts or just un-needed weight?

  3. drmorgear says:

    At this time, AR650 plates appear superior. AR500 does not provide information on what type of steel they are using, the M193 round is only stopped @ 3100 fps or below (their claim), while Armour Wear’s plates stop this round at up to 3300 fps.

    AR500 also claims to stop M2 Black Tip AP, but does not provide information at what velocity these plates defeat the round. Since they are not level IV plates, it is irresponsible to specify M2 AP defeat without posting a MIL rating showing what obliquity and velocity the defeat occurs (for instance, MIL-A-46100E specifies 2200 fps @ 30 degree obliquity).

    AR650 plates are thinner, lighter (.7 lb. per plate even with build-up), and appear to be more effective at this time. I would encourage AR500 to post test results using M2 AP on their III+ plates in order to give people an idea of what they can expect.

  4. Frank A says:

    Thank you much for taking the time to do all this research and for posting this info. I’ve been shopping around for Level IV armor for months now, so I’m glad I stumbled upon your blog tonight. I see a couple of your recommendations for best Level IV armor, but I also see some REALLY inexpensive plates that you recommended that that will stop .30-06 AP, but aren’t rated as Level IV. Please explain.

    It looks like this info was posted in 2014. It’s now almost July 2015, so again I pose the following questions:

    1. Which is the best (lightest and/or provides the most protection) Level IV armor?
    2. Which Level IV armor provides the most bang for the buck?
    3. Which are the best plate backers? Are they necessary for the armor that you recommend above in 1 and 2?
    4. I didn’t see any listed. Which are the best 6×8 Level IV side plates (by least weight and/or most protection AND by most value)? (All I saw were 6×6 Level IV side plates.)

    Semper fidelis,
    Frank

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