Need help selecting the right body armor for your loadout? This video provides an overview of Spartan Armor Systems AR500, AR550 and AR650 NIJ rated steel core body armor products. We compare and contrast the differences in each type of body armor such as thickness, cut (shooters vs swimmers cut), weight and coverage area to help you select the body armor that's right for you.
Body Armor can be made from steel, ceramic and or composite materials. Body armor plate sizes range from 8x10, 10x12 or 11x14 which are inserted in a plate carrier.
Steel core body armor is tempered steel that is commonly used in situations to prevent or reduce damage from severe impacts and abrasions. The “AR” in the name stands for “Abrasion Resistant,” and the 500 refers to the Brinell Hardness. The higher the Brinell rating, the harder and more resistant the steel. AR500 steel is a material that has been used by the military, armored car companies, and several body armor manufacturers and retailers such as ourselves. Although, only 1/4” -5/8” thin, steel core body armor plates can weigh anywhere from 5lbs - 11lbs depending on the size, cut and coating.
Steel core body armor is heavier than your typical composite/ceramic or soft body armor, however, it is rated to stop projectiles ranging from standard rifle rounds to high velocity rifle rounds. Once the plates are inserted into carrier and donned by the user the weight distributes evenly across the upper body. Steel body armor can be comfortable with the proper carrier to fit your body shape and size.
Comparing plates can be a confusing when it comes to steel core body armor. Steel is much thinner which allows more mobility for the user. Depending on what your application purpose is whether it is for active shooter situations, daily wear, and or for working out will come into factor on your purchase. Steel has a ballistic shelf life of 20 years and a 5 year warranty, being it is “AR” (Abrasion Resistant) steel it can withstand 6 shots from 50ft. Steel armor plates are less expensive which increases appeal to law enforcement agencies, military personnel, security guards, and civilians on a tight budget.
A common drawback of steel body armor is that projectiles can fragment and ricochet off the face at a zero to 20 degree angle. This means that bullet fragments have the potential to end up in your legs, arms, neck and head which may result in life threatening injuries. The base coat keeps the plate from exposure to rust and or corrosion. Our Base Coat will not contain the fragments in the event of a shooting, our testing shows that the fragments project farther away from the body as compared to an uncoated plate. Our Encapsaloc ™ spall mitigation coating traps the shrapnel and fragments within the coating as an added Full Coat protection.
All body armor is rated by threat levels set by the National Institute of Justice, which is the research, development and evaluation division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Threat levels range from Level IIIA to Level IV which indicates the degree of protection. The higher the threat rating, the higher the level of protection. Level III+ armor has been independently tested to meet or exceed the NIJ standards of the Level III. The Level III+ is an industry term and is not recognized by NIJ. Spartan Armor Systems provides Steel Core Armor with threat levels of III and III+.
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