What is The Best Level IV Body Armor Plate? Who makes the lightest level 4 plates?

What is The Best Level IV Body Armor Plate? Who makes the lightest level 4 plates?

NIJ Level IV body armor is the highest level of ballistic protection, according to the National Institute of Justice. There are hundreds of body armor companies that sell personal ballistic protection. However, not every company has the evidence to support their claims.

We’re one of those companies that value integrity, transparency, and performance. The last thing we’d ever want is an American soldier or Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) to question their capability. 

ShotStop Level 4 Body Armor

We know your job is hard enough than to worry about whether your armor is going to stop an armor-penetrating bullet from an AK-47, AR-15, or a 30-06 (M2AP). Therefore, we spent years perfecting our Duritium® technology to ensure that “We Protect The Protectors®”

If you’re interested in learning about the lightest, thinnest profile, and most durable Level IV body armor, our Duritium® Level IV+HS is the answer!

What Are The Most Important Features To Look For in Body Armor?

Weight of the Plate

Have you ever heard the saying “pounds equals pain?” According to Marine Corps Captain Thompson, adding as little as 15 pounds to your overall body weight can cause detrimental effects to your joints (i.e., knees, ankles, and hips).

Body armor weight depends on many factors; however, the materials that make up body armor have the biggest impact on weight.

For example, AR500 steel is ‌a multi-hit capable plate and has the thinnest profile of body armor material. However, AR500 steel is also the heaviest body armor material.

Level IV+ body armor

In contrast, a full-ceramic plate has the thickest profile of body armor. Full-ceramic plates are lighter than steel, but most are not multi-hit capable.

Our Duritium® technology is a polyethylene and ceramic composite that is stronger than standard poly plates and known to be the lightest ballistic material on the market.  

To limit the amount of added weight, you need to have a set of plates (including side plates) that weigh less than 15 pounds. Our Duritium® Level IV plates weigh in at 11 pounds or fewer.

Thickness of the Plate

The thickness of the plate might not seem as important as the weight or the performance, but it drastically affects your mobility.

There are excellent reasons ShotStop® sets the thickness limit at less than 1 inch per plate. We have discovered that plates with a profile thicker than 1 inch inhibit the ability to reach across your body.

This might not be an issue for civilians, but it is a big concern for LEOs and the military. For example, many LEOs spend 8-12 hours a day patrolling in their vehicles.

A plate thickness of over 1 inch is too bulky, can dig into the officers’ thighs, and/or causes chaffing in the collar and neck area. All Duritium® plates are under 1 inch thick to provide optimal comfort and wearability.

Size options

Most of our competitors only carry one or two sizes to fit an average man. The problem with this is the average size woman is smaller than the average size man and has a different body type. This leaves our women in uniform left wearing armor that is not fitted to their body.

The more sizes available for a plate, the better chance each person has of finding the best fit. Our Duritium® Level IV + HS plate has two separate cuts (Shooter’s cut and SAPI cut), and four different size options (8” x 10”, 9.5” x 12.5”, 10” x 12”, and 11” x 14”).

Spartan Armor Systems Vs. ShotStop Ballistics

Spartan Armor is (0.3”) thicker, 0.8 lbs. heavier (6.1 lbs.), and comes in one size versus the much more versatile Duritium® Level IV+HS plate.

Spartan Armor Systems is a great company that we have a ton of respect for, but it just doesn’t match up well against our Duritium® Level IV+HS plate.

The reason I chose Spartan Armor as a comparison is because of the perception that AR500 steel is the lightest ballistic material. 

Simply put, there is no steel or full ceramic body armor that can compete with the advanced technology that we use in our body armor. 

As you can see from the table below, there is no statistic AR500 steel is superior in versus our Duritium® plates. 

Lightweight Level IV Body Armor 

Ares Level IV Ceramic Body Armor

ShotStop® Level IV+HS 

Weight

6.1 lbs

5.3 lbs (10” x 12”)

Thickness

1.2”

0.9”

Cut Type

  • ESAPI 
  • Shooter’s Cut
  • SAPI
  • Shooter’s Cut

Design

Multi-Curve

Single Curve 

Size Options

  • 9.5” x 12.5”
  • 8” x 10”
  • 9.5” x 12.5”
  • 10” x 12”
  • 11” x 14”

Warranty

5 years

10 years

Independent Test Result

N/A

MSRP

$500 ($999.99x2)

$663.00

 

Armored Republic Vs. ShotStop® Ballistics

Armored Republic is another great American company that promotes lightweight, low-profile body armor. The problem with the C-Series Level IV plate is full ceramic and can only stop a single shot from a 30-06 M2AP bullet. 

With a set of plates, the added weight is already 15 lbs., which is the limit that the Marine Corps suggests is safe for soldiers.

If you’ve read some of our other material, you’ll know that full-ceramic or steel body armor is not practical or safe for our soldiers and LEOs

Not only will our Duritium® Level IV+HS plate stop multiple hits from a M2AP round, it will also stay within the 44mm BFD the NIJ requires. 

ShotStop Level IV+ body armor

Full-Ceramic armor is obviously stronger than ceramic dinnerware that we often use, but it’s similar because once it’s damaged, it crumbles into a useless mess. 

Even though our Duritium® has ceramic in the composite material, it’s used to build more rigidity with the polyethylene base. 

Lightweight Level IV Body Armor 

C-Series Level IV

ShotStop® Level IV+HS 

Weight

7.5 lbs. (10” x 12”)

5.3 lbs (10” x 12”)

Thickness

.75”

0.9”

Cut Type

  • AR Unique cut
  • SAPI
  • Shooter’s Cut

Design

Single-Curve

Single Curve 

Hit Capacity

Single-hit

Multi-hit

Size Options

  • 10” x 12”
  • 11” x 14”
  • 8” x 10”
  • 9.5” x 12.5”
  • 10” x 12”
  • 11” x 14”

Warranty

5 years

10 years

Independent Test Result

N/A

MSRP

$249.99 ($576.99 x2 w/truama pads)

$663.00

 

What is The Strongest Level 4 Body Armor?

All it takes to know which armor is stronger is to look at the results. For all the football fans out there, I think choosing body armor is a lot like the NFL draft.

People want to decide based on what shines the most on the outside, instead of focusing on the inside.

It’s important to us that everything we promote and write is factual, meaning independent sources back our claims. 

So, how can we sit here and claim our armor is stronger than everyone else? Well… We have the proof with independent NIJ-Listed lab results that show our Duritium® Level IV+HS plate can take an otherworldly 11 7.62 x 54mm AP bullets. 

What is a Ballistic Limit (V50 score)?

 According to the NIJ, a V50 score isthe velocity at which the bullet is expected to perforate the armor 50 % of the time. The ballistic limit is typically denoted as the V50 value”. There is no other body armor that I’ve been able to find that can prove 24 shots from an AP 7.62mm bullet with no penetration and acceptable BFD.  

How Does Knowing The Ballistic Limit Help Determine Armor Durability?

Knowing the ballistic limit helps to understand the full capability of your body armor. For example, we know that our capability for the Duritium® Level IV+HS plate is 24 fair hits without penetration.

All 24 shots were within the 44mm threshold, even though it’s only requiring that 3 shots remain inside the BFD threshold.

This means all 24 shots were between partial penetration and plate complete penetration. There is no other plate on the planet with this level of durability and consistency.

ShotStop body armor made in USA

How Does BFD Show Body Armor Strength?

There are 3 types of penetrations according to the NIJ, Partial Penetration, Plate Complete Penetration, and System Complete Penetration

The maximum allowed BFD is 44mm to pass the strict NIJ testing protocols. Not only did our Level 4+HS take 24 shots from an AP 7.62mm bullet, but it did so with no system or plate complete penetrations. 

The V50 is determined by shooting the piece of armor several times, with the same type of threat, across a broad range of velocities.

The COPD contains the V50 requirement, and the calculated V50 during the test must meet that requirement.

Why Choose ShotStop® Level IV Body Armor?

ShotStop® is more expensive than any other body armor that I’ve seen online, but only on the front-end.

For example, you may spend double the amount of money at first, but our 10 year warranty for Level IV plates is at least double that of our competitors. 

ShotStop® understands our competitors will highlight the advantage in price, but that’s all superficial arguments with no context.

I love a deal anytime I can get one on things like running Shoes, food, and clothing. However, spending the least amount of money on a product that I’m trusting my life in. 

If you’re looking for the best ballistic protection with the best customer service and performance, our Duritium® Level IV+HS plate has all the evidence you need for peace of mind. 

As a former solider and LEO, trusting my equipment and tools was paramount to my success in the field.

As a thank you to the men and women who serve our communities and nation, we offer at least a 15% discount to all LEOs and soldiers. If you’re interested in buying the most advanced and lightweight Level IV body armor, please contact our sales team at sales@shotstop.com

ShotStop® Flash Sale!

10% off all ballistic rifle and handgun backpack inserts and handgun-rated clipboards.

This is a rare opportunity for every customer to save $50 on a pair of Level IIIA Clipboards that weigh only 1.3 lbs per item. 

Use code SSBINSERTS4242

Good through May 31, 2022

While supplies last. Limit 6 per customer. Please be aware that rifle-rated inserts may need a longer lead time for delivery.


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