Protection Against Every Round: Lightweight Rifle (Level III) Body Armor for Private Armed Security

Protection Against Every Round: Lightweight Rifle (Level III) Body Armor for Private Armed Security

Over the past few years, the demand for armed security details has surged among private business. Likewise, the demand for security personnel to be equipped with Level III ballistic protection has also increased.


The level of perceived threats of terrorism, mass shooting incidents and proliferation of open carry laws and practices help to explain the increased demand, says Christian West, founder and CEO of security company AS Solutions.

Whereas security consultants used to rely largely on handgun-rated soft body armor, Level III solutions provide rifle-rated protection more relevant to these increasing modern-day threats. However the drawback for many users is the added weight, as well as added cost, of upgrading their body armor portfolio with traditional Level III ceramic or steel body armor plates.


Anyone who has worn traditional Level III body armor made of ceramic or steel knows the challenges faced by everyday use. Ceramic, in particular, needs to be handled with care—making it a tricky option for users who are on the go in their line of work, such as private security.

If a ceramic plate gets accidentally dropped from more than 2 feet or is subject to blunt force, it needs to be examined for cracks that can compromise its protective qualities. In fact, these plates often need to be x-rayed or MRI scanned to look for imperceivable hairline cracks to confirm whether or not they are still up to their manufacturer’s standard.

Another significant drawback both ceramic and steel body armor users are familiar with is weight. Plates made of these sturdy materials are heavy, particularly when compared to soft body armor. This added weight isn’t just uncomfortable. It can be a matter of life and death, with recent research showing that 15 extra pounds of gear can be the difference between life or death in a firefight.

Increased weight and potential risk to effectiveness in the field lead to many private security officers ditching the added rifle protection of these heavier plates altogether. And body armor that goes unworn has absolutely zero effectiveness in saving life or limb.


To combat the drawbacks of traditional Level III ceramic and steel body armor, ShotStop Ballistics has developed significantly lighter weight and highly durable ballistics solutions to benefit users.

The secret ingredient? Duritium®

ShotStop’s revolutionary Duritium® is a portfolio of technologies, including a next-generation proprietary polyethylene with unusually high tensile strength—combined and used to manufacture lightweight body armor plates and other ballistics solutions that provide NIJ-compliant Level III, Level IV and Special Threat protection.

Just how lightweight are we talking?

Duritium® rifle plates measure up to 45 percent thinner and up to half the weight compared to other plates on the global market at the same protection level.

And because the layer-based design of Duritium® results in ballistic protection products that have unusual, multi-hit capability, these body armor plates are tough enough to withstand the bumps, drops and blunt force that come along with day-to-day wear and tear—as well as withstand rifle threats. This makes Duritium® solutions highly effective alternatives for security personnel looking to stay comfortable and agile on the job, while also achieving advanced rifle threat protection.


While there are a variety of Level III Duritium® body armor plates security consultants can choose from to complement their soft body armor, ShotStop has created an In Conjunction With (ICW) rifle plate specifically designed to provide users with an easy, cost effective way to upgrade their existing soft body armor kit to rifle-rated protection—instantly for everyday wear.

ShotStop’s Duritium® III ICW body armor plate comes in multiple sizes and cuts to fit into the pockets of any Level IIIA soft body armor. The low profile of the Duritium® III ICW plate ensures it can fit into the IIIA pocket with the IIIA insert of the daily vest so that no overt carrier is required.

In addition to the benefits of enhanced threat-level protection, low weight and high wearability, the Duritium® III ICW body armor plate has longevity on its side. It’s backed by a 15-year warranty—three times the industry standard—significantly extending the lifespan for wearers, while contributing to an overall lower lifetime cost compared to competitor plate options at the same protection level.


If your private security operation is looking to modernize its ballistics protection solutions to ensure personnel have rifle-rated protection on the job—ensure you choose an option that won’t cost you or team significant capital, comfort or dexterity.

After all, a body armor purchasing decision could become a life-or-death decision.

To learn more about how ShotStop Ballistics’ Duritium®-based ballistics technologies compare to other options on the market for private security professionals, or to take your best shot and test them out for yourself in a live demo, click here to contact a ShotStop body armor expert.

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