Many first responders are starting to realize that wearing the proper body armor is vital to their survival. We’ve written about the differences between Level III, Level IIIA, and Level IV body armor in many blogs.
However, we also believe it’s important to know the difference between Level III body armor from ShotStop® and Level III Body Armor from all the companies that sell AR500 Steel Armor. Today’s blog is going to explain why ShotStop Level III body armor is the better and smarter choice for first responders.
1. Duritium® Technology
Duritium® is the most technologically advanced material that anyone has ever used in ballistic protection. Soldiers and law enforcement have been wearing steel armor for centuries in order to protect themselves on the battlefield and streets of major cities.
The steel used by our competitors is obviously processed much better than in the medieval days of knights and kings. However, it’s still century old technology that can only be pushed so far.
Duritium® is like the Tesla of ballistic protection, whereas AR500 armor is holding on to the good ol’ times. We strive every day to improve our Duritium® technology and make it more durable, lighter, and comfortable than before.
Every year ammo companies are improving the ballistic of their ammo to make bullets that are more accurate, hit harder, have less recoil, and are designed to punch through brick and steel.
Many of our competitors will market different finishes to place on their steel to combat this issue, but it also makes their armor even heavier than before.
The way we look at it, is if ballistic technology is advancing everyday, body armor needs to be forever advancing.
The only product on the market today that is always getting better is our Duritium® technology. We’re up to the task of keeping our first responders safe because they keep us safe.
We try to live by our motto of “We Protect the Protectors” everyday because there is nothing more important for us than to know our products saved the lives of those who save ours.
2. Lightweight Body Armor
Our Duritium® plates are up to 100% lighter than our competitors selling AR500 steel plates. One characteristic where steel armor can compete with our Duritium® plates, is the thickness of the plates.
We’ve discussed this many times before, but steel can be very thin and still stop penetration from high-caliber rifles.
Some AR500 steel plates may even be thinner than Duritium® plates, but that only tells one part of the story. These AR500 plates are anywhere from 5.8 lbs to 11 lbs per plate, compared to our heaviest Level III plate of 3.2 lbs (Duritium® Level III+PS).
For as long as I’ve worn armor as a soldier and police officer, I’ve never heard of anyone wanting more weight to carry. If you consider our Duritium® Level III+PA plate, it’s only 2.7 lbs per plate and 0.7” thick.
I challenge anyone wanting to buy steel armor to look at the websites of our competitors. Look through their specifications section and you’ll rarely see weight listed.
It’s simple to understand because they don’t want you to consider weight, that’s why they put cool graphics of ancient soldiers and skulls on their plates.
Here at ShotStop®, we believe in presenting an aesthetically pleasing logo, but we’d much rather focus on providing the best gear for the job.
We want all first responders to be able to rush to an active crime scene and not feel like they just had leg day at the gym.
3. NIJ-Listed in Transparency
I know we’ve discussed this in great detail in previous blogs, but it’s incredibly important to know exactly what your armor will stop and what it wont stop. All of our Level III Duritium® plates are NIJ-Listed under the current regulations.
You won’t find any verbal judo or politician style writing with ShotStop® because our integrity means everything to us.
Like the future Hall of Fame football coach, Tony Dungy says, “Integrity, The Choice Between What is Convenient and What is Right”.
Many of our competitors take the convenient route because doing what is right often costs a business money.
We don’t blame anyone for their route, however disingenuous it may be. ShotStop® will never take the easy road when it comes to protecting first responders from harm's way.
Here is the evidence that our Level III body armor will do as we claim it will do:
Duritium® Level III+PS NIJ Compliance Letter
Duritium® Level III ICW NIJ Compliance Letter
Duritium® Level III+PA NIJ Compliance Letter
4. Best Warranty in the world
We’ll never claim that our Level III armor is the most affordable on the market. In fact, you can spend $150 on a Level III AR500 plate with some companies.
Our cheapest Level III ICW for the standard 10x12” plate is around $400. In what way would our Duritium® plate be more affordable?
It comes down to the warranty that ShotStop® offers its customers. Look at every other competitor and ask how long their warranty is. 9/10 will tell you it’s 5 years, but expected to last longer. We don’t play those games because we’re 100% confident that our Level III Duritium® plates will last at least 15 years.
Our warranty is 3x longer than any of our competitors,which means you pay 3x less over your career with Duritium® armor than with steel armor. Just because our warranty is 15 years, doesn’t mean your armor will not be effective after that.
We recommend a new plate after 15 years because if you wear anything everyday for 15 years, it’s going to be subject to wear and tear.
We designed our Level III armor to be the only ballistic armor that you’ll ever need for a 20 year career, but recommend changing it out after 15 for quality control purposes.
5. Duritium® Performance is Unmatched
Steel armor is capable of stopping multiple hits from a 7.62x51mm bullet, much in the same way as Duritium®. However, there are many dangers in wearing steel, including the amount of force a bullet at 2,800 ft/s will do to your sternum.
Steel is unable to absorb any of that force, so your sternum will take the brunt of it. Everyone is built differently, but 2,559 ft-lbs of force is going to at least break your ribs, knock you out, cause internal bleeding, or all the above.
AR500 steel will most likely save your life, but it will come at a much higher cost than Duritium® would ever do to you.
Another major issue with steel is the ricochet factor that is caused from metal on metal. If you get shot in your chest plate, that bullet can ricochet and hit you in your arm, legs, neck, or head.
I’ve unfortunately seen a training accident with a soldier taking a negligently discharged round to the chest and it bounced and hit him in his knee.
You will never have to worry about any of that with Duritium® plates because our armor will absorb any bullet, preventing any damage from a ricochet.
As far as absorbing the impact of a projectile moving at 2,800 ft/sec, Duritium® is going to soften the blow substantially.
Make no mistake, if you’re hit with an AK-47 in the chest plate, it’s going to hurt incredibly bad and potentially cause severe bruising and maybe a cracked rib.
It’s going to save your life though and prevent any further damage that steel armor will undoubtedly cause.
We only listed the 5 most common reasons why Duritium® armor is so much better than steel armor. If you read our blogs, you’ll find so many more reasons why our armor is the best.
It may look expensive up front, but the amount of technology inside our armor is unmatched. Our warranty makes up for the initial cost and will save you the hassle of purchasing armor every 5 years, like you’ll have to do with most other companies.