Body Armor Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We hear a lot of questions day in and day out, some pretty straightforward and some more detailed. Below you’ll find a list of many of those questions about body armor that we receive from police officers, military personnel, procurement officers and everyone in between.

If you have a body armor question that’s not on this list, please reach out and let us know. We’d love to help.


How do I know if my body armor fits correctly?

Check out this article from for some great tips on making sure your body armor fits correctly.

Is it legal for civilians to buy body armor?

Anyone can purchase bulletproof protection…unless you’re a convicted felon. In that case it is illegal for you to possess body armor of any kind. You should also know that if you commit a crime while wearing body armor, the penalties will be stiffer.

Do you offer discounts to first responders or military?

YES, contact us to learn more.

Who is NIJ?

NIJ stands for National Institute of Justice. From the NIJ website: "NIJ is the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. We are dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. We provide objective and independent knowledge and tools to inform the decision-making of the criminal and juvenile justice communities to reduce crime and advance justice, particularly at the state and local levels. We accomplish our mission through the 'Listen, Learn, Inform' model — we 'listen' to the needs of the field; 'learn' ways to meet those needs by funding research, development, and evaluation projects; and then 'inform' the field of what we learned."

What is back face deformation?

The term used to describe the effect of a non-penetrating projectile on the rear face of a strike plate (body armor). The extent of allowable deformation is set by the National Institute of Justice in its Standards at 44mm.

Do trauma pads provide any additional ballistic protection?

No. Trauma Pads are designed to reduce blunt force trauma if your armor takes a round. Trauma Pads are intended to be worn behind ballistic body armor panels, providing an extra layer of comfort and adding to the effectiveness of the hard armor plate.

Are all of your products compliant to NIJ standards?

All of our body armor plates have been tested to meet or exceed NIJ requirements for their respective levels. All but one of our products – the Duritium III+GT “special threat” plate – are NIJ compliant. The reason for this one product not being on the NIJ’s Compliant Product List (CPL) is that the NIJ does not currently have a formal level between Level III and Level IV; this plate is tested to defeat the SS109 (Green Tip) round, which did not exist when the NIJ established its current standards (NIJ 0106.01); that will be changing in late 2018 or early 2019 when the NIJ implements is new standard (NIJ 0107.01).

Can I test shoot my product?

All of our products have been tested – both by NIJ accredited ballistics laboratories and other third-parties; you can watch videos of many of those tests on our website at


How do I know if my body armor fits correctly?

Check out this article from for some great tips on making sure your body armor fits correctly.

What type of body armor will I need in the event of a rifle threat?

Check out this article called “Does Your Body Armor Have Enough Stopping Power?

How do I clean my body armor panels?

Your body armor plates should be washed with a damp towel and then set out to dry before placing back into a carrier or vest.

I’m on a budget, what’s the least expensive, good protection?

At ShotStop®, our most affordable plate for the weight and protection is our Duritium III+PS, which starts under $300; with a 15-year warranty, the per year value of this plate is unmatched in the industry.

What are your plates made of?

All of our plates are made of Duritium®, a portfolio of patented, patents pending and proprietary technologies that enables ShotStop® advanced armor solutions to defeat ballistic, blast, spike and edge threats far more efficiently and effectively than all other comparative technologies and systems. Our Duritium® technology enables high-powered rifle protection that is up to 45 percent thinner and up to 200 percent lighter than other body armor plates at same protection level on the global market today. 

How do I know which plate I need?

Check out this article called “Does Your Body Armor Have Enough Stopping Power?

Are any of your plates stab proof?

Yes. All of our hard body armor panels are stab and spike proof.

What is the difference between hard and soft body armor?

Hard (or rigid) body armor plates are composed of steel, ceramic, composite or polyethylene materials and are meant to stop rifle rounds and armor piercing ammunition, depending on the type of plate. Soft body armor refers to a more flexible and moveable armor that is meant to defeat hand guns and shot gun fire.

Can I order customized plates?

Custom orders are available upon request and will be quoted at the time of the request and may require minimum order quantities.

How long do my plates last?

Depending on the type of body armor you purchase, your warranty will vary. ShotStop® body armor plates are unique in the market in that we offer a 15-year standard warranty on all our 100% polyethylene plates (Duritium III+PA, Duritium III+PS) and a 10-year standard warranty on all other plates (Duritium III+GT, and Duritium IV+HS).

What is the difference between single and multi-curve?

Check out this video that shows the difference between single and multi-curve. Click here to watch video.

Do your plates float?

Yes, some of our plates do float. Our plates that are made of 100% our Duritium® polyethylene (Duritium III+PS and Duritium III+PA) are either buoyancy neutral or buoyancy positive, as opposed to buoyancy negative, which means the plates are heavier than water and will sink when placed in water. Watch this video to see a float test between our Duritium III+PA plate and a competitor's plate.

Who wears your plates?

Police officers, security professionals, SWAT Team members, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, SEAL Teams

Do you sell plates at wholesale?

For more information on becoming a dealer, click here.

As we said at the beginning, we want to provide answers to a lot of the questions we hear often; but, if you have a question that’s not on this list or something here sparked a new thought or question, please contact us.