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AR500 Armor Steel Plate Comparison

Back in 2012, AR500 Armor revolutionized the industry with our steel core Level III plate. At $65, it was a game-changer in the civilian body armor market.

As metallurgy improved, we added Level III+ and Level III+ Lightweight plates to our lineup, broadening the available protection levels and weight options. So why don’t we just don’t offer the lightest plate with the highest protection level and call it good? 

Freedom of choice

Body armor is a balance of price, protection, and profile...meaning the armor’s thickness and weight. As the protection level increases, so does the cost of the steel. If you want that same protection for less weight, the cost of steel goes up again. 

This is generally true of all armor products, not just steel, and it’s why we offer such a wide selection of armor, so our customers can make the most appropriate choice based on their needs and budget.

The level III plate that started it all

We introduced our Level III steel plate in 2012, this plate is rated to stop six rounds of 7.62x51 M80 NATO ball ammo at 2,780 Feet-per-second. It’s also been tested against:

  • 5.56 M855 ‘green tip’ round
  • 7.62x39 M43 AK ammunition

The Level III plates weigh 8.7 pounds for the 10 x 12 inch plate with our FragLock™ base coat and 10.7 pounds for the 11 x 14” plate with base coat. Our FragLock buildup coat adds about 1 pound per plate. 

The Level III plate is available in flat or multi-curve, and features our patented Advanced Shooters Cut design and can be ordered for left- or right-hand shooters. 

What is our Advanced Shooters Cut? It’s an asymmetrical design that creates a little extra room at the top of the plate, on the strong-side, to help facilitate shouldering a rifle, making for a more comfortable shooting experience.

Level III+ ballistic plate

As the name implies, our Level III+ armor is capable of defeating higher level rifle threats. With a nearly 30% increase in core strength, it’s capable of defeating: 

  • 7.62x51 NATO M80 Ball ammunition
  • 5.56x45 M193 and M855 ball at 3,100 FPS 
  • 7.62x51 M80 Ball at 2,780 FPS  

Our Level III+ plate is also DEA Certified and is special threat tested against the following:

  • Federal 62gr Tactical Bonded @2600 FPS
  • 7.62x39 Russian 123gr M43 mild steel core at 2400 FPS
  • 308 Winchester 150gr Core-Lokt @ 2600

They are available in 10x12 or 11x14” sizes, flat or multi-curve, left or right hand, and with or without FragLock, and weigh nearly identically to our standard Level III plate.

Less weight, protects great

Our Level III+ Lightweight features nearly identical ballistic capabilities as our Level III+ plates and tested to defeat: 

  • 5.56x45 M193 and M855 green tip at 3,000 FPS and 
  • 7.62x51 M80 Ball (ie .308) at 2,780 FPS  

Our Level III+ Lightweight Advanced Shooters Cut version is only available in 10x12”, and weighs 6.5 pounds with the FragLock base coat, and 7.7 pounds with the FragLock Build-up coat. 

Our Level III+ Lightweight is also available in our Advanced Lightweight Shooters Cut, which weighs in at 5.8 pounds for the 10x12” base coat version, and 7.4 pounds for the 11x14” with our FragLock base coat, and 6.5 pounds and 8.6 pounds, respectively, for the Build-up coat.

Armor for every budget

AR500 Armor’s steel plates come in a variety of sizes, protection levels, and price points. All our ballistic steel armor plates feature edge-to-edge protection, a 20-year shelf-life, and are multi-hit rated.

Remember, the best time to prepare was yesterday. The second-best time is today.