Why buy a rifle Plate?
In an increasingly dangerous world, the need for body armor has become established. Yet, the question remains, what type of bulletproof plates should I be running in my carrier?
The first parameter that needs to be determined is what ballistic rating is necessary for the situations that the vest will be used for. Like everything in the tactical world, there is a compromise to be made between capability and mobility. Everyone would like to be running around in armor that will stop the 30mm depleted uranium rounds fired from an A-10, but that just is not practical. The compromise between toughness and mobility is the primary discriminating factor between bulletproof vests and the various materials that they are constructed from.
Why do the Police use Kevlar?
The Kevlar vests utilized by police forces around the world represent the greatest such compromise in the market today. Kevlar vests are light, flexible and easy to wear all day without hindering movement all that much, though they have a fatal flaw. Even the lightest rifle rounds and even some fast moving pistol calibers easily defeat Kevlar vests. Therefore, while they may be called ‘bulletproof’ vests, in reality they are vulnerable to a large percentage of all firearms ever made. Yet, Kevlar makes sense for police departments. Most of the work that they do involves chasing down criminals and having to be ready at a moment’s notice to respond to anything. In such a scenario, having a light comfortable vest that can easily be worn all day makes more sense than a heavier more rigid rifle rated vest. Especially considering police forces are overwhelmingly faced with pistol fire and are often at the tip of a first response spear that includes medical teams that can deal with the physical trauma associated with being shot in a soft vest.
Rifle plate has its own very important niche, both for its protective ability, and some other attributes that you may not be aware of. The most obvious benefit in buying and wearing rifle plate is the advanced, acute-trauma free, protection against all varieties of handguns as well as protection against common rifle fire, including the world’s most popular assault rifles and intermediate sniper fire. Having a solid steel or ceramic plate as opposed to a soft Kevlar reduces the internal damage caused by stopping a bullet in its tracks. A hard plate distributes the force across the entire chest instead of a few inch diameter area. This makes taking hits a much less serious issue. Often times those shot while wearing soft vests still require medical attention to address their broken ribs or even internal hemorrhaging caused by the impact of even minor pistol calibers like 9mm and 380ACP. Should a person be hit with a 44 magnum or similar large-bore hunting pistol round, they still might die from the immense blunt force trauma even if the round is stopped.
The most important attribute of solid-state rifle plate for civilian use however is its longevity. Many are not aware that the Kevlar in soft vests has an expiration date of only a few years, and must be replaced every time it is shot. AR500 plates on the other hand, as long as they retain their protective coating and do not rust can last indefinitely. This makes them much more economical for a prepping solution as they do not have to be replaced, while providing the maximum ballistic protection available. Should they ever need to be used, their additional weight and in-flexibility will likely be a minor annoyance compared to whatever threats they are being brought out against.