What are Ballistic Plates?

Ballistic plates are hard armor plates often worn with a bulletproof vest or plate carrier vest that significantly increases the protection level of the wearer. These plates come in various shapes and sizes, offering soldiers and law enforcement people a wide range of choices.

At Best Safety Apparel, we provide level III and level IV ballistic plates made from ceramic, steel, and polyethylene. They can be easily used with plate inserts and worn on clothes to protect from rifle caliber bullets.

These ballistic panels are meant to protect your essential organs from a wound like the lungs and heart. So, they provide utmost protection to the chest, side chest, and back of the person while giving full mobility to the person. Due to their toughness and resilience, the ballistic plates are widely used during the special mission. (Make sure that the information provided is not repetitive content on the website which raises duplicate content flag when Google scans)

How Much Bulletproof Are Ballistic Plates?

Considering its popularity, ballistic plates are one of the most reliable defense items used by several law enforcement professionals to protect themselves during cross-fire. The ballistic plates are surely bulletproof, but how much of the bullet they can bear can depend on the item you are using.

A ballistic plate made from ceramic is tough. It can take up to 6 bullets per plate before it completely shatters. (as I mentioned before do not mention anything about steel plates. They are obsolete and outdated). So, it is safe to consider that the ballistic plates are bulletproof and highly resilient to bulletproof impact. Moreover, their durability and safety increase significantly if they are worn with a bulletproof vest.

There have been several tests and demonstrations done to test ballistic plates of all sorts and their ballistic capabilities. The result has always been positive, proving ballistic plates are a good investment for people who constantly need high-level of protection.

What Are the Different Levels of Bulletproof Plates?

Similar to bulletproof vests, there are different levels to ballistic plates. Each level signifies a different protection level. And this level of protection is assigned by the NIJ (National Institute of Justice) after thorough testing. The NIJ uses a set of rules under which it performs its tests and gives a safety level to the plate.

Here are the levels of ballistic plates:

There are no Level IIIA plates and it is the standard for the vest so remove this.

  • Level III: It can stop 7.62x51mm NATO Balls.
  • Level IV: It can stop 7.62 x 63 M2AP

These are the levels of ballistic plates that you can buy. For every day or special mission, the use of a level III ballistic plate is sufficient, considering its weight and performance. Did you refer to the NIJ document I have provided and took information about the bullet types each level would stop?

What Are Ballistic Plates Made Out Of?

Ceramic plates

Ceramic tiles on ceramic plates have the ability to deflect an approaching bullet. The ceramic is supported by numerous layers of backing materials, including steel and Kevlar, which are absorbent agents to shield it against unintentional breaking. Lumina Oxide is the basic material often used to create ceramic plates. If you want to choose a lighter plate, boron carbide or silicon carbide plate is a good choice.

Polyethylene Plates

The military loves polyethylene plates because they are lightweight, reliable, and can take on up to 6 bullet shots per plates. Moreover, ballistic plates made of polyethylene are 50% lighter than those made of other materials because they don't require backing materials. In addition, high-pressure treatment is typically applied to this material, increasing its durability and reducing its weight.

Steel plates

Steel plates are one of the oldest types of ballistic plates that are made from hardened martensitic steel. These plates offer protection at the cost of being very heavy and one must use more energy to move around. These plates are obsolete because PE and ceramic plates show similar durability with much lighther weight.

Specifications of a Ballistic Plate

A ballistic plate is made from different materials, and each material is unique and has a specific function to perform on the plate. Although every ballistic plate's composition is different, the fundamentals remain similar. Normally, ballistic plates use kevlar fiber as the base material. After that, they may usepolyethylene, or ceramic to create different ballistic plates.

Different Types of Plate Cuts

Full Cut

A full-cut shape is a square or rectangular ballistic plate. And as its name says, it protects the entire back from ballistic injury. As it covers the entire back, some people often feel restricted in their movement. This could vary depending on the person or the level of comfort a person may need.

Shooter's cut

A shooter's cut ballistic plate is rectangular in design with clearly cut-off corners above, allowing the wearer to move more freely and with more agility. Because it works best for people who need to carry guns or artillery on their shoulders, it is known as the shooter's cut.

Swimmer's cut

A modified version of a shooter's cut plate is often called a swimmer's cut. In order to allow for more movement in the shoulders and upper back, more of the plate's upper part is removed in this variation.

SAPI

The military prefers small arms protection inserts or SAPI for short. Depending on the size, the insert may weigh between 3 and 5 pounds. (Make sure all of this information under this section is not duplicate information we already have on other pages of our website)

Body Armor vs. Ballistic Plate

When it comes to choosing between the ballistic plate and ballistic armor, then knowing why you need them and for what purpose can help you decide which one to choose.

Body armor or bulletproof vest is generally lightweight and allows high mobility to the person compared to ballistic plates. On the other hand, ballistic plates are tough and can provide higher protection to the person than a bulletproof vest.

Body armor is ideal for police officers who need safety during their daily duty. A ballistic panel is ideal for the military as they have the threat of rifle caliber bullets.

Does The U.S. Military Use Ceramic or Steel Plates?

The U.S. Military uses ceramic plates. A ceramic plate avoids blunt force trauma and deflects shots that are not under Kevlar's certified threat level of protection. Steel plates are not used because they will need to be heavier and thicker to meet the upcoming changes in the NIJ standard and the heavier it gets the more it will be difficult for the soldier to move. This is why U.S. Military uses rifle-rated ceramic plates for mobility and safety.

Can Civilians Buy Ballistic Plates?

In the U.S., the federal government allows U.S. citizens to buy ballistic plates from online or offline defense stores without needing a license. So, if you are a resident above 18 years of age, you can legally buy self-defense and surveillance equipment from a defense store. However, some states have changed the law after recent incidents where shooters often go on a rampage killing innocent people. For example, New York has banned the possession of bulletproof vests, including ballistic plates, for New York residents, and in Connecticut, you can't buy ballistic plates online.

But if you live in any other location in the U.S., you can buy ballistic plates online from one of the most trusted and reliable defense stores - Best Safety Apparel. So, check out our website today and order the best ballistic plates.

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