Instances where ballistic protection is required are increasing daily in the United States. Additionally, the need for ballistic plates and other protection gear is no longer limited to law enforcement personnel but has also reached regular individuals in both urban and rural regions throughout multiple states.

Here are some fundamental suggestions to help you comprehend ballistic plates as their use increases and learn how to choose the finest ones.

What is the role of ballistic plates in body armor?

Instead of protecting the user’s complete body, protective gear is made to protect their vital organs. Soft armour is made of materials that are flexible and can be bent in many ways. Since the majority of soft body armour falls under NIJ (National Institute of Justice) categories II, IIA, and IIIA, it may deflect ballistic weapons.

The best protection against intense bullet threats is thick armor or ballistic plates. Most ballistic plates have a front composed of ceramic with a steel sheet or compressed polyethylene. However, there are now other types on the market, offering customers more choices.

What are ballistic plates made from?

As previously mentioned, soft body armor offers less protection in accordance with NIJ standards. On the other side, ballistic or hard plates have NIJ values of type III and IV, making them better at deflecting rifle rounds.

Materials play a major role in how well a ballistic plate stops a bullet. Two of the most common materials are ceramic and polyethylene.

Types of Ballistic plates

Ceramic plates

• Ceramic tiles found on plates can deflect incoming projectiles. They also contain different layers of backing materials like steel and Kevlar that serve as absorbents to support the ceramic and keep it from accidently fracturing.

•Ceramic plates are frequently made with lumina oxide. If you want a plate that is lighter, get one composed of silicon carbide. Remember that the price is much higher than lumina oxide. The best material is boron carbide, which has an NIJ level IV protection rating and is high density, light weight, and reliable.

Polyethylene plate

• A polyethylene plate weighs less than a ceramic plate and is more resistant to gunfire. Polyethylene ballistic plates are around 50% lighter than conventional materials since they don’t need supporting materials. 

• This material is typically treated with high pressure, which makes it more durable and lighter. Polyethylene plates also resist breaking when a bullet strikes them. It is a superior option for use in combat and high-risk circumstances like shootings since it is more flexible than ceramic.

Types of plate cuts

The weight of the plate and the covering it provides to the user are affected by the plate’s cut and size.

  • Completely cut ballistic steel

The whole rear is shielded by a square or rectangular full-cut ballistic plate. This cut’s drawback is that it occasionally interferes with the user’s movements.

  • Shooter’s cut

To enable the operator to move more freely and to improve agility, the shooter’s cut ballistic plate is shaped like a rectangle with obvious cut-off corners above. The shooter’s cut is ideal for anyone who must carry firearms or artillery on their shoulders.

  • Swimming cut

A modified shooter’s cut plate is known as a swimmer’s cut. The difference is that more of the top portion of the plate is eliminated, allowing for better shoulders and upper back mobility.

Ballistic plates are made with the goal of shielding the user’s vital organs, such the heart and lungs. It is not meant to shield the torso or the complete body.

In order to determine which size will fit you the best, use a tape measure. To find your height, place the measuring tape’s other end above your collarbone and down to your navel. Stop around 2-3 inches above the navel.

A plate that is too tiny will not offer the necessary protection, while a plate that is too large will be cumbersome for the user. You may either go to a weapons dealer in your city or acquire a ballistic plate or bulletproof vest online.

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