Does Your Bulletproof Vest Need Body Armor?

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BANSHEE Rifle Plate Carrier (courtesy“Level Up To True Stand Alone Level IV Protection When Facing Any Active Shooter Incident,” Gideon Tactical’s press release advises, displaying an unnatural fondness for Germanic capitalization. [Full text after the jump.] You can’t argue with the logic. If you know you’re going to face an active shooter, it’s just as well to be able to withstand a .30-06 M2 AP (.30 Caliber Military Armor Piercing) round heading your way at 2,880 FPS. The thing is, if you’re a cop, you’re already wearing a bullet resistant vest. Who has time to change vests? No problem! “Continuing the tradition of Equipping Heroes . . .

we have assembled a Level IV protection kit featuring two Stand Alone Armor Express Plates and a Shellback Tactical Banshee Rifle Plate Carrier. The kit is designed to deploy quickly and easily over soft body armor and/or uniforms. Soft armor backers are not required to provide the advertised Level VI ballistic protection.

Although The Shellback Tactical Banshee Rifle Plate Carrier is marketed to Law Enforcement or Military you can buy one for just $169, plus the cost of the plates.

Black Carrier
Black Carrier

Coatesville, PA -( Level Up To True Stand Alone Level IV Protection When Facing Any Active Shooter Incident.

Continuing the tradition of Equipping Heroes we have assembled a Level IV protection kit featuring two Stand Alone Armor Express Plates and a Shellback Tactical Banshee Rifle Plate Carrier. The kit is designed to deploy quickly and easily over soft body armor and/or uniforms. Soft armor backers are not required to provide the advertised Level VI ballistic protection.

The Shellback Tactical Banshee Rifle Plate Carrier features shoulders that are fully adjustable and padded with a new advanced design feature not seen in other rigs. The shoulder areas, once adjusted, slides into itself and locks in securely with a hidden quick release buckle. The shoulders have 2 rows of PALS webbing with elastic nylon sewn in between the PALS webbing allowing for communication wiring or hydration tubing. The front and back of the Banshee Rifle Plate Carrier features 5 rows of PALS webbing and two 2 inch rows of loop sewn on for flags and other identifiers. The front and back of the panels of the carrier on the body side are also padded. Rifle plates are loaded from the bottom front/back and secured with a hook/loop closure. Value and features are packed into this plate carrier that is USA Made-Full Berry Compliant and backed by Shellback Tactical’s No Questions Asked Lifetime Warranty.

Banshee Black and Coyote
Banshee Black and Coyote

The Armor Express Level IV Shooters Cut, 10” x 12” Stand-Alone Hard Armor Plates (26225), NIJ .05 rated, included in this kit provide the maximum rifle ballistic protection against potential threats. These plates will stop .30-06 M2 AP (.30 Caliber Military Armor Piercing) at 2,880 FPS. The Shooters Cut plates feature trimmed corners, removing material from shoulder area to allow the wearer to get the best stock mount possible with their patrol rifle. The nominal 10×12 inch single curve vest inserts are manufactured from high-density alumina ceramic core (Al2O3) backed with layered aramid fiber and finished in a black Cordura nylon covering.

Whether your mission and needs are Law Enforcement or Military based you can count on Shellback Tactical to answer the call with cutting edge, forward thinking, advanced equipment made with the highest quality materials and design processes that will exceed your needs and expectations. In fact the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) recently added the Banshee Plate Carrier on their approved gear list making it available for individual officer purchase. Armor Express continues to provide superior quality hard armor plates with unparalleled protection, comfort, wearability, and service.

Together this kit provides you with maximum ballistic protection in a package that equips you to answer any call.

About OfficerStore and Witmer Public Safety Group, Inc.

OfficerStore, a division of Witmer Public Safety Group, Inc., offers product lines from more than 500 manufacturers. Witmer Public Safety Group’s motto is Equipping Heroes and this continues as they extend their commitment to provide the industry’s best equipment and supplies to the professional men and women who serve to ensure the public’s safety. For additional information, please call (800) 852-6088 or visit

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  1. avatar Ralph says:

    . . . and they look really butch, especially when they’re worn like Schwarzenegger in “Commando” over nothing but bulging muscles.

  2. avatar Steve in MD says:

    Level VI ballistic protection? 6?!

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Yup. It’ll stop an 88 Magnum.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        I got shot with an 88 Magnum once. . . ONCE!

        [and, not to brag, I also once took an arrow to the knee]

        1. avatar DJ says:

          “I used to be an adventurer like you”

    2. avatar Independent George says:

      I’m holding out for Level XI. That’s V higher.

  3. avatar Roll says:

    I want one, but cant afford it with plates. Its a nice idea and all, but I wonder how many of us are in good enough shape to be able to move effectively with vest, sapi, ammo and weapon?

    Some of the guys I see have to come through the door at the gunshop (sans aforementioned gear) sideways. Not really confidence inspiring.

    1. avatar Aerindel says:

      You can get level III protection (most rifles) for less than $200 from AR500. Not spam, its just what I have and I think its an amazing value for the money. This stuff can take hundreds of hits from 7.62×51 without failing.

  4. avatar Pulatso says:

    Yo dog, I heard you like ballistic protection, so I put a bullet resistant vest on your bullet resistant vest, you can survive being shot while you survive being shot.

    1. avatar TTACer says:

      I don’t care what anyone says, I still think that is funny.

  5. avatar The Mountain that Rides says:

    Banned in California, because you might use it to kill cops.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Gonna beat them over the head with it?

      1. avatar The Mountain that Rides says:

        Have you met me? Beating people to death with a bit of metal is one of the nicer ways I can end somebody.
        Or hold it by the shoulder straps and swing it like a flail.

        But I believe their is a law on record in CA that says civilians cannot own a class 4 armored vest, because it would make them immune to police guns, ala the 1997 North Hollywood shootout.

        Or were you asking if I was going to beat CA lawmakers over the head with their own stupid laws? Because I would gladly do it. Hell, I’d bury Nancy Pelosi alive under a printout of the ACA if I thought I could get away with it.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Um, no. I haven’t. I’ll just have to take your word for it.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      Legal in MA except for convicted felons, and if used in a crime there’s an extra five years tacked on to the sentence.

  6. avatar Hannibal says:

    $400 is cheap if it saves your life but fairly expensive if it doesn’t.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      right, $400 worth of beer would make you bulletproof for a month. and. . . (wait for it) it makes your dates better looking.

  7. avatar ThomasR says:

    When I did private armed security for a military base, most of us wore soft body armor during our shift.

    Mine had a pocket over the sternum for a trauma plate.

    Still have it.

  8. avatar Frank says:

    If it doesn’t save your life, there’s always the lifetime warranty….

  9. avatar Hinshelworld says:

    This is different than any other plate carrier how? It’s not exactly anything new.

    Hardly seems worth a post here at TTAG…

  10. avatar BDub says:

    Is the carrier bullet-resistant in any way?

    1. avatar Paladin says:

      The carrier is just tactical nylon, no inherent bullet resistance, which is pretty much par for the course. It is an excellent PC for the money though.

  11. avatar Aerindel says:

    I have a $200 level III (.308) rated armor vest. I think its long since time armor makes a come back. Its every bit as important as your weapon.

  12. avatar Doc says:

    Of course Patriot Plate provides the same protection starting at $130 with the plates and carrier!

  13. avatar Dan says:

    While AP resistant plate armor is nice and could come in handy, for most of us if things get so bad that we need to actually wear such armor then life is going to be one giant sewer sandwich for the most part. Most people don’t wear regular soft armor unless they are on the job in a select few occupations. The times when plate armor would be appropriate is even less often.

    The SECOND thing about such armor is it doesn’t cover much of
    your body. Standard body armor can cover a lot of the torso. Plate armor does not. Get hit ANYWHERE but
    where the plate is and you are going to be really effed up. And unless you have IMMEDIATE access to high level trauma care including very efficient medical evac resources a rifle round that hits anywhere but the plate has a high morbidity rate. I prefer to be elsewhere when such ammo is being flung about and if I can’t I would prefer to be behind a LOT of heavy cover.

  14. It appears to be a great addition to your soft body armor, so long as your soft body armor itself is effective and designed well.

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