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What you see here are plates from a new lineup of individual armor upgrades from ShotStop Ballistics. These lightweight plates (described as “ultra-light” according to ShotStop) are officially labeled as the Level IV HA Armor Piercing Advanced Body Armor Plates.

ShotStop, which describes itself as the “future of body armor“, says . . .

What makes this an industry shattering announcement is the unprecedented weight for Level IV protection, weighing in at 4.5 lbs (2.0 kg) with a low profile of 0.9″ thick, these multi-curve, stand-alone, multi-hit plates provide the lightest armor-piercing protection in the world. The plate will provide the operator comfort, better mobility, and all the confidence to carry out their mission whether they are Military, Special Forces, SWAT, or Law Enforcement.

ShotStop Ballistics Level IV multi-hit AP armor plates.

According to Jason Henkel, Director of Operations at ShotStop . . .

Protection is absolutely ShotStop’s top priority, but being able to increase comfort, mobility, and advanced unique applications really differentiate this launch from others. Our new Level IV plate is positioned to dramatically change the way in which personal protection can be utilized in various environments and circumstances.

ShotStop Ballistics Level IV plates are available in the following Shooter Cut and SAPI cuts and the following sizes:

6” x 6” x .9”
8” x 10” x .9”
8.75” x 11.75” x .9”
9.5” x 12.5” x .9”
10″ x 12″ x .9″
11″ x 14″ x .9″

ShotStop Ballistics Level IV multi-hit AP armor plates.

Read the remainder of the ShotStop Ballistics release after the video.

Threat Level Protection
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) states that level IV armor must stop a single hit of 7.62MM AP. ShotStop’s HA Level IV ballistic body armor, made with patented Duritium® technology, is multi-hit and can defeat special threats including: 5.56x45mm 55 grain ball (M193), 7.62x39mm PS ball (MSC), 7.62x51mm 149 grain M80 FMJ, NATO M855 (SS109) 5.56x45mm 62 grain steel core (SS109), M855 A1, 7.62×54mmR Dragunov, and 7.62x63mm M2 AP.

The plate is currently pending testing to be listed with the NIJ.

Ounces Equal Pounds, and Pounds Equal Pain
Improving on the current HS Level IV model plate, ShotStop reduced the weight from 5.3 lbs to 4.5. When pounds equal pain for the operator, every ounce matters. Typical heavy body armor increases the amount of pressure on the joints, causing fatigue, pain and long-term medical issues. ShotStop’s Level IV plate gives the operator maximum mobility and while reducing weight-displacement injuries which are typical from heavy steel or ceramic Level IV plates.

“The accumulated reduction in knee load for a 1-pound loss in weight would be more than 4,800 pounds per mile walked,” says researcher Stephen P. Messier, PhD, of Wake Forest University. So, if a person was carrying 10 pounds less weight, “each knee would be subjected to 48,000 pounds less in compressive load per mile walked.”

Industry-Leading 10-Year Warranty
Along with the armor-piercing protection, the HA1RF3MC model comes with an unprecedented 10-Year warranty, translating to an unusually low total cost of ownership for the highest quality level IV plate available. Standard level IV ceramic body armor is only warrantied for 5 years. Unlike ceramic plates, which can crack when dropped, ShotStop’s proprietary composite plates do not need MRI/x-rays to monitor the plate’s integrity throughout the industry-leading warranty period. ShotStop’s plates can take a beating from everyday wear & tear and mishaps like drops, without ever compromising protection.

What is Duritium?

Duritium is a portfolio of technologies including a proprietary formula of Polyethylene fibers or ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. These polyethylene fibers are woven and stacked by a computer navigated layering process at particular angles which elevate the ability of the armor system to more efficiently diffuse kinetic energy during ballistics impact. The stacked polyethylene is then vulcanized under 5000 lbs. per sq. inch presses while going through various high heat and cold cycles to form the base of the Duritium body armor.

Depending on the threat level requirement, the armor system can then be combined with ShotStop’s proprietary alloy composite which offers even further weight and thickness savings compared to other competitive armor options, especially at the higher threat levels.

Read more gear news.


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  1. “What makes this an industry shattering announcement is…”

    For cripe’s sake, is it possible to dial back the hyperbole just a *tiny* bit?

    • I’m curious to know why every marketing photo of a male model wearing a company’s gear is a TacBro-type sporting the same beard. I’m starting to wonder if I missed the memo or something, and need to sprout some long facial grass.

  2. I run their III GT plates and like them. They are half the thickness, a little lighter, and a little cheaper. I don’t need to worry about rough handling. I’m ok missing out on protection for M2 and 7.63x54R. The only downside I can think of is they’re very pricey, almost $1000/plate for these.

  3. So they’re “level IV”, but they’re not NIJ certified, which means the manufacturer is basically making a pinky promise that they will for sure stop the ammo they’re rated to stop. Yeah, I *definitely* trust armor that hasn’t been independently tested (either by the NIJ or by another party) 🤦‍♂️

    • Hesco 4800’s are not certified but generally are accepted as advertised. That they have certs on many of their other products and more than a few years of history tends to help. Would be nice if this is as advertised as it could be a reasonable upgrade for entry level NIJ 4 plates but we will see what shakes out in testing.

  4. When the riots hit last year AR500 had sold out of their steel plates fast, those buying them thought it was a deal, but i bet ya now after wearing those heavy things, they should have thought twice before spending the money.

    • busybeef,


      I have come to the point in my life experience: when a business does not show how much something costs, it is incredibly expensive. So expensive, in fact, that the business figures virtually everyone who sees the cost will immediately reject the product or service without ever learning how fantastic their product or service is.

      Thus, such businesses hide the cost–hoping that people see how fantastic their product or service is–and that generates enough desire so that at least a few people will go on to purchase their product or service in spite of its exorbitant cost.

      I virtually always pass over such marketing tactics.

      • Cheaper than the rough equivalent with hesco but not so much so as to suggest it has a 2 inch shock protective foam ring around the ceramic protective strike face based on weight assuming similar material used. With that said lot more reading to do and no certs.

  5. Lamborghinis are awesome too but since most people can’t afford them it really doesn’t matter how great they are.

  6. Perhaps off point, but I find myself ever more curious. Regarding the lead photograph, as an example, what was or is the impetus for this shaved head business that seems all the vogue in some quarters these days?

    • And the ratty beard fad supposed to be a swamp hillbilly or some faux special operator/mall ninga? Is it supposed to get the loser/wearing laid I assume??

  7. Assuming they are able to pass certification and the protective strike face isn’t too much smaller than the advertised nominal plate size they could be very competitive with hesco/rma/ltc. With that said lot of unknowns to investigate but some promising bits.


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