AR500 Body Armor

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    • #107586
      JohnyMac
      Participant

        Here is an interesting video put out by Currahee on AR500 body armor.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1K3wCRjcdM

        I had heard that AR500 would stop 556 and 7.62×39 but apparently not.

        By the way if you haven’t checked out http://www.everycitizenasoldier.org/ yet, Currahee does a pretty good job with his site.

      • #107587
        Max
        Keymaster

          thank you, good topic. maybe the forum can shed some opinions on this guys idea and armor product. it made sense to me, get the best armor plate material and make your own. http://knuckledraggin.com/maingun-llc/ and http://knuckledraggin.com/patriot-plate-affordable-body-armor/

        • #107588
          Pericles
          Participant

            Did some field testing at 100m with 3/8 inch untreated steel plate – think of it as the Mad Max uparmored scenario.

            It stopped 7.62 x 39 with barely a bulge in the back
            it stopped 7.62 x 54R as well
            7.62 x 54R AP penetrated with a three quarter inch hole left behind
            M855 ball went straight through leaving half inch holes
            7.62 x 51 soft point was stopped as well

            Lesson learned – high velocity matters

          • #107589
            JustARandomGuy
            Participant

              It’s good to see some common sense here- contrary to some popular opinions, steel plate will NOT stop everything….
              Frankly, IMHO, if your plate can’t stop 193 and 855, probably the two most common rounds out there, then it’s probably not worth the extra weight.

            • #107590
              JeffSags
              Participant

                …and when you consider how many wally world blue light special UMC bulk packs of 55 grain “plinking” ammo might be out there sitting in someones closet you have to question just how useful is “armor” if it doesn’t protect against the most common threat.

              • #107591
                Max
                Keymaster

                  Thanks JohnyMac. It’s heavier and does not stop the highest velocity. Will have to make some changes in our armor.

                • #107592
                  Justin
                  Participant

                    I’m not trying to dismiss the results in the video but that’s honestly the first video I have seen of the ar500 plates failing, I purchased a pair from ar500armour.com about a year ago with their anti Spall coating and have seen a bunch of videos where the abuse the armour takes is nothing short of extraordinary while maintaining its integrity. Again I don’t dispute his test results or the fact that ar500 won’t stop everything. One thing to consider before throwing out your ar500 is that most shots in combat won’t be a perfect 90 degrees and will skip off your Armor, and shrapnel kills way more than bullets. I’d still say for the price and the protection I’ll keep mine until I can afford better.

                  • #107593
                    JohnyMac
                    Participant

                      IMO, not much experience here, however in theory, the fragmentation from a round hitting AR500 armor might do more damage then ya’ think. Hence why ceramic is superior to steel.

                      On another note: I wear a soft kevlar plate rated at IIIa behind my ceramic IV plate. I do this to help disperse muzzle energy if hit. Just a weenie I guess.

                      I wonder if wearing a IIIa kevlar soft plate would be a good idea to back up AR500 hard armor?

                    • #107594
                      JustARandomGuy
                      Participant

                        I wonder if wearing a IIIa kevlar soft plate would be a good idea to back up AR500 hard armor?

                        I think that depends a lot on the plate.
                        For example, with Level 3 ceramic plates rated for all rifle rounds (.308/7.62×39/193/855/etc.), and actually capable of stopping them all (yep, some ceramics not so great at this either…) a 3A backer will raise the rating to level 4 (rated for 1 hit 30-06 AP- whoopdedoo…lol).
                        Now what a certain manufacturers steel plate is rated for….I’m not sure what the standards are for that. It may help, it may not- judging from the above vid, probably not, but then you would have to test the velocity of the round once it passed through the steel to see if it would also penetrate the 3A soft backer/vest.

                        From what I’ve read/heard I know people like the soft 3A backers even with ceramics to help disperse the energy of a hit, but frankly I’d do it for the extra “just in case” security of the level 4 rating for the plate not the impact protection. Still going to be one hell of a slam…
                        A fellow I met at CRCD talking about armor told me about a buddy of his that took a 3 round PKM burst(7.62×54) straight to the chest. Even with full plates and soft armor, the dude apparently got dropped like he was dead. The aftermath was a bunch of broken ribs.
                        So… so much for impact protection… :unsure:

                      • #107595
                        Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                        Moderator

                          I need to look into this some more, I seem to recall watching a video where this type of plate stopped these rounds.

                          Besides the cost to weight ratio, I’ve thought the real value of these plates might be as a economical replacement supply for a SHTF scenario.

                          For example:

                          It’s finally happened (insert your favorite “it”), shortly after “the event” you took two rounds to the chest. Both you and your family are grateful you spent the hard earned money on ESAPI plates.

                          Sure they are designed to take multiple hits, but after taken these hits they will continue to degrade rapidly with further hard wear. It will take several weeks of use, but you now have a literal chink in your armor and Murphy is an unforgiving sort!

                          Being the dedicated prepper you had considered an extra set of ESAPI plates, but times were hard and budget tight.

                          You had heard about these AR500 plates, sure they are heavy, but you later found some on sale for right at $100.00. This you could afford and despite the weight these wouldn’t degrade if hit even several times.

                          Now after the ESAPI save you still had the AR500 plates, hard to find any body armor since “the event.”

                          This I feel demonstrates there true value…

                          …post-event resupply!

                        • #107596
                          JohnyMac
                          Participant

                            Great story JustarandomGuy!

                            Now I have a friend (yes I pay him $5- to be my friend ;-) ) who doesn’t believe in hard armor right now. He believes in a kevlar vest that is rated NIJ handle IIIa which is basically handgun rounds. His theory is that during the beginning of a SHTF situation most aggressors are going to be using hand guns or even .22’s in long guns only. So the benefit of the lighter weight and extra mobility out way the risk.

                            He figures that when it’s time to suit up using armor plates he will grab one off of a dead foe or friend.

                            Wrong right or indifferent their is that “wolf mentality” out there.

                          • #107597
                            JohnyMac
                            Participant

                              Great point GWNS! “One is none and two is one.”

                            • #107598
                              Justin
                              Participant

                                I’ve seen the anti Spall coating test videos and I believe that it works, in the resistance environment the AR500 steels durability vs a ceramic plate mutt be a good thing

                              • #107599
                                Max
                                Keymaster

                                  Frankly, IMHO, if your plate can’t stop 193 and 855, probably the two most common rounds out there, then it’s probably not worth the extra weight.

                                  Amen.

                                • #107600
                                  Max
                                  Keymaster

                                    What follows are just my opinions, largely…

                                    I’ve seen a lot of those vids where they stop these rounds.. A few things to keep in mind: 1) This guy isn’t selling something. 2) A vid that says they’re shooting 193/855 doesn’t mean they actually are. Now, I am in no way insinuating any of the AR500 vids are staged, or everyone is up to no good. Not by any stretch. I just don’t know.

                                    And, that’s the point.

                                    To be honest, I’m pretty sure all those ar500 vids probably are on the up and up. But, I can’t recall having seen a single one done from 20 feet. Combine that range with a 20 inch M-16 barrel, and that 193 is smoking fast. That round was designed for that barrel length for a reason.

                                    The 855, at that range, isn’t real surprising. That round was also performing as designed– to penetrate steel. Again, at 20 feet that little sucker is moving.

                                    These variables are probably why we’ve never really seen that failure vid before; the guys who know it’ll fail under those conditions…know it’ll fail under those conditions. All the other vids are probably just dudes doing what they’ve seen other dudes do– shooting at distance.

                                    Inversely, the fellow in this vid set up the exact conditions to show the failure.

                                    So…both sides of this equation are right…right?

                                    If AR500 is all you got, nothing wrong with it…until there is. You just have to be aware there is a distance at which it MAY not be effective. Beyond that point, you’re Aces. The reason I can’t bring myself to fully trust them is that I have no idea what the distance is.

                                    Then again, I don’t completely trust armor to begin, of any kind. I sport it, but wish to spend the majority of my time and efforts avoiding small pieces of lead.

                                    Just keep this vid in mind, and know there’s a possible failure distance (then again, if you’re duking it out at 20 feet…something has gone seriously sideways). As for the spalling (another thing that has always bothered me), I’d pick up a cheap IIIa plate backer off ebay for 100 bucks and duct tape that sucker to the front, on top of the spall coating. Just in case.

                                    Because, if it were me, I just KNOW I’d get nailed in the jugular with shrapnel. Because, Life is out to get me…

                                  • #107601
                                    Max
                                    Keymaster

                                      Lots of great info and ideas here. For my family, we got some ceramic and as money got tight bought ar500. We’re not sell the AR500, but will invest in soft armor since we can’t afford anymore ceramic (that Kevlar’s not cheap either).

                                      The big concern is that ceramic is much more fragile – taking a hit, taking a bad drip, or just cracking from hard/long wear ends its usefulness. AR500 seems impervious to these things; however, the hole in ar500 seems to be a round at close range. More layers of armor in the form of Kevlar would be smart, but Kevlar really seems to hold the heat in. To compensate for more weight and extra heat (we already saw 90 degree weather in April) is to reduce our load-out by leaving behind other gear.

                                      I know, Max would just say “more PT”.

                                    • #107602
                                      John Langdon
                                      Participant

                                        Level IV plates should be fine. Check this out:

                                        Also – great pricing for Level IV plates. This is where I got mine: http://bulletproofme.com/RP-Level-4-Stand-Alone.html

                                        The ceramic plates are tougher than most people think. They have to pass a series of drop tests before they are shot by NIJ qualified ballistics labs. So, they have to pass multiple drop tests and multiple test shots in order to receive a NIJ rating. I attached the NIJ ratings. Pages 45-50 give a good idea of armor ratings.

                                      • #107603
                                        Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                        Moderator

                                          Published on Oct 21, 2013

                                          This is a quick comparison of the armor from 2 different companies. NOT ALL AR500 is created equal.

                                          I was not paid by either company for these reviews/videos, and I am offering unedited, unbiased video and review on both companies on our blog site.

                                          All video content is my own original footage.

                                          This is what I suspect the problem at even 7 yards with original posted video, some AR500 isn’t what it is advertised as, possibly not even AR500!

                                          Published on Oct 20, 2013

                                          Recently we took the plate from http://www.AR500Armor.com out to the range for testing. After defeating the Infidel Body Armor plate with both the XM193 and 7.62×51 we wanted to see just how well this plate would hold up.

                                          All shots were taken at 25 yards.

                                          Rounds used:
                                          5.56 XM193
                                          5.56 XM855
                                          7.62×51 M80
                                          7.62x54R Mild Steel Core
                                          .270 130gr
                                          .270 150gr

                                          All content contained in this video is my own original content, also I was not paid to do this video or review of the armor plate.

                                          http://www.AR500Armor.com

                                          Here is the Infidel Body Armor plate fail they talk about in above video. The Infidel fails in same conditions where the AR500Armor brand plate stops XM193 and more.

                                          Published on Sep 9, 2013

                                          Here is a video showing the Infidel Body Armor plate testing that we completed recently. While the 5.56 XM193 round did defeat the plate we will be testing another plate to see if this was possibly a fluke or if the plates we received were part of bad batch of steel.

                                          I will continue to look for more information.

                                          Obviously buyer beware any one can make plates, are they doing it right?

                                        • #107604
                                          Max
                                          Keymaster

                                            It seems that for every video that show ar500 pass there is one that shows it fails. I imagine it’s the same for almost every affordable plate. This just reminds me to not get to thinking I’m Superman and invulnerable when I wear armor.

                                          • #107605
                                            Max
                                            Keymaster

                                              Something to keep in mind (and something to do some heavy research on), is that there are VERY specific testing standards. For instance, any armor to be tested is to be backed by a human simulate (usually very specific clay), with very specific deformation (of the clay) standards and shot at from a very specific distance. All with certain and specific calibers. While I do not doubt that under the right circumstances, any armor can be defeated, I have a hard time swallowing many of these tests. Mostly because they are not simulating a human body, in any way, shape or form.
                                              For a comparison, take a sharp knife and couple of basketballs outside. Set them both up at a comfortable height to stab at, 1st ball with no backing/soft backing (foam or some such) and the second up against a wall. Stab one then the other. What is the difference?
                                              You should find it far harder to pierce ball 1 because it moves and absorbs the impact, while ball 2 is held in place by the wall. The same thing happens for any and all objects (Newton and his Laws).
                                              If any one owns/works in/plans to own any form of body armor, do the leg work for approved tests and then try to sim it yourself (or get someone to do it for you, The Box o Truth does it occasionally). And then remember, armor is in case you get shot, it is your last line if defense when the first lines of defense fail (tactics, training and situational awareness, or simply bad luck).

                                            • #107606
                                              JustARandomGuy
                                              Participant

                                                Per GWNS’ video post-
                                                That’s what I was talking about when I mentioned there must some different standards at play or something- just like I mentioned all ceramic plates are not the be-all end-all solution.

                                                I really wonder, since I’m assuming there’s no actual NIJ standard for steel plates, if there’s some corner cutting going on out there- some manufacturers turning out “good” AR500, and others using… something else…. :whistle:

                                                To be honest, I’m pretty sure all those ar500 vids probably are on the up and up. But, I can’t recall having seen a single one done from 20 feet. Combine that range with a 20 inch M-16 barrel, and that 193 is smoking fast. That round was designed for that barrel length for a reason.

                                                The 855, at that range, isn’t real surprising. That round was also performing as designed– to penetrate steel. Again, at 20 feet that little sucker is moving.

                                                These variables are probably why we’ve never really seen that failure vid before; the guys who know it’ll fail under those conditions…know it’ll fail under those conditions. All the other vids are probably just dudes doing what they’ve seen other dudes do– shooting at distance.

                                                Inversely, the fellow in this vid set up the exact conditions to show the failure.

                                                So…both sides of this equation are right…right?

                                                If AR500 is all you got, nothing wrong with it…until there is. You just have to be aware there is a distance at which it MAY not be effective. Beyond that point, you’re Aces. The reason I can’t bring myself to fully trust them is that I have no idea what the distance is.

                                                Good points there.
                                                If it’s not obvious yet, I share the same opinion as the bolded sentence.

                                              • #107607
                                                Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                                Moderator

                                                  Since the latest videos I posted were by SpartanTC Reviews, emailing them and mentioning the original video in this thread with a link.

                                                  They might consider doing another one at reduced range of 20 feet.

                                                  I know I would be interested in that test.

                                                • #107608
                                                  Max
                                                  Keymaster

                                                    Hey, I’m the guy that made that vid (was just checking out places where it was imbedded. I would like to point out that this was not an indictment of AR500 armor. It is still an option IMO this was an absolute worst case. Note at the end of the vid it stopped the XM193 out of an SBR, this coincides with stopping XM193 at about 50 in a 16″ barrel and I think it would have stopped a myriad of other rounds that close or within 20 yards or so. XM193 is simply the hottest round going… Wallyworld 55g and similar products do not compare. It does a good job stopping M855 too. I just wanted to illustrate that it doesn’t stop everything. I hate to see people wearing armor thinking they’re bulletproof.

                                                    Anyway glad ya’ll like the vids and the website. I’ll look around this forum a bit, I like a lot of MV stuff.

                                                  • #107609
                                                    Corvette
                                                    Participant

                                                      Ceramic really is where it’s at. Unless you’re outfitting a huge family I would buy ceramics every time.

                                                      With this stuff it’s important to understand that at the end of the day it’s really only target steel sprayed with truck bed liner.

                                                      Know your gear. Know your mission. Know your threat. Understand limitations.

                                                    • #107610
                                                      Max
                                                      Keymaster

                                                        There have been some known issues regarding steel plates over the course of the last year or so, and as already mentioned, they are not all equal.

                                                        That said, while I personally run ceramic plates, steel plates make a lot of sense for the preparedness minded person, due to their (quality ones that is) ability to withstand repeated hits and thus longer use. A good set of steel is on my list to pick up.

                                                      • #107611
                                                        Max
                                                        Keymaster

                                                          There have been some known issues regarding steel plates over the course of the last year or so, and as already mentioned, they are not all equal.

                                                          That said, while I personally run ceramic plates, steel plates make a lot of sense for the preparedness minded person, due to their (quality ones that is) ability to withstand repeated hits and thus longer use. A good set of steel is on my list to pick up.

                                                          I would recommend AR500 for training, keep the AR500 in because it makes you stronger anyway and put the ceramic in “when the time comes” The durability of the steel, dropped off the back of a truck etc is golden here. I’m on the same boat you are but in reverse, but I want to test some of the economy ceramics first.

                                                        • #107612
                                                          Corvette
                                                          Participant

                                                            Full disclosure: I conducted this test. The plate did quite well against M855, 7N6 and several types of 7.62 NATO.

                                                          • #107613
                                                            Corvette
                                                            Participant

                                                              Another link to AR500 doing well.

                                                              Also keep in mind any deflection from vertical at all will greatly increase effectiveness

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