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Level III Body Armor Plate

Body Armor 

Level IIIA Soft Body Armor

Level III Body Armor

Level III+ Body Armor

Trauma Pads

Predator Body Armor 

Understanding Body Armor & the National Institution of Justice (NIJ) Standards 
When contemplating body armor, it is important to understand the different levels of protection that are available & where classifications come from. Most armor companies label their body armor after the NIJ Standard-0101.06, a universal and consistent rating system for personal body armor that which assigns ratings based on the level of safety against various calibers. Our armor plates are tested to meet & exceed the NIJ Standards they are rated for. 

Body Armor vs Bulletproof Vests

One of the most common misconceptions we see is that bulletproof vests are a "one size fits all" application. We can probably thank Hollywood as one of the biggest contributors for that. Many film producers don't illustrate nuance or accuracy when it comes to portraying how body armor actually functions. It is important to educate yourself on the variety of body armor applications and protection ratings associated with each option. A good starting point for anyone new to the world of body armor would be to identify the most probable threat and make purchasing decisions based on that. For example, are pistol caliber or rifle caliber weapons more prevalent where you are at? Does your armor need to be discreet and concealable? Asking yourself these types of questions can help dial in what type of armor would be most effective to seek first. Of course, our staff is always available and happy to help via email with any questions!

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Body Armor Protection Ratings

To help clear up any confusion or misconceptions about body armor and the associated stopping capabilities of each level, we have broken down each armor rating and defined what the purpose of each was intended to be. 

Body Armor Protection Ratings & NIJ Standards

Level lllA Armor 

Predator Armor's Level IIIA Soft Armor has been tested by an independent NIJ credentialed laboratory to certify that it meets NIJ level IIIA specifications; it will stop .9mm to .357 SIG FMJ, as well as .44 MAG SJHP. The Hybrid Kevlar and UHMWPE system used in Predator Armor's Level IIIA Soft Armor is unmatched within the Soft Armor industry, providing top-rated stopping ability while still remaining thin, durable and comfortable.


Level lllA 'Backpack Armor'

Predator Armor's Level lllA Backpack Armor is designed to turn a regular backpack into a bulletproof backpack. It is designed in 10.5" x 14" panels to fit into the laptop compartment of most common backpacks or main pockets of a purse, laptop bag, or briefcase. It's purpose is to provide bulletproof ballistic protection from all of the most-used handgun calibers on the market, turning a regular backpack into a bullet proof backpack. Tested in an independent NIJ credentialed laboratory, these Level lllA panels will stop 9mm to .357 SIG FMJ, all the way up to .44 MAG SJHP. Our Backpack Armor uses our proprietary Hybrid Kevlar system and is unmatched in the Soft Armor industry, providing top rated stopping ability while remaining thin, durable, and comfortable. 


Level lll Armor

Predator Armor's Level lll Armor is made from AR500 ballistic treated steel and has been certified by an independent NIJ credentialed laboratory that it meets NIJ Level lll specifications. Level lll Armor will stop all handgun rounds, but is designed specifically to stop higher caliber rifle rounds. Predator Armor's Level lll has been tested to stop the NIJ standard of 7.62x51 steel jacket rounds at a velocity of 2780 fps. You can purchase this armor as a base plate or you can add an optional kevlar wrapping that will catch all fragmentation & spall. *Note: We highly recommend looking into 'frag' mitigation options whenever running steel armor plates, whether purchasing a sleeve through a 3rd party or adding our proprietary kevlar wrap. 


Level lll+ Armor

Predator Armor's Level lll+ Armor is made from AR650 ballistic treated steel and was designed to fill the gap between Level lll & Level IV armor. Although Level lll+ is not an official rating of the NIJ, it was created for more advanced protection than Level lll requirements, stopping specific rounds such as 5.56x45 (M855 ball or "green tip" ammunition) and .30-06 JSP rounds. You can purchase this armor as a base plate or you can add an optional kevlar wrapping that will catch all fragmentation & spall. *Note: We highly recommend looking into 'frag' mitigation options whenever running steel armor plates, whether purchasing a sleeve through a 3rd party or adding our proprietary kevlar wrap. 

Level IV Armor

Predator Armor currently doesn't offer a Level IV rated Body Armor but plans to add it to the inventory line in the near future. This is the highest rated Level of armor on the market at this time, and according to the official NIJ standards, is required to stop a single round of .30-06 M2AP (armor piercing). Of course this means that the armor must be incredibly resilient against a high velocity, hard hitting .30 cal. round, which is designed to pierce through all the ratings under Level IV. However it's important to consider that its single round stopping capability. In the world of Body Armor everything has its trade-off when it comes to strength and weaknesses, and multiple hit capability seems to be the 'chink' in Level IV armor. 


Trauma Pads

Predator Armor Trauma Pads work perfectly in tandem with our Level lll & Level lll+ body armor to increase comfort and mitigate blunt force trauma. Trauma Pads are essential in dissipating the transferred energy from a bullet striking the hard surface of the body armor plate by widening that energy transfer over a larger surface area, making impact significantly less painful. Check out the application for this technology here: Trauma Pad Test

Is Body Amor Bulletproof?

We see this question or a variation of it quite often. Someone will say they want bulletproof body armor. While it sounds cool to have body armor that is bulletproof that does not mean much. All body armor is bulletproof, or should be, to some extent and all body armor is not bulletproof. This all depends on the bullet being shot at the body armor. Level IIIA soft armor is bulletproof against .44 mag and .357, it is not bulletproof if the bullet is coming from a rifle. Level III body armor is bulletproof against those bullets that fall under the NIJ Standard rating, it will not be bulletproof against a .30-06 armor piercing round. A vague term like bulletproof does not mean a lot. You need to know what bullets you want to stop and then choose the armor that will stop those bullets. No armor is entirely bulletproof.

Fragmentation Mitigation 

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Kevlar Wrapped
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Base Coat

Fragmentation & Steel Armor Plates

Within the body armor industry, there are some who are concerned with running steel armor plates due to  fragmentation (commonly referred to as 'frag') concerns. Fragmentation happens when a projectile strikes a surface that is harder than itself, causing the projectile to fragment in different directions. The main concern here is that, while running steel armor plates, if you do get an impact to the plate that it can send frag shrapnel into other parts of your body causing injury.


However, while fragmentation is a legitimate concern, almost all major armor companies who manufacture steel body armor have come up with some sort of frag-mitigation solution. The most popular of these includes wrapping the steel plate with material that effectively captures the projectile fragments upon impact. Predator Armor offers a proprietary kevlar-wrap option to mitigate these concerns and it has proven to be one of the most effective options on the market. 


We recently tested our kevlar wrap to see how many 9mm shots it would capture at close range before any frag escaped. See how the Kevlar Wrapped Armor holds up here. We've also written several articles so buyers can educate themselves thoroughly and be confident in their purchase - check out "Everything You Should Know About Frag & Spall Mitigation".

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