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AR500 Armor Ballistic Testing


Over the last few months we have been wearing, using and preparing reviews for the AR500 Armor® that we received.

We published one, not to long ago, about the basics of the armor as well as proper fit, which you can read here: Basics on Body Armor

When I first started looking at these plates I was approached by a good friend of mine who said “man you can’t use steel plates the shrapnel will kill you or mess up your face”. I thought to my self he surely must be wrong and did a rush of Googling. Low and behold there was numerous images of people who took shrapnel or spall deflection even when the steel plates had been coated with some form of spall protection.

I addressed these concerns with the team at AR500 Armor® and they assured me they are truly making a safe plate that is designed to protect the wearer from spall and shrapnel that can cause injury. They further assured me that the plates would stand up to the handgun rounds as well as common rifle rounds. You can see what the plate is designed to stop here:

The only way to be sure was to ruin a perfectly good set of plates and see for myself. So that is what the guys at Gat DailyDetroit Bullet Works and myself did:

Keep in mind that this is my second attempt at a YouTube video so be mindful that I am no video producer.

As you can see in the video we hit this plate with just about every common caliber in the semi auto world.

  • 9mm Detroit Bullet Works Ball
  • 9mm Federal HST
  • .40 Hornady Critical Duty
  • .45 Detroit Bullet Works Ball
  • .45 Speer Gold Dot
  • .223 Varmint
  • 5.56 XM193
  • .300 Blackout Detroit Bullet Works Ballistic Tip
  • 300 Blackout  Detroit Bullet Works 150 FMJBT
  • .308 Detroit Bullet Works

While there may be some other rounds you will encounter in the wild the fact is these are the common rounds. We found that the XM193 was able to dent and deform the back slightly as was the .308 both of which push the limits of FPS above the plate rating.

What is truly remarkable however is not just that the armor stopped the rounds in question, but that it contained them perfectly. We had to edit the video a bit to make it fit in the limits of our YouTube account. However from our counting we fired 50 rounds into that plate and coating. There was never an issue with spall until the Paxon coating separated from the steel.

With the shear volume of rounds the build up of lead and copper finally became too much for the Paxon to hold on to without it being wedged off the steel. It was only once the cracking and eventually the entire separation of the coating that we began to see any spall.

These are plates I would wear and feel safe in. I am not adding a qualifier like “for the” money either. The fact is if money was not an option for me I would still use these plates they hold up fantastically to a large amount of rounds before they even begin to fail. Even with the beating we threw at the plate we were never able to get it to fully penetrate and fail. The fact is short of a round like the .338 or .50 caliber I don’t see a standard anti-personnel round getting past this armor. When you add in that these are some of the least expensive protective plates on the market it is mind-boggling.

These plates took more damage then they are rated for and frankly the steel I have here next to me is still in great shape. (Might be a new steel target around here).

Watch the video and see for yourself how well these plates held up and what type of value you are getting for your money. If you still have questions about the plates please be sure to check our earlier article or go directly to the AR500 Armor® website.

About 248 Shooter

248 Shooter
Charles is the editor and lead writer for 248 Shooter, a Michigan based gun, news and gear review site. An avid student, taking classes from top tier trainers around the country. Charles is not LEO, Military or Invested in the companies he reviews. The goal of all articles is to show an gun fan enthusiasts opinions on popular products in the market. The opinions expressed are individual opinions that we hope you enjoy reading and offer a unique user perspective that may be of assistance. Charles shares his love for training as well as experience and opinions on some of the most talked about gear and products used by competitive shooters, military, leo and civilians. Ever a supporter of the Michigan economy, the hunting sports and the 2nd amendment.

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