In order to provide protection against rifle threats in active shooter incidents and other high risk encounters, a large local LE agency is exploring a trial program of issuing Level III rifle plates & simple plate carriers for uniformed Patrol Officers to quickly don over their uniforms and concealed Level IIIa soft armor. Individual officer would also have the option of personally purchasing a plate system. Final plate selection is likely to be based on a combination of cost, weight, durability, and most importantly the ability to successfully defeat several common threats, including: 5.56 mm 55 gr M193 FMJ, 62 gr M855 FMJ, and 45 gr LeMas Land Warfare JSP; 7.62 x 39 mm 123 gr M43 type FMJ and 124 gr M67/8M2 type FMJ, 7.62 x 51 mm 147 gr M80 FMJ, 12 ga Federal Cartridge 1 oz slug (LEF127 RS).

As part of the procurement process, we tested six different Level III plates, from five vendors: Armored Mobility Incorporated (AMI) TAC3S single curve, Diamond Back Tactical (DBT) LTC27400 single curve, DefenseTech (DT) Defend-X IM-LCP-LIII triple curve, MSA/Paraclete (MSA) DHP3-1012 (cat #10098941) triple curve, and two triple curve plates from Tencate--a LE SAPI hybrid plate (TenH) and a compressed Dyneema plate (TenD) that is essentially identical to the previously tested AMI SAPI3 plate.

All plates tested were 10 x 12 inches. Plate weights varied due to design and construction differences:

AMI: 7.5 lbs--3 mm steel over compressed Dyneema
DBT: 6 lbs--8 mm aluminum oxide backed by what appears to be resin reinforced Kevlar
DT: 4.5 lb--Dyneema composite
MSA: 6 lbs--Aluminum oxide backed by compressed Dyneema, Gold Flex, and closed cel foam
TenH: 4.25 lbs--Aluminum oxide backed by compressed Dyneema and closed cel foam
TenD: 3.25 lbs--Compressed Dyneema

The plates was inserted into a 1000 denier Cordura plate carrier over Level IIIa soft armor panel (Twaron backed by Dyneema) and secured against a life-size curvilinear torso replica made of Perma-Gel. All shots were made at a perpendicular angle to the plate, with no oblique hits. Three shots of each rifle ammunition type were fired, with the desired shot placement to be one shot into each corner of a 3” equilateral triangle. In order to reduce the potential for AOA issues, the 5.56 mm and 7.62 x 51 mm shots were made at 25 yards using a 5.56 mm 20” barrel AR15 and a .308 26” barrel Remington 700. The available 7.62x39 mm and 12 ga weapon-ammo combinations proved to have insufficient accuracy to ensure accurate shot placement at 25 yards, so testing of these systems was conducted at 3 yards using a 16” barrel 7.62 x 39 mm AKMS and a 12 ga. 18” barrel Remington 870.

TEST RESULTS:

AMI: (vendor requested that one plate be used for all test shots)
3 shots M193 successfully stopped by the plate.
3 shots of M855 successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of LeMas successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of M43 successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of M67 successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of M80 successfully stopped by the plate
1 shot of 12 ga slug successfully stopped by the plate

DBT: (vendor only supplied one plate—this was totally destroyed by the nine 5.56 mm shots, so no larger calibers could be tested)
3 shots M193 successfully stopped by the plate.
3 shots of M855 successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of LeMas successfully stopped by the plate

DT: (one plate used for 5.56 mm shots, second plate used for larger calibers)
3 shots M193 successfully stopped by the plate.
3 shots of M855 fully perforated the plate--2 were stopped by the soft armor, 1 penetrated through the soft armor
3 shots of LeMas successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of M43 successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of M67 successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of M80 successfully stopped by the plate
1 shot of 12 ga slug successfully stopped by the plate

MSA: (one plate used for 5.56 mm shots, second plate used for larger calibers)
3 shots M193 successfully stopped by the plate.
3 shots of M855 successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of LeMas successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of M43 successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of M67 successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of M80 successfully stopped by the plate
1 shot of 12 ga slug successfully stopped by the plate

TenH: (one plate used for 5.56 mm shots, second plate used for larger calibers)
3 shots M193 successfully stopped by the plate.
3 shots of M855 successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of LeMas successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of M43 successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of M67 successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of M80 successfully stopped by the plate
1 shot of 12 ga slug successfully stopped by the plate

TenD: (one plate used for 5.56 mm shots, second plate used for larger calibers)
3 shots M193 successfully stopped by the plate.
3 shots of M855 fully perforated the plate and underlying soft armor
3 shots of LeMas successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of M43 successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of M67 successfully stopped by the plate
3 shots of M80 successfully stopped by the plate
1 shot of 12 ga slug successfully stopped by the plate

Projectile Penetration Protection: The AMI plate offered the best PPP of any of the plates tested, followed by the MSA and TenH plates; the plate with the worst PPP for the threat rounds was the TenD.

Back Face Deformation: The AMI plate offered the least BFD, followed by the MSA plate; the plate with the greatest amount of BFD was the TenH.

Spall: The AMI, DT, and TenD plates had no detectable spall; the DBT plate exhibited an extensive, excessive amount of spall.

Plate Weight: The TenD was the lightest plate, followed by the TenH and DT; the heaviest plate was the AMI.

Durability: The most durable and robust plate appeared to be the AMI, followed by the DT and TenD; the most fragile plate appeared to be the DBT.

Annual X-ray Assessment: The AMI, DT, and TenD plates do not require an annual x-ray assessment; the DBT, MSA, and TenH plates ideally should have a yearly x-ray analysis to assess for hidden cracks in the ceramic elements.

Cost: The least expensive plate was the DBT; the most expensive plate was the AMI.

BOTTOM LINE:

If 5.56 mm M855 “green tip” was NOT a threat, then the DefenseTech Defend-X IM-LCP-LIII or Tencate Dyneema (or equivalent AMI SAPI3) plates would be reasonable options, however, given the scenario that the expected threat level included all the calibers and loads tested above, including M855, then:

-- If I knew I was getting out of my vehicle and walking directly into a gunfight, whether or not I had underlying soft armor, I’d want to be wearing AMI TAC3S plates.

-- If I was going to be spending a lot of time wearing my armor, needed to have a high degree of mobility, and always wore soft armor under my plates, then I would choose the Tencate hybrid LE SAPI plates.

-- The MSA/Paraclete plates are also high on my list for LE armor, as they offer good protection, can work without soft armor, are not too heavy, and are cost effective.

From L to R: AMI, DBT , DT, MSA, TenH, TenD:
Original Post
Great info Doc. Seriously, REALLY good info. Appreciate it.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "What's it like to have guns?" "It is...awesome. It's like having two cocks, if one of your cocks could kill someone."
Thanks Doc.

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NURSETIM:  "-if you want to Darwin yourself, jump out at me dressed as a clown. I'm to fat to run."

 

Maskirovka:  "He was shootable, and therefore runthehelloverable."

 

bjw182005:  "Unfortunately this world is not populated entirely by Lightfighters."

 

 KOREAMARINE: "It offends them. I enjoy offending them. That's two "happies" for me- none for them!"

Once again, Doc, you have provided a great service to the community!

To quote Sean Hannity, "You're a Great American!"

----------------------------------------------------------

"Praise be to the LORD my Rock,

who trains my hands for war,

my fingers for battle."

Psalm 144, Verse 1 (New International Version)

Thanks Gary,

Any After photos?
"If one day you decide to know yourself...you'll have to choose the warrior path...You'll reach the darkness of your spirit. Then if you overcome your fears....You will know who you are." "Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."
Outstanding practical and helpful assessment, Doc!
I really enjoy reading your results, brief and clear.
Pictures of the front and back after shots would be nice to note effects.

Joined: 30DEC08      Location: SPAIN

Take care, keep safe, stay frosty, brother!

tirotactico.net

Great work, Doc!! Thank you very much.

That 20" barrel sure pushes the armor penetration capabilities of the 5.56. I'm assuming that is why you elected not to test any all steel plates?

Kind of futile at those velocities I suppose.

------------------------------ METT-T...it dictates.

Thanks again for all you do. This is great material.

Something to consider is that your tinfoil crowd understands (or possibly misunderstands) some of the capabilities of M855. M855 is out there in large quantities, and at least some of the people in your jurisdiction who are candidates for having a really bad day have some loaded in a magazine somewhere. It is a forseeable threat that LE hard armor needs to protect against, in my opinion.
Seriously appreciate the info Doc. I was thinking about picking up a DT plate prior to this. Since most of the people I know carry M855 rounds in their personal weapons. Glad I had this info prior to the purchase. Thank you.

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"I will admit I was completely out of control on that deployment, however I was a good mentor." -Name Withheld to Protect the Guilty.

Joshua 24:15

Kingfish/Snaquebite--There are some after shot photos, but I have not got around to posting then yet.

rob_s--Off the top of my head, most of the plates are a bit under 1", except the Tencate hybrid LE SAPI which is about 3/4" and the DBT which is about a 1/2".

armsofjustice--the DT Defend-X IM-LCP-LIII stops M855 within the plate when fired out of barrels 14.5" and less, when fired from 16" barrels M855 is stopped by the soft armor, only with 20" barrels is there a risk of M855 penetrating all the way through the soft armor. In addition, DefenseTech has other heavier plates that stop M855...
FYI
This MSA Paraclete plate also comes in 8X10 and 6X8

There is also a level IV version that Doc may be testing soon for all to see.
"If one day you decide to know yourself...you'll have to choose the warrior path...You'll reach the darkness of your spirit. Then if you overcome your fears....You will know who you are." "Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."
Doc,
You weren't able to get the EGI plates?
http://www.expertguns.com/shop...o.php?products_id=28

"AG Holder's Fast n Furious Guns have killed more cops than M855"

 

1995 5SFG M1025A2 GMV IAIF2 

Looking for M72A5-A9 tubes, 2x AT4/M136 Tubes

"and the LORD Almighty will shield them. They will destroy and overcome with slingstones. They will drink and roar as with wine; they will be full like a bowl used for sprinkling the corners of the altar." Zechariah 9:15

Doc - thanks for the clarification.

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"I will admit I was completely out of control on that deployment, however I was a good mentor." -Name Withheld to Protect the Guilty.

Joshua 24:15

Thanks Doc! Those MSA plates look like a steal.

__________________________

"Have a vision not clouded by fear." A Cherokee proverb "I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance." Socrates

 

Joined: 2005                                Location: Georgia

We have never been able to get an AMI TAC3S plate to fail using non-AP ammo. We have fired up to 30 rounds of several types of ammo into the AMI plates without failures (LeMas, M193, M855, M43, M80). Another large Norcal urban agency fired 100 rounds into one without a failure...
quote:
Originally posted by DocGKR:
We have never been able to get an AMI TAC3S plate to fail using non-AP ammo. We have fired up to 30 rounds of several types of ammo into the AMI plates without failures (LeMas, M193, M855, M43, M80). Another large Norcal urban agency fired 100 rounds into one without a failure...


Will AMI make side plates in the TAC3S configuration?

----------------------------------------------------------

"Praise be to the LORD my Rock,

who trains my hands for war,

my fingers for battle."

Psalm 144, Verse 1 (New International Version)

If I read correctly, there weren't any shots within 3" of the plate edge? Any idea how the plates may hold up to edge strikes?

Very informative - thanks.

Bruece

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"You cannot have a policy against common sense. You can try, but you will not succeed."

Thanks for clearing that up for me - I must have misread the "with the desired shot placement to be one shot into each corner of a 3” equilateral triangle" part... thanks again for the great work!

---------------------------

"You cannot have a policy against common sense. You can try, but you will not succeed."

Awesome write-up, Doc. Thank you! Has anyone shot up any of the RBR plates? I know one of our officers was quoted a price of around $210/plate for their CP III-IV plate (item number AMR-CP34). It has to be worn with IIIA body armor, but many of our officers wear that daily as it is. Thanks for any help you guys can offer!
Doc, this is why I love you and I hate you.

I bought the DBT plates about a year ago, when the seemed like a very good option. My other consideration was the AMI, but lack of $$$ prevented that from happening.

NOW, I have to round up the cash, find a buyer for my DBT's, and buy the AMI's. But at least I still know that I'd be getting some kick ass armor. Thanks.

"Ultimately, we're all dead men. Sadly, we cannot choose how but, what we can decide is how we meet that end, in order that we are remembered, as men".

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