Plates Level III+

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Level III+ armor plates

     Wearing the right body armor means life-or-death for police and military officers, who face mortal threats on the front lines. To ensure that the wearer knows what they’re buying and is adequately protected, armor plates are classified based on the ballistic threat they can withstand, ranging from Level IIA soft armor to Level IV hard plates.

What are Level III+ body armor plates?

     According to the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) body armor standard, Level III plates can withstand multiple hits from rifle ammunition. You might also assume that these plates will shield you from smaller, lighter bullets, but this is not always the case.


     In response to this, armor manufacturers developed the Level III+ armor plate. Body armor plates of Level III+ classification indicate a better level of protection against stronger and higher-velocity rifle rounds and are lighter than Level IV armor. For comparison, a 9.5” x 11.5” Level IV plate weighs 5.5 lbs whereas a 10” x 12” Level III+ plate weighs just 4.2 lbs.


     Level III+ is not an official NIJ classification and is assigned by the manufacturer, so you should always check exactly which ammunition a plate is able to withstand before purchasing. However, the NIJ has acknowledged the issue in its updated body armor standard, which includes the new threat level “RF2” between RF1 (Level III) and RF3 (Level IV).

What materials are Level III+ armor plates made of?

     Battlesteel’s Level III+ armor plates are fabricated from silicon carbide ceramic & polyethylene. This composite blend is preferable to Level III+ steel armor, as ceramic is harder than steel and does not cause ricochets, and polyethylene is lighter and more wearable in tactical situations.

What cut of Level III+ plate can you purchase?

     Our Level III+ ballistic plates are available in shooter’s cut, providing comprehensive coverage and allowing free arm movement and weapon shouldering. They come in single-curve shape (which follows the basic curve of your torso) or multi-curve shape (more contours and a closer fit than single-curve).

What ballistic threats can Level III+ plates stop?

     Battlesteel’s Level III+ plates are tested and certified to protect against multiple hits from Green Tip M855 5.56mm 62gr, 7.62x39mm 12gr ball, and M80 7.62mm 149gr rounds, as well as all Level III threats.