In an era where personal safety is paramount, ensuring the highest level of protection has become a crucial consideration for those who face potential threats in their line of work.

For professionals in law enforcement, military personnel, and security personnel, investing in reliable body armor is non-negotiable. Among the various levels of body armor available, Level 4 plates have emerged as the gold standard for providing unmatched defense against even the most powerful ballistic threats.

Level 4 body armor plates offer an extraordinary degree of protection, designed to withstand a range of high-velocity rifle rounds, including armor-piercing ammunition. They are specifically engineered to safeguard the wearer from life-threatening situations in demanding environments, such as combat zones, high-risk security operations, and tactical response scenarios.

Best Level 4 Body Armor Plates
The decision between level III and level IV armor can be tricky. Is the added protection worth the extra weight? With Shotstop you don’t need to sacrifice mobility for protection. Our level IV plates come in at 5.3lbs (10×12 Shooter Cut) and is available in SAPI or Shooters cut.

In this article, we delve into the world of Level 4 body armor plates, exploring the top options available in the market today. We will examine the key features, materials, and technologies that make these plates exceptional in terms of ballistic protection, comfort, durability, and versatility.

Types of Level 4 Body Armor Plates

Steel Body Armor Plates

Among the various types of body armor available, steel body armor stands out as the most common and cost-effective option. When considering steel armor, it is crucial to prioritize quality and effectiveness. Personally, I would only opt for steel armor that meets the rigorous standards set by Mil-Spec A46100.

While steel comes in various commercial grades ranging from 100 to 900, Mil-Spec steel undergoes specific testing to ensure its capability to withstand ballistic threats. In accordance with MIL-DTL-46100E specifications, A46100 steel is rigorously tested and rated to defeat small arms projectiles and shrapnel resulting from explosions.

It is worth noting that A46100 steel is the very same steel utilized by our military for constructing armor plating in vehicles and body armor. This military-grade steel exhibits exceptional resilience and ballistic resistance, instilling confidence in its ability to protect against a wide range of threats.

One remarkable aspect of A46100 steel is its capability to withstand bullets traveling at speeds exceeding 3,200 feet per second (fps). This steel is the only one rated to effectively defeat such high-velocity rounds. It is essential to recognize that any projectile traveling at a velocity higher than 3,200 fps has the potential to penetrate steel armor and cause harm.

When considering steel body armor, it is crucial to prioritize safety and reliability. Opting for Mil-Spec A46100 steel ensures that you are investing in a tested and proven material, capable of providing a reliable defense against a vast array of ballistic threats. By choosing steel armor constructed with A46100 steel, you can have confidence in its ability to protect you in high-risk situations.

While steel body armor offers affordability and durability, it is important to acknowledge that it may have certain limitations compared to alternative materials. Factors such as weight, mobility, and multi-hit capability should be carefully considered when selecting the appropriate body armor for your specific needs.

Ceramic Body Armor Plates

Ceramic body armor, an inorganic and non-metallic material typically composed of nitride or carbide, has been utilized in body armor applications since the Vietnam Conflict due to its exceptional lightweight properties. As technology continues to advance, many soldiers have had the opportunity to experience both steel and ceramic body armor plates firsthand.

One of the notable advantages of ceramic armor is its superior ability to absorb and disperse energy compared to steel. This characteristic translates to a reduced risk of broken ribs, a fractured sternum, and collapsed lungs in the event of an impact. Furthermore, ceramic armor demonstrates enhanced performance against supersonic and armor-piercing bullets, surpassing the capabilities of steel armor in these scenarios.

However, it is essential to acknowledge that ceramic armor plates do come with certain limitations. In comparison to steel, ceramic plates tend to be thicker, making them less suitable for situations where weight and mobility are critical factors. Additionally, ceramic plates are not designed to withstand multiple hits in the same area, which can compromise their effectiveness. The cost of ceramic armor is also higher than that of steel, making it a significant investment. Moreover, the lifespan of ceramic plates is generally limited to approximately 5 to 7 years. Over time, ceramic plates may develop cracks and other forms of damage, necessitating frequent X-ray inspections to identify any unseen cracks that could render the armor plate ineffective. Failure to detect such cracks can pose a liability to the wearer, potentially compromising their safety.

Despite these considerations, ceramic body armor remains a popular choice among professionals seeking optimal protection with reduced weight. Its ability to absorb and disperse energy effectively, along with its superior performance against specific types of bullets, makes it a valuable option in high-risk environments. By understanding the limitations associated with ceramic armor, users can make informed decisions and ensure their personal safety.

Polyethylene Body Armor Plates

Polyethylene, the most commonly used type of plastic worldwide, finds a specialized application in the construction of body armor. Specifically, Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) is the preferred material for manufacturing body armor plates.

UHMWPE stands out as one of the most resilient thermoplastics available today. Its exceptional durability is complemented by notable qualities such as chemical inertness, self-lubricity, and impact resistance. These characteristics make UHMWPE an ideal choice for body armor applications, ensuring reliable protection in high-risk environments.

One of the primary advantages of polyethylene body armor is its significantly lighter weight compared to steel and ceramic alternatives. This reduced weight is particularly valuable for professionals who require enhanced mobility and agility without sacrificing defense capabilities. The lightweight nature of polyethylene armor plates allows users to maneuver more effectively in demanding situations while minimizing fatigue.

Another noteworthy feature of polyethylene armor is its ability to withstand multiple hits in the same area of the plate. This multi-hit capability sets polyethylene apart from ceramic armor, which is typically limited to a single impact per area. The capability to endure multiple strikes significantly enhances the overall effectiveness and reliability of polyethylene body armor.

However, it is important to acknowledge that the advantages of polyethylene body armor come at a higher cost. Polyethylene armor plates tend to be more expensive than their steel and ceramic counterparts. The increased price is attributed to the specialized manufacturing processes required to produce UHMWPE and the advanced technology involved in optimizing its ballistic resistance.

Despite the higher cost, the benefits offered by polyethylene body armor, including its lightweight design, durability, and multi-hit capability, make it an attractive choice for professionals who prioritize mobility, extended wear, and reliable protection.

Duritium Body Armor Plates

Introducing Duritium, our proprietary technology that revolutionizes the realm of body armor by combining Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) with advanced composite materials. This groundbreaking innovation enables us to create the lightest, thinnest, and most durable body armor plates available on the market today.

Best Level 4 Body Armor Plates
Finding the right balance of protection and mobility that fits your needs is always a challenge with ballistic armor. Our level IV HS plates that weigh in at 5.3 lbs (10×12 shooters cut) can take multiple hits from rounds like 7.62x63mm M2 AP or M855 A1. With our armor, you don’t need to sacrifice protection for mobility.

One of the primary advantages of Duritium plates lies in their remarkable ability to withstand multiple hits in the same location without compromising their integrity. The carefully engineered construction process ensures that each Duritium plate maintains its effectiveness and ballistic resistance, even after experiencing repeated impacts.

Duritium plates stand out among their counterparts in the market for several compelling reasons. Firstly, they offer a significant weight advantage, being lighter than most other armor plates available. For instance, our Level IV Duritium armor weighs an incredible 5.3 lbs., compared to 10.2 lbs. for steel, 8 lbs. for ceramic, and 6.5 lbs. for polymer combined with UHMWPE. This weight reduction contributes to enhanced mobility and reduced fatigue for the wearer, enabling optimal performance in demanding situations.

In addition to their lightweight design, Duritium plates boast exceptional strength. By leveraging the combination of UHMWPE and composite materials, we have achieved a level of durability and resilience that surpasses traditional armor options. This strength ensures long-lasting performance and reliable protection for the wearer.

Moreover, we take pride in offering the best warranty in the industry for our Duritium plates, reflecting our confidence in their quality, performance, and longevity. Our commitment to customer satisfaction is upheld by providing armor that not only meets but exceeds expectations.

Level IV Duritium plates, with a thickness of less than 1″ (0.9″), are designed to stop a wide range of rifle rounds, including the formidable 7.62x54R M2 round fired from an SVD Dragunov sniper rifle. This impressive level of ballistic protection, coupled with the plates’ lightweight and thin profile, sets Duritium apart as a top-tier choice for professionals seeking the ultimate defense against rifle threats.

What Does Level 4 Body Armor Stop?

Level IV body armor sets the benchmark for top-tier ballistic protection, capable of defeating a formidable .30-06 AP (armor-piercing) round. This means that Level 4 body armor provides reliable defense against all smaller rounds, including armor-piercing .308, various pistol rounds such as the Five-Seven, 500 Magnum, and 50 Action Express, as well as shotgun slugs.

While the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) standard requires only one test shot per plate with an armor-piercing round, at our company, we go above and beyond to ensure optimal protection for our customers. We have conducted additional rigorous threat tests specifically tailored to our Level 4 Duritium plates, further validating their capability to withstand an array of high-powered projectiles.

It is crucial to highlight that Level IV body armor represents the pinnacle of ballistic protection, offering unmatched defense against a wide range of threats. The ability to defeat a .30-06 AP round speaks to the exceptional stopping power of Level 4 armor. This level of protection instills confidence in wearers, knowing that they are shielded not only from common pistol rounds but also from more powerful and penetrating projectiles.

By surpassing the minimum requirements set by NIJ, we prioritize the safety and peace of mind of our customers. Through additional comprehensive testing, we have validated the performance and reliability of our Level 4 Duritium plates, ensuring they exceed industry standards and meet the stringent demands of high-risk environments.

When it comes to personal protection, investing in Level IV body armor offers an unparalleled level of assurance. By providing an effective defense against a .30-06 AP round, Level 4 armor demonstrates its capability to stop even the most powerful and armor-piercing projectiles. This level of protection makes Level IV body armor an indispensable asset for professionals in law enforcement, military personnel, and security forces who face grave ballistic threats in their line of duty.

ShotStop®: Unparalleled Level 4 Body Armor Plates

ShotStop® stands out as a provider of body armor that may initially appear more expensive than other options available online. However, this cost disparity is only apparent in the front-end investment. When considering the long-term value and peace of mind that ShotStop® offers, it becomes evident that the investment is well worth it.

While it is true that the upfront cost of ShotStop® armor may be double that of competitors, the true value lies in the extended warranty provided. Our Level IV plates come with a remarkable 10-year warranty, which is at least double the warranty duration offered by our competitors. This longer warranty period ensures that you are covered for an extended period, enhancing the value of your investment and offering you long-term protection.

Best Level 4 Body Armor Plates
Mission essentials

At ShotStop®, we understand that some competitors may emphasize the advantage of lower prices. However, such arguments only scratch the surface and lack the necessary context. We firmly believe that the best ballistic protection, exceptional customer service, and superior performance are what truly matter.

Our Duritium® Level IV+HS plate stands as a testament to our commitment to providing the best-in-class ballistic protection. With extensive evidence supporting its capabilities, this plate offers peace of mind like no other. We take pride in offering not only superior performance but also a 10-year warranty for our Level 4 body armor, which goes beyond the industry standard of 5 years for this level of protection.

Furthermore, as a token of appreciation to the dedicated men and women who serve our communities and nation, we extend a minimum 15% discount to all law enforcement officers (LEOs) and soldiers. This gesture recognizes their invaluable service and ensures that they have access to the most advanced and lightweight Level IV body armor at a more affordable price.

If you are seeking the utmost in ballistic protection, exceptional customer service, and unmatched performance, we encourage you to reach out to our dedicated sales team. You can contact us at [email protected] to discuss your requirements and make an informed decision about purchasing the most advanced and reliable Level IV body armor available on the market today.

In conclusion, ShotStop® distinguishes itself as a provider of body armor with unparalleled value. While our initial cost may appear higher than that of competitors, our extended warranty periods for Level IV plates offer superior long-term value. Our commitment to customer satisfaction, exceptional performance, and industry-leading warranty durations ensures that your investment in ShotStop® body armor is one that delivers both peace of mind and uncompromising protection.


*Originally published on the ShotStop Blog

Stay Tuned to the RE Factor Tactical Blog and be part of this all VETERAN-run website. Be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn for exclusive content and deals.

Check out our DAILY DEALS page for industry deals and discounts.

Visit our Amazon Influencer Page for more products we recommend: