Many veterans of the Global War on Terror have had to deal with the standard issue E-SAPI plates, which have their fair share of issues.
The primary issue being the weakness of the material itself, but not in the sense of stopping rounds. Any blunt impacts to the ceramic E-SAPI plates resulted in the internal ceramic material actually shattering. That includes something as simple as your plate carrier being dropped from a vehicle.
Good thing is that it’s no longer 2005 and research & development of body armor has stepped up to the plate (no pun intended). One of those companies that have stepped up to the plate is West Coast Armor with its Pure Dyneema and Pure Spectra plates. In fact, the team at West Coast Armor spent 5 years on R&D before releasing their first product.
They’re not messing around when it comes to the preservation of life.
After hearing the first-hand accounts of their body armor from those in the law enforcement community, executive protection, and military special operations, I was intrigued. West Coast Armor has a superior solution to the many issues that have plagued body armor in the past.
Who Is West Coast Armor?
The diverse team at West Coast Armor has deep roots in the world of executive protection, military, law enforcement, and the private sector. The team at West Coast Armor has used and created body armor throughout their individual careers, so they know firsthand, the benefits and drawbacks of the different types of body armor.
With this knowledge and real-world experience, they achieved what they set out to do. After 5 years of research and development, they have created industry-leading body armor that is lighter, stronger, and more affordable than any others on the market.
What Sets Apart West Coast Armor?
West Coast Armor uses Pure Dyneema or Pure next-gen Spectra in the construction of its body armor plates.
Hard armor made with pure Dyneema and next-gen Spectra is up to 75% lighter than steel or other traditional armor materials without compromising the level of protection.
For military, law enforcement, and others working in high-risk environments, hard armor made from Dyneema provides not only maximum protection, but also enhances the comfort, maneuverability, and efficiency of the person wearing it.
5 Benefits of Using Dyneema in Body Armor Plates
- Constructed from ceramics, compressed laminate sheets, metallic plates, or composites
- Designed to deform and capture the bullet upon impact
- Absorbs and distributes the kinetic energy of the impact
- Protects against NIJ Level III, III+ and works as a great backing for ceramics in III++ or IV rifle threats
- 75% lighter than steel and 25% lighter than Aramid
Where are West Coast Armor Plates Made?
All raw materials are 100% domestically sourced and made in the USA.
Is West Coast Armor NIJ Certified?
Yes. West Coast Armor is NIJ certified and all their body armor plates meet or exceed NIJ criteria.
The NIJ conducts independent research on the Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor with the help of the Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES). The most important attribute of the NIJ is its ability to remain objective to the industry and only adopt criteria based on scientific research and testing.
This research and testing are designed to save lives and improve the level of justice our law enforcement agencies can provide. This is why every company that wishes to sell body armor in the United States, must meet the requirements set forth by the NIJ.
What Are The NIJ Levels?
- Level 2a body armor – Tested to stop 9mm and .40 S&W ammunition fired from a short barrel handgun. No rifle protection
- Level 2 body armor – Tested to stop 9mm and .357 Magnum ammunition fired from a short barrel handgun. No rifle protection.
- Level 3a body armor – Tested to stop .357 SIG and .44 Magnum ammunition fired from longer barreled handguns. No rifle protection.
- Level 3 body armor – Tested to stop 7.62mm FMJ lead core rifle ammunition
- Level 4 body armor – Tested to stop .30 cal steel core armor piercing rifle ammunition.
If you’re looking for a company that is selling armor, ensure they can provide an NIJ letter of compliance by doing a simple check on DOJ’s website to see if the company is certified.
West Coast Armor Hard Armor Levels
Patriot Armor IIIa Plate
The Patriot Armor level 3a body armor Plate is so unbelievably light and thin, that you will forget you’re wearing it. At 0.82 pounds per square foot, these lightweights perform like heavyweights.
Forged from a proprietary manufacturing process, the IIIA Plate is constructed with some of the strongest and lightest ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibers available.
West Coast Armor’s UHMWPE fibers are stronger than steel at a fraction of the weight.
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