VIDEO: Ballistic plate extreme torture test

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This you won’t believe!

Mike Lang and I spent Monday afternoon at Manatee Gun and Archery Club’s famous “Area 51” range, along with Mike Young and Dave Kreiseder from Young Guns & Safety and gun guru Chas Sizemore.

Our mission was to test/destroy two ballistic plates that I received  from, a division of SafeGuard Armor.

We’ve torture-tested SafeGuard’s products before and found them to be extremely reliable, especially for their low price.

Both plates were Level III, which is rated to stop 7.62x51mm M80 rounds.

One plate was polyethylene and one was ceramic. MSRP is very low, around $160.

The ceramic plate was heavy. It would be a beast to wear. The polyethylene plates 2plate was extremely light.

We strapped them to a target frame stationed about 20 yards from the firing line and let drive.

We hit them first with handguns: 9mm, .40 Cal., .45ACP and 5.7x28mm.

The poly plate stopped everything — EVERYTHING.

The ceramic plate didn’t, but admittedly, this wasn’t that fair of a test. Once the first few rounds hit the plate, the ceramic shattered — as it is designed to do.  Once the the ceramic material was cracked, the plate was compromised.

Then came the rifles: 5.56mm, 7.62x39mm, 7.62x51mm and 7.62x54R.

The poly plate stopped everything — even the surplus Com-bloc steel core rounds.

When Mike shot it with his AR10, it blew the back cover off the plate, but the round was still stopped by the ballistic material.

We duct taped the vest back together and it still worked — shot dozens of times and taped together, the SafeGuard poly vest retained its ballistic protection.

The only round we could find that was able to penetrate it was black-tipped 30-06 AP — armor piercing — but these rounds will damn near shoot through an engine block.

We were all impressed.

If you’re considering purchasing SAPI (Small Arms Protective Inserts) plates, SafeGuard’s work and they cost half as much as some of their competitors.

If you want to see what’s left of the plates, Mike’s got them at his shop, Young Guns & Safety.

I’ll be buying a set.


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

1 Comment

  1. Jim Bencivenga on

    Loved the demo on the ballistic plates. And it’s not rocket science, especially given the light weight of these plates, to put two together should one find oneself in an intense tactical situation.

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