AR500Armor Level III Plate vs .308 TAP, G2 RIP, Sierra MatchKing, XM855, PolyCase ARX

AR500Armor Level III Plate vs .308 TAP, G2 RIP, Sierra MatchKing, XM855, PolyCase ARX We shot an AR500 body armor chest plate as part of our ongoing field testing and […]

AR500Armor Level III Plate vs .308 TAP, G2 RIP, Sierra MatchKing, XM855, PolyCase ARX

We shot an AR500 body armor chest plate as part of our ongoing field testing and review of the AR500Armor.com Level III body armor.
What do you think happened?

We shot the AR500 body armor Level III plate with:

Ammunition Rifle or Pistol
Federal XM855LC1 AC1 5.56x45mm 62gr FMJ Ball

IMG_20150912_161610

PSA 18″ CHF 5.56 upper

Palmetto State Armory CHF 18" barrel AR15 upper

Hornady Personal Defense .308 Win 168 Grain TAP-FPD Ammo

IMG_20150912_161659

WMD Guns WMD-10 AR10 in .308 Win

060-IMG_20150622_183128

Federal Premium .308 Win 168 gr Sierra MatchKing BTHP Gold Medal Match

IMG_20150912_161642

WMD Guns WMD-10 AR10 in .308 Win

054-IMG_20150622_183023

G2 Research RIP Out .300 BLK 110gr Supersonic

IMG_20150912_161651

Radical Firearms .300 BLK upper

Radical Firearms .300 Blackout 16" upper

Polycase 9mm 74gr ARX

IMG_20150912_161623

Glock 17 – Lone Wolf Distributors stainless threaded barrel

16-IMG_20150329_170053

And here are the results: 

Ammunition PAXCON face Damage PAXCON back Damage Steel Damage
Federal XM855LC1 AC1 5.56x45mm 62gr FMJ Ball  Dramatic 1.28″x1.31″rip with 0.62″ divot missing

(top hole and tear)

AR500Armor.com_body_armor_ballistic_test (40)

 1.709″ tear and star scar

AR500Armor.com_body_armor_ballistic_test (16)

 0.208″ small diameter divot

AR500Armor.com_body_armor_ballistic_test (11)

Hornady Personal Defense .308 Win 168 Grain TAP-FPD Ammo

 0.034″ pin hole

AR500Armor.com_body_armor_ballistic_test (31)

 4.856″ star scars

AR500Armor.com_body_armor_ballistic_test (8)

 0.597″ shallow dent with inner ring

AR500Armor.com_body_armor_ballistic_test (26)

Federal Premium .308 Win 168 gr Sierra MatchKing BTHP Gold Medal Match  0.079″ holeFederal Premium .308 Win 168 gr Sierra MatchKing BTHP Gold Medal Match large bullet impact ar500armor.com Paxcon entry 3.748″ star scar

Federal Premium .308 Win 168 gr Sierra MatchKing BTHP Gold Medal Match large bullet fragment pattern

 0.573″ shallow, smooth dent

Federal Premium .308 Win 168 gr Sierra MatchKing BTHP Gold Medal Match large bullet impact ar500armor.com

 

G2 Research RIP Out .300 BLK 110gr Supersonic

 0.15″ hole

(bottom hole)

AR500Armor.com_body_armor_ballistic_test (40)

 ~8+” distinct star scar with fragments

(calipers stopped at ~6″)

AR500Armor.com_body_armor_ballistic_test (12)

 

 

 No visible damage to steel
Impact point slightly below and right of caliper, above and left of larger TAP impact dentAR500Armor.com_body_armor_ballistic_test (11)
Polycase 9mm 74gr ARX 0.186″ jagged hole

AR500Armor.com_body_armor_ballistic_test (37)

0.478″ chunk of bullet

AR500Armor.com_body_armor_ballistic_test (20)

0.696″ bold copper stain

AR500Armor.com_body_armor_ballistic_test (29)

AR500Armor.com_body_armor_ballistic_test (56)Seeing is believing

The clear result is that the AR500 body armor Level III body armor plate did not allow any of these rounds to do significant damage. At worst we saw the Hornady TAP .308 Win. and Federal Premium SMK .308 Win. rounds make shallow dents in the AR500 steel. Even the round that has the ATF shaking in their boots, the uber-nasty XM855 “armor piercing” 5.56x45mm (that was sarcasm, folks) failed to do much damage at all, leaving only a very small divot. Given the thinness of the AR500 body armor plate, I expected that at least one of the big, hot .308 Winchester rounds would leave a scary looking dent at the close-up range of 15 yards. However, the deepest dent appears to be less than 1/16th of an inch. None of the rounds managed to penetrate the AR500Armor.com body armor plate. The all copper projectile of the G2 Research RIP OUT supersonic .300 AAC Blackout round and the polymer/copper composite Polycase ARX bullet both left no visible indentation in the AR500 body armor. Of course, this 10″ x 12″ Advanced Shooters Cut (ASC) flat Level III plate with PAXCON build up is listed as “Special Threat Tested, 7.62×52 M80 NATO Ball”. So, we expected it to prevent projectile penetration all the way up to the .308 Winchester rounds.

AR500Armor.com_body_armor_ballistic_test (44)What is PAXCON?

To me, the PAXCON spall & fragmentation mitigation coating on the AR500 body armor plates looks nearly identical to the Line-X or Rhino-liner spray-on pickup truck bed liners, which makes sense since AR500 body armor lists PAXCON as a division of Line-X. The PAXCON build up on AR500 Armor is about 1/4″ thick on the strike face. The idea is that when a bullet impacts the super hard AR500 steel, the bullet shatters, spraying little fragments in an arc from the impact point. Wearing this body armor plate on the chest might mean that little bits of bullets shoot out into the wearers arms. Likely not as bad as a full bullet hit, but not pleasant either. The rubber PAXCON coating absorbs the energy of the little bullet fragments as they spread in an arc away from the impact point on the steel plate. The PAXCON coating adheres tightly to the AR500 steel, so significant energy is absorbed as the PAXCON deforms and traps the bullet fragments. Looking at any of the images of the steel-facing side of the PAXCON shows clearly the star pattern where most bullets hit fairly straight on and spread in a fairly even radial pattern as they disintegrated. It appears that a very high percentage of spall & fragmentation was contained by the PAXCON in our testing, even though the PAXCON coating was damaged and partially separated from the AR500 steel plate on the very first shot. All subsequent shots had the potential to hit areas where PAXCON adhesion had already been broken, making it less effective. For this reason we spread the shots around the face of the AR500 armor Level III ASC plate. The PAXCON coating didn’t fully separate from the AR500 plate until the 5th shot.

More to come…

Look for the following soon:

And we are in active discussions with AR500armor.com on what our next tests should be. Please share your thoughts on what you would like to see.

AR500armor.com body armorAR500armor.com

We wanted to test their products because AR500armor.com is gaining a reputation for high quality body armor at competitive prices. Their body armor is manufactured and coated in-house 100% in the USA, which we really appreciate. While they are most know for the AR500 steel body armor that the brand is named for, they also carry a wide range of soft body armor and composite body armor, as well as medical kits, tactical supplies and accessories, etc.

Nice ammo, dude!

We are fortunate to have an arrangement with Ammunition Supply Company where they provide ammunition for many of our reviews. In return, we share our videos and reviews with ASC for them to use on their website. For this and our other .308 reviews ASC sent Hornady TAP 168gr .308 Win, Federal Premium .308 with 168gr Sierra Match King projectiles, as well as XM855 5.56 NATO and the G2 RIP OUT .300 BLK. The PolyCase 9mm was sent by Polycase.

Huge thanks to Ammunition Supply Company. Please consider ASC and PolyCase when you need ammo and let them know you heard about them from Gear-Report.com
PolyCase ARX 9mm ammunition

About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits. A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps http://MGECOM.com acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management. Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.