TYR Tactical

“Ultra-Light” Multi-Hit Level IV Armor Now Available from ShotStop

Stow, OH-based ShotStop Ballistics has announced the release of what they describe as an “ultra-light” Level IV HA Armor Piercing Advanced Body Armor Plates.

According to ShotStop,

“What makes this an industry shattering announcement is the unprecedented weight for Level IV protection, weighing in at 4.5 lbs (2.0 kg) with a low profile of 0.9″ thick, these multi-curve, stand-alone, multi-hit plates provide the lightest armor-piercing protection in the world. The plate will provide the operator comfort, better mobility, and all the confidence to carry out their mission whether they are Military, Special Forces, SWAT, or Law Enforcement.”


Jason Henkel, Director of Operations at ShotStop, says, “Protection is absolutely ShotStop’s top priority, but being able to increase comfort, mobility, and advanced unique applications really differentiate this launch from others. Our new Level IV plate is positioned to dramatically change the way in which personal protection can be utilized in various environments and circumstances.”


The new plates are available in the following Shooter Cut and SAPI cuts and the following sizes:

6” x 6” x .9”
8” x 10” x .9”
8.75” x 11.75” x .9”
9.5” x 12.5” x .9”
10″ x 12″ x .9″
11″ x 14″ x .9″

Read the remainder of the release after the video.

Threat Level Protection
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) states that level IV armor must stop a single hit of 7.62MM AP. ShotStop’s HA Level IV ballistic body armor, made with patented Duritium® technology, is multi-hit and can defeat special threats including: 5.56x45mm 55 grain ball (M193), 7.62x39mm PS ball (MSC), 7.62x51mm 149 grain M80 FMJ, NATO M855 (SS109) 5.56x45mm 62 grain steel core (SS109), M855 A1, 7.62×54mmR Dragunov, and 7.62x63mm M2 AP.

The plate is currently pending testing to be listed with the NIJ.

Ounces Equal Pounds, and Pounds Equal Pain
Improving on the current HS Level IV model plate, ShotStop reduced the weight from 5.3 lbs to 4.5. When pounds equal pain for the operator, every ounce matters. Typical heavy body armor increases the amount of pressure on the joints, causing fatigue, pain and long-term medical issues. ShotStop’s Level IV plate gives the operator maximum mobility and while reducing weight-displacement injuries which are typical from heavy steel or ceramic Level IV plates.

“The accumulated reduction in knee load for a 1-pound loss in weight would be more than 4,800 pounds per mile walked,” says researcher Stephen P. Messier, PhD, of Wake Forest University. So, if a person was carrying 10 pounds less weight, “each knee would be subjected to 48,000 pounds less in compressive load per mile walked.”

Industry-Leading 10-Year Warranty
Along with the armor-piercing protection, the HA1RF3MC model comes with an unprecedented 10-Year warranty, translating to an unusually low total cost of ownership for the highest quality level IV plate available. Standard level IV ceramic body armor is only warrantied for 5 years. Unlike ceramic plates, which can crack when dropped, ShotStop’s proprietary composite plates do not need MRI/x-rays to monitor the plate’s integrity throughout the industry-leading warranty period. ShotStop’s plates can take a beating from everyday wear & tear and mishaps like drops, without ever compromising protection.

What is Duritium?

Duritium is a portfolio of technologies including a proprietary formula of Polyethylene fibers or ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. These polyethylene fibers are woven and stacked by a computer navigated layering process at particular angles which elevate the ability of the armor system to more efficiently diffuse kinetic energy during ballistics impact. The stacked polyethylene is then vulcanized under 5000 lbs. per sq. inch presses while going through various high heat and cold cycles to form the base of the Duritium body armor.

Depending on the threat level requirement, the armor system can then be combined with ShotStop’s proprietary alloy composite which offers even further weight and thickness savings compared to other competitive armor options, especially at the higher threat levels.



18 Responses to ““Ultra-Light” Multi-Hit Level IV Armor Now Available from ShotStop”

  1. Hayden says:

    I wonder who makes this plate for them because I don’t believe they manufacture armor. The last thing I heard about them was that they sold rebranded tencate plates and claimed they could stop rounds that tencate said they couldn’t.

    • Gyrfalcon says:

      I am actually thinking the same: Hesco, RMA, Hoplite (they already buy OEM, dont they?!) there are not too many manufactures. But its also no issue to buy 2 machines for half a million and just start producing on your own. So maybe these are made in-house… @SSD, any infos?

    • Minmore says:

      My agency actually bought from them last year, we are only about an hour away so we visited their manufacturing facility, they seem to make them from start to finish.

  2. Anon-V says:

    According to their spec-sheets, the “Shooter Cut,” really some kind of ultra-swimmer cut, and the “SAPI Cut” are BOTH 4.5 pounds, despite the fact that the Shooter Cut plate looks roughly 10% smaller, and both plates are listed at 10x12x0.9″.

    Something stinks.

    The ceramic coverage probably doesn’t extend to the edges of the plate, which is how a lot of companies have been able to release “Ultra Light Level IV” plates. For example, American Blast Systems has an even lighter Level IV plate, at 4.4 pounds, but it’s really something like an 8×10″ ceramic plate in a 10×12″ envelope.

    • Gyrfalcon says:

      This is an UHMW-PE Fibre Composition Plate! No Ceramics at all – no “Extend to the edge” issues – ballistic protection will be on point at the edge. Nothing stinks, read their text: 5.3lbs for the SAPI, 4.5lbs for the “Swimmer Cut”! Plain and simple, no paranoia required.

      • Anon-V says:

        It’s literally impossible to make an all-UHMWPE Level IV plate. It has never been done before, and it will never be done.

        Tthere isn’t an all-UHMWPE plate out there that’ll reliably stop M855.

        The infosheet has both cuts at exactly the same weight–

        This is a ceramic plate with some corners cut, in more ways than one.

        • Gyrfalcon says:

          The Spec Sheet tells you that Size S is 3.6 vs 3.8 lbs, up to Size L with 5.8 vs. 5.9. I know what you are trying to say, the Swimmer Cut has to be “significant” lighter by 10% or so, but the weight values do not represent it. Anyways: You cant make an all-UHMWPE, but you clearly are not limited to only Ceramics. High Temp Resistant Fibres like Kevlar (Si) can be used to form mixed materials, or Carbon Infused Fibres / Carbon Fibres can be used to. You do not necesseraly need a ceramic core, future will show it. But you will be right that this plate is not 100% UHMWPE and still features some thin layer of Boron Nitride or smth like that.

        • Seamus says:

          I looked over the info sheet and I am going to speculate a bit here, that the marketing department looked at the weights between the 10×12 SAPI and Shooters and just rounded them off to the x.xlbs and called it good. In all likelihood there is a slight weight difference but not enough for the marketing department to care enough about. Let’s not make a moon landing conspiracy out of this one.

          On the other hand, you bring up a valid point with all-UHMWPE plates not stoping M855 (let alone the claim of M855A1).

  3. Gyrfalcon says:

    If they are made entirely by UHMW-PE, and have some PE Backing (if they even need a backing), than they should offer neutral buoyancy – yet, this important feature isn´t mentioned. Also, I have a 1″ / 25mm made 100% of UHMW-PE. It weighs ~1.3kg for a Swimmer, and 1.5kg for a SAPI cut. So, they are thinner – but heavier – this means more densitiy. So maybe they do not offer neutral buoyancy. But where is this density coming from, because PE cant be the reason?

  4. John says:

    Can anyone ID those mag pouches in the last picture?

  5. ShotStop says:

    We appreciate everyone’s concerns and comments here. To answer a few of the questions:

    1) Shotstop is the actual original manufacturer. We also design and produce all of our own tooling and armor designs for both body armor and architectural solutions. All of our products are made in Ohio and are Berry Compliant.

    2) Each level IV plate does have a proprietary straight face so it is not just all polyethylene. The strike face includes tungsten carbide powder, aluminum oxide and some silicon carbide.

    3) If you would like to see the independent lab reports you can see them here: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56718637a2bab819495088df/t/60d2015cf118f916d762b142/1624375644475/30-06-cal_166-grain_APM2_Test_Report.pdf

    These were done by NTS, you can see they are addressed to ShotStop Ballistics and not a parent brand. There are additional tests provided if you’d like to see them on our website.

    4) In regards to our weights. The weights provided are for a SAPI cut 10×12″ plate. The weights deviate if the plates are larger or smaller and with shooter cut.

    Finally, we do find that most often we see comments like the above that don’t come from concerned citizens, but industry competitors. That being said, if you are an industry competitor, and would like to address us directly, we are here and ready!

    • Anon-V says:

      To respond to –
      2) Does the strike-face extend all the way to the edges of the plate, or is there a foam ring around the edge? If so, how wide is that ring? Lots of companies have released “ultra-light” Level IV plates in the 4.4 pound range. American Blast Systems and RMA come to mind. Those companies did it by reducing the area of ceramic coverage on the strike face. Some people bought those plates without knowing any better.

      3) Those reports also say “Client – Premier Body Armor.” And they list the plate’s weight at 4.3 pounds for a 10×12″, which all seems unusual.

      4) So why are the exact same weights listed for a 10×12″ SAPI cut and a 10×12″ Shooter cut? The Shooter cut, which has had a lot of material trimmed off, looks much smaller. If the spec-sheet contains errors, what are the actual weights of the 10×12″ SAPI Cut and 10×12″ Shooter cut? If the 10×12″ SAPI cut is 4.5 pounds, is the 10×12″ Shooter cut actually around 4.0 pounds?

      • Gyrfalcon says:

        The test also was modified: Only 1 shoot was tested (NIJ LVL IV compatible), but no second shot was even tried (60% stoppage for Mil Spec LVL IV)

      • John Sun says:

        Yes. The ShotStop plates with a ceramic element have a 1-2″ foam ring. The ceramic doesn’t extend to the edge. The backer does, but not the ceramic. This isn’t outlined anywhere on their website.

    • Gyrfalcon says:

      I add a Question: Do these IV+HA plates offer neutral buoyancy?

    • Seamus says:

      Firstly, thanks you for responding to market comments and criticism. Most companies either don’t bother or are afraid to respond to criticism in an open and public forum.

      The video posted above and also on your website has some serious factual errors and makes some bold claims that you may need to re-evaluate. Keep in mind I am just a regular guy with a background in science. No special credentials here. So take some of this with a pound of salt.

      Beginning at the 00:30 mark the host in the video says,
      “Like I said it is a Level IV, so that means its going to stop your M2AP rounds, 7.62×63 “black tip” Tungsten Carbide rounds. And it stops multiple hits from it.”

      Error #1: 7.62x63mm M2AP is a hardened steel core round NOT a tungsten carbide (WC) cored projectile.
      Error #2: The host claims that NIJ-STD-0101 Level IV “means” it can stop not just WC projectiles, but also multiple hits from those projectiles.
      Claim #3: Host claims multiple hits from M2AP stopped. This is some muddy water here as the NTS lab letter lists only Shot 1, but has two velocities listed and but a single back face deformation measurement. It also listed an average velocity. So I don’t know how to make heads or tails of this lab report. I am not sure if this lab report is showing multiple hits stops by a single tested plate (multiple velocities + single plate) or only one shot stopped and one back face (“Shot 1” + single deformation measurement + single plate).
      Claim #4: While not listed on video but on website, claims ability to stop a host of other projectiles. No evidence provided to support this claim. Especially curious about M855A1 as that is not even mentioned anywhere in NIJ-STD-0101.06 or NIJ-STD-0101.07.

      Now odds are the host of the video is a marketing guy and either a bit nervous or over caffeinated (judging by all the hip swaying a nod moving around) and misspoke. If that’s true, no harm no foul. Just make him wear a dunce hat around the office for a day or spring for donuts and coffee and edit or reshoot the video to be more precise in his language. Body armor is a technically advanced product and I want a company to be technically precise in its language when describing it. My life does kinda depend on it you know.

      Finally I do have a few honest questions for the nerd in me?
      1) You claim a whole host of projectiles this plate can stop, do you have supporting independent lab test for these you can provide / make available?
      1a) You left out M80A1 from that list…will it be included on future testing / certification?
      2) Why have NTS Labs certify the plate to the NIJ.06 and not the upcoming NIJ.07 standard?
      3) The ceramic material you mentioned above, is that Ti3SiC2/Al2O3? (Google does wonders I know) Why did you pick that one versus others on the market? It certainly seems more interesting. Can you tell me more about it?

      In closing, thanks for coming on here and trying to answer some concerns / criticism. Too many armor (and gun) companies hide behind meaningless marketing terms. Hopefully you can clarify some of these discrepancies and shine a little light on an industry that is far too opaque for something meant to save lives.

      • Cory Clark says:

        @seamus, just to touch on the NIJ.06/07 cert question, it doesn’t look like the plate was certed at all. It was only tested, which is common for companies to send plates in to be tested. Nobody can certify to .07 yet because it hasn’t been released to manufacturers, however they can have them tested to the rough draft of the .07 standard

  6. John Sun says:

    Can you guys comment on why these plates (along with many of your other models such as the GT2 and Level 4 HA) have an approximately 1-2″ non ballistic foam border that is NOT mentioned on your website or any of your literature?

    Some of your numbers never made sense to me, up until today when I found out about the foam edges.