Anyone run a rifle plate in their normal uniform vest? I’m talking about the one you wear under your uniform, not the big, bulky tactical vests entry guys wear.
I just ordered up a United Theta plate that is NIJ III+ rated. Yes, I know there isn’t a “III+” rating, but it is NIJ III rated, but also tested with some rounds that go beyond current NIJ testing. The NIJ III threat level will stop a 147 grain 7.62×51 rifle round traveling at 2780 fps. The Theta plate met that standard, plus was tested to stop 7.62×39 mild steel core and 5.56 M193 rounds.
The plate weighs two pounds and measures 6.5″ x 8.5″. This makes it slightly smaller and lighter than my old Second Chance K-30 plate (steel wrapped in Kevlar). But, it offers significantly better ballistic protection than the old K-30 which was designed for “special” handgun rounds like the Tokarev and 9mm KTW plus .30 carbine and rifled 12 gauge slugs.
I was looking at picking up a Protech IMPAC RT Plus special threat plate when I ran across the United Theta. The IMPACT RT Plus is designed to stop the same rifle rounds, but it is not NIJ rated. If I understand the design correctly, it will stop those rounds, though it will not stand up to multiple hits as an NIJ III or IV plate will. So, it is a good option for a patrol cop, but not the first choice for a tac team.
The IMPACT RT Plus is available in the more standard sizes (5×7, 5×8, 7×9 and 10×12), but it is significantly more heavy. The IMPAC is 4.65 pounds – more than double the weight of the Theta.
Also, the IMPAC RT Plus is more expensive than the United plate. The 7″x9″ Protech plate was listed for $192 at Chief’s Supply, while I picked up the Theta for $150 from Botach. And there are no shipping charges from Botach.
I’ll post some pictures and thoughts on the plate when it arrives. I ordered it last night, and it shipped today. So, I hope to have it next week some time.