First off, let's discuss how armor works!
What NIJ Rating is Right for you?
First, what threats might you be facing? Pistols, Shotguns, Hunting Rifles, Military Rifles? What your armor can stop, depends on its NIJ level.
Level IIIA (3A) is mostly for pistols and shotguns.
Level III (3) is for common 7.62, 308, and 5.56 rounds, but it will not stop armor piercing rounds!
Level III+ (3+ “Three Plus”) Is manufacturer specific to stop certain armor piercing rounds that level III would not stop. All Level III+ plates are different so research each plate you’re considering!
Level IV (4) stops armor piercing rounds up to 30-06 AP/M2AP!
For most cases, we suggest choosing level IV, as it stops the most amount of threats! However, choosing a lower rating can save weight and cost. Know what you’re getting and what your armor is capable of!
What do you want your plate made out of?
This is where we need to decide what your armor is going to be made out of. In most situations lighter means more expensive. Weight is everything in the body armor industry. We at Uprise Armory stick to selling ceramic armor, as steel armor can be deadly!
Alumina Ceramic – Cheapest, but heaviest. Typically its the strongest armor though!
Silicon Carbide – A little lighter than Alumina Ceramic but cost more.
UHMWPE – (Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight-Polyethylene) Typically works in level IIIA, III and III+ Armor! Its’s very light! It also doesn't typically "shatter" like most cermaic armor. It tends to absorb the bullet instead
Boron Carbide – Super tough, super light, super expensive. If you want the best there is, this is what you’ll want.
Cuts and Shapes?
There are many types of “cuts” of plates. A cut refers to the way the plate is shaped. Most commonly, there is SAPI Cut, Swimmer Cut, Square Cut and body location specific cuts.
SAPI Cut – It’s the best for most people. Doesn’t compromise surface area and you can move your arms freely still.
Swimmer Cut – This cut exaggerates the amount taken away at the top of the plate. This allows for extra movement capabilities.
Square Cut – It’s more rectangular than it sounds but it has four 90 degree angles. It is great for back armor and backpacks! Although most modern carriers wont fit this cut!
Let’s measure what size is right for you! To figure out what height works best for you, measure from your collarbone to about 2-3 inches above your belly button.
To figure out what width is good for you, measure the width between your nipperonis (nipples). If you start wrapping the tape measure around your body, you’ve gone too far.
It doesn’t have to be perfect! As long as your vitals are covered, and your movement isn’t horribly impeded, you’re good to go!
Most plate carriers fit 10″ x 12″ plates. If your plate is not that size, you’ll need to double check each carrier to ensure that it fits other sizes!
And lastly, curves!
Curves are the difference between having a flat rock stuck your chest and getting a nice hug from your plates. However, more curves typically mean a higher cost!
Single curve – Typically this is the most common curve. It’s just a curve to the plate that hugs your chest horizontally. It’s great for most people but will be uncomfortable when you lay prone on the plate.
Multi curve – This plate features a vertical and horizontal curve. It significantly improves the comfort this armor will offer.
If you have any questions regarding the fitment of your armor, reach out to us! Customerservice@uprisearmory.com