Review of the LEVEL III+, 10” x 12” body armor plate from AR500.com. Test includes four shots with a variety of 5.56mm ammo (including milspec surplus) at 50 feet with a 16” barrel AR15. Review of the plate’s performance follows each shot.
A LONG COMMENT AS FOR WHY I DID NOT USE A 20″ BARREL FOR THIS REVIEW:
Trust me, I prefer 20″ barrels for this caliber. Neutering the barrel length of an AR in this caliber is compromising one of its strong points…..VELOCITY. Had I used a 20″ or even 24″ barrel there would have been a majority wanting to see 16″….because it is what they own. I can’t even find a 20″ AR at any major gun show. I was in the market recently for a 20″ AR10/.308 and they are hard to come by. I certainly understand the value of shorter AR’s with the military, working in confined spaces, HUMVEE’s, etc., but there is a downside in the ballistics….and it can matter.
I also have to look at reality, which is, the bad guy could be wearing body armor and first responders, LEO, and even civilians with long guns are most likely to have a 16″ AR, or worse. Their holy grail milspec or TAP ammo won’t cut it here, as we have observed. Consider that the high end of velocity from this barrel on some of these loads was approaching the velocity “we think” would chew a hole in this stuff, and it still barely made a scratch, which should provide some insight.
My comment at the end of the video referencing my 10 year old AR500 plates (not the company, the spec) was spot on. I’ve hit those plates at 50 yards using M193 and Green Tip and they will divot. At a much shorter distance here it wasn’t an issue. Not a slight on Mike Gibson Targets or makers of similar steel, but a valid comparison for the strength of this product.
And for the record, a few months ago AR500.com offered to send me free product for testing; I turned them down, as I do everyone. I paid for the plate. Just to convey that I’m not a paid spokesperson for their company writing a glowing review.
CAMERAS: SONY camcorders HDR-CX650, and HDR-CX900.
EDITING: Sony Vegas 13 Pro, MP4, 60p.