Level III Body Armor Test

In today’s turbulent and unpredictable world, the idea of owning body armor is no longer a far-fetched idea entertained by hardcore preppers. Be it home defense, active shooter defense, civil unrest, or a full-on SHTF scenario, having the right body armor is an important part of staying safe and secure in an increasingly hostile world.

Β For those unfamiliar with body armor, it is assessed and sold in levels. In fact, it is absolutely vital when choosing body armor to ensure that you know what level of protection you are purchasing. To choose properly, you also need to make sure the body armor you select is up to standard. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) sets the most commonly recognized standard for body armor in the United States. Their chart (below) depicts caliber and body armor levels. Anyone looking to purchase body armor should take a solid look at it to assess what level of body armor best suits their need.

After doing our homework and taking the time to assess what threat level would be the best choice for someone choosing to prepare for the worst, we decided to test some Level III body armor. Level III armor is capable of withstanding up to 6 shots of 7.62×51(.308 NATO) at 2,780 feet-per-second (fps) at 15 meters. Sticking to the theme of worst-case-scenario, we decided to use the die-hard prepper’s weapon, the AK47, and the 7.62×39 round for the test. The range test was performed at a distance of 10 yards, using 122 grain hollow point Red Army Standard ammunition.

In efforts to keep the test as cost-efficient as possible, thereby determining if the working-man’s salary is capable of purchasing a plate carrier and plate that will protect him against heavy small arms fire, we went with the following set up.


Blackhawk Low Visibility Ballistic Plate Carrier
Olive Drab, 10.5″ x 13.25″, 32PC12OD



Tactical Scorpion Gear
Level III AR500 Steel Body Armor Single 8 x 10 Curved Plate


The combination of plate and plate carrier came to a total of $75.94.

Note: It is important to acknowledge that we only purchased a single plate for the purposes of this test. It is highly advisable that you purchase front and back plates. This would put the total cost of our set-up at $122.64

Click below and check out the test results:

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  • I don’t understand how your level 111 armor will stop .308 rounds when Level 111A will only stop pistol rounds up to .44 Mag. Something seems wrong here.

  • Also remember…IF you get shot while wearing the vest…while the round may not kill you…it most likely will do some sort of damage…broken ribs, loss of consciousness, knocked off your feet etc.
    So…understand that unless there are others with you…odds are pretty good that the shooter will either take you prisoner, or finish you off with a round to the head once he realizes you have been hit, and not yet killed.
    Lesson…if you are in a situation where you need to be vested..do NOT put yourself in a situation where you a re the only one on the hunt…if at all possible have at least one partner on the track with you. Your life will depend on that back-up.

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