Breaking: AR500 Armor Recalls Level III Body Armor

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, AR500 is recalling its Level III body armor.

This recall involves AR500 Armor Level III body armor, including chest plates, side plates and ABS panels. The black, steel-core body armor is rated for protection against rifle calibers up to 7.62X51 M80 Ball (.308) at 2,800 feet per second. AR500 Armor is printed on a white label on the back side of the armor. Only AR500 Level III body armor with the manufacture date code of February 2016 and March 2016 are included in the recall.

If you have one of these products you can contact AR500 or learn more about the recall below.

AR500 Armor toll-free at 844-887-8824 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, email at or online at and click on “Safety Recall” for more information.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • Drew Coleman

    Isn’t this their second recall?

    • Patrick R. – Staff Writer

      My understanding is that this is the same recall that they issued back in March.

      • Nicholas C

        I did not see AR500 Recall mentioned when i did a search on TFB

        • Patrick R. – Staff Writer

          I don’t think we covered it. Good to get the info out even if it is a bit late.

          • Gary Kirk

            Better late and admitting it, than trying to save face and not posting this.. Could mean the difference to someone

          • Nicholas C

            Yep. It is the first I have heard of it. So Im sure there are others out there who may not have heard either.

          • Gary Kirk

            Good on you for furthering information.. I applaud that.. And am sure there are so called “TSBs” on rifles extending back to well before either of us existed.. That people who had to use said rifle never found out about.. Due to lack of distribution of information..

          • Gary Kirk

            There is another point that needs addressed, but will put that in a new comment..

          • Tom Currie

            This is the reverse of the common gun control meme comparing regulation of firearms to automobiles.

            In the case of people not knowing about recalls and potential problems, yes, it really is a problem with firearms – not because the makers try to hide the information from owners but because we have an established reflex reaction to avoid any sort of “Registration” – even warranty registration with a manufacturer.

            An auto maker can issue a recall on a batch of ten year old cars and is able to DIRECTLY contact about half the owners immediately even though they bought the car used.

            But if a firearm or related product has a recall the manufacturer’s choices are to take out ads in a dozen different gun magazines, send flyers for FFLs to post, and generally announce their problem to the whole world (and still not reach more than 10%-30% of owners) or sit back and wait for the owners to find them. It’s a damned-if-they-do-and-damned-if they-don’t situation in today’s litigious society.

  • Gary Kirk

    This recall “was” initially started in march. It’s because their steel supplier neglected to inform them that some of their steel failed ballistics tests until after AR500 had already shipped out plates.

    • Gary Kirk

      On a side note, it doesn’t mean that the plates won’t work for the majority of likely encounters. But they may not be up to full blown M80 ball at Damn near muzzle velocity.. Personally I wouldn’t take the chance.. Level III is supposed to be level III..

      • romney

        Interesting. I recently saw 2 tests on a level IIIA vest shot with a Tokarov 7.62 x 25. Vest failed. Is the Tokarov that hot or was the vest faulty?

        • Tim

          Good question, romney. Yes, the Tokarev, 7.62x25mm is that hot/fast (I own one and handload for it), but it also has to do with the penetrative effectiveness of a smaller diameter bullet (7.62mm) at that high of a velocity. The Tokarev is moving at 1,650-1,800 fps. Think of it like a speedy needle (7.62mm) vs. a solid strike hammer (.45 ACP, for example). For reference, a .45 is moving at around 850 fps and a full house .357 magnum is moving at 1,500-1,600 fps, but it has a significantly wider bullet (~9.1mm) than the Tokarev, which is why the .357 mag is stopped by a IIIA. Terminal ballistics are indeed fascinating.

        • Ben Pottinger

          NIJ levels are confusingly designed. Your confusing IIIA with III, which are totally different. III is rated to stop rifle bullets up to M80 ball while IIIA is only rated to stop various pistol calibers at pistol/subgun velocities and not stop rifle rounds at all. Makes perfect sense now right? (Lol). The whole 3/3a 2/2a thing is silly. II and IIA are both designed for pistol threats while IIIA is for pistols and III is for rifles. Then you have level III, but only when backed with a soft armor panel, or III standalone. Etc etc..

          The trick to punching armor is speed and hardness. The harder the bullet, the faster it moves and the smaller it’s profile the better it will penetrate armor. It’s why you can shoot steel plates all day with a 308 and ding them all up with a 5.56 at the same distance.

    • Avery

      I was trying to figure out how AR500 steel would even need to be recalled. Only thing that I could think of was a screw-up like mismatching steel orders. I guess that’s close enough.

  • dP

    Why does this matter? Aren’t 99% of all AR500 plates used for youtube ballistics “tests”?

    • BattleshipGrey

      Not sure on percentages, but I carry mine in my squad car with me. So if my plates were in that date range it would matter to me.

      • Gary Kirk

        Like I said, would “probably” still overcome most of what most police will encounter, but still.. I just need to know it will..

      • Darhar M.

        At least your squad car has some protection.

      • Danvers

        You do know that the steel body armor has a problem with stopping 5.56. Steel is poor at dealing with small fast rounds.

        Do more research on it, i’m just throwing out a warning. A youtuber explained it better. Its upsetting that they talk about it stopping 7.62×39, 7.62X51 yet it doesn’t do that well with .223.

        • BattleshipGrey

          Well aware, but it’s more affordable on a small budget. Plus I have kids that love to help unload the van and I don’t need to always wonder if they’ve dropped it at any point.

  • Gary Kirk

    AR500 initiated this recall with the CPSC three days after learning about said condition.. They have my respect for that..

  • Ruh-roh, Raggy.

    Good on them that they’re getting out in front of this before some poor SOB LEO rolls a Natural 1 on his Saving Throw vs. Rifle Rounds with one of the bad plates; that would be one of those lawsuits that has no winners at all, and it’s nice to see a manufacturer that doesn’t wait for one to be filed before issuing a recall.

  • stephen

    Its good that they posted this recall quickly. I was interested in getting some plates from AR500 due to pricing but after some people I know had terrible wait times, lots of excuses and refusals to refund their money after 4-5 months of waiting (they finally had to contact their cc company to stop payment); then this recall pops up, so I think I’ll go with another company.

  • CMonster 556

    I like how the dates of the recalled products are nearly at the end of the article, so you have to read through it to figure out if it impacts you. As opposed to AR 500’s heading: AR500 Armor® Level III Body Armor Recall (Plates Shipped between February 23rd 2016 and March 23rd 2016)

    • Tig

      Seriously? I can see it in the photo and first paragraph!

      • Ben Pottinger

        This reminds me of a few people I know who refuse to read a novel or even a short story and usually respond to longish articles with “doh, TLDR!!” But will sit and surf Facebook for hours at a time. I don’t get it.

    • mbrd

      yep, gotta read all four brief paragraphs of it… well the first two, anyway.

      to be fair, the second paragraph is the only one with more than one sentence, is in quotes and italics, and must be read alllllll the way through its fourth sentence to get the months of manufacture being recalled.

  • A Fascist Corgi

    I’ll never understand why people buy these plates. They’re too damn heavy. Pay more for the lighter stuff or don’t buy any body armor at all.

    • Ethan

      Great idea! When are you sending me the check to cover the difference?

      • A Fascist Corgi

        The difference is only about $400. Like most gun enthusiasts, you probably own more firearms than you really need. Sell one so that you can wear body armor that will actually be comfortable.

        • Steve Copeland

          Sell a firearm? LMAO. Funny guy! Most buying these plates are doing so for emergency situations, not daily use. Let’s say, bandits and thieves in your town or neighborhood due to natural disaster or worse. Want to have something to throw on while protecting you and yours? Buy a 200 dollar plate set with carrier, throw it in closet. Always ready, no expiration. Most are not using it for daily wear, but emergency. Even LEOs. Using it as up armor for bad situations to augment the daily wear soft armor. Makes perfect sense to me.

    • Stan Darsh

      Are you referring to the Boron-Carbide ceramic plates that are rated for single hit use and expire 4 years from the manufacture date?

      • A Fascist Corgi

        No. I’m not sure what the latest generation of light weight Level III plates are made of, but I know that it’s not ceramic, and I know that they can take several hits, and that they don’t expire. I remember reading an article about them on this website about a year ago. Google “RMA Armament” and look up their “SRT” plates. They cost about $300 each and they only weigh 2 pounds.

    • Lobo Rojo

      Most of the people buying these could more than make up for the weight difference by consuming fewer donuts and sugary beverages.

  • BigFED

    Ironic that the news is about a recall on body armor and it is a “Breaking” headline!!!

  • BigFED

    I am sorry! But, I harken to the days when all we had was our shirt and badge!

  • TangledThorns

    Glad I went with Spartan Armor on their ID4 sale this month. Got my plates that week too.

  • Aries144

    I still think it’s criminal that the makers of these plates avoid the subject of 55gr or other fast but extremely common .223 and 5.56 rounds penetrating these kinds of plates by repeating over and over that they ‘meet NIJ lvl III specifications’ and showing videos of the plates being shot at 25 yards or more.

    The NIJ spec sucks and badly needs to be updated because it assumed that 7.62×51 FMJ would be a harder round to stop than 5.56 FMJ. It fails to address differences in capability of different armor materials and specifically fails to test 5.56, which, in some common configurations, is a harder round to stop with some materials.

    • David169

      The reason they shoot at 25 yards is it takes at least that distance for the bullet to stabilize and rotate on its longitudinal axis. Prior to that most bullets are “coning”. When the bullet stabilizes it has its greatest penetration.