New Ballistic Shield: sub-$600

ballistic shield

BulletSafe announced the company was introducing its new Ballistic Shield at the 2017 SHOT Show, and it will have a very affordable price: only $599.

The new shield is 700 square inches in total area and weighs 9.9 pounds. Exact dimensions have not yet been provided, but as an example, the Protech Tactical Intruder is 20″x34″ which amounts to 680 square inches of protection.

BulletSafe’s new Ballistic Shield is NIJ rated as Level IIIA, meaning that it is likely to stop most traditional handgun rounds fired from a handgun including the .44 Magnum.

The shield is fairly basic and straightforward. It does not have any cut outs or gun ports like some shields, nor does it have a view port or lights mounted on the front of it. However, for a shield on a budget, it sounds like this will be a good deal.

BulletSafe focuses on producing good quality products at affordable prices. For example, the company sells a Level IIIA concealable vest for $299 and stand alone Level III ceramic plates for $169 (the same plates offer Level IV protection when used in conjunction with the company’s Level IIIA soft armor.)

The company also introduced a ball cap that has a Level IIA rating that can help protect someone from frontal attacks. See the video on that above.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • Sianmink

    Easy enough to slap a light over the rim.
    I prefer the round center-handle Viking style for home/boat defense though. It’s more maneuverable.

  • AC97

    Does anyone here, as a civilian, own armor? If so, did you lose all of it in a tragic boating accident?

    • derpmaster

      I never really saw the need, but I’m glad that it’s readily available and legal.

    • adverse4

      I think I am bulletproof after a six pack………..never tested that theory tho.

    • Mr. C

      Yep. Tragic.

    • Dougscamo

      Yes….I do….and no…but if you fell in the lake wearing it, it would result in a tragic boating accident….

      • AC97

        There are plates on the market that are buoyant…

        But yeah, most plates will sink like a rock.

        • roguetechie

          I have positive buoyancy plates.

          Though the carrier definitely isn’t

      • Anonymoose

        That’s why they make the MARCIRAS, and other quick-release vests, as well as bullet-resistant floatation vests.

    • roguetechie

      Yup.. I own a bunch of armor.

      Mostly bought specifically to experiment with various gear armor and gun combinations / get a solid feel for exactly makes an armor setup good bad or etc. And start compiling a must have feature and characteristics criteria.

      Partly because I just like this stuff and it fascinates me.

      Partly because I hope to help make gear guns and armor better for the people who depend on it.

      Yes I do also have a minimalist HD carrier already stocked and in easy reach…

      It’s a front closure 3a carrier with standalone lvl 3 dyneema plates and frontal blunt trauma pad first aid gear extra ammunition spare flashlight old cellphone with no Sim but connected to WiFi and can dial out.

      HD carrier has it’s own 50 pound rated armor hanger HD pistol in holster on vest with weapon light…

      I guess I could use an HD AR or etc, but my place is small and not spacious so anything that happens will be over in under 45 seconds and likely occur at less than 10 foot separation.

      Because of that my pistol is a full size 9 with 18 rounds onboard including chambered one and is steel framed.

      I’ve also chosen good defense ammo that’s not a super heavy duty load.

      I did this because distance will be way too short from the start and I want to be able to hammer 6 shots as fast as I possibly can which means recovery period between shots must be QUICK!

      I also practice to be firing the second my gun is in line with something between nuts and neck not stopping until the slide locks the attacker drops or flees or we’re fighting over my gun and I kill them or they kill me.

      I’ve prepared myself for the certainty that should a situation happen in my house there will be no retreat for either them or me. It’s just reality because of the small size and tight space…

      Because I have accepted this reality… I train to be firing early, often and with absolutely zero mercy compassion or even the semblance of fighting fair.

      • Dougscamo

        DAAAAMMMNNN Dude!

        • roguetechie

          6 P’s bro

          Prior planning prevents piss poor performance…

          The first step in any situation is identifying the realities that will affect any potential situation you want to prepare for.

          For me and my situation, this means acknowledgement that I either need to train and prepare myself to engage in instant, merciless, intensely focused, and entirely with the intent that I’m going to do everything I can to kill my attacker before they can even think to surrender, attack, or run…

          If my attacker or even other normal people see this as unsportsmanlike or wrong…

          They should probably attack someone who has the distance room to maneuver or has less of a will to survive than me.

          • Dougscamo

            Do whatcha gotta do….

      • BlueMarlin Blues

        Gecko45?? Is that you??

        • roguetechie

          No lol…

    • The Brigadier

      I have level III saapi plates, but no I have never worn the rig on a boat. That’s like hanging an anchor on your vest.

  • adverse4

    Should be required issue in firearm free zones. The greeter at the door, “here’s your shield”. School districts could set their own standards, of course. Kids having shields could provoke even more violence after all.

  • A Fascist Corgi

    Most people will probably think I’m crazy, but I actually have a bullet proof shield paired up with my primary home defense pistol. That will allow me to take on an armed home invader(s) without having to put on a tactical chest rig (takes too long in my opinion). And the shield protects a lot more of my body.

    • Bill

      I think you’re crazy, but it’s your house.

      • Tim

        My ballistic shield deflected your micro-aggression faster than a tranny in a whiskey bar.

        • Tassiebush

          You’ve just inspired me to make a steel movable safe space box!

        • Bill

          it would have been even faster if your shield had a viewport, high lumen floodlights, red and blue LED flashers and a spare pistol mounted in a holster on the back side because no on has yet mastered reloading while strapped into a shield 😉

          I used to hav e ballistic shield in my house – it was an upright piano.

          • Jimmy D

            That’s why the cool guys use revolvers with shields; they’re apparently easier to reload with zero free hands.

      • The Brigadier

        Most people who hear a strange noise at night simply grab either a handgun or a shotgun and go investigating in their underwear. Having a ballistic shield near your gun actually makes a lot of sense. This one weighs nine pounds. I wonder how much a titanium plate without the ceramic would weigh in the same size?

        • Bill

          I tend to disagree. Shields are physically difficult to maneuver around without being in great condition and a lot of practice. It also takes a lot of practice to accurately shoot from behind one. The typical person would be better off pre-identifying points of cover they could use if they decide to go exploring.

          Shields aren’t meant for single users. They frequently protect part of the stack behind them, and sort of serve as bullet magnets. Bad guys focus on them, and often disregard the other troops.

          I’ve worked with shields enough to know that I don’t have the skill to use one effectively.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Actually, I get it.

    • ??
      • Bill

        but his GI tract and head is exposed….

      • iksnilol

        Needs to wear a brown shirt.

      • A Fascist Corgi

        I’m the final boss for home invaders.

  • Bill

    Sounds like fun, until you actually have to use it. I’d suggest a dry run through your house while carrying a flat-screen TV in one hand and your unloaded pistol in the other.

    • Risky

      Just stick with the flat screen. Run an extension cord so it can light up the rooms as you go. For an added bonus netflix up some anime for some tactical strobing. Maybe DVR The View as a less lethal deterrent.

  • TDog

    Shields are a good idea if only because they’re a bit more flexible in what they can protect. A vest, for example, won’t protect your legs… well, unless you wear your vest really funny.

    But seriously, a shield in my opinion is not a bad option.

  • Phaedrus

    That’s actually a pretty crappy deal price wise for armor that’s only rated IIIA. Cumbersome and heavy, too.

    • Ebby123

      I don’t know that anyone actually makes a man-portable shield with ratings higher than IIIA.

      The weight would be enormous. Imagine a ESAPI plate that was shield sized – it’d have to weight close to 45lbs!

      • The Brigadier

        I’d like to see one made from titanium or molecular polyethylene. Titanium plates are enormously strong, but beaucoup expensive.

    • As a law enforcement officer all of our shields are only rated for handgun and shotgun rounds. The weight to go rifle-grade is prohibitive to carry, and more for a mobile platform (with its own limitations). We do use rifle-graded plates in our “heavy” body armor however.

      The 9.9 lbs. is nothing to scoff at, but it is still very much in the range of weights among shields of this type. In fact, this shield is larger than several shields we currently use, and slightly lighter! When we run a shield operator, it goes without saying that a replacement shield operator will be called upon in 5-10 minutes depending on the mission and physical activity required during that time.

      • Phaedrus

        I’m sure you guys are right. I can’t imagine what use I’d have for something like this that just stops low vel rounds but I imagine in corrects or LE there would be applications. For the price this doesn’t seem to do anything you couldn’t do cheaper but I suppose it depends on lots of factors.

  • Anonymoose

    This hat has to be a joke…

    • Dougscamo

      Kinda raises a@shat to a new level….

  • Don Ward

    If I’m dropping that sort of green on a bullet proof shield, it had better look like Captain America’s.

  • 40mmCattleDog

    I certainly wouldn’t clear my house with it but I can see some potential with this for your wife or kids or weaker members of the family. Our plan if I am out of the house and a home invasion happens is currently for her to get the kid and basically barricade themselves inside our bedroom with her having her weapon trained on the doorway behind cover until the police arrive. I can see this having some benefits for someone who is planning on holding one position until help arrives.

    • Bill

      We tend to select the no-neck body builder deputies to be shield drivers, cause 9 pounds get real heavy, real quick. And there is a learning curve to maneuvering them through spaces: trying to get a normal size shield through hallway of a single-wide mobile home meth lab is not easy.

      In your case I might recommend hardening a room door or using a flexible shield. Odds are there is sufficient cover in your bedroom anyway, in the form of heavy furniture.

  • RealitiCzech
    You need a Kyrgyzstani instructor to show you how to use it properly, though.

    • Ebby123

      I’m so intrigued now. Where did this photo come from?

      • RealitiCzech

        Kyrgyzstan, during the 2010 revolution. RPG-26 and riot shield that doesn’t really look like it’s ballistic rated. It’s always intrigued me.

    • AzureRaptor


  • 22winmag

    I wonder if Liberty Civil Defense handgun ammo at 2,000+ fps will blow through it like it does most other armor. Velocity kills!

  • Edeco

    If it stopped up to 308 I’d be craving it.

    I wish there were armor with pemanent upper sleeves, neck and a bottom below the crotch. I know these are available as add-ons but then you have a seam, a hit there isn’t going to be spread out as much, and added bulk. To be clear I probably wouldn’t be willing to pay for it, esp. now that a ban is unlikely for a while. But it’d be neat to have major artery protection, and also not just to have would-be fatal hits stopped but the major-hospitalizers as well.

    • Anonymous

      The batshield is pretty close to that, but unfortunately crazy expensive and not exactly readily available… $2-3k for a shield is pricey. $600 for a IIIA shield is a bit high, IMO. I paid $500 for a cool smaller III rated shield, although that’s not a normal price. The key in all of it is knowing just what you want to do with it, and how to make it effective for your body type, weapon, and use. And remember that odds are high that a semiautomatic may stovepipe while using a shield…

    • The Brigadier

      The Marines have what you are describing, but the weight is a whopping 36 pounds. The Marines are rebelling over this as it severely slows their mobility.

  • The Brigadier

    What is he wearing leather armor? I guess if you need to stop rocks.