Steel Armor Shenanigans From AR500Armor.com

AR500Armor.com screenshot

A screenshot from the video where AR500Armor claims their plate stops 5.56mm armor piercing ammo.

It’s natural for a manufacturer to want to portray their product in the best possible light. But when the capabilities of your product are technical in nature, it can be tempting to advertise in such a way that less informed consumers might get the wrong idea. AR500Armor makes some very tough steel armor at a reasonable price. Their product is quite solid, really. But their enthusiastic marketing has moved into an area that is frankly misleading. They recently posted a video to their Facebook page that features their level III+ plate being hit by 5.56mm “API”. So far as I am aware, there has never been any “real” armor piercing incendiary 5.56mm issued by any military. When I asked them what the nomenclature of the ammunition was, they deleted my post and blocked me from further comment. When several other users pressed them, they eventually admitted that it was actually a commercial offering. You might fairly inquire “So what?”. Why would it matter? Because the velocity recorded in their test was only 2,700 fps and the manufacturer of the ammo says that the penetrator is just “an M855 style penetrator”. M855 is easily stopped by all level III steel armor at substantially higher velocity than that seen in this test so the ammunition cannot be considered to be armor piercing either by military designation or by any stretch of the imagination. It is quite literally just a label applied by the ammo maker.  AR500Armor’s III+ plate actually is a very tough plate and has been shown in independent testing to stop actual armor piercing bullets from a 7.62x51mm rifle. Real AP ammo in 5.56mm would have no trouble defeating this plate, though. M995 would slice through like butter. M995 is rare as unicorn farts so it is unlikely that we will see any testing of it, but even the Army’s standard 5.56mm ball cut through their III+ plate so it’s likely that true 5.56mm AP would get through.  To be clear, AR500Armor hasn’t technically lied and they really do make a solid product, but this video seems to be intended to imply to viewers that their level III+ plate is able to stop all 5.56mm ammunition or even that it is able to stop armor piercing 5.56mm. That is most definitely not the case, which is unfortunate, because their III+ plate is otherwise a great plate.





Andrew

Andrew is a combat veteran of OEF and has performed hundreds of ballistic tests for his YouTube channel, The Chopping Block (https://www.youtube.com/user/chopinbloc). He is an avid firearm collector and competitor and lives with his family in Arizona. If you have any questions, you may email him at choppingblocktests@gmail.com


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  • DwnRange

    YMMV, but if won’t stop M2AP 30-06 rounds, I ain’t interested.

    • Chop Block

      A lot of bangers with M1 Garands in your AO?

      • DwnRange

        Cyclone 9mm MP5 rounds killed the Feds at the Branch Davidian compound and they didn’t come from the Davidians – from what I hear if it’ll stop a M2AP it’ll protect against those.
        (This according to the “original” autopsy reports of the former Klinton body
        guards that died during the raid there – which has has been “scrubbed
        since then and changed to 9mm Hydro-Shoks”, as the Feds tried to cover
        up their use, even though “they” were wearing body armor, as it would be
        hard to say the raid was to protect children only to be found later they
        actually did use Cyclone rounds – less the truth be known – much like
        the meth lab reports to gain the use of JTF-6 and the strafing of the
        compound from helicopters in the course of the initial raid something
        they un-successfully tried to scrub up too)

        ; ) – it’s always best to be prepared for the real enemy IMHO and the “F” troop boys are always a big one, bangers are low on the totem pole and more likely to kill each or innocents than armed civilians as they are cowards for the most part, again IMHO.

        • Can you cite any credible sources for your assertion that the BATF used 9mm cyclone rounds in the Waco (or any other) raid? The best I have ever been able to find is a SOF article that cited a single, anonymous ATF agent.

          • DwnRange

            I did that above – the “original” autopsy report??

            One might also take into account the fact that the former body guards that died there were, (as I noted above) “wearing body armor”, which standard 9mm Hydro-Shoks won’t penetrate.

          • I read your assertions. I am asking for credible citations that support your assertions. Examples: original documentation, named sources, sworn testimony, audio and video recordings.

            Like I said, I’ve heard these kinds of assertions before. So far, no one can produce any credible evidence to back it up.

          • DwnRange

            Try the “Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum”, but as to the “original” autopsy reports for the 4 slain Feds you are out of luck finding those online in 2017 (or ask your bosses they can more than likely get ya a copy). Since PhotoBucket no longer allows 3rd party posting even if I go dig up my copies, I have no way to post them here. You can however see autopsy photos of Koresh and other Davidians there and read about the left shoulder wounds he suffered at the hands of agent Willis who shot him with a suppressed MP5 and killed the 8 year old girl held in his left arm, (while foolishly thinking he was going to stop or alter the Feds planned raid on his misguided followers) upon exiting the truck, out of sight of the media footage; hidden behind the horse/cattle trailer, all planned in advance by the Feds –

            You are sorely late to this party here; for the vast majority of the FACTS, as I noted above, have been scrubbed, as any perusal of the F troop’s website states on this subject will show.

            You will find however find the facts there that, 3 of the 4 were killed by shots to head and the 4th a shot to the aorta (which penetrated his body armor and were all claimed to be perpetrated by a “professional” according to the coroner, done by folks with military training). I could also list a few books documenting said issues, but you are not interested in the truth here, but simply wanting to call BS on what I know and stated above, because I actually investigated, read and followed this story as it happened – up to and including the trial in which the surviving Davidians were sentenced to 40 years each by 1 charge that carried a 5 year max penalty and had been summarily dismissed before the actual trial ever started. A charge that the foreman of the jury said was never introduced at the trial and that even “if” it had been they STILL would have found them NOT-Guilty of that too along with all the other charges which they were found not-guilty of. The corruption, lies and evidence presented was wholly bogus by the government prosecutor and the jury was PO’d big time and they claimed the judge was bought off by the Feds, (he was Texas Federal District court judge Walter S. Smith Jr.) It was a rigged kangaroo court trial as anyone that followed it can attest to, especially those setting on the jury, (done to shut them up) not unlike the trials of Randy Weaver and Timothy McVee, but very few care or give a damn about that now and only a very few really want to know the truth, those that did well they did what I did in back in 1993, they followed the evidence in real time and were not swayed by the media coverage.

            As to the SOF coverage and validity, I’ll take R.K. Brown’s word over anyone in government and his sources on the inside are and were, back then, impeccable both at Waco and OKC.

            Do your own research, don’t take my word for it.

          • So, there is no documentation you wish to present or point to that would back up your claim that the BATF used 9mm cyclone rounds? 9mm rounds that you claim would penetrate hard body armor at levels near that of .30-06 AP rounds? Because that’s what I’m asking about.

          • DwnRange

            There was no AR 500 in 1993, as clearly stated above by Chop Block and I never stated that Cyclone rounds would penetrate AR 500. (why would you think I did?) I merely stated originally that “if it wasn’t IV AR 500 I wasn’t interested”. If I’m upgrading my old Spectra Shield IIIA soft body armor w/ mini ceramic plate, I want something that’ll stop M2AP as I suspect it’ll stop pretty near any new sub-gun AP bullet product the guberment boys got in 2017.

            In 1993, the “F” troop at Waco used soft body armor and that OLD soft body armor, made of Kevlar, could be penetrated by use of 9mm Cyclone MP5 rounds from what I was told back in the Waco time-frame.

            The last time Kevlar was updated was in ’96 w/ Kevlar Protera IIRC, the Spectra Shield, Goldflex and Dragon Skin products all came along later in early 2000s, well before the advent of AR500 plates, IIRC.

          • Chop Block

            You are very confused. You said “if won’t stop M2AP 30-06 rounds, I ain’t interested.” Then when asked why you would say that, you started spouting off with your conspiracy theories and 9mm AP ammo. There’s a reason people don’t take folks like you seriously.

          • Chop Block

            There’s a lot of derp going on here. Aside from any conspiritard nonsense, 9mm AP ammo almost certainly wouldn’t perforate a level III+ steel plate like the one in this test. There’s a lot of ground between whatever soft armor the BATF agents were wearing at Waco and level IV.

        • Big Daddy

          I read about the cyclone rounds and many others. It seems the ideas and information was already out there for the M855A1 and M80A1 rounds.

          I do agree with you about thugs and the government.

          I wonder what was going on in Waco that the government had to do that? Was that just to take out one former BG of the Klintons? Man everything smells like rotten fish.

          • DwnRange

            My guess…….. the “Patriot Act” which was dusted off 1 year later mere days after the OKC bombing……… (apparently the one-worlder puppet-masters pulling WH strings wanted it much sooner than they actually got it, but back then we still had a few congress persons and senators with testicles that killed it – until GWB and 911)

          • SP mclaughlin

            Rest easy; the US government has never actually defeated an insurgency (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) etc so they’re probably not gonna start one at home.

    • SP mclaughlin

      Worried about getting shot at by a ceremonial drill team?

      • Ken

        No, but he might have to charge an M1919 emplacement that has M2AP.

  • Gotta love marketing sometimes. In their defense at least they gave us the velocity. 😀

  • Dougscamo

    “When I asked them what the nomenclature of the ammunition was, they deleted my post and blocked me from further comment,”….obviously they just don’t like you, Andrew….and I got your name right this time! 🙂

    • Chop Block

      Lol

    • ProudAmerican

      “When I asked them …, they deleted my post and blocked me from further comment….”

      That never happens here, right?

      • Chop Block

        I certainly don’t. Comments do get filtered by Disqus. I’ve seen a lot of rude and incorrect comments towards other commenters and authors allowed to stay. If you’re getting your comments removed, it’s probably either some crap caused by Disqus or you’re being extra abusive.

        • Archer

          Could that explain why the YouTube links I try to poste don’t work anymore?

          • Chop Block

            Many bots block links.

        • ProudAmerican

          At the risk of repeating myself… As if dissent from the groupthink is welcome here?

          • Chop Block

            If you want people to pay you on the back for saying dumb things like “birdshot is great for HD” that’s not going to happen. But no, comments aren’t deleted just because you post a wrong opinion.

          • ProudAmerican

            When it comes to matters that touch on politics, especially police and military matters, departing from the groupthink invites being banned. “Politics” are overlooked as long as there is assent to the groupthink. and this is the LAST comment I have on this issue.

          • Suppressed

            Around 2 years ago, my old username got banned because I had the audacity to respectfully point out some scientific flaws in the official 9/11 narrative, in a post that had nothing to do with guns and was all about 9/11. In my eyes Phil will be forever garbage because of that.

      • Dougscamo

        Never happened to me….maybe they just don’t like you?

        • Chop Block

          I’ve had a couple of my comments disappear into the Disqus hole. Sometimes seems to be caused by a technical problem, not the content of the post.

          • Dougscamo

            The only one that I ever had “held for moderation” and not published was about liking all brands of firearms and called myself a “gun wh#re”….guess they didn’t like that phrase….

        • ProudAmerican

          As if dissent from the groupthink is welcome here???

          • Dougscamo

            If most of what I see is assent (groupthink), I wouldn’t want to see dissent…huge amount of disagreement here….

          • ProudAmerican

            Not so when it comes to matters that touch on politics, specially police and military matters.

    • ActionPhysicalMan

      No, he finally had the transition surgery and really is Patrick now.

  • Archer

    They should test it against a 9mm AP with tungsten carbide core.

    • Ken

      Still pretty slow as far as ammo goes. Russian 7N31 AP 9mm runs at nearly 2k FPS and will defeat 8mm of mild steel, but no idea how much hardened steel plate is needed to stop it.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    “Hows it do with 10x24mm caseless?”

    – Alien, asking for a friend

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    • Secundius

      I don’t think the M309 10×24 CLS was excepted by the Colonial Marines before 2179, approximately 162-years from now…

  • Risky

    The pictured ammo from the commercial vendor looks different than in the AR500 picture. Did they really paint the bullets black just to make them look more like real API?

    • Sianmink

      That looks for all the world like Winchester 55gr .223 Silvertip except that it’s in a brass case instead of plated.

  • ActionPhysicalMan

    It’s very disturbing that they deleted your comment and blacklisted you. That sort of behavior along with marketing that soft armor as being constructed of carbon nano-tubes a few years ago ensures that I will neither buy anything from them or even just have a beer with them. They lie.
    Thanks for pointing out the last nail in their credibility’s coffin for me.

    • Ebby123

      Most firearms manufacturers do this.
      Its easy to be an heckler on the internet and make a company look bad. (That’s probably not what happened here, but that’s why companies respond that way).

      Its time consuming and expensive to debate a customer on the internet and not look like an ‘evil corporation persecuting the little guy’.

      Basically, because the gun owners community has a lot of crotchety old *ssholes in it, running a gun company is a nightmare. We’re like Sports fans with no home team – we just hate everyone.

      • Chop Block

        If you start off by not lying or misleading your customers you don’t have to spend as much time defending yourself. Your customers will do it for you. Still a douche move to shut people down for legitimate questions.

        • Ebby123

          Oh I agree, I’m just explaining why this is common practice.
          Once its common practice, it usually gets abused when a mod or PR manager gets frustrated or just doesn’t want to deal with something… slippery slope and all that.

      • ActionPhysicalMan

        I am indeed a crotchety old a$$hole, but in this instance I have more reason than usual:-)

        • Ebby123

          Lol. Not you specifically – but on average our community has an overabundance of entitled old grumps, who are just kind of miserable people when you really get down to it.

          • Dougscamo

            GET OFF MY LAWN!….. 🙂

          • BraveNewWhirled

            What to do when a crotchety, entitled old grump pulls a U-turn on your lawn? I just didn’t have a good comeback.

  • Tommy

    Good callout

  • TangledThorns

    Makes me kinda glad I got my plates from Spartan Armor instead. AR500 seemed kinda shady.

  • int19h

    Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter how good their product is, if this is their attitude towards customers asking questions about them.

  • int19h

    So the load is basically M855 bullet with incendiary compound added. And they refer to that as “armor piercing”. I hope ATF doesn’t pay too much notice, because they could try to use this as a justification to reclassify it as armor piercing under law (thereby banning imports) – “see, even the armor manufacturers recognize that it’s AP!”…

  • Bon

    TFB says standard military ball cuts through their armor? What standard are we talking about? The 77gr? Because I thought the newer ar500 stops 55gr as long as its inside 3200fps?

  • Cymond

    “they deleted my post and blocked me from further comment.”
    Yeah, that sucks. I’m adding them to a list of companies not to deal with.
    I had a similar experience when I dared to question a company’s Cyber Monday sale last year. The dude chewed me out in a PM, too, just because I said I was disappointed I had missed their 20% Black Friday sale, and Cyber Monday was only 10%.

  • mazkact

    Chotchkie’s , where all employees wear at least fifteen pieces of flair.

  • RealitiCzech

    They should sell plates with a reverse curve, and claim that it will throw bullets back at the enemy.

  • Kevin Gross

    I’ve sent some M995/AP3 and some AP4 to Chopping Block to test on level 4, but I’ve been told it won’t penetrate that. We will soon see!