Body armor is used in scenarios all across the board where an individual is in danger from gun fire. Contrary to some common beliefs this is not limited to law enforcement and military. Civilian ownership of body armor has skyrocketed, especially in the past five years.

Selecting the right body armor is an important personal decision, and should be informed based on why you need body armor and the threats you are likely to encounter. In this guide, we will explore SRT & SRT+ body armor, designed to address special rifle threats not traditionally tested and certified by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

Is SRT & SRT+ Body Armor NIJ Certified?

No, SRT & SRT+ body armor is not NIJ certified. However, it’s created to serve as a viable alternative to other levels of NIJ certified body armor such as Level 3 body armor and Level 4 body armor. It’s specifically engineered to withstand “special rifle threats” and is manufactured with woven Polyethylene – an advanced material with high protective properties.

UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene)

SRT+ Light Weight Body Armor - Tacticon Armament
Tacticon SRT+ Light Weight Body Armor

UHMWPE presents an appealing alternative due to its lightweight nature and easy concealability. The body armor plates crafted from this material can be inserted into plate carriers, used for backpack armor, and other tactical gear. Some plates also have a layer of ceramic added to them to counter even more threats like the SRT+ multicurve armor plate from Tacticon. 

SRT & SRT+ Vs. Traditional Threat Level Body Armor

SRT & SRT+ body armor resides within a unique niche of protection. It’s an option to consider when the typical threat levels of NIJ certified Level III or Level III+ body armor does not align perfectly with your personal or professional needs.

Pros of SRT & SRT+ vs. Other Levels

SRT & SRT+ armor is lightweight body armor that is thinner, and versatile, making it a suitable choice for those seeking mobility and comfort along with protection. The draw of SRT and SRT+ armor is that it is lighter than traditional Level III and Level IV plates, and often less expensive. 

Another draw is they are primarily designed to stop 5.56 and 7.62×39 rounds. Level III is not tested against 5.56, and certain rounds are capable of defeating Level III armor. SRT and SRT+ plates address this problem because the design focuses on these calibers specifically. 

Cons of SRT & SRT+ vs. Other Levels

However, SRT & SRT+ armor does not offer protection against certain other threat levels. Namely, 7.62×51 which is the NIJ test rounds for Level III, produces back face deformation greater than the 44mm allowed to pass an NIJ test for Level III in the case of our plates. Other SRT plates on the market can actually be penetrated by 7.62×51. 

Tacticon Tested SRT+ Body Armor Strikeface
Tacticon Tested SRT+ Body Armor Strikeface

What Does SRT & SRT+ Body Armor Protect Against?

SRT & SRT+ body armor is specifically developed to resist “Intermediate caliber” rifle rounds. The SRT plate can withstand multiple shots from either the M193 or 7.62×39, demonstrating its high defensive capabilities against these particular threats. The SRT+ plate can also withstand M855 ‘Green Tip.’

Select the Right SRT & SRT+ Plates and Gear For You

Think about the scenarios you might find yourself in that require body armor. If you anticipate facing AR15s or AK47s then SRT & SRT+ may be the right choice for you. Consider tactical backpacks, backpack plate inserts, vests, and side armor plates equipped with SRT & SRT+ armor to ensure your safety. 

SRT & SRT+ Frequently Asked Questions

What is a rifle plate? 

A rifle plate is a type of body armor plate that is designed to withstand bullets fired from rifles. These plates can be made from various materials, including ceramics, steel, and UHMWPE. The plates are inserted into a carrier, such as a vest or backpack, to protect the wearer.

What are SRT plates? 

SRT plates are an abbreviation for Special Rifle Threat plates. These are body armor plates designed specifically to provide protection against particular types of “Intermediate caliber” rifle ammunition like 5.56 and 7.62×39. These plates are typically constructed from Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE), a lightweight yet robust material. While they are not NIJ certified, these plates can offer significant protection in scenarios where the user may encounter these particular threats.

Why is it called SRT? 

SRT stands for “Special Rifle Threat.” It is called this because these body armor plates are crafted to protect against specific rifle threats that aren’t tested for in traditional NIJ certified body armor.

Does body armor expire? 

Yes, body armor does have a lifespan and can expire. While UHMWPE (the material commonly used for SRT & SRT+ plates) is durable, over time, it can degrade, especially under harsh conditions. The manufacturer will generally provide an expiration date, typically around 5 years, but this can vary depending on the specific product and its usage conditions.

Will body armor stop a rifle round? 

Yes, there are two NIJ rated rifle plates, currently Level III and Level IV. However, special threat plates are designed to address calibers not tested by the NIJ for these levels. The NIJ rates body armor against specific caliber threats. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right body armor is a personal decision that should be guided by a thorough evaluation of your unique safety needs and potential threats. While SRT & SRT+ body armor is not NIJ certified, it offers a specialized level of protection against the most common rifle threats. If you’re looking for reliable SRT (Special Rifle Threat) Plate Bundles to enhance your protection, consider the benefits and limitations of this gear. When making your decision, remember to consider the benefits and limitations of this gear. Prioritize your personal safety and make informed decisions that will ensure your protection in the face of danger.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Tacticon Armament.