Are Ar500 Plates Good?

Are Ar500 Plates Good?

As a premier retailer of tactical gear and body armor, PivotalBodyArmor offers a wide selection of high-quality armor plates to suit various needs. One common question we hear is, "Are AR500 plates good?" In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of AR500 steel plates and compare them to other popular options, helping you make an informed decision when choosing body armor.

What are AR500 Plates?

AR500 plates are made from hardened steel and are designed to provide protection against ballistic threats. These plates are known for their durability and affordability, making them a popular choice among tactical gear enthusiasts, law enforcement, and military personnel.

Key features of AR500 plates include:

  • High durability and multi-hit capability
  • Affordable compared to other armor plate options
  • Tested to meet NIJ Level III standards

At PivotalBodyArmor, we offer a range of AR500 Armor plates and inserts to meet your needs. Our selection includes single-curve and multi-curve plates, as well as side plates for added protection.

Pros and Cons of AR500 Plates

While AR500 plates offer several benefits, it's essential to consider both the advantages and disadvantages before making a purchase.


  1. Affordability: AR500 plates are generally more affordable than ceramic or polyethylene plates, making them accessible to a wider range of customers.
  2. Durability: Steel plates are known for their toughness and ability to withstand multiple hits without compromising structural integrity.
  3. Weight: AR500 plates are typically lighter than ceramic plates, making them more comfortable for extended wear.


  1. Spalling: When struck by a bullet, AR500 plates can produce metal fragments called spall, potentially causing injury to the wearer or those nearby. Anti-spall coatings can mitigate this risk.
  2. Ricochet: Bullets can ricochet off the hard surface of steel plates, posing a danger to the wearer or bystanders.
  3. Comfort: Steel plates may be less comfortable than other options due to their rigidity and lack of contouring to the body.

Comparing AR500 Plates to Other Armor Plate Options

To determine whether AR500 plates are the right choice for you, it's helpful to compare them to other popular armor plate materials:

Material Pros Cons
AR500 Steel Affordable, durable, multi-hit capability Spalling, ricochets, comfort issues
Ceramic Lightweight, high level of protection Expensive, single-hit capability
Polyethylene Lightweight, thin, flexible Expensive, lower protection levels

When choosing between armor plate materials, consider your specific needs and budget. PivotalBodyArmor offers a diverse selection of soft body armor and plate carriers to accommodate various plate types.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Armor Plates

In addition to material, there are several other factors to keep in mind when selecting armor plates:

  1. Threat Level: Ensure the plates you choose are rated to protect against the threats you're likely to face. NIJ ratings range from Level IIA to Level IV.
  2. Plate Cut: Consider the shape and coverage of the plates, such as single-curve, multi-curve, or side plates.
  3. Weight and Thickness: Lighter, thinner plates may be more comfortable but offer less protection than heavier, thicker options.
  4. Plate Carrier Compatibility: Make sure the plates you choose are compatible with your plate carrier.

PivotalBodyArmor carries a wide range of Tactical Scorpion Gear soft body armor and plate carriers designed to work with various plate types and sizes.

Frequently Asked Questions About AR500 Plates

  1. Q: How long do AR500 plates last? A: With proper care and maintenance, AR500 plates can last for many years. However, it's essential to inspect your plates regularly for damage and replace them as needed.

  2. Q: Can AR500 plates stop rifle rounds? A: AR500 plates rated at NIJ Level III or higher can stop most rifle rounds, including 7.62x51mm NATO rounds. However, they may not be effective against armor-piercing rounds.

  3. Q: Are AR500 plates legal? A: In most states, owning and wearing AR500 plates is legal. However, some jurisdictions may have restrictions on body armor possession. Always check your local laws before purchasing or wearing armor plates.


AR500 plates offer a combination of affordability, durability, and protection, making them a popular choice for many tactical gear enthusiasts and professionals. However, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons and consider your specific needs when deciding if AR500 plates are the right choice for you.

At PivotalBodyArmor, we are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality body armor and tactical gear at competitive prices. Browse our selection of AR500 plates, plate carriers, and other essential equipment to find the perfect setup for your needs.

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