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Put the Odds in YOUR favor



Rifle Plates / SAPI OVERVIEW

Front & Back Plates

Ballistics 100% Made in the USA
Note:  Export of Level IV Rifle Plates from the U.S. usually requires an export permit
(Level III plates can often be exported without an export permit.)

Ceramic Rifle Plates are Not Returnable


For rifle threats you need Level III or Level IV Rifle Plates / SAPIs

Soft Body Armor vests are excellent for fragmentation and pistol protection but will NOT stop rifle bullets. (Even Level III-A is only tested to stop pistol-caliber threats such as 9mm SUB-machine-gun or .44 Magnum.)

Plates, also described as Small Arms Protective Inserts or SAPI, are best deployed in Rifle Plate Pockets on the outershell carrier of Tactical Vests or, more discreetly, in our ProMAX Concealable with Rifle Plate Pockets.   Stand-Alone Rifle Plates may also be used – as appropriate for the threat – with a Plate Carrier with no soft armor supporting.

Why You Want BulletProofME to Ship Your Ceramic Plates

ANY Ceramic Rifle Plate can be damaged if abused - especially if dropped on its' corner. They are not delicate, like fine tea china, but, on the other hand, FedEx and UPS are notorious for being rough with packages.

So, every Ceramic Plate we ship FedEx or UPS is bubble-wrapped, and then DOUBLE-boxed with lots of padding to survive rough handling. We overpack, so that it would take a lot of obvious abuse to do any damage.

We stake our reputation of over ten years on doing it right.  Don't buy a plate that just gets thrown in a box and shipped out.

Rifle Plates Options

Stopping a rifle bullet is not an easy thing to do!  There is no perfect material - so all options have tradeoffs...

  • Ceramic is most popular as it gives you Level IV protection at a reasonable weight - but it can't be banged around as much as other materials for long-term durability.

  • Polyethylene is Ultra-lightweight - but expensive and not rated to stop Armor Piercing threats (and can be damaged in heat over 150 °F / 65 ° Celsius)

  • Steel is inexpensive and extremely durable - but a much higher risk of bullet ricochet, and only Level III protection - not Level IV for AP threats.

We also have more expensive, specialized Rifle Plates options not listed - let us know if you have specific requirements.

Call us, we are always happy to advise!

What Size Rifle Plate Should I Get?

Type of Plate

Click a link below to jump to the page for each specific type of Rifle Plate

Ballistic Protection Level



Plate Sizes Available

NOTE: Rifle Plates sizes quoted, industry-wide, are always approximate - see detailed specs for exact coverage


for a 10" by 12" or Medium Size Front Plate



Per Plate


Level IV

(No supporting vest needed)

0.7" - 1.0"
•  8" by 10"
•  10" by 12"
•  Small SAPI
   8.75 by 11.75"
•  Medium SAPI
   9.5 X 12.5"
•  Large SAPI
   10.25" X 13.25"
   11" X 14"
8.1 lbs.
$ 159


$ 270
& up

"In Conjunction With a Level III-A Vest"

Level IV with a Level III-A Vest Supporting


Level III with a Level III-A Vest Supporting


6 lbs.

$ 200
& up
Ultra-light SAPI

SAPI Mil-Spec

with III-A or Interceptor vest Supporting

Stops the common rifle threats, but not .30 cal. AP

•  Medium SAPI
   9.5 X 12.5"
•  Large SAPI
   10.25" X 13.25"
   11" X 14"

4.05 lb.

in Medium

$ 400
& up



In Conjunction with a Level III-A Vest

E-SAPI Mil-Spec

with III-A or Interceptor vest Supporting

Performance, very similar to the NIJ Level IV test, but just a little bit tougher.

•  Small SAPI
   8.75 by 11.75"
•  Medium SAPI
   9.5 X 12.5"
•  Large SAPI
   10.25" X 13.25"
   11" X 14"

$ 470
& up


Ultra-light Level III PLUS - 3810

Ultra-light Level III PLUS - 3611C

Level III + in a 3.9 lb.


  • 10" by 12"
  • 8" by 10"
  • Small to XL SAPI
3.9 lb.
$ 499
& up
Ultra-light Level III PLUS

Level III + in a 4.3 lb.

Single Curved

  • 10" by 12"
  • 8" by 10"
4.3 lb.
$ 299
and up

Compliant with NIJ 0101.05

Multi-curved SAPI

  • Medium SAPI size ONLY
5.2 lb.
$ 329
Ultra-light Polyethylene Level III

Stops common assault rifle ammunition
- but NOT .30 AP rounds
NOT rated to stop the semi-armor-piercing .223 (5.56mm) round (SS-109 / M-855) with the steel pin core, or .30 caliber AP rounds

Made in the USA


Level III Stand-Alone
  • AK-47
  • M-193
  • .308 FMJ
3.2 - 3.5 lbs.
$ 219
& up

In Conjunction with a Level III-A Vest

Level III
with a III-A vest Supporting
  • AK-47
  • M-193
  • .308 FMJ
2.9 - 3.2 lb.
$ 290
& up
Rifle Plate Carriers Non-ballistic
SIDE Rifle Plates See Side Rifle Plates
Rifle Plates Backers

Level III-A

To wear "in conjunction with vest" Plates without a vest

E.g., 10" by 13"
1.3 lbs.
$ 95
& up

When comparing weights...
...please be aware that we quote ACTUAL weights – we do NOT play the artificial "weight loss" games you may encounter elsewhere. Ask to have the armor you are going to buy weighed ready to wear.

Rifle Protection Levels

National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Police Ratings
Tested to stop 6 rounds of .308 Winchester Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) = NATO 7.62 X 51 mm, and, of course it can easily handle lesser threats, such as AK-47 / Kalashnikov 7.62 X 39 mm Full Metal Jacket (FMJ).

Tested to stop ONE round of .3006 Armor-Piercing (AP) at 868 mps and lesser threats.  Though just tested for one hit of .3006 AP, will also stop multiple hits of lesser threats such as:

            • .308 FMJ
            • AK-47
            • M-16 - M855 or SS-109, etc.

Military - U.S. Mil-Spec


Mil- Spec

The original SAPI, or Small Arms Protective Insert, requires survivability of 3 hits total - with an Interceptor vest supporting - from:

Typical Weapon
7.62 X 39mm

Armor Piercing Incendiary

5.56 x 45mm
aka Green Tip .223 or SS-109
7.62 × 54mm Russian Light Penetrating Steel (R LPS) Dragunov Sniper Rifle



Similar to NIJ Level IV

The E-SAPI test is very similar to the NIJ Level IV test, but just a little bit tougher. The mil-spec calls for the plate - with an Interceptor vest supporting - to stop one round of .3006 AP, just like Level IV.

But it must also stop a second round, 60% of the time (not 100% of the time - too much of a weight penalty).

Rifle Plates Testing Photo Gallery
Rifle Plates Testing PHOTOS

We have many lab tests and NIJ certifications, but – just to see with our own eyes – we put rounds closely spaced into one Rifle Plate at ~25 yards (~23 m)...


Which Rifle Plate to Get?

Call us, we are always happy to consult with you!

1. Weight vs. Protection Level

Many folks get Level IV protection to stop the hardened steel core .3006 AP threat - but know that you will be carrying 12.5 to 17 lbs. of weight with plates Front & Back!  Add side Rifle Plates, plus ammo and other gear, and the pounds add up fast. Look at your total package weight vs. your physical condition, and how far you need to carry it.

Generally in war zones we typically recommend Level IV - but if you can't move as far, or as fast as you need to, - go lighter...  And if you are not exposed to Armor Piercing threats, consider lighter weight Level III PLUS plates

What can you afford?
Steel is the cheapest Level III protection - but not recommended unless you are on a very tight budget, due to the much higher risk of bullet splatter and ricochet (even with added spall protection). We offer our Standard Level IV Stand-Alone plate as a very affordable Ceramic Rifle Plate - just over $ 300 for a pair Front & Back.

3. Stand-Alone vs. "In Conjunction with a Vest" Rifle Plates

Stand-Alone plates are slightly heavier, and thicker than the corresponding size of the "in conjunction" plate. But the advantage is you don't have to carry the weight or thickness of Level III-A armor. If you need full Level IV protection even when you are not wearing Level III-A soft armor, go Stand-Alone. Stand-Alone plates with a Plate Carrier offer maximum freedom of movement and ventilation (at the expense of less of your body being covered vs. a Level III-A vest).

“In conjunction” plates are Level IV with a Level III-A vest supporting. This allows the plate to be slightly thinner, and a bit lighter. The tradeoff is that you must have Level III-A armor behind the plate to get the full Level IV protection. If you are always going to wear your plates with a Level III-A vest - go ahead and save the weight with an "in conjunction" plate. You will also have the benefit of the extra Level III-A vest coverage area.

What size and shape are your Rifle Plate Pockets?

SIZE  It's your responsibility to get the right size plate for your Plate Carrier. You might be able to put a smaller plate in a bigger pocket - but too big a plate will absolutely not work

SHAPE  You usually want shooters cut plates on the front for ergonomics, and, ideally, rectangular Rifle Plates on the back for more coverage to protect your shoulder blades. But some rear Rifle Plate Pockets are cut to only accept shooters cut, or SAPI cut plates. (If your Rifle Plate Pockets load from the top, this is not an issue.)

What Size Rifle Plate Should I Get?

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