Armored Mobility Inc.
Ballistic armor has become a subculture in the tactical community that most of us know nothing about. But it is one of those things that once you get used to the protection it affords, you don’t want to be without it. For this reason, innovations in ballistic armor have been making it lighter and lighter, and I was very surprised to discover that one of the latest innovations is ballistic armor made of not ceramic, not titanium, and not even kevlar, but, drum roll please, compressed poly, otherwise known as, FANCY PLASTIC, made by Armored Mobility Inc., or AMI
I discovered AMI at SHOT Show 2012 Media Day at the Range. They were part of a small pavilion of companies that were making products for the military and police already, and were beginning to offer these same products to the public. Ballistic armor is restricted in many countries of the world, but in America there are no restrictions, and civilians can up-armor themselves the same as any police or military unit, if you want to spend the money. Police officers are also often not provided with any body armor by the department at all and if they want to protect themselves, they must buy it themselves. Most of the armor at the AMI booth were what are known as “trauma plates” that fit into vests or soft body armor pockets to protect the vital organs.AMI has been making ballistic armor for over 7 years, and they provide many innovative products to military and police all over the world. Here at the show they had several examples of what is called “level 3” trauma plates. It is designed to stop most small arms ammunition, including .308 Winchester (7.62×51 NATO), .223 Remington (5.56 NATO), 6.8SPC, AK rounds, and even .300 Winchester Magnum and 12 gauge slugs. A basic 10 x 12 inch plate that fits into a pouch in the front of a tactical vest sells for under $600. The pure plastic plate weighs as little as 3 pounds. A plastic and sandwiched 3mm steel plate version is only 6 pounds. AMI also offers a variety of innovative armor products besides just plates.
If you poke around a little on their website, you’ll find some really good testing videos, some made by the police departments currently using AMI products. Ceramic light body armor products are made of do work, but only for the first shot generally, then they shatter. AMI strike plates stand up to multiple hits, through the same hole even. Their 6 pound plate was tested by a California police department and stopped 5 rounds of AK ammo at 10 feet before the 6th one went through. A video on the website has over 60 rounds of pistol ammo with no penetrations. Some of the video footage is even just throwing the plate out of a car window, because ceramic plates will shatter if you try that, but plastic won’t. You would never think that a piece of plastic could be that effective in stopping bullets, but it is.The ballistic shield you see in the pictures is expensive, several thousand dollars, but if you are in the business of getting shot at, this is a tool that could very well save your life, or save you from debilitating injuries. It is 22 pounds, and magnetic, so it can be used as a personal shield for entry or crowd situations, or you can stick it to a vehicle. It is multi-hit armor as well, and the various handles and straps built into the shield allow it to be carried in several configurations, or even used as a stretcher.
The police ticket book is a really cool product as well. A lot of municipalities use computer machines, but in main street America a lot of police departments still use standard paper ticket books. This clip case was designed because of years of data from police who have gotten shot after a traffic stop. They almost always get shot in the face, and more than not they get shot through the hand. Our natural reaction when someone points a gun at our face is to put our hand up.If your hand has an up-armored ticket case in it, this little gadget that goes for under $300 could well stop a bullet, and allow you to return fire.
The threat of an actual gunfight is something only a small percentage of Americans deal with on a daily basis, but if your job is to put yourself in harms way, Armored Mobility is a line of products, and a way of life, you should take a look at. They even offer financing, and I think it is because they are driven by protecting the lives and well being of military personnel and peace officers, of which the company is composed of. The nice thing is that although there is this subculture of understanding the different issues in ballistic armor, you don’t have to make time to do all of that research. AMI has done it for you, and produced an entire line of extremely innovative and affordable products to protect your life and well being.At some point we’ll ask them to send us some plates for our own tests, but at first glance, this is great line of products that have been already been tested in real life a lot harder than we’ll test them at the range.