Armor and ballistic armor have become somewhat of a commonality or even a fad. It seems like every company which haven’t initially looked at it but is able to produce one, tries it. Part of it is the market, and part the ease with which modern technology allow it. This includes Kevlar, Aramid, composites, blends, and steel/AR 500. Few companies stand out in this area. They do, for several reasons. One is mission focus. Why are you producing ballistic armor, and what is your motivation as a business? This includes business ethics and history. Another, is innovation. What are you doing with your armor that’s new, or makes wearing armor better for those who need it daily. Are the features in the actual armor and accessories which support it just there because they have to be, or are they truly functional and focused on the end-user. Finally, customer support, price, options and features bring it all together.
For example, ordering concealable armor online is great, but if you find that it doesn’t fit quite right, if a strap fails, or if you simply have a question on how to measure for it, how does the company work with you? It’s worth reviewing some earlier briefs on how to properly wear ballistic armor, as well as our review of Chase Tactical multi-curve plates. They are an example of a company who has proven to be top notch in all of the above-mentioned areas. Another, is Angel Armor. Based in Fort Collins Colorado, Angel Armor has a gamut of truly unique options of not just armor, but carriers for concealable armor. For those who routinely use the later, a small level of comfort, adjustment and durability go a long way. I urge you to look at their Turh Snap magnetic plate system, Ally One portable armor panels, and Enlight transparent window armor. Dave Golfain at Angel Armor sent us the Avail ballistic door panels to play with.
It seems that the Avail is just about the next best practical thing to an armored vehicle, or squad car – as that it their design focus. Many popular makes and models are available for Dodge, GM, Ford, and Nissan vehicles and squads. If you want or need a fully armored truck for your mission, I suggest you reach out to Kurt Delia and The Armored Group. They will provide you with a ground-up, any design or configuration platform, and training to go with it. But if your vehicle needs are occasional, albeit regular, Angel Armor’s Avail panels are probably the next best thing. Over the years there have been many attempts to make a door bullet resistant. They included some improvisation with steel, shield and ballistic blankets. All are reasonable options considering needs and budgets. But focused design and practicality are huge, and until now I have not seen a market choice like the Avail panels.
As mentioned, the panels are produced custom for a particular vehicle, and a specific door. They slide easily between the door’s outer shell, and the inner frame. What’s notable, is that they can be inserted into the door rapidly, and work with the window up or down. They also do not impede the window function. So if you need or want a constant protection, you can install the panels before your mission or shift. If you need it in a hurry, you can don your kit and install the panels by referencing two large tabs, which subsequently aid in removing the panel. I see one potential thing to be addressed through training.
Depending on the fleet of vehicles and diligence of their operators, any guess work as to whether the panel is in should be removed. It should be made either part of squad check or vehicle prep, or a large noticeable indicator visible to the user that the panel. By the same theory, it might be beneficial to apply specific color indicator to the panel, so that the application becomes instinctive. Something like a red tab on a tourniquet. But even without this, the sides of the Avail panels are noticeable different, so any guess work in installation should be eliminated. Several threat levels are available, and we worked with the IIIA. Keep in mind that these are semi-rigid panels, but basically soft armor for your door. This places an obvious limit on how thick they can be. However, Angel Armor uses advanced production technology to make a 1/4 inch under 10 pound panel to be effective, weatherproof and concealed.
The effectiveness of the panel is what we were tasked with evaluating more than anything else. Aside from the nice features, does it stop what it claims to stop. The answer is yes. One challenge we had, is that our panels were scale models of a full-size Avail panel. While placement and application is similar, we found a vehicle door, but decided against it. So we shot the panels directly. Door skin providing little to no protection anyway, it would mostly be an indicator of fragmentation. We shot the panels at 7-10 yards, with several .40 ball ammo, and the G2 Research 40 S&W Radically Invasive Projectile. The R.I.P. is a hollow point round which fragments upon penetration. A more detailed review on this ammo will follow, but information can be found at www.G2rammo.com I figured we stick with .40 for comparison, and since Angel Armor offers a lot of media on their site which can address other questions, www.angelarmor.com The Avail panels stopped every shot. Thanks to their effectiveness, we couldn’t see the G2 perform, but that’s what ballistic gel is for, right? While the back-print signature is truly not relevant here, as the armor isn’t worn, it should be noted that it was minimal. Even multiple hits close to the same spot did not produce noticeable additional penetration. For pricing, the requests have to be submitted directly to Angel Armor. Considering their top tier customer service and the number of options for vehicles and ballistic levels, this is logical. The effectiveness, ease of installation and durability of door panels brings a new and much needed option to the everyday threats, in what is already an asymmetric domestic battlefield, which requires similar thinking.
Turn Your Doors into Shields
- Level IIIA ballistic vehicle armor
- Car armor and truck armor installs in less than 30 minutes, the fastest in the industry
- Ballistic door panel weighs less than 10 pounds
- Proprietary lightweight and weatherproof design
- Higher threat levels available for select vehicles
I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
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