RSTP Level III+ ICW Armor Plates
From Chase Tactical
Review by Big Fred
This is the gear review for the RSTP Level III+ single and multi-curve armor plates by Chase Tactical. The plates are designed to defeat Level III threats from high velocity rifle rounds when used in conjunction with a Level IIIA soft armor. The CT RSTP is an extremely lightweight law enforcement and special operations, hard armor plate with Ceramic with UHMWPE backing.
I will discuss the armor inserts in five categories…cost, durability, weight, function, and comfort. Here are some of the manufacturer’s specifications:
- Protection: Rifle Plate Special Threat and Multi Hit Capable ICW with Level IIIA Soft Armor
- NIJ Standard 0101.06: This product has been independently tested by an NIJ approved laboratory according to the NIJ standard of protection
- Positive Buoyancy: Product floats in water
- Material: Ceramic with UHMWPE backing (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene)
- Exterior Cover: 1000D Cordura®, Textured Nylon
- Thinness: 0.55”
- Cut: The 10” x 12” shooters cut plates are considered nominal and the actual measurement is 9.5” x 11.5”.
- Warranty: 5 years on all ballistic material excluding exterior cover and 1 year on exterior cover material and workmanship
- MADE IN THE USA
Cost– The retail price of these plates is dependent on the size and cut you select. I was sent the shooters cut 10 X 12-inch, multi-curve for the front side and 10 X 12-inch shooters cut, single curve for the back side. The larger the size and more curvature adds to the price. The front plate was $699, and the rear plate was $679. The price is a bit on the higher side as compared to much of the armor that is out there nowadays. If you take into the consideration the construction, threat level, thickness, and most of all, weight, you will find these to be about the norm.
Durability– This is a difficult category to review for armor inserts. Without having the plates shot, you can only go with the NIJ rating which has been independently tested. When used in conjunction with a soft level IIIA insert behind the plate, it will stop M80 ball, M43 PS Ball, M855, and M193 rifle ammunition for multiple hits.
As far as overall durability, they are on par with any other ceramic plates I have ever used. They also float. They can be cleaned with a damp cloth if they get dirty. However, they should never be washed or dry cleaned and never exposed to bleach.
There is a warranty on the plates. It is for 5 years on all ballistic material excluding exterior cover and 1 year on exterior cover material and workmanship
Weight- This category is where this product shines. Operationally I have never worn a lighter plate with this level of protection. Not only is it light, but it is also super thin, .55 of an inch! This adds to its operational value for me. Not only can it be used in overt plate carriers with combat style configurations of equipment, but it also works extremely well in a reduced signature capacity. I was able to use this setup in a more slicked down, “low-vis” carrier and wear this armor unnoticed.
Function/Comfort- I will discuss these areas together since they go hand in hand with this product. I’ve already discussed some of this armor’s functional characteristics. It is hardly noticeable when being worn and while working with it on. I have used these plates in several of the courses that I teach with my business. I really like the fit of the multi-curve design on the front plate and single curve of the back plate. These plates follow the natural curvature of my torso and enhance the comfort level. This combined with the right carrier are all you need to wear the armor comfortably. The light weight of the plates, 2.9 pounds per plate, really makes this type of armor extremely desirable. I really do wish I had these plates back when I was in the military. My back really would have liked them!
Chase Tactical sent the shooters cut for me to use. These worked really well both on the range and in the shoot-house when doing demonstrations with the armor on. They are also available in swimmers cut, full size cut, and SAPI/ESAPI cut.
Closing Thoughts– When I learned I would be writing a review for armor plates, I thought to myself, “you’ve seen one plate, you’ve seen them all.” I was mistaken. Especially with the technology and advancements of armor within the last 8-10 years. Like most other products in this industry, manufacturers are always striving to make equipment lighter, stronger, less expensive, and more efficient. Chase Tactical has set the bar high in this regard. I was pleasantly surprised when the plates arrived. I could not wait to get them on and do some shooting and moving with them. Long gone are the days of wearing armor plates that weigh 12 pounds each. Thank God for that. Cheers, Chase Tactical! Keep up the great work.
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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