Level III+ AR550 Steel Core Body Armor

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Whatever your threat protection needs, Smith Defense is proud to offer top-tier protection to first responders and civilians.

What is Level III+ AR550 Steel Core Armor?

Made from ballistic-grade steel, Level III+ AR550 Steel Core Armor has a Brinell ballistic core hardness that’s a full 10% greater than AR500 steel armor for added protection against high-velocity rifle rounds. Although Level III+ isn’t an official NIJ rating, it indicates the steel has been independently tested and found to exceed Level III standards.

Level III+ AR550 Steel Armor Advantages

Known for durability, AR550 plates stop AR15 rounds, all handgun calibers up to .357 Magnum and other high-caliber rounds. Level III+ steel armor is less bulky than ceramic armor, and there’s very little or no backface deformation when struck, which significantly reduces the chance of serious injury. You can also wear a trauma pad, which will add additional protection and reduce back face deformation (BFD).

What Are the Different Cuts & Coatings for AR550 Level III+?

Our AR550 III+ steel plate comes in shooters cut and Small Arms Protective Insert (SAPI) cut, each of which is available in various sizes. Actual plate dimensions vary, depending on the plate’s cut and size. Each is coated with premium armor finishing to prevent rusting and spalling injuries.



Premium Armor Finishing 


Small = 8.75" x 11.75

Medium = 9.50" x 12.50"

Large = 11.00" x 14.00"

Corrosion Protection or Spall Protection 

Shooters Cut 

Small = 8.00" x 10.00"

Medium = 10.00" x 12.00"

Large = 11.00" x 14.00"

Corrosion Protection or Spall Protection 


After choosing a cut, browse our plate carrier selection, or for a complete system consider our Level III+ AR550 steel armor packages.

Who Uses Steel Core AR550 Plates?

Level III+ AR550 plates will stop rounds of up to .30 caliber M2 armor-piercing ammunition. They’re worn when high-velocity rifle fire is likely to be encountered. AR550 steel armor is frequently used by the military, first responders and law enforcement agencies, including SWAT teams, to ensure they get “there and back” safely.

Choose Smith Defense Level III+ Steel Core AR550 Body Armor

Buying from Smith Defense means quality products, affordable prices and outstanding service. As with all of our products, our AR550 Level III+ Steel Armor is made by top-tier engineers using the highest-quality materials available. Orders over $375 ship free, our products are 100% guaranteed.

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