178 – The Present and Future of Armor | ShotStop Ballistics
In this week’s episode of The MagLife Podcast, Daniel Shaw interviews Jason Henkel, Director of Sales and Operations at ShotStop Ballistics.
For those unaware, ShotStop Ballistics is a leading manufacturer of high-quality NIJ-certified lightweight body armor. Specifically, ballistic armor plates. They’ve distinguished themselves from much of their current competition through their innovative Duritium technology, which provides high threat level protection without the weight traditionally associated with armor plates.
Join the discussion as Daniel and Jason dive deep into ShotStop’s amazing product offerings for 2021, the future of the company, and the future of ballistic protection technology.
Host: Daniel Shaw
Guest: Jason Henkel
Introduction/Timeline: Eric Huh
01:41 ShotStop’s mission for their customers.
Jason gives a brief overview of the vision and goals of ShotStop for their clients within the ballistic protection sphere. ShotStop does not seek to merely meet the bare minimum requirements of government contracts, but to surpass expectations and to be pioneers in the industry.
“Bad guys don’t stand 40 feet away and [shoot] at a perfect perpendicular angle, and the temperature is 32 degrees. We just want folks out there on the front line to have legitimately, real protection in any given warfighter or law enforcement situation.”
02:43 What makes ShotStop stand out?
Daniel inquires about what specific technological advancements have allowed ShotStop to be ahead of the curve in armor plate development. Jason explains that ShotStop has mastered a unique form of polyethylene material that offers an incredibly high tensile strength but at a fraction of the weight of competitor plates at the same threat level.
This technology is their patented Duritium technology. As an example, ShotStop’s GT2 10”x12” plate weighs only an
astonishing 3.8 pounds, is a little over a half-inch in thickness, and is rated to stop M855 green tip rounds. The benefits of weight savings can only improve your combat effectiveness by increasing comfort, mobility, and decreasing fatigue.
05:37 Quality of protection.
ShotStop offers plates for all the relevant threat levels, ranging from III to IV+ all while staying thin and light.
All of their plates have been rigorously tested by NIJ-certified third-party institutions. Many of their customers have publicly put their armor plates to Youtube video “torture tests”, in which these plates are subjected to unheard-of levels of abuse and still being able to effectively stop rounds. The company has full transparency of all of their plates, including official NIJ laboratory test results.
“We let the people do the talking”
07:56 What is new for 2021?
Jason unveils ShotStop’s new Duritium HA, a level IV multi-hit rated plate that weighs an unheard of 4.3 pounds. This particular plate has been rated for and tested to six rounds of M2 AP 30-06. Additionally, this comes with a 10-year warranty. By comparison, most level IV plates by reputable companies will weigh at least over 5 pounds per plate. In accordance with their company mission, ShotStop went above and beyond what any armor manufacturer is doing
09:43 Long-term cost savings.
Daniel brings the question of what the real cost savings are with armor plate extended warranties and long-term expiration dates. He notes that many law enforcement agencies buying armor in bulk for their officers are limited by their department budget and do not necessarily get the best items on the market. Having an extended warranty and expiration date can add great value and savings per unit purchased.
10:14 Jason agrees and further elaborates how ShotStop products fit that bill by offering individual clients and law enforcement agencies these long-term cost savings. One should consider the full cost of ownership versus the short-term upfront charge. Most armor manufactures offer just 5 years of warranty while ShotStop offers 10-15 year warranties on their products. This effectively means the price of one plate replaces what would otherwise be the cost of owning two plates from a competitor.
11:25 How does the average armed citizen get this level of protection?
All residents of the US can go to the ShotStop website and use the “Find a Dealer” search function to find local vendors that are verified to sell their products. Google is always the preferred option for finding local dealers.
12:18 “Boob cut” or female body armor considerations.
While not in the immediate pipeline until the end of 2021 or Q1 of 2022, ShotStop is currently in development for proper female anatomy-designed armor plates. Currently, there are three models in consideration for small, medium, and large breast sizes. Daniel adds that there is a demand for this kind of product offering, as more and more female law enforcement officers participate in tactical units and combative scenarios.
14:35 ShotStop ballistic shields.
Coming soon, ShotStop will be releasing rifle-rated ballistic shields. Meant for the patrol officer or the average citizen, this product line offers protection up to level III for rifle caliber threats while providing the same level of lightweight materials as seen in their previous plates. This will come in different sizes: 18”x30” and 24”x36” (perfect for use as cover while inside a vehicle).
17:01 Learn more about ShotStop
The best place to find out more about ShotStop, visit https://www.shotstop.net.
Their website gives full transparency and discloses NIJ-certified ballistic lab reports for each plate and how they performed to each caliber.
17:43 What are other future projects ShotStop is working on?
Beyond the current lineup of 2021 products, Daniel asks Jason, what are future products ShotStop is either currently or planning on working on?
Jason reveals that ShotStop is further improving upon their base armor designs by combining their current polyethylene technology with carbon, which will shave 15%-20% off of the weight. This innovative design is called Carbon Duritium.
“The future is … to out-innovate everybody. The East can go ahead and copy-cat us, by the time they get their first thing shipped into the US, we’re gonna be onto our next thing. Duritium never stops evolving.”
19:31 Jason goes into further detail as to what direction ShotStop wants to take this Carbon Duritium technology. As a long-term goal, they wish to inject multi-walled carbon nanotubes at a molecular level into the strands of their polyethylene material. In theory, this would result in a 15 times increase in tensile strength.
Jason expresses that the potential of this kind of material is almost limitless. He states that even something as thin and flexible as a shirt could possibly stop green tip rounds. ShotStop is already developing a John Wick style armored clothing for correctional officers, in which everyday attire such as jackets, suits, shirts, or pants would be slash, stab, and even down the line bullet resistant to small calibers.
Article/Show notes by Eric Huh
Gunmag Warehouse’s own Director of Marketing, Daniel Shaw is a retired US Marine Infantry Unit Leader with multiple combat tours and instructor titles. Since retirement from the Marine Corps, Daniel teaches Armed Citizens and Law Enforcement Officers weapons, tactics and use of force.
Daniel takes his life of training and combat experience and develops as well as presents curriculum and creates digital media content to help Law Enforcement, US Military and Responsible Armed Citizens prepare for a deadly force encounter. When he isn’t directing marketing for Gunmag Warehouse, Daniel travels the US teaching and training under his company, Shaw Strategies, and discusses all things hoplological and self-defense related on The MagLife Podcast.