There are many thought processes that go into how to train for real world incidents. Some hit the range with their TAC pants, T-Shirt and Plate Carrier. This may be sufficient for some just out for a day of shooting. But the reality is whether you’re a patrol officer or a S.W.A.T. team member; this is not the way you will be dressed when a high threat incident is encountered. So why train without the equipment you will be wearing on the day when the call arises.

Yes, It is more comfortable to just go out and train in a T-shirt, but as a patrol officer you will be wearing your Sam Browne gun belt, uniform, soft armor with a rifle on a day when let’s say an active shooter incident arises. You will be wearing your plate carrier with plates on top of all your gear.

On that day if you don’t train how you’re going to fight against someone who is hell bent on killing you, How can you be on you’re A game. You won’t know how it feels to maneuver with the added weight of a plate carrier and plates. You won’t know how your shooting platform will feel when you punch out with your handgun and have the plate carrier and soft armor now on your chest to deal with. It will be different and feel different. How about when you shoulder your rifle with all this added gear on and you have not shot this way.

Training the way you’re going to fight is an investment in being able to prevail and live through that gunfight. Now being a patrol officer myself, I know that most LEO’s have to buy their own equipment above and beyond what is issued. And most LEO’s are not issued hard armor plates which can be expensive. You don’t want to damage the plates or get some type of crack where they can fail when you need them most by accidently damaging them while training. I get that.

Enter the Team Wendy ESAPI Non-Ballistic Training Blue Plates. These solve the issue of damaging your plates but still allow you to train with the same size and similar weight of wearing plates. Team Wendy markets these as “Train Like you Fight.”  They weigh 5 Lbs. and are made of polyurethane. They are designed to be stiff enough to keep their shape and will not crack or break when impacted. These come in sets of (2) and retail for $112.00.

I have a set and this is a solid product that may just save your life by allowing you to train like you fight.

Available at and

YOUTUBE-Team Wendy ESAPI Non-Ballistic Training Plates Video (Note Side plates- No Longer Available)


Michael Wratten is a Police Officer and owner of Shellback Tactical Inc., a Tactical Nylon Manufacture   specializing in products and gear for law enforcement and military. –