Admittedly I’m a bit of a beginner when it comes to body armor. In the Marines I never gave it much thought, I had it, and I wore it and I complained about it. As I became a civilian my need for body armor lessened, but did not entirely disappear. I’ve kept a couple sets of soft armor on hand, but could never decide what hard armor to go with. What was affordable seemed heavy, and what was lightweight wasn’t affordable. Don’t get me wrong, you get what you pay for, but I really wanted something lightweight and affordable. Eventually, I stumbled onto Premier body armor. Premier Body armor offered curved steel plates called Durus plates. These plates are only 5mms thick and with man sized 10×12 plates you were looking at less than 7 pounds.
Premier Durus Plates and the Falcon Plate Carrier
You can’t have plates without a carrier correct? Well, Premier Body armor offers a package deal with 2 plates and a low profile carrier called the Falcon. This is minimalist plate carrier that’s designed for ease of movement, to keep you cool and comfortable, and to maximize mobility. This pairs well with the SAPI cut Premier Durus plates. These are curved and fitted to the body for increased comfort and mobility.
The Falcon Plate carrier offers just enough MOLLE webbing to allow the mounting of three magazine pouches, a few pistol pouches and that’s about it. This isn’t a go to war piece of kit. It’s designed for the police officer and civilian who won’t be in hours long firefights where 2 to 3 hundred rounds are needed.
The shoulder straps are super comfortable and very well padded. It doesn’t dig or pry into the body when carried, even when running. The interior is mesh lined for reduced friction, which protects those sensitive areas of the body. The combination of the plates and carrier fit together well and are a comfortable combination.
I’ve been running the plates and carrier on the range extensively and it stays out of my way. From transitions, to reloads the plate carrier is comfortable and allows me to move and groove without issue.
The Plates Protection Level
To really test and review body armor we need to see what it can take right? So I got a third plate (to spare my two from destruction) and went to the range. This plate was the Forits. It’s a non-curved plate but has the same level of protection. The Forits plate is just a bit cheaper. Cheaper is important when you are just going to shoot the hell out of it. It’s only 5mms thick and weighs a little over 6 pounds.
Both the Durus and Fortis plates are designed to stop rifle rounds, including 5.56 at up to 3,100 fps, 123 grain 7.62×39, and 147 grain 7.62 NATO up to 2850 fps. I only filmed day one, and that’s here. We fired 20 rounds of M193, but admittedly a few missed when I started rapid firing, so let’s say 15. I was testing some shotguns and handguns that day and kept using it as a target. Shotgun and pistol ammo isn’t going to punch through, but I figured it was a fun target. It ripped away the spaling layer and that was it.
We lit it up, and nothing even made a dent into the steel. Over the next few days, it became fodder for some Tula 7.62×39 rounds, a mix of Wolf 55 grain 223, 100 rounds of 22 TCM, and 100 rounds of 10mm for Armscor. We didn’t have a round count on the rifle rounds because of a multitude of shooters. Still, not even a crack….
The Durus (and Fortis) plates have proven to me they are extremely strong and durable. This one plate has taken a helluva beating and I’m converting it into a steel target just to see what it can do long term. All in all I’m happy to have finally found a set of plates and a carrier that’s both comfortable and affordable.