Answer: There is no such thing as the “perfect shield”. Baker Ballistics shields are designed for delivery of “Speed, Surprise and Violence of Action®”. Unobstructed visibility combined with accurate delivery of firepower are the two highest design priorities incorporated into all Baker Ballistics shields.
It’s no surprise to see users of traditional windowed “bunker” shields moving with their heads fully exposed above their bunker shield. Unobstructed vision is often more important for the safety of shield users in motion, compared with slow observational movement while looking through armored visors.
Fact – armored viewports are heavy. Clear armor windowed shields capable of defeating rifles require wheels and can be only be used on relatively smooth flat surfaces.
Well-designed shields with armored viewports also require heavy hardware installed around viewports to assure no projectiles or fragments penetrate into the users’ eyes following angled incoming projectiles that impacts near the intersection of window and opaque armor.
Users often report plastic and/or glass ballistic viewports have additional negative issues, including:
Reduction of vision – especially peripheral side vision
Prone to scratch and fog – reducing visibility
Reflected frontal light sources distort vision & reduce visibility
Traditional windowed “bunker shields” are considered defensive, observational, and difficult for the user to deliver accurate gunfire upon threat.
All MRAPS® Series shields can easily accommodate a wide variety of electronic vision devices – providing users advanced modern designs of rifle capable protective armored shields. Baker Ballistics shields are a different breed of ballistic shield – not specifically intended for slow methodical observational operations.
QUESTION: OUR TRAINERS BELIEVE USING BALLISTIC SHIELDS DURING A RESPONSE TO AN ACTIVE SHOOTER “SLOWS DOWN” FIRST RESPONDERS – HOW MUCH LOSS OF SPEED IS TO BE EXPECTED WHEN USING ANY MODEL OF BAKER BALLISTIC SHIELDS?
Answer: Speed cannot be a constant. Like any tactic, speed is contingent upon the mission. One important rule is not to advance any faster than the ability to process the environment, with or without a ballistic shield. All responses or tactics that require fast movement to respond to a deadly threat are “variable speed”.
Timed force-on-force exercises have repeatedly and consistently proven use of Baker Ballistics shields reduce the time to arrive in close proximity to the threat, and improved accuracy of firepower delivered upon the threat.
Three conditions are needed for most users of Baker Ballistics shields to advance and “close the gap” during force-on-force exercises that include the threat shooting back, as follows:
Ability to deliver accurate gunfire on threat
Good visibility & ability to duck the head behind ballistic cover
Ability to position the shield to simultaneously protect head & groin
All Baker Ballistics ballistic shields meet the above three conditions.
Question: Which of the three MRAPS® Series rifle protective threat levels are the best for the safety of my personnel: Level III+, III++ or IV?
Answer: Selecting the appropriate threat level greatly reduces the chance of encountering rounds that may penetrate through a ballistic shield. It’s imperative the weapon and ammunition combinations commonly found in the geographic region(s) of operation are all considered during the shield selection process.
Throughout the African continent the greatest threat to lightweight composite armor is an AK-47 firing 7.62 x 39mm Mild Steel Core (MSC) ammunition, which penetrates many NIJ level III rated composite shields and plates. MRAPS® Series threat level III+ rated shields are effective in defeating multiple impacts of various AK-47 MSC ammunitions, hence the addition of a single plus (III+) designation.
Most of the continental United States is flooded with over 30 million AR platform .223 and 5.56mm weapons capable of firing widely available inexpensive SS-109 and M855 Green Tip ammunition. Undoubtedly, the AR firing Green Tip combination is the greatest threat against all versions of lightweight composite armor used by American law enforcement personnel. The MRAPS® Series threat level III++ effectively defeats this ammunition. The double plus (III++) indicates ballistic protection against both the AK-47 MSC and AR platform M855 Green Tip threats.
Military personnel operating in the Middle East and Afghanistan theaters of operation encounter (former) Soviet 5.45 x 39mm AP and 7.62 x 54mm AP high-penetration armor-piercing (AP) threats. The MRAPS® Series threat level IV is very effective in stopping enhanced armor penetrators.
Alaska, northern Canada and similar largely un-inhabited regions of North America and the world, long range and/or high-energy rifles used for hunting large game are a threat to shield users. The MRAPS® Series threat level IV effectively defeats most of these high-speed and/or high-energy calibers (i.e., .300 Winchester Magnum, .328 Lapua Magnum, and .375 Ruger).
As a general rule, all lightweight composite armor (including plate inserts) rated NIJ threat level III offers protection against most common rifle calibers firing lead core or soft point projectiles, including the NIJ test round, the lead core 7.62 x 51 NATO M80 FMJ. NIJ threat level III composite armor is also designed to protect against 5.56 x 45mm M193, and 7.62 x 39mm lead core threats.
Armor manufacturers use of additional non-NIJ endorsed plus (+) or double plus (++) designation suffixes immediately following NIJ level III performance claims vary in meanings. Some manufacturers of protective tactical armor inserts offer “in conjunction with (ICW)” designs, which require additional armor (i.e., soft armor vest) positioned behind the primary rifle armor component to meet ballistic capability claims. Buyer beware – determine which additional calibers and projectile types of armor protection the plus (+) or double plus (++) suffix provides, above and beyond what’s defeated by standard NIJ level III rated armor.
All six MRAPS® Series rifle protective models of ballistic shields are “stand alone” primary armor designs, and afford users greater protection than the minimum required during NIJ Threat Level III and IV ballistic laboratory testing.
Question: How many multiple hits of rifle projectiles will the six different models of MRAPS® Series NIJ Level IV, Level III++ and Level III+ rifle rated ballistic shields absorb before complete penetration or dangerous hardware failure occurs?
Answer: The MRAPS® Series of rifle rated ballistic shields are manufactured utilizing a proprietary combination of military grade polyethylene, carbon fiber, ceramics (on four models), heat and extreme pressure to create the most advanced lightweight and protective personal armor in their respective class.
MRAPS® Series models all share an identical level III+ advanced proprietary military grade polyethylene composite base armor panel ballistic configuration. Example: if the entire strike face surface of the four higher ballistic capable models (level III++ & IV) were intentionally smashed with a sledge hammer and the ceramic facing forcibly removed from the strike face surface, a military grade level III+ polyethylene armor base panel, including hardware, remains intact and fully protective – now downgraded to level III+ capable armor (see below for ballistic capabilities).
Total amounts of impacts received prior to failure are model and situation dependent, as follows:
• Projectile type (i.e., lead or steel core, FMJ, steel tip, soft tip)
• Velocity & angle of impact
• Distance between impacts (measured center to center – C to C)
• Number of rounds impacting in close proximity to each other (clusters)
Level IV (Models M4-R & M4-XL): 4 inches (10 cm) C to C or greater between multiple impacts are adequate effective distances against high-energy and/or high speed steel core armor-piercing multiple rifle impacts, including: 30/06 AP, .300 Win Mag, 5.56mm M995 AP, 7.62mm x 51 AP, 7.62mm x 54 AP. Impacts from lower energy and/or less penetrating projectile types require less distance between impacts.
Level III++ (Models M3-PP-R & M3-PP-XL): 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) C to C or greater between multiple impacts are adequate effective distances against high-velocity mild steel tipped .223 and 5.56mm M855 / SS-109 green tip threats.
Level III+ (Models M3-P-R & M3-P-XL): 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) C to C or greater between multiple perpendicular impacts are adequate effective distances against high-energy high-velocity soft core projectiles, including: .30/06, 5.56mm M193, 7.62 x 39 mild steel core, 7.62mm x 51 M80 NATO. Impacts from lower energy and/or less penetrating projectile types require less distance between impacts.
Answer: Baker Ballistics, LLC warrants all undamaged and not misused ballistic shield products to preform to the appropriate US National Institute of Justice ballistic standard, as labeled and advertised, for a period of Ten (10) years following delivery. For additional details, please contact Baker Ballistics, LLC.
Question: Since all MRAPS® Series of rifle protective ballistic shields include the standard Dual Bungee / Quick Release Support System and QuikDon™ Collar, why should an optional The Reaper™ Exoskeleton Support System be considered for use?
Answer: The patented MRAPS® Dual Bungee / Quick Release Support System is standard equipment included with all MRAPS® Series shields. Hanging hands-free, the top edge of the shield protects up to users’ lower face, approximately to the mouth region, with no lifting required. Using the fully adjustable Free-Floating Handle, a user simply lifts the full weight of the shield upwards approximately five inches into the full combat position providing extensive head protection.
The Dual Bungee / Quick Release method of supporting the full weight of the shield requires anchoring the dual bungees to the user, via either one of two attachment methods – hardware included for both:
• QuikDon™ collar supports the weight from the users’ upper back, neck and/or rear waist belt support – a removable vertical back strap & belt keeper removes all shield weight off the neck
• Attaching to tactical armor with two Fastex® Buckles, anchored onto a high torso position (i.e., drag strap) of the tactical armor.
Choosing an optional The Reaper™ micro-component hydraulic support system provides support of the full weight of all MRAPS® Series rifle protective ballistic shields – no lifting is required to obtain a full combat total head protective position – as compared to the five inches of lifting required by use of the included Quick Release Dual Bungee support system.
The Reaper™ is not a reel but an advanced zero gravity “weightless” component permitting the user to easily position the shield and weapon at any vertical level desired, hands-free, to establish an extremely accurate shooting platform. The entire weight of the shield and loaded weapon is transferred onto the users’ hips, eliminating fatigue and greatly improving weapon accuracy.
The Reaper™ Support Unit (model TRSSRS) is positioned onto the users’ back torso and waist by selecting one of three methods of wear:
• The Reaper™ MOLLE Attach Kit” (TRMAK) – a low cost method to support the exoskeleton system on the users’ tactical vest if the vest is equipped with a MOLLE upper back attachment grid*
• Use of optional “Heavy Duty Pack Support Frame” (TRSSPF) permits the exoskeleton to be worn over the top of a tactical vest – provides excellent exoskeleton support for ALL SIX MODELS of MRAPS® Series ballistic shields.
• The “Light Duty Support Unit” (TRSSLD) positions the exoskeleton over the top of tactical armor for quick don – provides excellent support for most models of MRAPS® Series rifle rated shields**
*TRMAK option is not recommended for use with MRAPS® models M3-PP-XL using B-ROC option, or the M4-XL with or without the optional B-ROC
**Light Duty Support Unit not recommended for use with MRAPS® models M3-PP-XL with B-ROC option, or the M4-XL with or without the optional B-ROC
Question: My tactical team is considering purchase of the MRAPS® level III++ size XL shield. Should we order it with the Reaper Optimized Handle System (ROHS) option, or not?
Answer: The ROHS should only be considered if the shield will be EXCLUSIVELY used with The Reaper™ exoskeleton support. Permanent modifications are required for installation of the ROHS, which require exoskeleton support for proper balance and shield positioning characteristics.
The ROHS includes:
• Exoskeleton support cable one-hand attach and quick-release ability
• Padded forearm trauma reduction nest with Nylon loop keeps arm in contact with rear surface of shield
• Belly pad for additional stability and hands-free shield positioning
• Fully adjustable ambidextrous hand-hold handle
The Reaper™ and ROHS combination is considered by many experienced shield operators to provide the ultimate method of protecting a stack of tactical operators against rifle threats up to an entry point then through the “fatal funnel”. Game-changing benefits to a tactical shield operator include:
• Instant & intuitive “fine-tune” positional relationships of shield, body & weapon
• Accurate long-range shot placement ability including while “on the move”
• Enhanced shield stability & leverage during physical encounters with non-compliant combative subjects
The ROHS allows the shield operator the ability of simple one-handed attachment of the support cable onto ROHS, which is located just above the shield’s center of gravity. The ROHS indexes the users’ forearm and hand into an ideal position to manipulate the weightless shield from a low position, horizontally across the abdomen – well below the shield’s center of gravity.
The low arm position keeps the arm up against the inside surface of the shield (trauma reduction design), adding significantly more leverage and exceptional shield control – allowing the user to instantly “fine-tune” positional relationships of shield, body and weapon.
• ROHS is optional equipment on Model #’s M3-P-XL & M3-PP-XL
• ROHS is included as standard on Model # M4-XL
• Selecting the ROHS option on any MRAPS® Series XL size shield should NOT be considered if operations are to be conducted WITHOUT use of The Reaper™.
• The ROHS CANNOT be field installed – original factory installations only.
• If permanent dedicated-man two-handed shield carry is desired (without weapon presentation), all three models of extra-large (XL) sized MRAPS® Series shields can be special ordered with two adjustable angle hand-hold handles that also includes modified forearm pads (2), and belly pad (1).
Answer: Baker Ballistics was founded in the year 2003 by inventor and highly experienced shield trainer Lt. Al Baker (NYPD ESU ret.), who partnered with long-term body armor designer Rick Armellino, a former President of American Body Armor.
The Baker Ballistics team only designs, engineers, and manufactures high-quality American made protective products, as directed by armor industry leaders with more than 200 years of combined armor design and manufacturing experience!
Baker Ballistics employees understand peoples’ lives depend upon the quality and attention to detail required during the manufacturing process, and are frequently reminded that – each and every unit of Baker Ballistics protective armor may someday be needed to save the life of their own family member. All users of Baker Ballistics protective armor products are a family member to someone!