CATI level IV: A Seriously Tough Plate


This is a guest post by Andrew Betts

With the Battlefield 1 trailer producing a lot of renewed interest in C&R calibers I thought it might be fun to use 8mm to test the new level IV personal body armor from CATI (Come And Take It), regardless of how unlikely it might be for Calvin the crackhead to be packing a Mauser when he kicks in your arcadia door.

We have covered the reasons that a person might choose to keep armor handy for a home invasion in previous articles, so if you are a bit perplexed on that point, please take a moment to read through those earlier articles.

There is a practical reason for choosing 8mm armor piercing tracer for this test, though. The NIJ level IV rating means that a plate can stop a single round of .30-06 M2AP at 2,880 fps +/- 30 fps. It does not necessarily mean that CATIit can stop other threats, although level IV plates tend to be very tough. The 7.92x57mm APT used for this test is constructed differently but is close in weight and velocity to the M2AP this plate is intended to stop. It is important for a plate to be able to stop the rated threat, of course, but I think it is also useful to see how it performs against threats for which it is not rated.

Nevertheless, the reason M2AP was chosen for the NIJ standard is that it is a cartridge that is reasonably popular and also ridiculously good at punching through barriers. It is so good at getting through stuff that it is said that many GIs during WWII preferred it to M2 ball and the Army eventually started issuing it as the standard ammunition for the M1 rifle. It may not be any more likely that Calvin the crackhead will show up with his grand dad’s Garand in the wee hours of the morning, but if a plate can stop M2AP, there is an excellent chance that it will protect you any small arms that Calvin may be more likely to show up with.

This plate is a little on the heavy side at 7.8 lbs but it is also affordable at under $400 for a set of two. Stay tuned for more testing of this plate as well as CATI’s level III steel plate and level IIIA soft armor. In the meantime, remember that training matters far more than gear.

Andrew Betts served with the Arizona National Guard for over 12 years, including a tour to Afghanistan. Visit his YouTube Channel for more great shooting information.

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