In the current climate, we have been asked many times recently by the general public about threat protection levels; specifically, “How do we protect against rifle threats?” Stealth Operator provides Level IIIA options to those who are not in the First-Responder line of duty. We do not offer ballistic panels in an NIJ Level III or IV outside of the First Responder communities.
We believe the best option to provide basic protection to general community adults and school children is Level IIIA panels. They are a reasonable weight, can be appropriately fitted in soft side bags, and protect at the same levels law enforcement officers wear every single day. First Responders only “gear-up” with greater protection when going into known higher threat situations. Unfortunately, no single solution will protect against all possibilities.
Level IIIA protection is what the National Institute of Justice designates as the highest level of certified handgun protection. These rounds include:
In addition the to NIJ listed ammunitino rounds, our soft armor protection panels are also seperately tested to protect against:
*It is important that we clarify this does NOT mean protection against rifle threats.
The National Institute of Justice is the government agency responsible for establishing certification and protection standards for body armor. Our armor undergoes routine testing at an NIJ approved laboratory, allowing us to guarantee its protection against specific threats.
To be NIJ certified to Level III (protection from SOME rifle threats) the plate must defeat 6 shots of 7.62mm x 51mm (M80) ammunition at a specific velocity. Additionally, the impact of the rounds must not create a back-face deformation greater than 44mm to prevent injury to the wearer’s internal organs.
Current material configurations most often need to be either extremely thick (over an inch), or be made of materials that add significant weight (starting at around 8 lbs.). These increased sizes and/or weights require a “pocket” to hold the hard plate in the correct location for coverage. Within the loose confines of a general bag, hard plates will slip to the bottom, rather than staying high and upright for proper protection of chest and abdominal areas.
Additionally, certification to Level III or IV does not guarantee the plate will stop other rifle threats. As an example, there are some steel plates that will stop a 7.62mm M80 round, but will not defeat a 5.56mm ball round. It is important to fully understand each plates's intended capabilities.
Phalanx offers Level III and IV protective items to law enforcement and other First Responders. We offer Level IIIA to the general public. These items are able to be kept to a reasonable weight, can be appropriately fitted in soft side bags, and protect at the same levels law enforcement officers wear every single day. First Responders only “gear-up” with greater protection when going into known higher threat situations. Unfortunately, no single solution will protect against all possibilities.
The short answer is: maybe! The beauty of the Stealth Operator Holster Series is in its simplicity. We offer only three products: the Full Size, Compact, and Twin Mag. Each were engineered to accommodate over 150 unique handgun models, without changing the design or adjusting dimensions. So it's entirely possible that your handgun model fits like a glove!
We recommend trying it before you buy it, or consulting our Will Fit Chart. And keep in mind, this chart is updated daily as we receive emails and phone calls from our loyal customers. Check back often, and don't hesitate to contact us with your own Will Fits!
Each of the over 150 models of handguns will have its own fit characteristics. While the Stealth Operator Holster Series IS designed to accommodate a vast number of firearms without adjustment, that doesn't always translate to a perfect fit every time. Different handguns will vary slightly in how they "fit", and fit is subjective and will vary from person to person. Additionally, the holster is intended for use on a stiff, 1.5" belt. A loose belt - or one smaller than 1.5" - will make it feel as if the holster is tighter than necessary. Normal training and everyday use will improve the feel of the retention.
The Stealth Operator is proudly manufactured in Gainesville, FL. And yes! We are always developing, so stay tuned.