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Phoenix body armor company aiming to make personal security affordable

(AR500 Photo)

PHOENIX — With the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas still fresh in the minds of many, the issue of personal security has brought attention to companies that make body armor.

One of the most innovative is Phoenix’s AR500 Armor. AR500 prides itself going an extra step when it comes to manufacturing bullet-resistant and bullet-proof protection. Zachary Campbell, senior manager of marketing, research and development, said their mission is “out of the desire to bring affordable bullet resistant armor to the market.”

Campbell said those who think they need protection — for themselves, family or employees — deserves the option of having protection.

“What we’ve tried to do is create an affordable product that is a low enough price that everyone has access to,” he said.

The company offers different types of protective wear.

“You’ve got Kevlar, you’ve got ceramics, you’ve got light weight polyethylene plate, and then you’ve got steel core.”  Campbell continues, “We offer a variety of options that cover most of those different choices.”

To achieve this, AR500 Armor works to create new types of bullet resistant and bullet proof products. They offer a proprietary Kevlar weave that is somewhat malleable up to rigid ceramic and steel plates.

“Soft Armor (Kevlar) is for protection against common handgun rounds,” Campbell said. “If you’re looking for protection against a rifle round you’ll want a hard armor (ceramic/steel plate).”

Campbell says cost factors break down by weight.

“The lighter you want your armor, the more expensive it’s going to be,” he said.

But again, Campbell said AR500 is working to keep the cost low.

“We’ve found some unique ways around that in terms of how we shape our steel plate armor and how we cut it,” he said. “Essentially, it allows us to use a lower-cost material and offer a pretty competitive weight. Your ceramics are going to be very heavy, polyethylene armor is going very light, but it’s going to come at a price tag about five times the steel armor.”

Unlike other body armor companies, AR500 Armor’s customer base is evenly split between individual buyers and law enforcement, medical, and military agencies.

“What we’re looking to do is make life-saving tools affordable to everyone.”

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