Hopefully some of you who read my recent article on a High Value Armor Setup that consisted of TAP Gamma plates and the excellent Shellback Tactical Banshee PC were inspired to purchase armor. Even armor as inexpensive as the set up in that article is still a significant investment which is why you might want to consider expanding that investment with a set of training plates.
Training plates are the same approximate shape and weight as your ballistic plates but they lack any ballistic protection. Their purpose is to provide a realistic training experience without jeopardizing the integrity of your expensive ballistic plates. These should be especially attractive to shooters who spend their own money on their armor and will have to replace them out of their own pocket in the event of breakage.
You might think that because a ballistic plate is bullet resistant that is extremely durable. This is not necessarily the case. Ceramic plates can be subject to cracking and chipping that can reduce their effectiveness. You might not even be able to visually detect these flaws. It can pay to use training plates as a stand in for your ballistic plates when the ballistic plates are unnecessary.
I currently have 2 sets of Training Plates from Patriots-Choice. These are made from thick PVC plastic that is extremely rugged and provide a very realistic stand in for my more expensive plates. I picked up both sets on Ebay for a song.
There are plenty of other companies that manufacture training plates and Soldier Systems often has the skinny as new ones come to market. Here are some options that Soldier Systems has uncovered:
You have dropped a sizable amount of money on your plates. Consider protecting them from as much wear and tear as you can with a set of training plates.