In addition to watching last Tuesday’s event at SWAT Round-Up International 2013, I trolled the vendors’ show looking for new things. I ran across Todd Garrett at the Venture Ballistic Composites booth. Mr. Garrett chose to introduce their new line of Active Shooter shields at this year’s SRI.
Named an AS-3 or AS-3A, Venture Ballistics’ new models are either NIJ Level III or IIIa. They come in 16″ X 20″ (short) or 16″ X 28″ (regular). These shields are very mobile and afford good coverage to the user’s torso. The AS-3A short is specifically designed to give protection in or out of a vehicle.
The handles of the new models are aluminum, for strength and light weight, with a rubberized thermoplastic grip on both sides. A hook and loop-backed nylon cuff adjusts at the forearm. This area has added protection in ballistic material and aluminum for the event of bullet strikes and backface deformation where the user’s arm meets the shield.
Venture Ballistics scaled these units to find the sweet spot among coverage, maneuverability, and weight. The short and regular Level III’s weigh in at 10 lbs. and 15 lbs, respectively. These are very low hefts for rifle-rated protection. On the lighter side, a Level IIIa short is just 6 lbs. and the larger regular model, 9 lbs.
The Venture Ballistics AS-3A’s are currently $395.00 (short) and $495.00 (regular). The Level III shields prices are $995.00 and $1500.00. If you call Mr. Garrett now (1-941-809-8159), he has a limited run of special Level II shields at a very low price point. They are the two thin shields visible on the left side of my top photo.
I handled all the models and I find the designs to be durable and tactically sound. As usual, it was a pleasure to interact with the Venture crew. Check out their client list here: Venture Ballistics Users. This is not even a complete listing, but I think it is a testimonial that they are committed and responsive to their customers.