If you’ve found us, then you’re aware of the increasing role hard armor ballistic shields play in defending special operations, SWAT, and emergency response teams in high-risk situations.
Like all tactical equipment, what you get out of them depends on how well it is designed. BlueRidge Armor Shields are essential in surround & call out, breach & hold operations, creating a fast and strong perimeter. During dynamic and deliberate entries, they allow operators to respond quickly in an unpredictable environment increasing protection above and beyond standard personal worn body armor. In active shooter events, BlueRidge Armor shields provide agile cover that allow operators to make advantageous tactical decisions that lead to better outcomes.
Like all armor, you’ll find your choice is a balance of three factors: protection level, weight and mobility. The key to assessing the correct level of protection you require is to have a good understanding of your typical operating environment and the threats that are present in that location.
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) threat level ratings are benchmarks for assessing ballistic protection levels and we encourage you to look deeper and get acquainted with our threat matrix. Start by identifying which products will have you covered for the rounds you may face in your location or line of work. If you’re caught between two levels of protection, remember it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
There has been massive investment in the development of ballistic resistant armor materials over the last decade. You’ll feel the benefit of this in the reduction of weight in threat level IIIA handgun and level III Rifle shields.
The shape and size of your shield is another critical consideration. Rectangular shields typically lend themselves to linked formations and sealing gaps against walls. Dynamic weapon mount platforms such as our VENGEANCE Series shield line reduce weight thereby facilitating rapid response, reducing fatigue and aid in deployment of supporting handguns and rifles.
Viewports have obvious benefits and our patented VENGEANCE Series Viewport increases horizontal and vertical sight lines while reducing weight compared to traditional rectangular viewports. We recommend adding a Carry Bag to your shield order to ensure it is protected when transporting or not in use.
The handle affects how you can hold and carry your shield. We offer a variety of handle styles with and without integrated lighting. Our top of the line integrated handle and lighting option is the Elzetta TriDextrous grip handle. It allows traditional horizontal carry and adds angled handle grips with forearm cuffs allowing left or right handed operators to deploy the shield with a more natural grip and arm angle while greatly reducing fatigue. If needed feel free to contact us to have one of our shield experts assist you in determine the best overall build to suit your needs.
The most impactful variable in using a shield effectively is the user. It’s critical to be well versed in proper technique and able to accurately execute tactical maneuvers before deploying a shield in theater
This is why we offer a range of education for both operators and civilians. We draw on decades of experience from active duty and retired law enforcement to deliver clinics that educate the basics all the way to to cutting edge deployment tactics.
See our Training page for more information.