1. Most Ballistic Shields have a 5 year shelf life, a core covered in bed liner or plastic casing, with trim as a binding, leaving core exposed to the elements, moisture, oxygen, sunlight and normal wear breakdown woven material and over time separate, greatly reducing the stopping power and compromising structural integrity. A Venture Ballistics Shield has a age tested 7 year shelf life, due to build process. Ventures ballistic core's are encapsulated in a ridged composite, no longer is the ballistic material exposed to sunlight, moisture, oxygen, or separation, not only does this extend lifespan, it makes for unsurpassed multi shot capacity (due to inherent compression) as well as beginning the key holing effect with has a significant role in stopping rounds.
2. View ports and visibility.
As we have found it is impossible to not scratch the
view ports or keep them clean and clear. We at Venture believe it best to have a view port that can
be replaced, most shields we have come across, you can hardly see through them after a few years. The larger
multiple layered view ports offer a broader view however visual quality suffers greatly "like looking
though a cheap pair of sunglasses" as well as condensation between layered poly "going from trunk to action you can not clean the inside layers of view port" over time gets mucked up and
become a visual hindrance, one that can't easily be fixed. Ventures view ports are strong solid 1 piece design 1.25" thick of crystal clear Poly, no separation between layers for condensation to build up, no distortion at all, as well as easily replaceable.
3. Overall strength and durability
this must not be overlooked, all good shields perform to NIJ 0108.01
A core covered in bed liner or plastic with trim as banding, and a plastic handle. Light yes, however is extremely weak and folds like a chair under minimal action. A shield may be what stands between you and the here after,
that being the case you want to get the strongest best made shield available, something
built a little beefier with more stopping power than possible needed, one that not only defends but can be as
effective as any melee weapon.
Seems to be a no brainier however a good shield is one you can repair
yourself replace any part, be it handle, cuff, view port, or even the light.
Most people want something straight forward, something they can work on and always
make it as good as the day they got it. look close 1/4 20 hardware is strong enough, however
5/16 18 is best, grade 8 preferably....
Should possible be on the top of the list, however in such matters, should money be a issue?
When buying a shield look at it closely, look at the construction, time taken to produce, materials, most barely let you see them in a close up photo.Pricing of most is vastly inflated for the product you receive, rule of thumb throw cost out the window, picking up a shield should give you a sense of security, if not you have the
wrong shield, ask yourself can it survive 10 years of on the job abuse, everyday in and out of a trunk, will it stand the test of time? Venture Ballistic shields will survive the test of time and after 10 years with your Venture Shield, we believe you will never consider another brand.....
6. Curved V.S. Flat.
Traditional thinking is a curved shield would provide more protection over a flat Shield, however this logic is based on, up close hand to hand combat and outdated materials.
Check your coverage/size, when you are given the width of a curved shield you can take 2"-4" off, they are measured without accounting for the radios, so a 24" shield in some cases will only have 20" of frontal coverage (most unaware of this fact, be sure you get what you pay for), the 2"-4" of side coverage has no real use, other than adding rigidity to a weak design and leaving the man behind you unprotected, it is antiquated thinking of what a shield should be, without thought of what it is made for. Strength of curvature, unlike curved armor, ballistic material (fabric) does not gain. Thermally curving pressed materials stretch's weaved fibers and weakens overall, curvature does strengthen up weaker shields, however in the modern day application you are defending from a distance, a flat shield has better coverage at a distance, Unless you are encompassed in the curvature of a shield, which unless you are 2" thick, it is just not possible......
You may notice most shields on the market today have soft pads on them, normally under forearm or elbow region, it is sold as protection from a shot and is the only thing between you and ballistic material. Fact is the kinetic energy of a bullet negates soft pads (soft pads are not ridged enough to absorb the speed of a shot)upon impact they are compressed and in essence become a pressure point at impact zone. So while the pad may give you some protection from chaffing it has no real value when it comes to absorbing the shot. Unlike any other manufacture Venture goes a step farther with it's construction, we have discovered that a multiple layer high density gel-coated foam core is vastly superior in shot absorption over soft pads and dissipate impact over a larger area reduce stress to operator. So while it may not look like a conventional pad, rest assure it is far better....
8.Lights, Batteries and safety
Most shields on the market today come with aftermarket light packages powered with 2 expensive cr123 Primary (non rechargeable) or similarly sized rechargeable cells called RCR123. CR and RCR are both 3-3.6 volts 700Ma-1500Ma good voltage however MAH (milli Ampere hour) Battery life is minimal. Venture uses 2 batteries as well, although we use a more powerful 18650 battery 3.7-4.2 volt at 3000Mah, this battery is more powerful and has exceptional battery life at nearly half the cost of the 123's. As with all new lights the use of Li-ion/lithium battery is essential if you want to have the brightest light available, however these batteries have higher energy density than other more common battery types, which provide a distinct fire protection challenge given the current body of knowledge available regarding Li-ion battery fires. The severity of a Li-ion cell failure will be strongly affected by the total energy stored in that cell, when they catch fire it is fast and burns at a high rate. Venture became aware of the danger when a battery was breached during testing, Venture decided to find a shield light that had the batteries on the front (thinking if breached in action at least the flames would be away from operator instead of in his face or hands. After a long and arduous search we could not find a aftermarket light setup acceptable, none addressing the issue of this fire hazard at all, as if ignorant of the danger all together. Venture find that unacceptable and is how we came about making our own lights system, such important safety issue can not be ignored.
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