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BRL – Ballistics Research Laboratory

February 15th, 2013

Armor Express - Press Release - BRL.PDF

CENTRAL LAKE, MI – A new ballistic research laboratory is the latest component comprising Armor Express’ new 10,000 sq. ft. Technology Center.

The new high tech facility was dedicated here this week, announced Matt Davis, CEO and President of Armor Express.

“We view the new Tech Center as the crown jewel of the company,” explained Matt. “This now gives us the most state-of-the-art lab in the ballistics testing industry.”

He explained that he and company technicians had visited ballistic research labs and ranges around the country before designing the Armor Express facility. “This was a project that was several years in the making, and one we took very seriously.”


The new 80 foot shooting range will accommodate ballistic testing ranging from .22 caliber to .30-06 armor piercing bullets. It’s constructed with over sized concrete blocks and with a three-layered ceiling of bullet resistant steel. A protective glass viewing window affords ballisticians optimal oversight, while a custom HVAC system with HEPA filters and laminar air flow provides a very clean and safe working environment.

“Safety on the shooting range was our over riding concern in designing the facility,” explains Matt. “So we drafted very thorough operating procedures.”

Two specially designed ovens heat the highly pliable Roma Plastilina #1 modeling clay which is used as the test medium on which vests are shot. A state-of-the-art Oehler Chronograph and Wiseman Universal Receiver, comprise other features necessary for the precise data collected by researchers performing controlled ballistic firings in the high tech range.

“Think of the Universal Receiver as a large, very precise firing pin,” says Matt. “It has a different barrel for each caliber, and pneumatic triggering device.” Ballisticians at opposite sides of the control room carefully follow a protocol designed for optimum safety to engage the triggering mechanism.

Also part of the new Technology Center is an area designated as the “SkunkWorks.” It’s here that AE technicians research and develop ballistic resistant prototypes.

“This allows us to develop products and validate vest design with R&D testing in-house, and under very controlled scientific conditions, thus ensuring they will meet NIJ requirements before we send them for certification,” Matt notes.

“It gives us the unique capability of bringing products to market much faster than ever before.”

Next year a drop tester will be installed, which will perform stab testing on products for the corrections industry, a major focus of Armor Express.

The BRL Shooting Range

A view from within the shooting range.

Ballistic control room photo - click to enlarge

View from the control room.

Central Lake, Michigan


With headquarters in Central Lake, MI and a nationwide network of sales representatives, Central Lake Armor Express, Inc. (DBA Armor Express), is an ISO 9001 registered company. It manufactures superior quality body armor with unparalleled protection, comfort, wearability and service. A range of products for men and women includes concealable and tactical body armor, accessories, and hard armor. "Body Armor Reborn" is the company motto.