Chris Tran Reviews the Armored Nutshellz

How much are your family jewels worth?

By: Chris Tran

Photography Credits: TracerX Photography and ArmoredNutshellz.com

Innovator Jeremiah Raber is a man I respect, and I haven’t even met him face to face.  He has taken an idea, spent thousands of dollars of his own capital and I’m sure thousands of hours of his own time and his family’s quality time to make his idea a reality.  We need more people like this these days; those that have an idea, believe in it, and the conviction to see it through. 

Raber and his company Nutshellz have received a good amount of media attention ranging from the Discovery Channel, PoliceOne.com, Military Times, local media outlets, to professional UFC fighters.  When the good guys at blacksheepwarrior.com asked me if I would be interested in reviewing some of the Nutshellz line of products, I agreed.  Out of the products that Raber had come up with, what would it be?   Level III rifle plates?  Ballistic inserts for backpacks?

I was sent the Nutshellz NIJ rated Level II ballistic groin protector. 

Without devolving into juvenile jokes as I typically would do, there is verified applicability to this.  Military, professional door kickers, law enforcement entry teams all report incidents of team members taking fire upon entry as a reality of their profession – wouldn’t it stand to reason that of all things to have protected, the groin would and should be one of them?

The product in a nutshell.

So what is it exactly and what makes it different?  The Nutshellz groin protector is fabricated out of Kevlar and a Dyneema product billed as “ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethalyne” or UHMWPE.  The Nutshellz cup is fabricated out of these materials, laminated and then placed into a “comfort surround”.

Fortunately for me, I had the privilege and honor to get twisted like a pretzel for seven rounds with one of my best friends, who also happens to be a Professor Marcelo Alonso trained black belt.  I’m happy to say that even though my body was thoroughly punished, the boys survived unscathed.

What makes it different from the competitor is that aside from the obvious ballistic capabilities, the cup is shatterproof.  You cannot say that about other cups on the market, including some recalled ones created by what are considered to be premier sports products manufacturers.

Does it work?

I did not at the time of this writing have the opportunity to shoot the cup due to administrative red tape at the range and I don’t like to head off into the seclusion of the woods and shoot without knowing my backstop, so readers will have to go to http://www.armorednutshellz.com to watch the Dyneema Lab videos and Raber’s videos of the cup getting shot.  Based on what I’ve seen, the cup will definitely stop and deflect a straight-on shot as advertised. 

In keeping with my personal maxim of only reviewing and critiquing gear that I would actually use in real life, I was a little torn.  In my current position as a full time LEO, I’m not in a pro-act squad that armors up to serve high risk warrants so I would not typically think to add this to my kit for work. 

I have however, trained martial arts for the past 21 years, but am a stone-cold rookie beginner in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  I compared the Nutshellz cup to my current Shock Doctor cup that I wear when I spar, and at first blush believed that the Nutshellz cup, due to its semi-rigid surround, would be wholly uncomfortable. 

Fortunately for me, I had the privilege and honor to get twisted like a pretzel for seven rounds with one of my best friends, who also happens to be a Professor Marcelo Alonso trained black belt.  I’m happy to say that even though my body was thoroughly punished, the boys survived unscathed.

Conclusion

The cup is actually quite comfortable, seated well in the cup pocket of my Shock Doctor shorts, and is adequately vented.  I was very impressed with the fit and comfort and would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants the gold standard of groin protection.

While I have never worn ballistic groin protection in my current assignment at work, I can easily see the real world and practical application of doing so.  Apparently so can other law enforcement agencies as well as the military, based on previous media reviews and interest in Raber’s product.  If I transferred to a door kicker squad, I would seriously consider adding the Nutshellz cup to my loadout; it’s light, comfortable, and hey…it keeps the boys safe, so there’s really no downside. 

So the final issue comes down to price and why I titled this review the way I did.  How can you really put a price on keeping your sensitive anatomy intact?  In this case, from a normal guy standpoint, the price is steep; ranging around the internet from $125 – $140.  That being said, taking a heel kick to the groin and having your cup shatter is probably more expensive.  Reconstructive surgery from stopping a 9mm with your junk is probably more than $140 as well, which is why I simply cannot give this cup a thumb down.  Two thumbs up in fact.  Frankly, I’d pay retail price for this simply to support Raber and his venture.  We need more American entrepreneurs with balls.

Check out Armorednutshellz.com and don’t forget to like their page on Facebook!

Related:

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Chris Tran on Guns and Tactics Magazine

 

About the author:

Chris is a police officer for a large municipality in the Pacific Northwest. He is a first generation immigrant who has chosen to give back to the country that has provided him with so much by serving his community as a police officer.

Chris writes equipment reviews aimed towards the everyday user with a focus on functionality, durability and cost effectiveness.