In the realm of self-defense, the NovaSteel Buckler Shield by Adept Armor stands out as a modern solution to contemporary threats, especially in places like schools and churches. This lightweight yet powerful shield brings the traditional buckler into the 21st Century, offering a compact and highly portable option for personal protection.

What Is a Buckler?

A buckler, historically a one-handed battle shield, was traditionally used alongside larger shields. The buckler could also be used in parrying and striking. A raised portion in the center of the shield added additional impact effectiveness.

“His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day…” Psalm 91 vs. 4-5. NKJV.

Adept Armor reimagined the classic design in the NovaSteel Buckler, bringing the tool into the 21st century. This innovative shield could be an asset in today’s security landscape, providing a practical solution to the rising threats of active shooters faced by schools and churches. Shield use has become more commonplace not only among SWAT officers but uniformed patrol officers as well. However, full-sized shields are large and very heavy.

About the NovaSteel Buckler

Adept Armor claims the NovaSteel Buckler, as a lightweight ballistic shield offering protection to the face, neck, upper torso and arms, can fill the literal gap left by contemporary body armor and helmet systems. I found it could also stand alone in an emergency defensive role.

Weighing in at a mere 3 pounds and boasting a diameter of 12.2 inches, the NovaSteel Buckler offers unparalleled portability compared to full-sized ballistic shields, which can weigh upwards of 35 lbs. This makes it an ideal choice for situations where agility and mobility are paramount. Its advanced alloy construction provides level IIIA ballistic protection. Level IIIA is a part of the National Institute of Justice rating system for soft and hard armor and has been in use for many years.

The IIIA level of protection ensures reliable defense against various ammunition and is rated to stop .44 Magnum 240-grain SJHP, 124-grain 9mm FMJ, and .357 Magnum 158-grain FMJ ammunition.

User-Friendly Defensive Shield Design

The NovaSteel Buckler is designed to be combined with a handgun to give the user an offensive/defensive weapon system. Like a traditional buckler, it is a heptagon rather than a circle. The two angled indentations on either side at the top accommodate a pistol, providing a solid resting point for a handgun when the buckler is extended straight out in front of you.

The NovaSteel Buckler is totally ambidextrous. The single handle is positioned directly in the center of the boss, which provides room for the closed fist. The apex of the boss on the threat side ends in a rounded, cone-shaped tip 1 ¼ inches above the shield face. This is the portion that can be used offensively with strikes driven toward a combative suspect if deadly force is not justified. The NovaSteel buckler can be used to defend against thrown objects, adding versatility.

Testing the Personal Shield from Adept Armor

While the NovaSteel Buckler impresses with its design and functionality, the handle could be improved. Made of flat steel with relatively sharp edges, it can become uncomfortable. I’ve worked with ballistic shields for 14 years while a deputy sheriff on our county SRT unit. Every shield handle was rounded. The folks at Adept Armor suggest the user customize the basic handle by wrapping it with tape to suit him or her. That can work to a degree for bucklers issued to a single person, but not for a single shield used by multiple personnel.

The Buckler shield from Adept Armor with a modified handle.

The NovaSteel from Adept Armor with a modified handle.

To fix my sample, I used a piece of clear tubing the length of the handle gripping area from the local hardware store. I attached the tubing to the handle and wrapped it with Gorilla tape. While the grip is now more comfortable, it should be made of tube steel. A tube steel handle could allow the shield to be partially spun while striking, similar to the old PR-24 side handle baton.

I have been carrying the NovaSteel Buckler in church in a shoulder satchel with a zipper top, positioning it next to me in the pew. I looped a zip tie the compartment zipper so I can grab the correct one in an emergency. No one has noticed or questioned the shoulder bag, but the shield stands at the ready, out of sight like a concealed carry gun.

Adept Armor’s NovaSteel Buckler is a game-changer in the self-defense market, catering to the needs of both law enforcement and civilians. Priced at a reasonable $195, this shield offers an accessible and effective solution for personal security, whether carried in a backpack, stored in a vehicle or discreetly positioned in public spaces.


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