If you are in need of protection, bulletproof vest offers the highest level of protection possible. Bulletproof vests are worn by police officers, SWAT teams, private security guards, patrol officers, and more. Bulletproof vests are sometimes referred to as ballistic vests and they were developed in the 1960’s, primarily designed for the military at the time. If you are looking for a bulletproof vest that you can wear for personal protection, there are some things that you need to know about these products. A bulletproof vest can save your life by stopping the impact of a bullet before it reaches your body.
Soft and Hard Body Armor
A bulletproof vest comes in two basic varieties. The first and most common type of bullet proof vest is called hard body armor. This type of bullet proof vest uses plates, generally made of ceramic metal, which is designed to stop a wide variety of bullets. This includes rifle and handgun bullets, as well as shotgun slugs. Hard body armor is typically designed to ricochet the bullet and change its direction. Soft body armor works in a unique fashion, using specialized fabrics to catch the bullets rather than redirecting them. The bullet is literally slowed down while in mid flight, which disperses the force of impact. Soft body armor is effective at stopping bullets from handguns. Soft body armor is typically not as effective against bullets from rifles.
Hard body armor is constructed of many materials but you will mostly find vests made from steel, ceramic, and polyethylene. These materials are considered resistant to impact, meaning that when the bullet makes contact with them its direction will change and hopefully disperse away from the body, along with a significant reduction in speed. Hard armor bulletproof vest that are made from non-metallic plates are sometimes vulnerable along the edges of the vest.
Soft body armor is woven from aramid fibers. There are other types of fibers sometimes used for softbody armor like resin impregnated parallel or cross plied polyethylene fibers, which are featured in polyethylene . The new standard is polyethylene fibers, which are just as impact resistant as the older aramid fibers. As an additional benefit, they are also significantly lighter in weight but they happen to be more vulnerable to degradation due to the environment. Many scientists are also looking into new possible materials for bulletproof resistant vests such as carbon nanotubes. Gel like fluids are also under experimentation to determine their effectiveness when combined with existing bullet resistant fibers. Israeli Weapons LTD use the highest quality materials for both soft and hard armor vests. These products are made in Israel with experience of IDF (Zahal).
Differing Levels of Protection
Bulletproof vest have different levels of protection that you need to be aware of. Every vest will be rated based off how much blunt force impact they can sustain. The better the rating, the more effective the vest is going to be a protecting your body from incoming bullets. Below, you will find which levels of protection are available among vests today.
These are the thinnest possible vests that you can purchase. They are generally about 4mm thick and made a very soft materials. These vests are best when you need to conceal that you are wearing a bulletproof vest, such as when you are in public areas. They can be worn under clothing for long periods of time without causing discomfort.
These bullet resistant vests are significantly larger, about 5mm thick. These are the standard vests that you see worn by police officers today. A level II bulletproof vest can easily be concealed underclothing.
When you need a much more significant upgrade, a level III-A vest is the best option on the market. They are 9mm thick. These bass are significantly heavier than level II or level II-A vests, meaning that they are designed for high-impact bullets. For instance, these vests can effectively stop .44 magnum bullets and even rapid fire from automatic weapons. Level III-A vests have even been tested with 9 mm submachine guns. Primarily designed for combat situations, they can be concealed under clothing and are often used for soldiers in the military.
Level III and Level IV:
These vests incorporate 10×12″ (25x30cm) armor plates that are about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick. These plates are designed to cover the chest and back of the individual wearing the vest. Each playing also amounts to anywhere between 1.5 and 3.2 KG, which means that the wearer’s mobility is going to be reduced significantly. This is the biggest difference between the soft armor bulletproof vests and hard armor plates. Level III and level IV bulletproof vests generally cannot be worn under clothing. These types of vests are commonly used by SWAT officers that do not need to conceal the presence of the vest and also need the highest level of protection possible.
Some bulletproof vests are designed to be stab resistant by incorporating armor plates, much like those that you will find in level III and level IV vests. You will find these types of vests being worn by officers that work as corrections personnel. Dangerous environments like prison where knives and stilettos are common call for high impact vests that can withstand blunt trauma. Stab resistant vests have their own ratings which signify how much of energy they can deflect upon impact. Keep in mind, stab resistant bulletproof vests are going to add significant weight and bulk to the vest which once again will reduce mobility. However, most stab resistant bulletproof vests are still able to be concealed underclothing. If you want to add additional protection to the vest, many stab resistant vests have pockets for armor plates that can be customized by the wearer.
Whether the Vest can be Concealed
Another very important factor when purchasing a bulletproof vest is whether or not it can be concealed. If you are going to be in a public area, then having a bulletproof vest that can effectively be worn underneath clothing can be important. Level II and level II-A vests are designed for these situations. They can easily be hidden underneath a loose fitted shirt. Level III-A vests however will require a jacket or sweater to be concealed effectively. Level III and level IV vests are not typically designed for concealment. These vests are usually worn over the top of clothing, as it would require a very heavy jacket to conceal them which would significantly reduce mobility.
Choose a Vest That is Right For You
Everyone has their own unique preferences and style choices. You should find a bulletproof vest that fits your body type reasonably comfortably, while also providing the level of protection that you are looking for. The most important thing is that it protects your body’s most vital organs. Bulletproof vests today are designed to protect the heart, lungs, rib cage, and other organs of the body located in the midsection. Bulletproof vest manufacturer’s make their products in all standard sizes. However, you should consider trying on the vest in person before you commit to a purchase. Many online shops will offer free returns and money back guarantees in case the vest does not fit your body type.
Bulletproof Vests Come With a Variety of Add-Ons
Most bulletproof vests today will have add-ons that are available. For instance, the body armor can sometimes be customized and changed to suit your specific needs. Some vests are also designed to protect specific areas of the body, such as the torso, or the front or back only. Adding protection to areas like the groin, neck, shoulders, or sides of the body will require additional add-ons. You can find both after market and official brand add-ons. These add-ons will typically anchor to the vest in order to provide protection to the specific area of the body that the add-on targets. These add-ons typically have names such as shoulder guards, side protection, neck guards, or groin flaps. When purchasing an add-on for your bulletproof vest, you need to make sure that it will anchor to your vest accordingly. Your add-ons may need to be purchased by the same manufacturer or company that you bought the vest from. Making sure that the add-ons fit snugly to your body is also important as movement constriction can be a big hindrance when you are trying to remain mobile while wearing your bulletproof vest.
Bulletproof Vests are Available with Different Price Ranges
You should purchase a bulletproof vest that works well for your budget, while remembering that additional add-ons might be further purchases that you have to make. More layers of protection will add weight and reduce the mobility of the vest, while also increasing the price. Finding a vest that is priced reasonably and well within your budget is an important factor.
There are ways to save money on bulletproof vests. Some dealers will resell old police vests to civilians and even private security companies. Buying used is a great way to reduce costs, but you have to take environmental degradation into concern. Even if the vest had never been hit by a bullet, just being worn on a daily basis and constant exposure to the environment can cause a significant reduction in its effectiveness. Used body armor will sometimes be tested by the national Institute of Justice. If you can find a bulletproof vest that has passed this test then the vest will be just as effective as new armor.
Aramid vests are known to last for many years, but the fabric used for the outer shell will wear much quicker than the fabric used for the inner shell. It is possible to replace the elastic shell on the outside which will essentially restore the vest and save you from having to buy one brand-new.
Aside from purchasing a used vest, there are other things that you can do to save money as well. Some manufacturers of body armor will provide volume discounts if you purchase more than one best at a time. If you are buying for friends or family members, you can purchase in bulk and significantly lower your costs. You should also take a close look at any guarantees offered by the seller, as well as the manufacturer’s warranty. These two things can save you money in the long run by protecting your purchase and assuring your satisfaction.
There are lots of other purchases that you can make alongside your bulletproof vest. One of the most common is the purchase of a bulletproof helmet. Wearing a helmet provides protection to your head and it’s an advanced level of personal armor. Helmets have been used in history since the 17th century. Helmets were also common in battle during the Middle Ages and for great reason. A battle helmet can provide protection from knives, spears, arrows, bullets, and more. As weapons have become more powerful, higher quality helmets have been brought to the market.
Modern militaries use helmets made from materials such as Aramid. Helmets provide protection from explosions, shrapnel, bullets, and more. Advanced militaries such as the military forces of the United States even have helmets with superior technology such as night vision, thermal imaging, video cameras, and more. These features help equip the soldier with better tools and resources. If you are looking for a helmet that offers personal protection, there are lots of bulletproof helmets on the market that would make excellent purchases alongside your bulletproof vest. Some of these helmets are camouflaged and can even help conceal your presence while in combat.
There are a lot of considerations to make when purchasing a bulletproof vest. You can do additional research by exploring businesses like Israeli Weapons LTD, a known bulletproof vest manufacturer with products originating from Israel.