As firearms become more powerful, bulletproof gear too is becoming more sophisticated to meet the rising level of threat. Although the bulletproof vest has evolved much since its invention, modern technology continues on its mission to make vests and plates more effective and comfortable. Regardless of your situation or occupation, you can browse through a wide range of body armor wear to find one that meets your particular needs.
A Very Short History of Body Armor
The need for protective armor dates back centuries, but it was only after the invention of the firearm that the demand drastically increased. Although the origin of modern vests is unclear, the Japanese are often given the credit as early developers of the gear we see today. After several attempts to manufacture vests made of silk, new modern bullet proof vests that produced by Israeli Weapons are flexible, bullet-resistant material that is used by many manufacturers to this day.
Hard and Soft Bullet Proof Armor
Vests, armor plates, helmets and other add-ons fall under two broad categories: soft and hard armor. Soft protective wear is popular with the police force and is worn when officers are patrolling. It consists of a number of layers connected or woven together to shield the wearer from low-level impact.
Hard armor gear, on the other hand, involves the blend of fabric and stiffer materials like metals and ceramics. The design can withstand force from heavier ammunition travelling at faster speeds.
Determining Your Protection Needs
When searching for a type of bulletproof vest, you should always consider the following:
- The extent of threat
- The fit and size
- The quality
- Your budget
Various Levels of Threat
You need a bullet proof vest and plate that is capable of protecting you from the ammunition you are likely to encounter. In other words, certain designs are only resistant to certain kinds and speeds of bullets. To simplify the process, threat is analyzed according to categories.
Level IIA and Level II:
These levels refer to threat from low to medium ammunition. Armor can resist shots from most small handguns but not high-speed projectiles. Vests are much thinner and can be concealed under clothing for comfortable, covert wear.
Level III armor plates designed to survive ammunition from handguns, rifles and other high-caliber firearms. The gear is heavier but offers stronger protection. It is normally worn overtly and is very effective in high-risk circumstances.
This is the highest known level of threat and therefore demands appropriate armor. Metal, polyethylene or ceramic plates that designs for optimum protection. Because of the thicker construction, the armor is normally worn over clothing.
Fit and Size
Once you have determined your level of threat, you should make sure you purchase gear that fits comfortably. Size can affect the effectiveness of your armor significantly. If it is too tight, not only can the vest make movement difficult, but it can also put your body at risk of injury. Buying a larger size might seem like a good decision but a vest too big can be just as ineffective as a tight one. Strive to find a good fit.
There are many merchants who sell bullet proof armor. However, it is advisable to find one that offers long lasting products and a great warranty. Vests and other bullet-resistant items should live up to industry standards to guarantee protection. A reasonable warranty is a good indicator that your retailer or manufacturer is confident in the product and is willing to provide assistance with your purchase if necessary.
Although saving money is a huge priority, it should never deter you from investing in the kind of armor you need. It’s not worth it to purchase low-impact coverage vests for a lower price if your occupation calls for harder gear. Similarly, it would be a waste of money to buy the toughest armor if you are frequently deal with low caliber weapons. The threat level should help you make a realistic choice.
How to Increase Protection
If your budget only allows the purchase of soft armor, you can easily improve covering by supplementing your vests with add-ons. Groin flaps, neck guards and abdominal high-density foam are just some of the many useful items you can add for extra strength and protection.
How to Care for Bulletproof Vest
The life of your vest depends largely on its quality. However, you can extend the life of your armor by taking good care of it. Some vests have the tendency to preserve their internal construction but lose their external shells over time. To prevent this from happening, place your gear inside storage bags when it is not in use.