What is a Bulletproof Vest?
A bulletproof vest, also popuarly known as a ballistic vest or body armor, is tough and strong protective equipment designed to protect the wearer from ballistic threats. It is made of multiple layers of strong synthetic materials such as Kevlar or Twaron, which are woven together to form a flexible and durable barrier that catches the bullet and stops it from penetrating a person's body.
Bulletproof vests work by absorbing and dissipating the energy of a bullet or other projectile, spreading it out over a larger area to prevent it from penetrating the wearer's body. This can help to prevent serious injury or death in situations where the wearer is exposed to gunfire or other ballistic threats.
These vests are commonly used by law enforcement officers, military personnel, and other individuals who work in a risky areas where they may encounter any ballistic threats in the course of their work. They come in a variety of types and levels of protection, ranging from lightweight concealable vests designed for everyday wear to heavy-duty tactical vests designed to be used in combats.
How Bulletproof are Ballistic Vests?
Bulletproof vests offer different levels of protection, which are rated according to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) standard. The NIJ rates vests based on their ability to stop bullets fired from various firearms, including handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Below are the popular choices of ballistic levels.Level II
The level II vest is designed to stop bullets fired from larger handguns, including .357 and .40 calibre rounds.Level IIIa
his level of protection is designed to stop bullets fired from most handguns and shotguns, including 9mm and .44 Magnum rounds.Level III
This level of protection is not offered by soft armor and need hard armor plates to go in conjunction with the vests. They are designed to stop bullets fired from rifles, including 7.62mm NATO and .308 Winchester rounds.Level IV
This level of protection is not offered by soft armor and need hard armor plates to go in conjunction with the vests. This level of protection is designed to stop armor-piercing bullets fired from rifles, including .30-06 M2AP and 7.62mm NATO AP rounds. It's important to note that even the highest level of protection offered by bulletproof vests is not completely bulletproof. While a vest may be able to stop a bullet from penetrating the wearer's body, it can still cause blunt force trauma and other injuries, resulting in excruciating pain or broken bones.
Types of Bulletproof Vest
As the name suggests, a concealable vest is designed to be worn under clothing and is typically made from lightweight materials like Kevlar or Twaron and is concealed. They are worn by law enforcement officers, security personnel, and others who must remain inconspicuous while still having protection.
This vest type is designed for use in tactical situations, such as military operations or SWAT team raids. Tactical vests are typically larger and more heavily armoured than concealable vests and may include additional features like pouches for ammunition or equipment.
This type of vest is designed to hold hard armour plates, typically made from ceramics or other highly effective materials at stopping rifle rounds. Plate carriers are often worn by military personnel, law enforcement officers. Also, Ballistic plates are used by others who need maximum protection in high-risk situations.
While most bulletproof vests are designed to stop bullets, stab-resistant vests are specifically designed to stop knives and other sharp objects. These vests are often worn by prison guards, police officers, and others who risk being attacked with a sharp object instead of a gun.
Can a Civilian Own a Bulletproof Vest?
In the US, the Federal Government allows civilians to purchase bulletproof vests online from defence stores or a local store without complexities. But before you go and purchase a bulletproof vest for yourself, check out the local laws of your province or area. The local government or authority often has different rights or laws depending upon the situation. For example, if you are in Connecticut, you cannot purchase ballistic vests online. And recently, due to the news and incidents, New York has also prohibited the possession of any type of ballistic vest. So, ensure you understand and abide by the local laws before ordering a ballistic plate.
How to Find the Right Bulletproof Vest Size?
Choosing an ideal bulletproof vest with the right size is important, as it will keep you safe from any damage. Bulletproof vest sizing is the process of choosing the bulletproof vest size that is right for you. It is important to know that it might be different from your regular vest size, so you cannot use the same requirement for your regular shirt size to choose the right bulletproof size. When selecting, you must ensure that it sits right over your navel. If you are slim but with a large mid-section, select a size a little bigger than your exact size so that you can always fasten the vest around your mid-section. The vest is designed to protect your essential organs like the lungs and heart, and it should ideally cover your midsection and should not hinder your movement.