Body armor can protect against cold or firearms, as well as from shrapnel wounds. Life often depends on this personal protective equipment. Most often, armored businessmen, bodyguards, as well as people who are engaged in the transportation of expensive goods and do not want to attract too much attention to themselves purchase a body armor vest. Less often, private individuals buy vests, for example, football fans who fear attack amid sports disputes. Body armor safety equipment is also provided to people who are in the witness protection program.
Body armor vest threat levels
The National Institute of Justice has a rating system for body armor (NIJ standard 0101.03, 0101.04, and interim 0101.05). Bulletproof vests are tested not only to stop penetration but also to protect against blunt trauma â€” the blow inflicted on the body when a bullet hits the vest. According to the American standard NIJ-0101.06, vests are divided into different classes. Each class guarantees protection against different threats:
- IIA. 9mm FMJRN, cartridge 9×19 Parabellum, .40 S&W FMJ.
- II. Pistol 9 mm, cartridge 9×19 Parabellum, revolver Magnum .357.
- IIIA. Cartridge .357 SIG FMJ FN, .44 Mag SJHP.
- III. Rifle 7.62 NATO, Steel Jacket, M80.
- IV. .30M2AP.
This is the simplest type of protection at the moment. This type of body armor is remarkable primarily because of the comfort when wearing. It is not visible to others and can protect against certain types of pistols. However, melee weapons can cause significant damage to the user.
Type IIA is popular due to its low weight and stealth. It is comfortable to wear under a jacket and does not restrict the wearer’s movements at all. However, do not expect that this body armor will protect you from serious melee or firearms.
Type II bulletproof vests are some of the most common among businessmen and bodyguards. Type II offers something between comfort and protection. With it, you can protect yourself against the most popular handguns. In addition, this body armor is of a hidden type, so you can go to work in it without revealing your protection to others.
Such body armor does not greatly hinder the wearer’s movements and does not heat up the body much. But you have to pay for comfort with protection. The bulletproof vest will protect against the most popular pistols, but no more. Unless you’re into daily gunfights with the mafia, this might well be enough.
Type IIIA body armor resembles a police vest. They will allow you to get protection not only from pistols but also from a shotgun and even a small-caliber carbine. Due to the increased level of protection, the user will have to wear a rather heavy body armor, which is difficult to hide under clothing. During the summer, it is quite difficult to wear type IIIA all day due to the increased temperature.
This category of body armor safety equipment includes vests with armored plates 25-30 cm, 6-25 mm thick, covering the chest and back. Each steel or ceramic plate adds 1-4 kg to the soft body of the body armor and reduces mobility accordingly. These open-wear vests protect against submachine guns and rifles. In the production of body armor, aramid fibers, ultra-high-modulus polyethylene, steel, titanium, aluminum, and ceramics are used.
- Steel – resists penetration at high speed.
- Titanium is used hard and soft. The first one is strong, but under certain conditions, it can collapse. The second one holds bullets well but sags. Compared to armor steel, titanium provides the same degree of protection but is 30-40% lighter.
- Aluminum is 20-30% lighter than steel, holds fragments well, and is most often used in conjunction with ceramic plates for mine protection.
- Ceramics is dense but brittle. It is superior to steel and titanium, any bullet is deformed about it, but when it hits, it always collapses with the formation of fragments. Therefore, it is used as an outer layer lying on metal plates or a fabric substrate that traps fragments and prevents ceramics from falling apart.
- Aramid fibers protect well from fragments but only from those that fly at a speed below 500 m/s. Therefore, they are used as the main layer only in light anti-fragmentation vests. In addition, such a fabric is ineffective against very sharp objects (awl, crossbow arrows) – it easily moves apart and passes them. When wet, the fibers lose their protective properties, so soft vests are covered with a waterproof cover.
- Ultra-high-modulus polyethylene (UHMWPE) can compete in strength with titanium and armor steel. It is much lighter and can withstand even armor-piercing bullets, but it is disposable, so UHMWPE shields are most often removable.
Classification of bulletproof vests according to the method of wearing
Modern uniforms are not only effective but also almost imperceptible as there is a body armor vest for concealed wear, which is easily hidden under clothing and does not attract attention. Such personal protective equipment can save human life and health, so everyone who is in sight and needs safety will need it.
Products are characterized by a low protection class, so they cannot be used in combat areas. They are effective only in danger zones where the following specialists operate:
- Law enforcement officers;
- Security guards;
- Private VIP persons;
Modern models sit on the figure, do not hinder movements, are easy to use, are heat-resistant, and are not afraid of moisture. Therefore, they will not cause much discomfort and provide the proper level of protection.
Bulletproof vests for external wear are designed for professional use. They consist of a base (fabric) and elements in the form of tiles made of various materials (plastic, ceramics, metal). The back and chest parts are connected by straps on the shoulders and waist, the base is made of durable lightweight fabric that is resistant to external influences (damage, abrasion, sunlight, and water).
Body armor safety equipment is popular all over the world. Protection is needed not only by the military and law enforcement officers but also by wealthy people and businessmen who face threats to their lives. Galls online store offers a large selection of body armor of different threat levels for men and women. Customers can choose the category, color, and many other parameters. This is a responsible purchase, so you need to buy it from a reliable seller.