Any time you picture someone putting themselves in the way of danger, they should be wearing a bulletproof vest. Members of the military wear a form of vest that can stop higher-caliber bullets. Even journalists and photographers have to don them in certain situations.
But how do bulletproof vests work, and how effective are they at stopping different types of bullets? Not every vest is made the same, and wearing one isn’t always going to stop a bullet completely. It helps if you know how to equip one properly and what it can and can’t do.
Here’s your bulletproof vest guide on their origin, benefits, and how to find the best one.
What is a Bulletproof Vest?
A bulletproof vest is also known as a bullet-resistant or ballistic vest. Its primary function is to absorb the impact and stop a bullet or fragmentation from piercing through and hitting the wearer. Although the name implies complete protection from bullets, there are some softer vests that cannot completely stop a bullet.
Some of the fields that use bulletproof vests include security, police operations, and military operations. It’s important to note that most police officers do not have access to the same type of equipment military personnel will. In addition, police and security will not always have them equipped.
Some of the different types of bulletproof vests include soft armor plates, hard armor plates, concealed vests, and full-body tactical armor. While most body armor is made for men, there are some newer designs that take into account a woman’s shape.
History of the Bulletproof Vest
The original bulletproof vest made in the 1500s was metal armor that could deflect bullets. However, not all bullets were stopped by metal, and the material could deflect bullets back into the people around the wearer.
Softer body armor was later made in Japan out of silk. Although it proved effective, it was expensive to produce.
The first American body armor, the flak jacket, was invented during the Second World War. Instead of metal or silk, they used ballistic nylon as the main component. It was bulky and didn’t provide much protection, which is why it didn’t take long to go out of fashion.
Kevlar ballistic fabric was invented in the early 1970s, which revolutionized the industry. This fabric was extremely strong and lightweight. The strongest type of Kevlar body armor could stop steel core rifle rounds from tactical rifles.
Bulletproof Vest Benefits
Not every area of security work puts you in the line of fire every day like working overseas in the military. However, wearing a bulletproof vest can protect you in those rare cases that you have to face down a shooter.
One of the benefits of bulletproof vests is that it’s the best protection you can have on the job. Different types of vests offer varying levels of protection, but even the lightest option can keep you safe from concealed handguns.
Additionally, there are bulletproof vests that can fit underneath your ordinary clothes. If you’re working as undercover security, it can help you stay out of the public eye and safe at the same time. On the opposite end of the spectrum, larger bulletproof vests can help to intimidate potential attackers.
Regardless of what you choose, your vest should be flexible and comfortable to wear. It may also have some kind of hidden equipment storage for extra ammo and arms.
How Do Bulletproof Vests Work?
A bulletproof vest is constructed of layers of woven Kevlar sewn together using Kevlar thread. They may also be made up of Spectra Shield or some other equivalent material in other countries.
The panel of Kevlar is then placed inside of a fabric shell made up of either a polyester/cotton blend or nylon. There may also be an absorbent material included for extra padding. Vests intended for more serious situations often have built-in pouches with metallic plates for extra protection.
When a bullet hits a bulletproof vest, the Kevlar catches it. The Kevlar absorbs and dissipates the energy from the bullet. As such, it’s also a useful material for protecting against slashes and punctures.
Bulletproof Vest Tips
There are some things you need to know about bulletproof vests before you purchase one.
First of all, the majority of body armor has a five-year service rating. Each day worn reduces its capability to protect you. Your vest should last five years, but you should also replace it after it’s taken some damage.
When you need to wash its ballistic panels, avoid the washer and dryer. A damp sponge and a mild soap should work well to wash it without damaging it.
Take care of your vest like any of your other pieces of clothing. Put them up in your closet so the fibers don’t get bent out of shape. Learn how to inspect the sewing for any defects that may reduce its effectiveness.
Buying Bulletproof Vests
All body armor is organized by the protection levels put in place by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The NIJ tests armor using service rifles, handguns, and fragmentation rounds. Knowing these levels helps you decide on what kind of body armor you need.
For example, Level IIA protects you against .22 LR rounds. Meanwhile, Level IV protects against .30 caliber armor piercing (AP) rounds.
Soft body armor is ideal for everyday wear in a lower-risk setting. Hard body armor includes extra protection against rifle rounds but is much bulkier.
The average price of body armor is around $400. However, higher-quality options can run you thousands of dollars.
Protect Yourself With Certified Equipment
How do bulletproof vests work for law enforcement, members of the military, and other relevant industries? The right body armor can stop bullets, protect you from knives, and even resist bites. They’re one of the best options for almost any situation if you want to avoid harm.
BAC Tactical is dedicated to providing the safest, lightest, and most affordable bulletproof vests in the USA. Our equipment is suitable for personnel in all kinds of industries, and we currently service over 23 countries.
Visit our website to buy some bulletproof vests and to check out our stock.