Body Armor and the Important facts!

With a sharp increase in the shooting incidents across the nation in recent years, US survivalists are finding out that body armor is now an integral part of their gear. Part of being prepared for the worst is having adequate protection in the form of a bulletproof vest that keeps bullet projectiles from penetrating through the skin and injuring your vital organs. Technically, no carrier is 100% bulletproof, so the term bullet resistant is more commonly used, but if you carefully select the type and level of protection of your gear, your chances of staying safe if caught in crossfire, are pretty good.

Body armor covers a wide range of products, including helmets and shields, but the most important equipment is the carrier.

Types of Body armor

Generally, body armor is classified as soft and hard. Soft body armor is rated at levels I through III and works well against handguns and some semi-automatic pistols. It is lightweight and versatile, making it suitable for urban settings. Hard body armor is rated at levels III through IV and is characterized by hard rigid plates, which are effective even against rifle and armor -piercing rounds. It is most commonly used by the military and police tactical units.

Survivalists are aware that firearms will be the major threat to their safety, as they will be the first weapon anyone will look for. It is usually recommended that you wear body armor that protects against the weapon you intend to carry. The National Institute of Justice tests and standardizes bullet proof vests (NIJ Levels), and vests from Level I-IIIa are capable of stopping the vast majority of handgun ammunition. Higher levels are efficient against lower level threats as well.

The most popular choice amongst US survivalists is an external vest level IIIA with soft panels. It is not as heavy as higher level tactical vests, but it offers protection against a wide range of calibers. Well suited for high-risk situations - it covers more of the uncommon or unusual threats, such as 9mm and 44 Magnum calibers at sub-machine gun velocity. You can always chose to enhance it with rifle plates for maximum safety. It may make it a bit harder to conceal, but you can always wear it under fleece or jacket.

Some survivalists avoid body armor because of its perceived weight and bulk. However, modern bullet proof vests are lightweight and flexible, and can even be worn underneath clothing (covert style). Covert carriers are designed to be worn comfortably for extended periods, and some even include breathable materials that can help regulate your temperature. They have the advantage of being very discreet without sacrificing protection. This makes them ideal to be worn at all times, across different survival scenarios.

There are, of course, benefits to vests that are worn over clothing, in an ‘overt’ style as well. Some survivalists feel that displaying body armor in this manner can help deter potential attackers as it acts as a statement of authority. These overt vests offer just as much protection and are lightweight and flexible as well, so it is a matter of personal choice as to which is most appropriate.

Stab and Spike Protection

After firearms, edged and spiked weapons are the second most serious threat that survivalists encounter. As time passes and ammunition becomes scarcer and scarcer, attackers are likely to use knives or spiked weapons, which a bullet proof vest does not protect against. Bullet resistant vests are made of protective fibres that can ‘trap’ and slow a bullet, flattening and slowing it to a complete halt. But an edged weapon will simply cut through these fibres, while a spiked weapon can pass through the minute gaps between them. This means that for complete protection you need to ensure that your bullet proof vest comes with stab and spike protection in the form of chainmail and/or a layer of laminate.

Body armor is an integral part of any survivalist’s equipment. It comes in a variety of styles and combinations for discreet and lightweight protection that can be worn anywhere and everywhere. This is useful for everybody, especially in a deadly situation that can occur at any time to maximize your chances for survival.

December 17, 2017