Archive for the Bulletproof Vest Category
Is it time for EMS and other First Responders to wear bullet proof vest?
Kevlar vests, also known as bulletproof or ballistic vest are worn by Military Soldiers throughout the world to protect themselves from harm and it is not only Soldiers wearing these types of vests anymore now Police Officers worldwide are wearing the Kevlar vest due to the rising number of firearm related death and a rise in homeland terrorism. However, the real questions arise when you look to the other first responders who put themselves in harm’s way such as the EMS. EMS and Firefighters are called to the scene of almost every incident no matter how dangerous and can be put in harm’s way themselves without any protective gear. So, is it not time for the EMS and other first responders to start wearing Kevlar and bulletproofing vest to keep the lives safe as well. EMS and Firefighters are more likely to come into conduct with stabbings from knives and needles then they are to be shot at. But this does not take away the need for the vests or the danger they will face. Kevlar vest today can easily stop a stabbing attack from either a needle or a knife to a specific area. So, it is time to re-evaluate the need for EMS, paramedics, and Firefighters to see if part of their essential life save gear should be a Kevlar or other type of bullet proof vest that they wear in order to save their life so that they may save the lives of other!
There is no guarantee that the attacker will aim for where the vests are protecting. However, the case, when it comes down to it would not you rather have a smaller chance for that attacker to be able to hit your vital organs and mid-section. Along with the knife attacks comes still the threat of the EMS or Firefighters being shot at while attempting to do their job, which just so happened in Selma, Al. in 2016 when 2 EMS were attending to a local call (though it seemed strange when it came through) and were checking a patient’s blood pressure when multiple shots rang out heading towards the EMS workers though luckily neither of the 2 were injured. (Dunigan) Seeing this should put the image in your mind that no one of our First responders are safe and now need body armor and companies like The Best Body Armor are here to provide such needed items. Selling the greatest and latest in the technologies of bulletproof vest exceeding government standard, with NIJ levels up to NIJ 5 you can easily get what you need to keep you and your loved ones safe and out of harm’s way. With products ranging in all different sorts of colors and designs you are sure to find what you are looking for, also looking for trauma pads?! They have them, so whatever you need is and want desires The Best Body Armor has got what is need to ensure that your loved you or our EMS and Firefighters are dully protected.
The above attack is only one example of an attack on a crew of First Responders with attacks on the rise the departments are scrambling to come up with ways to figure out how to keep the paramedics and Firefighters safe and out of unnecessary harm’s way. Some departments have thought about having police escort firefighters to and from the scene, though this would take a lot of valuable time away from the lifesaving ability of the Firefighters. So instead of this what needs to be done is the purchasing of Kevlar vest and other types of ballistic vest so that Firefighters don’t have to worry about being escorted and can quickly respond to the emergency at hand. Likewise, EMS also face the similar problem and it too can be answered in the same fashion, with the purchasing of Kevlar vest so that it takes away the risk harm for the EMS worker and they can carry out their job quickly and efficiently as possible. There are concerns over buttressing our EMS and paramedics as it will seem to be militarizing our paramedics when can be off-putting to some people as we are not a militarized state. However, in a time when people are willing to attack first responders whom are just attempting to save the lives of innocent people it may be time to get over the fear of buttressing the EMS and Firefighters and give them the equipment needed to keep them alive and safe so that they can return home every night. This does not turn us into a militarized stated you see, just a well prepared and well-functioning first aid responding unit. As well as this problem, the vest may be restrictive to the EMS and paramedics as to where they will not they will not be able to do their job efficiently and quickly. What is meant by this is the fact that EMS personal need to be very agile and light on their feet in order to respond to the needs of the patients they are seeking to save. Will the body armor restrict their movements too much and keep them from doing their jobs effectively and efficiently? Will body armor make Firefighter and EMS targets for attacks if they are wearing them? Some people believe so, especially if they are wearing the differentiated colors to distinguish between police and EMS/Firefighters. So, people believe that why wear the different colors, but then the EMS/Firefighters will look just like the cops and as mentioned above the First Responders will soon look like a militarized police force which people will fear and hesitate to utilize.
On Oct. 26, 2015, shots rang out striking the main firehouse in Grand Rapids, proving that these first responders are getting closer and closer to the danger zone a daily basis even when they are still at their “Home Away from Home.” And if they are not truly safe there then they are definitely not going to be safe out in a field environment going up again who knows what exactly. Then another day Firefighters were attacked by a man wielding a box cutter and unfortunately two of the men were injured. Now if they had been wearing vests then very possibly they could have escaped without any type of incident. This is where the companies like The Best Body Armor come back into play with the manufacturing of Kevlar and bulletproof vest that will decrease the chance of anything happening to a loved one wearing them. With products exceeding government standards and NIJ levels all the way up to level NIJ 5, The Best Body Armor produces a various design of vest from ACU Camo, Black, Multi Camo, to Tan Camo so the customer can always get what they need and want in order to keep themselves and others protected. If EMS, Firefighters and other paramedics start to purchase Kevlar and other types of bulletproof vests the questions arises how will they sustain their equipment and supply budget for such things. Because, we all know once a vest is struck it is no longer good, so it has to be switched out, or that a vest can and will expire after a certain amount of years. So, the question arises how will they corral this problem? One way would be to have the personal purchase the device themselves or get grants from the government to purchase these lives saving devices. However, this does not stop the vest from becoming expired if not (hopefully) ever being used. Having this problem would likely cause the EMS and other departments to defer from purchasing the bullet proof vest.
In conclusion, with everything that is going on in this world, even the EMS, Paramedics, and Firefighters are no longer entirely safe from people seeking to do them harm while they are just attempting to save the lives of people in need. So, the question has arisen is it time for these heroes themselves to wear bulletproof vest and Kevlar vest so that they can become as safe as possible while on the job. However, people are concerned of the militarization of the EMS and Firefighters and how the public would react to that since we are not a non-militarized state, how would these departments afford such life saving devices and the price of the upkeep of the vest. Also, EMS are concerned with the maneuverability restrictions that would be put upon them if they were to wear a vest, but does that out way the cost of wearing the vest? So, what can change and happen? The Best Body Armor can happen, with top of the line bullet proof vest exceeding government standards and requirements EMS, Paramedics and Firefighters can get the best type of gear for what they need to keep their lives and comrades safe. With all different NIJ levels up to NIJ LEVEL 5 they are sure to find what they need to get the safety that is required to keep them alive.
Medical and Fire Departments Started Using Protective Vests and We should all use them too
Active shooters at schools, government buildings, churches and other public spaces is somethings that in my opinion will never stop. Unless we ban all weapons in the United States shootings around the country will continue and that won’t happen either for a long time. We all must accept that guns are something that people like, have and use. For this same reason, the Emergency service departments in Tampa Florida have accepted that shooting will continue and decided to issue a protective armor vest to every medical and fire department first responders. The City of Tampa spend more than $700,000 on 484 protective vests.
“If we expect to save lives, we must move in as close as possible,” said Craig Hare, Pinellas County Director of EMS & Fire Administration. “We need to come in right behind police officers the second they give us the go-ahead.”
I completely agree with Craig’s statement, Police officers and the Swat team are not the only first responders in a shooting scene. The medical and fire departments are also first responders with different jobs but they are all crucial to helping the victims come out safely. For this same reason is why the City of Tampa has decided to issue these vests, if the medics and firefighters are not protected against these shooters then at the end of the day we are just going to have more casualties and injuries during an active shooting. In the case of the medical and fire department, personal are required to listen to the police department. However, let’s say there’s a victim that’s injured in what is considered the “Hot Zone”, the area that is considered active for the shooter. These, ‘tactical medics” are trained to enter these areas and assist them. How can they do this without protective gear?
““That’s basically all we’re doing: taking care of immediate threats to life,” said Ross Pinney, one of Oldsmar Fire Rescue’s tactical medics who taught part of the training class where they practiced carrying and dragging victims from the scene of a shooting. “
I find this incredibly important, how is that just now these departments are beginning to issue armored gear to their employees? The government and City officials would do anything to save money and not spend, if every city in the nation were to spend $700,000 on armored vests I guarantee that the statistics for injuries and casualties would fall dramatically. City officials across the United States are sometimes found taking city funds for themselves, instead of using them for good purposes like protecting the people that risk their lives to save others.
“I get that there’s only so much money in the budget, but this is an important purchase because if and when this sort of thing does happen . . . the question will be, ‘Well, how come you weren’t better prepared?’”
Other cities across the United States should learn from the Tampa city officials and accept that active shooters will continue across the United States and there’s not enough city personal to protect every public building so instead they should invest the funds in protecting the first responders. This protective gear is not only required to be worn during an active shooter situation but also in any situation that can harm these first responders. As the Clearwater Fire & rescue Department stated
“that first responders must put on their body armor “before entering any type of hostile environment,” and this would include active-shooter situations, civil disturbances and fights.”
Although active shooters do the most damage and result in the largest number of casualties, it is also smart to make them wear the protective gear in these other dangerous environments because you never know who has a gun and decides to use it. A lot of these medical staff and firefighters don’t like the idea of wearing this protective gear in not serious situations. The Service departments in the City of Tampa decided to let each person decide if they want to wear the vests in none dangerous situations.
“Sean Becker, who is president of the Fire Fighters Association in Clearwater said, “We attended fire school with the full knowledge that we would be putting out fires, but we had no idea we would be asked to wear protective vests and helmets when responding to calls.”
The questions are, if every City service department is beginning to use protective vests then should we all? How can we know when we are going to need a vest? Has the world come to a point where we should all wear protective vests to work, to school and in our daily lives? Some argue yes, others argue that, that sounds ridiculous. Whichever you believe, I still think we should all own a body armor vest in order to decide ourselves when we should wear it or if anything were to happen, you can at least say in heaven “I did everything I could to protect myself, I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time “. On the other hand, if an armored vest or an armored backpack were to save your life you will be glad you were wearing at a bank shooting, airport or school shooting. The last question is, how much is your life worth to you?
Thank you for reading, if your life is worth more than $300 then don’t forget to check out our website and order your armored vest or armored backpack.
Transportation laws for Body Armor
Bulletproof vests are arguably the most vital piece of lifesaving equipment a person can have, protecting the most exposed part of our body and the vital organs beneath. Since body armor has proven to be so successful it is of little surprise that lawmakers have made it their business to attempt various regulations behind the argument that, if highly restricted, it would be ensured that people attempting criminal activities wouldn’t benefit from the protection of the vests; giving the police an upper hand. These regulations have surged in the majority of states and they restrict from how you purchase your body armor to if you may even own one at all. In most states, as in the federal government, the use of bulletproof vests while committing a crime can result in more severe charges and sentences; also being in possession of a vest can be punishable itself depending on your criminal record. An example was a bill pushed by US Congressman Mike Honda in 2014 called “Responsible Body Armor Possession Act” which by prohibiting the sale, purchase, use or possession of “enhanced military-grade body armor” by anyone that wasn’t in active military duty or law enforcement. “There is no reason this type of armor, which is designed for warfare, should be available in our communities except for those who need it, like law enforcement” Congressman Honda stated. The term “enhanced body armor” is specifically describing any armored vest or helmet that surpasses the NIJ certified Type III armor. It is important to know the respective laws in your state before attempting to transport any sort of body armor.
In terms of federal laws, Congress has regulated body armor in two ways:
– An offense that has an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another or
– Any other offense that is a felony, and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.
Body armor being defined as, “any product sold or offered for sale, in interstate or foreign commerce, as personal protective body covering intended to protect against gunfire, regardless of whether the product is to be worn alone or is sold as a complement to another product or garment.”
So, knowing the lawful limits of owning a bulletproof vest in your state, now for transporting it on a plane. It isn’t illegal to have them in your carry-on or checked bag, but being in possession of a bulletproof vest draws extra attention that can lead to in depth questioning by TSA agents since this isn’t an item that travelers often takes with them. In the end of course it is the on duty officers final judgement if he will either let you pass or require you to leave your vest behind. Some airlines can also cause problems if the weight of your carry on passes their predetermined limit, and with a heavy armored vest that isn’t too hard to achieve. Since an interrogation is a real possibility, it is important to have proper documentation and a clear idea as to why and what you plan to do with that armor, no question is off limits when it comes to border control. All these aspects can also affect even those trying to walk across any American border. So independent from your choice of transportation the laws apply mostly the same.
Concealable Bulletproof Vests
Bulletproof vest too heavy? Can’t wear your favorite clothes with your current bulky vest? Don’t want anybody knowing that you’re wearing one? Lots of civilians embrace and sometimes even love the idea of owning a bulletproof vest but, in some occasions, it is better to keep things practical, simple, and private. For these applications and situations, wearing a concealable bulletproof vest is the absolute best choice.
What is a concealable vest?
As the name implies, a concealable or “concealed” bulletproof vest is a thin, lightweight, and compact vest that protects and individual for bullet impacts.
Since concealable armor is thin and soft, it is perfect for everyday wear and its applications can be extended further than just providing body protection. Concealed armor can also provide side, lower body, and head protection and it is suitable for extended wear.
Depending on the clothing used, these vests can provide absolute discretion while worn. The key to successfully hiding one lies on professionally measuring one’s body dimensions to customize the fabrication of the vest.
Since stealth is as the top priority besides safety, concealable bulletproof vests are required to be manufactured from light yet strong materials which are usually Kevlar and Aramid. When applied successfully, these materials can provide sufficient protection from handguns and even shotgun rounds except slugs.
These vests are designed to protect individuals from real-life threats, where machines guns and assault rifles are not commonly used.
Kevlar is a highly customizable material thus, multiple layers of it can be applied to reach different levels of bullet protection. According to the U.S. National Institute of Justice (NIJ), a typical concealable vest usually offers protection from 9 milimeter FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) bullets at 1090 feet per second. Scale wise, this means that most concealed vests are tested for Level IIA NIJ standard protection.
If a higher level of protection is desired (NIJ IIIA for example), more layers of either Kevlar or Aramid can be added to the concealable vest. Theoretically, this would allow the vest to achieve higher bullet-resistance from faster and larger bullets, but this usually, if not always, results in a thicker, less discrete vest.
In some of the U.S. States, civilians are allowed to buy and use bulletproof vests. However, in some states like Connecticut, residents are prohibited from acquiring body armor unless it is done in a face-to-face manner (Connecticut State Constitution).
As of this article’s date, the state of New York still allows civilians to purchase bulletproof armor, but this state might be in the works of new legislation that might prevent so. As a result, it is advised to buy now while it is legal.
Concealable bullet proof vests are made from the same materials that conventional ones are and sometimes, they can be less expensive than their counterparts because less material is required during production. However, this may not always be true because concealed vests usually require tailoring and customized cuts from expensive equipment.
Expect to invest around 350 U.S. Dollars on a concealable vest.
Is there any other information that I should know in regards of body armor?
Of course, we thank you very much for reading this article; we hope it enriches your mind with useful information.
Last, but not definitely not least, please do not forget to visit our website at http://www.thebestbodyarmor.com/ for more information about our products.
Also, get an instant $25 discount when buying any of our products by using our “Protect(25)” promotional code.
– Fernando Da Silva
The Big Question
Body armor be a wonderful device that can be used to protect the lives of many people in troublesome times. Normally, some people would think that it should be easy and simple to buy body armor anywhere in the United States; however, this is not always the deal. There are different conditions that each state requires sellers and buyers to meet before any body armor can be purchased or sold. However, which states allow the purchasing and selling of body armor and which state do not?
States that have issues with body armor.
Normally, it is allowed in most states in the U.S. to both sell and purchase body armor. However, the question that we are stuck with is, “which states have issues with selling or purchasing body armor?” To name a few, according to safegaurdarmor.com, Connecticut has a rule where you must purchase the body armor face-to-face with the individual selling that said body armor. It is illegal to purchase any type of body armor over the internet, over the phone, or even by mail; it must be done in person. There are also some states that have issues with individuals who have criminal records to purchase body armor. A state that can be used as an example would be Kentucky. If someone attempts to purchase said body armor and it turns out that they have some form of criminal history on record, that person will have their purchase rejected. Also, if someone commits a crime while having body armor on or even having body armor on their person, this can also be considered a crime. However, if the individuals who is purchasing the body armor does not have any form of criminal history, they will be free to purchase and use the bullet proof vest.
In some states such as Louisiana, according to bulletsafe.com, it has similar rules to Kentucky in the sense that individuals who have a criminal record are not allowed to purchase or wear body armor. Anyone who commits a crime while wearing or in possession of body armor will also be charged. There is however another rule that comes into play. According to safeguardarmor.com, body armor cannot be worn on school grounds.
Many states have different regulations on the purchase of body armor, so it is best to consult your local court house or even a quick internet search to know the boundaries of your state. Below is a video that gives a brief recap on what was just discussed, it particularly talks about issues in Boston and how civilians that commit felonies have body armor.
States that are fine with body armor
As done with the states that have issues with body armor, there will be an example of a state that is fine with body armor laws. A state that can be considered would be Florida. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face by a person and it is legal to wear that armor. Of course, it is illegal to wear the armor during the commission of a crime according to bullsetsafe.com, but that is just considering standards and regulations to protect the innocent.
Overall, a lot of states have the same rules when it comes to owning or using body armor. Except for a few such as Connecticut, Louisiana, Kentucky and New York; buying and selling body armor is never really an issue that people would run into. The law normally circulates around criminal behavior and where you can wear body armor at.
If you enjoyed reading this article there are plenty of other body armor related stories that can be read at www.thebestbodyarmor.com. While there, you can use the Promo Code: VestProtects(25) to get $25.00 off your next vest purchase.
Is there a need for protection to travel?
In this modern day and age filled with advanced monitoring and securing technology, a civilian should feel safe to travel freely. America was founded on ideals of freedom and inalienable rights for all people, however, there has been a statistical spike in domestically incubated attacks, the most recent being the Ft. Lauderdale airport attack on the evening of January 6, 2017. According to police and civilian testimony on the evening in question, the suspected shooter, Esteban Santiago, was able to get a loaded weapon into the airport and quickly open fire on a crowd accumulated at the baggage claim, resulting in 5 innocent civilians that were killed and 8 were drastically injured. In a post 9/11 secured airport, a lot of the population are forced to wonder, “How it was possible that Santiago was able to infiltrate with a loaded weapon?”. According to TSA security standards, fire arms can be transported in a checked bag while contained in a locked, hard shell box that can only be opened by the owner. In addition, all bullets must be in carry on, this is to assert the idea that because the ammunition is separated from the fire arm then one cannot use the firearm on flight. This clause, usually used by hunters, has not been exploited for an attack since the 1972 shooting by Japanese Red Army in Tel Aviv. With the misuse of this stipulation has caused a surge in questions of national security in airports. The alleged shooter is a veteran who was relieved from the National Guard in 2011. He also had a recent and increasing history of domestic violence with in the year prior to shooting. The suspect has even been reported to have contacted authorities in April, stating that he was suffering from terroristic thoughts and was seeking help. Following contact with Alaskan FBI agents, he was put on a 72 hour psych hold, then he was released; with the stipulation of follow up appointments and medication. He also had a recent and increasing history of police encounters and domestic violence. After all these red flags, security stipulations, and evaluation, he was still able to gain his fire arm back from the agency.
Surge in Uncertainty
This causes a lot of uncertainty to the idea that we all are protected and shielded from these types of attacks. We often see it in other countries, but never think it could or would happen to us for we are the land of the free. But the reality is, we are living in a time where no one person can guarantee safety, for you or your loved ones. So why not take matters into your own hands, by investing in preventative measures. By investing in your own safety standard, you can gain a sense of peace in these turbulent times. Purchasing a bullet proof vest is a precautionary measure that could one day be the difference between survival and death. Not just any vest, you should invest in one that ensures quality, adheres and exceeds to government NIJ standards.
Rhino Body Armor: Your solution to safety assurance
Rhino Body Armor is a company that strives to guarantee safe and excellence in every aspect of our vests. Our vest are complied with quality AR500 hard armor with one of a kind tactical plate carriers, all American made. You can also feel safe in knowing that all vest are lab tested and field tested to ensure safety. Each is a shooters cut plate which, unlike standard square plates, capitalize on coverage and mobility. With an array of colors and plates ranging from NIJ I to NIJ III (Max), we have the ability to customize your vest to your safety specifications. Our vests also provide stab, spike, and edged blade protection for each user. The best part about our vest is that each comes with a 10 year warranty! You can rely on our vest technology to provide an added sense of protection during this surge in insecurity. Remember, it is your right to ensure the safety and protection of your loved ones and yourself.
Which bulletproof vest for bugging-out vs bugging-in?
In developing prepping plans, it becomes important to focus on multiple options of preparedness. Some choose to prepare for being mobile, to get to another, safer, location. While others choose to hunker in and prepare their permanent dwelling for any potential issues. Often, it is best to develop both plans simultaneously so one has options and is therefore more prepared for a wider variety of scenarios. In each plan, the need for personal ballistic protection is ever present. However, the particular challenges and needs differ depending on whether mobility or protection is the primary objective. In this article I hope to present options for body armor that fit multiple scenarios so you and your family can be best prepared in event of a crisis.
The first scenario to cover is the most common, the “Bugging-out” plan. The premise behind this method of prepping is rather straightforward. Have supplies and gear focused on mobility to safely get to a more secure, less precarious location. This method of prepping is favored in urban population centers and suburbs where securing locations is more difficult given the higher population density. It makes sense then to relocate out of one’s apartment in the city or suburban home to a more isolated location like a cabin or rural relative’s home. The key to this kind of prepping is making it to the target as quickly and safely as possible. If the plan entails going on foot through possible dangerous terrain, weight is the primary concern. In this case a light Kevlar vest is probably the way to go. However, if one is simply driving to the target location, heavier, more protective armor is feasible. The best armor for the vehicle ex-fil is AR-500 steel plate because of its extensive protection against the vast majority of rifle fire, including the most popular assault rifles like the AR-15/10 and AK-47/74. Even mid-range sniper rifles, typically chambered in .308 Win, are ineffective against AR-500 plates. AR-500 beats more advanced ceramics for prepping because of its toughness and longevity. Ceramic plates can crack and break even when just tossed around, and with supply lines non-existent in prepping scenario, you can’t replace your plates every time you hit the deck a little too hard.
The second scenario is quite a bit different. Fortifying your present, permanent home, sometimes jokingly referred to in the prepping community as “Bugging-in” presents different challenges and opportunities. When it comes to choosing a bulletproof vest, mobility is secondary to protection. More than likely you will be in your home or on your defensed property when a threat presents itself, so the best course of action is to dig in and fight from your current position. Here the additional weight of AR-500 steel vests is no longer nearly as detrimental as in the bugging out by foot scenario presented early. Here, the added rifle protection and increased trauma protection over Kevlar can be life-saving and it costs very little in utility. As an added bonus, because AR-500 vests are extremely inexpensive compared to their ceramic counterparts, it is more economical to equip the entire family(provided they are grown enough to handle the weight) thereby multiplying force response and taking steps to ensure the safety of non-offensive family members from stray rounds.
For Prepping scenarios, AR-500 steel bulletproof vests make tons of sense in either bugging out or bugging in scenarios. Due to their maximum economy, protection, durability, longevity and ease of repair, AR-500 steel plates are ideal for prepping scenarios where replacing Kevlar or Ceramic plates after every hit would be highly impractical. So in both the short run and long run, AR500 is the ideal material for personal ballistic protection in a survival plan.
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History of Body Armor
Throughout history, we as mankind have used various types of materials as body armor to protect ourselves from injury in combat and other dangerous situations. The first protective clothing and shields were made from animal skins. As civilizations became more advanced, wooden shields and then metal shields came into use. Eventually, metal was also used as body armor, what we now refer to as an armor suit, which is mainly associated with the knights of the Middle Ages. However, with the invention of firearms somewhere around 1500, metal body armor became ineffective. Then only real protection available against firearms were stone walls or natural barriers such as rocks, trees, and ditches.
Soft Body Armor
One of the first times that soft armor was used was by the medieval Japanese, who used armor manufactured from silk. It wouldn’t be until the late 19th century that the United States would first use of soft body armor. At that time, the military explored the possibility of using soft body armor manufactured from silk. The project even attracted congressional attention after the assassination of President McKinley in 1901. While the garments were shown to be effective against low-velocity bullets, those traveling at 400 feet per second or less, but they would not offer protection against the new, more modern generation of handgun ammunition being introduced at that time. This was ammunition capable of traveled at velocities of more than 600 feet per second. This, along with the prohibitive cost of silk made the concept unacceptable.
Early Bulletproof Vest Patents
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office lists records dating back to 1919 for various designs of the bulletproof vests and body armor type garments. One of the first documented patents where for a garment, which was demonstrated for use by law enforcement officers and was detailed in the April 2, 1931 edition of the Washington, D.C., Evening Star, where a bullet proof vest was demonstrated to members of the Metropolitan Police Department.
The next generation of anti-ballistic vests was the World War II “flak jacket” made from ballistic nylon. The flak jacket provided protection primarily from ammunitions fragments and was ineffective against most pistol and rifle threats. Flak jackets were also very heavy and bulky.
Lightweight Body Armor
It would not be until the late 1960s that new fibers were discovered that made today’s modern generation of cancelable body armor possible. The National Institute of Justice or “N.I.J.” initiated a research program to investigate development of a lightweight body armor that an on-duty police officer could wear full time, and protect them from gunfire. The investigation readily identified new materials that could be woven into a lightweight fabric with excellent ballistic resistant properties. Performance standards were set that defined ballistic resistant requirements for police and military body armor.
in the 1970s, one of its most significant achievements in the development of body armor was the invention of DuPont’s Kevlar ballistic fabric. Ironically, the fabric was originally intended to replace steel belting in vehicle tires. The development of Kevlar body armor by NIJ was a four-phase effort that took place over several years. The first phase involved testing Kevlar fabric to determine whether it could stop a lead bullet. The second phase involved determining the number of layers of material necessary to prevent penetration by bullets of varying speeds and calibers and developing a prototype vest that would protect officers against the most common threats: the .38 Special and the .22 Long Rifle bullets.
Researching Kevlar Bullet Proof Vests
By 1973, researchers at the Army’s Edgewood Arsenal responsible for the bulletproof vest design, had developed a garment made of seven layers of Kevlar fabric for use in field trials. It was determined that the penetration resistance of Kevlar was degraded when wet, and that the bullet resistant properties of the fabric diminished upon exposure to ultraviolet light, including sunlight. Dry-cleaning agents and bleach also had negative effects on the anti-ballistic properties of the fabric, as did repeated washing. To protect against these problems, the vest was designed with waterproofing, as well as with fabric coverings to prevent exposure to sunlight and other degrading agents.
Medical Testing of Body Armor
The third phase of the initiative involved medical testing to determine the performance level of body armor that would be necessary to save police officers’ lives. It was clear to researchers that even when a bullet was stopped by the flexible fabric, the impact and resulting trauma from the bullet would leave a severe bruise at a minimum and, at worst, could kill by damaging critical organs. Subsequently, army scientists designed tests to determine the effects of blunt trauma, which is injuries suffered from forces created by the bullet impacting the armor. A byproduct of the research on blunt trauma was the improvement of tests that measure blood gases, which indicate the extent of injuries to the lungs. The final phase involved monitoring the armor’s wear ability and effectiveness. A test in three cities determined that the vest was wearable, it did not cause add stress or pressure on the torso, and it did not prevent the normal body movement necessary for police work. In 1975, an extensive field test of the new Kevlar body armor was conducted, with 15 urban police departments cooperating. Each department served a population larger than 250,000, and each had experienced officer assault rates higher than the national average. The tests involved 5,000 garments, including 800 purchased from commercial sources. Among the factors evaluated were comfort when worn for a full working day, its adaptability in extremes of temperature, and its durability through long periods of use. The demonstration project armor issued by NIJ was designed to ensure a 95 percent probability of survival after being hit with a .38 caliber bullet at a velocity of 800 ft/s. Furthermore, the probability of requiring surgery if hit by a projectile was to be 10 percent or less. A final report released in 1976 concluded that the new ballistic material was effective in providing a bullet resistant garment that was light and wearable for full-time use. Private industry was quick to recognize the potential market for the new generation of body armor, and body armor became commercially available in quantity even before the NIJ demonstration program.
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Hard Armor Vs. Soft Armor
With all of the craziness that is going on in the world and our own country, the need to be prepared to protect your family and yourself is at a higher demand than ever. The way everything is going, you never know if walking out your door may be your last time. With this said, a truly good investment in your family security would be a bulletproof vest, which in my opinion is just as vital as yet another case of ammunition. You can prepare for the worst all you want but you won’t be able to fire all of that ammo or eat all that stored-up food, if you get shot and wounded because you didn’t have body armor to protect you and your loved ones. In the same amount of time it would take you to reach into your gun locker and grab your weapon, you could have thrown on a vest. I believe it’s a sensible and necessary piece of equipment for any home defense plans.
Types of Armor
There are two majorly distributed types of body armor. The first is known as “Soft Armor” and is what most police officers wear under their uniform shirts. This armor is reasonably light-weight and flexible, most soft armor is made of multiply layers of Kevlar. But other synthetic materials like Spectra Shield is also used in soft armor. This type of armor is classified by threat level (the type of bullets they protect consumer against). Current NIJ threat levels are (in order from least protection available to most protection available) Level IIA, Level II, and Level IIIA. These levels of vests can stop pistol and shotgun rounds reliably, but they generally won’t stop centerfire rifle rounds. It’s a velocity issue. The faster the bullet, the harder it is to stop.
You wear your soft body armor when you’re on duty; But what if you must respond to a school shooting or other incident that might involve rounds your armor isn’t rated to stop? This brings us to our second class of armor, hard plate armor. The hard armor plates that fit inside the front and back pockets in armor carriers offer protection against rifle rounds, and some protect against armor-piercing rounds. But should you have them? And if so, how do you know which kind to choose? As opposed to ‘soft armor’, hard armor is only available in an overt style due to its extra weight and bulk. This however has the advantage of protecting against high caliber and armor-piercing rounds. These vest function in the same way as vests of Kevlar or Dyneme, but utilize Ceramics, Steel or Titanium. Hard armor is available in two levels; a Level III vest protects against 7.62mm Full Metal Jacketed Bullets, or M80 as they are designated by the Military, and a Level IV vest protects against .30 caliber armor piercing rounds (Military designation M2 AP).
While these armors offer the maximum protection, and can often defend against explosives and fragmentation, they are naturally very heavy because of the materials used, and so are not recommended to be worn for extended periods. They are reserved only for the most extreme situations, but are certainly suitable in these scenarios. Furthermore, because of the way the materials protect against ammunition, certain hard armors are not suitable use after taking a bullet, and should be replaced immediately.