If your line of duty demands serious personal protection, tactical vests are necessary. But how do you select the perfect bulletproof vest? Do you need help determining which features are essential to consider?
Let us enlighten you about the aspects you need to know by going through this blog post. Choosing your body armor will be easier afterward.
Establish the Purpose of Your Bulletproof Vest
Searching for the right tactical vest begins with the fundamental questions.
- For what purpose will you use body armor?
- Will it be for regular security routines or for sensitive military operations?
- What threats do you expect?
Understanding “why” we need gear will lead us more to the “kind” of vest you need. Do I need a vest with thick plates? Or should I use flexible types?
Clarifying your goal for acquiring a vest will refine your selections to more relevant ones.
Understand the NIJ Ratings of Your Vest
Be careful to think that all body armor offers the same protection. Every vest’s ballistic resistance differs and is classified by the National Institute of Justice as NIJ ratings.
How strong, then, would an armor be? Find out from the five categories: II, IIA, III, IIIA, and IV.
Level IIA body armor can protect us against 9 mm bullets and .40 calibers by Smith & Wesson – the basic or the minimum standard. At the same time, Level II vests can handle up to 9 mm and .357 magnum bullets.
Level III bulletproof vests, on the other hand, can shield off .357 SIG full metal jackets and .44 magnum hollow point bullets.
But against rifles, Level IIIA vests are the best. They protect against a 7.62 mm full metal jacket bullet with a mass of 147 grains at 2780 fps. And for armor-piercing rounds like a .30-caliber M2 AP with a specified mass of 166 grains, Level IV types can do the job.
Know Your Body Armor Material
The armor material fitted inside the protective gear is the main element that makes every vest bullet resistant. Your preference for this material will give your gear its weight, thickness, and cost. And what are the typical choices?
You can pick Kevlar as a lightweight, flexible and concealable material. It’s so comfortable to wear hidden under your jacket or shirt.
Steel can also be durable, cost-effective, and affordable choice. You may find it heavy yet reusable.
Ceramics is a lighter alternative than steel but thicker and more expensive. It may not be as durable as steel, yet it can take multiple shots for extended protection.
Polyethylene, as another preference, is a new armor technology that is more expensive than ceramic. Yet offers superb protection.
Select Your Preferred Body Armor Type
How would you like your vest to fit your body? You can choose from any of the 3 general types of tactical vests.
- Soft Body Armor – These are light, flexible, and comfortable.
- Hard Body Armor – Armor of this kind is more rigid and thicker. Yet this offers better protection.
- Flexible Rifle Armor – Feels like a soft, flexible tactical vest. But it is reinforced with increased protection than hard body armor.
Manufacturers sometimes add modifications that you may like. To find out, visit any distributor’s online site to check out the “read more here” section.
Vest for Your Safety
Take your safety as a priority. So, select the body armor that will not compromise your life. With all this information, carefully weigh every factor to your advantage.
Be confident in picking your new bulletproof vest.
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