Body Armor (a.k.a bullet proof vests) protect millions of army personnel, law enforcement officers, and others every day. Therefore, they also protect the lives of these individuals on a regular basis because they are meant to stop bullets from most types of hand-held weapons. Although it is not a common purchase for most people, there is indeed body armor available for civilians. Any bulletproof vest you can find for law enforcement and military use is available for civilian purchase.
First of all, body armor is not legal in all 50 states of the U.S., so you should check your particular state’s laws regarding the matter. Most states that allow bulletproof vests will not allow convicted felons to own them. Some people believe that body armor can protect against any type of gunshot, but this is completely false. The following types of ammunition and guns will mow right through body armor:
* High-Powered Rifles
* Armor-Piercing Rounds
* Slugs fired from a shotgun
* Large Caliber Rounds
* High Speed Shrapnel
* Plenty of others.
Due to the previous list, it is never recommended that you test out body armor while you are wearing it. Letting someone shoot you is the stupidest thing you could possibly do, especially if the weapon is powerful. On top of this, there are plenty of different types of body armor. Basic body armor can withstand most pistol and shotgun discharges, while there are suits designed to withstand shots from some rifles. Basically, the is a trade-off with body armor between comfort and protection. The highest level of protection also means the lowest level of comfort, so you need to take that into consideration.
Body armor ranges in price from a couple hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending upon the materials used and the condition of the vest. For a person who merely wants any type of body armor, police surplus armor is available for around $200, but armor that provides the most protection can cost well over $1,000. Really, it all depends upon material and condition.
Basic Body Armor (Provides protection from most handgun and shotgun rounds)
* Will stop most handgun rounds, 12 gauge shells, and buckshot.
* The middle-ground between protection and comfort.
* Will not stop rifle rounds, high velocity pistol rounds, or sharp objects.
Body Armor Designed for Rifle Protection
* Will stop an average rifle round, but not high-velocity and high-power rounds.
* Will stop anything basic body armor does.
* Usually more uncomfortable than a basic vest, but it offers plenty more protection.
* Will not stop sharp objects, such as swords or knives.
One of the problems with body armor is that it won’t stop knives or other sharp objects, so there is a risk there. Stab-proof armor does exist, however; it is much heavier and bulkier than even rifle protection armor. On a daily basis, stab-proof armor is not recommended for most persons.
Body armor comes in different variations of body cover. Obviously, all body armor provides torso and back protection, but you can obtain vests with much more:
* Tactical vests that protect the shoulders, torso, back, sides, groin, and thighs.
* Vests that give partial cover to the shoulders and sides.
* Vests that fully protect the shoulders and sides.
* Vests with optional groin and thigh protection.
For concealability and comfort, a vest with only front and back protection should suffice for all civilian uses. They are more of a nifty add-on to a civilian than an actual life-saving tool simply because the average person won’t be needing them. However, civilian body armor does exist and it’s just as powerful as body armor that law enforcement and military personnel use. If you fancy owning a bulletproof vest, then they are out there for civilian purchase.
Please Note: No body armor is 100% bulletproof. If you are shot with body armor on, it will hurt quite a lot. There will be plenty of bruising – no matter what. Also, you could suffer broken or fractured bones or even die due to an injury. Therefore, you should never purposefully be shot while wearing body armor because you will become injured to some degree – sometimes fatally. The vest may stop the bullet from hitting your body, but it won’t stop all of the inertia from the bullet transferring to your body and causing some damage. Be careful.