Image of Tactical Military Body Armor with Plates Against Rusty Fence Background

The Different Levels of Body Armor and When You Should Buy Them

Body armor is a great way to protect yourself if you expect to be in a dangerous situation, such as in a home invasion or law enforcement. However, there are many reasons why you would want to choose body armor to go along with your other tactical gear. For survivalists, getting body armor is just as important as any other tactical accessories, but not everyone knows the different kinds of body armor and when to use it.

Body Armor Material

Each body armor style has benefits and drawbacks that fall into one of the three selection categories: weight, threat level, and cost. It should be noted that no armor should ever be described as "bulletproof" due to performance variations. Thus it would help if you were cautious of any firm that does.

The production of rifle plates involves the use of a variety of materials. Compressed laminates made of materials like high-density polyethylene, ceramics, Kevlar, and others are among them. Often, laminate materials don't resemble those used in soft armor. For instance, the type of Kevlar used in soft armor differs from that used in hard plates.

Hard armor nearly always employs thermally molded and compressed laminate materials, which means that performance indicators vary depending on the materials. The biggest difference may be in weight because lighter armor often costs more, often much more. The pricing will reflect depending on the build quality and the lightest materials along with building methods.

Levels of Body Armor

It is crucial to first educate yourself on the different body armor levels available in the market today. For tactical gear users, body armor is mainly available in two types;

Level II Body Armor

Body armor at Level II is made to be both light and extremely protective. The panels defend against a 44 Magnum and 9 mm pistol or a submachine gun. Kevlar is layered numerous times to create the body armor. With Kevlar, there is a relatively light protection alternative that may be worn with several carriers. The lightweight, easy-to-carry material makes it simple to run or move, and it will fit into both the front and rear of the carrier to offer sufficient protection from both angles.

Level III Body Armor

Hard materials are used to make the Level III armor. To maximize protection, the hard body armor used in the Level III body armor design can be worn outside of the softer choices. That's because hard materials are used to make the Level III armor.
Level 3 plates can be made of PE, a strong, lightweight polymer. Level 3+, which offers higher levels of protection, must also be made of ceramic materials. While covered in PE, the materials are not as durable and can break if hit hard. Level 3 plates are commonly seen to be superior to level 3+ and level 4 plates despite not being able to stop as many rounds.

Several environmental and fitness testing are performed on vests and plates. Any armor is subjected to significant elemental changes, such as intense heating and cooling before it is exposed to ballistic threats. As body armor is often worn or utilized outdoors for some time before being shot, this serves as a more realistic testing setting. Any armor that passes the NIJ Testing standard must be extremely well made and built to survive ballistic attacks and continue to do so even after years of simulated use.

What About Knife Protection?

If you are more likely to come in contact with a knife attack, you should learn more about body armor against knife attacks. Commercial knives that do not have a precise point are referred to as edge-blade knives. Protection against this blade is provided to prevent cutting or stabbing with such a tool.

Before we continue, any weapon with a sharp tip is called a spiked weapon. It should be noted here that the shrapnel that an explosion project is not the same. A syringe or anything else with a sharp edge might be called a spiked weapon. Ballistic protection may differ slightly from protection against stabbings. To stop an edged blade or spike from piercing the flesh, the stab vest may include fibers woven in layers and at a tighter weave.

When buying body armor, the protection level is a crucial consideration since Level IV armor may not be ideal for you just because it is available. The weight and cost of level IV armor is unnecessary if you aren't likely to encounter adversaries that can pierce armor. When choosing a degree of body armor, consider your profession, where you frequently go, and potential hazards in the area.

What Threats Will You Expect?

This is the most crucial question to ask when buying body armor since it might mean the difference between life and death. You will have spent your money and placed yourself in danger if the vest you are wearing does not shield you from the dangers you will encounter. A body armor item that gives excessive protection should also be avoided since it may be bulkier and more constricting than a vest that offers less protection.

Where Will You Wear the Body Armor?

Now that you know all about choosing the right body armor for your tactical gear, you also need to know where you can and cannot wear tactical gear and body armor. This varies from country to country, but the rules are straightforward and can be found online.

No ID requirements or background checks are necessary to buy body armor in the US; anybody may do it online or in person. It is crucial to remember that each state has regulations regarding who can wear body armor and under what circumstances.

In most places, anybody may purchase and don body armor, except people with criminal convictions. Nevertheless, some places have harsher regulations, such as Connecticut, where citizens cannot purchase body armor online or have it delivered from inside the state. Australia forbids anybody from having body armor unless permitted in certain areas. The purchase and possession of body armor are both legal in the UK.

Body armor requires a license in Canada, and people cannot use military-style body armor in the EU. Every nation will have its unique laws and rules. Before buying any body armor, it is essential to examine the regulations of your local nation or state to ensure you are not breaching any rules. 

Wearing a soft armor backer is always a good idea to decrease blunt force injuries, regardless of the hard insert you decide to use. Although a plate may deflect a bullet, believing that the wearer will be unharmed afterward would be incorrect. A lot of energy is still transmitted into the plate before entering the wearer's body. Plate backers can aid in lowering part of this force, decreasing the likelihood of serious damage. For more useful information on body armor and the best tactical gear, visit Shield Concept today.