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The Best Body Armor Plates

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Buyer's Guide

Buyers' Guide: How to Choose the Best Body Armor Plates for Your Money

Body armor has come a long way since the Spartan warriors donned it in combat. Body armor can protect against even the most lethal weapon fire. You may get bulletproof bags and bulletproof apparel. In addition to the well-known plate carriers and vests, there are bullet-resistant jackets and vests available as well. They all use the same strategy. They shield you from bullets, projectiles, and blades with a layer of ultra-strong material.

Body Armor Plates

For what purpose can I use a body armor plate?

It's mind-boggling how many uses body armor has. As a general rule, they include:

Peace of mind and protection throughout your day

Shootings are becoming more regular, despite our wishes. Businesses, schools, universities, and shops are all at risk.

Workplace safety and protection

In some jobs, you're more likely to end up in harm's way than in others. Police, corrections personnel, and security guards all need to be protected.

Protection during hunting or sport shooting

There is no one who is perfect. There is a chance that a firearm will discharge inadvertently. Wearing protective gear is common among hunters.

Protection during amateur science experiments

Blowing stuff up is not something we recommend, at least not unless you are a qualified professional, but we are aware that it is a popular activity for certain people. In the event of a projectile, take precautions.

How do body armor plates work?

The simple transmission of energy is at the heart of body armor. As a result of the energy dissipation and deformation provided by body armor plates, blunt force injuries to important organs and tissues are minimized. Body armor plates are comprised of strong fibers in order to make a solid layer. Perpendicular weaves are closely woven. The fibers may be twisted in order to increase their strength, density, and thickness. The body armor plate is made more durable by coating it in resin.

Single fibers can be strengthened and protected from all directions by interlacing them. When a bullet or bullets strike this thick webbing, energy is transferred from the projectile to the surface. In the immediate aftermath of an impact, the surface absorbs the energy and disperses it throughout the area. The bullet's impact isn't felt in a single place. Despite the fact that the bullet's impact will be felt by the wearer, it will be felt by a greater region. In doing so, the risk of major harm is reduced.

Each layer of interwoven material within the armor plate absorbs the projectile's energy. Interwoven threads strengthen each other and those below them in the body armor plate. The bullet is slowed down by each layer of webbing until it comes to a full halt. As a result, the bullet will mushroom and distort.

Things to consider before buying body armor plates

Body Armor Plates

Identify your threat level.

Consider the armor's function and the level of protection you'll require before you buy it.

Protectors need to know the nature of the threat they confront before deciding on body armor. Wear pistol protective armor if you're worried about a potential rifle threat. Find out the difference.

Handguns aren't the only thing SWAT officers have to worry about when on the job. More police departments are purchasing rifle-rated hard armor plates as a result of the rise in active shooter occurrences. In the event that you are disarmed, you should wear body armor that can withstand the shots fired from your handgun.

Understand the NIJ standards.

In order to get the greatest body armor, you must first know your level of danger. NIJ conducts ballistic and another testing to evaluate the performance of vests, soft plates, and hard plates from manufacturers, as well as their useful life expectancy.

It's critical to know which solution will best protect against a certain level of risk. Among these are Types I (handgun), IIA (handgun), and II (hard armor). Types III, A, and IIIA (hard armor) are also included. The higher the rating, the more protection there is.

Understand the difference between stand-alone armor and in-conjunction armor.

Understanding the distinctions between in-conjunction and stand-alone armor is also critical. Many police officers wear soft body armor under their uniforms. Handgun and rifle rounds are protected, but this is not enough to keep you safe. When used simultaneously, they're known as "in-conjunction armor," and their sole purpose is to take down the enemy. A combination of an in-conjunction plate and the soft body armor used during testing is required for maximum effectiveness. The indicated threat level can be adequately countered by a single armor plate. On the other hand, the majority of law enforcement officers prefer to wear these on their person.

Choose the right armor and wear it.

When you're wearing it, only armor can keep you safe. It is critical that you wear your armor at all times in order to protect yourself from the threats you may encounter on the field.

You should spend some time experimenting with different types of armor. By moving about, you may get a sense of how the armor works. You can attach both your weapon and your attachments. Once you've got your gear, get out there and test it out. Is the system unreliable at the moment? Does it hinder you from installing your weapon correctly? What's stopping you from moving your arms? Your firearm or duty belt may be the source of the issue. Choosing an armor system should take these things into account.

Get the right fit.

The front, back, and sides of your body should all be protected by your body armor at all times. Those who have been trained by the manufacturer can assist in the installation process. Before purchasing your armor, be sure you measure yourself appropriately. It should be easy to move in and out of. When you sit, crouch, or bend, it shouldn't cover your throat or get in the way of your duty belt.

The plates must be positioned correctly. He said that the top of the plate should be no more than an inch from the area where your clavicles meet. If the plates are not worn appropriately, they will not provide any protection to the body's most essential organs. For maximum protection, we recommend a complete set of side and torso plates. When confronted with a specific threat environment, it is hard to foresee what kind of threat you will encounter. Head-on crashes aren't necessarily the norm.

If your body has altered since your initial fitting, it's a good idea to get your armor re-evaluated. For female officers, body armor might be difficult to fit, despite the fact that many manufacturers provide custom solutions. Here's a video from the National Institute of Justice that provides useful advice on how to properly fit body armor.

Find the solution that works best for you.

For more than 25 years now, the IACP has been advocating for police officers to wear ballistic protection. Many police departments now demand that their personnel wear body armor at all times.

Body armor can mean the difference between life and death in some situations. It's critical that you make the proper decision for your unique situation. Officers can obtain bulletproof vests with the support of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership, which is a grant-funded program. Verify that they meet NIJ requirements. When in doubt, always do your research.

Final Thoughts

Wearing body armor could mean the difference between life and death. When shopping for equipment, always do your research and buy from a reputable retailer to avoid disappointment. You'll be able to enjoy your home for many years to come if you maintain it properly.

FAQs

What Are Body Armor Plates?

In case you didn't know, body armor is a type of ballistic protection that is worn to protect the wearer from being injured by small arms fire, knife attacks, shrapnel, ricochets, and other projectiles, as well as other potentially life-threatening situations. To protect the body, body armor plates are placed inside a plate carrier, which is also known as a bulletproof vest. Body armor is available in a variety of different styles, shapes, levels of protection, weights, types, sizes, and customization options, among other features and characteristics. Even though soft body armor and lower levels of hard armor can protect against handgun rounds, only hard body armor is capable of stopping rifle ammunition.

When should I use body armor plates?

Hard armor plates are used to defend against threats posed by high-velocity projectiles fired by machine guns and rifles such as the AR-15, NATO, AK47, and other similar weapons. As a starting point, if you only require protection from small arms, it is not necessary to use ballistic hard armor plates. Ballistic plates, on the other hand, are required if you need to be protected from high-speed calibers fired by rifles and machine guns.

What is the difference between body armor and a plate carrier?

Armor, also known as body armor, is any clothing that protects you from being shot at. Additionally, for some, the specifics surrounding bulletproof vests and plate carriers can be quite perplexing. Ordinary fabric vests, as the name implies, are worn in conjunction with armor plates to protect the wearer's torso.

Why is a bulletproof vest not stab proof?

Our team has received a plethora of inquiries regarding this topic. Unless otherwise specified, a bullet-proof vest is designed to stop bullets, not stab or spike instruments. For a bulletproof vest to be stab proof as well, it must be able to stop the lowest stab resistant level, which for both the HOSDB and the NIJ is 24 (E1) or 36 (E2) joules from an engineered blade, depending on the testing method. When it comes to stopping bullets, a standard bulletproof vest is only capable of stopping 5–10 joules, depending on the material used to construct it. For a stab-proof vest to stop, it must be subjected to 1/3 of the required pressure. A stab-proof vest will first be considered stab proof when it meets the NIJ 0115.00 and HOSDB minimum requirements for a stab-proof vest, with the lowest level of protection being level 1 according to the standards. As it is possible to penetrate a level 1 stab-proof vest with a hard stab, everything below level 1 (below 36 Joules) will be easy to penetrate as well.

Why does a body armor plate have an expiration date?

Considering that body armor is constructed of synthetic materials with lab-created properties and characteristics, the armor will inevitably begin to "age" or lose its effectiveness over time. As a result, the materials' deflection, resistance, and dilution of kinetic energy properties are all lost. A defined lifespan is thus established for body armor. NIJ-certified body armor has a typical lifespan of five years, according to the organization.

Is it okay to wear expired body armor plates?

In general, this is not advised. Even if you are using the armor for more casual and infrequent purposes, such as public appearances by VIPs, wearing slightly outdated armor will not have an impact on its effectiveness. As a result, most armor retains its standard effectiveness well after the date on which it was originally designed to expire. Nonetheless, if you have better options for combat, conflict, and security, you should avoid using expired armor. And keep in mind that if a bullet does manage to penetrate your vest, it will need to be replaced immediately.