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Levels of Body Armor Protection - What Is Yours?

April 17, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 113

Buying bullet resistant vest is the same as buying any item but may require much attention to detail. Why? This is because the safety of your life is dependent on the quality and performance of the vest. More so, body armor is categorized into six levels, which why it is vital to figure out first what you need before obtaining one for your usage.

Find out why you need to wear bullet proof vest. Is it for work or simply to protect yourself from untoward incidents because of the increasing crime rate in your area? Where are you going to wear the vest? Are you sojourned in a cold or tropical area? Ultimately, you need to know what type of threat you are most probable to face.

All bullet proof vests are categorized into six different levels. Level 1 is the least resistance capacity and going up as the level also increases. Level 4 being the highest can withstand the most powerful armor-piercing ammunition. Your level of protection will depend greatly on the type of job you have and the community you live in.

The oldest rule of thumb especially for police forces is to wear a bullet resistant vest that can withstand the type of service weapon you carry around. This adage is as relevant and true as it was when it was first utilized.

However, bear in mind that threats are not only based on the rounds or the number of rounds but also other factors. Ballistic threat may include the shape, mass, caliber, angle of impact, velocity and more. Remember also that there are diverse types of rounds and cartridges for a given caliber. As such, bullet proof vest that can withstand a particular round may not be able to resist other types of loaded ammunition of the same caliber.

Hence, it is vital that the vest you are going to obtain passed the NIJ testing standard. This is because NIJ is the research, development and evaluation agency that approves the testing. To further understand the different levels set by the National Institute of Justice, let me show you each level with its corresponding handgun resistance.

Level I

This is the lowest among the levels of protection which can withstand .22 caliber pistols or long rifle rounds. This pistol has 40 grams of lead solid that travels about 1450 feet per second. It can also resist .38 caliber with 158 grams lead solid at 1300 feet per second velocity.

Level IIA

This can withstand 9mm and 357 magnum rounds, with 124 gram full metal jacket rounds and 158 gram jacket soft pointed rounds respectively. The speed is at 1140 feet per second for the 9mm and 1300 feet per second for the 357 magnum rounds.

Level II

This level can withstand the same types of pistols as that of level IIA but with higher safety level. Meaning, it can resist same rifles at a greater speed. It can still protect the wearer from 9mm and 357 magnum rounds with velocities at 1225 feet per second and 1445 fps respectively.

Level IIIA

This level protects the wearer from 9mm rounds with 1400 fps and .44 caliber and .44 magnum rounds at a speed of up to 1400 feet per second.

Level III

This level mandates the use of hard plates together with soft body armor. The armor used can minimize absorption of blunt force trauma to the wearer. It can resist 6 shots coming from a 7.62 x 51 NATO ball with 2800 fps velocity.

Level IV

This is a hard body armor that can deflect armor-piercing projectiles like 30.06 AP M2 166 gram at 2900 fps ballistic impact.

Henry N is an expert when it comes to Body Armor Protection. He's focused in assisting our law enforcers and even regular people to gain more knowledge about body armor manufacturer. For assurance of getting NIJ licensed products, Bullet Proof Vest Shop is the spot to look into.

Source: EzineArticles
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