Body Armor – Types of Body Armor
When it comes to self-defense, one question often asked is how much body armor do you need? Body armor is designed to resist impact damage and the force of a blow by stopping impact with an object, the body, or the skin. Impact force is the direct force that causes an impact, such as when your fist hits someone’s face, or when a ball hits a concrete surface. Force to stop is what we call impact stopping power. The higher the level of impact stopping ability, the better the protection.
How much body armor do you need?
The level of protection depends on what you are protecting. Remember, just because it is labeled “body armor” doesn’t mean it is certified to stop handgun penetration! level IV armor is the highest level of armor that can stop handgun penetration. This type of armor is also used on police tanks and soldiers, and it is not available to the general public. For the highest level of protection, consider a full ballistic vest with thermal blankets inside.
What does “bullet armor” or “bikini armor” mean?
As the name would imply, bullet armor or “bikini armor” is a type of protective armor that is designed to protect against handgun penetration. It is classified by the United States Department of Defense as level III (the least protective) of its protective equipment standards. This level of armor has very limited penetration ability and is ideal for stopping handguns at close range. Bullet armor for this level of protection is not available for the general public, but it is still good to protect yourself if you are planning to carry a handgun or if you plan to use it in a self-defense situation.
What is level II armor?
Level II armor is the next best level of bullet protection. This armor stops handgun penetration up to the point where the bullet will pass through one of your vital organs. It does not stop all handguns, just about any effective handgun. For this reason, many police departments use the less restrictive level of body armor as the standard equipment worn by their officers.
What is the level I armor?
The lowest amount of protection offered by any armor system is level I armor. This armor will stop most handguns, although it will not stop the most potent rounds, which are developed specifically for these situations. Since many police departments still use level I armor as their official dress code, this is where the term “body armor” comes from.
So, the bottom line
is that there are three basic types of body armor: bulletproof vests, soft body armor, and hard body armor. Most law enforcement officers wear a combination of the two. If you are not a law enforcement officer and carrying a gun, then you most likely do not need to invest in body armor. However, if you are a person who is threatened or who is in the line of fire, the investment in body armor would be something you might want to consider.