Although it is more common to find bulletproof vests being used by personnel of authority like security guards and policemen. However, bulletproof vests are also available for sale for civilians. Whatever your reasons for purchasing a bulletproof vest may be, there are a few things you should know before buying one.
One of the first things you should know about bulletproof vests is the difference between hard armor bulletproof vests and soft armor vests. The former consists of hard plates made from either steel, ceramic, or polyethylene.Hard bodied bulletproof vests are strong against impact to the face of the plate but presents some weak points along the edges of the plates.
Soft bodied vests do not offer as much protection from larger bullets, but they are lighter than the hard bodied bulletproof vests. A widely known material used for making soft bodied bulletproof vests is Kevlar, a kind of aramid fibre. Newer soft bodied vests are made of polyethylene, making them lighter but just as strong.
Bulletproof vests come in different protection levels, as determined by the National Institute of Justice. As the levels go up, the thickness of the vests increase accordingly and so does the amount of protection a vest can offer to you. More often than not, higher levels of protection also incur higher costs. So it is a good idea to get a reasonable amount of knowledge about the different protection levels and find the one that suits your needs the most without breaking your budget.
Having a sufficient knowledge about the different levels of protection can also help you decide on getting the best bulletproof vest for your needs. Think about whether the weight of the vest and how easy it can be concealed is an important requirement for your bulletproof vest. Often, thinner and lighter vests offer stealthier wear but with compromised protection from blunt trauma.
Another important thing to note when purchasing a bulletproof vest is that you should get one that fits you well. Many companies sell bulletproof vests in standard sizes but you can get some that will tailor your vest according to your measurements. Getting a good fitting bulletproof vest is important because one too large or too small may put you at risk when facing a gunshot. If your vest is too large, it may slips around and making movements difficult. If your vest is too small, it may leave critical points on your body vulnerable.
Once you have found the suitable bulletproof vest for you, you can opt to buy add-ons to your vest according to what you need. Extra details can either enhance the protective duties of the vest or be used as storage pockets for any items you would want to keep on your vest. Examples of extra add-ons include shoulder and neck guards that will cover the parts of your body that the vest may not be able to protect.