What is a bulletproof vest?
A bulletproof vest is a vest which purpose it is to protect you against bullets and thus helps saving lives. The vest is designed to stop bullets and encapsulate projectiles from small weapons.
There are vests for different tasks and they are available in 6 levels of protections.
A bulletproof vest can be made of different materials and will protect you within its listed standard. Common to all of them is that they are made of a fiber, which the different manufacturers blends and puts together depending on what kind of vest they want and its intended use case.
There are typically two types of fibers that are used in bulletproof vests: Aramid and Polyethylen. Their purpose is to absorb the projectiles to stop them and save lives. These fibers can be fabricated and woven together in many ways, this is where flexibility, weight and thickness are typical key factors.
However, there are other parameters that are just as important. If you are hit by a bullet, it is important that the energy from the bullet is distributed throughout the vest to minimize damage to the internal organs. You may be protected from penetration by a bullet, but the bullet can still be very dangerous.
What does bulletproof means?
There are 6 levels a bulletproof vest can be assigned. But it is important to know that the bulletproof vest is only bulletproof within its classification.
The different protection levels range from level I to IV.
The levels I to IIIA is what is also called soft body armor, which protects you against a .44 Magnum.
Level III to IV is where you add an extra hard armor plate to protect you against armor piercing rifle ammunition.
Does this mean that you're protected against all small firearms if you have a level IIIA, the highest level in soft vests? The answer to that would be yes and no.
If specially manufactured ammunition with a pointed metal end is used, or you're being shot at from a different angle and speed than the vest is certified for, there is a possibility of penetration.
This also applies if you are shot multiple times in the same place. To call a bulletproof vest for bulletproof, it must be compared to the classification of the vest.
Bulletproof vest for the military and the police
Bulletproof vest used to be associated almost exclusively with the military and police. Today the world is quite different and a bulletproof vest is used by many different groups of professionals.
People in high risk environments and situations regularly use bulletproof and stabproof vests today. Many in the security industry use bulletproof and stabproof vests for tasks such as event security, bouncer at a nightclub and on patrol as a part of a private security team.
Journalists used to only wear bulletproof vests when sent out abroad in high-risk areas. Today, they're used both domestically and abroad in any situation that could possibly end up being dangerous or otherwise high risk.
People employed in the public sector who work with the at-risk and vulnerable also use vests to protect themselves. Gang members and criminals are also using bulletproof vests to protect themselves in their battle with each other, but more and more regular people seek out and use the protection afforded by a bulletproof or stabproof vest as well.
In the US there is even bulletproof vests for children, as well as hard armor plates that can be inserted into their backpacks.
Bulletproof vest - Cheap or used?
If you're considering a cheap or used bulletproof vest, ask yourself one question: How much is your life worth?
A bulletproof vest is a life insurance, with the sole purpose of saving your life.
Never buy a used bulletproof vest. It's easy to find cheap and used bulletproof and stabproof vests on sites like eBay, but we strongly advise against it:
You can never be certain of how the vests origin and how it has been treated, leaving you without any guarantee that it can provide you with the security it is supposed to.
The savings from buying a cheap, used vest are typically around 100-150 €. So ask yourself, isn't your life worth that and more?