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Understanding Body Armor: A Comprehensive Guide

Projectile Protectors – Part I: Armor Plates

The Need for Body Armor

American civilians owned an estimated 393 million firearms in 2018, a number that has likely increased post-COVID. While most firearms are not used maliciously, there is a need to protect against potential harm. Whether you are a prepared individual, concerned about family safety, have an active shooter plan, or simply an enthusiast, owning body armor is crucial.

The Landscape of Body Armor

With advancements in ballistic technology and discussions around civilian body armor legislation, the demand for body armor is on the rise. However, navigating through the misinformation and marketing tactics can be challenging. Understanding the real-world performance, materials, and rating systems associated with body armor is essential.

Types of Body Armor

Body armor is a mechanical system designed to fail, according to Jeremy Gray. It works by either abrading or shattering ballistic threats like bullets. Steel armor shatters the bullet, but comes with downsides such as spall fragmentation. On the other hand, polyethylene and ceramic plates offer lighter alternatives with different methods of defeating bullets.

Steel Plates vs. Polyethylene and Ceramic Plates

Steel plates, while popular for their low cost, have limitations in stopping certain ammunition. Polyethylene and ceramic plates provide advantages in weight and protection against multiple threats. Understanding the trade-offs and benefits of each type of plate is crucial in choosing the right body armor.

Armor Ratings Demystified

Armor ratings, such as IIA, II, IIIA, III, and IV, determine the level of protection against handgun and rifle calibers. The new NIJ 0101.07 standard aims to simplify these ratings, making it easier for consumers to understand the level of threat each armor can withstand.


By: Patrick Diedrich
Title: Understanding Body Armor: A Comprehensive Guide
Sourced From:
Published Date: Wed, 05 Jun 2024 12:42:27 +0000

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