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Some body armor notes


Watching and participating in a firearms-related forum recently it became clear to some writers and editors that not everyone fully understands how body armor is rated (the NIJ levels), including the differences between bullet-resistant armor and puncture-resistant armor. Surprisingly, there are still many who believe a "bullet proof vest" will stop an arrow or a knife, and others who still call an IOTV or other outer armor a "flak jacket".

One shining example of well meaning but ignorant commentary even made it clear that the word flak's etymology remains largely unknown. Another surprising assertion made it known that just a few armor styles will fit every body type. This was in reference to the news that the military will be, finally, issuing vests specifically cut and sized to female personnel; it must have been written by someone who never had to spend any appreciable amount of time in any sort of armor, external or concealed.

For those interested in refreshing their knowledge of the topic, or sharing a basic overview with friends to keep them from showing their ass, Velocity Systems has a good overview on their website (and a threat analysis as well).

There are things worse than side SAPIs.

There are also a number of videos from different manufacturers showing testing over on Police One.

Lastly, there is a good article from Police Chief Magazine for those who are interested in further educating themselves on the topic, and there is more NIJ information here; it's LE related, and it's a more thorough description, but applicable and interesting nonetheless.

Some plate carriers are more comfortable than others.


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