Personal Body Armor – A Short Guide

Personal security is a big issue these days. Violent crime, including murder, is often random, and unless one takes the time to prepare, it is all the more likely that if one stumbles into the path of a violent criminal, the outcome could be fatal.

Firearms are more prolific today than ever before, despite governments around the world working to contain the epidemic, as it can rightly be called. Wars and other minor armed conflicts make for excellent opportunities to smuggle weapons of every make and model, and the route to your street is shorter than you might think. However, if you were to encounter a criminal, the chances that they are carrying AK-47s or .50 caliber Desert Eagles are slim.

The weapons used by petty criminals such as robbers are usually small caliber and cheap, along with easy to hide. That means that unless you expect, for some reason, to be fired upon with large caliber weapons, light body armor is your friend. When buying a personal armored vest, or a so-called bulletproof vest, there are a few things to think about.

1: What kind of danger do I expect?

2: Where do I intend to wear it, and for how long? (These things can be bulky…and they don’t breathe very well…)

3: What kind of price range fits my budget? (You can buy vests that’ll cost you several thousand dollars)

The common armed assault involves small caliber handguns, up to the 9 mm caliber, which is a favorite of both thugs and professionals. If we make that our starting point, referring to number 1 above, you would need a vest with protection classification II or IIIA. These days, a class IIIA vest is likely to weigh in at about 3 kgs or around 6 lbs, and can be concealed underneath a jacket or even a shirt. Now, these can be worn all day if necessary, but even 6 pounds can become heavy after a few hours.

Classification II is lighter, and provides protection from 9 mm rounds as well, so for most people this is a better choice. The likelihood of a criminal using specialized ammunition is very low. Last on the list is cost. Put bluntly and without fuss, expect to pay $550 to $700 for a good vest. There are a lot of good sites online for buying personal armor – check out a few, and make sure that you get a good price.

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