What is a bulletproof vest used for? This protective clothing is a form of body armor that is meant to shield the wearer from the negative effects of combat. It is most commonly used for military and law enforcement applications. A vest is able to defend against a bullet and sharp object punctures.
What are they made of? The two commonly used materials are called Kevlar and Spectra. Kevlar fabric is made by first creating Kevlar yarn that is then weaved into the cloth. Spectra is made by laying the fibers parallel to one another and then bonding them together with resin.
Are all bulletproof vests the same? No. Bulletproof vests have different levels of protection based on the manufacturing process that was used. The various ratings that bulletproof vests come in are I, II-A, II, III-A, III, IV. It is also important to note that the higher the rating, the heavier the vest.
Does a Personal Body Armor, such as bulletproof vests, have to be tested? Yes. Once a design for a bulletproof vest is created, the manufacturer has to make sure that the vest meets the safety guidelines put in place by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The vest is tested by firing several shots in predetermined positions to test to integrity of the design. Once the vest has been approved, the design is registered and certified for replication.
How can I tell if a specific bulletproof vest is authentic? To make sure that the vest you are purchasing is authentic, you need to pay special attention to the label. This label will alert you to the:
- The rating
- Lot number
- Issue date
- Serial number
If you are purchasing a vest that is rated between I and III-A, then it has to have a disclaimer that it will not protect the wearer against rifle fire or sharp instrument intrusion. If the label does not contain this warning, you should immediately return to the store.
Can bulletproof vests be concealable? Yes. There are several manufacturers of bulletproof vests that have created body armor that are concealable. These include jackets and vests that can be worn by important personnel without anyone noticing that they are protected. Individuals that are wearing them can feel confident that small arms fire may not cause them bodily harm.