Our friends over at http://www.safeguardclothing.com/ have graciously provided us with a guest post this week. They have shared with us a prepper’s guide to body armor. I am sure you will find it very informative. Feel free to visit their website and tell them what you think. -SP
Guide to Body Armor
There’s no doubt that you know that the federal US government seems to intentionally violate US residents’ integral right for self-defense. Body armor can at times be a crucial prep for people who want to secure themselves from an unfortunate event. This article, this guide, is meant to be a simple explanation and introduction to body armor for the average person. This is for anyone who is not familiar with body armor. It is designed to help you choose the appropriate body armor for your specific needs.
Body Armor Rating System
There are two protection levels for stab proof armor that are managed by Home Office Scientific Development Branch of the UK, whereas protection levels for bullet proof vests range from level IIA to level IVA and are managed by the US National Institute of Justice. In general, body armor is manufactured from three materials: Kevlar, steel, and ceramic.
Kevlar Body Armor
Kevlar was created by DuPont back in 1965. This material is the most common one used in soft body armor. Kevlar is an aramid, a polymer chain, which aligns parallel to the fiber. The extra strong chemical bindings permit the fiber to be incredibly strong elastically relative to weight. These fibers are joined into a thick cloth, creating the layers that are employed in modern Kevlar body armors.
Most of the time, Kevlar is good at stopping bullets. The material is much lighter, comparing to any other material used in body armor, and is mostly reputed for stopping rounds from a handgun. For example, an IIIA protection level body armor set is able to stop up to a .44 Magnum bullet from permeating it. Kevlar is flexible and adjusts to the bodyshapes of its owner, when worn. Kevlar body armor is concealable, so it might be worn regularly.
Ceramic Body Armor
The majority of ceramic plates (frequently referred to as trauma plates) are manufactured of a boron-carbide blend. This material’s structure is crystalline. Ceramic plates are very hard and are known for absorbing bullet’s impact.
Generally, ceramic plates are rated III and IV by the NIJ. They can absorb the impact of bullets that range between .308 and .3006. The impact to the body is highly reduced by the body armor that breaks up and absorbs the impact. This is referred to as “fracturing”. Also, ceramic is much lighter, comparing to steel, so wearing ¾ inch plates ads about 4 lbs. less, than steel. Ceramic isn’t affected by moisture or heat and doesn’t spoil very much with the lapse of time.
Steel Body Armor
Barely any introduction is needed for steel. The only thing that should be noted is that a wide range of steel trauma plates are manufactured from AR500 steel. Among the available hard armor, steel plates are the most elastic. Numerous strikes to steel plates won’t compromise armor’s integrity. Steel isn’t fragile and won’t crack, if shot at or dropped. Also, steel is cheaper, than ceramic and is obtainable from a broader band of manufacturers.
Should You Get Yourself Body Armor?
It is advisable, but there are a few cautions. In extreme situations, like WROL, a bullet wound will probably be a death warrant. Unless it’s a clean subcutaneous wound, it is improbable that most people would have the skills or tools needed for recovery. Fragments of bullets and tissues of bone, muscles, and organs would have to be removed or fixed to avert sepsis or even death from bleeding, not to mention the recovery of a limb’s or organ’s function. Slow moving ammo is known to tear clothes and bringing their fragments into the wound, increasing infection risk even more. How many people have a shotgun that is loaded with several shells? Also, consider the fact that the person attempting to treat you could be your friend or family member with limited first-aid knowledge and could easily overlook some of the birdshot grains stuck in you. Lead isn’t a vitamin you should be taking for better brain function.
Like all good preppers know always prep the essentials before anything. Never buy body armor before getting food, water, medical supplies, and firearms. Prep wisely, before getting a million rounds ammo, make sure you have enough food and water to feed your family. You must know your priorities. You won’t be able to eat Kevlar for lunch and bullets won’t keep you hydrated. Body armor is a great item to have when you need it but don’t over look the essentials.
Kevlar’s lightweight properties make this type of armor ideal for children, women, the elderly and for those who want to avoid carrying an extra 20 pounds on them. Kevlar prices ranges from $150 to $300+, Prices vary from each manufacturer and the type of carrier in the set. When buying Kevlar, don’t forget to check the manufacture date. There are quite a few different Kevlar Made Body Armor options for all current occupations or requirements.
The more robust individuals can carry serious hard armor protection with carriers, most of which have MOLLE webbing. Ceramic plates cost about $200 per plate, so a set would cost about $400+ and don’t forget about at least $75 for the armor carrier. Steel armor certified by the NIJ costs about $100 per plate, in general, which means they cost about half the price of ceramic armor. Most of the steel and ceramic armors isn’t protected from spalling.
What Armor Should You Get?
There’s no magic body armor that will protect you 100%. The perfect body armor is the right balance of protection and mobility. It must protect against incoming fire and at the same time keep you mobile.
For suburban preppers that live in suburban areas, where you are in minimal risk of being shot at with larger caliber rounds, you can choose to wear soft body armor for its concealment features and mobility. However, in a rural area, where many people are hunters, the probability of rifles and larger calibers increases and makes the use of hard body armor a better choice. Hard armor is also a better option for a firefight, where you can’t disengage, stationary security, or reconnaissance over flat land or in an unfriendly environment.