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A bulletproof vest, also known as a ballistic vest or a bullet-resistant vest, is an item of body armor that helps absorb the impact and reduce or stop penetration to the torso from firearm-fired projectiles and fragmentation from explosions. The vest may come in a soft form, as worn by many police officers, prison guards, security guards and some private citizens. Prison guards and police may wear soft vests designed to resist stabbing attacks, using metallic or para-aramid components. Soldiers, SWAT teams, marines and special operations forces wear hard armors, either in conjunction with soft armor or alone. This allows for protection against rifle ammunition or fragmentation.
Kevlar ballistic vests are designed to offer protection against level II and level IIIa types of ballistic threats. According to NIJ and HOSDB standards, level II ballistic vests must offer protection against 9mm handguns with up to .357 magnums. Level IIIa ballistic vests offer protection against 9mm handguns with up to .44 magnums. However, level IV threats are not protected by the normal Kevlar bulletproof vests. In other words, Kevlar body armors are designed for protection against firearms that are easily found within the general population.
Hard ballistic plates are used to offer protection against level IV threats. These plates can stop large, high velocity bullets such as those fired from rifles and submachine guns. The plates can be inserted into the pouches at the back or front of vests so as to increase protection to vital body organs such as the heart.When purchasing a body armor there is no need to spend so much money on hard ballistic plates if you are not going into a war zone. Just buy body armor that can protect you from the threats you are facing.
The most popular hard ballistic plate carrier is the Cordura vest. The vest contains SAPI plate pouches at the back and front. The pouches can accommodate a 10 X 12" ballistic plate. Therefore, the bulletproof vest is often equipped with Bulletproof Plate(choosing Level IIIA Bulletproof Plate, Level III Bulletproof Plate, Level III+ Bulletproof Plate or Level IV Bulletproof Plate according to the situation) and Bulletproof Shield(Level IIIA Bulletproof Shield, Level III Bulletproof Shield, Level III+ Bulletproof Shield or Level IV Bulletproof Shield) while using.