Body Armor that is Durable But Lightweight
Throughout history, body armor has taken many forms to protect soldiers and police officers. For police and military personnel, the protection is in the form of bullet-proof or bullet-resistant vests. These vests can offer protection against bullets, but are not all created equally. When the correct bulletproof vest or rifle plate is used, they can provide substantially more protection that if a person were to wear no vest.
Armor in the form of a vest can be comprised of Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene or UHMWPE. The fibers are flexible, strong and can withstand a high degree of impact. A bullet can be slowed to a stop and become trapped within the fibers. The majority of police officers wear soft bullet-proof vests which protect against handguns, typically up to a 44 magnum. For greater threats, such as high caliber ammunition, steel, ceramic or titanium plates are used making them thicker and heavier. Steel is cost-effective, but it is bulky and uncomfortable to wear for extended periods. Ceramic is less bulky than steel. However, risks include things such as cracks and ricocheting.
To determine if a vest is legitimate, the National Institute of Justice or NIJ is an accredited ballistics laboratory that tests bullet-proof vests. One of their considerations is the vests back-face deformation or BFD. The BFD rating looks at how a projectile impacts an armor’s front side. The product life guarantee is also an essential consideration of such armor.
Vests used for military or police personnel must be the proper kind. If they do not provide enough protection, lives can be lost. If they provide too much protection, the person risks wearing a vest that is heavy and restrictive. Some of the questions include: What does a person wish to protect themselves from? What is the threat level? What is the historical data of threats in the regions in question?
One of the most important considerations is protection against “green tip” rounds. They contain lead core and a steel penetrator at its tip and represents an extreme bullet threat. Most vests are thick and heavy against this kind of ammunition, but a company such as ShotStop makes what is known as rifle plates that are lightweight, thin and extremely durable. The “product life” of the plates can be as much as triple the length. The cost of ShotStop body armor is typically 80 to 100 percent more expensive than other brands due to the superior product life.
ShotStop produces a variety of advanced rifle plates. The company has patented what is known as Duritium technology. It is process and material combined, including layers of polyethylene sheets. A 25 to 30 percent reduction in thickness and weight is achieved. This allows for the thinner and lightweight design combined with greater durability. The issue of wearing a heavy and uncomfortable vest is addressed with ShotStop’s designs. The body armor is sold through authorized independent representatives, dealers, and partners.