Soft ballistic vests are one of the greatest achievements of modern science. They have saved thousands of lives, most of the cops and soldiers of death and very serious injuries. But for all of them to put on the anti-bullet vest before starting the day is part of the ritual.
Today, working with the anti-bullet vest is one thing that many take for granted. There are fewer and fewer who are reluctant to protect their lives, but there is much to know, and each user should know about his ballistic vest.
This is not a bulletproof vest
Your vest will not protect you or protect you from any ballistic threat. It is a textile ballistic compound that offers limited resistance to certain ballistic threats.
Statistically speaking, nothing is anti-bullet. There may always be a bullet capable of penetrating the shield. It could even be the case that the vest did not stop a bullet for which it is supposedly designed. A manually tapered bullet may well pass through the ballistic material.
The illogical thing is to feel and act like a “Superman” with the vest on. What you would not do without a vest, do not do it with a vest!
How ballistic fabric for a bullet
The flexible ballistic panels are made of interlaced and laminated fabric or even a combination of both. The fabric stops a bullet in much the same way that a net stops a tennis ball. The fabric traps the bullet, brakes it and disperses the energy through the panel. The mushroom-like deformation of the bullet helps of course that the stop is more effective. That is why the heavier and slower the projectile, the better the vests stop, whereas those cartridges with hardened tips, which fly at high speed, can perfectly pass through the front panel, the body of the user and leave in his Mass path through the rear panel
Your vest should stop at least your endowment ammunition
All NIJ certification can be quite confusing. There are police corps that use level IIA vests, others II and others as many as Level IIIA. It is very difficult for you and your body to anticipate the kind of threat you may suffer on the street, but what is clear is that our weapon is a threat. A surprising number of policemen are shot with their weapons, either because they get them to snatch the weapon or because the partner makes a mistake and shoots the good. So your vest has to be able to stop the ammunition from the endowment.
All weapons kill
There is a certain tendency, especially on the part of the arms enthusiasts, to assign a level of lethality according to the caliber. Do not believe that. A small gauge at high speed will penetrate the vest entirely, while a 45-gauge ACP, or 44 Magnum, are usually heavier and travel at a slower speed, making them easier to stop even than a 9mm PB or a 357 Magnum.
Shooting shotguns are especially difficult to stop since not all of them go at the same speed.
It is not about the years of guarantee but of its use
Many of the jackets offer a guarantee between 5 and 10 years. But the truth is that the guarantee of the vest must be recalculated by each user according to their level of use. A vest worn daily will lose its properties before a vest that has not touched the shelves. Unfortunately, there is no system to count the hours of use of each vest, but if you must check it usually for scratches, burns, scratches and various damages. If you wear your vest like an old T-shirt, it will age much faster than if you care for it, clean and maintain it.
Register your vest
Many vests come or should come with an instruction book and warranty. Make sure it does. If the purchase is made by the Police, they must receive an invoice indicating the serial numbers of each of the vests. If there is a registration card, fill it with your data and send it.
When Zylon happened, many companies had major problems locating all customers since they had not filled out the registration cards for their defective jackets.
Clean the cover
You should have at least two sleeves for your vest. This would allow you to use one while washing the other. By keeping the covers clean and dry, you help prolong the life of your vest.
Ballistic panels can be washed with a sponge, not the washer
The best way to clean your ballistic panels is with a slightly damp sponge and neutral soap. But do not put them to wash in the washing machine, nor dry them in the dryer. And do not iron them! That excess heat will melt the fibers and quickly lose their properties.
Hang your vest when not wearing it
Ballistic panels are made of many interlaced fibers. If they adopt an irregular shape, he thinks he can not then iron it to straighten the panel. If you sweep inside your locker a sweaty waistcoat, it will dry out and take the form in which it is inside the locker. That is a serious problem.
What is the V50
It is true that your vest failed to stop 50% of the projectiles at a certain speed. It is the way the V50 is tested. Professional manufacturers shoot projectiles at high speed until 50% manages to transfer. Hence the V50 = Speed 50. The V50 of a vest is superior to the speeds that have the most usual projectiles in the streets. In fact, flexible vests could be manufactured to stop high-velocity missiles (1000 m / s for example), but let’s say they would no longer be wearable.
Your vest is not a bathing suit
Dive with your vest is never a good idea. Some vests can support it sometimes, but many are only for the museum. Ballistic tissues with water are more penetrable because water acts as a lubricant, they are no longer safe. A waistcoat today that does not have its thermally sealed panels with relative humidity equal to zero at the time of closing them is not safe. Materials such as Spectra Shield or Dyneema are water repellent. If you work near water, find out that such “nothing” (supports water), your vest.
Kevlar is not the only ballistic fiber that exists
The first viable, flexible vest was manufactured from DuPont Kevlar. So many people today still think ballistic vests are from Kevlar. Today there are several dozen ballistic fibers, and many of them are used together in the vests. Currently, the most known Aramid fabrics are the Kevlar, Spectra, and Twaron. The most advanced Gold Flex and Gold Shield.
There is another type of fabric based on polyethylene thread, such as Dyneema, light but very little resistant to temperature.
Your vest is clothes
Ballistic vests are made with fabric, like clothing. They are sewn just like clothes. All ballistic vests are made by stacking sheets of ballistic fabric. Then they go through a quality control, which looks for problems or failures in sewing, folding, sealing, etc …
What is trauma
When a bullet hits a ballistic panel, an energy called kinetic is generated that has to be dispersed throughout the panel. The faster this energy is dispelled, the less trauma the user receives in his body. Any projectile will generate a deformation at the back of the ballistic panel as a result of the work done by the fibers in stopping the projectile. The greater the deformation, the greater the trauma. The levels of trauma are measured by placing the panel in front of a container with special plasticine, where the deepening of the trauma can be perfectly measured.
If you are shot in your vest, you will be able to respond to the aggression
Many police officers have been hit in their vests, and virtually everyone says it’s like getting a hammer. Usually, the result is a bruise caused by the trauma. But no one has ever died from that trauma. It is even unlikely that you will be incapacitated but there once again has much to do with the make and model of vest you have. Those who have been hit in their vests say they did not lose their breath, could respond to the aggression and reduce it. There are good anti-trauma panels that manage to reduce deformation by up to 50%.
The vests are tested and checked all
There is a more or less general belief that the vests tested at the NIJ are not subsequently equal to those sold. This is not an isolated fact and depends on the ethics and morality of every manufacturer of vests. What is certain is that in the event of an accident, it is best that the panel be the same as tested and approved by the NIJ. Otherwise, that company will most likely have to close its doors.
How to prevent the “sack” effect
The effect “sack” is when due to the use, rubber elastics as well as some sheaths gain size and deform due to the tension or weight to which they are subjected. The way to avoid this effect is to have at least two sleeves or even 3 to rotate them.
A waistcoat is not comfortable and may not be safe.
Stay on your weight or buy another vest
Flexible ballistic vests are not elastic. If you increase your weight by 5 to 10% from the day you bought your vest, you need a new vest. If you lose weight, you may also need another vest.
The vest sleeve does not offer any protection
It is true that we call it a bulletproof vest, but what is properly the vest, i.e. the outer sheath, does not offer any protection. What is resistant to bullets is what goes on inside, called ballistic panels.
Never go outside with the vest sleeve. It offers no more protection than your T-shirt being at home.
There is a right and wrong form
The ballistic panels are designed to enter inside the sleeve in a specific way. Changing them aside, you can end in tragedy. Good vests indicate the face that should go on the outside or towards the body of the user. This is because the panels are configured first for the bullet and then to reduce the trauma. If you change the position, there is no guarantee that the bullet will stop.
Unless your ballistic vest is also anti-gun, it most likely will not protect you from a threat with a knife
Anti-rifle vests are made with different fabrics and laminates. There are multi-threat vests, which incorporate ballistic protection, anti-gun protection. They are more expensive but much safer logically. The vests anti-white weapon, do not exist, in any case, are vested with resistance limited to different types of white arms.
Your vest can save your life in a traffic accident
Every year there are life-saving police officers because the vest protected them from impact against the wheel in a car accident. There are even those who on a motorcycle has had less trauma to the body thanks to the anti-bullet vest. There is a case where a policeman receives a strong impact on his torso by a mirror of a truck passing next to a car standing on the shoulder. The tremendous blow would have blown him inside not wearing the vest.
Girls, your bulletproof vest has to be girls specific
Fewer and fewer, some Bodies bought the vests on the pretext that they were unisex. Good vests are not the same for men as for women. Women need more traumatic protection on their chest, and of course, they need vests that have a bra shape, just like they would find in a swimsuit.
It’s a vest, not a suit
The tendency today in men and women is to wear tight, but your vest does not have to stay as if it were a technical shirt to go running. When you’re trying on your vest, take a deep breath and then pull it off. When you empty your lungs of air, space will remain just so that the vest is comfortable and bearable all day and of course in case of trauma will help to minimize it. Do not forget that if you squeeze too much you will not be able to move freely, nor run, nor defend you nimble.
Adhesive tape is not the replacement of the elastic holding straps
If you have problems securing your vest, buy another holster. Using American tape like some is not a great idea because it does not allow the vest to move with your body. Ah, and the American tape does not provide more ballistic protection.
Wearing two vests does not involve bending ballistic protection
Although you could withstand the heat and weight of 2 IIIA vests, the sum of them would not necessarily equate to a level III. It is true that many layers of ballistic tissue on top of each other, a shot of an AK47, but no one would maintain its operation with such thickness of vest. The ballistic panels used to reach level III and IV, are many layers of ballistic tissue, one on top of another, but undergo a special pressing process that is achieved with a huge machine.
You need front and back protection
Some police officers prefer in summer to put only the front panel. That’s a really bad idea.
The anti-trauma panel is there for something
Vests that include anti-trauma panels do it because they need them. Otherwise, they would not wear them, thus reducing the cost, weight, and thickness of the vest. If you take them off, you will get a higher than allowed trauma that could end in tragedy.
Shot in your vest and the vest is over
He has known the story of the rookie that convinced by the veteran, tied the vest to a tree, and it struck three shots to prove it. Remember, once the ballistic panel has done the job of stopping a bullet, the panel or vest must be replaced with a new one.
Your vest cannot save you if it’s in the trunk or the closet
The worst thing that can happen is that you have to regret a low for a bullet that would have been stopped by a bulletproof vest. Think how such a fact would affect your loved ones. Put on the vest!