Body armor is not new, it has been around since man began to fight. Originally made of animal skin, then chain mail and metal today’s bullet proof vest has come a long way. Modern body armor as bulletproof vests made primarily with aramid ballistic material as Kevlar.
Aramid is a synthetic fiber that is woven into fabric. The layering in process that makes it extremely light weight. Although lightweight soft armor able to stop most handgun bullets, for rifle as AK47 and M16 you will need hard armor plates made from heavier material as steel and ceramic plates.
There are several different kinds of body armor and bulletproof vests. Soft body armor is broken down into small arms types I/IIA/II/IIIA and hard body armor to type III and armor piercing type IV.
Body armor is chosen based on the expected risk of the person wearing it. Type IIIA and other soft body armor bulletproof vests are lightest as they provide the minimum level of protection and designed for small arms or small caliber weapons.
- Lightweight body armor as bulletproof vests IIIA preferred for police forces for their protections against hand guns like 9mm, .357 and .44 .
- Armor Plates III classified for rifles, these are best used for tactical situations such as SWAT teams and protect against.
- Armor Plates IV rated for armor piercing rifles and it is the highest level of protection.
As can be imagined the higher the class of bullet proof vest, the heavier it will be. As the grade is increased the more material is required and armor plates are added.
Vest weight can be reduced by eliminating the sides or leaving gaps. Bullet proof vest can be easily concealed, it called soft armor and comes in IIA/II and IIIA retings. The amount of protection will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some offer more coverage and lighter weight than others.
The standards for bullet proof ratings are set by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). Lightweight body armor pass these tests as any bodyarmor through ranges of bullets to determine the effectiveness of the armor.