Choosing The Best Bullet Proof Vest For A Survival Situation (Part 1)

By on December 22, 2014

By Anthony McGrath of Safeguard Armor

Not only law enforcement, military and bounty hunters need bulletproof vests. There is also an increasing need for self-protection in civilian life. Here is a little guide to start you on the right path to purchasing a bulletproof vest. The first thing that a civilian has to keep in mind is the legality of owning body armor. I have been asked time and time this very question. The answer is yes.

The Law

In most states with in the United States it is legal to buy and wear body armor. The laws change from state to state however, so double check with your local authority. The only major exception to this rule is Connecticut State, in which you cannot purchase body armor over the Internet. If you live in this state, you’ll have to physically travel to the store in order to get your bulletproof vests. In other states when you turn 18 you can own body armor. All state legislation makes a caveat though, that is if you are a convicted felon, you can’t own or use a vest. Additional fines might be incurred if you, for example, threaten another person while wearing your bulletproof vest. It will end up costing you a fine or an extended period in jail. Again, check with your local authorities.

If you are not in Connecticut then, you’ll be able to purchase bullet proof vests online with no problem. You don’t have to undergo a background check, so if you are a convicted felon and you are caught with a vest in your car you can go back to jail.

The Main Ballistic Types

OK so with the legal aspects out of the way, what are you going to use the vest for? If it is for protection due to your business (which now is sad to say can even include being a teacher) then you’ll need something that is covert or concealed. This limits your choices to soft cover, like Kevlar or other composite materials. For you there are two major types of armor, Type II and IIIA. These types will protect you from bullets but sometimes not from stab wounds. So, let’s discuss the ballistic vests first.

Type II-IIIA is specifically designed to be used under your clothing, and it will protect you from .22 caliber rifle ammunition all the way up to a 357 magnum. The Type II Kevlar made vests, like the ones you see on will also stop bullets ranging from 9 mm all the way to 40 S&W which is what you’ll find most common on the street. Most civilian applications will only deal with type II threats and therefore higher types will not be necessary. These types of bulletproof vests are not always certified for puncture wounds or stabs.

So what is best for a Prepper?

If the use you are going to give the best is more of a “prepper” use, then you’ll face different challenges. If there is a brake down in society more than likely you’ll be faced with stabbing weapons or puncture weapons that don’t need ammo. You can use a type II ballistics vest, but it does not guarantee a blade will not penetrate it. So, your option is to find a good stab vest. Back in the 20th century the UK designated a standard for stab vests. It depends on the force that the perpetrator will use in order to stab you. There are also two types, but in order to be sure, you’ll need to consider an edged-blade level 2 protection type which will resist a force at least 20 percent greater than the average adult male can produce.


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