If you’re a police officer or are in charge of supply for law enforcement, then body armor comes with the territory. But what types of body armor are best suited to you? It’s not something you can skimp out on, the type of body armor you buy can be the difference between life and death.
Thankfully, if you’ve been wondering about armor, you’ve come to the right place. This article will walk you through a couple of body armor buying tips, and let you know what the best body armor is for you.
Ballistic armor with low grade protection often comes in the form of soft armor. Soft armor is made of high-strength synthetic fibers, which work to slow down the impact of the bullet and reduce it to a non-lethal strength.
Different ratings of soft armor can protect different calibers of bullets. A IIA or a II rating — the lowest rating — can usually defend against smaller types, like 9mm weapons.
A soft armor with a IIIA rating can defend against a .44 Magnum.
While soft armor doesn’t defend quite as much as hard armor, it still has some serious defensive capabilities. Its lightweight and soft material make it great for maneuvering, which will reduce the chance an officer is shot in the first place.
If you know you or the officers you’re providing for the most part be only going up against handguns, there are no better option than soft armor to keep those officers safe. BlueRidge armor has soft armor options coming soon.
Hard armor, on the other hand, is built with steel, ceramics, or composite materials. The materials are fitted in small “plates” that are arranged in a strategic and approved pattern for maximum protection. Hard body armor is less mobile, but capable of stopping much stronger rounds.
A piece of body armor with a level III rating can defend against a shot from a rifle. Most common criminals don’t have rifles, so this is more popular for military personal. However, this could be effective for a special forces team and could be good to have around during a higher risk scenario.
Just check out our Rifle Plate Insert and you’ll understand what we mean. This piece of armor is extremely durable, and at 4.9 pounds, it’s not a significant weight increase.
A piece of body armor with a rating of IV is built to defend against armor-piercing rounds. The very name of armor-piercing rounds made redundant by armor this strong. As you can expect, this type of armor is very heavy, but should the threat level call for it, this for the type of protection is essential.
But ballistic armor isn’t the only game in town. There are also types of armor out there — mainly hard armor — that are built to withstand attacks by edged weapons.
The term edged weapons is used as offenders can stab with any sharp object they find — not just knives. Make sure that you buy specific edged-weapon protection vests. Knives can easily rip through the protective fabric of lower-grade soft body armors.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about how improving officers’ lines of defense can result in a decrease in the number of offensive actions they have to take. Providing police with shields can help them better assess situations and determine when defensive options are better.
While you’re looking for body armor protection, you might as well consider buying a shield. A shield is another line of defense to help keep officers safe.
A shield such as our WMX2 is designed to provide ballistic protection to the torso, while also allowing an officer to see out of the top.
Police officers in the USA face high risk scenarios — both on the job and off. Providing them with good shields, protection, and body armor is imperative in making sure they stay safe. When the officers stay safe, they can keep the public safe.
Consider the body armor rating, whether the piece of body armor is hard or soft, and whether you should incorporate edged weapon protection to stay safe as possible.
For more information, contact us today.