Understanding Your Bullet Proof Armor
Soft armor, on the other hand, is ideal for everyday use by those who are at risk of being attacked. Soft armor can be worn like clothing, and is available in a variety of different types, including concealable body armor, and vests that are made to be worn over other clothing.
Variances in Soft and Hard Bullet Proof Armor
As mentioned, hard armor is a system of ceramic dyneema, or metal plates. With soft armor, when a bullet strikes body armor, the bullet is caught in a web of very strong ballistic fiber. These fibers help soak up and disperse the impact energy that is transferred to the bullet proof armor causing the bullet to mushroom.
Additional energy is absorbed in the vest by each added layer of ballistic material until the bullet is stopped. Because of the strength of each individual layer of material combined with other additional layers, it forms a larger area for the impact energy to disperse and keep the bullet from piercing the bullet proof vest. This helps in non-penetrating injuries know as ( blunt force trauma ) to internal organs.
Hard armor is cumbersome and heavy. Even ceramic hard armor plates, which are far lighter than their metallic counterparts, can be heavy if a full suit of armor is worn. Ceramic plates generally weigh close to six pounds each. It is also bulky, and makes doing things like driving difficult, which is why officers only wear it when there is a specific threat that needs to be protected against (such as during riot protection and similar actions).
The manner in which the ballistic panels are constructed into a single unit also differs from one manufacturer to another. In some cases, the multiple layers are bias stitched around the entire edge of the panel; in others, the layers are tack stitched together at numerous locations. Some manufacturers assemble the fabrics with a number of rows of vertical or horizontal stitching; some may even quilt the entire ballistic panel. No evidence exists that stitching impairs the ballistic resistant properties of a panel. Instead, stitching tends to improve the overall performance, especially in cases of blunt trauma, depending upon the type of fabric used.Currently most bullet proof armor will protect you against your smaller hand threats, but each individual needs to evaluate the threat levels they may face. Remember, no bullet proof vest or body armor is entirely bullet proof, but depending on the level of body armor you wear will substantially influence the amount of injury you receive. The most common example of soft body armor is the modern bullet proof vest worn by most police officers, either beneath or over their clothing.
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