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Protection Types Breakdown

The number of people acquiring small firearms has been on a sharp increase over the past decade. Most of them acquire the guns to protect themselves in case of an attack. However, they’re still in danger unless they decide to protect themselves by wearing ballistic body armor. Other types of armor includes spike and edged blade protection body armor.

Globally, each country has its own set of minimum standards for ballistic, spike and edged blade body armor.  However the US and UK standards are the most widely used in many parts of the world. In the United States, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is responsible for regulating the manufacture and sale of body armors. The Centre of Applied Science and Technology (formerly known as HOSDB) is responsible for regulating the manufacture and sales of body armor.

CAST and NIJ work in cooperation, with CAST handling spike and edged blade standards while NIJ handles ballistic armor.

Ballistic Threats

Threats posed by both low and high velocity bullets are known as ballistic threats. To date, several types of body armor have been developed to offer protection against ballistic threats. However the different types of ballistic armors are not equally safe. This means that you have to be careful when buying a ballistic body armor so as to get one that will protect you completely.

Ballistic protection armors can be categorized as Level IIa, Level II, Level IIIa, Level III or level IV armors. Level IIa, Level II, and Level IIIa protection armors are designed to offer protection against most of the commonly available firearms. These include 9mm, .357 magnum, and .44 magnum firearms.

Conversely, Level IV ballistic armors are designed to offer protection against large, high velocity bullets. These armors are mostly used by tactical police teams and the military. The armors have capacity to stop rounds fired by rifles and submachine guns.

Whereas Kevlar ballistic vests are used for Level II and Level IIIa protection, hard ballistic plates are used for Level IV protection. The hard plates are fabricated using very hard materials such as Dyneema polyethylene or some types of ceramic.

If you are thinking of buying ballistic body armor, then you need one that protects you against the threats you are facing. It is not necessary to buy a Level IV body armor if you are not planning to go into a war zone. On the other hand, a level II or IIIa protection vest won’t help you in a war zone.

People who need to be protected using ballistic armors include soldiers, bodyguards and security guards manning sensitive government and private installations such as airports.

Spike Threats

The threats posed by sharp and projected objects are what are referred to as spike threats. These objects include long nails, needles, safety pins and ice picks. Spikes easily penetrate through almost all fabrics by going through the tiny spaces between the threads in the fabric. So as to offer protection against spikes, body armors have been developed to completely stop the sharp objects.

Spike threat protection armors are mostly used in prisons. So as to be guaranteed of their safety, prison guards have no option but to wear spike proof armor before entering the cell blocks. It is necessary to protect prison guards because most prisons are rife with sharp and improvised weapons hidden by the convicts.

Edged Blade Threats

Threats posed by individuals wielding cutting tools such as knives and broken glasses can be categorized as edged blade threats.  Under the NIJ and CAST guidelines, Edged blade attacks can be categorized as Level I or Level II.

Unlike spikes, edged blades usually penetrate fabrics by cutting through the threads in the fabric. This means that you can still be injured by spikes even when wearing edged blade protection armor.

Edged blade armors are suitable for use in places like night clubs where assailants can easily break bottles and use them as weapons.